Thursday, February 16, 2006

The same old, ad nauseum

The cartoon protests in Pakistan have turned horrible. Obviously, I think it is wrong, counter-productive and should stop. However, since Pakistan is indeed part of the Muslim world, I think it is important to understand and form a voice regarding it. Alt.Muslim has a column on how the Muslims of the past reacted to verbal and written attacks on the Prophet, by reacting in a "intellectual, secure, and civil" way. It can be argued that the reaction then was a reality of the existing socio-political order, and the Muslim civilisation could react that way. While I would agree with that if the goal was simply to understand the crisis, I think our goal here is to act, and take care of ourselves as individuals and as an ummah. In such a case, I think it is clear that such reactions will not change any opinions, and are not mandated by faith.

CAIR has reacted in a much more productive and pro-active manner by initiating a program of outreach and education regarding the Prophet Muhammad pbuh (information courtesy Abu Sinan). As to those who have taken a more confrontational approach, it can be argued that the political reality necessitates taking on the power structures that are implicated in this campaign of assault and attack on Muslims in general. However, I do not think that the argument finally holds much sway. For one, conflating a whole nation or continent with the actions of individuals, even if they be many and powerful is problematic. Secondly, the real power structures perpetuating the conditions are poverty, confusion, corruption, and lack of political fairness, etc. are not being attacked this way. There is no rhyme or reason in attacking KFC outlets in Pakistan while the real battle is in managing food procuction, economic opportunities and creating a secure cultural matrix, where KFC outlets would lose any signifacance. Further, the revolutionary rhetoric of attacking the power structures is incomplete at best, since it is useless to attack something unless you can create a more just, natural, and beautiful alternative. And that alternative in practice will have to be more than just a slogan of "Islam is the solution".

3 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Compare it with the destruction of the 6th century Buddhas of Bamiyan by rocket launchers and dynamite. Many Buddhists did express their disappointment on this but there were not "protests." This is not because they don't highly rever the Buddha statues -- this is because some things are simply much more important than images or the absence of them, and religious ideology. Imagine someone bombing off the Kaaba, and try to feel the pain. See yourself in others. Attachment to "no image" is as bad as attachment to image (idoltary). Both are attachments, both are delusions.

February 26, 2006 1:41 AM  
Blogger qawukzi said...

Thank you for sharing your opinion. Though it would be nice to leave a name (even made up), or blogger profile so we know where you're coming from.

Attachment to no attachment is also an attachment, isn't it? I think you are assuming a false universal of modernism. Anyways, I am not defending violence, so I don't see why you'd have a problem with it.

February 26, 2006 12:59 PM  
Anonymous iphone 6 said...

Thanks for the great article. i really appreciate it. I have been making research on the internet for a very long time and now come up with something useful. it will be a great guide for my thesis

September 12, 2014 5:25 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home