Allal al-Fassi, the Moroccan thinker and politician, calls for re-engagement with traditional Islamic scholarship to bring forth political thinking and theory befitting the new realities confronting the Ummah.
Allal Al-Fassi was a Moroccan intellectual and anti-colonial independence leader. He contributed to clarifying many important concepts. Zainab Cheema reviews Fassi’s Al-Naqd al-Dhati (Self Critique).
The story of a Moroccan anti-colonialist struggler, Allal al-Fassi is traced in exacting detail to remind Muslims of the rich legacy of Muslim heroes.
Western media outlets are giving the worst possible twist to normal growth and development of relations between Iran and Egypt. As long as Egypt was an US-zionist colony, it was considered normal. Egyptian independence raises alarm bells.
Mali is being targeted as much for its mineral wealth as to keep China from developing close links with Africa. The struggle for influence between the west and China is being fought on the backs of the African people.
French military invasion of Mali backed by the US, Britain and other western countries, has everything to do with the re-colonization of Africa and little or nothing with helping the Malians to fight off militants.
India’s gang rape case has brought out the best and worst in people. Concern for the victim and refusal to allow the police or courts to sweep it under the rug has at the same time exposed the caste prejudice that pervades India despite its claims to modernism.
Barack Obama is not the answer to the liberals’ democrat dream but a butler of the neo-liberal establishment, notwithstanding his soaring rhetoric about democracy, hope and change.
In a silver screen extravaganza, Fetih 1453 attempts to revive the glory of the Ottoman Empire and with it the sagging fortunes of Prime Minister Recep Tayip Erdogan who fancies himself as a modern incarnation of the Turkish sultan.
Turkey’s “zero problem” policy with neighbours, as articulated by its “scholarly” foreign minister Ahmet Davutoglu, has come crashing down to earth against the hard reality of events in Syria.
How Hollywood has played a dirty role in the smuggling of American spies from Iran during the early years of the Islamic revolution. The latest movie shows the tight relationship between the CIA and Hollywood.
After incurring trillions of dollars in war costs, the Americans are no closer to securing Afghanistan. The Afghan have proved once again that invading Afghanistan is a fool and a graveyard for invaders.
Drone attacks have killed thousands of innocent people in such places as Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen. Zainab Cheema reviews a book on Drone warfare by Nick Turse and Tom Engelhardt.
White supremacist militias have mushroomed in the US since 911. The Wisconsin Gurdwara attack is but a small sample of its devastating effects whose principal target are Muslims.
There is immense Islamic history woven into Morocco’s social and cultural fabric. Zainab Cheema captures the essence of spirituality on her journey to Fes.
Election year, when the elaborate stagecraft and electoral machinery anointing the US president roars into gear, is now upon us.
With the gory newsfeed of the Houla massacre, the war in Syria seems to be morphing into the horror movie storyline from a DVD watched too many times on Friday rec-nights.
Islamophobia in the post-9/11 age seems to be such a deeply integral part of the US cultural landscape that one would have to be an archaeologist in order to unearth prior states of mind.
Photographs are the privileged medium for showing the graphic horrors of war.
On February 26, a young African American middle schooler named Trayvon Martin was shot dead in Florida, as he walked back to a family member’s home after having bought some candy at a local convenience store.
With Rick Santorum’s recent win in the Louisiana primary, Barack Obama’s elegantly simple re-election strategy seems to have succeeded. While Mitt Romney is poised to win the crown of the Republican nomination for president, Santorum stubbornly strong showing is displaying a fragmented Republican base that bodes well for the incumbent president.
After the 2011 Libya War, a beleaguered Syria is the new Middle Eastern prize for which the world’s military-industrial gladiators are now battling. This smoldering long war was inaugurated by the Arab Spring, where the popular movements provided a perfect cover for the Anglo-American axis to slip in their Manchurian candidates a la the Syrian “opposition.”
After the Age of Reaganomics and the decline of participatory democracy in the United States, presidential elections have become a TV sport rather than a mass political practice. In hotly contested elections such as George W. Bush vs. Al Gore in 2000, the turnout is a mere 50% of eligible voters. As the US officially transitions to a corporatocracy, though, it appears that even an apathetic voter population is far too dangerous to entrust with the country’s political decision-making.
The enterprise of US perpetual war is confronted with a persistent problem. Spiraling rates of psychological and social problems in returning war veterans is placing enormous stress on the narratives that the US government has constructed around the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.
Occupy Wall Street, the national protests that were sparked in New York City’s Zuccotti Park on September 17, 2001, headlined the anger of the 99% whose futures have been derailed by the financial elites of the country and their political executors. While uneasily tolerating the mushrooming protests for a month, all the while investing in elaborate security systems to protect their wealth and holdings from mass anger, Wall Street called in the national authority to pull the plug.
A charismatic politician charming crowds throughout Pakistan. A rising crescendo of political speeches and rallies setting the nation afire, an impalpable sense of excitement building in the populace, casting the halo of destiny itself on the celebrity politician. A sense of promise, a social contract written anew; Zulfikar Ali Bhutto in 1973? No, rather it is Imran Khan in 2012, launching a flamboyant path to become the next prime minister of Pakistan.
In the post-9/11 theatrics of George W. Bush, one of the more memorable is his explanation for why the dastardly terrorists chose to attack the glorious symbols of US power: “They hate us for our freedoms,” or in another version, “They hate us for our civilization.”
In the face of its collapsing economy and spiraling domestic unrest, the US is blithely proceeding with its blueprint of remaking world cartography. After dispatching Muammar Qaddafi in a hail of gunmetal, US imperialists are confronting the Syrian stumbling block, item No. 2 on its regime change wish-list.
“Come, I will make the continent indissoluble… O Democracy” once sang Walt Whitman, the 19th-century US poet laureate. With the unrest in Oakland, Portland, Berkeley, New York City, spanning the indissoluble continent as it were, democracy has once more become an unknown quantity, subject to definition.
Perhaps the most comforting thing in a revolution, in the midst of angst, bloodshed, and existential fear, is food. Steaming hot victuals, nourishing a tired body; the pleasure of breaking bread with compatriots in arms, cementing the fellowship you have formed under the hail of bullets, police batons, and clouds of tear gas.
The drama of the Irvine 11 came to a close in an exercise of farce on 9-23-2011. Eleven Muslim students were tried in a Santa Ana, California court for heckling Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren during a February 2010 event at the University of California, Irvine.
Mahmoud Abbas (aka Abu Mazen) addressed the UN General Assembly on September 23, making an emotional plea for Palestinian statehood. The moment was made for TV — “Abbas brings Tahrir Square to New York,” declared one observer, noting CNN’s broadcast of the speech spliced with scenes of flag-waving crowds in Palestine.
The Fall season is here, and Ankara is somnolent with the dreams of Rome. Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan recently completed his Arab Spring tour over North Africa, including the recently despoiled Libya, delivering his trademark no-holds barred rhetoric that has won the hearts of the Arab street.
In the grand old days of colonialism, European nations used all sorts of elaborate excuses for occupying the fabulously wealthy territories of Africa and Asia. Rudyard Kipling called it the “white man’s burden” to transmit (European) culture and civilization to the unwashed natives.
Zainab Cheema reviews Timothy H. Parsons’ The Rule of Empires: Those Who Built Them, Those Who Endured Them, And Why They Always Fail, published by Oxford University Press, 2010 (480 pages, hard cover, $29.95). Scholarship on empire is a veritable industry.
The story of the second relief Flotilla to Gaza is a tale of how to marshal all the king’s horses and all the king’s men in order to muffle a humanitarian enterprise. After Israeli commandos killed nine Turkish members of the first Freedom Flotilla on May 31, 2010, Turkish-Israeli relations chilled to sub-zero, while Israel’s already-brittle reputation developed minute fracture lines.
Zainab Cheema reviews Zafar Bangash’s latest book entitled Power Manifestations of the Sirah: Examining the Letters and Treaties of the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) and published by Crescent International for the Institute of Contemporary Islamic Thought (384 pages; soft cover, $30.00).
Peter King’s recent attempt to assert cultural legitimacy, through his June 2011 Congressional witch hunt on Islam’s presence in the prison industrial system, has unfortunately fizzled.
From February to June, 40-year-old married American student Tom MacMaster published his Gay Girl in Damascus blog with the ambition of “being celebrated as the unlikely voice of Syrian revolution.” Apart from a mild scolding for his duplicity, the media has dismissed the case as a species of oddity variously described as a freak of vanity to the typical fascination nursed by white heterosexual men for lesbianism.
Considered already by many to be a definitive work, Professor Manning Marable’s Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention (Penguin Group (USA) Inc., New York, 2011; 594 pages; hbk. $30.00) is reviewed for CI by staff writer Zainab Cheema.
For his May 18 speech on the Muslim East, US President Barack Obama gave his latest performance in the production titled (Steadily Weakening) Empire Strikes Back. His flowery words have long since lost their perfume and his grammatically complex sentences, such a heady delight after the linguistically-challenged Bush, now seem to fall as flat as an out-of-tune piano.
As revolution fans across the Middle East, there are reams of commentary on the reasons behind the spectacular conflagration. Some are sage, such as Shahid Alam’s insightful analysis of the “dignity deficit” that the Muslim world suffers from.Others verge on doomsday comic, pinning the blame on unruly natural causes than self-evident political ones, such as Paul Krugman’s warnings of natural disasters and their impact on world food supply. Even Hillary Clinton, who is usually so serenely autocratic, struck a somber note in a recent Munich visit, declaring that “the status quo is not sustainable.”
In the Republican Party’s latest homage to fascism, conservative politicians and media networks are spreading hysteria about the “invasion of Shari‘ah” in the United States. As Glenn Beck, the Tea Party’s weepy evangelist described it on his Fox News show, Shari‘ah is a form of “stealth jihad” that is “working to destroy America from within.”1
On April fool’s day, Judge Richard Goldstone penned an op-ed in The Washington Post, sheepishly retracting the UN-sponsored Goldstone Report investigating Israel’s war crimes during the 2008–2009 Gaza Massacre.
Pvt. Bradley Manning’s case is cutting through the calcified US domestic landscape with a sword of sympathy. After his incarceration, the public is associating the Guantanamo images associated of “those Muslim terrorists” — shackled bodies, sexualized humiliation, minds breaking under psychological torture — with the cheery and too relatable photograph of the young American soldier.
In the month marking the 46th anniversary of Malcolm X’s shahadah (real name El-Hajj Malik Shabazz), the task of tabulating his political legacy is a rather delicate enterprise. In US cinematic culture, he is perhaps known best from Spike Lee’s 1992 film.
When Wikileaks arrested world headlines, the mainstream media coped by focusing on the gossip dished up by embassies on US allies, “frenemies” (friendly enemies), and outright foes
A fresh development in this schizophrenic saga is the return of Pakistani strongman Pervez Musharraf to the political arena
The garbage of history is a term used for painfully reconstructing the past through the remnants and remains — but this sheds a neon-colored light on how history itself can be rendered as garbage.
In President Mahmoud Ahmedinijad’s recent visit to the United Nations in late September, he easily became the most-watched head of state. In his various speeches, he took the UN and US to task for presiding over the wars on Afghanistan
Who exactly is Feisal Abdul Rauf? This is the question countless people are asking themselves, in the wake of the Park 51 founder’s skyrocketing national profile. The din over the Ground Zero Mosque has somewhat subsided but the Islamophobic hysteria that it produced remains radioactive.
The renaming of the Center is a particularly eye-catching facet of this enterprise. The Cordoba House, named for Al-Andalus’s achievements in erudition and cultural pluralism, is now the rather legalistic Park 51 Center, shearing off the historical allusions to past Islamic civilizations.
There is a complex balance of factors on each side of this geostrategic equation. The pressures building up in the Muslim world against US foreign policy are self-evident..
CRUSADE — a word caught between the lexicon of pedestrian, every day use and the charged memories of civilizational struggle. The mixed history of the Crusades is itself caught within these contradictions...
Notwithstanding the Christian Arabians, the presence of Islam is what rendered the Arab-Israeli a truly horrifying nightmare to the Zionist mind...
“India is an idea whose time has come,” declared Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh recently. The lofty statement, tailor-made for diplomatic conference rooms, suggests that India has emerged as a mature democracy and major nation state on the global stage...
To perceive the tactics of the game, we first must understand the terrain...