A little more on the mess in Pakistan

Cowasjee says,
"As long as Pakistan chooses to remain a serf state, a vassal of the powers that sustain it, both from West and East, it will be a nation of ‘subcontinental monkeys’ who have yet to lose their tails and climb down from the high trees.

How long will this country remain subservient to those who can reason and think?"

Bhutto's 19 year old son and political inheritor (post coming of age) says,
My mother said democracy is best revenge.

Tariq Ali says,
My heart bleeds for Pakistan. It deserves better than this grotesque feudal charade.


[Film] We own the Night et al

Saw 'We own the night' a film about a confrontation between fearless, hard-as-nails russian gangsters and the hapless NY police.

There is a scene where daddy police commissioner is killed protecting his grown up sonny jim badboy turned testifier. It reminded me of an experience my friend had in Bangladesh when he was small, a crowd gathered to listen to a maulana were fired upon by a bunch of raving Awamis (early 1990s).

Fatherhood here was covering your son with your body, being that fence to keep the wild boars at bay, the best you can do given the circumstances. (back to the film)Imagine seeing your father fall protecting you? Anyway that was my moment of the film, it takes place in mid car chase. I DONT BELEIVE IM SPOILING IT FOR YOU, IM JUST POINTING IT OUT.

Oh and in typical layla majnun fashion, the male does all the work(madness,war...) and the female just sits there. Even worse, as soon as the going gets tough she flies away like a bird. What a crap character.

The Russian baddass gangster theme was also present in Eastern Promise released earlier this year, this time set in London. Its the tattoos and effortless administration of pain thats most wincing. Worst of all, the chap doing most of the violence was none other than strider/aragorn from lord of the rings.

Not really films for the hippy inside you.

There's another matter that should probably be pondered about, the assassination. I am waiting for Ardeshir Cowasjee of Dawn to conjure up some words of clarity. Its surprising to see the large amounts of jackass commentary coming from sources both brown, yellow and white. for example,

*New labour wannabe getting history and demographics all muddled and being thick in a vain attempt to promote south asian women MPs.
*Human rights bitches from BD weaving their own victimhood into it, very cheap.
*Crocodile tears shed for 'democracy'.
*The Bastard State expressing its condolences (like anyone cares about you?).

Dramatic events are always spun by folks with political wands. Unfortunately we have become more and more accustomed to swallowing prefabricated opinions from the media. Media which derives legitimacy from imbalanced notions of freedom and stupid mass acceptance.

Damon Albarn from Blur and Gorillas was right to point this out recently. He made the following comments in the context of visiting Mali for a little development tourism.

"At some point in the very near future we are going to have to change our value system so dramatically, and what we deem as important and what we throw away," he explained. "We need to dismantle very significant parts of our culture and really re-examine them. I suppose you start with the celebrity thing."

He added: "There's just so many things I would alter. I think for a start you have to get rid of things like 'The X Factor' immediately."

He also said he wanted to "get rid of 99 per-cent of the media".

Albarn can talk about celebrity because he has grafted for the recognition he has. But where to start...


You're the voice try and understand it...

If you grasped Napoleon Dynamite (2004), check out Hot Rod (2007)

listen/watch to the end of the clip for the best bit.


Bakhtiyar and Begum

Who am I and where am I from?
Who are all these people trying to tell me who I am? Why don't they all just Ff Ff Ffade away?
Is there any value in what they keep sloganeering about?
Can't I just be happy that they are happy, and because they are happy, just be happy by proxy and just get on with it?
Should I worry about the newly Captive Minds, being captured by our governors and our brothers in East and West with varying degrees of taste?

Diaspora? Immigrant? 2nd Gen? Asian? Black and Ethnic Minority? Member of the Diverse Communities? Combustible Muslim Yoof? BrAsian? British Muslim? Muslim Britisher? Aligharian Modernist? Muslim Nationalist? British-Bangladeshi? Bengali Musalman? Progressive Muslim? All India non Indian? Neo-Fundamentalist? Taqwacore? Madanite? Wannabe Hadharami? Harami? Nimuk Haram? Nouveau Manarist? Wannabe Ikhwan uSaffa? Ahlal Sunna wal Jamat? Ijmali? Islamist? Post-Islamist? DeobandoMutazili? Jamati? Tablighi? Ikhwani? Ninjabi? Wahabi? Ouahabi? Salafi? Sufi? Psychosalafi?

I think theres a golden arrow, a Nuron, a particle of inspiration that can help.

Preservation of lineage and dignity is one of the higher objectives of the Path to Water. Not to bang on about and feel superior with, but essentially to connect with the rest of the human race as it is now and as it was before. Being a stranger in a strange land isn't so bad. But not knowing your roots is a situation that we shouldn't encourage. Imagine not knowing who your father is, or not knowing much detail of which part of Africa your ancestors were stolen from.

Its important that the gold touch you ancestrally and avoid dodjy Nationalist contagion, that was instrumental at the time and continues to change sporadically. The gold can bypass a lot of posturing and get to the kernal of what its all about. Its necessarily different for each individual. Anyway, back to the ..topic.

Bakhtiyar - (lit.) Freind of Fortune
Begum - (lit.) Mother of Warriors

Bakhtiyar Khilji is credited with the first Muslim conquest of Bengal, capturing the town of Nadia in 1203 in an audacious raid with 18-odd horsemen. He was a chancer and his plans didn't always work. For example his expedition to Tibet after opening the Ganj kinda went pear shaped. Begum is an honorific title for a woman, not a mother of stagnation, fools and corrupts.

The intention is to present the obvious case that so long as we nurture qualities of akhlaq, learning and fellowship, and keep pushing out the boat of adventure, creativity and innovation, we will be able to take whatever comes our way. A bridging and laddering concept. There's man and woman in these words, not necessarily contained by a single one.

As the great one sang,
"If you know your history, then you will know where you're coming from. Then you wouldn't have to tell me, who the hell do I think I am."

Emphasise quality, adventure and the longer term, downplay petty emotional political gaming, mass media and short term vision. It is foolish to fall for fake forms of prestige.

Maybe our murabbis, and their murabbis did not have a fleet of BMWs and huge properties, but they were rich in dignity. A dignity brought into danger when you hear of yoots mugging murabbis for money to do Allah knows what with. Brought into danger every time someone, somewhere does something stupid and the rest are induced to apologise for people they do not even know.

There is a lot that can be said for B&B, it rolls off the tongue with a nice ring, simply explaining it involves the invocation of honour and bravery. I wonder if it works, i think its rudeboyproof.


And so the Hajis to be sailed out..

The pre Eid and Hajj gatherings and biddings good bye are pretty much over with at the moment. In days gone by the leaver's dinner was a much bigger deal, with much more uncertainty, resources and commitment required to succesfully pull of a 5th pillar of Islam. IF we had the same occasion 50 or 100 year a go, the haji-to-be would be more likely to die.

Its nice to here of people in desh being able to afford to go too. A guy, not a rich man by and stretch of the imagination, from my mothers ancestral district called a few weeks back to say he was on his way and ask if their was anything we wanted him to ask Allah for. For those who struggle to afford it, but shed their buckets of honest, halal sweat to make it, it is a justifyable big deal just to get there. Allah accept their Hajj and distinguish it in award from the fakes and haramis that simulate the sacred pilgimage.

I am well up for sleeping bagging my hajj when it happens, but the nambypambyness of the UK hajj infrastructure and sheer logistical nightmare of the whole thing present practical restraints on the individuals wanderlust. Also my feeling that it should be boycotted until the cities are freed from the clutches of that corpulent bunch of losers (whose only contribution to current world civilisation is the chocolate covered date) is never going to catch on or hold much water in the general scheme of things.

The spatial settlement organisation is interesting. Last year a retournee showed me a map of the areas where the different countries established themselves. Looking at it, the Iranians seemed to have negotiated a good position for themselves. South Asia and Africa could do better.

The age and class profile of a countries hajjis tells you a lot about how we are doing. In Malaysia tha Hajji identity of young men is a big factor in their marriage negotiation power. The south east asian contingent is reknowned for its graceful organisation, preparedness and numbers. From your standard Arabian police states, the young professional adults are discouraged from Hajj, lest they figure out what an Ummah is. Some areas of earth tend to send scary people who will beat you out of the way without even realising that its rude. Some places on earth emit the kind of pilgrims who are so ignorant that they use the lull around the kaaba during prayer times to sneak in Tawafs. Bless.

United Muslim Masses, trying to be patient and maximise their value. All announcing their presence to their Creator. Labayk. I'm here.

Theres a lot of related human activity to Hajj.
  • People going are writing down specific individuals duas to remember in situ. Its not intercession by any means, its one of those things we do whilst tying our own water buffalos.
  • One chap is i know is definately mobile blogging. might link to it here if he says i can.
  • Another chap is doing some disease type research and had published a booklet of tips for a healthy Hajjs. iA the epitome of knowledge of ongoing use.
  • Saudi security forces look comical when they make a show of their strength. I hope the admin perfoms well so everyone can go home with a good story.
  • We are begining to research and sharpen our collective behaviours.
  • Muslim Hands can sort you out with a qurbani nearly anywhere in the Ummah.


Prince Bandar, the Doctor and the Mandarins

So there is a state bank in bangladesh that Saudi Prince Bandar has been taking a very long time to aquire, ignoring government dead lines and all sorts of things. Now he has popped up again halved his price and is whinging to General Moinudeen Ahmed that the Privatisation Commission did not treat him equitably.

Today's New Age quotes the whinge... It's a fairly crap excuse for what looks like a rich person dishonouring an agreement. Oh how i dream of the day when a fine Ghazi would do some justice to a situation like this.
‘The conduct of the PC and other responsible authorities in the finance
ministry and elsewhere has been quite discouraging from the very start. To my
utter disappointment, my team found great resistance in the body of responsible
government authorities to actually conclude my acquisition of the bank. I as an
investor (bringing in the single largest FDI into Bangladesh) was not accorded
equitable treatment,’ reads the letter, signed by the Saudi prince.
The letter identified Dr. Moosa Bin Shamsher as the ‘most trusted long time
friend and business partner’ of Bandar and a catalyst for the Rupali Bank
purchase bid. Media ‘slurs’ on Moosa also hurt the prince, who
described the Bangladeshi national as the ‘great man who has been most
influential in my investment decision, who has been the architect of this

I wanted to explore the unstated relations between the Saudi prince, the most trusted long term freind and the country......and the thousands of potentially intriguing reasons why the Bangladeshi beaurocracy would put up such a.... spirited resistance/cock it up. But that was before i googled dr moosa bin shamsher and found a myspace account which blew my mind.

I cannot say whether the good doctor actually made the account. But given my small experience with the ignobility, braggishness and "£%$^%"% of the deshi super rich he just might have. Simultaneously the potential of deshis to pull off studiously coded, harmfull, mischevieous alliances and mind tricks should not be underestimated. Given that the good doctor... or prince appears to be one of these, one could be forgiven for vomitting.

An old dude once told me that poor Arabs from the najd-hijaz area used to end up in Chittagong with the line, 'I am syed, give me money'. How things have changed.

The deshi beaurocracy might have decided to scupper this for any number of reasons. I can only guess. Maybe to cause the govts of the times to 'lose face', because they cant help but bungle things, because they have 'arab' issues, or out of principle. Again drawing on my complex prejudices, the most likely reason seems to be that Prince Bandar didnt feel that the deshis were subservient enough (or important enough to be subservient enough) to him.

Saudi occupied Arabia is what we call it, either that or Saudi America. I dont know what's stranger, the good doctor, the good prince or the privatisation commission.

What a mess.


[Film] The Golden Compass

I liked this film. It was a good accompaniment to my day dream and i am tempted to act against habit and check out the rest of the His Dark Materials Trilogy. Seems to prove that modern fantasy can be executed with style and tasteful homage to the greats (even Jungle Book!). There are plenty of big ideas running through it; of Christian authority, colonial capitalism, knowledge and power. Galileo, Galileo, Galileo, Figaro.....Magnifico-o-o-o-o. I do wonder how much of it the kids will get, must quiz some.

My favourite thing about the fantasy lark is the world that is sculpted for the tourist to buy into. Pratchett's Discworld took this the next level, whilst still remaining very familiar indeed. Douglas Adams went intergalactic. Earthly newsmedia by comparison does such a crass job.

As far as I can tell this film explored the idea of the multiverse and soul splitting. Having your soul reside in a pet demon who follows you around is pretty cool, though must be a bit of a bummer in a combat situation. Or rather an escape from combat situation. Your enemy has two targets and I dont even want to think about friendly fire issues. I loved the way the civil servants/Inquisitors' souls' seemed to inhabit insectoid creatures and the academics free thinkers and creatives had altogether more wholesome animals.

Any sefl-respecting fantasy cinematic jive has to pull of a good ruck or two. This is now established Sunnah following the epic battles of LOTR. The two key combat scenes; a one-on-one armoured polar bear duel to the death for kingship that was quite jaw impacting, and a many-on-many battle of tatar foot soldiers vs funky airborne witches and gypsie skirmishers were good value. The author himself must have a good sense of humour. The 'I am your mother' confession near the end was a clear salute to Vader.

I warmed to a lot of the film's quirks. Firstly, Mister hero polar bear reminded me of one of my friends in body shape, gait and loyalty. Accents were great, while the lead little girl, actually had character, spine and brains. She didnt come across as one of those brats that they normally use. This might have something to do with the accent, but normally female characters in films tend to let the whole film down or need saving.

The Golden Compass device at the center of the story is intriguing. It allows you, the special user, to frame any question and get the to truth of the matter. I want one.

Guess i'll have to add that to the list then.


Dude, thats just unreal.

This entry is dedicated to those 'Slims who seem bound by conscience to rebel against the Cool. For your information I AM NOT A FRESHIE.

One of the interesting things i find about habitually warbling on the web is that its pretty much not written with any particular 'field of cultural production' in mind. Or so i thought.

Okay there is the logging of real events that one walks through, some that one doesn't have any idea of and the interaction/playing/baiting with others that one wouldn't ever dream of engaging with in real life. There's also the apprehension of how nasty people are deep down inside of themselves and that the human race is probably doomed.

But on the other hand there are creating people who produce stuff, music, cartoon characters, ideas, resistance and new forms of humour. People who are real, not vying for entry into the Word of Scum (media) living, emitting signals and generally having a laugh.

But folks web 2 was crap, it ain't no vanguard for the 'modern muslim' and its definitely lost its innocence. It promotes vanity, crudeness, superficiality and the taking of positions on matters that are really stupid/pointless/distracting. And thats not just Facebook, I'm talking about myself here. If anything, we need to encourage clarity and real learning (physical books and scholars) not dissentary, blogslip, synchronous political bloghogging and the apemanship of white backslapping paradigms in contexts that just make things worse.

Brass Crescent my brown illiberal unfreely spoken arse, you wanna feel the steel of my Damascan Blade?

Leave me alone bros, do your own thing, show your love in a less naff way and please don't abuse the word 'Ijtihad'. In having done so, you Manjificate yourself.

Please step away from the computer screen and go bugger up capitalism or something. You know, that mutilating beast you may or may not suckle on during working hours.

This post is also dedicated to the inability of some 'Slims to behave with grace in the knowledge that there is any kind of 'credit' to play for. Whether its a degree, an A-level, a professional qualification, other fake and contrived social honours, 'chairmanship', ' 'human rights' bitchin', a stupid award or an election. It is enough to make me, the King, cry into my green tea and cake.

Will you stop being such a bunch of Pakis? I mean ever? is it possible to even hope for such a day to come?

Allahumma ansuril ikhwana almuslimina fi kulli makan fi kulli zaman fi kulli internet!


Conference of the Parties

Mind boggling phenomena, that climate change. political, physical, social, spiritual.
Yet another layer of complexity, on top of what is already happening.

One sad fact of life is how CC logic is spun very depressingly in deshi commonsense. This is for all sorts of reasons (lack of hope/scope). One of them is that the CC case was made first with impacts and mitigation strategies. Whenever i see that early coloured in contour map for the loss of 16% deshi land following x metre sea rise I wonder whats worse, little knowledge or no knowledge or the gap between the disciplines. Of course there will always be a local view for exaggeration and further dependence on the international political red light district.

Now we are onto Adaptation, the actual content flung around the ends of the earth and transformed locally might be hopeful. Over the next 12 days, the climate caravan is in Bali for the UNFCCs CoP 13 where some people will try to do good. Best of luck to them.

There are a few outfits who specialise in the arena, from science for the south types, to policy wonks to humanitarians. Here are some links to their CC resources.

Centre for Science and Environment (India, serious southern scientists, even political ones with balls of steel)
South South North (South Africa, practical types)
Red Cross/Red Crescent (Heroes)
International Institute for Sustainable Development (Canada)
Stockholm Environment Institute (Sweden)
International Institute for Environment and Development (UK)

Of course the different countries are going in with their own intents and much of the fun will be to see who plays with what and how the international science and environment politics unfold.

  • Australia is post regime change. Soft Lefties love the environment right?... but what about social justice? how is their changed diplomatic dance going to impact things and their ex ally in these matters, the Occupied States?
  • India, judging by the CSE preparatory papers for cop are not going to take the eco-charge of 'oi paki, turn off your lights' (thankyou Omid Djalili).
  • Bangladesh. CS Karim, the Bangladesh Agriculture Advisor recently called for the international community to set up an institution of excellence in Bangladesh. Probably the first cringe worthy thing he has come up with, although the rest of his Nov 25th speech really is worth a read.
  • UK, the man Milliband is on fire, one of the highlights of the Brown cabinet. Only beef is that the whole uk approach to CC is that of the civilising missionary.
  • Random nonaligned country to show some moves.

The battle for beurocratised knowledge and war of position on the environment is afoot.

A lot of old wisdoms are coming under new scrutiny. I wouldn't invoke paradigm shift hyperbole at this time. Given the total jacking up of the seasons, some in the development institutions are rethinking the value of recommending agriculture.

For me sitting here, practically this Adaptation issue has more to do with the geography and sociology of ingenuity and technology in different places and at all the scales. When i think about desh, I wonder how dramatically the behaviour and function of the bureaucracy, the engineers, the political community, the scholars, the students, the 'industrialists' and the people needs to 'move' to resolve even the basic problems before CC even enters the equation.

[New word] Manslag

When I read the words bigot and double standard, i reach for my sword.

Manslag is a required term to equate the two species with respect to zina. Some have tried a quaint alternative method, taking control of their bodies. However liberal(quantity) usage of 'Manslag' in choice cases aims to encourage control of nafs and a levelling that doesnt shirk the truth.