Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Muslim Bernie Madoff: Is It Possible?

I've been real busy and haven't been blogging much lately. I also haven't been visiting and commenting on blogs like I usually do. So, if you've been missing me, know that it's nothing personal.

I've been spending practically all of my days editing a novel for a traditional publishing house. I'm very excited about this as it's my first professional editing opportunity.

I am usually sitting on my bed with CNN or some other news program playing in the background. Lately, the cable news channels blather on all day about the Ponzi scheme swindler, Bernie Madoff.

Most of Madoff's victims were Jewish people and Jewish charity organizations. I can understand how this happened. Honestly, I can.

I remember when my mother died. I was Jewish at the time. All of a sudden, I found myself on the fortunate end of a large inheritance. After a few weeks, my rabbi called me. He said that he was aware that I had come into a large amount of money. He said that he wanted my money to be safe and suggested someone from our synagogue that he said could be trusted to help me invest the money. I took him up on his recommendation and, Alhamdulillah, the man was straight up and did right by me.

Why did I do it? Why did I entrust a huge sum of money to someone I didn't know from a can of paint?

Because my rabbi suggested it.

I trusted my rabbi.

I had trust in Jewish people.

As I watch all of the Madoff coverage, I found myself wondering whether there are any Muslim Bernie Madoffs out there.

You know, a Muslim brother or sister that we would trust if they were recommended by our imam or masjid director. After all, Muslims are not supposed to be suspicious of each other. All Muslims are out for the good of other Muslims. Right?

This is just my personal experience, but I can't tell you how many times I have been ripped off by Muslims, Astirghfallah.

And not just for money, but also for other things - like my heart, my reputation, my safety, my trust, etc.

I get nauseated when I receive emails in my inbox from so-called Muslim brothers and sisters in Africa telling me how much they want to "share" fortunes with me if only I would help them to resolve a temporary banking snag - like letting them use my checking account or Social Security number, lol.

What do you think? Will we hear about a Muslim Bernie Madoff in the near future?


otowi said...

Wow, what a shame that's the kind of Muslims you know. I was cheated once by a pretend convert, but that's it - but the whole heart thing - marriage issues - is a whole other ball game.
Aside from that, I've been fortunate to know trustworthy Muslims. But I've also always been a rather stick-to-myself kind of person who has a few friends rather than many - not neck deep in social interactions with lots of people I don't really know. I don't know if that makes a difference.
I think the moral of the story is that there are irreligious and immoral people who claim all faiths, but they don't represent their faiths well. Pick your companions and business partners and who take advice from wisely.

Yasemin said...

Astirghfallah. I don't think there will be another Bernie story for Muslims Safiyyah, because I just don't think that enough Muslims are that devilishy slick or cruel.

Additionally, Bernie will be made an example of (one can dream), and others won't want to repeat his mistakes.

I am sad for all of the Jewish people who relied on him and were ruined by that Ponzi scheme. Still can't get over his wife's $39,000 baby grand piano.

I am really happy to hear about your publishing endeavor. I do miss you, but am happier that your reaching for your dreams. Blogging can only get us so far. Love you!

Safiyyah said...

Salaams Otowi: Alhamdulillah, you are blessed to know so many trustworthy Muslims.

Lisa: I do check in with your blog practically daily :) However, you seem to have quite a fan club over there, so I didn't think you'd miss me that much :)

Yasemin said...

Oh no Safiyyah. I really do! I mean it! Alhamdulillah, I'm glad your doing so well. Time to go work on the book. Love to you!

noona said...

I think some people, in certain aspects, do stuff due to what their ethics dictate regardless of their religion, these ethics might be good or bad, others need religion to obtain their ethics, meaning, maybe has it not been for religion their ethics might not have been good.
wow, you didn't mention before that you were writing a novel, did you? are you gonna give away anything about it yet?

Happy Muslim Mama said...

Assalam-alaikam Sis,
I think there probably would be equivalents of this man wihtin Muslim communities, but perhaps just not the same level/amounts of money involved.

I also can't imagine people going to the mosque or imam for advice on who to invest money with, I am not sure the Muslim community here or in the US might be quite so evolved or linked-up in that way.

American Muslima Writer said...

Salam Saf!
Yes we miss you!!!
I at least am being shush in ordering you around to come to my blog *cough for now cough cough*
because I know you're so busy and this is so important. But we do miss you!!!
When you have time make a stop to my gardens. :D

As for this thing of Muslims ripping off other Muslims sadly it happens a lot but it hardly gets in the news and thank Allah for that because the last thing we need with poeple fearing the name Muslims is poeple thinking Muslims cannot be trusted with money.
My husband was ripped off by a few women before he met me where he sent a woman money to fly to meet him and she kept the money for herself and never talked to him again. This is airfare money not like piggy bank money lol. So I do understand waht you mean. I've heard of People trying to steal Charity money from those boxes (there is a reason there are locks on them) and sometimes when they are reasining money for the masjid some goes into someone's pocket on the side astagfirullah but Allah sees all and is JUST so I try not to worry about it.
Its a shame for those who were swindled though I hope they sue him somehow to get recompensated.

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