A response to Yasir Qadhi and his ilk on the topic of #Ferguson

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Mr. Qadhi in his Facebook post said that immigrant Muslims ignore inner-cities with a hashtag on Ferguson. Mr. Yasir Qadhi has a history of making erroneous statements (before and after his “reform”). It makes it more troubling when such a person with large following continues on misrepresenting our religion and communities: 

1- Ferguson, Missouri is not “inner city”. Just because a young black man was shot and killed, it does not make Ferguson “inner city”. This goes to reveal how Mr. Qadhi thinks in terms of race and geography, which is sad and alarming. 

2- Immigrant Muslims from Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, and Bosnia revived South and North St. Louis. They changed it with businesses, turning homes around, and cleaning up places from gang activities.
It is still work in progress. Their contribution should not be ignored in such broad statement. 

When I lived in St. Louis, Pakistani immigrants were active in providing all kinds of support to inner-city youth with donations and volunteer time. A number of immigrant physicians have established free clinics, food pantries, and many other facilities. They routinely visit inner-city neighborhoods and work hard especially in education sector.

There is a large unnoticed Indo-Pakistani immigrants who work with NGO’s on gang abatement programs mostly with donations and fundraising events. We have also been involved with police training, speaking against police brutality, discrimination, and fighting for civil liberties. More work needs to be done, indeed, this will always be work in progress. 

When in St. Louis, we always noticed that it was the ISNA-types who ignored the poor, the weak, and the needy. The problem with the types of Mr. Qadhi are a few things:

1- Their bandwagon statements: if it’s in headlines, they feel the urge of making a broad statement. Before that, where were they?!

2- These types of “shaykh”s or “shuyukh” are either too busy with their heads buried in ancient books or they’re busy preaching at podiums. Which leaves them no time for any meaningful action. 

3- Qadhi and his types appear to be very nice and kind people and have impressive resumes. It becomes puzzling as to why they continue making such erroneous broad statements, false analysis of history, ignore our future, and only focus on reading and speaking. We don’t want to make any conjectures, but let’s keep this question in mind whenever we pick a “leader”. 

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