Mohamed Jean Veneuse
On the Delusion of (non)violence & Difference between Progressive-Liberalism & Radicalism: Between Trump, BLM, DAPL-INM, & Tahrir (Draft/To Be revised in 2019)
Introduction:There are only middles, no beginnings and ends, when the end is the beginning is the end again
Imminent scholars[i] and political philosophers, as Jean Baudrillard[ii] warned decades ago of our ‘desensitization’, ‘moral relativism’ and so-called ‘apolitical nihilism’ in a ‘post-alternative-fact’[iii] world, where images become nothing but simulacric copies of copies, along the way towards our ‘civilizational collapse’. When our species has accumulated modern mechanized tools of mass-annihilation, in the name of protection and security, capable of creating Hiroshimas and Nagasakis in a moment’s notice, let alone our sado-masochistic ability to document endless, numbing, archives of (in)escapable atrocities of vitriolic and normalized violence(s) in the hierarchized and selective (de)humanization of lives and in the name of schizophrenic causes. One would’ve thought that we would rush, be moved, collectively as a species, reaching for what’s left of our abandoned humanity, to save it. But no, that’s not the vision that was received in our derelict reneging of our commitments to this earth’s soil and our responsibilities to nonhuman life upon which our existence relies. One would’ve imagined that we would respond differently to the prospect of imminent doom, in fearing our demise. Instead, we gobbled up fear like an ‘insatiable chocolate éclair, repackaging it all this time, relishing it as addictive video games, as TV shows, books and movies, while the entire world wholeheartedly embraced the apocalypse, sprinting towards it with gleeful abandon, as this planet crumbled all around us. We simultaneously struggle with epidemics of obesity and starvation’, with millions of people going to bed with empty stomachs, as the rest of us know that our bodies are full of toxic agro-chemicals. ‘Butterflies are disappearing, our glaciers are melting, algae is blooming, coal mine Canaries are dropping dead, sea lions and creatures are washing up on shores, and yet we won’t take a hint’, as if techno-scientific civilizational progress will ameliorate and save us, as opposed to us listening to the amphibian Armageddon emitting last croaks of our imminent extinction and doom (Kotler, 2015; Esteva, 2014). And ‘despite that with every moment, there is the possibility of a better future, we won’t believe in it, because we won’t do what is necessary to recreate’ a new reality, so we dwell on this oh so terrible future as we resign ourselves to it and do so for one reason: ‘That the future doesn’t ask anything of us today’ (Kotler 2015; Esteva, 2014). Yes, ‘we see the iceberg and were warned of the titanic, but all hands aboard we steered for it anyway, full steam ahead’ (Kotler, 2015; Esteva, 2014). Why? Because we want to sink and that was never God’s fault in any way but rather ours...
This piece fundamentally argues that ‘Ideologies’ and ‘pure politics’ relating to romanticized notions of ‘community’, ‘self’, ‘resistance’ and so-called ‘revolutions’, do not exist. That all there is are consistent ethical-political principles and practices binding us in relation to each other as a species and non-human life. Indeed, that identity politics, albeit useful, are limited, given the destructive Eurocentric legacy of reform-based progressive-liberalism that invented them and therefore the need for distinguishing between the former and radicalism from a social movement, anti-racist feminist, and decolonial perspective. Given, that without the development of a coherent narrative and analyses between social movements as Black Lives Matter (BLM), those ‘indigenous’ as the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) and Idle No More (INM), and lessons to be gained from the mass mobilizations of Tahrir, situated within an overarching trope of a ‘War on Terror’, there is no liberation to speak of, despite that all these “fires are connected” (Alfred, 2005; 2014). Mobilizing ‘black’, ‘brown’, ‘red’ folks and allies, across and beyond these white racial/ethnic constructed and identitarian-influenced ‘spectrums’ and ‘creeds’ is defeatist, without the situating of our entwined and fraught histories of struggles, responsibilities, ‘solidarities’, and accountabilities to each other. Mass mobilizations do not constitute a ‘movement’, as Tahrir and an Orientalized ‘Arab Spring/Islamist Winter’ have proven, in the absence of recognizing too, what revolutionaries as Frantz Fanon and Malcolm X realized, that there are: Black, Brown, and Red skinned peoples with ‘White Masks’, and hence the difference between the ‘house’ and ‘field’ Negro, and the indignant desire of ‘people of color’ to assimilate into a ‘White multicultural sphere’ as opposed to our collective construction of a ‘pluriverse’ world, premised upon ‘acceptance’ as opposed to, at best, our mere ‘tolerance’. That is, a ‘pluriverse’ world that is no longer premised upon ‘Cultures of Whiteness’, in principles, values, and identity politics, in the sterilization of our spiritualties and traditions, never mind the reinforcement of hetero-patriarchal, enclosed, and xenophobic understandings of ‘nation’ in our yearning, as a species, for communitarian tribal belongings. Despite that we have internalized Machiavellian and Manichean, divide and conquer, misconceptions and prejudices, amongst ourselves, and upon which injustice, tyranny, oppression, and ‘White Orders’ thrive.
This piece begins by addressing what fascism ‘is’, given the misinformed and archaic misunderstanding that fascism is merely ‘the open dictatorship of the bourgeoisie under capitalist-imperialism’. Without recognizing fascism’s ingraining and authoritarian internalization within each and everyone of us, through neocolonial and neoimperial white supremacist architectures, prisms, and prisons built upon ‘capitalist-nation-State’ models, that all our societies are premised upon, as a means of ‘civilizationally’, socio-politically, economically, culturally, and spiritually organizing and governing our worlds and lives according to white Eurocentric notions of ‘progress’ and towards the taming of our ‘savagery’ and ‘barbarism’ as ‘people of color’[iv]. Indeed, there’s a micro-fascist, a self-righteous, privileged, authoritarian, and individualist, ego, a ‘puritan’ inside each of us, a mini-Donald J. Trump and Hosni Mubarak, that we’ve been weaned on, from birth to death, and hence there’s a mass psychology to fascism and the means by which it operates (Reich, 1933). ‘Our’ struggle(s) therefore must essentially include ourselves, and isn’t just external to us, in combatting our individual and collective micro-fascisms visa vie the privileges we enjoy in relation to each other through ever-changing conjunctive matrices of: Class, Race/Ethnicity, Gender, Sexuality, Ability, Age, etc. Indeed, privileges we each enjoy and that therefore demand our individual and collective battling everyday and moment of what yet remains of our finite and feeble existence till our perishing; we’ll never lose the micro-fascisms and demons of our egos, but can only acquire the knowledge necessary in learning how to live above them. After all, if “colonialism is a structure and not an event” (Wolfe, 2006) then decolonizing our romanticized, ‘pure’ and ‘authentic’ sense of identities, histories, and ourselves, respectively must follow suite, towards our individual and collective reindigenizing, without our harkening to whitewashed notions of our ‘return to innocence’. Yet the fact that we aren’t pure and will never be, must also mean that we ought collectively wield our ability to confront and accommodate complicated polymorphous and hybrid, ethnic/racial and spiritual, subjectivities as: ‘Black-Cherokees’, or, even, ‘Afro-Métis’ and ‘Indigenous-Muslims’, if not across each of these fused, mixed, and easily interchangeable identitarian categories and endless others more. As opposed to our reification of ‘blood quantum politics’, strictly defined by and based on who is ‘authoritative’, ‘righteous’, ‘pious’, ‘legitimately true’, and ‘real’ through ‘credible’ strands of DNA, phonotypical variations, and blood-measurements as strict ancestral qualifiers of ‘black’, ‘brown’, ‘indigenous’, or ‘Muslim’ belonging etc. Rather, it’s the ethical-political principles upon which any and all identities, connections, and our knowledge of land is premised that ought supersede in primacy and act as a foundation that informs all our relations. This necessarily implies that, at a particular juncture, indigeneity can and will no longer remain as an ethnic/racial identity category and construct, invented and incepted by the mythical ‘White-Self-Made-Man’, but rather one that requires transcendence, such that we may return to and focus on, at least, what in Islam is regarded as our species’ innate or primordial fitra, towards fulfilling ethical and political acts of compassion, intelligence, and ihsan. Or, in other words, striving towards that which communally, ethically/politically, and responsibly connects us to each other and Creation, or non-human life, perhaps that we may discover our purpose, and if so, a Creator, if at all, that we supposedly ‘murdered’ in our becoming egomaniacal beasts and demagogues. Indeed, “now”, that the “holiest and mightiest of all that the world has yet owned, has [been] bled to death under our knives: [For who else] will wipe this blood off of us? What water is there for us to clean ourselves” (Nietzsche, 1884)?
From here, this piece proceeds to discuss the lack of coherency and consistency in the words and actions of fetishized and celebrated movement figures, idols taken for false savior-Messiahs, and scholarships in this contemporary historical moment we’re witnessing and living, amidst the continued cooptation and celebritization of our movements. I discuss particular dimensions of movements as BLM, DAPL/INM, Tahrir, anarchist, feminist, and queer movements, that are consistently faltering in their idealized, sentimentalized, and exclusionary practice of essentialist identity politics, that the ‘White heterosexual Man’, incepted and conjured, despite what has already been historically established and theoretically and practically proven by social movement struggles in ‘the East’ and ‘the West’ and which we ought already be applying as opposed to ‘reinventing the wheel’. Otherwise, what we all risk is the continued reinforcement of neocolonialism and neoimperialism and our pandering to an ‘Oppression Olympics’ of who is more oppressed than who, while engaging in, for instance, facile arguments as ‘Islamophobia will never be the new Blackness’ that essentialize both ‘black’ and ‘Muslim’ experiences, as if the former do not diverge and share intersections at particular crossings. As opposed to building bridges and transnationally demolishing walls across our dynamically, complicated, intersecting and diverging roots, and what may yet be recoverable of them, in spite of what remains unacknowledged and has been erased and disappeared. I discuss, drawing on inspirational movements as the Zapatistas, what could constitute a Biodiverse Strategy of Resistance, concluding with a conversation on the delusion of ‘nonviolence’. Given, not only what Tahrir and our pasts have proven, but rather what radical social movement theories and activists have long argued regarding how often ‘nonviolence’ and its essentialization serves to ‘protect the capitalist-State’ and pacify our liberation. As this Earth, with its own timetable and schedule, continues to exponentially respond to our puritan, utilitarian, and materialist raping and pillaging, while the titanic sinks, with all of us aboard, in these politically dogmatic and polarized times.
Middle: From franchise-colonial Egypt to settler-colonial Turtle Island: Ideologies and Political Purity are an illusion:
Infinite possibilities, but One Truth: Resisting is like Breathing
I see a devout Martin Luther King searching for racial and social justice and yet being a Zionist, ignorantly-claiming that the settler-colonial[v] and terrorist parasitic state Israel is the ‘outpost of democracy‘[vi] in the Middle-East, despite being no different than the Euro-America he yearned to ‘reform’ and assimilate into. Ideologies are an illusion.
I see a glorified ‘nonviolent’ and ‘glorified’ M. K. Gandhi combatting British-white supremacist colonial rule, that resulted in the 1947 partitioning of India and Pakistan (and later Bangladesh), while being a rapist, a misogynist, a sexist, a racist, and a firm believer in and adherent to Hindu caste systems. Political purity is a delusion and all there is are coherent and consistent ethical-political principles and stances.
I see aspiring Liberal and Leftist scholars and activists circulating benign articles as Autocracy Rules for Survival (2017), Normalizing Trump and Living Under Autocracy (2017), The Rise of American authoritarianism (2017), without recognizing that there is no such thing as Autocracy, when ‘autocracy’ implies ‘absolute power’, nonexistent even amongst prophets, pharaohs, jurist-priests, and self-crowned magicians and sorcerer-kings. Especially when decolonial, anti-racist, ablest, feminist, queer, indigenous and radical black scholarships and organizers[vii] have long argued and followed the Foucauldian dictum of: Wherever there’s power, there’s resistance. Power seduces and passes through the hands of masters no less than those oppressed and therefore no one is ever completely an oppressor and no one is completely oppressed either. Power isn’t monolithic, when there’s ‘Dead Power’ and ‘Live Power’[viii], and when power isn’t bottom up, or top-down, but rather seeps within us, and everywhere in our one-to-one relations with each other and non-human life, on a capillary and molecular level, before it becomes vertically organized as a structured set of dynamic hierarchies at the micro-level of the family, the meso-level of authoritarian and individualist institutions, and, finally, the macro-strata of vanguardist party-politics and capitalist-nation-States, regionally and transnationally, all reinforcing one another.
We seek equity (different from mere equality) and egalitarianism yet perceive that all there is, is ‘representative democracy’ as opposed to other fluid, non-authoritarian, horizontalist forms through mutual consultation/or ‘shura’, communal welfare/ or ‘maslaha’, and consensus/or ‘ijma3’ as configurations of ‘direct-democratic’ rule. For instance, as set by example by movements as the Zapatistas and during the 18 days of a leaderless uprising in Egypt’s Tahrir square and an Orientalized Arab Spring/Islamist Winter, where we witnessed Egyptians asserting polemical grand slogans as ‘Bread, Freedom and Social Justice’ and ‘down with the regicide’, yet, in the case of the latter, Egypt, without strategic decolonial visions that make way for long-term socio-political and economic and spiritual-based alternatives, based on our own local, indigenous, concepts and practices, to achieve it. This way not recognizing that the ‘regicide’ actively lies dormant within each and every one of our souls and acts. This is despite the fact that Egyptians spontaneously and anarchistically organized themselves and attempted to relatively maintain power in its horizontal form, even if but for a moment in time, whether through: al-lijan al-sha’biyah (or ‘popular committees’), neighborhood councils, security checks points (given, over 99 police stations were burnt to the ground), sharing necessary food and shelter amongst each other, while sleeping and living on what are and should have always been a people’s public streets and squares, with neighborhoods arranging their district ‘cop-watches’ and local assemblies. Indeed, for the first time and en masse taking control of their own affairs, decision making, and lives. Before a majority of Egyptians called on their so-called ‘military industrial complex’ of a nationalistic people’s treacherous army (or SCAF), to intervene, reasserting their desire for internalized ‘savoir-messiah’ and socio-cultural and religious inferiority complexes, neocolonial and neoimperial produced subjects that we are. Without romanticizing, this occurred despite challenges as ‘sexual harassment’ and violently battling, at the time, counter-revolutionary Mubarakist forces, given that this wasn’t a Twitter-and-Facebook-revolt as Western and non-Western Orientalists and Occidentalists presumed and theorized. For an instant, Egyptians relatively glimpsed what a ‘utopian horizon’ could look like, amidst a carnavilistic atmosphere, given our ever distinct and evolving positionalities, that nonetheless therefore demand: Constant self-reflexivity, a distinction between morals and ethics[ix], as well as the development of an ethics of communal care, an ethics of conflict resolution[x] or disagreements/or usul al-ikhtilaf[xi] in mitigating our ethical-political differences and an ethics of hospitality/ or usul al-dhiyafa[xii] in facilitating our re-knowing of one another as a disparate and fragmented nation and populous. Indeed, there was minimal engagement and practice of decolonial understandings of desire, rage, and love[xiii], as well as a ‘politics of friendship’[xiv], if at all, in enabling our healing and the renegotiating of socio-historical misconceptions existing between us. There hardly was a cultivated and instilled ethics of humility and politics of forgiveness, where we would bear infinite responsibilities and a compassionate sense of accountability towards each other (as opposed to our sole emphasis on ‘rights’), if not too decolonized forms of education to lead us through to liberation, amidst the decimation of our critical thought and consciousness or, what, in Arabic, is referred to as Thaqafa. Given, that is, we’re living a ‘global crises of identity’ premised on binaries and a destructive legacy of (neo)liberalism that has distanced us as opposed to its avowed promise of bringing us together, and that has hindered our ability to imagine and make possible the impossible, in this ravishing war that ought entail endless, internal, individual and communal battles against our (super)egos. Ones that are composed of dynamic and conjoined matrices of racial, sexual, gender, ablest, classist (etc) privileges festering within us, when we are indeed beings ever becoming, endlessly evolving and aren’t comprised of single-issue causes, in light of the fact that as ‘individuals’ we represent networks of relations and hence aren’t ‘individuals’ per se. But the fault dear Egyptians and all Others, isn’t in our crossing stars, but rather in ourselves, when we didn’t understand that we were precisely an elemental and integral constituent part of the problem. We had a dream, yet failed, why? It’s because we had the wrong dream. Given what anti-racist, feminist, queer, and social movement theories and histories have proven, time and time over, of how we ought organize ourselves according to a ‘politics of affinity’, as opposed to a ‘logic of hegemony’ that precludes the necessity of tirelessly demanding Statist and capitalist reforms, and therefore breaking out of this loop through our engagement with non-hegemonic, non-hierarchical, forms of organizing; and hence doing away with the illusion that we’re capable of saving everyone at once. Which further includes and means, “abandoning the fantasy that fixed, stable identities are possible and desirable, that one identity is better than another, that superior identities deserve more of the good and less of the bad that a social order has to offer, and that the State form should act as the arbiter of who gets what” (Day, 2005). This way, mass-protests and chants of this is what ‘democracy looks like’ as insignias of movements are insufficient as military helicopters, police convoys, and buses filled with officers in blue, dressed in riot gear, engage us, in the absence of decolonial non-authoritarian and non-capitalist (distinct from the anti-authoritarian and anti-capitalist polemics) indigenous and local alternatives, and the recognition that there’s a mini-Donald J. Trump and mini-Hosni Mubarak, we’ve been socialized with since our birth to death; that there’s a micro-fascist, a ‘privileged’ and self-righteous puritanical you ‘in you’, in all of us, given how the mass psychology of fascism operates (Reich, 1933). This is not to claim that all ‘protests are merely just symbolic’ public displays of revolt, as Harsha Walia, states[xv], but rather it’s to claim that “there is nothing” inherent and assured with mass protests “either way”, particularly in the absence of the creation of alternatives and the willingness of a people to take up their own mantle of responsibilities (2017). In this sense, there are no guarantees, given that “protests can indeed register dissent of all forms – Marches, Blockades, Civil Disobedience, Creative and Artistic resistance, Teach-ins, Property Destruction, Kitchen Table Gatherings, Walkouts etc. – but all the former can also be symbolic rituals or can profoundly transform social conditions” (Walia, 2017). Otherwise, and besides which we ought expect little in the absence of all the above, never-mind our arrogant ambivalence to histories and social movement theories and experiences that antecede and precede the false binaries and choices we perceive exist, when all we learn from oppression is how to repeat it, as opposed to transcending it by fundamentally understanding what revolutionary, non-ideological, theorists Gilles Deleuze & Felix Guattari stated of the difference between Totalitarianism and Fascism. Deleuze & Guattari, long argued:
“The former [Totalitarianism] imposing order and oppression from above through force (maybe through legislative power, police action, or military regimes), the latter [Fascism] produces repression and order on the ‘molecular’ levels of family, neighborhoods, schools, etc” (1980, 214-215).
Indeed, Deleuze & Guattari, remind us that it’s easy to protest against the State and corporations, but it’s more difficult to recognize that we tend to reaffirm the same repressive powers of capitalism and the State in our own intimate relationships, communities, in our languages, in our habits, our casual interactions and the infinitesimal negotiations of power that accompany them in our reenacted micro-politics everyday.
“Unlike Totalitarianism, which oppresses from without and from above, fascism is a cancer that permeates down in our daily and mundane lives. Totalitarian forces act from without, but fascism infects the veins and crevices of the daily lives of the people, thereby laying the foundation for death-oriented powers to find a joyful welcome among the masses. Fascism, in shaping the micro-forces and micro-machines, which produce desire (yes, desire is socially produced), gives rise to desires, which desire nothing else but their own repression. I find in this a great reminder that the political (and therefore also acts of political resistance) are not to be found merely in large aggregate bodies (courts, executive branches, voting booths, etc), but in our local communities and daily relationships – with our neighborhoods, our coworkers, our families, etc. What makes fascism dangerous is its molecular or micropolitical power, for it is a mass movement: a cancerous body rather than a totalitarian organism. American film has often depicted these molecular focal points; band, gang, sect, family, town, neighborhood, vehicle fascisms spare no one…Leftist organizations will not be the last to secrete micro-fascisms. It's too easy to be antifascist on the molar level, and not even see the fascist inside you, the fascist you yourself sustain and nourish and cherish with molecules both personal and collective” (1980: 214-215).
Altogether implying as I’ve written ample times before[xvi] that there’s a need that we differentiate and distinguish between the way ‘revolutions’ are documented (and written about historically) and people’s revolutionary becomings. These are two different things, because they relate to two different sets of people in the process of casting off our shame and responding to that which is intolerable, and those who ‘jump on board the revolutionary train’ after and betray an insurrection’s principles and ideals (Deleuze & Guattari, 1990). ’Revolutions’ are a never-ending process, and ought not merely represent ‘events’, given they should be premised on dealing with practical questions – how are we going to address waste, recycling, garbage, enact mechanisms of healing in light of traumas, what are we going to do with a nuclear plant, the army, indeed how are we going to reconceive our relationship to land through decolonization and reindigenization and beyond our individualist sense of ‘self’ and our exploitative relationships with each other. Indeed, ‘revolutions’ and ‘decolonization’, entail our individual and collective combatting of our patriarchal, heteronormalized, racial/ethnic, gender, sexual, ablest (etc.) privileges and hence our transformation and evolution, physically, emotionally, mentally, individually, collectively, and at the core of our very being, consciousness, and our practices relating to (non)human life. Given the recognition that each of us has been weaned on and socialized with the “Holy State” acting as our symbolic, authoritarian, disciplinarian, Father, and “Capital” as our representative Mother as if the Oedipal duality were active as “religious signifiers to which” we “are subordinated to” (Newman, 2001: 99). The ‘State’ and ‘Capitalism’ percolate into our every relation, given we are not governed and managed by “’institutions’ apart from ourselves, or by a “State” set over and against a “civil society, but rather we all govern each other” and reproduce “a complex web of capillary relations of power” (Newman, 2001: 99). Indeed, the fact is there is an inseparable fusion between ‘Capitalism’ and ‘The State’, as European ways of managing and governing populations, since an ongoing modern colonization, that took the form of ‘capitalist-nation-States’, and that are impossible to disentangle from each other. The inseparability of capitalism and politics, in an age of deep neoliberal entrenchment, implies that capitalist-States, together, project and impose authoritarian and individualistic realities on our worlds and psyche, hence impacting our patterns of behavior, actions, gestures, thoughts, meanings of the words we use, feelings, and affection. They influence our assemblies of perception, memorization, and our egos such that we transform everything into an instrument of commoditized utility and not just land, labor, but rather ourselves, as well as emotions as love and friendship(s). Capitalism’s task is to create desire for love and friendships merely to transform them into Valentine’s Day or Heineken sponsored ‘pride parade’ celebrations, that (further) racialize, commoditize, sexualize, and gender our bodies, already brought and sold on the market and inscribed on identical Hallmark Cards, unique and beautiful snowflakes that we supposedly are. As for the macro-authoritative practices wrought through the ‘State’, they’re complicit in the production of each of us as self-regulating authoritarians and disciplinarians. Macro-authoritative practices, as Deleuze and Guattari write, create “‘little command centers’ proliferat[ing] everywhere”, making of all of us, “coaches, teachers and cops, all little Mussolinis”, transforming us collectively into micro-fascists in possession of micro-fascisms during our social interactions with each other, let alone in relation to non-human life (1980: 205). We become micro-fascists who operate according to dynamic malleable matrices and assemblages[xvii] of hierarchies built upon Eurocentric conceptualizations of ethnicity/race[xviii], gender, sexuality, ability, class etc, imposed upon us and reifying capitalist-State logics we’ve internalized. These hierarchies as noted earlier relate to particular sets of privileges and representations every individual enjoys and has a relation to. The consequence of this asymmetrical play of privileges is the transformation of individuals into “micro-Oedipuses, micro-formations of power, micro-fascisms” (Deleuze & Guattari, 1980: 205). Indeed, we’re transformed into micro-Oedipuses, or the modern State and capitalism’s handymen, where in each individual’s interaction with others, we possesses the ability and power to affect others and be affected by the asymmetrical forces and privileges of others (Deleuze, 2006: 60). Especially, when the former mode of representative democratic governance by the ballot box, in a world where ‘lobbying groups’, ‘special interests’, and Integrated Worldwide Capitalism exist, assumes that someone and a ‘platform’ can supposedly, truly, politically and economically represent someone else as opposed to a mere coalescing of the lowest common dominator for an election and in favor of a particular party and constituency. Moreover, the fact is these ‘White Order’ capitalist-State models and arrangements rise from neocolonial and neoimperial encounters and the creed of original sin that assumes that human beings are inherently vile, lustful, depraved, wicked, cruel, and essentially defective, and hence that we require and are in dire need of the authoritarian rule of the state and the church, or any institutionalized religion, to discipline, control and order our lives (Critchley, 2012: 108-109).
Learn then and educate yourselves regarding the terminologies that roll so flakily off your tongues, that you clearly don’t know the meaning of, and engage in combatting, unsettling, and dismantling the ever-evolving (super) egoistic micro-fascist in you, in the hope of partaking in endless molecular revolutions against your micro-fascisms alongside others. There is no ‘good’ and ‘bad’ capitalist culture, given there is just one market and culture and it is ‘Integrated World-Wide Capitalist’ where neoliberal globalization represents but an unrestrained manifestation of, in the erasure of the revolving door between politics and economics; we are all a part of Trump’s ‘swamp’. Fascism didn’t begin with Trump, but rather the self-deceiving myth that we live in a ‘secular society’, despite what Carl Schmitt asserts in Political Theology, and Simon Critchley aptly highlights in The Faith of the Faithless (2012): “All significant concepts in the modern theory of the state are secularized religious concepts” (1985: 36; 2012: 103-104). This providential thought is blatantly evident, Critchley states: “in the deism of” the “Founding Fathers, at the core of American democracy – a peculiar confection of Roman republicanism and puritanical providentialism – that produces a civil religion” that “functions as powerful sustaining myth” (2012: 104). A lie that since Euro-America’s dawn and so-called (neo)liberal-state-multiculturalism that failed, buttresses the racist idea and white Christened kleptocratic doctrines of Discovery and Manifest Destiny, upon which settler-colonial and imperial societies as the United States of America and Canada (together known as ‘Turtle Island’) are found, as a multitude of radical indigenous and non-indigenous scholars[xix] have argued. First, in Euro-America’s forcible Christianizing of indigenous peoples, their enslavement[xx], and the genocide of at least a 100 million of them across the Americas, regarded as ‘godless heathens’. And following them a hardly insignificant Black Muslim populous and Blacks of other African spiritualties and faiths, that were shackled by an estimated amount of 12.5 million, if not more, in the basement of servant ships, across Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, during the Middle-Passage and Transatlantic slavery, whose roots lies in an all but forgotten Iberian Muslim Peninsula, in what is altogether, a history marked with an ‘X’. All towards facilitating and making further insurmountable the former peoples’ spiritual decolonization and ‘reindigenization’ towards reconciling lost and yet romanticized impressions and notions that these groups possess of their ‘former’ indigenous selves and a white Christianity they must now forcibly embrace, as red indigenous, black, and brown folks. In this sense, as anthropologist Talal Asad writes, the sacred secular is “neither continuous with the religious that supposedly preceded it (that is, it is not the latest phase of a sacred origin) nor a simple break from it (that is, it is not the opposite, an essence that excludes the sacred) …[the sacred] secular is neither singular in origin nor stable in its historical identity, although it works through a series of particular oppositions” (2003: 24).
No wait, perhaps ‘now’ that we’ve Christianized them, we may claim first, second and third amendments of individualistic, Protestant, conceptualizations of property and well-regulated militia gun rights in bearing arms, ‘freedom of religion’ articles and charters. This is your exceptional America’s horrifying allure and quasi-fictional contemporary flavor with its half-suspect settler-colonial population and land of ambivalent immigrants, fueling and transnationally disseminating a diseased, self-loathing and self-mythologizing ‘civilizational’ experience with a genocidal past, a homicidal present and a suicidal future. Indeed, that’s only a symptom of its Bonnie and Clyde and a glorified psychotic ‘American Sniper’ culture, that takes racist pride in its soldiers with 225 confirmed kills produced by ‘apolitical’, ‘progressive’, and ‘diverse’ Clint Eastwood Hollywood types, exemplifying nothing short of recurring echoes of its liberal-national insanity. Perhaps someday we’ll have sufficiently indoctrinated these indigenous and black pagans and disbelievers in our ‘gun-loving obsessions’ and ‘cultures of whiteness’, our white ways, values, and practices, having erased their memories to pave the way towards having a black-skinned, white masked, ethnic-elite nationalist President, as Frantz Fanon once said, an Uncle Tom/House Negro who echoes civil-rights anthems of ‘We Shall Overcome’. Indeed, a ‘Wall-Street-and-Indiscriminate-Predator–Drone-Ruler’, who swears on MLK’s Bible, yet authorizes ‘extra-judicial, kill-lists, with no geographic restrictions, based on an accumulated celebrity status’. Yes, a ‘House-Negro’ whose cabinet is handpicked by Citi-group and Goldman-Sachs executive thieves who gave him $42 million in his 2008 presidential run. A white-black president ‘that is fine, as long as he’s not too black’, who understands his place and white role within Empire, to the extent that he’s not going to ‘run North of the Mason Dickson at the first sign of daylight’ (Rhimes, 2015). One who’ll make everyone forget he’s black and hope that nobody notices ‘that this ain’t no tan, son’ (Rhimes, 2015). Perhaps, he’ll even be a two-time president, taught how to adequately continue a white belligerent legacy of built on war profiteering, corporate predation, increased wealth inequality, and assaults on civil liberties. Perhaps he’ll continue a world suffocated by entertaining brands and money-making activities that have little or nothing to do with truth, integrity or the long-term survival of the planet, in a ‘full-scale plutocratic and oligarchic gangsterization of the world’, while couching his comments in the language of ‘American progress’ and the vitality of the ‘American dream’ (West, 2017). Perhaps he’ll deport over 2.5 million people, in Gestapo-like night raids, while making friendly gestures against Muslims then quietly bombing them, in a milestone rate of at least 26,171 bombs in 2016 alone (West, 2017). Meaning every day last year, blasting combatants and civilians overseas with 72 bombs, that’s three bombs every hour, 24 hours a day, one ever 20 minutes. US special operators, on his watch, having increased to 70% of the world’s nations, in a 138 countries – a staggering jump of 130%, in what is a herculean achievement since the heydays of the Bush administration, while using Espionage Acts against whistleblowers and aggressively prosecuting journalists, despite vowing a campaign of ‘transparent government accountability’. Then there’s his South Asian pivot and tilt to TPP and secret trade deals, the suppression of public information, as long as it’s done with a friendly smile, while transgressing Article 3 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, circumventing habeas corpus, as millions of people are murdered, maimed, displaced, and terrorized under the warmongering presidency of a black skinned, white man, who – in an ill-considered, precipitous act back in 2009 – was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his ‘extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples’. This is your fawned, hopeless, changeless, spineless, regressive, despicable warmongering, corporatist charlatan, peddler-in-chief, lover of cult-personality contests, with a winning smirk and a good team of speechwriters, who anesthetized you – Euro-America. As if the release of political prisoners as Chelsea Manning and Oscar Lopez Rivera, is sufficient to his becoming a so-called ‘progressive’ in a final attempt to solidify his now withering legacy, having issued orders of suffering and death from a White-House, that his wife, herself, acknowledges was built by slaves, while equally neglecting and eliding her and her own husband’s agency and choice in having run and occupied the highest seat of worldly power in an oval, at the helm of a sinking ship. All this as a den of: hysteric and orgiastic, corporate media-centric pollsters, operatives, promoters, political scientists, legacy presses, new media pundits, and state reporters lie in shock in the wake of a white-woman and neocolonial feminist in a pant suit’s electoral demise, as ‘fourth estate journalists’ continue their weaponized manufacturing of consent and indelibly reminisce on the immortalized image of a five-year old boy patting Obama’s hair, to see if it feels like his. The shear conceit and ignorant hypocrisy as the wealthy now frequent twice and thrice a month their $3-million dollar doomsday bunkers.
No, no, it wasn’t Donald Trump that initiated the list of Muslim countries he wants to ban, under the ‘Visa Waiver Program Improvement and Terrorist Travel Prevention Act as part of an omnibus-spending bill’[xxi] (Harvard, 2017). Obama did so, from stolen Indigenous land, while those of his ilk like Primer Minister Justin Trudeau panders, taking photo-ops with refugees and tweets regarding a people, he and the former are responsible in displacing in their endless proxy and hybrid, not so ‘civil’, wars, with their cynical, flamboyant, exploitation of hope and fear. But don’t worry Starbucks pledged to hire 10,000 refugees, while we see criminal threats and attacks against mosques, Muslim harassment in schools, the violent targeting of Muslim-Americans and Canadians, Sikhs, Indigenous and people of African-American, Hispanic, Arab and South-Asian descent, indeed anyone suspected and cast in ‘Islam’s symbolic spiritual and cultural shadow’, in light of its ongoing quintessential historical representation as ‘an Other’. Hundreds of documented arsons at mosques, assaults, as white-men, like David Gallecher, kick a pregnant Muslim women in the stomach causing her to lose her unborn twins’, while we are being shot and assassinated, execution-style, in our living rooms and outside our mosques. As just occurred ‘today’ at a Quebec Mosque, by an Alexandre Bissonnette, a 27 year old white man, who killed 6 and injured 8, and whose neighbors referred to as a ‘decent child’, without a single judicial charge of ‘terror’ or consideration of his act as a ‘hate crime’ (as ample before him whether in the Chapel Hill or West-Burrow Baptist Church Massacres etc). No, it’s simply ‘mass murder’. All this, as the entire world’s media gravitates to naming a Moroccan-Arab as a co-conspirator and second suspect of the Quebec shooting. Yet no conversations about the online radicalization of white men, or Trump’s removal of neo-Nazi, white supremacist, groups off ‘terror watch lists’[xxii], despite the litany of murders committed by white extremists since the Oklahoma City Bombings[xxiii]. No, this isn’t psychological warfare, there’s no Fanonian ‘psycho-affective’ violence’ to speak of here, and as for the naming of a Moroccan-Arab as co-conspirator, that was ‘just a small mistake and ruse’, that takes our people as slaves but not as refugees, despite having made them such, as cultural and racial/ethnic whites continue to spearhead calls for everyone to sign online petitions amidst fund-raising appeals and campaigns, while holding candle-light vigils and carrying posters of Muslim women in poppy seed and American-themed hijabs. As if we need and are required to take (further) pride in white neocolonial and neoimperial wars, incursions, and interventions on our lands, for which we’ve served as fodder, since, at least, the First and Second World Wars, when 400,000 Indian Muslim soldiers fought for Britain, as Winston Churchill starved 3 million Indians to death in the man-made Bengal famine of 1943, while this ‘great hero’ of the Anglo-Saxon Euro-American world did his best to keep up with Stalin and Hitler. All parcel of a continued inheritance betrothed to us, as the US army continues to experiment and test biodegradable bullets and armaments and torpedo predominantly Muslim nations like Iraq, Yemen, Afghanistan, Somalia, and Syria with depleted uranium and emotional and cerebral terror. Indeed, as RCMP Mounties update their uniforms to conscript navy blue hijabs in a bid to attract and conscript Muslim women to a militarized force, no different than the coveted enlistment and recruitment of “Mohawks” as “soldiers by Dutch, French, British, and later American generals throughout the colonial” era, as well as during the “Korean, Vietnam and Gulf wars”, even as “support personnel”, given their reputation as “expert scouts and boatmen”, as occurred, in “1884” with “fifty-six Mohawks from Kahnawake” helping imperialist British forces “map and navigate the cataracts of the Nile River in Egypt” (2016). But I guess that is what’s come to constitute ‘solidarity’, when racial and ethnic whites, and those of us who buy into ‘cultures of whiteness’ and seek to emulate whites, abdicate all sense of responsibility and accountability to Indigenous peoples of Turtle Island, let alone to the ‘motherlands’ we immigrated, ran away, and escaped from. Despite the fact, that we, as ‘people of color’ settlers on Turtle Island, in particular, are only useful to Empire when serving its neoimperialist and neocolonial wars and their aims elsewhere. Indeed, when we, as ‘people of color’ migrants and refugees, who came here searching the horizon for a glimpse of ‘free land’ and ‘salvation’, ought to have been more loyal to our collective, spiritual, ethical, and politically situated, indigeneity. Nonetheless, this is what’s come to define ‘solidarity’, as opposed to, for one, racial and ethnic whites relinquishing and sharing their privileges and putting their bodies on the line, instead of determining on their own terms what constitutes ‘solidarity’, when and how to engage it, while holding up placards stating: ‘We support our Muslim Brothers and Sisters, you are Welcome here (on ongoing colonized land)’. In the meanwhile, those of us with a colored epidermis and flesh, and regardless of our backgrounds, tend to risk our lives every instance of all hours and times of night and day, in our mere breathing and existence. Where then is the abdicated accountability, as if that is all what ‘solidarity’ calls for, when Trump uses the Quebec City shooting as justification for the Muslim ban, even though the shooter was a white Christian, an anti-abortionist, and a fan of Marine Le Pan, Trump, and Steve Bannon[xxiv]. All in an irrelevant ‘post-alternative fact’ world where you are more likely to be killed by ‘mundane’ fireworks and lightening strikes, let alone militarized police forces, addiction to prescription painkillers by medical/pharmaceutical industrial complexes, fossil fuel car accidents, than ‘Muslim terror’. Repression doesn’t happen over-night, and neither does resistance, as we’re being fatally stabbed on our way home and being bombed by white Empire via air, land, and seas, across oceans and continents, beaten in stores, in schools and on streets. We’re being exposed to a fomented ‘War on Islam’ and a fomented ‘War within Islam’ passed off as a fomented civilizational ‘War on Terror’ that we supposedly incepted on 9/11, despite the century-old-legacies of white terror that antecede the former and that incepted condescending liberal-terminologies as ‘Islamophobia’, given it didn’t begin on 9/11. We’re being kicked off of airplanes for speaking and texting in Arabic, egged outside Wal-Mart, scorched with hot coffee in parks, shot in cabs, and punched while pushing our children in strollers, undressed as our hijabs are ripped and torn off, if not lit on fire. Our children are being bullied, men come to our doors and tell us they’ll burn down our mosques and houses down if we don’t move while leaving severed pig’s heads at the footsteps of our stairs. All this as black children, women, and youths are still being exposed to modern day lynchings, with the nooses around their necks replaced by police thuggery and bullets; but, of course, the appearance of ‘the law’ must always be upheld, especially while it’s being broken. You think your white-European and supremacist history is better than ISIS, then why don’t you look up postcard images of French colonial and imperialist soldiers smiling gleefully while beheading FLN-Algerian rebel forces, or why don’t you read about the hundreds if not thousands of Algerian prisoners thrown into the sea, from the port of Algiers, in helicopter ‘death flights’, only for French soldiers to pour concrete onto their feet, to weigh them down, when they discovered that the corpuses were rising back up to the surface. We’ve been fired from our jobs for praying. Our cemeteries have been vandalized and our Qur’an desecrated. All this while Muslim congressmen are receiving death threats and business owners post signs advertising ‘Muslim free-zones’, as a ‘secular’ French ‘socialist’ government issues memorandums on how they’ll close our stores if we don’t sell alcohol and pork. Trump said it to Bill O’Reilly, when asked about Vladimir Putin ‘being a killer’, and yet everyone’s surprised, despite the truth that oozes out of Trump’s mouth: ‘We’re a nation of killers. What, you think, we’re so innocent?’ Of course, you are and always were, when more Muslims have been killed by Trump supporters, in the past 24 hours, and since the Quebec shootings, than Americans killed by refugees from the 7 banned countries in 30 years. Indeed, ’there is nothing more frightful than ignorance in action’, when we live in an age of neocolonized liberal-progressive-Brown skinned-white masked Muslim-Zionists like Zuhdi Jasser, Tarek Fatah, Qanta Raheel, Raheel Raza, and Asra Nomani, who can’t hide their infatuation and believe in Trump’s America, voted for him, and, of course, always, to top it all off, believe in ‘Israel’s right to exist’, as CNN plays endless repeats of self-loathing and plagiarist Fareed Zakeria’s documentary titled ‘Why Do They Hate Us’. No, apparently, when white countries are ‘bombing’ – excuse me – ‘liberating’, brown and black nations and countries that’s in the name of ‘democracy’, but September 11th, 2001, that is terror, and when whites torch cop cars and destroy property after football and hockey games, that’s ‘rowdy’, but when black and brown do the same after an officer in blue gets away with murder, they’re ‘savages’. When white people ‘achieve’ corporate positions, it’s ‘hard work’, and yet when blacks, browns, and people of color do the same, it’s apparently ‘affirmative action’. And, when blacks, browns, and indigenous peoples can’t find jobs, it’s because they’re ‘lazy’ and ‘dependent on welfare’, but when whites can’t it’s because it’s a ‘bad economy’. No, we from the Middle East and Africa, it seems, are born with a ‘predisposition’ for barbarism and terror, as African-Americans like Angela Rye and Van Jones still contemplate and reflect on ‘whatever happened to America and why has the world become so adrift’, with the latter, capitalizing on these ‘concerns’ in TV shows like The Messy Truth emphasizing that ‘we need to understand Trump’, while inviting liberal Zionist-Islamophobes like Bill Maher as special guests. No, this isn’t a declaration of a war, but rather one we’ve been born into all our lives.
This is Anglo-Saxon Euro-America that manufactures entire assembly lines of ethnic-elite nationalist and patriotic factions of brown, red, and black colonized slaves, Gold-Star families like that of Sergeant Khan’s, sending them off to wars in the dual mission of both murdering in killing fields other black and brown men while projecting ‘American civilizational exceptionalism and progress’[xxv], having engrained within them and the world the conviction that America’s superior global order and prowess will never decline. There it is, reason (that’s always a region carved from the irrational) demands that each of us have faith in an entity and symbol(s), comprised of values and ideas, and that propel(s), inform(s), guide(s), and exceed(s) ourselves, even if it is in our own misplaced ‘secular’ delusions of grandeur. Sing it with me: ‘One nation under God, amazing grace and eternal blessings be upon the God we Trust on our one Dollar Bill’, ‘Oh America, our shining beacon on the hill, that assuredly God put here for a Divine Reason, ever a Christian nation’. One, that the world tirelessly-ever seeks to emulate, now that we have in Trump ‘God’s chosen, born again, evangelized, leader’, towards our rebuilding of a wall around our Holy Jerusalem to keep out of the hands of those infidel foreign groups, as the Sumerians, who Nehemiah regarded as enemies of the Jewish people(s). All normalized and neutralized for the sake and in the name of a contemporary Roman-Empire’s continuation of a peaceful transition of power, against those self-deceived lawless and savage ‘people of color’ demographically threatening the supremacy of our white nationhood and ruining our white nativism. Even if, these non-native and colored brutes internalized a whitewashed socio-political-ethic, when according to Trump’s holy pastor, Southern Bapitist Rev. Robert Jeffress, “Islam, along with those Hindus, Sikhs, and Mormons”, represent nothing but “heresies from the pits of a fiery hell, led astray by Satan, because they worship a false god” that resembles nothing of our blonde haired, blue eyed, Jesus, all the former having, now, “paved the way” for the “Anti-Christ”, alongside those “sick and perverted homosexuals prevalently afflicted with HIV” and who relish living “a miserable and filthy lifestyle” (CNN, 2017).
Bring your ears closer to my lips: I see a ‘once-venerated’ figure, Angela Davis, at a point in time wanted by the FBI, and who never shrank from archaically calling herself a Marxist’, denouncing her own original ‘radical’ history. When she ‘endorsed Barack Obama in 2008, and in 2012 not only supported him again’, but rather, bizarrely, claimed that he was part of a euphemistic ‘black radical tradition’ (Kimberley, 2016). Only to then ask us to cower and cowardly vote in the 2016-2017 elections, for the ‘lesser of two evils’, a white imperialist-colonial-feminist, Hillary Rodham Clinton, who only at the 12th hour began to engage ‘black issues’[xxvi] (Kimberley, 2016). All which we’re now suddenly obliged to forgive, or risk being regarded by Davis as “narcissists” (2017). Indeed, I guess we ought forget Clinton referring to black youths as ‘super-predators’ and dislodge from our memories ‘crime-bills’ that her husband and she orchestrated, instituted, were architectures of, and that were responsible for the mass ‘school to prison’ incarceration pipelines that tore apart entire populations of black and brown bodies, families, and communities. Real lives for which there is no compensation or retribution, even if one were to entirely bankrupt the Clinton Foundation a billion times over at a failed attempt at ‘reparations’ and assuaging the anguish, perils, and heartache of bereaving the lives lost and that are untranslatable into quantifiable arithmetic ‘0’ and ‘1’ figures. Guess, Davis, neglected W.E. De-Bois’ statement in 1956 that “there are no two evils”. This is Davis who aided and abetted Obama’s oligarchic, plutocratic, Wall-street, “marketing ploys which gave the appearance of a people-based movement when, in fact, he perfected the art of creating a record breaking campaign war chest”, while merely ‘dismantling’ the NSEER registration archives, at the end of his term, simply because Trump arrived to claim power, despite utilizing it throughout his 8 years in office (Kimberley, 2016). This is Davis, the author of radical works on ‘prison industrial complexes,’ who wrote books on ‘Race, Class, hetero-patriarchy and Women’s struggles’ and whose agent and her now charge $25,000 and demand stay in five-star hotels for a speech. This is the outcome of Davis’ Marxism that takes Eurocentric authoritarian structures as ‘the nation-State’ for granted, despite that this ‘given’ will imply that the “consequence” will always already be “decided or betrayed in the way in which State-Parties” respond to “the city-States of capitalism, even in their relations of mutual hostility and annoyance” (Deleuze & Guattari, 1980: 13). Ideologies and political purity[xxvii] are illusions; all that exits is the identification of clear and cohesive narratives[xxviii] premised upon un-compromised ethical-political principles. This is Davis who of recent mentioned ‘Gaza and Justice for Palestine’ during the Women’s March on Washington, while seemingly ‘radically’ acknowledging the fact that she, an African-American[xxix] woman, alongside millions of others: “Stand this afternoon on dispossessed indigenous land and must recognize that we ought follow the lead of the first peoples who despite massive genocidal violence have never relinquished the struggle for land, water, culture, their people”(2017). Well, it seems Davis is either ignorant, is simply paying lip-service, or refuses to indeed follow the lead of indigenous peoples, despite that rigorous radical indigenous, anti-racist feminist, Two-spirit and non-indigenous scholarships[xxx] have consistently and tirelessly, wisely, already stated and argued, over at least the past decade, if not over the course of centuries, that they reject, and have been blatantly opposed to consistently harkening to ‘security and capitalist-nation-State models’ that entail engaging in what the revolutionary Frantz Fanon and Charles Taylor refer to as a reformist “politics of demand/ or recognition/or assimilation/and citizenship” and the facade that is liberal integrationist multiculturalism (1967; 1992). Given how the former illusions and mechanisms of ‘ascendant progress’ displace anti-racism and settler-colonialism, in light of the way they “uphold white supremacy” as a governing model, framework and logic, and which therefore includes what Davis advocates for of “third party politics”[xxxi] and proposes as “the solution”. This is Davis who chooses to ignore the argument of the aforementioned revolutionaries of the need to decolonize, and do away with the capitalist-State altogether, and return to the Two-Row Wampum[xxxii] treaty, otherwise referred to as Guswhenta or Kaswhenta[xxxiii]) that highlights that settlers[xxxiv] and Indigenous peoples of Turtle Island are to live an interdependent peaceful coexistence. In other words, that indigenous peoples and settlers ought embrace decolonization and reindigenization, given the ongoing colonization of both, and irrespective of the differences of views and visions, between the former, of how to implement this. Nonetheless, that ultimately entails vying for alternative non-statist and non-capitalist egalitarian socio-political and economic substitutes anchored in direct-democratic and horizontalist ‘mutual aid’ models (not merely in ‘times of crises’) and therefore the development of non-capitalist and non-authoritarian practices on behalf of all peoples, and in more than just an unequivocal symbolic gesture of the rejection of capitalist-nation-states, as well as ‘third-party-politics’, towards creating new subjectivities and realities in relation to non-human life. Given, that is, the settler-colonial context of societies as the U.S./Canada (Turtle Island) and the endless paying of homage in patriotic rhetoric on the part of a settler-population to the ‘greatness’ that burned ‘native American babies’, incepted reservation systems, colonial councils, Indian Acts, an ongoing Sixty’s Scoop, and a settler-society complicit in Indigenous peoples’ undergoing gentrification, sterilization, and nutritional and medical experimentation as “test subjects”[xxxv], as well as the commodification and the cultural appropriation of their resources, traditions and heritages. Indeed, a settler-society responsible for the continued purposeful “emasculation” of Indigenous men, and a “non-Indigenous settler population” that thrives on demeaning “titillating narratives of ‘savage bitch’” in reference to Indigenous women (Lovelace, 2012; LaDuke, 2005; 2011; Heath Justice, 2014). Indeed, a majority settler-population uninformed and acquiescent to Indigenous peoples’ shameful banning in 1884 from partaking in their ceremonial potlatches (as a communitarian act of sharing food and wealth, that non-native colonists and missionaries perceived to be excessive and wasteful). Is it callowness, insensitivity, individualist crudeness then, or all the former, that drives settler-immobilization in directly addressing the national suicide rates of indigenous youths, in Attawapiskat, Saskatchewan, and first nations-reserves, to the continuing disappearance and murder of hundreds upon hundreds of indigenous women, and who are only mourned and remembered in death, and neglected in life, amidst endless futile calls for ‘national inquiries’? A setter-population that’s ignorant of memorandums as the ‘Gradual Enfranchisement Act’, enacted as early as 1869, and ‘not modified until 1985’, which meant that by that time, at least 100,000 native women and their descendants were left without legal status as indigenous persons, let alone a settler-population unenlightened to Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau’s 1969 White papers, all since the inception of the first Euro-American genocide and Holocaust (Lawrence, 2004; 2012). Audre Lord said it best, “the master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house” (1979). There’s a reason that Euro-American and Canadian Anglo-Saxon history in the popular imagination and psyche begins with black slavery, Lincoln’s Conscription Act of 1863, and the Civil Right’s movement, and not an anteceding colonial Thanksgiving that celebrates the ethnic cleansing and race extermination, indeed the liquidation, erasure, slaughter, and carnage of Indigenous peoples. It preserves the myth of white civilizational superiority and exceptionalism. It does away with a yet incumbent ‘Original Sin’ and ‘penance’ that must eventually be confronted and faced.
I see liberal-political opportunists like Linda Sarsour[xxxvi], defended by ‘radical’ and ‘liberal’ activists globally, despite posing with smiles in photo-ops next to Zionist mayors of New York as Bill De-Blasio and attending ‘White-House’ dinners, yet who is supposedly keen on ‘defending’ in marches banned Muslim bodies and children starving to death, as in Yemen, despite the complicity of her American government and embraced identity in these atrocities. This is Sarsour who, still, on more than one occasion stated she believes in the ‘Israeli state’s right to exist’ and, rumor has it, unsurprisingly, intends to run for office. This is Sarsour hailed for openly and unapologetically identifying as a Palestinian Muslim and an ‘American’ (in a gestural belief, still, in the ‘American Dream’, irrespective of what this ‘identity’ implies of yet her implication in Empire’s neocolonial and neoimperial politics). No, no, don’t you know, Sarsour openly defends and stands in solidarity with BLM and NODAPL, despite never once identifying as a settler, or addressing the irreconcilability of settler-colonialism in Palestine and Turtle Island with her fetishized belonging to Empire, let alone her lack of a fundamental understanding of dynamically situating intersecting struggles, of social movement theories and experiences. As if her patriotism is a cure for prejudice! Oh the torture of modern nationalism! As if interminably reforming[xxxvii] laws is capable of changing minds and altering hearts, and yet the ambivalent white surprise, in the recent elections, that Empire is racist, sexist, ablest, classist, queerphobic; a fact most people of color knew, if not sensed, all along. Sarsour, where was your dedication to and ‘solidarity’ with black and indigenous concerns, prior to the fomenting of the former movements, given, its serendipitous ‘timing’[xxxviii] (Abdou, Haberle, & Day, 2009; Walia, 2011; Zapatistas, 1994; Levinas, 1969)?
I see people of color dying and vying to assimilate into ‘cultures of whiteness’ and who identify as ‘American’ and ‘Canadian’ first, subscribing to white-colonial orders, principles and values, groveling for their Empire’s ‘tolerance’, never-mind ‘acceptance’ from their white-colonial masters, having embraced ‘cultures of whiteness’, again and again, in terms of principles and values. Indeed, despite the fact that White-blue collar workers and farmers adamantly identify as Christian conservatives before identifying as ‘American’ or even as coal miners or ranchers, and who are ultimately under the delusional impression that Washington DC and West Virginia are populated by so-called ‘socialist’ activists instead of a white and non-white ethnic bourgeoisie elite who simply aren’t empathetic to their plights. Given, how this ‘liberal nobility’ bailed out bankers before them in spite of the toxic air they breathe, knowing full well the risks, but no, the rising tide of an endlessly resuscitated capitalism, dead on the operating, must move on, despite the ‘race to the bottom’. When the fact is a great some of White blue-collar workers and rural farmers, across the mid-West, I-4 corridor, were armed to the teeth, with stamped decrees, openly prepared, and still are, to engage in an all out outright ‘Civil War’ against the rest. A note to the ‘urbanized wise’, it is the white working-class mass and rural agriculturalist basin that manages access, employs cheap migrant laborers, and is in control of land that feeds the ‘civilized, multicultural urbanized-peripheral-metropolis’, where a majority of people of color reside, and hence are the ones who ultimately possess both the means for food production and environmental security. It is rural and countryside whites that grow their own food as a nourishing source for the periphery, as opposed to the prevalent wholesale reliance on its importation to feed them-selves. Critical when the history of land is often a history of a people’s culture, and demonstrates whether or not a people wholly understand who they are through land, as disconnected and divorced as we’ve become from the power and dignity of living and producing off of land for ourselves and hence our dereliction towards our own mental, physical, spiritual, emotional health and healing. And still it is non-white youths, all over the world, who flock and seek migration off the land and still expect and demand liberation when they don’t possess the means of production of power, let alone independence, dignity, respect, and self-reliance. Assuredly, not all whites who voted for Trump were ‘nativist’, ‘old-stock’, white, isolationist, nationalist, sexists and racists, but this does not exonerate them of the fact that they individualistically (not surprisingly either) decided not to engage in solidarity against racism, sexism, and ableism, with women, disabled people, and people of color, predominantly in the urban metropolises; look at all that red on the map; it’s them that control the fate of people of color’s survival[xxxix]. Moving on, as I’ve merely begun, in light of the festering ignorance and lack of consistency or self-reflexivity upon what ought be by now fundamental principles and foundations of social justice. Malcolm X warned African-Americans about sellouts, and those entertaining racist leaders like Trump. When Malcolm cautioned of those living close, in the bosom of their masters, dressing like their master, wearing their master’s second-hand clothes, eating the food that their master left on the table, that when their master said: ”We have good food”, the house Negro would say, "Yes, we have plenty of good food” (1963). “We” have plenty of good food. And when the master said: “We have a fine home here”, the house Negro said, “Yes, we have a fine home here” (1963). When the master would be sick, the house Negro identified himself so much with his master he’d say, “What’s the matter boss, we sick” (1963)? His “master’s pain was his pain. And it hurt him more for his master to be sick than for him to be sick himself” (1963). When “the house started burning down, that type of Negro would fight harder to put the master's house out than the master himself would” (1963). Then you ask is there really any hope for truth and justice in this decadent time? Does Euro-America, Empire, or a vast majority of its settler-subjects, even have the capacity to be honest about themselves and come to terms with its self-destructive addiction to money-worship and cowardly xenophobia, its gentrification and slaughter of black youths then on the streets of Chicago, by white and non-white officers in blue, ‘stand-your ground laws’, routine ‘stop and frisk’ programs, ‘policies of broken windows’, the voter disenfranchisement of its minorities, let alone the ample cities[xl] as Flint, Michigan, now years without access to clean water to drink or bathe in. As close to 12,000 children are exposed to its poisoned, toxin, lead-contamination(s), because of lassitude, inertia, underfunded regulators, and greed. Amongst ample matters, explaining why a 30% internally colonized Hispanic and white women population voted for Trump, in light of the shame of their own color of skin and gender, despite the blatant racism and sexism exhibited to people of their own background and heritage. Let alone, similarly, in what we’re now seeing of Standing Rock Sioux council members ‘evicting the very youth and people they have called out to for help and save the Mni Sosi (Missouri River) from being further put in harms way by the Dakota Access Pipeline owned by Energy Transfer Partners’. As if it’s a surprise ‘that the leadership’s wishes and that of grassroots people of the Tribe are vastly different’ when a sister of mine, Beth Flute[xli], who is from there, states:
“This is why we need to understand all models, tools and structures of capitalist-colonialism. We cannot partake in them, acknowledge them, or use them. They are tools of the oppressor, we have been taught to bring them in like a Trojan horse, and they always act as a weapon in the end. If your organization has a board, council, and hierarchy - it is a tool of the oppressor weather you accept it or not and ultimately, for your funding (capitalism) you will shove people under the bus for a nicer, gentler colonization. This is the perfect example, and just happens to occur as Trump announced he’s pushing DAPL through. Coincidence? I don’t think so. Regardless, I will still work to honor my ancestors - to become a warrior and not disappoint them. I know who the enemy is, I have faced their guns in the past, and I know I will again”.
Enough with the hypocrisy then of all those now outraged and protesting Trump’s re-initiation of the Dakota pipeline and Keystone access pipelines (the latter which Trudeau supports), when ‘progressive’ and ‘environmentally friendly’, ‘Paris Climate changer’, Obama and the U.S. Department of Justice, merely, temporarily, halted the construction of a section of it, and approved two other pipelines that moved forward. Where was the outrage, when last May, the Obama administration granted the permits for both the Trans-Pecos and the Comanche Trail pipelines, and although construction has not yet begun on the pipelines, implementation plans for their building are well underway. As ample, I didn’t hear you protest Obama then or the Harper-light brand Justin Trudeau[xlii], both who talk ‘Left’ but govern ‘Right’. Are we all merely keen on selectively wailing and protesting Indigenous land disputes on Turtle Island when they exude ‘excitement’ and give us-settlers the illusion of a turnaround in hope, as opposed to understanding what daily struggles and liberation entails? What about standoffs as that in Ipperwash that has been ongoing for over 20 years, let alone others as the Unist’ot’en Camp, Lulu Island, Idle No More, Caledonia, the Mohawk Culberston Tract, and ample, ample, more[xliii]. So, you’re trying to ‘rescue’ and stand-up for refugees at airports, but, then, what about the refugees in the ‘Legacy File System’, still waiting 5 years for their hearings, and the ministerial directives allowing Canadian security agencies to use information gained through torture, in light of the RCMP having provided false information to U.S. authorities in cases as that of Maher Arar’s and ample others, as Abdullah Almalki, Ahmed Al-Maati, and Muaed Nureddin[xliv], even prior to legislations like Bill C-51 and ‘Anti-Terrorism Acts’ that Justin Trudeau voted for. Where is the outrage at the dramatic increase in people having their Canadian Citizenship revoked since Trudeau was elected into office[xlv] or the arrest and deportation of Obama’s Dreamers or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) under the Immigrant and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE)? And no, “there is no plan to boost refugee cap in Canada in response to Trump’s travel ban”, stated Ahmed Hussen, Canada’s Somali immigration minister, who wants to be identified “as Canadian first”[xlvi] (2017). Warning, Canada, is not the welcoming, loving haven you think it is, but rather merely an extension of the bile divisiveness down South[xlvii] persisting since both their inceptions. What of the influx of US refugees, crossing the border in Manitoba, Quebec and British Columbia, seeking refugee and asylum status in Canada, hailing mainly from Somalia, but also Ghana, Djibouti, and Ethiopia, and who are having nurses chip away at snow and ice between their clawed hands and clenched fingers, if not having them altogether amputated, due to severe frostbite. Given they could not reach the phones in their pockets to dial 9-1-1 for emergency assistance on Highway 75, as they’d planned, while they trekked through blizzard snowstorms and across open frozen fields in temperatures that can easily fall to -20C (-4F). All this, amidst, continuing circulated reformist liberal and leftist calls – as admirable as they maybe, despite ultimately representing Band-Aid solutions – for: “rescinding the Safe Third Country Agreement (which bars people from applying at a border post, forcing migrants and refugees to travel through snow), the end of quotas on refugee sponsorships and the end of the Designated Country of Origins list, and immediate healthcare provision (in some cases refugee claimants are needing to pay for their healthcare while they wait to apply)” (Hussan, 2017). At least, Conservatives are upfront and never hesitate to claim their racist, misogynist, anti-abortionist opinions, nor are they afraid to admit the fact that they’re Western Enlightened Christians first. A word to the wise: Fear the permeation of an insidious Liberalism more, given how it infiltrates all our movements and politics. We, beings, are indeed parasites having become monsters and beasts in an unstable combination of both, neither possessing the honor of the ‘animal kingdom’ to only prey on what is necessary for our survival, nor do we know what the word ‘human’ is, having lost any ethical-political sensibility and compass of what the terminology means. We are all 14 year old Emmett Tills, when of recent it’s discovered that a 21-year-old white woman named Carolyn Bryant, now 88, admits that Till, “didn’t touch her” and “doesn’t remember if he whistled”, given Till was said “to have had a lisp”, in an essential admittance of her manufacturing of the story, despite her testimony in court, that stated that: Till “not only whistled at her, but grabbed her hand, then said something sexually lewd to her”, the consequence of which is that he was, later, “kidnapped, tortured, mutilated, shot to death, then weighed down and dumped in the Tallahatchie River” where “his bloated, naked, disfigured body was found three days later wrapped in barbed wire tied to a heavy fan blade” (King, 2017).
I see ‘white-settler-critical-documentary filmmakers’ like Michael Moore coopting and celebritizing our movements, their privileged enthroning as our ‘heroes’, despite their own sexist, racist, ablest, classist, queerphobic propagandist Hollywoodian industries and Oscars that stereotype us, ‘people of color’. Never mind Arabs and Muslims in a long series of ‘demeaning’ images, in which we’re depicted speaking ‘gibberish’, and either characterized according to Orientalist or Fundamentalist representations. That either show us Arabs and Muslims as bandits and as belonging to a savage, nomadic, race, or alternatively, representing Arab and Muslims women as shallow belly dancers serving ‘evil’ and who are ‘naïve’, in need of saving from greedy Arab and Muslim terrorists and sheikhs (Jhally, 2006). Moore, in this instant in time, suggesting that black ethnic elite bourgeoisie celebrities like Oprah, and others like Tom Hanks, ‘guide’ our movements and run for presidential elections, as he issues appeals that we ought organize a 100 days of resistance, eliding the fact that we, people of color, have been born into war, resisting, and attempting to survive all our lives. As opposed to his litany of whitewashed slated speakers at rallies, who, apparently, are now going to teach and dictate to us, what oppression and liberation is, like: Alec Baldwin, Rosie Perez, Mark Ruffalo, Cynthia Nixon, Al Sharpton, Julianne Moore, Marisa Tomei, Shailene Woodley (who shows up to Standing Rock to get arrested without realizing that this within itself is white feminist, celebrity, privilege) etc. All, part and parcel, and alongside an ignorant majority mass that thinks and believes that neoliberalism and globalization began in Seattle 1999, under Clinton’s NAFTA, as opposed to the fact that it was incepted under Margret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan, and their financial deregulatory campaigns towards the collapse of whatever semblance existed of an eroded and decimated ‘welfare state’; Reagan’s infamous statement at Wall street was: ‘We’re going to turn the bull loose’. What followed since were decades’ worth of rampant partisan gerrymandering in the redrawing of congressional districts, and an Electoral College system often pegged against a popular vote, whose results are often ignored. And yet still, people wonder why all this ‘sudden’ heightened political polarization, despite bill 501 4C, that permitted designated ‘social welfare’ organizations to engage in electoral politics in an unregulated way, let alone a 2010 Citizen’s United verdict that gave special interests the power to spend without restraints and limits, or even publicly disclosing who paid for what, as dark money is used to run ads for the sole purpose of influencing elections, removing virtually all caps on corporate campaign funding in the midst of a fostered anonymity in favor of enormously rich proprietors. Nonetheless, it is the latter, Reagan and Thatcher, who are responsible for the beginning of this neoliberal erasure of the distinction and gateway between statist politics and capitalist-economics, when for parts of the past century, wealthy players and business lobbies of the postwar years were ‘restrained’, knowing what they wanted and generally got it, but theirs was a limited agenda that stuck to a relatively narrow set of demands. But neoliberalism did away with any rules to the game, if not the ‘sport’ itself, in an irreversible undoing of political-capitalist relations and their ‘revolving doors’. Irrespective of what promises and fantasies others may have us all believe, including those of a fetishized champagne, imperialist, class-war-democratic socialists and economic reductionists like Bernie Sanders, who has never done anything for indigenous peoples within his own settler-colonial society, or for that matter, Palestine, except paying lip-service when condemning Israel’s ‘disproportionate response’ on Gaza in every war launched on a morsel of land, that by all accounts is an ‘open air prison’, barricaded by air, land and sea, throughout his previous 16 years in the House of Representatives, making him the longest serving independent member of Congress in American history, while also being a two-time senator. ‘Uncle Bernie’ couldn’t even incorporate ‘race’ into his class-based-analysis, or narrative, despite movements as BLM that have called him out, never mind others like Muslim Congressman Keith Ellison, who is now running for the head of the DNC, and opposes the Boycott and Divestment Campaign (or BDS) against Israel, and in so doing abdicates and removes any and all responsibilities from himself, as a Muslim, and a racist neocolonial occupying regime called Israel. Or, shall I refer, to a tokenized Elizabeth Warren, who bears nothing in relation to an indigenous ethic, except when she benefits from it[xlviii], while claiming it as part of her heritage and ancestry. But don’t worry, try, and elect, in an expected step, another polished ‘savoir’, from the former options, that assumes a hyper-masculine neocolonial and neoimperial form in 2020, as you ignorable and tireless liberals and leftists continue to runaway from radical decolonized ethical-political commitments to ‘sovereignty’ and ‘autonomy’. All one learns from oppression is how to repeat it in the absence of decolonization, when we ought be striving to become warriors[xlix] and confront ourselves and in turn this Euro-American Empire premised on neocolonial and neoimperial English common laws, a never applied Magna Carta, that in principle is founded on the idea of ‘a Commons’, and tenets as: Mutuality and reciprocity, habeas corpus, trial by jury (as opposed to ‘school to prison pipelines’), the prohibition of torture (instead of an alive and well Guantanamo Bay), ‘cooperation and not competition’, as opposed to the structural, systemic and symbolic violent racist and sexist power structures and forms of white supremacy that sustain the ample ruling institutions and capitalist-State of a Euro-American Empire (Alfred, 2013; Ward, 2014).
I see a Women’s March’s based on ‘genitals’, delusions of ‘peace’, and white colonial feminism, funded by neoliberal elites like George Soros (who also sponsored BLM and the Occupy Movements). When, as Beth Flute noted: “I didn’t see you till Trump made a comment about pink pussies and you put on pink pussy hats, when not all women have a pussy, never-mind a pink pussy” (2017). And yet the march not only isolated transgendered and people of color communities[l], in which police wore pussy hats and posed for photos with women marching, as whites and non-whites finally came to the rhetorical epiphany that fighting racism must be at the core of the message to everyone. But then, still, I see, even in instances in which queer and trans-advocates were present, as MSNBC host’s Janet Mock, in Washington, and Black femme breast cancer survivor and sex educator, Ericka Hart, they still ignorantly spoke about: ‘How we can all learn to mobilize more of Kimberle Crenshaw’s intersectionality and inclusivity’ in our feminist movements (1980). They altogether dismissed that Two-spirit, anti-racist feminists, and queer indigenous peoples and studies have long argued that intersectional struggles are insufficient, given that intersectionality completely ignores the context of an ongoing global colonialism and imperialism. Moreover, “intersectional models of identity” presume that “components – as race, class, gender, sexuality, nation, age, religion – are separable analytics and can thus be disassembled” (Puar, 2007). It seems, Hart and Mock, are un-attuned, given intersectionality’s liberal “mainstreaming in the last two decades”, to the fact that intersectionality “has become a way to manage difference that colludes with dominant forms of liberal multiculturalism” as transnational, postcolonial, and critical race theorists and activists, have pointed out (Razack, 2008). Intersectionality[li] ignores, to say the least, the question of an ongoing colonialism and imperialism within settler-colonies and Euro-American contexts as the US/Canada as well as franchise-colonial societies as Egypt’s, neither traversing national or regional boundaries and contributes to homo-nationalism[lii] and pink-washing[liii] in other settler-colonial states as Israel, or otherwise colonized Palestine. After all, and given globalization, systems of oppression are nationally and transnationally evermore dynamically connected, interacting with, and feeding off of each other; “racism strengthens gender oppression against women of color, as classism strengthens racism against poor people of color and sexism against poor women”, while Western imperialist queerness strengthens all the former (i.e. racism, sexism, and queerphobia) against those in East and so on and so forth[liv] (Oluo, 2017). Moreover, as argued in my own forthcoming research on Islam and Queer Muslims: Identity and Sexuality in the Contemporary World, based on ethnographic accounts with self-identifying queer Arabs, queer Africans and queer Muslims in franchise-colonial societies as Egypt, most participants expressed their explicit rejection and resentment of Western militarized human rights and their associated set of interventionist development schemas of globalized queer politics that are whitewashed, and premised on Eurocentric ontologies and epistemologies, all which are constantly being reinforced by intersectionality’s superficial deployment(s). Given how the former LGBTI discourses result in the essentialization of ‘women’s and queer rights and experiences as human rights’, that consistently construct brown and black women elsewhere as subjects of oppression, and depict them as ‘lacking agency’, regardless of their cultures, spiritualities, histories and traditions that perhaps whites have ample to learn from. In fact, according to the majority of my research participants in Egypt, whether Nubian or Sudanese, military conscripts or those identifying as transgendered, they explicitly aren’t interested in ‘gay marriage’ and ‘gay rights’ as scholars and movements[lv] in the East and the West argued in the wake of Obama’s ‘queer marriage legislation’. Rather instead, they prefer more indigenous and local frameworks to their own environments in which gender and sexuality altogether can carry with decolonization fluid and dynamic experiences and meanings, against the forceful imposition of white established and liberal-commoditized LGBTIQ categories and labels[lvi] on nations regarded by the West as ‘inferior and savage’. Moreover, ‘gayness’ does not disavow queer men of chauvinism, bio-and-trans-phobia, and this is precisely why my participants are focused on gender concerns and fundamentally centering society around it, given that with gender arrives the possibility of the further feminization (and queering) of our politics in a queered world (Esteva, 2013; Lowder and Gutiérrez, 2015; Spade and Willse, 2015; DarkMatter, 2015; Puar, 2007). Indeed, a new world where women can recover the histories of our peoples, and in fact, the sense of our ‘becoming people’ once more in committing ourselves to embracing our femininities as opposed to embellishing and having to acquiesce to elemental (hetero)patriarchal masculine-and-machismo characteristics. This way and distinct from intersectional analysis, alternatively, assemblage theory doesn’t take for granted that colonialism and imperialism are phenomena of a bygone era, and is more attuned to the “interwoven forces that merge and dissipate time, space, and body against liberality, coherency, and permanency” (Puar, 2007; Deleuze & Guattari, 1980). Unlike intersectional analyses, assemblage theory does not assume the stability of identity across space and time by “relying on the logic of equivalence and analogy between various axes of identity and generating narratives of progress that deny the fictive and performative aspect of identification” (Puar 2007). As Puar writes, “you become an identity, yes, but also timelessness works to consolidate the fiction of a seamless stable identity in every space” (2007, 212). This mode of analysis, furthermore implies that:
“Queerness as assemblage moves away from excavation work, de-privileges a binary opposition between queer and not queer subjects, and, instead of retaining queerness exclusively as dissenting, resistant, and alternative (all of which queerness importantly is and does), it underscores contingency and complicity with dominant formations” (Puar, 2007: 205).
This reading further implies the understanding that desire[lvii] lacks nothing as Freud and Lacan interpreted when it concerns sexual and non-sexual investments in libidinal political economies. After all: “Sexuality is everywhere [and concerned with power]: the way a bureaucrat fondles his records, a judge administers justice, a businessman causes money to circulate; the way the bourgeoisie fucks the proletariat; and so on. And there is no need to resort to metaphors, any more than for the libido to go by way of metamorphoses. Hitler got the fascists sexually aroused. Flags, nations, armies, banks get a lot of people aroused” (Deleuze & Guattari, 1980). What, did you all think, that in gathering hundreds of thousands if not millions of marching dissenters on the streets, as during the Anti-War protests of Iraq and Afghanistan, or that by ushering in a few brown and black, queer and feminist, peoples and allies, that you’ll bring about social change? Without, that is, considering what ethically and politically and not ‘ideologically’ binds these people together, and without an ethics of disagreements/an ‘usul of ikhtilaf’, an ethics of hospitality/an ‘usul of dhiyafa’, or the development of a ‘politics of friendship’ between them (Jean Veneuse, 2009; 2011)? Unconditional solidarity and ‘unity’ ought always be contingent on the existence and practice of internalized decolonized ethical and political principles and without which there is no liberation, in the absence of constructing non-authoritarian alternative ways of life as inspirational liberationist movements have proven. Radical movements like the Zapatistas taught the need for: (1) alternative decolonized education and propaganda (in all its contemporary available forms be it through community radio or independent live broadcasting); (2) alternative ways of learning, medicine, autonomous schools and hospitals, in healing our relations to land and non-human life, having engaged in collective redefinitions of what it is to living healthily; (3) and, finally, the means to self-defense, that still must be anchored in ethical-political responsibilities to (non-)human life as the Qur’an states, recognizing that violence is not a strategy but rather a technic and tactic; and the more of an effective collective mass that exists attuned to (1) and (2), the less ‘violence’, armed conflict, and minimized bloodshed that will likely be warranted and expected. This is what a ‘biodiverse strategy of resistance’, in part, entails.
Given that war for Muslims and according to Islam, but also according to social movement activists and scholarship, discussed in the end, was never meant to be an occupation, or a vocation, for even in their grievances with their ‘enemies’, Muslims in the early period of their migration to Medina were first required to adamantly practice and master the finesse of ‘nonviolence’ and understand what it is to build community and change of themselves as beings ‘anew’. Particularly in light of their expulsion from their families and abodes, and the seizure of their property, persecution, torture and murder, coercion, embargoes and pressure to abandon their faith in their one God and prophet Muhammad. Indeed, critical became the spiritual, communitarian, and educative component of the first polity’s struggle that even upon the revelation of their permission to fight and the right to engage in armed conflict, Muslims were commanded to first insure that the truth does not die with those who place their lives at risk in battle, and how to mercifully respect the dignity of non-human life, as well as how to safe-guard ‘prisoners of war and exchanges’, the sacredness and sanctity of public and private property and ‘houses of worship’[lviii]. Thus, The Highest, Al-Ali, Allah, said in the Qur’an: “And the believers should not all go out to fight. Of every troop of them, a party only should go forth, that they (who are left behind) may gain sound knowledge in religion, and that they may warn their folk when they return to them, so that they may beware” (Chapter 9: Chapter of ‘The Repentance/Forgiveness’, Verse 122). Amongst other ethical-political commitments of war, include, that war itself ought be refrained from if opportune, for as The First and Last, Al-Awwal and Al-Akhir, Allah, says: “But turn away from them and say ‘Peace!’ for they shall soon come to know” (Chapter 43: Chapter of the ‘Gold Adornment’, Verse: 89). Moreover, it is Muhammad who said: “Do not wish for an encounter with the enemy; Pray to Allah to grant you security; but when you (have to) encounter them, exercise patience, and you should know that Paradise is under the shadow of the swords” (Sahih Muslim, Book 19: Hadith 4314). War is to be engaged in, solely for the purpose of self-defense and with the acknowledgment of ‘War as a form of Tyranny’, given that the Qur’an itself states, “War is allowed for those on whom war is imposed because it is tyranny” (Chapter 22: Chapter of ‘The Pilgrimage’, Verse 39). As the Qur’an states, as the Torah before it, “Do not take life which Allah has made sacred, except by way of justice and law: thus He commands you that you may learn wisdom” (Chapter 6: Chapter of the ‘Cattle’, Verse: 151). This message is reiterated again in the following verse, “You shall not kill any person - for God has made life sacred - except in the course of justice” (Chapter 17, Chapter of ‘The Night Journey’, Verse: 33). It is on account of this very directive, as the Qur’an states, that it became emphatically ordained for Muslims as “for the Children of Israel that if any one slew a person - unless it be for murder or for spreading mischief in the land - it would be as if they slew the whole people: and if any one saved a life, it would be as if they saved the life of the whole people” (Chapter 5: Chapter of the ‘Table Spread’, Verse: 32). This is war, of which the Qur’an states:
“Warfare is ordained for you, though it is hateful unto you; but it may happen that ye hate a thing which is good for you, and it may happen that ye love a thing which is bad for you. God knoweth, ye know not. / They question thee (O Muhammad) with regard to warfare in the sacred month. Say: Warfare therein is a great (transgression), but to turn (men) from the way of God, and to disbelieve in God and in the Inviolable Place of Worship, and to expel God’s people thence, is a greater with God; for persecution is worse than killing. And they will not cease from fighting against you till they have made you renegades from your religion, if they can. And who so becometh a renegade and dieth in his disbelief: such are they whose works have fallen both in the world and the Hereafter. Such are the rightful owners of the Fire; they will abide therein” (Chapter 2: Chapter of the ‘Cow’, Verse: 217).
This way Muslims, are commanded to ‘hate war’, but Allah equally asks, which is worse, ‘that an oppressed people be hopelessly expelled and persecuted’ over centuries, that they endlessly experience repression, stolen dignity, dispossession of their lands and resources, the murder of their women, elderly and children, and undergo wanton rape and pillaging or that a ‘people reserve the right to defend themselves’, and still do so within constrained ethical-political limits?! The hell then with ‘liberal-progressiveness’ that has tainted us all, it’s about revolutionary-insurrectionary-radicalism. When self-care isn’t about an individualist narcissistic affair of ‘caring for only oneself’ (which Foucault was staunchly against) as much as it is seeking one’s healing and rehabilitation in order to be able to service community and care and love others. Especially in a day and age when one can now “buy self-care nail decals and cute ‘self-care kits’”(Mahdawi, 2017). A “new line of massage chairs they’re selling in the US/Canada even carries the tagline ‘the science of self care’”(Mahdawi, 2017). Self-care has “become a carefully curated artificial lifestyle choice to show off: There are more than 1.4m photos hash-tagged #selfcare on Instagram with many of them consisting of skinny women doing yoga poses, legs in bubble baths, non-caffeinated-non-dairy hot Starbucks drinks, gluten-free berry-based desserts, green juices in mason jars, that sort of thing”[lix] (Mahdawi, 2017). It’s “basically ‘treat yourself’ in slightly superior bourgeoisie clothing. It’s nice to “think that our bubble baths and personal time might have a larger political purpose (‘Um, Foucault! I’m not just binging on Netflix – I’m engaging in Platonic political philosophy in order to better serve others!’), but more often than not, our acts of self-care are simply acts of privilege” (Mahdawi, 2017). Rather, than self-care being ‘a route to social change, self-care has become an unfortunate destination in itself’. Particularly when one sees third-generation settler Muslim-Americans of Lipka Tatar descent, like Alyssa Haughwout[lx], as well as Dalit-Americans[lxi] claiming their settler-pride at “their families have been in the country as long as Trump’s, if not longer”, and their partaking in the Women’s March, while stating, in typical contradictory fashion, that they stand in solidarity ‘with Standing Rock and indigenous movements as the Naxilites of Chhattisgarh, who are currently at war with a Hindustan-Indian state’. Indeed, Dalit-Americans who write that: ‘indigenous people’s struggles are all of our struggles’, yet that refuse and fail to understand that if white settlers and ‘people of color’ in both the former contexts, engage in decolonization (and again according to respected and well known radical, not whitewashed liberal, movement scholarship) there will no longer be an ‘American’, ‘Indian’, or ‘Canadian’ fixed forms of identities, contrived by a Kantian Copernican Revolution, and stamped indelibly on each and every person, to claim, or harken for, or capitalist-nation-States to capitulate to, but rather altogether a new dawn of pluriverse worlds and with it ‘us’ as new beings, which perhaps we ought develop the audacity to discover together.
I see colonized liberal and leftist Euro-American academic, activists, and non-academic journalist Muslims as Wahajat Ali (2017) fawning to claim “Obama as the first Muslim president”[lxii] and yet who couldn’t even tell me the difference between concepts as ‘spirituality/or ruha’neya ’, ‘faith/or iman’ and ‘religion/or deen’, or distinguish between organized and establishment and non-authoritarian interpretations of all the former. Despite that Arab and (non)Muslim scholars and activists[lxiii] have long highlighted the non-monolithic nature of Islam, Islamisms, and Muslims, when there is no central authority, moral custodianship, priesthood, or religious leadership in Islam. Indeed, colonized Muslims who are ambivalent and without the slightest clue as to their own histories and traditions, when it bears consideration that if by ‘political Islam’, what is meant is ‘Islamism’ as a politicized form of Islam, then it needs to be clear that this is not a monolithic, homogenous category, as imminent scholar Laila Ahmed and ample others[lxiv] argued, and do range from: ‘liberal-progressive’ forms (that address gender and sexual issues) to ‘neoconservative’ to ‘radical’ non-authoritarian and non-capitalist breeds, centered fundamentally upon social justice, as Muslims anarchists, I, and proponents of Islamic anarchism[lxv] contended (2011). Indeed, ‘Islamism’ is a persisting neocolonial and neoimperial construct, appearing first, as early the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries, in works like Émile Littré, George Sale, Alphonse de Lamartine, Alexis de Tocqueville, Ernest Renan, Bavarian official Joseph Ritter von Hazzi, and Voltaire’s play ‘Fanatisme ou Mahomet le Prophete’ as a synonym – Islamismus – for Islam, not unlike other European constructs as itches and Orientalist terms as Mahométisme or Mohammadanism (to denote ‘followers of Prophet Muhammad’) resting on the erroneous assumption that Muhammad ‘stands in relation to Islam as Christ stands in relation to Christianity’ (Kramer, 2003: 65-77). Indeed, ‘Islamism’ takes for granted that Islam as an idea is inherently political and ought be premised on critical Qur’anic exegesis, tafsir, a methodologically informed interpretive (in this case – anarchic –) ijtihad, premised upon anti-oppressive and egalitarian frameworks of social justice, as my work[lxvi] on anarca-Islam or Islamtismo (a forthcoming book, 2017) and other scholarships[lxvii] have consistently argued. Any spiritual-based movement is, arguably, inherently political through the socially just pillars it establishes in relation to issues of social justice and hence the need for distinguishing between the nature of the expansion of Muslim Empires throughout pre-modernity (and hence what has been done in the ‘name of Islam’) versus what arguably is Islam’s own anti-authoritarian and ecological commitment to land, non-human life, the Other and a ‘pluriverse’ vision and message to the world (Esteva & Prakash, 1998: 39). Radical indigenous and non-indigenous scholarships have argued as well against the inseparability of their own spiritualties from politics and engaged in imminent critiques of ‘secularism’. In the poverty of our imagination and sterilization of our traditions, Enlightenment scholars were quite clear about the desire to racialize Islam and foment an “African Islam”, an “Asian Islam”, an “Arab Islam” etc., in addition to provoking a neo-sectarian war which they succeeded in fomenting as a ‘War on Islam’ and a ‘War within Islam’ (Massad, 2015). Wars which Muslims, across the board, internalized over millennia with Crusader legacies and Enlightenment coinciding with our gradual laxity and abandonment with time of Islam’s anti-oppressive principles, facilitating our partaking in imperial, colonial and ‘hegemonic’ practices in (pre)modernity (Hourani 1992; Armstrong, 2006; 2014; Lapidus, 1998). While also recognizing that Western (neo)imperialism’s insidiousness is unique, from its medieval formulizations, in how it evolved to be an integral part of the ‘modern state’, and is premised upon the segregation of knowledge systems anchored in Eurocentric ‘logics’, ‘sciences’ and ‘discourses’ and the construction of ‘fields of experts’ (Tuhiwai Smith, 1993). Indeed, that Western commoditized ideas of ‘spirituality’, ‘gender’ and ‘sexuality’ that non-Westerners have to subscribe to and make translatable as categories to Western forms of knowledge for them to be civilized ‘norms’ that are ‘appropriate’ and ‘acceptable’, to assure their recognition and their ordered hierarchization and capturing by capitalist-nation-States. Especially given the obstinate neocolonial and neoimperialist white drive “to divide, to classify, to rank, to differentiate” non-whites, in every possible way, which Foucault (1966) documented in Les Mots et les Choses and that was premised upon the Eurocentric determination to differentially demarcate, categorize, and authoritatively rank human beings[lxviii] through white supremacist constructions of race that “left something, entrails, even lesions” on non-whites (19; Tuhiwai Smith, 1993; Mbembe, 2017; 2006; Fanon, 1952; Coburn, 2014; Césaire, 2001). This is ‘research’ that must be seen through Euro-and-phallo-centric anthropological, traveling, (neo)imperial eyes and gazes to be encoded as valid ‘truths’, all amidst the Western fascination with new Age spiritual meanings that make our beliefs systems available for mining and exploitation (Tuhiwai Smith, 1993). As well as the Western exploitation of all that entails of our spiritual relationships with rocks, stones, insects, all that which is seen and unseen, animate and inanimate beings, as instructed by our Creator, oral traditions, and ‘elders’, based on our shared relationships with these essences of land, landscapes, a universe and cosmos, everything that signifies (non)human relationships (Tuhiwai Smith, 1993). And still I see articles circulating on Muslims undergoing or being talked about the same way as Catholics 100 years ago[lxix], but what this fails to recognize is the false equivalency of racial/ethnic Italian and Irish Catholic assimilation into Protestant Whiteness is a distinct experience from that of Muslims, for at least two reasons: 1) The majority of Muslims aren’t white and hence from a racial/ethic dimension the argument doesn’t make sense; and moreover, 2) that ever since Eastern Christianity (with its variant denominations) was appropriated, whitewashed, by Europe’s appropriation and Westernization of it during Constantine and under Pope Urban II developed into a civilizational crusader discourse, with a doctrine of ‘Holy War’ and individualistic protestant capitalist ethic, Islam came not only to represents a formidable competitor to Western Christianity[lxx], but a late challenger of it. When Muslims are commanded with “conserving,” and “sharing natural resources,” in their communal caretaking as collective Khalifahs (used in the plural form in the Qur’an), with all ‘property’ or Mulk belonging to the Creator (altogether transforming meanings and manifestations of what constitutes ‘private’ and public’ spaces and property). And hence the infinite responsibility and obligation of Muslims to collectively, spiritually, not “damage, abuse or distort nature in any materialist, utilitarian, way,” and therefore our requirement to learn how to “treat the land and its resources with kindness,” and without excessiveness or israf, given that “all natural resources (as water etc)” belong to our communities, if not to be shared with others, and not merely left in the possession of benevolent Kingdom Sheikhs and corporations for that matter (Ammar, 2001: 202; Barghouti, 2008; Hodgson, 1974; Bamyeh, 2010). All this despite the staunch forbiddance of all forms of ‘interest’ or ‘Riba’, ‘Zakat’ (mistranslated as ‘alms tax’, when it is the right of the poor over the rich) and aqeedat al-Tawheed as “the paramount duty of [a Muslim to solely] affirm the oneness [, and thereby, the Absolute Authority,] of God” and none other but God, (non)human or otherwise, contrary to what occurs nowadays with the rampant materialism and the ‘worship of power, prestige, money and wealth’, when our Qur’an was supposed to become our Imam[lxxi], in the wake of our beloved Prophet Muhammad’s passing, lamented absence, and death (Al’awani, 1993: 2, emphasis added).
Equally problematic is that a majority Western Muslims have bought into the project of Muslim progressive-(neo)liberalism, and are unaware of non-statist, anarchistic, tendencies and commitments to land and non-human life in Islam, and respectively are often keen on becoming assimilated settler-colonial subjects of Empire, uncritical of their positioning as settlers and complicity in the ongoing project of settler-colonialism that disappears and erases Indigenous peoples and cultures on Turtle Island; that ‘here’, on Turtle Island, we are tantamount to becoming ‘Zionists’ on stolen land, and yet hypocritically fantasize about ‘freeing’ Palestine. All this is in light of the European construction of Muslims as ‘the quintessential Oriental Other’ and the exceptional experiences of Muslims with three incursive Western Crusader wars up and prior to 1492, until direct European colonialism and imperialism in 1798 with the Napoleanic occupation of Egypt and the ushering of the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, the beginning of pan-Arab and pan-Islamist trajectories. Indeed, paths, that led Muslims to evolve and either: a) adopt more neoconservative views of Islam and the ‘Other’ that rejects the national and statist dimension in favor of a dogmatic and neosectarian Ummah; or b) alternatively, appeal to a purportedly secular and liberal-democratic project centered around the acquiescent assimilation of Muslims into capitalist-nation-States whether in the East or the West, and according to racialist projects as ‘pan-Arabism’ and ‘pan-Africanism’, in relation to a ‘post-colonial’ subjects and ‘capitalist-nation-States’, as Egypt’s, that assumes that decolonization has taken place. All this is stated, in rebutting the standard Islamophobic rhetoric in the Occident and West that Muslim and Islamist aspirations are either constrained to longing for theocratic ‘Islamic states’, whether in the form of modern-capitalist-nation-States premised on discourses of citizenship and nation-building, or, alternatively, as rogue, totalitarian, and genocidal non-statist movements as Al-Qaeda and ISIS, despite the non-existence of the concept of an ‘Islamic state’ in Islam and the Qur’an. Given, what has come to be misinterpreted and taken as the Arab equivalent form of the modern-State, that includes the concept and term Dawla, and that itself relates to a pluriverse Ummah. With the pre-modern meaning of the latter, Dawla, actually, in reality revolving “mainly around the notions of temporality, change and rotation…[as opposed to] a fixed order in which a nation aspires to organize itself (if the nation predated the state) or a fixed order of things in which the nation should aspire to organize itself (if the state predated the nation)” (Al-Barghouti, 2008: 37). The word Dawla thus does not signify ‘modern State’; rather, Dawla extends from the root D-W-L, used in the Qur’an and which in fact signifies and means ‘to turn, to alternate, or to come around in a cyclical fashion’. Indeed, whose application indicates and testifies towards the reality and need for a welcoming embracement of a continuous engagement in cyclical revolutionary transformations, individually, communally, politically, economically, and ethically. As such, it serves as a reminder of the fact that what is construed as a uniform belonging of identity and attributions to societal characteristics and mannerisms, as well as ‘traditions’ that are perceived to be homogenous and unchanging and constructed as ‘norms’ are, in fact, actually temporal. In other words, what has come to be taken and regarded as ‘stable’ ought always evermore be subject to contestation and revolutionary transformation by internal and external forces within what would be a decolonized understanding of a ‘nation’, with respect to rights, responsibilities, and ethical and political parameters, in our fluctuating subjective dynamism of our confrontations with modernity and dominating orders. Given, that Dawla “stems from the verb dal which morphologically, as well as semantically, falls between the verb dar (to rotate) and the verb zal (to go away, or fall)” (Al-Barghouti, 2008: 56). Temporality and ‘succession’ are thus essential connotations of Dawla, with anything circulated from one hand to another referred to a Dawla, as much as it can also signify “the condition of well-being, for one person or a group of persons, since such condition will sooner or later end, by the death of the people who are enjoying it, if not by any other means” (Al-Barghouti, 2008: 57). The 59th chapter of the Qur’an, chapter of ‘The Gathering’, verse 7, for example, speaks of the Prophet’s distribution of the spoils of war to those in need, “so that it may not just make the circuit (dulatan) among the wealthy of you” (Al-Barghouti, 2008: 57). Analogously the 3rd chapter of the Qur’an, the chapter of ‘the Family or House of Imran’, verse 140, discusses the cyclical nature of human vicissitudes, such that triumph one day is replaced by defeat another day. As a pre-colonial and pre-modern, and in fact actually Islamic, nevermind distorted Arab concept, Dawla referred to any political arrangement, in thus far as it is temporary and not territorially fixed, with sovereignty lying in the Ummah, not the Dawla (Al-Barghouti, 2008). Particularly, when Allah (SWT) in the Qur’an and Islam uncontestably states in relation to what our purpose as a species ought be: “We created…and made you into Shu’ub (big tribes) and Qa’ba’il (smaller tribes) that you might come to know each other” and when beings reserve the rightful liberty to ethically seek their rizq, or ‘secure provisions’, as other elemental components of life’s subsistence, elsewhere, if not with the provisory intent and peaceful purpose of knowing ‘the Other’ face-to-face, irrespective of what vicinities we occupy on this Creator’s earth, now mitigated through ‘Third Parties’ as capitalist-nation-States (The Holy Qur’an, Chapter 49, Chapter of ‘The Apartments’, Verse: 13). This is precisely the reason why pre-1798 and during the extended duration and period of Islam’s pre-modern history there even existed a multiplicity of Dawlas within one Dawla, loosely resembling a ‘confederacy’. As, for instance, with the Hamadanite, Buwaihid, Ekhsheedi, Ayyub and Mamloui Dawlas within the Abbasiyyan, and Mohammad Ali and Ali Bey al-Kabir’s Dawlas within the Uthmaniyyan (Al-Barghouti, 2008: 58; Hodgson, 1977; Piscatori, 1986). And bearing in mind, that an “‘Ummayyad Caliphate’ having a seat in Damascus did not mean there was a ‘Syria’”, by the same token that a “‘Abbassid Caliphate’ with a seat in Baghdad never meant it was an ‘Iraqi’ caliphate”[lxxii] (Rifat Ibrahim, 2014). However, it happened that with the Abbasid turn in power, as with the Umayyids before them, that the Abbasid house became entrenched in decadence, as the dynamic sense and essence of Dawla became conflated with the elitist and bourgeoisie notion that a family ought rule (Al-Barghouti, 2008). For though the “Abbasid Dawla derived its legitimacy directly from the Ummah” it did this abusing a “certain interpretation of some of the inheritance verses in the Qur’an, as well as on a set of sayings by the Prophet showing the virtues of their ancestor al-Abbas, the Prophet’s uncle” in legitimizing its claims to authority and stronghold maintenance of power (Al-Barghouti, 2008: 58). After all, as Wael Hallaq argues in The Impossible State (2012), the Prophet Mohammad himself created a super tribe of Muslims and non-Muslims, known as an Ummah in Medina and not a ‘State’[lxxiii], that included Jewish tribes as Jews of the various branches of ‘Aws, Najjar, Harith, Jashim, Tha’labah, Aws, and Christians and Zoroastrians —all whom Islam recognizes as Ahlul Kitab, the People of the Scriptures. What Orientalist historians later on called ‘Islamic state’, in reference to medieval Muslim polity, was a post-prophetic invention by Muslims[lxxiv], ironically modeled after Roman and Persian Empires whom Muslims fought against. Moreover, this is despite the fact that Communal solidarity (okhoweya), communal consent or mutual consultation (shura), mutual aid (taawon), community consensus (ijma), public welfare (maslaha), struggle of the self and with others towards that which is ‘ethicall-politicall good & just’ (Jihadu al-akbar & al’amr be al-marouf), the absence of State army (Jihad al-asghar), the notorious connotation of a king and territorial sovereignty (taghut & mulk), are only a few examples of Quranic (and hence Islamic) political concepts, which all stand in opposition to all forms of authoritarian, hierarchical, and individualistic practices (Kropotkin 1892; Barclay 1972; Abou El Fadl, 2014).
There is no getting rid of Islam’s cultural and spiritual influence in the Middle East; indeed, there is no getting rid of Islam’s political and ethical existence, in a society as Egypt’s. With the realization as well that I see Muslims, people of color, and Indigenous peoples of the Americas reifying blood-quantum politics, wanting to call white and people of color allies as ‘captured’ and therefore replicating ‘indigenous-settler’ binary constructs despite subjectivities as ‘Black Cherokees’, ‘Afro-Métis’ and ‘Indigenous-Muslims’, that ought teach all of us that there is no such thing as purity, or a return to a romanticized identity. And hence the need to engage non-racial/non-ethnic global meanings of indigeneity that transcend ethnicity/race that the ‘White heterosexual man’ imposed upon all of us, if individuals and communities prove their commitment to decolonization and reindigenization. This further implies the need to connect indigenous struggles on Turtle Island with Muslim struggles with a Crusading West that anteceded 1492 in the eviction of Muslims from Grenada/Andalusia. This isn’t merely a ‘Cultural War’ but rather ‘a Spiritual War’ in light of Islam’s historical symbolism. For even if one were to believe that this isn’t a civilizational confrontation, that doesn’t imply that one has not been incepted and internalized. This way I see a never-ending mass-manufacturing plant of Muslims infantilized as opposed to being radicalized to produce wahabi-jihadi subjects and neo-fundamentalist jihadist-Islamist thought, as if Muslims and Arabs are now ‘destined to forever see life and death through a looking glass, darkly’ (Fisk, 2017). Seeing, that is, that neoimperial-and-neocolonial influenced ISIS or the so-called ‘Islamic-state’, has broken down the precious and ‘sacred barrier and wall that separates childhood from adulthood, innocence from guilt’ (Fisk, 2017). This is an age of insurgent times where one can see and read accounts of ‘broken killer-fathers’ and mothers, driven to remorse by the birth of their own children, ‘in the new age of Isis, the child-man is the murderer’ (Fisk, 2017). One only has to see the videotape in Syria of a child hacking away at a prisoner’s neck with a knife, or another of a seven-year-old boy – the son of an Australian fighter, now dead, named Khaled Sharrouf – holding a severed human head in his hands to understand. Indeed, one only has to watch summary execution videos of 25 Syrian soldiers fighting jihadis on behalf of the butcher of Damascus, all who were murdered, gunshot to the head, by a child, where all there is are false choices that ties both sides of a proxy war conflict to neocolonial and neoimperial alliances (Fisk, 2017). Our innocence hasn’t only been stripped but rather ‘the ceremony of innocence has now been so deeply drowned’, through never ending wars that have brutalized both those who participate in it, as so-called ‘freedom fighters’ and the society in which these so-called warriors and soldiers engage (Fisk, 2017). Children are just expected and bred to be just that – ‘immature child-men’ – contaminated by their father’s acts without the slightest sense of guilt, empathy or remorse, with the only distancing that exists between ‘us’ and ‘them’, as a jihad-child once said, are: ‘The days that make and turn young men turn old, before more coffins are prepared and more graves are dug’ (Fisk, 2017). Ideologies are an illusion, when, on the one hand, one finds Bashar Al-Asad, ‘the butcher of Damascus’, a staunch anti-Zionist, and yet still is an authoritarian and capitalist dictator. While, on the other hand, one finds ISIS and al-Qaeda releasing online videos against corporate de-forestation in Afghanistan, while also ironically espousing a surprising degree of heterodoxy in their educational curriculums[lxxv]. Even publishing, a Syrian jihadist woman of burgeoning literary celebrity and better known as ‘the Poetess of the Islamic State’, Ahlam al-Nasr’s book titled The Blaze of Truth, and yet ISIS are indiscriminately and sadistically slaughtering Muslims wholesale, including those of their own ‘denomination’, as well as non-Muslims alike. What measuring scale, what restitution, and which is more worthy of remembrance than the other, a life-stolen by Asad or Daesh? Or, shall we pretend to measure the incomparable ongoing trauma between that of African-Americans, or missing and murdered Indigenous women?
Long dismissed is the fact that Qur’anic chapters or surahs are named after literal and metaphorical verses of Creation themselves, like chapters of: ‘The Sun’, ‘The Stars’, ‘The Moon’, ‘The Rocky Tract’, ‘The Light’, ‘The Iron’, ‘The Cattle’, ‘The Pen’, ‘The Jinn-or-Spirits Unseen’, ‘The Thunder’, ‘The Fig Tree’, ‘The Abundance’, ‘The Spider’, ‘The Gold-Adornments’, ‘The Smoke’, ‘The Dust-or-Scattering Winds’, ‘The Winding Sand-Dunes/Sandhills’, ‘The Constellations’, ‘The Ants’, ‘The Elephant’, ‘The Bees’, and ‘The Calf/Cow’). All references that denote how a Creator and God’s ethical-political ideals are to be honored and taken care of by respecting Creation itself, and irrespective of whatever name is assigned to ‘the Divine’: Allah, Jesus, Yahweh, Buddha, a deified, worshipped, and venerated Karl Marx, Peter Kropotkin, Michael Bakunin, or even Emma Goldman. All who denote spiritually-fused conceptualizations and representations of ethical-political ideals and their manifestations which white Western liberalism attempted to destroy, then to appropriate and claim of a dignified life and spirit in relation to all that stands for communal non-human life. And yet all we mostly see are Muslims and non-Muslims basking in the glorification and idolization of their children, accumulated wealth, prestige and power, or technological-deterministic-sciences that will supposedly ameliorate us. No, no, somehow, the Qur’an is merely about a monolithic ‘dogmatic Sharia’ and its associated set of ‘phantom horrors’ that warrant the Western establishment of ‘1-800-hotlines’, despite that they constitute no more than 120, out of more than 6,000 other verses, and address ‘legal’ matters that must rely on knowledge of usul al-fiqh, as well as centuries of scholasticism, and hence entail and demand a contextualization of their ethical-and-political jurisprudential application and foundations. In light of how they relate to the ‘rights of orphans, the poor’ (etc.), concerns of ‘inheritance’, women’s access and rights to ‘inherit estates’, ‘ownership of property’ and initiation of divorce, if not, as noted, the conditions of jihad as a ‘self-defensive war’, as well as the individual and communal responsibility to struggle against one’s ego, or self, and its micro-fascisms, through what is referred to as the ‘greater Jihad’, or jihad al-nafs. All this is ignored, including Qur’anic verses referred to as suwar al-ghayb, that no one knows the meaning of, and endless more, yet the obstinate claims that this is a literalist, fundamentalist text. Without an addressing of these concerns, the possibilities of liberation or the furthering of solidarity between Muslims, people of color, and non-Muslims in Turtle Island, Empire, and globally, are futile, for there is no freed Palestine, without a freed Turtle Island, a freed Africa or Arabian peninsula. The Qur’an and Islam were never in need of ‘Enlightenment’ or a ‘Protestant Reformation’, but rather revolutionizing the way we read, understand, and apply them.
Our remnant cultures and spiritualities are all that remain and are at play. From that of a hubris scientific rationalist atheist’s faith, unhinged by all of science’s failures at playing God, and its supposed ‘objective’ promises and perils, to that of an ‘irrational’ spiritual Other’s faith, insisting on doctrinal dogmas and the castration of our rich traditions. As we both herd each other in submission and subjugation, and endless, useless, debates over whether God is alive or dead, juxtaposed against what can liberates us of common understandings premised on ethical-political principles anchoring our simultaneous ‘beliefs’ to Creation, that we may, perhaps, discover a Creator, if at all. Instead of the warring battles we wage, based on misconceptions of each other, in redefining what engaging shared spirited belongings and belief means. Enough with the ostentatious deification and unwavering dedication of oneself to the accumulation of wealth, power, and prestige, the false binaries between ‘spirituality’ and ‘science’, and becoming wholly consumed and digested by the white egomaniacal ingested notions of the ‘self-made man’. As if, all there is to existence is matter and nothing more, that we’re just another tiny, momentary accidental speck within an indifferent universe, void of soul and spirit, insignificant, as we indeed have proven ourselves to be. After all, as Elizabeth Grosz asks what would “a humanities, a knowledge of and for the human” look like “if it placed the animal in its rightful place, not only before the human but also within and after the human” (2011)? What would “a newly considered humanities, one that seeks to know itself not in opposition to its others, the ‘others’ of the human, but in continuity with them” look like (Grosz, 2011)? Especially, if not premised on setting up an “opposition between the self and the other, in which the other is always in some way associated with animality or the nonhuman” but rather through our own decentering and renvisioning of our relationship with non-human life (Grosz, 2011)? Indeed, “what kind of intellectual revolution” would it be to displace the demagoguery of our species, and “would be required to make [hu]man and the various forms of [hu]man, one among many living things, and one force among many, rather than the aim and destination of all knowledge, not only the traditional disciplines within the humanities, but also the newer forms of inter-disciplinarity”(Grosz, 2011)? Indeed, when belief and spirituality relate to Creation and non-human life and represent what one is willing to account for as a subject, accepts being judged and stands for, in relation to a life’s worth, lived, and a death imminently faced and broached. Be it as it may that this belief anchors itself in science, despite that this allegiance and credence within itself can neither claim to be ‘nonpartisan’ or ‘apolitical’. For one shudders, as John Portevi writes in Political Physics, at the discomfort with the “‘politicization’ of [this] supposedly pure science” in the face of claimants of its objectivity (2001: 102). A supposed objectivity exemplified in the opinion of atheist ‘luminaries’ as Sam Harris, Richard Dawkins, Stephen Hawking, and the deceased Christopher Hitchens. In their dismissal of, not only, medieval Muslims and their ethically situated scientific contributions, as that of Ibn Sina, Ibn al-Nafis, Ibn Nufayl, Abd al-Rahman Al-Sufi and al-Jahiz’s, to discourses as astronomy, medicine, alchemy, biology, ophthalmology, physics, psychology, botany and zoology or ethology, as in, the study of animals and plants, during Europe’s Dark Ages. But rather too, in the Eurocentric ‘atheistic’ disregard of Harris, Dawkins and Hawking (etc.) of modern 19th and 20th century’s scientific racism through the much, now, discredited sciences of phrenology and eugenics that entailed “the measurement of human skulls”[lxxvi] under the premise that whites are of superior moral faculty and intellect than non-whites (Hussain, 2014). Of what comes to inform and constitute ‘objective science’, without regard for what type of research receives neoliberal academic funding and not, never mind assumes the validity of compartmentalized knowledge systems despite their interrelatedness, given, for instance:
“Supposedly pure ‘medical’ factors of toxins, allergens, immunosupperssives and disease loads that make up a multifactorial immunological model of the AIDS disease process [and that] would have to be articulated with psycho-socio-econo-political analyses of homophobia, racism, misogyny and the capitalist production of poverty and commodification of medical information and service…[to justify, in this instance,] the adoption of the HIV-only model and the higher prestige of the elegant simplicity of virology – from the [perspective of] big science establishment” (Portevi, 2001:102-103).
I see Somali American Muslims writing articles, employing and applying binary logics and facile argumentations in articles, as Islamophobia Will Never Be the New Blackness[lxxvii] (2015), dehistoricizing history itself, as she engages in an neoliberal influenced ‘Oppression Olympics’ and ignores the politics of her own American-citizenship, that certainly taints and impacts her, but that nonetheless collapses and homogenously monolithizes the transatlantic black-slave experience (which she was never a part of). This Somali-American’s view is no different than literatures that have come to fetishize ‘Blackness as the quintessential Other’, or as the ‘new indigeneity’ and hence the organizing principle upon which our movements ought situate themselves, and without which there is no liberation’ (Mbembe, 2017). All the while as this Somali-American dismisses her own positionality as a settler, ongoing neocolonial indigenous concerns, and her own assimilation into the ‘Black American experience’. Despite an undeniable ‘Arab supremacy’ (impacted by Gulf states) and the hyper-visibility and invisibility of blackness globally, within Muslim and non-Muslim communities, and yet, still, in this article’s case, absent of any nuanced examination of the distinct functioning of blackness in different contexts. As if there aren’t Black African-Arabs, for instance, in thus far as Nubian and Sudanese Egyptians who conjunctively, as opposed to binarically, see themselves as both African and Arab (when the truth of the matter is Egyptian racial/ethnic identity is constructed as any other, in this particular case, having been conquered and colonized by the Hyksos, the Persians, the Greeks, the Romans, the Arabs, the Ottomans, the French and the British). Or, even, in the case of Palestine, as if there aren’t internalized white-imperial and colonial influenced ethnic/racial and classist hierarchizations of Arabs and Muslims amongst themselves, let alone amongst Blacks themselves in settler-colonial Israel and the U.S./Canada, that was never discussed or broached in this Somali-American’s article. As if Blackness, Islam, and Arabness[lxxviii], are homogenous categories that do not dynamically separate and intersect historically depending on the context. Particularly when Islamophobia and anti-blackness, are not necessarily mutually exclusive, when one examines the experience of the first Transatlantic Slaves during the Middle Passage, the forcible conversion of a hardly insignificant proportion of Muslim-African slaves to Christianity, and the former’s roots in the Iberian Muslim Peninsula.
Indeed, the Somali-American writer completely elides the fact that:
“Arabia has always been part of the African world…[that] for more than 70,000 years there have been Black people in Arabia [and] it hardly gets more indigenous than that. [After all] to claim that Black people are in Arabia primarily because of slavery or modern economic driven migration erases tens of thousands of years of history in the region and the very long connection Arabia has with the rest of Africa…[More so, that in] the beginning…[Arab and Muslim] slave trade was mostly done by people who’d be considered Black against other people who are considered Black…In the early period most of the slaves were actually coming from Eurasia, a lot of whom were Slavs (which is where the word slave is derived from in the first place). When The Arabs were fighting against Byzantium (the Eastern Roman Empire) and conquered Egypt, Lebanon, Palestine, and Syria, the vast majority of those Arab conquerors would be considered Black today. A lot of the people who were conquered hadn’t become Arabs yet, a major exception being the Ghassanid Kingdom of Arabs from the Azd tribe who migrated from Yemen to Syria. This is not to say that there weren’t a lot of Arabs there, there were. But the majority of people in that area were not identifying as Arabs until after the Umayyads conquered the region…That when it comes to West Africa and East Africa, conversion to Islam was mostly peaceful. If the same wars of conquest had been engaged in by the Arabs in those regions it is likely that you’d have ‘Arab’ states in West Africa and East Africa. In the West and East African context, the spread of Islam was [in this sense] peaceful…Arabs didn’t have a colonial relationship in these areas when they began to spread Islam” (2017).
Therefore, to the contrary “parallels can be easily discerned between Islamophobia and anti-black racism as particular manifestations of similar impulses that consist of a cocktail of intersectional racisms” and burgeoning scholarships addressing the nuance of these concerns and issues (Austen, 2015; Beydoun, 2013; 2015; Coletu, 2015; Ihmoud, 2015; Naber, 2015; Fletcher Jr., 2015; Baghoolizadeh, 2015; Mire, 2017). What then are the consequences of seeing “Black American/Canadian Muslims as neither bystanders nor allies who are ascribed both epithets ‘thug’ and/or ‘terrorist’, and thus rather as intersectional subjects of anti-black racism, poverty, mass incarceration, or police brutality” (Austen, 2015)? Wouldn’t this imply “then that anti-blackness and Islamophobia” can “become intimate bedfellows” given that “anti-black racism, poverty, gentrification, mass incarceration, and police brutality” are also simultaneously legitimate ‘Muslim’ issues”, that indeed Muslims ought to have been concerned with all along, given Islam’s inarguable anchoring in non-identitarian, non-racial and non-ethnic, social justice paradigms[lxxix] (Austen, 2015)? And again, without denying either or condoning the fact that non-black Muslims continue to hide behind the Qu’ran perpetrating and perpetuating anti-Blackness and Afrophobia, to the extent that they don’t even recognize black names “as Sundiata Keita, Usman Dan Fodio, Mansa Musa and great Islamic civilizations like the Mali Empire, the Songhai Empire and the Sokoto Caliphate, that mean nothing to a majority of Muslims”[lxxx] (Finna, 2015).
Nonetheless, it’s as if Black Arab Palestinian Muslims and Christians[lxxxi] don’t have similar and altogether distinct struggles and don’t experience racism and ethno-centrism from Ethiopian, Eritrean Mizrahi and Sephardic Zionists. And in other instances, one sees, the recurring anti-Arab sentiments, now internalized, on the part of northern Africans in relation to Arabs whom they believe colonized them, eliding the intimate inter-racial/ethnic relationships between Northern African Hamitic/and Arabian Peninsula Semitic peoples; well, what about Zionist Africans who have now colonized Black Arab Palestinians in this reverse cycle of an instance? What about Israel’s second-rate citizenries, be it through its coercive treatment of its Sub-Saharan African, Eritrean and Sudanese refugees and asylum seekers. Or the way Israel gynecologically targeted and non-consensually administered its Ethiopian Jewish migrants with injected birth-control shots, while they were transiting and passing between camps in what Israel refers to as ‘procedural ordinary inoculations’, or so the former were told over the course of 3-month durations[lxxxii]. Indeed, this is Israel, and its white Ashkenazi Jewish population who drum calls for its “de-Africanization”[lxxxiii] and its ‘de-Gentile-izing as a society and country’, to its ‘inclusive’ racist, ethnic and criminal laws bent on fomenting and arousing[lxxxiv] conflict between Christian and Muslim Palestinians. Indeed this is Israel that mandates that Christian Palestinians of Israeli citizenship serve in the Israeli military like its other ‘cast subjects’ of Bedouins, Druze, Circassians, Mizrahim, non-Israeli orphans, and Haredim, beside others like the deaf and hard of hearing as well as LGBTIQ peoples (etc). All who are conscripted, from the age of 18 upwards, are incentivized and afforded entitlements, in the hollow and artificial promotion of them as minorities and towards preserving the superficial image of ‘upward mobility’, while all the former uphold its barbaric colonial order (Sheen, 2014; Abunimah, 2013). Then there’s Israel’s tax-deductible funds, organized by “Friends of Israel Defense Forces Charities”, who hold fundraisers in “Waldorf” hotels that rake “$27 Million” an evening, while charging “$1000”[lxxxv] a plate. Beyond, that is, other (un)official recipient donations Israel receives from the U.S. (in the fiscal year of 2013 reaching, at Obama’s request, $38.1 billion), in addition to what it solicits still from Europe’s white ‘guilt’ having ‘rid themselves of a majority of Jews’ despite the latter’s assimilation, having undergone Jewish Enlightenment, or the Haskalah, justifying their European-Jewishness and yet their continued othering to this day (Blankfort, 2013). Altogether proving how Euro-America never truly cared much for non-Zionist white and non-white Jewish populations, as much as it does for Israel’s white settler-colonial existence, and in assuring their own neoimperial interests. Euro-America has proven in the age of Trump how Euro-America is and can be anti-Semitic yet supportive of Zionism at once. One merely has to pay attention to the unbaiting prevalent and rampant anti-Semitism in Europe to this day. Not to mention, what historically were Europe and America’s discriminatory and exclusionary laws concerning Jewish voting, employment, rights and migration laws that were denied to them, throughout the 1930’s and 1940’s (Abella & Troper, 2002). One only has to note past Euro-American and Canadian ‘mistakes’ that would result in tragedies as the S.S. St. Lious[lxxxvi], in which a ship carrying 937 Jewish refugees, during the Second World War, was turned away in 1939. A history that Canada shares with America, who also refused Jewish entry, in addition to their common ancestry in establishing Japanese Internment Camps. After all, the former settler-states, are complicit in the Holocaust, and their structural and institutional refusal to admit Jewish refugees during the Nazi era, when anti-Semites like Frederick Charles Blair, who was the Canadian Government’s Director of Immigration, in William Lyon Mackenzie King’s administration, at the time, stated, of Jews, that: “none were considered too many”, juxtaposed against Muslims, who were, in fact, saving Jews during the Holocaust (Abella & Troper, 2002). Blair even compared ‘Jews clamoring to get into the country (i.e. Canada) to hogs at feeding time’. Unoriginally and repugnantly Blair made statements like: “Why don’t you people learn to live with your neighbors wherever you are? Why are you hated?”[lxxxvii] (Abella & Troper, 2002). Rather, the protectorate contract with Euro-American and white Crusader Christianity remains, as it has always consistently been, a utilitarian and strategic relationship of collaborative conveniences with Israel, as direly consequential as it is in ushering in the ‘Second Coming’ and the ‘return of the Jewish Messiah’, irrespective of the exterior, iconic, carbon photographs both sides present in glistening pageantry and flash. Of what accompanies these images of a masqueraded public personification of an undying and unshakable friendship and loyalty shared between a white-Euro-Crusading-America and a white-Zionist Israel. All towards the consecrated insurance of Euro-America’s interests in the Middle-East as well as Israel’s pearly and pallid, white-supremacist and Zionist control over meanings of Jewishness[lxxxviii], far remote from other non-white, non-Zionist, anarchistic horizons of it (Bhungalia, 2014). But, again, this is no different than an Africa being declared independent and ‘free’, despite the fact that particular nations, like Chad, Senegal, Mali, Cameron, and the Ivory Coast, still pay French-colonial tax, while oligarchic and plutocratic corporations ravage and pillage its recourses that are extracted and sent to Europe under the behest of corrupt ethnic-elite Western installed puppet governments in our nations[lxxxix] (2015). Indeed, when, “14 African countries are obliged by France, through a colonial pact, to put 85% of their foreign reserve into France central bank under French minister of Finance control… effectively putting in 500 Billion dollars every year to the French treasury” (2015). As former French President Jacques Chirac stated in March 2008: “Without Africa, France will slide down into the rank of a third [world] power”, not to mention Chirac’s predecessor “François Mitterrand had already prophesied in 1957” that: “Without Africa, France will have no history in the 21st century” (2015). The fact that Africa is bled to feed France is hardly a hyperbolic understatement or an alarming exaggeration.
Isn’t it enough then with the unsophisticated and ingenious arguments and articles like ‘Islamophobia will never be the new Blackness’, when “The Truth About Islam and Sex Slavery History Is More Complicated Than You Think” (Ali, 2017)? And yet, all one sees, too often, are facile Islamic/un-Islamic dichotomies that assume a static ‘definition of Islam’ with respect to any topic, apparently, that it can be related to, for the sake of contrarian arguments. One finds, on the one hand, superficial, unscholarly and uneducated, debates between ambivalent Muslim apologists, fooling themselves, given what they perceive of an imagined, irrecoverable, pristine community that relies on a selective enactment of certain provisions from scripture and law. And, on the other hand, naïve riotous publicists, like Umar Lee[xc] insufficiently educated and attempting to project the unsophisticated view that Islam itself, and, in particular, the Qur’an, legitimizes basic elements of a defunct worldview, regarding ‘slavery’, completely ignoring not only that the Qur’an bears paradoxes (as opposed to mere ‘contradictions’), within itself as a text, never mind, the necessity for its contextual situating across geographies, spaces and time(s). Altogether, which ought respectively demand nuanced attention to processes of tradition-making, let alone in this instance, attunement to the fact that just like their earlier counterparts in Greece, canonical Jewish, and Rome codes, medieval Muslim jurists problematically stagnated in their formulations of Islamic law in the 8th to 10th centuries, particularly in thus far as taking “slavery as a given”, despite what could easily argued is a Muslim tradition of “emancipatory ethic” and “a consistent preference for freeing slaves and a reluctance to enslave” (Ali, 2010; 2016; 2017). Especially, when one finds Qur’anic passages that specifically describe releasing slaves: “spend of your substance . . . for the ransom of slaves” (2:177); “zakat is for the poor and the needy, and those employed to administer the (funds)…for those in bondage and in debt” (9:60); “Verily, We have created this species into toil and struggle…but shall We explain to you the path that is steep? - (It is:) freeing the bondman” (90:4-13); and yet other verses include (4:92). Verses as 2:177 and 9:60, not only clearly demonstrate a Muslim communities’ directive to create permanent funds for freeing those in bondage, but rather the Qur’an’s statistical analysis of slaves is critical to note and glean from these verses. When freeing slaves is evidently shown to be ‘an easier choice of penance’, whether in expenditure of money or physical effort, given the comparison of ‘freeing a slave’ to be as equivalent to fasting (from three days to two months) or feeding or clothing the poor (from ten to sixty people). Moreover, arguments regarding ‘Slavery and Islam’, fundamentally ignore distinctions between the ‘modern’ Eurocentric, neoliberal, institutionalization of identity politics, capitalist-nation-States’ modes of social, and political-economic-governance, in relation to conceptualizations of ‘gender’ and what constitutes ‘private’ and ‘public’ property, all that are distinct from pre-modernity, in which identity politics did not exist. With pre-modern Islam functioning altogether according to distinct paradigms, analyses, concepts, and realities, that cannot be disentangled piecemeal from each other, and that are contingent on distinctions between customary law and canonical texts, as well as “diversity of doctrine within and between normative texts” that also need to be taken into account, in relation to Islam’s own theological methodologies that ought be understood on its own terms in evaluating why slavery was not immediately abolished. Despite Islam’s other clear social justice stance with respect to other issues as ‘female infanticide’ that was immediately condemned and forbidden, let alone a relentless emphasis on ‘rights of the poor’, the ‘orphans’, the ‘strangers’, ‘travelers’ and ‘wayfarers’ etc. But then to respond to such questions, it would be incumbent to engage from a position of knowledge as opposed to mere colloquial and polemical assumptions, that operation from the position that just because one possesses a tongue, two lips and a pair of typing hands, that one is entitled to wanton, untrained, ignorant, opinions. For instance, there is no discourse of ‘Sexuality’ in Islam, given ‘sexuality’ within itself is a modern compartmentalized Euro-American discourse, resting on Anglo-Saxon Enlightenment influenced, assumptions with respect to colonial understandings of ‘gender’, Weberian protestant ethic notions of ‘property’, ‘superiority of whiteness as a race’ that categorized all other beings as ‘less than human’ (Massad, 2015). This is despite Islam’s addressing of ‘sexuality’, but only in thus far as its fundamental and differential relation to gender, socially-just and situated-ethical-political access and practices in relation to ‘inheritance laws’, ‘markets’ and therefore according to distinct ontological and epistemological categories of what constitutes ‘property’ in relation to fulfilling not only, modern conceptualizations of ‘rights’, tied to Western understandings of ‘freedom’ and a ‘politics of citizenship’, but rather communal notions of ‘caretaking’, ‘responsibilities’ and ‘protection’ of Muslims and non-Muslims alike, let alone non-human life. Particularly, when all ’ownership’ and its dominion(s), or Mulk, belongs to Allah, and which therefore implies that each and every subject, as a Khalifah or Caretaker, bears accountability for their privileges and what exists in their care. Indeed, when, from this Qur’anic perspective, we are all ‘Abeed’ or slaves, to Allah, and hence slaveholding poses potent problems, considering that if we are all slaves of God, how can some people own others? Moreover, the fact is, in ample instances, slaves were “legal subjects” and this was central to pre-modern Muslim jurists’ conceptual worlds, because, of how it, in particular, related to and “affected how marriage and gender were thought of”, given, what was construed as “vital relationship between enslavement and femaleness as legal disabilities, and between slave ownership and marriage” (Ali, 2010: 6–8). Ignoring these questions is problematic when, on the one hand, “contemporary Muslim women, feminists included, see medieval legal theory as a source of justice and dignity”, and yet on the other hand, modern scholars, Muslim and Western, “discuss issues of gender rights in relation to early law” (Ali, 2010: 189). Nonetheless, it is also, in this sense, that ‘slavery’ cannot be disconnected or assumed to be the same in ‘medieval’ and ‘modern’ society, without a holistic approach to understandings its relationship to “gender and sexuality”, what ‘freeing’ of Muslim children from concubines implied, what constitutes ‘(il)licit’, ‘sexual contentment’, or even ‘consensus’ or its insignificance then, never-mind concepts as “sabī and sabāyā that become key realms for the construction of masculinity and femininity” (26). Indeed, when one finds paradoxical verses stating that “believers must …abstain from sex, except those joined to them in the marriage bond”(23:1-6), as an ‘indictment against sex with slaves’, while paradoxically other verses state: “[T]hey may wed [believers] from among those whom your right hands possess” (4:25) and “Marry those among you who are single, or the virtuous ones among your slaves, male or female” (24:32).
Unscholarly, trans-historical, arguments that ignore the ‘inner conceptual analytical functioning’ of a text as the Qur’an’s, are benign, when the fact is “formative-period jurists shared presuppositions about marriage, kinship, and slavery despite their sometimes heated disagreements on specific points of law” (2010: 189). In this respect, and as Kecia Ali notes, “Muslim history reflects a wide variety of historically specific patterns of enslavement, slaveholding, manumission and abolition”, and hence to a-historically, benignly, compare, ‘slavery in the US’ and correlate it with medieval and pre-modern slavery within Muslims societies is ignorant, to say the least, when slavery was never racialized in the Eurocentric sense, described above, and hence slaves were from “Europe, Asia and the Caucasus as well as Africa” (Ali, 2015). Indeed, when “Islamic slavery” included conscript-convert Janissary troops, cooks, nannies, Mamluk military rulers, salt miners, pearl divers, craftsmen allowed to keep part of their wages, mothers of Ottoman sultans and the drudges who cleaned the royal harem quarters” (Ali, 2015). Furthermore, particularly, when Islam sought to acknowledge but also transcend race/ethnicity and mere loyalties and shackles of enslavement, premised upon tribal or racial/ethnic affiliations, when the Holy Prophet on the occasion of his last pilgrimage declares: “All beings are like brothers and sisters: a Black has no superiority over the Red, nor has an Arab any preferential claim on a non-Arab”. For even when slavery was ‘hierarchical’, despite that it should’ve been out-rightly forbidden, it was never ‘institutionalized’ in the contemporary sense, and neither was marriage, given that ‘institutions’ in the contemporary sense of term and inseparable from the concept of modern-capitalist-States did not exist and once again, neither did a so-called ‘Islamic State’. Once more, this is not to condone pre-modern slavery or persistent forms of modern slavery either despite the ‘official’ prohibition and criminalization of slavery globally. Rather this is to demonstrate that writers as Lee and the former Somali-American, conveniently and uncomplicatedly, engage in destructive conversations without an iota of nuance or finesse, as much as in the case of Lee, he rightly indicates, “the rampant abuse of workers in the Gulf, the thousands of workers in the Gulf dying on construction sites, the South Asian child camel-jockeys imported into the United Arab Emirates to race camels under harsh conditions, or the horrific conditions of prisoners in the Muslim World (the latest news being 13,000 prisoners executed in Syria)” (2017). And therefore though Lee’s examples above hold true, de-historicizing and conflating discussions and conceptual references between modern and pre-modern distinctions is ‘useless’ as it exposes, reifies, and promotes nothing but clichéd Orientalist and neo-fundamentalist sound-bites of an absented and amorphous Islam, while also empowering both Western and neo-fundamentalist ‘Daesh’ narratives with respect to Islam, that only stereotype it further. That is, as opposed, to fruitful conversations of how neocolonialism and neoimperialism continues to produce neo-reactionary subjects and subjectivities that have normalized “the capture and rape of Yazidi, Muslim and non-Muslim women as ordinary actions”, let alone, other discussions of how “sexual violence against women in wartime is an epidemic, and which by no means is unique to Muslim ‘troops/terrorists’, given rape and sexual assault’s systematic use as a weapon of war in Bosnia, Rwanda, and Colombia and, reaching back further into the twentieth century, in China by Japanese soldiers and in Bangladesh by Pakistani soldiers” (2016). After all, were “Muslim women” not sadistically raped and tortured “in Bosnia and Bangladesh, by non-Muslims in one case and Muslims in the other”, while “U.N. peacekeeping forces have been implicated in consistent patterns of sexual abuse”, as well as, of course, “American soldiers who have been guilty of the same around the globe, and within their own military ranks”, when “beyond occasional rogue soldiers who rape, U.S. military and intelligence services have routinely used sexualized torture and humiliation” in the name of a global ‘War on Terror’ (2016). As Ali asks, “if sexual violence is all too common in conflict zones, leaving aside the deplorable forms it takes in what we might call ordinary life, why emphasize the criminal behavior of Muslim insurgencies” and “why not treat the systematic capture and sale of Yazidi women and girls as a form of sex trafficking or wartime rape” and why not in relation to Empire’s emasculated sexualization and gendering of, for instance, Muslim prisoners in Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib, renamed Baghdad Central Prison (2016; Puar, 2015)?
And, yet on the other hand, I see Muslims fetishizing white reverts and converts, who dawn ‘righteous’ Arab and South Asian aesthetic clothing as if that adds to their ‘holiness’. Who then proceed to claim that they now belong to an oppressed minority as if Islam disavows your white privilege in this day and age, as aunties and uncles too fetishize white skin, blonde hair, and blue eyes, and dream of marrying these white converts off to their children, perhaps in the hope that their grandchildren will be purged of curly hair and a colored epidermis, that is in no longer in need of bleaching creams, when we continue to consume the same Monsanto GMO foods and appeal to civilizational discourses in our (im)maturity. When, rather, the coming ‘end’ war was never meant to be based on atomistic identity politics between Muslims and Zionist-Crusaders, but rather, on the one hand, those who are loyal to fundamental decolonized principles that inform their fidelity to spiritually-infused ideas, regardless of what these ideas are and their false representation as ‘coherent ideologies’, even those purportedly ‘secular’, and yet, on the other hand, those who insist on embracing white values and a white world. Hence my work has always been fundamentally, ontologically and epistemologically, concerned with disrupting, reorienting, resituating, unsettling, and redefining what constitutes ‘Muslim’ identity in transcending both its (neo)fundamentalist and (neo)Orientalist representations. Indeed, in an ‘Islamist’ age where Muslims are abandoning Islam, and where Arabs, Africans, Indigenous peoples and people of color, Muslims, Christians, and Jews are pitted against each other in a Machiavellian and Manichean divide and conquer strategy. As when Lebanese-Americans like Nedal Tamer, or even Aziz Wehbey[xci], an Arab-Syrian Christian migrant living in Allentwon, Pennsylvania, who became a whitewashed American citizen a quarter of century ago, is an auto dealer, a community leader, president of the American Syrian Charity Society, worries some Syrian refugees might have taken part in the fighting in Syria’s civil war and have “blood on their hands”, stating, “we need to know who we are welcoming in our society” (2017). Wehbey, who voted for Trump, of course showed up on Brooke Baldwin’s, CNN show, reiterating his support for the refugee ban, and claims, “We would not like to bring refugees for a simple reason: We do not know their background”, Wehbey said. “We’re concerned about, if God forbid, a terrorist attack happened here…that we’re all labeled as bad people. I hate to say it…we don’t want to see a Syrian conflict over here and they’re going to have to learn a ‘new language’ and come to a ‘new land’” – like you, not too long, Wehbey, I wonder (2017)?!
I see Anarchism and its non-homogenous, Western and non-Western decolonial variants[xcii] being stupidly interpreted as ‘chaos’ and ‘disorder’, as opposed to la-sulta-wiya (i.e. non-authoritarianism). No different than white orientalists and Muslims, also claiming that the Prophet Muhammad led an ‘Islamic state’, and that ‘Islam’ is synonymous with ‘terrorism’ and ‘submission’ (the Arabic term for which is actually ‘khudo3’) as opposed to ‘willful surrender’ or ‘choice based deliverance’ (from the root ‘s-l-m (peace)’ and verb ‘u-sa-lem’ or ‘to offer or hand over by informed choice’, given the infamous non-hegemonic Qur’anic verse: ‘There is no Compulsion in Religion’. For as the Qur’an explicitly states, “Had your Lord willed, all the people on earth would have believed. Do you want to force the people to become believers” (Chapter 10, Chapter of ‘Jonah’, Verse: 99).
I see white Eurocentric Anarchists disinterested and unknowledgeable of non-Western or decolonial forms of anarchism beyond class-war, homogenizing and lumping all faiths, religions and spiritualties together. Indeed, eliding and secularizing spirituality’s role in socio-politically and economically maintaining our collective global survival as First Nations, Inuit, Métis, Non-status Indians, and people of color. While, Eurocentric leftists continue to be adamant and determined not to decolonize or to look into their own cultures, histories, spiritualties, and faiths for sources of political-spiritual strength, and instead Orientalize and romanticize the spiritual paradigms of indigenous peoples’ on Turtle Island; while perceiving Islam and Muslims as not sharing in these anti-hierarchical, anti-authoritarian and anti-hegemonic commitments to (non)human life. And yet, worse, these white liberals and leftists have no problem embracing yoga retreats, without decolonzing it in practice, when they possess the privilege and luxury to disavow their whitewashed Western Christianity, shirking their responsibilities as white ‘settlers’ in Turtle Island to indigenous peoples, despite that the shade of our skin, place of birth, and names are enough to ‘out us’, as ‘people of color’, even when we abdicate and disavow our Islam (etc.), while these ‘whites’ insist on preaching romanticized notions of ‘militant joy, love, and peace’.
I see white academics like David Harvey, John Holloway, anarchist anthropologists like David Graeber and autonomist Marxists like Antonio Negri cheering and advocating for imperialist leftist politics, as European and American liberal and leftist activists, including ample anarchists, die fighting alongside Kurds in a war they know little about, as savior-messiahs and with ex-soldiers-turned-mercenary. Indeed, white liberals, leftists, and working class youths and political science students spending their gap years, searching for ‘exciting’ military adventurism and voyeurism abroad, and who are privileged enough to return back home for some R&R, when they feel ‘useless’, ‘bored’, having not been in as many fire fights lately against Daesh, irrespective of their worries regarding their imperial government’s threats ‘to detain, arrest and question them’ upon arrival, so long as they collude and coordinate with Western intelligence agencies. While abdicating, yet again, their responsibilities to indigenous people back ‘home’, engaging in selective solidarities and joining fetishized anarchistic Kurds in their separatist ‘democratic utopia’ and fetishization of white-washed doctrines of Laïcité, as well as the Kurdish acquiescence to establishing American airbases in fighting ISIS, furthering to nonsectarian and neo-racial/ethnic wars, which they know nothing if little about. Without understating that ‘natural boarders have always contained cultures prior to mass transportation and that Arab cultural boarders have always been the Taurus, with Kurdistan and Zagros Mountains in the North and East as we are plains peoples’ (Marouf, 2017). That Arabs are Semites that speak Arabic, in a region where four Arab sub-cultures can be traced: ‘Al-Sham, bordered by the Taurus, Euphrates, end of the Syrian desert and the mountain ranges of middle Sinai; Al-Jazeera, the island bordered by the two great rivers and the flood lands surrounding it; Al-Iraq, that spans from Baghdad to Qatar; and Al-Ahwas on the Iranian coast of the Gulf’ (Marouf, 2017). Whites seem to fail to understand that Kurdish ‘people live in the Kurdish mountains named after them, and are Aryan and speak a sub-Iranian language, Kurdish, and the fact that no Kurdish land claims have ever been made to Syrian lands’, that the Kurds now want to annex, as Trump, no less, openly intends to take ‘a big swatch of the same land’ for ‘the right price’, as if a ‘real-estate’ deal, and build ‘a big beautiful safe zone’ that will make Syrian refugees ‘happier’ (Marouf, 2017). Rather, it is Armenian people who inhabited their natural lands, the Armenian Plateau and Highlands, and which Kurdish people, alongside, and at the behest of Ottoman Turks, together were responsible for their genocide. Indeed, Kurds, who’ve internalized an anti-Arab sentiment, as much as the reverse, when at the end of WWI, the Turkish government promised Kurdish peoples the land and property of any Armenian they kill, in the clearing of the plateau by Kurdish peoples and finally shrinking Armenia to the country we know now. Despite that ample Armenians escaped to Al-Sham and were hidden by Arabs, Muslim and Christian. Kurds who are bent on an Abdullah Oclan-and-Murray Bookchin cult-like worship for the sake of a racial and ethnic Kurdistan as activists and global media outlets lavish in the sexualization and objectification of Kurdish women fighters. Indeed, white-washed leftists who seldom condemn the mass slaughter of Rohingya and Uyghur Muslims at the hands of the militant Buddhist and Myanmar and Chinese state-capitalist-governments, instead fetishizing and excusing Nobel Peace Prize winners as Aung San Suu Kyi’s ignoring of the latter’s plight. Well, ‘anarchist’ liberators and ‘soldiers of fortune’, would we Arabs and Muslims, dare or be permitted to similarly travel to free Palestine, let alone engage in, a proxy, not civil, war, premised on false choices. O Syria! (Wa’ah Ya Balad Al-Sham!), caught on the one hand, between the butcher of Damascus in an Iranian, Russian and Chinese alliance, and on the other, a Salafi-Wahabi Saudi-Arabian led coalition colluding with a Zionist Israel in deep-seated unceasing Euro-Christian-American Unions.
Finally, I see whitewashed academics and activists harkening for a non-existent ‘nonviolence revolution’, despite, never having experienced an uprising, nor having prepared for it, lacking the fundamental understanding that it is not a matter of law reforms, mass mobilizations and ‘revolt’, but rather a transformation of conditions of self and others on the ground, and that as Frantz Fanon stated ‘all decolonization inherently entails violence’ (to self, to identity, in recreating circumstances, in unraveling and unsettling the persisting affects of white imperialism). I see the fetishization of ‘nonviolence’ despite the racism, sexism, ableism, queerphobia, classism, cultural and spiritual appropriations etc. that we undergo every moment of every day and despite that ‘violence’ as scholars and activists have noted is a non-homogenous category, given capitalist-nation-State’s monopoly on it, as the original incipient of terror (Fanon, 1967; Badiou, 2007; Zizek, 2008; Sorel, 1999; Benjamin, 1996; Critchley, 2012; Gelderloos, 2011). Despite that all I see is a white civilization based on violence, and those who seek to emulate it, when “every bit of steel” in our “towers was ripped from a forest or a mountainside”, when “every ton of concrete was stripped and mined” on the backside of a bloodied and devastated nature and planet, but let’s not fret the United Arab Emirates, amongst other superpowers, ambitiously intends to further colonize Mars, building a new city, despite the treatment of migrant Gulf workers, destitution and rampant poverty globally (2017). Indeed, what ‘nonviolence’, when scholars and social movement participants as Peter Gelderloos have long argued that non-violence serves to protect and empower the nation-State, and this symbolizes why Martin Luther King and Gandhi are often fetishized given that they represented the lowest common denominator in the pacification of resistance, as opposed to say Malcolm X, The Black Panthers, or even the Sikh anarchist Baghit Singh (Fanon, 1967; Zizek, 2008; Benjamin, 1996; Critchley, 2012; Escobar, 1995; Dion-Buffalo & Mohawk in Esteva & Prakash, 1998: 43; Dion-Buffalo & Mohawk, 1994). Fact is: “The resistance in India was incredibly diverse, and Gandhi was a very important figure within that resistance, but the resistance was by no means pacifist in its entirety, that there were a number of armed guerrilla groups, a number of militant struggles, very important riots and other strong clashes which were a part of the struggle for Indian independence. So on the one hand Gandhi basically got negotiating power from the fact that there were other elements in the struggle which were more threatening to British dominance. So the British specifically chose to dialogue with Gandhi because he was for them the least threatening of the important elements of resistance and had those elements not existed they simply could’ve ignored Gandhi” (Gelderloos, 2011).
Staunch and fetishized strict interpretations of ‘nonviolence’ as the sole permissible and verbose tactic of resistance, is a whitewashing of history. There is violence in writing, in silence, in identity crisis, and in reconciling one’s purpose and world in this meager short existence of ours – that represents an ever state of jihad (internal and external to individuals and community). To presume nonviolence is to be ignorant of Malcolm X’s words when Malcolm says “it’s a crime for anyone being brutalized to continue to accept that brutality without doing something to defend himself,” and the “future belongs to those who prepare for it today” (1964). It’s to ignore George Jackson’s words that “the concept of nonviolence…[is] a false ideal…when it presupposes the existence of compassion and a sense of justice on the part of one’s adversary. When this adversary has everything to lose and nothing to gain by exercising justice and compassion, his reaction can only be negative” (1994). Jackson, as Malcolm, never laid witness to this vicious and relentless havoc but I remain doubtful that they would’ve concluded much different, both executed, as of course Gandhi and King. Even Gandhi stated: “if there’s violence in our hearts then it’s better to be violent than to dawn the cloak of nonviolence to cover for our impotence” (1948). To adopt a dogmatic stance on nonviolence is to neglect the involvement of non-Gandhian militants against British colonialism, as the anarchist and Marxist influenced shaheed Bhagat Singh (‘shaheed’, meaning martyred in Indian and Arabic), born to a Sikh Punjabi family, hanged at the age of 23 in India’s move towards ‘independence’. It’s to dismiss the incidents of Dharasana Satyagrapha[xciii], a protest in which Indians, under the leadership of Sarojini Naidu and Maulana Abdul Kalam Azad, were protesting British salt tax in May 1930. Purportedly a ‘nonviolent’ position in which Indians marched to meet batons in British hands knowing quite likely they could die in violent protest. To maintain a binary stance regarding violence and nonviolence, is to be ambivalent of what the affective use violence became for the Civil Rights Movement by radical components of the Black Power Movement, as the BPP, Black Panther Party, and NOI, or Nation of Islam; peoples with arms contributing to the restoration of a measure of dignity and respect to a people’s history, and whose dignity and respect was, and arguably remains robbed and stolen. To claim a purist nonviolent position is to ignore Nelson Mandela’s legacy as a leader and his willingness to use violence, as he stated during the Rivonia Trial in which he claimed that he did not plan violence: “In a spirit of recklessness, nor because I have any love of violence, [but rather] I planned it as a result of a calm and sober assessment of the political situation that had arisen after many years of tyranny, exploitation, and oppression of my people by the Whites”[xciv] (1964). To preach nonviolence is to be jaded with respect to a White and delusional ‘post-racial’ America’s psychosis regarding its weekly recurring recoiling horrors and emotional roil of endemic oppression in travesties of mass shootings, whether in public cinemas, theatres, shopping malls or even schools. Let alone the annual hundreds upon hundreds of homicides of prevalently Black and Hispanic youth dead, yearly, in cities as Chicago, Illinois, as a consequence of gentrified and poverty stricken-gang related activities in a fiercely hyper-masculinized society. From the murders of Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Florida, to Oscar Grant’s in Oakland, California, from Sean Bell to John Crawford, from Amadou Diallo in the Bronx to Eric Garner, from Jonathan Ferrell to Kimani Gray in Brooklyn, from Kendrec McDade in New York City to Michael Brown’s in Ferguson, St. Louis, and Tarika Wilsons’ in Lima, Ohio. Names to be read out loud, as Sandra Bland’s, and whose narratives ought be known and told, given that these are the dark precursors cast and supposedly represented as ‘equal’ before the Magna Carta and assemblies of retailed originalist constitutional laws. A ‘lower caste’ of lives, whose remembrance, even in death, is subjugated to the flouted and pommeling assault of innuendo defamatory slander and downcast disreputable aspersions. In justifying the ‘incidental misfortunes’ of their recurring persistent apparitions. Of what sullying and disgraceful leitmotiv exist in excusing Rodney King’s beating, and the further homicide of another 53 and injury of over 2000, in the subsequent 1992 Los Angeles riots. In the farce of King’s trial, from the initial judge’s removal, to the jury’s racial composition, and the verdicts and acquittals of two of the four officers complicit, on account of King’s alcohol consumption, no different that the nostalgic mockery during the “Jena Six”, the Plainfield New Jersey rebellion, and a disgraceful amaranthine more “black tears and white terror[s]”(Howard, 2014; Fort, 2014; Balagun & Williams, 2008; Davis, 2007).
To preach ‘nonviolence’[xcv] is to ignore the traumas of two fundamental forms of violence, Subjective and Objective. When violence is not a monolithic homogenous category, and cannot be essentialized, it not being one strand[xcvi] (Zizek, 2008: 1-4; Critchley, 2012; Foucault, 2005). With Subjective violence being overt in that it perturbs the normal functioning of the ‘peaceful’ state, as a form of ‘violence perpetrated by an agent to whom the act can be rendered accountable’ (Zizek, 2008). In contrast to, on the other hand, Objective violence which is ‘silent’ and inherently invisible in its insidiousness and is what is essential to the ‘natural’ functioning of a ‘peaceful’ state and the maintenance of a ‘normalized’ apathetic and desensitized status quo (Zizek, 2008). That said, there are therefore two varieties of Objective violence: a) Symbolic, which is embodied in and bound to language (its forms produced and reproduced by dominating colonial and imperial structures of power and discursive knowledge); and b) Systemic, which is catastrophically embedded and endemic in the authoritarian socio-political and neoliberal economic orders of our societies (Zizek, 2008). In other words, systemic violence is “often the catastrophic consequences of the smooth functioning of our economic and political systems,” and the stripping away of all organic life-world in our construction as perpetuators of oppression (Zizek, 2008: 1-4; Critchley, 2012). Symbolic violence, on the other hand, and as stated, is bound in language and its forms and has been produced and reproduced by colonial and imperial structures of power and knowledge (Zizek, 2008). With the ‘natural condition of being’, particularly in the context of uprisings, is that all these forms of violence (subjective, objective, systemic and symbolic) are relevant in their heightened enactments, especially given that “violence is inherent in social revolution and the oppressive status quo that precedes it” (Gelderloos, 2007: 120). Nothing in the world can therefore be more easily effected, indeed is fragile, than the reduction of militancy to the semantics and mesh of (non)violence.
We must heed the double-edged sword of nonviolence as activists. For like Peter Gelderloos in How Nonviolence Protects the State reminds us:
“In North America, pacifists and non-violent advocates have had a very defining role, and even a censoring role in determining what other people’s participations can be in a whole range of social struggles, and the way that they’ve affected social struggles has made it very much easier for the State to control those social struggles, that nonviolence plays a function of recuperating social struggles, of taking out their teeth, making them harmless so that they could just exist in this cesspool of democratic plurality in which everything is okay, nothing can really be challenged or changed, and ideas, opinions, can be expressed infinitely, without ever having any real impact, without translating into action. States have recognized that resistance will never disappear, that struggles will never disappear…Nowadays the way that States rule is by accepting the inevitability of conflict and resistance and trying to manage it permanently” (2011).
There, thus, exist limits to non-violence in the manner it serves to protect nation-States. With little and yet much to speak of when discussing Gandhi’s ahimsa[xcvii] and Martin Luther King’s redemptive pacifist ideals and civil disobedience techniques, tied to ideas of moral superiority, especially when they are righteously applied in a way that erases the history and beneficiary wisdom of adopting different tactics towards a multifaceted and biodiverse strategy of resistance[xcviii] (Roy, 1997; 2007). Particularly, when the CIA and Pentagon-funded organizations now contort and manipulate these ideals to promote non-violent training, as reported in Why the CIA Funds Nonviolent Training[xcix], to effectively mediate resistance (2012). As Gelderloos writes, the CIA’s objective is: “To have people in the resistance who are managing it for you and that’s really the role that nonviolence plays and it’s really encouraged by the media…that the State is allowed to use violence but people who are rebelling, people who are angry, people who are trying to attack the system are aggressively isolated, slandered, badmouthed, punished, if they ever use violent tactics” (2011).
Indeed, there is much to speak of that disrupts suggestions that violence and nonviolence are binaries[c], when what awaits are numberless learned discussions on the subject of (non)violence. Of what that includes of: An entire dialogue of general strikes dating as far back as 494 BC in Ancient Rome, let alone other conceptualizations of (non)violence, that range from Georges Sorel & Walter Benjamin’s interpretations of revolutionary violence[ci] to Max Stirner’s critique of it (2005). From Henry David Thoreau’s practice of (non)violence as a form of civil disobedience through his refusal to pay taxes during the Mexican-American war of 1846-1848 as an act of protesting slavery. To Vladimir Lenin, Rosa Luxembourg and Dwight David Eisenhower’s ‘61 warning(s) regarding military industrial complexes and the tentacle like takeover of foreign, regional and local security by profiteering military-economic, privatized, corporate, interests. If only one were to search think tanks as RAND Corporation or paramilitary-armed mercenary organizations as Blackwater[cii], renamed Xe, following accusations of heinous war crimes in Iraq. Indeed, innumerable contributions, from Georgio Agamban’s distinction between ‘violence that conserves law (equivalent to the State’s monopoly over legitimate violence)’ and ‘violence that founds the law (the ‘original’ violence necessary to create the State)’ in identifying relations between (non)violence and law. To Carl Schmitt’s ‘state of exception’ as a characteristic of people’s sovereignty, whereby in the indefinite suspension of civil rights, ‘emergency laws are enacted in the name of public welfare’, as violence intensifies within other mediums through ‘politics of inclusion and exclusion’ in spheres as military-judicial-tribunals (Agamben, 2005: 52-55; Schmitt, 1922; Critchley, 2012). Think about the way the figure of a mined ‘terrorist’, is a source for the extraction of information and the prolongation of misconceptions in life and death and is demonically continuously reasserted and conjured to ensure the availability of a distracting domestic and foreign enemy to camouflage from broader concerns as the persistent legacies of the racialization, gendering and sexualizing of our bodies by ongoing colonial and imperial politics and encounters, as well as poverty, and neoliberalism and capitalism’s functioning. Especially when the fact is: Terrorism and terrorists aren’t a preliminary cause but rather an aftermath affect of deep-seeded reactionary neocolonial and neoimperial infestations stemming for the former issues. Similar to what is occurring in Egypt, this moment, with its ‘Emergency Laws’ enacted since 1958, rarely suspended, and continuing to this day responsible, since Sisi, resulting in the arrest of over 60,000 political prisoners, never mind those countless disappeared. One only has to look at the recent death rulings delivered down to members of the Muslim Brotherhood, of their base and elite figureheads and ‘nobles’. If not the Egyptian state’s arrest[ciii] of thousands upon thousands of social movement participants and journalists, without concern for their ‘cultural capital’, prestige, prominence, or even the international outrage, in a draconian clampdown on dissent. As the Egyptian regime accuses all those who maintained, to one degree or another, a position of speaking truth to power of: fomenting unrest, treason and breaking anti-protest laws, along with a host of other absurd and trumped up charges. The dominant order, it seems, having learnt nothing of a will of a raging people, fools and simpletons that they are. How dare we then fetishize, homogenize and essentialize understandings of violence, when even the Napoleonic idea of conscription in creating France a ‘nation of arms’ ought become relevant to its discussion; indeed, when such a model serves as the foundation upon which Egypt’s military industrial complex of an army came to be (Fahmy, 1997). And not to dismiss or exclude what measures followed of military evolutions with Carl von Clausewitz’s separation from Antoine-Henri Jomini’s view on violence (1862), given Clausewitz’s advocacy that military institutions be autonomous, and therefore that they ought no longer be under civilian control and the will of a people. Which, indeed, became reality with the Schlieffan Plan and Prussian militarism. If only to sprinkle, given further space and time, Sun Tzu, Mao, and Machiavelli’s ‘Art of War & Guerrilla Warfare’, braiding and blending them with a discussion of Ismail Ibn Kathir’s 14th century narration and commentary on the political and ethical practices of war during the Prophet Muhammad’s Battles. Perhaps then dismantling notions of (non)violence as binaries would be far less of a malign affair, particularly in the hearts and minds of anarchists, notorious for our ‘surveillance camera playing’, ‘vandalism’ and unrelenting smashing of instantly replaced Starbucks and GAP windows, and yet we’re still trepid and scarred by militancy, in light of our once aggressive histories with it, as that during the Haymarket Square[civ] massacre on Tuesday May 4, 1886, and towards breaking ‘nonviolence’ as an ideal stereotype (Landauer in Kuhn, 2010). False binaries of violence and nonviolence need to be transcended, especially in so far as Islam in this age is concerned. For it shouldn’t behoove, again, as Gelderloss argues[cv], that: “A lot of times people will justify non-violence making the very common sense, the very simple and ultimately false argument that violence is the government’s strong suit and it makes no sense to fight the violence of the government with the violence of our own and what they’re doing is conflating very, very, different activities” (2011). But, in taking such stance, what advocates of nonviolence are suggesting, as Gelderloss rightly argues, is that:
“Somehow defending yourself against police violence or destroying commodities or taking over property, fighting to free prisoners, indigenous people fighting to take over stolen land, things of this nature, somehow has any similarities, with governments carpet bombing villages or using landmines or police torturing people or putting someone in prison, that just because by some linguistic coincidence these different things can be described as violence, that somehow there’s not only similarities between them but that they’re the same thing and that one is going to reproduce the other when in fact by fighting back people actually raise the stakes of repression and oppression for the State and actually make real short term differences and have a greater potentiality in ultimately destroying the state and capitalism and helping us create those worlds that we want. The Left to a large extent subconsciously has as its primary role to make resistance harmless” (2011).
For what else is to be expected, when as Greg Howard writes in his article America Is Not For Black People (2014):
“If officers are soldiers, it follows that the neighborhoods they patrol are battlefields. And if they’re working battlefields, it follows that the population is the enemy. And because of correlations rooted in historical injustice, between crime and income and income and race, the enemy population will consist largely of people of color, and especially of black men. Throughout the country, police officers are capturing, imprisoning, and killing black males at a ridiculous clip, waging a very literal war” (2014).
Conclusion: The End is the Beginning is the End is the Beginning Again:
How do we move, in what direction? There is a consensus of urgency, of impending catastrophes, but what action do we take? Many of us think that if the operators of the system are changed that the situation will be resolved, but that is an illusion. We need to come together immediately and move to create a society that is beyond our current reality. A start would be that “we exchange our nouns for verbs” (Esteva, 2013). If we say ‘education’, we submit ourselves to someone educating us, but if we change to the verb ‘learn’, we recover the ability for ourselves to learn; for it is we who learn, we who teach ourselves, by reading and experimenting, learning from others who have sought different worlds before us and sent us messages from other worlds, as those Indigenous Rebels who call themselves the Zapatistas, deep inside the Lacandon jungle, before we had even heard of them (Esteva, 2013). Eating needs to substitute food. We need to find a way that we can all partake in learning, and give away our dependency. So, health becomes healing; how do we heal ourselves (Esteva, 2013)? The next action is clear. How do we dismantle the State apparatus of repression? By making this apparatus irrelevant. Capitalist production, extraction, and exploitation – how do we eliminate these? By minimizing their need to exist. We are in a structure of domination, but how do we urgently dissolve this structure? By making it unnecessary, so that then everything will come into place. After all, just saying ‘no’ is not enough. This ‘no’ has to be accompanied by the creation of alternatives.
It’s Time for Treason, and if liberation entails decolonized education in illuminating our colonized and liberalized minds, then perhaps that’s where we ought begin. For as of recently a “reading list”[cvi] was “created by a group of Black, Brown, Indigenous, Muslim, and Jewish people who are writers, organizers, teachers, anti-fascists, anti-capitalists, and radicals” (2017). The aforementioned have “studied and pursued methods for revolutionary social change before Trump came to power” and identify that their “core focus remains the same: abolishing the ever-enlarging systems of hierarchy, control, and environmental destruction necessary to sustain the growth of capital. With the ascendance of White nationalist ambition to the upper echelons of empire, we have given special attention to struggles waged and endured by marginalized people for whom the fight against capital has always been a concurrent fight against Anglo-Saxon supremacy” (2017). Moreover, they state, that, indeed, “there are bleak times ahead, we must remember that for most of us America was never paradise”, that “Democrats and liberals will use this time to revise history”, that “they will present themselves as the reasonable solution to Trump’s reign and advocate a return to ‘normalcy’” (2017). “But”, in fact, “their normal is a country where Black people are routinely killed by police and more people are imprisoned than any other place in the world”, indeed, “their normal is a country where millions are exploited while a handful eat lavishly” (2017). But, if that’s the case, then “their normal is the opposite of a solution; it’s a threat to our lives” (2017). Let’s begin then by visiting our “local libraries”, establishing our decolonial learning circles
As for what further, besides tossing ‘a thousand Molotov cocktails to a powder keg’: Let’s focus on the aforementioned ‘biodivere strategy of resistance’, continue to set up our affinity networks and groups[cvii], and prepare for the ‘final war’ between those seeking a decolonized and reindigenized world and those adamant in subscribing to neoimperial and neocolonial ‘cultures of whiteness (in principles and values)’, that we’re all implicated within and seeking to transcend. Let’s understand as Gustavo Esteva said that ‘resistance is like breathing’ (2013). Let’s feminize our politics towards recovering our dignity, respect and hope, and become anti-militaristic insurgent militants – Warriors[cviii] (Corntassel & Taiaiake, 2005: 603). Let’s decolonize our xenophobic understanding of community and nation, love and mourn, as if our lives depend on it, especially when knowing the other and someone else’s name, in our divine moments of encounter is a serendipitous moment of providence that ought not be taken lightly. Let’s not be afraid of death. Let’s not just remember our martyr’s names, but rather what their lives stood for, and understand that it’s only in holding each other’s hands that we will discover our decolonial and reingidenigzed horizons together, ‘without leaving anyone behind’, and while also realizing we can’t save everyone and that social disparities will never be completely eliminated (Zapatistas, 1994). For this war is in the name of principles and values, nonhuman life, between a decolonized and re-indigenized, pluriverse worlds and those who seek to maintain ‘Cultures of Whiteness’. This war is in the name of what’s left of future generations of our children who come from all that is holy, innocent, and immortal and who represent the arrows we shoot towards infinity. It is not a war in the name of ideologies, or at least ought not be. Connect with the rose, even the weed, that blossoms, burgeoning, piercing through the concrete pavement in defiant testimony as if a middle finger to civilization and modernity that antecedes and precedes our petty existence. Heed the wisdom that states: “One never escapes the economy of war’ (Derrida, 2004). After all, “The pacifists are a fine sight: neither victims nor torturers! Come now! If you are not a victim when the government you voted for and the army your young brothers [and sisters] served in commits genocide, without hesitation or remorse, then, you are undoubtedly a torturer. And if you choose to be a victim, risking one or two days in prison, you are simply trying to take the easy way out. But you can’t; there is no way out. Get this into your head: If violence were only a thing of the future, if exploitation and oppression never existed on earth, perhaps displays of nonviolence might relieve the conflict. But if the entire regime, even your nonviolent thoughts, is governed by a thousand-year-old oppression, your passiveness serves no other purpose but to put you on the side of the oppressors” (Sartre, 1961, lviii). In the end, as the Zapatistas said: “Perhaps more than a few people think that we made the wrong choice; that an army cannot and should not endeavor toward peace. We made that choice for many reasons, it’s true, but the primary one was and is because this is the way that we [as a rebel army] could ultimately disappear” (Marcos, 1994).
Now let’s Rise, for we ought all ‘rather die on our feet, than spending a lifetime on our knees, indeed, to die for principles, not to the order of men’ (Zapata in Anderson and Thomas F. Stransky, 1979: 281). Recover the child in you, see the child in me, before I became a monster; call out and don’t shame each other in learned moments of liberty and humility. And remember that this poor, naïve, sorrowful, unrepentant ‘us’ is the one that gave birth, from among us, tyrants representing unleashed evils, brazenly dark that they were born mute, blind and deaf in our and their pharaonic creation as gluttonous egomaniacal demons. Enough!, of the internalized Oedipal savoir complexes of a ‘daddy-mommy-me’ coexistence. Enough!, with the ‘precise’ kill-lists and NATO airstrikes, the classified death-squad operations and depleted uranium of our children, the target assassinations, the black sites, and threats of cyber attacks, the prodigious security, and biological, nuclear and chemical warheads. Enough!, with the foreign renditions and immure incarcerations by these dubious ‘machines of peace’ benefitting from enmity and conflict, born as they are of it. While one struggles to scarcely maintain any semblance of emancipatory vitality in the preservation of the promise-filled radiances of hopefulness with the faint, vivid and rapid, diminishing and dimming, closure of its gates. The recurrences of which evoke in me the unabashed desire to see through here, now, the actualization of what for Islam is and ought to have been, and has become blandly in passé, referred to as Jihad (mistranslated as ‘Holy War’[cix]) against the greatest enemy that is myself, in the decolonization and reindigenization of ‘my own path’, communally alongside others, for this isn’t an isolated narcissistic, affair. Go decolonize and reinidgenize your own ethical-political trail, in our promised great burning and towards the collective lighting of our Eighth fire, and perhaps our bodies will intersect someday each humbling to the other our demagoguery, devil it maybe that one worships, for devils too come with whitewashed ‘values’ (Friere, 1998: 104; Simpson, 2008). Not having spirit and belief “is both a possibility and right of human beings who cease to be human if they are denied their freedom to believe or not to believe” (Friere, 1998: 104). Besides which it serves negligible and meaningless purpose knowing whether one believes in a Creator or not, in comparison to knowing how this Creator or their absence thereof would have (non)believers act, in terms of the ethical-political commitments they would subscribe to and live by.
And as for my Silence and why write following a long absence: As I believe and political philosophers scholars have taught (Foucault, 2005; Derrida, 2002), silence, isn’t necessarily oppressive and ought be concerned with freeing and liberating what hasn’t been addressed, articulated and represented at the micro-meso-macro- levels, and hence, be it at the ethical-political level of the individual/personal, the communal, and that of the institutional/nation-State/transnational. For if indeed there’s a purpose behind writing or speaking, it has nothing to do with meaning as much as it has to do with land surveying and cartography including the mapping of other ‘countries’. After all, language, in the end, is neither informational nor communicational but rather having to do with the transmission of order words either from one statement to another or within each statement in so far as each statement accomplishes an act and the act is accomplished in and by the statement. While also realizing that there are more blank spaces on a page than what’s written in black. Not to mention, that regardless of the discourse and what’s written, in the end, all rationality is, is a region carved out of that which is regarded as irrational in this battle of narratives, wits, and analyses. After all, these are troubling times, fulfilling George Orwell’s prophecies of ‘double-speak’, in his novel 1984, ‘first they steal the words, and then they steal the meanings’ (1984; Stone, Graham, & Kuznick, 2012). Empty and liberal hollowed out words like ‘axis of evil’, ‘war against terror’, ‘simulated drowning’, ‘preventive war’, as civilians killed are referred to as ‘collateral damage’ and CIA kidnappings are called ‘extraordinary renditions’ and “of course who can forget that most patriotic concept called ‘homeland/security’ that has been nurtured, bred and grown into a gargantuan new federal agency as labyrinthian as the pentagon” (Stone, Graham, & Kuznick, 2012).
In the end, in the name of what then, in the name of who publish, divulge, and first of all write? For the text to shape itself? – For all the signs to form a dove, flower, rainstorm, lost in a sheet of white paper resembling a desert? – Why write if there’s to be ‘restraint’ from any possible reading? Letters as points – sentences – lines – paragraphs – surfaces – masses – wings – stalks – petals… Shapes dissipating as they’re already read – a drop or rain falling after an other, much less a feather or a torn leaf – all evaporating…. … …Nevertheless, there’s someone in me who dies with a burst of laughter each time, academics and social movement participants, or whoever of the masses appears to find it necessary, opportune, or supposedly important to say anything that comes to their mind without in any way reflecting on people’s lives or thoughts or anything you like, in the absence of a clear positionalities, ethical-political commitments, principles and self-reflexivity. Of course I don’t escape the slaughter, but would like to at least think that, at the moment of scribing and writing this, that you’ll still see my present body, shatter to pieces, and gather itself, in a thousand notorious aspects, a fresh body, in which you’ll never be able to forget me…Why then write, if for any other purpose but to spurt blood on toilet paper, slitting a vein and letting the writing come its own, writing with a syringe instead of a pen….
Ever most affectionately & sincerely,
From a base of ‘anarca-islam’[cx], that I constructed as an act of resistance to capitalist-States. I do this, while recognizing the impossibility of ever permanently establishing a space of resistance ‘free’ of capitalist and authoritarian practices and the representations ascribed to me by the capitalist-State. ‘Who I am’, is an impossible question. ‘What I am’ is more ‘facile’: I’m a self-identifying Muslim anarchist, a settler of Arab and African descent and ever more conjunctive ands in the unraveling, unfolding, and unsettling of myself. That said just because you’re a Muslim and/or anarchist doesn’t make you a part of my communities, my decolonized and reindigenized Ummah, as much as it’s the coherent and consistent set of ethics and politics that should’ve arrived with an identity irrespective of what that identity is. Ideologies and pure politics are an illusion. Adieu, Salam alikum, nos vemos, goodbye, welcome, and all words and meanings, that usher in determined, resilient, resistance & ‘peace’…
[i] See Gilles Deleuze, Felix Guattari, Michel Foucault, and Jacques Derrida.
[ii] See Baudrillard’s The Gulf War Did Not Take Place (1991).
[iii] Read about the real Bowling Green Massacre as opposed to Kellyanne Conway’s lies, when ‘1643, colonizing European soldiers massacred dozens of Lenape people at what is today Bowling Green in New York City’: https://indiancountrymedianetwork.com/history/events/real-bowling-green-massacre-2/
[iv] When using the phrase ‘people of color’ I’m referring to those who are racially and ethnically so, in features and appearance, and who can’t pass as ‘white’ and can’t phenotypically and physically assimilate into ‘whiteness’ in settler-colonial and predominantly white societies. But I’m also referring to individuals whose names and mixed backgrounds can also immediately ‘out them’. For instance, some Arabs are lighter skinned and pass as ‘white’ but in the immediate moment of divulging their names or an accent can be ‘outed’. That doesn’t imply that they don’t enjoy white privilege if and when they pass, nor does that disavow them historically in terms of their heritage and roots as ‘people of colour’, so long as they acknowledge that they do indeed pass in the West and in ‘people of color’ spaces. In the end, the function of race/ethnicity takes altogether distinct means in majority non-white societies and hence the danger of ‘blood quantum’ and racial/ethnic identity politics that ought be transcended. Nonetheless, as with any concern this is contingent on context, as the term ‘settler’, and the emphasis is on our collective transition towards decolonization and reindigenization in relation to non-racial/ethnic understandings expressed here of indigeneity and the clearly identified ethical-political commitments highlighted.
[v] In using the term ‘settler-colonialism’, I seek to distinguish between what Patrick Wolfe “has called franchise colonialism” and settler-colonialism, whether “in pursuit of what Wolfe has theorized as a logic of indigenous ‘elimination’ or of what Lorenzo Veracini, Philip Deloria, and scholars in indigenous studies have examined as the indigenization of settlers” (Morgensen, 2012, 2-19). After all, a hallmark of liberal modernity is that its advent exposed Arabs and Muslims, if not a generalizable ‘Other’, to a plethora of competing dualisms, like secularism/religion and heterosexual/homosexual, male/female etc. Moreover, this occurs in an age where the internationalization, for instance, of the ‘bio-and-necro-politics, or the political-economies of queer politics’ in relationship to life and death, in part, through the propagation of neoFundamentalist and neoOrientalist representations of Arab and Muslim gender and sexuality continues a neocolonial and neoimperial relationship between Muslims and ‘the West’. Settler colonial societies such as Canada, the United States, Australia, and Israel etc engage in racial, gendered, and sexual colonization that sustains both homonationalism (concerned with compelling and domesticating queer communities to settler–state authority, at best, in exchange for inclusion, thereby neutralizing their capacity to disturb national unity) and heteropatriarchy (concerned with preserving notions of the nuclear family, private property and capitalist economics) (Morgensen, 2012).
[vi] Spearheaded by a white-Ashkanzi-European population, that has undergone a Jewish-Enlightenment project that justified that there was no contradiction between being ‘European’ and ‘Jewish’, the Haskalah, only to experience a Holocaust wrought by White Christian Europe, then manipulatively exploit this legacy in convincing a Mizrahi and Sephardic, Yemini, African, Sudanese, Ethiopian, Iraqi, Iranian, Arab and populations to steal the land and homes of their brothers and sisters i.e. other Palestinian Muslim, Jewish and Christian populations; no different that the blonde haired, blue eyed entitlement that desires to see Jesus as white, lacking the fundamental understanding that Arabs are Orientalized Semites as well. See Joseph Massad’s Islam in Liberalism (2015).
[vii] See Taiaiake, 2008; Smith, 2005; Coulthard, 2008; La Duke, 1999; hooks, 1981; Alston, 2010; Razack, 2004; 2008; Day, 2005; Puar, 2013; Mikdashi & Puar, 2012; Smith, 2011; Driskill, Finley, Gilley, & Morgensen, 2011.
[viii] Day (2005), as Uzelman, offers “useful labels to name different states of power” (2011: 23). “On the one hand”, Day refers to “the term ‘live power’ to describe those situations where most actors, most of the time have some ability to alter the situation in which they find themselves” (Uzelman, 2011: 23; Day, 2005). In other words, that “subjects have the ability to resist and act upon the limitations and constraints that make subjects what they are” (Uzelman, 2011: 23). On the other hand, there is what Day refers to as ‘Dead power’, and its seductions, drawing upon Nietzsche, who “describes conditions in which power relations have ossified such that some actors, most of the time, find themselves unable to alter their situation” (Day, 2005: 169; Uzelman, 2011: 23). Thus, relations of power exist as “a continuum between two absolute poles that can be approached but never fully reached”, for “on the one hand [there] are states of freedom where constraining limits of all sorts have been eliminated, where all subjects are able to act without constraint” (Uzelman, 2011: 23). “On the other hand”, Uzelman continues, there “are states of domination, where relations have become rigidly sedimented such that a complete lack of freedom prevails for some subjects while others are able to exert absolute control”(Uzelman, 2011: 24). As for instance, with the liberal-democratic notions of ‘redistribution of wealth’ and ‘enforcement of rights’ brought on by white colonial and imperial techniques of governments. Dead and live power therefore are “modes of relation to each other”, sub and (un)consciously produced, “given that there are relative degrees of consciousness” (Day, 2011). We may therefore understand that “strategies and tactics that constitute” alternative modes of socio-politico-economic organizing are constructed “as means of keeping power ‘live’ and warding off dead power in an effort to establish” autonomy (Uzelman, 2011: 24). And there “are multiple tactics employed in this effort, some of which include: democratic organization; participatory production processes; facilitating horizontal and dialogic flows of communication; encouraging new representational forms; building and maintaining working environments that are relatively free of dead forms of power (e.g. racism, sexism, classism, ableism, etc.)”(Uzelman, 2011: 16-17). These tactics “are deployed in the recognition that processes as much as products work to unsettle congealed relations of power” (Uzelman, 2011). ‘Dead power’ therefore resides as an ever “constant threat” when “there is always a danger that power might cease to flow, transforming enabling limits into limitations that constrain and thus we must be ever vigilant against it” (Uzelman, 2011: 24; Simons 1995).
[ix] Particularly, when, scholars as Deleuze, in line with Baruch Spinoza and Friedrich Nietzsche, recurrently indicated their pivotal divergence. That, “on the one hand, morality involves imperatives that are often grounded in a transcendental ideal (that is, an inaccessible) law that people may blindly follow, and on the other hand, ethics involves capacity or power” (Young, Genosko & Watson, 2013: 111; Deleuze & Guattari, 1980; Spinoza, 1677). In other words, “morality asks what people should do, while ethics ask what people can do” (Young, Genosko & Watson, 2013: 113-115; Deleuze & Guattari, 1980; Spinoza, 1677). The latter therefore, is not centrally concerned with “essences, [as] it doesn’t believe in essences, [in light that] it speaks to us only of power (puissance)…that is, the actions and passions of which something is capable” (Young, Genosko & Watson, 2013: 113-115; Deleuze & Guattari, 1980; Spinoza, 1677). In other words, ethics relates to “not what the thing is, but what it is capable of supporting and capable of doing” (Young, Genosko & Watson, 2013: 113-115; Deleuze & Guattari, 1980; Spinoza, 1677). Disturbingly shaped as we are by our transitional ties to the multi-dimensional dynamic circumstances of space, time, and the mutable multiplicity of ambiances in which our affiliated agile actions emerge. If morality is thus concerned with addressing the quintessential representation of God’s exemplary idyllic expectations – and whom Muslims are to refer to as the Most Gracious, Compassionate and Merciful, when we recite and say Bismi Allah Al-Rahman Al-Raheem, 17 times a day, in our 5 daily prayers – then ethics is God’s respective evaluation of our prospective expressions of these unattainable idealistic expectations and aspired to representations. Finite and unstable, mutating, creatures that we feebly are, constrained by the purview of our performative capacities, our perpetrations and opaque intents stationed in the realm of (in)finite possibilities and milieus of fulfilling prayers, caring for our habitat, or the variant other harmonious contractual accords, covenants and commitments we have admittedly accepted and chosen to take upon ourselves. If morality is the generalizable monotheistic biblical principle that ‘Though shall not kill’, then ethics is the situated accommodation that enslaved people too reserve the right to defend themselves when their values, lands and lives are consistently and exploitatively threatened, not that such considerate accommodating topographical terrain is unrestrained and unrestricted either. Ethics revolves around time, space, situation, place and context and not some abstract overarching principles, even if the former is derived from it. Ethics must be therefore contingent on the situation and always be dynamic. This deliberate contrast between transcendental morals and immanent jurisprudential ethics, therefore craves one being attuned to the cognizant realization that the pair are inseparable, with their differential applicability existing irrespective of their alleged ties to principles relating to ‘earthly existence’ or a ‘divine realm’, and hence whether they are concerned with ‘moralistic rituals’ or ‘ethical-political pillars’ of a tradition. That they, ethics and morals, become as such indivisible despite their paradoxical differentiation. In their co-sharing of corresponding grounds, for instance, in relation to their acknowledgment that the objective and intent behind be it a ritual or ‘stringently’ speaking an ethical-political commitment, and its fulfilment, is relevant, even if the intents are incongruent with the conduct. Did I remove and recycle a plastic bottle littering the street to impress people I am walking with or because I am bound, by what God or a symbol inspired in me, to the safekeeping of my environment? Making the cause for the ambiguity of our intentions a further censurable reason in seeking modesty in light that no one masterfully knows or truthfully comprehends another’s intentionality entirely. That is, the secrets and privies of our devoted egoistic engagements and enigmatic positionings accumulated and integrated during a period of time, exponentially multiplied to the depths of infinity as intents and actions become in the course of a lived life, short or prolonged. With this vagueness and obscurity of motive existing irrespective of whether we attest to it or not and regardless of whether we are speaking of ethics or morals. Even if, we, as individuals, are singularly and conveniently positioned closest in proximity to knowing the ‘true’ reason(s) behind our unintelligible impulsions and multifocal aims, and are thus clearly adept at explicitly discerning our designs for committing an undertaking or not. Apart from, that is, those in relative degrees of near standing to circles of trust we establish, and what anticipated normalizations we come to nurture and expect in the convivial construction of characters surrounding us, besides which otherwise these secrets befit God or a universe to fully comprehend and ‘evaluate’. Who then dares proclaim absolute authority to play the role of moral judge, this instant, upon all?
[x] There are other traditions with an ethics of disagreements, necessary for the mitigating of a community’s social affairs (or mu’amalat), be it composed of Muslims, non-Muslims, or both. For instance, amongst Indigenous communities in Chiapas, though not referred to as an ethics of disagreement, but rather as positive conflict resolution. I had the humbling opportunity to interview, during the course of my time at the Zapatista encuentros in Chiapas, Felipe Toussaint about positive conflict resolution under the auspices of Richard JF Day’s Affinity Project at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, Canada. Felipe Toussaint was a former Vicar General of the diocese of San Cristobal, under Bishop Ruiz, and played a key role in orchestrating the San Andres Peace accords between the Zapatistas and the Mexican government in the aftermath of the Zapatista uprising in 1994. In describing his current work in conflict resolution, Toussaint says, “in some places, being an active Catholic implies entering into opposition [and mediating] with neighbors and even one's own family” when ethico-political differences arise (Rinderle, 1999). Toussaint’s current work, having left the Church, is with an organization, Commission of Assistance towards Community Unity and Reconciliation (Comisión de apoyo a la unidad y Reconciliación Comunitaria), otherwise known as CORECO. CORECO is a non-governmental organization emergent from the civil society, which began in 1996, without any party or religious affiliation, working in the resolution of community conflicts and impelling the peace process in Chiapas. CORECO, in Toussaint’s words, focuses on helping: “different spiritualities and traditions to work together…it is not a hierarchical group…it’s a base group. What I’m doing know is working between indigenous communities to support the people to resolve the political and economical conflicts in a pacifist path, doing mediation work between different groups, to have a good dialogue, negotiation, giving advisory to people in an area, to watch and be a witness to a different process” (Jean Veneuse, 2010). CORECO’s practice of positive conflict resolution involves the “training of people in positive conflict resolution…through a school of conflict resolution”; that is, a school of thought that’s ‘outside’ the paradigm of the nation-State. Organizations like these are vitally important and act as alternatives given that nation-States have shown, more often than not, their capacity to inflame, rather than calm, disagreements. An example of this is as Diane Nelson points with the Guatemalan Maya and the way that State policy is; and which more often than not is bent on fixing, rationalizing and reforming, homogenizing and hegemonizing identities, transforming itself to become the privileged site to be occupied for a peoples’ rights to be afforded (1999:123), thereby leaving little room for what’s experimental, creative, and pre-figurative to it, by minorities; precisely the reason why “the Mayan rights movement critiques the imagined uniform nation” in favor of multiple forms of political organizing, “like traje, which is unique to each village” (1999: 80). Nation-States, then, demand a certain war of maneuver, or war of positions, by identity groups (be they indigenous groups, women, LGBTIQ groups or even students, indeed, all those who want change on behalf of a larger or more diverse constituency). That is, in their demand for sets of rights, grievances, and recognition. But nation-States limit possibilities by these minorities for making demands, or even negotiating differences between them, without resorting or submitting to the paternalism of the nation-State as it becomes an intermediary to indeed life (Har, 1994). All this ultimately results in “subjects regulated by such structures…by virtue of being subjected to them, formed, defined, and reproduced in accordance with the requirements of those structures” (Butler, 2990: 2). The consequence of which all citizens belong to a banner of false colonial nationalism despite their shared and singular struggles as minorities, because nation-States are institutional forms that condense compromises between their members, and function by instilling fear that without their presence, all one is left with is a national community composed of different groups who would destroy one another, due to conflicting interests, in an endless struggle (Lipietz, 1987: 19). In this sense, CORECO’s “operative team consists of 7 people specialized in positive transformation of conflicts and popular education”. Their purpose is threefold: 1) Relating to “and communicating with civil and social organizations at local, national and international levels in order to strengthen civil alternatives which favor peace and the prevention of conflicts, a life with dignity for indigenous people and democracy”. They pursue this through their participation in the organization of encounters, forums, consultations and network meetings; 2) Intervention in “conflicts between different groups, organizations and/or communities through mediation or advising local mediators or negotiators”; 3) And finally, “training in the methodology of positive transformation of conflicts through the preparation of local commissions of reconciliation and peace as well as preparing civil, social and religious organizations in the same methodology”.
Since the founding of CORECO’s, members like Toussaint, “have attended at least 60 cases of conflict resulting from political, land- related or religious problems, as well as train[ed] local commissions of peace and reconciliation in five different regions (including 11 counties) of Chiapas”. CORECO also had a hand in founding “the ‘Network for Peace’ (‘La Red por la Paz’) in Chiapas which consists of 12 participating civil organizations. This network, has organized the ‘Forum for Autonomy’, in August of 2003, which for the first time united indigenous people who have been involved in different autonomous processes in the States of Chiapas, Oaxaca, Guerrero and the State of Mexico”. Information on CORECO was retrieved on March 15, 2010, from: http://coreco.org.mx/wordpress/?page_id=333. Finally, it’s to be noted that the intention of CORECO as a space is not as Columbian philosopher Estanislao Zuleta argues, "the eradication of conflict and its dissolution among people living together [which] is neither attainable nor desirable, not in one’s personal life—love and friendship—nor in the community”, but rather the construction of “a social and legal space in which conflicts can manifest themselves and develop, without the opposition to the other leading to the suppression of the other, destroying it, reducing it to impotence or silencing it” (1991; 2008). The anteceding quote by Zuleta is a translation by Steven J. Stewart Rosene Zaros and retrieved from: http://absinthenew.blogspot.com/2008_02_01_archive.html. Retrieval date: October 5th, 2011.
[xi] Ikhtilaf is an “Arabic term…[meaning] taking a different position or course from that of another person either in opinion, utterance, or action” (Al-awani, 1993: 11). It is from “the related word khilaf”, from the same root, sometimes used synonymously with Ikhtilaf, and means “difference, disagreement, or even conflict broader in meaning and implication than the concept of direct opposition…because two opposites are necessarily different from each other whereas two things, ideas, or persons that differ are not necessarily opposed to or in conflict with each other” (Al-awani, 1993: 11). Ikhtilaf is necessary, for “what is knowledge [of a friendship between two] if not the adventure of the painful life” (Deleuze, 1997: 19). Friends will inevitably disagree out of respect for friendship’s nourishment and growth. The prerogative is that “if differences are confined to their proper limits and people are trained to observe the proper ethics and norms of expressing and managing differences…[which carries with it] several positive advantages that could result” (Al-awani, 1993: 14). Dissention is good, but not for the sake of just dissenting as Al’awani writes. In The Ethics of Disagreements in Islam (1993), Taha Jabir Al’awani classifies the spectrum of disagreements, generally, into four types. Briefly, the first, are disagreements concerned with narrow visions and a dogmatic refusal to broaden perspectives due to the practice of essentialist politics between friends or members in a community. One or both friends or members in a community are engaging in disagreements without being “able to argue and produce supporting textual” and/or lived evidence with respect to their ethico-political orientations or opinions (Al-awani, 1993: 12). The second, appears because one or both friends have given a particular ethico-political problem more “importance to the exclusion of any other aspect or issue…[with it, the issue, becoming] the basis for judging, disdaining, or accepting” ‘the Other’ (Al-awani, 1993: 5). The consequence of which is that the issue, the cause of disagreement, is “inflated and blown up out of all proportion” (Al-awani, 1993: 5), causing internal strife. The third, is due to “the stubborn adherence” of an individual in a community to their “own opinion or position…[and] their attempt to defend their position to prevail” upon ‘the Other’; that is, a disagreement that shows itself as an expression of superiority over ‘the Other’ (Al-awani, 1993: 12). The purpose of an individual choosing to disagree in this case, is to force ‘the Other’ to “accept [an opinion] or to hold it against them – these are all elements in disputation or [Hegelian] dialectics (jadal)…[implying] carrying out a discussion in a contentious manner [solely] in order to gain the upper hand” over ‘the Other’ (Al-awani, 1993: 12). In this case, argumentations involve an individual’s dereliction in a commitment to warding off persisting egoism, or what Deleuze and Guattari call micro-fascisms (Deleuze & Guattari, 1980: 279). It’s a condition where ‘the self’ is seeking praise or is being ambitious, neglecting the exercise of humility towards ‘the Other’ (Spinoza, 1949: 173), in order to force ‘the Other’ to accept a particular position. The fourth, type of disagreement, is a situation where ‘the self’ and/or ‘the Other’ are both motivated by the pursuit of knowledge and truth in their disagreements; selfishness and egoism may not be behind them. In this case, “disagreement…should not hinder the call to remove the underlying causes of such disagreement” but the disagreement is being “led by ‘the self’ and/or ‘the Others’’’ confusion of what’s ethical and political with one’s “own personal inclination, knowledge with conjecture, the preferable with what” two friends “have chosen, and the acceptable with the unacceptable” (Al-awani, 1993: 16-17). A ‘true’ politics of friendship ought therefore be capable of transcending “differences of opinion or compromise on questions that are open to varying interpretations” (Al-awani, 1993: 54-55). That is, for ‘the self’ and ‘the Other’ to be capable of practicing caution regarding narrowness of visions, feelings of exclusivity, bad faith, malice, and gossip. A ‘true’ politics of friendships involves that ‘the self’ and ‘the Other’ be capable of delineating their impulsiveness and obstinacy, to realize that public welfare (in Arabic, maslaha) ought supersede individual whims. After all, “(Ikhtilaf) and selfish, egoistic motivations (hawa) have a tendency to develop and grow larger and larger…penetrat[ing] deep into a person’s psyche and take[ing] hold of his [and/or her] mind, attitudes, and feelings…[such] that [the] person loses sight of the overall, total view of things…[ignoring] the common, lofty goals and objectives” a friendship calls for (Al-awani, 1993: 6). An example of the practice of an Islamic ethics of disagreements as narrated in the Sunnah is as follows: “It is related that Wasil ibn Ata [, regarded as the founder of the Mu’tazilah tradition of thought and who died in Basrah in 131 AH,] was with a group of Muslims and they came upon some people whom they recognized as Khawarij. Wasil’s company was in a critical situation and faced possible annihilation at the hands of the Khawarij, who were of the opinion that Muslims who did not share their views should be killed. Wasil told his group that he would deal with the situation. The Khawarij came up to him and asked him threateningly: ‘who are you and your companions?’ Wasil replied: ‘They are mushrikun (‘infidels’ -- those who associate others in worship with God) seeking protection so that they may listen to the word of God and know His laws’. ‘We grant you protection’, said the Khawarij and Wasil asked them to teach him. This they proceed to do according to their own positions. At the end, Wasil said: ‘I and those who are with me accept [what you have taught us]’. Thereupon the Khawarij said, ‘Go in company with one another for you are our brothers in faith’. ‘That is not for you to say,’ replied Wasil as he recited the following verse of the Qur’an: ‘And if any of the mushrikun (those who ascribe divinity to any but God) seeks your protection, grant him protection, so that he might hear the word of God, and thereafter convey him to a place where he can feel secure’ (Chapter 9: Chapter of ‘The Repentance’, Verse 6)” (Al-awani, 1993: 5).
To conclude this central point on the necessity for an ethics of disagreements, it is critical to point out that I see it important that both parties ask of themselves and each other the question: ‘Was there a proper moment I missed to push the disagreement and negotiation of difference(s) between us forward, little by little, till the moment we could see eye to eye on our disagreement’? The point of departure of a disagreement, ‘the truth behind a disagreement’ isn’t in the haughtiness and threats that arrive with it, it’s in the process of self-reflection involved after it as ‘an event’ located in space and time – especially if it’s a matter of friendship. Disagreements are rooted, to an extent, in discoverable centers. To reach them involves, on the part of the parties disagreeing, knowing how to set the parameters of the disagreement, how to make it pivot, each towards the other, framing it in words and with finesse to a point from which there’s room to waggle, to re-negotiate the relationship. Then negotiations can last so long they can mean the beginning of war or the beginning of peace depending on the type of disagreement, willingness to negotiate, and timeliness of negotiations. Sometimes friendships ‘end’, the particular reason being: ‘timeliness of negotiations’. After all, the danger of leaving disagreements by themselves is that though nobody has the right to partake in the negotiations of the disagreement in either party’s absence, other disagreements can encircle it, even leave it as source of bold relief for both parties, making it say the exact contrary of its program and what it demands; in which case, sides disagreeing no longer will its continual. This ‘end to friendships’, is what I see as the fifth ‘type of disagreement’ or an alternative context that Al-Awani misses. And which is where both parties ‘agree to disagree’; that is, that the friendship experiences ‘a break’, as at times it is most reasonable for both parties to ‘give up and move on, at the very least trying to stay out of each other’s way’, especially if they’re after the same strategic objective in so far as resistance is concerned. There lies the importance of allowing time and individual growth to alter their opinions, perspectives and how they might perceive each other in the future. An example of this ‘break’ can be witnessed in the case of the Indigenous Muslims of Chiapas – who split from the Murabitun World Movement founded by a Scottish convert Abdalqadir as-Sufi – and some of whom are ‘ex-Zapatistas’, and who were, for instance, in the process of negotiating not only their own sense of identity but also their differences with non-Muslim Zapatistas, given that some Muslims identify ethically-politically as Zapatistas, unable to resist the attraction of Zapatismo as a mode of political and social organizing. Ethical and political differences between Muslim and non-Muslim Zapatistas led to rifts in the past and remain. Still, Mujahid, a member of the Muslim community, talks about the exchange of delegates between them and non-Muslim Zapatistas to this day, despite their differences: “We would chat, see what there is, we would share what we are as Muslims, if they aren’t, we would give them the knowledge we have, if they could use it, they use it, if it doesn’t serve them, they don’t. They then can be aware of the point of view that we have…For example the brother here, the companero, Haviv, was a Zapatista…He was there with them, he was fighting with them, but there are things that we see in the inside. It is different to look at it from the outside, then living inside there. What you see from the outside is different than what it is inside….Me, It hurts my heart, sincerely, I tell you that it hurts my heart to see my indigenous brothers and sisters. Not just in San Cristobel, but in the jungle. I was there with them in the jungle, I saw, see how they are suffering, they don’t have anything. They [predominantly] don’t have hospitals, they don’t have schools, they don’t have work, or food, but why?...There is so much ignorance [and which leads to differences]. There is a lot of ignorance in the indigenous communities. There is a long way until one understands where everything comes from” (Jean Veneuse, 2010). For Mujahid and the Muslim community their priority is the support of the indigenous people themselves, regardless of whether they are Zapatista or not. Like Mujahid says: “Principally it’s the base. Me personally I’ve chatted with the Zapatistas… but principally it is the base…[it’s about] going out and talking with people here [not in the jungle], and sharing what we know, giving them - the real struggle is on the road…for the kids, the women, there are a lot of people there is a lot of suffering, I’m not sure you know it is very sad. People walking 6 or 7 hours with their kids, with their sick families. We have to give the message, what is the struggle they are carrying, what is their struggle? Is it the best/correct struggle? Should they be going out in front of their family for a struggle? We see people struggling, then should they be left abandoned? That is the sad part of teaching about what is the struggle” (Jean Veneuse, 2010). In light of this, it’s astonishing, then, that although “from 19th century socialism to the New Left to today, practices of” solidarity and friendship “have been morphing under the pressures generated by a complex field of political struggles” (Abdou, Day and Haberle, 2009: 214), the topic of an ethics of disagreement has yet to be adequately addressed in Socialist circles and politics. Furthermore it’s critical to comprehend that teaching the logic of ‘agreeing to disagree’, is also distinctly different from Al-Awani’s ‘types of disagreements’ as a means to ‘finding a way to agree’, and is a necessary lesson to comprehend as well.
In the end, when it comes to negotiating our differences as human beings in relation to each, I appreciate the idea of mediators, which I encountered with Gilles Deleuze. For the Holy Qur’an says: “If you fear that a breach (shiqaq) might occur between a couple, appoint an arbiter from among his people and an arbiter from among her people”; and though the verse’s context is marriage, it can be related to Muslims and anarchists experiencing shiqaq as well (Chapter 4: Chapter of ‘The Womyn’, Verse 35). The concept mediator is radically different than the idea of an arbitrator (which I take as meaning an imposer of a settlement upon parties undergoing contestation) or even negotiator (which I take as meaning a representative of one party with respect to another). Rather a mediator assists contesting parties to reach some kind of agreement, without the impositional powers of an arbitrator. These differences are crucial to me, and not to be glossed over when attempting to reconcile between two or more movements, two or more opinions, two or more people and whose relation is compatible with two or more parties in line with the mediator’s identities (Deleuze, 1990: 126). For example with the identity Muslim anarchist, Muslim anarchists have access to more than just two communities, knowledge systems and worlds, at least those of ‘Muslim’ and ‘anarchist’, considering the infinite forms, shapes, these identities come in. A mediator’s function, say in the example of a Muslim anarchist, is to negotiate between the two or more parties, Muslim and anarchist, at least those willing to listen, to open a ‘third space between both’; a mediator is an individual who is chosen because they are trusted by both parties. The mediator’s function is to facilitate a discussion of whatever there is dispute over, between the two or more parties. A mediator is someone who can “negotiate ways and means, the speed of change”, given that they have access to different mother tongues, discourses, communities, regimes of truth or beliefs (Deleuze, 1990: 126). A mediator can act a “series with several terms, or complicated branching series” with the power of clarifying misconceptions between Muslims and anarchists (Deleuze, 1990: 126). A mediator is someone capable of producing new truths, breaking the stereotype of what it ‘is’ to be a Muslim, an anarchist, for both parties, thus influencing both traditions. As Deleuze writes: “what this means is a new way of talking…not so much for disagreement to be a matter of winning arguments as of being open to things…setting our ‘facts,’ not of a situation but of a problem. That is, making visible things that would otherwise be hidden” (1990: 127). That becomes the role of mediators. The objective of autonomy-oriented peoples ought be to have people, ‘public-intellectuals’, and bodies of activists, who are recognized as trusted mediators between communities unless proven otherwise: mediators who would return and value the times of Oral Tradition, pedagogy and engagement. Mediators would be expected in good faith of providing and assembling new knowledge productions that break stereotypes (Deleuze, 1990: 127). Mediators are to exist “parallel to supplementary channels” as self-education by each individual Muslim and anarchist about ‘the Other’ (Deleuze, 1990: 127). Mediators would exist to facilitate, and keep relationships fluid between communities of autonomous peoples, to act as channels, negotiating in times of peace and times of war. It’s not about just building lines of “vague friendly contacts”, where Muslims and anarchists exchange “vague information about” one another in solidarity protests as during the Iraq War (Deleuze, 1990: 127). Differences “of opinion… [can] not [become] reasons for estrangement and schism” because the unity of hearts and our collective objectives as radicals have “to be far more important… than selfish considerations…which are the source of calamity which afflicts us today is within us, in our hearts” (Al-awani, 1993: 7). Be it in our tendency towards seeking isolationism or in constricting ourselves to narrow opinions “merely as an expression of [fear or out of] self-betrayal”; as such we can’t let our bitter divisions divide us (Al-awani, 1993: 7). We need to remember as social movement actors that “differences of opinion or compromise on questions that were open to varying interpretations” are possible and need to be exhausted, not that they ever can be exhausted (Al-awani, 1993: 54-55). Enough then with the petty drama! All parties need to exercise caution with regards to narrowness of vision, feelings of exclusivity, bad faith, malice, and gossip. I repeat this statement because it seems important. Above all there shouldn’t “be quick talk of independence, even if” it is unavoidable, because the independence of Muslims and anarchists from each other, as well as other communities, ought “be made to depend on very hard bargaining” (Deleuze, 1990: 126). The tireless effort of consulting one another, of negotiating, is part of the humbling of each party till hopefully consensus is reached. Like the Qur’an says: “And do not dispute with one another lest you fail and your strength desert you” (Chapter 8: Chapter of ‘The Spoils of War’, Verse 46). Anarchists, Muslims, and autonomy oriented people need to arm themselves, and the generations to come with clear exposure to different practices of knowledge and an ethics to behaving when a disagreement arrives; to be armed with what’s referred to in Arabic as an adab or etiquette. Everyone needs to remember that every one of us that comprises this life “Will die [one day], and truly they [others too] will die [one day]” (The Holy Qur’an, Chapter 39: Chapter of ‘The Groups’, Verse 30). From an Islamic perspective: Should a disagreement happen, for instance, between, say, two autonomously oriented ethically and politically committed communities, other individuals and communities with the same commitments have the responsibility of intervening between them. The Qur’an sheds more light: “If two parties among the Believers fall into a quarrel, make ye peace between them: but if one of them transgresses beyond bounds against the other then fight ye (all) against the one that transgresses until it complies with the commanded values of Allah; but if it complies then make peace between them with justice and be fair: for Allah loves those who are fair (and just). The Believers are but a single Brotherhood-Sisterhood: So make peace and reconciliation between your two (contending) brothers; and fear Allah, that ye may receive Mercy” (Chapter 49: Chapter of ‘The Private Apartments’, Verses: 9-10). There’s thus humility to be sought in remembering death, and so before rushing to a disagreement, revolutionary and committed activists need to ask themselves: is ‘the disagreement truly worth the trauma we’re about to inflict on each other’? Undoubtedly critical to this ethics is also the element of “forgiveness” and “repentence” both which “should not be, normal, normative, normalizing” (Derrida, 2001: 32). That is, as Derrida writes, “forgiveness [and repentence, for that matter] must announce” themselves as impossibilities themselves and “should not amount to a therapy of reconciliation”; and that to me would remain within the unconditional yet conditional parameters of the ethics of disagreement and the ethics of hospitality discussed (2001: 32-56). This question of forgiveness and repentence is increasingly vital given what Hannah Arendt’s writes of using the expression and concept “banality of evil” in relation to Adolf Eichmann’s trial in Jerusalem; that is, that the gratuitious cruelty of the Holocaust, committed by the likes of Eichmann were the consequence of not individual ‘sociopaths’ and ‘fanatics’ but rather a Reichean ‘mass-psychology of fascism’, that led men like Eichmann to believe that their actions were ‘normal’; Eichmann Arendt argues, ‘showed no traces of anti-semitism’ but rather in Eickmann’s own words “He was doing his duty...; he not only obeyed orders, he also obeyed the law” (1963: 135). Extrapolating, respectively, to what extent does and should forgiveness and repentence play a role with respect to the aforementioned scenario, or the murder, the rapist, and pedophile, especially when in the first place, as Derrida writes, “all nation-States are born and found themselves in violence”, and that according to Derrida, is an “irrecusable” truth (2001: 56).
[xii] The ethical and political practice I advocate for between Muslims, anarchists and other activists is one that builds on what Leela Gandhi, following Jacques Derrida, Jean Luc Nancy, and Maurice Blanchot, refers to as a politics of friendship in her text – Affective Communities: Anti-Colonial Thought, Fin-De-Siècle Radicalism, and the Politics of Friendship (2006). Usul al’Dhiyafa are the incentives that accompany a politics of friendships. A friendship, which one would hope, is predicated on a paradoxical stance of unconditional hospitality conditional on the sharing of similar ethical and political commitments. This represents a similar call to what Richard JF Day says when he writes – in line with other scholars – of the “need to guide our relations with other communities according to the interlocking ethico-political commitments of groundless solidarity and infinite responsibility” towards constructing ‘the coming communities’ (2005: 18, 186-202; Braidotti, 2002; Haraway, 1991; Elam, 1994; Feinberg, 1998; Agamben, 1993). This paradoxical stance of unconditional hospitality that is still conditional, undeniably and undoubtedly, is difficult due to the process of precisely figuring out how ‘similar’ these commitments need to be, which commitments have to be similar, whether A, who says they believe in X and Y, truly believes and practices X and Y in a way that B will accept as such. If A and B, however, do not find themselves to be ‘similar’ enough in enough of the ways each of them requires, then after this initial meeting and un-packing of the kit bags, as it were, they may well decide to go their own ways. To construct a relationship that relates to a politics to friendship is to have demanded an ethics of hospitality to arrive with the relationship, an ethics from which political allies have welcomed one another when orienting as friends politically to each other, and that has permitted enough room to discover whether or not their commitments coincide, to what extent, and degree are they similar; such is the tension in this discourse being addressed. One would further hope that the willingness and sharing of practices or mechanisms of hospitality and negotiation of differences is not merely confined to the participating parties in this text, that is Muslims and anarchists, for these ethics do not originate with them, but rather they are ethics undoubtedly present and can be traced in feminisms, faith-based religions, social movement and indigenous traditions, and which choose a different mode of relating, a different degree of intimacy, autonomy, and thus can assume a different mix entirely. Usul al’Dhiyafa is thus an ethics from which parties are able to draw on, when the need rises during the (re)negotiation of political differences between them, something bound to happen. It allows the two disagreeing the ability to engage in practices of intimacy they expressed and shared between them since their first encounter, a reminder to both of what could be lost if a compromise can’t be found; that is, if wills fail to remember the positive affect they’ve shared and spread together as political allies. I map the broad contours of what I believe Usul al’Dhiyafa may involve. It’s my argument that though Gandhi clearly discusses anti-colonial and anti-imperial commitments as part of a politics of friendships she doesn’t go far enough in assigning importance to Usul al’Dhiyafa in her text on the relevance of politics in friendships, indeed the practice of anti-imperialist and anti-colonial commitments in friendships. In Tupinamba ceremonies it’s customary, for example, for women to evoke laughter, tears or a smile as a sign of welcome, of hospitality, towards the visitor; a sign of compassion. These are the traces of friendship that ought be present, fully present, as Tupinamba women who “when they receive visitors who go to visit them begin to cry as a sign of welcome… with both hands over their eyes…. weeping their welcome to the visitor” (Derrida, 2002: 358). It is through these types of practices of friendship that an ethics of hospitality can be constituted, and needs to be further cultivated, with its varying shades and forms, even if only ‘symbollically’ orally; knowing different ways of welcoming each other in different cultures and putting such gestures into practice isn’t something that’s done enough amongst social movement actors. An ethics whose inexplicable consequences demand explicate parameters to be defined, if not explored, as part and parcel of our practices as politically committed social movement activists occupying a certain geography; that is, the context of our relationship as settlers to indigenous peoples. That we greet each other with a smile or open the door to laughter, even tears, is of prescriptive importance, for how can we dissociate a culture of hospitality “from a culture of laughter or a culture of smile…during which one welcomes … without smiling at the other, without giving a sign of joy or pleasure, without smiling at the other as at the welcoming of a promise” (Derrida, 2002: 358)? To smile is to breach proximities, to draw in open space a gesture signifying a welcome on the canvas that can be “the neighbor’s face, who is of kin and the neighbor who is not of kin, and the fellow traveler and the wayfarer…Lo! [ For] Allah loves not such as are proud and boastful” (Chapter 4, The Chapter of ‘Womyn’: Verse 36 & Saheeh Muslim, Prophetic Hadeeth: 25). A smile is a glad tiding, a Sadaqah in Islam, an offering of charity, towards the one who peacefully marches past. A smile is an inaudible language consisting of fallen letters, a symbol, a sequence, in between two faces, for how else ought one arrive, when to smile is to disarm with an upturned arc. To smile is to say: “come in [Entrez donc]... even if the smile is interior and discreet, and even if it is mixed with tears which cry of joy” (Derrida, 2002: 359). How can there not be tears of joy when two waited, were destined, to meet, given the “question of hospitality is also a question of waiting, of the time of waiting and of waiting beyond time” (Derrida, 2002: 359) resembling thus a “labor…a pregnancy…a promise as much as like a threat” in its anxiety, in its joy, as before an announcement at childbirth (Derrida, 2002: 359)? This labor, this pregnancy, shouldn’t start with interrogative questions like ‘What’s your name’” because the name of the ‘other’, a foreigner, any newcomer, should be against any deadline imposed; it solely offers its own surrender (Derrida, 2000: 29). In friendship, the two are better off resembling two stray dogs begging, panting, before each other’s names. For even if one were to ask for a name, the asking is to be tenderly, humbly, as if to say: “what should I call you, I who am calling on you, I who want to call you…[by] your name” (Derrida, 2000: 29). The two ought befriend patience, become comfortable in silence, because silence as Foucault reminds us is “one of those things that has unfortunately been dropped from our [‘Western’] culture. We don’t have a culture of silence…[but rather] the obligation of speaking” (Foucault, 1988: 4). Silence can’t be interpreted thus as necessarily oppressive, because it carries with it libratory potentials no less. For though the thought of two embellishing in speech when they are getting to know one another might be useful, even seem necessary, this tete – a – tete can be carried by one and/or ‘the Other’ to the brink of worshiping one’s own voice, tantamount to killing oneself with one’s own tongue, so that talking no longer become something to be given or taken but something nauseating. It is narrated that “Abdullah b. Amr b. al-As is reported to have said: Verily a person asked the Messenger of Allah (may peace and blessings be upon him) who amongst the Muslims was better. Upon this (the Holy Prophet) remarked: From whose hand and tongue the Muslims and non-Muslims are safe” (Bukhari & Muslim: Book 1, Prophetic Hadeeth: 64). Instead of feeling obligated, or compelled to talk, social movement activists would benefit themselves by keeping language scarce, even drying it up, delivering themselves and others from speech, cultivating a culture of silence, with them as silent observers. That’s not to say mixing mother tongues isn’t of vital importance, only to say that silence can free the subaltern, indeed provide enough comfort for a voice to later strut petulantly, to speak. Spinoza writes “I should say that human affairs would be much more happily conducted if it were equally in the power of men to be silent than to speak; but experience shows over and over again that there is nothing which men have less power over than the tongue” (1949: 132). To command one’s own tongue, to have it dictate on one’s own terms and in one’s voice, what one says, in the way one desires to be, is to preserve the measure of benefit in silence during a conversation, to feel bereft by what’s said; like waiting for an aria in a concerto, or some deafening speech, that the life around can be heard, so that even a whisper overwhelms.
Social movement activists need to therefore understand that language within itself is charged with power relations. The object of language isn’t to communicate, but like Deleuze describes, “the inculcation of ‘mots d’ordre’ -‘slogans,’ ‘watchwords,’ but also literally ‘words of order,’ the dominant, orthodox ways of classifying, organizing, and explaining the world. Far from being a mere collection of ideological signifiers, language is a mode of action, the various mots d’ordre of a culture being enforced through regular patterns of practice, ‘collective assemblages of enunciation,’ or ‘regimes of signs’” (Deleuze in Bogue, 2004: 71).
And so repressive forces don’t stop us nowadays from expressing ourselves, but rather force us to express ourselves all the time. But what a relief to have nothing to say, the right to say nothing, because only then is there a chance of framing the rare, and even rarer, thing that might be worth saying. What “we’re plagued by these days isn’t any blocking of communication, but pointless statements” (Deleuze, 1995:129). In this sense, social movement actors shouldn’t “quibble straightaway” (Foucault, 2005: 342) but think, collect, and ‘self-examine them-selves’ understanding their positionality, identity, indeed subjectivity, in relation to themselves and each other; to do so as would be reflected in our mannerisms of speaking using language, regardless of the different forms it takes. Social movement actors are actors whose thought ought be the guiding principle behind their speech; indeed, they’re actors whose intent is always “on experiencing, not interpreting but experimenting, since what they experience, and what they experiment with, is always actuality, what’s coming into being, what’s taking shape” in their encounter with each other (Deleuze, 1995:129). We as activists would benefit ourselves comprehending the stakes involved in relating or not to what we’ve seen, experienced, heard, whether we’ve come to learn something new than what we knew or presumed to be true when encountering ‘the Other’ in our daily wanderings and travels; after all, if friendship is in part a matter of perception it requires a point from which to relate to or perceive ‘the Other’.
As for speech, whomever starts to talk would demand that the other not only intently hear but listen to ‘the Other’, because hearing is a form of listening while under threat; hearing unlike listening involves dismissing what’s said by way of calculating in advance a response to what’s said, instead of bearing witness to the tonality, the form, the grammar, indeed vocabulary used, alive in the other’s tongue. Only one party is truly capable of talking at a time, while the other as Foucault describes ought surround themselves “with an aura and crown of silence…not convert[ing] immediately what it heard back into speech…rather keeping hold of it, in the strict sense, that is to say, preserves it and refraining from immediately converting it into words” (2005: 342). This constitutes, what Foucault refers to as part and parcel of the ethical practice of “caring of the self” (2005). Here it’s only appropriate to assume that the party listening is giving the benefit of the doubt to the party speaking; that the party speaking is speaking truth ‘whatever the consequences’; that it does so as it tries to ‘keep close to its most intimate thoughts, before thoughts were translated into speech. For though, yes, one can misspeak or “is granted some right to lie, for the best reasons in the world, one [must also realize that when one does, one] threaten[s] the social bond itself, the universal possibility of a social contract or a sociality in general” of friendship (Derrida, 2000: 67). It would be better off for the party that would have itself lie to stay silent or say: ‘I can’t divulge, I won’t talk about that yet, maybe never’. For as Derrida says, ‘when I am speaking to you, I promise you the truth’ and “just as any speech act promises the truth (even and especially if I am lying) – well, anyway, I can always lie…but that will signify quite simply that therefore I’m not speaking to someone else [because I am already lying in speech first to myself instead], end of story. And in doing this, I am not recognizing either the essence of speech as giving one’s word, or the necessity of founding a social bond…without hesitating: ‘Yes, one should never lie, even to assassins’” (2000: 67). From this we can derive that it is the duty and responsibility of the one talking during a conversation to realize too when they ought stop talking; to realize that “the chatterbox is always an empty vessel”, the chatterbox’s mouth never being dry (Foucault, 2005: 342). Both parties would have to find a comfortable and safe environment “to allow for maximum listening without any interference or fidgeting…[After all,] the soul must take in the speech addressed to it without turmoil…calm…[turned] towards the speaker…to the obligation of a fixed attention” (Foucault, 2005: 343). The two ought not rush or be rushed tabla rasa. Because despite unconditional hospitality’s appreciation of the wait it is also no longer able to wait, but already working to invite, to extend, to present and send an invitation not to a home but a life with anxiousness, worry, that the invitation not be accepted, that the relationship doesn’t work out. On the one hand where “hospitality must wait, extend itself toward the other, extend to the other the gifts, the site, the shelter and the cover; it must be ready [, not to wait, but] to welcome...to host and shelter, to give shelter and cover; it must prepare itself and adorn itself…for the coming of the other; it must even develop itself into a culture of hospitality, multiply the signs of anticipation, construct and institute what one calls structures of welcoming… a welcoming apparatus (Derrida, 2002: 361). That’s to say “not only is there a culture of hospitality but there is no culture that is not also a culture of hospitality” (Derrida, 2002: 361). To invite is to honor the other, the guest, according to their right as a guest; a practice all too often missing in practice, the cultivation of cultures of hospitality regardless of faith, race, across sex and gender etc. For as “Abd Shuraib al-Adawi reported: My ears listened and my eye saw when Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) spoke and said: He [and/or She] who believes In Allah and the hereafter should show respect to the guest even with utmost kindness and courtesy. They said: Messenger of Allah, what is this utmost kindness and courtesy? He replied: It is for a day and a night. Hospitality extends for three days, and what is beyond that is a Sadaqa for him [and/or her]; and he [and/or she] who believes in Allah and the Hereafter should say something good or keep quiet” (Bukhari & Muslim: Book 18: Prophet Hadeeth 4286).
It is as if, as Derrida describes, “the stranger could save the master and liberate the power of his host; it’s as if the master, qua master, were prisoner of his place and his power, of his ipseity, of his subjectivity (his subjectivity is hostage). So it is indeed the master, the one who invites, the inviting host, who becomes the hostage – and who really always has been. And the guest, the invited hostage, becomes the one who invites the one who invites, the master of the host. The guest becomes the host’s guest” (2000: 124-125). To invite is to un-conditionally offer without valorizing what one offers self-righteously. To invite is to spread one’s garment as a cushion in honor of the guest. It was narrated by “Abdur-Rahman bin Abu Bakr that his father Abu Bakr invited a group of people and told me, ‘Look after your guests.’ Abu Bakr added, I am going to visit the Prophet and you should finish serving them before I return.” `Abdur- Rahman said, So I went at once and served them with what was available at that time in the house and requested them to eat.” They said, “Where is the owner of the house (i.e., Abu Bakr)?” `Abdur-Rahman said, “Take your meal.” They said, “We will not eat till the owner of the house comes.” `Abdur- Rahman said, “Accept your meal from us, for if my father comes and finds you not having taken your meal yet, we will be blamed severely by him, but they refused to take their meals. So I was sure that my father would be angry with me. When he came, I went away (to hide myself) from him. He asked, “What have you done (about the guests)?” They informed him the whole story. Abu Bakr called, “O `Abdur Rahman!” I kept quiet. He then called again. “O `Abdur-Rahman!” I kept quiet and he called again, “O ignorant (boy)! I beseech you by Allah, if you hear my voice, then come out!” I came out and said, “Please ask your guests (and do not be angry with me).” They said, “He has told the truth; he brought the meal to us.” He said, “As you have been waiting for me, by Allah, I will not eat of it tonight.” They said, “By Allah, we will not eat of it till you eat of it.” He said, I have never seen a night like this night in evil. What is wrong with you? Why don't you accept your meals of hospitality from us?” (He said to me), “Bring your meal.” I brought it to him, and he put his hand in it, saying, “In the name of Allah. The first (state of fury) was because of Satan.” So Abu Bakr ate and so did his guests” (Bukhari & Muslim, Chapter 8: Prophet Hadeeth 162). Unconditional hospitality is at the heart of Islam. Derrida writes “Islam deduced the principle…’right of hospitality’, ikram al dayf, respect of the human person...sent by God” (2002: 370). “Entre donc” without reserve, cost, calculation or rationalization (2002: 370). Jiwar is a noun of action in Arabic; “of neighborliness to the other who is now beside oneself; and Dakhil is the interior, the intimate, for the stranger, the passer by, the traveler to ‘come in’” (Derrida, 2002: 373). The Dhief, the visitor, “the guest, is Dhief Allah, a visitor from God (Derrida, 2002: 373). For the Dhief, the guest, Massignon writes: “we [Muslims] offer ourselves as a pledge …voluntary prisoners… in a kind of captivity or spiritual residency…Hostages, we offer ourselves as hostages…we substitute ourselves for the other” (Derrida, 2002: 376 – 377). One can witness hospitality in Islam through “the notion of da’wa from the root da’a (to call, invite)…In the Qur’an XXX, 24…[and] whose plural form] da’awat, from the root da’a, to call, to invite, has the primary meaning call or invitation…the sense of invitation to a meal and, as a result, of a meal with guests…The da’wat al-mazlum, prayer of the oppressed, always reaches God. The da’wa of the Muslim on behalf of his brother [, sister, stranger and foreigner] is always granted. The word is applied to a vow of any kind” (Derrida, 2002: 406).
[xiii] See: http://www.versobooks.com/blogs/3094-decolonising-desire-the-politics-of-love?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=UK+UTM+-+Decolonising+Desire%3A+The+Politics+of+Love
[xiv] See endnote x & xi.
[xv] Walia continues stating: “Actions are necessary to assert and be invigorated by our collective power of refusal, to delegitimize and disrupt the institutions of capitalism and imperialism, to increase the social and financial costs for elites at events like the inauguration. Most profoundly, the process of organizing (which is best known by those engaging in it); of being in relationship with other people; of discussing, debating, listening, learning; of strengthening our networks of resistance across often-disparate movements can stretch the bounds of our strategies and actualize freer social relations through the process of engaging in struggle. Or, in the worst-case scenario, it can work to deepen rifts across hierarchies, strategies, and social oppressions. But nonetheless the process of collective organizing (which takes many diverse forms) must not be underestimated as it is, ultimately, the process of figuring out how we can be in this world, together” (2017).
[xvi] See mohamedjeanveneuse.blogspot.com
[xvii] Deleuze and Guattari identify assemblages, as consistent of three interrelated and dynamic ecological registers that include: the “environment”, “social relations” and “human subjectivity” (1980).
[xviii] Critical “theorists of the left such as Butler, Gilroy, Homi Bhabha, Stuart Hall, Ernesto Laclau, Chantal Mouffe, Edward Said, Gayatri Spivak, and Slavoj Zízek” retort to a phenomenology of race that isn’t concerned with phenotypes (Saldanha, 2006: 9). The aforementioned scholars, but particularly in the case of Judith Butler, adopt a “linguistic take on embodiment” and argue that there is “no anatomy or phenotype unless invoked by signification” and discourses of race and gender (Saldanha, 2006: 12; Butler, 1993: 30). Whereas other authors as Paul Gilroy, want to “’de-ontologize race’ to transcend the ‘race-thinking’ both of white supremacists and of many black activists, and to construct a consciously utopian ‘post-racial humanism’” (Saldanha, 2006: 13). Of course the danger of re-ontologizing race, in identifying the relationship “between biology and the environment”, is that it could easily lead to an anthropological and biological Darwinistic determinism that gave birth to scientific racism, eugenics, and Morteon laboratory experiments where races are polygenetically ranked as superior or inferior by the size of their cranium capacities, hence leading to essentialist taxonomies, responsible for ethnic-cleansing, slavery, war, and racial segregation that continues to occur (Saldanha, 2006: 12-20). Therefore, while, I argue, that phenotypes are a crucial element in the assemblage called race, “saying that race has no basis in biology is different from saying that phenotype plays some role in racial differentiation” (Saldanha, 2006: 20). In sum, what would constitute race within a Deleuzian and Guattarian is not only determined by the “degrees of deviance in relation to the White-Man face” but rather potentially everything from “strands of DNA, phonotypical variation, discursive practices (law, media, science), artifacts such as clothes and food, and the distribution of wealth” (Deleuze & Guattari, 1980: 177; Saldanha, 2006: 19). In concluding and prior to discussing the role of post-colonialism and critical race theory to this dissertations, from a Deleuzian and Guattarian perspective, race exists in its ‘true mode’, when no longer stifled by racism. As Deleuze and Guattari write: “The race-tribe exists only at the level of an oppressed race, and in the name of the oppression it suffers; there is no race but inferior, minoritarian; there is no dominant race; a race is defined not by its purity but rather by the impurity conferred upon it by a system of domination. Bastard and mixed-blood are the true names of race” (Deleuze & Guattari, 1987: 379).
[xix] See Taiaiake, 2008; Smith, 2005; Coulthard, 2008; La Duke, 1999; hooks, 1981; Alston, 2010; Razack, 2004; 2008; Day, 2005; Puar, 2013; Mikdashi & Puar, 2012; Smith, 2011; Driskill, Finley, Gilley, & Morgensen, 2011.
[xx] See: http://www.futurity.org/native-americans-slavery-1361262-2/
[xxi] See Sarah Harvard’s article Donald Trump didn’t come up with the list of Muslim countries he wants to ban. Obama did, here: https://mic.com/articles/166845/the-list-of-muslim-countries-trump-wants-to-ban-was-compiled-by-the-obama-administration#.QJGgPvCqV
[xxii] See Signal received: White nationalists ecstatic over Trump’s proposed policy change on terrorism: http://www.salon.com/2017/02/06/signal-received-white-nationalists-ecstatic-over-trumps-proposed-policy-change-on-terrorism/
[xxiv] The last (Bannon), whose stated mission is grooming ‘Brown-shirt militias’ and whose articulated view of the world is one in which there is a constant conflict between the capitalist ‘Judeo-Zionist-Crusading-Western-Christian West’ as a benevolent force of ‘Enlightenment’ and the malevolent forces of socialism, atheism, and Islam.
[xxv] Only useful when fighting a ‘War on Terror’ as Bill Clinton suggested during the DNC, and in whose name our lands and nations have been destroyed.
[xxvi] See Ignoring Angela Davis here: http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/10/07/ignoring-angela-davis/
[xxvii] See The Folly of Purity Politics here: https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2017/01/purity-politics/513704/
[xxix] Who were shackled, trapped and enslaved for generations, over the course of 400 years, on Transatlantic slave ships during the Middle-Passage.
[xxx] See: Smith, 2011; Driskill, Finley, Gilley, & Morgensen, 2011.
[xxxi] Let alone wreaking wanton, havoc, ample times over elsewhere in so-called franchise ‘post-colonial nations’ like Egypt’s as well, constructed upon capitalist-nation-State models and governance, and whose peoples, too never decolonized even at the height of their ‘Third Worldist and non-aligned movements’ premised on European colonial and imperial boundaries and orders Whiteness incepted, concretized and established?! How do ‘third party politics’ address the hierarchical authoritarian statist and individualist capitalist logics internalized on an individual and mass collective level, and that are reproduced amongst us, reified and inscribed within capitalist-nation-States? Instead, that is, of creating decolonized alternative to a Western model of a ‘postcolonial capitalist-nation-State’ as Egypt (without looking to their own discourses and traditions for alternative models of socio-political-and economic governance), a convenient invention by the West. When as Linda Smith highlighted, ‘colonialism is the imperialism’s outpost, the bastion fort and port of imperial outreach’ that assumes that decolonization has occurred despite that colonialism has always been finished business (1999). When even within so-called ‘communist Soviet Union’ could only develop a “socialist economy only in accordance to the realities of the global market an according to objectives similar to those of international capital”, when all it could do as a new state is confront capitalist-States, by entering into relations of force with them and the ideal of such relations was a kind of status quo…[a] peaceful coexistence and economic competition with the West” (Deleuze & Guattari, 2015: 13). And therefore irrespective of how radical such a socialist revolution maybe to start, “the new State” formed, in confronting capitalist States, will inevitably enter into relations of force with them, and the ideal of such relations is the preservation of a kind of status quo: “what had been the Leninist tactics at the creation of the NEP [and which] was converted into an ideology of peaceful existence and economic competition with the West”, spelling the ruin of the revolutionary movement (Deleuze, 2004: 197). Second, is that, in as much “the new State” assumes “responsibility for the proletariat the world over, it could develop a socialist economy only in accordance with the realities of the global market and according to objectives similar to those of international capital” (Deleuze, 2004: 197). All this “in the name of the working class defending the national forces of production…[with] the outcome already decided or betrayed in the way in which the State-party responded to the city-States of capitalism, even in their relations of mutual hostility and annoyance”(Deleuze, 2004: 197).
[xxxii] That highlighted that settlers and Indigenous peoples are to live an interdependent peaceful coexistence. With settlers respecting the autonomy of Indigenous peoples to choose on their own how to act in the world, in their own resurgence, and without external interference, in parallel perpetuity with settlers as they collectively construct a non-utilitarian relationship to each other and the land (Taiaiake, 2005; Lawrence, 2002; 2003; 2004; Simpson, 2008).
[xxxiii] Please see Taiaiake Alfred’s essay, Idle No More & Indigenous Nationhood (2013) available here: http://taiaiake.net/2013/01/27/idle-no-more-indigenous-nationhood/
Also see, Story Of The Two Row Wampum, available here: http://intercontinentalcry.org/two-row-wampum-renewal-campaign/
[xxxiv] When I use the term ‘settler’, throughout this text, I certainly mean to primarily address White settlers, and thereafter all immigrants and their subsequent generations, irrespective of whether they were actually later born ‘here’, in settler-colonial societies, or not, this being the heart of Empire. Especially if these immigrants descend from an ancestry who arrived in these settler-colonial societies with the premonition stated in the main-text, of becoming immigrants without ‘second thought’ or ‘ill-intention’ (Mikdashi, 2012; Olwan & Krebbs, 2012). African-Americans who explicitly underwent a forceful transplantation are an exception to this experience and demonstrates the challenge of discussions at hand; including too refugees, though that too is contingent on the particular contexts of their histories, and does not deny responsibility in unsettling. Given, that societies as Canada, the U.S., Australia, are ‘lands of civilized and progressive opportunity and dreams’, without our regard for its ongoing colonial and imperial history, legacies and logic that informs and implicates all of us here and geopolitically with respect to colonial and imperial experiences others face and confront ‘elsewhere’ in our original ‘mother’ countries and homelands. And that are, undoubtedly, tied to racial, gender and sexual discourses as ‘pinkwashing’ and ‘homonationalism’ that this text discusses. With a particular keen interest here in my usage, respectively in explicitly including Arabs, North Africans, and Muslims, in this ‘settler’ category, in reawakening our sense of responsibility and bearing in mind the purview of the potential for our critical and radical mobilization. Of course, this discussion ought to also be related to whom and what is ‘indigenous’ and that ought be addressed too through non-racial and non-ethnic understandings of indigeneity. Following Olwan and Krebb’s lead, I ‘hence do not mean to be dismissive of the distinct reasons and experiences for migration, or insensitive to the forceful displacement and indentured enslavement for centuries, in the context of, for instance, African Americans with the transatlantic slave trade’ (2012). Or, for that matter, when it comes to ‘other people of color’ minorities, as South Asian, West Indian and Caribbean communities, and political asylum seekers (Olwan & Krebbs, 2011). But rather this is a call for the necessity of a self-reflexive critical consciousness on the part of all of us, and not that we’re all equal in terms of the degree to which we are implicated in light of our distinct positionalities and histories with these settler-colonial societies.
[xxxv] Please see the following articles on the CBC. The first is titled, Aboriginal children used in medical tests, commissioner says (2013), available here: http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/aboriginal-children-used-in-medical-tests-commissioner-says-1.1318150
The second article is titled, Aboriginal nutritional experiments had Ottawa's approval (2013) and available here: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/thunder-bay/aboriginal-nutritional-experiments-had-ottawa-s-approval-1.1404390
[xxxvi] See Fake Activist Exposed: The Real Linda Sarsour: http://ikhras.com/fake-activist-exposed-the-real-linda-sarsour/
[xxxvii] As Gilles Deleuze and Michel Foucault, stated: “The notion of reform is so stupid and hypocritical. Either reforms are designed by people who claim to be representative, who make a profession of speaking for others, and they lead to a division of power, to a distribution of this new power which is consequently increased by a double repression; or they arise from the complaints and demands of those concerned [through the rival construction of alternatives ‘outside’ the dominant frameworks repressing]. This latter instance is no longer a reform but revolutionary action that questions (expressing the full force of its partiality) the totality of power and the hierarchy that maintains it” (1972).
[xxxviii] As per scholarship, ‘solidarity’ was never meant to be essentialized nor be based on “identity of interests or positions” as it “can only exist across disparate identifications” (Haberle, Day, & Abdou, 2009: 211). Given, that is, that identities themselves are inherently “organic, fluid, interdependent dynamic, and historical” (Ransby, 2006: 1219). Nor is solidarity either: a) To be broached from a position of devouring guilt, due to attained and implicating privileges, born, of no fault of one’s own, that instead require and demand identification, acknowledgment, and undermining, through their personal delineation and communal sharing; b) Nor is solidarity to be approached out of compulsion or an individualist sense of one’s own narcissistic plight, but rather out of humility and compassion in the recognition of our mutual recognition, that each individual’s liberty is contingent upon the Other’s. And it is, for this precise reason that ample anti-racist feminists (Collins 1990; hooks, 1984; Razack, 1998; 2002) have taken up, and “contributed to the construction of a ‘generalized anti-oppression’” frameworks of analysis, in the collective service of our joint, common, distinct, and colliding struggles (Haberle, Day, & Abdou, 2009: 212). With this trajectory being necessarily adopted and existent, as well, in other traditions: “from queer theory (Butler, 1998; Hennesey, 1996; Morton, 2001; Spurlin, 2001) to anarchism (Day, 2005; Graeber, 2002; Hewitt-White, 2001; Kornegger, 2002), indigenous theory (Maracle, 1993; Alfred, 2005) and in certain variants of Marxism (Khan, 2006; Panitch, 2001)” (as cited in Haberle, Day & Abdou, 2009: 212). In light of all this, our movements and produced knowledge and scholarships ought reflect an admission, commitment and attunement to the band, promissory note, and, indeed, idea and understanding: “That there are many struggles against many oppressions, each of which is important in its own right, yet intimately linked to all others” (Day, Haberle, & Abdou, 2009: 212). Struggles cannot be reduced to the lowest common factor, as ‘class’, without analyzing its functioning(s) within situated grander colonial and imperial endeavors related to gender, sexuality, age, race/ethnicity, ability, etc. Not merely as dispersed factors nor simply as extracurricular components, that have tussling connections with ‘class’, but rather as ones that are central to the application of its form, and necessary to account for in our facilitation of broad-base participation as marginalized and inter-related communities in struggle. After all, “technologies of power traverse each other, intersect, and the difference is more one of conjectural emphasis of one or the other – one might even say on particular relations of force” between these identity and subject-based categorizations (Ballvé, 2011). For, as Harsha Walia writes, social movement participants and numerous scholars have argued that: “If Indigenous communities, homeless people, immigrants, LGBTs, seniors and others are all considered ‘special-interest groups’ (despite the fact that they actually constitute an overwhelming demographic majority) [that alter the very dynamics of class], then by default that [not only] suggests that, as Rinku Sen argues, straight white men are the sole standard of universalism. [But rather it further implies that], ‘addressing other systems of oppression, and the people those systems affect, isn’t about elevating one group’s suffering over that of white men. It’s about understanding how the mechanisms of control actually operate’” (2011).
It is in this respect, if colonialism and imperialism’s mechanisms were and are the gendering, the racialization, the sexualization and classification of our flesh and spirits to correspond with their own established hierarchies of our vagrantly identified variant orders of cultures, traditions, faiths, spiritualities and bodies then not only: a) First, has it historically been a proven mistake to cater movements to the idea of the lowest common denominator, as ‘class’, without examining the resemblances, divergences, in tracing their intimate fluid intersections within their continually shifting movement(s) between the specific identity-groups one belongs to and other oppressed characteristics of minority other belongings, in their situated contexts. Particularly, when European-conceived white identities and politics, were and are predominantly concerned with more than just class oppression. As they instead hierarchically privilege the intersectional assemblages of race, sex, ability and gender (etc.), as dynamic forces and dimensions that inform and alter all our exploited groupings and contested belonging(s) in relation to whiteness; b) And, second, which retrospectively, furthermore means one cannot transcend these bifurcating boundaries without disentangling and dismembering in decolonized rebellious acts of uncovering, and recoveries, one’s own histories in relation to others, without focusing on simply on one oppression or minority categorization. For there is no disentangling oppression without an overarching project of decolonization, that centers and provides an analytical framework for unraveling its resonating and divergent functionings across its cultural and faith-based permutations. Particularly, when as Walia states: “The Hudsons Bay Company in Canada and the East India Trading Company in India, for example, were some of the first corporate entities established on the stock market. [With] both these companies…granted trading monopolies by the British Crown, and were able to extract resources and amass massive profits as a direct result of the [racial, sexual, and gendered (etc.)] subjugation of [the particular bodies of] local communities through the use of the British Empire’s military and police forces”, and hence not as a standaradized form of class-exploitation (2011).
As a consequence of these realizations on the part of illuminated social movements, as ought be wisely sought, “are struggles within struggles, by women within the Zapatista autonomous zones and the armed wing of the Zapatista movement (Millan, 1998), by people of colour within North American anarchism (Alston, 2004; Hwang, 2001), and by anti-capitalists and anti-statists within the indigenous nations whose territories are claimed by the Canadian state (Alfred, 2005; Monture-Angus, 1999; Na’cha’uaht and Chiinuuks, 2006; Smith, 2006)” (as cited in Day, Haberle, Abdou, 2009: 212). And thus what we are witnessing “in all these cases are communities of identification whose members are” (Day, Haberle, & Abdou, 2009: 212) not interested nor “looking to that [colonizing] Other for recognition” but rather are “recognizing” each other and themselves and “making contact with all who would engage” and work with us “in a constructive manner” (hooks, 1990: 22). In other words, “together in their disparity, these communities are building something that, although it does not appear as a unity, represents a powerful force for social change” (Day, Haberle, & Abdou, 2009: 212). Where the idea is collaboratively working form the perspective of “a network of ‘differential movements’ that allows social actors to ‘chart the points through which differing oppositional ideologies can meet, in spirit of their varying trajectories’” (Sandoval, 2000: 43; as cited in Haberle, Day, & Abdou, 2009: 212). And that therefore involves, bids and commands a commitment towards the cultivation of “responsibility for the freedom of others” (Levinas, 1969: 136). Indeed, of what that requires of endless negotiations between the ‘Other’ and the ‘I’, given that neither ‘I’ nor the ‘Other’ is “reducible to knowledge about the other…rather, the other is what announces the insufficiency of knowledge, requiring an exorbitant and deracinating hospitality, an ‘approach, which contrasts with knowing’…The other necessarily eludes my grasp, my comprehension” (Davis, 2003: 89; as cited in Haberle, Day, & Abdou, 2009: 213). See Abdou, Mohamed, Haberle, Sean & Day, Richard JF. 2009. ‘Towards a Grassroots Multiculturalism? A Genealogical Analysis of Solidarity Practices in Canadian Activism Today in Racism & Justice: Critical Dialogue on the Politics of Identity, Inequality, and Change. Eds Sean P. Hier, Daniel Lett, and B. Singh Bolaria. Ferndwood Publishing.
[xxxix] Whites, across the board, refuse to understand and relinquish their white privilege by sharing and partaking in an ethics of responsibility, accountability and mutual reciprocity to those on who racialized, sexualized, gendered backs, ‘here’ and ‘elsewhere’, this ‘American’ and ‘Canadian’ nation was born. And here’s where we need to understand the difference between whiteness (as a racial/ethnic category) and ‘cultures of whiteness’ that refer to ‘ontological white values and epistemological-practices, paradigms. In this sense, identity politics are critical, but limited white Eurocentric and phallo-and-male-centric incepted identity politics and capitalist-hyper-individualistic conceptualizations of ‘freedom’, ‘democracy’, ‘fraternity’ and ‘equal rights’ as opposed to a politics of collective responsibility, centered around a ‘politics of affinity’ which doesn’t imply the nepotism of a so-called Cold-War ex-Soviet Communist Union either, altogether distinct from ‘Socialism’ as if these were concepts and terms are synonymous for each other) which we all appeal to, embrace, and internalized, given our inferiority complexes and longing for saviour messiahs as whites and people of colour alike. Reason for which the revolutionary Frantz Fanon stated: ‘Black skins with White masks’, ‘Red skins with White masks’ and ‘Brown skins with White masks’ loving their white world and white masters.
[xl] See: http://www.esquire.com/news-politics/politics/news/a45451/lead-water-crisis-33-cities/
[xli] Flute identifies as both Lakota and Cajun from Standing Rock, scooped, and was displaced as a new-born to Ontario, 5 days after her birth, and before her adoption on day 7. She’s a long time activist and proponent of Natural Motherhood.
[xlii] Trudeau, who hires colonized black, brown and white-washed Sikh ministers and Somali-Canadians as defense ministers and heads of immigration policies and who claim that they are ‘Canadian’ first while Trudeau silences indigenous peoples born in captivity. As both Liberalism and Trudeau pit black, red, and brown people against one another, while Obama and Trudeau send black and brown men as part of their military industrial complex, which Eisenhower warned of, to kill all kinds of black, brown, men, women and children elsewhere, and who in turn latter become refugees trying to get into fantastical settler-colonial societies where they can become 'good settlers' themselves, in endless cycles.
[xliii See: http://rabble.ca/news/2014/11/11-indigenous-resistance-movements-you-need-to-know
Also see: https://decolonization.wordpress.com/decolonization-readings/
[xlv] See: http://www.nationalpost.com/m/wp/news/canada/canadian-politics/blog.html?b=news.nationalpost.com%2Fnews%2Fcanada%2Fcanadian-politics%2Fdramatic-increase-in-people-having-canadian-citizenship-revoked-since-trudeau-elected
[xlvii] See: http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2017/02/warning-canada-170218075910262.html
[xlviii] See: http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2012/05/elizabeth-warren-is-part-native-american
Also see: http://www.cnn.com/2016/06/29/opinions/warren-should-apologize-native-americans-moya-smith/
[xlix] See: https://www.attorneygeneral.jus.gov.on.ca/inquiries/ipperwash/policy_part/research/pdf/Alfred_and_Lowe.pdf
Also see: https://taiaiake.net/2013/12/13/being-and-becoming-indigenous-resurgence-against-contemporary-colonialism/
Also see: https://warriorpublications.wordpress.com/2014/02/16/sakej-ward-defining-warrior-societies/
[l] And that initially appropriated the 1971 ‘March on Washington’ (in which people originally March, but rather ‘shut it down’) till women of color were included at the last minute.
[li] Suggest Deleuze & Guattari’s Assemblage Theory instead or literature on Decolonizing Intersectionaly, emerging from queer indigenous studies.
[lii] As Puar writes and has theorized, “Homonationalism…is not simply a synonym for gay racism, or another way to mark how gay and lesbian identities became available to conservative political imaginaries; it is not another identity politics, not another way of distinguishing good queers from bad queers, not an accusation, and not a position” (2013: 337). Homonationalism, therefore “is rather a facet of modernity and a historical shift marked by the entrance of (some) homosexual bodies as worthy of protection by nation-states, a constitutive and fundamental reorientation of the relationship between the state, capitalism, and sexuality” (2013: 337). To, thus, “say that this historical moment is homonational, where homonationalism is understood as an analytics of power, then, means that one must engage it in the first place as the condition of possibility for national and transnational politics” (2013: 337). In essence, “homonationalism is fundamentally a deep critique of lesbian and gay liberal rights discourses and how those rights discourses produce narratives of progress and modernity that continue to accord some populations access to citizenship—cultural and legal—at the expense of the delimitation and expulsion of other populations” where “the narrative of progress for gay rights is thus built on the back of racialized others, for whom such progress was once achieved, but is now backsliding or has yet to arrive” (Puar, 2013: 337). As for “Pinkwashing”, as Puar further highlights, “Homonationalism and pinkwashing should not be seen as parallel phenomena” (Puar, 2013: 337). Rather, as Puar writes, “pinkwashing is one manifestation and practice made possible within and because of homonationalism” (2013: 337). Part and parcel of what distinguishes both is that “unlike pinkwashing, homonationalism is not a state practice per se”, but rather it is “the historical convergence of state practices, transnational circuits of queer commodity culture and human rights paradigms, and broader global phenomena such as the increasing entrenchment of Islamophobia” (Puar, 2013: 337).
[liii] Pinkwashing, as Puar and Mikdashi further write, “only makes sense as a political strategy within a discourse of Islamophobia and Arabophobia—it is part of a larger project to anchor all politics within the axis of identity and identitarian (and identifiable) groups” (2012). In other words, “pinkwashing and pinkwatching are both made possible and legible through the political and social efficacy of homonationalism as a structuring force of neoliberal modernity” (Mikdashi & Puar, 2012). Pinkwashing occurs and is facilitated through the ongoing “practice and normalization of settler colonialism” and that acts and operates “as the staging ground for both pinkwashing in Israel and pinkwatching in the United States” (Mikdashi & Puar, 2012). It is in this sense that “while pinkwashing serves to conceal Israel’s colonization of Palestine, pinkwatching rarely exposes the United States’ self-scripted silence on settler colonialism at home and the ways that discourses of sexuality operate to present natives and people of color as always in need of redemption and education by the liberal state” (Mikdashi & Puar, 2012). This occurs, when in fact, “discourses on sexuality and criminality are, in fact, a vehicle for multicultural settler colonial states, such as Australia, South Africa, Israel, and the United States, that continue practicing a mission civilisatrice in the age of tolerance” (Mikdashi & Puar, 2012). For further clarifications on the distinction between Pinkwashing and Homonationalism please see Mikdashi & Puar’s article in Jadaliyya titled “Pinkwatching and Pinkwashing: Interpretations and its Discontents” (2012) here: http://www.jadaliyya.com/pages/index/6774/
Also please see Ali AbuNaimah’s talk on the electronic intifada titled Pinkwash, Greenwash, Hogwash: Ali Abunimah on Israel’s use of sex and marketing to distract from apartheid here: http://electronicintifada.net/blogs/ali-abunimah/pinkwash-greenwash-hogwash-ali-abunimah-israels-use-sex-and-marketing-distract
[liv] See: https://theestablishment.co/social-justice-must-be-complicated-because-oppression-is-never-simple-3a24ea6c9f88#.9kn1el5gb
[lv]For instance Dean Spade and Craig Willse in their text Against Equality state: “Marriage is a coercive state structure that perpetuates racism and sexism through forced family and gender norms… We still demand a queer political agenda that centralizes the experiences of prisoners, poor people, immigrants, trans people and people with disabilities. Such an agenda favours universal healthcare, rejection of police brutality, the war on drugs and a push to create a world in which ‘no one is illegal.’ ‘We reject a gay agenda that pours millions of dollars into access to oppressive institutions…’queer life means something more bountiful than emulating tired heterosexual rituals. It means sexual freedom, self-determination and autonomy from the state’”[lv]. Moreover, queer Muslims, whether in the East or the West and in light of the ‘legalization of gay marriage by the supreme court’ are ambivalent to the fact that “a day before Obama celebrated the Supreme Court decision yesterday, he rudely shut down Jennicet Gutiérrez, an undocumented trans woman involved in queer and immigration activism who asked for him to ‘release all LGBTQ immigrants from detention and stop all deportations”, saying “Hey Listen. You're in my house’”, as she was surrounded in a white house pride reception constituted of predominantly white cis-men (2015). Jennicet Gutiérrez was “eventually removed” from the White House and reception (2015). The article written J. Bryan Lowder and titled Jennicet Gutiérrez and the Politics of Pride (2015) proceeds on to point out that “many of the LGBTQ movement’s biggest achievements thus far—coming marriage equality, military service, federal contractor protections—mean little to the most marginalized people in the community” (2015). Finally, in an article titled I Am Black and Gay, But I Refuse to Be Proud this Weekend (2015) by Darnell L. Moore, he states, reflecting on the Supreme Court ruling: “I am gay. I understand the historic importance of this moment. But I know, whether I am legally married or not, the rainbow flag of LGBTQ equality will never shield my black body from a reckless police officer's bullet. I cannot summon enough pride to prevent my black, gay body from being the target of white racial supremacy. I cannot selectively choose which fight I can show up for, because mere survival requires me to fight for racial, sexual, gender, economic and social justice at once. That is why this otherwise celebratory moment feels bittersweet. To be honest, mostly bitter. I've been here before. When the Supreme Court gutted the historic Voting Rights Act in 2013, an act originally ratified because of the work of black leaders who fought to prevent racial discrimination in voting, I was incensed in a way many of my white LGBTQ friends were not. I was hoping for queer outrage, but confronted apathy. Then again, I never expected big protests or social media campaigns; the ‘movement’ might care about my queerness, but it certainly does not value my blackness. The LGBTQ movement has been likened to the black civil rights movement of our past, with ‘gay’ even being called the ‘new black’ (‘black’, in this summation, serving as a synonym for ‘lack’ — a lack of access and rights). Thus gay liberation has often been fuelled by the rhetoric of black liberation. In April, for example, joyful proponents of same-sex marriage gathered outside of the nation's highest court, singing ‘We Shall Overcome’. But I wonder, who is the ‘we’ they imagine? It was convenient for same-sex marriage advocates to position the fight for LGBTQ liberation as the ‘new black’, only until it began winning victories. The trope of blackness doesn't necessarily work as a metaphor in the current iteration of the LGBTQ movement, because ‘black’ never signified progress in the queer imagination. Gay was only the ‘new black’ when gay people were denied equal protections and privileges under the law. And as the LGBTQ movement wins victories like same-sex marriage, black folks, including black LGBTQ folks, are still engaged in a struggle for our lives. I refuse to take pride in a ‘movement’ singularly invested in gay liberation while black and brown folk continue to die at the hands of the state and white vigilantes. LGBTQ celebration should not overshadow the tragedy of black-death and inequity. Not while white LGBTQ people refuse to confront the anti-black racism within their liberal communities. Not while marriage equality work can amass more money than programming for trans women of color and LGBTQ youth. Not while undocumented LGBTQ people continue to be detained and abused by the state. Not while I must daily argue for the mattering of black lives” (2015). It’s in this sense that queer Muslims must understand that struggles cannot be based on single issue causes that are reductive of the complexities of social justice work and problematic identity politics based on ontological and epistemological categories of white supremacy and white masculinity brought forward by colonial and imperial modernity. In concluding this specific point perhaps DarkMatter summarized it best when a statement was released regarding the Supreme Court’s decision stating: “I love when the world makes things explicit: today when cisgender gays and lesbians and their allies will be celebrating gay marriage, a bunch of us will be on the streets for the Trans Day of Action march in NYC with the Audre Lorde Project and the abolish the prison industrial complex party in the Bay Area with TGI Justice Project (TGIJP) protesting the criminalization and murder of trans people. So many think pieces and neoliberal #activists will proclaim the end of the ‘gay movement’, but let’s get a few things straight: 1. Violence against queer and trans communities of color is steadily increasing. The majority of this violence comes from the very state that allegedly supports our ‘equality’ at the hands of the police, prisons, mental health institutions, and ICE. ‘Victories’ like this Supreme Court ruling are often used to pinkwash the US government and make it seem ‘LGBT friendly’ even though it’s one of the biggest arbiters of anti-queer and anti-trans violence at home and abroad. 2. Every time there is a symbolic ruling like this there is a significant backlash. This backlash looks like acts of physical and sexual violence against largely low-income gender non-conforming people of color who cannot afford privacy and safety. Policy change does not translate into changing hearts and minds. Community organizing does. Stop discussing progress without understanding punishment. 3. What you call a ‘rainbow’, we call the racial wealth divide. It’s much easier to affirm ‘gay love’, than it is to call for reparations for colonialism, slavery, and exploitation of labor. As gay marriage gets legalized the majority of LGBT donors are pulling their funds to support queer and trans work. This leaves those of us doing radical and economic justice work even more broke and less able to get people out of prisons and into stable housing and jobs. But who needs money for bread when you can eat a wedding cake? 4. ‘Marriage equality’ is an oxymoron. The institution of marriage is an inherently unequal institution. Marriage is a racist and patriarchal system established to allocate basic rights to couples over other forms of relationships. The institution of marriage has and continues to exacerbate the (racial) wealth divide in this country. 5. We aren’t fighting for more rights, we are fighting for abolition. This is a very different political strategy. We don’t want more freedoms, we want to be free from violence. We aren’t fighting for equality and love, we were fighting for economic justice and liberation. We aren’t fighting for representation, we are fighting for revolution. Back to the streets!” (2015)
[lvi] As Massad writes “The emergence of gay and lesbian identities in the West [and that] was both an outcome of labor relations that required new residential and migratory activities, the dissolution or weakening of kinship and family ties, and the development of a consumer society and the emergence of social networks that produce, shape, and articulate sexual desires that are commensurate with these changes, which led to the development of sexual identities” (Massad 2013; D’Emilio 1983).
[lvii] Operating from this Deleuzian and Guattarian paradigm, I therefore don’t see “desire” as Foucault sees it, “as lack”, but rather as Deleuze sees it, as “positive”, “neither as ‘natural’ nor a ‘spontaneous’ determination”, and thus rather what makes the social field function (Deleuze, 1997). Deleuze writes in Desire and Pleasure (1977), and which constitutes some of his notes on Foucault: “The last time we saw each other, Michel says to me, with much kindness and affection, something like: I cannot bear the word desire; even if you use it in another way, I can't stop thinking or living that desire = lack, or that desire is the repressed. Michel adds: As for me, what I call ‘pleasure’ is perhaps what you call ‘desire’; but in any case I need another word than desire” (1997). Desire to Deleuze, who relies on Masoch’s masochism, as opposed to Foucault, who relies on Sade’s sadism, is positive, creative, so long as an instantaneous pleasure doesn’t “interrupt the positivity of that desire and the constitutions of its field of immanence” (Deleuze, 1997). It’s this way that “desire lacks nothing, and guards itself as much as possible from the pleasures which would come and interrupt its process” (Deleuze, 1997). Desire, indeed: “does not lack anything; it does not lack its object. It is, rather, the subject that is missing in desire, or desire that lacks a fixed subject; there is no fixed subject unless there is repression (Delueze, 1983: 26). Therefore, while pleasures “are on the side of strata and organization” (Deleuze, 1997). Desire is “but one with an assemblage of heterogeneous elements which function; it is process, in contrast with structure or genesis; it is affect, as opposed to feeling; it is ‘haecceity’ (individuality of a day, a season, a life), as opposed to subjectivity; it is event, as opposed to thing or person” (Deleuze, 1997). Above all, desire, Deleuze writes, “implies the constitution of a field of immanence or a ‘body without organs’, which is only defined by zones of intensity, thresholds, gradients, flux” (1997). What this also means is that “pleasure” to Deleuze, as it is for me, is negative in what neurosis it brings and yet is positive in the potential it provides ‘to create’, through psychosis and imaginative ‘delirium’ means from which to ‘escape’ repression, or transcend it. That is, in relation to what is constructed as societally normal according to specificities of space and time. Pleasure is “only a means for a person or a subject to ‘find themselves again’ in a process which overwhelms them”, a “reterritorialisation”, as opposed to a space for “‘deterritorialisation’” (1997). This makes power an affection of desire and not what motivates, or constitutes desire, per se, because “desiring assemblages…swarm among formations of power according to their dimensions” (Deleuze, 1997). In other words, though desiring assemblages have nothing to do with repression, or say, projects to racialize, sexualize or queer, by the same token and given Deleuze’s primacy of desire over power, “or the secondary character that the systems of power” have for him, they have everything to do with them (Deleuze, 1997). This is because power attempts to structurally discipline, funnel and control desire, and therefore power’s “operations still have a repressive effect, since they crush, not desire as a natural given, but the points of desiring-assemblages” (Deleuze, 1997). One of the theses Deleuze draws on, in explaining this further, is the way “the system of sexuality reduces sexuality to sex (to the difference of sexes, etc.; and psychoanalysis abounds in this gesture of reduction)” (Deleuze, 1997). In this case, the effect of repression or forcibly being queered by the sexual civilizationism of the West through (neo)colonial and (neo)imperial incursions, occurs: “Precisely at the frontier of the micro and the macro: sexuality, as a historically variable and determinable desiring-assemblage, with its points of deterritorialisation, flux and combination, will be reduced to a molar instance, ‘sex’, and even if the processes of this reduction aren’t repressive, the (non-ideological) effect is repressive, in so far as the assemblages are broken, not only in their potentialities, but in their micro-reality” (Deleuze, 1997). Desire in this sense makes the social field function, but is subject to repression “which completely changes or distorts” desire, or makes it exist as a shameful taboo, “because systems of power which, at the same time, find themselves produced by these assemblages” crush and unplug the ‘organic’ flow of desire, instead hierarchically submitting it to axes and dimensions it is connected to and associated with, as race, class, gender and ability (etc) (Deleuze, 1997). A critical point, worthy of (re)noting, as has been discussed, in former chapters, is that the word or term for desire in Islam and in Arabic is raghba, and is ongoing and continuous, distinct from pleasure, shahwa, commonly associated with having a ‘lustful or illicit appetite’ and that is temporal (Massad, 2007; Habib, 2010). In concluding, where Deleuze explains, desire “is as biological as it is collective and political; it is on this body that assemblages make and unmake themselves and it is this body which bears the points of deterritorialisation of the assemblages or lines of flight” or resistance becomes possible (Deleuze, 1997).
[lviii] See: https://yaqeeninstitute.org/omar-suleiman/how-the-prophet-muhammad-rose-above-enmity-and-insult/
[lx] See: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/jan/18/muslim-american-families-donald-trump
[lxi] See: http://www.huffingtonpost.in/thenmozhi-soundararajan/i-m-a-proud-dalit-american-and-this-is-why-i-marched/
[lxii] See: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/jan/17/goodbye-barack-hussein-obama-americas-first-muslim-president
[lxiii] See Barghouti, 2008; Ahmed, 2011; Ali, 2006; 2010; Hodgson, 1974; Bamyeh, 2010; Massad, 2001; 2007; 2015; Hallaq, 2009; 2012; Abou El-Fadl, 2005; 2014.
[lxiv] See Barghouti, 2008; Ahmed, 2011; Ali, 2006; 2010; Hodgson, 1974; Bamyeh, 2010; Massad, 2001; 2007; 2015; Hallaq, 2009; 2012; Abou El-Fadl, 2005; 2014.
[lxv] In addition to my work on ‘anarca-Islam, please see Zahir Kazmi’s The Limits of Muslim Liberalism (2014). Other works include, Heba Raouf Ezzat’s essay “Anarchism: The philosophy that translation was unfair to” (2001). Also See Islamic anarchist Zine by Anthony Fiscella: http://www.alpineanarchist.org/miscell/Islamic_Anarchism_Zine.pdf
[lxvi] And recognizing (and this rightfully so) that the Qur’an as a spiritual and faith-based text denotes not merely a ‘way of life’, but, at heart, revolves axially, around ethico-political maxims, and what followed of Enlightenment ‘objective’, rationales, & attempts at forcibly imposing these terminologies on those colonized towards embracing a purportedly ‘secular modernity’ and despite of recent spiritual, faith and religious reinterpretations of anarchism. See Religious Anarchisms (2009). Anarca-Islam noted/mentioned amongst: “A reading list created by a group of Black, Brown, Indigenous, Muslim, and Jewish people who are writers, organizers, teachers, anti-fascists, anti-capitalists, and radicals. WE studied and pursued methods for revolutionary social change before Trump came to power, and our core focus remains the same: abolishing the ever-enlarging systems of hierarchy, control, and environmental destruction necessary to sustain the growth of capital. With the ascendance of White nationalist ambition to the upper echelons of empire, we have given special attention to struggles waged and endured by marginalized people for whom the fight against capital has always been a concurrent fight against Anglo-Saxon supremacy. Although there are bleak times ahead, we must remember that for most of us America was never paradise. Democrats and liberals will use this time to revise history. They will present themselves as the reasonable solution to Trump’s reign and advocate a return to “normalcy.” But their normal is a country where, black people are routinely killed by police and more people are imprisoned than any other place in the world. Their normal is a country where millions are exploited while a handful eats lavishly. Their normal is the opposite of a solution; it’s a threat to our lives.
We encourage everyone to use their local libraries and indiebound.org to acquire the books listed below”: - See: http://thenewinquiry.com/features/a-time-for-treason/
[lxvii] Hakim Bey, 2009. Also see Sean Haberle and my interview with Bey: http://www.ru-a.org/2012/03/on-islam-hakim-bey.html
Also see: https://hermetic.com/bey/index
[lxviii] As Michel Foucault and Linda Smith (1999), argued Western enlightenment since inception has been bent on creating bureaucratic and technocratic fields of ‘expects’, of ideas and of the ‘modern’ human person’ and neocolonized and neoimperialized subjects who are taught to write from the margins and from our ‘inferior’ knowledge systems. Therefore hindering our ability to become creators of our own erased, disappeared, and disfigured knowledge(s) given that we have to always subscribe to in relation to ‘organized’ and ‘separable’ Western references for them to be credible, and that assume that Western neoloibieralized methodological approaches to ‘research’ must be ‘Positivist’, ‘Empiricist’ and ‘scientific’, ‘rational’ and ’objective’. This way Western ‘research’ (‘one the dirtiest words in the indigenous worlds vocabulary’ as Linda Smith stated) is viewed as scientifically ‘neutral’ and ‘objective’ based on compartmentalized systems of knowledge as ‘physics’ ’chemistry’ ‘biology’ , ‘sociology’, ‘medicine’ (etc.) that therefore have to be seen as separable.
[lxix] See: http://www.vox.com/2017/1/18/14312104/islamophobia-catholics
[lxx] Medieval Western Christians actually thought that Islam was a heretical form of Christianity.
[lxxi] I’ve addressed the so-called ‘authority’ of the Prophet and the situating of Creator and Creation in Islam, in anarca-Islam. Moreover, there’s a critical issue with respect to so-called ‘Imamology’ and contemporary progressive-liberal Muslims as well as neoconservatives that have reified tantamount to a symbolic ‘priesthood’ in Islam in individuals referring to themselves, without a sense of legitimacy as such; as ‘imam’ this and that. For, an Imam, as with a Khalifah, is a dynamic and not static concept and practice, not merely tied to the conditions aforementioned, but rather too, to pre-modern conceptualizations of Dawla, in thus far as its circulatory and revolutionary character are concerned. Further implying the Imam’s temporality, if not Imamology’s cyclical rotation and obligatory alternation, if there is to be an acknowledgment, amongst a community of Muslims, of the fluid functionality of power dynamics, in delineating from the fascistic tendencies that would egoistically cause one to read concepts as Khalifah and Imam as ‘singular’ as opposed to plural, despite the collective mandates of Shura, Ijma and Maslaha. Imamology is emphasized and prevalently dominant as it is in the ethos of Shi’ite prophetic philosophy and eschatology, despite this term’s diverse meanings, and that the emphasis in the Qur’an, once more, is on the former, pluralistic Khalifah (Al-Barghouti, 2008: 38; Masud, 2001; Corbin, 2001). The notion of Imam is highly problematic, if taken, as Khalifah, to defer to a sole centralized figure, in the context of this non-institutionalized faith. Since as Al-Barghouti writes and illuminates: “Etymologically as well as theoretically and historically the Imam means a book, a guide, one that is followed by a group of people: ‘and the Qur’an is the Imam of the Muslims…and God said [referring to the Day of Judgement] Yama nad’ou kulla unasin be’Imamihim (the Day we’ll call upon every people by their Book)’ (Lisan al-Arab, 5:25)” (Al-Barghouti, 2008: 38; Masud, 2001). Accordingly, it is the Qur’an that uncontestably is the paramount Imam, particularly with Prophet Muhammad’s death, and the fact that the Qur’an does not advocate for an adherence to a particular technique of governance or a supposed embodied sole ‘leadership’. That is, no systematic formulation of governance is dictated in the Quran, besides, that is, the emphatic and stringent emphasis on the aforementioned identified micro-anti and non-authoritarian concepts, commitments and practices as shura, ijma and maslaha. This way though, Imam possesses other connotations, as Al-Barghouti writes: “The Imam also means the person followed: The Messenger of God is the Imam of his Umma and they all have to follow [the verb used here is etimam which is a participial of Amm] his way [Sunna]’; the Imam means the ideal, ‘the Imam is every ideal to be followed’; the Imam is the rope of piece of wood by which the equilibrium of any building is measured; ‘the Imam is the way or the road (al-Imamu al-Tareeq)’” (Al-Barghouti, 2008: 38; Masud, 2001).
There remains the fact, as Al-Barghouti equally, critically acknowledges, that: “Most importantly: ‘the Imam is the Umma’ (Lisan al-Arab, 5: 24-6)” (Al-Barghouti, 2008: 38; Masud, 2001). The implication of which is, if, indeed, the ‘Imam is the Umma’, with the Umma “follow[ing] itself, and follow[ing] an image of itself” (Al-Barghouti, 2008: 39; emphasis added). When Al-Barghouti writes: “Each Muslim follow[ing] all Muslims” and the “physical existence of individuals is called an Ummah…when these individuals have an image of themselves as a collective, and when this image is guiding them to do things in certain ways distinct from others” (Al-Barghouti, 2008: 39; emphasis added). Then this correspondingly means and implies, yet again, that if the Ummah’s image is that of the Qur’an as its Imam, with each of us as Khalifahs, combatting together our individual and collective micro and macro-fascisms. While the Qur’an acts as what solely and spiritedly guides and safeguards us as believers (or mu’mineen) from derision, then our mode of socio-political and economic organization could very well be anarchism, and the anarca-Islamic ideals we, individually and collectively, aspire towards, as derived from Islam and our holy text. This is further affirmed in that, there is no obligatory theological, moral, ethical or political justification in Islam that conclusively and compulsory mandates the exclusivity of the latter definition of Imam, as a unitary ‘individual’ to authoritativly lead. That is, instead of the former alternative meaning, whereby the Imam is an Ummah manifesting and establishing itself premised on the ethical and political commitments of the Qur’an. This is fundamentally critical to consider, particularly in thus far as, once more, the non-required nature of a ‘politics of Imamism’ and a singular Khilafah, with the emphasis resting and being on Tawheed, with allegiance and loyalty being only to Allah. Particularly, when as stated and repeated, as Al-Barghouti acknowledges, that there exist wide ranges of diverse and diverging opinions in Islam’s history over this impasse and question of governance and ‘authority’. With views and perspectives, indeed, encompassing that of the “Kharijites (the Najdat), who argued that if people obeyed the rules of the Qur’an and the Hadith, that is, the textual guides, there would be no need for a human guide, or any kind of authority” (Al-Barghouti, 2008: 42; Sharustani, n.d.: 119; Afghani, 2002: 83; Imara, 1977: 12; Masud, 2001; Crone, 2000; 2003; 2004). And thus, although “the rest of the Kharijites as well as the Shiites and Sunnis agreed that there must be an authority” they yet exhibited disagreement and dissension regarding its functionality, form and structure (Al-Barghouti, 2008: 43-56; Masud, 2001; Crone, 2000; 2003). With these debates regarding siyasa, as in ‘politics’ or the ‘art of governance’ prevalently remaining fluid, if not consistently subject to internal and external contestation, consequently creating room for dissension and revolt in medieval and pre-modern Muslim societies, given the decentralized schema, already, constituting the territorial geographies of the time, as discussed with respect to and regarding the Ummah and the Dawla. That would, even, lead to divergent and differing Ash’arite and Mu’tazillite perspectives, over who and what constitutes a Muslim, particularly, when it pertinently relates to matters of disagreement and conflict amongst Muslims themselves, if not too in relation to other non-Muslim believers, or ‘mu’mineen’, as asserted and enunciated in the Qur’an, no less (Al-Barghouti, 2008: 43-56; Masud, 2001). After all, in the development of the divergent pre-modern and medieval doctrines of siyasa, or ‘politics’ and the ‘art of governance’, medieval or pre-modern Muslim scholars as Abu’l-Hasan ‘Al-Mawardi who was a qadi, or judge, “under the Abbasid Caliphs alQadir (991-1031) and al-Qa’im (1031-74), [and] who strived for the restoration of Sunni orthodoxy against the Shi’i Buwayhid Sultans” (Masud, 2001: 81; Al-Barghouti, 2008). Wrote in his seminal work al-Ahkam al-sultaniyya “explaining the rules of political authority according to Islamic law” in which there was “an assimilation of administrative and public law practices into fiqh” and “an attempt to bring the [pre-modern] state [or Dawla] under the domain of religion” (Masud, 2001: 8; Al-Barghouti, 2008). Whereby Al-Mawardi (d. 1058) leaned towards the opinion of describing “siyasa as a function of [an] imam entrusted to him by God” (n.d., 3; Masud, 2001: 8). Where Al-Mawardi “defines the imam as a successor to the Prophet to look after the management (siyasa) of the worldly affairs and the protection of religious matters” (Masud, 2001: 8; Al-Barghouti, 2008). And thus, “although both religious and worldly affairs were under the care of the imam, yet while he had a free hand in the worldly affairs, in religious matters, his duty was only to protect them, or to keep the status quo” (Masud, 2001: 8; Al-Barghouti, 2008). Al-Mawardi, further, “also uses another pair of terms as the duties of the imam: siyasat al-umma and hirasat al-milla, [with] milla signifying the religious aspect of the Muslim society while the umma the political or mundane” (2001: 8; Al-Barghouti, 2008). Yet it is, precisely, these false binaries and critical distinctions, between ‘religion’ or ‘faith’ and politics or ‘siyasa’, that once again this book, here, seeks to transcend, distinguish, reconceptualize and re-envision. Particularly, in thus far as si’yasa “goes back to al-Shafi’is explanation between the rights of God and the rights of [hu]man[s] to which we have referred above” and when “Al-Shafi’i did not allow” and refused that the Khalifah or the Imam be permitted “to hear the cases relating to the rights of God” (Masud, 2001: 8; Al-Barghouti, 2008). On the other hand, Al-Mawardi allowed “the ‘ruler’ to hear these cases and make demands on the judges…because they were according to him qawanin al-siyasa [i.e. the ‘laws of politics and governance’] and were necessarily related to the protection of the community, [after all, to Al-Mawardi] the basic duty of the imam as a successor to the Prophet is to look after the management (siyasa) of the worldly affairs and the protection of religious matters” (Masud, 2001: 8; Al-Barghouti, 2008). For Muhammad al-Ghazali (d. 1111), another Muslim scholar, however, on the other hand, “siyasa in this context came to mean pragmatism” as he defined “siyasa on the patterns of Muslim philosophers who followed the Aristotalian concept of Politics” (Masud, 2001: 8-9; Al-Barghouti, 2008). Al-Ghazali, highlighted that “siyasa refers to social organization and cooperation with reference to economic resources and their control” (1970: 10-11) while distinguishing too between “the concept of siyasa by recognizing different levels of siyasa, in which the siyasa of the ‘ulama’ and ‘fuqaha’ [i.e. Muslim scholars and the learned in Islamic jurisprudence] stands side by side with the siyasa of the rulers” (Masud, 2001: 9; Al-Barghouti, 2008). Al-Ghazali, thus, stressed “the importance of the siyasa for the Ulam [i.e. the well-learned, versed, or taught, irrespective of discourse]”, given that he explained and perceived siyasa, or politics, not as “a religious science in the first category but it is instrumental in the matters which are complementary to religion” (1970: 16; Masud, 2001: 9; Al-Barghouti, 2008). Moreover, and besides which the “Shafi’ite jurists” and others like the Hanbalite jurist Abu al-Wafa Ali Ibn ‘Aqil (d. 1119) were “also looking for a role of siyasa in Islamic law”, as they interrogated whether siyasa was conceivably possible “independent of sharia [i.e. as clarified and discussed, to be understood as the jurisprudential interpreted and reinterpreted non-totalizable and non-monolithic corpus of Islamic laws]” (Masud, 2001: 9; Al-Barghouti, 2008). In doing so, Ibn ‘Aqil drew on three practices of his day, given they conditioned and represented the time he lived. The three practices included, the contextual fact, that: a) “the theologian philosophers (alhukama’ al-ilahiyyun) opted for hikma [i.e. ‘wisdom’] suspending the sharia”; b) second, “the jurists (al-futana, the wise) subjected reason to the sharia”; and c) finally, “the governing of worldly affairs and even in such affairs of management (siyasat) where no text of the sharia was available” (Masud, 2001: 9; Ibn Aqil, 1970, Vol 1: 279). Ibn ‘Aqil thus “stated that in matters of governance operation by siyasa shar’iyya [i.e. Islamically legitimized politics] was allowed”, given that it concerned “control (hazm) and power and a ruler must have a discretion in this matter” (Masud, 2001: 9). Ibn ‘Aqil drew and referenced “al-Shafi’i who argued that siyasa was allowed only if accorded with shari’a” (Masud, 2001: 9; Ibn Qayyim, 1968, 4: 362). And subsequently, which further led Ibn ‘Aqil to respond to al-Shafi’i’s perspective, adopting the distinct view “that siyasa actually aimed for people’s welfare and protected them from fasad (i.e. ‘corruption’)…even though it was not formulated exactly as the Prophet formulated it and even though it was not part of the revealed text”, that is, the Qur’an (Masud, 2001: 9; Al-Barghouti, 2008).
The later period of siyasa’s development further continued with “Ibn Taymiyya (d. 1328) and Ibn Qayyim (d. 1350)” and the formulation of siyasa as a discipline “with the Mongol invasions” (Masud, 2001: 10). Masud writes, “the definition of siyasa by Ibn al-Tiqtiqa (b. 1262), the celebrated historian and statesman, in his work on statecraft and history, reflects this concern” (2001: 10). Where al-Tiqtiqa defined and identified siyasa as “the chief resource of the king, on which he relies to prevent bloodshed, defend chastity, prevent evil, subjugate evildoers and forestall misdeeds which lead to sedition and disturbance” (Ibn al-Tiqtiqa in Masud, 2001: 10). Whereas, “the Hanbalite jurist, Ibn Taymiyya, reopened the debate on siyasa, also relating it to the need of discipline and order” believing that as a discipline it “could be achieved best by assimilating the practice of siyasa into shari’a” (Masud, 2001: 11; Al-Barghouti, 2008). After all, Ibn Taymiyya “believed in the necessity of [the] ‘state’ on religious grounds, because the institutions of jihad, hajj, Friday [prayers], eid and hudad (penalties) could not be established without the force of a ‘state’”, necessary as it is, in Ibn Taymiyya’s opinion for “the administration of justice (or ‘adl) that was not possible without the authority of the state” (Ibn Taymiyya, 1971: 184; Masud, 2001: 11). As a consequence of this, as Masud writes, it is “significant to note that in Ibn Taymiyya’s al-siyasa al-shar’iyya the ruler gained more liberty than allowed by the other jurists” for “while Ibn Taymiyya insisted on a Just siyasa, he allowed the ruler a wider authority in penalties in addition to those prescribed by shari’a” (Masud, 2001: 11). Therefore, as Masud notes, “the doctrine of al-siyasa al-shar’iyya [i.e. ‘political discretion of rulers who in his opinion were required to study the Qur’an and Sunnah or rely or knowledgable scholars’] allowed Ibn Taymiyya to go further than other jurists before him in allowing the right of siyasa to the ruler” (Masud, 2001: 11). And, thus, while scholars as “Ibn Qayyim largely supported Ibn Taymiyya, he tried to develop a synthesis between the ideas of Ibn Aqil and Ibn Taymiyya” (Masud, 2001: 12). With Ibn Qayyim, therefore being “in favour of Ibn ‘Aqil’s idea of siyasa being independent of shari’a”, given that “siyasa could be unjust or just”, while Ibn Taymiyya refused to distinguish between “the authority of different courts” (Ibn Qayyim, 1953: 5; Masud, 2001: 11-12).
Yet, and with Muslims scholars as Ibn Nujaym (d. 1562), “siyasa” was seen “as [a] balance” between matters of ‘theology’ and ‘politics’ (Masud, 2001: 13). Scholars like Taqi aI-Din al-Maqrizi (d. 1441), Masud writes, perceived this to be as a consequence of the Mongol conquests and the influence of their “yasa customs” (Masud, 1001: 12; Al-Maqrizi, 1934, vol.2: 220). As Masud writes, “in a chapter on the ‘rules of siyasa’, al-Maqrizi explains that after Turkish rule in Egypt, two types of law began operating, shari’a dealt with religious matters such as prayer, Hajj, fasting and other pious acts, whereas qanun [i.e. ‘formulated and derived laws’] governed the matters relating to public interest and management of properties” (Masud, 2001: 12). Nevertheless, Al-Maqrizi, “mentions qanun as an instance of siyasa” (Masud, 2001: 12) where he defines siyasa in the following terms: “The root of siyasa in Arabic language is s-w-s, which literally means managing an affair or nature of a thing. As a technical term, siyasa means seeking the welfare of the people by leading them to the way of success in this and other world. The siyasa of the Prophets focused on everyone, high and low and in spiritual and mundane matters, the siyasa of the rulers concerned mundane matters of everyone, the siyasa of the ulama [i.e. ‘scholars’] dealt only with the spiritual matters, but not for every one” (Al-Maqrizi, 1934, Vol.2: 220; Masud, 2001: 14).
Finally, in more contemporary, this debate further continued, with modern “scholars like Rifa’a al-Tantawi (d. 1873) translated ‘loi, reglement’ as siyasa in his Arabic translation of the French constitution of 1830” (Al-Tantawi in Masud, 2001: 21). Whereas, “‘Abd al-Wahhab Khallaf, an Egyptian jurist, for instance, defined siyasa as ‘management of public affairs in an ‘Islamic state’ with a view to securing public welfare and removal of harm in such a way that it did not transgress the limits imposed by shari’a and did not violate its universal principles, even though it may not be in complete conformity with the statements of the leading jurists (al-a’imma al-mujtahidun)’” (Khallaf in Masud, 2001: 21). Further to this, “Ahmad Fathi al-Bahnasi, another Egyptian jurist” viewed “siyasa as synonymous with ta’zir [i.e. ‘circumstances of dispensation’] as he refers to the traditional definition of al-siyasa al-shar’iyya as an allowance for the rulers to take action where public interest so demands provided it is not contrary to the principles of religion and that there is no specific evidence supporting it” (Masud, 2001: 21; Al-Bahnasi, 1983: 25). On the other hand, “Abu ‘Abd al-Fattah ‘Ali ibn Hajj, the Algerian jurist, maintains a distinction between ordinary siyasa and siyasa shar’iyya, arguing that siyasa shar’iyya must be in consonance with shari’a” (Masud, 2001: 22). Whereby, as Masud writes, “in his discussion siyasa shar’iyya is defined more and more as political affairs (hukm al-imama, dealing with matters relating to governance)” and in which ‘Ali ibn Hajj “refers to Al-Qarafi, for this distinction” (Masud, 2001: 22). Since, for him, that is, “siyasa shar’iyya originated with Prophet Muhammad, [where] two aspects of siyasa were combined in his person: tabligh [i.e. conveyer of the message] and imama [i.e. guide of the polity]” (Masud, 2001: 22). Where, that is, “the rules of siyasa relating to tabligh are universal and immutable” and “the rules relating to imama, on the other hand, are subject to change” (Masud, 2001: 22). And it’s this brief sketch and survey that demonstrates the varying, malleable and fluid dualities at play in the equation of siyasa, or politics, and theological matters of faith. With this book adopting the position of the two as inseperable and yet distinct through what binds, distinguishes and separates them of ethical and moral realms, with each consequentially, of implications upon the other. Not to mention what all this bears in responsibility in respective correlation to ifrat (‘expanding’) and tafrit (‘restricting’) in interpreting God’s word. See: https://theanarchistlibrary.org/library/mohamed-jean-veneuse-anarca-islam
[lxxii] Please see Osman Rifat Ibrahim’s article on Al-jazeera, titled Why Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi Is An Impostor (2014): http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2014/07/baghdadi-impostor-20147991513785260.html
[lxxiii] This impression of an alternating aeon of fortune and misfortune led Arab and pre-modern Muslim scholars and writers to use Dawla in reference to dynastic succession, particularly in the period following the rise of the Abbasids. As per the example of 14th century historiographer Ibn Khaldun’s usage of Dawla, when he writes: “a state exists only insofar as it is held together and ruled by individuals and the group which they constitute, that is, the dynasty. When the dynasty disappears, the state, being identical with it, also comes to an end” (1967; Barghouti, 2008). Given, that is, what Ibn Khaldun argued is the circular nature and indefinite reconstitution of ‘assabiyya’, or social and tribal solidarity, in the rise and fall of princedoms, in which a revolutionary revolving “ethic developed because of the nomadic forms of production and social organization, and that it enabled nomads to invade settled societies, at which point they gradually turn into settled communities themselves, allowing tribal bounds to loosen, forming a specialized economy, where defence is delegated to mercenary forces, thus making them vulnerable to fresh nomadic invasions” (Al-Barghouti, 2008: 62).
[lxxiv] A model reified in modernity and in exchange for the Ummah, in the wake of nationalism and nation-States as well as Arab and Muslim encounters with European colonialism and imperialism since 1798.
[lxxv] For example, in reaching for traditional Islamic sources to explain the ISIS theory of state-building, the publications reference some of the great Sufi scholars of Islamic history, including the thirteenth century Andalusian scholar and mystic Ibn Arabi, author of Al-Futuhat al-Makkiya; and the twelfth century Persian jurist Abd al-Qadir Gilani, founder of the Qadiriya Sufi order (Tariqa). ISIS also saw fit to publish the Kitab al-Waraqat by the eleventh century Persian Shafi’i jurist and theologian Abu al-Ma’ali al-Juwaini. An ISIS textbook on al-Siyasa al-Shar’iya references the Kitab al-Ahkam al-Sultaniya by the 11th century Shafi’i jurist Abu ‘l-Hasan al-Mawardi. In other ISIS volumes, one finds references to the the tenth century Buyid Persian statesman Abu ‘l-Fadl Ibn al-Amid, and the 12th century Persian historian and rhetorician Imad al-Din al-Isfahani, and 11th century Belle Lettrist Badi’ al-Zaman al-Hamadani.
[lxxvi] Please see Murtaza Hussein’s article titled Scientific racism, militarism, and the new atheists (2014) here: http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2013/04/20134210413618256.html
[lxxvii] See: http://muslimgirl.com/14170/islamophobia-will-never-new-black/
[lxxviii] The term relates to ‘Arabia’, and when speaking one is referring to “Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Bahrain, Qatar, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, and Palestine. Perhaps there are issues with the term itself because it includes peoples who aren’t “Arab” historically and who have different identities. Where does Arabia end and begin? Do we include Libya, Egypt, Morocco, Algeria, Sudan and Tunisia? Are we talking about a sphere of cultural influence? Are we talking linguistic regions? Are we talking about the lands where the Arabs became a unique people? In any case, there is a historical and current exchange happening here. There is also the question of if these areas are to be considered Arabia, when did they become part of Arabia? For example, if you include Iraq as part of Arabia it likely only makes sense to do so if you are talking about Iraq after the fall of the Sasanian Empire in 651 c.e. The other question is where does Africa end? Europeans arbitrarily decided that Africa ends at the Red Sea, yet this notion goes against the history and geography of the region. They did this for their own geopolitical and imperialist interests. To combat this, the term ‘Afrabia’ has been used by some historians and anthropologists to acknowledge the ancient historical, cultural, and geographical relationship between Africa and Arabia. It’s a term that combats Eurocentric geopolitical definitions of the region” (2017). Moreover, the fact is, not all of the people living in ‘Arabia’ are or were ‘Arabs’. For instance, the “Canaanites are some of the people who represent a direct connection between Africa and the Levant region in particular. It is well known, despite the attempts of European propagandists to say otherwise, that the Canaanites were an African people. Palestine, Lebanon, and Syria were among their lands but before then, they had origins in the Sudan. You yourself come from a Canaanite lineage. There is still an ancient Canaanite people known as the Qemant who live in Ethiopia. The Qemant are currently in danger of having their entire culture wiped out because of social pressures to assimilate into the Amhara and Tigray peoples. They are among some of the last people that have preserved some of the Pre-Abrahamic Canaanite traditions. Their tradition has shifted and changed over the millennia just like any other tradition but it still maintains its ancient roots. These roots are very “African” in character, particularly in the way they revere their ancestors. It is important to remember that the Canaanites were the founders of the Phoenician empire and that there were two Phoenician kingdoms, one in the Levant centered in Tyre, Lebanon and the other was Carthage (or Khart Hadasht) in what is now Tunisia. The Berbers or the Tuareg peoples are the descendants of these Canaanites. ‘Now the real fact, the fact which dispenses with all hypothesis, is this: the Berbers are the children of Canaan, the son of Ham, son of Noah. Their grandfather was named Mazyh…the Philistines children of Casluhim son of Misraim son of Ham were their relations’” (Brant, 2017; Ibn Khaldun)
[lxxix] For though anti-Muslim and anti-Arab discrimination can be regarded as nearly one and the same, that is problematic not only because the quintessential imagined “American Muslim is often depicted as well-off, highly educated and a professional Arab or South Asian struggling” to bridge the dissonant distance between East and West despite the fact that Arabs only constitute 20% of the world’s estimated Muslim (Austen, 2015; emphasis added). But rather because the dominant narratives—in both mainstream media and scholarship – “doubly effaces the existence and voices” of Black American/Canadian Muslims who are unapologetically black and indisputably Muslim in this moment when black bodies are at the very epicenter “of the unrest and live the reality of both” being “completely inseparable from America’s foundations as a nation – yet who are literally dying for recognition and protection under the law as bonafide citizens” of” their land of “birth” (Austen, 2015; emphasis added).
[lxxx] Please see Dear non-Black Muslims, stop hiding behind the Qur’an, the Sunnah and Bilal (Radhiallahu ‘anhu) http://stories.imaancentral.com/2016/01/dear-non-black-muslims-stop-hiding-behind-the-quran-the-sunnah-and-bilal-radhiallahu-anhu/
[lxxxi] After all, in a discussion on Jadaliyya, titled Roundtable on Anti-Blackness and Black Palestinian Solidarity (2015), Rabab Abdullhadi and other contributors do recognize that “while there are definite manifestations in the Arab (and the rest of the) world today on the privileging of a lighter skin color, this is more a function of colonial legacies by which race, class, gender and sexuality become instruments of neocolonialism rather than an inherent trait in Arab or other third world societies” (2015). But, then the question remains, how do we “explain why Arab and Muslim immigrants to the U.S., including Palestinians, manifest racism toward communities of color, including anti-Blackness”? Obviously, there is the recognition as much as one can borrow as well “from Adrienne Rich’s term” in discussing “compulsory heterosexuality”, that the queephobia and racism in Arab and Muslim societies “is part and parcel” as stated, of the herding of immigrants into whiteness in their unsuccessful quest to achieve full ‘Americanness’ – a failed and futile project no matter how hard they try precisely because settler colonial projects are inherently racist, hierarchical and oppressive” (2015). Healing by necessity, however, first requires, that Arabs and Muslims “not quickly shutdown”, as Ebony Coletu argues, every time they are confronted with the anti-blackness within out own communities (2015). But as mentioned, Arabs are racist towards even other Arabs as we have developed an ethno-nationalist hierarchies amongst ourselves, no different than south Asian hierarchies between Indians, Pakistanis, Bangladeshis, Indonesians, Malaysians and Kashmiris, all who constituted precolonially unbound and shared geographies and a collective and communal sense of synchretic identity prior to modern colonialism and imperialism, and as much as these nations are composed of tribes that preserve and warrant accounting for their complex local specificities! Nonetheless, it is these complexities that are worthy of consideration during solidarity, where, in the case of Egypt, for instance “it doesn’t work to speak of blackness as a marker of ancestral enslavement in Egypt—but the urge to do so, to hail black bodies as abd/slave rests on this presumption” (2015). For as highlighted, in Mariam’s case, who is Sudanese, or in the case of Khadija who is Nubian, these subtleties need to be accounted for and teased, given for example that “Nubians consistently reference their indigeneity to unsettle that logic and highlight the tandem erasure of native blackness alongside non-black migration and colonization in the production of modern Egyptian national identity” and “there are material and political consequences to this erasure that affect what resources are invested in their resettlement, land claims, and cultural preservation” (Coletu, 2015). The displacement here becomes relevant not for the sake of furthering one’s assimilation, but rather towards seeking one’s decolonization, and struggle for land claims, and harvesting seasons, indeed an indigenous or reindigenized-political-spiritual attachment, in this case Nubian, to land and seasonal faith-based practices that situate one’s identities, otherwise which one is merely reifying the identitarian and racially constructed experience and indeed building ethnic-autonomous visions based on false constructs internalized in the first place. Equally, and as Bill Fletcher Jr. argues, “it is incredibly important for African Americans” as well as non-whites on Turtle Island, including indigenous peoples for that matter who are drawing parallels to settler-colonialism in Palestine, “to appreciate ‘Arab’ as not equivalent to an ethnic group, in traditional terms, and, as a result understand the vast differences between Moroccan Arabs (and their relationship to the Berber/Amazigh people) and Iraqi Arabs, for example”, never mind how Christian Arabs too are entrapped similarly but distinctly in their legalistic mores and situating as a socio-political category on account of demeaning Muslim treatment over the centuries, when Arab Christians, as Edward Said, used to be proud as belonging to (i.e. an Islamic culture even if he and others like him didn’t identify religiously as Muslims) but are now ashamed of identifying as Arab or even as Muslims culturally (2015). And this too has been part and parcel of faith-based wedge driven by the West that appropriated Christianity, in an effort to divide between Arab Muslims, Jews and Christians historically, and not just along inter-ethnic and inter-racial and sectarian and religious lines evoked now in the wake of ISIS. After all, “the issue of ‘color’ in the Arab World must be addressed in all of its complexity as with the issue of the Arab slave trade (in Eastern Africa)” (2015). Moreover, it needs to be understood that the ethnic schema operating within Arab and Muslim communities and societies is also very “different, however, from the context within the United States” given the social movement histories that inform each (2015). After all, Arabs from the Arabian Gulf Peninsula, often seen as the exporters of Salafi-Wahabbism (which itself isn’t a monolithic movement advocating jihadism) are the examples held up to symbolize all Arabs despite the fact that north-African Arabs suffer discrimination and are treated as second, third and fourth class citizens, despite being ‘Arabs’, as much as South-Asian and African migrant workers suffer even more; especially, nowadays, given the Peninsula’s dread of Arabs who hail from nations that experienced an ‘Arab Spring’ revolt on account of their fear that these Arabs might foment unrest in the Arabian peninsula too where the local population doesn’t usually exceed 20% in comparison to the migrant community of workers that constitute its majority. In this sense, “Saudi and peninsula-centrism” is “fuelled by a nefarious cocktail of rigid sectarianism, classism, clannism, and state-sponsored xenophobia” and which “distinguishes Saudi slavery from its regional analogs” (2015). And thus “deploying ‘Arab’ and ‘black’ as monolithic indicators of modern-day master and slave misses the point and overlooks the millions of non-African foreign workers that endure slave-like conditions within the kingdom” (2015). After all, the signifier “‘black’ in Saudi Arabia stands not simply for an African identity, but for a marginalised legal status” and therefore ‘blackness’ is not a simple nor a “universally uniform identity”, but rather is “a legal status that shifts according to its national context”, and between Middle-Eastern and US politics for instance, as much as both are tied and informed by ‘cultures of whiteness’ (Beydoun, 2015). This way, “in Saudi Arabia, ‘black’ includes the diverse population of foreign workers that hold no legal rights and that are vulnerable to the unchecked authority of their Saudi overseers” and “for the Saudi onlooker, skin complexion, ethnicity and nationality are proxies for foreign-worker status” (2015). “Indeed”, it is “the intersection of black or brown skin, non-Sunni faith, gender, and other variables exacerbates the subjugation endured by a foreign worker, creating great stratification, but the formal designation of foreign worker is the definitive marker of ‘slave’ status” (2015). The point being, however, that the ‘slave’ status isn’t then constrained to other manifestations of blackness, as “among the foreign-worker population are Filipinos, Indians, Indonesians, Nepalese, Pakistanis, and Yemenis, who endure an existence similar to that of the Ethiopian workers” and “regardless of whether domestic workers are Yemenis, Ethiopian, Sudanese, Indian or Pakistani, they are ‘black’ in Saudi Arabia - occupying a slave-like existence where their Saudi handlers bond them by debt, seize their legal documents, imprison them within the kingdom, and as enshrined by the new law, expel them immediately when they see fit” (Beydoun, 2013).
It’s in this sense that as Nadine Naber writes, “many collaborative initiatives lack a long-term agenda have failed to bring to life ‘joint struggle’ on the ground; and have been short lived” (2015). Undoubtedly, and similarly, queer Muslim solidarities are hindered by the lack of strategy or a cohesive decolonized racial/ethnic and faith-based framework of reference from which to operate, contributing to the stereotype that Queer Egyptians have of Queer Muslims in Euro-America and vice versa. After all, as Naber states, “since we do not exist outside racial capitalism, this painful and exhausting work requires (for Arab Americans) challenging anti-Black racism in our own communities --in the intimate spaces of our neighborhoods and living rooms and standing up when inter-racial marriages are banned or when racial tensions become inflamed” (2015). Indeed, Naber continues, “we need to show up for each other when any of us are colonized, sexually assaulted, intimidated, brutalized, or killed”, particularly given that we collectively are “recipients of the racist-imperialist corporate media and education system” (2015). But, and here one cautions once again of the very trope of ‘Arab-Americans’ and what it implies of capitulation to ‘national security’ and ‘War on Terror’ bifurcations and narratives that completely ignore and eschew settler-colonialism altogether. One can only be reminded here with Bill Clinton’s recent Trump-like statement at the Democratic National Convention in which he stated, “if you’re a Muslim and you love America and freedom and you hate terror, stay here and help us win and make a future together, we want you” and that operates on the assumption that Muslim-Americans are only useful and welcome when they’re willing to confront their own brothers and sisters who represent dreadful terror (2016)!
[lxxxi] After all, as Beeta Baghoolizadeh, argues in his scholarship and his discussions of Race, Slavery and Abolition in Iran, that domestic slavery in Iran was certainly impacted by American plantation slavery, and this ought not be suprising and not that ‘plantation slavery’ is the definition that determines what is and what isn’t ‘slavery’ (2015). It is the migration and transmittance and internalization of ‘cultures of whiteness’ that is most impactful and telling in Baghoolizadeh’s article, where at least in this case, the American plantation experience did have an impact on Persian and Muslim “conceptualization of their on engagements with slavery same sort of civilizing language of slavery that we’re likely familiar with from the American example” (2015). Baghoolizadeh states: “So, at this point it’s important to talk about what this meant, what did slavery look like in Iran? In the past, when people have tried to describe slavery in Iran, they said things like, ‘Look at how Iran had domestic slavery, they weren’t doing that many things, it was a more benevolent institution, it’s not like they were being whipped’. There’s a sense that they’re talking against American plantation slavery. They don’t want the institution of slavery in Iran to be associated with American plantation slavery, which, for my purposes, tends to be really unhelpful. Slavery is, at its core, a violent institution; it’s a traumatizing institution. I think when people describe it they fall into this trap of saying, ‘see, it’s so much better’, and that’s something I want to stay away from. But, just to give a sense of what it is, you didn’t have too many plantations in Iran. The people who were brought over as slaves were mostly women; you had eunuchs; and you also had some men. The duties that you would have to perform, some people would describe them as domestic, some people would point out that it’s a gendered thing, that the women were sexually vulnerable, all sorts of things that you think about when you think about slavery. So, you don’t need to think about a cotton plantation to know that you were at your master’s disposal. Plantation slavery doesn’t need to be the definition that determines whether or not something is slavery” (2015).
It’s to be expected no less that this is akin to the globalization of queer and queerphobia in Arab and Muslim societies as well, through white Victorian categories and alter feminist movements that would extol upon themselves the honor of giving women the right to vote and have a socio-political and economic say, despite that to this day they do not enjoy the right to ‘equal pay’, when Islam gave women these rights to property, access to the markets, divorce, and inheritance (etc) fourteen centuries prior, and yet somehow white feminists still find it appropriate to imperially proclaim ‘women’s rights as human rights’, while being in shear ignorance of other people’s histories. Nowhere, is perhaps this most evident than in the coverage of Malcolm X’s assassination in Arab, Muslim and Iranian media, and that serialized his legacy, while decentering the context of his racial struggle, focusing instead and for the most part on the anti-colonial and anti-imperial themes he spoke, to in thus far as the American example is concerned, while eliding and forgetting “their own history of slavery” and very theme of racial liberation, autonomy, Black nationalism and independence, and equality (2015).
It’s in the context of queer Muslim solidarities, where race intersects and affects their propagated religious and racial/ethnic readings and sexual and gender-based narratives, that queer Muslims, Egyptians, and Arabs must not only be informed by and connect to movements as Black Lives Matter that are specific to the US and arguably now the Canadian contexts of their emergence, but rather exceed and transcend it. After all, Black Lives Matter ought signify, mean, symbolize, speak and appeal to a grander agenda for both them and queer people of color and Indigenous peoples alike through their collective – fundamental focus and exposure of neoliberal racisms and faith-based relations between all the aforementioned and in relation to settler-colonialism. That is, whether in relation to Arabs and Muslims, in the East and West, queer Muslims and queer people of color, as well as Black Lives Matter themselves ought and by necessity acknowledge that the very white supremacy that created their condition and stole their history marked with an ‘X’, as ‘Malcolm Little’ or el-Hajj Malik el-Shabazz would say, is the same face, color and ‘shade’ of pale skin that continues to steal and disappear Red and (queer) indigenous and Two-Spirit struggles on what are settler-colonized lands upon which we all live. In other words, although Black Lives Matter and this race-based identity speaks to a ‘moment of rebellion’ in an excruciatingly painful long history of grievances and struggle calling for Black recognition vis-a-vis other racial/ethnic groups (especially white Americans). Still, it cannot be assumed that in Arab and Muslim contexts, and given the existence of Black Arabs, Black African-American Muslims and non-Muslims, that race/ethnicity are what defines the lines of community and belonging. After all, what ‘color’ Arabs and Muslims are, and where the line between a non-hyphenated Arab and an Afro-Arab – is what contributes to the complexity of neoliberal racisms and highlights the need for our collective decolonization. This way, the condition of Black Lives Matter should make sense of itself in its settler-colonial context and elsewhere (i.e. franchise-colonial as well). Moreover, a critical question that ought concern participants and movements as Black Live Matter or even Idle No More, just as much they should concern Arab and Muslim social movements in franchise and settler-colonial societies, is whether conflict over the centrality of for instance, queer and LGBTQ Issues could or ought ‘drive a wedge’ in our respective movements and affinity-based politics in addressing queerphobia within all the aforementioned groups that ought rely on ethics and politics and not mere identitarian politics of ‘black or indigenous’ belongings given the politics too of Black indigeneity or Afro-Indigenous peoples and controversies as that of Cherokee Freedmen in reference to the African-American men and women who were formerly slaves of the Cherokees before and the mixed blood descendants since? Otherwise, if we simply subscribe to an identitarian politics in determining who we’re in solidarity with and when, then this will never reveal the false blood quantum and essentialist identity politics that inform the internal colonization of our contemporary radical social movement scenes today, in light of this dissertation’s argument that it is the ethics and politics signified and that should’ve arrived with taking on any identity that ought determine one’s belongings and affinities and not the name, label or signifier first. It is one’s ethical and political commitments and responsibilities that ought indicate and act as a compass which determines who one offers solidarity to and is in affinity with and who one accepts solidarity from, even if that implies and is at the determinant of excising members of one’s own community due to their lack of commitment to, ideally, decolonial feminist, intersectional, and transnational autonomy-oriented approaches, as much as one bears ‘a relative degree’ of mutual accountability and responsibility in supportively educating ignorant, naïve, and colonized participants in our own communities as well, or at least those particularly willing to educate themselves, question, and learn. Nonetheless, it can’t be assumed that our communities will be ‘rescued’ in their majority and en masse or entirely, given the uncontested blinding factor of our own internal colonization and submission to ‘cultures of whiteness’ which ample are unwilling to interrogate, confront or actively challenge, and that serves as the condition for their own servitude, which Frantz Fanon described as being of ‘black skin, yet with white masks’ and Malcolm X described as being the condition of the ‘House Negro’; it’s not one’s blackness that entitles and determines solidarity with, for instance, a burgeoning and growing movement as Black Lives Matter, regardless of what it has yet to acknowledge, articulate and express in terms of, for instance, our own internalized queerphobic issues within our communities or even Black Lives Matter’s absent critiques of Obama’s Black Imperialism and the necessity for respectively building affinities and solidarities with indigenous movements seeking autonomy and sovereignty. All to say that the condition of belonging to a community and the possibilities of being in affinity, is rather one that is cultivated and/or is naturally inculcated due to the realm of elegy and empathy shared with a movement or a community’s ethical and political stances. But it is also conditioned by the reciprocal potential for humility on the part of all movements to always revise their commitments that can and ought transform and morph as well, in connecting and in their gained encounters with other peoples struggles and narratives, as much that they seek to impact positively others, no less than they themselves are prepared to undergo evolutions because of the influence of other minoritarian and disenfranchised worlds, as part of a larger rhizome and outgrowth of different and similar colonial experiences and neoliberal racisms. The goal then is groundless and inessential solidarity that is capable of tracking the ramifications of these tensions for political coalitions and that serves as actual sites of our collective organizing, such that connections across different kinds of anti-patriarchal, anti-capitalist, anti-racist, and decolonial agendas can be constructed and we can remake each others worlds towards a pluriverse world. But this too fundamentally entails that (queer) people-of-colour critique humbly reflect on our own failings to address our own internalized colonial and imperial forces and how specifically in the context of Turtle Island, settler-colonialism affects Indigenous peoples in settler nations, or those identifying people of colour, but especially Arabs and Muslims, as settler-colonists, who may benefit to varying degrees of privilege, but who are certainly complicit in ongoing Indigenous dispossession, while accounting for the different racial and colonial forces of power that govern their and our own lives simultaneously and mutually marked by whiteness in the forever disfiguration and maiming of our traditions, cultures, land-based practices and faiths. All which respectively demands our collective reindigenization as colonized peoples who not only struggle with our own internal colonization but also our inferiority complex (that ranges in manifestation, from our internalized Islamophobia, to our anti-blackness, to the shame we feel regarding our cultures and color of skin, to our emulation of white civility, values and societies, and our longing for false savoir-messiahs of hope and change as Obama and Sisi) through the abandonment of our harkening for an irrecoverable nonexistent ‘pure’ past in exchange for non-reformist imagined possible alternate futures centered on organizing decolonial concepts and principles that inform our indigenous transnational queer and feminist praxis.
[lxxxii] Please see Ali Abunimah’s article titled Did Israel violate the Genocide Convention by forcing contraceptives on Ethiopian women? (2014) here: http://electronicintifada.net/blogs/ali-abunimah/did-israel-violate-genocide-convention-forcing-contraceptives-ethiopian-women
Also please see the following BBC article titled Israel ‘coercing Eritreans and Sudanese to leave’ (2014): http://www.bbc.com/news/world-Middle East-29122352
Also see Alistair Dawber’s article titled Israel gave birth control to Ethiopian Jews without their consent (2014) here: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/Middle East/israel-gave-birth-control-to-ethiopian-jews-without-their-consent-8468800.html
Finally, please see critical projects as that inspired by Haneen Maikey through her work with Al-Qaws: Liberation in Palestine, A Queer Issue - Haneen Maikey: - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Zqh5rtNGQ4
& Here on Al-Qaws’ webpage: http://www.alqaws.org/q/en/content/being-relevant-sexuality-gender-and-nationalism-palestinian-society
[lxxxii] Please also the following article titled Militarized Humanitarianism in Africa (2014) by Joeva Rock and available here: http://www.truth-out.org/opinion/item/23759-militarized-humanitarianism-in-africa
[lxxxiii] Please see David Sheen’s Where Was God When Israel Deported African Refugees? (2014)
Also see ISRAEL: Refugees, asylum-seekers and protection – analysis (2009) here: http://www.irinnews.org/report/85099/israel-refugees-asylum-seekers-and-protection-analysis
[lxxxiv] Please see Ali Abunimah’s Israeli army recruitment plan aims to incite Christian-Muslim tensions (2013) here: http://electronicintifada.net/content/israeli-army-recruitment-plan-aims-incite-christian-muslim-tensions/12645
[lxxxv] Please see Jeff Bankfort’s Support the Israeli Occupation; It's Tax Deductible!
Friends of Israel Defense Forces Raises $27 Million Under NY Media’s Radar (2013) here: http://www.counterpunch.org/2013/04/23/friends-of-israel-defense-forces-raises-27-million-under-ny-medias-radar/
[lxxxvi] Please see Chimme Dolma’s entry titled S.S. St. Lious and Human Rights on Ontario’s Human Rights Commission website here: http://www.ohrc.on.ca/en/living-rights-and-creed/ss-st-louis-and-human-rights Please also see the Jewish Virtual Library’s entry here under the title The Tragedy of S.S. St. Louis: http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Holocaust/stlouis.html
[lxxxvii] That is, with these now ‘new allies’, turned away, during the Second World War, as documents reveal subject to ‘closed door policies’ then, devised by the likes Fredrick Douglas Blair, head of immigration in William Lyon Mackenzie King’s administration, and whom acted as the wartime prime minister, as well as, Vincent Massey, who was Canada’s high commissioner to Britain (Abella & Troper, 2002). Please also see CBC’s Digital archives, specifically, Auschwitz: Jews not welcome in wartime Canada (2013) here: http://www.cbc.ca/archives/categories/war-conflict/second-world-war/life-after-auschwitz/none-is-too-many.html
And also see, U.S. Policy During the Holocaust: The Tragedy of S.S. St. Louis here: http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Holocaust/stlouis.html
[lxxxviii] Please see Lisa Bhungalia’s “Once again – a review of Judith Butler’s Parting Ways: Jewishness and the Critique of Zionism” (2014), available online through Society and Space Open Site here: http://societyandspace.com/reviews/reviews-archive/judith-butler-parting-ways-reviewed-by-bhungalia/
[lxxxix] See: http://www.globalresearch.ca/frances-colonial-tax-still-enforced-for-africa-bleeding-africa-and-feeding-france/5547512
[xc] See: https://mystudentvoices.com/georgetown-professor-jonathan-defends-defends-slavery-as-moral-and-rape-as-normal-in-virginia-3c0aac65dd41#.hhavdzyjf
[xci] The aforementioned lives in Allentwon, Pennsylvania.
[xcii] See: anarcha-feminism, anarcho-indigenism, queer anarchism, anarcho-syndicalism, poststructuralist anarchism or post-anarchism, anarcho-primitivism, African-anarchism, Arab-anarchism, Cuban-anarchism, panther-anarchism, Buddhist anarchism, Chirsitian anarchism, Jewish anarchism, Islamic anarchism and so forth. All the former interpretations of anarchism are interpretations that arrive from a multitude of cultures and subcultures that anarchism has come in contact with and vice versa (Taiaiakie, 2005; Fernandez, 2001; Mbah & Igariwey 1997; Zerzan, 1988; Bookchin, 2005; Bamyeh, 2009; Ilham-Khuri, 2010; Fiscella, 2014). For there is a growing body of literature, that complements Jason Adam’s essay on ‘Nonwestern anarchisms’ (2003), in revealing decolonized anarchistic traditions, often discounted and dismissed by Eurocentric anarchists. With Maia Ramnath, for instance, writing in her book Decolonizing Anarchism that decolonizing anarchism, “means that instead of always trying to construct a strongly anarcha-centric cosmology-conceptually approaching movements and voices from elsewhere in the world as part of ‘our’ tradition, and then measuring it against how much or little we think they resemble our notion of our own values” (2011). Ramnath’s central argument is that Western anarchist modes of thinking and acting are just one way towards liberation and that “something else” needs to be “a reference point for us…instead of us being the reference point for everything else…[in] a deeply decolonizing move” (2011). Similarly, Budour Hassan writes in The Colour Brown: Decolonizing Anarchism and Challenging White Hegemony (2013).
[xciii] A protest, in which participants were expected to “not use any violence under any circumstances”, to accept that they’ll be beaten, and that “they must not resist”, not even raising “a hand to ward off blows”, leaving by certain estimates 320 injured “with fractured skulls, others writhing in agony from kicks in the testicles and stomach”, with scores of the injured receiving no “treatment for hours”, and two dead (Miller, 1936: 193-199).
[xciv] See http://www.news24.com/NelsonMandela/Speeches/FULL-TEXT-Mandelas-Rivonia-Trial-Speech-20110124
[xcv] Especially when speaking of a distinct political and ethical framework of found practices, established here, and related to tactics of militant resistance and situated responses of self-defense. Indeed, to what ostensibly comes next, in light of the transcontinental context and the proportional scale of the conflicts of which we are speaking in relation to the necessary question of militant resistance. To what is, in fact, an on-going war, against systematically violent economic and political systems of oppression and domination and what they entail of (non)humanitarian catastrophes already occurring, never mind their further proportionate exacerbation in our present confrontations. While the prisms of war and terror, that is, dovetail with what ‘procedural bureaucratic processes’ accompany them, towards an unattainable and elusive struggle for ‘peace’, as further crises continue to bombard us. Indeed, as our leaders actuarially gather, partaking in non-contributory festive performances and endless debates in their nth consecutive diplomatic roundtables, organized as they are in staggering resorts of waste. As aerial and digital antennas of corporate and state media broadcast sufficient enough of a delirious dial tone to maintain glossy appearances, to further encourage our mind-numbing, endless, consumption, under the cover and illusion of safety and security. While history with the pace, intenseness and rapidity at which it’s being re-written and un-written, becomes infinitely further complicated, mired by hemorrhaging traces of its bleeding archives, burning, in the socio-political and economic inferiorization, ranking, rating and hierarchization of atrocities. Without even the ruins of cinder and soot, remaining, as savageries are extinguished, exterminated from evidence. Despite it supposedly being the superior age of information-telecommunications-technology that ought, we are told, facilitates the maintenance of records. Yet, that in these instances becomes feeble, docile, in its purpose and message. In what manner, in what disenfranchised number, would this world have us choose or ignore the ‘right victim’ in this struggle for hegemony and its sufferings based on constructing commercialized, killing-field industries surrounding the exploited traumas of the “list of usual suspects”; whether “Muslim women with their plights” or the families of the 9/11 victims (Zizek, 2008: 3; Critchley, 2012).
[xcvi] Not when Zizek (2008) identifies and teaches that there are, at least, two fluid and causally-related central forms of violence, as stated: Subjective violence and Objective violence, with the latter, including, too, what’s been referred to as Systemic and Symbolic forms of violence (Zizek, 2008).
[xcvii] Ahimsa is a tenet of Gandhi’s nonviolent movement and Vedantic doctrine that ‘all life is one’; hence is of a spiritual dimension that ought be recognized. In Gandhi’s words: “Ahimsa cannot be dismissed as lightly as you think. Ahimsa is the strongest force known. But if all can use the strongest force with equal ease, it would lose its importance. We have not been able yet to discover the true measure of the innumerable properties of an article of our daily use like water. Some of its properties fill us with wonder. Let us not, therefore, make light of the strongest force like Ahimsa, and let’s try to discover its hidden power with patience and faith” (1942). Please see Gandhi’s Nonviolence in Peace and War Vol 1 and which can be retrieved at: http://www21.us.archive.org/stream/NonVoilenceInPeaceAndWarVolI/TXT/0337.txt
[xcviii] In light of the recent events that have caused us all rage and pain (2014) in Chiapas with the ‘death’ of companero Galeano and the communiqué issued by the Zapatistas and Subcommandante Marcos’ final letter I would like to call attention to one specific passage and that I believe indicates the seriousness of that which we confront, when Marcos says: “Perhaps more than a few people think that we made the wrong choice; that an army cannot and should not endeavor toward peace. We made that choice for many reasons, it’s true, but the primary one was and is because this is the way that we [as an army] could ultimately disappear. Maybe it’s true. Maybe we were wrong in choosing to cultivate life instead of worshipping death. But we made the choice without listening to those on the outside. Without listening to those who always demand and insist on a fight to the death, as long as others will be the ones to do the dying. We made the choice while looking and listening inward, as the collective Votán that we are. We chose rebellion, that is to say, life. That is not to say that we didn’t know that the war from above would try and would keep trying to re-assert its domination over us. We knew and we know that we would have to repeatedly defend what we are and how we are. We knew and we know that there will continue to be death in order for there to be life. We knew and we know that in order to live, we die. Nothing that we’ve done, for better or for worse, would have been possible without an armed military, the Zapatista Army for National Liberation; without it we would not have risen up against the bad government exercising the right to legitimate violence. The violence of below in the face of the violence of above. We are warriors and as such we know our role and our moment” (2014). And it precisely these words that lead me to believe that it was never a false choice of either/or, of life or death, violence or nonviolence, but rather both, given what is being argued in this chapter. Of course it was the Zapatistas who taught us we must build, we must construct, and without which, what cause would we be, indeed, warriors. That is what is being implied in a biodiverse strategy of resistance. The two communiqués:
Between Light and Shadow: The Last Words of Subcomandante Marcos (2014) can be found here: http://roarmag.org/2014/05/subcomandante-galeano-between-light-shadow/
Pain and Rage (2014) can be found here: http://enlacezapatista.ezln.org.mx/2014/05/10/pain-and-rage/
[xcix] The following is an excerpt from the article, Why the CIA Funds Nonviolence Training, which begins with the statement: “One important aspect of the debate over ‘diversity of tactics’ (i.e. the decision whether to be exclusively nonviolent) in the Occupy movement relates to mounting evidence of the role CIA and Pentagon-funded foundations and think tanks play in funding and promoting nonviolent resistance training. The two major US foundations promoting nonviolence, both overseas and domestically, are the Albert Einstein Institution (AEI) and the International Center for Nonviolent Conflict (ICNC). Both receive major corporate and/or government funding, mostly via CIA ‘pass through’ foundations. While the ICNC is funded mainly by the private fortune of hedge fund billionaire (junk bond king Michael Milken’s second in command) Peter Ackerman, the AEI has received funding from the Rand Corporation and the Department of Defense, as well as various ‘pass-through’ foundations, such as the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), the International Republican Institute (IRI), the US Institute of Peace and the Ford Foundation (see the Ford Foundation and the CIA), which all have a long history of collaborating with the Pentagon, the State Department and the CIA in destabilizing governments unfriendly to US interests” (2012). Please see: http://vancouver.mediacoop.ca/blog/insurgent-g/10297
Undoubtedly, it’s these diabolical methods and self-righteous understandings of nonviolence that delimit our capacity and the effectiveness of our strategic and tactical responses. Particularly, given, as Gelderloos says, that: “The State and the media train, especially more professionally minded activists within the resistance, to enforce this code of nonviolence so that they never incur that loss of popularity, or that bad press, and this creates a self-policing function and people who are the sort of politicians of the movement are more susceptible to it because they’re thinking often in terms of their own careers” (2011).
[c] It is for these few mentioned reasons, and all that has been said, that I emphatically emphasize my and anarca-Islam’s stance regarding the right to self-defence and advocate for what it entails of consideration and preparation. While maintaining in mind, as clearly highlighted numerous times, that great care ought be taken not to reduce a strategy to a tactic, where violence becomes the sole agenda, taken for its direct and primary object.
[ci] As Sami Khatib writes in Towards a Politics of ‘Pure Means’: Walter Benjamin and the Question of Violence, “against the background of Benjamin’s early sketches and essays between 1917 and 1921…it comes as no surprise that his essay on the Critique of Violence employs the antithetical pair pagan/mythic and monotheist/divine as its most crucial opposition” (2011). That is, as Benjamin writes, “only mythic violence, not divine, will be recognizable as such with certainty, unless it be in incomparable effects, because the expiatory force of violence is not visible to men” (1920: 252). Khatib thus argues, “divine violence as the zero-level of mythic violence can only be retroactively identified as such; in the present situation, however, Benjamin leaves us with vague insinuations: ‘It may manifest itself in a true war exactly as in the divine judgment of the multitude on a criminal’”(1920: 252) “This comment”, as Khatib writes, “indicates that divine violence is not simply an external power, an intrusion from outside. On the contrary, the difficulty of divine violence is precisely that it can take the form of profane violence insofar as it is not mythic” (2011). Therefore, “on this thin, almost hairsplitting but nonetheless crucial difference hinges the antithesis of mythic and divine violence: In revealing no deeper meaning or mythical secret, divine violence has a proto critico-ideological function rendering it impossible to justify or legitimize” (2011). Nevertheless, as Khatib writes, “divine violence is not an empty signifier, a mere stand-in for something untouchable but the inaccessible correspondence to the revolutionary deactivation of mythic violence, that is to say, of undoing law and its cycle of law-positing and law-preserving violence” (2011). It is thus, “this revolutionary deactivation as pure immediate violence that de-poses the law”, for as Benjamin notes: “… on the de-posing of law [Entsetzung des Rechts] with all the forces on which it depends as they depend on it, finally therefore on the abolition of state power, a new historical epoch is founded. If the rule of myth is broken occasionally in the present age, the coming age is not so unimaginably remote that an attack on law is altogether futile. But if the existence of violence outside the law, as pure immediate violence, is assured, this furnishes proof that revolutionary violence, the highest manifestation of pure violence by man, is possible, and shows by what means” (1920). It is therefore, “crucial not to conflate divine violence with ‘the highest manifestation of pure violence by man’, that is, revolutionary violence as a pure means (e.g. in the proletarian general strike)” (2011). Of course, as Khatib notes, “Benjamin refers to Georges Sorel and his anarcho-syndicalist distinction between political and proletarian general strike” (2011). And “while the former fights for certain political-economic ends (political rights, higher wages, better working conditions etc.) the latter questions the Staatsgewalt, the state and its power/violence as such” (Khatib, 2011). Therefore, “the antithetical opposition of political and proletarian general strike is to be located on the level of their relation to violence: for if the strike is a means to an end, its violence will be instrumental; but if a strike is a pure means without any concrete goal other than overcoming the state, it will reach beyond the vicious circle of mythic violence” (Khatib, 2011). For Sorel writes: “The political general strike demonstrates how the state will lose none of its strength, how power is transferred from the privileged to the privileged, how the mass of producers will change their masters” (1908). Therefore, in contrast to this form of strike, the proletarian general strike “nullifies all the ideological consequences of every possible social policy” (1908). Furthermore, it “announces its indifference towards material gain through conquest by declaring its intention to abolish the state” (Sorel, 1908). In other words, as Khatib writes, “to put it differently, the proletarian general strike is not a violent means to an end because there are no concessions to be made under which the workers will resume their work under modified or improved conditions” (2011). Therefore, “the strike’s ‘striking’ character stems from its unconditional character” as “it is a ‘pure means’ and therefore nonviolent” (2011). Thus, “while the political general strike remains in the domain of mythic violence since it establishes a new law, the proletarian general strike is anarchistic insofar as it reaches fully beyond law-making violence” (2011). Moreover, “in doing so, its deeply anarchistic, a-teleological and non-instrumental character is strictly non-utopian…a pure means without taking into account its possible consequences, however destructive or catastrophic they might be, the proletarian general strike does not envision a stateless new society” (2011). As Khatib notes, “against any future program Benjamin sides with Sorel’s comment that with the general strike, all utopianism will disappear: ‘the revolution appears as a clear, simple revolt, and no place is reserved either for the sociologists or for the elegant amateurs of social reforms or for the intellectuals who have made it their profession to think for the proletariat’” (Khatib, 2011; Sorel, 1908). To state matters clearly, the struggle of a single parent, or a construction worker remaining behind to assist in constructing a community, even a healer or a doctor caring for patients, is no more and no less revolutionary than that choosing to partake in armed conflict; becoming revolutionary is not a harkening back to the machismo and essentialist character typically associated with armed movements, particularly those of the past two centuries. Rather what’s suggested is the implementation of variant tactics of resistance in coordination, city to city, street to street; a populous in a city maybe engaged in shutting commercial railway tracks, another deterritorializing and decolonizing spaces, another partaking in armed resistance, another cultivating joyful mobilizations and engaging in street theatre etc.
Sami Khatib’s article is retrieved from: http://anthropologicalmaterialism.hypotheses.org/1040
[cii] Please refer to Jeremy Scahill’s reporting and article titled Blackwater's Black Ops: Internal documents reveal the firm's clandestine work for multinationals and governments (2010) here: http://www.thenation.com/article/154739/blackwaters-black-ops
Moreover, on Blackwater’s purported purchase by Monsanto (a multinational agrochemical and agricultural biotechnoglogical corporation) and relationship with Chevron here: http://politicalblindspot.com/yes-monsanto-actually-did-buy-the-blackwater-mercenary-group/
Also see: http://www.thenation.com/node/153/blackwater
[ciii] Please see the following articles on the overhwleming arrest of dissenters these past few years, but particularly since June 30th, 2013, and the ousting of the Muslim Brotherhood: -
1) Scott Long’s Yara Sallam in jail, and the moral bankruptcy of the United States, available here: http://paper-bird.net/2014/06/23/yara-sallam-in-jail-and-the-moral-bankruptcy-of-the-united-states/
2) Comrade Mahienour’s Sentence Sparks Solidarity Action From Brazil To Austria available here and that highlights the numerous activists, from the April 6th movement onwards as “Ahmed Douma, Louay al-Qahwagi, Amru Hadhaq and our colleagues Alaa Abdel-Fattah and Mohamed Hosni who were sentenced on the same charge in the ‘Shura Council’ case into El-Sisi’s prisons, as well as dozens of other young activists detained and dragged before the judges on charges of breaking this law” (2014): http://global.revsoc.me/2014/05/comrade-mahienours-sentence-sparks-solidarity-action-from-brazil-to-austria/
3) Also see, the following recent article on reuters by Michel Georgy: Leading anti-Mubarak activist sentenced to 15 years (2014): - http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/06/11/us-egypt-activist-idUSKBN0EM0MV20140611
4) Finally please also see the following article on Egypt’s secret prisons and industrial complex in an article by Patrick Kingsley, titled, Egypt’s secret prison: ‘disappeared’ face torture in Azouli military jail (Guardian interviews with former detainees reveal up to 400 Egyptians being held without judicial oversight amid wider crackdown on human rights) (2014): - http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jun/22/disappeared-egyptians-torture-secret-military-prison
5) Turning gendered politics of the 'human security state' inside out? Charging police with sexual harassment in Egypt (2014) here: http://saopaulo2011.ipsa.org/sites/saopaulo2011.ipsa.org/files/papers/paper-921.pdf
6) Finally, there is Paul Ammar’s The Security Archipelago: Human-Security States, Sexuality Politics, & the End of Neoliberalism (2011) https://www.dukeupress.edu/Assets/PubMaterials/978-0-8223-5398-0_601.pdf
[civ] As Gustav Landauer writes of the Haymarket affair and massacre, “After the Chicago police had killed six workers on strike for an eight-hour workday on May 3, 1886, a workers’ rally was held on Chicago’s Haymarket Square the next evening. At the end of a relatively uneventful gathering, police officers moved in to disperse the crowd. A pipe bomb was thrown, killing one of the officers. The police opened fire, which was returned by armed workers. The shootout left eight police and an unknown number of workers dead; approximately sixty police officers and an estimated two hundred workers were wounded. The person who threw the bomb was never identified. Of the eight radical labor organizers who were arrested and put on trial for conspiracy to murder, the majority were of German descent. All but one were sentenced to death. Oscar Neebe (1850-1916) was sentenced to fifteen years in prison” (2010: 243).
[cv] Advocates of hippie baroque love and flowery nonviolence ought no longer be permitted the all too frequent euphemistic impractical claim “that nonviolence works and the principle examples…are Gandhi in India and Martin Luther King in the U.S.” for such an observation constitutes “a great historical whitewashing” (Gelderloos, 2011). Fact is: “The resistance in India was incredibly diverse, and Gandhi was a very important figure within that resistance, but the resistance was by no means pacifist in its entirety, that there were a number of armed guerrilla groups, a number of militant struggles, very important riots and other strong clashes which were a part of the struggle for Indian independence. So on the one hand Gandhi basically got negotiating power from the fact that there were other elements in the struggle which were more threatening to British dominance. So the British specifically chose to dialogue with Gandhi because he was for them the least threatening of the important elements of resistance and had those elements not existed they simply could’ve ignored Gandhi” (2011).
[cvi] See: http://thenewinquiry.com/features/a-time-for-treason/
[cvii] See: https://crimethinc.com/2017/02/06/how-to-form-an-affinity-group-the-essential-building-block-of-anarchist-organization
Also see: https://zabalazabooks.files.wordpress.com/2011/08/beyond_the_affinity_group_andrew_flood.pdf
[cviii] As Taiaiake Alfred and Jeff Corntassel write in Being Indigenous: Resurgences against Contemporary Colonialism (2005), “the imperative of the warrior is to awaken and live the truth and to get people to invest belief and energy into that truth. The battle is a spiritual and physical one fought against the political manipulation of the people’s own innate fears and the embedding of complacency, that metastasizing weakness, into their psyches” (603). As Alfred and Corntassel write, “Fanon pointed out that the most important strength of Indigenous resistance, unity, is also constantly under attack as colonial powers erase community histories and senses of place to replace them with doctrines of individualism and predatory capitalism: ‘In the colonial context . . . the natives fight among themselves. They tend to use each other as a screen, and each hides from his neighbor the national enemy’” (2005: 603; Fanon, 1963: 306-307). Taiaiake Alfred and Jeff Corntassel’s writing can be found at: http://web.uvic.ca/igov/uploads/pdf/Being%20Indigenous%20GOOP.pdf
For further reading and scholarship on warriors and warrior societies please see Taiaiake Alfred and Lana Lowe’s Warrior Societies in Contemporary Indigenous Communities and which can be found at the following site: http://www.attorneygeneral.jus.gov.on.ca/inquiries/ipperwash/policy_part/research/pdf/Alfred_and_Lowe.pdf
[cix] Jihad is not ‘Holy War’. Seeing, first, that “the actual word used for war in the Holy Quran is Qital”, with Qital used and referred to in Quran in “fifty-four” verses (Khan, 2010). While as far as the concept and practice of “’Jihad’ is concerned, it has been used in the Quran in twenty-nine places” of which “out of these, it is used for a peaceful struggle in twenty-one places, and at eight places, it also includes war as a part of struggle” (Khan, 2010). From the beginning, then, not all war or Qital is jihad and not all jihad, is Qital, or war, but jihad can be exerted in Qital, or war. Given, that if ‘holy war’ were translated into Arabic it translates to al-harb al-muqqaddasa, an inexistent term in Islam (Armstrong, 2001; 2002). Jihad, itself, rather, linguistically and as a practice, is derived from the Arabic roots ‘juhd’ or ‘jahd’, denoting ‘to strive’ or ‘struggle’, etymologically interrelated to words as: mujahadah, which denotes ‘partaking in struggle, in contention’, or ‘striving, and exerting oneself’. And frequently appears in the Qur’an through the idiomatic expression ‘striving in the way of God’, or al-jihad fi sabil Allah. And is undoubtedly related to concepts and practices as Tahajjud (referring to the solitary periodical worship of God at darkness and nightfall), as well as mujtahid-a and ijtihad, which anteceded and were discussed in former chapters. Holy War’s origins, as a term, are, thus, a non-Islamic matter, given it is a Euro-Christian construct, invented prior to the advant of the papalic legacies, territories and incursive Crusades that emerged following holy war’s sanctioning by Emperor Constantine in the fourth century. It was with Saint Augustine and Augustine’s mentor, Ambrose of Milan, as with figures as Thomas Aquinas and Hugo Grotius, amongst the preliminary renowned Church thinkers, that the reconnoitering and addressing of the question, general rubric, and facets, of what constitutes ‘just war’ became interrogated from a Eurocentric Christian perspective and agenda. That is, regarding when, if in truth possible, a Christian could fight a war while continuing to be a follower of Christ. Nevertheless, it came to be with the declaration of the Crusades, or the ‘taking of the cross’ by Pope Urban’s crusaders in the 11th century that ‘just war’ became ‘holy war’ (Armstrong, 2001; 2002). Indeed, that the sustained force to violently impel became cause for the gradual transition from a utopian and idealized nonviolent Christian position to ‘Holy War’ and ‘Just War’. As Tamim Al-Barghouti, confirmingly writes: “The concept of jihad has greatly transformed. Before the Crusades, jihad had two essential meanings. The first indicated the inner conflict between good and evil within the human soul a good believer had to fight a jihad against his own desires; this was called al-jihad al-akbar (the greater jihad). The second notion referred to the expansionary wars fought by the early Umayyad Empire against the non-Muslim nations in Persia, Turkistan and North Africa. However, after Jerusalem’s fall, jihad became the medieval Islamic equivalent of the modern concept of national liberation. It became a war of self-defense against foreign invaders. It is mainly the effect of the Crusades that the concept was so much romanticized and glorified beyond its original meaning” (2003).
Other accrued terminologies and implementations of jihad richly exist, easily relevant to this conversation, as those previously mentioned, if not others like: Jihad of the heart (or jihad al’qalb), Jihad by the tongue (or jihad al’lisan), and Jihad by the hand (or jihad bil’yad). Even furthermore how if Jihad is specifically interpreted as Qital, it can be or is associated with variant interpretations, meanings, and discursive understandings of ‘martyrdom’, discernable as they may somewhat be from what arguments have been constructed here, of what is carried beyond the bibliography. Indeed, I admittedly acknowledge that I did not discuss the so-called controversial ‘Sword verse(s)’ or Ayat al-sayf, despite that there is no reference to the word ‘sword’ or sayf in the entirety of the Qur’an, and the fact its alters nothing of what has been discussed of Qital and Jihad’s contours and parameters exchanged and established here, and which ample and innumerable modern and medieval scholars having explicitly addressed, exuded specific variant conceptualizations and commentary on, to the extent of having abrogated it. Notable grammarian and Muslim scholar of the eleventh century, Al-Raghib al-Asfahani, in his text al-Mufradat fi Gharib al-Qur’an (2010) interpreted jihad to be of three types: a) Struggling against an apparent or visible enemy; b) Struggling against the Devil; and c) Struggling against the ego, or self, otherwise referred to as the ‘greater Jihad’, or jihad al-nafs, with all three imbued when God in the Qur’an says: “and struggle (w’jahidu) in Allah’s cause as ye ought strive” (Chapter 22: Chapter of ‘The Pilgrimage’: Verse 78). An alternative reading of jihad, through seventh century jurist, and infamous ‘scholar of the heart’ and tazkiyah, or ‘purification of the soul’, Ibn al-Qayyim Al-Jawziya, in his text Al-Fawa’id (or ‘Points of Benefit’), identifies ‘the believer to be in a perpetual state of Jihad until he and/or she meets with the Creator, Allah. To Al-Jawziya Jihad is of four stages: a) Firstly, to strive against one’s ego “in learning guidance and the religion of truth, without which there will be no success”; b) Secondly, striving against Satan “to act upon what has been learnt, since knowledge without action will not benefit, rather it will cause harm”; c) Thirdly, striving to encourage and invite others, particularly nonbelievers “towards it [i.e. Islam and faith in general] and to teach those who do not know, otherwise one maybe considered as amongst those who hide what Allah has revealed of guidance and clear explanation”; and d) Fourthly and finally, striving to be patient and persevering against hypocrites and those who knowingly “oppose this da’wah (call) to Allah and those who seek to cause harm – patiently bearing all these hardships for the sake of Allah” (2004: 9-11).
[cx] It resembles a clinic that I, an Oedipal subject, attend to become relatively de-Oedipalized. The clinic is a “parody of the very self-defeating symptoms,” capitalist and micro and macro authoritarian practices and racial/ethnic, histories that led me, an Oedipalized subject, to construct anarca-Islam in order to become relatively de-Oedipalized (Al-Kassim, 2007: 115). ‘Anarca-Islam’, was chosen and referenced recently amongst a critical reading list created by a group of Black, Brown, Indigenous, Muslim, and Jewish people who are writers, organizers, teachers, anti-fascists, anti-capitalists, and radicals who have actually responded to Kamala Visweswaran’s call for so-called ‘social movement theorists, organizers, participants, to do ‘their homework’ and hence have studied, experimented, and pursued methods for revolutionary social change before Trump came to power.
 See: Jean Veneuse, 2011; Al-Awani, 1993; Gandhi, 2006; Derrida, 2002; Foucault, 2005; Spinoza, 1949.
 Often blandly translated as ‘culture’ despite that it implies a critical conscious with respect to oneself and a pluriverse world of (non)human Other(s) in presence and thought. See: Jean Veneuse, 2009; 2011; Al-Awani, 1993; Gandhi, 2006; Derrida, 2002; Foucault, 2005; Spinoza, 1949.
 As analyzed by Richard JF Day in what he refers to as the ‘newest social movements’ or NSM’s, characterized as being ‘non-universalizing’ and anchored in ‘non-coercive relationships based on mutual aid, and shared ethical commitments’ (2005: 9).
 See Taiaiake, 2008; Smith, 2005; Coulthard, 2008; La Duke, 1999; hooks, 1981; Day, 2005.
 See Fanon, 1967; Taylor, 1992; Simpson, 2008; 2012; Thobani, 2010; 2015; Glen Coulthard, 2008; Taiaiake, 2008; Day, 2005; Jean Veneuse, 2009.
 See Puar, 2013; Lawrence & Dua, 2005; Sharma & Wright, 2008; Phung, 2011; Sehdev, 2011; and Jafri, 2011.
 See Olawn & Krebs, 2012; Puar, 2013; Mikdashi & Puar, 2012; Smith, 2011; Driskill, Finley, Gilley, & Morgensen, 2011
 See: Arkoun, 1994; Ramadan, 2001; Esack, 1997; Ammar; 2001.