Saturday, April 01, 2006

Masjid Security: Another Issue Ignored

Last year Albert Brooks was looking comedy in the Muslim world. In similar vein, I’ve been looking for common sense and honesty in the pro-regressive movement for years now. So far, I’ve been unsuccessful, but an issue of neglect did rear its head. Last month, my local masjid received a threat, the culprit told an unsuspecting sister to “remember my face” after leaving a sealed letter on the minbar. It turned out to be a death threat, and the authorities were notified. The culprit was arrested last week. A couple of months prior, a masjid in northern California was vandalized. This, unfortunately is not “news” since attacks on masajid and Muslims have become common. The issue of neglect I’m referring to is masjid security.

For those people out there who think that absolute “freedom of speech” doesn’t come with consequences, please join us in the real world where rising Islamophobia is increasingly taking on a more virulent and physical form. Many masajid are low on funds, especially after 911 with declining donations but that doesn’t mean we cant take matters into our own hands. When I was in Chicago, our local masjid could not afford to have the parking lot cleared of snow. We decided to shovel it ourselves, and did so several times. Now if we had taken a page out of Asra Nomani’s handbook of self-promotion, there would be camera crews, controversy and calls for a “gender weather jihad” against the elements, not counting a failed run for some masjid committee.

Why hasn’t this issue ever been brought up by our self-appointed reformers? Could it be that this particular concern isn’t flashy enough to gain attention? Or is it simply that they don’t attend masajid to know or care? Some masajid can afford to hire private security services but many can not. I think its high time that we get involved directly and give whatever free time we can to our local masjids and their security.


Blogger ABD said...

as-salaam alaykum. i'm sorry to be blunt, but this is faintly ridiculous. what does masjid security have to do with progressive muslims? and please don't say that's your point. as a fellow conservative muslim, i was hoping for something better than a cheap shot that's wide off the mark.

2:21 PM  
Blogger DrMaxtor said...

Well abd, I'm more then happy to be blunt when I say you dont get it. My point is clear, pro-regressives dont focus on real concerns but will coalesce around non-issues to promote themselves. Unless ofcourse you consider masjid security to be a non-issue.
Dont have to be a "conservtive" to see that.

3:52 PM  
Blogger Edward Ott said...

i must say that i have found Muslims of all ilk to be very lapse in Masjid security. vandalism aside our masjid has been broken in to twice that i know of and robbed of equipment and lights are all that they have installed.


2:48 AM  
Blogger Hamza said...

Excellent article. Muslims need to wake up.

12:25 AM  
Blogger zeitgeistgirl said...

wow nice

6:56 PM  
Blogger ABD said...

as-salaam alaykum. i don't want to prolong the debate, because i think both our points have been stated clearly enough. i simply want to add that we do ourselves a disservice by picking up completely unrelated things to throw in other people's face. calling masjid security a real issue but gender a non-issue would strike progressive muslims (and hopefully many others) as rather offensive. and seriously, are "conservatives" any more vigilant about masjid security?

and i'm sorry that my first comments here are so negative. they don't reflect my broader opinion of the blog.

3:25 AM  
Blogger Aaminah said...

Asalaamu alaikum.

I do agree with others that note that it is definitely not only the Progressives who are ignoring this issue. Muslims across the board seem to neglect masjid security.

However, I will add that I do find it humorous that the Progessives I've known who do yell for women's right to lead a mixed-gender prayer are the same Muslims who do nothing else in their masjid. I mean, we can't all be the Imam, but we can all participate in cleaning, decorating with Allah's names, teaching or at least babysitting the children (at least our own), and a whole host of other basic everyday housekeeping type issues - which includes security. Yet no one seems to want to do those things. Ugg. That's nasty, too time consuming, too large of a committment, "not my thing". We can't look after the masjid and take care of it, and we can't look after each other's needs either, but let's make a big rally around being allowed to lead the brothers in prayer with poor Arabic!

12:37 PM  

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