Forty

Dancewaters collects forty grey photographs, in color.

Description of the image says:

A woman cries in the Shurta Rabaa district of west Baghdad, Iraq, Monday Sept. 29, 2008, as she overlooks the area following a car bomb explosion the day before. A car bomb exploded in Shurta Rabaa after sundown Sunday killing twelve people and wounding 35, police said.

Power and Intellectuals

Jinnzaman breaks down the relationship between power, intellectuals and elites. In looking at the way thinkers and academicians place themselves vis-à-vis power structures he notes their motivations and characterizes a revolutionary seeking to change the system:

 In general, there are two types of intellectuals: those that acquiesce to power and those that challenge it. Those that acquiesce to power do so for a variety of reasons. Perhaps to promote their own self-worth, perhaps for monetary reasons since they are offered jobs, perhaps they do so for political power since they are appointed or elected to positions, perhaps they do so because they feel the need to defend one’s homeland, etc. Perhaps the strongest reason why intellectuals relate to power in a conservative manner is that academic institutions, in spite of declarations of academic freedoms, are still institutions – social constructs that are embedded in human relationships and, as such, limited in certain ways. …

The greatest way to challenge power is by attacking the idealized history on which it bases its symbols and mythology. The ultimate objective of the anti-power intellectual is to expose the true nature of the system for what it is – one that ultimately relies upon brute force to create an imbalance of power that then hides behind negotiations between parties with disparate power – in other words, the ultimate objective of the true intellectual is to demystify the power elite system and shine a light on its true nature so that people can see naked power. Such an intellectual’s greatest weapon is history and the interpretation of particular events that are used by the power elites to create symbols, myths, and often cult worship. These must be inverted by any means possible, either intellectually or physically.

The question for the Islamic revolutionary is to invoke a mass-movement to tear down the oppressive batini systems while also producing a system of mass-education to prevent jahiliyyah from implanting itself in social and political institutions in the event that a popular revolution is proven to be successful.

Medicine and Muslims

At-Talib has a post on a transcribed talk by Khalid Baig giving an overview of the state of medicine today and in the past, and how Muslims can play a part in steering it.

Revival of any Islamic science is part of the revival of Islamic civilization and will pave the way for the revival of other sciences as well. But unlike other Islamic sciences, Islamic medicine has the distinction that despite all the efforts to wipe it out — many at the hands of Muslims themselves—it is still a living tradition, unlike physics and chemistry. Reviving it is thus easier.

There are things our physicians can do individually.
Our physicians need to recognize the great and unique opportunity that they have for doing good not only for the body but also for the soul of their patients. Doctors are in the best position to promote Islamic lifestyle, which is the best protection against the diseases brought on by our modern lifestyles. This refers to diseases of all kinds— physical, mental, and spiritual, although the last one is not always recognized. Today we are more concerned about the hardening of the arteries than we are about the hardening of the hearts. But Muslim physicians can furnish treatments for both.

Lahore Nama

I have found Lahoris particularly attached to their city. A blog dedicated to Lahore. Lahore Nama’s about page says:

 

Lahore, the ancient, magnificent city is a wonder of sorts. It has braved the vicissitudes of history, the upheavals of pre-historic and modern times and above all it continues to shine despite the negligence of its current residents and administrators.

This blog will post stories of Lahore – its past, present and visions for its future in the vain hope that there are some who will read and think and then act…

[Huge thanks to Koonj.

Image: thanks to manitoon.]

Buddy, it’s About Oil; but What Way Forward?

Let us welcome the freedom of the Kosovars from tyranny. Let us also thank the United States for ensuring that Kosovars are safe from human rights violations, at least for now. Kosova is also unique in some sense in that this majority Muslim population is pro-US. Much of the freedom struggle was funded by the Saudis- with support from US.

The Oil Factor

Given it’s shiny human rights record, history of war and occupation- it’s difficult to believe Washington’s commitment to democracy outside it’s own country. Their backing of Kosova has nothing to do with commitment to either democracy, freedom or human rights. You guessed it right- it’s about oil. Again. Continue reading

Veiled Threats: Recurrent Cultural Anxieties in Australia

At the end of the nineteenth century, white Australians found themselves in a turbulent and rapidly changing world. As British settlers in a vast, often-perplexing and under-populated continent, they were increasingly aware that they lived in a crowded and predominantly Asian neighbourhood. Their supposedly empty spaces seemed to invite the unwanted attention of hostile outsiders, fertile soil for speculation about vulnerable borders, invasion and violation. It was commonplace of the period for white females to be considered at once particularly vulnerable and also innocent symbols of the new nation. They needed to be protected against Asian males allegedly bent on conquest and violation. It does not follow that these “invasion narratives”, however persistent, meant that the entire population was disabled by fear and dread, but there is convincing evidence of a deeply embedded cultural anxiety about the destructive possibilities and hostile intentions of Asian outsiders. In this article, the authors examine recent representations of Muslims as hostile outsiders in Australia, focusing in particular on the veil as a marker of female oppression under Islam and a sign of the threat attributed to the Islamic community in Australia. While it would be misleading to propose a simple line of progression from late nineteenth century apprehensions to those a century or more later, there are nonetheless intriguing parallels and recurrent expressions of survivalist anxiety across the period examined in this article.

Authors: Anne Aly; David Walker

Continue reading