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Muntasir Ismail Rushdan (Ironman) was born a twin in Texas, October 7th, 1942 to Alice and Henry Brown. Along with his twin brother Thomas Ray Brown, he has four brothers and 1 sister: Mary Rouse, Henry Brown Jr. of Kansas City, MO, Charles Brown and Carlton Jackson. Shortly after he was born the family relocated to Portland Oregon. Muntasir was a state champion wrestler and received many accolades on the 1958 Jefferson High wrestling team which led to his hall of Fame induction in 2004. Muntasir also received varsity letters in track, wrestling, football and honors certificate in the Jefferson Choir. Serving 4 years in the U.S Marine Corps as a rifleman, he received the designation badge of a sharpshooter, as well as expeditionary and good conduct medals. He served in combat in Vietnam and was honorably discharged in 1964.
At the age of 25 Muntasir was hired as one of the first African Americans to work at United Airlines. In 2002, Muntasir retired from United Airlines after a 33 year long career and active membership in the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers Union. In 1973, Muntasir joined the Nation of Islam and legally change his name from George Brown to accept his current Islamic name. During his time as a lieutenant in the Nation of Islam, Muntasir took up various roles in the organization such as security officer and worked to increase economic and political empowerment of African Americans. Muntasir was an entrepreneur, his business ventures aimed to uplift and create financial independence for individuals and families. As a distributor of the Bilalian Newspaper and later the Muslim Journal, Muntasir brought the first African American owned Muslim newspaper to circulation in the Portland area. Muntasir developed a waste management business titled “waste fighters” which employed young men in the program to teach them entrepreneurship and how to create a clean environment. Trained in martial arts, with a black belt in Kung Fu, Muntasir also opened up a martial arts school along with his longtime friend Ali Muhammed; the school provided training and mentorship for young men. Leaving the Nation of Islam in 1977, Muntasir converted to Orthodox Islam and became a Sunni Muslim. That same year Muntasir took his Hajj pilgrimage, in Mecca he climbed the mountain of Thawr and Jabal-al-noor and in 1978 now with the title Hajji, he took Hajj a second time for Muslims who could not make the trip themselves. His physical fortitude, integrity and commitment to his principles also earned him the title the “Ironman” from his brothers in faith.
Muntasir married Ihsan Jones in 1979, and together they have daughter Baseemah T. Rushdan of Portland, OR, Jathiya I. Raven of Tallahesse Fl, daughter Nasira M., and Son in Law Alain Mukendi of Montgomery AL and four children from marriage: Ade Jones, Idris Jones, Fatima Jones, and Crystal Patton. In 2002 Muntasir Retired from United Airlines after 33 years after a long career.
Muntasir was a family man and enjoyed quality time with his loved ones where he would enjoy playing dominoes and chess. He loved sports and in his spare time coached the girls basketball team for Harriet Tubman Middle School. He delighted in the outdoors, fishing, sightseeing, camping, and traveling. His hobbies included craft and woodwork projects; he created everything from household furniture to clay puppets for his children. He was also was very passionate about human rights and social justice. Muntasir was an active member of his community, donating and supporting various organizations. Muntasir had a love for reading and was a deep thinker always up for debate. His views were amongst many conversations and debates he had with family and friends. His views on race in America extend to the last project that he was passionate about: He believed the key to resolving racial conflict in the world came down to dissolving the color code. On this topic he said, “the day we take away labels such as black and white and when people identify themselves not as a color but as one human race is the day we’ll see peace and harmony on earth”.
Left to cherish his memory are 9 grandchildren, 20 grandchildren through marriage, and a host of nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles, dear friends, Muslim brothers and sisters and extended family.
Muntasir Rushdan was interred in Forest Lawn Cemetery on April 24, 2018.