Monday, April 03, 2006

Preliminary reflections on Ashis Nandy

1. The ignorant monotony of banal, white middle class men (and their imitators) are the lust driving Empire. Their crusading quest for social and civilizational superiority through perfect consumption, combined with their governed sublimation of interpersonal aggression (diverted into widespread social bullying and domestic violence), creates a myth of the polite, peaceful civilization, itself a muted disguise for their complicity in the violent oppression and killing of Iraqis, Afghanis and other groups politically and/or economically subjugated by the Euro-American alliance.

2. One of their shadows is the Muslim – irrational, superstitious, ascetic, violent and authoritarian; after two centuries of the dreary deadheads projecting this shadow, a minority of Muslims have been duped into believing this shadow is the true faith. Yet as academics in Islamic Studies such as Ernst have noted, the label of ‘Islam’ for the Shahadic Mu’min is a modern, reactionary one; anthropologists such as Varisco confirm there is no ‘Islam’, only ‘islams’. Islam as a monolith is Salafi/Orientalist dogma.

3. The globalizing colonizer is masculine, adult, rational, part of the forward movement of history, pragmatic. The victim of neo-liberal violence in thus represented as feminine (or hypermasculine), childlike, irrational, superstitious, regressive, ahistorical, lacking in empiricism and impractical. She thus wastes time on love, play, prayer and a repetition of ancient, empty rituals. Never improving, she is simply cunning and resentful.

4. The anti-imperial hybrid Mu’minun are post-orthodox. We look into the Quranic tradition and embrace its beautiful multiplicity. We look into the non-Quranic traditions and embrace all tender-hearted resistance. We pity the zealots, whether they be neoliberal or neo-Salafi. We are androgynous. We renounce the normative, and embrace love-play. We acknowledge the objectivity of taqwa. We pray behind the Prophet (aws).

5. We are warriors whose swords are fashioned from dhikr. We are children of Adam and Eve, born twice – once at the beginning of time and once in our own lifetimes. We are logicians whose premise is revelation. All history is mythology. All text is myth. Every word of God is a symbol and a sign. We are scientists of the soul. We are professors of culture. We cannot be sold because only Godless death-fear can be effectively marketed.

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