Orientalism, Palestine and covering Islam

EidAlaqsa

CROSSPOST: Dr Hatem Bazian

Three of Edward Said’s books are as timely today as the day they were published almost 40 years ago: Orientalism (1978), The Question of Palestine (1979), and Covering Islam (1981). The three constitute Said’s trilogy that focused on literary and artistic representation in the service of empire, colonial dispossession, and the media shaping and reproducing Orientalist tropes. Said’s contributions are an invaluable source for anyone attempting to deconstruct the ebbs and flows of events and development in the Arab and Muslim worlds. At the same time, the three books offer a strong critique of Western policies and public discourse that purport to cover the “East” as a separate and mysterious place filled with irrationality.

Observing the daily events in the Arab and Muslim worlds, one is at a loss to comprehend the sheer destruction and the snuffing out of hope faced by a multitude of peoples – 1.4 billion, to be precise. Said’s writing intuitively de-constructed the racialized lens used by Western academics, press, and policymakers to justify their continued disregard of the needs and well-being of the Arab and Muslim worlds.

Continue reading

Advertisements

Sykes-Picot: A Century of Conspiratorial, Fatal Games

MarkSykes1917athisdesk

Mark Sykes, 1917

“I want to see a permanent Anglo-French entente allied to the Jews, Arabs, and Armenians which will render pan-Islamism innocuous…” – Mark Sykes, 1917[1]

The Middle East is experiencing convulsions as the vicious cycle of violence continues and the boundaries which were once drawn upon ignorance and arrogance remain in a state of uncertainty. The continued Western violence in the Muslim world and the destructive responses of individuals in Europe too are also not disconnected from history and historic politics. Indeed, the upheavals in the Middle East are not an isolated phenomena, as is often made out to be.

The source of this great distress for Muslims has been in no part due to the intrigues and “great games” which have played out over the past century.

Continue reading

Tony Blair: the Neoconservative Threat to the World (1) – “The Original Neocon”

Source: the Guardian

Despite the fact that Tony Blair has lost credibility amongst the masses, his Tony Blair Faith Foundation has operations in 30 Middle Eastern and African countries where it exports his thinking and has recently discussed domestic policies which strike a disturbing semblance with existing strategies in place. As such I felt it necessary to write a series of pieces on Tony Blair, the neoconservative “persuasion” embedded in his rhetoric, and his declarations which are reflected in his recent essay and which seeks to implement more broadly the contemporary neocon Western foreign policy.

The “Original Neocon”

The public refutations and exposes of neoconservatism during the 2003 Iraq war rightfully condemned the idea and its proponents surrounding George W. Bush like Paul Wolfowitz to the point that it became even more recluse than the natural propensity of neocons to disguise their policies.

During that time, it was not the likes of Douglas Murray, but Tony Blair who supported and implemented neoconservativism in his foreign and domestic policies. Tony Blair was in fact ahead of the neocons and for one commentator, he was “the original neocon”. William Kristol, the inheritor of Irving Kristol’s neocon legacy, approvingly said of Blair,

“Blair was one of the first world leaders, I think, to really grasp what had happened on 9-11 and its implications, that we were in a global war in terror, that we had to transform the Middle East, the whole thing… I think after the attacks in July, Tony Blair has now gone the next step.”

In an interview with Panorama, Kristol gave his conclusion on him: “I think Tony Blair is a kind of neoconservative, despite himself”. Recently, when Blair tried to remove himself of blame from the Iraq war, calls were made for him to be removed as a (laughable) “peace” envoy. However this shifting of blame was not dissimilar to the behaviour of the US neocon architects of the Iraq 2003 war. William Kristol and Paul Wolfowitz also distanced themselves, blaming the current state of Iraq on Obama for failing to intervene.

Continue reading

British Deception, Zionism, Neocons and the Reformation of Islam

alaqsa

My writings have thus far centred predominantly on neoconservatives, who are not merely threatening, but decimating British values.  This is with good reason, because neoconservatives are also Zionists who protect Israel from criticism, render insignificance to the atrocities and crimes against humanity perpetrated against the Palestinians and architect phantom enemies to perpetuate the colonialist architecting of the Middle East. All the while, domestically promoting “moderate”, “modernist” and “progressive” Muslims who are pacifist in their protests against crimes perpetuated against Muslims globally.

The Deceit of the British and Zionists

It is worth noting the history around the topic of the deceptive and racist Zionism.  Prior the Balfour Declaration, David Wolffsohn, the right-hand man of the founding father of Zionism, Theodore Herzl and second President of the World Zionist Organisation, in an attempt to calm the alarm regarding the perceived aims of the Zionists in the Ottoman Empire, wrote in the Times,

“While fully admitting the evident desire of your Correspondent to present an objective and impartial account of Zionism in the Ottoman Empire, I regret that his limited knowledge of our movement and the sources from which he appears to have derived it made it impossible for him to realize his desire. The cardinal defect of his article consists in the assumption that Zionism is a scheme for the foundation of a Jewish State in Palestine. This assumption is wrong. His comments upon our movement and his account of the views upon it in Turkish circles are mainly dependent upon this assumption…

“The object of Zionism is clearly defined in its programme adopted at our first Congress at Basel in 1897, and hence known as the Basel Programme… The aim thus formulated is essentially different from the aspiration to found a State and those who attribute to us such an aspiration misrepresent us in a very serious degree, as they are likely, however, unwittingly, to cause difficulties being put in our way.” (D.Wolffsohn, President of the Zionist Organisation, Cologne, May 1st.” (The Times, Wednesday, May 10, 1911; pg. 8; Issue 39581; col B.)

Upon the establishment of the Balfour Declaration soon after the drawing up of the infamous Sykes-Picot agreement, the Arab world was shook in dismay for its claim:

“His Majesty’s Government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.” (Balfour Declaration, 2nd November 1917.)

Continue reading

My Ramadan Message to David Cameron

 

Rt Honourable David Cameron,

Thank you for your congratulatory message to the Muslim minority of Britain. As the Prime Minister of this country I respect your stature and position.

Whilst I appreciate your act of congratulation, I do not extend the same to your message, which should not be a criticism on your part, as your message, just like your Munich speech, was most likely influenced or written by the widely despised Quilliam Foundation, or like-thinking neoconservatives.

Your Ramadan message wreaks of a colonialist stance. Celebrating the colonial abuse of the Muslims is not the model memory for Muslims to reminisce over. We are not unfamiliar with our history, our being collectively, British and Islamic histories.

Whilst your idea of reflection in the Muslim context may be to remember Indian Muslims who fought and died at the behest of British wishes either out of compulsion or delusion, we, the Muslim minority, recall, for example the impact of British imperialist economic policy on the Muslims in India, where, the coffers of the colonialists were protected and propped at the complete economic annihilation of India. All resources were either exported for the profits of the British or drawn to be used for an imperialist war. After the WWI and leading up to WWII, textile mills in India were forced to churn out clothes for soldiers. The common people could not procure clothes to cover themselves and women committed suicide as result. The economic persecution resulted in desperation to such an extent that naked men, women and children marched through the streets of Bengal in protest.

Continue reading