How I Was Radicalized (And Then Saved)

December 10, 2015

I was in the gym watching “A Time to Kill” starring Samuel L. Jackson, the modern adaptation of “To Kill A Mockingbird,” and you all know the story. A Southern African American father takes an automatic weapon and shoots white terrorists who have brutalized raped his young daughter. At the same time they’re discussing on CNN, how the couple who committed the mass shooting in San Bernardino, CA could have been radicalized. I don’t believe in coincidences because it is all in G-d’s Hands. Ironically I’m in a conversation in Starbucks today with two whites, in which they’re discussing Donald Trump, and they admit that he is actually radicalizing America. One of them, with a relative who survived the Auschwitz concentration camp acknowledged that he did not know what he would do if they tried to intern him in a camp. He did not have an answer. Here’s a concept that White America cannot acknowledge–that they too have a history of radicalization. They throw the term around like radicalization is a disease that you trace to exposure to a virus or a toxin and then you’ve got it, but it’s not like that at all.

I was radicalized by the murder of Emmett Till when I was only 7 years old, and I watched African Americans struggle for human rights every since. Even so I’m not going to walk into a public space and start shooting up people. However I will stay committed to struggle for freedom, justice and equality for African Americans and all people until I die. I cannot predict what I will do though if Trump becomes President and I am required to register as a Muslim, have an ID number tattooed on me, and me and family are marched to a Camp, just because it’s a decision of the majority of Americans or because it’s the law of the land. I cannot say what I would do then.

Dr. King, who preached non-violence and was martyred in the cause was identified as a Communist and a radical by our own government (FBI). In his time Honorable Elijah Muhammad, and his follower and spokesman Malcolm X, were considered radical by some. Even he though, despite the fresh history of lynching and terror that we faced, never advocated attacking the white man. What he did advocate was putting distance between us and them, physically, socially, spiritually and economically, and that in itself would help end some of our oppression.

But I was saved. Imam W. Deen Mohammed saved us from the path of radicalism by directing us to Al-Islam as a way of life, and a path of moderation, the Holy Qur’an, as timeless guidance, and Prophet Muhammad as the best example human of behavior.