Yesterday, I got my first ticket in quite a while. A parking ticket. I’ve only had one other parking ticket before and that was the day that I forgot my government-issued ID badge for work and had to return home to retrieve it.
I double parked my mother’s car and ran into our building to get it and while inside I realized the time for fajr had come in so I stayed to pray before returning to my car. As I came out of the building, a police car was parked behind me and the officer was writing me a ticket. He hadn’t even finished writing it so I had to wait (patiently I think or maybe hope) for him to finish filling in the form and then I was off to work.
I was determined as always to fight the ticket in court so I returned the slip indicating that I wanted a trial and a date was mailed to me. I forgot about the court date and so the county without offering me any notice of judgment or sending me a bill sent my account to a collections agency and so the $50 ticket increased to $200. $50 for the county and $150 to the scam collections agency.
And then later that year, when I went to renew my vehicle registration tags online or by mail, I was told that I would have to do so in person because there was a block on my account. So I went to the local MVA (Motor Vehicle Administration) and was told that because I has not paid my ticket in a timely manner that there was an additional $35 fee added to the standard fee of $128 for a 2 year tag. So all in all I paid $235 for double parking my mother’s car.
I almost always plead not guilty, plea bargain, or have my speeding tickets dismissed due to the non-appearance of the police officer.
My most unusual ticket was for “following too closely”, which I think is one of the more dubious and ridiculous citations. Continue reading
The 9th Erase Racism Blog Carnival is here and one of my entries has been featured. It’s kind of humbling to be included with bloggers that express profund thoughts and can actually write well because I don’t think I’m one of them.
From the Storehouse: Thinking about Race & Class
Update: Amad’s entry could easily have been included in the Erase Racism Blog Carnival.
AlMaghrib Institute is not Jihad U as claimed by yellow journalism’s standard bearer FrontPage magazine’s Patrick Poole. Poole’s article is full of inaccuracies, half-truths, and claims that are often intentionally misleading or woefully misinformed.
From the East Coast through the American Heartland to the West Coast, a rapidly growing and extremely popular Islamic studies program is bringing Wahhabi extremism and Muslim Brotherhood activism into mosques and Muslim student groups throughout North America.
AlMaghrib Institute does not teach Wahhabi extremism nor is it affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood. If “Muslim Brotherhood activism” is supposed to mean high quality, intensely focused and targeted, and grass roots efforts then AlMaghrib has certainly set the standard and continues to raise the bar in Islamic publishing and marketing, condensed Islamic learning seminars, volunteer group efforts, and high quality instructors.
In the past AlMaghrib Institute was affiliated with American Open University and Al Azhar University but these ties were severed a couple years ago and now AlMaghrib is focused on developing a curriculum leading to its own Islamic studies diploma program.
While AlMaghrib Institute began in the Dar us Salaam community in College Park and did have some early classes in local masajid most of the seminars are now held at various colleges and universities throughout the United States and Canada.
The organization’s Wahhabi-influenced extremism, rabid anti-Semitism and Holocaust denials, and militaristic preaching of jihad even have other Muslims expressing concern about the radicalizing effect of Al-Maghrib’s preaching and programs.
This is complete and utter claptrap. AlMaghrib neither promotes nor teaches extremism, anti-Semitism, nor Holocaust denial. Continue reading
Last week, I visited a sister’s house and as I was leaving I noticed a small sign in front of a little knick-knack that read “Do Not Touch”. This object that I had not noticed when I entered the room and would not have cared much about had I seen it, now held a strange allure.
I wanted to know what was inside, I wanted to touch it, and I asked her about it. She said that she made the sign for her grandchildren because they loved to go in her room and play with the items on her dresser. So I said, “Then the sign is not for adults”, and she opened the container to reveal its rather mundane contents for me.
From childhood, I have rarely cared for warnings from others to keep away from this or that. When I was a kid, I was definitely afraid (and perhaps I’m still afraid) of my parents, older relatives, and my parents’ friends because there was no concept of not disciplining children.
In church, we knew we did not mess around or make any noise, we sat there quietly sometimes through 4-hour plus services so I’ve never quite understood why children run around crazily in the masjid but then again I don’t have any kids yet.
Our parents used to tell us not to go down to this one gas station in the neighborhood but we would sneak down there with our pennies and silver coins put together to buy some candy and there was always the extra added delight of knowing we didn’t get caught.
As I got older, any book that was banned or controversial or warned against I wanted to read it. I felt that clearly those that have warned against it must have read it or read extracts from it and if they could read it then I felt that I should also be able to read it. My dad has an extensive library of books in our house and I used to read those books both nonfiction and literary classics and benefited immensely from them.
I’ve read many books that were at times banned in one school district or another or boycotted by religious groups, or just have been historically controversial and in general do not feel any worse for the effort. I would much rather have people warn me against reading poorly written literature (I never read anything Oprah has recommended, I made that mistake once) than to warn me because they fear my naive and innocent mind would not be able to cope with the material. Continue reading
HijabMan has started a new site called Muslim A Day which features a new photo of a Muslim or group of Muslims each day going about their daily lives as normal human beings. This simple gesture of displaying the normalcy of Muslims through pictures is somewhat shocking given that in the media, we are constantly being bombarded with negative images and stereotypes about Muslims.
As Tariq Nelson noted Muslims are being dehumanized in the media and this is a very dangerous development that needs to be proactively counteracted lest we repeat the lessons that were not learned in the WWII.
There was a time in my life when I wanted to be a photojournalist and I actively studied and worked on my skills as a photographer. I loved staging or letting the scene unfold for a picture. I carried my camera with me everywhere and I loved mixing the chemicals needed to develop my rolls of film. I resisted the digital age in cameras but did buy one digital camera a few years ago. I only used it once and then sold it to a sister.
Baraka wrote a post over at Truth & Beauty last year that reawakened the emotions for photography and I once again began looking into purchasing a camera but I decided against it. I haven’t seriously taken pictures since before my conversion to Islam and I don’t like having my picture taken.
I sometimes wonder and feel an immense sympathy for Yusuf Islam. He had not picked up a guitar in 25 years until about a year ago when one of his sons brought a guitar home. So one night, he picked up that guitar and he says his fingers immediately and instinctively knew where to go and he was able to recall many of chords he used to play. When I pick up my old SLR, I feel it is the same way with my hands.
I’ve been quiet for awhile, alhamdulillah.
We lost power today twice after our area was blanketed with a wintry mix of ice, snow, and wind.
I attempted to write a post today before the power went out and perhaps in sha Allah I’ll try to finish it about why I believe warning, banning, and boycotting is sometimes quite condescending and counterproductive.
I’ve been thinking a lot about converts, not so much why people convert but why they remain in Islam. I took Kamal el-Mekki’s “How to Give Shahadah in 10 Minutes” workshop for the second time over the weekend, which has also stirred some new connections in my mind.
And I’ve been thinking about Koonj’s post on emotions and my own emotions, not quite ready for the blog, yet. I think that if I feel the need to password protect a post then it shouldn’t be given life on my blog but rather should live in my personal journal.
Playing UNO with a bunch of sisters is fun and sometimes malicious. The malicious use of the draw four, draw two, skip, and reverse cards are not always in the spirit of loving for your fellow Muslim what you love for yourself.
Just to raise the stake a bit the winner gets to select an ayah from any place in the Quran and selects one of the losers (I mean runner-up, second place is first loser and all that) to tell us from which surah the ayah is found in and complete it.
Who wants to play? I’ll bring the cards.
Have they not looked at the birds above them, with wings outspread and folded back? Nothing holds them up but the All-Merciful. He sees all things. [Mulk 67/19]
Narrated ‘Umar bin Al-Khattab: I heard Allah’s Messenger peace and blessings of Allah be upon him saying. “If all of you relied on Allah with due reliance, He would certainly give you provision as He gives it to birds who issue forth hungry in the morning and return with their belly full at dusk.” [At-Tirmidhi]
If you like March of the Penguins, you’ll like Winged Migration. There is a soundtrack, not overbearing but you may want to watch it on mute. The film chronicles the huge distances different species of birds fly in their annual migration and some of their unique behavior.
How amazing is the Creator of the created beings. You can find many clips on YouTube from the film but it’s best to watch the documentary as a whole. I’ve included short clips on the Northern Gannets and Geese.
Now you see where I get half of my genes from?
The Stylus: by CASEY CAMPBEL
Students Rally Around Professor Okoye: Administration trying to force resignation
Brockport Student Government’s Unity Fest featured several light-hearted games and free entertainment in the campus mall Friday afternoon, but when the fun and games ended around 4:30 p.m., the mood turned serious. As the jousting ring was deflated and an angry gray sky threatened to burst open, SUNY Brockport students dressed all in black began to gather around the flagpole. Their purpose: to support Dr. Felix Okoye, founder and professor in the African and Afro-American Studies department.
Okoye spoke to a crowd of approximately 50 students about how the current administration is trying to force his resignation.
“Since I have been here (the administration) has consistently tried to close out the department which I have founded (AAS),” Okoye said. “But each time they have made a move, I have always raised enough stink that they were forced to pull in their horns.”
He said the administration had placed an observer in his classroom and was having students take home and fill out a professor evaluation sheet in addition to ones filled out in class at the end of the semester. In addition, when the time came for the Discretionary Salary Increases to be awarded, his work was ignored and he was not given an increase.
“At the time I am close to retirement, that is the time I’m being treated as if I’ve just come aboard,” Okoye said. “The name of the game today is discredit the founding father of the AAS department and then you will be in a better position to phase out the department.” Continue reading
The way to paradise is an uphill climb whereas hell is downhill. Hence, there is a struggle to get to paradise and not to hell. [Minhaj-al-Abidin]
Found this gem over at Annessa’s soon to be private blog.