T Nation

Before 9/11 I was a Muslim

I was born in England, I have roots in Pakistan, NWFP where most settlers are of afghan origin, but I consider myself a Muslim first and British next, and then followed by the others. I would stand at arms with my fellow non Muslim counter parts to defend the country that I live in against all invaders. I live by the rules/laws of my country (as stated in the Quran) as well as those of my religion (both laws are very similar; there is little contradiction, ok apart from the death sentence).
I try to pray 5 times a day, and abide by my religion in all aspects of my life, in many ways I am no different from people on this site. When I need to pray, I pray in my car, mosque or place of work. When at work I pray in a print room, staff room or my office without putting anybody else out or asking anyone to move so I can pray. (I don?t see myself as being more important then my fellow man/woman just because of my religion)

I have a vast array of friends both Christian, Jewish, Hindu, Seikh, Buddhists (sorry about spelling dudes, big apologies to dad, who paid for my education and my encyclopaedias with his one months pay , still have not read them all, and I have had them since I was 12, now I am 32) and a few Goths :).

I have a vast array of interests, weight lifting, eating, watching films, cycling, climbing as well as reading, the list is endless?food and variety is the spice of life :slight_smile:

I was brought up in an average household, with my brother and sisters by my parents, who worked hard to gets us through college and university, and often we went without a lot of luxuries, but we would not consider ourselves
To be hard done by.

Our mother taught us to read the Quran, like in most Muslim families, the mother is the main sources or religious guidance (woman play a very important part in Islam) Islam gives more rights to women than to men, unfortunately most Asian, eastern countries do not recognise these rights due to their culture and political stances (had to put that one in). But we were lucky as kids because our parents looked upon their marriage as a partnership not as a dictatorship. Good role models for us.
Dad taught us our sense of morality and was my hero. He worked hard all his life, and did some really crap jobs when he immigrated to England, he did what he had to do to look after his family so we would have an easier life and better future, so really got little time with him, what we did get we are truly grateful for. I wanted to be like my dad. We wanted to be strong and big like him, he would do press ups and stop take puff on his cig and carry on! , once me and my brother rolled tea leafs in note paper, and tried to smoke it (my dad looked cool, in his suits with cig in hand, he does not smoke now, but he?s still cool)
I remember taking a puff and turning green, my brother turned a very pale shade of yellow, despite our change in colour we carried on until we had finished. I suffered from a bad headache all day, but for a moment in the mirror with my feet up on the dresser I thought I looked cool! And my brother well he just looked silly? Ha ha ha? sorry bruv you looked like an idiot smoking a piece of paper, I looked like the real deal man!
(Some lurkers reading this may know who I am :slight_smile: oops…)
I should add after that event neither I nor my brother smoke. I get a head ache just thinking about it.

My sisters were given the same amount of love, caring and education,
My oldest sister is a qualified genetic engineer and my younger sister is a dentist, my brother is an architect, so they all achieved their dreams and gained employment in their chosen professions making my parents very proud, although I think you need to be pretty crazy to want to be a dentist?
Me I still don?t know what I want to be, despite a degree in engineering and a whole host of other qualifications. Currently I am in IT. (Or a professional bum)
Maybe my younger sister banged her head, when I tried to pull her buggy up the stairs, as some kind of junior GPP routine, instead of using weight I put my sister in the buggy, of course by the time I got up the stairs about four times I was tired and tripped, the buggy went down the stairs baby and all, to the sound of my dad coming home from work, just in time to see the whole thing, there?s no way I could blame my brother or the cats (we did not have a dog, apart from uncle anwar) , man that belt hurt. (Lesson learnt, next time pad out the buggy with pillows so sis won?t get hurt)

Health and fitness has played a major role in my life, always reading, and writing routines, and expanding my knowledge. My cousin was heavily into bodybuilding and martial arts, muscle and fitness, and martial arts magazines all over his bedroom, posters of Bruce lee, Sergio Olivia posters spiralled around the place, and of course corona Everson. (Wow!) We lived and still do live around the corner from wag gym, where Arnold used to train/live when he was in London, England. I went to Wags with my cousin and couldn?t believe the atmosphere and dumb-bells which are still too heavy for me now. I still have my first set of plastic DP dumb-bells, I know they are crap but the memories are good, I still use them, on occasion, but over the years they have become lighter, obliviously I am stronger, I got them when I was eleven, but over the years the concrete filler has fallen out. The day I got them, I was with my dad, at Argos, He asked if I really wanted them, and I said yes, they weighed forty kg complete (about 88lbs). I walked with and dragged the box about 100 yards, before I asked my dad to help; he carried them home in one arm for the two and half miles to the house. When we got to the door of the house he let me carry them in through the door and told everyone I carried them all the way home to the disbelief of everyone.

Where am I going with this, just like you I come from a normal?
Family background if my family can be called normal from events I recalled above?

Before 9/11 I was a Muslim, on the day everybody knew where they were.
I was standing outside the Sony shop in Chelsea London on the king?s road, around me were tourists from all over the world, most were American, we watched as planes hit the trade towers in shock and horror. People started to console each other, Chelsea is in the run path for planes going to Heathrow, as I walked back to work (3d animator/designer), and planes were flying overhead and as they passed people would look up in fear.

My family did not celebrate in the streets, we were all saddened and dismayed that a group could do such a thing, killing so many innocents and then state it was in the name of our religion. It had a profound effect on how we viewed the world. I started to believe that no Muslim in their right state of mind could do such a thing, knowing full well the consequences of such an act. I still believe we do not know everything about the event and the run up to it.
I sometimes think Osama is either dead or sunning himself on a beach somewhere at the expense of a foreign government?

After 9/11, I am still a Muslim, more devout than ever, and stronger in my beliefs, I follow the religion and not the people/animals that think they represent the religion that I follow. I refuse to be grouped as a fundamentalist an Islamist, or even a terrorist. I am a Muslim (a British Muslim).

I have travelled to parts of Africa and Middle East as well as most of Europe and have had no problems being excepted for my beliefs. I do not force my religion on anyone and neither do I criticise others for their beliefs (religious debates amongst my friends can become very lively and all nighters)
I treat people the way I want to be treated, regardless of colour, religion, culture and ability.

I think People like Barbra stock are part of the problem, I read her article and I was shocked to read what she had written. Every religion has its nut jobs.
Yes the truth has to be heard and justice has to be served, but I found a lot of her article to be lined with conspiracy and fear.

?The mistake these ‘‘intellectuals’’ made is believing that I have any intention of ‘‘understanding’’ Islam.

It has taken me since 9/11 to realize that civilized humans cannot understand Islam. I am just overjoyed and somewhat relieved that the world is finally waking up in time to see the rabid dog coming its way disguised as Islam.?

If you do not wish to understand a religion or a person?s belief you should not comment or write about it. I am a civilised human being and a Muslim, it?s my religion that makes me civilised and it is to my religion that my parents looked to teach me morality and truth and justice to my fellow human beings/animals.

My parents did not come to England to escape a regime neither did they go to England as part of a reproduction program to take over the world by producing little fundamentalist offspring ready to blow buildings up!

My older sister is not developing a genetic mutant Muslim in the basement!
(If she could, I would ask her to mix me a special blend of protein to improve my gains) although I think biotest has cornered that one.

My younger sister did not become a dentist, to replace fillings with TNT so people would explode while chewing gum! (I should get my fillings checked)

My brother did not become an architect, to build a super bunker for all Muslims on the Day of Judgment!

I like many Muslims don?t agree with Osama. Saddam and other dictatorships in the Middle East, which lets face it, were placed by foreign governments in the first place. Her article is bordering on the lines of Hitler?s propagandist team against the Jewish populations in Europe. No human being or even animal should ever be treated like the Jews were treated; there is no excuse for it, at any level. In Islam it is written that a sin against god?s creation is 70 times more punishable than a single sin against god. Are we next?

Muslims don?t have a problem with Americans or even the British; they may disagree with policies and government agendas.
But most of these problems are caused by foreign governments in the first place. A lot of the Middle Eastern governments were installed by foreign powers to control sources and reserves of that particular country after WWII.
If these installed governments repress their indigenous populations then these population will revolt, against their governments and the powers that they were installed by, it?s now these government which are paying the price,
And the price is the lives of the innocent, and those troops who have sworn to protect and serve their countries

Why is it that it?s only the nut jobs that get all the air time?
And its normal everyday folk like myself that get funny looks from Joe public, when our political aspirations are the same.
I know what happened in the Netherlands is uncalled for, personally I think it could have and should have been resolved legally, but you cant control what every individual thinks or does, that?s why we are individual.

This is not star trek and Islam is not the Borg, we do not assimilate. I have friends that are based in the gulf, and now in Afghanistan and Iraq, I have friends who have family members that are based out there, and like them I worry about there wellbeing every day. :frowning:

Barbra stock?s article makes it sound like every Muslim is after the infidel?s blood. I feel sorry for the world its bad enough having loonies like, Osama, Saddam, Taliban, GW Bush, Condescending Rice and a whole host of other power hungry hippos, the list just got longer by one more!

Thanks all above for making people feel uncomfortable when I walk into my local supermarket!

Barbra Stock can sleep easy; I was brought up by my parents and not the media, dictatorship or governments of any so called free or repressive society. I will bring my kids up the same way as I was brought up, equally with my wife, with our morals and religion as a guide. The only thing they have to worry about it how many chin-ups they can beat me by when i am sixty :slight_smile:

PS.thanks t-mag for a cool site, really fills the quiet times of day at work :slight_smile:

Thanks for your post, bro. I think a lot of us over in the states don’t really know that much about the Koran (myself included) aside from what we hear about in terms of death and destruction of the infidel, or something like that. And it sucks when a bunch of mental cases like the 9/11 fuckers decide to go on jihad or whatever, and confirm the misguided beliefs that we have about your religion. In that Islam vs. Democracy thread, I stated that it’s a shame that Allah so often shows his power through violence, and I just want to take this opportunity to say that it’s nice when he does it differently, i.e., your post.

Anyway, I asked a question in that other thread that maybe you can answer better than anybody in these forums: is the Koran filled with “kill the infidel” rhetoric? If not, Why do the terrorists make this a religious war? Can you clear this up for us a little?

Everybody needs to be judged based on his or her actions. Not on the actions of others. It is unfortunate that some people do that, but not all.

I truly believe that most people do not do this, but unfortunately it is the vocal minority (of opinion) that too often speaks up. And they get the airtime because it gets ratings.

This is also done with Christians. I keep reading about how bad they are, or the myth that Christianity has killed more people then anything else.

Then I cringe every time I see an atheist on TV attempting to eliminate all religion from the face of the earth. For some reason they think they speak for me, but only a few of the atheists are annoying little weasels.

Also this idea of saving some child from the word GOD, as if it will scar their mind. Apparently not realizing that maybe the drug use, sexual experimentation, and absolute mental torture by cliques may be more important.

Oops, went off on a rant, sorry.

The big problem with the Muslim extremists is that they are a powerful group, and they are brainwashing children from birth to hate. That might be the worst crime.

What I find interesting is when a Muslim learns English, he is more likely to support the West. My understanding about this is that they get access to more news sources, and learn more about what is really going on. While those that only speak Arabic (or whatever tongue) are fed a lot of propaganda. Arafat was known to give a positive speech in English, but when speaking to the Palestinians in their own language, he turned 180, and became very Anti-West, pro hate.

Be proud of who you are, and don?t let anyone else tell you what your religion is. That is for you to decide, and figure out on your own. Anyone who sees all Muslims as terrorist is thinking just like the terrorists who see all Americans as evil. Both are a result of blind bigotry.

[quote]The Mage wrote:
Then I cringe every time I see an atheist on TV attempting to eliminate all religion from the face of the earth. For some reason they think they speak for me, but only a few of the atheists are annoying little weasels.

Also this idea of saving some child from the word GOD, as if it will scar their mind.[/quote]

Tell me about it, Mage. I want to coin a new term to describe those guys like: “anti-theists”, because it more accurately describes them. A true “atheist” isn’t rabidly against anything religious. We just see it for what it is. Big difference.

[quote]lothario1132 wrote:

Tell me about it, Mage. I want to coin a new term to describe those guys like: “anti-theists”, because it more accurately describes them. A true “atheist” isn’t rabidly against anything religious. We just see it for what it is. Big difference.[/quote]

I have said it before, that I don’t believe they are true atheists. I believe they are pissed off Christians who got God and Santa mixed up.

Keeping with the original intent of this post, I would also say that the terrorists/extremists are not true Muslims.

[quote]lothario1132 wrote:
Anyway, I asked a question in that other thread that maybe you can answer better than anybody in these forums: is the Koran filled with “kill the infidel” rhetoric? If not, Why do the terrorists make this a religious war? Can you clear this up for us a little? [/quote]

I dont want to be misquoted as i am not a scholar of islam…i am not a terrorist or a freedom fighter?

There are number of battles in islamic history, as decribed by the quran, it is i believe these battles which are used as examples to rile people into a frenzy against the enemy. these quotes are relavant to the time they were revealed, Islam itself is a very modern religion, but its kept in the dark ages by the very people that follow it, and mis-represent it.people that want to get their way will mis-quote and miss use religion to get the backup they need.the best way to get a nation of people behind you is to find a common denominator which in this case is religion.

christian history is full of such examples. (mainly crusades)

I have seen numerous news events showing suicide bombings and attacks most of which have killed innocent iraqies, who just happen to be muslim!
The trade towers were full of different nationalities and religions.
I dont understand how you can carry out a jihad against another muslim?
A jihad can be anything in that which involves a struggle…working to feed your family, helping the poor and needy,religious war is a small part of it.

I watched a doco recently which stated
that these groups feel the muslims living in foreign countries or working in/for foreign countries are legitimate targets…?

so if you own an islamic bookshop in the uk, are you a legitimate target?

Sorry back to your question :confused:

saddam attacked Q8, for oil reserves in the gulf. Q8 being a muslim country he could not claim it was jihad.
when the world intervened to kick his ass, he yelled jihad in the hopes that he would gain help from his fellow muslims. although the world could have intervened alot earliar in iraqs history.

the war that goes on in Iraq and Afgahnistan is all about power and money and of course oil, a real muslim who knows about islam can see the difference. alot of people are dying on all sides for the black stuff…

jihad is used as an excuse to get back up!

world governments could have got saddam out ages ago, they did not need wmd to get rid of him, they could of overthrown him for killing innocent people, and the middle east would of carried on without him, as for osama i think certain people know where he is but just cant be bothered to get him.

its kinda ironic, western governments use the excuse they are freeing an oppressed nation from a dictator ship and certain middel eastern groups use jihad to fight the infadel.

im am not of the same mind sett as these guys like many muslims around the world, it frustrates us that these things happen in the name of islam.
i guess if we stand and fight, as many are trying to do in iraq by joining the army/police force we would be seen as worse than infadels and blown to bits?

got to go, some-ones trying to hack my firewall!

Thanks for the reply Gonz. Okay, so it’s not like the Koran says “Kill everybody!”, it just has some descriptions of battles, etc., which are misrepresented by folks who are trying to manipulate people. Hmmmm…

any religion is subjective, you can show the same verse to several people, and it can mean different things to each one. all religions are very much diluted by culture and tradition. Untill people seperate, culture and tradition from religion, problems like this will always arise. take away race, tradition, culture, tribal differences and even political differences you will find that all religions reveal the same mesasage.

gonz…
right on thread. excellent in every aspect. i’ve read a couple of english translations (by muslims) of the koran and i was hoping that someone would defend a beautiful and primarily peaceful religion. the al-quaeda organization comprises all of 1% of 1% of the worlds muslims. hardly representative. saddam only used religion when it was convenient for him (his ambassador to the UN was a christian!). i especially agree with your critique of the iraq mess. remember when we were giving them millions of dollars (and chemical weapons) to use against he iranians? have you ever seen the picture of donald rumsfeld shaking hands with saddam during his trip to iraq as reagan’s envoy? or how about the fact that osama was funded by us in our war against the soviets? my point is this, we, as free peoples, need to keep our eyes open to where our tax dollars are going and to how the short term decisions of our governments might come back and bite us ALL in the ass. from 1948 to 2004, the story is the same. sorry to get off topic.

What is real sad is that people still listen to rumors, and don?t know the facts.

[quote]battlelust wrote:
…remember when we were giving them millions of dollars (and chemical weapons) to use against he iranians? [quote]

What exactly did we give him? And since you say it was millions, how many? People put a lot of crap out about this, and I know that we actually were a bit player in this. This is nothing but an attempt to twist facts to make America look like the bad guy.

Oh no, he shook a hand before we were enemies. You do realize that America sends people all over the world talking to leaders of other countries, and in all those cases we shake hands.

The fact? Uh no, we never gave Osama any money ever, and he would have never accepted it.

Again let me explain this fact because everybody seems to ignore the real facts and instead believe innuendo and rumor.

There were two groups fighting against Russia. Not one but two. We assisted one who accepted our help. The other group did not like the fact that America was involved, and wanted nothing to do with America when fighting Russia. Osama was with the second group, not the first.

Lazy journalists know about us supporting one group, but don?t realize there was at least one other that we didn?t. They just assume that Osama was part of that group when he was not only because they were fighting on the same side.

Sometimes I wonder what would have happened if we never acted in history. I believe the world would be worse off. If we had no actions in the Mid-East, they would have become an arm of the USSR. Could you not see the danger in that?

It gets annoying when people only look at a small part of an issue, politicize it up, and then use it to blame America for everything. All of the worlds problems are because of America. Well bullshit.

I admit that America has not done the right thing in every situation, but you need to realize that the world is not the innocent peaceful place everybody makes it out to be. The world is very dangerous, and there are those who do not follow any rules.

Here is an important question. What if you knew that a nuke was headed for downtown Chicago, and the only way to stop it is to violate 5 laws, and some moral values. Is it worth it if it stops the nuke?

What if following a rule results in your death, and not following it keeps you alive? What then?

There are people who have to deal with these situations every day. We want to be good people, but when dealing with a world that is full of people who are not, and don’t care about the rules, what do we do?

Look at the flu shot. A few people die from taking the flu shot, but the chances of death in the elderly drop by 22% if they get a flu shot. Should the flu shot be eliminated because it causes deaths? No. It is a trade off. Everything is.

You have to take some bad with the good, and make sure you are not falling into the thought process like those who are against the flu shot because of the deaths they cause. It is terrible that some people die, but a lot more people live. You have to see the whole picture, not just a little piece of it.

http://www.ithaca.edu/politics/gagnon/talks/us-iraq.htm

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/south_asia/155236.stm

i’m not trying to blame america for all of the world’s problems. i agree that the situation could have been much worse if all of that oil had fallen into soviet hands. however, as an american tax payer (unfortunately i currently live in MA and thus pay an unholy amount of taxes and the roads are still shit), i believe that our government should be more thoughtful and long-term in its planning.

and most importantly, i think we need to be aware of the actual history involved. to use the typical cliche: those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it. the situation in the middle east is NOT a black and white issue. most people in the middle east (outside of iraq, post-invasion) still look to our country as a beacon of hope and freedom. most muslims are not trying to destroy our civilization.
and before i get accused of the heinous “crime” of liberalism…i am not a liberal.

during the war between afgahnistan and russia (OIL RESERVES), USA was funding muhajideen, groups, to protect its interests in the east. there was a power struggle within these groups which splintered into the taliban. Each group stating that the other was wrong religiously and politically. At this time, saudia arabia had alot of politacl/religious prisoners, which did not like the royals and the way they ruled.
These prisoners were released from prison to fight a holy war against russia. I guess the saudies were hoping they would not return?

By now russia was failing fast and eventually after asking the states for help in pulling out and being refused,(seen in a very could documentry by the bbc, very brave) the russian bear went and joined a circus act, where it balances dangerously on a beach wall, on a tight rope across a very large revine.

Somewhere in all this, a particular group was joined by a very wealthy arab (osama) maybe he was looking for a reputation, or a small army of his own. But the group let him join, this was a relation ship about finance and power…the group got much needed finance and osama got the power.
who used who no one knows?

the whole thing is very jaded and confusing, as each group becomes larger, their leaders have delusions of grandure, and then they say that the other groups are not religious enough, so they kill and turn on each other…as did the taliban and muhajideen. in my opinion, if you are funding a group which splinters, it would make sense to fund the stronger group which holds most of the country, so the taliban continued getting funds to keep them sweet, and the muhajids were seen as the trouble makers, until that is the taliban started in fighting and chopping people up, and of course mistreating women, bet that did not go down well with womens lib, so the states could not be seen funding such an opressive regime especially as womens votes could easilly swing an election. So now lets get rid of the taliban!
Afgahnistan is a country run on tribel borders and fueds which go back years, there will alway be war there, weather its against a foreign power or againt its own people.
Osama does not really need funding, from reports/docos and recent news reports the man has enough money to run a small country.

Alot of these groups operate independant of each other with little communication between them at all, each has its own agenda and political/ religious motivations, they are all classed under al-queda, to make it easeier to scare the world into thinking that there is a major organised menace coming over the horizon.

From what i have seen al-queda was first coined by western governments, to group all these factions under one banner, so making it easier to push through policies and laws, which would have taken years if each group was investgated indiviually…

when it comes to money and power, i dont trust anyone. Presidants, prime ministers, councilers even some religious groups, to want this much status, doing good for the world is second best, but the money and the power, thats what it all about, thats the motivation that screws this world up, on all fronts.

G

Al-Queda in Arabic is loosely translated as “the organization”. They made it up not us.

The Taliban were put in power by the Pakistani Intelligence Service. The Pakistani’s did not want a hostile neighbor on their flank if they had to go at it with India. After 9/11 they turned on them and have been effective working with the US.

We supported the Mujahedin against the soviets. The problem is they were a loose bunch of warlords. The Taliban were an over reaction that was formed and put in place to attampt to overcome them. They did but sold their soul to the cause of terror.

It is a horrible situation that will not end until those that harbor and support terrorists reject them. A lot of bloodshed will occur. Much like Japan in 1941 they have awakened a sleeping giant. They will cause damage and harm but once the US mobilizes on a warfooting I do not give them much of a chance.

I have been searching for an article I read about a year and a half ago. I am having trouble finding it.

It was by a reporter that was actually with Osama’s group durring the war with Russia. When he passed Osama’s tent, they told him not to speak because if Osama heard an American voice he would come out and kill the person.

Within this article he pointed out the facts as he knew them, and I give credibility to him considering he was there.

As far as Al-Qaeda, it was created by Osama and other Arab fighters as the Soviets were pulling out. The term actually means “The Base”. In Fallujah they actually found a building with a sign that said Al-Qaeda headquarters. (Not in English of course.)

(Actually this is more of a second coming of Al-Qaeda, because originally he created a guest house as a stopping off point for fighters against the Soviet Union. Too many people showed up, and they put up tents outside to expand. They called that little camp Al-Qaeda.)

A good history of Osama is here:

http://www.observer.co.uk/waronterrorism/story/0,1373,582274,00.html

It has this quote in it:

this may be going off topic?

its funny (not the war or loss of life)
but the inforamtion that goes around as to how, who, what, where and when.

I watched a very good series on the BBC about the post/pre 9/11.
It was produced with alot of footage and interviews and i think it was very brave of the bbc to air the show. It was called the power of nightmares. I dont know if it was aired in the States, or whether any of you guys saw it on satelite or cable, if you did it would be cool to hear your opinions.

It was from this program that stated that Aq was a name coined in the west.(unless i mis-heard)
The series came across as a very informative program without showing any bias for or against anyone in particular.

[quote]The Mage wrote:

I have said it before, that I don’t believe they are true atheists. I believe they are pissed off Christians who got God and Santa mixed up.

Keeping with the original intent of this post, I would also say that the terrorists/extremists are not true Muslims. [/quote]

Atheism is just non-theism, believing in no gods. Within atheism, there are plenty of militant jerks. Extremists just have a different interpretation of Islam than the mainstream. It would be nice to say those types are not true to their categories, but how can we decide what is the truth?