Khutbas from our Kitchens, again
Urban, immigrant life estranges us from the rest of creation. We are becoming part of the problem. So let us alter the relations between the built, lived environment and the (mal)functionings of the urban ummah which we see being stripped away from soulfulness and plunged into consumerism.
Khutbas from the Kitchen is an idea, potentially an institution,that intervenes practically in our lives to help embody Islamic principles in our relations with creation, not least the food system, family and social relations. It is as simple as recording short educative videos from eachother’s kitchens about the ethics and values behind what we eat, warts, proverbial kitchen sink and all.
Competing with slow, unjust people over reclaiming the mimbar in the mosque is probably a useful expenditure of some people's energy. It need not distract us from the potential of networking and reimagining our existing networked ummahstuctures to overcome the cultural degradation arising from some of the activities of Islam Channel, PeaceTV, ISB, the Quilliam Foundation, Saudi Arabia/America.
Khutbas from our Kitchens rehonours the domestic, creative, hospitable space. For certain, it is not some kind of come dine with me/ready steady cook/diary of a bad man goes for chicken and chips venture. The objects around this vital room tell stories that are mostly hidden and unmarked. The packet of plain flour tells us of the history and politics of American grain surpluses. The dish rack, which bears a lot of the burden, tells us of steel, geometry and evaporation. Not to be funny or anything, but the kitchen plan itself speaks about the design and food values at the time of the building’s construction.
Kitchen media is interesting, televisions entered a lot of them in the late 80s, but now the direction of travel has reversed and one–to-many communications can be exchanged for more realistic many-to–many relationships. And perhaps the people in them have changed, less learned in some ways (humanity), more so in others (web search).
The kinds of impacts I would anticipate from this collective endeavour include a practical, shared space for learning, ensouling, deciding and creating more Creator-conscious and justice-based patterns of life and consumption.