Wednesday, 25 September 2013

My response to this thought-provoking article by Douglas K Murray in The Spectator who says,

No, Mr Cameron. The Kenyan massacre is all about Islamism

Copyright (c) 2013 by Mohamed Jiwa, Nairobi, All Rights Reserved.

They're not Muslims, Doug. Neither you nor Cameron seem to see that.
These killers are just like you and me: products of a world - a world that was created by people in power which has included us and excluded them, if you insist on drawing the picture in terms of we and them. Like impoverished Victorian children in the slums in the East End emboldened and confounded by the added ingredient of that heady mystery known as faith.

That world is our world, and it's degenerating, as the neurotic comments herein are, into a psychosis, whose products are increasingly being thrown into the reject basket because the widgets of humanity are damaged and losing value like the dollar. Face it: These are agents of consummate misdirection, trapped in poverty. In a word - nutters of our making, ill-equipped but (from their own point of view) bravely doing what you and I dare not do with all the 'education' and sophistication at our behest - attempting to survive and make sense - yes, sense even if that amounts to destroying life using means that have been ruled by the powerful as fair game.  They seek to make sense of the effects of a question which permeates the whole planet, let's be honest.

It is an attempt to make sense of a senseless world with the few primitive tools that our history has disposed them with.  They do not have time to conceive of a history. You and I who consider ourselves literate (but are in terms of the dearth of fellowship between human beings miserably illiterate, thanks to 'Enlightenment') the ones who write that history. Somalia was decimated by colonialism to a degree that you would like to forget. So are many other lands and nations.

And they won't let you forget, mate. They don't need to domesticate dogs to take a bite into our legs and never let go. Poverty that is held by the tail has a mean sting to it.

VOA and BBC etc - voices that are overpowering and deafening and that demand your ears - have succeeded in brainwashing most of you into wearing extremely colourful glasses to the point that it may be too late for you to recover, to be able to disabuse yourselves of the disturbing and misleading notions that have driven you into a paranoia and a nostalgia in respect to what the problem could be (in general and not 'Islamic' terms.) Whether used by Muslims, pseudo-Muslims or non-Muslims the word 'Islam' is now being underused, and has become no more than an excuse for lazy platitude and intellectual dishonesty.

The militants, the killers, may have lost it because they have gone over the brink, but we have lost the plot because our intellects have gone into stupefied hibernation, horrified and scared. Yes scared, inspite of the fact that you can walk your streets with complete confidence that the chances of something going unpredictable in daily life are extremely slim; scared to step off the island into the the real and larger environment, which is now a product of a tradition that is inherited, possibly, from the adventures of your 'brave and gallant' antecedants.

I am probably as guilty as you are: We are the cowards, quite unperturbed by the cold that inhabits and characterises our islands, yet unwilling to set out across the planet into the heat and attempt to better understand the effect of the history we are content to have define our planet's psychological and human contours . Our current perceptions, made and defined by the products of the Age of so-called "Enlightenment" are ghoulishly contorted:  Somalis and many others are the peoples against whose minds, bodies, psyches, dignities, communities, lands and cultures our histories have taken a god-awful swipe and scarred permanently. They have inherited the legacy of total destruction.

Perhaps, if we attempt to take a closer look at the problem and dare to embrace it as our own, instead of looking for a way to make it go away, that chilling permanence might freeze in inverse ratio with our ability and courage to face the truth: It will only thaw when we accept that certainly, not only within our shores but also beyond - we face up to it and embrace it with alacrity.

Al-Shabaab's are the extremely mutilated scar-faces but their scarred faces are not visible to the eye of the man in the pub, the squire at a Sunday table of cream teas, or the father and husband of those they have killed with chilling lack of feeling that can only be translated into schizophrenic levels of blind anger.

Without excusing the Indo/ Pak/ Arabo/ Somali/ and " the other's" contempt of the system in the UK where it has, indeed, been abused, and smacks of ingratitude, this mutilation and pain has imploded in face of the peaking cultures of domination and contempt for the weak, consumerism and conspicuous consumption amounting to odious example, to such a degree and in such a manner that, as exploitation for the sake of reckless profligacy bordering on dissipation gets more and more sophisticated, the gap widens between what it means to be rich in contrast to what being 'poor' has come to denote - on what has now become a scale that can no longer be conceived by the poor who are being dispersed, trafficked, abused and exploited with equally chilling lack of humanity.

Mohammed (the Prophet) is said to have declared, "poverty is my glory" and there is coded into this terse statement not only a sentiment about living within ones means whatever that might have meant, even in the two-way street England of old that I once knew, too.  There is bleeding in this sentiment a pulsing value which seems to have been blown to smithereens by historical forces that are beyond the scope of this comment.

It is true to say that Islam is very much about working to bridge the gap between the haves and have-nots, to create a healthy balance that does not undermine the need to respect one's status in terms of wealth. This is true not only between individuals in communities and societies but also between nations. Like healthy politics, a philosophy of Islam, where it is understood to be not only of academic significance, deserves to be more closely studied, if only for the sake of attempting to step out of one's unhealthy and parochial comfort zone.

Thanks for provoking my response.