This is the first of a series (40 entries) that i did on Facebook. It went longer than i expected, but God-willing, people will find it informative and beneficial. As always, please share these posts near and far if you so wish.
THE BROTHER ALI VS. WHITE SUPREMACY (Part the One)
(A Muslim’s View of Race and Black History)
Back in the day (mid-2000’s in this case), I used to spend a good amount of time on some black social sites. I would would go to the religion boards giving da`wah, and I would go on the current events pages usually arguing against the black apologists and those suffering from a victimization complex. (It was there that I sharpened some of my skills in arguing against the prevailing pathological mindset of black culture.)
On the current affairs pages, I did not volunteer the fact that I was a Muslim (I wouldn’t dare deny it, but knowing the colored folks and their penchant for the ad hominem, I did not want my arguments against Negro culture to be turned into looooong discussions about Arabs and accusations of “wannabeism.”) Typically, i’d get called an Uncle Tom or “white” for being critical of the current black culture. I even had a long drawn out discussion with one guy from Philly, who insisted that I was white even after I gave a detailed description of Hakeem’s Bookstore up on 52nd St.–ya, like i’m just some random white guy walking around on the Ave. who on the semi-regular hangs out in a Black bookstore. As it is known, for many of our coloreds, it is hard for them to fathom that a person could be severely critical of black CULTURE and not have some sort of infatuation with white people.
On one of these pages, a (real—or at least self-professed) white guy, “Sam,” used to come by for visits. Typically, he would say statements that were “borderline racist” with no intention other than to “stir up the watermelon gallery.” The coloreds would start getting emotional and calling him names, cussin’ him out, and then trying to counter his points with poor applications of statistics (like: “more white people are on welfare than blacks”), and bemoaning slavery. Even though I didn’t identify with them, it would after a while get a little embarrassing… kinda. I often agreed with him—that is, when he pointed out the pathologies in black culture, I wasn’t going to disagree with him simply because I didn’t agree with his motivation for mentioning such. Nonetheless, seeing that the coloreds were really having a difficult time handling the guy—and me being confident that he was just a racist… and I really don’t like racists… I had to get at him like that (maa-shaa’ Allah).
Some points of clarification:
1. Although I understand that “race” is largely a social construction–that is not to say that anyone is going to confuse an Aboriginal Australian with a native Swede—i am using “white” and “black” in the way it has been understood for most of 19th and 20th century American history. That is, I am applying the one drop rule. Someone who has partial black heritage is in America (I mean the US of A) considered “black.” Also, I do understand that notions of race in the USA are not universal, but given I was arguing with a white guy, who did not question American racial constructions, I argued with him within that framework.
2. I am not a black supremacist. I am a “factualist.” I just wanted to set the record straight. My point was to simply say that people who in America would be called “black” have constructed giant monuments, understood various sciences, and contributed to world civilization. This information has been largely suppressed, hidden, or distorted, and part of the reason for this was to soothe the sick white supremacist mentality upon which the “West” was built upon. Also, the fact that many black people don’t know about what is reported, and their history is typically portrayed with starting in slavery, this does, indeed, affect the self-esteem of many black folk.
3. I am not an “Afroocentrist.” I am more of a cultural diffusionist (I don’t claim to be an academic, although in the past I did aspire to be. This was more of a hobby or side interest of mine.) My position is that folks (of all different colors) have been getting around and about the earth loooooong before the Europeans started their “Era of Exploration” in the late 15th century and “discovering” people who were not lost. My point of argument was from a more Western intellectual perspective and not from the works of Arab or Persian chroniclers and historians. This was the framework that my opponent presumably acknowledged.
4. When I say Sam (that’s what we’ll call him) was a racist, I don’t think that he was hardcore KKK-Nazi kind of white racist. He was simply a white male–an arrogant white male–who grew up in a world of unchallenged Eurocentricism. Also, let me add, unlike the Cultural Marxists, my objective wasn’t to try to throw the white male guilt trip thing at the guy. Just as I don’t feel a need to apologize for the senseless murders of children in drive-bys committed by our Negro goons, or the acts of terrorism committed by the Wahhabis and their ilk BECAUSE I DON’T IDENTIFY WITH SUCH PEOPLE, likewise, no one was forcing Sam to identify with the thousands of racist atrocities that were committed in the name of “whiteness” (or preservation thereof) over the past 500 years. You know a person by their heroes.
5. Also, and this is an important point to note: many immigrant Muslims (IM) don’t understand the dynamics of race in America. It matters not how white your skin may be, if you are an observant Muslim, you are not “white” (in the American context). If you are a white Arab or Turk, or the like, you are still a “Saracen” and “Sand N-Word” in the minds of MANY white people. And if you are a white convert, you are seen as a race traitor. Our basis of identity as Muslims of whatever race or ethnicity comes from Mecca and Medina—not Athens and Rome.
6. Furthermore, the disease of racism is a MAJOR impediment that blocks many white people from investigating Islam with an open mind. As I said, many white people feel that their worldview is the only legitimate worldview—and certainly the only intellectual worldview. Maa-shaa’ Allah, they have never been challenged (in their languages) by Muslims with traditional Islamic knowledge (or at least have not been challenged in recent times). The fact of the matter, whether it be the the Classical Greco-Roman philosophical/pagan thing, or Christianity, or now atheistic materialism, their ENTIRE civilization has been based upon a fraud, and lies, and deception. This is a tough pill to swallow for a people with chest puffed out with hubris.
Okay, a little more back story. This debate started in January 2006 and went on probably for close to a month. There are more than 250 posts in the thread. I will edit some of the things I wrote (and I will add, since there is a lot more info on the Internet now than back then; this is especially true with the photos that I will use). To be honest, I did not save all of Sam’s responses, but I will try to present his positions fairly and honestly. My objective here is to inform and to stimulate discussion, God-willing.
This is a response to Sam. I don’t have the actual quote, but it is clear what he said:
Just curious–how do you know that whites invented the wheel? Never heard that one before. I’ve heard that no one knows who invented the wheel. Whites discovering the Americas??? Like i said, this is a sign of your blatant racism. How can whites “discover” a land that was already inhabited by TENS of MILLIONS OF PEOPLE!?! Oh, i forgot, that non-white people are not really people (in you guys’ minds). Anyway, there is ample evidence that Africans and Chinese were in the Americas long before the white man “discovered” them. Now if you mean by “discovering” America, the colonization, enslavement, and annihilation of millions of Native folks, then ya, you guys “discovered” America.
One of my students recently said–and he figured it out on his own–that a thing is not “discovered” unless white folks confirm its existence (he meant that ironically). As far as the circumference of the earth and the distance from the earth to the sun, even Western (i mean, white folks–you don’t really mean “Western”) say that the Egyptians had this knowledge. Regarding mathematics–even in more “recent” history, much of it comes from the contributions of the Muslim world which reach you guys via Moorish Spain and Moorish Sicily–this includes algebra, algorithims, the expansion of Euclidean geometry, calculus and of course the very numbers that you guys use nowadays–including, the concept of zero.
Sam, what your own historians are “discovering” today is the depth of the debt that “Western” civilization owes to the Moors (read: brown, black and non-white folk), in particular (whether it be in mathematics, astronomy, architecture, physics, literature, historiography, navigation, commerce, etc.). You guys have built off of those who preceded you–like all other civilizations. Now one might say that you “stole” those ideas from the Moors, such as, after the fall of Toledo or later, Granada, by the raiding of those libraries, or one may say that you “borrowed” those ideas without acknowledging their sources. But you cannot say that you “discovered” these things independent of significant contributions of those who came before you.