Thursday, July 15, 2010

In Defense of My Character

Commercial Appeals Article on my testimony for the Murder trial, click HERE.
News Article on my participation in the local Community Congress meetings on tougher laws,
click HERE.
Youtube videos on Gangs and Islam, encouraging the youth to turn to faith rather than this lifestyle, click HERE.
For my classes for Non Muslims and New Muslims explaining the basic beliefs of a Muslim,
Click HERE.

When someone throws an object at you, you duck. When someone says you have on a white shirt and it's blue, you bring them closer and show them that they are incorrect. When a blogger accuses you of extremist ideology and others say you will never change and they forewarn those around you of your past, you have to bring forth your evidences to the contrary. Wouldn't you agree?

It is with a humble attitude and with sincere humility that I post this. Lets start with the fact that ,as a Muslim, I found myself trying to stop the Murder of an innocent man, while in the commission of two other good deeds. I was at Panera Bread ,in Cordova, TN, picking up a load of free bread to be taken to the local Muslim Association, which was to be dispersed by them. In the process of waiting on that bread, I saw a couple having car trouble. I decided to do a good deed and see if I could get them up and running again; i have mechanic experience. In the process of looking for someone to borrow jumper cables, I happen upon an argument ,turned into a Murder, putting myself between the gunman and the victim and other bystanders. (LETS NOT FORGET THAT NONE OF THESE PEOPLE ARE MUSLIMS!) The Quran says, in Chapter 5:32 " And whoever saves one (a life)- it is as if he had saved mankind entirely. And our messengers had certainly come to them with clear proofs. Then indeed many of them, [even] after that, throughout the land, were transgressors."

In Feb. of 2009, I stood before local community leaders and fellow citizens and said, "I stand before you a changed man...". I explained that the Muslims, Christians and members of the Memphis community needed to come together as one, in an effort to bring about change in our city.

Often, I find myself mentoring to the youth and helping others, including non Muslims, to understand my faith. I have applied to the local prison to help as a volunteer but have not found the time to complete the process. I do what I can where I can, according to my knowledge and life experiences, always striving to be a better person......

Does this sound like an extremist? Does an extremist stand before Christians and others and say we need to come together in a common effort? Does an extremist put his life on the line for Non Muslims? Does a brother, whom others claim has not and will not change, involve himself in such activities? I think not, and I hereby state that the man who writes about me, saying I'm an extremist, has ignored these evidences and proofs and is one who, deep down inside, hates Muslims. I also hereby state that those who go around saying Joseph has not and will not change need to examine themselves and realize that for every finger they point at another, 4 more are pointing back.......

I find hard, being who I am and being a Muslim, to speak of myself in any type of good light. I do and have made many mistakes; mistakes that I will be accountable for on the day of resurrection, but I can say that I am always striving to correct my faults and fight the good fight. I always get back up, if I've fallen down, and I will always seek the forgiveness of my Lord God (The Creator of all that we see and don't see)...

May God forgive us our sins and guide us to and upon the straight path in life, so that we me be of those who are granted the great good in the hereafter, ameen....

Joseph Sneed

1 comment:

  1. Alsalamu Aliekum Br. Yusuf,
    May Allah SWT make it easy on you and your family. I believe Allah is able to change people behavior and put them on the straight path after they have been on the wrong path. After a sincere repentance Allah alone can forgive people's sinns how small or big they might be. What you had done back in Feb. 2009 on front of Panera Bread should be up held high as a good and courageous move regardless of your past. May Allah SWT forgive us all and put us on His path, the path of righteousnous. May Allah give us a good deed in this life and a good deed in the hereafter and protect us from hellfire. Ameen.
    Best wishes and keep doing what is good.