|Muslim Peace Fellowship
(Dr. Kari Ann Owen, Ph.D.), of Richmond, California, a writer
and artist, is a
member of AMILA (American Muslims
Intent on Learning
and Activism) and the MPF.
|Wage Peaceful War on Poisons
By Sister Penomee
I am writing to the Ummah of the world in the belief that it is time to witness to the world the sacred commitment to all life that is at the heart of Islam.
I believe it is time to make this witness through the practice of nonviolent protest against the sale of liquor in the poorest and most beleaguered of America's communities.
Why do I believe this, and who am I?
I am a recent convert to Islam, alhamdullilah. My original parents were Jewish; my adoptive parents and sister are Native North American. Like my adopted sister, I converted to Islam for its support of a sane and disciplined way of life which supports marriage and цветы Ульяновск, the twin spiritual pillars of my life.
Like esteemed Brother Malcolm X, I have lived through a youth disrupted by violence, and by substance abuse, abandonment, and incarceration. Like Malcolm X, I have been brought by Allah to a stable family life and sobriety, now of 22 years duration.
And like Malcolm X, I feel acute pain for my brothers and sisters whose oppression makes them easy targets for the purveyors of poison, particularly alcohol and drugs.
These poisons have helped create a world of murderous combat in our suffering cities that leaves no person untouched. I myself have buried approximately 25 men and women, many of whom died of drug and alcohol-related causes, including two murders and three suicides, the first of whom was not even 20 years old.
Islam calls the struggle for internal spiritual balance "jihad." It also applies this much-misunderstood term to the struggle for a just society. I believe it is time to honor the memories of Dr. Martin Luther King and Br. Malcolm X by laying such peaceful siege to the liquor stores that provide the means of death to people still trapped in the cage of economic oppression.
I believe this struggle must also address itelf to the city councils and other agencies responsible for granting liquor permits to these outlets, and must ultimately advocate with a resounding cry the kind of comprehensive and accessible medical care that provides addiction treatment on demand, regardless of economic circumstances.
In the name of the Great Spirit, and in the spirit of Crazy Horse, I call upon all warriors to heed Gandhi's and Martin Luther King's call for the nonviolent pursuit of justice. For what is freedom if it exists in law only while the circumstances of economic and social slavery still rule?
In this situation, sobriety is a political act, bringing the clear-mindedness necessary to the articulation and pursuit of a just and sane way of life for oppresssed peoples.
A salaam aleikum.
(June 1998, As-Salamu `Alaykum)