Muslims of Rockford

A couple days ago, a family member of mine gave me a great idea. He told me I should add a feature to this blog that is very similar to the popular page Humans of New York. He had also done some work with this idea during his travels and did a wonderful job.

I plan to interview the members of the Muslim community in Rockford and ask them questions regarding politics, media and social issues along with learning about their story, background, greatest influences and upbringings.

The schedule for this project is most likely going to be on the fly, like all of my other posts. But I do hope to have detailed information and a plethora of stories to share with you all.

Terror 

A few hours ago, a mass shooting happened in Orlando. 50 dead and 53 injured, making it the largest mass shooting in American history. Numerous issues arise from this incident. An assault type weapon was used, which continues to question the use of firearms. The shooting was at a gay nightclub, which exemplifies anti gay behavior. However, the biggest issue that arises from an incident like this comes from the shooter. Omar Saddiqui Mateen has been identified as the attacker. Due to the fact that this man was Muslim, authorities already assume the attack as an act of terror. Yes, I do believe that is a terrible thing to have happened and my condolences are with the families of the lost loved ones, but I beg the question. If this man was found mentally insane during further investigation, will authorities change the incident to a mass shooting due to mental instability instead of an act of terror? It seems that every other shooting that happens that is done by anyone who is not a Muslim is identified as an attack done by someone found mentally unstable or just simply a mass shooting, not an act of terrorism. Islamaphobia is very real. And incidents as serious as these are not helping our image. 

Ali

Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi rajaoon
May Allah (SWT) grant Jannah for the greatest. Not only an icon, but a brother. Someone who made me proud to be Muslim at a young age. Someone who gave us hope and the drive to fight for what you believe in. Someone who we can all look up to. Strive to be. 

It’s kind of ironic actually. I had just finished watching Creed when I heard about this. If there is anything you can take from Muhammad Ali’s legacy, it is his drive and determination to believe in oneself. 

Summer and volunteering

Summer and volunteering

As summer is starting, we often find ourselves loafing around the house and not using our time effectively. We think to ourselves, I have worked so hard all year, just let me relax. But in reality, now is the time to really do all the things you enjoy and give back to your community. I encourage all of you to find something that you can do that is beneficial for not only yourself but for the people around you. When you find a chore or job that you really enjoy, it is no longer a chore, it as an opportunity, a chance to do something great. Ramadan is in a week. We will all be tired and sore throughout the days, but it is all a reminder of how fortunate we really are. Help out around the house or go volunteer downtown. Not only will you feel good in your own eyes, but in the eyes of Allah (SWT).

Ramadan…

Ramadan is almost upon us. Thus, it is a time to look at our lives and and the state of the world around us. As we get close, I encourage you all to act humble and kind. That person you might have not acknowledged before, ask them how their day was. Smile more. Remember your thanks. Also, as the candidate races are coming to an end, be cognizant about your surroundings. Give everything thought. Do not be rash. The most important thing Muslims can do in a time like this is remain calm and collected. Act as the Prophet (PBUH) would. Salaam to all my brothers and sisters.

Thoughts on the $20 bill

Recent changes have been made to American currency. Changes that are wonderful. Changes that will hopefully spark a new found ideal for an equal world. Deciding to put Harriet Tubman, a national hero, on the face of the twenty dollar bill is a great change. It shows that America is moving in the right direction. However, with every change, there is a backlash. And this time is no different. Once again, people are blinded by some false ideology that change is bad and a waste. People are saying that completely redesigning a bill is a waste of money, between the cost of the new bill and the process to have it released. However, what these people seem to miss is that numerous changes have been made to every bill, to prevent fraud. So why can’t this be the same way? I am not saying it is a race thing, but the idea that this recent change to the $20 bill is what pushes people to have these arrogant ideas instead of the numerous times beforehand is ridiculous. I know it is weird to think that racism is dead, but to be honest, it is not and it never will be. I decided to post this after reading an argument on a Facebook comment thread. People were going back and forth about whether or not these changes are a good thing. I couldn’t stay silent. I understand why people are saying it is a waste. Many people nowadays simply use a credit card. But still, why can’t we just accept this? These people who say it is a waste are also saying that it is a useless endeavor that is diverting our attention from “real issues.” But in reality, the problem of race and equality and arrogance is one of the biggest issues of all.

Freshman year…

As my first year in high school comes to a close, I have been thinking a lot about the many wonderful experiences I enjoyed. In particular, I ponder about which was the most influential experience.

  • I made the varsity soccer team as a freshman.
  • I played scholastic bowl with state championship players.
  • I marched in football game halftime shows as a member of the marching band.
  • I started a pep squad for the band members.

However, without a doubt, it has to be my time in Model UN and the conference at the University of Chicago, MUNUC. Attending the conference and participating in formal debates about issues surrounding ocean pollution and the safety of international journalists really opened my eyes. It was a glimpse into how the real UN and other groups work in solving world problems. Model UN has spurred my interest in political science and international relations. It has sparked a curiosity in me to follow some new pursuits: participating in political campaigning. Joining Model UN was definitely been one of the best choices I made as I began my high school career. I would recommend it to other high school students.