Saturday, December 13, 2008
By, Khalil Al-Puerto Rikani
First, I would like to congratulate President-Elect, Senator Barack Hussein Obama for running an excellent campaign and winning the presidency. I guess hope did win over fear this time. Secondly, I wrote these comments down a few days after the election, but due to the demand in my live (including taking graduate level classes) I was not able to get this out sooner. Since the time I have jotted down these ideas until now, I seen that many of the things I am talking about are starting to be answered. I also think there are some issues there that no one else has talked about – such as the first point and the second. Dr. Ali Mazrui, a Kenyan professor of political science (and one of my teachers) who teaches at my alma mater, SUNY-Binghamton has just published something the other day making a very similar claims to my second point. However, we came to our conclusions independently of each other. The third point here was thought of before Ayman Al-Zawahiri (as the media calls him) made his statement about Obama. Another case in point, is point number five. At this point in time, he is setting up of a centrist-conservative goverment as opposed a leftist government. Therefore, it seems like he is not moving back to the left
US Blacks v. Black Immigrants
Obama is not an African-American but an American African. (Prof Ali Mazrui has used this distinction in some of his books). His roots are not in the African-American experience. A point to keep in mind is that not all Blacks are African-Americans. It was only about a little less than midway through the primaries when African-Americans started to accept him as one of their own. There are definitely many distinct differences in beliefs and values among Blacks from the US and those from the Caribbean, Latin America, or Africa.
Non-practicing Muslim or An Opening for Muslims
It seems that the only type of Muslim that is acceptable to mainstream America is the one who does not really practice Islam. Obama represents one who has Muslim roots yet does not practice Islam. Is this the only acceptable type of “Muslim”? On the other side of the coin, could this be the opening up of the door for there to one day be a practicing Muslim in the office of the president. I think this is what trully scared right-wingers, the Chistian right, neo-cons, and Muslim haters. It was not that they really believed that Obama was some sort of Muslim in the closet (at least the leaders of these movements did not really believe this; it was propaganda for the masses). Their fear was more based upon the breaking down of Islamophobia and Americans actually coming to terms with Muslims and perhaps electing one some day in the future. This potential is scarier to them than the reality of Obama’s Islamic roots.
What affect will this have on Arab racism?
How will racism among Arabs have them react towards Blacks? I think we are already starting to see this with Ayman Azh-Zhawahiri Al-Khariji At-Takfiri’s statement about Obama being an ‘`abeedul-bait’ (house Negro or literally ‘a house slave). The fact that a Black man has won the highest seat in the world is a huge blow to Arab racism, and I do not know if this point and its ramifications are well understood yet? Arab leaders will now have to be “subservient” to a Black president. They can no longer claim that Blacks are inferior. Or perhaps maybe this may motivate them to stop kissing the US’s butt?
President that the world can look up to like JFK
We saw that the world was ecstatic when Obama won the presidency. Simply put, people want an America that they can look up to. As the old cliché goes, “you win more bees with honey.” Bush’s cowboy politics only helped to galvanize the world and help to breed more terrorists. This (in addition to racism) is why Ayman Azh-Zhawahir Al-Khariji At-Takfiri really hates Obama.
Will he move to the left?
Now that the general campaign is over will Obama be moving back to the left? General election campaigns are known for presidential candidates moving to the center; as opposed to primaries where each side is trying to appeal to its base and are more leftist or rightist (depending on which side their party represents).
Rhetoric on War
I hope all that “tough guy” talk about Afghanistan and Pakistan was just that – talk. I hope he was just trying to appeal to the right. For me, I cannot help support anymore wars in the world; especially, when these wars have a devastating effect on the Muslims.
Racism in the US is not over.
Definitely, racism is not over. I am sure there are many out there who would like to believe it is. They want to forget that racism ever existed and sweep it under the rug. They can now condone racism or turn a blind eye to it, by saying, “How could there be racism in the US when we have a Black president?”
Is neoconservatism over?
This election was a victory for religious progressives over the religious right who like to tell religious practicing people that they should vote for nuts like Bush because he is anti-abortion, for example. While issues of family values are very important to me and I am strongly opposed to things like abortion and homosexuality, I will not vote for a war-mongering, racist, Muslim-hater just because he/she shares these values on family with me. The fact that Obama is a religious man (as are most Black folk) also means that we, as American, are strongly opposed to atheism and extreme forms of secularism. I am sure there are many secularist humanists who would prefer a president who wants religion to play no part in politics. For them, I guess, Obama was just a lesser of two evils if this is a main concern for them.
Tuesday, November 04, 2008
The issue of elections needs some elaboration:
Firstly: It is permissible for Muslims to elect the grand Imaam (ruler of the Islaamic state) if they need to, but with the condition that Ahlul Hil wal ‘Aqd of the Ummah (the leaders of the Mulsim Ummah in knowledge and status) do so, and the rest of the Muslims are represented by them. Just as the Sahaabah did, may Allaah be pleased with them, when Ahlul Hil wal ‘Aqd amongst them elected Abu Bakr as Sideeq, may Allaah be pleased with him and pledged allegiance to him. Subsequently this pledge was binding upon the rest of the Muslims. This also took place when ‘Umar ibn al Khattaab appointed the remaining six of the ten companions who were given glad tidings that they would be in Jannah, to appoint a ruler after him. They chose Uthmaan ibn ‘Afaan, may Allaah be pleased with him. They pledged allegiance to him and therefore this pledge was binding upon all the Muslims.
Secondly: Concerning positions of leadership that are below the central leadership, appointing people for such positions is the authority/responsibility of the ruler. He is to choose those who are apt and trustworthy for such positions and appoint them. Allaah the Elevated said:
(Verily, Allaah commands that you render back the trusts to those whom they are due to, and that when you judge between people, you judge with justice.}
This verse is directed to the rulers, and the ‘trusts’ here, are the posts of authority in the country. Allaah has made them a trust over the ruler, and this trust is carried out by choosing apt and trustworthy people for such positions. Just as the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم), his companions and the Muslim rulers after them used to do, they chose people who were fit and suitable to assume such positions [of authority] and would carry out their duties in a legislative way.
As for the elections that are known to take place in different countries in present times, such elections are not from the Islaamic system. Disorder, personal agendas, greed and personal relationships get drawn into them. Tribulations and the spilling of blood are also caused due to them, and they do not attain the intended objective, rather they become an arena for bids, trade and false claims.
In addition, isn’t this considered to be increasing their numbers which may in turn have a negative effect on the public's opinion of Muslims?
Shaykh: I have been asked this question on more than one occasion, and I believe that it is incomplete. So if you want to complete this unfinished question by bringing further clarity [then do so]...
Questioner: What is the permissibility of voting for the best available candidate, particularly if they are Christian?
Shaykh: This question is incomplete just as it was when presented by other than you. I will now say what I think is intended by the question.
In the event that there are a number of Christian candidates who are imposed upon the Muslims, meaning that one of them has to be elected whether the Muslims like it or not, the previously mentioned principal is applied: namely, choosing the lesser of two evils. For example, there are four Christian candidates in a certain country and it is inevitable that one of them will be the winner (elected).
Hypothetically speaking, if it were only the Muslims voting [for these candidates] and no one else - not even one other person is voting - such that if the Muslims refrained from voting they wouldn't be elected, then it is not permissible to vote for them.
Is it clear up to here?
Shaykh: However, if the situation is contrary to this, and this is what I think the question is referring to, then one of them must be selected due to the electoral process established today. It is upon you to know that this system is not Islamic in any way whatsoever...[The Shaykh then begins to explain some of the ills of democracy and the harm of giving power to someone who requests it, in contrast to the beauty of the Islamic shooraa]
Discussing these issues is lengthy. However, the point is that it has been imposed upon the Muslims living in that particular country to choose a candidate just as it is imposed upon them that some of the elected politicians be Christian. Why? Because there are Christian citizens. The government takes into account the percentage of Christian citizens in the country and makes calculations. They compare, for example, the ratio of Muslims to Christians. Do they consider the Jewish citizens in this process? I'm not sure. Based on these calculations they conclude that the country should have, for instance, two Christian politicians.
If the Muslims do not choose between them, then their own people will choose. In either case, one of them is going to be elected. But as we said earlier there may be four or five candidates. The Muslims in that country must consider it like this: The first candidate is a Baathist and a non-Muslim, the second is a communist and a non-Muslim, the third is an atheist and a non-Muslim and so on. The last is a practicing Christian who does not harbor animosity towards the Muslims. If there is no way around the fact that one or two of them are going to be elected, then what should the Muslims do? Should they say, "We are not going to get involved? They are Christians. Let them fight each other." No, this is not the case, because two of these candidates will be elected regardless.
So O Muslims, O you who have sense, is this principle to be applied in this scenario or not? I say yes, because the Muslims in this case are between two evils. Similarly, this is the case if the candidates were Muslims, since amongst the Muslims are Communists, Baathists and so on. Okay, do we just sit back and watch or should we choose the one whose harm is less???
Saturday, November 01, 2008
This is an article that I recieved a few week ago from NYC activist Ronald B. McGuire. It has an interesting take on such issues as progressive politics, third party candidates, wasting a vote, and de-imperializing America. The position taken by this author I feel should be seriously considered by those progressives in those states that he mentions. I think he make a pretty convincing argument.
By, Ronald B. McGuire
Youngbloods, Elders and Friends:
Why should we vote for Cynthia McKinney and Rosa Clemente? One good reason is that your vote for Obama will be wasted if you live in New York, California, New Jersey, Connecticut, Oregon, Washington State, Washington D.C., Vermont or Illinois, where most of the folks on my list live. Obama will win all those states by landslides with or without our votes. The Democrats easily carried New Jersey, Connecticut, Vermont and Illinois in the last four presidential elections. In New York and all the other states listed, it has been at least 20 years since the Republicans carried those states.
All of us would rather have Obama as President than McCain. But most of us recognize that the Democratic Party and the Republican Party both represent the same corporate interests that have made the United States the enemy of people seeking freedom and self-determination throughout the world. Obama is pledged to continue those evil policies. Even Obama's so-called opposition to the Iraq war is really a promise to redeploy troops from Iraq to Afghanistan and possibly Iran and to continue the U.S. war against "radical Islam." The war against "radical Islam" is actually a euphemism for American and Israeli opposition to self-determination in the Middle East and the rest of the Third World.
We need to build an alternative to the two headed one party system. We need a party that offers us more than a choice between two evil imperialist candidates every four years.
During the Democratic convention Cynthia McKinney attended a rally opposing the occupations of Afghanistan, Iraq, Palestine, Puerto Rico, Hawaii and North America where the U.S. continues to violate treaties with the Native Americans. Obama wants to redeploy U.S. troops from Iraq to Afghanistan, and possibly Iran. He supports the Zionist occupation of Palestine. Obama calls for the overthrow of Robert Mugabe in Zimbabwe and Cynthia supports Mugabe's land reform program to return to Native Zimbabweans land forcibly stolen by European settlers.
Cynthia and Rosa have consistently supported a foreign policy based on peace and justice. They support reparations to the victims of American imperialism in the United States (slavery reparations) and abroad. They support free public college education, child care, health care and worker rights.
Cynthia and Rosa won't be elected this year. But they are both young enough to be elected in 12 to 20 years.
It took 400 years for this country to develop into the imperialist empire that the United States is today. It will take us more than 4 years to create an alternative.
Cynthia and Rosa need to get as many votes they can in order to show the Democrats that there are people in this country who will not buy the lie that Obama is the most progressive alternative we can hope for. A vote for Obama in New York or any of the other state where he is guaranteed to win by landslides, won't help him defeat McCain.
On the other hand, every vote for Cynthia and Rosa will do two things. First, it will show the Democrats (and Republicans) that there is a growing number of people who won't accept the fact that Obama is the most progressive alternative we can expect.
Second, your vote for Cynthia and Rosa will help build an alternative we can believe in. If the Green Party gets 5% of the national vote, the Party will qualify for millions of dollars of taxpayer matching funds in 2012. That would change the nature of the political process since it would end the two party system. The Democrats would have to negotiate with the Greens or else face the possibility of a third party continuing to grow and eventually contend for power.
Some of us want to move the Democratic Party to the left and others of us want to move out of the Democratic Party to create a new alternative. If you support either of these two goals and you vote in New York, California or another "Blue landslide" state, the best way to support your goal is to vote for Cynthia and Rosa.
Nothing can change the fact that Obama is going to win New York, California and most of the other "Blue" states by landslides. But if we vote for Cynthia and Rosa we can change the future. Our votes can't help Obama win those states. But our votes for Cynthia and Rosa will show the next President that there is a growing third party movement which the two headed Republican/Democratic Party must consider.
Your vote for Cynthia and Rosa will help send a wake-up call to the Democratic Party. If the Democratic Party refuses to wake up, then those votes will build an alternative to the two party system that is leading the United States and the world to more suffering, war and barbarism.
Vote for the future!
Vote for change we can believe in!
Vote for Cynthia and Rosa!
Ronald B. McGuire
For the record, Mr. Khalidi is an American born in New York who graduated from Yale a couple of years after George W. Bush. For much of his long academic career, he taught at the University of Chicago, where he and his wife became friends with Barack and Michelle Obama. In the early 1990s, he worked as an adviser to the Palestinian delegation at peace talks in Madrid and Washington sponsored by the first Bush administration. We don't agree with a lot of what Mr. Khalidi has had to say about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict over the years, and Mr. Obama has made clear that he doesn't, either. But to compare the professor to neo-Nazis -- or even to Mr. Ayers -- is a vile smear.
Perhaps unsurprising for a member of academia, Mr. Khalidi holds complex views. In an article published this year in the Nation magazine, he scathingly denounced Israeli practices in the West Bank and Gaza Strip and U.S. Middle East policy but also condemned Palestinians for failing to embrace a nonviolent strategy. He said that the two-state solution favored by the Bush administration (and Mr. Obama) was "deeply flawed" but conceded there were also "flaws in the alternatives." Listening to Mr. Khalidi can be challenging -- as Mr. Obama put it in the dinner toast recorded on the 2003 tape and reported by the Times in a detailed account of the event last April, he "offers constant reminders to me of my own blind spots and my own biases."
It's fair to question why Mr. Obama felt as comfortable as he apparently did during his Chicago days in the company of men whose views diverge sharply from what the presidential candidate espouses. Our sense is that Mr. Obama is a man of considerable intellectual curiosity who can hear out a smart, if militant, advocate for the Palestinians without compromising his own position. To suggest, as Mr. McCain has, that there is something reprehensible about associating with Mr. Khalidi is itself condemnable -- especially during a campaign in which Arab ancestry has been the subject of insults. To further argue that the Times, which obtained the tape from a source in exchange for a promise not to publicly release it, is trying to hide something is simply ludicrous, as Mr. McCain surely knows.
Which reminds us: We did ask Mr. Khalidi whether he wanted to respond to the campaign charges against him. He answered, via e-mail, that "I will stick to my policy of letting this idiot wind blow over." That's good advice for anyone still listening to the McCain campaign's increasingly reckless ad hominem attacks. Sadly, that wind is likely to keep blowing for four more days.
Friday, October 24, 2008
Obama's campaign has attracted a great deal of global support [GALLO/GETTY]
Seddon's Diplomatic diary
Obama and his Democratic Party look, and feel, like winners.
On the Middle East conflict, Obama very quickly fell into line with US establishment thinking, which is itself disproportionately influenced, some would argue, by the pro-Israeli lobby group, Aipac.
So, for those who expect quantum leaps, prepare to be disappointed.
Monday, October 20, 2008
I really do not know what this really means. Throughout the 80s we saw Farrakhan play this game that the Nation was somehow now Muslim are coming closer to Islam. This may jsut be another one of his hoaxes. I will not believe the main untill I see it in plain black and white on the back page of the Final Call in the section of "What We Want What we Believe." I will finally believe it when that section no longer says that Master Fard Muhammad is Allah in Person. I will believe when it is affirmed that the Prophet Muhammad ibn Abdullah ibn Abdul-Muttallib (May Allah mention him among His angels) is the very last prophet and messenger of Allah.
AP – Mosque Maryam, headquarters of the Nation of Islam, is seen in this Thursday, Sept. 28, 2006 file photo …
By SOPHIA TAREEN, Associated Press Writer Sophia Tareen, Associated Press Writer – Sat Oct 18, 7:37 am ET
CHICAGO – The Nation of Islam, a secretive movement generally closed to outsiders, has planned a rare open-to-the public event at its Chicago-based headquarters in what the Minister Louis Farrakhan deemed a "new beginning" for the group.
Hundreds of religious leaders of different faiths have been invited to the event planned for Sunday, a rededication of the group's historic Mosque Maryam on the city's South Side. Farrakhan is scheduled to speak.
"We have restored Mosque Maryam completely, and we will dedicate it to the universal message of Islam, and the universal aspect of the teachings of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad," Farrakhan said in an invitation letter. "It represents for the Nation of Islam, a new beginning."
The event comes just weeks after the death of Imam W.D. Mohammed, the son of Nation founder Elijah Muhammad, who broke with the group and moved thousands of African-Americans toward mainstream Islam.
The Nation purchased the mosque, a former Greek Orthodox church, in 1972 and has since been making renovations. The stately 1948 structure, embellished with a golden dome and topped with an Islamic crescent moon, is adorned with Quranic verses in Arabic.
The event on Sunday also wraps up a week of events marking the 13th anniversary of the Million Man March, which Farrakhan began in 1995. That year, hundreds of thousands of people traveled to Washington, D.C. to participate.
Farrakhan's Sunday speech will mark his second major public address this year and is among several smaller community and religious events he has attended.
Thursday, October 16, 2008
Kitaab At-Tawheed, Chapter: 2
Fear of Shirk
Allah , says:
" Verily, Allah forgives not that partners be set up with Him [in worship] but He forgives other than that to whom He pleases; and whoever sets up partners with Allah [in worship], he has indeed invented an enormous wrong" (Qur'an 4:48)
Shirk is the most dangerous of all sins, the wickedest and the most severely punished because of the dishonour and denigration of the Rabb, Almighty, All-powerful, and the likening of Allah to His creation which it entails. Allah informs us in this verse that He will not forgive the one who commits Shirk and dies as a Mushrik,1 but as for the one who dies believing in the Oneness of Allah , although he may have committed some sins, Allah has promised him forgiveness in accordance with His Will. Then He explains why the mushrik will not be forgiven, saying that by his association of partners with Allah , he has rejected Him and belied Him and committed a sin the like of which there is no other.
Benefits Derived From This Verse
1. That whoever dies being guilty of Shirk Akbar, will assuredly go to the Fire.
2. Whoever dies believing in the Oneness of Allah, although he may have committed major sins, may be forgiven if Allah, Most Glorified, Most High Wills.
3. In the verse is a reply to the khawarij,2 who charged those guilty of major sins with disbelief, and to the mu'tazilah,3 who believed that those guilty of major sins would spend eternity in the Fire.
4. Confirmation of the Divine Will which is one of His Attributes.
Relevance of This Verse to the Subject of Tawheed
That it proves that Allah Will not forgive those who are guilty of Shirk and this should be a warning to all.
Allah , says:
" And [remember] when Ibrahim said: "My Rabb! Make this city one of peace and security, and keep me and my sons away from worshipping idols" (Qur'an 13:35)
Allah , Most Glorified, Most High, informs us that Ibrahim (as ) supplicated Allah to make Makkah a place of safety and stability, because fear and chaos prevent people from performing their religious rituals. Then he followed this with another request to his Rabb: That He preserve him and his family from idol worship, for he knew the danger of that and he knew how easily people can be seduced by it.
Benefits Derived From This Verse
1. The virtue of Makkah over other cities.
2. Ibrahim's prayer for the security and stability of Makkah.
3. Evidence of the benefit of supplication.
4. That the original religion of all the Messengers is one: Belief in the Oneness of Allah.
5. The desirability of one's supplicating on behalf of his family.
6. The forbiddance of worshipping idols.
Relevance of This Verse to the Subject of Tawheed
That it proves that Ibrahim, with his strong faith, fears for himself and his family that they may be affected by Shirk; thus, the obligation upon us to fear Shirk is that much greater.
It is reported that the Prophet said: "Of the things which I fear for my Ummah, the thing which I fear most is minor Shirk. Then he was asked about minor Shirk, and he said: "It is ar-riyaa."4
The Prophet informs us in this Hadith that he fears for us, and that what he fears most for us is minor Shirk. This shows how kind-hearted and compassionate the Prophet was towards his Ummah, and how concerned he was for their good: He knew the dangers of minor Shirk, how it can strongly manifest itself in the community, polluting the pure monotheism of the Muslims, especially since it can afflict them without them even knowing it. This is why the Prophet warned them to beware of it.
Benefits Derived From This Hadith
1. The care and concern shown by the Messenger of Allah for his Ummah.
2. The division of Shirk into two categories: Major and minor.
3. That riyaa` is considered Shirk.
4. The obligation of asking the people of knowledge about matters which confuse them.
Relevance of This Hadith to the Subject of Tawheed
That the Hadith proves that Allah's Messenger feared for his Companions that they might unwittingly fall into minor Shirk; this, in spite of their strong faith and understanding of Islam and Tawheed. Therefore, we, with our comparatively weak faith and little knowledge, are even more obligated to fear both major and minor Shirk.
It is reported on the authority of Ibn Mas'ood (ra) that the Messenger of Allah said:
"Whoever died while supplicating another deity besides Allah , will enter the Fire." (Narrated by Bukhari)
The Prophet informs us in this Hadith that whoever adulterated that which should be purely for Allah (i.e. worship), by worshipping others besides Him, and died in this state, will have his abode in the Hell-fire.
Benefits Derived From This Hadith
1. Whoever died as a Mushrik will enter the Fire - If it was major Shirk, he will abide therein forever, but if it was minor Shirk, then Allah will punish him as much as He wishes, then he will be allowed to leave the Fire.
2. That a person will be judged upon his last act in this world.5
Relevance of This Hadith to the Subject of Tawheed
That the Hadith proves that whoever died calling upon a deity other than Allah , will enter the Hell-fire, therefore it is incumbent upon us to fear Shirk.
It is reported by Muslim, on the authority of Jabir (ra), that Allah's Messenger said:
"Whoever meets Allah , without associating partners with Him, will enter Paradise; and whoever meets Him as one who associated anything with Him, will enter the Fire.
The Prophet informs us in this Hadith that whoever died without associating partners with Allah - either in Rabbship or worship or in His Divine Names and Attributes is promised an abode in Paradise, while whoever died as a Mushrik, will abide in the Hell-fire.
Benefits Derived From This Hadith
1. Confirmation of the existence of Paradise and Hell.
2. That a person will be judged upon his last act in this world.
3. Whoever died believing in the Oneness of Allah , will not dwell forever in the Hell-fire, but will find his eternal abode in Paradise.
4. Whoever died as a Mushrik must dwell eternally in the Hell-fire.
Relevance of the Hadith to the Subject of Tawheed
That the Hadith proves that whoever died as a Mushrik will enter the Fire, and the knowledge of this obliges us to fear Shirk in all its manifestations.
1. Mushrik: One who commits Shirk.
2. Khawaarij: A deviant sect, who claimed that committing major sins takes a person out of the fold of Islam.
3. Mu'tazilah: A deviant sect, who denied the Divine Attributes of Allah (swt), and claimed that those who committed major sins would dwell eternally in the Hell-fire.
4. Narrated by Imam Ahmad.
5. It is reported on the authority of 'Abdullah Ibn 'Amr (ra) that Allah's Messenger said: "...verily, he whose abode will be Paradise, his final deed will be of the deeds of the people of Paradise, whatever he did (previously), and verily, he who is destined for the Hell-fire, his final deed will be of the deeds of the people of the Hell-fire, whatever he did (previously)." (Narrated by Ahmad and At-Tirmizi, who said it is hasan-saheeh-ghareeb i.e. somewhere between the classifications of saheeh (authentic) and hasan (good), though narrated at some point(s) in its sanad by only one narrator.
Sunday, October 12, 2008
by, Shaykh Muhammad Jameel Zeno
When pure tawheed is actualised in the life of an individual or the society it produces the best of results. From its results are the following:
1) Liberation of mankind from worship and submission to other than Allaah. The creation cannot create anything, rather they themselves are created. They are not capable of harming nor benefiting their souls. They are not capable of causing death nor giving life nor are they able to resurrect the dead.
So tawheed liberates man from every worship, except to his Lord, the One Who created him and then proportioned him.
It liberates his intelligence from deviation and delusions.
It liberates his mind from obedience, humility and submission to other than Allaah.
It liberates his life from the mastery of the rulers, the soothsayers and those who deem themselves divinely appointed over the slaves of Allaah.
Due to this, the leaders of shirk and oppression in the times of ignorance rose up against the call of the Prophets in general and particularly against the call of the Messenger, because of the fact that they understood the meaning of "La ilaaha lila Allaah" to be a universal pronouncement for the liberation of mankind, and the overthrowing of the tyrants from their false thrones, and the elevation of the faces of believers, those who do not prostrate except to Allaah, the Lord of the Worlds.
2) The personality remains balanced. Tawheed aids the formation of a balanced personality, the preferred aim and direction of this life, and it unifies and consolidates its purpose. So the personality does not turn except to the only One worthy of worship, and it turns to Him in private and in open and it calls to him in private and in open, and it calls upon Him in ease and in adversity. As opposed to the Mushrik (pagan) who shares his heart between those who are worshipped besides Allaah, at times he turns to the living and at times he turns to the dead, and Yusuf said: "Oh my two companions of the prison, are many different lords better, or Allaah, the One, the Irresistible? [Qur'an 12:39]. So, the believer worships One Lord, he knows what is pleasing to Him and what is displeasing to Him, lie stops at whatever pleases Him and his heart becomes calm. As for the Mushrik, lie worships numerous deities, one he takes from here and another he takes from there and he is divided between them and he has no comfort.
4) Tawheed is the source for the strengthening of the soul, because it gives an individual a strong and formidable mental attitude, by which he fills his soul with hope in Allaah, confidence in Allaah and reliance upon Allaah, pleasure with His Decree, gives him patience upon His Tests and freedom from reliance upon the creation. This individual is firmly established, like the mountains, and when a calamity befalls him he asks his Lord to remove it and not the dead. The Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) indicated this in his saying: "When you ask, then ask Allaah and when you seek help, then seek help from Allaah alone" [Hasan Sahih – Tirmidhi]. "If Allaah touches you with harm, none can remove it except Him" [Qur'an 6:17].
5) Tawheed is the foundation of brotherhood and equality, because it does not permit following those who take others as lords besides Allaah, since worship is for Allaah alone and worship to Allaah alone must be from all of mankind, and the head of them is Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) His Messenger and His chosen one.
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
I am saddened to have heard of the death of Imam Muhammad. There are many things that I differ with him, but I feel that such a time is not appropiate for such a discussion. I think that the greatest achievement he did was to turn an organization that was outside the fold of Islam and make it a Muslim organization. Some of those that were in the movement came closer to the sunnah, like Dawud Adib and other, whereas some reverted back to the kufr (disbelief) ideas of Elijah Muhammad (like Farrakhan). I think for the most part a majority of the followers stayed within the fold of Islam and they range on there understanding of the din (religion). I give condolences to Imam Muhammad's family. Inna lillah wa inna ilaihi rajiun - To Allah we come and to Allah we return
Sunday, September 07, 2008
Miguel Sufyan said the following:
Once in a while I check your blog, but I think it doesnt invite non-Muslims even Muslims for that matter.
First, you praised all this latinismo but your name is all Arabised, at least change some of it, like Khalil el Boricua, Khalil the Puerto Rican, I am not sure whats your real first name but its Jose, write Jose Khalil for those who don't know Arabic.
I think brothers that study Islam in other countries tend become part of that country and culture and abandon their own. We shouldn't abandon our beautiful culture but modified it, as the Prophet (s) did with his culture and we know that arabs had a harsh culture.
As for Muslims, I think we are tire of slogans, Quran n Sunnah, Minhaj of the Salaf, Minhaj of the Saved Sect, Minhaj of this and that, Let the Sunnah go forth...and its getting old and dry --these slogans are not from the Salaf.
Also the world does not revolve around the Saudi Kingdom.
thats my dos monedas.
My reply is as follows:
Assalamu alaikum (can I say that or is that too Arab for you?)
First let me say that I do not endorse any form of nationalism be it Latinism, Puerto Rican Nationalism, Black Nationalism, or Arabism. One of the goals or objectives of my blog is to discuss Puerto Rican/New York Puerto Rican culture. When I speak about this I am coming from a perspective of a New York born Puerto Rican Muslim. Many may not agree with me when I speak about these issues. Despite what you may think, I do not ever try to deny the fact that I am a Boricua. However, I do not believe in an orthodox definition of puertoriquenidad. Rather, I try to highlight this fact because it is part of my essence and being. I am not an island born Puerto Rican; nor was I born into a Spanish-speaking household. My parents were both born in New York, their dominant language is English, so this is the language they imparted upon me.
In terms of Latinidad and promotion of that, I do not feel that my blog promotes it. I have problems with the concept, especially since it is a Eurocentric concept. Puerto Rican culture, both from the island and more so stateside, does not fit in well with the whole Latinidad project. I really hate to use this over-arching term of “Latino” because what does it really mean to be a Latino? Culture is a living creature. It is not static. What could be Puerto Rican culture today may be very different tomorrow. My goal is to make Puerto Rican culture in line with Islam. I truly believe in Islamization.
About my name, it may be Arab in a sense but it is definitely 100% Islamic. I do not carry for its Arabness, but rather for its Islamicity. This naming system is from Islam. One only look at the great books of hadeeth or ilmur-rijal and see all of the names having using the yaa nisab (the 'y' of attribution) to a particular land. Just look at Al-Bukhari. The well-known scholar was not an Arab by descent, but came from the land of Bukhara in Central Asia. Look at At-Tirmidhi (also not an Arab) who was from Tirmidh in Central Asia as well. And the list goes on. Even in Islamic Spain there were great scholars known by the city they were from such the great mufassir Al-Qurtubi (from Qurtuba or Cordoba). As far as the Khalil part, this is a name I like and adopted when I came to Islam. Yes, it is Arab but again I do not hold it because of its Arabness but for its Islamness. This was the name nickname of Ibrahim (may Allah mention him amongst His angels). I go by this name of Khalil amongst the Muslims. At work and around my family I go by my given name of Danny. I just chose to call myself Khalil around the Muslims. That is my prerogative and for my love of Islam. Why do you feel I need to call myself Danny Abu Ishaq or something like that? Even you have adopt this Arab (yet Islamic) concept by the way you call yourself Abu Sufyan. You just chose to put “Abu Sufyan” after Miguel. How can you criticize me for something you do as well. I am sorry if my given name and adopted name are not “Latino” enough for you.
My blog invites Muslims and non-Muslims. Perhaps I have more critiques than fans. There are some people who regularly visit my site. My position on Islam is not based upon “slogans.” I believe in a true return to the Quran and Sunnah according to the methodology of the Salaf. That is not a slogan, it is my position. Whether you agree with the position is quite irrelevant.
About brothers going overseas and adopting the culture from where they are studying, perhaps this may be true. I think this is a natural phenomenon of any people who go to another country. Look at immigrants who come to this country. Many of them want to assimilate and just fit right in. No one wants to be an outcast. I agree that some may “throw the baby away with the bathwater.” I have spoken about issues like this in my blog. My position is that all that is permissible from culture should or could be maintained. We do not have to adopt another culture in order to be true Muslims. There are many things from our culture(s) that is (are) permissible.
Finally, I am fully aware that the world does not revolve around Saudi Arabia. I never once said that. My blog rarely if ever revolves around Saudi. Even though I have much to say about Saudi Arabia, I almost never share my views on this blog. So what was the point of that comment? I love Muslims from all Muslims countries. I do, however, tend to base my knowledge and fatawa from ulama who happen to be from Saudi. That is because they are upon the same minhaj (methodology) of Salafiyyah and madh-hab (school of law) of Hanabilah. This does not mean that I think the world revolves around Saudi Arabia.
Khalil Al-Puerto Rikani
Friday, September 05, 2008
Assalamu alaikum `ala man ittaba` al-huda.
What's going on world? Welcome to my world. So how are you all out there? Who actually read my blog? I know I have not been writing much. Sorry about the folks. Let me know how you all are doing out there.
Khalil Al-Puerto Rikani
Saturday, August 09, 2008
Tuesday, August 05, 2008
By, Khalil Al-Puerto Rikani
August 5, 2008
I hardly speak about my days of jahiliyyah (ignorance). For those of you who are not Muslim, I am refering to my days before my acceptance of Al-Islam.
However, today I just want to shed some light upon my experience with the hip-hop organization know as the Universal Zulu Nation (UZN). I remember when I was sixteen years old and going to that park on the Upper West Side. It was the Rock Steady Crew's (RSC) Anniversary. I would later learn that this very park was a historical place in hip-hop. This was where the RSC would practice, hang-out, and battle other crews back in the late '70s and early '80s.
At this event, I picked up an application for the UZN. I was told about the universal (meeting) that was held at the Bronx River Houses in the South Bronx. This place, as well, I would later find out was also a historical place in hip-hop history. At this meeting and many others to follow, I would become part of a new generation of youth in New York City who would become part of the UZN. The UZN would spark my interest in different religions; promote positivity for Black, Puerto Rican, Latino; and other inner-city youth, and encourage seeking knowledge.
It was through the UZN that I would come to an understanding of the "Oneness of God." Before that time, I was engrossed in '70s politics and had become an atheist. I liked the way that Zulus promoted a positive form of hip-hop. This was refreshing at a time when hip-hop was at the height of "gangsta" rap. I would learn from speakers, such as hip-hop legend Crazy Legs, that hip-hop was not just the deviant commercialized rap industry. Hip-hop is a culture that has four elements to it - mcing (rapping), djing, breaking (and other urban dance forms), and graffiti.
Another thing I remember about the UZN was that there were many Latino (mostly Puerto Rican) youth who were members. Black and Latino unity was always stressed. The role that New York Puerto Ricans played in hip-hop was not hidden or overshadowed by the role of Black-Americans. The number of members who attended these universals were about 75% Latinos.
In these universals there would be a prayer at the closing of these gatherings. Usually, the prayer would be Al-Fatihah. I remember hearing the Quran for the first time at that very first universal. I can still remember hearing Mr. Wiggles (a fellow Boricua) of the RSC reciting Al-Fatihah. The UZN definitely inclined me towards Islam.
I can remember many times going up to Bam's apartment. He is known to most of the world as Afrika Bambaataa. He is the founder of the UZN and one of the "godfathers" of hip-hop. It was at his jams at the Bronx River Projects, in the early '70s, that all the elements of hip-hop would come together. At Bam's parties, youth could forget about their gang colors and enjoy themselves. Bam, himself, was the head of one of NYC's notorious gang - the Black Spades. They were the predecessor to what would become the Zulu Nation. It was at Bam's jams that these youth would give birth to a musical and cultural movement. We would discuss such topics as culture, religion, blackness, latinidad, politics, and many other vast topics. Afrika Bambaataa indeed embodied the the link between the Civil Right/Black Power Movement and hip-hop.
One brother that would speak at many of the universals was Brother Jorge "Fabel" Pabon. He is known in the hip-hop world as Popmaster Fabel, the Vice-President of the RSC. At the universals, he would speak about Islam, Latinos, and the roots of Muslim Spain. I would learn a lot about the virtues of Al-Islam and the connection to Latino roots and culture, and the hidden Islamic connections. Alhamdulillah, I thank Allah for my experience with the UZN. I thank Allah for my exposure to those who I have met. After thanking Allah, I thank Brother Fabel "Shukri" who is a true Muslim brother. I am still in touch with him. Unlike many in the UZN who were not really Muslim, he adheres to Islam. There were many like Bam, Mr. Wiggles, Afrika Islam, and others who lean towards Islam, but are not really Muslim. Groups and individuals, however, may (with Allah's success) lead some like me to go and actually learn about what Islam is. I do not agree with the close ties that the UZN has with groups like the Nuwabians and the NOI, but I understand the link that they have with my past and my present.
May Allah reward Brother Shukri "Fabel" and guide those who know about Islam, but have not yet accept it yet - Amin.
Some may ask why I have chosen to speak about this past of mine. I will say that it is my intent to share with others my experience in the hope that perhaps someone can relate, and do like I did and go and learn more about Islam.
Monday, July 28, 2008
One thing that is certain; one thing that everyone can agree; one thing that every Muslim, Christian, Jew, and Polytheist can agree. One thing they all can agree is that death will come. Death is eminent. Allah says in the Quran, "Every soul shall taste the death."
We see it all around us. Everyone - Latino, Black, White, and Asian know about death. Allah is Life (Al-Hayah) and He can take it away just as easily as he gave it to us.
Saturday, July 19, 2008
This statement of 'la ilaaha ill Allah' is a very revolutionary and powerful word that means a lot. For those of you who do not know the Arabic language or are not Muslim and do not understand these word should take time to find out what these words mean.
This statement is the foundation upon which Islam is built. Forget about all those commentary by the so-called experts who know nothing about Islam.
'La ilaaha ill Allah' mean 'there is nothing worthy of worship except Allah.' This is a negation and an affirmation. This statement negate anything and everything that is worshipped besides Allah.
It negates all objects, idols, people, gods, etc. that are worshipped besides Allah. Only Allah is worthy of worship. Humans no matter how great they may have been can never reach the level of being worthy of worship. There seems to be a massive form of confusion amongst humanity in that they think that God can come in into human form. This is the root of worshipping other than Allah.
So who is Allah? Allah is the Arabic word for the 'one worthy of worship.' Simply put, it is know as 'God.' Allah is not some mystical object, idol, or God of the Arabs.
'La ilaaha ill Allah' is a negation as stated earlier and an affirmation. It affirms that Allah is all that is to be worshipped. Now worship is a comprehensive word. It includes all prayers, supplications, slaughtering for, swearing to, words, actions - inner and outer.
Allah is the one God of all humanity. He sent prophets to save us. Allah has not sons or daughters. He is alone, and not in need of any help from anyone.
Sunday, July 06, 2008
Proponents of gentrification focus on the benefits of urban renewal, such as investment in physically deteriorating locales, improved access to lending capital for low-income mortgage seekers as their property values increase, increased rates of lending to minority and first-time home purchasers to invest in the appreciating area and improved physical conditions for those renters able to afford the rising rents.  Gentrification has been linked to reductions in local property crime rates, increased property prices, increased revenue to local governments from property taxes, increased tolerance of sexual minorities, and certain kinds of community activism.
Critics of gentrification often cite the human cost to the neighborhood's lower-income residents, as well as the reduction in diversity of productive landuses such as light industry and cultural activities such as live music venues due to reverse sensitivity issues. The increases in rent often result in the dispersal of communities whose members find that housing in the area is no longer affordable. Additionally, the increase in property taxes (due to increased property values) may sometimes force or give incentive for homeowners to sell their homes and move to less expensive neighborhoods. While those who view gentrification positively cite local reductions in a neighborhood's property crime rate, its critics argue that overall crime rates have not actually been reduced, but merely shifted to different lower-income neighborhoods.
Because gentrification and neighborhood revitalization often go hand in hand, gentrification can be "a double-edged sword" with both positive and negative impacts.
3 Theories on gentrification
3.1 Urban renewal
3.2 Production-side theory
3.3 Consumption-side theory
3.5 Demographic shifts
4 The role of certain social groups
4.1 Artists, bohemians, hipsters
4.2 Gay men
5 Attempts to control gentrification
5.1 Community organizing
5.2 Direct action and sabotage
5.3 Inclusionary zoning
5.4 Zoning ordinances
5.5 Community land trusts
5.6 Rent control
6 Attempts to amplify gentrification
7 Case study of gentrification
7.1 Darien Street, Philadelphia
10 See also
11 External links
This section may contain original research or unverified claims.Please improve the article by adding references. See the talk page for details. (July 2007)
"Gentrification" of neighborhoods is frequently controversial. Gentrification often brings to the fore issues of housing affordability.
Demographic changes associated with gentrification in addition to a significant rise in average incomes in such neighborhoods include a decline in the proportion of ethnic minorities, a reduction in the size of the households, and the replacement of low-income families by singles and childless couples. In American cities, the new, wealthier demographic of the neighborhood can sometimes resemble the original populace for which the neighborhood was constructed. In these cases, gentrification represents the reversal of the white flight phenomenon, although this fact is seldom addressed in the ensuing controversy.
Gentrification often brings with it a change in culture and character.
Property owners can also feel the effects of gentrification through increases in property taxes. Property taxes are typically based on a percentage of a property's assessed value. As property values increase in a given neighborhood, municipalities will typically reassess the values of properties within gentrifying communities resulting in higher property taxes for the neighborhood's long-term owners. Owners who do not wish to pay the tax increases often sell or pass the increases on to tenants in the form of higher rent.
Recent research has also pointed to the negative effects that gentrification can have on political participation. For example, a drop in voter turnout has been observed in areas of American and Canadian cities which have experienced gentrification.
The root of "gentrification", "gentry", derives from the Old French word genterise (a variant of gentilise), meaning the people of gentle birth, good breeding, or high social position, as in the landed gentry. Sociologist Ruth Glass coined the term in 1964 to mean the influx of wealthier individuals into cities or neighborhoods who replace working or lower-classes already living there. She defined it by using London districts such as Islington as her example:
One by one, many of the working class quarters of London have been invaded by the middle-classes—upper and lower. Shabby, modest mews and cottages—two rooms up and two down—have been taken over, when their leases have expired, and have become elegant, expensive residences [...]. Once this process of 'gentrification' starts in a district it goes on rapidly until all or most of the original working-class occupiers are displaced and the whole social character of the district is changed. Glass, R. (1964). London: aspects of change. Londen: Macgibbon & Kee.
Theories on gentrification
Increasingly, locations in city centers have attracted affluent post-baby boomer professionals and/or their empty nester parents. This New Urbanist movement may be more or less socially driven. If a depressed urban area has a transportation hub, pedestrian accessibility and social interaction, it may be considered more desirable than the sprawl and car-dependent lifestyle of the average suburban community.
For the average urban working-class renter, buses and trains are vital to their livelihood. The ideal is different for the wealthy newcomers, who like the advantage of a car for longer commutes, but walk or use public transportation when traveling to the closer shops, cafes, and boutiques.
Early explanations of gentrification saw a conflict between production-side and consumption-side arguments. The production-side argument, which is associated primarily with the work of geographer Neil Smith, explains gentrification through economics and the relationships between flows of capital and the production of urban space. Smith argued that low rents on the urban periphery during the two decades after World War II led to a continuous movement of capital toward the development of suburban areas. This caused a "devaluation" of inner-city capital, resulting in the substantial abandonment of inner-city properties in favour of those in the periphery, and a consequent fall in the price of inner-city land relative to rising land prices in the suburbs. From this, Smith put forth his rent-gap theory, which describes the disparity between "the actual capitalized ground rent (land value) of a plot of land given its present use and the potential ground rent that might be gleaned under a 'higher and better' use".
Smith believed that the rent-gap theory was the fundamental explanation for the process of gentrification. He argued that when the rent-gap was wide enough, developers, landlords, and other people with a vested interest in the development of land would see the potential profit to be had in reinvesting in inner-city properties and redeveloping them for new inhabitants. Such redevelopment effectively closes the rent-gap and leads to higher rent, mortgage and lease rates.
The de-industrialization of the inner-city is seen as a prerequisite, precipitating a decline in the number of blue-collar jobs available for the urban working class and thus a loss of investment capital available to maintain the physical stock of urban neighborhoods. De-industrialization is often coupled with the growth of a divided white collar employment sector, one part of which is engaged in professional/managerial positions which follow the spatial centralization of capital. This is a product of corporations requiring spatial proximity to reduce decision-making time.
The consumption-side theory, on the other hand, has gained more force as an explanation for gentrification (Hamnett, 2000) Supporters of this argument generally view the characteristics of gentrifiers themselves to be of greater importance in the understanding of gentrification. The post-industrial city, as defined in the Dictionary of Human Geography, is one with an "employment profile focused on advanced services…, [with a] profile that is materialized in a downtown skyline of office towers, arts and leisure sites, and political institutions. Its middle-class ambiance may be reflected in a distinctive politics charged with a responsible social ethos…the demand for more amenities, for greater beauty and a better quality of life in the arrangement of our cities" (616).
David Ley has been one of the foremost thinkers in purporting this idea of a city that is becoming more and more influenced by the emerging "new middle class". Ley defines as a subset of this sector a "cultural new class," made up of artists, cultural professionals, teachers, and other professionals outside of the private sector (1994, 56). And, although not particularly dwelt upon in Ley’s articles, these are the first stage gentrifiers who prepare the way for the embourgeoisment of the inner city (and, in effect, the more bourgeois politics) that often follows them—bourgeois politics which often lead to decreased funding for affordable housing, stricter laws dealing with the homeless and other people affected negatively by their original displacement by the creative class. This sentiment can also be found in Sharon Zukin’s "second-wave" observations in the artist’s lofts in Manhattan, who, when her building went "co-op" in 1979, "bade good-bye to the manufacturers, an artist, and several residents who could not afford the market prices at which our lofts were sold," residents who were replaced by lawyers and accountants, retailers and investment bankers (1989, xiv). This same process can be seen still today, as "artists move into otherwise undesirable buildings, usually make significant improvements to their spaces and their surrounding areas. Everyone benefits from these tenuous and uneasy…arrangements. Then landlords, becoming aware that they are sitting on gold mines, rush to cash in" (Cash 2001, 39).
Whereas Smith and other Marxists often take a structural approach in their explanations of gentrification, Ley’s work instead frames gentrification as a natural outgrowth of the rise of professional employment in the CBD and the predilection of the creative class to an urbane urban lifestyle. Ley, when studying this class through case studies of Canadian cities, concentrates instead on the diversity of this class, especially the liberal ideas that often find voice in its politics (see Ley’s 1980 article "Liberal Ideology and the Post-Industrial City" which describes then deconstructs the TEAM committee’s strive to make Vancouver a "livable city"). Ley’s work, and that of Rose, Beauregard, Mullins, Moore, and others who have built upon Ley’s theories by arguing that "gentrifiers and their social and cultural characteristics was of crucial importance for an understanding of gentrification," has been criticized by Chris Hamnett, however, as not going far enough, and not incorporating the "supply of dwellings and the role of developers/speculators in the process" (Hamnett 1991, 186, 187).
A concept that has received much consideration is the idea of globalization and the city’s role in this new economic environment, where urban centers are ranked by their ability to function in a climate where national borders are becoming less and less important. Some academics have theoretically and empirically studied the products of globalization such as de-industrialized global cities and economic restructuring. John Friedman, who laid down a hypothetical framework on which to build a study of global cities, used as one of the components to his seven part theory the emergence of a bifurcated service industry in major cites, which is composed of "on the one hand, a high percentage of professionals specialized in control functions and, on the other, a vast army of low-skilled workers engaged in … personal services … [that] cater to the privileged classes for those whose sake the world city primarily exists" (1986, 322). That the last three components of his theory deals with the increased immigration to fill this demand, the class and spatial polarization that results from this, and the inability of the global city to deal with these rapidly growing "social costs" is no mistake (1986, 323-328). Friedman places his vision of the global city squarely in a class context, a context that has been expanded on by Sassen and others. This polarization inherent in increasingly global cities can illuminate the theory that concerns itself specifically with the causes of gentrification. Indeed, a 2006 analysis found increased spatial polarization (segregation) by income across U.S. metropolitan areas, with middle-income neighborhoods in decline relative to low- and high-income areas (Booza et al 2006).
Gentrification cannot be separated from the economic climate in which it occurs. The advent of the new economy outlined above has led to substantial growth and centralization of high-level work in producer services: a "new urban economic core of banking and service activities that comes to replace the older, typically manufacturing oriented, core" (Sassen 1995, 65). This new core sees older, middle-class retailers "replaced by upmarket boutiques and restaurants catering to new high-income urban elites" (Sassen 1995, 66).
This section is missing citations or needs footnotes.Using inline citations helps guard against copyright violations and factual inaccuracies. (July 2007)
Main article: Migration of the disadvantaged
Demographically speaking, Western cities are seeing a growing percentage of 25–45 year-olds in the inner-city (urban) core. Other demographic shifts are occurring as well; there is a lessening of gendered divisions of labour, and people are waiting longer to get married and have children (c.f., the Double Income No Kids syndrome). Additionally, urban researchers are seeing an increase in the number of single women professionals living alone in gentrified areas.
This also leads to the lack of affordable housing in these areas for residents who are not in a high-income bracket, and leads to several generations of a low-income family living in the same dwelling because youths who would have moved out upon graduating high-school can't afford to live on their own unless they're in the market for luxury condominiums. See the Freeter phenomena.
In the UK, ever-rising house prices have meant that many middle-class people under age 40 either inherit or simply receive a substantial amount of money from a parent—enough to buy a house outright in the sort of area traditionally vulnerable to gentrification. Gentrification, as an aspect of gender studies discourse, has not been studied extensively, but researchers have discovered that women and gay men have had at least some impact on the gentrifying process in older, inner-city neighborhoods. Moreover, women are seen to be gentrifying in response to different patriarchal structures; they are seen as being potentially forced by oppressive class relations related to their gender into moving into the inner-city, as opposed to deciding on moving there as a result of locational preference. The breakdown of traditional gender roles as higher education becomes more accessible to women has also contributed to the movement of single women into the inner-city.
In London, a large proportion of gentrified housing originally was built for middle class occupants. Occupation by working class people mainly came about between the two World Wars, when the middle classes left for the suburbs. In Islington, four story houses are much more common than two story cottages.
Gentrification usually increases property value in an area. This is a positive development for city officials (by raising tax revenue, which is often dependent on property values), the middle class, as well as existing resident owner-occupiers. Unfortunately this same rise in property value can be devastating to those in lower income groups, when children of such residents find they can no longer afford to live in certain neighborhoods. As a result, there tend to be very strongly opposed views on gentrification, with some seeing it leading to healthier, more vibrant cities, and others seeing it as destroying poor communities.
The role of certain social groups
The urban middle-class typically does not begin to occupy new neighborhoods all at once. In many cases, more economically marginal subgroups of "trend-setters"—often referred to in popular literature as "urban pioneers" (Smith 1996, 26) although that term carries with it racist aspersions (Smith 1996, 13)—are the first to arrive in gentrifying areas. Although these groups may not have high incomes, their high educational or occupational status (i.e., high cultural capital) qualify them as marginally bourgeois. In many cases, these individuals are young and live in non-family households, and thus have a higher tolerance for perceived urban ills (such as crime, poor-quality schools, lack of amenities like shops and parks, and the presence of disadvantaged racial, ethnic, or socioeconomic groups) that may dissuade middle-class families.
As the number of "trend-setters" grows, they create amenities valued by the bourgeoisie, particularly service establishments such as new bars, restaurants, and art galleries that serve the gentrifying group's demographic. Residents with a similar outlook and greater amounts of capital may then follow. This group, in turn, further adds amenities and investment to the area, increases local property values, and paves the way for more risk-averse investors and residents. The first newcomers, priced out of their newly fashionable neighborhood, move on to adjacent areas, where the process often begins anew. In this theory, the classic sector model of urban residential succession—essentially that neighborhoods "trickle down" from one socioeconomic group to another, with the wealthiest residents moving linearly outward from the central business district—works in reverse, but the "invasion-succession" process proceeds in a remarkably similar fashion.
Gentrification does not require these intermediary steps, but such a succession greatly facilitates the process. In other instances, as with the London Docklands and other CBD-adjacent urban renewal projects, or in instances of comprehensive public housing redevelopment (as at Cabrini-Green in Chicago), government and large developers can invade the area with sufficient capital to attempt to skip the steps entirely. In still other recent instances, a Community Development Corporation has been so successful at stabilizing an urban neighborhood that it becomes desirable for the middle class; examples include Roxbury, Massachusetts; Near South Side, Chicago; and Harlem, New York City, and, in Europe Prenzlauer Berg, Berlin; Altona, Hamburg; Ferencváros, Budapest; Islington, London.
Artists, bohemians, hipsters
Traditionally the largest African-American community in the U.S., Bedford-Stuyvesant in New York City is now undergoing the rapid gentrification of (mostly white) artists and bohemians.
The method by which an urban "artist colony" is transformed into an affluent neighborhood has been well documented for many years. Artists and subcultural students (more recently nicknamed "hipsters," but also including the hippies of earlier years) often seek out devaluated urban neighborhoods for their low prices and for their sense of authenticity or "grit" (Lloyd, 89). As the bohemian character of the area grows, it appeals "not only to committed participants but also to sporadic consumers" (Lloyd, 104); eventually, those "sporadic" consumers edge out the earlier arrivals. Christopher Mele described the process with hippies in New York City's East Village in the 1960s:
By the early 1960s, the Beats' enclave of Greenwich Village had been... commercialized by middle-class onlookers... Between 1964 and 1968, dozens of specialty shops that catered to the hippies had opened along St. Mark's Place... In addition to students and hippies, the neighborhood's countercultural atmosphere attracted copywriters, editorial workers, fashion designers, and commercial artists... Although the youthful movement criticized middle-class values and lifestyles, its members, nonetheless, were of largely middle-class origin living in one of the poorest working-class districts in the city. (Mele, 159-169)
Through the 1960s and 1970s, lofts in SoHo were converted en masse to house artists, hippies, and others (Zukin 121-3). As those neighborhoods continued to escalate in price and social status, the artists moved on to Park Slope, Brooklyn and Hoboken, New Jersey, and today (and their followers, the hipsters) to Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Emerging areas where hipsters are being displaced to run along the BMT Canarsie Line (L) and IND Crosstown Line (G) of the New York City Subway system due in large part to their proximity to Williamsburg.
Similar examples can be found in many cities around the world with large numbers of jobs in media, fashion, and other creative trades.
Manuel Castells's seminal work on gay men as "gentrifiers" in San Francisco has revealed a pattern replicated, to some degree, in other North American cities, as "many [gays] were single men, did not have to raise a family, were young, and connected to a relatively prosperous service economy" (Castells, 1983, p. 160). Many gay and lesbian people leave their towns and neighborhoods of origin to start a new life and form a new community after coming out.
The PBS documentary Flag Wars  outlined the tension between an urban African-American community in the old silk stocking district of Columbus, Ohio, and the mainly white gays and lesbians moving in, who were accused of gentrification and racism. The new residents, in turn, accused the existing community residents of homophobia.
In 2006, a Washington, D.C. church congregation in the historically black neighborhood of Shaw opposed the granting of a liquor license to a gay bar that was about to open across the street.
Real estate trends can push out poorer gay people, as in San Francisco's Polk District; radical queer activists saw the value of an impoverished neighborhood as a refuge for the economically, sexually and socially marginalized, while others saw renovations and increased real estate values as signs of improvement in the neighborhood.
Attempts to control gentrification
Direct action and sabotage
When wealthy individuals move into working class or low income neighborhoods, class conflicts can result. Vandalism and even arson attacks against the property of new arrivals sometimes occurs. During the late 1990s, during the dot-com boom gentrification of San Francisco's predominantly working class Mission District, an effort called the 'Mission Yuppie Eradication Project' allegedly engaged in various forms of widespread property destruction as part of a strategy against gentrification. This drew a hostile response from the San Francisco Police Department, from real estate interests, and from work-within-the-system housing activists. 
Cities have responded to gentrification in different ways. Inclusionary zoning is an increasingly popular method of stemming gentrification, employed by cities, in an attempt to create affordable housing units in urban areas. Through inclusionary zoning, developers are either required or provided with incentives (such as higher build-outs) to develop a certain percentage of affordable housing units. Because inclusionary zoning is relatively new concept, there have been few studies regarding its effect on limiting gentrification. In Los Angeles, inclusionary zoning seems to have accelerated the pace of gentrification as older, lower rent buildings have been torn down and replaced with higher rent buildings tempered by a small percentage of "affordable housing" , resulting in a net loss of affordable units.
In addition to the gradual exclusion of poorer residents from gentrifying neighborhoods, another detrimental aspect of gentrification can be the impact on non-residential uses, such as entertainment and industrial uses with effects contrary to the expectations of upmarket residents moving in. Often a neighborhood will become popular because of its nightlife and live music scene, or because of the presence of light industrial or arts and crafts activities. But newer residents may complain about levels of noise from such activities. Planning authorities then make noise mitigation or operational requirements that can place severe limitations or financial burdens that force such uses to move out. In New Zealand, this issue is referred to as reverse sensitivity, and a novel approach has been developed whereby the land use zones can be used to identify likely reverse sensitivity issues. The onus is then placed on developers wishing to build projects in such areas to construct dwellings in such a way to mitigate the impacts of new uses on existing residents.
Community land trusts
Since gentrification is exacerbated by speculation in land prices, removing land from the open market can effectively keep property prices from rising and thereby prevent displacement. The most common formal mechanism for doing so is a community land trust; many inclusionary zoning ordinances are now written to place the "inclusionary" units into a land trust. Many linguistically isolated urban neighborhoods are able to keep out speculators informally, simply by not advertising available properties on the open (primary language) market and instead trading properties only by word of mouth.
In response to gentrification pressure, some cities pass rent control ordinances. Rent control allows existing tenants to remain, but does not directly affect the overall increase in underlying property prices. For example, the formerly downscale southwestern section of Santa Monica, California and the eastern section of West Hollywood, California became gentrified despite rent control. This preceded changes to the law that forbade extending rent control prices from one tenancy to the next. Since many forms of rent control allow landlords to set higher prices for newer residents while forcing them to keep prices low for long-time residents, this may encourage landlords to rent to residents they hope will leave sooner. Another unintended consequence is landlord harassment, where the owner or manager of a property makes living conditions uncomfortable for long-term residents in the hope that they will vacate voluntarily, thus avoiding costly legal expenses. Without rent control, a neighborhood undergoing gentrification may change rapidly because landlords could quickly raise rents on long-time residents and displace them from the neighborhood, although this argument ignores the creation of a black market for housing under rent control. Rent control often causes "black markets" to develop in which units are withdrawn from the market and their listings are made available for those who pay additional fees or bribes to landlords, greatly hurting the less affluent and speeding up gentrification. Despite the claims of some that the 1994 abolition of rent control in Boston, Massachusetts and some surrounding suburbs (via statewide ballot) sped up gentrification in that area, strong economic growth in the following years was probably more of a factor.
Many low-income whites in East Coast cities have moved to working-class suburbs or other, more heavily white neighborhoods within the same city. This often leaves senior citizens who have often lived in a particular community for a very long time as the only white residents in neighborhoods that have otherwise seen complete "white flight". When these seniors die or move to retirement communities, the process of white flight is complete.
In New York City and the surrounding counties, rent regulation protects over 1 million units and tenants from rapidly increasing rents. There are two kinds of rent regulation: rent controlled housing and rent stabilized housing. Rent increases for rent stabilized housing are set annually by the Rent Guidelines Board, and tenants protections include the right to renewal leases, the right to essential services and repairs, and the right to pass on their apartments to close family members.
In New York, rent stabilized units can be deregulated by "vacancy decontrol"- when the legal rent of an apartment is $2000 or more and it becomes vacant, the owner can de-regulate the apartment and charge market rents. This has resulted in harassment of tenants in regulated housing by unscrupulous landlords. Recently the New York City Council gave tenants the right to take landlords who are harassing them to housing court. A citywide coalition of tenant leaders and housing advocates is mobilizing around the repeal of vacancy decontrol, to reduce the incentive to harass tenants and preserve New York's affordable housing stock.
Attempts to amplify gentrification
Sharon Zukin refers to a somewhat contradictory "Artistic Mode of Production" wherein patrician capitalists seek to revaluate (that is, gentrify) urban space through the recruitment and retention of artists; that is, by subtle or overt means of encouraging artists to occupy, say, former industrial facilities (1989, 176). This has become public policy in some cities. In UK cities like Newcastle-upon-Tyne and Liverpool, the actions of regional development agencies, in tandem with private speculators, have attempted to artificially stimulate the process of gentrification. In Jackson, Michigan, the city council has approved the redevelopment of a long-closed 19th century state prison by approving the construction of low rent housing within its walls and making artists loft space available in adjacent abandoned industrial buildings. Property developers have noticed that taking a building they eventually wish to re-develop and offering it cheaply to artists for a few years can impart a 'hip' feel to the surrounding area.
In the US, municipal governments tend to use tax incentives such as "tax increment financing" (TIF), or, such as in the "Paducah Artist Relocation Program" of Paducah, Kentucky, municipal governments will partner with non-profit organizations and Public Private Partnerships to offer to artists subsidized home loans at a discounted interest rate if they move into gentrifying neighborhoods. Under a TIF program, economic activity in a target blighted area will be jump started with government spending, usually on physical infrastructure. Property values, and therefore property tax revenues, are then expected to rise. Under TIF's, all increased tax revenues, for a set number of years, go to the TIF administration entity, and can only be spent on additional improvements within the TIF district. Often TIF funds will be provided as direct subsidies to private sector developers. Infrastructure improvements, subsidies, and rising property values all combine to encourage additional private sector investment.
Case study of gentrification
Darien Street, Philadelphia
There are several case studies done on areas undergoing gentrification. Gentrification Amid Urban Decline: Strategies for America's Older Cities, by Michael Lang, contains a story about Darien Street. This case study is done to show the process and impacts of gentrification.
Darien Street is a small alley street in Bella Vista, a densely populated neighborhood in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Most of the houses on the street date back to 1885 and were built for artisans, or craftsmen, that lived in the area. Darien Street was considered a “back street,” because it did not (and still does not) connect to any main streets in the city, and it was not even paved for most of its existence.
In its early days, Darien Street housed only Italian families. After World War II however, there was talk of a crosstown expressway, and the Italian families moved out. These low-rent homes then were inhabited by poor African American families. By the early 1970s, Darien Street was at its lowest point, and the houses were worth hardly anything. Many of the houses were abandoned, because of broken heaters and caved-in roofs. The houses on Darien Street were very small—about 15 feet (4.6 m) wide and 15 feet (4.6 m) deep. Each home was three stories tall, with one room on each floor. The largest yard is 8 feet (2.4 m) deep. Even with its decay, Darien Street held a unique charm with European echoes. The houses all had some different features to give the street more character. The street was also safe for children to play on, since there were no passing cars. The nearness of all the homes made for a potentially close-knit atmosphere. Darien Street was located just south of the center of the city, giving it great location; it was also inexpensive and would not have been hard to renovate.
Thus, the first home was rehabilitated in 1977; it was a corner home and was sold to a school teacher. He completely redid the home and moved in. In the next few years, mostly white middle-class men began to move into the abandoned houses. In 1979, the first displacement occurred. Two years later, five of seven families had been displaced. The two remaining families were renting their homes, and they expected to be displaced soon.
Gentrification Amid Urban Decline went in to great detail about Darien Street, but it was published in 1982, so that is where Darien Street’s story ends. Lang gives statistics to show his final findings on Darien Street: in five years, the street changed from seven black households and one white household to two black households and eleven white households. The average rent increased 488%—from $85 to $500 a month. Homes previously sold for $5,000 were sold in 1981 for $35,000. Of the five black households displaced, Lang informs his readers that three families found better houses within two blocks, one family left the state, and one family moved five blocks away into a public-housing project.
The benefits of the gentrification of Darien Street include increased tax flow and improved housing. The drawbacks of gentrification were the worry of the displaced.
^ va=gentrification - Definition from the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary
^ gentrification: Definition from Answers.com
^ Fannie Mae Foundation:
^ "Betsky, A (1997) Queer space : architecture and same-sex desire, New York : William Morrow & Co. (ISBN 0688143016)"
^ The Council, City of Albuquerque, COUNCIL BILL NO. F/S (3) O-06-8, "Workforce Housing Opportunity Act"
^ Kennedy 14-15
^ Sara Gebhardt - Living With the Tensions of Gentrification - washingtonpost.com
^ (7 Knotts, Gibbs & Haspel, Moshe. “The Impact of Gentrification and Voter Turnout.” Social Science Quarterly Vol 87, No. 1 (2006): pp 110 – 121
^ LeBlanc, Brian. "There goes the Neighbourhood - Gentrification and Voter Turnout." Undergraduate Thesis, Saint Mary's University (Canada, Nova Scotia), 2008
^ Douglas Harper. "Gentry." Online Etymology Dictionary. 
^ Smith, 1987b, p. 462.
^ In Shaw, Pews vs. Bar Stools
^ SAN FRANCISCO / Polk Gulch cleanup angers some / Gentrification pushing out 'hookers, hustlers'
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^ Lang 17–8.
^ Lang 18–9.
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Principles of Intelligent Urbanism
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Look up gentrification inWiktionary, the free dictionary.
Gentrify - The site dedicated to urban renewal, up and coming neighborhoods, tips for finding affordable city living, and discussion on the phenomenon of gentrification.
"What Can I Do About Gentrification?" - A realistic short guide from Neighbors Project to what younger city residents can do about gentrification in their neighborhood.
Gentrification Web - detailed resource used a source for this article
Understanding Gentrification from the City of Port Phillip (Victoria, Australia) website
Flag Wars - documentary about Ohio gentrification in Columbus, detailing conflicts of race and homophobia
Selling the Lower East Side – official site for Christopher Mele's book, includes full text of Chapters 2–9.
South African shack dwellers' movement
The Cleansing of San Francisco, San Francisco Bay Guardian, October 7, 1998. - Series of articles on the gentrification of San Francisco during the dot com boom.
"I'm the enemy!" by Carol Lloyd, Salon.com, October 29, 1999.
"Defending the barrio" by Cassi Feldman, San Francisco Bay Guardian, October 18, 2000.
"Warning: Gentrification in Progress" by J.A. Lobbia, Village Voice, July 4, 2001.
"Gentrification: Artists and Yuppies Working Together" by Dan Knauss, Riverwest Currents, July 2002.
"The New Harlem" by Rivka Gewirtz Little, Village Voice, September 18, 2002.
"Loft Living" by Chanel Lee, Village Voice, November 13, 2002.
"Hipsters Defend Brooklyn" by Sarah Ferguson, Village Voice, April 3, 2005.
"After the Murmur" by Tim Kingston, San Francisco Bay Guardian, August 18, 2006.
"Hipster Invasion" by David Downs, East Bay Express, August 30, 2006.
Responses to "Hipster Invasion"
"Interview with Neil Smith about gentrification in Berlin and state revanchism in Germany" October 20, 2007
Interview with Justin Massa, Founder of MoveSmart
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