…so I think I might stop posting things concerning Muslim issues on Facebook, for fear of fomenting the ire of my fellow brothers and sisters. Henceforth I’ll post things concerning politics, poetry, and adages from books I read.
Here is the first post and the responses I received in their entirety. Anything in brackets  is something I’ve added for clarification. I’ve left out the surnames of the individuals to protect their identity.
Anthony (me): says, apparently, 3 out of 4 converts will leave Islam after two years. Is this surprising? Not at all…
Nathan: As does 9 out of 10 ‘indigenous’ adherents [obviously joking]
Anthony: Really? That’s not surprising either [me obviously not getting the joke, as is often the case]
Amanda: Why isn’t that surprising bro?
Anthony: Here in America [Amanda is from Australia], converts usually don’t get the support they need from the host community at large. A lot of times we are left to drift on our own, and more often than not we are victims of the Old World prejudices of Immigrant Muslims. It’s almost as if alienation from the so-called Muslim community, society at large, AND our own families are initiation tests for converts.
I know this well because it is happening to me, my younger brother, and many other converts I know. People like to claim that Islam is the fastest growing religion in world, which is true. But that’s only half the story. The other half, the darker half, is that often times those people who convert are left in the dark with no one to help them or guide them. Don’t get me wrong: I believe in Islam and the Prophet; but my faith in Muslims and the idea of “Muslim brotherhood” has waned to a point of near non-existence.
Zoey: this my brother maybe a safeguard of a sort from our lord. Ive seen new shahadas being caught up in the abiss of ego, more ego, its my right party, outer polished \inner well who cares kno one will see party, wear the garments and look the part party on fridays etc. My point is say alhamdulilah ……looking at what it could be. And…..my brother you now be the one who welcomes revert. Organize meet and great. Give a information session on salat, adab etc.
Shawn: wow im actually surprised by that though! can i ask where you got this statistic?
Shawn: Commenting on what you guys have said… Yeah I know some people over here [in London] who are SO active in giving dawah (it’s probably like THE thing to do in London) and they get people to convert on a weekly basis, but after that they never hear from those people again and provide them no support or education… it’s quite sad!
Dan: This story isn’t a new one. Muslims suck. Yeah. Everyone and their stepsister knows that right now.
But what are we going to do about it? That is the only proposition that has any benefit discussing as a part of this situation. And you never sent me those questions? What, are they unanswerable?
You shouldn’t let this become a distraction for you on your path to achieving success and happiness in this life. This is what the Devil wants. Brother Anthony, it’s time to look forward to the future and to stop getting stuck up with some old, played-out and backward Muslims.
Zoey: I remind myself to strongly incourage but also have empathy. I reread your post with this in mind. May the most high Allah swt. Shower you with mercy, light your path, allow you to be of the righteous believer seeking jannah al firdous. Ameen!
Anthony: @ Dan: I keep forgetting bro! Have some mercy on a brother! I’ve been pretty busy with other stuff. I apologize profusely. I think it might be better if I talked to you about it; I don’t think a FB message will do them justice.
No I concur wholeheartedly: there’s no sense in beating a dead horse. Most people who reside in reality know that Muslims suck. Some people though dude, disavow reality: they think of Islam in the world as Utopia. These people are the ones that need to wake up, but I’ve come to the conclusion that trying to help them might be a lost cause. The wiser approach, I think, would be for one to just accept this “fact” and do those things which God has commanded. As far as I know, and Allah knows better, God didn’t command for me to be an optimist concerning the fate of human beings, but He did ask me to pray, fast, give alms, be just, enjoin the good, forbid the evil, etc. You can’t change other people, but you can change yourself.
And trust me dawg, these people aren’t holding me back one iota! You gotta remember folk, I’m from the South. I’m used to being at tail end of society.
Anthony: @ Shawn: I heard it from somewhere twice before. I’ll see if I can find the source again. It’s always a bad thing quoting statistics anyway, being that they’re “damned lies” and all. I could believe it though. Islam is the religion of truth. Well what happens when that truth is something we don’t want to hear? Do we just disavow it? I think not…
Harry: That isn’t surprising to me because in my experience a lot of converts are outsiders, pariahs, and generally odd folk who want something bizarre or exotic to believe in. They tend to switch religions very often.
Think about it; with as bad a situation as Muslims have in the world today, and as bad a rep as we have in the media, what sort of personality is going to “renegade” and join us in this age of secularism? It’s going to either be people with guidance, or off-kilter pariahs who think they’re joining an elaborate cool cult.
How many hippies do you suppose became Buddhist or Hare Krishna back when it was popular?
Harry: But I think Nathan is making his statistic up out of sheer pessimistic glee.
Harry: We DO have a support problem. But do take a look around and be realistic about who comes to us in this age of secularism and says “I want rules/exoticness/political action/to be different.” There’s a whole subculture of wistful self-obsessed religion shoppers out there.
Anthony: @ Harry: I could see your point dude, very well in fact, but I think this merely adds to the equation; it doesn’t represent the totality of the problem.
Mo: Wow, do u have a source for that statistic? I had no idea it was that high.
It is difficult for u guys as converted Muslims, especially joining the religion when we have all these problems in the Muslim world as it is so theres certainly no …social benefit to becoming Muslim in our age other than the sincere belief that you have found the right path. Mad respect.
Mo: Islam is the fastest growing religion in the world despite Muslims.
Austin: Harry, they maybe pariah’s to society but they are still “our” pariahs. Maybe they don’t come for the right reasons, that doesn’t mean they can’t stay for the right reasons.
I disagree with the statement that “Muslims suck”. To say that implies that you are in some way better than the people around you. When you walk into a mosque do you look at the people around you and think “man these people suck”??? Muslims are imperfect and most of them nowadays are under educated in the ways of Islam, myself included. And there may in fact be some Muslims who suck. But to make such a blanket statement?? You all haven’t even qualified that. You haven’t even time limited it. So from reading that statement if I didn’t know any better I would go back and say “Ali Ibn Abu Talib? You think he sucks?” Now I don’t think you all mean that so let’s qualify it as “Muslims today suck”. So you walked into this religions, only encountered sucky people and thought “hey I like this religion”? You had to have seen SOMEONE who did at least a half decent job of following the religious teachings that proved to you that this was an implementable religion.
Words are important. And blanket saying “Muslims Suck” means every person who calls himself a Muslim (a.k.a. they claim to surrender their will to God) sucks. I don’t think you guys mean that. But I could be wrong.
Let me also add that I do think Muslim brotherhood is still there. It is far far from perfect and far far from the way it was in Medina in the beginning of Islam. That doesn’t mean it’s not there. It’s just competing with dunya all the time. Also I think sometimes there are cultural limitations. A mosque in the U.S. often has people from at least 3 or 4 different countries and cultures. Reconciling that isn’t easy. So they often stick to their group and keep to their own habits. So there can be misunderstandings, not to mention each group brings strange habits and behaviors from their culture that at times run counter to Islam. Yet, I’ve never seen so many different people from different cultures than I do on Saturday nights at the masjid iftars in Ramadan. Something has to be said for a people that will put aside socioeconomic, cultural, and personality differences and sit on the floor side by side at eat together. I’ve always said if you can get two people to sit and eat together, you can get them to agree about something.
Anna: I feel very sad when I hear that as converts you all feel let down by the Muslims. I know you are so, so right but there are some who also care so much .My family and I are always here for you, dear Dan, and dear Shawn, whenever you need us. We will together, InshahAllah, bring a change. We are working on it 24/7. Believe me we are.
Allah SubhanaWattaAllah has said that if we are not worthy of Allah’s bounty than He will take it away and give it to the one more worthy of it. So this is what is happening when new converts are coming into Islam it is not making Islam the fastest growing religion but it is empowering it with better Muslims who will take the faith forward. Those who are just born into Islam and do not realize the blessing and the duties of it, they are the ones who will be waiting at the station and not even realize that they have missed the train. It left hours back : (
We pray that Allah SubhanaWattaAllah guide us so that we all can live the life that pleases Him the most, Ameen. My love and duas are always with you all. A mom to all who need one.
Sue: I remember my mother who Alhamdullillah is Christian and bless her heart and may Allah reward her a place in Junnah (which I believe she is surely to have). She told me when I was going thru a very disappointment time against the Ummah (Muslims), she reached out and hugged me and told, “Sarah it does not matter what religion you choose, you will find humans to be diappointing,” she followed by stating and asking me, “Do you think that I would would still be in Christianity if I concentrated on the errors of people, Iwould have already left along time ago, Sarah are you there for the people or to connect with GOD, are you there to see the errors of people or are you there for your self salvation, my advice to you Sueis to look at your self in the Mirror and ask yourself everyday, HOW AM I IN THE EYES OF GOD, that is the question you need to ask your self and ask Mercy”. I took her advice and ALhamdulillah I realized she had hit the KEY of how it is to walk with GOD, we are here for Self Salvation, no one else will save you Except yourself and ALLAH, we are here to connect with ALLAh not the people, “DAMN be that MAN that RELIES in a MAN”, because to relie on a man to make you connect with Allah is using a mediator, no one will be a mediator or liason on the day of judgment, we must all relie on oneself to find and seek Allah. Anthony don’t give up on your self my brother seek Allah, and you will find a peace, forget about the UMMAH, they are faulty like everyone else….It is said even at the end when a man says I am just…he himself will not be just…My prayers are will all our converts…Seek God and the rest will follow, find first a connection with him and the rest will follow..
Sue: AMEEEN AQUEELA KHUDDUS>>>>AMMEEEENNNN!!!! YOU SAID THAT RIGHT THERE IS A NEW GENERATION OF MUSLIMS THAT IS COMING FORTH>>>>
Anthony: @ Austin: Dawg, I don’t think the implication behind saying “Muslims suck” is that we are somehow better than the rest of Muslim-kind for all time immemorial. That thought has never occurred to me, and, insha’Allah, it never will as this would only exacerbate the problem. The usage was more in the colloquial sense of the word “sucks;” no hubris was intended. Words do indeed matter, but there’s such a thing as hyperbole.
Concerning Muslim brotherhood, to once again be the negative one (somebody has to do it right?), I honestly think the cultural diversity you see in masjids has less to do with adhering to the Prophetic mandate and more to do with the inauspicious social situations of Muslims in America. As you said, we’ve got people from different countries occupying a single space, but often times cultural limitations aren’t reconciled and are poorly managed because of the myopia on the part of some Muslims. This is one of the problems. I highly doubt, and God knows best, you would see such diversity in the masjids were those inauspicious factors not present. In fact, in many places in the States, masjids are clearly divided by socio-economic lines just as much as race (since in America, the two are intertwined). So as far as diversity in the masjid goes, though it’s good thing and I’m glad for it, I nevertheless don’t put too much stock in it. Of course, I agree with you that brother and sister hood is still present (thank God), but I would also say that their presence isn’t an excuse to overlook our shortcomings. We should still have the courage to deal with reality for what it is and try to gravitate ourselves, and hence the community, toward the Prophetic ideal, and not assume that it actually exist in reality…if that makes any sense.
Anthony: @ Aunties Anna and Sue: Those are my Aunties! They always knows how to uplift trouble spirits, masha’Allah!
Dan: Austin, do you know what “hyperbole” is? And “context” as well? I think it’s critical to keep those two things in mind when reading anybody’s writing. You really took a long ride with the logical, counter-top meaning of what I wrote. Please read in-between the lines.
To clarify, because, as is obvious, Anthony’s post has attracted a lot of attention, and I don’t wont anyone to take what I wrote the wrong way. And I need to also mention that this topic is an important one, but it is often ignored. Thus we have Anthony’s Facebook post here.
When I say “Muslims suck,” that’s not to say all of them do. It’s a general, stereotypical and pessimistic assessment of the situation of the crisis the ummah is now in. Note my words here “stereotypical” and “pessimistic.” Those two words some up the phrase “Muslims suck” because anyone, upon further study, will see that those two words are actually false when looked at through a Qur’anic frame of reference. So for the record, I neither espouse nor believe the statement in the least bit. I used it to sum play into the stereotype, to then show how we make something positive out a perceived negative.
In hindsight, I probably shouldn’t have posted this on Facebook. But hindsight, as the old saying goes, is always 20/20. I’ll post the other conversation I had on Facebook later, insha’Allah.
Peace Itself and Peace to all.