Nuri Madina


September 2016

We’ve Always Led Them to Freedom

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We’ve Always Led Them to Freedom

I stand for the American flag. I respect what it aims for if not its history. I don’t put my hand over my heart because my heart belongs to Allah (G-d) and I recognize that where this country was inspired to be, we’re not quite there yet. So my patriotism is a sober patriotism and when I stand in respect for the flag I am also respecting Colin Kaepernick’s decision and freedom not to stand. A social media comment recently noted, “after we get up from taking a knee, what do we do then?” A good point but Kaepernick’s protest has accomplished exactly what it set out to do—that is bring about a dialogue, as he appears on the cover of Time Magazine. Now everybody is taking a side one way or the other, and criticizing, one way or the other. And that’s better than pretending that there is nothing wrong.

Protests by athletes are not new and have in many cases been effective. I myself was inspired by the photo of Tommie Smith and John Carlos, Olympic runners, who standing on the podium at the Summer Olympics in Mexico City in 1968, to receive their gold and bronze medals, raised their fists in black gloves during the playing of the Star-Spangled Banner. And everyone was inspired by the protest of Muhammad Ali, who sacrificed the prime years of his boxing career and became a symbol of resistance to the Viet Bam war by refusing to be indicted into the military service.

So even though I choose to stand, I applaud and respect Kaepernick for his courage because it has taken all of us, those who stood, those who sat, and those who took a knee, and those who gave a life, to advance this concept of freedom in America.

Some say these athletes should just be grateful for opportunity to make a lot of money, but people should realize the NFL and the NBA are not doing these athletes a favor. The athletes are a commodity and leagues and the networks make millions off of them. The relationship is mutual and the athletes don’t owe them anything.

There acts have exposed truths that needed to be exposed, like the millions of dollars the NFL receives from the Defense Department for their fake patriotic displays. Like the hate that is directed at these athletes for exercising their freedom. What’s the deal here? We respect all these great freedoms you have on paper as long as you don’t exercise them. Or is it that they want to define these freedoms for us and define how we should exercise them. Its just like freedom of religion. You can worship as you choose except for the backward folk who would add to that freedom…”as long as it’s not Islam.” Then there’s the right to bear arms which they hold so dearly but we all know that doesn’t apply to African Americans. Try open carry, concealed carry or BB gun or Bible or Qur’an carry, and you’ll find out how quickly you’re shot by police. This is the imperfection in the system and this is what we have to work on.

Those who buy into Trump’s campaign that there it is “us” against “them” are just backward and ignorant. I’ll put my contribution, that of my family, and that of my people, up against theirs any day. I am not the “other.” It is you and your ideas that are “foreign” to the spirit and meaning of America. So you can wrap yourself in the flag or paint it on your ignorant ass, you are no patriot. If you knew what America stood for, you’d know that Obama already made America great again.

The President recently stated: “My name may not be on the ballot, but our progress is on the ballot. Tolerance is on the ballot. Democracy is on the ballot. Justice is on the ballot. Good schools are on the ballot. Ending mass incarceration, that’s on the ballot right now,” he said. “And there is one candidate who will advance those things, and there is another candidate whose defining principle, the central theme of his candidacy is opposition to all that we’ve done.” Go do the math, and then stop criticizing those who are at least trying to do something and figure out what you can do.


We Must Keep Moving Forward

We Must Keep Moving Forward

For those of us who are at a loss to explain the apparent sudden rise of Donald Trump and his followers just at a time when we thought we had turned the corner of racial politics and institutionalized bigotry, let’s try to analyze the phenomena. First of all, this rise is not sudden. As long as African Americans stayed in their place-on the football or on the performance stage, things were fine. “Frederick Douglass, the father of the freedom movement, recognized how hard it is to see people in their true value and outside of our preconceived stereotype. “Though the colored man is no longer subject to barter and sale, he is surrounded by an adverse settlement which fetters all his movements. In his downward course he meets with no resistance, but when his course is upward, he is resented and resisted at every step of his progress. If he comes in ignorance, rags and wretchedness he conforms to the popular belief of his character, and in that character he is welcome; but if he shall come as a gentleman, a scholar and a statesman, he is hailed as a contradiction to the national faith concerning his race, and his coming is resented as impudence. In one case he may provoke contempt and derision, but in the other, he is an affront to pride and provokes malice.”” “Yes, I Am Your Brother,” Nuri Madina”

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As soon as we had to look at the African American as the leader of the free world that’s when the problem came to the surface. The tea partiers presented a very backward representative as Vice President candidate in Sarah Palin and made a statement in effect that “we don’t care how ignorant or uninformed you are; we’ll support you as long as you stand up for the old world order- white supremacy rule. That was a test, and the American public gave it a failing grade in the election. Then instead of going back to the teacher and finding out what they got wrong, they doubled down on their incorrect answers. Then Republicans met and agreed that they would block anything the president tried to accomplish-regardless to how good it was or how it night have benefitted their own constituents. G-d forbid that the African American be seen in a positive light, let alone bring about change that everyone agreed was needed.

Then Trump kept hope alive with his birther movement, that translated to: He’s not one of us. Of course to an intelligent public they could never prove he wasn’t American. But to the deplorables all he had to do was establish that He’s not one of us-white.

At each these of junctures, they made a decision of political and moral expedience- “we’ll do whatever we have to do and say whatever we have to say to secure this political advantage; ‘there’ll be time for us to be righteous later.’ “Although they try to portray all of these efforts as populist movements, they all are merely covering themselves with the “politically correct” blanket of populism when in fact the idea is to make America “great” (white) again. But they are the ones railing against political correctness. In what parallel universe did correctness become a bad thing?

But even all of this is not as insidious as the real plan. The real plan is to remove any remaining moral component from politics. I am not a psychiatrist but I would invite any of them to tell us what the message is to the subconscious mind when I say, as Trump has, that: “I could stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn’t lose voters.” That is a signal that the moral component has been completely removed from the analysis of a candidate or his position.

The sad thing is that Trump core group of support is Evangelical Christians. These are people who read the Bible, and pray, and some of them even ask “what would Jesus do.” It’s scary that they are comfortable that Jesus would approve of Trump. The Bible that they profess says at Gen 2:10 And a river went out of Eden to water the garden; and from thence it was parted, and became into four heads.” This tells us that the rivers that nourished the Garden-that excellent moral and spiritual consciousness-left the Garden and became dominant influences in and of themselves. And thus today they are accepting that moral and G-d consciousness has no place in the four main areas of human influence: business, education, politics, and religion. Yes, G-d has been removed even from religion today. Research shows increase in people’s spirituality at the same time as their dramatic withdrawal from organized religion.

We can all accept that G-d is Truth; that He is Reality. So, what does it do to the psyche of a person when they allow themselves to accept known lies into their consciousness and accept an acknowledged liar as their leader. Yes, democracy requires that even the ‘deplorables’ have a right to representation. And in spite of the media attention there is no moral equivalency between the two presidential candidates’ positions. And despite the media and the pollsters, I do not believe they will ever be in the majority again. Nevertheless, it is our job, as the adult in the room to make sure that this does not happen.

By taking the moral element out of the equation they force you to make a decision just based on superficial bases- He looks like a strong leader; He insults everyone but that just demonstrates courage. Those rules might apply in the cave, in the jungle or in the playpen, but would you put your children under the rule of a naked emperor?


Congratulations to The Mosque Cares, Ministry of Imam W. Deen Mohammed for another successful Annual Muslim Convention, this past Labor Day weekend. Along with seeing my many longtime friends co-workers in the cause of Islam, and I was also honored to meet Imam Talib Shareef of The Nation’s Mosque, Masjid Muhammad, the oldest Muslim community located in the Washington of America, 1930s. I had an opportunity to briefly discuss my new book with him, “Yes, I Am Your Brother.”


To any who would doubt the Muslim Americans’ commitment and contributions to American society, Imam Talib is also a retired Chief Master Sergeant of the United States Air Force with 30 of service, and among his many others honors is a graduate of the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center in Arabic and Middle East studies, and National Imam of the Muslim American Veterans Association (MAVA).

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