Azizah Weighs in on African American Muslim Marriages and “Morocco is Not the Solution” From Kuwait

Sometimes I wonder why I am so preoccupied with concerns that are in the states. Right now I’m living in an alternate universe. I’m abroad in an oil rich country where “Fair” equals “Lovely.” All the way across the world, I’m not feeling the reach of many of the containment policies and strategies during this Cold War between Black Men and Black women in America. At this point, I’m joining the non-alignment movement, to focus on development. But I will have my defenses up just in case some missiles shoot my way.

Non-alignment is a good strategy right now. Relationships are just no big on my mind right now. I got some immediate things to take care of. But, the marriage issue does come up often. I get the usual question of whether I’m married or not. Women usually say something like, “Maybe you’ll find someone here.” “Maybe when you get married you can visit us in Yemen.” etc…etc.. A couple of occasions an expat mentioned somebody’s name.But because I’m not doing a back flip just hearing about the random brother. I’m not ready to drop out of my Ph.D. program and become an instant homemaker. So the issue usually passes. A sigh of relief, I get back to focusing on my Arabic and surviving.

I’ve been trying to play matchmaker for a while. And so far, I have a zero success rate in match making. And not so much luck in my own bureau of internal affairs and love. I know all about what not to do. But still who am I to be a matchmaker? Despite any blow back that I have received from a possible link up gone wrong, I still discuss gender relationships with a number of my married and single friends. I like having conversations about Muslim marriages and Black women in healthy relationships. I like seeing positive examples. For many women of different ethnic groups getting married is a given. But not for Black women. Who said life was fair? I guess it will all balance out in the Last Days.

One of the things that drew many Black women to Islam was the idea that women were honored. In fact, as women we applied the Prophet’s (s.a.w.) last speech to ourself, “a white is not better than a black, a black is not better than a white.” When I went to a mosque for the first time it was a predominantly Black mosque. That was the first time I saw so many Black families, in tact families. Sadly, over the years, the reality of unstable marriages in the African American Muslim community settled in. I had saw figures like Malcolm X, loyal to his Betty Shabazz, with a strong sense of self. I just kind of expected Black Muslim men to not buy into gendered racism or colorism. But over time I have seen that there is a small but increasing number of Black men who exclude Black women as viable partners.

Clearly, the growing trend has roots in some shifts in the consciousness of Black American Muslims. In the early 90s there was still that tinge of Black nationalism from the sixties movement. Black Power, Black consciousness, what ever you want to call it, whithered away. More of younger brothers moved away from the W.D. community, critical of what they saw as syncretic practices of “Baptist Muslims.” These Muslims aspired to engage with other mainstream Muslim communities. They began to seek training from immigrant teachers and some even went abroad to study. This generation hoped to integrate into a singular Muslim identity. Bloggers like Tariq Nelson seems to be of this ilk, he sees intermarriage as a way of forging a new American Muslim cultural identity.

As Black Muslims shifted from thinking of ways that Islam could solve issues that plagued the Black community, they begin focus on global issues that seemed to rock the “Muslim world.” During this time Many Black Muslims began looking for a culture. They adopted markers and signifiers. They began wearing thobes, Moroccan jellabas, shawal kameeses, turbans, wearing sandals or those leather socks in winter, speaking with an Arabic or Desi accent. Some men say they want a native speaker of Arabic, so that their children can speak Arabic. Others say they want their children to ahve a culture, especially one they see as closer to the culture of Rasullah (s.a.w.). Basically, they seem to be aspiring to create a new ethnic identity for their children by marrying Arab women or South Asian women.

But over the years, a disturbing trend began to emerge, where professional and educated Black men were buying into some negative stereotypes about educated Black women. I found that we were traded in for Moroccan and Malaysian women, many of whom were not well educated. For these men felt they were trading up. Often these men let us know why these women were the types of women that we never could be.It didn’t take me long to notice that in my immigrant community, white convert women were hot commodities. Initially immigrant Pakistani, Indian, and Arab men pursued them. Over time, I began to see more African American sunni men married to white convert women, as well as immigrant women. As this trend rose, I began to see more and more single African American women. Mind you, these observations are anecdotal. There are no studies, besides one conducted by Zareena Grewal on marriage preferences in four Muslim communities. It affirmed that Black Muslim women were the lowest on the totem pole of marriage choices. Not surprisingly, even the African American informants stated they desired an Asian or Arab bride.Overall, it is a negative message that they are sending. But then again, isn’t this world full of negativity?

African American men frequently feel the brunt of racism when their immigrant brothers at the masjid won’t let their daughters marry African American men. I can’t tell you how many times I have heard a Black Muslim man tell me that was his primary grievance. South Asian families are even more resistant to interracial marriage than most other groups. And they are very unlikely to approve of their daughters marrying an African American male. So some men , with the aspirations of transcending the ethnic, tribal, and so-called racial boundaries have found other ways around it. They have found a place in the world that seems not only to accept interracial marriage, but families seem to welcome these African American men as knights in shining armor who will wisk their princess away to the Land of opportunity.

While this fairy tale should have a happy ending. One where, that the newly married couple cursed, harrassed, or bothred by all those evil Black spinsters and their jealous glares. But apparently some Muslim men are finding certain trends problematic. Maybe I’m not such a evil wench after all.
Umar Lee wrote about the Muslim marriage session at the MANA conference in his blog entry,
“Morocco is Not the Solution” and Thoughts of Muslim Marriage Discussion
. He wrote:

Brothers have personally told me that they would go over to Morocco and spend a lot of money on getting married (flying back and forth a couple of times, flying the sister back, the visa application process, paying the necessary bribes in Morocco to get the marriage license, paying the actual dowry, paying for the wedding, paying for the wedding celebration, giving the family money, etc.) ; but would not give a black woman in America a significant dowry because in their minds black women weren’t worth that much. They would say you can always marry a black woman who will only want you to teach her a sura because she may be hard-up and needing to get married ASAP.

For anyone not familiar with Umar Lee, he is a white American convert who writes a popular blog. And no, I don’t think he’s mad at all the brothers who are stealing those white convert women, let alone the seemingly endless supply of third world women. He continued:

The moment that brought the loudest applause though came towards the end when a brother from the Washington, DC area came to the microphone and simply stated ” brothers, going to Morocco is not the solution” and at those words the sisters erupted in cheers and laugher and many of the brothers chimed in ( although more in laughter).

So then the brother who stood up and said the infamous state, Abdur Rahman, wrote a blog entry explaining his reason for the statement.

It sends a loud and pernicious message to the world that our Black women are too unruly, uncouth, unmanageable, unlovable, unredeemable to take as a wife and to build a life with. I’m sorry, I believe she is not only lovable, but worthy of love. She’s crazy at times, but who isn’t. You can’t be a Black man or women in America and not be a little crazy? And if she happens to be in a lowly condition, isn’t it our responsibility as men, followers of the final Prophet and Messenger to humanity (pbuh), to raise her up by Allah’s permission and place her in her proper station. Does it ever occur to us, or do we even care really, that her lowly and unrefined condition stands as an indictment on our own manhood. I should like to know what other people turn their backs on their own women, heaping scorn and invective on her, calling her vile and despicable names (”chicken head”, “Safire”, “B*#th”).

Over the past year, I have written about this issue. Several times I have weighed in on this subject in comments and other discussions. People may consider me a racist for exploring the damaging effects of racism in the communities that I consider myself to be a member of. Sometimes I speak some uncomfortable truths (well, they’re true for me) from a very unique perspective. But just to be clear, I am not angry that someone made their personal choice. But I am angered when I hear about men who abandon their Black wives and children in favor of their new “mixed-raced” family. I am angered when I hear unfair statements about Black women thrown around to justify their personal choices. But ultimately, I have to let those statements roll off my back. I move on. I can’t internalize it. Yes, there are people who will judge me by color of my skin and say I’m not good enough even though they have felt that how much that hurts when they were discriminated against. Perhaps in their pain, they can’t see the hurt they dish out when they tell women who are not blond enough, not light enough, hair not straight enough, too educated, and have some genetic predisposition to have an attitude. I guess it is hurtful when you live in a society that discriminates against you, then in your own little ethnic enclave, you get devalued. To tell someone they are unworthy of love is truly an injustice.

I don’t think that every Black man who has traveled abroad has consciously though about denigrating his sisters in the states. Nor do I buy into the negative stereotypes about Moroccan women or women from developing nations. Once again, I would like to assure my readers that I am not condemning interracial relationships, but I am condemning racist, essentialist notions that may drive the popularity of a growing trend. I just hope we think about the underlying reasons of why we do things. Ultimately, it is not up to me to judge, but Allah will know your intentions. And that’s what you’re going to be judged by. That’s what we’re all going to be judged by.

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110 thoughts on “Azizah Weighs in on African American Muslim Marriages and “Morocco is Not the Solution” From Kuwait

  1. Very well written. It has style with content : ) There is definitely a generational divide between older AA Muslims and this younger generation. I wonder how much of this is tied to a sense of not having an impulse towards collective action. I am not against interracial marriages but the hard championing of it by bloggers like Musleema and Tariq Nelson is strange to me.

    You are so right in letting all of that racist and sexist bull not penetrate you. You know you are beautiful and smart. Keep up your work!

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  2. Salaam alaikum!!
    Thank you Samira. I think we need to explore the history of our foundling community in America. And by history, I don’t simply mean the history of great men. But we need to look at cultural and intellectual transformations, changing social patterns, demographics like marriage rates, divorce rates, dowry, wedding rituals, funeral rituals, debates about eid, etc. I don’t think we have a very deep understanding of what we’re going through. Maybe we need some Americanist and African American studies scholars, ahem, like yourself to begin doing that work. I’m totally down for doing some Black Atlantic on the Islamic tip type of stuff.

    Zaynab, masha’Allah. Thank you. You are welcome to link to anything I write. I love your page and the work you’re doing.

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  3. As Salaam Alaikum Sister,
    Very well put. I appreciated your thoughtful comments because they were fair, balanced, and insightful. This thing has got to be taken on because its not only an injustice to Black women, its also not the solution for the brothers themselves, who in many cases are absolutely miserable with these Moroccan women. After dinner, prayers, and sex, THEY HAVE ABSOLUTELY NOTHING IN COMMON with these sisters and live in two different worlds, regreting the day they ever went to the place. Keep up the good work.

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  4. I’M MOST HAPPY THAT THERE IS DIALOG ABOUT THIS SUBJECT.I HAVE SO MUCH TO SAY ABOUTT HIS SUBJECT THAT I DON’T KNOW WHERE TO BEGIN,HOWEVER READING EVERYONES COMENTS HAS BEEN BENIFICIAL AND HEALING.

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  5. Pingback: Better doesn’t make your life better « Outlines

  6. Can we also admit the this comes from standard human behavior that occurs all over the world. Men marry for beauty to increase their status and women marry for money and status. Black Muslim men now have access to women who will increase their status. Its just seems like standard human behavior to me. It seems to me that Muslim women have really fell for feminisms lies hook line and sinker. Feminist expect humans to behave contrary to their nature but most of them never do. Even if these men were not going overseas we would complain the men want younger women, thinner women, lighter women, non-ambitious women etc. Yes they do, men want wives, they want women who will take care of them, who are feminine and yes who will increase their status.

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  7. Realist sister,
    I’m not sure if I buy into your “sociological” argument that this is standard human behavior. Nor do I understand why you would simplify Black Muslim women’s gripes. Nor do I think marrying a peasant is about status. Social behavior is far more complicated. One, notions of beauty are a combination of social constructions For example, in societies where women are veiled fully, a woman’s beauty does not increase status. Instead, it is her lineage and the family ties that may allow a man access to certain resources and networks. This women don’t increase these men’s status socially. But the simple fact is that you are not offering any solutions, but instead supporting a racial hierarchy and you are buying into a racial stereotype of Black women as unfeminine. One has to wonder if your statement is about constructive dialog or a critical analysis of this issue or just defending something that is based on fundamentally flawed racial essentializations and universalizing it.

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  8. Realist sister,
    Who and what defines beauty? Are you saying that Morroccan women are more beautiful than African American women? Are you saying that either self-hatred or society’s negative stereotypes of AA women is not a factor in some of those men decision?

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  9. So incredibly, painfully true. We are so worried about lightening our own skin with bleaching cream that “tainting” a lineage with “darker” genes – would be more scandalous than marrying out of the religion, even out of monotheistic faiths. When I ask my parents if they would rather I, a South Asian woman, marry a black muslim or a hindu indian – their answers are shocking. As mothers of sons, look towards the “fairest” of girls for their daughter-in-laws to be, I can imagine that the flip side is even worse.

    I wish I could do more than start with my family, and discuss this with my friends – I think the most we can do is make sure we raise our kids differently – but how does that solve the problem for this generation?

    I hope your words are read by many. Thank you for taking the time to share this with us.

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  10. Realist Sister,
    Just to add to my previous comment, I do not know how marrying an often uneducated and poor Morrocan woman who can barely speak English add to someone’s status.
    I guess that, based on your comment, I’ll have to accept the fact that my daughter might stay single because she is dark-skinned and will be well educated!!

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  11. I’m an African American women who grew up with lots of first generation emigrant Muslims. All my African American Muslim friends (except 1) married guys that accepted Islam after courting. Some are still practicing some gave up Islam. I absolutely love Islam and didn’t want to marry a guy that wanted Islam because he wanted me. I looked for the right educated Arican American Muslim but had no luck. As soon as I gave up on getting married, I met my husband who happens to be Moroccan! He isn’t a mail order husband. I met him in my hometown and the rest is history. We have our ups and downs just like the next couple but also share a bound that I’ve always wished for in a marriage. I totally understand what the sister was saying but lets not lose focus of her message. Lets not turn this in to a hate page. It’s okay to be married to someone that isn’t Arican American but it isn’t okay if you discriminate against other African Americans or anyone else for that matter. Broaden your horizons and you will be surprised at what Allah allows you to see. May Allah give us all hidiyah

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  12. I have been having an on going discussion on a mainstream black site about black men, marriage, and globalism. People need to be honest about the way things are and where they fit in in the social hierarchy–at least in how they are perceived by others. For a lot of reasons, black (American) women do not rate high on people’s list for marriage. I am not justifying people’s attitudes or the reasons why (many) African-American women behave in a way that makes them unappealing to many men. This is simply the reality in which we live. And, of course, i am generalizing here.

    Also, there is simply a lot of bad blood between bm/bw. A lot of this goes back to the pre-Islamic lives many African-Americans led. We all know they were a mess at best. I don’t know if bm/bw can repair their relationships because they are so dysfunctional. Black Americans have an OOW (out of wedlock) rate of 70%. Black boys grow up in homes devoid of men–and black girls grow up in homes with bitter women. This simply isn’t a recipe for family stability.

    In regards to AA Muslims, we still have inherited a lot of this baggage. And it is rife in some Muslim communities. I think that many African-American males see exogamous marriages as a means of BREAKING THE CYCLE.

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  13. … Sorry, my response got posted prematurely…

    The black men do not want to see their children raised in the drama laden households that black Americans are infamous for. Also, they don’t want to have wives that they have to constantly prove themselves to–wives who are always suspicious of their manhood. And black women, rightfully, want men who are going to be responsible. Again, much of this goes back to the bad blood between bm/bw and the lack of trust and a lack of resepct between them.

    The solution is twofold: one is to address the deplorable lack of genuine Islamic knowledge in the African-American community. Without the adequate tools–even with “good intentions”–the person will not have the means to grapple with their problems, much less solve them. The other side is after getting the knowledge, a whole lot of introspection needs to take place, and people need to work on their hearts and work to rid them of the rijis (filth) that is in them. This means people hae to do a WHOLE LOT of submitting an surrendering themselves to Allah and His Taqdeer (Divine Predestination). Until people have REALLY submitted to what Allah has willed, they won’t find tranquility in their social or family life because they have not found tranquility in their hearts.

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  14. For example, in societies where women are veiled fully, a woman’s beauty does not increase status.

    So why have Arabs been obsessed with white women for centuries, from my limited reading of history, Slavic, Caucasian heritage trumps Arab lineage.

    I am just describing reality. The bulk of the men going over seas could care less about the woman being intelligent, it ups their status to have a non-Black/light wife. If not why don’t they go to Sudan to find a wife who probably speaks better Arabic. They want women that in the US they could never get because most of them are poor and uneducated, so they go to Morocco and get her. I doubt they care about having deep philosophical conversations.

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  15. Realist,
    From what I gather, your limited reading leads to a limited understanding of history, human societies, and culture. But that is human nature to take limited information and make broad generalizations.

    Arabs had slave concubines from Europe, as well as Africa. the positive thing about having a concubine was that she had no family connections that could serve as a threat. Arabs also had fairness as a beauty standard, but that was something predating European contact (or at least contact with Northern Europeans). You will find that frequently, Arab traders in Africa intermarried with African families. And Ethiopian women were highly prized, and there still are many Kenyans who have Arab descent and continue to marry with Yemeni Arabs. As far as what I have read in Iberian history, they weren’t preferring to marry Visigothic women over Arab women, leaving Arab women out to dry. Originally, when the Arabs conquered North Africa and Andalusia, Berber women were highly prized as slave girls in the Umayyad court. As the Berbers became Muslim, that supply of concubines and songstresses dried up. Singing slave girls were the rage because they did not have the same sexual restrictions that noble Arab women had. There was one Andalusian poet who wrote about the ideal of the blond slave girl. Slavs were not high status people. Nor did the Ottomans (who were not Arab) raided Circassia for slaves not because they believed that they were high status, but people subject to ghazi raids and whose women could be sold into bondage and as well as young boys incorporated into the army as slave soldiers.

    I think what you write is based on a lot of assumptions about Black men. Many of these men are educated or professional and they have enough money to fly to Morocco, pay for visa fees, pay for dowry, and support their dependent wives. Believe me, Black men don’t have a problem marrying white women. There are lots of women who want to be with and marry black men. They don’t have to leave the country. Sure, color may have something to do with it. But I know plenty of fair complexioned black women who are as light as a number of the Moroccan women who are brought over. In fact, Morocco has a large Black population.

    Also, there are Black men who do marry Sudanese, Somalian, and Ethiopian women. They they don’t take as many flights to East Africa because it costs a lot more and those countries aren’t major tourists zones. In addition, there are certain cultural practices in East African Muslim communities that provide some serious challenges, such as infibulation. That is not to say that all East African women have had the procedure done. But it is more likely that a peasant girl there would have had the procedure done and I know stories about how this caused problems in marriages. Regardless, I know a number of brothers married to Sudanese, Somalian, and Ethipian women, as well as Filipino and Malaysian.

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  16. Great post sister Margari. It was well written. Those who have read my blogs in the past know I am not calling for indiscriminate mass interracial marriages amongst Muslims, not in the least. I have stated many times that sisters (of any race) who are attracting and/or attracted to Black Muslim men who are unstable and/or unreliable financially, emotionally, and mentally are themselves apart of the problem. For those sisters marrying a different race most likely would not do any good because of their internal problems. That has to be identified and worked on and out of their system properly before they’ll be able to attract and maintain goodness in their intimate relationships.

    For the other sisters, I do think interracial marriages are a viable option mainly because there aren’t enough good black Muslim men to go around for every sister to have one. This is due a number of reasons such as brothers being in penal system, already married, and also because their conversion numbers are not equal to Black women. What to do? There are excess of good Muslim men in many Muslim dominated countries. These brothers more often come from intact Muslim families, they usually understand the importance of the familial bond (read:are less likely to pronouce a divorce over something trivial) and have greater numbers of educated men.

    There are issues that can and do arise within interracial marriages. I’m in one, I’m not trying to paint it rosy. But every marriages has its thorns. With the current state that many Black and other minority Musleemat are dealing with and being humilated by I can only see our sisters situations being elevated by branching out, inshallah.

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  17. Realist Sister

    I am wondering about how color struck black American Muslim men are in this regard. Perhaps, i am very naive about this issue, but the black men i know don’t have an issue with the color of African-American women–or their attractiveness. We have, relatively speaking, quite a few Ethiopians in our community, and i find them particularly attractive (i’d say considerably more so than Moroccan Sisters on the whole). I know much of the Muslim world is EXTREMELY color struck, but i wonder about African-American men in this particular regard. Although, i am AA, our community here is small and not very diversified. When i lived in the Northeast and was involved with a larger branch of our organization, the community was primarily AA, and i only know of one AA Brother who married Moroccan (and the last time i spoke with him, he wasn’t very happy with his situation). I know this goes on more frequently in other communities, but i am wondering how much of it is is related to Moroccan women being fairer skinned than it is to them being accessible.

    One of the main reasons i would think that black men would marry Moroccans is that they want a wife who speaks “Arabic,” and he wants a wife who, if not raised with genuine Islamic values, at least has the values of the “Old Country”–i.e., non-feminist values.

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  18. Well your initial comment painted the men who go overseas as acting on racists/sexist notions. I was only pointing out they are acting on natural inclinations, the desire for men to have domestic, feminine wives and also a bit of the exotic which I still maintain is to increase their status. as far as white women, many of them don’t want to marry AA. Also some have the western feminist baggage that the men are trying to get away from. Plus a lot of the white Sisters I know want to marry Arab or Pakistani.

    Swarth Moor, AA are definitely not a color struck as immigrant Muslims, but it exists, there is no denying it and being Muslim gives them access to women they would not have access to in
    America

    Anyway, I am black just noting my observations, I am not saying its ideal for them to go overseas so much but its not some deep conspiracy, just natural human behavior.

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  19. Realist sister,
    I have too much on my plate to pick apart your many problematic statements. I will let me readers compare what I have written and the assertions you make and let them judge. But ultimately, I think you have some flawed assumptions. As for now, I’ll let you feel like you won this argument.

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  20. Re: “Black boys grow up in homes devoid of men–and black girls grow up in homes with bitter women. This simply isn’t a recipe for family stability.”

    So how is it possible for these black boys to have successful marriages with nonblack women? How are they able to fulfill the role of husband, leader of the household, provider, and father when these roles were absent? SOME claim black women aren’t marriageable, but using this statement alone I would assume black men are LESS desirable and successful as husbands.

    Fortunately most black women don’t buy the hype that we aren’t desired mates for marriage. we are.

    On the other hand, all these black men marrying nonblack women are doing is producing more black children….gotta love the DNA

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  21. Hmmm,

    I agree that many black men (Muslim) suffer from many pathologies because of the way they were raised and the absence of responsible black men in the household and community. However,, there are black men who transcend their circumstances (as well as, women… but let me make my point). And those who have transcended their circumstances and “have their stuff together” good enough to go to Morocco to “secure” a wife, generally demonstrates that they is functioning on a level higher than the Brother who can’t stay off the pipe or out of the pen.

    For the black women who “have themselves together,” well, usually that implies largely taking on the roles of men. She may have a college degree and a relatively well paying job. These qualities are not necessarily sought in a wife. The other black women–those who are poor and uneducated–tend to also be urban and “ghetto” and have all the pathologies that a “together” AA Muslim does not want to see go on into the next generation.

    I am not blaming AA women for getting college degrees and seeking some degree of independence, for she has little or no support network if her husband-to-be dies, divorces, or abandons her. I am simply saying that the bw drive to become (dunya) “successful” very frequently is a turn off to black men–even those who may be more educated and “successful” than she. And that may be why some black men look overseas for a Sister.

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  22. Swaarth Moor,

    It is not blameworthy to get you education and be knowledgeable. Nor it is all about dunya. The sisters equipped with degrees in English, Math, Sciences, Business, Pharmacy, ect. are equipped to teach our children in Islamic schools, volunteer in Islamic organizations. The Muslim women who have become doctors can treat Muslim women with sensitivity. The Muslim women social workers and counselors are healing people’s hearts and minds. They work in our communities, they build. They home school their children. The men who marry these women are often grateful that they can have conversations with their wife. Some even put their wives through school in order to cultivate her mind. Me for example, I went back to school to become a teacher. How is that taking on the role of a man? That is a matter of being able to educate myself (something we are all enjoined to do as Muslims), my children, and my community.

    If we follow that logic than the the Mother of the Believers, Khadijah (r.a), would be an undesirable woman. She was a successful business woman. She was one of the four perfect women. No one doubts her feminity. There is nothing in Islam that discourages us from being educated or working. In fact, I live in a very Muslim country where the university enrollment rate is 60% women. Also, Islamic law clearly indicates that women can work. The thing is, she can keep her own money and she doesn’t have to contribute to the household. But she can if she wants to.

    I fail to see what you are offering as a solution to these negative perceptions of Black women. Are you saying they should burn their degrees and not go to school and hope that some man will see them as feminine because they are not a threat? Other than that, ship us off in boxcars to get to the final solution and let Black men transcend their condition by marrying abroad?

    I propose a simpler solution. Have educational programs in our community centers so that we begin to have positive, healing dialogs between Black men and women. Have panels on marriage and relationships. Talks, lectures, books, etc. We need to address the guy culture in our communities that has allowed men to foster fantasies about marriage and myths about what it means to be a woman, as well as being a man. Our imams need to talk to these brothers and explain how promoting false assumptions about any group of people is wrong. Then they need stress that it is important that our niyyah is right when we’re looking for a spouse.
    At this point, continually asserting that Black women are not real women is not only hurtful, but destructive.

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  23. Margari,

    What you are proposing is an ideal, and believe me, an attractive AA Sister who is educated and understands her role as a woman is the most appealing. However, education is not within the reach of everyone–or they are not inclined for such. I am not condemning education–or even education in secular fields for women. To the contrary it is fard kifayyah (a communal obligation) in certain branches of secular learning. The problems lies in the nature of the education system in the West (or in the Muslim countries, which are now largely imitations of the Western system).

    What is sought first and foremost in a man (other than piety) is his ability to financially support his family. For the woman, she is sought for ability to maintain the home and take care of the children. College (theoretically) provides men with the skills he needs to provide for his family. College does not provide women with the skills that would make them good mothers or homemakers. To the contrary, it is at the very core of the Western education system to indoctrinate women with a HATRED OF TRADITIONAL FEMALE ROLES. It makes no pretense about this.

    In the case of black women, this is all the more debilitating when you consider the cicumstances from which many of them came. Many grew up in single (female) headed households with mothers who didn’t hesitate in showing their open disdain for black men. Those black women who do “have themselves together” to transcend such circumstances then go to college and often read books by various feminists under the tutelage of lesbian professors. On the whole, what i have seen–at least among non-Muslim African-Americans, they are utterly unwilling to be critical of this kind of “education,” but feel they have “arrived,” and need not listen to a man. This does not make for a good Muslim woman identity–or a good wife.

    A couple of other points: people’s perceptions are often based on direct experience. Black people need to get beyond the PCisms and understand that many of these stereotypes are based in reality. Black women are perceived in such a (negative) light because of people’s actual experiences with them (and, of course, the same can be said of black men). If upon investigation, the stereotypes are actual general trends or prevailing beahviors, then these trends and behaviors need to be addressed and not ignored because so-called Political Correctness tells us it is wrong to make generalizations about people.

    I do agree wholeheartedly that these matters need to be discussed candidly. And people need to have the maturity to handle these critical matters as adults–and not act emotionally and allow such discussions to degenerate into an exchange of insults or blaming the opposite for the collective failure of marriage among African-American Muslims.

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  24. So, Swarth Moor, you are claiming that education has made Black women not only less undesirable, but not good Muslim women, and not good wives. I find that to be a crummy consolation for all our sisters who have been denied education opportunities due to systematic racial oppression and social inequality.

    So, if you find western education a problem, then why have we not thought of alternative education programs? If you look at the history of Muslim reform movements the education of women was a huge component of transforming those communities. You can go back to ‘Yan Taru in Northern Nigeria with Nana Asma’u or Muhammad Abdu’s emphasis on the tarbiyya of women in Egypt during the 19th century. I wonder what evidence can you produce to show that college educated Muslim women make poor wives as well as terrible Muslims. In fact, it is through the MSAs that many of us found our Muslim identity and learned how to be better Muslims.

    You make the assumption that western educated women reject traditional roles. When the reality is that working women still perform gender specific tasks. Also, as far as educated women being undesirable in the Black population? Why is that not the general trend in the larger population? Why is it that educated white men still seek mates who have degrees? Why is it that Black men in integrated areas marry their white co-workers and class mates?

    I think that your assertion that education is undesireable may apply to the men you know and interact with. But that is not wholesale the case. From my own personal experiences, men have admired my intellect and respected my educational background. They have respected other women who have gone on to earn their degrees. In fact, they have considered me a full package. It is not like people are rejected me because I have a masters, and worked hard to get it. Just the types who think women’s knowledge should be limited to cooking a tajine on a propane run stove aren’t going to go for someone like me. And some of those men miss having intellectual conversations with women they can relate too.

    Contrary to your depiction, and even my at times combative online persona, my education has not undermined my role as a woman. I’m very feminine, thank you, and I have all those domestic skills down. You can master those by the time you’re thirteen and perfect those before your early twenties. I don’t have to have people give testimonials. but a man with confidence and strength of character will never feel like my education credentials will challenge him.

    My blog has not laid blame or even accused Black men of being less than men. But your comments assert that Black women who are educated are less than women. You seem to assert it is our problem, that we are somehow undermining Black men’s manhood. I don’t agree with all your assersations, but I definitely can’t agree with your sweeping generalizations. Its not about being PC, but about having a real understanding of the social patterns and they ways in which certain ideas become the norm.

    Well, I’m not ready to burn my diplomas and forget everything I have learned. Nor am I going to be bashed over top of the head for striving. But clearly from what I gather you are of the opinion that western education is damaging Black Muslim marriages (funny all my immigrant Muslim friends who are married have at minimum BAs).

    As it is, I will let you have your last word. I’ve spent way too much time and energy arguing. I know this is giving you an outlet and you have your own forum to express your views and support people who are the same mind and ilk as you. But as usual, I am glad to know what negative perceptions of Black women I have to face when I return to the States.

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  25. Just for the record, and to whomever else may see this. I did say at the very beginning of my post to Aziza:

    <<>>

    As a matter of fact i am ALL FOR ALTERNATIVE ISLAMIC SCHOOLS in the West, and have given consideration to striking a balance between educating female students who are inclined and capable of acquiring college degrees, without sacrificing obedience to Allah and being good wives and mothers. Virtually all Muslim girls will go on to be wives and mothers, but they will not necessarily go on to attain college degrees. Hence, it is wiser to prepare them for what they will all face than it is to force them into areas that they don’t necessarily want to go–or make them feel inadequate because they lack “higher education.”

    I am making the assumption that Western educated women reject traditional roles BECAUSE WESTERN EDUCATION TEACHES THE REJECTION OF TRADITIONAL (female) ROLES. It is the stated agenda of Western educational agencies to indoctrinate Muslim women (in Islamic ountries) with feminism so that they (the West) can destabilize the Muslim countries. The very same thing was done in the US in the African-American community (and the society at large). Feminism has wrecked havoc on the American family structure, and that was its objective (read: Frankfurt School).

    Sadly, Magari miscontrued what i have said. I never said that i have problem with women learning. I have a problem with women being UNCRITICAL of the nature of the Western education system and the agenda behind it. Western education–from an Islamic perspective–should not be seen as something benign. For instance, the person she praised as a “religious reformer,” Muhammad `Abduh was a Freemason, NOTORIOUS agent of the British, and opponent of Islam. The attack on Islamic education by the West is part and parcel of the West’s assault on Islam. The challenge for Muslims is to provide Muslim girls/women with relevant and adequate educations that will enable them to deal with the West.

    ON GENERALIZATIONS AND STEREOTYPES

    We make generalizations so that we can communicate effectively. We generalize so that we see “the big picture.” Whether or not Magari has “attacked” black manhood, that doesn’t mean that there isn’t a problem with it. The fact that the black community is in the ruins that it is in and 1,000,000 black men aren’t in jail on any given day means that black men are not collectively being men. And much the same can be said about black women. Black America is in the condition that it’s in because obviously somebody isn’t doing their job. These aren’t mere “stereotypes”–these are reflections of the on the ground reality of black America. A reality that sadly affects African-American Muslims far too much.

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  26. Salaam,

    Interesting dialogue. I enjoyed reading the post and the comments. I’m glad that as young Muslims we’re talking about these kind of topics. Introspection is a great thing to have. Unfortunately, the African American community in the US has been utterly devastated in every way for centuries and African American Muslims are part of that community and will have many of the same problems. Alhamdulillah, groups like MANA have started to do something about it.

    I have to say that one of the most tragic stereotypes of African American women is their disposition to have an attitude, which goes to the heart of their femininity. It would only make sense that brothers without confidence in themselves would want to stay away from someone they think is unfeminine (not obedient and docile which is probably their concept of femininity; its all about power) or too strong from them to handle. The media and society at large further this and we’d be fools to think that African American men are immuned from internalizing much of that garbage. I’ve read other articles that talk about the same exact thing, except without the Muslim part.

    Immigrant Muslims don’t really help when they look down at African American Muslims and look up at anything white. It is sad, but this is the lot of Muslims in the US. Being from Africa (black and american), it is really sad (and sick and deceptive) to see Immigrant Muslims (including Africans) bleaching themselves to become more fair. The only way I can make sense of this is that the older generations are mentally colonized in addition to having very little religious knowledge and lots of desire for accumulating things. Believe it or not, in my experience at least, Immigrant Muslims tend to know less about Islam than those born here, came here as very young, or converts. If you are looking for religious knowledge in the Muslim world, you gots to know the right people (i.e. those with religious knowledge that live here), or else your wasting time and money to look for religious knowledge in Muslim countries. Knowing/speaking Arabic does not substitute for having a sound understanding of religion and for being pious. Unfortunately, that’s the kind mistake people make when there is no one (equipped) to help and guide in the process.

    Some African American brothers may have good intentions but without the knowledge you’ll make blunder after blunder. On the other hand, some brothers make marital decisions according to superficial things. African American Muslims are NOT alone in this. I went to lecture by a Muslim Scholar from Canada and he commented how terrible the Muslim marital situation was there. Unfortunately, many of us are not ready to get married and for our own good shouldn’t. It takes time, effort, and sincerity to prepare for marriage, and make crucial decisions in a sober state.

    hasbiyAllah wa ni’malwakeel

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  27. Just to add a little more, I think African American Muslims and American Muslims in general are in a really good position to break all this racism down (which is the root of this problem) and to restore black families as functional again. Even if you’re not African, African American Muslim problems are also your problem, if you are a Muslim that is.

    I’ve seen these kind of debates happening among African American intellectuals and academics and I was a bit disappointed simply because many of them urged severing ourselves from traditional understandings of society and culture. Thankfully, we have Islam, what other major religion has Africans as early Major players (Bilal r.a., Negus, and much more). Imam Zaid has written a piece about Islam and blackness in his book Scattered Pictures. Maybe, its being from the West coast, but my experiences with American Muslim youth at my university has really been positive, especially from those who internalized the teachings of Islam. And that gives me lots of hope for African American Muslims and the generality of Muslims.

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  28. The prophet said: “A woman is sought in marriage for four reasons: wealth, social status, beauty, and deen. So seek the one with deen: may you then be successful”. (Al Bukhari & Muslim)

    So plz stop all this ignorance and division. The Muslim Ummah is one, no color, borders or country. If you are a new convert please learn the relgion very good before you cause division and misunderstanding. There is no racism in Islam, any Muslim that does racism is ignorant and should be irrelevant. If you disagree on something go back to the Koran.

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  29. Racism does not exist in islam,funny.Racism exists in every society,its one of the horrible facts of life that we must accept.I am a black muslim girl and i have had to deal with fellow muslims calling me all sorts of names because of the colour of my skin.Refuting the existence of racism among muslims is ignorant.The Koran may prohibit it but we all know us humans arent so good with adhering to the written word.All we can really do is pray that we eradicate this menace and find it in ourselves to accept fellow muslims as brothers and sisters despite the colour of our skin,but to refute its existence doesnt serve much of a purpose.Its best that we recognize its existence and aim to change.

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  30. As Salaam Alaikum,

    Dear Sister I believe this is one of the best pieces on this subject I have read and I have to whole heartedly agree. I too almost fell into the trap of believing that I had to find a Muslimah that was not black in order to strengthen my deen, however, I utilized the teachings I received in the NOI as a catalyst to look at black women in the proper light and while I still believe that black women are a “trip” I still married my beautiful Harlem born and raised educated sister. I’m not saying that black women are better than other women, but I truly believe that we men have serious self hate issues when we can’t see value or beauty in our own women.

    Elijah Muhammad love him or hate him wrote “You can judge a people by the way they treat their women” and as black men in America we have truly missed the mark.

    I don’t have any problems with interracial marriages, but like you when they are sought out or advocated for racist reasons, those individuals have to be shown their sickness.

    It is our problem as men when our inferiority complexes and insecurity allows us to be afraid of a strong woman.

    What does it say about us as men and leaders, if we are too scared to deal with a woman who is our equal.

    My wife was more educated than I and more stable than I, but I didn’t let my insecurities get in the way. Yeah she’s a black woman from NY that doesn’t take my crap for one minute, but that’s what I wanted and that’s what I needed. A Muslimah that will challenge me to be better.

    If men want to be lazy with their Islam and not pursue a strong woman to in turn strengthen them, then I pity them. Thinking the grass is greener isn’t always the truth as I know some Arab women that give the sisters a run for their money in the hit you with a frying pan contest! 🙂

    My point is, our ONLY standard should be in line with the prayer of the Prophet (saw) as it relates to finding a partner:

    “O Allah, grant me Your Love and the love of that person whose love will hep me attain Your Love….”

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  31. I orginally poster this on Umar lee’s blog..but i wasnt sure if u would see it..

    Margari…i am so glad that you are here….more people need to be open and frank like you..about RACISM..about BLACK SKIN..and BLACK WOMEN

    if the problem wasnt so bad..then all of north africa and the arabian gulf wouldnt try so hard to wipe away any trace of their african ancestry ..and when i say try hard…i mean try really really hard….

    i havent seen so many european white women being imported (either by marriage..which is more common or prostitution) into Kuwait, UAE, KSA since the circassian slave trade…these women are idealized, glorified and are literally seen as Allah’s most precious creation…so you can imagine on the opposite side of the spectrum..how black women are seen in these societies…

    lol…i am afraid that in 50 years or so the arabian gulf will be primarily made up of blonde haired blue eyed arabs of european decent instead of the beautiful dark featured arabs of today…but sometimes…God gives you exactly what u ask for…

    someone stated earlier that..the only problem a black person would have in the middle east is finding a good job..or getting married……i am sorry…but i almost wanted to break my computer in half from reading such a tragic statement..

    how can a person think that being able to find a good stable job, and having a good life with a family and respect of the community as something small and unimportant???????

    if anything..one of the biggest problems effecting the middle east and the arabian gulf IS colorism, “racism” and lack of identity….

    as an african american women with experience in the arabian gulf..i can tell you that…it is very difficult living in a society where as a black woman…you are considered to be..absolutely the bottom of the barrel…i mean ur the crust and dirt at the bottom of the barrel…it doesnt matter your education level, ur intelligence, ur beauty..its all about color and race..

    thats why it upsets me when i hear men..especially black/arab/south asian men make comments about black women not having the personality of an ideal mate

    black women….stop listening to their excuses..its not your personality..its not your behavior..it is your race and skin color…plain and simple..point BLANK!

    you could have the nicest, kindest, personality…you could be the most modest, most intelligent woman..but because your black..many of the men will not even jokingly consider you for marriage

    dont think for a second that it is YOU..the reason why a white woman can convert to islam and the next day have 1000 men asking her to be his wife…is because of the colorism and the racism that is still present today

    and this is why..we need to fight HARD to combat this type of colorism within the middle east and the arabian gulf…because it effects ALL the people that live there..and it is now heavily effecting the muslim population in the united states….particulary black women

    fight the colorism so that people can live in peace and have respect for people of all different shades and colors….

    Margari…I will comment alot more on ur blog..there is so much i want to say to you..i love ur blog and i hope u will continue to comment on ur experience as a black woman in the arabian gulf….i know its hard..but u must tell the world the truth…be safe..be careful…please be careful..my prayers to you…

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  32. I know many white males converted to Islam and married black Muslim women ( East Africans). So I don’t see anybody saying something about that, do we? And please don’t generalize all Muslims, If you seen some Muslims doing something thing, it doesn’t mean all Muslims (there are more then 1.5 billion Muslims of all colors, cultures and languages).

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  33. General Khalid said:

    I know many white males converted to Islam and married black Muslim women ( East Africans). So I don’t see anybody saying something about that, do we? And please don’t generalize all Muslims, If you seen some Muslims doing something thing, it doesn’t mean all Muslims (there are more then 1.5 billion Muslims of all colors, cultures and languages).

    I’ve seen this too although I have to say there aren’t that many AMW living where I live at compared to other women. AMW are very much desirable, don’t let anyone else fool you other wise. Also, a lot of the people in the Muslim world have some really bad issues and I would be super extremely careful when considering someone overseas. I don’t think the young Muslim generation at the US have as much personal issues when it comes to race, although the parents could be a pain at times. I’ve seen many times the parents stop the youth from having fulfilling lifes with their chosen spouses.

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  34. Anna,

    Why do you think that black women should be in high demand? Is it not because black people are still seen as part of a slave class–throughout much of the world. And then when you look at the condition, of “black” Africa (or black America, for that matter), it is not likely to win many people’s respect and admiration. Furthermore, via the media, white women are considered the standard of beauty. In addition to that, white women were in high demand in the Muslim world even before colonialism.

    In the case of African-American men, the issue that MANY of them have with black women is their (AAW) notorious attitude. Saying that black women don’t have an infamous attitude doesn’t mean that it doesn’t exist. Of course that is not to say that all AAW have bad attitudes, but that is their reputation, and it is not completely undeserved. I don’t know what extent this is a matter of mere skin color for AAM (i think this is more a matter of black women projecting their insecurity into the situation). You have to be honest and look at the circumstances from which most black (converts) come to Islam. Broken families, criminality, and drug/alcohol abuse are rife in black families, and many AAM don’t want the ghetto branches of the wife’s family being involved with his children. Black men know how bad the black family is, and quite frankly, want to break the cycle. Nothing is blameworthy in that.

    The whole problem stems from the lack of leadership among African-American Muslim (men). Until black people produce high level world leadership, then people will continue to look down on black folks. That’s just human nature. Black women are not going to be able to fix the situation by getting “loud and confrontational” about racism–for all it does is reinforce the stereotype of the belligerent black woman. Nobody wants a part of that.

    What can be done is for AA men and women to sit down and have reasonable discussions about marriage/race amongst AA Muslims. What can be done to make black women more desirable as mates? And what can be done to show AA men that marrying a foreign woman is no guarantee for marital tranquility? Folks need to get over their insecurites and be honest with themselves, for until this happens, people will continue living in fantasy worlds with no practical solutions for real world problems.

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  35. Swarth… you said, “many AAM don’t want the ghetto branches of the wife’s family being involved with his children”

    What about the ghetto branches of his family? Let’s back up one minute, why not be selective of whom you marry. Ghetto men tend to reproduce with ghetto women because that’s all they are exposed to. These AAM are rasied by these ghetto women, so what are they fleeing from other than themselves? I was with you, up to this point bruh

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  36. this was a really great post by the way. The “realist” is just parroting some very systematically racist social constructions that unfortunately people can be acritical about and accept as truth reflected in reality rather than as the stereotyping constraints that they are—they are racist notions that need to be broken down, challenged, and done away with.

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  37. Bint Will,

    Of course, Bint Will, one should be selective about whom one should marry–and not just the spouse, but the family that comes along with the spouse. Many black folks–even relatively well to do black families–often have ghetto elements. Somebody somewhere in the family is fornicating on the regular, having illegit kids, or is/has done time in prison. The man, being the man, can shield his children from those elements in his own family, but he can’t do the same if the wife decides to “go and visit the fam.” This makes things complicated for the man who wants something different for his children than what he was exposed to growing up.

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  38. Do I need some scrutiny of my lineage and extended family as if I’m marrying a Hashimite or some big Najdi tribe?

    You have given all the reasons why Black men shouldn’t marry Black women. What about all the reasons why Black women shouldn’t marry Black men? There’s a whole laundry list, BTW. A Black woman wrote a blog saying why Black men were poor choices and I defended my brothers. Now, I wonder what was the whole point?

    Attitude, ghetto family, education, bad programming, All the decent brothers being wise enough to marry a good girl from a good family from a good village in a mystical Muslim country. What’s the point of Black women and men sitting down and talking? Really, so much of what you said really makes it a futile conversation. You’ve written makes me think that there is no hope for the black family–not that I’m invested that much in the concept. But really, you provide a grim picture for many of us convert African American women. After this conversation on my blog and Umar Lee’s I am even less so inclined. I’m not trying to be confrontational, more so I’m all about disengagement. I’m just shaking the load off, good riddance. I really don’t need to headache.

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  39. margari… most of the time excuses these men give…i lived in the middle east long enough to know that this myth of the perfect muslim immigrant family does not exist…black men say this only to excuse their actions…

    …the same problems that exist within the black community exist in another communities as well…the different is there is a respect of tradition…without family..without the stability of those relationships..the culture will fall apart
    ….but that is unfortunately slowly changing due to the effects of globalization….u see the soaring divorce rates in the gulf…its a different generation…

    however, they do not air their dirty laundry…and most men from that region will not disrespect their own women in the presence of foreign men…they would stand up for their women..and defend them to their death…

    people..when i say that black women are not wanted..because of their race and skin color…i am not saying this because i have an inferiority complex..i am saying this because its usually true..

    almost every man wants a strong minded woman..no man wants a doormat that he can walk all over….

    the same characteristics that people reject and redicule in black women…are the same characteristics that men seek in women..outside of the black race

    this hurts me…because i see women like margari and others..beat themselves up because they think something is inherently flawed with them..because they have such a difficult time finding a mate…but its not ur personalities or attitude…the first thing these men see is ur skin color and ur race….

    i will say this..even if every single black woman on the face of this earth was sweet, kind, open minded, loving, modest, intelligent human beings..many of of them will STILL be SINGLE because of the perception of race…colorism..and the self-hatred that has become internalized in so many people…

    black people..stop comparing yourselves to the “immigrant” muslim cultures..because they are not better than you and you dont have to try to win their approval…we have a rich history and culture that many of us havent even tapped into…

    the only thing that will truly fix the “crisis” of the black family is re-claiming an african identity…one of our biggest problems is our lack of identity

    and for the record…i love he middle east and the gulf…i love the region and the cultures and i think it is truly beautiful…..so maybe i was exaggerating when i said that most gulf men look for a blonde trophy wife..that is NOT true for every single man there…
    …but i guess what i was trying to say that even men from “immigrant” cultures….fall into the trap of thinking there is something “better” out there..that having a woman with lighter features and lighter skin is better….its not just black men who suffer from this affliction…

    correct me if i am wrong margari…but i do think there is a great benefit of being a black woman living in the Gulf…ur life is a lot more peaceful..probably not a lot of men bother u too much..hopefully only the good quality ones..who look past color and race..open minded..but not in a bad way (i think)…ur extremely beautiful…just think of ur so called black skin as something that filters out the “evil”…i find that its usually quality guys would would dare approach me…

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  40. Aziza,

    We have to look at ourselves honestly and objectively. That is my point. It should be clear that i am no apologist for black male dysfunctionality, but that is not the discussion here. To the contrary, the root of the whole problem–and its solution–lies with black males getting themselves together. There is NO WAY black America could be in its condition if black men were doing their job. I am only hard on black females (and males) to the extent that we have to demand more from ourselves.

    Also, Aziza, there is no reason to take this personally. I am making generalizations that are based upon years of experience, but i know that what i am saying doesn’t apply without exception. As black people, we all know that we have several strikes against us. Such is the way of the world in which Allah created us. The solution, however, is to apply the old school proverb: “Since you are black, then you have to be better than everyone else.” You are a black woman, and you know that you have a reputation that precedes you. I can say the same about myself being a black man. Okay. Then what? We have to put forth a greater effort to surmount the various obstacles that will placed in front of us. For one, i have to be extra keen not to “slip into stereotypical behaviors” (which are rightfully proscribed by civilized folk)–and the same can be said of black women.

    I don’t see anything wrong about this. And i don’t feel pessimistic. I see it as an opportunity to aim extremely high and transform myself, and God-willing, transform the world, for the sake of Allah. But that can’t happen as long as we are complacent with mediocrity and the shortcomings of ourselves.

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  41. Salaam alaikum,
    Just to clarify, I don’t have an inferiority complex nor do I think something is inherently flawed with me. But I do acknowledge that some people look at me as if I am lesser or that I am inherently flawed. may put me out of the running of some men.

    Swarthmore, it is personal. You’ve written things that implicate me. People see me through that lens. If the exception doesn’t speak up, then we many just apply those generalized statements to everyone.

    I’m not committed to the idea of the Black family as an institution. I really think it is harmful for the mental health of a lot of sisters, especially in the region of US where I’m from. The Bay area is very mixed, with a high percentage of multi-racial families. Almost every woman who is committed to that idea and is still single seems to be very angry and gets upset every time she sees a Black man with a non-Black woman (which is a lot here). Sometimes when they hold on to a concept so hard, they want to prove that there can be a healthy black family. It makes them angry when they see Black men just discount them because of the shared skin color and background. I’m over being angry.

    I personally don’t want to come to a table where I will be berated for just being. Nor do I want to be bludgeoned by stereotypes that don’t apply to me. I’m glad you don’t feel pessimistic swarthmore, you have a lot of positive things to say. Some stuff I’m not 100% agreeing with. Other stuff you write paints a dismal picture. Right now the idea of expat life once I graduate seems all the more appealing. I want something better for my kids. And my friends in the Gulf, Morocco, and Egypt have carved nice lives for themselves. I’m keeping my options open, because being boxed in is so stifling.

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  42. Aziza,

    Rightfully so we need to be aware of how people perceive us–and to deal with people according to their level. You are not sinful because some looks down upon you because of your race (actually, the racist is sinful). Deal with racism in a good way, and you’ll earn the reward.

    I guess we deal with stereotypes differently. The way i see it, is i look to see if the stereotype has any weight. Secondly, i see if i think it applies to me in any way–or could be construed as such; if that is the case, then i attempt to change myself. Thirdly, i go out of my way to prove to the person that even if this stereotypes holds some truth it doesn’t apply across the board to all black people, and that it doesn’t apply to me in particular.

    Also, we have to consider we are coming out of different backgrounds. For most of the 90’s, my da`wah experience was in a large mostly bombed out Northeast black ghetto. We buried quite a few folk, and how many janazahs we prayed for young black men who got killed in street violence (or from AIDS) is hard to keep track of. It was/is a place filled with drug slinging, criminality, and violence, and it would simply be a lie in the face of reality to say that the negative black stereotypes didn’t apply. To the contrary, a person would have to be a FOOL to think otherwise. That was my black reality for about eight years.

    Now i know that those years there do not encompass the entire black experience. I went to college with the Cosby Kids (which was a new experience for me having grown up in a small working class New England city with a black minority). Now i live in the South, and i do appreciate the diversity of black people here. You have your country-ghetto MTV wannabe thugs, the black working class, the bourgeoisie, and even a stable well-to-do black population. Nonetheless, i can’t pretend that the TREND SETTING black heartland is not the ghetto–and i know that ghetto stereotypes are not merely the fantasies cooked up in the mind of a demented white racist.

    Now a three months ago i was in the Bay Area for the first time (San Jose–and i took a nice long train ride to SF). I figured the Sodom and Gomorrah scene would freak me out, but i didn’t see any of that (NOT to say it’s not there–just i didn’t see it). The overall diversity was very refreshing, although i saw very few black people there (which doesn’t cause me any problems). The black people i saw were as diverse as the general population. Obviously, if that is your frame of reference, then you are going to a lot more sensitive to racial stereotypes, for they simply couldn’t apply to many of the black people i saw out there.

    Regarding the commitment to the black family, as i have argued elsewhere, black America is essentially thru (as in over with). The black underclass will be devoured by globalism. They are irrelevant as they are. And much of black America–certainly the youth, and the males in particular–have normalized slum culture (even if they haven’t grown up in the slums). Those more educated AA’s will travel more (as per the nature of globalism); they will have to call into question notions of race and identity as they are constructed here in America; upon traveling, they will be transformed, and may very well be involved in exogamous marriages; those children will have a TOTALLY different identity from the “typical” black American. Allah knows, but that’s the way things seem they are going to go given the apparent trends.

    However, there is the unseen–which none of us knows except Allah. The potentially saving grace of black America–especially the black underclass–is their Islamic sympathies. With Islam, the black poor have the means to grapple with their problems, which are largely moral in nature. Also, Islam expands the scope of thinking. Islam preps everyone for the coming global culture. And Islam affords black folks some kind of counter to resist the globalizing corporate consumerism. All black America needs is for Allah to produce a hero from amongst us to give us that vision.

    With that said, a “conscious black (Muslim) culture” isn’t meant to make African-Americans “more black” but to make us more whole as human beings. Because as i said, as more black folks travel (which is part of expanding one’s scope in Islam), black people are going to be involved in more exogamy, and there will be more multi-racial/multi-cultural children, and that is going to, God-willing, create a genuine global Islamic culture that can be encompassing of all Muslims from all backgrounds. So when all is said and done, i am not pessimistic. I am pessimistic–certain–that as black culture stands today, it is doomed, but with Islam, genuine knowledge, and sincere application, things can be turned around almost over night.

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  43. Non-Muslim professional African American men are not opting out on Black women… Just AFRICAN AMERICAN WOMEN. These brothers will marry Caribbean, Afro latina, or anything but African American sisters. The problem is the attitude they feel they get from Black women in this country. I frankly understand the point. As a Black professional I find dealing with many professional African American women to be a pain because of the 10 pound chip on their shoulders. I was talking to a group of lawyers, Black and white, they all agreed on one thing: There was nothing worse than having to deal with a Black female judge in the courtroom. The feeling was UNIVERSAL. The annoying neck rolling sass, which is more refined with the addition of university degrees basically turns EVERYONE OFF. So frankly.. I have little sympathy for these women.
    My parents are from Haiti and Black women back there who act that way could NEVER expect to find a man. So I don’t know why we should feel some “compassion” for African American women who find sass and attitude to be redeeming qualities. Save it for someone who cares to deal with the nonsense. This is not a racial problem, it’s a cultural one. I don’t know many sisters from Sudan who tell their husbands to talk to the hand when they get ticked off. That stuff has got to go.

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  44. As Salaamu Alaikum,

    May Allah, SWTA, Bless you my sister. I believe the trend of miscegenation and disaffected relationships between African American men and women is a Post Traumatic Slavery disorder. On Surely, the kind of healthy discussion and self examination created by these blogs that you participate in and initiate can only aid in curing our disorder. I am sorry I have not participated sooner.
    I believe that we should, InshAllah, use these forums to focus on what we want, both collectively and individually and by doing that and remembering ALLAH, SWTA, and His Attributes in that desired outcome, He will manifest it for us. I am pressed for time now, but I would like to leave us with this thought. Why did ALLAH, SWTA, allow this condition to exist for us? Surely, for us to turn to Him, so that he could Heal us, thus Manifesting His Glory through us. I have a story of such Manifestation and Glory, I, InshAllah, will share at another time.
    Your Brother in Iman, Dirulislam.

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  45. As salaam alaikum

    sister your blog is very interesting.I am very interested in hearing how it is to live in the gulf being a black woman because I plan to make hijra there I am recetly divorced, I just came out of a verbally and physically abusive marriage to a west indian brother.I guess I need to hear that there are some happy successful black muslim women out there.I feel so down and alone right now.I am currently in school but haven’t fully made up my mind exactly what type of degree I want.I agree with you on your stance with education black muslim woman because as of right now I am really doing this all alone and there were no safeguards for me the masjid has not helped me at all and yes I am pregnant and my ex is supposed to be supporting me but he isn’t so its like we still need that crutch.Sorry I said so much.

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  46. Margari – this is a great post. I do NOT agree with any of the posters who suggest you are tearing black men down. I have a younger brother who is talking about going to “morocco” to get a wife, and I have no friggin idea where this notion of a “Moroccan wife” even came from. He doesn’t even hang out with other Muslims. It’s crazy. There’s nothing wrong with Moroccan women, but what’s wrong with American women? I’m an intelligent, feminine, loving wife and I’m AA – gasp! – no surprise to me. I think you are, too. Sure, there are stupid sistas out there, but there are stupid women of every color; somehow the bad rep sticks to black women, although few black men would say their black mother or black sister or black daughter is one of these “neck rollers.”

    It annoys me so much when black people perpetuate these same stereotypes. Live around some white folks and other colored folks and you’ll see, *every* community has its headcases.

    I think you will make someone a very good wife someday, should you choose to marry.

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  47. I recently converted to Islam because it gives me a sense of peace. Ever since I converted, it seems like my life has become richer in value. I am of African descent. I go to mosque with many Asians and Arabs. They seem to treat me with respect. I respect them. Some African American Muslim men have problems marrying Asian Muslim women because they are being punished by Allah. Instead of setting good examples by playing active roles in the Muslim community, African American men are going to Mosque with intentions of watching Muslim women. Asian parents reject you if you are a nobody. If you really want to marry an Asian Muslim woman you need to work for it. Do something positive for the Islamic community. Donate to the mosque and maybe even build your own. Start up an Islamic charity counsel, throw desi music festivals and just get involved. You really want to marry an Asian woman, well you better start to live like you were Asian. Asian families like success. Show them that you are somebody. Cut your hair, don’t wear baggy clothes or big fat diamond ear rings. Learn to read and write Arabic. Don’t rush. When you rush to marry an Asian woman without knowing her is when you get rejected. Become a friend of the family. Be cool with her brothers,sisters and parents. Stay on top of your current events and invest in the right economy. The trick is not to talk to the beautiful Asian woman of your dreams before you accomplish everything I just mentioned.

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  48. You said “Some African-Americans are having problems marrying Asian women because they are punished by Allah”. First of all, I must say that your post is based on a bunch of generalizations. What on earth make you think that they have no good intentions of coming to mosque? It just a trip when people’s ” expertise” on African-American men. With some, the only things that people know about them and the community as a whole is always based on a lack of common sense. Let’s that some of these AAM come to the masjid for that reason, do you tell me that there are no non-AA men who may also have these same thoughts on their mind? It’s amazing to see how much AA’s have to prove themselves to the world, while it seems that other groups can still maintain their respect no matter what.

    I would like to know what kind of AA men you’ve been around because the AA’s that I have been around are the pillars of their communities and there are many more who aren’t getting credit for it because of stereotypes that are mentioned in your post.

    In addition to that, you say that if AAM should “prove” themselves by changing their wardrobe, throwing festivals etc…
    Let me the first to tell that is not always true. Do you know how many AA ment who are high caliber men, who wear-three piece suits have great personalities have commanding salaries AND STILL GET DISRESPECTED?! It’s doesn’t matter how good they are, if you’re not from their same background you’ll never be good enough in some of their eyes. Even in the African culture, some of the natives prefer if their son or daughter marry a person of their same back ground because they are traditionalists or just outright prejudiced.I’ve known a British Nigerian guy whose mother disowned her son because of his wife. What was her problem? She was African-American and I promise you that was her only reason for the ill treatment Since then,she’s died and the woman has grown grandkids that she never bothered to contact. BTW, far as the guys in the baggy pants and the earring in their ears, it may not be the greatest thing to wear in the masjid, but that is their choice.I’ll be careful who I judge I’ve also have known some of these same droopy wearing guys to also be on top of dean’s list and be the most ideal leaders. If the stuff that you mention will help AAM gain respect from other non-Black or non-AA, then none of would have racial/nationality prejudice.

    While I do not agree with the ignorance that come from some these guys ( the AA’s that are mentioned in the blog), I also don’t agree with what you said. As Martin Luther King, judge a person by their character and not by physical appearances. If people are going to respect you , they are going to respect you for you and not because of what you appear to be on the outside. Unfortunately as tennis great Andre Agassi used to say in his CANON camera commercials “Image is everything”. With all due respect it is also prejudical thoughts like these( both ways) which is why people miss on on some really great friends and in this case, husbands/wives.

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  49. Asalamua Alaikum
    I enjoyed reading the responses regarding this topic. I am an African American Muslimah in my mid thirties. I am having a problem finding a husband also. I have noticed in many communities that thier are educated and kind African American women who are looking to get married. However, because they are not fair and dont look a certain way, they can not get married. Yes thier are things that African American women need to change internally. We need to acknowledge that. However, alot of what is going on has to do with things we cant change. Those things include our skin color, hair texture, and features. Institutionalized racism is real!!! I have witnessed so many times in communites where Black men with wifes that are not African American and thier families are given respect . If he has a African American Women as a wife , he is treated differently. I am telling what I have seen! In many communites that Imams secretly encourage the black men not to marry black women! This needs to be told and be exposed Nationaly!!! The war is against Black African women. Allah (SWT) does not say that a fair women or white women is more valuable. Allah has not come up with this concept. So I ask you, If it did not come from Allah, where did it come from? What is the opposite of Allah?? The readers can answer that! African American women need to join forces and resources. What about us as African American women looking to different countries to find husbands ? I think that will have to be a solution. It will certainly have to be a solution for our daughters and grandaughters. My statements are seriuos when I say, we need to stop complaining and move forward.

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  50. Asalamua Alaikum
    I want to reinforce the fact that when African American Brothers walk into many Muslim communites, especaially Black men with monye. Many Imams and Shieks who are or not African American encourage these brotheers to not marry Black Women!!!!!!

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  51. Asalamua Alaikum
    If thier are black women who are out thier who are interested in starting a marriage site for black Muslim women, please let me know!!

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  52. I read through the post & comments and I see the familiar pattern that these discussions usually fall into. I’m only writing to encourage more of my sisters to break the pattern of these interactions & move forward. Saudia Alim said it best. Saudia Alim said: “…we need to stop complaining and move forward.”

    Alhamdulilah! You have spoken the truth! It’s time for more sisters to simply walk away from Black men who hate Black woman. There’s a phrase that I’ve read on several Black women’s interracial sites that describes these types of men: “Damaged Beyond Repair” or “DBR” for short. [I think a more precise description would be Damaged Beyond Human Repair.]

    Sisters please understand that it’s a waste of your precious time trying to dialogue with DBR individuals. Constructive dialogue is impossible with such persons. A DBR man only wants to communicate with you in order to vent their hatred on you. Demeaning & degrading Black women under the pretense of “dialogue” is one of their hobbies. It’s a trick & a trap. Don’t fall for it. Once you realize that you’re communicating with a DBR, just walk away.

    Furthermore, don’t waste any mental energy analyzing or being angry & disappointed with these type of men. DBR men are irrelevant. What DBRs think about anything is irrelevant. Allah (SWT) controls your fate, not the DBRs.

    Sisters, please walk away & move forward. We need to focus our attention on organizing our own networks to expand Black women’s [including Muslimahs’] marriage prospects in general. It’s time to move forward.

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  53. Well, Saudia since you said ‘black women’ I suppose a Black Man isn’t what you had in mind. You know, there are those of us who are married to Blackamerican Muslim women who are professionals with stable families and all who aren’t runnning anywhere else to get married or running away from whatever we’ve been tested with. My wife and I have considered this option for Black Muslims desiring other Black Muslims, we just didn’t get a good feel from some of the delusional people.

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  54. Let me point out something else that I’ve observed. In general, Black women enter interactions with Black men assuming that they are our allies & protectors. Then we are shocked & hurt when we discover that this assumption is often not valid. We spend a lot of time & energy analyzing the problem & attempting to dialogue with them. It’s time to walk away from that pattern. It’s time to catch the hint that the majority of Black men are NOT our friends, allies, or protectors. Catch the hint & move on.

    Sisters, be aware: One underlying reason why most Black men aren’t concerned about your marriage prospects is because many of them want to keep Black women around as a surplus “Booty Call” population. If you are happily married, then you’re not available to be used & taken advantage of. That’s why you will generally only hear yelps of professed “concern” about the marriage situation when Black women start talking about considering non-Black men as potential husbands. Many of these same “concerned” men are silent while their brethren publicly stomp on Black women’s honor. And they’ve been silent while watching Negroes place their orders for Arab mail order brides. Ignore them.

    The Black men that do still have loyalty & concern for us will support our efforts at leading healthy, fulfilling & wholesome lives. Let’s move forward.

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  55. salaam alaikum,
    While number of BAM with negative views of BAM women is distrurbing, I don’t see the “majority” of Black men as adversaries. There are many Black men who do have concern and preference (I use preference because I find that loyalty is rather rare among Black men in integrated communities). I, also know of a few brothers who have warned other brothers about mail order brides from overseas.

    I advocate that BAM women keep their options open. However, they may exchange the issues they deal with in the Black community for a whole other set of issues and cultural bagge. I agree with you 100% that BAM women must stop allowing self-hating misogynist men to bring them down.

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  56. Many of these comments are disturbing but if the cap fits let them wear it. I am a little disturbed by Black men myself included being lumped together with crimminals. Is it our fault many women settle for the worst type of men for comfort or money or plain ignorance?
    Is it our fault you marry men without a stable work history or under-employed? Ya know ex-cons might not be a good choice for a husband either.
    Nobody is addressing un-diagnosed mental illness that is rampant in our community. Sexual perversion, molestation, physical abuse, crass materialism yadda yadda yadda….In this toxic environment simple 9 to 5 cats are ignored while women marry a fool with slick talk who has been married 4,5 or 10 times and still living with his mother.
    A shahada alone will not fix this mess.
    Heads have to roll (literally) in the Black community. We have a culture where a drug dealer or stripper is an accepted occupation. We have an open drug economy in our community. We have sexual trafficking in our communities. We have an illicit a booming gun trade in our communities.
    How can anyone expect Claire and Cliff Huxtable spouses with a sick society like this? I know we all know people who make it but should the odds be so stacked against them in the richest country on earth?
    I am off my soap box……..
    ma3salaama

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  57. Margari,

    Agreed. There’s always going to be baggage of some sort. I also agree that the majority of Black men are not our adversaries. My point is that the ones that aren’t adversaries also aren’t active protectors who are looking out for our interests. Too many non-adversarial Black men are standing on the sidelines passively watching. There are the men who stomp on Black women’s honor. And then there’s the larger number of men who passively watch other men stomp on Black women’s honor. Neither group counts as true friends, allies or protectors. We need to keep our eyes open & look out for both categories. And keep moving forward.

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  58. I agree with you Khadija. It definitely feels like there are too many AA brothers that are keeping mum on a lot of these issues related to race/colorism and marriage partner choice.

    It seems like such a crazy tedious process, to always be wary. I’m wondering if it would not be more worthwhile to encourage said brothers to be more pro-active in these dialogues. (being passive-like is not the same as being passive, right?).

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  59. Khadija when have Black men stood up and defended Black women’s honor successfully in an organized way? Of course individuals have. Follow me, if Black men defended Black women we would not be in America now. There was no defense on the plantation and the sickness has not stopped with the booty shaking in rap videos today.
    These men are not passive they are active in the destruction.
    Re-educating a mass group of people takes time. The next generation of babies needs peace and to be seperated from the thugs, pimps and gangsters.

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  60. Gazelle,

    We can’t make them care about us. Or, to rephrase it the way you said it: “encourage said brothers to be more pro-active in these dialogues.” Black men aren’t deaf-mutes—they open their mouths to talk about issues they actually care about. They don’t need our encouragement to talk about what they actually care about. And said “ecouragement” is often perceived as part of the problem. This type of “encouragement” is often received as nagging.

    I know that this is not at all what you meant, but another problem is that Black women need to stop “babying” Black men. They are fully grown adults who are capable of mobilizing to do what they want to do—such as organizing the logistics of placing orders for mail order Arab brides. Or such as promoting polygamy. Or doing whatever else it is that they actually want to do. When adults are not responding to something, it’s generally because it’s not bothering them. The issue that’s being ignored is ignored because it’s not a problem.

    Let me cut to the chase and describe some harsh realities that more sisters need to understand. I’m speaking in generalities, and not every Black man fits into this, but…

    Black women’s suffering is NOT a problem for many Black men. Many of them simply don’t care. Other Black men profit from women’s suffering—this suffering creates an exploitable “Booty Call” population I mentioned earlier. It becomes a problem only to the extent that it serves to make Black men look bad. It also only becomes a problem to the extent that it makes the deen look bad to outsiders. And the focus of many Black men’s responses will be on repairing the Black man’s image. And/or repairing the deen’s image. Period. NOT on alleviating Black women’s suffering.

    I know that much of this is a bitter pill to swallow. It would be less upsetting to believe that Black men’s lack of response regarding the colorism/marriage issues (as well as other issues) is due to something other than not caring. It’s painful to acknowlege that Black women & children have very few active male protectors.

    But we have to face reality if we’re going to move forward. Let’s work with the active male protectors that do exist, sidestep the DBRs & passive male spectators, and move forward.

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  61. Joie De Vivre,

    I am in 100% agreement with your observations about the history behind the lack of an organized defense of Black women’s honor, and the need to separate our babies from the thugs, pimps, and gangsters. I would just add that not only do the babies need to be separated from the thugs, etc. WE ADULTS need to separate from the thugs, pimps, and gangsters.

    Truth be told, the criminals (including jailhouse/prison Muslims) are affecting & influencing the rest of the BAM community—not the other way around. It’s not popular to say this, but this situation reminds me of what I’ve seen when it comes to mainstreaming emotionally disturbed/developmentally delayed children into normal classrooms. Their presence usually slows down & brings down the rest of the class.

    And let me not get started on the music videos featuring “strippers with rhymes.” It’s not just the male artists. I am extremely angry with the female “video vixens” who collaborate with their own degradation, as well as diminishing Black women’s honor across the planet with this filth. I can rant endelessly about that, so I’ll stop now.

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  62. Let me enter the discussion once more to say, there are many brothers who are conscious of the gender war within Islam and among BAM women. I believe Margari can vouch that I am one of them. I also know others like myself who are aware, have families, and don’t want to see their daughters and sons go through this. The problem that I and others like me have been faced with is of course our positions on these matters are thought to be overly nationalistic, separatist, or something worse, whatever that may be. Educated BAM men don’t necessarily have a distinguished voice among the general population of Muslims. It is due to this reason that I have often restated what many old former members of the Nation of Islam have reported to me about the famous break up and takeover by Imam W.D. Mohammed; in numerous interviews with them they stated that Imam Mohammed made one mistake which is showing it’s head now. What is it? The mistake, according to them, was in introducing BAMs to a methodology and a people completely alien to them, which did nothing to help promote a real knowledge of self(not Elijah Muhammad’s definition) and foster formidable BAM communities and families broadly. This is of course debatable citing the fact that many of Imam Mohammed’s followers did find relative success in the aforementioned endeavors. But we can see a trend among those who did not follow the Imam and chose to cede to foreign intrpretative ownership and application. That is what we have today among many of the BAMs I think the respondents are conjuring. In order to further address the maladies BAM women face relative to BAM men, BAMs as a whole (at least the smart among us) will have to create a temporary ideological separation to find real solutions that have not been produced anywhere else at any point in history. Let’s face it, if there existed a firm policy prescription among the people we have been associating with, it would have been found and established already.

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  63. African American women are the lowest on the marriage totem pole period–regardless of religion. So, I feel ya.

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  64. Charles,

    Agreed. Leaving aside the shirk, Elijah Muhammad understood the special psychology of the North American Negro population. He also understood how to work around the self-hatred & prosper despite our peculiar mindset. The problem that you described is the result of people trying to work among us without acknowledging (or taking special precautions due to) our collective self-hatred. Left untreated, our self-hating maladies twist & corrupt everything we touch.

    And that’s exactly what has happened. Our self-hating maladies have been left untreated & they’ve escalated into the behaviors that we see on display now. Our too-early exposure (in our weak & sick state of mind) to outsiders & their foreign ideas has only worsened the situation. When there are Black people suggesting that the answer to Arab/Desi anti-Black racism is to collectively disappear into the Arab/Desi gene pool, it is apparent that we’ve hit rock-bottom. When there are Black folks berating so-called “Western”-educated Blacks while simultaneously taking guidance from Arabs & Desis who fled Muslim countries to attend Western universities, we have lost our minds.

    I agree with you that we have to temporarily pull away in order to find solutions for our people. And it’s not just outsiders that we have to step back from—we have to back away from our confused Black brothers & sisters who are blocking our efforts at finding solutions. I hear you when you say that educated Muslims don’t have a distinguished voice among the masses of BAMs. That’s why it’s time to pull away from the confused masses, network with like-minded people & start building solutions. The confused BAMs will come around after we’ve built an ark & the flood waters are rising up to their heads. In fact, they’ll be looking for a spot on the ‘ark.’
    ___________________
    Danielle,

    Agreed. That’s why I encourage everyone who is on the same page with solving these problems to spread the word & seek opportunities to cooperate with people like Saudia Alim & Charles who are looking for solutions. Since I have separated myself from the ummah, all I can offer is my personal cooperation. But I have been doing what I can to raise the consciousness of the younger Black women around me. I do what I can to dispel illusions & spread the word about:

    1-The harsh realities that we are facing as women.

    2-The existence of DBRs & passive spectators & why we must beware of them.

    3-The fact that there are few active male protectors for us & Black children.

    4-The fact that (at the rate things are going) Black women must keep our options open & drop this “nothing but a Black man” mindset if we want marriage.

    5-The fact that collectively, Black women are carrying the entire Black community’s issues on our backs. [If you look at the footsoldiers for most Black organizations like the NAACP or Rev. Sharpton’s group, they are disproportionately Black women. Meanwhile, these groups only respond to the needs of Black males who are in trouble with White law enforcement—Jena 6 etc. These groups generally ignore the plight of Black women—like they did regarding the Dunbar Village atrocity. See the coverage at the “What About Our Daughters” blog for a full explanation of the Dunbar Village travesty.]

    6-The fact that trying to carry the entire Black community on our backs (mostly alone) is killing Black women. Mentally. Spiritually. Physically.

    Let’s move forward & work with those of us that want solutions.

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  65. A friend has encouraged me to mention some things here that I’ve been telling all the younger Black women I encounter. I’ll only very briefly mention things that shouldn’t apply to Muslimahs. Here goes…There are a number of errors that Black women often make that diminish their chances for marriage. Black women’s errors aren’t the only factors causing the lack of marriage [I’ve mentioned a lot of the prevalent Black male predatory behaviors in my earlier comments]. Also, other races of women make the same mistakes and yet are still able to marry. Other races of women aren’t held to the harsh consequences that Black women face. No…life isn’t fair. But since I believe in people taking their lives into their own hands & not being passive victims, here’s a short & partial list of accidental behaviors that often reduce Black women’s chances of marrying. If you find anything of use in these comments, please spread the word to all of the young Black women you know:

    SEVERAL EASY & ACCIDENTAL STEPS FOR AVOIDING MARRIAGE

    1-No serious planning to have a marriage. Unlike other races of women (especially the Korean women I’ve observed), who often go to college to get their “M.R.S. degree” Black women often float through college & grad school without really strategizing on landing a husband. Ladies, this is not our parents’ generation where marriage flowed naturally from dating. Often, our mothers are telling us to focus solely on our books, because that’s their frame of reference. Viable husbands were plentiful in our mothers’ day. Their struggle wasn’t about getting married (that was more or less a given). Their struggle was about getting the best husband possible.

    However, it’s a new & harsher day for Black women. This is one case where our mothers’ answers no longer apply. Focus on your books AND on marriage while you’re in school. It is possible to do both. And finding a husband gets much harder as you get older. Catch the hint from Asian women & work on the M.R.S. degree while you are in school.

    2-Being willing to “shack up” instead of marriage. ‘Nuff said about that. [Shouldn’t apply to Muslimahs anyway.]

    3-Having sex way too early in the relationship. Don’t think that you’re going to be promoted from a “jumpoff” to a wife. ‘Nuff said about that. [Shouldn’t apply to Muslimahs anyway.]

    4-Being willing to waste years ‘dating’ someone without any forward momentum towards marriage. I am NOT at all advocating “stranger danger” marriages days/weeks after meeting someone. These stranger danger marriages seem to be a problem only with BAM women. The dating for years is a larger problem for African-American women in general. [Just look at Oprah.] Men will often allow a relationship to drift aimlessly without any committment for as long as possible. It seems to me that it takes about 1 year or 1.5 years to really get to know someone. To have seen them in enough different contexts to see what they’re actually about.

    5-Being willing to waste time dating a man that is not suitable for marriage. Once you discover that a guy is not suitable for marriage, you need to drop him. Often Black women, due to loneliness, waste months on end going out with a guy they would never marry. That’s time that could be spent finding/interviewing/dating other candidates.

    6-Having a “nothing but a Black man” mentality. Again, this is not our mother’s era. Ladies, catch the hint. Your sense of loyalty is NOT being reciprocated by Black men. If you are serious about wanting marriage, you need to expand the pool of potential husbands in order to increase your odds. This means including non-Black men in the pool of candidatess. And for those who feel lingering guilt about this issue please consider the following:

    When Black men make marriage choices in general, or choose not to marry their Black baby-mamas, do you really think they consider what’s best for the community as a whole? Or do they zero in on what they think is best for THEMSELVES? When they fly off to Morocco, are BAM men thinking about the so-called “BAM ummah”? Or are they weighing their own personal interests? When other Black men remain silent in the face of these behaviors, are they thinking about the so-called BAM ummah? Or are they thinking about their own personal comfort zone in avoiding conflicts and/or not being shunned by other men?

    Maybe you also need to start thinking about your own interests.

    African-American women have been abandoned & in many instances replaced with other races of women. In popular culture in addition to real life. How often do you see Black leading men with Black female romantic interests in the movies? How often do you see movies, ads & videos with other races of women hanging off the arms of Black males? Does anybody have a problem with this lack of Black female presence except for Black women?

    Bottom line: LADIES, NOBODY IS LOOKING OUT FOR YOUR INTERESTS! And they’re not going to start anytime soon. Maybe you should begin to think about, and seek out, what actually works for you. Only a fool gives allegiance for less than nothing in return. It’s long past time to wake up and smell the espresso. In fairness, there are a small number of Black men who do care about us. However, this group is numerically much too small to be able to meet our needs. They are also not at all representative of mainstream Black male thought. The exception is NOT the rule. Remember that and move forward.

    Peace & blessings.

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  66. Black men and women were not brought to America for each other. We are an assortment of Africans who never had contact with each other until they were in the bottom of slave ships. Many groups were outright enemies. Black women were brought to America to be raped bottom line. between the rapes they had to cook, clean the house and breast feed someone else’s children. If they were pleasing to the eye they were allowed to stay inside the big house. If not they worked outside like a man.
    We need to remove myth history. We are a conquered people. We speak massa’s language, we wear his clothes, we took his version of christianity, we took his last names. We have been westernized past the point of no return.
    In the past strict laws against inter-racial marriages backed up by lynching, intimidated Americans to the point that it is taboo to marry across racial lines.
    No group of women should marry clowns under some false belief of racial unity.

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  67. Salaam, I have many thoughts swirling around right now. The first thought is that I think we all would benefit from reading Dr. Sherman Jackson’s “Islam and the Blackamerican.” He provides insights (although not all agreeable) to how Muslim black sunnis in the 80’s and 90’s vied for the approval of the surge of Immigrant Muslims to appear more Islamic. When I read that the first thought that came into my head was that as “Negroes,” “Coloreds,” “Afro-Americans” etc those who are of African (and many of Native American and white descent) are of a lost people in a sense, redefining ourselves. We were trained so much historically to hate black that we wanted to run from anything associated with our historical struggle in the name of securing a better life for our children. No greatness comes without struggle. In the same vein, we have Muslim black americans, I’ve observed moreso among the uneducated, inner city Muslim black american males cloaking themselves with the strategy but instead of trying to be like the “white man,” the white man is replaced with the Arab or Asian man. This is regardless as to whether that culture eminates indigenous inclination to Islam. The mere fact that a country that is populated by brown people has any community of Muslim gives (for some neocolonistic reason) a presumption that they’re Muslim or “authentic Muslims.” This misappropriation missteps the purpose of Islam, guidance to lost humanity and the development of self and one’s relationship to Allah through his trials as a means of purity of the heart.

    As far as Muslim black men stating that Muslim black women aren’t good enough. I must shutter and ironically assume that the brother who has made this statement is from the city and not well-educated. I live in the DC Metro area and am horrified as a Muslim black professional woman as to what I see roaming the streets in terms of black men generally but also Muslim black American men. It is an insult and travesty. So much so that only a couple of months ago, NBC or CBS had a WEEK LONG SERIES dedicated to guess who-Black American women: our health, education and relationships. Most African American women were educated with a minimum of a Bachelor’s degree and others professionals. In this area they are the highest percentage of women adopting children because black men abandon them, are in prison, parole, probation or dead. It was one of the most progressive news series I’ve seen in ages. Black women, although their religion was not identified discussed how it has become more and more acceptable for a black woman to date outside their race, not because they’re rejected, but because THEY (black women) wanted better for their lives. One woman I can quote just simply stated: “Black men just aren’t qualified.” So add in our restrictions and confines Islamically and just imagine what a Muslim black american educated/professional woman deals with. When I read that a Muslim black men said this, I nearly laughed, because the truth stands for itself. Notice that as a whole they aren’t marrying educated Muslim women of immigrant descent-those families wouldn’t allow it. I ponder with tongue and cheek of the stories I can relay of the image of Muslim black men abroad, those that go to Saudi and try to pull the trick that women here accuse foreign Muslim men: having families in their home countries without full disclosure, or even here in this area, a Muslim black american male married a pakistani just because she was a virgin and dumped her three days later over a petty argument. Now she’s double-marred and those of Desi descent do not want to marry her.

    I hate that this issue continues to surface but as long as we have men, stating things that have no basis in the deen and in our beloved Prophet’s (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) example as a FOUNDATION to find a suitable mate, then astaghfri’Allah, we can just need to state cold hard facts. Our Muslim sisters and our Muslim black sisters (the educated, those just trying to be better) don’t you dare feel down on yourself because of what some ignorant “Muslim” male says. We are beautiful, we are dynamic, versatile and I know we’re fierce and fabulous. For those men who think like that: “Man gets what he strives for.” It’s none of our concern except our individual pursuit of happiness and seeking the pleasure of our Lord, our true sustainer. Amin.

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  68. Joie De Vivre,

    Sir, thank you! No hooking up with clowns! No clowns whatsoever, whatever color/ethnicity they may be! Some women choose clowns because they have faulty values. I remember the girls I knew in high school who found gangbangers attractive. This was always a mystery to me—as I told some of them, their thug boyfriends would be quick to use them as human shields if gunfire broke out. Other women choose clowns because they feel like they don’t have any better available choices. Sex and companionship are basic human drives. People are going to connect one way or another. The choice is: Do we maximize our chances for wholesome, healthy marriages & families? Or do we settle for solitude, drama & mess?

    Women who have faulty values will choose clowns of every and any ethnicity. That’s a deep-seated problem that can’t be solved until these women get their minds right & change their value system. My immediate concern is with the women who remain alone or choose clowns because they feel like they don’t have any better options. That’s more easily solved by these women taking steps to maximize their odds of finding a good husband. That’s why I’m about women maximizing their odds of a finding a quality husband.

    Peace and blessings.

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  69. Halimah,

    I’ve read the Jackson book, and have had the opportunity to hear him speak about the topic on several occasions. It seems that in as much as blackamerican muslims have in many ways replaced the white man with the Arab, immigrant Muslims have also done much to place themselves as the gateway to the faith as well. This is important because its not just the community does/thinks but other forces acting upon the community also.

    Agree with and Khadija though that sisters should not accept the negativity, foolishness and/or should readjust their goals and values.

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  70. You would be surprised about the education levels of many of these immigrant women marrying BAMs. Many are better educated than their husbands. All of them are not poor looking for a visa either. I lived, studied and worked in Morocco, Egypt and KSA. I have seen the good, bad and ugly. This trend does not bother me personally but I do wonder where it came from. The many brothers I know who went this route are really not compatible with professional sisters anyway.
    Dr. Jackson is correct that many people wanted to distance themselves from the NOI. But they went from one extreme to the other.
    Two different groups are being mixed together and they should be seperated for this discussion. Inner-city Blacks from the more assimilated middle-class and rich Blacks.
    Inner-city Blacks dominate pop culture and in-correctly what it means to be black. The “Nigga” industry is so big shares should be traded on Wall Street.
    Some of these ghettos are 3rd world pockets inside the US. They are seperate nations just like an Indian reservation with its own distinct language,values, mores and culture. So when a professional sister is approached by one of these brothers from Ghettoistan it can never work.
    I would like to see poor Black people take advantage of Black colleges. I went to one for my undergrad degree. My only complaint is they do not do more in technical studies. We are fooled into believing white collar is the only way to make money. Real world education is not stressed enough either i.e. tax base, zoning, business, inc. etc. Until young men and women get jobs with proper wages many will drown into poor choices and poverty.

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  71. To Halimah, while it appears Blacks have replaced Whites with Arabs this is really not the case although an argument can be made. Another argument suggests that Blacks are now becoming aware of some of the reasoning for the quietude on the part of some Arabs. There are those of us who are confronting both the racism and misogyny not only in European societies but Middle Eastern and African societies as well. What my Arab cohorts tend to exude in the race-debate is how slavery in the Middle East did not compare with the Transatlantic slavery, however what begins to resonate and crescendo is that the numbers of Black Africans taken over time into Arab-ruled lands as slaves reached the numbers of the Blacks brought to the West. What further goes without notice is that there was, without doubt, unfavorable treatment of those Blacks in southern Arabia and Persia which led to the mass uprising of a group called the Zanj, led by a Black African named Ali ibn Muhammad. The revolt occurred against Arabs and happened primarily as a response to unethical treatment of the Black slaves and the poor. Not even a famine could halt the killing of Zanj’s perceived oppressors. Ali ibn Muhammad might be considered an 8th/9th century Nat Turner. The other issue to note is that while Arab slaveowners tended to treat slaves more equitably than Europeans in the Transatlantic experiment, both instances produced some of the same outcomes. For instance, it is equally difficult to look back in American history or Islamic history to locate the contributions of Blacks in either case. More times than not, both European sources and Arab sources skirted around issues of lineage where it did not suit their needs, as had also been done in the case of gender where the subject was a woman. While Blackamerican Muslims and some Blackamerican non-Muslims have of course heard of the more equitable relationship between Arabs and Blacks, they have not been made aware of any other issue. So what we see today, is a group or groups of people revisiting Truths for truer truths. Blackamerican Muslims aren’t just jostling for recognition today, but are jostling for an authenticity that has been since Rabi’a and Bilal were, and even that comes with a price because both were slaves taken from their homelands and impacted Islam greatly. A lot of us will naturally get excited when we learn that Rabi’a, one of the prominent Sufi women whom Hasan al Basri would not sit without, was from the same country that Bilal was from. So in some regard to say Arabs are the new White men could suggest that Arabs were not the old White men.

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  72. Sa

    The African American Muslim Male is in a difficult position, where the shaping of his mind and the mind set of his off spring is on the line. We know Islam to be a Paternal culture where the man is the khalipha of his house hold. The tendancy to emulate the arab or african muslim family structure seem to be predomenent in the Muslim mans mind. I watch my african muslim friends and observe how their wives and children interact with them. The submissiveness and respectful nature that the family offer the father does in my oppinion make for a easier conversion to an “arab-dized” mind set. this mind set allows the muslim male to intergrate into the islamic illusion that he wants to see himself in.

    on the other hand…
    African American woman seem to be sure that we are a Maternal people and have developed the strengths and has mind set condusive to this type of culture. The African American Muslim Women whom I have the honor of being in association with are to me some of the most amazing. They raise their children, assist in financial support of the family, are highly educated and active in the community and yet still try to portray a submissive nature to there husbands.

    A man who recognizes us as a paternal people would not want to marry a woman who is a greater reflection of strength than he is. Not saying that She is to strong, but that He has to man up!
    It is easy for him to look at another race of people and there family/cutural structure and deduce that “she” is the problem.
    Where once upon a time, nobody would be interested in interacial family ties with the African American male, It seem that now he has a high value on the world market. Yet with his own women, he if fighting to be on top.

    The African American male who believes us to be a Maternal people is concidered weak by everybody, even the The African American woman. The value of the domestic husband lol, is not high on the African American womans market. These men are not even counted when the woman say “ain’t no good men left”.

    My wife is a African American Muslima with a Masters in Business and the motivation/drive that would intemidated any white, male, go getter’ out there. I do not have a degree and maintain employement as a Adim assistant. We have learned to balance temporal power and maintain a Islamic structure of spiritual power in our house hold. I do not believe for a second that I am dominant over her, I try to make it easy for her to submit to me as the Khalifa and I also yield when her strengths are the best option. Our Shaykh prayed for mercy to be in our house hold. I have learned (and am still learning) that it is that mercy which makes the Khalifa the spiritual head and the man the head of household.

    forgive my long windedness…

    I enjoy your topics and your perspective
    Salaamz

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  73. Salaam Gazelle,
    I can agree with that, my perception is where Arabs have some inculcated belief that somehow they are “authentic” muslims and others aren’t. I remember after studying abroad for a year I attending an institute in Northern Virginia on weekends for Arabic and my class was a mixture of Muslims. This one Muslim African American sister informed a few of her classmates that at a nearby masjid an older Arab woman was in the musallah stating that “can’t no nigger be a Muslim.” I can also recall either when I attended rihla or either heard a lecture Shaykh Hamza stated that when he travelled to Arab lands speaking Arabic to the “natives” there, they commented “I didn’t know an American can be Muslim.” While I was abroad and was in Amman, covered as usual-but had American clothes on, I was attempting to entered the guarded sister’s entrance to Masjid Abdu’Allah. The normal gate guard left for a minute and some random boab was there, I told him in Arabic that salaat was nearing and I needed to enter the masjid. He initially misinformed me of the entrance and I was getting confused and irritated because he pointed to where the iron gate continued. When the normal guard returned I told him what happened. This Jordanian Muslim happened to either be educated or well-travelled, I said “why would he do that?” I said in Arabic I am a Muslim from America, he kept apologizing and said “he’s ignorant” and the other guy doesn’t understand that there are Muslims around the world and “you don’t come visit us”–apparently we’re “cousins” now, he let me in but it was weird, because I think how many Muslims across the Atlantic actually read about us. I have a Korean American Muslim friend who converted (she’s in TX) she made this comment that it was hard going to the masjid because “they assume as a convert that we don’t know anything.” She studied Arabic and Islamic poetry in Egypt and Syria for at least two years before even converting…So it’s not just Muslim black americans who suffer, I find that if you’re not Arab, N. African or a Desi, other races including “African-Americans” deal with this.

    I can also state that even though Jackson refers to us as a protest people due to our historical standing in America that it sometimes puts us in “victim” mode when dealing with others including Eastern Muslims, but doubly difficult to deal with as you said when not only some may be guilty of replacing one people with another as a standard to become like, but they (Eastern Muslims) have cloaked themselves with the garb of deception that Muslims outside of their culture base necessitates imitating them. I think the latter is an abuse of what Allah has honored the Arabs with when He revealed the Qur’an (as it does state in it) in Arabic and arguably other things that may be related to Arab culture which Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) is from.

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  74. As Salaamu’ Alaikum Khadeja,
    You brought up some major points, however I would disagree with the statement: “These stranger danger marriages seem to be a problem only with BAM women.” I know of pakistani sisters who been through this, in America. Major reasons why they stay together and don’t get divorce is the fear of honor killings when a relative returns, or the shame of no longer being a virgin and single. I also had an Muslim Egyptian friend who was traumatized because he witnessed or went through (he wouldn’t tell me everything) of an arranged marriage. Yes, modern liberal Egyptian society still does this among educated egyptians. He told me, look people introduce strangers to their friends just because they assume they’re compatible. He said that most often these relationships (among Egyptians) don’t work out because there is no emotional connection, they don’t have anything in common, and they’re just plain uncompatible. So don’t think that any race is alone in this. I think we have more options of remedying, correcting or getting out of certain situations because of American individualism/culture.

    As far as you’re other points, sounds like you and you’re friends read ‘Love Smart’ by Dr. Phil. Yes I said it-Dr. Phil. He talks about people who engage in premarital sex (average Americans) and says “I don’t know why you call it premarital sex” because the one who have premarital sex with you don’t end up marrying, it’s just sex out of wedlock. I also read in MSN article, calling on average American women to “simmer down ladies,” after conducting interviews with males stating that they would never marry a woman who has sex with them too early.

    No matter how difficult we must try as hard as we can for Allah’s pleasure, I know it’s hard, I’m grateful for these dicussions, but as you can see it’s a human condition, and we have an Islamic remedy for it.

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  75. Salaam Charles,
    I noticed an interesting fact you pointed out concerning the increase number of African slaves/servants among Arab societies, can you give me a book reference? I read this book called The Slave Trade by Hugh Thomas and in introductory portions he seems to outline how slavery has been a custom of human beings since antiquity (including enslaved Celts), he made mention that a Muslim Arab sold a number of African? slaves (into the 1,000s) in order to raise money to make hajj. Interesting. Anyway, I would like to get a hold of the book you got that fact reference from.

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  76. and have some genetic predisposition to have an attitude

    First, that’s funny. I think I might have that pre-disposition lol.

    Anywho. I feel your pain. I’m non-Muslim but the African-American men across the board seem to desire everything but Black woman when it comes to marriage. It’s a message we get often. The most educated and attractive of Black woman is not good enough, but an uneducated and less attractive “other” is always desired. Tis a problem. One without any easy solutions.

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  77. It just makes me cry! I didn’t think I would find a blog like this.

    I understand! I am a Somalian Canadian Muslim and over 90% of Somalian women are single mothers. You can blame it on many factors. Anywho, I have found my ideal partner but his not Muslim. I don’t care at this point, I have faced so many double standards in all communities. Don’t you sometimes feel like the Muslim Community, the American Community and the Black Community are pushing you out? We’re not that welcome! Where do you go? I wish we black Muslim women had a women’s group like an organization (a voice). I also wish Muslim women in North America had organizations made up of women who deal with Muslim women issues. The Muslim organizations we have don’t represent women EQUALLY on boards etc. Please we can’t even go pray at a mosque without going through the back door or small dirty areas that are neglected. They never talk about our issues

    I just wish we had more voices like you- that can represent us!!!

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  78. Pingback: One More Time « An Uncompromised Situation

  79. As-Salaam-Alaikum,

    I would first like to say that it sadden me to see such a divid in our Muslim community. I would like for our black woman in America who are Muslim to know that it is not their fault for this situation about the black men leaving her for Morroccan and Malaysian woman. The black man and woman here in America has been through a process that no other person on earth has undergone, a process of slavery where we feared our oppressor and we did not know the true and living God (Allah swt). We are Muslim men must overcome the mental slavery imposed upon us as a people. NOW, the black man in America has a true mental battle on his hands and that he has to rise to a level of a human being, and with the help of Allah he will overcome this mental slavery and take his woman and clean her and himself up and be the true Imam of his family and his home and take his rightful position and place his rightous queen in her rightful place in this muslim family. As it stands now both the black man and woman in America are living in the pit of hell called America and this Satanic mindset that no one can ever understand. So the mental battle goes on for these two beings. Oh, my brother may marry Moroccan, or Malaysian, these are our sisters too, but our black women here is the mother of all civilization, and we must first respect our mother and honor her. Once the world see this, muslim as well as non-muslim see our love and respect for our beautiful black woman then we will recieve the respect that we so greatly deserve. My idea is that if a black man is the father of civilization and the black woman is the mother, then we must know that all others are our children. Allah has a strong people on the planet to be the example to all of the world, and I truly believe that we are that people who is going to lead the way in Islam. Because the black people who are muslim has come from such a distance, that the last shall be first. I have traveled all over the world and have seen all muslim in Africa, Asia, Russia and the Middle East. So I am speaking from a position where I KNOW!!!! This has brought me to this great understanding of my black woman here in America and not leave her for what one would think a “better situation” when you could be walking into a nightmare “all praises are due to Allah” I am grateful for this experience of being born black in America and not Moroccan. I tell all my black sisters in America that they are muslim and citizens of the world, but never ever forget what was done to their black people here in America, because I will never forget “praises are due to Allah”.

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  80. If it were not for unruly black women, there would be no black men. Our unruly attitude is the reason we fought beside you and died as maroons in the seasoning fields of Jamaica. Our unruly attitude is why there was a Harriet Tubman, Angela Davis, Asaata Shakur, Fannie Lou Hamer. Our unruly behavior is why you can sit any where you want to, including the back of the bus. Our unruly attitude is the reason that we joined the rights movement, not for women’s rights, but the rights for all of our people. How can you ask a woman who was feared by Alexander the so-called Great to take a lowly position? We ruled nations when those other cultures were in caves. Research your own history and become proud of your roots black man. You are more than a religion, a title. You are time and timeless. My attitude is my crown, my glory and my honor. And as far as black women being lowly there are more black women in college, achieving advanced degrees, and raising children. So, maybe instead of degrading the black woman, you should upgrade your selection process! A chicken head is a chicken head no matter what she is covered up in. Think of your children. When you choose weaklings, you get weak seed. Been there seen it. We need a strong nation. A strong man can take his place no matter how so strong willed the woman seems to be. Any queen will recognize a king and allow him to act as such. So, if you don’t feel that you deserve the best and can handle the best, the original, the powerful, then I question your power. Man up black man, man up!

    Proud to be a BLACK WOMAN! Shahara M. Ruth, 100% Akan, M.Ed. Know thyself and then you will respect yourself and everything that you are…

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  81. This is in response to two things sister Margari wrote. I’ll start with saying that I appreciate her posts immensely. So, the first thing, she mentioned that Tariq Nelson seems to see intermarriage as a solution. I actually would support interracial marriage throughout the American Muslim community if the colorism/racism fueling much of it now were no longer there. I would very much like to see Pakistani and Arab men choosing African American women as wives and vice versa. I think that that is when we will see a strong, read unfractured American Muslim community – utopian as that idea may be. I just don’t buy the notion that we should all marry our own kind. Second thought, regarding history, skin color/whiteness and status. I thought that Sr. Margari’s response where she writes about Slavic concubines was well-written but not the representative of the full picture. The historical setting was an extremely patriarchal and patrilineal one, so although one’s son’s mother may have been a Slavic slave girl (low status in terms of being in bondage) her coloration transferred to one’s children, the fact that one was wealthy enough to own her, to gaze upon and touch her would have had impact. The white slave girl did not exist as an individual after all. In short, I thought it too simplistic to reduce the debate about the value or status skin color or origins have conveyed historically to slave vs. non-slave status.

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  82. i totally agree with u it does hurt to not see black men with there own color of women it makes me angery to it is a big issue but in all i really enjoyed reading this and i have learned a whole lot thank u os much for posting

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  83. Pingback: Michelle Oooooohhhhh!!! « The Bridezilla Blog

  84. In the name of Allah: Much has been said here that is the work of sociologists and anthropologists. As we have a unique history, the outcome of this history must be unique also. Misfortunes can become blessings and “perhaps you like something which is bad for you and you hate something that is good for you”.
    I recall several hadith of our beloved prophet(peace be upon him and his family) warning us about nationalism and forbidding it as a motive for actions. I don’t recall his ever calling people to act for the sake of glorifying or elevating the status of any tribe or clan. He did emphasize mercy to family while at the same time marrying Bilal and others who were not Arab to women in his circle who he thought would make the best wives for them.
    In sura al baqara three kinds of people are described: believers,unbelievers and hypocrites. These refer to the inward nature and motivations of people and are universally applicable. This three-fold division of human nature is repeated often in the Qur’an. Becoming Muslim means one has taken a step toward the higher evolution of man based on these divisions. We see that every created thing is moving toward its perfection and the above three-fold distinctions are the dividing lines.
    I am also a Muslim who has travelled and lived throughout the United States and other countries. One can find that he may find love and acceptance in a foreign place that he never found in his homeland. If you are a believer, you will seek out a believer and be most comfortable with him no matter what his skin color. Unbelievers are most at-home with unbelievers who enjoy common pastimes and hypocrites bolster and support each other. Then there are the tests found in the most unexpected places, but lol, we’re not Allah. It’s his business.
    When I walk through the neighborhood I grew up in and see the blatant ghettoisms, I am reminded of the shallowness of claiming someone just because he’s the same color as you – often I find nothing else in common. We don’t have to be superficial people who are attracted to others on the basis of skin color only; we have the right as any other people to be attracted to uprightness and goodness wherever we find them. The search for knowledge and opportunities for sincere worship should be uppermost in our minds at all times. There are those with knowledge, those who are seeking it and those who are simply filling up the time between the cradle and the grave. When you think about a mate these distinctions should serve you well.
    When we talk about marrying someone for taqwa, how do we recognize that without the gift of experience in life? There are road signs. Read the delineating qualities of the believers in Sura Al Muminun, consult those of knowledge and experience like the Healthy Marriage Initiative suggests and consult your own heart. “He who believes in Allah, He will guide his heart.”
    As for men or women who wholesale reject members of one group or another for marriage, let them marry who they like. You will not escape the afflictions or the joy that is written for you by Allah. Man must respond to the promptings of his intelligence or what was it created for? Through mistakes as well as success we are purified and find the way to our Lord.

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  85. black women are what you might call a lost woman and a weak woman
    her problem is she has been trained to think like racist white america but the difference is white people atach their vAlue to
    themselves while black women attach
    value tomaterials titles and money
    she cant seperate her personal life from these things.black women
    in their current state of mind will
    never on a large scale ever be a
    good mate for anyone especially a
    american black man the white male
    has ingrained to much poison into her she is therefore a walking curse the bases of her problems is she hates herself and she has been taught to hate black men she is in
    a useless struggle to be a woman
    to a white man notice in all her
    conversations is the pursuit of
    men of other races this is what they want to do they just using
    problems with black men as an excuse.

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  86. @Ruqayyah Ali

    Much has been said here that is the work of sociologists and anthropologists.

    Is this supposed to presuppose that sociology and anthropology in themselves are bankrupt and their observations innately fallible? You provide nothing further to back up this statement…

    As a whole, I found your response to be tangential and unsubstantiated. You prattled about a three-stage paradigm of believers, unbelievers and hypocrites, yet I failed to see how it related to the post. I did however see the thinly veiled insult that you hurled. Ma sha’Allah. I’m sure it will be waiting for you On That Day.

    When I walk through the neighborhood I grew up in and see the blatant ghettoisms, I am reminded of the shallowness of claiming someone just because he’s the same color as you – often I find nothing else in common.

    Can Black America be summed up at ghetto? Are there no other valid expressions of blackness?

    If this practice is true, why is it then that virtually all other Muslim ethnic groups engage in marital practices where they look for and favor those of their own cultural and ethnic background. This is by far the dominant practice. Why then, are some Blackamerican Muslim men behaving differently?

    As a whole, I find your comments to be complete nonsense. You failed to read and address the points in the post and in many ways, forces your hand in what you really think about blackness.

    In the future, it may be more productive to simply not respond.

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  87. @Tony Quick

    black women are what you might call a lost woman and a weak woman

    You are what I might call a jackass and a coward. Like the above commentator, you provide ad hominem commentary with nothing to back up your claims. Your willingness to lump all black women into a group where they, “attach
    value tomaterials [sic] titles and money”
    shows how much of the white supremist aesthetic you have imbibed. It also demonstrates your bias towards whiteness in not seeing that white women are just as, if not doubly so, attached to materialism. Show me in concrete, constructive terms where white women separate their personal lives from things such as monetary wealth and titles.

    she is in a useless struggle to be a woman to a white man… they just using problems with black men as an excuse

    I notice you failed to address how black men are never held into account for the pathologies they adhere to, such as abandonment of their families – I suppose this can be laid at the feet of black women as well?

    No. Your endorsement of white supremacy as a value system is so complete you might as well don a white hood and robe.

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  88. How do u email a post of yours to an email address. I know of someone who could benefit from what you’ve written here. On blogger there is an email icon. I can’t seem to find one here.

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  89. Pingback: Sadly Colorism Reigns in Religious Communities… « Special Communion: The Blog

  90. First of All. I am married to a Black Woman. Second of all, she was a virgin when I married her. For any Muslim man, black or otherwise, virgin women our preferred. It’s not fair, but deep down we would prefer a black virgin, but this is usually hard to find in a western society unless she was born and raised Muslim. Furthermore, she is usually young 18 and out of reach of the profession muslin black males reach. Her father usually wants to marry her to a young man, not some brother in his late 20’s or early thirty’s. I think most of us can deal with the personalities of black women, but some of the baggage is not necessary if we can get a baggage free woman. So, don’t think of fair skin and long hair as your obstacle. Most of us don’t care about hair, it just gets in the way. Most African American men, Muslims of otherwise still prefer a brick house.

    I seriously doubt, I will be able to find another woman like my wife, who is beautiful, voluptuous, strong, educated wife. So, yes even I will look into an Arab, of east African wife as a second. Maybe the sisters need to expand their scope as well.

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  91. As Salamu alaikum sister! Regardless how much we like or dislike hearing the truth, you did elaborate on some points to make us really think. I commend you on writing such an articulately and well detailed analysis.

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  92. Salaam alaikum Malik,
    I’m not sure if I get your logic, since it is likely that your comment was hastily written. Some of your theories don’t hold up with my experiences or observations. But that is a matter of subjectivity. However, I really doubt it is about virginity, since many Muslim American men are converts and have a whole world of experience before coming into Islam. Many American Muslim men have married non-Muslim women whom they dated or had previously relationships. Converts are less sticklers about a woman’s virginity than their Arab counterparts, where it is a matter of honor. If it is not about hair and fair skin, then why aren’t they going to Sengal, Mali, the Gambia, Nigeria, etc to get wives? Finally, Black men have baggage too. We have to consider the cultural baggage we all bring to the table and how that shapes our perception of beauty, value, and feminity.

    And finally Malik, while I wrote this post before I got married, I am married. My hair and skin color did not impede me. Some people assume that when we Black women write about things, or critique internalized racism, it is because we are bitter and unwanted.

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  93. Walaikum salaam Khalil,
    Thank you for stopping by. I understand that it is hard to hear a critique of subconscious and conscious decisions and preferences. My point is not to condemn people, but to stir thought. Not long ago, a brother was talking to my husband. The brother said should have married a Japanese woman while he was stationed abroad because Black women have “issues.” My husband told him that he had issues because all Black people have issues. My husband also pointed out that most Japanese are mushriks, and he’d be hard pressed to find a Muslim, Christian, or Jewish Japanese woman who he could marry in accordance to Sharikah. As a Muslim, he was wrong to prefer a mushrik over a believing woman. I do think that Black women need to open up their choices, but I do think that Black folks can work their issues out together.

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  94. As Salamualaikum!!

    This is my very first time reading your blog and MASHAALLAH!! I’m in love!

    This post was very well written and painfully true, rather people want to see it that way or not. Do you mind if i post this to my blog with a link to you inshaallah? Jazakaallahu khair in advanced! May Allah reward you with all that you ask for that is beneficial to your deen and welfare (AMeen!!!)

    Salamualaikum!

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  95. As-salaam alaikum to all the Muslims who read this article and are critical thinkers. I didn’t read most of the responses so I will just comment of the sisters blog. There are basic truths to what she said and I don’t know how we can fix the problem. I live in California and there aren’t many African American Muslim sisters and when they come into the deen they are usually married or they are from the Warith Deen community which we call Wally World meaning they act more like Christians and don’t strive to practice Islam by obtaining knowledge of Quran and Sunnuh. I love African American women, always have so what am I supossed to do, end up in hell fire because I can’t find a African American Muslimuh? They are my first choice period but I as a Muslim find other women attractive also. One issue is that because of racism many men don’t find Black women suitable as wives but will have sex with her in a minute. Black men happen to be right now almost every woman’s fantasy and brothers are taking advantage of that reality. Still I love and adore my sisters. It just so happens that the majority of them are Christians so if I have to go overseas to find a Muslimah I will. Ghana, Sudan, Somalia, Nigeria, or Gambia and there are more, bottom line is I want a wife. If there are African American Muslim sisters out there please I mean please let me know!

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  96. Pingback: The Muslim Marriage Crisis | MuslimMatters.orgMuslimMatters.org

  97. Pingback: The Muslim Marriage Crisis | NEWYORKUSTAN: American Muslim Series

  98. Pingback: The Muslim Marriage Crisis | Miss A

  99. In other words…Typical Blackman! Seeking validation thru another man’s woman while hating his own. Never been a muslim, but i respected brothas that are believers for a long time. Today, i see them as traitors of our people on both fronts…The Interracial dilemma and radical islam as well. They can marry exoticized women from Malaysia and India all they want. Still the same crap over and over again, tired of these negros.

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  100. It’s no secret that black women are the least desirable. Why on earth and how? African women are your mothers. We are the originals. We are the mothers of all nations and colors. Black women bore all colors. Something about black women makes them the most hated women on earth. It’s simple as to why. Black African Americans and other blacks whose ancestors were victims of the slave trade are the true Jews. The lost tribes. Many around the world are finding this out and admitting it. Our history is a secret because we are descendants of israelites. This have brought envy and hate for no real reason other than this

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