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The “Happy Muslims” video promotes amnesia, temporary or otherwise, of the reality regarding Muslims’ happiness: racism, occupation, invasion etc.

If you feel you have to say Muslims are happy, why did you not assume so to begin with? Who said Muslims are unhappy? Thus this has to be a response to them^.

Ignorance is incompatible with your duty as a Muslim.

A music video - modelled in the work of a man whose profile was built purely by an industry that is ultimately anti-Muslim by the messages it promotes (greed, lust, misogyny, violence) is the worst way to “remind” people they should be happy to be Muslim and have Allah SWT etc.

If your intention is to improve things for the ummah, that’s a great thing so it’s an ibaadah. But since this music video isn’t in-line with Islam - whether it be because music is haraam full stop or because of the Pharrell connection, not that this video was particularly lewd or anything in itself, there’s no way it can be done as a form of ibaadah. Either way, if your idea of ibaadah is to do something that is almost categorically anti-Islam, to i) compromise on your Islamic values and ii) please/serve/answer to an entity (other than Allah) whose entire identity and objectives is based on hating and destroying you^, this is shirk.

And for the silly points I’ve seen saying “happiness is halal”, “if you hate this video you’re just a hater and there’s no helping you”, yes, I’ll be happy once the Zionist Entity and all of its abstract global structures have been obliterated and Muslims aren’t having to sing and dance and manipulate Islam to get by.

Ultimately, this video can only have been shot in the UK (or the US). We have relative freedom here because it’s Britain and because they export most of its oppression abroad, not because we’re Muslim. You couldn’t shoot this video in Gaza, Egypt, Syria or Iraq; why wouldn’t the Muslims who live there sing and dance about being happy? Is it because they’ve forgotten they have Allah? No, it’s because they don’t have what the people in the video have, even though they’re both Muslim…

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Pardon me for not having an ounce of sympathy for a man whose organisation, supposed to be about exposing machinations of imperialism, appears to bend over backwards to further enable an imperialist narrative that has singularly plagued the community they purport to defend.

Yes, his defenders are probably right in their claim that his arrest was purely politically motivated. Yes, they’re right about the selective application of British justice, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t guilty of what he was arrested for.

There is no honour or nobility to be found in or with the rebels who occupy Syria like locusts, rats and termites.

May the full curse of Allah SWT be upon those who consider the destruction of the only Arab state to support the Resistance a more worthy cause than the destruction of the enemy, and against those who revel in their ignorance in their quests for empty labels and titles bestowed upon them by their false gods.

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Yesterday evening I heard Moulana Sulaiman Moola deliver a lecture on the Seerah of the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ. I find the best ulema are those who have a way of connecting with listeners on a personal level with their sermons, not just by filling a (spookily specific) hole that has emerged in the congregant’s spirituality to refocus their priorities, but also by challenging an existing misconception that they may not have consciously realised even existed in their heads.

Moulana Sulaiman chose to focus on “humour” – something his many global followers would undoubtedly attribute to his own self – but this was on the sense of humour the Prophet ﷺ had and displayed on many occasions during his life. We all know that Muhammad ﷺ is an example to us all in every facet of life – as a father, as a husband, as a nephew, as a friend, leader, neighbour – you name it. But do we know?

For those of us who aren’t as read in the ways of the Sunnah and Hadith as we ought to be, we probably subconsciously assume that the template our Rasool ﷺ left us in the above categories are to do with good conduct – kindness, magnanimity, humility, generosity, and so on. We probably also assume that the nature of the relationships between the Prophet ﷺ and his As-haab verge towards the academic, regimental and sermonical. We struggle to identify with the example provided by our Nabi ﷺ because deep down we think we devote more of our life to being a ‘real person’ (than he did). That would be building friendships, being playful with our own children and general engagement in frivolity, while we can’t imagine anybody having a laugh and a joke with the Prophet ﷺ (surely he was too religious for that?!) Shedding the misconceptions that Islam teaches us only being strict and stoic towards our loved ones and charges, Moulana Sulaiman recounted several amusing anecdotes from the Prophet ﷺ’s home-life and in the company of the Sahaabas R.A (that I’ll just make unfunny if I try to repeat so I’ll just wait for the video of the lecture to be uploaded and post that) including one that “had the Prophet ﷺ and his companions laughing (“absolutely gone” I believe the phrase was) for a year!” Do you have any jokes or stories that have kept you falling over in stitches every day for a year? (I don’t.) They knew how to laugh; secular civilisation didn’t invent that. 

The point of Moulana Sulaiman’s bayaan was to assure us that everything we seek from our extracurricular interests, activities and vices (sports, movies, TV talent shows, tabloid pop culture, music, social media activity, illicit viewing material, alcohol or drug abuse) for the sake of giving us a kick out of life or building our personalities to make us a good friend/colleague/relevant-member-of-society is already there in Islam. Sports and the others might provide some cheap transient thrills – providing you don’t support West Ham in which case you’ll barely even get those, and the others are pointless and/or haraam – but there is no barakat in them. For most of us these are the sources of our happiness, and it’s not surprising how so many of us are finding ourselves vulnerable to depression – an overwhelming and serious problem facing modern society. It’s Sunnah to smile, to laugh, and to bring joy into people’s lives, and any study into the conduct of the Prophet ﷺ will only confirm to us exactly how comprehensive his example to our lives is.

May Allah SWT foremost give me and everybody the ability to understand and take on everything discussed here, the ability to change myself for the better and the ability to truly appreciate the resplendence of my Nabi, Muhammad ﷺ, and his sacrifices for me and for all of mankind. Ameen.

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The intelligent quarter percentile of the internet has been asking why the waves of terrorist attacks in the UK in the last few weeks, culminating with a detonated nail bomb in Tipton, Staffordshire, have gone practically unnoticed. The Prime Minister has called no emergency security meetings and made no acknowledgment of the egregious attacks on the citizens he’s supposed to represent, nor has the mainstream media sparked any kind of drive to rectify this. It would probably make a bit more sense if it were made clear that all of the premeditated acts of terrorism in question were targeting (non-IC1) Muslims. Ah, yes. Well…just the work of a few crazies, isn’t it? No need to make a mountain out of a molehill and unnecessarily spark tensions. Surely you can’t compare the nail bomb at the masjid that didn’t actually hurt anyone to Drummer Lee Rigbsy? Come off it… A man was ruthlessly executed purely because of his demographic background by people that were acting on their extremist ideologies, you can’t just trivialise that.

 

A couple of years ago at a demonstration against a potential Anglo-American invasion of Iran and Syria, I had the (mis)fortune of speaking with a reporter from BBC Radio 1. After making a point of telling me she was “half Iranian, half Pakistani”, she asked if I believed Iran should be allowed to have nuclear weapons (If Israel has nuclear weapons, why not?). “But wouldn’t you say Israel is more…responsible?”

 

Every narrative regarding East/Global South and West is inexplicably nuanced towards “White governments are civilised and responsible, brown (Muslim) governments are not”. It isn’t Iran that contravenes international law by maintaining a permanent illegal occupation, building illegal settlements, abducting and torturing children, detaining civilians and elected politicians indefinitely without charge, deciding the calorie intake of a blockaded population and accordingly only allowing so much food to be transported in, committing extrajudicial murders on foreign soil, producing false British passports for its assassins or having nuclear weapons, yet we’re still supposed to believe - and many do - that Iran is reckless and Israel is civilised. It seems that the world is happy for countries that occupy Muslim land and appoint instigators of Muslim pogroms to public office to have nuclear capabilities.

 

It’s the same racist and Islamophobic undercurrents that mould the differing organised and “acceptable” forms of ‘resistance’ against Israel and Syria. Human Rights organisations and particularly the token POCs and natives that staff them will pertinaciously dismiss all ideas of armed resistance for Palestinians or black South Africans. The struggle must be peaceful, with happy clapping, songs, “dialogue” and Carefully Worded Reports that “strongly condemn” the policies of the white settler ‘government’. The campaigns against the “oppressive regime” in the independent Syrian Arab Republic, on the other hand, have no such limitations on rules of engagement. Human Rights organisations and mainstream peace/democracy-purveying media institutions will unabashedly cite the murderous rebel forces as credible ‘human rights observers’. No problem at all.

 

It is also these same racially biased structures in our society that have the White House inviting Michael Oren to their annual “Iftaar event”, and that elevates “good”, “pragmatic” Muslims to be our representatives. It’s the same skewed parameters of discussion regarding racism that has people thinking calling out “whiteness” as a trait is racist, or that white people can be victims of racism! There are POCs in the West whose minds are so colonised that they think they are on a par in society with their IC1 counterparts, and many take the same, irresponsible policy of “I don’t see race…If we don’t talk about racism it isn’t a problem”. Those that think a “racist” comment made by a POC against white people is equivalent or even comparable to a racist comment - inexorably the product of a racist, societally-endowed mentality - made by a white person against POCs are completely ignoring and disregarding the undeniable context of colonialism and the tangible results of white racism compared to saying “cracker” or talking about bland food.

 

Racism is a PURELY one way street. In every single country in the world where white people have been or still live, they are materially and socially better off than the natives. White people don’t migrate to ‘brown’ countries to do manual labour work so that the natives can enjoy working in swanky, air-conditioned skyscrapers. Nor do they go to clean, distribute flyers, or flip burgers.

 

Disdain for Islam and Muslims is but the 21st Century manifestation of racism. The discourse space is crammed with purportedly socially-conscious atheists that rail against Islam - with this man as their Lord and Master. It is no surprise, in an inherently imperialist, Islamophobic society like this one, that “atheism” is fully focused solely on Islam. They relish the conditions laid out for them to enable crusading neo-imperialism to continue stealing Arab oil. Put it like this, I’ve never heard nor read any “atheist” call out Zionist Orthodox Jew settlers for their “practices” or “beliefs”.

 

Fortunately, thanks entirely to our witty and almost self-embarrassed culture in this country - compared to our friends across the Atlantic - we don’t have to be so bombastic in our self-proclamations of Britishness (it is better for you if you do, however). My sanity is eternally appreciative that we don’t have to put up with the same fascist nationalist jingoism that is so emphatic in the USA. Americans are so indoctrinated into believing their country is great, that they’re compelled to pledge allegiance to a flag that putatively protects their freedoms. The freedom that allows a white man to murder a black boy and face no penalty, the freedom that denies millions of people healthcare, the freedom that allows unstable individuals to carry firearms into public places, the freedom to let their own cities go bankrupt while donating billions of dollars to prop up vicious apartheid regimes abroad.

 

We were still, however, brought up in this country to venerate and exalt the “British way of life” and “egalitarian British values”, and to be grateful for the opportunity to grow up and live here. Never mind the past and current barbarity of British imperialism, we ought to be honoured to have been taken in by our fair overlords, lest we be stuck in the savage homeland, without democracy, education or human rights. And of course, if we don’t like it here, we can eff off back to whatever backwater swamp we came from.

 

But why are we here? Why is Europe rich and the homeland poor? Why do we have clean running water, electricity and relative personal and religious freedom - so we’re told - while our people back home, do not? Until these questions become asked and answered on the same platforms that demonise and castigate Muslims, we are not on an equal footing.

 

Discussions of Iran, Israel, Pakistan and Indian nuclear ambitions are not off-topic tangents when it comes to understanding the double standards of ‘terrorism’ in the UK/US. It’s the same approach by our ruling elite to those issues that are reflected in the domestic problems POCs and Muslims have to put up with here. Our liberation will not - cannot - come from normalising the racist structure that oppresses us. The prosperity of the ruling elite is dependent on our marginalisation. As long as the seeds for the “White is Civilised, Black is Uncivilised” tree continue to be sown in our consciences, we will never see things clearly. The legal and education systems and the narratives they produce are designed to sustain and perpetuate the disparities in our society, so why should we be surprised when the dice won’t come up with thirteen? 

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Margaret Thatcher hasn’t died. We now have four mainstream right-wing parties all committed to the destruction of British society and the state, committed to the Zionist Entity and the consolidation of Anglo-Saxon neo-imperialism in the Global South. She’s alive and kicking.

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So…I read another book, and I feel compelled to tell you what I learnt from it. The book was called All The Shah’s Men by Stephen Kinzer, and it tells the story of the overthrow of Iranian Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadegh in 1953 and the role played by the British and American governments in the coup on behalf of a British oil company Anglo-Iranian Oil Company (AIOC) and under the pretext of combating ‘communism’.

The facts surrounding the overthrow and the methods used, presented in piercing clarity by Mr Kinzer thanks significantly to an internal history of the coup compiled by the CIA, draw alarming parallels to certain political events that have happened in the last couple of years - not a million miles away from Iran either (geographically as well as perhaps, prophetically).

Britain was under the stewardship of a Labour government at the start of the crisis - the end of the 1940s - when the process of decolonisation was supposedly high on the agenda and actively supported by darling-of-the-white-left Prime Minister Clement Attlee. The NHS had just been formed, the Bank of England, civil aviation, coal mines, the railways, road haulage, telecommunications, electricity and gas were all nationalised, so it should give us some idea of the direction Britain was putatively going in, and what this should have meant for its colonies.

In 1949 the leader of AIOC travelled to Iran to have the Shah of Iran sign the ‘Supplemental Agreement’, a contract that would extend a deal made sixteen years previously, giving AIOC full ownership of Iranian crude oil. There had been some protest from Iranians about the unfavourable terms of the Agreement, and indeed the issue of AIOC became a hot topic in the Majlis, the Iranian parliament. The Finance Minister, Abbasgholi Golshayan presented a report that “documented the accounting tricks by which Anglo-Iranian was cheating Iran out of huge sums of money”. The Shah, like any dictator supported by the forces of Western imperialism, was hugely in favour of any kind of privatisation and he was rewarded in kind with cash and the must-have for any self-respecting tyrant, arms.

The Shah had done his best to try and suppress disquiet in the Majlis about the Supplemental Agreement by corrupting the parliamentary elections and forcing through royalist candidates. He only relented and reluctantly held free and fair elections when the future Prime Minister Mossadegh arranged a mass protest in front of the Shah’s palace and declared they wouldn’t move until the Shah respected the democratic wishes of the Iranian people. Following the elections – in which Mr Mossadegh had been elected as a member of the Majlis – the Shah, in consort with AIOC and the British Foreign Office, had sought to install Prime Ministers that would push through the Supplemental Agreement. Three Prime Ministers later, during which time public opinion on AIOC had drastically deteriorated, new terms were put to the British oil firm that were perceived to be politically palatable for the opposition Majlis representatives and the majority of the Iranian voters that they represented.

British refusal to compromise on anything short of complete British control over Iranian oil and not yielding a single penny in profit sharing only further stoked the fires of anti-imperialism throughout Iran. AIOC would refuse to allow any Iranian employee to rise into a position of management, it would allow no Iranian oversight of its accounts and its advocates in the British Embassy had the ear (and mouth) of the Prime Minister – General Ali Razmara.

A political assassination and several episodes of misguided political meddling later, the iconoclastic Mohammed Mossadegh found himself Prime Minister of Iran, with the number one priority for the Mossadegh government being, of course, the nationalisation of AIOC.

The Labour government was still in office in Westminster, albeit with a different man at the helm of the Foreign Office, one Herbert Morrison, whom Kinzer described as “colossally unprepared” and considerably unqualified for the role. Morrison, a Labour Minister, came across as a bona fide strategist and spokesman for the East India Company. He appeared determined to keep the fire of British colonialism burning; strongly urging against any compromise from AIOC and expressed hostility towards (genuine) American efforts to defuse the situation. In fact, Morrison and the subsequent Churchill government thought the Americans were obliged to intervene on their behalf, seemingly forgetting the bacon-saving actions of the US in the last decade.

Unfortunately for Mossadegh and his supporters, which by this time included everyone but cronies of AIOC and the Shah and the fringe of the ultra-religious, there were two brothers in the US who – irrespective of how they reasonable they felt the British’s grievances were – understood that the nationalisation of Iran’s oil industry was a disaster for American interests. The brothers in question, John Foster and Allen Dulles, Secretary of State and CIA Director respectively, materialised the hawkish foreign policy impetus provided by (if they did not create it themselves) the newly elected President Eisenhower.

The Dulleses wouldn’t be the only notable siblings to play a part in this tale, for the notorious Rashidian brothers deserve honourable mentions – if for their fulgurant names alone. Seyfollah, Assadollah and Qodratollah Rashidian worked tirelessly with the CIA - who had assigned Kermit Roosevelt, the grandson of former President Theodore - to stir dissent on the ground in Iran. They worked with gang leaders and corruptible army officers to arrange flash mob-like political protests against the Mossadegh premiership and to distribute other forms of subversion.

Meanwhile in the Majlis, Iranian MPs that were ‘sympathetic to the interests’ of a-foreign-colonial-era-institution-that-existed-to-drain-Iranian-natural-resources-and-abuse-the-labour-of-their-constituents intensified the tumult by dissenting against Mossadegh and his “crusade” against AIOC. With the growing confidence of the Ayatollahs and the wavering confidence of the detached and indifferent MPs, the political bloc behind Mossadegh began to disintegrate. The Prime Minister, in all his innocence and naivety, was unaware that the Americans who were ostensibly sympathetic to his battle against British neo-colonialism, were in fact now plotting against him.

Nationalisation was a difficult process as the British had ensured no Iranian would learn the skills of running an oil company, and they also went to great lengths to ensure international boycotts of Iranian oil, as well as harassing the shipments that actually made it out of Iran. Media coverage of the situation in Britain was typically condescending and xenophobic, exhibiting outrage and offence that a foreign country should have sovereignty over their own resources – like it would two years later with the decision of Jamal Abd al-Nasser to nationalise the Suez Canal, and like it does even in 2013 with mainstream publications like the Financial Times and the Economist deriding and shaking their figurative heads at the policies of Rafael Correa and his contemporaries on “resource nationalism”. The Observer – who admittedly haven’t always purported to be a ‘centre-left’ newspaper – described Mossadegh as a “Robespierre fanatic” and a “tragic Frankenstein” who was “obsessed with one xenophobic idea.”

Interestingly, media and popular opinion within the United States was very much on the side of Mossadegh and his campaign against AIOC. Neo-colonialism and the role of global-crusader-against-communism was yet to be officially instilled into the American people until the next year as a matter of necessary self-defence, when Dwight Eisenhower would become president. The situation in Iran, which was to be the precursor to a medley of American adventures in Korea, Cuba, Vietnam and so on, offers a fascinating insight into US foreign policy – particularly the change in nuance that came with the replacement of the Democratic Truman’s presidency with the Republican Eisenhower’s. It is perhaps important to note here, however, that President Eisenhower strongly rebuked and put an end to the pretentions of the three noteworthy dregs of colonialism – Britain, France and Israel – in their assault on Nasser in 1956.

Back in Iran, Roosevelt and the Rashidians were concocting a fervour in the streets by paying gang leaders to arrange protests that would bring about the downfall of Mossadegh. Protestors were commissioned to shout both pro and anti-Shah slogans. The anti-Shah, pro-Mossadegh ‘protestors’ were to be the more unruly; intended to polarise public opinion against Mossadegh. Tribesmen from outside Tehran – naturally on the payroll of Roosevelt – swelled the crowds, and defecting soldiers (who were promised cash and political promotions by Roosevelt) would facilitate the occupation of public spaces by the protestors. The live broadcast on Radio Tehran was interrupted by goons screaming “The government of Mossadegh has been defeated! The new Prime Minister, (General) Fazlollah Zahedi is now in office. And His Imperial Majesty is on his way home!” After which the home of Mossadegh was sacked and burned by looters, and the Prime Minister eventually “surrendered himself” to his replacements.

The Shah was back in business, the defector army officers and politicians who politicked against Mossadegh were in lofty positions and AIOC – who had changed their name to British Petroleum – had the gloopy black stuff flowing again. Mossadegh was found guilty in a military court for “treason” and “inciting the people to armed insurrection”, and spent the rest of his life under house arrest in his home village.

It is my opinion that the recent ‘democratic uprisings’ in MENA, especially Libya, must be reassessed under the context of imperialist-engineered popular revolution. There is a shrill noise that emanates from some - supposedly enlightened - parts that objects to such a theory under the premise that critique of the ‘Arab Spring’ is ‘orientalist’ because it gives credence to the idea that people in the East aren’t capable of having ‘democracy’ or ‘freedom’, and that such critiquing upholds the myth that Arabs need a strong dictator to ensure order. It is my opinion that it is very difficult to have real democracy anywhere in the world, particularly in an area rich in natural resources. All the Shah’s Men outlines the lengths imperialist forces will go to to ensure foreign ownership of a country’s natural resources and the subtlety with which foreign intervention can be carried out. There were no American tear gas cans or tanks present, yet it is impossible to argue the political upheaval in Iran wasn’t an entirely American-instigated affair. We have seen that popular protests can be manipulated, and the Western coverage of political protests are often misrepresented to align itself with the objective of the Western government. To my knowledge, the once-in-a-lifetime Mossadegh was the last democratic leader anywhere in the Middle East, yet he was deposed of so unceremoniously by the self-styled proponents of democracy. Freedom, democracy and tolerance are useful buzzwords vociferated reflexively by political actors to endear themselves to Westerners because it’s supposed to show a conjunction in values. It also ratifies the conception that Western policy in the Global South is about encouraging democracy and tolerance, which would be difficult to defend if the factual cases of Mossadegh, 1980s Afghanistan, 1973 Chile, Saudi Arabia and countless others are remembered.

There are many political actors and commentators who still firmly believe that it is possible to remain independent of neo-colonialist objectives yet happily assume the narrative delivered by the psyops departments of the neo-colonialist machine. The coup of Mossadegh in the East and the corrupt, money-addled political systems that exist in the West has taught us that imperialism and capitalism is more powerful than democracy – when corruptible or apathetic and apolitical individuals are involved. It took essentially four men to undo the democracy built by Mossadegh because it didn’t suit the objectives of neo-imperialism. The West has never and will never align itself on the side of the people in any Global South struggle, so it would be asinine to assume they’ve suddenly turned over a new leaf with Syria. Stephen Kinzer wrote a book in 2003 about events that happened in 1953 that has had an effect on the way we should interpret events since 2011. It wouldn’t surprise me if similar books were written about the Western involvement in ‘revolutions’ in Libya and Syria, about how most people were unwittingly drawn into supporting the aims of neo-imperialist powers. But we might have to wait another fifty years.

Selected extracts from the book

Under the leadership of Sir William Fraser, a famously obstinate Scotsman who hated the idea of compromise, Anglo-Iranian rejected every appeal to reform. Fraser’s militancy and that of the British government were easy to understand. Britain had risen to world power largely because of its success in exploiting the natural resources of subject nations. More than half of Anglo-Iranian’s profits went directly to the British government, which owned 51 percent of the shares. It paid millions of additional pounds each year in taxes and also supplied the Royal Navy with all the oil it needed at a fraction of the market price. Foreign Secretary Ernest Bevin was not exaggerating when he observed that without oil from Iran, there would be “no hope of our being able to achieve the standard of living at which we are aiming in Great Britain.”

 

Senior officials of both the British government and Anglo-Iranian resolutely rejected his pleas for compromise. They told him that the company would not train more Iranians for supervisory positions, would not open its books to Iranian auditors, and would not offer Iran more money for its oil. “One penny more and the company goes broke,” said the chairman, Sir William Fraser. That astonishing piece of mendacity made clear to McGhee that more talks were fruitless.

 

Truman sent a note to Attlee urging that negotiations “be entered into at once” to prevent a worsening of the “explosive situation in Iran. Attlee replied that allowing Iran to get away with nationalisation would have “the most serious repercussions in the whole free world.”

 

“If bringing prosperity to the country through the work of other nations were of benefit to the people, every nation would have invited foreigners into its home. If subjugation were beneficial, no subjugated country would have tried to liberate itself through bloody wars and heavy losses.” ~ Mohammed Mossadegh

 

“In debates with British colleagues we often tried to show them the mistake they were making in treating the Persians the way they did. The answer was usually: “We English have had hundreds of years of experience on how to treat the Natives. Socialism is all right back home, but out here you have to be the master.””

http://www.economist.com/news/americas/21571426-having-mixed-good-bad-and-ugly-during-six-years-power-rafael-correa-heading

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/5eb377e6-41ab-11e2-a517-00144feabdc0.html#axzz2M1aPeUg2

ASG's counter-hegemony unit: Palestine's Day on Valentine's Day: On Loving Palestine

resistance-episteme:

I really like the “Palestine’s Day” (playing on Valentine’s Day) meme circulating on social media, but it does give some pause for thought: all too many Arabs and western leftists have come to *love* Palestine in the same capitalist-driven, commodified, Hollywood-ized and ultimately meaningless…

Source: resistance-episteme

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A few basic notes and thoughts from “The War in Iraq: The Case in Britain” (2004) by Professor Justin Lewis. Forgive the lack of structure.

As we would probably have suspected, British public opinion was generally against invasion before the invasion and after it, BUT during the invasion, there was a substantial increase in support. 46% supported before, 83% during & 44% after. 

Similarly, 51% opposed the invasion beforehand and 53% after, but a miserly 15% were against the invasion while it was happening.

Naturally we would put this down to media coverage prompting sudden nationalistic fervour, and this is what Professor Lewis investigates.

British broadcasters were likely to question the government line about Iraqi WMDs before and after invasion, but during it…they were eight (EIGHT) times more likely to make references indicating the presence of WMDs than to suggest their absence.

“Much of the criticism of British media coverage of the war has focused on the role of reporters ‘embedded’ with US and British forces..”

“[It] is indisputable that the large network of embedded reporters changed the way the war was reported.”

An Independent Television Commission (ITC) survey found 52% of people thought the war coverage looked like fiction, others said it looked like a “war film”

Then once the WMD myth lost all its juice (because there were none), the “discourse of ‘liberation’” reared its head.

There was the unforgettable pulling down of Saddam Hussein’s statue in Baghdad, “celebrating” the arrival of US troops.

”..[T]he news value of this incident was emphasised by tighter shots in which the frame appeared crowded with celebrating Iraqis.”

"There were no long shots used on any of the main news bulletins [that day]" Brookes et al (2003)

These images were shown a total of 21 times on the four main evening news programmes that night.

"ITV News described it in its main bulletin as ‘an end to decades of Iraqi misery’."

80% of respondents later recalled this incident as the most memorable of the invasion.

Professor Lewis posits that “it seems likely that…the coverage of the war…played a part in persuading a majority to support it.”

"The absence of embeds with Iraqi forces…made it difficult to show the ugly side of war, humanised US-led troops and dehumanised Iraqis."

My conclusion:

While we claim to have free media holding the government to account, we do only up to a certain point.

Clearly when it actually matters our media are not able to stray far from the government line.

The imperialist establishment have defined the parameters of acceptability. Questioning the myth of ‘war-time’ is a no-no.

Having mass demonstrations in London while British soldiers were buccaneering in Iraq would have been irrevocably bad PR for the govt/MoD, so the ‘free’ British media fixed this for them by engineering pro-government public opinion. And they all lived happily ever after. The End.

Except it wasn’t the end. Syria will be the new Iraq. Syria will be the new Libya. The same nuanced stories from Iraq and Libya will be reported from Syria.

The British population will magically support the liberation of the Syrian people while imperialism lays down its roots in the last citadel of resistance in the homeland. And then when British forces leave and the defecation hits the oscillation, we’ll lament our interference.

History exists to teach us not to screw up again. How many more reminders do we need?

ASG's counter-hegemony unit: Liberal totalitarianism

resistance-episteme:

They label non-submissive governments as “authoritarian” “regimes” or “dictatorships” but none of these political systems are totalitarian in the same way that liberalism is, particularly its American variant. None of these systems demand inner [cognitive and emotional] conformity from their…

Source: resistance-episteme

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If Professor Dabashi had waited two years to publish this book, he might have been able to include Mona Eltahawy, Maikel Nabil, Ruwayda Mustafah, Adnan Arour and..er..himself. The ‘Arab Spring’ and the nuanced mainstream coverage shone the limelight on English-speaking, Twitter-savvy, Western educated young ‘liberals’ who were handily able to tell European and American viewers that all they wanted was what we had, but crucially, they were assuring them they were not a threat to them.The thought of Arabs and Muslims engaging politically is very frightening to a lot of white people, so they were careful to stress words like “freedom” and “democracy” and “human rights”, all the while ignoring that the real driving forces behind the tumult in Egypt and Tunisia were rooted in poverty and lack of economic opportunities which were almost entirely attributable to their corrupt Western-backed regimes and imbecilic Western-prescribed capitalism.The ‘Arab Spring’ has been portrayed as a phenomenon whereby people who have been ‘deprived’ of our liberalism are desperately striving to acquire it, partly to bolster waning faith in Western liberal capitalism in the wake of the recession and austerity programmes, but also to deflect attention from growing social problems at home exacerbated by said recession and austerity programmes.

Brown Skin White Masks is supposed to be a twenty-first century adaptation of Frantz Fanon’s 1952 Black Skin White Masks, an analysis of the psychological effects of colonialism on black people who have been conditioned to have feelings of dependency and inadequacy in front of their white colonial masters. By frequently referencing the late Professor Edward Said’s Orientalism and Malcolm X’s ‘House Negro’, Dabashi credibly argues that “comprador intellectuals” such as Azar Nafisi, Salman Rushdie and the implausible Ibn Warraq are significantly responsible for the dehumanisation of Muslims which preceded, coincided with and succeeded the genocides of Palestinians, Lebanese and Iraqis at the hands of American or American-backed militants. They all have extensive and emotive works designed to ratify Westerners’ misinformed and prejudiced suspicions about Islam, and to exalt Western neo-liberal imperialism as a model and justified intervener in the Muslim world.

Again, as I did with Open Veins of Latin America, I won’t go into too much detail about the contents of the book, but I’ll write a bit about what it made me think about, and why I mentioned the names that I did at the top.

Although the days of the old-style conventional colonialism might be in the past, colonialism is by no means a thing of the past. While traditional colonialism was justified in the name of development and civilisation, neo-colonialism is gift-wrapped with shiny phrases like “Feminism”, “Human Rights” and “Peace”.

The first sign to identify a House Muslim is when they use narrow and rightward skewed parameters to define themselves in search of recognition and approval from white people. Muslims are made to feel compelled to pledge their commitment to ‘peace’, which only gives credence to the idea that when we don’t say so, we are not. It automatically demotes us into a position where we are changing to suit our seigneurs and accommodate their prejudices. The biggest aggressors in recent history have been white people, yet many of us have been subconsciously made to believe that we are the inherently hateful miscreants. By pledging an exclusive commitment to “dialogue” to work towards a narrow, nuanced, mendacious definition of “peace”, not only are we validating the notion that only they are civilised, but it ignores the reality that they are appropriating our homelands and characters through violence and malice, while also defining the acceptable form of our resistance.

After the aggravated grand larceny of their land and natural resources (minerals, labour and culture), Imperialism’s next most significant contribution to its colonies is the establishment of compliant bourgeoisie; the ‘enlightened’ and ‘cultured’ anomaly of subservient natives who recognise the sophistication imperialism has brought to their ‘uncultivated’ lands. Using the age old successful tactic of ‘divide and conquer’, colonialism seeks to separate the ‘good’ native from the ‘uncivilised’ native. Good natives seeking more crumbs from the master’s table will do everything in their power to oppose resistance and uprising by the ‘bad’ natives.

Thanks to the imperialist-serving indoctrination brewed in Riyadh, many Muslims are now convinced that other Muslims are a bigger enemy to them than Zionism. The instinctive opposition to the Zionist Entity has become tokenistic; the ire supplanted with an irrational, feather-spitting sectarianism analogous to England and Scotland at the time of Elizabeth I and the two Marys (Bloody and Queen of Scots), and the European Inquisitions, meaning much of the Muslim community is acting out a script that has already been played out five hundred years ago in Western Europe. They’re unaware that they foam like Nazis and Zionists, and the malignancy of Zionism now looms where there is no physical Zionist presence.

Now, feminism. This is the bit that stretched my brain the most, as you would expect. My research naturally brought me to the work of Leila Ahmed, née Khaled (no not that one!) who has plenty to say about the deprivation of rights for women under the various eras of “Islam”, as I suspect, would I, if I were to sit down and write a book about it. Nevertheless, Professor Ahmed still makes the impossible-to-overstate point about European colonisers not being the emancipators of Muslim women*. The colonialists squawk about the veil in Muslim countries while at the same time upholding or introducing policies that make women tangibly worse off in both the colonies and in their own home countries. When Muslim women or women from Muslim countries are encouraged to speak out against the “barbarity” of Islam and Muslim men against them to Western non-Muslims, the only intention of having them air these views out is to condition Europeans and Americans into emotionally supporting a colonial invasion, which they are assured will liberate the ever-suppressed women. The actual definition of imperialist liberation of Muslim women is “to bomb them into removing their veils. Side-effects of invasion may cause hundreds of thousands of women to be orphaned, widowed, raped and murdered”. But by then the colonial feminists will have long cashed their cheques for the TV appearances and the Guardian columns, and they’ll have moved on to cheerleading the next crusade.

Muslims who ululate about atrocities in Syria but negligently omit the fundamental detail about the killings ought to wake up to the fact that their public acts of sorrow are nothing but cylinders in the engine of colonialism. Blaming “violence” implies it’s a passive phenomenon that just naturally exists and kills people like a hurricane or a virus. Unassigned “violence” perpetuates the orientalist narrative about Syria; that they have a sectarian “butcher” as leader, ordering up torture and infanticide like people order coffee. By not pointing out that the death and suffering in Syria is at the hands of imperialist-supported terrorists, Muslims are guilty of inviting colonial invaders into the last bastion of Arabism and opposition to Zionist colonisation in the Homeland.

Why? To show we are moderate. That we are tolerant of Western values. That we are capable of criticising “Muslim regimes”. To feel accepted by the white man and be anointed one of his lackeys. By insisting on accepting the imperialist narratives as fact in the name of moderateness or intellectualism, Muslims are furthering the goals of imperialism - while it’s obvious to see that those goals are only material and monetary, the social and cultural abrogation of Islam and Arabism is essential.

Of all the great and many ills afflicting Muslim society globally today, crying to the white man about each other is up there at the very top. Their culture or their idea of civilisation is not superior to ours. They have no intention of alleviating our problems, but they still manage to fool Muslims with the crocodile tears and the guilt pangs and the myths of freedom and prosperity. Dabashi writes about Said’s characterisation of orientalism being “intellectual colonialism”, the development of a narrative of the ‘East’ being a socially and culturally inferior place that needs Western intervention, it cries for Western intervention. The delusive parameters shaped by imperialist academics and media of “moderate”, “values”, “tolerant”, “liberal”, “freedom” and so on have choked our thinking and interactions. We have to at least accept this if we want to be taken seriously. We can’t argue with this because then we won’t even be allowed in the conversation. How’s that freedom of speech and expression working out for you then?

Emancipation doesn’t reside in the moral sinews of our colonisers, and if it does it won’t be shaken from its slumber with obsequiousness and hollow “interfaith dialogue” many of us have become preoccupied with. Non-violence and “dialogue” is importuned on the besieged by disingenuous, allegedly ‘detached’ liberals as the sole acceptable means of protest against occupation, with only silence or lip service afforded to the savage oppressors.

Muslims that are Western liberal paradigm cheerleaders, colonial feminists or sectarian bigots are all House Muslims. Their careers, egos and place as doorstoppers for imperialists are more important to them than their own communities or their own homelands. They earn their acceptance by enabling a backward image of Islam and Muslims, sitting in the corners of their puppeteers’ houses with their noses and chests in the air, oblivious to the strings tied to their tongues and fingertips. Their mainstream relevance and acceptability rely on their proclivity to bash Muslims and justify Western aggression and invasion. They have reduced us to rabid neanderthals defined by sectarianism and misogyny. They are not our role models, representatives, spokespeople or community bricklayers. The digital, post-‘Arab Spring’ House Muslim might be harder to spot, because they’re younger, they dress like us and some of them even look devoutly religious, but they’re still only compradors, quislings and sellouts. Traitors.



* http://mdbrady.wordpress.com/2012/03/08/women-and-gender-in-islam-by-leila-ahmed/