• Posted on June 5, 2017 9:07 pm
    DeborahJamil
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    Islamic extremism is the child of fear. It knows only weakness and insecurity. The way out of this extremist thought is to find the source of the fear and address it. It has been so difficult to discover what is causing the fear among "Islamic" extremists because what they are fearing is Islam. The extremists, in what they are doing in the name of Islam, are the ones "fighting Islam," not "the West." They are the ones who are disrespecting Prophet Muhammed and all that he taught, not Westerners. The extremists' fear comes from the negative way Islam is taught in homes, Islamic schools and centers in the general Muslim community--with constant over-emphasis on "fear of Allah," fear of Hell, harsh discipline, threats, and punishments. These negative teachings and methods make Islam about fear, hell, harsh discipline, threats, and punishments which drives away the children raised in such a regimen who then drive away everyone else. So, the desired result is achieved when everyone is driven away from a message that is the opposite of patriarchal dominance and control.  

    Extremism
  • Posted on February 16, 2017 8:22 pm
    DeborahJamil
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    Religion is supposed to be about raising consciousness, especially when it comes to slavery, yet the world's economies depend upon slave labor. As long as this continues it is useless to imagine that we are free because freedom cannot exist alongside slavery. "You can't hold a man down without staying down with him." Booker T. Washington (found on goodreads.com tags: oppression, slavery) "Enslave the liberty of but one human being and the liberties of the world are put in peril." William Lloyd Garrison (found on brainyquote.com  tags: sex, rights, human) Two misconceptions definitely support the continuation of slavery. One is that Pre-Civil War African-American slavery defines slavery. It does not. The other misconception is that the prophets taught their followers to perform mindless worship. They did no such thing. They never taught that so long as an object of worship is treated with the utmost respect, nothing else matters, not even child sexual abuse. "...next to enslavement, I should regard being the slave of a religious master the greatest calamity that could befall me. For all the slaveholders with whom I have ever met, religious slaveholders are the worst. I have ever found them the meanest and basest, the most cruel and cowardly of all others." Frederick Douglass, from Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass. "All national institutions of churches, whether Jewish, Christian or Turkish, appear to me no other than human inventions, set up to terrify and enslave mankind and monopolize power and profit." Thomas Paine

    Religion, Slavery
  • Posted on July 10, 2016 7:33 am
    DeborahJamil
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    From the beginning of my involvement with the Muslim community I was faced with contradictory information about the religion of Islam. Alongside this were countless conversations about the great harm done to the East by Western nations. Discussion and research did not help lessen the confusion until I finally studied classical Arabic at a Berlitz school of languages. For the first time the subject of Islam began to make some sense, but it would be many more years before I would fully grasp what Prophet Muhammed had been talking about very clearly and without contradiction. After this I encountered a far more perplexing situation when I tried to discuss my discovery with educated, Arabic speaking women who knew the meanings of the words and phrases used throughout the religion that clearly demonstrate Prophet Muhammed was teaching the exact opposite of the patriarchal, macho message being propagated today. These women did not argue with me, even confirmed my findings, but they did not want to talk about it, instead going on ad nauseam about how to properly perform the rituals. Their reaction floored me--the men I could understand, but the women? Couldn't they see where this was taking them? My interaction with the Muslim community was derailed by the sudden death of my husband in an accident. Soon after that I found myself involved with the mental health industry and facing the same extremely unhelpful patriarchal, macho attitude I had been living with in the Muslim community for the last thirty years. In discussions and books about psychiatry and mental health I kept running into the word "power." Psychiatrists, drug companies, and the state have the "power" to force their treatments and drugs onto vulnerable, traumatized people, all the while never giving any explanation as to who or what gives them this power. Their use of the word "power" is very misleading, because it infers strength and bravery when what we are actually dealing with is weakness and fear: fear of loss of control, fear of humiliation, fear of scandal, fear of dishonor. This fear leads to the kind of control that is the very opposite of power, because it only breeds weakness. The families of those diagnosed with some "mental illness" demand involuntary treatments and drugs designed to silence, repress, and control unwanted behaviors and speech. Families also use religion to silence, repress, and control unwanted behaviors and speech. And our government uses slavery, disguised as a criminal justice system, to silence, repress, and control unwanted behaviors and speech. The problem is, the more you control, the more you lose control. Balance is necessary for survival, and it is impossible for people to learn balance when they are perpetually being controlled and forced to do everything by someone outside themselves. They lose all sense of the inner self one must be aware of and listen to in order to learn how to balance. So instead of balance, we get addiction to prescription drugs, alcohol, nicotine, street drugs, and above all, addiction to the controlling behavior that leads to the need for something outside oneself to cope with a life out of balance, out of control, out of order--broken in every way.

    Mental Health
  • Posted on April 24, 2016 4:41 pm
    DeborahJamil
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      John Lennon said it clearly in his song "Woman Is the Nigger of the World." When women are treated as they are, the world is going to be one big shit-hole. Tragically, the major religions support the belief that women and children are chattel, the property of the Patriarch to do with as he pleases. All other slavery comes out of this ideology. It turns men into slavers and women and children into slaves with no voice, no choice, and no rights. Talk of human progress makes no sense as long as we hold on to this belief.

    Slavery
  • Posted on February 11, 2014 6:32 am
    DeborahJamil
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      Muslims say the Qur'an clearly states that Allah does not beget nor is begotten, therefore is not a man, yet they always use the pronoun "He" when talking about "Him." An unimaginable masculine entity who is somehow like a man without actually being a man. Also, throughout the Qur'an Allah speaks of "Himself" in the third person using the pronoun "He." The reason for this has not been clear to anyone in the Muslim community I have talked to regarding Allah and the Qur'an, not even Arabic-speaking lifelong Muslims. These were people who never had reason to read an English translation of the Qur'an, and when they were confronted with one for the first time could only stare at it in bewilderment. They all told me, my Arabic language instructor included, that this was not how it sounded in Arabic. After some quiet thought they would come to the conclusion that the English language was at fault; no one suggested  the Islamic scholars who wrote the translations might have something to do with the discrepancy. Next, they wanted to change the subject or turned to placing great emphasis on the rituals since they firmly believed that Allah, through His Prophet, had commanded all Muslims to do these rituals, and there could be no doubt or confusion over this. Anyway, they all very confidently assured me that Allah is not a man.

    God