All posts by Mu610

Mu610

About Mu610

22 year old German Muslim currently studying at Bradford University in the UK. Born in Marburg, raised in Berlin and spent 5 years in Nottingham then moving to Bradford in September '12. Is fluent in German and English and has some knowledge of French and Arabic, has an interest in learning Japanese, Italian, Spanish, Russian, Chinese and maybe Urdu for now.

Georgia

Georgia.
I.
You know, most things are easier now
than ever.
Still found it hard though
Copying out the alphabet in the font Georgia
They say it got its name from a headline in a newspaper.
“Alien head found in Georgia”
A vendor screams as if on fire.
“Alien heads were found in a graveyard in Alma, Georgia”
Alma…Alma…Salma

Once upon a Time

Unfinished.

Once upon a time
Like any true storyteller
I too will start with that line
Because whence or thence doesn’t matter
Because “You know in 900 years
Of time and space”
From the Doctor’s mouth one hears
“I’ve never met anyone who wasn’t important”
Because we are important
Every single one of us has a story, yet to be told
So whether you’re a hobbit of the Shire chosen to be the Bearer of the One Ring
Or the Britons true King
Tell me your story
And I’ll tell you mine

 

There, Somewhere, below

 

There, somewhere, below
Layers upon layers of snow
Somewhere in this blizzard
Where seeing is hard
Somewhere, where the wind howls
Where wolves prowl
Somewhere,
There it can be found
Frozen and bound
My heart in shackles
Lost after many battles
Found and freed, to beat once again
Loud and strong, free from pain
There it was, somewhere
Under layers upon layers of snow
Below, somewhere, there.

Racial Profiling

Racial Profiling ist ein allgegenwärtiges Problem für People of Colour in Deutschland und generell im Westen und dass nicht erst seit Silvester.

Einmal wurde ich in Kassel am Bahnhof kontrolliert, ich war in Eile und aus offensichtlichen Gründen genervt. Also habe ich den Polizisten eben gefragt: ‘Warum ausgerechnet ich?’ Ihm war das dann sehr unangenehm und er entschuldigte sich mit den Worten: ‘Naja, Sie passen halt ins Raster.’ Ich glaube zwar nicht, dass es allen so unangenehm ist wie diesem Beamten, aber es gibt offenbar ein Bewusstsein darüber, dass diese Praxis diskriminierend ist und welche Demütigung sie den Menschen damit zufügen. Denn das ist Racial Profiling vor allem: demütigend. Entwürdigend.

Temye Tesfu 

 

 

Videos? Love em’! XXXV

Peace!

I absolutely missed posting about my favourite videos every week. So I’d like to give it a go again, but this time in a slightly different fashion, which hopefully explains a bit more why these are the videos that I picked out of the slew of other videos I’ve consumed and what they mean to me.

Knowledge is Power.

The first thing, that I identify myself with is my being Muslim. It shapes me, who I am and my actions more than anything else. Being a Muslim however is highly racialized, people assume that only Arabs are and can be Muslims. That a third of all Muslims live in Africa or that the most Muslim populated country is Indonesia is often forgotten. Not only am I a Muslim, but also black. Black in a society, which sees whiteness as normality and blackness as an oddity. Growing up in Germany as a Muslim and a child of parents of Nigerian roots, this video, part of the strolling series, reflects pretty well some of the experiences and frustrations that I have had too.

While I have had brush ins with racist individuals and discrimination before, it is only since coming to University that I really saw and learned of racism as an institution. Decolonise our institutions and our education!

Being a non-Arab Muslim however also brings with it a slight barrier to my interaction with the religion and that is language. While I grew up in a household that valued knowledge and knowledge of Islam, none of us are fluent Arabic speakers and so understanding the sources of our religion came through the use of secondary sources, translations. Translations, which are already infused with the understanding and biases of the person translating the text. An understanding of the Arabic language is therefore something that I am striving for because it is important to know these things.

But what is a Muslim? Is anyone who calls him or herself a “Muslim”, a Muslim or are there certain criteria that you have to meet to be considered a Muslim and who defines those?

The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said, ”

Islam is that you should testify that there is no deity except Allah and that Muhammad is His Messenger, that you should perform salah, pay the Zakah, fast during Ramadan, and perform Hajj to the House, if you are able to do so.”

That and the 6 tenets of faith, are what it means to be a Muslim at the most basic. Yes, there are things that take you out of the religion, but the majority of scholars agree that sins, small or big do not take you outside of the fold of Islam. To rule someone excommunicated is not up to us, but to God alone as set in the Quran and the Sunnah.

I hate when Muslims call themselves or others bad Muslims because they commit sins, we all commit sins and paradise will be full of sinners. Sinners who repented and the door for repentance is open until we breathe our last, so don’t judge people. We are all on a journey to come closer to God, and on that way we will stumble, we will hit roadblocks and delays. That is something I have had to remind myself of constantly with the BBC Documentary: Muslims Like us. Which I have had, as most did, a mixed reaction to. While definitely not among my favourite videos, the documentary gave me a lot to think about. It created conversations within and outside of the Muslim Community in Britain and so find it important enough to include it anyway.

Muslims are tuly diverse there is no question about that, and no video I have recently seen showed that as much and as best as A-Z of Beni. Shot in the style of the A-Z videos on i-D, Beni.space catalogues the diversity of Muslims.

One of my particular interests has been sidelined quite a bit in my life due to various reasons, I do however want to get back into it, so what way better than the way I first got into it. By watching videos of it being practiced.

Well, that was fun!

Knowledge is power and that is what makes us comfortable with how and where we are and to constantly strive for excellence, the ideal of a Muslim is in the Prophet (saw.) we constantly strive to be like him.

Hope you liked this format of my listing my favourite videos in recent months.

videolovin’

Abdur-Rahman

The moderate Muslim

Peace,

the word Muslim is heavily politicised and racialized. Calling yourself a Muslim in a post 9/11 world, makes life difficult to say the least. Academics, Governments, Institutions, Think Tanks as well as the general non-Muslim public all give the label a meaning, which serves their particular interests.

Such as the terms “moderate Muslim”, “good Muslim” or “modern Muslim”, describing those who fit a certain profile, everyone who then doesn’t conform is a “bad Muslim” or a “puritanical extremist”.  This phraseology is colonial in nature  it has been used by orientalist scholars to describe those who collaborated with colonial rule, it’s been used in describing Dr. Martin Luther King as the good, peaceful black activist and Malcolm X as the bad, radical black activist.

This classical form of divide and conquer is used to play us off against each other. Muslims that engage in that narrative of good vs. bad should remember that people who hate you don’t care about what you call yourself, in the words of Pamela Geller: “What’s the difference? Today’s moderate is tomorrow’s mass murderer.

Part of that same good vs. bad narrative is also that the solution to extremism is following a certain branch of Islam. The UK government plays on this with its PREVENT Agenda funding those Muslim organisations that fits their profile to further their idea of what a good Muslim looks like and who one is and who isn’t. The moniker “moderate Muslim” also carries the implication that the moderate Muslim isn’t a real Muslim that those who read the scriptures and really believe in all of what it says are necessarily radical extremists. We don’t talk about moderate Christians, moderate Hindus or Buddhists for example in our day to day conversations.

Moderation however is indeed an important factor in the religion, but we need to get rid of the moderate/extreme Muslim binary in our language to categorise people who seemingly fit a certain profile. I have met people of all kinds of sects, religions and people of no religion who display arrogance and close mindedness and we see, hear and read of mankind as a whole committing violence and atrocities. We see violence everywhere and from everyone, sometimes for seemingly good reasons, sometimes for bad, sometimes for banal reasons and sometimes for very complex reasons that are often just glossed over in the mainstream media.

Life is a crucible. I do believe that people are inherently good, that we are born on the Fitrah, the God given natural inclination to do and be good. It is our environment, our experiences and trials in life, that changes the way we act. We do however have the capacity as humans to choose what we do. As Muslims we believe that this life is a test, a test of how we respond to the trials and tribulations we are faced with and what choices we take and that is where moderation comes into play.

#bemore