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.
- [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
Update: A Question From a Reader
After publishing this episode one of my email subscribers sent me this question:
Thank you for this conversation. I was at a FBI community event at a masjid in CT.
When the agent was asked if Muslim should own a gun he said no. Because in a shooting situation the police and other friendly shooters will not know who the criminal and who the friend is. He took a few minutes to explain this even demonstrating.
How do you respond to this logic?
I am publishing his question and my answer because it is important information and will be beneficial to all of my U.S. readers.
Wa alaikum assalam warahmatullahi wabarakatuh,
Thanks for your question. I am not an expert, so I asked Hussein.
Here is his response:
#1. Lets establish that the FBI agent is not framing the question about what is best for the congregation. But whats best for the police. Also CT really isnt a free state when it comes to firearms.
#2. In the most recent mass shooting to happen at the church in Texas. The police arrived on scene while the mass shooter and the armed civilian were having a shootout. The armed civilian started to lower his weapon fearing confusion by the police. But the police yelled at him saying “What are you doing? Dont lower your weapon!”
Also, check out this survey of police officers and what they say regarding gun control. The overwhelming majority support gun rights and conceal carry.
Police Gun Control Survey: Are legally-armed citizens the best solution to gun violence?
You may find this podcast interesting.
Policing Matters Podcast: An update on active shooter incidents
Do you have any questions on owning and using guns, and related issues? Leave a comment below and we’ll answer them to the best of our ability.
Good discussion, masha Allah. This one got me:
“Indian Muslims tend to be anti-2A; Pakistani Muslims tend to be pro-2A.”
I’m glad I don’t smear my demographic. I’m Pakistani and I’m pro-2A. I just wish Canada was a little bit freer on guns than it is now.
Wa alaikum assalam warahmatullahi wabarakatuh. Hahaha. Glad you liked it, my man. I enjoyed recording the interview.
No one is smearing demographics. Its an observation on how populations have responded to suppression. Pakistanis (being one myself) have physically fought both within country and outside of it, this has brought about an appreciation of the value that firearms bring. On the flip side Indian muslims have suffered first under the british and now under the hindus. The fight is taken out of them, so when the concept of having firearms for self protection is discussed in causes a knee jerk fear. Obviously this isnt true for all cases, but just a general oberservation.
I believe Ahsan was joking: he’s glad he didn’t dishonor his Pakistani heritage by being anti-2A.
Your analysis seems spot on.
Ahh. Again its hard to determine tone in a comment section.