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Second Amendment Muslims and the Islamic Obligation of Self-Defense

Second Amendment Muslims and the Islamic Obligation of Self-Defense

Update: 2017-11-261
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In this episode of the Becoming the Alpha Muslim podcast we are talking to Hussein, a Muslim Chicagoan and the founder of the Streets of Cordoba podcast. It's a brand new podcast focusing on Muslim issues in the West. 

I invited him on to talk about the Second Amendment, self-defense, defending one's family, and related issues.

Show Notes:

  • [03:30] How would you explain the Second Amendment to a FOB (Fresh Off the Boat)?
    • When the British were defeated in 1776, there was a debate over the role of government
    • The second amendment was drafted as a failsafe in case the government reverted back to British rule, as well as for self-defense
    • The purpose of an armed militia comprised of free citizens is to defend against citizens usurping the rights of others and to defend against foreign aggressors
  • [07:50] The debate over the second amendment isn't new. It has been going on for centuries.
    • E.g. Supreme Court rulings in the past forbade black slaves from owning firearms. In the '30s, there was a law banning silencers
    • In recent years, gun ownership has become increasingly popular and a politicized issue, so the debate has become more prominent in the media
  • [09:50] On the argument that modern firearms are vastly different than those that existed during the time when the second amendment was written
    • There is a misconception about semi-automatic weapons. People confuse them with fully-automatic weapons.
    • There are several historical examples of semi-automatic and automatic firearms from the mid-18th to mid-19th centuries
    • Implicit in this argument is that the Founding Fathers had no concept of technological advancement
    • Also implied is that the U.S. Constitution can only be interpreted in the light of late 18th century America
  • [15:30] Which way do U.S. Muslims lean on gun ownership and gun control
    • The shooting range Hussein frequents is full of Muslims training
    • 1st generation immigrant Muslims may sometimes have an inferiority complex so they behave like second-class citizens and are reluctant to exercise their constitutional rights
    • Indian Muslims tend to be anti-2A; Pakistani Muslims tend to be pro-2A
  • [18:30] The Islamic obligation of self-defense
    • Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) said: "A man came to the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and said: 'O Messenger of Allaah, what do you think if a man comes wanting to take my property?' He said: 'Do not give him your property.' He said: 'What if he fights me?' He said: 'Fight him.' He said: 'What if he kills me?' He said: 'Then you will be a martyr. He said: 'What if I kill him?' He said: 'He will be in Hell.' [Sahih Muslim]
    • It is from the man's Qawwamah that he be able and prepared to defend himself, his family and property from harm 
  • [21:00] The U.S. political climate in recent years has made self-defense more necessary than ever for Muslims
    • Several U.S. Muslim scholars have spoken about gun ownership and many own firearms
    • Dr. Yasir Qadhi has mentioned on social media he has a concealed carry permit
    • Imam Suhaib Webb once did a Snapchat proudly displaying his new gun
    • Imam Marc Manley is a member of the MRA
    • Sheikh Ilyas Lahoz of Safina Society mentioned being pro-2A and enjoying hunting during an episode of their podcast
  • [23:40] Laws and regulations around firearm ownership
    • There are a few federal laws
    • Each state has its own laws related to who is permitted to own and purchase firearms
    • Most states require training and to pass a test before you can get a concealed carry permit
    • Go online and become familiar with your local laws
  • [28:00] Practical tips for situational awareness
    • Whether you are carrying a firearm on your person or not, you should always be aware of your surroudings 
    • You need the right gear and accessories to carry a concealed weapon e.g. special belts, holsters
    • There are lots of resources online, e.g. Youtube has a large gun enthusiast community
    • You need to get comfortable wearing and walking around with a firearm
  • [31:35] What size gun should you buy if you want to carry concealed? 
    • It depends on your personal preference and what you are comfortable carrying
    • Being able to draw, wield, and fire your weapon smoothly and confidently is extremely important, and this will also affect your choice
    • Most important is training and practice; you want to reach a level of unconscious competence in using whichever firearm you own
  • [34:30] What is dry firing practice?
    • It is when you practice pulling the trigger of an unloaded firearm to improve your technique and to get used to pulling the trigger
  • [36:45] You need to practice your marksmanship once a week. At the very least, you should go to the shooting range once every two weeks
  • [38:45] How to carry your weapon in the masjid
    • Some states don't allow carrying weapons in any place of worship (not so in Illinois, where Hussein lives)
    • Most people are in their own world and not observing the people around them
    • As long as your weapon is fully concealed, no one will notice
  • [41:00] Most people are in Condition White. You must be Condition Yellow. 
  • [42:40] Most police officers have dealt with people with concealed carry permits
    • "Officer, I just want to let you know I have a concealed carry permit and I am carrying right now." 
    • Give the officer control of the situation to put him at ease
    • Don't say, "Officer, I have a gun" like Philando Castile
    • If you have a concealed carry permit, you're much less likely to get a ticket
  • [46:40] How to spot people who might be carrying a firearm
  • [48:45] How do you defend your home?
    • Your family should be educated, trained, and comfortable around firearms
    • Store your weapons in quick-lock safes so they are ready to go in the event you have to use them
  • [52:40] The Streets of Cordoba - a podcast for Muslims talking about contemporary issues in an inclusive and non-polarizing way
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Second Amendment Muslims and the Islamic Obligation of Self-Defense

Second Amendment Muslims and the Islamic Obligation of Self-Defense

Becoming the Alpha Muslim