Copyright © 2003-2011, Aishah Schwartz. Permission granted to circulate among private individuals, groups, or in not-for-profit publications in full text and subject title. All other rights reserved.

August 05, 2014

MUST WATCH VIDEO: We teach life Sir - Rafeef Ziadah, #Gaza - #Palestine

August 03, 2014

Reflections on Gaza and the DC Rally

By Aishah Schwartz
[Note: This post was updated after it was suggested to me in a comment that I had done nothing to contribute, and to clarify that the efforts of anyone supporting the wrongly oppressed Palestinian community is not in any way intended to be disparaged.]

By all accounts from the photos circulating throughout the internet on Saturday, August 2, it appeared that thousands turned out in front of the White House in Washington, D.C., to protest the 2014 Israeli massacre on the Gaza Strip. While the event played out live on social media, I cross-published numerous items shared via Twitter to my Facebook profile and page.

As the afternoon's event drew to a close, however, I made a few observations, one being that I wished the event organizers had been united with the rest of the world in using the hashtag #GazaUnderAttack - this was the primary (other than just #Gaza), hashtag used through-out the now 27-day massacre. For D.C. organizers to have singled themselves out, or in effect, excluded themselves by not following the lead of the rest of the world in using the #GazaUnderAttack hashtag, it was as if to say they were simply having their own better-late-than-never party; why should the world be united? #HeadDesk

Israel shrinks inhabitable territory by 40%
Failing to incorporate the #GazaUnderAttack hashtag essentially minimized the event's punch, so-to-speak, as far social media goes - and it should be well enough known by now that social media is not only the primary source of news in this day and age, but the fastest way to spread news, particularly via Twitter. Incidentally, for those unaware, Facebook also this past year, incorporated use of the hashtag as a search option.

Another observation about the August 2 event in D.C. is that, it struck me as somehow anti-climatic coming so far behind the rest of the world; even the rest of the nation!

Washington, D.C., home of the White House, didn't join the rest of the world in supporting the Palestinian people against the Israeli massacre until the same day that the Israeli's began to announce they were finally on the verge of pulling out; having fulfilled their stated mission to destroy the Hamas tunnel system, while extending the buffer zone by another three kilometers - virtually shrinking the inhabitable land mass of the Gaza Strip by 40%?!

How D.C. fell so far behind in the race against time is, sadly, unfathomable.

London had an absolutely smashing protest on July 19 (one of many), that demonstrated not only effectiveness in numbers, but, masha'Allah, gobsmacked the world with its photos highlighting (circa D.C. 2006 pictured below), the effectiveness of posters and signs. Not only did Londoners appear as a sea of people, they were a wall-to-wall mass of collective voice through the signs that almost each and every protester carried. London rocked the poster in 2014!

I scoured the net for photos out of D.C. on August 2 that even began to match what happened in London, praying for anything that could effectively wipe the egg off our faces in D.C. Finally, I found a slideshow of photos at POLITICO with a single shot by a fantastic photographer that saved the day. In fact, I created an image file depicting the D.C. and London demos together, merely to set out for the record, that D.C. had done its best to give them a run for their money; despite coming out of the gate in nearly last place!

It is clear that Londoner's stepped up to the plate to finance their protest, as evidenced by the sea of posters and signs that would otherwise not have materialized.

The economy isn't great anywhere in the world, and I don't think Londoners are faring much better than U.S. citizens financially, but, with a month's worth of incursion to prepare, and bus loads of protesters traveling across state borders to arrive for the August 2 demonstration, what went wrong in D.C. where posters were concerned? #ScratchesHead

National March on Washington 2006
To be clear; I am not disparaging the efforts of a single person who participated in the August 2 D.C. Rally. And kudos to the ever present A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition, whose voice is visible from demonstration to demonstration across the nation whenever they converge for a worthy cause, but the last time I checked, A.N.S.W.E.R. is not representative of the Muslim voice. Where in the D.C. photos for the August 2 Rally do you see the Muslim voice? The "answer", no pun intended, is that it hasn't been visible since the National March on Washington in 2006; and for the record, I personally designed the posters used in that campaign.

National March on Washington 2006
So for anyone who wants to say it's 'easy to complain' when you didn't lift a finger of support, know this: I have been standing in solidarity with the Palestinian cause from 2006 through 2014, not only spending five years supporting it through my work in Washington, D.C., but also in front of the Israeli Embassy in Egypt, at the Rafah border, as a member of a convoy in 2009 (Arabic media), where I participated in a march with Palestinians in Gaza to the Erez border crossing in honor of the martyrs of Cast Iron Lead, and, further, returning again in 2012 to deliver supplies and medical equipment through the Rafah border, that we had no idea would be needed the very next day as the Israeli's launched Pillar of Cloud.

On a personal level, I was asked a few times why I had not published anything this past month regarding the 2014 massacre on Gaza, being that I am known as a writer in addition to being an activist.

Well, I decided to do something different, being that from 2006 through 2014 boots-on-the-ground activism has yet to achieve an end to the siege and embargo on Gaza, or change in U.S. foreign policy, among other things.

So while some may refer to it as "arm-chair activism", while keeping up with the pace of events via social media, sharing what I could in order to raise awareness, I would have spent whatever second of the day or night required of me, throughout Ramadan and Eid, making myself available to my valiantly brave sister and friend, Hanaa, in Gaza City, her family and a handful of others that I met along the way.

No, I didn't write any articles about the events of this past month, I chose, instead, to make a difference in the best way I felt was humanly possible - from the other side of the Rafah border here in Egypt - to offer whatever hope I could to the Palestinians in Gaza with whom I hold a personal relationship. In the end, I may not have written anything other than this post for public consumption, but between myself and Hanaa, there may very well be a book.

And I would not have changed a minute of the time spent with any of my friends in Gaza for anything other than - peace and reconciliation.

With Hanaa in Gaza November 2012
I, with countless others, spent all of Ramadan praying for the safety of my friends in Gaza - all Palestinians in Gaza - and, of course, the safety of oppressed people the world-over. By the grace of Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala, despite the fact that homes of my friends were in direct jeopardy not once, but twice when word arrived that nearby buildings had been targeted for destruction, Allah Akbar, they were spared. Not one from them had fallen in harm's way - unless, of course, you count the undeniable psychological trauma of fearing every waking minute for a solid month - for your life.

Reading from Hanaa, and other friends in Gaza, about how much my steadfast presence in their mobiles via SMS, Viber, WhatsApp and Facebook meant to them, touched my heart like nothing you could imagine - outside of being able to somehow lift them from their homes to sure safety.

In the early morning hours of August 3, Day 27, my friends in Gaza reported that it had been a somewhat quieter night than the seemingly endless nights previous; but before I could post this and finally sleep myself, I learned that the quiet had been broken and Gazans were awakening to the tragically familiar sound of rocket fire and booms.

There is still so much work ahead, and as of the time of this post, with 1,730 martyred and 9,100 injured; suffering that nothing but their steadfast faith in Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala will ease.

Once the final flashes of light in the night sky from rocket fire cease, insha'Allah the Palestinians will do what they've always done; rise again.

The future is still uncertain for the Gaza Strip and its inhabitants, so our continued duas and collective support remain essential.

I will close with an excerpt from one of my favorite hadith from Sahih Bukhari, Book 76, Number 509: "Whosoever shows enmity to someone devoted to Me, I shall be at war with him. My servant draws not near to Me with anything more loved by Me than the religious duties I have enjoined upon him, and My servant continues to draw near to Me with supererogatory works so that I shall love him. When I love him I am his hearing with which he hears, his seeing with which he sees, his hand with which he strikes and his foot with which he walks."
ADDITIONAL PHOTOS (click on any image to view larger size):
National March on Washington 2006
National March on Washington 2006
Wall at Erez Border Crossing, Gaza - Dec. 2009
Gaza Freedom March, Erez Border, Gaza Dec. 2009-Jan.10
Israeli Embassy, Cairo, Egypt April 2011
Rafah May 2011 - 63rd Nakba
63rd Nakba May 11, 2011 - Rafah Border, Egypt
Medical Convoy Team Member-Gaza Beach Nov. 2012
Medical Convoy Team Member-Gaza Beach Nov. 2012
One of the other things I did with Hanaa during Ramadan, was take her along with me on a journey through photography. Hanna wasn't able to leave her home in Ramadan to visit friends, share iftars, attend taraweeh prayers, nothing. Her world was no longer merely an open-air prison, her prison had become the family's home. They spent the days struggling to endure not only the endless booms from outside the windows of their home, the trembling floors and ceilings, but living on a schedule of sporadic blackout periods that sometimes lasted 12-hours or more. Water and groceries, scratch cards for mobiles and fuel for the family's generator to keep batteries charged and electricity running for short periods, became the routine of their days. Whereas, on an ordinary day there would be things like, water for a shower, jobs to go to, markets to visit, friends to see, and - being able to sleep through the night.

So, as a diversion, throughout July, I shared with Hanaa and her family, photo albums of Aishah's Journey through Ramadan and Eid 2014. 
Happy Eid from Hanaa's Mom! <3


Ramadan 2014 Hurghada's Masjid El Zard - Egypt

Ramadan Taraweeh Prayers at Masjid El Gouna - Egypt

Ramadan 2014: Masjid Shekh Abd Elmanem Riad - Hurghada, Egypt

Photojournalist Dedicates Taraweeh Prayers to Gaza at Masjid El Qatari - Hurghada, Egypt

Ramadan 2014: Al Noor Masjid, Hurghada - Egypt 

Traditional Ramadan Fanoos: alive and well in Hurghada - Egypt

Ramadan Suhoor at Costa Coffee - Hurghada, Egypt

Women's prayer spaces: El-Mina Masjid, Hurghada - Egypt

Hurghada Gears up for Ramadan 2014 - Egypt

May 14, 2014

Happy Video Postscript by Aishah Schwartz

Part One
Happy Videos: More Than One Message?
An American Muslim's View 


With the onslaught of media attention focusing on the viral reproduction of the Pharrell Williams 'Happy' video has been trumped by the villainous kidnapping of roughly 300 young girls in Nigeria by a group erroneously associating themselves to anything related to the teachings of Islam.

The world has rightfully moved on, but beyond the scope of deadlines and word count limitations, I wanted to add a postscript to my previously published article for, "Happy Videos: More Than One Message?"

Most of us know well that life has a way of packaging itself at times, in ways that appeal to our senses vs. our common sense, thus the saying, "beware of the wolf in sheep's clothes".

Follow the money trail

From the "Blurred Lines" Wiki Page: "Blurred Lines is a song recorded by American recording artist Robin Thicke for his 2013 album of the same name. The song features guest vocals from American rapper T.I. and American singer and producer Pharrell Williams; all three share writing credits on the song, while production was done by Pharrell." – Famous recording artists pooling their talents.

Pharrell Williams not only co-performed beside Robin Thicke in the infamous "Blurred Lines" video objectifying women and promoting a culture of rape, he also co-wrote and produced.

Translation: $$$.

UK Protests

Along came the UK backlash about the video's lyrics objectifying women and promoting a culture of rape, which was expressed loudly in the media; thank goodness someone was paying attention!

Furthermore, "Blurred Lines" is also now responsible for the infamously forgettable images of Miley Cyrus rubbing her protruded behind up against the groin of Robin Thicke, in a performance of the song broadcast live on TV and watched by millions; yes, including Muslims.

Translation: Translation: $$$.

Ellen DeGeneres 

On November 21, 2013, eight months after the Blurred Lines release and subsequent backlash, the renown, openly homosexual ('married' to another woman), U.S. TV talk show host, Ellen Degeneres, welcomed Pharrell Williams as a guest to debut his new single, 'Happy'.

Ellen Degeneres is the same person who momentarily "broke" Twitter by sharing a selfie from the March 12, 2014 Oscars that wildly shattered a Twitter record with nearly 3.5 million retweets! (A record previously held by a photo of President Obama hugging his wife, with over 775,000 re-tweets; suffice it to say that shattered is an understatement.)

Suffice it to say, an appearance to promote your work on The Ellen Show is gold, the 'Happy' video subsequently goes viral and is wildly reproduced.

When Williams reappeared on The Ellen Show April 9, 2014, he, naturally, lavishly applauded the host for being the first to help promote 'Happy'.

One hand washes the other.

Everyone loves Williams, everyone loves Ellen, $$$ all-around; everyone's 'Happy'.


In the same April 9 interview, leading up to the introduction of his new CD titled, GIRLS, Williams went to great lengths in expressing how much he loves and appreciates the female gender.

Translation: capping "Blurred Lines" damage control.

The mainstream music industry is about one thing and one thing only: Money ($$$); and whatever it takes to make it.

That is the wolf in sheep's clothing.

Again, to be clear, not only did Pharrell Williams sing Blurred Lines, he co-wrote the song's lyrics and produced the video for it.

There is nothing blurry about Williams' connection to Blurred Lines.

The Point? 

Williams' back-tracking to produce a CD, allegedly glorifying his love and appreciation for the female gender, appears honorable on its face; but from the perspective of the mainstream music industry, it is pure marketing genius.

Translation: $$$.

No Blurred Lines

With the success gained for 'Happy' in his first appearance on The Ellen Show, the subsequent April 9 invitation to promote the new GIRLS CD was surely considered a landslide.

Bolstered by his expressed seemingly boundless appreciation to Ellen for her, you could almost hear the drum roll as Williams proceeded to declare his unabashed support (to Ellens' head-bobbing approval), of homosexual marriage.

One hand washes the other; with special thanks to members of the Muslim community at-large.

Is this the culture of happiness Muslims should be encouraging others to support?

The Muslim community is over 2 billion strong. We have to be smarter, wiser, and more inventive.

Muslims, from parents, teachers, and Imams, need to be more in tune with the youth, but not by sacrificing principles or attempting to redefine the teachings of our religion.

Woe to those claiming Islam as their faith while attempting to convince themselves or others, whether overtly or not, that what is prohibited becomes permissible simply because we live in the 21st century.

The road to happiness is a straight path; Muslims know this well.

To be tolerant and understanding regarding the homosexual community is one thing; sexual harassment of women, rape, and same sex marriage are another.

No blurred lines.

Copyright © 2014

Permission is granted to circulate among private individuals and groups, to post on Internet sites and to publish in full text and subject title in not-for-profit publications. Contact author for all other rights, which are reserved.

Aishah Schwartz, an American Muslim revert to Islam since April 2002, is founder and director of the 2006 established, internationally-based, Muslimah Writers Alliance (MWA), and a retired nearly 20-year career litigation legal assistant. Ms. Schwartz is also a published freelance non-fiction writer and photo journalist whose aim is to counter misconceptions regarding the Islamic faith and members of the Muslim community. As a woman traveling in the Middle East, Ms. Schwartz's role as a civil and human rights activist has focused on the rights of Muslim women and the plight of the Palestinian people affected by the Israeli imposed illegal embargo on Gaza. She has also been reporting on revolutions in the Middle East as a Demotix photojournalist since January 2011.

May 12, 2014

Happy Videos: More Than One Message? An American Muslim's View by Aishah Schwartz

I wouldn't be so adventurous as to even attempt to disparage the message of good cheer that the recent Happy dancing videos have generated, however, I do believe that it is incumbent upon the Muslim community to look before they leap.

As Muslims, and writers at OnIslam, we go to great lengths in defending and clarifying our religion and beliefs because it is a moral obligation upon us not only to give dawah (invite to Islam), but also to police our own selves.

Our Duty Towards One Another as Muslims

Commanding the proper and forbidding the improper (amr bi alma 'ruf wa nahi 'an almunkar) is one of the most important Islamic principles, stressed again and again in the Qur'an and Hadith.

Abu Sai’d, may Allah be pleased with him, narrated that the Prophet (SAW) said in a sermon: "Verily, fear of people should not stop a man from speaking out the truth he knows." Upon hearing this, Abu Sai’d wept and said: "By Allah, we have seen things (for which we should have spoken out the truth) but we were silenced by fear (of people)." Reported by Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah.

Noted Islamic scholar, Dr. Ahmad Shafaat wrote, "Commanding what is right and forbidding what is wrong provides a mechanism whereby the Muslim Ummah can fight off various social, moral and spiritual ills and maintain a healthy and dynamic life. For an individual, too, the practice of this principle provides both a source and an indication of spiritual and moral health. If we ignore this principle and in the face of wrong we do not react in any way, then this means that in a spiritual and moral sense we are dead. `Abd allah ibn Mas'ud was once asked, "Who are the living dead?" and he replied, "Those who never command something good and never forbid something bad".

Islam, through the Quran, hadith and sunnah, provides Muslims with guidelines to distinguish believers from non-believers. And this is why I felt compelled to address the issue of Muslim participation in producing covers of the Pharrell Williams 'Happy' video.

Wisdom in the Words, Look Before You Leap

According to the website "We Are Happy From", upwards of over 1,550 covers of the seemingly innocuous 'Happy' video have been tracked across 139 countries, including predominantly Muslim nations across the Middle East and North Africa – all climbing on the proverbial 'Happy' bandwagon.

Without a doubt the 'Happy' video event has taken its place in mainstream music history, but was it really necessary for Muslims to jump so quickly to participate with their own cover versions of the video?

Reading the comments to the initial videos published readily affirms that the question is not ill-conceived; in fact, viewer comments were neck-in-neck pro and con, as were the countless article headlines shared across social media platforms as the videos went viral – with one thing resounding loud and clear.

Was it the sound of happiness, or a Muslim Ummah divided, once again?

What I hope to convey here is that it is imperative for the Muslim community to tread with caution when appearing to join in the support, collaboration and propagation of projects produced by the mainstream music industry and it artists, whose beliefs, actions and public statements are oftentimes contradictory to the teachings of Islam.

That said, I don't believe anyone has necessarily misconstrued the intention behind the Happy video's purported message of sharing happiness, however, Muslims must look before they leap.

The 'Happy' Beat Goes Awry 

It wasn't long after British Muslims produced their cover of the 'Happy' video before U.S. Muslims climbed on the proverbial bandwagon spreading quickly across the globe.

Salim Alchurbaji, who works at the U.S. Department of Commerce and was one of the participants in the American Muslim Happy video, expressed the hope that "people do not read too much into it."

The Independent reported that the point of the first Muslim cover of the 'Happy' video, produced in the U.K. by an anonymously led group known as The Honesty Policy, was simply to show that British Muslims are, "just as happy, eclectic, cosmopolitan, diverse, creative, fun and outgoing as anyone else."

"It's part of something that we as Muslims could find ourselves relating to: happiness. We, too, are happy people, and we promote a message of happiness," an Honesty Policy spokesperson stated.

The group, reported to be comprised of men and women from all Muslim branches, puts its "message before any identity".

Isn't that message in conflict with being Muslim in the first place?

Happy: More Than One Message? 

No one, that I'm aware of, is refuting that there is a positive message in the propagation of happiness, but shouldn't Muslim community members at least examine the 'Happy' song's lyrics and a take a moment to scratch below the surface to see another message?

Pharrell Williams Happy Lyric excerpt:

Here come bad news talking this and that
Yeah, give me all you got, don't hold back
Yeah, well I should probably warn you I'll be just fine
Yeah, no offense to you don't waste your time
Here's why -
Because I'm happy

Is this the message of Islam; to heck with the rest of the world because you're happy?

The Islam I know does not propagate blatant selfishness and lack of regard for others.

Abu Hurayrah (ra) narrated that the Prophet (saw) said: "In order to be a Muslim wish for your fellow Muslims that which you wish for yourself." [Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah and Ahmad]

The song features guest vocals from American rapper T.I. and American singer and producer Pharrell Williams; all three share writing credits on the song, while adding producer to the list of credits attributed to Williams.

Were Muslim community members consciously aware that Pharrell Williams is the same recording artist singing alongside the now infamous Robin Thicke in the March 2013 video (also co-written and produced by Williams), 'Blurred Lines', banned by a reported 20 different universities in the U.K. based on allegations that it promoted a culture of rape and various other sexual overtones; including the appearance of naked women.

At the University of Exeter the song hasn’t been banned, but students voted for it to be condemned.

In a statement the Students’ Guild, said: "A song that implies a woman is ‘an animal’ and who ‘wants it’ because of the way she is dressed is not acceptable. The language within the lyrics and the images within the promotional video are utterly degrading to the female subject. Any song that expresses an author’s frustration at ‘being sick of blurred lines’ is beyond unacceptable."

Which Pharrell Williams should we believe? The one that sang those lyrics, or the one who claims his CD GIRL, is dedicated to and in support of girls?

Did the Muslim community consider that in April 2014 Pharrell Wiliams' publicly supported homosexual marriage in a recorded interview during his appearance on the Ellen DeGeneres show?

And finally, as a matter of copyright, for those who have not escaped the radar, each cover version of the Happy video uploaded to the internet is clearly marked by the artist's name, Pharrell Williams, directly associating unwitting Muslim community members to beliefs and practices contrary to the teachings of Islam.

In support of Muslim participation in the Happy Dance video propagation, Hoda Elshishtawy, from MPAC, told Al Arabiya News: "Often, the images of Muslims and Islam in the media are not very flattering."

I would contend that there are other ways to resolve the matter of how Muslims are perceived in the media.

There are over 2 billion Muslims worldwide. Don't you suppose if the Muslim community really wanted to present a clearer image of themselves in the media that they couldn't figure out a better way to do it if they really wanted to?

Homosexual Marriage and Islam

It is not for anyone to even consider that what the Quran defines as marriage, what is halal or haram, can be made right on a whim.

Homosexual marriage is totally prohibited in Islam as well as in all the divine religions. Islam teaches that believers should neither do the obscene acts nor in any way indulge in their propagation.

Allah says, "Those who love (to see) obscenity published broadcast among the Believers will have a grievous Penalty in this life and in the Hereafter: Allah knows, and you know not." (An-Nur: 19)

Same-sex marriages between two Muslim believers are "haram" (not permitted by Islam), according to a public statement from the Assembly of Islamic Researchers of Al-Azhar University of Cairo, Egypt, one of the leading cultural institutions in the Muslim world.

"Same-sex marriage is depicted as contrary to Islam and all religions," stated Assembly chairman, Sheikh Ahmad Altayab.

Dr. Muhammad M. Abu Laylah, professor of Islamic Studies and Comparative Religions at Al-Azhar University, stated for that same sex marriage is, "against the ordinances of Allah and against the law of nature."

A report in the Telegraph set out the names of 537 British Muslim leaders reaffirming that the Islamic definition of marriage is contrary to homosexual marriage.

Ibrahim Ali, an independent member of Malaysia's parliament and leader of a rights group for the country's majority Malay Muslims, stated, "They can practice this in America if they want, since it's their right, but we are still very concerned, because whatever America practices, it often wants other countries to follow suit."

And although the Catholic Church teaches that homosexuality is not a sin, it does consider homosexual intercourse as sinful.

In another article Tariq Ramadan is quoted as stating, "The moral condemnation of homosexuality remains the majority opinion of all religions, and Islam is no exception. It would be senseless to wish to deny the facts, to contradict the textual sources and to force believers to perform intellectual contortions so that they can prove they are in tune with the times."

Dr. Ibrahim B. Syed of the Islamic Research Foundation International, Inc. provides a well documented analysis of same sex marriage and marriage in Islam for further reading.

The bottom line is that Islam teaches that believers should neither do the obscene acts, nor in any way indulge in their propagation.


The BBC Asian Network held a vigorous debate asking whether the video was halal (an action that is permissible to engage in).

"The issue with this video is that it touches on a lot of deeply entrenched issues within the Muslim community," stated an unnamed Honesty Policy spokesman.

"Lots of people have an idea of Islam that you have to conform to prescribed rules to be a good Muslim, but to us, as young second and third generation British Muslims, that's not the case. We're thankful to have grown up in a British society with freedom of expression... And we're thankful that our faith gives us the room to be British and to be a Muslim. Some people don't see that. They don't see Islam as pluralistic [as we do]."

There is nothing wrong with being British – or of any other nationality for that matter – and being Muslim. However, there is a problem with the notion that simply being of the second and third generation of Muslim youth circumvents what is prescribed by Islam with regard to Muslim adab (conduct).

"… Truly, the most honored of you in God's sight is the greatest of you in piety (righteousness or virtue); God is All-Knowing, All-Aware." (Qur'an 49:13)

"We just want to give the normal person a voice again," a spokesman of the Muslim led Honesty Policy added in The Independent's interview.

How exactly are Muslims not normal, or happy for that matter?

Not only are Muslims as normal as anyone else, Allah (swt) makes it clear that the only criterion for superiority is piety and righteousness; virtues that only He can judge.

"Whosoever does good – whether male or female – and is a believer, will enter the Garden (of Paradise)." (Qur'an 40:39)

Regarding happiness, "I believe happiness and wellbeing is not about a short video that makes you feel good for a few minutes, but is more about a sustained way of life and then we are not just Happy British Muslims but real happy Muslims," stated Saiyyidah Zaidi, a Positive Psychologist and Business Coach based in London.

Zaidi added, "True happiness comes from contentment and reflection. It is not simply being grateful or forgiving or experiencing a moment of joy, it's a combination of these things and happiness and contentment based in a strong positive mindset create lasting and sustained happiness. And I believe that this is what God has given to us. It doesn’t matter what your situation is, your outlook will either make you grow as a result of it or suffer."

How can Muslims let people know they're happy? Easy enough: smile, it's even a charity!

"The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) never refused to see me from the time I became Muslim, and whenever he saw me he would smile at me…" Narrated by Jarir ibn Abdullah Al-Bajali (Ibn Majah, 159)

In Conclusion

As a result of its participation in the propagation of homosexual marriage and sexual objectification of women under the banner of Pharrell Williams' version of 'Happy', members of the Muslim community at-large have been blinded into lending their seal of approval with each new video published bearing the artist's name.

How could members of the Muslim community allow themselves to be duped into believing that their participation in producing covers of the 'Happy' video would change the perception of Muslims in mainstream media for more than a heart-beat when the end result, as evidenced by social media and video comments, in addition to scores of other articles, is simply this: Muslims continue to be divided.

"This worldly life has been made very charming and alluring for those who have adopted the way of disbelief." (Al-Baqarah 2:212.)

Copyright © 2014

Permission is granted to circulate among private individuals and groups, to post on Internet sites and to publish in full text and subject title in not-for-profit publications. Contact author for all other rights, which are reserved.

Originally published at May 12, 2014. went offline in December 2015.

Aishah Schwartz, an American Muslim revert to Islam since April 2002, is founder and director of the 2006 established, internationally-based, Muslimah Writers Alliance (MWA), and a retired nearly 20-year career litigation legal assistant. Ms. Schwartz is also a published freelance non-fiction writer and photo journalist whose aim is to counter misconceptions regarding the Islamic faith and members of the Muslim community. As a woman traveling in the Middle East, Ms. Schwartz's role as a civil and human rights activist has focused on the rights of Muslim women and the plight of the Palestinian people affected by the Israeli imposed illegal embargo on Gaza. She has also been reporting on revolutions in the Middle East as a Demotix photojournalist since January 2011.

February 05, 2014

"Worry about YOURself!" as the little girl stated. ROTFL!!!