Sunday, January 09, 2005

A "Muslim for Bush" sighting

We have all been busy with different projects at the moment and I am currently working on another entry for the LT blog. But I had to pop in and tell you about seeing Muhammad Ali Hasan on a show with Dennis Miller. For those of you who don't know, Muhammad Ali Hasan is the son of Dr. Malik Hasan and Seeme Gull Hasan. If you add his sisters, including Asma Gull Hasan, author of American Muslims and Why I am a Muslim, you get the entire "Muslims for Bush" team. I thought that it was kinda funny that Islamica News has a T-shirt with an image of the devil saying "Bush Shaitan" but that's another matter all together.

Brothers and sisters, I would have watched the whole show but it was too much. There were two right-wing intellectuals whose names I care not to know bashing "the left" for every evil in this country. Dennis Miller, who is caustic enough for my taste, turned to the younger Hasan and asked him, "Well, how do the Muslims feel about this?" I had to change the channel. It wasn't so much that I feared what he was going to say but I get tired of this idea that one group or one person can fully express how Muslims feel on a particular issue.

We have already addressed our concerns on having Dr. Malik Hasan serve on the Progressive Muslim Union. I don't know what to make of a family that seems politically conservative but socially liberal. I don't why Asma Hasan can write articles on liberal issues for Beliefnet and then turn around and give thousands of dollars to the Bush campaign in 2004. She wrote a section in her first book called Whither Reform Islam? but made the mistake in a previous chapter (in both editions) that the "shahada" is the first verse of the Qur'an. Remember how we argued that ijtihad can only be performed by those who have the knowledge? But these days, if Irshad Manji can write a book claiming to be a reformist, anyone can. (13 minutes and counting.) I don't see how Muhammad Ali Hasan can claim to have any voice in the community while the Hasan family has not, to this day, created any programs to help Muslims. No fellowships, free clinics, scholarships, masjid donations, women's centers, children centers or anything of the like that could help the American umma.

So, I turned it off. Maybe next time I can stomach it but it is very hard to see the RAND report in action. But hey, he had on a very spiffy brown suit with an orange tie. Very spiffy!


Blogger Dema said...

As Salaamu Alaikum,
U know what? I think i know who u are talkign about (the girl at least). I think she was on this show about Islam on the history channel (i have a dvd). Is her hair short?

lol. that is funny how they think they have a voice for the muslim community, but havent established anything in the Muslim community. salaam

8:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Salaam 'Alaikum

It's better, I think, to say that the Hasans haven't established programs for Muslims *that we know of.* I certainly couldn't find but one link between them and the community at large when I went looking. But I did find the business school and music programs and things like that. Allahu 'Alim. They did buy a booth at ISNA this year...

Dennis Miller has totally sold out his cred. Yes, be a conservative, but when you're on the Jay Leno show ... like just completely pandering to the right, begging to be let into the Old Boys' Club after a decade and a half of being "the outsider"? That's selling out.

11:24 AM  
Blogger DrMaxtor said...

I think Hasan's appearance speaks volumes about what type of Muslim they like to showcase on these lame and predictable shows.
Hasan, to my mind is about as deep as a drunken frat boy with way too much time and daddys cash on his hands. Miller ? Please, the man is living proof that being cynical isnt the same thing as being intelligent. A real dullard, that one.

2:36 PM  
Blogger Ginny said...

Assalamu alaikum, the shahadah being the first verse of the Quran? Are you serious? OK, my Islamic knowledge isn't the best, but I know that the shahadah isn't the first verse of the Quran! Wow, Subhanallah, wow! I don't know whether to laugh or cry over this one!

2:50 AM  
Blogger altaf said...

These folks do give money to muslim organizations - but that should not be the criteria for determining what they are about. If they give money to US muslim orgs. with one hand, and then fund people like George Bush, and call his attack and invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan "liberation" - that is giving with one hand and, then causing severe harm with the other.

Being socially or culturally liberal, but not politically is a very old trick in the US. So long as cultural liberalism does not challenge the economic base, and power of the "masters" - anything will be acceptable. What they will not accept, and for which you will be marginalized completely is when you begin to challenge Capitalism, the military and prision industrial complex.

That is what Martin Luther King jr. did towads the end of his life, and what Malcolm X did throughout his public life.

And so, people like these hasans, and others you've talked about here on this blog - will become the darlings of fox, and dennis miller and so on... - because they are in no way addressing "...the cutting issues of justice, invasion, occupation and poverty."

If they were to address these issues, the media love affair would be over - and new darlings would emerge.

Islam is not about trying to "fit in" it is about walking alongside people who are marginalized, and subjected to all kinds of violence - be it in the name of something called "free market" (what a sick joke of a name) - or "democracy" or whatever...

If these people were to do this even for a minute, they would vanish from all media coverage. But as long as they talk about "fitting in" and engage in insulting Muslims they don't agree with - they'll get lots of press.


4:17 AM  
Blogger izzymo said...

Salaam alaikum guys,

Yeah Sister Ginny, it's true and there are some other little tidbits about that book that just don't add up.

So UZ, you are not the only one who noticed how Dennis Miller took a sharp turn to the right? When did he become "mainstream"? I used to like him, too but his humor is too caustic.

Dr. Max, yo man, I waiting for an entry.

Well put Altaf. Muslims can get on TV, but just don't challenge their financial power.

3:41 PM  
Blogger nolelf said...

I just attended a talk by Asma Hasan and I have to admit I was shocked.

The talk was entitled as her last book, 'Why Am I A Muslim?', inviting name for a talk. The room was actually full. I guess most people there didn't know who she is, as I didn't know either.

After 15 minutes talking about how she hurt her knee, and several personal anecdotes, I couldn't believe what she was saying. Or, should I say, what she wasn't saying? She made nonsense, and had several references to the war in Iraq which she seemed to approve of. And, believe me, I respect different points of view, but she didn't give reasons.

By the way, did I say she never mentioned WHY she is a Muslim?

It was a shame...

11:37 PM  

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