Category Archives: In the News

Humble Beginnings: A random thought of mine

Obama Supreme Court

As I have been watching the news coverage about supreme court justice nominee Sonia Sotomayor, I have been asking myself a few questions. These questions have persisted since the media first caught wind of her selection by President Obama and began covering it incessantly.

I wonder: how does someone who comes from such humble beginnings- raised by a single parent, grew up in the projects, diagnosed with childhood diabetes and so on- rise to become a Supreme Court Justice (because, insha’allah, she has this one in the bag). What kind of mentoring, ambition, drive, motivation and mostly certainly, help from Allah (s.w.t.) must it have taken? I am not just thinking about her though. I wonder about the Barack and Michelle Obamas, the Dr. Rameck Hunts, Dr. Sampson Davis’, Dr. George Jenkins’, or the Dr. Mae Jemisons of the world. Where does the motivation come from?

I may not be famous or have done as tremendous of a job as the aforementioned folks but I have come a long way from where I was. I grew up poor. I was around people that were addicted to using and selling drugs, prostituting, murdering one another, who placed little value on education or morality etc. As a child I remember thinking that I wanted more out of life. I had (and still have) a fire burning inside of me that pushes me forward. This fire (which is really drive and ambition) came only from Allah (s.w.t.) Is it the same fire that each of these folks have burning inside of them too? I wonder…

And what of folks who have seemingly given up? Did they lack the ambition? Did life, circumstance, self-doubt or complacency pull them down?

What do you think?

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Wanda Sykes

Did anyone else see Wanda Sykes at the White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner? This woman is hilarious!!! Some are saying she went too far with the Rush Limbaugh joke (and it was a little over the top) but overall her delivery, timing and jokes were good. My favorite joke? If Barack Obama screws up he won’t be the first Black president anymore- he’ll be the half White guy. DWL! (I can’t believe she actually said mulatto *cringe*)

Here is part one:

On Dalia Mogahed’s appointment to Obama’s advisory council

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This afternoon, one of my Facebook friends sent me this LA Times article about President Obama’s appointment of Dalia Mogahed to his Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships advisory council. As many of my readers know, I don’t usually post on politics for a number of reasons. (One of them being my skepticism towards politicians and their double speak- but I digress). The article caught my attention because I had the pleasure of attending one of Ms. Mogahed’s presentations based on the book she co-authored along with John Esposito. She did a wonderful job of presenting her research and answering the audiences’ questions. I was able to ask her questions about her work with Gallup Poll and what she and her team plan to do in terms of highlighting the American Muslim experience.

But on to the article…I had trouble with a few of the terms and one of the phrases. For instance:

Dalia Mogahed, a veiled Egyptian American…

Why must we point out the obvious? We all see the picture of Ms. Mogahed. We can see that she is wearing hijab. Yes, it is quite the compliment that a hijab-wearing Muslimah has been appointed to the council but do we need to focus on the scarf? Maybe it’s just me…

Recently, she co-wrote the book “Who Speaks for Islam?” with John Esposito, an American political science professor who has been criticized by some as an Islamic apologist.

(emphasis mine)

Islamic apologist? Don’t really care for the term. It’s often used as a way to disparage anyone who attempts to discuss Islam, Muslims or Islamic principles in a favorable light. The person can’t be speaking from experience, research or years of Islamic education, only from the standpoint of an apologist. (Note the sarcasm). Why did El-Hennawy, the article’s author, feel it was necessary to point out that some consider John Esposito an Islamic apologist? Was it to discredit him, Dalia Mogahed, their work or all of thee above? Hmm…

Yet, Mogahed’s declaration that her loyalty goes first to the United States, published Monday in an interview with Al Masry al Youm, disappointed some people. “I wish your loyalty was to your Islam first, Egypt second and your Arabism third and then to anything else,” wrote a reader identifying himself as the Tiger of Arabs. “I am afraid that they might make a fool out of you and use you as a cover for policies that don’t serve Egypt and the Arab and Muslim world.”

Are people really serious? I would assume- and again, maybe it’s just me- that Ms. Mogahed has loyalty to Islam. She has spent much of her time conducting research, presenting her findings around the country, and writing on the subject of Islam and Muslims. Does she explicitly have to say that she has loyalty to Islam? (Or Egypt or Arabs?) C’mon people. Dalia Mogahed is one woman with a big task in front of her. She is not going to be the next Khalif or the Secretary of State. Can we give the woman a chance and see what she can do before we offer up criticisms?

Three things I’m sick of:

(1) Muslims with simplistic, myopic views of Islam and the world.

(2) Muslims trying to dictate what someone else’s priorities should be based on their simplistic, myopic view of Islam and the world.

(3) Muslims placing an extraordinary amount of pressure onto other Muslims (especially women!) to be the model of Islam (and Muslims). You must say what they want you to say, behave as they want you to behave and smile while doing it. Kinda like being Miss Muslim USA.

UGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHH!

A Picture is Worth A Thousand Words…

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Go Girls!

African-American women continue to demonstrate professionalism, intelligence and unlimited potential as they contribute to our overall struggle for unlimited freedom, access and opportunity in America. The sisters on Flights 5202 and 5106 (a jet owned by Atlantic Southeast Airlines) have proven that African-American women can do anything if just given a fair opportunity.

They made history on Thursday, February 12, 2009 as the first all African American female crew.

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The crew included CPT Rachelle Jones, 2nd on right, FO Stephanie Grant, 1st on left, FA’s Robin Rogers and Diana Galloway!

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This is some crazy shh…

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Photo courtesy of Stringer/iraq / Reuters

Female suicide bomber blows self up in middle of Shiite religious procession

I wish he hadn’t missed…