Fatimah Fanusie and Faridah Abdul-Tawwab Brown

Recorded May 26, 2021 Archived May 25, 2021 47:38 minutes
0:00 / 0:00
Id: mby020721

Description

Twin sisters, Fatimah Fanusie (46) and Faridah Abdul-Tawwab Brown (46), share a conversation about their unwavering and unquestioning identity as Muslim African-American women.

Subject Log / Time Code

FF and FATB talk about their parents who moved to Boston to attend higher education.
“We think we have a pretty unique heritage that we want to share about being Muslim in America,” FF says as they begin to discuss the birth of the unique Muslim American identity.
FF and FATB share about their identity as Bilalians and the history of Bilal.
FF and FATB reflect on growing up without a racialized depiction of God.
FF and FATB discuss switching schools in the 7th grade and at times, being ambassadors of their faith.
FF and FATB share their story of “dijabbing,” and what their father said to them when he saw them with our their scarf one day.
FF shares an anecdote of going to prayer with her father while in college and seeing other students who she wanted to connect with as they talked about muslim education.
FATB shares stories of celebrating Eid.

Participants

  • Fatimah Fanusie
  • Faridah Abdul-Tawwab Brown

Recording Location

Virtual Recording

Initiatives


Transcript

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00:00 And you see, I'm 46 years old. Today is Wednesday, May 26th, 2021. And I am currently living in Columbia, Maryland. And having a conversation with my twin sister. Faridah. Abdul-tawwab Brown.

00:18 And I am Fareed Abdullah Brown. 46 years old. Today is Wednesday, May 26th, 2021. We're here in Columbia, Maryland, and I'm in conversation with my twin sister Fatima fantasy.

00:36 With God's name, the merciful benefactor the merciful Redeemer and we were taught from the time. We were very young to begin everything that we say and do but the name of God. And with the attribute attributes that he uses most often to describe himself out of man, which is the merciful benefactor and we were born and raised in Boston Fatima, and our parents were not. So let's talk about how they ended up in Boston, as it's pretty integral to our story. We see Mommy, I came to Boston to attend Northeastern where she was studying education and she was pretty

01:25 She was, she was a person who was devoted and committed to education from the time that she was a little girl. As a matter of fact, her childhood hero, instead of being a super hero was actually a Dr. Mary McLeod. Bethune and daddy came to Boston because both of his parents were living in Newton Massachusetts at the time. Yes, because granddaddy was he started a new position with the ecumenical Society of correct. And that brought them there. And so, I think it was mutual interest in the Nation of Islam. That brought them to Boston and bought them together, actually, right. It was. And that's pretty much the story that we discuss today. How we think that we have a pretty unique Heritage and it's something we'd love to share with others about growing up as Muslim Americans. Yeah, and mommy, and daddy met at

02:25 Muhammad University of Islam where they were both teachers, he was a dino boy. She was a dean of girls, you know, one thing led to another and they had mutual interest and they were married in 1974. That brings us. That was August. Correct, August 74, which brings us to May 1975, which was our birth.

02:46 And what I like to call, I'm also a historian the birth of an American Muslim identity. So I think we had a pretty unique education and upbringing and perhaps that's a good place to start. Yeah, I think probably my earliest memories possum of work growing up in kind of like the womb of our Masjid which was began is Temple number 11, but as they moved into alislam and understanding of the crime, the name was changed to Masjid Muhammad and then but we kind of grew up in the Masjid. Mommy was a school teacher. Daddy was the principal and we went to the sister car Muhammad school, which was actually the building next door. It was between our apartment house on Intervale Street and the Masjid which was at 35 Intervale Street. And so we ended up going to school in the community literally.

03:43 Yeah, and because this is also the same time that you're literally seen the formation and the establishment of Institutions Clara Muhammad school went from that small building. Next to let that was all a former home next to the Masjid to by the time you were in second and third grade. It was actually an old school building that the community and Believers had purchased at 150 Magnolia Street surrounding, Urban neighborhoods with children who were Muslim and children were not attending the school. And as a matter of fact, that's when our parents member mommy, daddy purchase their home, like around the corner, and up the hill from the school so that we can walk to school everyday. And that was, you know, opening with the Pledge of Allegiance, you know, store outside, see how the first chapter of the Quran and, you know, I remember our class as we begin.

04:43 With Mis-Education of the Negro will copy chapters and discuss, you know, our education as young establishing our identity as young people with the entire world at our fingertips as American, right? And I just want to go back and break down those three things that you said in one breath. I mean, let's think about that. So we started our school day with a pledge of allegiance. Reminding us that we were American and then immediately went into Al Fatiha. Which like you said is the opening chapter of the Quran and then of the Negro is a book by Carter G. Woodson, who is also the same historian responsible for starting Black History Month. It started out as a week in February and then was extended to the entire month. Now, I have a love-hate relationship for, I did with that book because we were also assigned chapters from this education of a negro. If we misbehave, when I was often copying that entire book, chapter by chapter.

05:43 And yang Frick & Frack, that was that, let's talk about the language in school because that is something that still shapes me to, to, to this day and that, that influences my parenting style and how I engage with the world. Yeah. So, do you remember? I remember one of the first things we learned was that man means mine and that woman is the womb of the mind. So we were always kind of focused in on our identity as creatures and Servants of of God of the, the omnipotent and that we were to use our intellect as men and women, boys and girls to bring benefit to the entire societies. That was my identity. It was also the, the word Khalifa, the Arabic word Khalifa. Remember where leadership, you know, we have responsibilities inherent responsibility and we took that seriously, even as eight and nine year olds.

06:43 After where God is telling me angels that he is going to make a Khalifa or if ice Darren and inherit or someone who will take assume his responsibilities in the Earth for caring for the Earth and that it might sound happy and weighty to put on the shoulders of a six-year-old or a seven year old, but it was actually something that kind of imbued me with us. A real sense of responsibility. I never felt remember this was a school where at the same time. I don't know how familiar people people are to this day about the Nation of Islam. But this was a school where at the same time that we were learning this, chronic identity for ourselves. As Muslim Americans. We were all, we also had a deep focus on our own history. The majority of the students and teachers at the school, where African-American? And remember the school is open to everyone. Remember I'm an amount or attended whose parents were from Iran and Norway, we had Sudanese friends, we had it was really a kendama, but but

07:43 What was, what was important is that we're learning our history in Africa. We're learning the history of the Middle. Passage were learning. The history of chattel slavery in America, but we always, we had this sense of of, of of being special and unique. Will you know what, our history, as a people? I remember one of those moments. I think it was about the third or fourth grade, and it was this and of course, Daddy was reinforcing. Is that the dinner table? Right? So, you know, in Scripture that they came through a furnace of experience of Oppression and slavery and they were chosen by God to hold on to this Covenant. That would Elevate them, you know, as long as they held on to that. And so our identity as an African American people would not be ashamed of slavery, ashamed of that experience, but that we were a new people forest in this furnace and that III net.

08:43 I felt inferior. I never felt like anything, but a person who is chosen by the Creator to be a leader on this Earth. And weighs. I remember the black history contest that happened throughout the city. And we would always take first prize to come, we were drilled and remember, daddy and mommy, purchase comic books, that featured, you know, Matthew Henson, a Mary McLeod. Bethune find a way to learn our history as well as preparing. For those jeopardy-style to contact list of ourselves as Bill aliens, aliens.

09:43 The area known as Ethiopia, he was a slave and he was one of the first Muslims are one of the first Believers. And he was, you know, I had, he was the first more than the first college of prayer and his status was elevated among the Muslims, because as is today, and as throughout history, there always isms racism and other things, but he was elevated by God, and His Messenger to call the people to prayer. And so our identity was that we were Believers and we inherited the mantle of Bilal Bilal famous scenes from Delilah's life.

10:22 Relying on. As The Story Goes that he has accepted Islam unbeknownst to his master's as slave owners still enslaved and Prophet Muhammad. He was one of the first people to accept Islam at a time when it's still a quiet hidden movement and somehow plows, Master finds out and decides to torment and punish him. And one of them in the punishment ends with Bilal lying in the hot desert of Arabia, you know, that was back in, you know, the 602 rock on his chest and this was a story that was Vivid to us. Because at Clara Muhammad school, we would watch Muhammad the messenger of film starring Anthony Quinn. I will also told the message we were also told the Stars we literally would enact an inactive and someone would take up be out on the school playground.

11:22 Bilal to renounce. God Allah being the one God, they would ask him to admit that the other gods that the, the Bedouin Arabs, at that time in Mecca worship. He would eat thyme instead. It got to the point where he couldn't speak whole sentence has all. He could say, was a hod, the word, meaning one in one God. And of course, he was beaten until Abu Bakr come and rescue him by purchasing his freedom, but that's connected. We we knew that we had this this history in America from the beginning of its formation as a country as a nation, as enslave people who are often treated on, you know, abused and end. But disconnected us, not just with that history, but it also reminded us that we were part of the formation of Islam. As both has oppressed people as slaves slaves or enslaved people and its people coming from the African continent. So email me. What is a d Muhammad? Who was the son of The Honorable Elijah Muhammad and who also assume?

12:22 Leadership of the Nation of Islam in 1975, which is why we like to say that we are, but Muhammad in the 1980s, it was decided that we should call ourselves. So, you know, it interesting. Lee enough, not only does that connect us with our specific African identity. But it also connects us with his identity that Bilal. His soul was not enslaved to a human being in the same way. We, as African-Americans have this identity, that is not connected to those who oppressed us, but it was connected to our relationship with the Creator. But on that note, 5, that brings me to the, you know, the whole idea of racism like with crazy, right? So that was a committee to remove all images of the device. And I remember specifically as a child in the 80s. We be down at the Boston, Common, marching with the other members of the community.

13:22 Holding signs and crazy. Was, it was an initiative to, of course, the acronym was committee to remove all images of the Divine, command Muhammad Ali Muhammad. Actually, it was one of his initiative and the goal actually was twofold one to get to offer. American. A way to heal from the disease of Ray, excetera origin and then collect 10,000 signatures and present them to the Pope in Rome at the Vatican. And what we did is and when I say we you and I were kids remember being there. I do want the crazy to many members would actually silently. March holding up big a signs and post.

14:22 Asking about what the effect was for Americans and for any human beings to sit in day in and day out and see a depiction or image of God as a human being an, in a specific racial or ethnic identity have to stop you there. Do you remember the song? I said in church, yet. Wanted to talk more about the method. What we did remember we would be outside of the business areas, on the financial areas of financial district at 9 in the morning. 8:30 in the morning, when people are getting off to go to work or at 5 when they were leaving and most people would, and we would decide we wouldn't say anything and they would read what was on the placards. And, and then, if they agreed with the premise that seeing God depicted, as a white person, or a black person, or any racialized image was harmful than they would sign the petition. And instead of getting 10,000 signatures from American, we got

15:22 Over a hundred thousand, a couple of hundred thousand. And indeed email Muhammad actually did go to the Vatican, was probably the first Muslim in the modern era to, to be invited to speak at the Vatican. I remember that song, if you'll sing louder than I will not be there until the 1st. The 1st is hair is blonde. Daddy's eyes are blue. Daddy. He doesn't look like you. They said he died of the Cross. Then why is it that I feel so low? They say his name is Jesus. But yeah, so there or is it a picture in my mind? Is a powerful movement. I'm glad you brought that up. And then that last line was

16:22 Like the slave masters of laws, because

16:29 It was a birth of a community, but it also makes me feel so blessed that I wasn't raised with that. Imagery that we were not that we had this clear understanding that God cannot be depicted and is not limited to one afternoon and fell.

16:47 We knew we were learning the lyrics to crave when we were what's 7 + 8 years old, but I didn't realize that it was something that I took for granted and it was so integral to our own identity formation. Until I was actually a PhD student. At Howard University, taking a seminar on civil rights in America. And on the first day of the class. I'll never forget the professor said, I have a question. And these are largely, it's basically an African-American course with African American student and he said, put your hand up. If at one time in your life, your image of God was of a white man and everyone in the class slowly some quickly. So I'm slowly raise their hands except for me. And so dr. Arnold, he stops at my desk and he says, there's always one. And then she said, what? Who is this Muhammad Abdullah? What your last name in his experience? And he was on the

17:47 Retirement. I think he retired that year. So he was an elderly Professor. But in his lived experience every American African-American Associated god with a blond-haired, blue-eyed human being man and that image. But in his experience at the same time as he Grew Older, there were always a few people in his class who playing with that, wasn't their reality. And then he said, Mohamed for him. Most of these people were Muslim. So I think that gets right to one of the things that we took it for granted that was never a part of our own cultural formation that, you know, that resonated with you and that experience. But for me it was when we left Clara Muhammad school that we went to Boston Latin Academy and we were in this, you know, we for the first time we kind of Left the Womb of our home and community and we went out into the larger since I

18:47 I think we adjusted pretty well. But can you even remember what that one was? How is how comprehensive it was our entire lives? So we have like heart too loud, which was the Halal Meat Market, which was owned by play run by. Imagine. It was not close to anyone Dallas. Hanging out at Delight restaurant, halal food.

19:47 We came today is its flourishing protected environment this womb right where we were supported in developing our identity and we went to this larger larger environment and I remember talking to meeting friends and other people, as we went to email through ancient history, class American history classes where I was meeting other African Americans. In particular who didn't want to talk about the legacy of slavery. They somehow felt inferior. They didn't write it. Like, I never experienced that. I was proud of our identity, not just in general, but also our history of our parents are mom was raised by, Mommy was raised by her grandmother gzr great-grandmother, who was a product of, you know, the the movement of Education that would stroll to give practical and life skills as well, as intellectual as you.

20:47 Bordentown in New Jersey and then Daddy, of course was the grandson of hydropower more. Who was ain't no great grandson of how well you tell that you are more was the grandchild of slaves, former slaves. And she actually built the first school building in Quincy Florida, but it was born. And then, she and her children, her son's rebuilt, the build it and it was the townspeople of Quincy. Many of them who are Caucasian Americans got together and raise the money to purchase brick and then Hattie power more with her children and the townspeople rebuilt at school so that it couldn't be burned down around the dinner table.

21:47 This indomitable spirit and it was like granddaddy. Remember we always heard the tale of granddaddy after he left FAMU for Florida A&M University and he rode the train like I was with his best friend up to the north up to DC to attend Howard University. Of course, he traveled with his friend who died in his arms of tuberculosis, but that was the kind of spirit, that kind of informed, our genetic makeup and our our cultural and that the shots. Now, that I think about Clara Muhammad school. Do you remember the other thing that in addition to Mis-Education of the Negro in the books? Another part of our and Up From Slavery, Booker T, Washington, we also have to watch the eyes on the prize.

22:47 I'm hungry Hamptons eyes on the prize film series, documented the civil rights movement in 1 hour, segments, and aired on PBS. And we watch that again. And again that we had lived through the big moment to everyone knew the defining moments like the March on Washington. That whole engine going and that made the Civil Rights Movement. I move and not just of African-American butt of their allies across religious Rachel. And after arriving near as 12 year olds in the seventh grade. I think that some of our shock was because of how I remember thinking for me that I had another moment and it was when I was at a TA for dr. Gerald Gilroy at Tufts University I was doing it was the first day of my master's program and dr. Jerry gills seminar African Americans from 18, African.

23:47 Kids until 1865 and African-Americans from 1865, until the present was basically this seminar that that that beautifully retold. I married The Narrative of American History through the experience and lenses of African-American. And I remember thinking, not only alive, but this should be a requisite. A required course for every American, you know, along with learning. But I think that for us, when we got to laughing Academy, even though we had so many challenges, I recall this impacting our identity. As Muslims Americans in a different way for one. We were ambassadors of our faith. There were some people who I'd never heard of before. I remember when we were first, they are. And we were, I think was eighth grade and I remember wearing a scarf and I remember this kid from our class.

24:47 Can you snatch my scarf, off my owl head or something like that? I was like, actually this isn't a towel. It's a scarf and I kind of schools in a little bit. But you also have that for your lights in Academy. Remember everyone, because Shakespeare Romeo and Juliet. I just turned around and slapped him across his face so hard that his face turn red. And I remember mrs. Kane our English teacher, just didn't even say anything she does but but talking about covering our hair reminds me of some of the other child, but then it's a challenge.

25:47 An adolescent you're trying to fit in. And so there came a point when we decided yet. I don't want to stand. I remember then. I don't want to stand out. I want to be cute. I want to be attractive and I am so I don't want to see me. I remember we did. What was called D dabbing. I remember from me. It wasn't so much about covered my hair or being a Muslim. Now that I think about it now that we've unpacked all those other things that went into our unique background. I think it was just that we were so different than I remember reading my coming home during my college Years and reading my diary from 7th grade. And I cried for that girl who is literally saying I don't fit in, I'm so weird. I don't, I don't even recognize basically. I, I was having experiencing culture shock, but this reminds me of the moment and a friend of our members to ID. Jabbing. Andy topping is basically just referring to wearing the head dab. When you leave the house as your parents expect you to, and then the minute you turn that corner taking that he died.

26:47 So, we're like walking down the street past Fenway Park on our way to school. And so we forgot our lunches and our music instruments. Remember, so what happened? So, Daddy and Mommy, I drove by the drop it off at the school. They saw Mommy wanted to invite Italy confronts us. And Daddy was like, no, chill. We got this. The one we got home. Give us our instruments, which we have forgotten, it gave us our lives and he didn't say anything else to us. And I remember being so afraid that entire school day, me, my underarm, sweating, and I was like, what in the world is going to happen. We get home, but you remember what it is. I remember that moment and and he said I don't ever want my children to be Hypocrites. You don't have to cover your hair. I remember he said hair is dead matter. That is not.

27:47 Important and he said, the most important hijab or covering is a hijab or covering on at Aqua, which is righteousness of God fearing. God consciousness of God with everything you see your end, whether they're men or woman, should be wearing the hijab salwar-kameez, in the job, around the neck, or put it in your purse. So you're always right. But from that moment on, we were not forced to cover. And I think there was a lot of wisdom. I, I think it, I remember, you know, of fast-forwarding, a few years to college like that to the end of my college career. When I made the decision to, you know, you do for me. I went through a lot of phases, but then, as you know, I went through my natural hair face and everything and growing our hair out, and then I realized that I wanted to cover my hair as an indication for

28:47 Myself of an inner transformation that I was going through in terms of embracing.

28:53 Embracing Islam for myself, not because this is how I grew up or not because, you know what, Mommy and Daddy taught me, but because this is what I wanted as a Muslim woman, right, you know, any moment like that, too. As a young Muslim from me, when I went to Lincoln University, our freshman year of college. That was I, I kind of liking it to being. What do they say? The preacher's kid? The kid goes wild. I couldn't believe the unrestrained. What I thought was freedom on the 5 and I forgot about those childhood remembered by their freedom to think to assume the responsibility of the inheritor the mantle of Khalifa, which is the vice chairman of the Creator. Not what Freedom was Representatives.

29:48 Even that sophomore year. But a seminal moment for me, was the summer after my sophomore year. I was remember. I was planning to study a year abroad and Cairo Egypt, and to make sure that we had, I had money for the plane ticket and pocket money. I think I was working three, maybe four jobs, as a lifeguard, has the has the aquatics director at Cedar Hill, the Girl Scout. And then I was working as a lifeguard at wellbridge, at Waltham at the YMCA. I had I would just going from job to job to job and I had one day off. I remember and Daddy. And I were hanging out in Cambridge and we were on Mass Ave. And we realize at the time, to pray you to come in. So, we took a detour on Prospect Street, which is where the at that time to Islamic Society of Boston, when it was still in the house, remember was in that house. That's where it was. So I pray and, you know, I had uncovered so I had to borrow.

30:48 My hat, my covering, for my head and I had to put on a long sleeve.

30:53 I had to put on a lot long sleeves to pray and after I prayed, I remember coming out and they're a group of, you know, probably college sophomores, you know, Juniors around my age and they were, they were, they were dressed recognizably as Muslims and I remember wanting to identify when connect with him immediately, but it was less than physical appearance and War. What they were talking about that. Struck something deep within me. They were talking about Islamic education and they were talking about how they remember. Mommy. And daddy had actually established that we attended, but it had long since shut down and they were talking about what they could do, as University students at the area, you know, they were coming from, you know, Harvard and bu in northeastern, and what they could do to really make sure that school got up and running a full-time school, and it took me back to dinner tables around our parents, you know, table, and remember, all the meetings, they would have and it would

31:53 People, you know, just there every night as they worked on the school and we as kids would be a part of that. So it's kind of it struck something deep within me because for me, Muslim being Muslim, Islamic, that was a part of my identity, but it wasn't

32:09 A religious experience in, in the, in the sense that we think of religion is being separate. And I'm so glad that we started out by talking about Khalifa, and man, being mined, and woman being the womb of a woman, being both a mind. And then also, the womb that nurtures mine and, and how I that used to be my my ties to my identity, my responsibilities at my mission in life. And so that's what kind of soap by the time. Daddy and I are we connected with Daddy outside of the Masjid. We're walking down the street and had a really wasn't the same girl, who'd walked in and I kind of scary. Whenever I think about that, by the time, we got to the end of the next block on Prospect Street Reno, go ahead and back door. I had tears streaming down my face and Daddy, just stopped. What's the matter? And I told him what was happening inside internally, and he just got so quiet and for a while, I thought he wasn't going to respond. And then he said in a very like serious totaled.

33:09 I'm Fatima. It's no coincidence that we are standing on Prospect Street. That isn't a sign of God. And you are at a dungeon, and important Crossroad in your life. There are two different High's, many pass ahead of you. And which path you choose is up to you said this ahead of time to myself, which is just an Arabic hits. Except for a law or the one Creator and Muhammad is his messenger. And so, and that was a very defining moment. That was a moment from me when I chose to live. My life as a Muslim is a muslim-american as a Muslim woman at the look on African American and all that, that entails and that favor for me and just enough around the same time. It was, it was a slightly different episode, but

34:09 Was it was it was?

34:14 It was a meeting my future husband, you know, that. And I remember talking, you know, it's a mommy and daddy. And you know, he said something interesting and I was going to have professors were encouraging me to do different things at the same. Basically, you know, there's the world has a plan for you and that will be to to table your fertility, and marriage and everything else until you finished, you know, maybe your doctorate or or something else. I'll get your work experience and then get married or you can follow God's plan. And if he's bringing someone into your life, then maybe you should follow that plans and I thought about that for a while and as you know, well know, you know, we got married a year after we graduated.

35:09 I'm from college, but I struggled with that for a long time because, you know, we had our first child, zuleika about a year and a few months after we were married. And you know, what else we made the decision to homeschool her, but I always felt like, I had to justify my decision to spend time with my children because I was an educated woman and I had all these other Pursuits that I wanted to to follow. But one of the things I remember both, Daddy, and other Muslim women saying to us, was this idea that there are seasons in life and that if you follow the things that are natural in the pot that you have plenty of time to use your intellect and your skills that God granted you to benefit the world and I have not, I may have struggled with it over the years, but I have not regretted that decision to get married out of school ever not won.

36:09 I don't think that we would have this chronic bass curriculum. That our Middle School daughters are about, to go into, and put together by us, where, where Maddox, whether it's all, you know, teaching literacy, two children in Nigeria or feeding people in Baltimore, or whatever it is that the entire curriculum is infused with. Not just chronic principal. What, I like to call scriptural principle, the same principles that resonate across every religious tradition creator.

36:49 I too am grateful for that. I guess if we had to wrap up the other one thing I want to touch on is just how we were affected or weren't affected and that post 9/11 moment. So, do you remember there was a, it's now called the Muslim Journal, but the newspaper that we had in our community that was, it started out as what Muhammad speaks about them and then it became bilalian news and then it became the Muslim Journal. Yeah. So I remember this picture and he's holding American flag and he's like marching across. I don't know what the setting was, but, you know course we've mentioned the the Pledge of Allegiance.

37:36 We are, we are American, you know, our entire experience has birthed Us in this this place. In this would its history, the good, the bad, the ugly, and the Beautiful. And this was something that we were raised with, and we never felt that there was any kind of dissonance between our identity as Muslims and our identity. As Americans weather was bean pie my sister and, you know, or you don't owe it to all of these kind of cultural Norman clature that you find in urban America in that kind of thing, but that wasn't the way a lot of other Muslims approached their their existence in this nation. And so, of course, I remember you, but for a lot of other muscle whose parents had emigrated, or they had emigrated. And I think 9/11 was a moment where many of them started to make the effort to resolve. Will they had to

38:36 You know, we were we were facing a situation where there were there were terrorists who attacked our nation and then we were left holding the bag as Muslims to explain this awful behavior and then to identify where where does your identity lie and for us as Muslim Americans in the experience that we had that never was a dichotomy. We always were

38:57 Muslim Americans, and but I think that people started to follow other Muslim started to follow that leaves and become engage more. Specifically, you know, it's government and I'm running to office and say that because I remember, when a man wants to be Muhammad, spoke with it on the floor of Congress that will automatically call him a disbeliever or a hypocrite for doing that with the United States government right away, or are you aware that last little bit of tension is and this is something a lot of Americans. Don't know. Many American and Americans, a lot of Muslims do it now. Is that they many muscles assumed that you had the Nation of Islam which was a Proto Islamic movement. That was not as long

39:57 Like to its core. And then in 1975, when a man Mohammed took over, he brought the largest contingent of Americans born in this country into a improper. Many people. Mistake that transition for the birth of Sunni Islam in accordance, with the put on and the Sinatra example of Muhammad. Remember, it was it was never. So now I remember house, getting egged mommy and daddy would get out raisins on Halloween, you know, like we were just trying to give out healthy things.

40:54 We had to clean up the eggs, of course, to our family, like the rest of our extended family, that all Christians. So we go to our aunt and uncle's home for Christmas, you know, after Christmas celebration with my grandparents will come up from Florida. So we've go to their home but the week following Christmas and we can only be in the house and we can talk about holidays, but that brings us to the celebration of you know, they're too, he's in. WoW, right? So it'll fit your which is after Ramadan which we just finished and Eid al-adha, which is the largest eat with his arm during the Hajj on the pilgrimage to Mecca. And I remember, you know, Mommy and Daddy being part of like the committee and establishing these big festivals and celebrations for us for the last eat that we just had post. Well, I guess we're coming out of this pandemic, right? But it was in our my backyard and you know, what kind of reminded me of how we grew up, you know, it was a life.

41:54 Because now there's so many massageador, mosque, Masjid all over that. I've been established by Muslims, with, you know, whose is whose parents or grandparents have come from throughout the Muslim world. And so many Muslims have started to do their celebrations in these institutions, which is Mercy. Muslim zoo is designed to get back to the heart of What Not suffice Lomb. But what Christ Jesus brought him? Moses was on the roster where all of the profits, which is a reminder that we are supposed to be living and treating, our brother, and sister, as we would want to be treated ourselves. So more seamless. Some is sometimes, when we institutionalize all religions. I got bogged down with all of our flaws as human beings, and that will happen with us too. But Mercy muscles with a reminder to go back to that that core. And so what? We had it in your backyard. Yeah. And also

42:54 That name that we began with the name that he is coming from the right, meaning? How we went from these wounds once or another? But this Mercy that will allow us to to touch each other in a way that our hearts are open to not only God's mercy, but the how we interact with one another and that backyard, we had our gas comes from Brooklyn to give in and then we did after the Eid prayer, all my goodness. And then, our friend is from the South Savannah. She put her foot in some shrimp and grits and hallal sauce, but I think that beautifully captured what it is to be Muslim in America.

43:54 Oh, yeah, which was purchased from an African American Muslim online, piano from Virginia to deliver it and it was a crescent moon and the kids went crazy for all the candy when it came out. But it was just Joy connection again with with, with children. And I think that our person that personal narrative.

44:22 I'm really illustrate some of the Journey of how Islam came to be established as an American religion about our Naruto. Yeah, and, you know, interesting enough that takes me back to 1975 because remember, mommy and daddy didn't know they were having twins, right? So, you know, this is a horse before the age of high-tech ultrasounds and things of that nature. But what was it your heart was covering mine or we were cradled in the fetal position and one of our heartbeat, I don't know who is recovering the others. So they got to the hospital with just one car seat. Just one set of babies clothing that you were coming, right? And then they had to reach in, I was breach as well. So the doctor was like old-school reach, then turn me around and, you know, and I was born of course and they had to prove.

45:22 Here for something that was unknown. So they didn't prepare for 2 and they didn't have names for us either. That's right. And so on number two, and it was kind of like the joke among the most some kids timely. And relevant here is we were also the first twins and maybe the first children to be named by email, Marci Muhammad under his leadership and we were born a few months later in May. And so, I love to say that our actual likes is synonymous with or parallel to the, the formation of a distinctly American Muslim, identity. And I think that one of the things that I've learned an epiphany, I had is at work, still kind of in that pile.

46:22 You know, I can sometimes we have a tendency to whether you're an immigrant. You see yourself as second generation or you're the children of people who are establishing a certain cultural reality. We're still in the Pioneer, we still have work to do to establish and I love that you brought up like the educational initiative inheriting that mantle is one way or another from our our grandparents or great-grandparents are great grandparents to to educate to liberate minds and to the help all children, you know, and all human beings. See that they're their Destiny and their reality and their identity. We got to be I got to be

47:02 Watch. You may need to be. There is nothing. I would rather look into my eyes. What you see y'all? It resides and I think that's the story I write.

47:34 He's 20.