Monthly Archives: January 2012

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commentary

Mutual Assistance Toward a Single Aim

By Imam Hatim Hamidullah

In our quest to align ourselves with Allah’s Will in our lives, it is incumbent upon us that we know what is Allah’s Will for us specifically. The Will of Allah for everyone is that we are aware of ourselves, really aware of ourselves as true, dedicated and conscious servants of Allah each and every moment of our lives.

Being Muslim, a Believer, a maintainer of constant love and humility, should not be viewed as a fad or something that just happens to be or becoming popular. Being a Believer is a consistent lifestyle, a way of living this thing we call life.

If we are claiming to be believing Muslims, then we should continue to see gradual changes for the better in our lives everyday. Prophet Muhammed (PBUH) always showed the best example and gave the best advice.

There is a saying in the West: “If you know better, you should do better.” Another is: “You do what you are.”

We don’t expect everyone to be a great mu’alim or great mu’alimah. But we do expect that if we are truly true believers, there will always be in our lives in this world opportunities for life changing events that promote correct knowledge, which in turn will impact our thinking so much so, that we begin to change the various ways in which we conduct our affairs – personally, family, business, etc.

People change their lifestyles because they want to change it, not because someone gives a powerful speech. People change because their innermost self tells them: “I’ve had enough of this messy life or of this life as I see it not conforming to Allah’s Will for me. Therefore, I know it’s time for a change. Allah says: Allah will not change the condition of a people, until they change what is bothering their very soul.”

“Theirs is like the custom of the people of Pharaoh and of those before them. Allah, indeed seized them for their sins, disbelief in the Signs of Allah…”

Powerful and severe in punishment…. That is because Allah would not change a Favor which He had bestowed upon a people, until they change what is within themselves. And indeed, Allah is Hearing and Knowing… (Qur’an 8:52-53)

Hence, we cannot simply change our minds; we must change our very souls. Our souls must make a foundational shift, so that our emotions and intellect can be aligned with the Will of Allah in our lives.

We should chart the course of our lives, so that it leads us continuously into and with the good Pleasure of Allah and His Reward.

The Prophet (PBUH) said: Seize the (opportunity to use) five (things) before five (other things) catch up with you:

1)      Your youth, before you grow old;

2)      Your health, before you fall sick;

3)      Your leisure, before you are occupied;

4)      Your wealth, before you grow poor; and

5)      Your life, before you die.

And he said: “The feet of the servant will not move on the Day of Rising, until he is asked about these things: 1) His life and how he spent it; 2) His youth and how he utilized it; 3) his wealth and how he obtained it and how he spent it….”

The Believers are but brothers, so make settlement between your brothers. And fear Allah, that you may receive Mercy. (Qur’an 49:10)

The first duty is fundamental  and may be viewed as a material one. Prophet Muhammed (PBUH) said, “Two brothers are likened to a pair of hands” – rather than hand and foot, because the pair are of mutual assistance toward a single aim.

I ask you all brothers and sisters, how many single aims do you have wherein you can give mutual assistance to them? What are your plans? How many projects do you have for this year 2012 (lunar calendar) /1433 (Hijrah calendar) and years to come?

So it is with two brothers, their brotherhood is only sound when they are comrades in a single enterprise. In a sense, the two are like one person. This includes a common participation. If the outcome is good fortune and bad, it is a partnership in the future as in the present moment, an abandonment of possessiveness and selfishness.

This is the picture of true brotherhood.

 

 

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From the “E” - The Environmental Magazine

Dear EarthTalk: How is it that global warming could negatively impact water supplies in the U.S.? – Penny Wilcox, Austin, Texas

Climate change promises to have a very big impact on water supplies in the United States as well as around the world.

A recent study commissioned by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), a leading environmental group, and carried out by the consulting firm Tetra Tech found that one out of three counties across the contiguous U.S. should brace for water shortages by mid-century as a result of human induced climate change.

The group found that 400 of these 1,100 or so counties will face “extremely high risks of water shortages.”

According to Tetra Tech’s analysis, parts of Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Kansas, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas will be hardest hit by warming-related water shortages.

The agriculturally focused Great Plains and arid Southwest are at highest risk of increasing water demand outstripping fast dwindling supplies.

While the mechanisms behind this predicted dwindling of water supplies is complex, key factors include: rising sea levels and encroaching ocean water absorbing lower elevation freshwater sources; rising surface temperatures causing faster evaporation of existing reservoirs; and increasing wildfires stripping terrestrial landscapes of their ability to retain water in soils.

Researchers have already begun to notice dwindling water supplies across the American West in recent years, given less accumulation of snow in the region’s mountains as temperatures rise.

According to a 2008 study out of the Scripps Institute for Oceanography and published in the journal Science, Western snowpack has been melting earlier than it did in the past thanks to global warming, leading to markedly longer dry periods through the late spring and summer months in states already suffering from extended droughts.

Given that the length and strength of these changes over the last 50 years cannot be explained by natural variations, researchers believe human induced climate change is the culprit.

The upshot of these changes is that Americans of every stripe need to curtail their water usage — from farmers irrigating their crops to homeowners watering their lawns to you and I taking shorter showers and turning off the tap while brushing our teeth.

Even more important, water and resource policy managers need to conceive of new paradigms for the management of freshwater reserves to make the most of what we do have. And all of us need to work together to cut down on the emissions of greenhouse gases that have led to global warming in the first place.

Analysts also worry that warming-related water shortages could erupt into conflict, especially in parts of the world where one country or group controls water resources needed by others across national borders, such as the Middle East where already five percent of the world’s population relies on just one percent of the world’s fresh water.

Parts of Africa, India and Asia are also at risk for water-related conflicts. American policymakers hope that the situation won’t get that dire in the U.S., but only time will tell.

Contacts: NRDC, www.nrdc.org; Tetra Tech, www.tetratech.com; Scripps Institute for Oceanography, www.sio.ucds.edu.

Dear EarthTalk: Ever since the red dye #2 scare in the 1970s I’ve been wary of using food colorings or buying food that appears to contain them. Are there natural and healthy food colorings? – Nancy McFarlane, Methuen, Mass.

Many of us are still wary of food dyes because of reports about links between red dye #2 and cancer in the 1970s.

While red dye #2 was subsequently banned from products sold in the United States, many health-conscious consumers continue to avoid foods with other artificial colors or dyes — even though the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) still considers them safe for human consumption.

But a 2010 analysis of past research on links between food dyes and health by the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) found compelling evidence that ingestion of artificial dyes can contribute to hyperactivity, restlessness and attention problems in some children — particularly those with ADHD.

“What’s more, the studies suggested that removing dyes from those children’s diet was a quarter to half as effective in reducing those symptoms as giving the kids Ritalin or other stimulants,” reports Nancy Cordes, CBS News’ Consumer Safety Correspondent.

“In other words, certain kids with ADHD might not need drugs if the artificial dyes were removed from their diets.” Several commonly used artificial food dyes are suspected carcinogens as well.

While it might be impossible to prevent your children from eating anything with artificial dye, you can do your part by shopping at Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s — both chains have banned products that use artificial dyes and carry all-natural food coloring for home cooking and baking projects.

One brand to look for is India Tree, which makes a line of food coloring derived from vegetable colorants. The company’s “Nature’s Colors Natural Decorating Colors” contain no corn syrup or synthetic dyes, and are highly recommended for coloring icing in rich jewel tones or soft pastels.

Another company specializing in natural (as well as organic) food colors is Nature’s Flavors, whose products are widely used commercially in ice cream, baked goods, frosting, dairy products, syrups, sauces, beverages and even hair colors. The company recently began to sell their products to consumers, as well, through retail stores.

They use a variety of plant materials, including beets, turmeric root, annatto seeds, purple carrot, purple cabbage, gardenia flowers, hibiscus flowers and grape skin.

“Our natural food colors are made from plants and contain powerful antioxidants, which help the body repair itself from the effects of oxidation,” claims Nature’s Flavors. “Using natural or organic food colors may actually help the brain and slow down the effects of aging.”

Another leading maker of all-natural food coloring is Chefmaster, whose products can be found at Whole Foods and other natural and high end food retailers, as well as on amazon.com and elsewhere online.

CPSI would like the FDA to ban eight of the most common artificial dyes, or at least affix a warning label to products that contain them: “Warning: The artificial coloring in this food causes hyperactivity and behavioral problems in some children.” In the meantime, concerned eaters should stick with products, stores and restaurants that use natural ingredients.

Contacts: India Tree, www.indiatree.com; Nature’s Flavors, www.naturesflavors.com; CPSI’s “Food Dyes: A Rainbow of Risks,” www.cspinet.org/new/pdf/food-dyes-rainbow-of-risks.pdf.

EarthTalk® is written and edited by Roddy Scheer and Doug Moss and is a registered trademark of E - The Environmental Magazine ( www.emagazine.com). Send questions to: earthtalk@emagazine.com.

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Health From Abdel J. Nuriddin, N.D., Ph.D

By Abdel J. Nuriddin, N.D., Ph.D.

            Thinking ahead about possible circumstances that may occur and then taking action to offset bad experiences must become a part of our contemporary thinking in order to preserve a positive future.

Too often, people leave the future to work itself out, and the consequences become devastating.

The history of the world of ancient times shows our fore bearers in a state of prevention and preparation for their future. They understood the natural nature of themselves and sought to accommodate good and ward off bad experiences for the sake of a healthy society.

The mind of mankind among most civilized or cultured people today has lost touch with the wisdom of the ages, when it comes to personal and communal health.

The need to reconnect old methods of practice to modern times, that showed themselves as a deterrent for bad consequences, should be incorporated into our lives today for the same reasons that they were practiced in the past; they preserved ethics and led to wholesome living.

Some people still use fasting today, which is the oldest known remedy for health problems, to help keep sickness away from their door. Seasonal organ cleansing, which has been used for ages, is still being used by wise people to keep a check on their future health.

These practices and many others help to keep the life free of disease and ultimately society protected. They stabilize the life of health, and it leads to future wholesome social advancement.

In many cases, these are personal practices that carry community value. It stands to reason that good personal and family health practices will affect the community’s overall health.

Let us be aware of the need for precaution and establish our thinking in a base of prevention. The determining factor, as to whether our future health is preserved either personal or communal, is in our not leaving the future to chance.

For consultation, call 336-852-3040.

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Malcolm-X

Review by Imam Yahya Shabazz

“To appreciate how Malcolm’s resurrection occurred, first among African Americans and later throughout America, we need to reconstruct the full contours of his remarkable life.” (Manning Marable’s book, page 14)

In my opinion, the way Manning Marable has written this book, the words he uses, the way he puts those words together to describe Malcolm, tells me that Marable either had very little respect for the man who was/is one of the most forceful and positive influences in modern day history, not only for the African American community, but indeed for the general society as well….

Or he was paid in some way, by someone to write a book that seems to tear down the stature of Malcolm in slow un-noticeable degrees, except to those of us who truly loved and respected the man for his commitment and love for uplifting a community to give them a fighting chance in society.

Why in the world would Marable refer to this man called Malcolm X, El - Hajj Malik Shabazz, as “an angry black militant”? (page 7)  And why would he couch the phrase in the middle of a sentence, like he’s camouflaging it? But at the same time, he’s trying to paint the picture of Malcolm as just another angry voice in the crowd, among the many.

Just another Black man who is mad at the “White man?” In reality, Malcolm X was a visible, deciding factor in the direction of not only the African American movement, but his influence had global effects in terms of how we as a people were viewed by others around the world.

I see in this book the attempt to crucify Malcolm in the minds of the public, the same way Jesus Christ was crucified in Biblical scripture, and no one is saying a mumbling word. Also present is Judas in the persons of those so called intellectuals who give praise to a work fit for nothing….

I personally think that many of them loved and respected Marable because he was one of their colleagues and friends, but even so, they should stand for truth and justice, regardless.

The harm this book does is far more of a serious concern then friendship, because those instructors on the various high school and college campuses, who may not have agreed with the struggles of the African American community, now will focus their attention on issues of no impotence, rather than the life’s work of the man, which they can’t tear down.

Those who do support will only now be sidetracked with these issues, and so the significance of Malcolm’s life becomes watered down.

Before I continue, please allow me to give fair warning to all, especially the African American community. We are a great people, with a great history. But if we continue to allow these kinds of books to be written about our heroes without saying anything, then our future generations will have nothing and no one to look to as a role model.

It is important that we come out of this faddish, trendy, un-intelligent stupor we find ourselves in and step up to the plate of responsibility to preserve our glorious history, so that we can have a standard for the future.

This warning is not only directed to those who we usually label as following the entertainment crowd, but more at those who call themselves scholars, leaders and intellectuals, weather they call themselves Muslim or not. We need to wake up and see the task in front of us and take the responsibility of correct leadership.

Malcolm is not the first, nor will he be the last, to have his stature torn down before us. In the movie Rush Hour 3, we see Christ Tucker using the language of Dr. King “I have a dream” in a very disrespectful way. On another occasion, on a game show, I saw another man use Dr. Kings words regarding “the content of a man’s character” in the context of a sexual relation.

Still further, I heard a hip hop song where the singer was using the “I have a dream“ language as well. I do not believe these are haphazard instances. I believe they are by design. There’s a play running presently on the life of Dr. King, where the claim is made that they only want to humanize him by highlighting his sexual inclinations.

They assume that we see Dr. King, and the rest of those who stood for good as gods, or idols, when the truth is that we see them as significant people who have made the world a better place in which to live, in spite of their human weaknesses, and that same goal can be had by us all.

On more than one occasion, I have witnessed the dialogue in many TV series used to denigrate famous African American artists, musicians and leaders. I think these are incidents we should take notice of. It is up to us to preserve our history, for if we don’t, it will surely be taken away from us.

In the above quote from Marable’s book, he refers to Malcolm’s life as remarkable, as if to give someone the impression that he admired Malcolm. But closer scrutiny reveals an attitude akin to, if not hatred of Malcolm, then at least some degree of disgust.

On page 9 in his book, Marable uses deceit to even try to discredit Alex Haley’s Autobiography of Malcolm X, by raising doubts in the minds of the readers that the two men were very different, with different concerns. Therefore, the authenticity is questionable.

His opinion about what was in the minds of Malcolm and Haley seems to be an attempt to trivialize not only the life of Malcolm, but the book that was/is an upliftment to so many of those who read it and went on to improve their own lives.

For Marable to refer to Alex Haley’s purpose for writing the book as a “cautionary tale about human waste and the tragedies brought on by racial segregation” is the epitome of injustice and insult to such a great work.

There’s no way that a profound writer, such as Alex Haley, the author of Roots, the book that not only produced a mini-series that was shown over the course of many years, that gave the entire world an in-depth look at the beginnings of the slave trade, but in effect awakened the curiosity in many others from across racial lines to begin the search for their ancestors.

There’s no way that he would be writing such a serious book about a man who was bigger than life, for such a shallow and trivial reason. It just boggles the mind to even try to imagine this was the purpose for Haley’s book on the Life of Malcolm X.

One of these so-called intellectuals, who appeared on a CSPAN panel discussion, exclaimed in a loud voice that that she was ready to give up Haley’s magnificent work, that has proven to be an encouragement to so many. That fact alone is more than reason enough to keep teaching it.

This book by Marable, at best, serves no other purpose than to cause doubt and controversy, by going into issues about which no one really cares about, because they are mere ordinary issues that we all deal with to some degree or another.

Marable tries to make these ordinary, everyday issues that Malcolm and we all deal with to rise to the level of such great importance, that they cast a shadow over the life and work of the man.

Marable makes the claim that Malcolm exaggerated his criminal record, as if that’s something unusual. Still trying to figure out the point?

The fact is that the sign of a true leader is that despite the everyday problems he or she has to deal with – family, etc. – they don’t lose focus on the larger goal, “the emancipation of the people.”

What has not been exaggerated is the fact that El-Hajj Malik Shabazz, with the help of Allah, lifted himself up and beckoned to us to follow.

Those of us who did are the better off for it.  Truly, this woman has to be a very short sighted person to want to trade profoundness exchange for shallowness.

I believe Manning Marable was paid by someone, or his project and research financed by someone with sinister motivations, for him to put together such an unjust book of insults that serves no other purpose but to cast doubts on a man who has done his due for the upliftment of a people.

I think this book is a total disgrace. To heap doubt and suspicion upon African American leadership is nothing new. The tragedy is when other African American intellectuals show support for such an effort.

I don’t know if they are afraid of losing tenure in their positions, or if they’ve been promised other rewards. But these are some of the same “uncle toms” that Malcolm condemned during his life of service to society.

Marable is trying his best to find some kind of fault with Haley’s work. He explains the fact that the OAAU had been left out of the Autobiography at Malcolm’s request. (Page 9) Yet he still chooses to open up the discussion in such a way that gives one the impression that some wrong had occurred.

Failing to establish wrong doing, he settles for the minute detail about Malcolm having no input on M.S. Handler’s contribution to the preface in the book. He uses terms like “Haley’s own ‘rambling’ conclusion, which frames his subject firmly within mainstream civil rights respectability at the end of his life.”

Again I say, the way Marable puts words and sentences together, and his keen focus on parts of Malcolm’s life that no one cares to know about, tells me that he’s being paid or promised something. Or he harbors a deep hate or disrespect for Malcolm.

On page 10, Marable goes deeper into the text of the Autobiography, as if he’s about to reveal something deep, hidden, or earth shattering about Malcolm.

He talks about a deeper reading of the text in search for facts, but instead of identifying what facts, he gets into dialogue where he tries to present Malcolm in the light of someone cunning. (Yet we all know he was born Malcolm Little.)

Marable says on page 12 of his book on Malcolm, that his primary purpose for the book is to “go beyond the legend: to recount what actually occurred in Malcolm’s life.” One would think from reading this statement that they are about to discover some meaningful detail about Malcolm’s life worth knowing about.

But all Marable does is tries to point out meaningless  events, by referring to a detail about sloppy hand writing, to a bad write up he received from the induction center.

Or he highlights Malcolm’s time in the Nation of Islam, when he was put in charge of a Mosque and he replaced some officials with the ones he could best work with – although this is a common practice.

But Marable describes it in words that would make the average person angry and turn them against Malcolm for no good reason. Usually, if a person was replaced, it’s for a good reason.

He uses the word “reinvent” many times over to describe the evolutionary process Malcolm went through, as he grew from a street hustler to a giant of a man, who became renowned and respected worldwide.

He seems to try to make a big deal of the fact that Malcolm had nicknames, and he tries to tie the nicknames to Malcolm’s mission, to give the impression that Malcolm was presenting himself to his various audiences somehow in a way that didn’t ring true.

Malcolm didn’t “reinvent” himself. On the contrary, he matured from a child to a man of deep passion for doing what was right for people. The Bible says: “When I was a child, I acted like a child. When I became a man, I put away childish things.”

There were no different layers of personalities in Malcolm. For Marable to even suggest the idea of different personalities sends a heinous message about the mind of Malcolm. We all know what that implies. I need not elaborate any further.

Simply put, Malcolm grew just like everyone else, through a normal childhood of his time. He made a lot of mistakes just as others did in his day, and like so many of us today. What sets him apart is the fact that he developed wisdom, vision, knowledge and added the courage he already possessed.

Malcolm went out and led people to freedom. Manning Marable should be ashamed, and held in contempt, along with those who praised this dreaded work. Their word should not be accepted ever again, unless and until they come forward and publicly condemn this work of treachery against a man who has dedicated his life to helping others.

I am loathed to even continue to try to get through the rest of this book, because I fear it is more of the same. Marable tries to raise every question he can about Malcolm’s character, including trying to associate him to homosexuality. I won’t even give that issue the elevation of trying to defend Malcolm’s character.

Marable’s strongest evidence presented for him to draw from was the word of an angry ex-friend of Malcolm’s. For a so-called scholar to use that kind of hearsay regarding Malcolm again is evidence that he had very little regard for Malcolm.

Malcolm was a serious, world renowned leader. To really write a complete exhaustive review that would give deserved justice would mean that the conclusion of such a writing would have as many pages as the book itself.  On virtually every page, at every turn of Malcolm’s life, Manning Marable is trying to weaken Malcolm in the eyes of the society.

I don’t believe that he would do this on his own volition, which is why I say someone else has to be behind this damning effort.

As we study the lives of the giants of men and women who have traveled this earth and stood for justice, we find they were faced with many struggles, both public and private. Those that are private must necessarily remain so, because regarding them, their account is with G-d and only with G-d.

Those that are public are done with the good of the public at heart, weather we agree with them or not. Yet they are done while these giants are still dealing with the struggles of their private lives, and this is what makes them the giants that they are.

Malcolm X is not to be seen in the context of just one person, for one single cause. Rather he is one link in a chain of leaders whose very reason for existence was the upliftment of humanity. To weaken even one link in that chain is to weaken the chain itself.

Yes, they all had their weaknesses, but they all were human, and this is the great victory, in spite of their human frailties, that their focus never left the needs of the people they were chosen by Allah to serve.

There is a Qur’anic verse that says: “Go ye forth to the battle, (whether equipped) lightly or heavily, and strive and struggle with your goods and your persons, in the Cause of G-d. The word “thaqala,” in this verse, means something heavy, oppressive, to load, or burden with something.

So these great leaders had not only to deal with their own personal baggage that in many ways was hard to bear, or oppressive, but also the task that lay in front of them was daunting as well.

What should be highlighted then, is their undying devotion to humankind. This, after all, is what gives the rest of us the motivation to go forward weather equipped heavily or lightly, and do G-d’s Will.

(Yahya Shabazz is the author of the book, New Leadership into the 21st Century, published by xlibris.com, about the different philosophies in leadership from some of our most influential African American leaders, beginning at the turn of the Century with W.E.B. DuBois and Booker T. Washington, to the Hon. Elijah Muhammed and Dr. Martin L. King Jr., with a foreword by Dr. Sulayman Nyang, Ph. D., Howard University.)

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Week in Review

By Harry C. Alford
NNPA Columnist

In early history, nations or empires that wanted to expand would just invade unsuspecting people and take what they wanted. It might have been just the land or crops or precious metals or women. Whatever it was, they would just take it and kill anyone who got in their way.

Seizing property from others was a quick way to increase your wealth and, most of all, influence. The British Empire was the most successful of these aggressors and much of what they influenced still has implications today.

As time went on, it became immoral for a nation to take what it wanted. Eventually, at the end of World War II, aggression and theft was replaced with a thing called “Aid.” Foreign Aid became the vehicle to influence and inject wealth, someone else’s wealth, into an aggressive nation.

It was noted, by our President Harry Truman, that we would lead the way in this new vehicle for influence and wealth: “In addition, we will provide military advice and equipment to free nations which will cooperate with us in the maintenance of peace and security.

Fourth, we must embark on a bold new program for making the benefits of our scientific advances and industrial progress available for the improvement and growth of underdeveloped areas.

More than half the people of the world are living in conditions approaching misery. Their food is inadequate. They are victims of disease. Their economic life is primitive and stagnant. Their poverty is a handicap and a threat both to them and to more prosperous areas.

For the first time in history, humanity possesses the knowledge and skill to relieve the suffering of these people.” Oh, he makes it seem so noble and altruistic. It basically was a new approach to an old tradition – exploitation, economic slavery and theft of natural resources.

How a lot of this works is brilliantly explained in an autobiography by John Perkins, titled “Confessions of an Economic Hit Man.” I read this book a few years ago and still get chills from his explanation of how we exploit innocent nations for the sake of control and greed.

Even Osama Bin Laden referred to it in one of his verbal condemnations of the Western world. Reading it will give you an understanding of the seemingly senseless hatred the leaders of Iran have toward Western nations.

Here is an example of Mr. Perkins’ explanation: “Economic hit men (EHMs) are highly-paid professionals who cheat countries around the globe out of trillions of dollars. They funnel money from the World Bank, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), and other foreign ‘aid’ organizations into the coffers of huge corporations and the pockets of a few wealthy families who control the planet’s natural resources.

“Their tools included fraudulent financial reports, rigged elections, payoffs, extortion, sex and murder. They play a game as old as empire, but one that has taken on new and terrifying dimensions during this time of globalization.”

How do we escape from this predicament? Perhaps the first thing we do is encourage fledgling nations to become self sufficient through other means. Government should not be in the Foreign Aid business whatsoever. How dare we spend billions upon billions of dollars annually in the name of influence?

What needs to happen on a world wide basis is for a big increase in philanthropy. The religious community can replace the government run efforts through G-d driven missions that are sincere in helping mankind and promoting peace. Churches have proven to be sincere in their generosity and caring for the needy.

Another vehicle is to promote the rich and famous to give something back. Two great living examples of this are:

1. Alicia Keys, recording artist, who personally built a rural hospital in Kenya serving residents who before had no access to healthcare.

2. Rap star 50 Cent ,who made over $200 million in a promotional deal with Coca Cola, used that money towards 1 billion meals to be distributed to poverty stricken children throughout the continent of Sub-Saharan Africa.

They are indeed “angels”; may this become a living example of what many of us can do when we have been blessed – “Pass it on.”

The National Black Chamber of Commerce will be starting a “Giving Back Hall of Fame” to recognize those who do noble and vital acts of passing their blessings onto others in need.

We should also remember an ancient Chinese proverb: “Give a man a fish and he eats for a day. Teach that man to fish and he will eat forever.” This is so true today. Instead of “feeding the hungry,” we should be promoting agri-business and full processing of natural resources, instead of letting some other entity provide such.

G-d will bless the “child” who has his own.

Finally, our entrepreneurs who have been successful should strongly consider opening subsidiaries somewhere on the African Continent. Prudently, they should pick venues where good government exists and will allow them room to be successful.

As those ventures grow, they will provide a countless number of new jobs and provide a positive growth in nations’ Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The year 2012 will be the beginning of an organized effort in promoting this movement.

Of course, some sinister nations and quasi government/corporate entities will be threatened. They will act, but we must stand tall and prevail. G-d is on our side, and that is all it takes. For those of you who are afraid and don’t know it – G-D IS GREAT! We can win this.

These are exciting times. We are evolving into taking things into our own hands and settling only for success. Africa will not only survive, it will prosper. Foreign Aid – Get Gone!

(Mr. Alford is the co-founder, President/CEO, of the National Black Chamber of Commerce, Inc(r). Website: www.nationalbcc.org. )

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Week in Review

International

President Bashar al-Assad of Syria appeared in public for the first time since the uprising against his rule began 10 months ago, addressing a rally in Umayyad Square in Damascus. He thanked the crowd for its support and pledged to defeat what he said were conspiracies against his country.

“We will defeat the conspiracy, without any doubt,” the 46-year-old President told the crowd, which appeared to number in the thousands, perhaps tens of thousands. “We will make this phase the last one of the conspiracy.”

In the city of Homs, a Western journalist was killed when another pro-government rally was attacked. This was Mr. Assad’s speech, his second in two days, even as protests against him persist in some of the country’s largest cities.

The crowd in Damascus cheered for Mr. Assad, with some people shouting, “Shabeeha forever, for your eyes, Assad,” a reference to loyalist militiamen who have played a major role in suppressing demonstrations and the activists who organize them.

Sanctions imposed by the United States, Europe, Turkey and the Arab League have battered Syria’s economy, and the League’s decision to suspend Syria’s membership in November was humiliating. The League’s 165 observers, who arrived in Syria in December 2011, have complained of obstruction and attacks from both sides.

The observer who resigned, Anwar Abdel Malik, said he left because he felt that the mission was serving the interests of the government rather than trying to end the crackdown on protesters.

Less than two months after winning power in Morocco’s elections, the moderate Islamic party of Prime Minister Abdelilah Benkirane is moving to relax the country’s strict abortion laws. A top aide to Mr. Benkirane, Mustapha Khalifi, confirmed media reports that the Prime Minister would support an initiative to allow abortions in cases of rape and incest.

Mr. Khalifi, subsequently appointed the communications minister, said in an interview that the government should push ahead with a proposal, drafted by the social and family affairs minister in the previous government, Nouzha Skalli, to address the steep rise both in illegal abortions and in the number of unmarried mothers caught in the poverty trap.

“We should start dealing with this issue,” Mr. Khalifi said in Rabat. “We can’t ignore it anymore.”

 

National

In its most significant “religious liberty” decision in 20 years, the Supreme Court recognized a “ministerial exception” to employment discrimination laws, saying that churches and other religious groups must be free to choose and dismiss their leaders without government interference.

“The interest of society in the enforcement of employment discrimination statutes is undoubtedly important,” Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. wrote. “But so, too, is the interest of religious groups in choosing who will preach their beliefs, teach their faith and carry out their mission.”

The decision provided limited guidance about how courts should decide who counts as a minister, saying the court was “reluctant to adopt a rigid formula.”

The ruling will have concrete consequences for countless people employed by religious groups to perform religious work. In addition to ministers, priests, rabbis and other religious leaders, the decision appears to encompass, for instance, at least those teachers in religious schools with formal religious training who are charged with instructing students about religious matters.

Douglas Laycock, a law professor at the University of Virginia who argued the case on behalf of the school, said the ruling’s burden of proof is that “substantial religious instruction is going to be enough.”  Professor Laycock said of professors at Catholic universities like Notre Dame: “If he teaches theology, he’s covered. If he teaches English or Physics or some clearly secular subjects, he is clearly not covered.”

President Barack Obama said he would propose tax incentives for companies to bring home manufacturing jobs they had moved overseas, and curtail tax breaks for those that keep relocating jobs abroad. The President was joined by executives from the aerospace, chemical and furniture industries, all of whom are building or expanding factories in the United States, as he made his announcement.

Mr. Obama declared that the Nation was beginning to see the reversal of a long-term trend toward outsourcing. He called the new trend, perhaps inevitably, “insourcing.”

“We’re at a unique moment, an inflection point, a period where we’ve got the opportunity for those jobs to come back,” Mr. Obama said in the White House, after meeting with the executives.

The President did not offer details of the tax proposals, which presumably would be subject to approval by Congress, though he renewed his call on lawmakers to approve a one-year extension of the payroll tax cut that will expire at the end of February.

 

Politics

A triumphant Mitt Romney prepared to enter the South Carolina politics with a warning to his Republican rivals already waiting for him there: Your attacks on me have failed.

In several television appearances, Mr. Romney assailed the angry attacks about his work for Bain Capital and urged his opponents to settle on a “new course” for their campaigns as they move south.

“I think their argument fell flat here in New Hampshire,” Mr. Romney said of his rivals, Newt Gingrich and Rick Perry.  He added that the evidence from New Hampshire suggests this kind of attack on free enterprise is simply not gaining traction.”

 “We have a right to know what happened at Goldman Sachs, what happened with trillions of dollars in New York,” Newt Gingrich said. “We have a right to know what happened when companies go bankrupt,” a reference to deals in which Mr. Romney’s private equity firm, Bain Capital, cut workers and extracted profits from factories and retailers that later failed.

“There is enormous pressure in the establishment not to bring up things. Don’t talk about who got all the money. Don’t raise the question,” Mr. Gingrich said. “I am prepared to stand up to every level of pressure.” Mr. Romney said, “Frankly, if I can’t take a few shots coming from my colleagues on the Republican side, I’m not ready for Barack Obama.”

 

Business

Conflict between rich and poor now eclipses racial strain and friction between immigrants and the native-born as the greatest source of tension in American society, according to a recent survey.

About two-thirds of Americans now believe there are “strong conflicts” between rich and poor in the United States, a survey by the Pew Research Center found, a sign that the message of income inequality brandished by the Occupy Wall Street movement and pressed by Democrats may be seeping into the national consciousness.

The result was about a 50 percent increase from a survey in 2009, when anger over the financial industry’s role in the recession was festering.

“Income inequality is no longer just for economists,” said Richard Morin, a senior editor at Pew Social and Demographic Trends, which conducted the latest survey, of 2,048 adults in December. “It has moved off the business pages into the front page.”

The new numbers show that perception of class conflict surged the most among Whites, middle-income earners and independent voters, the survey found. But it also increased substantially among Republicans, to 55 percent of those polled, up from 38 percent in 2009, even as the party leadership has railed against the concept of class divisions.

The survey found that grievances against the rich had not increased, with a full 43 percent of those surveyed saying the rich became wealthy “mainly because of their own hard work, ambition or education,” a number that was unchanged from 2008.

 

Health

A large new government study has found that smoking marijuana on a regular basis, even over many years, does not impair lung function. Marijuana, the country’s most widely used illicit drug, has become increasingly popular and less stigmatized in recent years.

One government report released in December found that one out of 15 high school students now smokes marijuana nearly every day. The new research is one of the most extensive looks to date at whether long-term marijuana use causes pulmonary damage, and specifically whether its impact on the lungs is as harmful as smoking cigarettes.

The researchers followed more than 5,000 people over two decades and found that regularly smoking marijuana the equivalent of up to a joint a day over seven years did not impair performance on a lung function test. In something of a twist, the researchers found that compared to nonsmokers, marijuana users performed slightly better on the lung function test.

“Even with this tiny increase in airflow, I have to admit that I really doubt that there’s any real increase in lung health,” said Dr. Stefan Kertesz, an associate professor at the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Medicine and an author of the study.

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Muslim Journal International News

Special to the NNPA from the Global Information Network

(GIN) – A major bank in Minneapolis has closed the accounts of companies wiring money to Somalia from their U.S.-based families, creating a crisis for Somalis who depend on the U.S. funds.

Minnesota, home to the largest Somali American population in the U.S., reportedly sends about $100 million back home each year, according to the U.S. Treasury. Several hundred Somali Americans rallied in Peavy Park recently to protest the action.

They carried signs reading: “Somalis are starving because of U.S. Bank Policy.” Sunrise Community Banks explained that under new Homeland Security rules, the bank could face prosecution if their transfers were received by terrorists.

A spokeswoman for the Somali American Money Services Association in Minneapolis, said 15 money-transfer businesses stopped taking money because they would no longer be able to execute transactions through Sunrise Community Banks.

“They don’t have a bank account as of tomorrow,” she said of the businesses, which are sometimes known as hawalas.

“I don’t know what to do,” said Abdirahim Hersi, 27, who sends $500 every month to his mother, daughter and siblings in the Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya, near the Somali border. “I’m really sad.”

“It’s wrong to close off the lifeline!” shouted U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn., who attended the rally.

The bank said it would consider extending the service, if it was given a way to minimize its risk. But U.S. Attorney B Todd Jones said a waiver is not possible. “The Department of Justice doesn’t give anyone a free pass right up front for possible future criminal activity,” Jones said.

Swaziland, Facing Bankruptcy, Gets A Lift from Coke

Special to the NNPA for Global Information Network

(GIN) – After years of exorbitant spending on luxury cars, foreign trips abroad, and on mansions for his 13 wives, Swazi King Mswati’s credit has maxed out.

A bailout loan of $355 million from South Africa remains unclaimed, because Pretoria is demanding political and economic reforms. Only Coca-Cola, a major investor, is providing some support for the cash-strapped king.

With the country approaching meltdown, the soda company bubbled up with a full page spread, wishing Happy Birthday to the King in the pages of the state-owned press. It was bad taste and poor timing for pro-democracy activists who are now calling for Coke to stand up for justice for Swazi people.

“Coca-Cola must know they’re doing business with the wrong people,” Mary Pais Da Silva, coordinator of the Swaziland Democracy Campaign, told the Guardian newspaper. “At the end of the day, it doesn’t benefit the economy. Their profits don’t help the average Swazi, while the king is getting richer by the day.”

Coca-Cola insists that it aims to be “an outstanding corporate citizen in every community we serve.” It set up in Swaziland in 1987 after leaving apartheid South Africa.

Coke’s operations in Swaziland are its largest in Africa. Some activists estimate that Coca-Cola contributes as much as 40 percent of the country’s GDP.

Lucky Lukhele, a spokesman for Swaziland Solidarity Network, said: “Coca-Cola should find a way of directing the profits to the people of Swaziland. They should start supporting the pro-democracy movement.”

Government  Allows Gas Prices to Triple, Setting Off Nationwide Sit-Ins, Marches, Rallies

Special to the NNPA from the Global Information Network

(GIN) – Nigeria is roiling with protest following the decision by the government of President Goodluck Jonathan to increase hardship by removing an oil subsidy that has jacked up prices up to three times their normal rate in some areas of the country.

The action raises doubts about the political survival of Pres. Jonathan, who stands accused of “a condemnable and dictatorial policy” by labor leaders, and “utter disregard for the constitution” by members of the opposition.

“The public holiday has become nightmarish because there are long queues of fear. There is a lot of annoyance in the mind of people. People can’t move around happily, you know. People are annoyed. People are angry,” said Iny Ememobong, a spokesperson for the National Association of Nigerian Students.

With the subsidy, prices were an average of 65 Naira, or 40 cents per liter, now they have increased to as much as 250 Naira in some places.

“Labor is going on protest, students are going on protest, market women – everybody’s going because everybody is affected by what’s happening. It’s not just about students. It’s not just about labor. It’s about everybody. All of Nigeria except the very rich are going on protest.

“And like John F. Kennedy said, if a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich,” Ememobong adds.

Despite being Africa’s largest oil producer, Nigeria imports most of its refined petrol while exporting its crude resources – a fact that speaks to capacity in Nigeria, says Ememobong.

“It’s unfortunate that we have many refineries in Nigeria that are not even working at optimal capacity. Why can’t they work? Why do we need to export the crude oil and re-import them and pay so much on them?”

The Nigerian government says the $7.5 billion used on fuel subsidies is needed for infrastructure projects and social programs throughout the country.

But citizens say corruption has swallowed the nation’s assets with government officials paying themselves outsized salaries and other wasteful measures.

Follow the action minute-by-minute on www.saharareporters.com – “Occupy Nigeria”

 

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By Habibullah Saleem

The call came from Louisiana from Bro. Rahman Sabir that we must write about this amazing Muslim American Pioneer who has been one of our strongest pillars among many others.

His Muslim name is Frank Mukmim, after being known as Frank X Livingston back in 1950s when he first became a member of the Nation of Islam.

Bro. Frank was born in a small town called Cotton, Louisiana, in 1905 located in Webster Parish. His birth information is in Lendin, Louisiana, not far from Shreveport, Louisiana.

By all means, he is an amazing individual who is still able to read, write and spell. When asked recently to spell the places he was mentioning, he didn’t hesitate to come forth with the correct letters in the correct order of each word – without having to guess.

Frank’s mother, Ida Livingston, died when he was 10 years of age. His father, Frank Sr., died two years later. He made mention of the fact that his grandmother and grandfather were both slaves in this country.

In following his natural curiosity, Frank wanted to learn as much as he could about himself and the essence of the Creator of this wonderful universe.

To accomplish his mission, he learned to read the Bible, discovering the statement, “Seek and ye shall find. Knock and the door will open, and the Answer shall be given.”

Being the fourth  child of seven, Bro. Frank’s and his siblings’ birth dates of the five males and two females were 1900, 1902, 1904, Frank 1905, and the other three in 1907, 1909 and 1911. The oldest of the seven was a sister who lived into her 80s.

Frank was the only one to accept and practice the life of a Muslim. Frank also was the only one who never married, he says though coming close one time he decided against it because he spent so much time doing construction work, his specialty.

By 1950, Frank had finally became a Muslim after it took three long months for him to get his letter accepted, a process used in the Nation of Islam under the Hon. Elijah Muhammad to become a member. A letter had to be written without mistakes. Such an idea had astonishing psychology locked into it.

Bro. Frank  shared some of the difficulties he encountered on his journey. As a young child, his parents introduced him to Christianity, which was so difficult for him to swallow and digest. He pretended everything was OK but deep down it wasn’t. During the interview he told me he wasn’t able to see how the religion of Christianity connected with nature.

The comfort he needed just wasn’t there. His G-d given instincts guided him to see what others around him didn’t see nor understand.

After serving in World War II at the age of 20, Bro. Frank returned home to San Diego and told his oldest brother, Ardis, who was a stewart at the C.M.E. Church to take his name off the roll.

Frank had been gone from home for three years and two days and still was struggling with his discontentment for Christianity and what he had been taught about Jesus and the crucifixion.

He was searching for answers that no one had ever satisfactorily resolved. Frank went from here to there looking for a church or religion that would satisfy his thirst and hunger concerning a way of life he could feel pleased with.

After more than 20 years of being taken off the roll at his church, he finally went to get a haircut at a barbershop on Imperial Street. While waiting to get in the chair, Frank sat and listened to a debate between a Christian Minister and a well versed Muslim.

When the debate ended, Frank was so impressed he asked his barber, “Jay,” how to get in touch with the Muslim who was so well versed. Jay gave him the information and not long afterwards, Frank found himself at the home of Henry Mims who delivered the teachings that night.

At the end of the lecture, the brother asked those present did they have any questions? Frank raised his hand and asked about something no one in the church had ever answered to his satisfaction. The question was on the 13th chapter of Revelation in the Bible, where it talked about the number of the beast – 600, three scores and six!

When the brother gave Frank the answer – he said to himself: “That’s it. That’s it! That’s what I’ve been looking for! An answer that connects with nature.”

Now at the age of 105, Bro. Frank is still showing his appreciation for becoming a practicing Muslim. He spoke about the time he was able to use his Islamic wisdom to negotiate the purchase of the land where Masjid Jahaarahtal Islam is now located in Phoenix, Arizona.

In 1950 under the leadership of the Hon. Elijah Muhammad, he also was responsible for giving the number “8” to the Mosque in San Diego, Calif. Bro. Frank, up until about three years ago, was still fasting as much as possible. He only stopped driving at the age of 103.

With only a few years of formal schooling, his intelligence always has been beyond the norm. He made Hajj, paying his own way although a brother named Wali offered to pay for him.

Bro. Frank always has cherished the idea of doing-for-self. While living in Phoenix for six years, a home was built for Bro. Frank by Bro. Lamar Hasan, one of his longest and best friends. However, Brother Frank decided to move back to St. Charles, where he could enjoy the benefits of nearby fishing and remain conscious of not falling for the bait of divide and conquer.

He made me aware of the fact that having to spend a great deal of his time driving, he received a few tickets in his lifetime but never had to spend one day or hour in jail.

He also let it be known that he had met Malcolm X at least on three differed occasions. He said Malcolm once said to him, “Remain humble and submit, and you’ll learn to be productive.”

It’s truly amazing that from 1905 till the age of 105, Bro. Frank is still reaping the benefits of the Five Principles of Al-Islam. He shared with me the fact that he’s not able to attend a Masjid but still says his prayers at home and thanks Allah much for what he has achieved.

He’s thankful for being personally served his meal at a dinner in Phoenix by Imam Warith Deen Mohammed. He said the Imam took off his suit coat, put on an apron, and made it happen. He stated he always has enjoyed being a follower of both Elijah and W.D. Mohammed, who gave us clear understanding of the Holy Qur’an and of Prophet Muhammed (PBUH).

As one who is well loved as a human being, Bro. Frank Mukmim is presently being cared for at his home in St. Charles by a nurse and at times by a neighbor, whose son is a Muslim, even though she’s a Christian.

Bro. Frank understands that there is good and bad among all people – after all his mother, father, grandmother and grandfather were all productive and respectful Christians. In spite of the negative influences of slavery, they weathered the many storms, just as he has for more than five decades.

May Allah continue to bless this magnificent Muslim American Pioneer for all that he’s done to let the world know that true Islam is true to all people.

By all means – it was truly an honor to interview Bro. Frank over the phone and to learn. I pray for those who read this article to also learn. Peace and Progress!

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Muslim Journal Business Category
Busiiness In Our Lives

President Barack Obama speaks from the East Room of the White House, Jan. 11, 2012….

     THE PRESIDENT gave the following remarks about bringing home “American Jobs,” here given in excerpts:

You’ve heard of outsourcing.  Well, these companies are insourcing.

These companies are choosing to invest in the one country with the most productive workers, the best universities, and the most creative and innovative entrepreneurs in the world, and that is the United States of America.

That’s exactly the kind of commitment to country that we need – especially right now, when we’re in a make-or-break moment for the Middle Class and those aspiring to get in the Middle Class here in the United States.

All across this country, I meet folks who grew up with a faith that in America, hard work paid off and responsibility was rewarded, and anybody could make it if they tried – no matter where you came from, no matter what you looked like, no matter how you started out.

Those are the values that my grandparents and my mother taught me.  Those are the values that built the best products and the strongest economy and the largest middle class that the world has ever known.

I think we understand that over the last few decades, that bargain has eroded for too many Americans.  The economy has changed rapidly.

And for many, that change has been painful.  Factories where people thought they would retire packed up and went overseas, where labor costs were cheaper.

 

At the same time, we live in a global economy, and as other countries grow and develop middle classes of their own, of course global companies are going to pursue those markets and employ workers and make investments all over the world.

But right now, we’re at a unique moment, an inflection point, a period where we’ve got the opportunity for those jobs to come back.

And the business leaders in this room, they’re ahead of the curve, they recognize it.  I’ll give you just a few examples.  After shedding jobs for more than a decade, American manufacturers have now added jobs for two years in a row.

That’s good news.  But when a lot of folks are still looking for work, now is the time for us to step on the gas. So that’s why I pushed Congress to extend the payroll tax cut this year, so that 160 million working Americans weren’t hit with a tax hike.

But we’re going to have to do more.  And that’s why, in the next few weeks, we’re also going to put forward new tax proposals that reward companies that choose to bring jobs home and invest in America.

And we’re going to eliminate tax breaks for companies that are moving jobs overseas. Because there is an opportunity to be had right here and right now.  There are workers ready to work, right now.

That’s why I set a goal of doubling our exports of goods and services by 2014 – and it’s a goal, by the way, that we’re on track to meet; in fact, we’re a little ahead of schedule in meeting that goal.

That’s why, with the help of our outstanding USTR, I was able to sign trade agreements with Korea and Colombia and Panama, so our businesses can sell more goods to those markets.

That’s why I’ve fought for investments in schools and community colleges, so that our workers remain the best you’ll find anywhere…. And investments in our transportation and communication networks, so that your businesses have more opportunities to take root and grow.

 

I don’t want America to be a Nation that’s primarily known for financial speculation and racking up debt buying stuff from other nations.

I want us to be known for making and selling products all over the world stamped with three proud words:  “Made in America.”  And we can make that happen.

I don’t want the next generation of manufacturing jobs taking root in countries like China or Germany.  I want them taking root in places like Michigan and Ohio and Virginia and North Carolina.

And that’s a race that America can win.  That’s the race businesses like these will help us win. These are CEOs who take pride in hiring people here in America, not just because it’s increasingly the right thing to do for their bottom line, but also because it’s the right thing to do for their workers and for our communities and for our country. And they’re leading by example.

I’m proud of that, as an American.  But as President, I also want to make sure they get some credit for it.

Just three years ago, for example, we almost lost the American auto industry.  Today, the Big Three automakers are turning a profit and manufacturing the next generation of fuel-efficient cars that the rest of the world wants to buy.

Ford Motor Company – that’s represented by workers and management on this stage – has committed to investing $16 billion in the United States by 2015.

And that includes bringing back about 2,000 jobs and shifting production from countries like Japan, Mexico and China to states like Michigan and Ohio and Missouri.

Master Lock – iconic company.  When Master Lock looked at their numbers, they saw that union workers in America could do the same job at competitive costs as non-union workers in China.

In fact, Master Lock is now exporting their products from the United States to China and Europe.And today, for the first time in 15 years, Master Lock’s Milwaukee complex is running at full capacity.

But you don’t have be a big manufacturer to “insource” jobs.  Bruce Cochrane’s family had manufactured furniture in North Carolina for five generations.

But in 1996, as jobs began shifting to Asia, the family sold their business and Bruce spent time in China and Vietnam as a consultant for American furniture makers who had shifted their production.

While he was there, though, he noticed something he didn’t expect:  Their customers actually wanted to buy things made in America.

So he came home and started a new company, Lincolnton Furniture, which operates out of the old family factories that had been shut down.  He’s even re-hired many of the former workers from his family business.

You also don’t have to be a manufacturer to insource jobs.  You just heard Tim, CEO of a health care IT company in New Jersey called GalaxE Solutions.

They’ve already hired 150 workers with their “Outsource to Detroit” program, and they plan on hiring up to 500.  And Tim was quoted as saying, “There are some really talented people in Detroit, and we’re putting them back to work.”

Whether you’re a small business that are – some of which are represented here – or a large manufacturing corporation, or a technology company; whether you’re a historic brand or a brand-new startup, insourcing jobs is a smart strategy right now.

We live in a global economy with opportunities for global investment.  But we heard from several experts this morning and business leaders that we’re at this point in time where factors like incredibly rising American productivity and increasingly competitive costs mean the economic case to invest in America and bring jobs back home is strong – and it’s getting stronger.

Labor costs are going up in places like China.  We have become much more productive.  We continue to be the largest market in the world.

So we have this outstanding opportunity if everybody is partnering and getting together.  That’s the economic case. I believe there’s also a moral case.

Andy Grove, the former CEO of Intel, said it well.  He said, “Those of us in business have two obligations.  One that’s undebatable is that we have a fiduciary responsibility to the shareholders who put us in our place.”

But he also said, “There’s another obligation that I feel personally, given that everything I’ve achieved in my career and a lot of what Intel has achieved in its career, were made possible by a climate of democracy, an economic climate and investment climate provided by our domicile – the United States.”

All these folks onstage, they are businesspeople first, and they’re looking at the bottom line.  But they also feel good about the fact that they’re restoring hope and creating jobs here in the United States.

And that’s part of the responsibility that comes with being a leader in America – a responsibility not just to the shareholders or the stakeholders, but to the country that made all this incredible wealth and opportunity possible.

That’s a responsibility that we all have to live up to – whether we’re in the private sector or the public sector; whether we’re in Washington or we’re on Wall Street.

Because the more Americans who succeed, the more America succeeds. So my message to business leaders today is simple:  Ask yourselves what you can do to bring jobs back to the country that made our success possible.

And I’m going to do everything in my power to help you do it.  We’re going to have to seize this moment.

American workers are the most productive and competitive in the world right now.  When you factor in all the costs, we have an outstanding market; we have the most innovative entrepreneurs, the best research universities.

And part of what our session this morning was all about was just helping people to take a look at what this moment is and where we’re going to be five years from now.

Because when people take a second look, it turns out that the potential for job growth and American manufacturing and the service industry is incredible.

I said in a speech a while back, this moment is perfectly suited for our advantages.  It’s perfectly suited for who we are.

The global marketplace is becoming more innovative, more creative, more transparent, faster, more adaptable – that’s who we are.  That’s our strength.  We’ve got to take advantage of it.

And if we’ve got leadership of the sort that we’re seeing on this stage, I’m absolutely confident that not only can it make a difference for our Middle Class and folks who are working their way into the Middle Class, it also gives us an incredible opportunity to assure the future for our children and our grandchildren.

And that’s my central goal and focus as President.  That should be our central goal as a country – how we rebuild an economy where hard work pays off, responsibility is rewarded - a nation where those values continue for generations to come.

… I hope you get a chance to hear their (business owners) stories, because it’s exciting, and it gives you a sense of why I’m incredibly optimistic about our prospects.

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Youth Take Center Stage

 

By Dr. Lynne Muhammad and Norman Muhammad

DETROIT, Mich. –  As the New Year of 2012 takes hold, we began on Sun., Jan. 8, which was not only a beautiful, bright sunny day for Community Dawah, it was a highly spirited day for the Students of the Hon. Imam W. D. Mohammed at the historic Wali Muhammad (aka mosque number 1), in Detroit, Mich.

Believers traveled from several states and cities in Michigan to engage in Unity and Prayer and a Day of Community Dawah.

Dawah Coordinator Omar Abdul Khaliq, of Masjid Wali Muhammad, began by stating, "The call to Dawah is the call to Excellence. “ He then read the Qur’an, 2:260 regarding the four birds, representing social, economic, government and cultural life, and applying it to our life.

Bro. Norman Muhammad led a silent prayer, asking attendees to focus on protecting those leaders who are part of our Legacy.  He urged that we also focus our Dawah efforts to support young people and share our message with new people.

He stated that we must support our entrepreneurs.  The Vendors are welcome to promote their businesses for free at any of the Dawah locations (see Calendar of Events).

Sis. Kamara Martin, age 13, the Great Granddaughter of Sis. Dorothy Shakoor, of Detroit, began her talk letting us know that she sees the youth as future scientists, engineers, lawyers, doctors, and other key members of a productive, society.  She also stated that the young adults seek to gain positive guidance from the adults, to place positive footsteps for the youth.

Bro. Omar then introduced Yusuf Jihad, a fifth grader and son of the newly elected  Imam of Masjid Wali Muhammad, Imam Garett Jihad.

Young Yusuf developed a project around Eco Teck, where young scientists learn how to make the environment a better place in which to live.  He is working directly with bio-fuel and bio-plastic.  He is going to Denver, Colo., to participate in a conference and is scheduled to go to London to meet with other international “ambassadors” addressing global concerns.

He also attended a meeting at the United Nations in April 2011 and made a presentation on the Malnutrition of Guinea.

Imam Hamin Rasool, of Flint, Mich., and Michigan State Convener, mentioned that during a meeting at the Northwest Activities Center in Detroit, the Hon. Imam W.D. Mohammed was speaking and called him up to the rostrum and pointed to the audience and said, "Those out there are my best followers."

Imam Rasool stated that #1 (Detroit Muslims) is coming back alive.  And Saviors Day is coming.  He also said, “We who came under the Leadership of the Hon. Elijah Muhammad and the Hon. Imam W. Deen Mohammed should not have a problem supporting The Mosque Cares, and all of the Initiatives – Saviors Day, Ramadan Sessions, the Annual Convention, the First Sundays, and Bro. Wallace Muhammad II. “

He stated, "Do not worry about anything negative that others have to say.  The good that comes from this is already in motion.  This allows us to accomplish what our youth is asking for.  That is Success."

Imam Garret Jihad said, "You cannot change the fruit without changing the Root!" He continued, stating that we should make efforts to change what is being fed to people, as it can help change their approach to circumstances.

Referencing Imam Mohammed, Imam Jihad stated, "The core of the problem that we see is selfishness.  ‘He who doesn't love his brother is not of us.’

“Satan had a plan to defeat the Believers in their most Sacred places. First we have to get the people to acknowledge the Creator.  If they do not become Muslims, still they will respect us.  Also we have to stop playing with each other.  We play too much,” said the youthful Imam.

He encouraged everyone to get back to the nature of Creation. And on that note, the food was delicious.  We appreciate everyone who participated, and we thank Allah for you.

The Imams who were in attendance agreed to sponsor four Muslim American Pioneers to the Saviors Day 2012, being held this year in Chicago, Ill. (see page 28).

To sponsor the Pioneers, the Imams also will purchase the registration ticket, and Dinner Tickets.  They are also planning to purchase one or more tables for the Dinner.

We urge you: Catch the Spirit! 

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TRENTON, N.J. – A prolonged search for a new Imam to lead the congregation of Masjidut- Taqwa, located at 1001 E. State St., in Trenton, was rewarded in...
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