Saturday, August 26, 2017

Why are these days sacred?The first Ten Days of Zil Hijja 

We all have heard that the first ten days of Zil hijja are the best days of the year. In support of this assertion, a reference of the Quran chapter 89 verse 1-3 is given "By the dawn and by the ten nights. Moreover, there is a consensus of scholars on the authority of  Ibn Kathir, Ibn Abbas, Ibn Az-Zubair, Mujahid that "the ten nights"   are the ten days of Dhul-Hijjah,
The scholars explain by the ten nights Allah meant days because the last ten nights of Ramadan are more blessed than any other days as in those days occur the night of power. The scholars further quote the hadith of the Prophet saying:  “There is no deed that is better in the sight of Allah or more greatly rewarded than a good deed done in the (first) ten days of Al-Adha”. It was asked, “Not even Jihad for the sake of Allah?” The Prophet (PBUH) replied, “Not even Jihad for the sake of Allah, unless a man goes out himself for Jihad taking his wealth with him and does not come back with anything.” (Al-Bukhari)
During these days the following acts are recommended:
1. Perform Hajj (Pilgrimage)
2. Fast all nine days and especially on the ‘Day of Arafah’
3. Perform Dhikr and Takbeer
4. Stand the Night in Prayer
5. Make Sincere Repentance
6. Return to Book of Allah (The Quran)
7. Increase in doing ALL good deeds
8. Slaughter an animal and distribute the meat (Sacrifice)
9. Attend Eid prayers. 10. Thank Allah
This explanation limits the understanding of the commonly held belief that the first ten days are the most blessed ones and does not give reasons for this. First of all, if the Quran is making a reference of ten night, then it means night and not day. In chapter 89 the Quran first, is alluding to the pre-Islamic period when the first ten nights of Zil Hijja were spent in merrymaking and debauchery. People would surround the Kaaba naked and indulge in gambling and drinks. The Quran is reminding the people the assembly for Hajj is not for this purpose and if people want to understand the fate of those people who indulged in these kinds of behavior, they should check human history that would explain to them that nations that have chosen that route hurt and destroyed them.
The chapter further elaborates that they indulged inthis behaviorr neglecting their responsibilities towards those who were helpless, neglected and marginalized and who had no regard to the life yet to come. The Quran, then concludes the chapter by asserting, that if people want to have a peaceful exit from this world and a comfortable entrance into the next world, they should focus more undergoing the purification during these ten days to reorient them to the divine values of caring and sharing.
The Quran makes this allusion in the context of the Hajj that is considered the biggest assembly of human beings regardless of their race, ethnicity, gender, status, wealth, knowledge, caste, color, dress or creed. The Quran is describing this annual experiment in human unity and dignity as the most significant moment of human existence. Thus through describing the first ten days the best in the year, the Quran is reminding the people that the essence of all faiths is the unity of humanity and its dignity and Hajj is an occasion when this unity and dignity is vividly visible. During these ten days, men, women, children animals and all other creations of God are safe. During this period people show utmost humility and sincerity towards each other and celebrate the oneness of humanity,
An argument can be made that if this is the noble goal than it must be made available to all. Well, this experience is open to all who believe in the idea of monotheism as explained by all the prophets and reaffirmed by Prophet Muhammad and who stand for the unity of humanity, dignity of human beings, peace and harmony between all sectors of human society.

Thus one may conclude these the first 10 days including nights of zil hijja are the best days of the year because during this time people prove to themselves that they can overcome their differences for the unity of humanity and live in peace and with humility with each other.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

The age of Khadija, the mother of the believers

Some say she was born in 555 AD and others say she was born in 567. If we accept the first one than at the time of her marriage in 595 AD with the Prophet she was 40 and if we accept the second one she was 28. She was married twice before her marriage with the Prophet. She had 3 or 4 children from previous marriages, three sons and one daughter, depending on whose account you accept. Not much is known about any of them except one by the name of Hala who together with the brother Mother Khadija died either in the battle of Fujjar or in a street brawl as historians have different narrations.
Tabari says the Prophet had eight children six from Mother Khadija, four daughters and two sons. However, Shias in general believe that she had only one daughter, Fatimah.  We know the names of seven children of the Prophet as given by the historian. We do not have the names of the eight children or age. The first child was born three years after the marriage, thus depending on whose account one accepts either at the age of 44 or 21, the second one’s date of birth is not known, the third one was born at her age of 45 or 33, the fourth one when she was either 47 or 35.  The fifth one when she was 48 or 36 and the sixth one when she was 50 or 38. However some historians claim that the youngest daughter of the Prophet was born in 615 AD when mother Khadija was 62.
This is what we find in most history books on the ages of the Prophet’s children. Qasim(598 – 600 or 601 AD), Abdullah. 615 AD), Zainab (599 – 630 AD), Ruqayyah (601 – 624 AD), Umm Kulthum (603 – 630 AD), Fatimah (ca. 604 or 615– 632), Ibrahim (630-631))
Now the latest Mayo Clinic research tells us the following. Menopause is the time that marks the end of one’s menstrual cycles. It's diagnosed after one has gone 12 months without a menstrual period. Menopause can happen in the 40s or 50s, It can happen between 40 and 50.
Now according to the commonly held view the first child of Mother Khadija was born when she was 43 and the last when she was 50 or 62. Is that scientifically possible if one determines that she married the Prophet at the age of 40 or 41? Is accepting that a part of Iman. What if we accept the alternative age, 28 at the time of her wedding the prophet? History gives us both options and the Quran is silent on that. Can science be used to determine her age based on her reproductive cycle or do we have call it a divine miracles especially when the longest of her children was Zaibab (31 years) Others were Qasim, one year, Abdullah, less than year, Ruqayyah 23 years, Umm Kulthum 27 years and Fatima, 28 or 18 years depending whose history you accept?
If history cannot help us can our common sense do that? Don’t be agitated with this question, rather think calmly about the historical accounts that have reached us. If the historians have problems with determining the age of the wives and children of the prophet, can they be relied on other details of his life? What then is the criterion of analyzing history and sorting out facts from faction?

Well, the only document that dates back to the times of the Prophet is the Quran itself and that is the only criterion to determine the accuracy of events reported by historians in the written form some 300 years after the death of the Prophet.

Sunday, July 2, 2017

The sacred art and holy science of Lynching

It is difficult to trace the origins of the word lynch. But like all other great ideas, it originated during the American Revolution when the phrase Lynch Law was first used to describe a punishment without trial. Charles Lynch and William Lynch, the two residents of Virginia in 1780s are credited with the phrase. However, people have been killing fellow humans without trial without the presence of this word for centuries. The word did not keep a record of all the people killed through this method, but what is known is that during 1882 and 1968 nearly 3,500 blacks and 1,300 whites were lynched in the United States. In Europe, the lynching was first recorded in 1919. The lynching has also been recorded in Mexico, Guatemala, Dominion Republic, Haiti, South Africa, Nigeria,  Palestinian Territories, Israel, Afghanistan, Myanmar, and India.
The lynching of Dalits has been going on for centuries in India, Buddhists, Jains, Sikhs, Kashmiri pundits, Christians and Muslims are some of the religious communities that have recently been added to the list of people lynched.
In recent years, after the emergence of the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP), a political wing of the Rashtriya Swayam Sewak Sangh (RSS), the lynching incidents against Dalits and Muslims have increased.  It has now become a source of identity for the BJP supporters and leaders to prove their commitment to their version of Hinduism by showing reverence to cow, known as mother cow and lynching people after making accusation against them.
Thus, if anyone is found guilty of eating beef or hurting a cow, the lynching mob can become active and perform the religious ritual swiftly.
Here are certain rules for this sacred ritual to be performed
1. Those privileged to lynch must be affiliated with RSS or its affiliated or supportive groups. The affiliation to BJP is a plus.
2. Members of the Muslim, Christian, Sikh and other religious minorities may not be involved in the lynching as the act would turn it into profane.
3. The lynching group should keep a list of meat eaters in their localities as the potential beef eaters can be identified from them. However, the list must identify their religion as there are several BJP and RSS supporters who also often mutton and chicken etc.
4. Once the Beefeater is identified, a day and a place should be chosen to lynch him or her. 
5. If the Beefeater is seen with a herd of cows or is suspected of driving cows in a truck or van, the identification would be easier.
6. The Police should be requested that its presence is not needed on the day and in the area where the sacred art of lynching would be performed.
7. Those selected for lynching should be asked to wear the mask if possible.
8. If the lynching group does not use the masks, the leader should be informed so that he may alert the authorities in advance that even if identified, these people should not be charged for lynching. 
9. It is not necessary for the accused beef eater to be carrying beef or using it, an allegation is enough to perform the sacred ritual.
10. The accused should be surrounded and beaten with whatever one can find to hurt to ensure he either dies on the spot or in hospital in case someone carries him there.
11. While lynching the group should constantly chant, Jai Shri Ram and Jai Bajrang Bali.
12.  Immediately after the lynching, the leader should inform the BJP and RSS leadership in a manner that it could nto be traced in any way. The leadership would ensure that charges are not filed.
13. In case the charges are filed, the group should make all efforts to keep quiet and hide the main perpetrators.
14. In case the person is arrested, the leadership should ensure that the charges filed against the perpetrators are for the minimum sentence.
15. The police and the other authorities supportive of RSS and BJP should be asked to find forensic evidence that the person who was lynched was, in fact, a beef eater.
16. The topmost leadership of the RSS and BJP must always distance itself away from the lynching calling it incidents committed by unruly mobs or even Muslims who did this to blame RSS and BJP.
17. IN temples controlled by the RSS and BJP leaders, offerings should be made to thank gods for removing one more beef eater from the face of the earth.
18. Videos of the person being lynched should be circulated to satisfy the religious sentiments of the people who for security reasons could not participate in such a ritual.
19. Statements should be issued that lynching has nothing to do with religion.
20 Gods should be thanked for ensuring that RSS and BJP are in power.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Islamic violent Extremism or Violent Extremism

During President Trump's recent visit to Saudi Arabia, the custodian of the two Holiest Sites in Makkah and Medinah made the royal announcement about something that the Muslim world has been led to believe caused by its faith. The Kingdom would set up a Global Center to combat Violent Extremism in Riyadh. The leadership of the entire Muslim world with the exception of Iran and its allies was present to take the message home that Saudi Arabia would lead the war against terrorism and extremism that President Trump called Islamist terrorism, Islamic terror, Islamic terror and radical Muslim terrorism. President Trump contradicted himself during the speech when he said that terror has no religion and terrorists do not represent any faith. If terror has no religion that why categorize it as Islamic terror? 
Under the Saudi Arabia's leadership, the Muslim world leadership including Muslim-American organizations and leaders now would line up to combat violent extremism. Ironically, these are the leaders who for the last few years were against Muslim participation in any federally funded program to combat violent extremism.
Violent extremism is a reality that cannot be denied, but it is not exclusively related with Muslim. It is a menace that is found in all religious communities. What is being witnessed in India in the name of cow protection is nothing but violent extremism, what is being done to Palestinians by Israeli in the name of national security is violent extremism, what is being pursued by several evangelical groups in the world clearly promotes violent extremism and what is perpetuated by Burmese Buddhist monks is nothing by plain violent extremism. But the Muslim American leadership failed to articulate its objections properly and played in the hands of those who never wanted Muslims to make use their tax dollars to serve their own interests. They fought among themselves and called those who wanted money to fight violent extremism lackeys and sell out. Their internal squabbling denied Muslim an opportunity tow work with the rest of the country on the issue of violent extremism with the intention of removing the notion that as long as the US targets one religion, it would never inspire people to fight against the menace.
But now the situation is different. Saudi Arabia would lead the fight against religious extremism and the Muslim world including the majority of the Muslim leadership in the US would follow the Monarch.
Funds would flow from Saudi Arabia for this purpose in different parts of the world including the US and the Trump Administration and the Monarch would determine who to classify as the terrorists and who to declare an enemy of humanity. Anyone who would not toe the Saudi way of thinking and Trump style of administration would find himself and herself in the list of new terrorists. 
Muslim American leadership lacks the courage to question the Saudi-Trump vision of the new world in the offing. A word where  Saudis leadership would decide and determine the new face of Islam and implement it under the supervision of the Trump Administration. This vision would divide the Muslim world between Sunnis and Shias and within the Sunnis between those who follow the Salafi version of Islam and non-Salafi versions. The Muslim world maybe into the bloodiest struggle of its existence and in the name of fighting terrorism a new terrorism would b created with the approval of Saudi Monarchy and Trump.
Muslim religious leadership would be asked to seek God's blessings for the monarchy and religious decrees would be issued to declare anyone objecting to that as the kafir consigned to hellfire in this world as well as new the world. Once again the Trump inspired intellectuals would help the Muslim world rewrite their religion and redefine their priorities as the Reagan Administration had done in Afghanistan where with the help of Muslim lives and resources, the US intellectuals defined what Jihad was and how should Muslims conduct their jihad.
All this is happening because the religious and secular leadership of Muslim in the USA and elsewhere has lost its capacity to analyze and read the events. It is still divided into sectarian, ideological, fictional, cultural, ethnic, and political linguistic camps. It is still indulgent in discussions that have no relevance with what is happening in the world.
Like the Muslim world, most Muslim organizations in the US and the world are run by oligarchies who are promoting an archaic view of Islam that leaves little room for independent and critical thinking. It's a leadership that believes that the answers to all questions and challenges the Muslim ummah has been facing were already given by preceding scholars. It's a leadership that follows despotic tendencies in its own affairs and refuses to acknowledge the changes that have taken place in the world and it's a leadership that still refuses to come on the platform to challenge the existing version of extremism and terrorism.
There were representatives from 50 countries present in the summit that Trump addressed. Not one had the courage to stand up and say that he differs from the definition of terror given by Trump and the King. Not one stood up to challenge Trump that there is no such thing called Islamic terrorism. The Muslim world leadership is no different than the Muslim American leadership because both have failed to challenge the dominant definition of terrorism, one through submission and the other through isolation.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Halala: A Practice invented by Sexual Perverts

The question was direct. “Do you know anyone who can perform halala?” Shocked as I was, I once again asked him to repeat the question. His words did not change. So you want me to play a pimp? I asked him. “What”, he questioned.
Yes, you heard me right? “You want me to play a pimp in the name of God and find a man who can sleep with the women divorced by her husband so that she could be divorced again to sleep with her original husband in a divinely sanctioned manner?”
“You want her to act as a prostitute for one night and expect her husband to wait for the morning when the new husband after sleeping with her would divorce her so that he could sleep with her again. And you think this is what would please God, almighty who calls him the just God.”
This is what we are told by our scholars here in America and there in our back home countries.
“So you are telling me that God directs a woman to sleep with another man because her husband made a mistake by pronouncing divorce three times either in one sitting or in three separate sittings.” Probably, He might have given a wrong message in the Quran when he told the believers that no one would carry the burden of the other. I further explained. Why she should be humiliated in the name of faith for the wrongs of her husband/ It is neither logical nor rational nor human. 
This is not an imaginary discussion. This is what many people have discussed with me over the years and this is what I hear from many Muslim clerics who describe scores of incidents where they helped the distraught husband reunite with his wife after they did a favor in the name of God by sleeping with the divorced wife or arranged someone else in their circle to do the job for the sake of living up to the standards of the faith.
How religious and dedicated these holy men are to God who would not mind sleeping with the wife of someone else who wrongfully uttered the most dreaded words in the Muslim family system and how caring they are to divest their holy energy in keeping the spirit of the faith alive?
Even though the Prophet described those who perform halala and enforce it the worst of human beings, yet the practice is performed in the name of God by those who claim to follow the Quran and the messenger who introduced them to the Quran.
It is an inhumane practice and has nothing to do with the divine guidance. It is barbaric and rooted in ideas that treat women nothing but as an object of sexual pleasure. The persistence of this practice in Muslim society speaks of the corruption that is prevalent in religious circles.
Halala is non-Islamic and it should never be associated with the divine guidance because it is the antithesis of human decency and divine grace.
The Quran does not prescribe it and the Prophet opposed it very strongly. The Quran explains a few untoward situations in family relations in surah Baqara, (chapter two verse 229 and 230). It says that when the dissolution of marriage takes place for the first time, the parties could make it final or resume marital relationship. If the marital relationship is resumed and dissolution takes place once again, then also the parties can finalize the dissolution or resume marital ties. However, if marital ties are resumed and dissolution takes place for the third time, then remarriage is not permissible.
However, there is an exception. If the woman married someone else and the marriage was dissolved following the rules of divorce, then the previous husband may approach his previous wife to remarry him but it would be her decision to accept the proposal or not to accept it because a marriage is not considered valid without the consent of the two especially the wife.
Where does the Quran say that a one night stand has to be arranged to have wife go through the ordeal of sleeping with another man so that she could re-join the previous husband who could not control his own anger? Where does the Quran say that a religious cleric has to be involved in the process working as a pimp?
This practice is rooted in a concept of divorce that gives men the arbitrary power to decide the fate of his wife with whom he shared the vows of staying for life and living with love and mercy. That concept is also un-Islamic, yet many Muslim clerics are refusing to acknowledge the supremacy of the Quran over their schools of thought who developed a juristic position based on their circumstances.

Let us hope that the evil practice is brought to an end in our lifetime so that we may not be counted as an accomplice in this crime against God and His creation.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

And She Lost because most thought that her place was not in the corridors of power as a ruler.

There is silence every where. Only the Trump supporters are jubilant. With raised fists and renewed energy all over their faces they are celebrating. In Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Florida Michigan and North Carolina Hillary Clinton's supporters are stunned. How did it happen, they ask, yet they all fail to speak the most visible and plausible reason.
Not enough of them came out to vote. In all these battle ground states, as well as in Wisconsin and Michigan, there were enough democrats to give Clinton a resounding victory. But they did not come out to vote. While the Trump strategy was simple. Increase your voters in counties Republicans always win.
The Trump base was excited.
Muslims, non-White immigrants, Latinos, Syrian refugees, Jewish influence, African American prominence in the country that has over 70 percent white Christian population were some of the targeted communities in Trump electoral strategy that he played well and created fear among his constituents that if he is not elected they would lose whiteness, Christianity and all that the country has stood for centuries.
People believed him. He questioned the legitimacy of Clinton in serving the nation and the people accepted his logic and when the FBI director re opened the investigation in her e mails 11 days before the election, their condemnation of her character even grew stronger.
But all this could have been overcome if the traditional vote bank of the Democratic Party had come out in large numbers.
The African American vote shrank and their enthusiasm for Clinton did not match their zeal for Obama in 2008 and 2012.
Latinos registered in large numbers but they were split between a religious dictate that many of their churches issued against Clinton and their own conscience that wanted them to reject someone who had questioned their legitimacy in the country.
Muslims were not as active as the seriousness of the election had demanded. Only in Nevada, they actively worked to ensure that they bring out the maximum number of their voters to the pollling booth to ensure that Democrats secure a strong victory and they succeeded in that.
In Florida, Ohio, North Carolina, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania they were dormant. A large number of them did not vote because in their views voting was not permitted in Islam. Then a substantial number of them refrained from voting Clinton because she was a woman and then a good number of Muslims were too indifferent to the challenges that the country was grappling with.
Jewish voters were  more concerned about the candidates commitment to Israel policy and many of them were angry at the Iran deal that was one of the issues Trump exploited to the fullest. Their votes to Hillary were not as solid as they were in the past.
Women and yes, women in general were not convinced that someone from their gender could ever lead a nation. Some 54 percent of them belonging to evangelical churches accepted their pastor's advice to not vote Clinton because women are not meant to rule a nation.
And white male voters were angry because their jobs were shifted to abroad. A few of them bothered to question the Republican leadership for allowing this to happen. They blamed a black president and his cronies for that.
All this resulted in one thing and only one thing.
A woman was prevented from becoming the head of the world's most powerful nation. It could have been the most earth shaking moment in world history. It could have settled the debate about women's qualities as commander in chief in a man's world for ever. It could have proven once for all that women can no longer live as second class citizen in their own country or religion.
It is this set back that the nation would not be able recover for long.  Parties win and lose. Policies come and go. Leaders fail or succeed, but nothing was more important than to ultimately demolish the myth that women are not meant to lead nations. It was time to prove that the world was not longer in an out dated idea that a creation of God suppressed for centuries and reduced to the role of a glorified domestic servant would not be able to govern a nation and uplift it.
 I am not concerned about the wall, or Obamacare, Muslim ban or Nafta treaty or mass deportation because Trump and the Republicans know it well that they would plunge the country into a crisis from which the recovery would be impossible if they tried to pursue what was promised in elections. . I am confident that the majority of the country would stand against these policies, but what the majority of the country is not willing to elect at the moment is the election of a woman as head of the most powerful nation of the world.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

The relationship between African Americans and Muslim Immigrants

Dr. Aslam Abdullah
If one wants to describe the nature of relationship between Muslim American immigrants and African American Muslims one can use two words, "uneasy and insecure.
Regardless of the hugs, or the praise they offer to each other or the work they share, the fact is that socially, culturally, and politically as well as financially they behave as two distinct entities where race predominantly plays an important role. Even among immigrants from Africa, the socio-economic and political relations are determined differently.
If anyone wants to have a quick understanding of the nature of relationship between the two communities, one may ask the following questions from the members of the two communities?
1. How many Muslim immigrant families have allowed their sons or daughters to have matrimonial relations with African American Muslims. Of course there are some examples but when you look into the details you find that some were solemnized for the purpose of getting green cards.
2. How many Muslims have opened their businesses in predominantly African American communities? Of course many, but most of these are liquor and smoke stores.
3. How many African American leaders are invited to give Friday sermons on a regular basis in an immigrant dominated community? not many.
4. How many African American Muslims in proportion to their population represent Muslims through organizations such as CAIR, MPAC, ISNA or ICNA or ITNA or MAS. You can point out to a few, but compared with their total number their participation is insignificant in immigrant dominated organizations. The same can be true about African American organizations. How many immigrants you would find in an African American dominated Masjid.
5. How many African Americans you find in the big conventions organized by major Muslim organization when you compare their participation with their population. There are only a few.
6. How many immigrant controlled Islamic centers have any program to rehabilitate African Americans in their own communities. Of course, when some of them are in prison, they are showered with the Quran, caps, scarfs and prayer rugs beside demands from the authorities to serve them halal food. But once they come out of the prison, not many masajid (mosques) or Islamic centers are willing to offer them any real support.
7. How many groups that seek active conversion among African Americans are willing to go beyond initial conversion? 
8. How many Afircan Americans Muslims are willing to socially and culturally integrate with the general Muslim community by asserting their presence in their gatherings? Not many
The data on all these issues is anecdotal but sufficient enough to form some basic assumptions.
1. They have token relationship and at almost non existent at social, economic and political levels.
2. The two communities feel insecure in their relations with each other.
Immigrant Muslims
Immigrant Muslims, by and large, mostly in their private gatherings, do not relate and do not want to with African American Muslims beyond the masajid or through some relief work in their localities etc. Even most relief organizations operated by immigrant Muslims created in the name of Islam are focused on Muslims abroad and not in the USA. They are more concerned about Muslims in Pakistan or Afghanistan or Palestine but the African American Muslims especially those who have been in incarceration. Not many fund raisers are organized to seek help for the local Muslim communities. Obviously, Islam does not discriminate people on the basis of their origin, but Muslim organizations through their choice of serving the foreign Muslims have given the impression that in their view the life and dignity as well as the needs of African American Muslims are of less importance than Muslims in Somalia, Palestine, Kashmir, Pakistan or Iraq. How much of the relief organizations' budget is spent on African American needs in the US, not much.
Immigrant Muslims by and large feel that that financial and social status should be the basis of relationship. African Americans belong to lower or poorer economic groups and are not as educated as many of them are, hence hey cannot identify with them socially.
Many in the immigrant Muslim community also feel that African American Muslims, in general, lack a proper understanding the faith, hence they cannot be elevated to a position of religious leadership. The often criticize them for faulty pronunciation or non adherence to some of the rituals.
African Americans
African American Muslims consider immigrant inexperienced, often arrogant and insensitive to their history and culture. They think that immigrants are bending backward to become part of a society that was genocidal and barbaric to them. They feel that immigrants do not understand the politics and culture of the country. 
In order to prove their commitment to Islam, and their dedication to the Muslim community the African American Muslims adopt the cultural practices of the Muslim community they usually attend the prayers with. They would immediately start dressing a long dress imitating the Arab culture or shalwar Qamez (trouser and shirt) imitating the Pakistani culture and would equate with piety and sincerity. They would use the Arabic phrases regularly regardless of their relevance. They would occasionally repeat the ahadith in English they may have heard from those who helped them discover Islam. The first question after taking shahadah (article of faith) that many African Americans ask is "where can I buy the long dress or thob" They would often compare the western society with an imaginary Islamic society where Muslims are dominant. They would often refer to the United Staters as a country that promoted slavery but would be reluctant to refer to Muslim slave owners in general.
Many African Americans beleive that immigrant Muslims have compromised their faith and initiated innovations that were not sanctioned by the faith. Their religious perspective in analyzing Muslims is often influenced by the group that helped them co e closer to Islam. In this respect, at one point of time, the Saudi religious teachers were in the forefront. So those African Americans who are influenced by Saudi religious terachers would react to immigrant Muslims in a different manner if they do not happen to be from their school of thought. Those who accepted Islam through MAS or Tablighi or any other group would puruse the official line of that group.Ironically, all of them would have so much apathy towards each other that they would refuse to join each others religious gatherings.

In both communities, the insecurity has reached to a level where any time there is a differnce of opinions the African American Muslims in genral would say "you immigrants do not understand America and Islam and immigrants would tell them, "you are biased towards America and you do not understand Islam fully.
The fact that none of the two communities have ever made any effort to develop open communications between the two on each others sensitivities. Their leaders take a sadistic pleasure in criticizing each other in their private gathering and then coming to the stage and talking about unity in an artificial manner that can be discerned easily.
African Americans make up to some 35 percent of Muslim population but in masajid that number is visible only in areas where African American Muslims re dominated. South Asians are about 35 per cent as well. Arabs are 17 percent and the rest are from other ethnic and cultural groups. It is apparent that when the two communities leadership is often seen together, it is more for cosmetic reasons than anything else.
Even among the younger generation, this issue has not been tackled appropriately. Look at the number of inter racial marriage among the children of immigrants and African American Muslims and you found not much progress there. Look at the number ofemerging Muslim leaders in Muslim Students Association and you would not find much progress.
Obviously, this issue deserves to be given a priority by Muslim leaders if they real want to have a meaningful presence of Islam and Muslims in the US. If not , the uneasy and insecure relations may reach to a point where the two communities would  have such a wide gap that they would be considered to separate religious communities.