Since beginning this blog, a number of people have emailed me to inquire about my identity and background. Specifically, they want to know “where did I come from”? “How come they’ve never heard of me before”? “They love my commentary” or “why don’t I work with this or that organization”? So many comments also read something like this, “brother, your writings are a breath of fresh air, why aren’t you teaching or doing lectures” or “where can I hear you speak on the topics you write about?” This post is an attempt to provide a satisfactory answer to the question of why only now is my work reaching the public, despite whatever misgivings I may have regarding its frankness.
The question ought more appropriately be addressed to the so-called “leaders”, those well known personalities on the scene today who throw interference and at times positively impede the work of independent writers and activists like myself (and that of many others). And this for no other reason than we refuse to “follow the immigrant script“. The brass truth, whether one is prepared to deal with it or not, is that every aspect of Muslim discourse in this country (perhaps with the exception of Imam W.D. Mohammed) is COMPLETELY dominated and controlled by what I call the immigrant Muslim syndicate (read CAIR, MAS etc.). Anyone who has ever attempted to do independent Islamic work, especially in the African American community, has at one time or another come up against it. This syndicate decides who becomes “famous” and who does not. Whose CD lectures are allowed to be sold in Islamic book shops and whose are not. Who is going to be on the “A-1 speakers circuit” (yes, that is exactly what they call it) and who is not. In essence, who is worthy of being heard and who is not.
This syndicate operates like a well-oiled political machine which rewards its “friends” and punishes its enemies. So to be a Blackamerican Muslim “leader” on the lecture/fundraiser/convention circuit means that you have been carefully vetted and screened, and can be relied upon to tow the immigrant line, or at least not criticize it.Blackamerican Muslims must begin to realize that the interests of some immigrant Muslim groups are not necessarily their interests. One recent example of these conflicting interests concerned the presidential candidacy of Barack Obama. Due to certain positions he holds on the Palestinian/Israeli conflict, Blackamerican Muslims were expected to march in lock-step with their immigrant brethren who, in general, are not for him, and completely disregard any positive impact this candidacy might have on Black America.
The hand-picked Black Muslim leaders will never buck the immigrant machine because their livelihoods depend on it. Does it hurt me to have to say this? Of course it does, but you asked me. These brothers were carefully selected, not by their predominantly Black Muslim constituencies (those that ever had one), but rather, the vast immigrant power structure which tightly regulates their access to Muslim audiences and closely monitors what they say, especially when they’re blindly shilling for Palestine. At times, the machine even plays these Black Muslim leaders off one another to its own benefit. More importantly though, it is the job of these select individuals to BLOCK independent voices whose views do not conform to, or in some instances contravene, the aims and objectives of the powerful immigrant establishment. This is accomplished in one of two ways, either by simply ignoring the individual’s work, thus planting suspicion in the minds of the people concerning it, or co-opting his ideas outright once they’ve achieved popularity with the public (which is of course an old communist technique). These Imams live in desperate fear of loosing their “celebrity” status, which could ultimately mean for them a cessation in fund-raising engagements (for which they receive a healthy percentage), first class flights to, and hotel accommodations for the big Islamic conferences, opportunities to hawk their CD lectures, and of course all the public adulation that high profile personalities naturally enjoy. They view any new talent as a mortal threat to the comfortable niche that they’ve carved out for themselves as apologists and operatives for the Immigrant Muslim syndicate. I have felt the heavy hand of this deeply entrenched machine in more ways than I am able to catalogue at this moment. Another post for another day (inshallah).
So there you have it. One man is simply no match for a well-funded, heavy-handed syndicate that has worked tirelessly to silence dissent or any serious intellectual engagement. However upon invitation, and for a modest remuneration, I am availiable to come and discuss at length with any group the ideas found on this blog.