New Word: Tawhesion

A scale invariant need of our times.
It is a Technology of Humility.
To synthesise the syncretic.
Dampen the fissile.
And Improve.


HT befuddle 'New' Bangladesh.. again

Hijbut Tahrir calling for khelafat in a random northern town, getting jailed, members threatening Awami League like behaviour and causing the King of the Bingos (hear me when I come), Mahfuz Anam to lacerate himself in the following editorial.
  • He refers to western proscription of the organisation.
  • He blows indignant about how HT views could possibly be held by responsibly people in Bangladesh.
  • He makes out as if the language used by HT is anywhere approaching the levels of bile that our 'traditional' parties spew.
  • With righteous aplomb he equates the threat HT poses to Bangladesh's elite state documentation with the threat posed by a military regime.
  • He does the typical south asian with religion issues thing and cries 'Look what they are doing in the name of our religion.' How very Mujtahid...
  • I think he's effectively spreading HT 'dawa' over his pages. Whether he is stupid, metaphorical, manipulative or all three, Allahu Alim.
I think we can safely say that the movement has been indigenised and maybe humbly suggest the reason for Our Maker creating them to be; simply to mash-up what is already stupid and beyond repair.
On reflection, it is probably quite easy to start a movement of Political Islamic flavour in Bangladesh, especially if you a) have 'English language' capital, b) are not The Jamaat, c) think a little and d) seize on the people's aspiration to perform with enduring value to the audience of God rather than pillocks.
Let us repeat the lesson. Class, (no)(local)Baggage, Brains and Clarity. Liberation Theology? Abul Hashem's Khilafatur Rabbani Mark 2. Anything. PLEEEASE.
So devoid is the political field of any substantial content or action, that I found deshi's very intrigued by the party on my visits there. They already knew more about it than they did about 'south asian Islamic history and discourse'. They expected me to know a lot about party, tell them whether it was any good or not and to be able to figure why they were 'doing so well'.
I am not a supporter, but still contend that HTism is probably a better default option for a sentient Muslim human being who can eat than secularist abdications from the din. In fact my 'critique' is mainly based on my short attention span, non-belief in the centrality of state power to the Programme for the Constitution of Ummahtic Mojo, and a fair dose of snobbery.


Foreign Policy Wonkage

Here's something I've been thinking about regarding the ideal british foreign policy from a Muslim's perspective. For many years we have been told that we should have a stance and care for the Ummah 'through' the government. I think its naive and makes things worse. It is time to engage with the FCO, stop being patronised by it and tell them whats best from our unique vantage point of being british citizens and third worldists who don't buy into guff. There is no need to subscribe to their bo!!oxwash, the truth needsto be conveyed.
I therefore present a moderate foreign policy position, bridging east and west, one that is in the interests of both. It is sustainable through generations.
1. We dont want your your dirty money poisoning our social reform processes.
2. Hold your ears, squat, rise, squat rise and apologise for your past colonial and present economic crimes. Prepare for the mother of all compensation trials.
3. Never stick your noses in another's business, resist your cultural urges to dominate, meddle, whisper, subvert, 'develop' and 'study'.
4. Stop exporting your GCSEs and Alevels. It is embarrasing how our elites are fond of them.
5. Don't think that your development 'aid' is of any essential benefit.
6. Stop talking about shared values, its a waste of paper, just makes us laugh.
7. Don't allow your banks to contain money thats been siphoned from third world treasuries. I dont care if you were making a packet on Islamic finance.
8. Return all plundered goods from your museums.
9. Stop stirring social dysfunction, division and dissafection by broadcasting your cultural, social and political propaganda at us.
10. Do something about the greed, debt that is making your people suffer so much.
If the UK follows this advice the decolonising countries will start taking responsibility and pride in their own being. The UK public can be assured that it is not being made a fool out of overseas as the colonial guilt card will be withdrawn from circulation and the world will be a slightly better place.


I predict a riot... new flashmob iftari video

v2 to take place in London, Manchester and Johanesburg...

Political Challenge in Malaysia

The political calculus in Malaysia seems to be evolving under the leadership of Anwar Ibrahim, who got the bum end of Mahathir and UMNO over the years. I hope and pray that he's not overly embittered by his maltreatment as to take it out on the people. He did some lovely things when he was in power before (institutional innovations in Islamic further education that the rest of the Ummah should know about).
There's talk of a bunch of UMNO MPs crossing the floor to join his eclectic coalition. I believe i even saw a headline along the lines of '50 Malaysian government MPs flee to Taiwan on Agricultural study trip, and Anwar follows'. Or maybe I was metabolising too much fat at the time, surely I couldnt have made all of it up?
It would be interesting to see the Malays move on from the 'historical redress colonial ganjification/kampongisation' political pole. I love them, but they do share space with two other of the cutest races on Earth and in Asia, Indians and Chinese. Late great Syed Hussain Alattas experimented with multiracial politics through Gerakan in the 1960s, but things went a bit pearshaped. Now lets see what happens.
Unfortunately Farish Noor doesn't blog anymore so all I have to point to is this Al Jazeera East 101 prog. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mvw05xsjPQU

There was this hymn we used to sing at school, it was one badass chooon. Seems appropriate

Would you walk by on the other side
When Anwar called for aid?
Would you walk by on the other side
and would you be afraid?

Cross over the road my friend
Ask the Lord His strength to lend
His compassion has no end
Cross over the road!


Flashmob Iftari: Spreading the Love

Feeling that Ramadan Tingle? Overwhelmed by how Muslims organise in this month to pull off pretty cute mass rituals of astonishing regularity, scale, character and devotion? Want to add something to Ummahtique Technique?

We'll you have come to the right place.

The Temporary Autonomous Zone is a rather splendid sounding 'space' that social-political movements can create to generate a virtuous mayhem that eludes control. It comes from the imagination of one Hakim Bey whose text can be found here.  Apparently his influences include Sufism, Anarchism,  neo-traditionalism and believe it or not Seyyed Hossein Nasr. 

One way of creating a Temporary Autonomous Zone is through a flashmob, where a large number of people gather suddenly in  a public space, perform an unusual action, then leave.

I'm not sure how it practically works, we'll see no doubt through the following live example. Its Ramadan so there are higher than usual stocks of Ummahtic mojo flowing through us. The niyyat is to generate an atmosphere of care through a Flashmob Iftari with the homeless in Lincolns Inn Fields (Tube: Chancery Lane/Holborn) this Tuesday (9th Sept) at 7pm.

There's no need to fret. Just bring food, friends (albeit the more interesting ones) and share them around. Give invitations to the homeless people who you walk by over the next few days. Do they know its Ramadingdong time at all?

You know it is the Taqwacore thing to do. No organisational branding, no fiqh sticks, just a translation of collective moral initiative, expressed with all the variegation that embodies us. Its not half as pretentious as the words I've just written. 

Really. Just come, share the love. There are plenty of mosques/prayer rooms/bits of green to drop three on when the time comes.


Black Box Fiqh

Off the books decision creating and taking.
Probably mostly wrong, but live and possibly honest.

The ability to discern right from wrong is the objective of education in Islam. The literal meaning of fiqh is discernment, the jurisprudence thing came later. In the practical application of guidance, praxis if you like, there is no one but the performer and his Lord in the equation. It is not a linear equation, nor a first order truncation of an infinite series.

No channeling and no intermediary. In Our culture we do have guides, but explaining the nuances of particular scenarios can only get one so far. And that's assuming the relationship exists into which one can explain. This is not a black box because of its impermeability, but because of its isolation at the point of enaction.

It is probably mostly wrong because that's the way we expand our understanding. It is live because it is not covered in a dusty underappreciated and legalistic book somewhere from another time and place. The honesty bit depends on intention I guess.
If our black boxes are greater, our fluency and confidence of action will be greater, collectively and individually. A superior culture will be grown.