Nasty News Regurgitation

The world seems edgy if one glances at the news. Muslim and Christian mobs kill ~400 over a local election in Nigeria.

Yet the headlines are more saturated with the Mumbai Mayhem, a highly mean, symbolic and murderous occurrence that has provided a lot of political currency that will no doubt be useful to somebody. Although not strictly communal, Hindu-Muslim relations throughout the country have been disturbed by these events in the western commercially creative armpit of India.

What makes me sad is that 70-80 years ago the All-India Muslim League and other platforms allowed the Millets to liase with and help eachother. How the millets have loosened the cords they are supposed to hold tighly onto. Now we have hurt resentful Indians blaming Pakistan, Pakistanis not really caring for anything other than their national pride and Bangladeshis not even being part of the conversation. Here is an interesting interview with the ex head of the students islamic movement of india, which will probably find itself accused in the blame storm. its an interesting pice to become familiar with the scenario on the ground wrt the State and its Muslims. At present main media coverage seems to overplaying the technical prowess of the crime and dramatising the wrong things.

Knitting grannies and co blockade Bangkok in a protest at the current political status quo. Apparently these yellow shirted and well folks are 'middle class' hence 'anti democratic'. The Al Jazeera coverage showed a serene delayed prospective Haji being held up by the blockade reflecting on his time in the airport and his sympathy for the protesters. Outside the airport red shirted, but seemingly less articulate, gathered in annoyance.

Meanwhile the joke that is Bangladeshi political life continues, with no new ideas and precious little dignity.

The 'secular' and 'democratic' Awami League 'giving' 50 seats for next months national election to former dictator and 'rapist of the secular constitution' Ershad's Jatiya Party. In true silver tongued style they kept mum on the issue of the ex dictator's chances of being President.

A jailed former lawmaker caught using a mobile phone illegally for the second time, it had been swung over to him on a rope from a different floor.

A bunch of morons, calling themselves Ulama attacking 19 year old elegant statues of stalks.



The bleadership is old and flaccid,
Their tea should be spiked with lysergic acid.
What qualities can rise to reach the top,
When power is wielded by prayer room mop?

First of all there is the problem of space,
Some move through much, some stay in one place,
To stay in once place is awfully boring,
In a comforting zone with no real calling.

Now mind-zoom forward a few more decades,
When qualities can be seen through time not haze.
Will we recognise talent over ritual cheaters.
With the gift to solve problems, or the same old bleaders?

How did Abdul Kahar come to be shot?

A few years ago an innocent bro was shot in a post-Fajr(dawn) raid on his home in Forest Gate London. The double risk issue gripped me and others for a time. The first is the risk of harm from our era's crazies, and the second is harm from those charged with guarding us from our era's crazies.
One issue that is alleged to have played a critical role in this specific, stupid state act of violence is the 'security tip-off'. The tip-off which proved to be a pile of rubbish in the end, but on the basis of which the 'Guards' were compelled to act.
A rather hopeless and perhaps hapless Guard told me recently that he expected this kind of thing to happen more and more frequently, he was resigned to the clash, the poor sod. Still the problem is not completely with the police. The police smear campaign against Abdul Kahar is not my interest here.
I do wonder whether this misinformative 'grudge propagation' is punished adequately. Either by the legal system, the security institutions and the ethno-religious communities.
I don't think it is. By 'punishment' I guess I mean being made an example of, even figuratively. Believers historically don't sweat occupiers and open enemies. Its the Self-Harmers what screw them time and time again. The Self-Harmers are known to delude themselves into believing they are doing the 'right thing'. Unfortunately, techniques for reducing the impact of Self-Harmers are rudimentary at best, clumsy executed and cruel at worst. Best not to wrong people upstream and avoid the problem altogether methinks.
Grudge Propagation and the related political theatrics are a criminal misuse of both the faculty of speech and social reproductive rights. The problem is much broader that the single case of Abdul Kahar. This 'malevolent noise' retards resolution of difficult problems and the refinement of social techniques of self correction. It makes otherwise sane people go ape.
Let's take stock and appreciate that the confused, confusing, meddlesome and patronising social engineering of Muslim organisational life in the UK is going to be in fashion for ages. There is much capital to be made; symbolic, social, 'scientific', economic and political. The industry has a high spend (human safety is involved after all) and even sprouts specific academic credentials from time to time.
The issue has already attracted the attentions of several kinds of rent-seekers. Let's look at four garden varieties who have their snouts at the trough and who are making a mess.
  • Former members of relatively uninteresting and at best obliquely related Muslim political organisations feeling hard done by and selling their boring "hug'n'tell" stories of wasted youth activism. Resentment propagation in the 'slim community is an interesting phenomena.
  • Avowed secularist types of Muslim background, who bring other political baggage and resentments into their blamestorming operations, further muddying the waters, targeting their enemies and scaring big hits on any dignity they may have.
  • Those with particularly focused extra-Territorial loyalties, eg. to the Jewish National Project, who are fond of broadening the problem to include their problem, squaring the problem, then cubeing the problem to cause maximal self-serving political impact.
  • Those who capitalise on the blame-storming and take no actual responsibility for community dysfunctions which make people feel endangered by Muslims. Responsibility does not mean self-immolation or secularist abdication, but reflection, adjustment and searching. Some of those who seem to have somehow floated to the top are remarkable 'liberolic' about this. Liberolicism is the inability to think about anyone or scale other than the individual, anyone other than one's own little self.
Geopolitical cards are difficult to lay hands on. I guess they won't come to hand for a while yet. Total control over 'combustible muslim youth' is hard to invisage also. In the interim, I recommend that the toxic, disintegrating and distracting effects of Grudge Propagation need to be dampened by enactments of justice, wisdom and mercy.


Pirification of Religion + NGOisation of Politics = ZERO

Well, I'm coming to figure something out that's rather annoying. There are two streams to the annoyance. The first in the field of religious practise, the other is in 'development'.

Its probably the same annoyance, which is why I'm putting them in the same post. The first was from something I read in Fazlur Rahman's Modernist tome 'Islam' (1965). He is not particularly impressed by Sufism. Appreciating some of the great personalities produced by it from time to time he sees problems in;
  • the spiritual delinquency it has caused, often exploited by clever Sufi leaders for their own ends.
  • the various deep and paralysing effects that it has on society
  • the army's and masses resistance to reform of it
  • its Messianism
I can see where he is coming from if i empathise with his predicament (pakistan nation building 1960s, fundos to the left alcopaks to the right, military on top, poverty beneath). Rather than reform orthodoxy and make it more flexible and able to surmount the challenges of modernity, people cop out and satisfy themselves with little vested interest cults.  Why not? they are spiritually satisfying, draped in history, identity, comfort and old wisdom. They are a whole lot deeper than Revivalist movements.

Now NGOisation. Rather than social reform through innovative means, folks set up organisations that, as James Ferguson points out in 'The Anti-Politics Machine' (1994), switch of the politics and turn everything into little problems to be solved technocratic. They often take money from (home or foreign) governments and service their interests rather than anything interesting. In the UK we see government turning the third sector into limp service providers. In places like Bangladesh, we see a lucrative disgusting  and hopeless development industry. 

But why not NGOise? It is satisfying, target can be set and reached, it seems a whole lot more virtuous that selling out completely to soulless individualistic, liberolic capitalism.

That's my annoyance. The abdication and misleadingness of copping out. Copping out doesn't answer the question or the challenge. It's like Muslims being secularist, personally it might satisfy, but in reality it is a failure of faith and imagination

Once one has copped out there are so many more problems. You observe cool and once funky people behaving oddly: ingratiating themselves with government; monopolising access to their scholastic leaders; doing crap development work; ungling themselves in narrow alleyway and sometimes even using the 'S' word.


Pirates ahoy!

I can just imagine Captain Birdseye on Newsnight, inviting because some plonker at the beeb thought he'd have some expertise to share on the matter.

'Oooo Aaaarrgh, they'll be mighty fine picin's on the coast tonight.'

Or even Jack Sparrow ringing in from the deck of a supertanker on a satellite phone, wearing a lungi of some kind, tripping us all out.

I'm dreading that current 'piracy' off the shores of east Africa is already being used to entrench nasty interests. There are hundreds of incidents of piracy annually, many more unrecorded. Why is is a big deal? hmmmm the cargo was a fraction of a day's worth of Saudi oil.

And so news capital follows economic capital. The spice must flow.

One Somali narrative is that some of the coastals were mighty peeved with foreigners using their localities to dump and fish 'liberally', and that the 'participatory autonomous and social naval defence initiative' grew from that, but then some became greedy.

Duas for Somalia and the people there, they haven't had a government since 91 and the last home-valued and nurtured initiative for political organisation was hamstrung by Ethiopia invading. Yes, Ethiopia. No doubt as regional tools of a larger malevolent interest.

Reflecting on the operation itself, I cannot help but be amazed at the shahosh, the daringness and the script-flipping quality of it. They aren't interested in the oil on board the supertanker, they just want ransom for the 25 human beings that constituted the crew.

Anyway, I'm sure some oil speculators made a packet today, off the differentials of danger.


Buying Sovereignty

The new president of the Maldives has made and interesting announcement. He is going to create a fund so that future generations may live in another area should the beautiful islands in his custody dissappear underneath the ocean as a consequence of the transgressive, modern orgy of unabated democratic liberal consumption and greed.

A few years ago, in a move that gave me impression that the human race might make it for another few generations, New Zealand took in a lot of Pacific Islanders.

Buying a new home is more dignified than receiving another's neighbourliness. If, for instance, engineering yourself out of danger with your own mojo is not an option. It poses new questions of the disease of exclusivist nationalism that the chocolate coloured folks have caught from Old Europe.

Ok then, maybe little questions. President-saab is thinking regionally, a piece of Sri Lanka, or a piece of India apparently. His present population is ~300 000, so its not as much of a mind-altering prospect as the 'projected' 15million from Egypt or 16 million from Bangladesh.

Lots of questions come to mind, about how this might pan out. It suggests a new kind of international cooperation. It resembles how in Ummahtic negotiations, countries with large 'spare' cultivatable land (West Africa, Indonesia) may cooperate with land-poor countries (Gulf lot) in the field of 'Agricultural Productivity'.

In the past hijra century, the mohajer-ansar paradigm has had mixed and disintegrating effects. What of the environmental refugees?


In the Ghetto of Forgetful, the Old Fart is the Dawg

Another howler from a time bandit whose warped views are retarding Bangladeshis.

The glass house and the very western-christian ethic of not throwing a stone, and the very Daily Starry ethic of borrowing a ready made easy headline from the bible.

how modern, enlightened and oh so seculaaaaaaar

Their foolishness is imprinted on everything that they say and do.

There is cheese pouring our of holes in the sky

Will you people just shut it already, I mean I'm happy that you are happy that Obama was voted in, but you aren't even a citizen of that country. In fact you are usually so apolitical that I think you must have been swayed by Hollywood on this one. Get this, the result of a US election is not the determining factor in the course of world affairs, that factor is you folks getting your sh!t together.
Yes the demonstration effect may be interesting for people of African origin all over the place, but doesn't the 'this must mean we aren't racists anymore' vibe dripping off the headlines sicken you? The worst characteristic of the US, and this can be said of all large countries, is that its tendency to rape and loot the earth and its people as an ensemble has recently outweighed its better and more gorgeous individualistic ones. One election can't really change that, especially if you consider the nasties who have involved themselves with his campaign. To spell it out, US foreign policy is pretty continuous.
I admit sighing with relief at the fall of the BJP a few years ago in India, but one must not stake one's hopes to the electoral processes of another land. I didn't find the Congress appealing, their brahminical boringness and naked regional aggression is well known, yet through their election India's faith communities got some welcome breathing space and eyewash. Eyewash is more soothing than a kick in the ribs.
The Muslims of America were blanked out by both of the parties. This is sad because those folks really believe (have sold out to) that American Dream. Anyway..
  • How are rascist leaders in parts of Arabia, South Asia, Russia and South America going to deal with a black man, who in other contexts they would call a 'monkey'?
  • How is David Cameron and his pro American Conservative party going to adapt their teat drinking habits to Obama Bhai?
  • Are we going to see the rapid rise of Environmental issues and departments in the new adminsitration?
  • Is Ralph Nader going to run again?
  • In the next 8 years how will America's latest conquests (Afghanistan and Iraq) fare?
  • How many more countries, who didnt knock down the towers, will get angulled?


Why I love Ralph Nader...

A few days to go until a participatory method of leadership selection is deployed in the field, and the Nader campaign reminds us,

Forty-two years ago, a young attorney named Ralph Nader wrote a book titled Unsafe At Any Speed.

In the book, Nader exposed how cars were unsafe and how they could be made safer.

What was the auto industry's response?

They hired spies to tail Ralph.

They hired beautiful women to seduce him.

Faced with this intimidation and seduction from a powerful industry, Ralph did not succumb.

He went on to sue General Motors for invasion of privacy.

And used the proceeds of the settlement to launch the modern consumer movement.

And you think Ralph will ever stop fighting the corporate state?

He never has.

And he never will.


[New Word] Alcopak

Encapsulated by the quote,

"Yaaar, I'm going to get a beer, shall I get you one?"

Why are they trying to milk the petrosheikhs into the IMF bucket?

Gordon Brown is part of a sinister plot to augment the IMF with more money with which to destroy and rape the world. He would like him and his neighbours to stick in a few hundred billion more. I hope they do not and that said institution simply dies. The worse thing would be for the IMF to spread its disease to others with its home made and expensive credit crunch sandwiches.

If they wanted to help, the Saudis would support their own institution, the Islamic Development Bank and extend its 'service' further beyond 'muslim' countries. However its always easier to nurture an expertise elsewhere and run an institution into the ground.


The actors just guess worse in different ways

And so the tragic, embarrassing tale that is Bangladeshi political life continues with the main parties unrepentant, and making more stupid unreasonable statements. They should really implode at some stage. Interestingly, the new election rules have provision for a 'none of the above' assertion to be made by the voter. I hope the potentials of a new election following a strong 'to hell with both of you' vote is strongly voiced and and then executed. I would then be amused at democratonic interpretation of the 'people's voice'.

I suppose the roots to such dumb parties come earlier, through the foolishness people displayed by adding legitimacy to people unable to protect their interests. These ballot or bullet powered transitions from frying pan to fire are usually done in times of oppression, disorientation, disunity and desperation. Each election, they do it again and again. It is as if there is no learning in the system just a commitment to waste and destruction. These behemoths of cruelty and institutional occupation got stronger off the fat and the foolishness of people. Voting has been regarded as a virtuous act for too long, regardless of intention. It must be established that voting for a pratt, even if to counterbalance another pratt is no answer at all to the problem of leadership.

It is difficult for the less powerful to come out of this trap. It would be so much easier if elites, pseudo elites and subalterns 'got it'. Grass roots is not the only anti-entropic cliche that could be used to pin ones hoped on. Usually anybody invoking the term 'grass roots' is playing a game. How about green shoots, blossom buds, petals, fruit, branches and trunks?

The caretaker's have been promising in places, but rather dissapointing and inept in others. Truly, it is probably the hardest thing in the world to govern a place like Bangladesh. Its easier to take power. you just abdicate repsonsibility to an outsider. In history, each time a party takes a risk to seize control, they ally with a bigger power complex, losing essential dignity in the process. Both scope and hope decline with each seizure. And yes, I regard the second national independance event as one of these seizures.

What amazes me is that these seizure events create political capital amongst folks who know no better. They are kept parochial, locked into Bangla and disturbed to realise how naff it all is. Heroes are created of tools, and perpetuated to the level of real delusion. Demons are created of tools, and intergenerational poisons are spread with pride.