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Thursday, 29 November 2007

agent provocateur

"A Dutch conservative lawmaker said on Wednesday he is making a film to highlight what he describes as "fascist" passages in the Qur'an, his latest high profile criticism of Islam"


It’s irritating to read misguided pulp being wrought and sold as relevant agit-prop.

The intellectual arrogance of proselytizing to the rest of us what fascism means [and specifically] in relation to a text regarded as divinely inspired - by millions of people over a period of 14 centuries -lends to an intensifying of the tension and alienation being created in the broader Islamic world by a myopic intelligentsia lecturing on behalf of the broader West, already embroiled deeply in military and political interference in the Palestine, Iraq and Afghanistan, amongst others, and luxuriating in its cultural and economic bullying of the rest of the developing world.

As a reaction to Western imperialism, those of us identifying ourselves as Islamic at least in a general sense, and who stood on the sidelines because we weren't directly impacted by such attacks, are now compelled to define who and what we really are and where we stand, culturally, religiously and just as people, in the face of this type of mindless, patronizing and ignoble attack on a way of life and modes of existence that are shared and valued by approximately 1.3 billion people today.

Whatever criticisms may validly be leveled at Islam[-ic practices], the sources of the critique, to be effective and cohesive, have to be contained within the intellectual and moral framework of the wonderful civilization and cosmos which Islam is, as many of us experience it, lest we give credence to a fraudulent public relations campaign dressed up as social analysis and bank-rolled by and on behalf of a Western imperialist pulse.

By attempting to understand any [claimed] excesses within the practice/s of Islam from the West’s moral and political point of view is already, dangerously, a capitulation to the quite subtle but no less insidious idea that the West understands something we as moral [Muslim] inferiors don’t.

And that same understanding we think we have, is bewildered- subliminally believing that we have forged the understanding independently of a virulently biased media and intelligentsia - and further perpetuates the myth [within and among ourselves] that Western modes of existence and analysis are superior to ours, particularly where the social and moral differentiations between the two civilizations may seem irreconcilable; and leaves us hovering on the back foot because we're not quite certain where we are on that tense continuum, oscillating between a secularity marked by the lure of a crass [intellectual] hedonism, and the demands of a religiosity whose pedigree we're no longer sure of.

Further, whatever violations of conduct and code in the Islamic world which may be understood and criticized or condemned from a universal and therefore implied objective moral standard, is far outweighed if the same claimed objective measurements are applied to the scale and violations that the West continues perpetrating against peoples and countries it deems (but will not admit to doing such) as inferior, and therefore justified in being vilified and exploited.