Speaking Of Muslims….

Remember last year when I posted up those ads that were so ridiculously worded and imaged that they were unbelievable?

Well this definitely falls under that category. 

I was just so befuddled that it took me some time to visit the site to verify that it was an actual site and not some mean parody or theme-porn spam.

But no, this site is very real. Considering itself the technologically evolved medium for Muslim singles to meet and match, this answer to modern world dating purports to be a safe platform to launch a successful and meaningful Islamic marriage – seeing how that is the only way to truly ‘date’ within Islam.

I didn’t even think this was possible, but there you have it…A faith-based social networking site that is actually 10 years old, boasting to help make “4 marriages a day”, full of women- with or without their hair covered, posting up their pictures with men doing the same. No abs or backshots, no cleavage or chest hair with provocative usernames,  just brief descriptions with definitions as Sunni, Shiite or “Just Muslim” for those less engulfed in sects.

After reading the mission statement of the site, I understand it better. It’s a little weird, but it’s dope at the same time to see such a strict religion moving forward with the times and knowing that there’s a place out there where judgement is reserved and attraction is not primarily sexually rooted. I don’t think there’s one person on there who feels some of the initial awkwardness or social isolation that some users of other sites like Match or Chemistry dot com feel. This is a bunch of people globally sharing a common goal under the premise of a common belief.

Click the picture and check it out for yourself if you’re curious.

Go See This!!! – new film “Mooz-Lum” brings familiar faces and the conflict of Islam & Blackness in the modern world to the screen

I’m pushing HARD for this movie because whether it’s a classic or not, just the fact that it tackles such an unorthodox subject matter is compelling.

I appreciate these small indies that come from life experiences as observed or encountered by the writer or director themselves. They usually contain great realism and show flawed protagonists with interesting conflicts.

This particular film resonates with me, not only because it features an all Black cast with names and faces that we haven’t seen in a while (but who are great when given the right roles), but more importantly because it circles around 2 things that are close to home for me.

The first being the impact of the 9/11 attacks and the fervor and sentiment surrounding that during and after. The film is set mostly on a college campus, where the main character (played by Diana Ross‘ son, Evan) is attending and adjusting. I was in college when the attacks took place…Living directly across the street from The Pentagon to be exact, so I clearly remember all of the frenzy and madness.

Secondly, and more personally, this speaks to my coming of age as I was raised under Islamic principles and faith by a passively militant father who was a member of the infamous Nation Of Islam; known for its socio-political stance and race-motivated rhetoric, but more notorious for its outspoken members and imagery of Black men selling newspapers and bean-pies. Their adaptation of the Islamic following – preferably Sunni, developed a hybrid that usually Americanized and negroized alot of the religious dogma and highlighted certain parts and neglected others. The now satirized way of saying the universal Muslim greeting was coined by members of the Nation and their mispronunciation of the Arabic to the point where most Americans know it as ‘Salaam-A-Lake-Um’ as opposed to its correct pronunciation of

Asalaamu Alaykum!

This is just a reflection of how that adaptation and subsequent blending in with the very lost Culture of African-Americans has given way to many of the popular ideas and misconceptions of Islam held by the majority of the U.S. The melding with political and racial agendas has made the ideals of a community-based and peaceful religion very murky and has even lead to off-shoots such as the 5% Nation of the Gods and Earths that was heavy among Afro-centric pot-heads in the 90’s. From fallacies of oppressed women having to dress like ninjas, to imagery of a constantly aggressive and non-smiling people who starve themselves for one month out of every year, Muslims have a bad rap in this country and most of the Western world. Alot of that is based on the inherent ignorance of our societies. And alot of that has been the doing of Muslims worldwide themselves. I’m pretty fuckin’ sure that Islamic Extremists causing mass atrocities aren’t helping that either.

As my father was more of a Muslim by description than practice, I was not one of those kids walking around with 4 Arabic names and white robes and kufi’s going to private neighborhood schools. In fact, I took more of a vested interest in the faith upon entering my teens, when I set out to teach myself how to pray in Arabic and bonded with my boy Randall, who was the first Muslim kid I ever met in life that was one by choice. Most Muslim kids that I knew of were all just like me; hood babies with Muslim names given by their fathers who were members of the Nation but failed to instill any hardcore Islamic influence. I had reached a point where I felt like more of a Muslim than my own father, who doesn’t even spell his adopted Muslim name the Arabic way…but eventually, after leaving college, I succumbed to the conflict that has always surfaced within myself about the inconsistencies within Islam. I started to analyze it again, remembering passages I’ve read, and looking at everything that’s been done in its name, and this caused me to distance myself from all religion as a whole. I’ve considered myself agnostic for a while now.

However, my upbringing under the codes of conduct have influenced my life choices irreversibly and it cannot be denied. I wouldn’t have had it any other way. A life without pork and alcohol is not a life lost. I do like balance. And I feel that the skewed view on Muslims is so much the majority that the actual beauty of the core essence of the religion is never seen. What it provides at the heart, is a structure that promotes a nearly rape-free culture that doesn’t objectify women and places her value at such a level that she is to be protected, not restricted. The teachings of appreciation for and usage of the Planet Earth is almost Zen-like, and the hygienic guidelines rival others in just how close to God one can be. There’s a solidarity between most eastern Muslims that is admirable to the point where everyone can learn from. Once again, it’s those things done by people in the name of their beliefs that fuck it up for the world!

Hope this movie touches on all these things while entertaining. As most movies that I wind up promoting and suggesting, this film is only showing as a limited release, and in NYC that means only at AMC theatre in Times Square, starting Friday February 11th. If nothing else, maybe folks will never pronounce it as “Mooz-Lum” again!

*Zoloft Files Edition* Hot 16…Or More…RELIGULOUS

This one you just gotta listen to and read…

“I know that I believe in God,

I’m just not sure how it is I do,

and if the Christians’ right – I don’t know how I’m gettin’ through,

and if the Muslims’ right, then Iam hippocritical,

– couldn’t’ve been a Jew if I wanted – due to the different hue.

Maybe I can join the Israelites – but them the dudes,

who are often impolite towards them who cruise,

the sidewalks of New York – which they choose to turn into pews.

To preach more division,

like is your religion…

Tryin’a beat up mine?

I find more contentment,

in the notion that we all float in this Solar system…

Free to go as we come – in need of no permission.

Easy Go – easy come – indeed – if we all sinners,

born into what we ain’t done – we made no decisions.

Easily so, we have become so defenseless,

to things they wrote and reasons spun from old inventors.

We just re-run with no convictions,

don’t ask too much before you end up…

Ash to ash, dust to dust, and then what?

Denial is not just a river that you get sent up.

The 5 percenters used to ask, what today’s mathematics,

cause something just don’t add up – like a Gay Catholic.

So What’s the frequency Kenneth?

That’s me, in the corner – the illusion was too big.

Recalling speaking to my brother bout us losing our Religion,

the preachers try to warn ya ’bout us speaking blasphemous when…

There’s fanatics on every side – it’s been a business,

it’s behind the genocides – and in the trenches…

In most wars,

lost souls need guidance…

So why not take advantage of folks’s need to find this…

Ever elusive reason…

meaning of life shit,

I guess belief keeps us from over – philosophizing.

But belief is a choice…

And right now Malik is devoid, of any denominational ties that bind him…

To be another guy that’s tryin’a remix The Bible,

or be a sheep to what’s inside it!

I touched what I never touched before,

seen what I never seen before,

woke up and seen the sun,

Sky high!

And I tried…

I can quote Carinthians and Samson and Delilah,

recite in Arabic entire Fatihah lines,

– tell you bout untouchables in India – but why lie?

When I think all that religion stuff’s a little skewed,

interpretations lead perpretrations to bend the rules.

We know half the stuff done in it’s name is miscontrued,

and us Agnostics is wrapped up within the worldy view.

You know Agnostic is just another word for confused…

we all are,

you’ll be happy once you admit it too…”

Hope you learned something…

Click the picture of the mixtape cover to download it.