While Israel is pounding Gaza and killing in the hundreds, demonstrations in support of the Palestinians and Hamas’ fight are taking place all around the globe. Of course this doesn’t reflect dominant public opinion in the West that still is apologetic of Israel’s actions. Not one official state declaration has condemned the Israeli attacks. If […]Read More The Lessons of History: Thoughts on the events in Gaza (part I)
Mali rebels torched library of historic manuscripts Fleeing Islamist insurgents burnt two buildings containing priceless books as French-led troops approached, says mayor Beyond the tragic implications of such an event, a small anecdote: The manuscripts had survived for centuries in Timbuktu, on the remote south-west fringe of the Sahara desert. They were hidden in wooden […]Read More Who’s reading what and how?
In Christian festive times, Al Manar TV uses such rituals in order to focus attention on a political cause either pertaining to internal Lebanese issues (Jesus and messages of co-existence), regional (usually related to the Palestinian cause) or even international. On Christmas Eve for example, the seven o’clock news broadcast has most of its content […]Read More A Christmas Lesson
The most disturbing aspect of the Gaza assault is that it is proof once again that the more you are considered ‘civilized’ or ‘righteous’, the more you can get away with the most atrocious acts. But it seems that it is not just the ‘western’ sphere, the international community, the Islamophobes, the western media, history […]Read More A note on the power of images
This post is undergoing severe re-Clarification! It is the writers opinion, following his enlightened readers, that the terms used obscure more than clarifies the meanings he is trying to propose… It is not “religion” that makes people more “conservative” and sexually less “liberal”, but it is the capitalistic system, and the emergence of a bourgeois […]Read More Clarification
Those studying what is commonly refered to as political Islamic movements should know that the paradigm of the Nation-State is here to stay, and quite for some time and with all its institutional and politically practical consequences. The whole ‘secular VS religious’ debate begs the question. It is all an endlessly renewed effort to find […]Read More Sense and non-sense about “Political Islam”
There is a mass on LBC for some saint, and there is a choral playing the most horrible type of badly westernized melodies. Major and minor scales with little sharps and flats thrown in really awkward places. It is so ironic to think that a couple of decades ago you could still find traditional Maronite […]Read More It is in the music
How did the “Lebanese” discover that they had a Phoenician tradition? Or for that matter how did the Arabs discover that they had some past glorious tradition that was decimated by the Ottomans? Don’t we read Arabic history as one that stops around the Abbasid era, and that then picks up around the end of […]Read More Unearthing civilizations
Following Jamal’s post on leftism and its concern with “nudity” I did some thinking (never enough) and I ended up circling around this idea that the left always contained the elements needed to provoke its own demise. The left’s stance concerning the dispositions and use/techniques of the body (sexual freedoms sometimes narrowly defined) is supposed […]Read More The sexuality fixation of the left reveals its liberal nature
Let’s wrap up the concerns that were voiced over the idea of an Islamic State. This text is a bit disarticulate and is mostly a series of thoughts on the question that I fail to more effectively organize. But I have been trying to produce a decent post about this for the two last weeks […]Read More The secular and the religious (Part I): Conceptual confusions
Al haqid, during a lunch we just had, defied me to defend the idea that an Islamic State would be better than a Secular one, especially in the case of the protection of minority rights. Of course here by “minorities”, I mean any group that derive its imaginary sense of belonging from a different tradition […]Read More Do you prefer a "Secular" or an "Islamic" State?
[A] surprising adaptation of Islam to Chinese traditions appears in the martial arts that are partly Islamized. Chinese Muslims (the Hui) are aware that they have borrowed their matial art (wushu) from the Han Chinese, but they maintain they have given it a particular form by rejecting certain techniques and adding new ones. Boxing used […]Read More Islamic Taoism