|Mister Cameron in full flow.|
With imperialistic and ahistorical splendour, Dave began by extolling those selling (red) poppies for Remembrance Day and dwelling on the Muslim colonial subjects killed fighting with the British Empire in WW1, as if they had a free choice in the matter, and as if the First World War wasn't a criminally stupid waste of lives and resources worthy of condemnation 100 solar cycles on.
If we excavate our histories of liberation, we find a very different decolonial memory of the conflict. The Silk Letter Movement, of leading Islamic scholars of India Maulana Mahmudul Hasan to kick the British out of India was recently commemorated by the Government of India for its revolutionary contribution to India's freedom. This movement sought to throw off the colonial yolk and connect with the Ottomans, but was scuppered by the Emir of Makkah.
|While governments like Bangladesh's slaughter members of this movement in the streets with impunity,|
India's government commemorates their emancipatory contributions with stamps like this.
Back to the prime minster's sermon and Dave gave his support to the Department for Communities and Local Government's Big Iftar project where Ramadan and the FIFA World Cup are conjoined, feasts put on and barriers broken down. This is all standard community NGO speak, but in case you were unaware, it is feared that 250 000 people have been displaced from their homes by the World Cup in Brazil and the 'infrastructural work' it has 'made viable'.
Neighbourly intimacy (in the UK not Brazil) gets a look in too in one choice paragraph reproduced below for a good decolonial kicking.
Neighbourhoods will get the chance to enjoy traditional cuisine while watching World Cup matches on big screens. There will be a Big Iftar event on the banks of the River Thames and ‘flash mob’ iftars which could spring up in any park or high street in the country.The 'harmless fun' of watching football and feasting is probably not a problem for the Ramadan values of consumer-oriented people, but I believe that the injustice is two-fold, at least and that it should provoke at least a moment for people who reflect and consider what to do. Not only is the coupling of football and iftari-as-food, socially unjust to Brazilians suffering the World Cup but its subordinating of the socio-spiritual dynamic of iftari to curry provision. Remember Vindaloo?
Imagine your favourite Happy House Muslims and agents in this video,
Another corporate appropriation of flashmob
Government pronouncements make and rewrite history and public worth. They are excellent fossil fuels. The Chronicles of the Big Iftar, it is written, began last year and promise to grow three fold. You see the insular Muslims of Britain could only share iftari with other people as a rearguard response to the murder of the British soldier Lee Rigby - as if to suggest that the best way of Preventing Violent Eurocentrism is to throw a samosa at it, and that Islamophobic Zombies may only be slowed by rivers of ghee.
In the interests of (sn)objectivity, it is worth considering the positives in this scenario, and who they are positive for (caterers, attention seekers, Big Society pushers, box-tickers, paknocrats, house muslims). Human circles may become wider, but maybe they wont, maybe they will only feel wider and the folks involved are already involved with each other, maybe whatever the benefits, the problem is that its essentially still powerful interests fundamentally shadow puppeteering Muslims. Which isnt as cool as the real thing.
|"What is thy bidding my master"|
"Suffocate their ummahtic creativity this Ramadan"
We must take care to differentiate those manipulating in a conscious fashion and everyone else, because worker bees dislike being likened to puppets, and we all value our selves.
Nevertheless, I guess this banks the coffin shut, and that the flashmob iftar, with or without the homeless people, has been co-opted for musalmanagement purposes. It has been badged and injected with government and house Muslim mentality and released into the general population. What began as misfits poohpoohing hierarchical and patronising relations has been reterritorialised by government agendas, and voluntarily enabled from the white supremacists within the Muslim community.
Innalillahi wa innailayhi rajiun.
The implications of the above are that folks interested in disentangling their deeds and taqwa from the service of imperialism, consumerism and white power this Ramadan must try harder than ever. This month as always expands the conditions of possibility like no other in the Ummah. As our deed fields are so unique to our personal circumstances, it is these which we need to understand better before committing time, fellowship, creativity and material resources.
To be able to decode utterances better is key to avoid being played for a fool or a tool or a mule, from Allah and the Prophets through to official and non official public relations speak, advertising, organised guilt tripping and social media.
There are multitudes of children of Thatcher and Blair abusing our ummastructures of trust cultivated over generations for a cheap publicity stunt or position play. I am not just speaking about the overmentioned Quilliam Foundation, or the responsible parts of the disappointing Islamic Society of Britain and its over-graduates, whose amazing ideas Inspire Inc. the hell out of us on an annual basis ( See 2012 edition of twinning Ramadan with the Olympics). Nor am i talking about large corporate charities who go beserk and character assassinationy when their photo opportunity seeking executives get caught out slowing the reception of relief to distressed Somalis.
Perhaps it is inherent to wider Muslim organisation in a time of hypercapitalism, characterised by our uncritical and irresponsible image management, facebook narcassism and dimness.
Ramadan has rolled into our collective lives, along with corporate fundrazing. For Islamicate charities this month is peak time. Like a date tree in the morning, there is no better time to tap that sweet nectar.
We are SMSed that the UK government will match fund our donations by an organisation that forbids its fundraising employees from helping anybody else. Through our letter boxes come notices that 'Their freedom... starts with us'.
What actually to these organisations do with all the money, who pulls their strings, do they really know whats going on, how depoliticising are they of their staff and smiling beneficiaries? how ruthless are they in parroting their institutional donor's mantra? Aren't there other organic networks of trust and care one can irrigate?
Isn't it all just getting a bit STOPKONY2012?