Thursday, November 28, 2013

Lean on Me Inspirational Speech

Saturday, November 09, 2013

Stupid in America

This is a very interesting report from 20/20's John Stossel. It is an excellent report on the status of education in the US.

Thursday, October 24, 2013


MashAllah, this is a good poem that invokes conscious thought about the true purpose of life. May Allah reward the brother, amin.~ khalil

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Lauryn Hill on Racism, Slavery, and the IRS

The following represents the views of Lauryn Hill and do not necessarily represent my views:

The concept of reverse racism is flawed, if not absolutely ridiculous. Most, if not all of the negative responses from people of color toward white people, are reactions to the hatred, violence, cruelty and brutality that they were shown by white people for centuries. Much of the foundation of the modern world was built on the forced free labor of black peoples. The African Slave Trade, the institution of slavery, colonialism, its derivative systems, and the multiple holocausts throughout history, where whites used race as the defining reason to justify their oppression, conquest, and brutal treatment of non-white peoples, are how race became such a factor to begin with.
The initial claim by the oppressors, followed a moral imperative (so they said) that people outside of Occidental and European birth were in savage and cursed conditions, and that God justified the captivity of these people, and the rape and pillage of their lands.
Ironically, these oppressors would try to discard this same God, who supposedly justified this brutality, in the name of Darwin, whose famous line ‘survival of the fittest’ was used to justify criminal behavior once the Bible could no longer be used as a hiding place for economic domination and evil intention.
Spirituality and morality were replaced by capitalism, and with it a conscious shift of focus toward the exploitation of the vulnerable.
In order to justify reverse racism one would have to first create an even playing field, undo the generations of torture, terror, and brutality, and then judge whether or not a non-white person is in fact a racist. This approach would require people to examine the need/addiction to feel superior to someone else for no justifiable reason, and the myriad policies: Spiritual, political and social, that it bore. True dominion is self evident and not the result of sabotaging another in order to achieve it. That would be an illegitimate as well as a fleeting position. The Universe, will eventually seek to right/balance itself.
Of course there are white people who live transcendent lives, not exploiting ill-gotten privilege or perpetuating the sins of their ancestors who used violence and deceit as a means to gain advantage over others. Humanity in proper order is obligated to acknowledge the Truth, whoever it comes from, be they Black, White or other. Righteous indignation is simply a response to long-standing evil.
Much of the world is still reeling from the abuses of Imperialist selfishness, misunderstanding, ignorance and greed. Black people remain in many ways a shattered community, disenfranchised, forcefully removed from context and still caged in, denied from making truly independent choices and experiencing existential freedom. Their natural homes, just like their natural selves, raped and pillaged of the resources and gifts God has given to them. Interpreted through someone else’s slanted lens and filter, they remain in many ways, misrepresented. Taxation without proper representation, might I remind you, was the very platform of protest that began the Revolutionary War, which gained this country its independence from England. Anger is not only the natural response to the abuse of power, but is also appropriate when there is no real acknowledgment of these abuses, or deep, meaningful and profound change.
If we took all of what we deem horrible regarding the criminal abuses that black people have committed over this country’s history, and add it all up, it still does not compare to the hundreds of years of terrorism, violent domination, theft, rape, abuse, captivity, and beyond that black people have suffered under the ideologies and systems of white supremacy, racism, and slave based paradigms. I say this only to say that abuse unresolved begets or creates abuse. How then does the chief offender become the judge? Might does not necessarily mean right. Right is right. People forcibly reduced to sub-human existences, so that they behave in sub-human ways, helps a system to justify itself or feel less guilty about its blood saturated foundation and gross crimes against humanity. People, like plants, grow where the light is. When you enclose a plant and limit its light source, it will bend itself toward the light, for the light is necessary for its survival. This same thing happens to people locked in communities where little light and little opportunity is allowed them, survival then forces them to twist and/or bend toward the only way of escape.
There is good. And I both acknowledge and encourage the good. Instead of throwing out the Baby with the bath water, we do well to expose the intentionally poisoned water the Baby has been forced to soak in since its origin in these lands. America’s particular brand of hypocrisy is gross (double entendre).
I shuddered during sentencing when I kept hearing the term ‘make the IRS whole’… make the IRS whole, knowing that I got into these very circumstances having to deal with the very energies of inequity and resistance that created and perpetuated these savage inequalities. The entire time, I thought, who has made black people whole?! Who has made recompense for stealing, imposing, lying, murdering, criminalizing the traumatized, taking them against their wills, destroying their homes, dividing their communities, ‘trying’ to steal their destinies, their time, stagnating their development, I could go on and on. Has America, or any of the nations of the world guilty of these atrocities, ever made black people or Africa whole or do they continue to sit on them, control them, manipulate them, cage them, rob them, brutalize them, subject them to rules that don’t apply to all? Use language, veiled coercion, and psychological torment like invisible fences to keep them locked into a pattern of limitation and therefore control by others. You have to remain focused to cease from rage.
The prosecutor, who was a woman, made a statement during sentencing about me not doing any charity work for a number of years during my ‘exile.’ A) Charity work is not a requirement, but something done because someone wants to. I was clearly doing charitable works way before other people were even thinking about it. And B) Even the judge had to comment that she, meaning I, was both having and raising children during this period. As if that was not challenging enough to do. She sounded like the echo of the grotesque slave master, who expected women to give birth while in the field, scoop the Baby up, and then continue to work. Disgusting.
When you are beaten and penalized for being independent, or truly self reliant, then you develop a dysfunctional relationship with self-reliance, and a fear of true independence. When you are beaten or threatened with death for trying to read a book, then you develop a dysfunctional relationship with education. When families are broken up by force and threat of violence, then the family structure becomes dysfunctional. When men who would naturally defend their women and families are threatened with castration and death, then this natural response also becomes dysfunctional. When looking at the oppressor is punishable by violence, then examination of him and his system becomes a difficult and taboo thing to do, despite every bone in your body demanding it. When questioning or opposing oppression is punishable by death, imprisonment, or economic assassination, then opposing systemic wrong in any or all of its meta manifestations is a terrifying concept. Anyone forced to live so incredibly diametrically opposed to that which is natural to themselves, will end up in crisis if they don’t successfully find a way to improve or transcend these circumstances! All of which require healing. It is only by the Grace of God and the resilience of the people that things haven’t been worse.
Much of my music, if not all of it, is about Love, a therapeutic resolve created in response to the lack of messages encouraging people like me toward free moral agency. Helping to ameliorate this condition has never been addressed through the political arena alone. It is a sacrificial work that doesn’t simply happen between the hours of 9 to 5 or Monday through Friday, but when inspiration leads us to avail ourselves for the Truth that needs to be said. Unlike the system too often contrarily demonstrates, we believe that people can be and should be helped, and that trauma should not be criminalized but acknowledged, healed and dealt with. This takes awareness, sensitivity and a level of freedom in my opinion the system lacks. And if we don’t know or understand how to do it, then we humbly refer to a higher authority.
We have no desire to create humanoids, turn people into machines, or dumb them down so that they remain dependent longer than necessary to an antiquated system in denial of its many inadequacies and need to evolve. Instead we seek to educate and shed light on the snares, traps, and enticements that people set up in the name of business that are intended only to catch the sleeping and/or uninformed.
Why would a system, ‘well intentioned’, wait until breakdown or incarceration to consider rehabilitation, after generations of institutionally inflicted trauma and abuse on a people? To me it is obvious that the accumulation of generational trauma and abuse have created the very behaviors the system tries to punish, by providing no sufficient outlets for the victims of institutional terror. Clearly, the institution seeks to hide its own criminal history at the expense and wholeness of the abused, who ‘acting out’ from years of abuse and mistreatment, reflect the very aggression that they were exposed to.

Sunday, June 02, 2013

What's Up With Conversion Stories?

I notice that a lot of websites/youtube channels focus a lot of attention on conversion stories. You know someone tells how he/she became Muslim. I like to hear such stories and I find them quite interesting. However, I  do not know of this being a way of daw'ah among the early generations of Islam. Also on the practical level - who really converts to Islam because of hearing such stories?

The only real example of someone who has really inspires other as a result of his conversion and more so on how he lived his life (or at least the myth we have of it) is Malik Shabazz (Malcolm X).

May Allah reward those people who have a good intention in doing this, but perhaps more time and effort should be put somewhere else - like learning the religion. One area to start is with learning tawhid, its right, and what nullifies it. Just some food for thought. I hope I do not offend anyone. What do you all think about this?

Friday, May 24, 2013

Raquel Rivera - Hip-Hop & Reggaeton

Here is a good discussion from one of my favorite scholars on Puerto Rican culture, Raquel Rivera. She specializes in the Puerto Rican role in hip-hop and the roots of reguetón (reggaeton). My interest in these areas is not on the musical aspect, but the social and historical aspects. She is very good at seeing the links between Puerto Ricans and other African-diasporic people. Simply put, Puerto Ricans and African-Americans (or other Black peoples) are not totally different and distinct groups. I love the way she critiques the way people use the antiquated term "Spanish" so loosely to describe people from Spanish-speaking countries (i.e., "Latino" or "Hispanics").

تحفة الأطفال بصوت السنيد ــ المنصور The Child's Gift (Tufah al-Atfal)- Recited by Adil Al-Sanid

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Latino Arab Cultural Connections

Knowing the Men - Yasir Qadhi

Several weeks ago an interview with Shaykh Yasir Qadhi came out. In this interview, he clearly stated how he was no a Salafi Muslim. Despite his claim, some have claimed that he was taken out of context and that you must listen to whole recording. It is amazing how those who are always saying "Don't call so-and-so a so-and-so.." or "Did he/she say that he/she is a so-and-so.?" In other words, to them the only way someone can be "labelled" as being part of some deviant sect is when he/she outwardly claims to be of such a sect. However, when the opposite is true and Yasir Qadhi says he is no longer a Salafi Muslim than they make a million excuses about how he is a Salafi.

Shaykh Yasir Qadhi's statement, to me, was not at all surprising. He only stated openly what I and other brothers have been saying for years. He has proven time and time again how he contradicts the usul (foundation) of the Salafi minhaj (methodology). Let us take you back to the late 1990s (or earlier). During that time the American and British brothers who we formally known as all one group and all known as Salafis split into two distinctive groups. One of these groups revolved around the Saudi scholar Shaykh Safir Al-Hawali and Shaykh Salman Al-'Oudah. Yasir Qadhi was at the head of this group of brothers. The others tended to gravitate to Shaykh Rabi' Al-Madkhali and others. The first group, did not seem to see that these two shaykhs actually contradicted the Salafi minhaj and were in fact member of the al-Ikhwan al-Muslimun. The other group - which I will not focus on now - strived their best to purified the religion of any deviances which were added to it. They are the ones who are know as the Salafis - despite the fact that some may have (or do) go to extremes in accepting some of the statement of some scholars. However, overall their minhaj is Salafi.

Why bring this up? The reason why I bring this up is because the trend nowadays in the US tends to be that we are all Muslims and there are no differences between us and if there is one we will not take about it and "divide" the ummah. This path actually is in contradistinction of the consensus of the early Sunni scholar who would make clear statement against inovation and its people. They would not attend conferences with these people and smile and laugh and joke with them. They had some level of concern, pride, and jealousy for Allah's religion.

So I am making this post to clarify to the world the state of affairs of the these deviated individual who I stated above and the highlight the correct unanimous position of the Salaf in this regard and the incorrect "American Muslim" (or one may call it Ikhwani) position that is the one promoted in the US nowadays.

Friday, May 03, 2013

Free Assata!

I am just deeply disturbed by the recent announcement of adding Assata Shakur to the FBI's most wanted list and increase the amount of money for her capture. This is yet another act of aggression against Black folks from the Obama administration. That's right such actions were not taken under the Bush administration, but the "activist" American-African (not African-American) president.

Under his administration, we have seen the increase spying on Muslims in United. Many people I know have been questioned by law enforcement. All these people who would always raise their voice against George W. are quiet when Obama takes such actions.

Under the Obama administration the situation of African-Americans has actually gotten worse and not better.  Today is definitely a sad day for all Blacks in the US. I am not saying that I promote violence against any law enforcer, but let us look at the facts again. Assata was a political prisoner and her case is not that different from Mumia Abu-Jamal. She was convicted for her political beliefs and not any hard evidence.

Khalil Al-Puerto Rikani

Friday, April 12, 2013

The Bernardo Vega Memoir Mystery: The Challenge of Determining Authorship and Meaning

The Bernardo Vega Memoir Mystery
The Challenge of Determining
Authorship and Meaning
By Bridget Kevane (April 11, 2013)

Originally sent as a Constant Contact message from  the National Institute for Latino Policy (NiLP).
Bridget Kevane In four years it will be the 100th anniversary of Puerto Rican Bernardo Vega's arrival in New York City in 1916. Vega, a tabaquero, cigar roller, by trade, is credited with writing one of the earliest documents on what it was like to be Puerto Rican in Manhattan until about 1945. The Memorias de Bernardo Vega: Contribución a la historia de la comunidad puertorriqueña en Nueva York has long been heralded as a foundational text in the New York Puerto Rican literary tradition. But what if I were to tell you that the Memorias is a text heavily excised by a different person? Even imagined by another author?
In the text the author declares, "Los puertorriqueños debemos conocer nuestra historia." But what is the real historia of the Memorias? We do not know whether the novel accurately reflects the ideas and words of Vega himself or of César Andreu Iglesias, the self-appointed editor of the original manuscript. The genesis of the Memorias is cloaked in mystery. Does it matter?
The Memorias is a dynamic and fascinating historical record of a time in Manhattan where luminaries like Eugenio María de Hostos and José Martí walked the streets. Alongside the rich tapestry of historical figures, the electrifying Antillean political heroes trying to shape the future of the islands, there is also an inspiring message to the collective Puerto Rican community about their history and future: "Para poder ponernos de pie, los puertorriqueños de cada generación tenemos que comenzar por afirmarnos en nuestra historia. Como si dijéramos: tenemos un origen, !luego somos!" [In order to stand tall, Puerto Ricans of every generation need to start by affirming our history. As if to say: we have a history, therefore we are!]
It is a mixed medium text-part autobiography, part fiction, ethnography, cartography, political history-best known for its portrayal of the traditions of the tabaquero factories, specifically the role of the lector, the reader, in New York. But it also maps the first Puerto Rican communities, inter-ethnic and racial relationships, and the stirring political and civic organizations of the time as well as the struggle for Puerto Rican autonomy.
As I wrote back in 1999 in The Latin American Literary Review, the published text available to us, the Memorias,is not, as we are told by the editor himself, César Andreu Iglesias, the original manuscript. The original text was a novel and, if we are to believe the editor, a poorly written one at that. Andreu Iglesias writes in his introduction to the Memorias that Vega gave him the manuscript in the form of a novel back in 1965 to edit and that they disagreed about how to proceed.
Vega died before they reached an agreement. Ten years after Vega's death, in 1975, Andreu Iglesias writes in his introduction, "cumplo la obligación que me impuse de editar el manuscrito." [I fulfill the duty that I imposed upon myself to edit the manuscript]. Part of that self-imposed obligation, apparently, was to transform it from a novel to a first-person memoir.
In other words, Andreu Iglesias's introduction, with its mysterious hints, omissions, and confessions, was a scholar's dream. What scholar would not wish to discover the original and compare it to the published text, especially when the journey to publication has been mediated by profound modifications? What if I could find the original manuscript? Would it be earth shattering? Would it change the face of Puerto Rican literature in New York? And thus I set out to track down the original manuscript. I imagined myself sleuthing around the island in search of the novel, as if I were a Puerto Rican Sherlock Holmes.
In reality, I spent a few hours asking around for César Andreu Iglesias' widow and finally found her telephone number in the Telefónica. Her name was Diana Cuevas. Yes, she had the manuscript. Yes, she would meet with me. And yes, she would bring the manuscript.
We met at the food court in Plaza Las Americas in San Juan. I approached the meeting with a feeling of trepidation because what I wanted more than anything was to secure the original novel written by Bernardo Vega about the experience of his character, Bernardo Farallón, in New York in the early 20th century. Naïvely, I imagined that Cuevas and I would engage in an intense discussion about the need to bring the manuscript to light for the intellectual and moral good of Puerto Rican scholarship. She would agree with me, I imagined, that this foundational text, despite or because of Andreu Iglesias's edits, would add to our understanding of those early years in New York where Puerto Ricans had just been deemed U.S. citizens.
I was sorely disappointed. Cuevas, though warm and welcoming, evaded all direct questions regarding the original manuscript. And, even worse, toward the end of our conversation she brought out the folders with the typed pages and let me glance at them. I even seem to remember a sly smile on her face as she watched me grasp the fact that she was tantalizing me with something I would not be able to take away and study. Cuevas allowed me to glance at the manuscript from across the table for less than five minutes. I was not even allowed to touch the yellowed typed pages with red pencil editing marks. And then we were done. The original was whisked away and I lost contact with Cuevas.
It did not occur to me (nor do I know today) whether or not she was hoping for monetary compensation for the manuscript. But I left without a sense of textual justice, of redemption for Vega and his original dreams. Despite the bleak end to my Puerto Rican Sherlock Holmes moment, I wrote in-depth, as mentioned, about César Andreu Iglesias excision in 1999. There, readers may find a complete scrutiny of the suspected interventions of the original, though I still find it problematic to refer to Vega's Memorias with security.
On every page I question authorial intent: Is that what Vega meant to say? Or is that Andreu Iglesias speaking now in the seventies? The historical and political context is significantly different - a Puerto Rican in New York in between the two World Wars versus a Puerto Rican on the island in the seventies where the island was facing great unemployment, and so on. Nevertheless, the text itself transcends the authorial entanglement and remains unencumbered in its overarching message: Puerto Ricans in New York have a long and important history.
One of the most important parts of the text is the portrayal of the cigar rollers. Despite whatever excision took place when Andreu Iglesias took red pencil in hand, the tradition of the tabaqueros remains vividly portrayed. Vega (or should I say Vega-Iglesias?) cherished what the tabaquero represented, hard work and camaraderie, and, what's more, he saw them as the intellectual custodians of Puerto Ricans in New York. In a factory on any given day the cigar rollers would engage in global philosophies and political trends, anarchism, Marxism, socialism, isolationism and more. The hard, tedious labor of rolling cigars in a factory and lofty intellectual ideals were not at odds in this environment. Is there anything equal to this tradition today? Perhaps the lector of yesteryear finds its counterpart in the teachers of today, particularly those that have large Puerto Rican student bodies.
The other important message is that of political activism, grass roots organizing, and an abiding hope in the camaraderie of men (little mention of women in the text). Indeed, there is a kind of pulsating workers' solidarity that crossed ethnic boundaries during that time: Cubanos, hebreos, italianos, puertorriqueños. Vega speaks of the larger collectivity of ethnic communities in the United States and their dreams of a better future in the Tower of Babel as he calls Manhattan. For many of these communities shared similar beginnings, though with categorically distinct histories. In those inter-war years the text idealizes the solidarity between different ethnic enclaves; today is that still the case? Have the overwhelming social issues facing Puerto Ricans turned them away from opportunities of reaching across the ethnic aisle, so to speak, and seeking solidarity? Or, in Vega's words, to seek "un alto espírito de compañerismo?"
Beyond the portrayal of the richness in political landscape and the cigar rollers, I believe those of us who teach Latino literature can recognize the Vega-Andreu Iglesias legacy in the works of writers like Ernesto Quiñonez whose Bodega Dreams, this time a real fictional account, reminds Puerto Ricans of the powerful history of the Young Lords and whose main character shares a message of self-worth, honor, and identity for Puerto Ricans in New York. The tabaqueros of yesteryear are the Quinonezes of today whose inspiring intellectual and yet down-to-earth message is defiantly dignified. Esmeralda Santiago and Judith Ortiz Cofer are other voices whose novels hark back to Vega's sense of hope for neoyorquinos. Take back Puerto Rican dignity, social justice, the tabaquero (instead of the jibaro), should stand as the symbol of the Puerto Rican collective on the mainland and, more specifically, in its first homeland away from home, Nueva York.
Without the original manuscript it is impossible to know how, if at all, it would change the message intended by Vega or the one intercepted by Andreu Iglesias. We can only work with what we have. But the ideals that both of them set forth in Memorias' still stand, regardless of the novel's transformation. If I were a professor in a Puerto Rican Studies program I would teach Vega along with Jesus Colón and the whole line of writers that spoke of the Puerto Rican struggle in New York. Not so that students think of themselves only as a product of a cyclical struggle without any gains but as an honorable struggle with a strong record of great writers who remind students over and over again of the importance of the future with the knowledge of the past.
Bridget Kevane is a Professor of Spanish and Coordinator, Latin American & Latino Studies, Department of Modern Languages & Literatures at Montana State University in Bozeman. She is the author of Latino Literature in America (2003), and Profane & Sacred: Latino/a American Writers Reveal the Interplay of the Secular and the Religious (2007), and co-author (with Juanita Heredia) of Latina Self-Portraits: Interviews with Contemporary Women Writers (2000). Her work has appeared in the New York Times Book Review, Tablet, ZEEK, The Forward, and Brain, Child, among other publications. She can be reached at

Friday, January 04, 2013

Drugs INC Puerto Rico Drug War Documentary Zombie Island | Drogas NWO Ne...

Help stop drugs on the island of Puerto Rico. Call to Allah. If you have a weak stomach, I suggest you do not watch this.