“France is at War with its own Citizens” – Yasser Louati on the Cannes “Burkini” Ban

 

“The colonialist administration invested great sums in this combat. After it had posited that the woman constituted the pivot of Algerian society, all efforts were made to obtain control over her.”

 “This woman who sees without being seen frustrates the coloniser”

 ~ Frantz Fanon

The Cannes ban on the Hijab/full body suits, where politically expedient, theologised, metaphysical ideas tangibly trump a Muslim woman’s ability to attend the beach, presents yet another example of the much vaunted “tolerance” born from “secular indifference to religion”, usually postulated as an argument against Islam.

The ban is blatantly premised on reductionist, culturalist logic (“ostentatious displays of religious affiliation” referring to “an allegiance to terrorist movements” is a colonialist trope used to justify repression against a people). It is clearly discriminatory against the Muslim minority, conflicting with the ideas it seeks to protect; one can really insufflate the freedom, liberty and neutrality of religion in the French official’s words.

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Muslim Prison Chaplains and the Neoconservative Attack on Islam

opportunitytoattackislammichaelgove

A couple of years ago, I noted that the substantive content in the campaign of attacks against Shaykh Haytham al-Haddad designed to smear him as “extremist” were in fact normative Islamic beliefs which cut across the theological spectrum. Shaykh al-Haddad was the proxy for the attack on Islam.

Since then, David Cameron himself has interfered with religion, attacking Islamic beliefs and practices, promoting deformists as the face of Islam, all the while employing doublespeak and urging the Muslim minority to shun the “conspiracy theories” that Islam is under attack. Looking from the colonialist, Eurocentric lens, all manner of denigration has been hurled at Islam, as “mutual tolerance” and “respect” is simultaneously preached to the Muslim community.

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Abdullah Andalusi: Maajid Nawaz, ‘Islamism’ and the Fallacious ‘You Share the Same Ideology as ISIS’ argument

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Crosspost: Abdullah Andalusi

I noticed that the proudly Secular Liberal Maajid Nawaz, who describes himself as ‘a reforming liberal’ [sic] who founded the ironically titled Secular-Liberal campaign group, ‘Quilliam Foundation’ has recently taken umbrage at an event that is due to happen on 13th November 2015 called ‘Quiz a Muslim’, because it has on the panel Muslim speakers Maajid presumably doesn’t approve of (i.e. Muslims who are not Secular Liberals like himself). He described the panel as ‘all-male Islamist Rogues’.

Maajid’s argument on this, is that all the panellists (of which I am one) are ‘Caliphate-advocating Islamists’. His argument is ‘they believe in every core principle ISIS believes in, and they reject ISIS merely because they made their move for a Caliphate ‘too soon & too fast’.

As usual, Maajid not only uses strawman arguments, but also absurdly fallacious ones. Muslims already know this, so the rest of this article is mostly intended for non-Muslims who may not be so clear about Islamic teachings, and may not be able to detect Maajid’s misrepresentations (although Muslims may benefit from the arguments too).

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Maajid Nawaz, Ex-Muslims and the “Minority within a Minority”

douglasmurrayMaajidnawazOne of the most evident and prominent issues of self-proclaimed “reformist” deformists often guided by the malicious neoconservative discourse on Islam is that just a like a deformity, the arguments promulgated are often malformed, incongruent and inconsistent. With materialism and unfettered desires replacing a heart nurtured by spirituality, the claims of such individuals are as erratic as their egos.   Be it “feminists” like Sara Khan using women as “weapons” in the fight against extremism, or “reforming liberal Muslims” who use post-modernist malarkey to give justification to their lifestyles devoid of Islam, oxymoron and desperation does not begin to describe these efforts to deconstruct Islam and the Muslim identity rooted in within the Islamic paradigm.

Maajid Nawaz is no different in avoiding these contradictions.  Whether it is bemoandefing “hatchet-jobs” against him while feverishly tweeting blatant propaganda from the Daily Mail, happily receiving funding from “extremists” to counter-extremism, or attacking journalists and academics who have criticised him for their “privileged elite” backgrounds whilst simultaneously acting as a significant conduit in delivering a neoconservative, colonialist campaign of “reforming” Islam  to the glee of hate preachers like Douglas Murray and Sam Harris, (and blatantly ignoring his own Western liberal privilege when lecturing Muslims about the need to reform Islam to conform to ethereal liberal ideals), there is a clear display of the hallmarks of one riddled with internal conflicts devoid of a stable moral-compass.  Indeed, this moral compass, in his own words do not require “Hadith to set… morality”, the second foremost scriptural set of texts which form the basis of Islam.

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European Court’s Ruling on the Veil (3): Ethnocentric Bias and Calls for Reformation

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Part 1: European Court’s Ruling on the Veil (1): A Colonialist Crusade

Part 2: European Court’s Ruling on the Veil (2): A Subjective Judgement

“Undoubtedly the barometer of social change in the Moslem World is the veil.”

~ Ruth Frances Woodsmall, 1936

Ethnocentricity and Reformation

The colonialist trait of supremacy which was seen in the first part of this series on the veil can be seen in the general ethnocentric (Eurocentric) bias in the Court’s historic decisions. The judgments are often biased against Islam, opposing democracy itself,[1] and posit the wearing of Hijab for instance, in their own biased interpretation of “male-controlling” paradigm as opposed to the paradigm of choice,[2] which they find “hard to square with the principles of gender equality”.

Ethnocentric bias courses through the majority judgment in SAS v France to even the dissenting opinion (despite thoroughly exposing the holes in the court’s judgment). The dissenting opinion highlighted that France had not been able to show why it had not taken less restrictive measures to “deal” with the veil. Rooted within this contention is a supremacist, inherent supposition that the veil can be discouraged in the first instance using “soft” methods.[3] The Council of Europe’s Resolution[4] (referenced in the judgement) does not hold back in attacking Islam as it,

“…calls on all Muslim communities to abandon any traditional interpretations of Islam which deny gender equality and limit women’s rights, both within the family and in public life.”

And then calls for measures to “stamp out radical Islamism”, synonymising mainstream Islam with “radical Islamism”. It further assumes the position of Islam and informs us that,

“Neither the full veiling of women, nor even the headscarf, are recognised by all Muslims as a religious obligation of Islam, but they are seen by many as a social and cultural tradition.”

In other words, representatives of European countries are demanding a reformation of Islam whilst at the same time telling Muslims what the “right” Islam in Europe needs to be.

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