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Muslim enters The Hood Without a Bulletproof Vest & Unarmed (To save lives)
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This doesn't make any sense to me. As a child growing up Christian parents in a Christian church in a Christian neighborhood, there was a new study that came out that half of Christians 30% of even evangelicals believe that Jesus is not God loving. That's when you realize, okay, this was the truth. I grew up being poor. And all the I was in the music business. So everything that went along with the music business, I'm going in there. We don't have bulletproof vests we're going on. And we'll go right to the doorstep. Life, liberty and pursuit agenda. Yes, it is beautiful, isn't it?
This is the
Assalamu alaikum. Welcome to the D shop Eddie, your host, and my next guest Wayne aboubaker. Rollins, a strategic planning consultant has assisted rural and urban communities in developing and implementing and evaluating successful community revitalization strategies. After more than 20 years of providing strategic planning services for governmental and non governmental organizations. Rollins is engaged in an exponential effort to share a slum in his book, America 2064. Rollins examined issues of moral degradation in the United States from the early 60s to today, and detailed strategies to address those challenges from an Islamic perspective. Rollins is currently the project
manager for Miami Dade County anti Violence Initiative, a four year 7 million strategy that includes the national acclaimed walking one stop, which has shifted the paradigm on how services are delivered to Miami Dade most challenged neighborhoods by bringing a one stop Victim Services Center to the doorstep of residents traumatized by gun violence. Rawlins also serves as the Director of the South Florida revenue Task Force and he's here with us on a deal us sell a call
today but a curtain Peace be with you how you doing brother?
I heard some good things about you Mossad. Many of the community members, they were telling me you had brotherhood goes in the hood. You're like, hey, look, you guys better straighten up or ship.
Yeah, tell us a little about this. Now before we get to that, what how did you accept Islam?
Well, Allah subhanho wa Taala brought me to Islam through a Christian neighbor that had a copy of Abdullah Yusuf Ali's rendition of the Korean English translation of the Quran on the mantel.
I picked it up. And I noticed that it mentioned the prophets that I had learned about in Bible study. But then it talked about Allah's one. I said, this is hot, right from the first time I read that God is one. Definitely. And so um, you know, as a child growing up in the Christian church, I remember sitting in the pews and the preacher saying that God is three, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. I'm like, huh, this doesn't make any sense to me, as a child growing up Christian parents in a Christian church in a Christian neighborhood. So when I read the Koran, and at first time, I knew it was hot, but no one was there to give me down. I didn't have anybody telling me
about shahada How to Pray how to fast nothing. But I had no translations. I was reading that. And it wasn't until I came down here, like grew up in New York. I came down here. I was working on a job and this brother by the name of Dylan Muslim, he says, Have you taken shahada yet? I said, No. I'm ready to go right now. Is that next Juma? We went to the masjid Allen saw in Liberty City, Miami, and I took shahada right away because I mean, I already thought I was Muslim doesn't know anything about anything, like what was the climate back then, you know, with all of the Islamophobia today, how was the climate? You know, how was Islam looked upon at that time? It there was no, no conflict
that I recall. Even my parents who were Christian and devout Christian, they didn't give me any problem with because then also Nakum x had already kind of tilled the soil after he came back from Mecca, and you know, pronounced that he was Muslim, you know,
so the climate was gentle and soft towards Islam before 911 So that was before 911 way before 911 That's when you realize okay, this was the truth. We're really interested you from the get go was the oneness that Tawheed the pure monotheism definitely. You know, many Christians struggle with that, you know, people in our, you know, in who are viewing us who are here right now, but
People out there, you know, I talked to a lot of Christians. And there was a new study that came out that half of Christians 30% of even evangelicals believe that Jesus is not God. That's a deep struggle from within, you know, I mean, and then here you go, and you being a Christian, you come across Islam the truth, and now you're exposed to it, and you don't cover it up. You run with it. A lot of people, they get exposed to Islam, they're like, what's my father gonna say, my mother, my grandparents, my boss, my, my community? Those challenges weren't there. You it was just, it wasn't like that. No, no, not for me. The biggest struggle for me was
not living to satisfy my desires, but living to satisfy the commands of Allah subhanho wa taala. That was the biggest challenge for me.
You know, grew up in poor, you know, and all the I was in the music business. So everything that went along with the music business,
you know, so giving all of those desires because it's America, right? Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. You know, um, so instead of that, it's like, life, liberty and the pursuit of Jen.
That's it. Yeah, just shift life, liberty and pursuit agenda. This it is beautiful, isn't it?
So now, you go ahead, and you're writing this book? 2064 you're doing some wonderful work on the streets? And would you attribute this to Islam? 100% This is what motivated you to talk to us about that. Yeah, I mean,
like I said, Before, I was involved in the music business. I was producing a show called the American jazz awards was kind of like the Grammys for jazz, total flop, most of everything. And so it was then that Allah subhanho wa Taala made it clear to me that any but the brother, I told you, Abdullah, Muslim to me, I took shahada.
So got on the music business 100% started working in Liberty City community of Miami Dade County. And it was a job training placement organization that I was working with. So the young men that will come to see me, most of them have criminal backgrounds, at least half of them have criminal backgrounds, right? And so they were having a hard time getting a job. So we were assisting them to get to jobs, and get their life together. So it became a service of humanity instead of self serving. And that's totally attributed, you know, to Islam. So serving the creation, serving humanity, the wildlife, you know, the the environment, you know, that became the purpose of life.
How can I try and engage Allah's pleasure by doing good deeds? That's beautiful, because there's a statement by Muhammad Ali where he talks about that is a man's payment back, someone around being that this is this is your, your payment of rent on being on Earth is to serve humanity. And that's by serving your Creator by serving your Creator, you're serving humanity. And now this before, but it's interesting before you were just serving your neffs your desires, he would just about give me this give me that? No. But now taming that Islam gave you the tools perfectly, perfectly, you know, Prophet Muhammad Sallallahu Luzon, everything about how we should live our life is laid out. You
know, the Quran, of course is the words of Allah subhanho wa taala. But Prophet Muhammad sallallahu alayhi wa sallam, he showed us how to live to live the Quran and live this live this life. So perfectly talk to us about some of these staggering, you know, very terrifying statistics about the moral decay. Now, coming up your generation to what you're seeing today is like night and day, it seems like it just getting worse and worse. Talk about some of those facts that you mentioned those statistics will a few years ago when I was writing the book, more than half of the children born in the United States were born to unwed mothers. People that were not married is in a scene more than
half and we see the problems that we see on the street.
We have over 2 million people that are incarcerated.
66% of those that come out of prison are back in prison within two years.
We see gang and gun violence spiking particularly to the pandemic spiking all over the country. Uh hum de la Miami in my catchment area is going down. But most of the country is going up. You know, So alhamdulillah
people are missing the deen they don't have
the deen in their heart. And if they have it in their heart, they'll know how to live this life. This this Deen this coin n the Sunnah of Muhammad sallallahu alayhi wa sallam is the owner's manual for this life that you and I have. It's an honest man. And so by taking what Allah has given us, put it into practice in our day to day lives. We can't go too far on
Just look at the five jelly solo, the five times sulla. How far are you going to go off track? If you're making a five time solo? That's deep.
You may go a little bit off, but you're gonna come back.
The pristine, perfect system. Allahu Akbar. Yeah. Give us some stuff. Give us some examples of stories of you going into in the herd or somewhere, you know, you mentioned Okay, other places, it's going up, but, and your Miami is down Alhamdulillah Alhamdulillah in our catchment area of Liberty City, Brownsville, South Miami, ghoul chariot. It's gone down by almost 50% Over the last fiscal year. So Hamdulillah, we just introduced an initiative called the hospital based violence intervention program.
1% of the population are less than 1% of the ones that drive the violence. And those are the ones that we focus in on. So we get an alert, whenever there's a shooting that takes place.
We send people to the hospital.
We meet the person, the victim as the gunshot victim, and then we meet them in the community. And we stay with them. We tell them look don't retaliate, will help you whatever type of service you want even relocate. We just 17 relocations last year. So folks that had you know, bullseye on their foreheads. We got them out of dots and some of the Chicago
you know, and get them out of harm's way, you know, and let them start a new life getting get in a different environment, in the community, in a different community. And so this hospital based initiative,
it has opened my I've been doing this work for 25 years, and it has opened my eyes, because we think we hear about the ones who get shot and killed. Okay, you know, that's it. What about the ones that live, the majority of them live, they get shot, and they live. But now they may be paraplegic, they may be quiet, the the whole life changes. We had a 15 year old kid that got shot, actually by the police.
And now for the rest of his life. He's confined to a real wheelchair unless a loss upon what dollar Charles mercy on him, you know, so that's one aspect of it. The other thing is the walking one stop 111 We facilitated the 2008, South Florida anti gang Summit. And we brought together 175 experts from around the country. And one of the objectives they say was, we need to put one stop social and economic service centers in all the neighborhoods with that have high incidence of gun violence. And so by the Grace of Allah subhanho wa Taala Allah, so why don't you bring that that system? I'm not allowed in talk to me that right. But I'm saying I was inspired. I'm the law. I'm that. Why don't
you bring that social economic service center to the doorstep of people in the areas where they've been tried by shootings or persistent sort of gang violence. So we bring out
criminal justice professionals, community leaders, my beloved brothers in the audience use of he's going out and some of the children often caught out with us, my children, and we go to the doorstep of the folks that are in the traumatize areas, and we bring them all employment opportunities, healthcare opportunities, we bring them education opportunity, we bring them down, you know, we bring it, you know, I'm in action, you know, again, serving humanity. And so we're going to areas that nobody wants to go into. And we're going in there, we don't have bulletproof vests we're going on, and we'll go right to the doorstep. Um, you know, sometimes the peroxide stains is still on the
ground from where, you know, the person might have been shot, you know, and humped, it belongs to me is we've done over 200 of them now. And it's a beautiful, it's been a beautiful experience of being able to, you know, serve your Alaska creation in a meaningful way. I mean, this is a shining example, of a great contribution that a Muslim is making, because you have a lot of Islamophobes a lot of people, the opponents of Islam who are trying to flip the narrative and make it look otherwise but you're somebody who's, you know, making a huge impact on
me but Eddie, we have gotten the the wrath of the islamophobe network. We've gotten the full wrath of it, I tell you, so when we came out with America 2064 Oh, man, we it's a whole nother show.
That should motivate more people to read the books. He was on all the controversies all about. So we're at the Islamic Center of South Florida and Papineau that's where we're at Ha, I want to hear about it took me it
took me long. You guys got those questions ready.
Let's go ahead and get some questions from the from the audience. Tell us how is your initiative received?
by the city officials by the national government by everybody, maybe, you know, do they recognize what you do? Or or, or not? Well, the lady gave me a four year $7 million contract.
I guess they received it pretty good.
That's a very good question. I mean, the the law, the law authority, you know, the police and whatnot, they must love you along the law. Right. Keep keeping Miami safe. No. Question. It's not the Oprah shows the de show. Salaam Alaikum. Brother. Yeah, that was really interesting. When, you know, you had mentioned about, I guess,
stopping, you know, violence in communities, what do you think are some of the things that kind of lead to violence and kind of let violence girl versus what you know, you're implementing in some of these communities that are actually diminishing the violence, if you can kind of share and expound on that, that'd be really interesting. From like, a real estate perspective. That's excellent question and the pandemic, in itself, create a lot of stresses on communities. Um, but
you know, when you are going against the commandments of Allah subhanho, wa, taala, you're going to reap what you sow? Definitely, you know, whatever good you do, you're going to see it, whatever bad you do, you're going to see it. And so unfortunately, in a lot of communities, the problems are generational. You can go back 400 years, and see where the abuses to populations and abuses of
law enforcement, or some communities is law, legitimacy in some communities of for law enforcement, and reconciliation has to take place. I think the statistic that I mentioned about the children being born out of wedlock is dramatic. Because I can tell you 90% of those that we see in the prison, no, father, they won't do it. I love my father, but I never met him.
But sad, you know, and, you know, I'm my my brother from Philistine or Saudi, they can go back 2000 years, we've my wife from China go back 3000 4000 years of the heritage.
But unfortunately, the many in the society, we can only go back two or three generations.
You know, so when you lose that that culture, that heritage, that connection, connection to your past, it's tough, you know, and then quite frankly, without doing us doing the dour that we need to be doing is sometimes negative, you know us in business on are always in the right businesses and that kind of thing. It gives a negative impression of Islam. So they turn to other things like come of alcohol, we all these things to satisfy the enough's. Right. So I think that's, that's part of the contributing factors. But it's many dynamics that are mentioned in this question against you know, he was saying Liberty City is looked at pretty much as a depressed area how you remedying it
more or less, right? So a lot? Well, first of all, Liberty City is not a depressed area, you have a few pockets in Liberty City, what we call hotspots. And in those hotspots, you have hot people only 1% or less but less than 1% are driving the violence in places like Liberty City. Also the people are good people. They're really all hard working people decent people, but it said that 1% or less and that's what we focus in on that's where all of our attention is is on that 1% or less we got time for one more question what can we do as muslims to combat combat this chaos? Because I feel like as a as a country we're like we've kind of gone to hell like bait I'm basically I feel like our
morals are all's screwed up and this I'm actually a revert this is coming from from a former secular liberal atheists and even just a year ago not lost on what to Allah has opened my eyes to to the truth and I'm so grateful but how could what what do you think the best way to do as muslims if there's a way to combat this, like what you were you experienced? Like, what do you think? Even if it's not possible, the best thing we can do as muslims is just reach out to people and do good deeds for them, you know, satisfies the needs of maybe they have a need for food, maybe they need a job.
And then you may have costed our, you know, in the best hours just your beautiful manner that can look at you man and just tell that your your mannerisms and, you know, your vibe is very softly
gentle That's it right there. You know, I mean, our manners, you know, how we carry ourselves and how we treat people and Allah's creation. Inshallah I want to thank everybody here we got one more question with the * is Allah Hi Ron, what
what about the you know, we speak about drugs Liberty City by the way I came to America at eight I live in Liberty City so I used to be in that and it was a lot of drugs but now
drugs all over in how can treat this for Muslims How would you read the drugs and especially for the you have to do this kind of problems?
Well, Allah subhanho wa Taala when he revealed the I act on coma
the first I was
in, in communism benefit but the detriment is worse in my poor English translation, please forgive me.
And then after some time, don't approach your Salah in toxic it. And then the third is I was
don't use come at all.
So it was a gradual process.
Not everybody can go cold turkey on on certain behaviors.
So it's a gradual process. First, of course the dowel, give the toe heat, but then once you get them in the frame of mind to accept to eat, then you have to tell them, Okay, well if you're smoking, you know,
two blunts a day, cut it down to one, cut it down or half, cut it down to a quarter, cut it out all the same approach that Allah subhanho wa Taala had on the early Muslims that you know, it's got to be gradual. can't just do cold, cold turkey. I want to
go ahead and get the book 2064 I want to thank you and everybody here at the pump. No.
That's not a word cry. That's
Earth and we'll see you next time.