05 September 2014

The psychopathic leader of the ISS

Ibrahim al-Badri, a run-of-the-mill Sunni Iraqi cleric, gained a degree from the University of Baghdad at a time when pedagogy there had collapsed because of the Saddam Hussein dictatorship and international sanctions. After 2003 he took the name Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and turned to a vicious and psychopathic violence involving blowing up children at ice cream shops and blowing up gerbils and garden snakes at pet shops and blowing up family weddings, then coming back and blowing up the resultant funerals. This man is one of the most infamous serial killers in modern history, with the blood of thousands on his hands, before whom Jeffrey Dahmer and Ted Bundy fade into insignificance.... And, of course, Mulla Omar Uruzgani of Afghanistan was proclaimed “caliph” by the Taliban and al-Qaeda. Hopefully he and al-Baghdadi will end up in the same jail cell so they can drive each other crazy claiming to be the real caliph. In fact, virtually no one in the Muslim world thinks Mulla Omar is a caliph.

- Juan Cole, June 30 2014

05 January 2013

It chills my blood

When the hypocrites come unto thee, they say, "We bear witness that thou art indeed God's Apostle!" But God knows that thou art truly His Apostle; and He bears witness that the hypocrites are indeed false [in their declaration of faith]. They have made their oaths a cover [for their falseness], and thus they turn others away from the Path of God. Evil indeed is all that they are wont to do: this, because [they profess that] they have attained to faith, whereas [inwardly] they deny the truth - and so, a seal has been set on their hearts so that they can no longer understand [what is true and what false].~ the Qur'an 63:1-2, The Hypocrites

You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that takes his name in vain.~ Exodus 20:7, the Third Commandment

It chills my blood to hear the blest Supreme rudely appealed to on each trifling theme.~ Cowper

It chilled my blood tonight as I travelled home in a train to find a misguided Muslim employ the name of God and the f-word in one sentence. I, too, once used the f-word unthinkingly, back in school, but there's a difference. How can one use it alongside that of God? This noise did perturb me no less, these gangs who take the name of God in vain. I don't understand this. Why does the establishment continue to cover for male disregard for modesty? Where a woman is appointed a reference of tradition while a man can do as he pleases. Instead of using missionary, poorly argued evangelical-style da'wah, why not just express it through good behaviour? Good behaviour cannot be separated from belief -- the Qur'an enjoins them together. What message are they sending to the non-Muslim travellers? I fear that non-Muslims who cross paths with this sort of behaviour will never look into Islam, Islam held ransom to cultural realisation than a rational, moral and personal commitment to the Undefinable and the Teachings. Again the again the name of God used in vain. God has said they will not be held guiltless. Indeed they do not realise "what is true and what is false". They may proclaim the name of the blest Supreme most loudly as they commit the lewdest acts known to man, but that doesn't make them believers. Not at all. My solidarity as a Muslim is with believers, I cannot make any excuses for hypocrites.

28 September 2012

When Haram Became Halal: Blessed are the Sheep

"Like a giant mass of wool, bloodied and filthy, they lay in trenches — slit open, stabbed or clubbed to death, while many still wriggled with some life left in them, soon to be buried alive." — Reporter for The International News, Pakistan

"I have watched the video and let me tell you that ever since I have seen those gruesome visuals, I haven't eaten or slept. Regardless of whether they were healthy or not, the way they were killed or buried alive is neither humane, nor Islamic." — Managing Director of Wellard (Australian live exporter)

13 September 2012

The New Breed

Another riot. Fundamentalism or what is being described as Salafist violence by coarse-bearded hypermasculine thugs in Libya is the new breed. The beard, once the symbol of philosophical and moral male enlightenment, is like something that might cut the world under the chins of criminals who have no knowledge about faith but claim much, rushing through and breaking laws and smirking. Some people wonder whether the beard will look good on them, but the answer is that the beard will look good only on those who are good.

The question is: where have these demons who corral women and prevent education of girls arisen from? The sickening tribalism, the brutishness, the sexism, it all comes together. Lao Tse once said that when there is no goodness there is morality. When there is no morality there is ritual. Ritual is the husk of true faith, and the beginning of chaos. These thugs who do not even know the rituals of Islam much less morality, who blashpheme against the name of God, and sodomise (with a knife) and literally beat to death their enemies spell the end of the beginning of the so-called change, which has empowered the most hypermasculine and violent, it is not surpising that the hegemonies of Saudi Arabia etc. fund and support these infernal elements. What is good for my tribe is good for me, what is good to retain my unmerited power is good for me, they say.

The Last Prophet, upon whom be peace, condemned such people, He is not of us who proclaims the cause of tribal partisanship (asabiyyah); and he is not of us who fights in the cause of tribal partisanship; and he is not of us who dies in the cause of tribal partisanship. In fact, the job of any believer is to stop a criminal from committing a crime. Too bad that those in a position to spread education for children, particularly disadvantaged girls, instead distribute guns to these morally vacant criminal males. The traditional establishment is weak and splintered, it has been weakened by the very same Puritans who claim to speak for Islam. We are left with mere rituals which, too, are impossible, after all we must eat meat every day and overcrowd animals. Out of these fires march hypermasculine male thugs, the new breed. Muslim men and women who think, who cry, who feel for others are trodden under. And what of children? What will they learn? Muhammad Asad once rightly lamented that we Muslims have made no use of the Great Gift given to us. That is not the fault of the Muslim meek, may they inherit the earth, but we have been convinced by uneducated leaders to not educate ourselves because if we did we would choose someone educated over them. So this facade of "revolution", a concept that has been damaging to our theology, is being used to replace one uneducated tribal leader with another uneducated tribal leader and the customary gang of male hypermasculine thugs.  

I would add that we have been as adept if not more in breaking laws as the ancient Israelites, from our cruel treatment of animals to how we have not contributed invidually or collectively to improving ethics or even how the object of the state has come to supervise over the lives of men and women which are not given by the state but by God (good on Asma Barlas for charging this exploitation of whole populations, particularly religious and ethnic minorities, as blasphemy; this is ironical since the very same forces that charge religious minorities and certain individuals with blasphemy are in fact themselves the blasphemers as they privilege the state over God consciousness and forgiveness), which lie in the dust to be stepped on, for the last hundred years or so. How sad indeed. Yet it is my great hope, and this can be achieved through the hardwork of ethical teachers and those who have actually read the Qur'an, for God has dedicated His book to "to those who think". I fear for the next generation of Muslim children but know one thing: change will be slow but come insha'Allah. So start working right away, from your own family to the family across the road. Spread the Word by being good and seize His grace that falls as gentle as the rain. The harsh do not feel it because it is not for them and I'm glad that their punishment has already begun even though they may feel powerful and push others around.

13 June 2012

New Cold War and the Arab Spring

 Peter McKay sums it up and in The Daily Mail at that:
"But the so-called Arab Spring — of which the Syrian civil war is part — is a far more complex event than credulous innocents in the West imagine.

"It’s not simply uprisings by ground-down peasants against tyrants who repress them. It’s about a transfer of power to rival clans and/or religious groups. And about a continuation of the old, U.S.-Russia Cold War stand-off."

12 June 2012

Brand Obama

Have we?
Because political debate has become so debased in our media monoculture ... race, gender and class can be used as seductive tools of propaganda and diversion. In Obama's case, what matters, as Fanon pointed out in an earlier era, is not the intermediary's "historic" elevation, but the class he serves. After all, Bush's inner circle was probably the most multiracial in presidential history. There was Condoleezza Rice, Colin Powell, Clarence Thomas, all dutifully serving an extreme and dangerous power. - John Pilger

A few years ago in the children's section of a bookshop I came across a familiar figure, Brand Obama, making us all believe in a change that never happened, being marketed to children. Brand Obama appropriated the semiotic language of King and X and delivered nothing. Almost like a storybook character who never existed. Cynthia McKinney powerfully said that Obama signified the loss of "innocence" of African-Americans who were now part of a corrupt system. I think that is partly correct, for there are African-Americans opposed to Obama on moral grounds and have not been seduced by ethnocentrism. The preoccupation with white privilege, from the standpoint of a coloured person, can obscure our own power at times. Obama illustrates that. The excuse-making and defence of Obama has gone on too long. Rather than addressing racist attacks against Obama as racism, people ignore that and react with homage to another kind of power, that of position rather. It is better to argue as a coloured person on the right to position and status as an equal member of humanity rather than climb that false, foolish Renaissance ladder of "the chain of being".

Obama, who has become a global celebrity, was molded easily into a brand. He had almost no experience, other than two years in the Senate, lacked any moral core and could be painted as all things to all people....Celebrity culture has leeched into every aspect of our culture, including politics, to bequeath to us what Benjamin DeMott called “junk politics.” Junk politics does not demand justice or the reparation of rights. Junk politics personalizes and moralizes issues rather than clarifying them. “It’s impatient with articulated conflict, enthusiastic about America’s optimism and moral character, and heavily dependent on feel-your-pain language and gesture,” DeMott noted. The result of junk politics is that nothing changes – “meaning zero interruption in the processes and practices that strengthen existing, interlocking systems of socioeconomic advantage.” It redefines traditional values, tilting “courage toward braggadocio, sympathy toward mawkishness, humility toward self-disrespect, identification with ordinary citizens toward distrust of brains.” Junk politics “miniaturizes large, complex problems at home while maximizing threats from abroad. It’s also given to abrupt unexplained reversals of its own public stances, often spectacularly bloating problems previously miniaturized.” And finally, it “seeks at every turn to obliterate voters’ consciousness of socioeconomic and other differences in their midst.” - Chris Hedges