Who am I?

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What is the purpose of this blog?
I’m one of those people who has a thousand and one opinions on different subjects and various topics. This is my place to vent, to unwind, to share my thoughts and feelings and, most importantly, to discuss the issues that concern me about the Muslim community and the larger world. (That is why I named the blog Jamerican’s Veranda- imagine us sitting on the veranda discussing these topics). Insha’allah, hopefully, you can find some benefit in my writing.

What is my educational background?
I have a BA in African-American Studies from the University of Minnesota (Twin Cities.) Insha’allah, I’ll complete my thesis someday soon. Then I’ll have an MA in African New World Studies from Florida International University(Miami.) As you can tell, I’m pretty interested in the study of Black people across the Diaspora. Up until recently, I was a facilitator for small group discussions on race. I’d say I’m an anti-racist activist in my own right.

What is my Islamic leaning?
As you know by now, when I first took shahadah I was heavily influenced by the Salafi movement. I never called myself Salafi and didn’t even know such an ideology existed but it governed my complete understanding of Islam. (I also had close friends who were in the Tablighi Jamaat so I had that influence as well). After “taking a break” from Islam for nearly five years, I began practicing again in 2000. Now I’m striving to be a person “of the middle way.” I don’t want to be too strict or too loose. You could say that I’m still trying to find the balance.

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33 responses to “Who am I?

  1. Pingback: I totally dig this. Please check it out. « Hadiya425

  2. Bourgeois means someone who is in the middle class. That’s not at all what you describe here! If you wanted to depict a upper class lifestyle or expectations you should have used a better adjective, as this one was not at all sufficient! By the way, I’ve read in some of your articles how you’re adamantly against racism but you come across as slightly racist yourself because of the way that you seem to think that everyone is conspiring against black people. Although, I must say that your cat is adorable! And I do respect you for voicing your opinions about such matters although most of them I disagree with to some extent. Salamz!

  3. Sumayyah,

    First off, “bougsie” or “booshie” doesn’t necessarily mean you’re upper class. It’s just a term some African-Americans use to describe certain people who have lifestyles or personal tastes which they associate with the middle class. It’s not about “depicting” anything.

    I’m racist?? LOL. It’s funny how people who point out the racism of others are accused of being racist themselves. Love the way it takes the focus off the racist person…What a way to turn things around…

    I don’t think “everyone is conspiring against Black people.” I refuse to deny the experiences I and other Black American Muslims have had in the Muslim community. If it makes me racist to speak about about it then so be it…that’s your point of view.

  4. I would like to discuss something with you. Please email me at islamify [at] gmail [dot] com. Jazakhallah

  5. Isaiah Imani

    I like your blog, sister – though I am not a muslim. Stay Black, and Stay strong even in the face of the ignorant who are so blind they WILL not see… I capitalized the word “will” because their blindness is facilitated by their own will, and not some physical disability.

    They will themselves to a state of cognitive dissonnance, because the truths you tell are too painful for them to admit to themselves. Would they like it if I, an African American, said Palestininans are the real racists, and not the Jews who oppress them??? No! And that is why they cannot even see the brutalities their brethren inflict on Sudanese Africans… It is only THEY who are offended…

    Peace!
    Isaiah

  6. Salaam alaikum,
    Sumaya I think you’re completely off the mark in the analysis of this sister’s blog. It does not come off as racist, nor does Jamerican Muslimah have some conspiratorial ideas. Perhaps you need to up your reading list on race relations and ethnic identity and come back with a clearer understanding of racism before making that accusation. This sister is not essentializing people to their racial characteristics, she is not calling people names, nor is she discriminating against people because of their ethnic background. She speaks from her personal observations and those shared by her friends and loved ones. She, as well as my own experiences, have been shaped by a society that continues to privilege whiteness over blackness. To deny the reality of these experiences does a great injustice. Whether or not you agree is not the question, but how do you even come to your conclusions. You seem to easily dismiss “most” what this sister is saying without any qualifiers. I would be interested in your point by point analysis with thorough and sound critique. I really wonder if you could challenge the ideas and experiences in this blog in a substantive way. I think that type of discussion would be much more meaningful than what you wrote above.

    Wa salaam,
    Margari aka Aziza

  7. Musa Abdul-Aziz Evans

    Al-Salaamulaykum Jamerican Muslimah!
    Excellent and refreshing site,masha’Allah.
    I thoroughly enjoy how you briefly,yet concisely, describe your complex myriad of life influences(and bring them together to explain the REAL you) in a friendly and self-confident manner.
    This “comfortably confident”,yet polite and COOL approach,is sorely missing in the Muslim blogosphere!It’s a shame that Muslims,especially Sisters,feel that they can’t be themselves without being defensive and suspicious.How can Muslims help each other if we can’t be ourselves?!
    Keep up the good work with this site,it could be very therapuetic for so many Muslims,insha’Allah!
    JazakhAllahKhayr

    Brother Musa

  8. Hello, Jamerican (Is your real name Samah??)! I like your blog and will be visiting often! Stay in touch and have a nice day.
    your sister in Islam Laila

  9. Do you thing sista!!!

    Salaam

  10. I told some BA muslims in the twin cities about your site.Also sister there is BA muslim sister who has muslim talk show the name is Sankofa film studios just log onthe net your find it.I believe it airs 4pm on Friday afternoon.Keep up the good work the struggle continues.

  11. Can I ask why you switched to wordpress? Seems like the new thing to do.

  12. legacy, I switched because wordpress has more features than blogger.

  13. Salam!
    (giggle) I have a sleep mask, too. AND earplugs!
    Also, I like your new site layout. Minimalist and clean!

  14. souvenirsandscars

    Salaams!

    I had a great time reading your blog. InshAllah I’ll be back for more ๐Ÿ™‚

    S&S

  15. Cool entry I can totally relate to you with regards to the salafi thing , I too is struggling to find the middle ground. It’s tough .

  16. I love cupcakes too. :))

  17. I am happy to have found yourself. I am glad that others in the world understand No weirdness allowed: Do we want to be called weird or normal?

  18. Nice blog, sis!

    Wasalaam.

  19. Very nice!

  20. The Command to Remain Along the Straight Path [the balance] & to Avoid Extremism:

    http://tasfiyah.com/?p=43

  21. I can kind of relate to your journey through Islam. Although I was born muslim it wasn’t really a major part of my identity until my parents & I moved from Canada back to Egypt when I was 10 and suddenly everything around me was Islam this Islam that, plus my parents put me in an Islamic school, so I put on the hijab at the age of 11. Unfortunately, the changes I made on the outside were not reflected on the inside and I took the hijab off a year later and became completely dunya-oriented. I finally put it back on when I was 20 and elhamdulellah now (6 years later) I am happily struggling through al-jihad al-akbar (the internal jihad) to find the middleway myself ๐Ÿ™‚

  22. Salaams Sister,

    I just wanted to say that I’ve been reading your blog for a while and I really appreciate your perspective. I think the “Muslim Sexiness” is probally your realist topic to date. You not only speak the thoughts of other Muslim Sisters, but that of Muslim Brothers as well.

    Keep up the good work.

    Muhammad

    Ps. I too have started my own blog (muslimblackman.blogspot.com) inspired by things that you and other have done. Feel Free to add to your Blog Roll.

  23. salaam
    just stumbled across your blog.
    ‘talking it plain’ is the only way i see life, although to be honest it gets me in trouble a lot haha.
    anyway, will be reading your blog from time to time now, just thought i’d say hi =]

    wasalaam
    x

  24. Salaam

    I wanted to drop a quick note. I liked your “I am so over” piece so I wanted to find out more about its author. Hermana, I used to live in the TC (still have my biggest connections there) and I was raised in Miami (still have most of my family there, too).

    I “found” your blog while reading my friend’s (“death and cuba”) and I am loving the “small world” (always a blessing to learn about other West Indian Muslims) thing going on here aljamdulila.

    Stay in touch Sistren!

    Salams y abrazos.

    hassan

  25. Asslamu Alekium sister,

    I am one of the folks who just surfed in also and I’m so glad I did. Your candor and honesty are really refreshing. Please keep writing–the deen needs you!

    Noor ๐Ÿ™‚

  26. Stumbled across your blog, it’s very refreshing.

  27. tHANKS FOR GIVING THESE 2 TICKETS i AM A jAMAICA

  28. sistafromanotherplanet

    As salaamu alaikum,
    I LOOOOOOOOVE the new look of your blog!!!! Beautiful!

    Love to you,
    SFAP

  29. salam…I’m new to your blog…M loving it..U are welcome to view my blog too..It just that my blog is in English and Malay…U can read the english one…:)..keep on blogging…m loving it..

  30. Assalamu alaikum.
    Every Muslim’s search for identifying those factors that divide us into Sunni, Shia, Maliki, Bara-imam, etc. ends in this website, in-sha-Allaah:
    http://ikhwah.com/unity
    http://ikhwah.com/arabic
    Please read and contribute to the unification of the Ummah.
    It is in our hands, yours and mine.

  31. Hi! Iโ€™m writing you on behalf of the Protection Project. We are collecting some insights from Islamic bloggers on the position of Islam regarding Human Trafficking and we’d love to know what you’d have to say about the topic. What is your opinion regarding the stance of Islam on trafficking and exploitation of women, children and domestic workers? Thank you very much!

  32. Salam sister. While striving to find the middle way, try to distinguish between “Hypocrisy” and “Moderation”. Insha Allah, with strong faith in Allah (swt) and as per guidance of Rasulullah (saw), you’d definitely find your way. Wassalam.

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