Islamic New Year Greetings

In his column this week, Imam Michael Saahir shares greetings for the New Year from an Islamic perspective.

When the pleas of a fully grown, 46-year-old man reach the point of moaning for his mother, that man is broken in heart, mind and spirit. The oppressors knowingly — with a false sense of superiority, sprinkled with glee — self-appointed themselves to be the judge, jury and executioner of Mr. George Floyd as they disregarded the fact that they were in the public in broad daylight and being videoed for the world to see.

When a grown man cries out for his deceased mother in tones reminiscent of the painful moans uttered by his former slave parents, such punishment is sending that man’s soul back to a time when there was absolutely no hope and no relief, except for the relief ushered in by death. But the “slave masters” in the case of George Floyd were four inhumane individuals, while disgracing the uniform of the Minneapolis Police Department, and thought that the “blue code of silence” would once again protect them from the wrath of a public seething with “No justice, no peace!”

The challenges of the Minneapolis police-public relations are no different than that in many cities and towns around America. Race and racism compounded by cultural incompetency are a big part of the problem; however, actually the real problem and the associating challenges are a very serious universal problem that supersedes police and public engagement. Someone sold a lie and a bunch of folks bought the lie.

When a grown man cries and moans for his momma to the point of urinating on himself, he is — at that moment of anguish — desperately reaching out for that which his original essence inherently knows is his right: namely, “that all men are created equal and endowed by our Creator with certain inalienable rights…life, liberty and the right to breath.” But someone told the lie that these “self-evident” inalienable rights were not the inherent property of the children of Africa; and too many of America’s police bought that lie.

Not only did the police buy that lie, our education system also bought that lie, as well as many of our faith leaders. They, too, bought that lie and even tried to use Bible stories such as Noah’s sons to support that lie. They wrongfully concluded that Noah’s son Ham is the father of all Africans, a people cursed to be “hewers of wood and drawers of water” for the world. Such lies and religious misinterpretations make it easy for one race to look down upon another race. This is the root problem of America’s systemic racism.

So putting the knee on the neck in order to cut off the lifeline that connects the heart to the intellect (brain) didn’t start with Minneapolis’ or America’s police. It started when lies were sold in the name of religion that allows one to mute their own human consciousness and sensitivities in order to falsely justify the mental, social and physical killing of another human being.

However, even a muted conscious will respond to a grown man moaning for his momma. Prophet Muhammed said, “Paradise is at the foot (the foundation) of the mother.” Christ Jesus said in his moment of anguish, “Behold, your mother!” When you hear a grown man cry for his mother even the police “blue code of silence” will shout, “No justice, no peace!” and even kneel with the protesters. Yes! Even “white silence” will shout “I can’t take it anymore!” But sadly, the White House remains silent.

The necessity of Black Lives Matter will continue as long as people continue to buy the lie that the children of Africa don’t matter. The BLM movement is an indictment against white racism, white silence and white patronizing. An indictment that will continue until the lie has been crucified and removed eternally from our society. Now is the time to uproot and destroy the lie. A time period that was birthed when a grown man groaned, “Momma!”

Michael “Mikal” Saahir is the resident Imam of Nur-Allah Islamic Center. He can be reached at nur-allah@att.net or at 317 753-3754.

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