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W. Deen Mohammed Weekly Articles
Reprinted from the Muslim Journal


Muslim Journal

How We Are To Establish Muslim Life In
America: Part 5

Imam W. Deen Mohammed


Risk Takers

Another one of our problems is we are afraid to take intelligent risks. We are afraid to exercise real moral courage. But that does not mean that we are not risk takers. The African American is the biggest risk taker in the his¬tory of this country. Most of our money is money given to risk situations. Our behavior is a risk-style behavior. We are the biggest gamblers and risk takers.

...Influences shaping a people…

As a rule it is good and bad circumstances that influence the shaping of a people or a society, and act upon them until they come to be established or ruined. If those circumstances remain favora¬ble, in time, they (the people) will become established.
Many times the harshest environment, the harshest circum¬stances can work to motivate a people towards establishment. Choosing to regard Muslim life above other life options will esta¬blish us (African-Americans).
Slavery was an ugly and horrible state or condition on us —slavery in America. But it (slavery) was also a factor influencing us to think ourselves out of our weaknesses, out of our deficiencies, into independence, into production, into resources. Therefore, while that horrible situation was hurting us and holding us back in every way, at the same time, because it was intolerable, it was also forcing us to want to get free.

…We have Al-Islam…

We, are not the typical African-American in the society of America. We have Al-Islam in our lives, and it makes us different. Some of you are not aware of that. To not be aware of that is to put yourself in a bad situation. Al-Islam should be seen as your distinction. And if you are not different, then something is terribly wrong. An African American Muslim is not to he just typical of African-Americans. An African American Muslim should he distinguished among the African-American crowds.

„. Look at our History

African Americans, look at our history as a people. A little better than one hundred years ago, we were slaves. There are a lot of us who would like to forget that, and a lot of us have forgotten that. Some of our children today don't know that. And that is a shame. You have heard the words of the educator who speaks of people who forget their past and, there¬fore, are likely to repeat it. So this forgetting is a shame on us, that we do not keep our people or even our own children informed of the history shaping encounters in the life of the group