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The Rockstar Imamate Needs Scrapping
Forget the personal dramas for a second. Can we be honest about what really causes all this?
One of the common patterns I noticed when discussing any of the exposes, dramas, or controversies that occur in the American Muslim community with our brothers anywhere outside North America, is that they’re often shocked; not by the details of the controversies themselves, but by the ridiculous environments that are allowed to exist that host such dramas in the first place.
You notice this most when such brothers visit our mosques here in America, often in the city centers where Muslims have been plentiful for decades such as Chicago, Dearborn, New Jersey, Dallas, and so on. Questions arise when they witness the operation of our communities or conventions, such as:
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Why are the sisters seated adjacent to the brothers during this talk?
Why are there adverts for female speakers in mixed events?
Why are there so few children and young folk here?
Wait, you guys are just declaring that being anti-LGBT is a normal position for Muslims in your school district?
Often, we don’t have a response at all. We just shrug and quietly acknowledge that many of the social aspects of “American Muslim Education” that are now heated debates across the world have already been lost in North America ages ago. Debates about the marriage process, makeup & hijab, gender segregation, halal/haram food, and such weren’t even had, in fact, in most of the country — instead, we relied on a couple of ex-Muslim Brotherhood-style councils and organizations to make these decisions for us, and the rest of us called it a day. After all, we had more important things to deal with, like how we were going to convince the sleazy local building inspector to let the construction of a masjid the size of a small house go through already, so brothers aren’t praying in the street anymore every Friday.
Our current position on this side of the pond is infantile, moronic, and outright embarrassing; to the extent it’s now beginning to infect Muslim communities worldwide due to the vast social media influence of the leaders of our communities here. When starting a discussion about this, often you’ll be met with “But we’re still a developing community,” and frankly, I don’t buy that excuse anymore. It’s a copout for the fact that Muslims in North America simply have other materialistic priorities as a result of the overwhelming Western culture that runs the lives of everyone that lives here. For how long can you call yourself “a rookie player” in basketball if you’re still making stupid mistakes years later?
When it comes to finances, for example, everyone knows why we find it so hard to fund new mosque expansions or consistent projects and investments in resources for Muslim youth. Muslims in America, despite making a lot more money than Muslims everywhere else in the world, aren’t spending it that way because, firstly, many of the young who have the ideas and energy are struggling to get married, a high priority for them out of college. Did you manage to scrounge up what you could to get married? Great, now you need to buy a house when kids happen, specifically in an area with good demographics and schools. Well, what if the public schools are full of blue-haired lunatics trying to teach your elementary school daughters what condoms are, and your boys might actually be girls and should have their genitals cut off? Now you need to send them to a private Islamic school, which costs thousands of dollars a year. In all likelihood, your wife needs to work too to make these consecutive steps happen.
See where I’m going with this? This is just an example. “Financial success” for Muslim Westerners is merely a strategy for how to insulate themselves from the decaying state of the countries they moved to. There’s no upward flourishing if this is your utmost concern.
That whole topic can be its own article but is beyond the general scope here. In the same vein that Muslims are distracted from doing anything useful with upward growth using their money because they’re too busy with reactionary expenses (and rightfully so, for the sake of their and their family’s safety and quality of life), they also, just like most in this country, are too busy struggling against a suffocating gynocracy that mirrors most American institutions, just to have a normal family & community life.
As it stands in the Western, liberal world — most high-level business-owning men aren’t really in charge of their own companies and institutes. What this means is, yes, they approve the large systems of operation and make big transactional decisions for the continuation and growth of the organization, but when stress-tested in a tough social climate, whether due to external conditions or a sudden internal calamity, they will default to appeasing the many affirmative action hires they brought on and allowing them ridiculous levels of executive control out of fear and pressure.
Most Islamic organizations, seminaries, etc. aren’t any different. These places too have investors, HR departments, and boards of directors. Today, most are run by the increasingly longhoused1 Gen X and early Millenial generations who make the occasional moronic and defensive decisions that cause so much controversy in Muslim communities today. An organization like Yaqeen Institute and Qalam didn’t develop its stereotypes because it’s overrun with explicit, hardcore feminists who have open anti-Islamic ideologies. It’s because it’s (or was) run by naive millenials who were desperate for social approval through the HR types that they allowed into the organizations in the first place.
The Free Mixing Problem
We’re reminded of this, of course, by recent events that quickly went around online where a supposedly well-known female “teacher,” prominent in the Dallas Muslim community, had a video come out against her by her ex-husband with the most serious of allegations.
I’ll give an important disclaimer that I don’t take this guy’s word for everything he says here. Divorce stories just suck. It’s a long two-hour video filled with insane hysterics by this woman he’s accusing, and most of what he says is irrelevant to why I’m bringing it up. In fact, I encourage you all to ignore the case entirely, and for a moment consider that every accusation he made in that video might be a lie. What this man did, pretty much, was inadvertently make a documentary about the current state of these millennial Muslim-American Speaker circuits and organizations, their alleged negligence to this man’s case being just one of the incriminating sins against them that are revealed.
I don’t know how else to say it — this video, to average Muslims unattuned to the social climate fostered by celebrity imams, must look like some alternate reality fiction. To the young who idolize them, this is emotional genocide. Several big-name Imams and “scholars” make the strangest cameos in this saga. None of these men have any direct connection to this man’s divorce case, yet are mentioned due to none other than their independent involvement with either him or his ex-wife as friends or acquaintances.
This then brings up the question, how would any of them be affiliated with his ex-wife other than very formally, considering they’re of the same social class as celebrity speakers? That’s what’s interesting here.
Keep in mind, that this woman built herself up publicly as a Muslim “marriage expert”, licensed therapist, and “teacher” for young women and girls. Audio clips are played throughout that show these male speakers, married men with children, having one-on-one casual, catty conversations with this her. She complains to one elder Imam about how “disgusting Muslim men are” and gossips about Muslim male speakers allegedly performing heinous sexual exploitation when they travel. She complains to another about how Muslim speakers go contrary to marriage therapy advice, and how they don’t talk enough about women’s sexual satisfaction. There’s a clip where she’s recorded screaming at her ex-husband that another speaker told her that “in Islam, men don’t really have rights in a marriage”.2
One then becomes confused; isn’t this class of Muslim Imams and “Scholars” supposedly the learned ones in North America, contrary to the masses who look up to them? Why are they so comfortable with mixing at this level then, especially mixing with women who exhibit the worst aspects of BPD behavior, who present a very clear OPSEC risk to you if you’re a public Muslim male figure?
I mean, it’s not a mystery if you pay attention. Look at their gatherings:
This is no longer a matter of individual fatwas and varying dress codes in different madhabs or whatever. This is cultural. When much time had passed after the conquest of Syria by the Companions of the Prophet ﷺ and they saw what kids raised in Damascus were coming out like, they said: he who is raised in the lands of the Romans becomes like them. Now, that cultural artifact in North America happens to be female infiltration into what used to be considered entirely male spaces3, or as traditional scholars call it, “free mixing”.
When it comes to the subject itself, the strategy of most of these Imams noawadays is to philosophaster about definitions of words and the absolute specifics of male/female interaction. It’s like when the moderate centrist gets into useless arguments about what a woman is as the drag show at his child’s school goes on uninterrupted. We’re beyond that point. Each one of us needs to look at the results in our own community. What has this done for Muslims over time? Is this strategy of yours thats been prevalent for the past twenty years proven at all to keep young people free of ridiculous fahisha and social dramas? It doesn’t matter how many scholars you can quote if you can’t answer this, and acknowledge that a change of course is needed in an entirely different age.
Fear and Loathing in New America
Much of it started, I imagine, due to the fear of Gen X immigrant parents who saw how American girls turned out (Hannah Montana, lipstick, heels) and thought, rightfully, that they needed their daughters to have stringent Islamic educations to circumvent that. Foolishly, however, they advocated for their daughters and sisters to be a part of the same events, summer camps, & conferences they built as a way of “keeping them in the community” and not establishing clear boundaries from the beginning about segregation during these college-lecture-style events and lessons. Furthermore, they combined this with a lack of real tarbiya in literally all other areas of life. Most of these parents still sent these girls to college and encouraged them to take up corporate careers in mixed environments, let them watch mainstream Western media as kids that taught them what having Girl Power was like, listen to the same music that warped their romantic expectations, etc., so all that happened was they catapulted their culturally poisoned daughters into traditionally male spaces where loads of men were also struggling with massive fitna due to the same cultural influences in their lives.
Whereas before when it used to be just women who were at risk of communal loneliness, now everyone is suffering from it. The misery of these girls was never eradicated by bringing them into our lectures, instead, it just got multiplied and distributed to everyone. Great job guys!
It’s good to clarify: I don’t blame many of these girls today. In a way, they’re victims too. There were plenty of different strategies this generation and their leaders could have taken that didn’t involve this level of free mixing and laxity. However, for some reason, it just wasn’t done. Why aren’t we allowed to ask why without being accused of extremism?
Maybe it was the pressure they too were receiving from the culture at large. Think about it — who is funding these big projects in Muslim communities? It’s the guys who make enough money to have the disposable income to invest in them in the first place. Your average middle-class Muslim father who refuses every usurious transaction can only afford, at most, to support his local masjid from time to time. The big guys however, the car dealership and gas station owners, the big business lawyers and doctors, who make the compromise with usury whilst convincing themselves it’s halal in their special case, are also the ones funding big mosques and institutions in most of North America.
Usury (Riba) and eating from such haram money, put plainly, hardens the heart. When your heart is hardened, it desensitizes and demoralizes you, and it is no longer difficult for the devil to take you down the cynical path of compromising on far more. You think you love your children, but you come to realize that your cynicism has gotten in the way of that too when you allow the kind of ridiculous “freedoms” in your communities that you rationalize for the sake of “keeping them in the masjid.”
Another reason, sometimes leading directly from the previous point, is allowing many of these older women to be in charge and part of these mosque boards and organizations in the first place. I’ll be the first to come out and say I’ve personally seen plenty of hardcore, conservative sisters both older and younger who have an iron fist when it comes to creeping feminism and LGBT for example, but that unfortunately isn’t the general case at all the higher up you go in mainstream North American Dawah. That’s not to say that they explicitly tolerate these things; but it is, for the most part, these women who are the laxest when it comes to gender segregation rules and encouraging absurd, baseless fatwas and allowances on account of protecting young and impressionable girls’ feelings.
The result of this, over time, was the unofficial and unspoken evolution of North American Dawah into a gynocratic, celebrity rockstar culture where Imams and scholars went from reclusive figures who raised generations of students who would in turn go on to raise the Ummah; to glorified motivational speakers for confused, impressionable young girls.
Flip it Over and Start Again
Dr. Altaf Husain, vice president of Yaqeen Institute, loves to make a certain point every time he gets in front of a microphone. You might catch a few clips of it online. It’s when he says, like he’s been saying for the past five years4, that 60-70% of viewers of Yaqeen’s online content are women. This isn’t something to brag about, or even something to bludgeon the brothers with to futilely earn their loyalty. The reality is that this is just a self-indictment of the style of content and topics they chose to pursue, and turning themselves into an organization that aims for approval in this manner instead of thinking, realistically, what it is they could be doing that alienates men to such a degree and changing course based off that.
What’s tragic is that Yaqeen’s struggle simply reflects many big-scale masjid communities today that are struggling to reign in young men and boys. The spiritual boomers organizing masjids today don’t get that these guys already feel suffocated by the femcentric, homosexual-worshipping aspects of daily life in school and work in the modern West. They don’t need, when they attend the masjid, to be browbeaten about their supposed propensity for “abuse” and “violence.” They don’t want to hear about how they aren’t “good enough” husband material, that they ackshually don’t have rights or privileges over their own families when they do become married with children, that there isn’t a capacity for them to embody the spirit of the men they hear about in the Seerah (and that’s if they’re being taught about the men of the Seerah in the first place). They need to know that the alternative path exists and that it calls to them.
It’s easy to complain about the natural matriarchies that form in traditional societies when the men weaken over time or are otherwise turned into work rats without any higher priorities, but I’m more interested in solutions. This is where the question of flipping things in a more masculine and patriarchal direction lies — in the invigoration of young boys and men again, to believing that a better future is possible for them and their future families that doesn’t involve being a castrated coward on one extreme or in jail or dead on the other. Sorry, but none of this can begin unless women are taken out of the environment these boys learn from in the first place. This is, of course, the hardest part; because the conditioning runs deep for most of these people. They won’t even question the insanity of, for example, female teachers instructing boys in school past third grade at most, let alone segregating their Islamic schools.
Whatever our role is now as those who want to make such invigoration possible, it’s our responsibility to openly ridicule and seek the replacement of the effeminate aspects and operations in our community that are outright haram, that do nothing but pit men and women against each other and allows the ruling liberal regimes of our countries, the sole purpose of which now is to worship sexual degeneracy, to further infiltrate us and make us adopt their systems. We need newer ways of funding and from better places. Better ways to improve where we get our food from, even. The “Dawah Mafia” is called such in a negative manner, but there is no problem with “mafias” as such if Muslim men see that way of doing things (in a halal and legal way) as the model to have unconditional loyalty to one another in the community. We live in a time today where exclusively-male spaces are becoming a thing of the past. It doesn’t matter what excuses or whiny complaints that are brought up regarding this, the bottom line that needs to be fought for is this. No proper male bonding, no futuwwah, no ascendant masculinity takes root in the presence of giggling young girls and women.
We are done with this failed experiment. It’s time we cleared the table and started again, this time on our own terms.
I must clarify, that many seem to be confusing the internet term “longhouse” to be a synonym with feminism. It’s worse, it refers to the large segments of human history where men, even if officially in control, are unofficially under the thumb of older matriarchs, often family members whom these men must organize all of their life and money around to appease. This gets in the way of pretty much any great work ambitious men want to enact.
In this case, I don’t put stock into what was said. It was an audio recording of a spousal argument where emotions could have motivated either him or her to say anything. The fact this came out, whether true or not, does tell you a lot though.
Where women, of course, had their equivalents with elder female teachers. Often these female teachers were the wives, sisters, or daughters of prominent Imams or scholars in most Muslim societies for most of our history.
I originally thought this was much longer, but was corrected here by a friend. Crazy how time flies.