15 HOPEFULLY INSPIRING QUOTES

I cannot really bring myself to do another Trump related blog, at least not today. So here are 15 hopefully inspiring quotes from the likes of Chris Rock, Stewart Lee, Shaykh Hamza Yusuf, and 5 from arguably one of our greatest living philosophers Taylor Swift.  I am as yet unsure as to exactly what these quotes will inspire you to do but, as always, enjoy!

Taylor

Once you realize all the random events in your life are God you will live a much easier life. We spend all our time trying to control all these things that happen to us, it’s bullshit. The plane you’re flying goes down? Out of your control. God gives you cancer? I got no control over that. Did God give me cancer? You bet your ass God gave me cancer. You know, do you think God would have given me cancer if I’d asked for it? Uh, I don’t think so ’cause I begged him to take it away and guess what? No control over that, either. – from the movie Flight (2012)

Don’t worry. You may think you’ll never get over it. But you also thought it would last forever. – Taylor Swift

Every accident, properly viewed, is an opportunity. – from the movie Bridge Of Spies (2015)

Giving up doesn’t always mean you’re weak, sometimes you’re just strong enough to let go. – Taylor Swift

I was on tour and I was in Sheffield and I was walking along the main street in Sheffield, Fargate, and I saw two guys holding up big cardboard placards and one of them said, “Would you like to download thousands of films now from Sky?” And the other one said, “Would you like to learn the truth about Islam?” And I thought, “Oh, decisions, decisions.” – Stewart Lee

If you haven’t contemplated murder, you ain’t been in love. If you haven’t seriously thought about killing a motherf***er, you ain’t been in love. If you haven’t had a can of rat poison in your hand and looked at it for 45 minutes straight, you ain’t been in love. If you haven’t bought a shovel and a bag and a rug to roll their ass up in, you ain’t been in love. If you haven’t practiced your alibi in front of the mirror, you ain’t been in love. And the only thing that’s stopped you from killing this motherfucker was a episode of CSI: ‘Oh man, they thorough. I better make up. They might catch my ass.’ – Chris Rock

It isn’t history that makes heroes, it is heroes that make history. – Taylor Swift

The great genius of our religion, and one of the great truths of our Prophet, is that he came as a mercy to everyone. And this is why he created multi–ethnic multi–cultural societies. He had all types of people: he had Persians, he had Romans, he had Africans, he had Arabs. He had all the different Arab tribes and he brought them into a fraternity of rahma (mercy). And he had Jews and Christians and he honored them and treated them. When the Christians of Najran came he honoured them in his mosque, he spoke to them kindly. – Shaykh Hamza Yusuf

The more awareness of Allah you have, the stiller you become, the stiller your soul becomes. You don’t have the agitation, the disquietude that happens with people that are distant from Allah. – Shaykh Hamza Yusuf

There are two ways you can go with pain: You can let it destroy you or you can use it as fuel to drive you. – Taylor Swift

We [Muslims] say that what is out there is inside, that man is a microcosm. Imam Ali said that you think that you’re an insignificant thing and yet in you is the entire universe, that we are the microcosm, and one of the things that I see that we’re losing on the planet, we’re not losing cockroaches, we’re not losing rats, they’re thriving. But we’re losing eagles, we’re losing lions and tigers and leopards, we’re losing these qualities in our self that are majestic and beautiful, and what’s remaining is the foulness and the filth…if people want to clean up the environment they have to clean up themselves because the environment is a reflection of what’s inside of us. – Shaykh Hamza Yusuf, from A Conversation With Miroslav Volf And Hamza Yusuf

What I’ve learned is not to change who you are, because eventually you’re going to run out of new things to become. – Taylor Swift

Chris Rock

When I hear people talk about juggling, or the sacrifices they make for their children, I look at them like they’re crazy, because ‘sacrifice’ infers that there was something better to do than being with your children. And I’ve never been with my kids and gone, ‘Man, I wish I was on my stage right now.’ I’ve never been with my kids and gone, ‘Man, it’d be so great if I was on a movie set right now.’ But I’ve been doing a movie and wished that I was with my kids, I’ve been on tour and wished that I was with my kids. Being with my kids is the best, most fun thing, it’s a privilege. It’s not something I call a sacrifice. – Chris Rock

You should try to align your character with the character of the Prophet, so you follow his actual sunnah. – Shaykh Hamza Yusuf

You wouldn’t throw away a diamond to pick up a rock, so in the same way don’t throw away the akhirah by chasing the dunya. – Anon

ADVICE FROM AN EXTREMELY BRITISH MUSLIM

Waz

The always interesting British TV station Channel 4 has recently started a 3-part documentary called Extremely British Muslims. I will let you finish rolling your collective eyes at the thought of yet another documentary trying to understand what us Muslims in the west are really all about, but this one is interesting to say the least.

Forget the non-controversy about Channel 4 using on-screen subtitles when people with strong Birmingham accents were talking. Forget also the first episode that focused on some rather strange and awkward opinions on matrimonial matters. Instead focus on the second episode which concentrated on young Muslim men growing up in Birmingham.

It was this episode that made the incisive point that our fathers came to this country and tried to integrate as much as possible, despite the high level of resistance shown by many locals, whereas their children (first born generation Muslims like myself) on the whole are trying to separate, despite the high level of encouragement and desire from many locals who want us to integrate (although Trump and the rise of the far right may see this trend well and truly bucked). The episode also had some very interesting quotes from Waz, someone who is now practicing his faith but most definitely was not in the past.

You will also find below quotes from and links to 3 articles that are well worth reading. As always, enjoy!


The best quotes from episode 2 of Extremely British Muslims

Waz on the role of mosques…

Narrator: Do you think the mosques are doing enough to get through to young Muslim men?
Waz: You’ve got to think, what is a mosque? It’s not a school, it’s not something that’s got funds, that’s got staff, that’s got people sitting there waiting to do something, and it’s their job to do something. It doesn’t work like that. If everybody is sitting around waiting for somebody else to do it, when we’re talking about “the mosque, the mosque,” we are the mosque, you know, we are part of the mosque. We are our local mosque. It represents us and we should represent it. So if the kids are being let down, in terms of what they can and can’t do at a mosque, that’s our shortcoming. – from the Channel 4 program Extremely British Muslims, Episode 2, Mar 2017

Waz on the link between stereotyping and segregation…

If you keep telling them that they are a certain thing and you get that stereotype around you, you know these kids yeah, they start to believe it. If you make these kids feel victimised then you’re going to make them feel different. And if they feel different then they’re going to separate themselves from everybody else. And I know we’ve got to do more too. We can’t just withdraw. We’ve got to work harder to mix and my community needs to be more outward looking. If you call segregation, what’s going to happen is we’re not going to talk to each other, and if we won’t talk to each other and we don’t know each other, we’re not going to understand each other. It’s just going to make us grow even further apart. And we’re going to start to dislike each other. Forget getting on, we’re going to start dislike each other. – from the Channel 4 program Extremely British Muslims, Episode 2, Mar 2017

Waz on seeing the light…

For me it was like, it happened literally overnight, where I was in an apartment and you could, like, see a lot of Birmingham. And I remember that night, like, just breaking down into tears and thinking about my whole life. And I just wished that I could go back to all the people that I knew that weren’t here no more or that ended up in jail, and say to them that “You know what? It’s really not worth it.” So I thought where am I going to find happiness? And I just felt it in me, I just felt like it was right, like I need to turn back to Allah, I need to turn back to God. That’s the only way that I am going to be happy inside. – Waz, former bad boy, now practicing Muslim, from the Channel 4 program Extremely British Muslims, Episode 2, Mar 2017

Waz on the biggest gang in the world…

Narrator: Who, through your eyes, are the sort of people that might join ISIS?
Waz: You’ve got people that are sort of like ex-bad boys, that still have that gang mentality. You know what I’m saying? And if you want to be in a gang, what’s the biggest gang in the world right now? It’s ISIS. ISIS is the biggest, most baddest gang in the world right now. They think they can get an AK and get forgiven by God at the same time. And a lot of these guys, I’ll be honest with you, it’s because they don’t have friends or, you know, they must have a messed up childhood or something like that and they’re thinking “You know, finally I can be part of something. I can be part of something powerful. And I can be part of this gang, and yeah, brotherhood! And yeah, we’re together and nobody can mess with us. Yeah, and I’m going to go to Syria and Iraq.” And they’re just trying to get a sense of purpose in life. – from the Channel 4 program Extremely British Muslims, Episode 2, Mar 2017


Mark Steel on how Islamophobia can be rather silly…

The temptation is to assume he can’t keep getting away with this, as he’s not playing by the rules. But he’s rewritten the rules. And politicians everywhere will want to copy him. – Mark Steel, 09 Mar 2017, from the article America Finally Has A Leader Who Doesn’t Rely On ‘Evidence’ To Back Up His ‘Claims’ –– How Refreshing


The way us Muslims pray daily is actually good for the joints…

The repetitive physical movements of Muslim prayer rituals can reduce chances of lower back pain if performed properly, according to new research. The study found that not only does quiet prayer eliminate physical anxiety, but that proper knee and back angles can be an effective clinical treatment…The kneeling posture, known as sujud, apparently increases the elasticity of joints…“Prayer can eliminate physical stress and anxiety, while there is also research that indicates prayer rituals can be considered an effective clinical treatment of neuro-musculoskeletal dysfunction.” – Peter Walker, 09 Mar 2017, from the article Islamic Prayer Ritual Reduces Back Pain And Increases Joint Elasticity, Study Finds


What Islam could teach Trump about democracy and freedom…

Decosimo

Trump and his administration could learn a thing or two about American values such as freedom and equality from the religion and people they so hate.
In Islam’s founding story, after Muhammad’s death, it was unclear who would lead the nascent Muslim community. Typically, succession disputes make for great drama. This one, however, was more C-SPAN than “Game of Thrones.” Rather than intrigue or bloodshed, the believers pursued democracy. Only by the people’s consent, they reckoned, could a ruler justly be named and a community freely governed. They chose Abu Bakr, one of Muhammad’s companions. His inauguration speech, according to one of Muhammad’s earliest biographers Ibn Ishaq, was brief (though we’re not sure how big the crowd was). It went something like this: “I’m no better than any of you. Only obey me if I do right. Otherwise, resist me. Loyalty means speaking truth. Flattery is treason. No human, but God alone is your lord.”
Abu Bakr sought to guard the people against domination by making himself accountable to them. The people obliged, securing their liberty. They could call him out at any time, and he had to listen. He even had to ask their permission for new clothes. His successor Umar carried the legacy forward. Publicly rebuked by a woman for overstepping the law, Umar responded: “That woman is right, and I am wrong! It seems that all people have deeper wisdom and insight than me.”
This spirit of accountability and liberty would become enshrined as a religious duty in Islam, though as with any tradition, these values are not always upheld. Nonetheless, every Muslim has the obligation to command right and forbid wrong, correcting and resisting any who betray justice, rulers included. That Abu Bakr and Umar are paradigms of good Islamic rule for well over 1 billion Sunni Muslims tells us something about this tradition’s love for freedom. – David Decosimo, 08 Mar 2017, from the article What Islam Could Teach Donald Trump About Democracy And Freedom

For Islam and the American founders alike, freedom is about protection from arbitrary power and rule by law, not the caprices of men. Theirs is a vision where citizens stand not in slavish deference to masters but on equal terms with all. This vision animates our whole system of governance…This vision is under threat in a way it rarely has been in our history. It is not under threat by Islam, but by Donald Trump and his administration. – David Decosimo, 08 Mar 2017, from the article What Islam Could Teach Donald Trump About Democracy And Freedom

Trump wants to return America to its former greatness. But when it comes to freedom, Ghazali and Abu Bakr have far more in common with Madison and Lincoln than with terrorists and tyrants who claim Islam’s mantle. For that matter, they have far more in common with this country’s great lovers of liberty than does the current president. So, instead of banning Muslims, Trump should listen to them: He might learn something about liberty and equality, two values he seems not to have learned to love from our own nation’s history or the Constitution he swore to uphold. – David Decosimo, 08 Mar 2017, from the article What Islam Could Teach Donald Trump About Democracy And Freedom

VIDEOS BY RIZ AHMED, RUSSELL BRAND, AND MO AMER

riz-ahmed-speech

Are you distracted and confused by Trump and his tweets, Obama and his wire traps, Jeff and his sessions with the Russians? Well, why not distract yourself from all of these distractions with the following three video clip distractions!

We start on a somewhat serious note. British Muslim actor Riz Ahmed, now a very well know Hollywood star, delivers Channel 4’s annual speech about diversity at the House of Commons. He highlights the complex issue of representation, especially cultural representation, rather than the usual narrative of diversity.

We then move on to Russell Brand speaking about Lindsay Lohan. Lindsay gave an interview on British morning TV recently where Piers Morgan questioned and questioned her about her interest in Islam. Brand uses his satirical skills to break down the interview for what it really is (an Islamophobe desperately trying to get an angry reaction from an Islamophile).

We end on a somewhat lighter note with the American Muslim stand up comedian Mo Amer and his recent brilliant appearance on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert.

As always, enjoy!


Riz Ahmed ‘representing’ at the House of Commons…


Russell Brand on whether or not Lindsay Lohan should allowed to be a Muslim…

Everything she is saying is that she’s feeling a sense of connection, that she’s praying, that she’s feeling a connection to other people, she’s feeling a connection to a higher sense in itself, a connection to a higher world. That is what Islam is about. That is it. The secondary narrative that Islam is a fuel for violence, that’s being used by people that are in power, and even at the level of this sort of quite trite daytime TV thing, they are pushing that narrative. Now I don’t believe exclusively in conspiracy theories, but here we are just watching something that is innocuous and harmless as Good Morning Britain at 8.22 in the morning and they’re pushing a powerful agenda…Well done Lindsay Lohan for looking at the world in a different way, in developing and evolving yourself and communicating in a way that is evidently challenging for some people. Good luck on your journey. – Russell Brand, speaking about Lindsay Lohan’s interview on Good Morning Britain, Feb 2017


Mo Amer does a brilliant set on the Late Show…