I just saw the first show in the World Tomorrow series by Julian Assange on the Russia Today channel and believe it to be an important precedent in decolonial sense-making.
Before me, two prisoners of circumstance, one stuck in the UK under house arrest for over a year pending extradition and another holed up in Lebanon evading Israeli death squad, engaged in dialogue over airwaves provided by Russia. To the snorus of 'you Russian stooge', Assange maintains that he had full editorial control, and Russia Today for its part is quite comedic in its use of historical montage.
|Yes, it was a little like listening in on a Skype call.|
Still, it beats the BBC World Service.
The two extraordinary gentlemen talked of Syria, Palestine, God, Tunisia, cryptography, liberation, courage under enemy fire and childhood, the kinds of things we the wee people talk about, but in somewhat more subversive, confident and powerful tones. It was a good half hour of viewing and also the first interview that the Lebanese leader has granted to the Occidental press since the last war he fought with Israel. He is an important leader of the Muslim world, the only one to have given an aggressor an ethical bloody nose in a while.
I remember being in Bangladesh during the 2006 Lebanon War and being happily surprised by Hezbollah's success at forcing out invaders who had killed over a 1000 Lebanese people, mostly civilians. The then Bangladesh government even named a new bridge over the Batakhali River after the group, though this solidarity was short-lived as it was renamed 'Hazrat Omar Farooq' shortly after.
I wonder why.
This is the crux of the matter, to work in politics, the media, or developmentia you are encouraged to blandly toe the line of power if you want to get ahead. You do not have autonomy over your own tongue, let alone your own mind. To get ahead in Labour, you need to tell the Muslim community what to do, especially if you are brown. Yes Mehdi, thanks Sukant.
We are interested in forward movement, not treading water, so establishing the ideas and human infrastructure to enunciate and be heard is a significant part of the battle.
As the UK government censors have pushed Iran's PressTV off our satellite boxes, and the diaspora continues to dissapoint, it is even harder for the interested public to hear what's going on. In this circumstance the Russian station is the natural place to go in a thoroughly unsatisfactory global sense-making ecology. The Guardian has published a predictably sneery and whiteously indignant review of the first show in Assange's series, and Al Jazeera's limitations are clear, let us all carry flames on in our hearts.
The picture of Nasrullah's mind that emerges is of a man who deserves a wider audience and has substantial back catalogue of inspirational achievements. I would have asked him about intra-ummah conflict resolution, but when pushed he did mention how he felt that the Tunisians were being
a bunch of pussies misled by incomplete information and wrong information in cutting ties with the Syrian Government. He also has a more nuanced approach to the Syrian oppositions than others at a time when Newtonian mechanics seems to be the framework that Muslims are seeing the problem space.
In fact he came across like a cuddly uncle figure, and you almost forgot that this chap sits at the head of such an important constituent of West Asian (Shia) Ummahstructure, and one that doesn't confine itself to prayer beads and conference halls.
I am not very good at paying attention sometimes and found myself drifting of on the tail of one of his statements alluding to Our moral disgust with drug trafficking. I remember how many Iranians had died in the war against drugs coming in from Afghanistan and got myself thinking how a nonsecular and ensouled polity would engage with the problem of escapism, hopelessness and exploitation behind the rampant drug trade.
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