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Madinat al-Muslimeen Islamic Message Board
|Stung from the same hole twice|
|12/31/02 at 03:46:27|
|Stung from the same hole twice|
When I was a kid I always wondered how they made the dogs in dog food commercials seem to covet those nasty little morsels of freeze dried spam with such ardor. Well, I heard some harrowing stories of dogs being deprived of food and water to the point of emaciation to insure that on the following day’s filming the dog would keep eating the food presented to it on each and every take. Regardless of whether or not these stories were true, I see a strange parallel between them and the political emaciation of the Muslim-American proletariat. The pattern appears to be to starve them, then throw them a scrap, and they will eat it with joy no matter how bad a taste it leaves in their mouths.
George W. Bush made promise after promise to the Muslim-Americans during the 2000 presidential election campaign, thereby, cementing their support and “official” endorsement. Following his election, he went on to move to nullify the boondoggles of civil-liberty he promised to abolish, only to replace them with new and more severe resolutions. In spite of this, the Muslim-American vote remains solidly pro-Bush and his approval amongst them remains curiously high. This seeming “political schizophrenia” of the Muslim-American populace is a complex one and studying its numerous variables is akin to trying to tame a multi-headed chimera.
Muslim-Americans 40% Democrat, but 42% Voted Bush?
According to figures of a poll taken at the end of 2001 by Project MAPS and the Zogby Institute , 40% of Muslim-Americans considered themselves Democrats, 28% “Independent/Minor Party”, and only 23% Republican. In spite of this, Republican Presidential Candidate George W. Bush managed to secure 42% of the Muslim vote. A large part of this may have been due to the 26% Arab-American niche in the Muslim-American community who placed 46% of their vote behind Bush. African-Americans who typically vote Democrat make up roughly 20% of the overall Muslim-American population. What is glaringly obvious in this confusing melee of percentages is a political schizophrenia of disparate political personalities based on purely ethnic lines. During the Colonial era, dividing Muslims along ethnic lines was an easy way for the European powers to conquer their lands with ease and prevent a united revolutionary spirit from emerging. That was over a century ago.
The inability of the Muslim-Americans to break the shackles of what has now become a self-imposed intellectual colonialism has left them divided and weak 100 years later and thousands of miles away from the battlefields of the colonial era. Yet, they still complain about the “West” rather than their own inability to follow the religious teachings of the Prophet Muhammad  that ethnic division and prejudice is of the most reprehensible of iniquities.
If lack of opportunity were to surface as any complaint, it would be a pathetic extenuation. The same Zogby statistical analysis reports that 50% of the Muslim-American community makes over $50,000 a year with more than half of that 50% making well over $75,000 per annum. This is hardly a demographic of opportunity deprived blue-collar workers.
There remains no excuse for any minority population who occupy the upper income niche of American society to be so politically impeded, inept, and ultimately marginalized. The exploding population of Muslims in America positions them, willingly or unwillingly, to potentially exercise the same clout as the Jewish-American community who steer the single most influential lobby in America. However, as has often been proven in the surplus populations of the Muslim world, there is not always strength in numbers.
Stung from the same hole twice
The Prophet Muhammad  said: "lâ yuldighu-l mu'minű min juhrin marratayn," meaning, "The believer is not stung from (the same) hole twice" .
Ibn Hajar al-`Asqalânî, who is the leading authority on the interpretation of Bukhârî's Sahîh, says the following:
"This is presented in the form of a statement. Al-Khatâbî has said: This is a statement in its wording, but a command in its meaning. It means that the believer is resolutely aware, he/she is not taken to apathy (in learning his/her lesson), nor is he/she deceived time and time again. Thus, this is an order in religious matters as well as worldly matters.."
Then he gives this Hadîth two possible interpretations, one stronger than the other. Regarding the strong interpretation he renders the opinion of Abu `Ubayd:
”This is a warning against apathy, and an indication that intelligence must be implemented. Abű `Ubayd has said: It is not possible for the (true) believer to be afflicted from something only for him/her to
return to it." 
The great scholar and theologian of the 13th century, Yahya bin Sharaf an-Nawawî relates the context of the Hadîth saying:
“..and the context of this narration is well known that the Prophet  had captured the poet Abu Ghurrah at the Day of (the Battle of) Badr. So the Prophet gave him amnesty and freed him based on the condition that he would not continue on his hostility and derision. He then caught up with his people and returned to belligerence towards the Muslims and derision against them. Then he was captured on the Day of (the Battle of) Uhud and was asked about the amnesty that was given to him. Upon this the Prophet  said, ‘The believer is not stung from the same hole twice.’ From this it is understood that if one were to suffer injury from a particular element, then they should abstain from it lest they should suffer such again.” 
From this lucid message of the Prophet Muhammad  to the Muslims one can deduce a very articulate exhortation to circumspection. Careful studies of World War II and the socio-political scenario of the Jewish minorities of Germany and Eastern Europe have upsetting lessons, not only for Muslims, but for all minorities throughout the world. In the United States where the Muslims have so quickly ascended the tower of affluence, their indifference towards involvement in the affairs of society and government have earned them, and will further earn them, the disdain and contempt of the Christian-American majority that looms over them with suspicion. That suspicion has reached a dangerous level of vigilantism after September 11th, 2001. Had that vigilantism been limited to the isolated incidents of a few rogue social morons it would have been relatively more comforting. However, John Ashcroft declaring, “Islam is a religion where God asks you to send your son to die for him. Christianity is a religion where God sends his son to die for you,” has struck a serious chord that this vigilantism has reached the uppermost crevices of the United States government. The Bush administration’s insistence to launch beleaguering bombing campaigns against Muslim populations under the guise of seeking out a lone villain during the sacred fasting month of Ramadan also bears no less testimony to the underlying theme of, not only the Bush administration, but any Republican who has and will in the future sit in the Oval Office. Ironically, such antagonists of Republican Presidents such as Saddam Hussain, Muammar Qaddafi and Osama bin Ladin always manage to remain unharmed while innocents bear the brunt of U.S. military “might”. It is clear that the Muslim-Americans’ own apathy has earned them the rule of their worst nightmares.
The crumbs that fall from the master’s table
Now to tie this all in to my initial childhood trauma regarding dog food commercials, in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke  we find a story of a Canaanite woman who begged Christ  to heal her demon-possessed daughter. After Christ initially shunning this Gentile woman with silence, his disciples asked him to shoo her away. Christ obliged them telling her, “I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” Then the English text of the Gospels says, “Then came she and worshipped him, saying, Lord, help me.” It is interesting to note that in the Greek text the word for “worshipped” here is “proskuneo” which is a contraction of “pros” meaning to “be in the manner of” and “kuneo” (root “kuon”) which is basically a dog. How the Biblical translators understood groveling like a dog to be “worshipping” is dogmatically baffling to say the least. To this groveling, Christ only reiterates his original standpoint saying, “It is not meet to take the children's bread, and to cast it to dogs." The Greek word for “dogs” in this verse is “kunarion” which is the diminutive of “dog” from the same root as the word translated as “worship”. Honestly, I don’t know about the behavior of dogs in early 17th century England, but I, myself, have never seen a dog pray.
Finally in this dog-like state she tells Christ in utter humiliation and ignominy, “Truth, Lord: yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their masters' table.” Then he obliged her request and healed her daughter.
“Yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table.”
No human being should ever think of themselves in such a lowly manner, nor should they be made to think of themselves as such. Of course, the utter incongruence of this Biblical image of Christ with his loving nature and vehement opposition against class based prejudice is another issue.
Then we have Bush’s famous little shindig coined as an “Iftar Party” in which he hosted the leaders of several American-Muslim organizations who are subservient and domiciliary versions of what Bush would like a Muslim-American to be. Also, timed perfectly for his desperate need for the cooperation of Iraq’s neighbors to comply with his war on Iraq, Bush offered a barely tepid disavowal of his lunatic allies in the Christian Coalition and their comments against Muslims and Islam. Again, for the emaciated Muslim-American it was delectable candy. Apparently, the Christian extremists in Bush’s cabinet taught him this little maneuver from the Gospels. It worked well with the neglected dog-like Gentiles in Christ’s times, so why wouldn’t it work in 21st century America? Sadly, it has worked well.
Bush is constantly telling the world that his “crusade” against terrorism, isn’t a “Crusade” against Islam. In spite of this limerick, innocent Muslims are being killed all over the world as a direct result of U.S. foreign policy. Thus, it is no surprise that the Muslim world outside of the American sphere find Bush’s statements as hypocrisy at best, and diabolical at worst. Russian President Vladimir Putin has also repeatedly implored for the world’s understanding that his carnage in Chechnya is not a war against Islam, but only against “thugs”, “drug dealers” and “terrorists”. He would have the world believe that he is “liberating” Chechnya just as Bush has “liberated” Afghanistan (and also liberated countless Afghan women in the North of Afghanistan of all their clothing to crazed mobs of U.S. allied gang rapists). The only way to stop this shameless lying is to vote the perpetrators out of office and leave them to the satire of historians for posterity. Let George W. Bush be remembered for 4 years of unintelligible pig latin, but not 8 years of injustice.
The Prophet Muhammad  has said, “Of the greatest jihâd is speaking a true word to the unjust ruler.” 
Muslims hailing Bush as a hero and rallying renewed support for his administration and 2004 reelection on the footing of his unabated yearning to bomb civilians off the map, does not adhere to this noble principle.
We Muslim-Americans rallied behind G.W. Bush en masse and it can be said with a degree of certainty that we contributed greatly to why he came even close to winning this past election. The reward for this support has been increased support for Israel, the likes of which has never been seen in U.S. history, increased hostility and belligerence against Muslims both within the United States and abroad, the unjust detention, interrogation and even deportation of Muslim students, the unleashing of a fanatic evangelist campaign to defame Islam and the Prophet Muhammad  from Bush's key supporters in the Christian Conservative Right. Even John Ashcroft’s insipid attempt to make a polemical comparison between Islam and Christianity was followed with a lukewarm quasi-denial, but without any apology, rejection or retraction. Of most concern is G.W. Bush's facetious rekindling of his father's failed war in Iraq in which Saddam will most likely remain alive and well, just as Osama bin Ladin is alive and well. Sadly, only the Iraqi civilians will suffer, just as the Afghan civilians have suffered in spite of unredeemable wartime promises of “freedom”.
We need to be much smarter than this, and follow the wisdom we find in the Prophetic Tradition, called the Sunnah in Arabic, which prevents us from being led like sheep to the slaughter. I, personally, am a strong advocate for Muslims creating a formidable voting bloc in which we can exert our influence upon the policies of the United States government. No Jew would sit inert and have dinners with a head of state who launched merciless wars upon its fellow Jews. The Jews would make sure that any such presidential hopeful would not even work as a janitor in D.C. We should not be any different in our goal to aggressively represent Islam in the United States of America and defend the integrity of our religion and the right to follow it unhindered.
Perhaps we can learn from Malcolm X's advice regarding the failure of the Democratic party to meet the needs of the African-American community in spite of their throwing 80% of their votes behind them:
"Twenty-two million Black victims of Americanism are waking up and they are gaining a new political consciousness, becoming politically mature. And as they develop this political maturity they are able to see the recent trends in these political elections. They see that the whites are so evenly divided that every time they vote, the race is so close they have to go back and count the votes all over again, which means that any bloc, any minority that has a bloc of votes that stick together, is in a strategic position. Either way you go, thats who gets it. You're in a position to determine who goes to the White House and who stays in the dog house...
And despite the fact that you are in a position to be the determining factor what do you get out of it? The Democrats have been in Washington D.C. only because of the Negro vote. They've been down there for four years, and any legislation they wanted to bring up, they brought up. And now they bring up you. And now they bring up you! You put them first, and they put you last. Because you're a chump (crowd laughs and cheers), a political chump.
Any time you throw your weight behind a political party that controls two-thirds of the government, and that party cant keep the promise that it made to you during election time, and you're dumb enough to walk around continuing to identify yourself with that party, you're not only a chump but a traitor to your race.." 
The relevance of these words in the modern context of Muslim-America 40 years later from when they were uttered should be ominous for us. Let us not be constantly stung from the same hole, lest we one day pay a much heavier price than just political insignificance.
 Project MAPS, Muslims In American Public Square, Zogby International, Nov/Dec 2001.
 Peace and blessings be upon him, and upon all of God’s Messengers and Prophets.
 Reported by Abű Hurayrah. Sahîh al-Bukhârî, vol. 4, Kitâb al-Adab, Chapter: Lâ Yuldighu-l Mu'minű Min Juhrin Marratayn. Sahîh Muslim, vol. 4, Book: Kitâb al-Zuhd war-Raqâ'iq, under Chapter 12 of same aforementioned heading, with variation of "juhrin wâhid," meaning, "one (and the same) hole". Also, in Sunan Abî Dawűd, vol. 2, with same variation found in Sahîh Muslim. Weak reports with similar wording found in Musnad al-Îmâm Ahmad and Mu`jam al-Kabîr wa-l Awsat at-Tabarânî.
 Fath al-Bârî Sharh Sahîh al-Bukhârî, Ibn Hajar al-Asqalânî, vol. 10, Kitâb al-Adab, Chapter: Lâ Yuldighu-l Mu'minű Min Juhrin Marratayn.
 Sahîh Muslim bi-Sharh an-Nawawî, Imâm an-Nawawî, vol. 18, Kitâb al-Zuhd war-Raqâ’iq, 38 - Chapter: Lâ Yuldighu-l Mu'minű Min Juhrin Marratayn.
 Matthew 15:27, Mark 7:28, Luke 16:21, King James Authorized Version of 1611.
 “afdal al-jihâd kalimatű haqq `inda sultânin jâ’irin,” Musnad al-Imâm Ahmad, vol. 4,Sunan at-Tirmithî, vol. 3, Mustadrak al-Hâkim, vol. 4, Sunan Ibn Mâjah, vol. 2, Sunan Abî Dawűd, vol. 2, Sunan an-Nasâ’î vol. 7, and others. Also with variant, “Imâmin jâ’irin,” meaning, “the unjust leader”.
 Malik El-Shabazz, also popularly known as Malcolm X, Political rally, 1964.
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