Muslims have been asking me "What is wrong with Abdur-Rahman Muhammad, of The Singular Voice blog? Why is he always attacking some Muslim in a position of leadership and Muslim organizations? Why has he viciously attacked Imam Siraj? You? MIB? Why is he rabidly attacking MANA? "
Hey Allah knows best. At one time I couldn't figure him out , but now I have, so I thought that I'd share it with you. I first heard of him a couple of years ago when my name popped up on his blog (http://singularvoice.wordpress.com/2008/11/22/imam-talib-abdur-rashid-and-new-york-imams-do-the-right-thing/ ). No problemo, as it was complementary. His was another independent voice in the blogosphere. There are a million of them, at least. I would occassionally monitor his posts, and while his lack of adab was disturbing, sometimes he identified legitimate problems in the Ummah.
But then I started noticing his preoccupation with back-biting and slander, his unfounded attacks upon Muslim leaders, etc. "What's his problem?" I wondered. Then he started mouthing off about something that he knew absolutely nothing about -which was the tragic conflict between MIB and Yasin Mosque in the early '70's . So I at first responded to his posts as if I were dealing with a rational person. His posts then escalated into attacks upon my late teacher Shaykh-'Allaama Tawfiq (rahmatullah 'alaihi, MIB, me,etc.) Always A-RM did what he did supposedly in the name of justice, while exploiting the vulnerable (i.e. one of the several children who lost a parent that day, etc.) Finally some other folk spoke to him about the incorrectness of what he was doing, and he found something else to speculate about. (by the way, for folk really searching for the truth on what happened, read http://www.amazon.com/Dar-Islam-Movement-American-Revisited/dp/1451593821/ref=sr_1_7?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1288268355&sr=1-7 ).
In the interim, I began to do some background checks on A-RM (Something I learned to do from the COINTELPRO era. We at MIB are COINTELPRO survivors. Also, one must ascertain the character of an accuser before just accepting his word) and that revealed some things. Also I noticed that A-RM had a disturbing habit journalistically speaking, that would get him sued IF he was a journalist, which of course he isn't.
What he does is get a tidbit of info on something, fills in the blanks with his own opinions and speculation, and then he publishes the results as if they are the truth just because he says so. That too was a classic COINTELPRO tactic. Additionally, A-RM makes character judgements based upon his "understanding". Some folk go for it. Most don't. For one thing people like A-RM, who have a rabid way of expressing themselves, turn people off (read his latest posts on the CAAM press conference).
Then A-RM started attacking MANA and its leadership (of which I am part). "Hm-m-m-m. What is it with this guy who sends poisonous e-mails that begin with salaams?" I asked myself. Then eventually several months ago he sent me a some-what conciliatory e-mail declaring that the brothers and sisters of MANA were in fact his Muslim brothers and sisters. "Hm-m-m-," I thought. "He just figured that out?" Anyway, I never responded to him because by that time I knew better. Now he's at it again.
When legitimate concern surfaced in the Muslim public about the way the CAAM press conference turned out (btw, I and others shared the concerns, but because we have actual relationships WITH believers -outside of the cyber world, that is -we talked TO Imam Siraj and others instead of talking ABOUT them), A-RM went off, sinking to new levels of back-biting, slander and name-calling, all in the name of the religion which he claims, and that abhors such behaviour (see Qur'an 49:11). Also, again his used his "journalistic" method as described above.
Now, AR-M has once again escalated his attacks upon MANA , Imam Siraj, and me (calling the Imam highly offensive nick-names against the command of Allah, calling me a liar, and saying that things that I truthfully stated in a simple, brief statement were absolutely false, astagfirullah.) I began to think about who this guy is. First, I looked for and found further A-RM background info on line, by brother Umar Lee. Umar too is outspoken, an independent thinker, and a blogger, but he has always struck me as a Muslim with Islamic adab and character. Personally I love hearing from these Hip-hop generation Muslim warriors and thinkers. In fact I seek their perspective as I'm from another generation, so their thinking helps me to stay generationally connected.
So our brother Umar Lee has written http://umarlee.com/2010/08/25/questions-for-abdul-rahman-muhammad-and-advice-to-his-new-pals/ which should be required reading for every Muslim who asks "What's wrong with A-RM?" That blog contains background info (intel, not gossip) that coincided with what I had been told previously by people who know him, but in greater detail. Looking at his background, things started becoming clearer to me.
Then I thought about the Rupert Murdoch owned tabloid the NY Daily News, which is known in NYC amongst progressives of all faiths or none, as the rag that it is, second only to the NY Post. A-RM relatively recently had an Op-Ed published in it, on pages that often spout what CAIR might call "Islamophobic" bs. (See ARM's http://www.nydailynews.com/opinions/2010/09/05/2010-09-05_whether_or_not_ground_zero_mosque_is_built_us_muslims_have_access_to_the_america.html).
BTW, no less a stellar personality than Pamela Geller called A-RM's op-ed "a good editorial" (see http://atlasshrugs2000.typepad.com/atlas_shrugs/2010/09/abdur-rahman-muhammad-on-the-ground-zero-mosque.html )Then I researched and saw that his op-ed was praised on White-supremacist crusader web-sites already known to me, like Atlas Shrugs (by Pamela Geller) and The Investigative Project on Terrorism (by Stephen Emerson). On sites like these, Imam Siraj, Imam Zaid, Mahdi Bray, even me, have all been talked about like a dog ). Things became real clear.
An objective reflection on all of this has cleared up my thinking on ARM (his e-mail name, which I prefer to use. BTW, what's his problem that he can't seem to spell my name correctly? Maybe it's some tactic I haven't learned of yet). I get it now, and I hope all of the believers do as well. I fully anticipated that A-RM's advertised coming expose of the MANA latest Report to the Ummah would be exactly what it turned out to be:
- loud criticism of quiet workers by someone who confuses talk with work, is big on criticizing the work of others but has no public track record of any successful, productive work of his own in the Muslim community - only a lot of talk
-denigration of the sincere by someone who demonstrates insincerity on the regular (How dare he denigrate the work of sincere Muslims across the country - not imams, but hard working line brothers and sisters who make things happen and have been doing so at MANA events?)
- Cyber-world pseudo-assessment of real-world deeds
-A call for accountability by someone who is and has been accountable to no one or no thing but himself
- Self-important ranting by someone so egotistical that he things the world revolves around his blog (e.g. No one said or addressed dis-satisfaction and asked for answers on the CAAM event until he did in his blog? Give us all a break! MANA leaders felt no sense of accountability to the Ummah and wrote its report in response to his blog? How foolish! It was the 2nd report of that nature, and we've sent out e-mail newsletters and blasts aplenty over the past two years, apprising the believers of what we've been doing. A-RM knows that. He's either consumed with hasad or spends so much time in his cyber-world that he doesn't know what's going on -although he claims to know everything, or he's deluded, or being purposefully deceitful
- Distortion of simple facts while ignoring truths (e.g. He by his own admission attended a MANA seminar, which he called -inaccurately - a regional conference (read the report, A-R). He stresses the aparse attendance at the seminar while ignoring the attendance of the several small conferences (100-250 people at each) throughout the country. His lack of experience in organizational leadership or administration is obvious. He doesn't understand that organizations issue financial reports at the end of their fiscal year. He doesn't understand that during a time of economic recession that hiring a reputable financial management firm is a sign of responsibility and accountability, and not the opposite. These things elude talkers, but doers know.
But like I said, I get it now.
Congratulations A- R M! At the rate you're going, you're going to end up sponsored and employed by those whose backing you seem to have been seeking for awhile now. You know, the ones who fund the Investigative Project on Terrorism and Atlas Shrugs? non-Muslim zin-ji-uun like Juan and Armstrong Williams, and born Muslims like Irshad Manji and Ayaan Hirsi Ali? Hey you're on the way, and will finally get paid!
Here's how you describe yourself:
"Abdur-Rahman Muhammad is a Washington, D.C.-based writer who was once the Imam of a mosque where he taught radical Muslim ideology. He has since renounced those views and works to combat Islamic extremism in the American Muslim community". That should be good for some bookings.
Let's see, Sean Hannity loves you. He loves the fact that you're a "former imam" , and finds your writing "fascinating". http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BjJ7b0sPyP8
What's next -photo-ops with Rush Limbaugh and Bill O'Reilly? Maybe a beach romp with Pan Geller for the cameras?
I could go on but we can now see clearly what's happening, with you A-R.
Brothers and Sisters in islam, dear belivers, by the time you read this I will have sent this entire post to A-RM, including the below open letter to him. I'm making all of this public as a way not only of talking to him (instead of just about him, as a warning) , and because guys like him skulk and operate best in disinformation ,unchallenged assertions, and cyber anonymity. (BTW A-R, when are you going to answer Umar Lee's questions? http://umarlee.com/tag/abdur-rahman-muhammad/ It's been 4 months now).
One good thing though, on A-RM's new updated blog featuring his latest attack upon MANA he very cleverly shows a trash-apil being used to dump papers into a toilet. This is a perfect depiction of what should be done with his venemous posts and commentary. In fact in my opinion it should be the logo for his website.
As-Salaamu 'Alaikum wa Rahmatullah wa barakatuhu,
P.S. Elsewhere on this blog I've posted a piece that I wrote in 2006 ,four years ago before I even heard of A-RM , but I believe it still applies today. It's called "Safeguard the Ummah"
Here's my direct letter to A-RM:
A-oo-dhu Bil-laahi Minash-Shaitaanir-Rajim (3x)
I do not know you and you certainly do not know me. We have never had a telephone nor face to face conversation, nor to my knowledge have we ever met. Yet over the past many months you have insulted me and other Muslims, called me and them liars, back-bitten and slandered Muslim leaders past and present and denigrated the good work of good sincere Muslims, vis-à-vis little or no apparent, consistent, substantive work of your own – only talking and typing.
The state of your heart and mind and deen have been rendered transparent. Others have spoken to you in private and public about your reprehensible behavior (Didn’t you learn anything from your past diatribe?) and you keep going on.
Shaykh Muhammad Shareef (May Allah preserve him) advised you with great sagacity from the wisdom of our ancestors, that "As you judge others, so shall you be judged".
A commentor on your web-site wrote:
"After reading your articles for about 2 years or so all I can say Abdur Rahman do yourself a favor and either leave Islam or increase your Islamic knowledge. Over past years or so you seem to have gained a perverse pleasure is slandering Muslims. This behavior is a sign of unhealthy heart and people with unhealthy hearts will only bring destruction,disappointment and frustration to themselves"
Your talk has been done in the name of Al-Islam, which denounces the very acts that you have committed.
Hey man, don't worry, you need not be concerned about any more responses to from me in your cyber- house, except the Word of Allah
بِسْمِ اللّهِ الرَّحْمـَنِ الرَّحِيمِ
In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
قُلْ أَعُوذُ بِرَبِّ الْفَلَقِ
SAY: "I seek refuge with the Sustainer of the rising dawn
مِن شَرِّ مَا خَلَقَ
"from the evil of aught that He has created,
وَمِن شَرِّ غَاسِقٍ إِذَا وَقَبَ
"and from the evil of the black darkness whenever it descends,
وَمِن شَرِّ النَّفَّاثَاتِ فِي الْعُقَدِ
"and from the evil of all human beings bent on occult endeavours
وَمِن شَرِّ حَاسِدٍ إِذَا حَسَدَ
"and from the evil of the envious when he envies."
بِسْمِ اللّهِ الرَّحْمـَنِ الرَّحِيمِ
In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
قُلْ أَعُوذُ بِرَبِّ النَّاسِ
Say: I seek refuge with the Lord and Cherisher of Mankind,
The King (or Ruler) of Mankind,
The Allah (for judge) of Mankind,-
مِن شَرِّ الْوَسْوَاسِ الْخَنَّاسِ
From the mischief of the Whisperer (of Evil), who withdraws (after his whisper),-
الَّذِي يُوَسْوِسُ فِي صُدُورِ النَّاسِ
(The same) who whispers into the hearts of Mankind,-
مِنَ الْجِنَّةِ وَ النَّاسِ
Among Jinns and among men
As-Salaam 'ala man it-ta-biul-huda,
Imam Al-Hajj Talib 'Abdur-Rashid