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December 5, 2004
Shootin' The Breeze With Uncle Sam

by Saleem Safdar


Another boisterous night of noise -
To empty the mind and soul of poise -
Standing in judgment, one of the other -
While professing by Allah to be brothers.

The elders sit and sip their soothing chai -
Argue the issues, the who, what, where & whys -
As they discuss Iraq, Palestine, and Pakistani woes -
They identify friends as well as foes.

Weary from another arduous work week -
To liberate themselves from their masks they seek -
So as they escape their realities into the jovial air they breathe -
Their inner conflicts as the recorder silently sits

Uncle Sam, you claim to love the land of the free -
Wanting the youth to be all they can be.
You say the Ummah can be saved by American liberty -
But who will save the Ummah from your treachery?

In Masjids during khutbah you watch -
Who nods off and who vehemently nods;
With politically loaded questions you probe -
High voltage minds with metal rods.

You profess your job is to save -
Though you serve masters who wish to enslave
The masses with their opiates and confusion -
While under their shadow, you preserve the illusion

Though thorough and detailed records are kept -
The ones for whom you search aren't around
While you focus on individual's changing practices -
Where you search those you seek aren't to be found

Because even long ago they knew Uncle Sam existed
In places like Iran where revolutionaries resisted -
And today while you cheat your community
The ones you search for laugh as they roam free

For every slip Uncle Sam makes in the name of Big Brother
Another young mind is recruited by the army of the Other -
For Uncle Orwell and Ray B. informed the youth well
Of Big Brother's plan to keep people in perpetual hell

Uncle Sam is a naught but a slave dreaming to be free
Caught in the shackles of his inferiority complex
Vexed by his desperateness to be other than himself
Having sold his soul for self-loathing and transient wealth

Uncle Sam, don't be so blue...
Although you can't see them & they see you
Because even though you're not "us", "them", or yourself
You now have a shiny car with its flag: red, white, and blue

The cameras watch the colors wave in air
Recording the careless and ignoring those in despair
Slighting the terrorized and sympathetic to those in terror
While Uncle Sam, lost in the glare, continues in his error

How can one save others who cannot help themselves -
Distinguish between truth, lies, patriotism, and brotherly ties
- Remember – as your eyes wander in the prayer
That the recording Angels report to The Delayer -
And though it seems far – the Day is near
The Awesomeness of which demands your fear --

Uncle Sam, you claim to love the land of the free -
Wanting the youth to be all they can be.
You say the Ummah can be saved by American liberty -
But who will save your soul from it's own treachery?



of and relating to...
Rami said

Asalaam Aleikum Warahmatullah Wabarakatu,

Your writings are always quite insightful Br. Saleem.


Now, compare the two:

1)
"Uncle Sam, you claim to love the land of the free
Wanting the youth to be all they can be.
You say the Ummah can be saved by American liberty
But who will save your soul from it's own treachery?"

2)
http://www.guardian.co.uk/comment/story/0,3604,1364249,00.html

"Muslims see Americans as strangely narcissistic - namely, that the war is all about us. As the Muslims see it, everything about the war is - for Americans - really no more than an extension of American domestic politics and its great game. This perception is ... heightened by election-year atmospherics, but none the less sustains their impression that when Americans talk to Muslims, they are talking to themselves."


Waslaam Warahmatullah Wabarakatu

on December 5, 2004 2:39 PM
Rami said

Asalaam Aleikum Warahmatullah Wabarakatu,

Also note the similiraties in these. Mind you the quotes from the article are written by non-Muslims

1)

"Because even long ago they knew Uncle Sam existed
In places like Iran where revolutionaries resisted
And today while you cheat your community
The ones you search for laugh as they roam free

For every slip Uncle Sam makes in the name of Big Brother
Another young mind is recruited by the army of the Other"


2)

From same article as above:

"There is no yearning-to-be-liberated-by-the-US groundswell among Muslim societies - except to be liberated perhaps from what they see as apostate tyrannies that the US so determinedly promotes and defends." Rhetoric about freedom is received as "no more than self-serving hypocrisy", highlighted daily by the US occupation in Iraq. "Muslims do not 'hate our freedom', but rather they hate our policies." The "dramatic narrative ... of the war on terrorism", Bush's grand storyline connecting all the dots from the World Trade Centre to Baghdad, has "borne out the entire radical Islamist bill of particulars". As a result, jihadists have been able to transform them selves from marginal figures in the Muslim world into defenders against invasion, with a following of millions.

Waslaam Warahmatullah Wabarakatu

on December 5, 2004 2:46 PM
Justoju said

Very very nice mashaAllah.

My favorite three stanzas:

Uncle Sam is a naught but a slave dreaming to be free
Caught in the shackles of his inferiority complex
Vexed by his desperateness to be other than himself
Having sold his soul for self-loathing and transient wealth

Uncle Sam, don't be so blue...
Although you can't see them & they see you
Because even though you're not "us", "them", or yourself
You now have a shiny car with its flag: red, white, and blue

The cameras watch the colors wave in air
Recording the careless and ignoring those in despair
Slighting the terrorized and sympathetic to those in terror
While Uncle Sam, lost in the glare, continues in his error

on December 5, 2004 7:55 PM
saleem said

jazakallah khair.

rami - thanks for the article references... they were helpful... especially the first one.

with the new anti-terror laws - speech that is considered anti-american and falsely construed as pro-terror run the risk of not being protected speech under the 1st ammendment of the constitution, aliens are especially in danger of having their words used against them. The bigger lesson is - be careful who you talk to ... in the Masjid setting.. at school meetings.. young and old Muslims alike feel more comfortable in saying things they otherwise wouldn't, without thinking first, and sometimes they don't really mean the things they say... I don't think anyone should be "scared".. but they should be wary of the people they speak freely around... not everyone is your friend. secondly - always think before you speak... consider who your audience is... and what their motivations are.. (at the same time don't use this as an excuse to hate/distrust/run away from your Muslim brothers and sisters)

May Allah bring success to everyone studying for finals.

on December 7, 2004 1:21 AM
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