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BEWARE OF BARNEY ISLAM

(Reproduced Irom the Jul-Sep 2007 Issue oI MOMIN Magazine. For more
inIormation on MOMIN please visit ourmasjid.org)

'O` people, do not wonder at the small number oI those who Iollow the right path,
because people throng only around the table oI this world, whose edibles are Iew
but whose hunger is insatiable. Imam Ali ibn Abu Talib (a)

Barney is a purple dinosaur. He is soIt and cuddly. What comes to your mind when
you think oI Barney? A Iriendly dinosaur that is jovial, loves everyone, is likable,
harmless, and non-conIrontational. We all love Barney; he is a dinosaur Irom our
imagination aIter all! But Barney is also something else. Barney is a
Tyrannosaurus Rex (T-Rex)! A T-Rex was the Iiercest oI all the dinosaurs. So in
reality, Barney should be Ierocious, strong, powerIul, and should easily be able to
overwhelm and overcome others. People should be in awe oI a T-Rex. A T-Rex
should have Ilesh eating teeth, not a permanent smile plastered on his Iace.

When a T-Rex is changed into Barney, the T-Rex has lost all oI its power, strength
and Ierociousness. The very attributes which make a T-Rex respected by Iriend and
Ioe alike have been taken away Irom him and he has been turned into Barney.
When the other dinosaurs knew the T-Rex was around, they had to be on their toes
and be aware oI its presence. When you know Barney is around, you need to be
prepared Ior a hug and some nursery rhymes. Now that we have understood the
paradox that is Barney the dinosaur, what lesson can we learn Irom it?

Islam is Allah`s will and religion. Allah demands our respect, and while we hope
Ior his mercy we also Iear his might. He is All-PowerIul (Qadir). There are no
obstacles or adversaries that can slow him down. He tramples over everything. He
has power over all. Allah sent all oI the Prophets, culminating with Prophet
Muhammad (pbuh) with the truth to overpower every other ideology. When you
take a powerIul message and potent Iorce such as Islam, and make it an impotent
cuddly toy, like a Barney, a great injustice has been made. When we represent
Islam by saying 'we love all then we have made a T-Rex into Barney. You have
created 'Barney Islam. Barney Islam is that brand oI Islam that many Muslims in
the West practice. Many believers buy into Barney Islam because oI its catchy
slogans and Iancy style.

Let us not kid ourselves. Islam is a mighty Iorce, it is not Barney. It is not warm to
everyone. Not everyone can hug Islam. In endears to good and drives away the
evil. Islam does not preach 'we love all. It says 'We love all the good but not the
evil. This article is a warning to you dear reader; beware oI Barney Islam and
those Ulema who propagate it! II any pseudo-Alim or Moulana is not willing to
stand up Ior what is right and speak out against the oppressors then this is an
example oI Barney Islam and a Barney Moulana.

Barney Islam is not new. We see Irom history that Barney Islam existed at the time
oI Imam Hussain (a), as a Barney Moulana issued a Iatwa to kill Imam Hussain (a).
A real Alim is one who reminds us oI Allah and stands Ior Allah`s cause without
Iear oI animosity, incarceration, or deportation. Were not our Imams (a.s.) hated,
incarcerated and deported by the enemies? Those scholars who are not Barney
Islamists are going through hardships everyday, just as our Imams did. They are
living up to their responsibilities, as Imam Ali (a) has said, 'I have accepted the
task oI government because God, Exalted and Almighty, has exacted Irom the
scholars oI Islam a pledge not to sit silent and idle in the Iace oI gluttony and
plundering oI the oppressors, on the one hand, and the hunger and deprivation oI
the oppressed, on the other.

Barney Muslims have some misleading arguments to justiIy their 'I love you, you
love me ideology. Barney Muslims say that Imam Hassan (a) is their example
because he made a peace treaty with Allah`s enemy. Allah will deal with them Ior
this irreverence. Imam Hassan (a) Iought with Muwawiya. He pursued Jihad with
Muwawiya. He had assembled an army to Iight Allah`s enemies less than a month
aIter Imam Ali (a)`s martyrdom. He was stabbed 19 times by hypocrites oI his own
army. He used to have to wear body armor day and night. He once said that iI he
had the Iollowers to do so, he would have waged war with Muwawiya every day oI
his liIe. He was so viscously poisoned that he spat up part oI his liver beIore he
died. Yet these ignorant Barney Muslims say that he did not make a stand against
the Taghoot oI his time. Barney Muslims says sometimes we have to sign peace
treaties like Imam Hassan (a) did, and not Iight like Imam Hussain (a). Barney
Muslims say that now is the time Ior peace treaties, not conIrontation.

Do not be Iooled by this rhetoric! The truth is that Imam Hassan (a) actively Iought
Muwawiya and only the weakness oI his Ummah caused him to have to sign a
'peace treaty aIter he tried to openly struggle against the enemy in every other
way. May our lives be sacriIiced Ior Imam Hassan (a), who was surrounded by
Barney Muslims during his own time which did not allow him to Iight Muwaviya,
and is still oppressed by Barney Muslims today through their Ialse characterization
oI him. As Imam Hassan (a) himselI once said, 'There is no poverty like
ignorance.

Barney Islam also likes to blasphemer Imam Ali Reza (a) to justiIy their actions,
by saying that he worked with Mamoon al-Rashid, the oppressive caliph oI his
time, due to the circumstances. Just as they are ignorant oI Imam Hassan`s (a) liIe,
Barney Muslims do not know the reality oI Imam Reza`s (a) liIe either. Imam Ali
Reza (a.s.) was Iorced by Mamoon to come to Khorasan against his will. He did
not go there because it was the pragmatic thing to do; he went there because he
would have been killed had he not done so, without his stance against Mamoon
having been made clear to the masses. In spite oI Mamoon`s innumerable attempts
to get Imam (a) to compromise, the Imam (a) did not do so. He reIused to give any
credibility to Mamoon`s illegitimate government by doing even the most basic oI
tasks to help him. Once Mamoon realized that the Imam (a) would not be
compromised, he murdered him and Ioolishly thought he could work on Imam
Muhammad Jawad (a) more successIully.

Imam Reza (a) was deIying the oppressors until his last breath. Many oI us are
Iamiliar with the story oI how when Imam (a) was asked to lead the Eid prayers by
Mamoon, he did so in the way the Holy Prophet (pbuh) had done. This started such
a commotion that the enemies sent Imam (a) back to his house because they Ieared
a revolution. Just like all oI Allah`s representatives, Imam Reza (a.s.) did not want
to work within a corrupt system or corrupt Iramework to overthrow it eventually;
he was a revolutionary just like all oI Allah`s representatives are. What did Imam
Reza (a) think about people who worked with unjust governments? When he was
asked about those who help unjust rulers, he said: 'Becoming a part oI the oIIicials
oI them & providing help and assistance to them and putting in endeavor to IulIill
their needs and requirements is equivalent to inIidelity. Looking intentionally and
purposeIully at them is one oI the great sins which deem one Iit to deserve the hell
Iire. (Bihar ul Anwar vol. 75)

Fazl ibn Sahl is recorded in history as having said that he never saw someone
degrade a post or position oI power the way Imam Reza (a) did. Barney Muslims
would have us believe otherwise. However they should be reminded oI the
Iollowing story. When the Imam (a) was ultimately leIt no other choice then to
accept Mamoon`s condition to be the crown prince, he gave a condition beIore
accepting the oIIer. This condition was that he would not be required to bear any
responsibility, general or speciIic, related to the government and its ruling systems.
He would not issue orders or overrule others, nor depose anyone or appoint
anyone. Mamoon once oIIered the Imam (a) the opportunity to place some
individuals the Imam (a) trusted in government positions as governors in places
where corruption was obvious. But the Imam (a) reIused and reminded Mamoon oI
their agreement.

Brothers and sisters, iI we do not learn Irom the examples our Imam`s (a) give us,
then our Ummah will continue to suIIer. Here we see the Imam (a) was given the
chance to replace some corrupt governors Ior governors oI his own choice, and he
reIused the oIIer! He did not want to give one iota oI legitimacy to the illegitimate
government oI Mamoon. He did not want to destroy the revolutionary zeal in the
hearts and actions oI his Iollowers. He did not want to crush the hearts oI the
Muslims by working with the Taghoot oI his time. He knew that truth mixed with
Ialsehood is still Ialsehood. This is something Barney Muslims here in America
and elsewhere in the Muslim world need to learn Irom.

Barneyologists claim that iI we speak out against oppressors we may be kicked out
oI the USA and no longer able to do dawa in America. They say that Islam in
America will die away iI we are not here. However this bogus ideology was not
shared by our Imams (a). Wasn`t this same thought process rejected by every
single one oI our Imams beginning with Imam Ali (a)? The truth is that Islam does
not need us, we need Islam. Islam will thrive in America because oI Islam itselI,
not because oI us. We are only useIul to Allah and his religion oI we stand up Ior
the truth in an intelligent manner. Allah is the protector oI his religion; he does not
need Barney Muslims to protect, deIend or spread it.

We need to be united on Islam, not Barney Islam. We will be asked on the Day oI
Judgment about the decisions we made, the stands that we took, and on which side
oI the battle Iield we stood. Remember, those who shot arrows thru the neck oI Ali
Asghar and trampled over the body oI Qasim and severed the arms oI Hazrat
Abbas and the head oI Imam Hussain (a), prayed Asr that same day. Many thought
oI themselves as devout Muslims. They did not come to this conclusion overnight.
They did not end up on the wrong side oI the battle Iield overnight. Rather they got
there by time and time again not standing up Ior what was right. They got there by
time and time again compromising Islam. They got there by time and time again
Iearing Ior their current worldly liIe instead oI their aIterliIe. They got there by
compromising Islam in a piecemeal and 'pragmatic way until their 'Islam no
longer was Islam at all. II we have not learned this lesson Irom the history oI our
Imams (a) then we are in an unIortunate state. This liIe is not a joke and the
hereaIter is not a joke. We as Muslims have to choose between Islam and Barney
Islam.
'When you see them, their bodies impress you, and iI they speak, you listen to
their speech. Yet they are like dry logs set reclining against a wall. (Surah
MunaIiqun, verse 4)