Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Muslim Public Intellectuals

We do have Professor Irfan Habib but I would like to talk about those Muslim public intellectuals who do not have problems with their Muslim identity and Islam as a way of life.

Do we have them?

In this BBC piece S. Biswas talks about intellectuals in political life in India.

What about Muslims?
What about Aligs in particular?
Well they are conspicuous by their absence.

And that is abdication of responsibility for Sir Syed would have liked them to take up this responsibility too.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Asra Nomani in Washington Post

Yours truly has been lately having some pangs of optimism.
That was because of some perceptible change in US policy towards Islam and Muslims.
A US diplomat said that the Taliban is not a terrorist group but a militant group.
Seeing the nature the past engagement between the two of them this was a major adjustmant on part of US.
Then Barack Obama explicitly said that the US is not at war with Islam.
That, obviously, was very pleasant.
Then he again said that the meltdown in Iraq and Afghanistan is of their past mistakes.
That was a clear break up from Bush policies.

So yours truly was rather happy.

But then this piece from January 16 Washington Post came to my attention and this melted the euphoria.

Who is Asra Q Nomani?
She has only two claims to fame, or infamy.
That she is an unwed mother.
And she is from the descendants of mighty Muslim scholar Allama Shibli Nomani.
And then you have the western society that will not only accommodate anti anti-Muslims and anti-Islamic elements but will also provide them a platform to broadcast their views to the world.

But perhaps the new Obama approach will take some time to seep to the level of the editors of the Washington Post.

The US inherited an anti-Muslims and anti-Islam attitude from their ancestors from Europe.

But this is certainly against American ideals.
Our Muslim brothers in the US have to bring this home in the US.
Don't just do Dawah about five fundamentals of Islam.
Also tell them that they do not have to inherit the crusading mindset.

In the rest of this post I intend to dissect the WP piece by Nomani.

“You have shamed the community,” a fellow Muslim in Morgantown, W.Va., said to me as we sat in a Panera Bread in 2004. “Stop writing.”
She is clearly playing with the American sentiment.
Why should the US take up her case just because she wants to practice a Islam that is contrary to the traditional understanding? Is it so easy to poke your nose in other people's values? She is clearly aiming for the US weakness inherited from Europe. Oppose anything and everything Muslim and Islamic. US saw through the treachery of Ayan Hirsi Ali is it so difficult to see through Asra's design?
Then 38, I had just written an essay for The Washington Post’s Outlook section arguing that women should be allowed to pray in the main halls of mosques, rather than in segregated spaces, as most mosques in America are arranged. An American Muslim born in India, I grew up in a tolerant but conservative family. In my hometown mosque, I had disobeyed the rules and prayed in the men’s area, about 20 feet behind the men gathered for Ramadan prayers.
It is unlikely that the Scholars of Islam will concede to her ideas of mix praying in the mosques. Islam was perfected for us more than fourteen centuries ago. Anyone familiar with the robustness of Islam theology will understand that she has a lost cause on her hands. Anyway why should Islam be decided or modified by her? Just because she could not or would not control her carnal desires we should be moving back the borders of Islam so that she can be accommodated? It looks plain ridiculous. To commit a mistake is bad enough. To expect the society to regularize it is plain cheeky at best and stupid in reality.

Later, an all-male tribunal tried to ban me. An elder suggested having men surround me at the mosque so that I would be “scared off.” Now the man across the table was telling me to shut up.

Here there is allusion to male orientation of Islamic society. The assumption is that all-male tribunal will of necessity will be unfair to a woman. Again she is playing with the feminist mindset that of necessity is against things Muslim and Islamic. The matter of truth is that Prophethood in Islam is over and concluded and all of the Prophets were males. Prophets were the law givers of Muslims by God's orders and that makes Islamic society patriarchal.  It is pointless to point out to people like Asra Nomani that the noble Qur'an explicitly says that man and woman are equal. People like her or her supporters will simply not listen. they are driven by an agenda and that is not so subtle. They simply have to be seen and understood to be what they stand for. For most of the last few decades and earlier real force behind their machinations was the stick of military and economic power of the west combined with their soft talk. at the moment both seem to be melting.

“I won’t stop writing,” I said.
Here she is simply positioning herself as a crusader. At the moment Muslims don't seem to be scared in spite of heavy casualties being inflicted upon them. After thoroughly thrashing Muslims for non-existent weapons of mass destruction in Iraq the US/NATO clique barely managed to escape from Afghanistan. They did not claim any victory. Why is reality blocked to her? The west has completely lost its grip over Islam and Muslims but the news has not percolated to her.

  It was the first time a fellow Muslim had pressed me to refrain from criticizing the way our faith was practiced. But in the past decade, such attempts at censorship have become more common. This is largely because of the rising power and influence of the “ghairat brigade,” an honor corps that tries to silence debate on extremist ideology in order to protect the image of Islam. It meets even sound critiques with hideous, disproportionate responses.
In this paragraph there is multiple disconnection with reality.
And there is dishonesty also in this piece.
She is making it to be a case of reforming Islam.
In reality it has been a case of her desire to get her status as an unwed mother regularized.
The west was mostly Christian and it used Christianity as a religion till it became impossible and in fact detrimental to well being to hace Christianity around. This was because of the atrocities of the Church.
And then the west shunted it to private quarters.
They want the same for Islam.
But why should that be?
When they can not have real issues against Islam they cooked up.
And these are the so called modern values that are being slapped against islam and Muslims.
And then there are opportunistic Muslims who would like to take advantage of this situation.
Like her.
Luckily the number of such people is rather small.

The campaign began, at least in its modern form, 10 years ago in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, when the Organization of Islamic Cooperation — a mini-United Nations comprising the world’s 56 countries with large Muslim populations, plus the Palestinian Authority — tasked then-Secretary General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu with combating Islamophobia and projecting the “true values of Islam.” During the past decade, a loose honor brigade has sprung up, in part funded and supported by the OIC through annual conferences, reports and communiques. It’s made up of politicians, diplomats, writers, academics, bloggers and activists.
A treacherous paragraph. Treachery with Islam and Muslims and trying to fool her hosts. She is certainly not a friend of west. She has an axe to grind and thinks that the west will fall for her trick. The west might find it difficult to see their own Islamophobia but her trick is not that opaque. They will see through it. I wonder why they gave her this space in the WP.
In 2007, as part of this playbook, the OIC launched the Islamophobia Observatory, a watchdog group based in Jiddah, Saudi Arabia, with the goal of documenting slights against the faith. Its first report, released the following year, complained that the artists and publishers of controversial Danish cartoons depicting the prophet Muhammad were defiling “sacred symbols of Islam . . . in an insulting, offensive and contemptuous manner.” The honor brigade began calling out academics, writers and others, including former New York police commissioner Ray Kelly and administrators at a Catholic school in Britain that turned away a mother who wouldn’t remove her face veil.
So? The west can have its UNO and NATO and the World Bank but Muslims can not have OIC? Why?

May be she simply should eat her heart out. They have a word in the west for her. Loser.

“The OIC invented the anti-‘Islamophobia’ movement,” says Zuhdi Jasser, president of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy and a frequent target of the honor brigade. “These countries . . . think they own the Muslim community and all interpretations of Islam.”
An this time she brought a puppet out of her called Jasser out of her hat. Pathetic show madam magician.

It is true that west by and large denies that there is Islamophobia. Even my spell checker does not have this word. But that is simply western strategy. The moment they acknowledge its existence they got to do monumental readjustments in their policies towards Islam. It is simply the inertia.

 Alongside the honor brigade’s official channel, a community of self-styled blasphemy police — from anonymous blogs such as and to a large and disparate cast of social-media activists — arose and began trying to control the debate on Islam. This wider corps throws the label of “Islamophobe” on pundits, journalists and others who dare to talk about extremist ideology in the religion. Their targets are as large as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and as small as me.
I do not know about Ikhras but Loon Watch  simply administered some western medicine to the west. Of course she does not realize. She is clueless about the state of affairs. The west is no more so sure of its ideals because these ideals have not only started failing in their dealings with Islam and Muslims but at home also they can be clearly seen to be failing. Falling European population and random US shootings are two main manifestations of western materialism
failing as a way of life.

But she is right when she calls herself small and unfortunately Netanyahu is large but she is pathetic when she talks of herself in the same sentence as him.
The official and unofficial channels work in tandem, harassing, threatening and battling introspective Muslims and non-Muslims everywhere. They bank on an important truth: Islam, as practiced from Malaysia to Morocco, is a shame-based, patriarchal culture that values honor and face-saving from the family to the public square. Which is why the bullying often works to silence critics of Islamic extremism.
Islam and Muslims are reeling under western onslaught on military, media, economic, cultural and money power. That is opposite of what she is trying to convince us. If tomorrow the west starts reeling under Muslim onslaught of military, media, economic and money power than this sinner will be pleased to criticize Muslims.

“Honor brigades are wound collectors. They are couch jihadis,” Joe Navarro, a former supervisory special agent in the FBI’s behavioral analysis unit, tells me. “They sit around and collect the wounds and injustices inflicted against them to justify what they are doing. Tragedy unites for the moment, but hatred unites for longer.”
There is a faint truth in that. But hey we might decide against wound collection at the spurt of the moment. So what if They thrashed Iraq without weapons of mass destruction? Obama is accepting that they were wrong! So what if they dumped a million tons of gunpowder in Afghanistan? They are not calling taliban terrorists anymore. And to fight the Islamic State they depend upon Muslims like Kurds. Is that wound collecting? Hardly.

In an e-mail exchange, the OIC’s ambassador to the United Nations denied that the organization tries to silence discussion of problems in Muslim communities.
Silly of him. Who decided that Muslims are answerable to UN when they have been real ineffective tools to solve the Palestine problem.

 The attacks are everywhere. Soon after the Islamophobia Observatory took shape, Sheik Sabah Ahmed al-Sabah, the emir of Kuwait, grumbled about “defamatory caricatures of our Master and Prophet Muhammad” and films that smear Islam, according to the OIC’s first Islamophobia report.
She made a similar complain above. This is repetition to complain of the wounds again and again with different names. This is unorganized rant. She lacks a case.

  The OIC helped give birth to a culture of victimization. In speeches, blogs, articles and interviews widely broadcast in the Muslim press, its honor brigade has targeted pundits, political leaders and writers — from TV host Bill Maher to atheist author Richard Dawkins — for insulting Islam. Writer Glenn Greenwald has supported the campaign to brand writers and thinkers, such as neuroscientist and atheist Sam Harris, as having “anti-Muslim animus” just for criticizing Islam.
 “These fellow travelers have made it increasingly unpleasant — and even dangerous — to discuss the link between Muslim violence and specific religious ideas, like jihad, martyrdom and blasphemy,” Harris tells me.

Bill Maher is shallow, Richard Dawkins is a buffoon, Glenn Greenwald is not a Muslim and everyone should watch this video to get a good laugh at Jay Smith, a person like Sam Harris.

She is repeating and she is incoherent and she is confused.

Noticing the beginnings of this trend in December 2007, a U.S. diplomat in Istanbul dispatched a cable to the National Security Council, the CIA, the Defense Intelligence Agency and various State Department offices. The cable said the OIC’s chief called supporters of the Danish cartoons of Muhammad “extremists of freedom of expression” and equated them with al-Qaeda.
The cue for her is that the world has moved far far beyond 2007. Did she just wake up?

 Most of the criticism takes place online, with anonymous bloggers targeting supposed Islamophobes. Not long after the cable, a network of bloggers launched LoonWatch, which goes after Christians, Jews, Hindus, atheists and other Muslims. The bloggers have labeled Somali author Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a born Muslim but now an atheist opponent of Islamic extremism, an “anti-Muslim crusader.” Robert Spencer, a critic of extremist Islam, has been called a “vicious hate preacher” and an “Internet sociopath.” The insults may look similar to Internet trolling and vitriolic comments you can find on any blog or news site. But they’re more coordinated, frightening and persistent.
 She is so outdated. May be this is an old article posted in 2015.
For the record Robert Spencer is an Islamophobe and Ayan Hirsi Ali has lost all currency in US.

 One prominent target of the honor brigade’s attacks was Charlie Hebdo, the French newspaper where several staffers were recently killed by Islamic extremists. According to some accounts, as the killers massacred cartoonists, they shouted: “We have avenged the prophet Muhammad.” The OIC denounced the killings, but in a 2012 report, it also condemned the magazine’s “Islamophobic satires.” Its then-secretary general, Ihsanoglu, said the magazine’s “history of attacking Muslim sentiments” was “an outrageous act of incitement and hatred and abuse of freedom of expression.”
Alright the article is really new for otherwise it will not capture the 2015 events.
But once OIC denounced the Charlie Hebdo killings then why fall back upon their 2012 report?