one of the worst things a parent can do in my view, is putting their children down. Unfortunately parents are quite good at doing that, often having experienced the same from their parents, we have to break that chain. We have to start differentiating between the actions of a person and the person themselves, not just in our parent-child relationship but across the board.
With Donald J. Trump having been inaugurated this week, this post is going to be quite heavy on it and its reactions. The first video is on something that absolutely had me in stitches. The Trump Administration’s reaction to the media on the attendees of the inauguration by providing #alternativefacts.
In all of the quite righteous hysteria around Trump’s election, with both peaceful and violent protests, with marches and banner drops. We cannot forget the fact that while we organise, we have to try to get the best deal out of what we have. Dr. King’s non-violence and meetings with the president were as important as the actions of Malcolm X and the Black Panthers for example.
Our voices definitely need to be louder. One such great voice in our past was Muhammad Ali (rah.). That inspired us, and drove us further.
Our voices have power. Power to uplift and bind us together. No matter who you are your voice is important and can make a difference and if you don’t believe me listen to this.
We need to wake up from our dreams. We all live in our social bubbles, with our individual privileges but now is the time to burst our bubble, to engage others. Once we’ve listened, once we have become aware of the issues around us, we need to organise and act collectively. Divided we are one, united we are many.
So, Good Morning, wake up!
Empathy has often been lost in our interactions and that is why I find films, like this one, so important. At the same time, reality will always be different to what will be displayed in a scripted film. I can not without going through the same experience even begin to understand, what a friend of mine is going through at the moment with the loss of his baby. I cannot really do more than offer an ear and maybe that is enough.
It’s always difficult to segue back into something more light-hearted after going through something so difficult. That however is life, life is difficult like that, we have episodes of utter happiness and moments of deepest sadness and that is life.
Travelling I feel is also part of life, and while I haven’t traveled as much as I want to the times when I have been able to have been special indeed. Malaysia is definitely on my list of places to visit.
I’ll finish of this week’s list with another fresh Parkour video!
due to my exams this is going to be a shorter post.
The first video is the trailer of a Film, which I am looking forward to see. It tells the story of the novelist, essayist and activist James Baldwin as narrated by Samuel L. Jackson.
Another recent important video, staying on the topic of identity, was the Black Muslims Matter webinar in reaction to Shaykh Yusuf Hanson’s comments at RIS at the end of December hosted by Boona Mohammed.
I have already mentioned this next video in a previous post (currently private), it made quite some waves in the political sphere in the UK but unfortunately not quite enough. The Investigative Unit of Al Jazeera revealed the machinations of an Israeli Embassy official in a 4 part documentary called The Lobby.
One of the reasons for me, as a Muslim, to get involved in my community and getting more involved in politics is the want to make society better for everyone. Not just for me and my family, my brothers and sisters in Islam but for everyone, as the Prophet (saw.) was a Mercy to mankind.
This excerpt of a show by the satirist and comedian Serdar Somuncu has blown up recently in Germany, unfortunately there aren’t any subtitles. In it he attacks our indifference to the suffering of others, the inexplicable fear of our wellbeing and our luxury being threatened by a migrant just breathing in our air.
Mental Health is something that I have over the last year gotten quite a lot more interested in. Having family and friends go through difficult times has an impact on everyone in that nucleus. This short film beautifully captures the feelings of someone who has gone through depression and tried to commit suicide.
This post was quite a bit more serious than planned, but that’s cool. Here, to finish this list off, something fun. The new Zelda title looks absolutely amazing. Why can’t I play it on the Wii?
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.