Monthly Archives: March 2014

Keeping him out of jail

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Keeping him out of jail

I live in one of those areas that has a reputation for drugs, gangs and violence. You speak to any of the parents on the road they all have the same dreams. “I want my child to have a good education, and to stay out of trouble”.

Getting a University education begins to change how you see the world. All of a sudden everything around you is either a theory, a statistic or possible dissertation. Fearful of what will happen if my son hangs out with the local children too much, my house has become an open house, allowing the children to eat, laugh, listen to music and talk.

Every now and then I’ll listen to the conversations and occasionally come in and reason with them when I see their train of thought been robbed by the evil plotting of other agendas.

My motivation for today’s blog is about the reality single parents in particular have to deal with on a day to day basis. Especially when ‘daddy’ is no where to be found or bothered or just a waste of space!

Is it possible for a single parent to raise her child and protect them from the many outcomes that call and attract them to do an injustice to themselves.

“You need to make it your business to know who your children are, cos in the mean time other people are making it their business to know your children better than you do” (Shalina Litt)

The more I become acquainted with the dynamics of the community the more I see our resilience to focus on what comes out of our circumstance rather than dealing with the root of the problem.

Yesterday I attended a book launch by my dear respected brother Dr Martin Glynn who discussed ‘The invisibility of the Blackman and Crime’. Amidst the talk we were all presented with a diagram which was called the ‘The New Moon Framework’, it demonstrated the transitions that the ‘Blackman’ goes through when entering the criminal justice system. The bit that caught me was the ‘Re Entry to the community’, this part of the process was identified as been vital to the rehabilitation to someone coming out of prison.

I contemplated the reality of this model, that been, the community at present does not have a space or solid structure in place to help support this model or anyone who comes out of prison, and if there is I struggle as a practitioner to clearly allocate someone to these groups or spaces.

And finally I strongly believe more has to be done to prevent young people going down this route in the first place. Single mothers appear to be fighting the same battles all over the town. The event I attended had nothing but males giving their contributions as to what is necessary for us to move forward.

I know many mothers who have been successful at raising their children in the very areas I mentioned at the beginning of this blog, and although they’ve made many sacrifices, they’ve succeeded to raise their children and help them access the careers that they dreamt about.

Isn’t it time we had a space for these strong women to deliver what it will take to break the chains that still seem to have us walking to another man’s tune!???

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Are Salafi’s the problem or a small group of people?

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Are Salafi's the problem or a small group of people?

I guess most communities have their secrets, but its when those secrets breach peoples well being that we must choose to speak out.

In the books, it all sounds perfect, the way it should be, but the reality is far from the truth. Stories over time have continued to emerge where women either break down or declare they have abandoned As Salafiah. I’d like to highlight in this post how a small group of people have succeeded to ruin the name of As Salafi because of their failure to manage a community without the interference of their own desires and Jahil (past of ignorance) ways.

Stories that have been related from this small community are as follows:
Brothers marrying and divorcing women, having two or three wives on rotation, when they can’t even manage one. Sisters refusing to give salaams to sisters who do not behave or dress a certain way. Children been sent to schools that are clearly unable to do children justice delivering them with a balanced education. Marriages in secret, sexually transmitted diseases going around, families splitting up!

Like many, when I began to see these issues from the community I once affiliated myself with, I found myself retreating to my home. There I continued to feed my hunger for spiritual enlightenment from books.

Eventually a time came where I felt the need to defend the veil, something strongly associated with the Salafi Sect. I learnt through various journalists how far the reputation of this group had spread. It saddened me as I feel nothing but love for As Salafiyah as it is clear in how we approach our Religion of Al Islam, but contending with this reputation was nothing but exhausting.

The happy ending for me is slowly but surely Allah has presented me with the company of those who still choose to adhere to As Salafiyah but in a way that resonates the beauty of how Allah’s 99 names apply to our lives as Muslims.

In the meantime I can only pray that in time the leaders of this community will either be guided or replaced with those that can do what needs to be done. And the media give these brothers and sisters a platform to amend the reputation of a group of Muslims that are not extreme just having ‘Silent Revolutions’ In sha Allah.

Distractions and life on a budget

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Distractions and life on a budget

I woke up to no gas, and as I pottered around the house getting the kids ready I remembered the rent hadn’t been paid. The day hadn’t even started so off I went adding new things to my already existing checklist.

I jumped into the car to drop off my daughter and lo and behold just when I think things ain’t bad enough, my petrol light pops on. Do you feel my pain?

Quite recently I have resorted to giving my home a makeover, not the painting kind but the clearing out, cleaning and organising type. Everything down to my socks are now neatly folded away ironed and smelling of Lavender.

As I went through clothes and books I realised how unnecessary a lot of the things were, and most importantly how quickly the shelf life expired. Children grow and so do their desires to play with particular things.

This approach to addressing what was in my control gave me a much firmer grip on financial matters that jump out at you when you are not expecting it.

Where there is a will there is a way, and as I often speak to people about been successful in life I thought I’d share this post to help others understand that ‘displacement activity’ is nothing more than a distraction from focusing on the things that really matter.

Don’t waste your time and kid yourself about doing well whilst everything around you crumbles because you didn’t value what you had in the first place.

Life on a budget isn’t easy but it isn’t impossible, 🙂