States of Islam


by Sunny
2nd December, 2006 at 1:02 pm    

Three of my favourite blogging comrades: Ali Eteraz, Haroon Moghul and Thabet have joined force to launch Eteraz: States of Islam – which plans to be the Muslim world’s superblog (and it’s getting there quick). I have a lot of time for their progressive and intelligent approach to current affairs and theological issues so they come highly recommended.

Ali also sees it as a “collective communitarian net activist project”, and to that extent has collated lots of material on the Pakistani women’s protection bill (to protect them against the hudood laws). Worth reading.


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Filed in: Pakistan,Religion






47 Comments below   |  

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  1. Anas — on 2nd December, 2006 at 4:20 pm  

    Ali Eteraz is an extremely bright guy, but strangely enough refuses to recognise the effect Foreign Policy has on radicalising Muslims.

  2. Leon — on 2nd December, 2006 at 4:31 pm  

    Isn’t he a Eustonite?

  3. Anas — on 2nd December, 2006 at 4:35 pm  

    Yeah, I think his politics are a wee bit dodgy overall.

  4. Jai — on 2nd December, 2006 at 5:39 pm  

    =>”but strangely enough refuses to recognise the effect Foreign Policy has on radicalising Muslims.”

    Perhaps it’s also time for Muslims to consider the fact that their own radicalisation may possibly influence Foreign Policy.

  5. Electro — on 2nd December, 2006 at 5:40 pm  

    Ali Eteraz is an extremely bright guy, but strangely enough refuses to recognise the effect Foreign Policy has on radicalising Muslims.

    And while Muslims in the UK feel all radicalised by Foreign Policy and such, their co-religionists around the world kill each other with joyous abandon while bien pensants like you, Anas, utter nary a word of criticism.

    Life in Islam really is cheap, isn’t it?

    And when NATO pulls out of Iraq I suspect it’ll get even cheaper.

    Plumeting, say, to an almost Darfurian level….

  6. Anas — on 2nd December, 2006 at 6:18 pm  

    I think Muslim citizens of a state that is complicit in the murder and torture of thousands of Muslims, and that supplies arms to some of the most repressive and brutal Muslim regimes across the world have a right to be a teeny wee bit peeved, no?

  7. ZinZin — on 2nd December, 2006 at 7:09 pm  

    Anas do you oppose British FP because it is just wrong or harmful to this mythical Ummah?

  8. Anas — on 2nd December, 2006 at 7:24 pm  

    Why, what a silly question, ZinZin!

  9. ZinZin — on 2nd December, 2006 at 7:42 pm  

    Then why not citizen instead of Muslim citizen? I was appalled by US/UK funding and arming of Indonesia’s oppression and genocide in East Timor beacause it was wrong not because they happened to be catholic.

    Also Anas you go on and on about I/P yet say little about Darfur. So is it that silly?

  10. Anas — on 2nd December, 2006 at 8:06 pm  

    Because of our far, far greater complicity in I/P. To quote Gideon Levy:

    Soon Gaza will look like Darfur, but while the world is giving some sort of assistance to Darfur, it still dares to play tough with Gaza. Instead of boycotting the one who is abusing the residents of Gaza, the world is boycotting the victim, blocking assistance that it so desperately needs. Tens of thousands of workers who are not receiving their meager wages because of the boycott are the world’s gift to Gaza, while Israel is not only killing them, but also stealing their money, locking them in from all sides and not allowing them any chance to extricate themselves.

  11. Anas — on 2nd December, 2006 at 8:22 pm  

    I think that extract perfectly encapsulates why British Muslims are, as British citizens, more concerned about Gaza than Darfur.

  12. ROGER — on 2nd December, 2006 at 8:31 pm  

    Yes, Gaza is disgusting and the behaviour of the Israelis is beneath contempt, and Israel is doing the horrible things Levy lists. All the same there is an important difference between Gaza and the whole occupied territories and Lebanon combined on the one hand and Darfur on the other. That difference is the number of dead, both comparatively and absolutely.

  13. Sahil — on 2nd December, 2006 at 8:32 pm  

    Hello Picklers, hope you are having a fab weekend, I`m stuck at home studying for exams :( . Just saw this review of Hirsi Ali and Ian Burumas` new books. Anyways I have not read them but her analysis of Hirsi Ali is exactly how I feel and obviously I think its fantastic :)

    http://books.guardian.co.uk/review/story/0,,1961714,00.html

  14. ZinZin — on 2nd December, 2006 at 8:41 pm  

    Sahil would care to expand upon your feelings towards Miss Hirsi-Ali? As long as it does not interfere with your revision.

  15. Anas — on 2nd December, 2006 at 8:45 pm  

    Yes, I agree, ROGER. However both Gaza and Darfur are genocides: in both instances the intention is to ethnically cleanse a piece of land.

  16. Sahil — on 2nd December, 2006 at 8:56 pm  

    Hi ZinZin, I feel highly edgy about Hirsi Ali for a few reasons:

    1. Much of her life story about her family forcing her to marry was false:

    http://news.independent.co.uk/europe/article484099.ece

    2. She is a serious opponent of illegal immigration, especially of muslims i.e. moroccans, but she herself lied about her asylum status:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/4985636.stm

    3. She continues to use any platform as long as it furthers her career:

    http://www.aei.org/scholars/filter.all,scholarID.117/scholar.asp

    However, whilst she may be a bit vile her points are not:

    1. `Islamic countries`, or so they say, to regularly treat women as objects or second class animals. I don`t think i need to quote. Actually one of my friends is visiting from Saudi, and the stories are just horrible.

    2. She has opened up a debate about modernising Islam. Especially in Western EU, other countries have already had their own awakening.

    3. At the end of they day, she is taking a risk with her life (unlike Redeker!!!!!). She has put her money where her mouth is, and I respect that.

    Anyways I think I missed some, but you`ll probably catch me out ;)

  17. razib — on 2nd December, 2006 at 9:53 pm  

    ali is good people. check out the diaries, there is some interesting stuff there.

  18. Anas — on 3rd December, 2006 at 12:00 am  

    I’m aware of a number of (I’ll loosely term them progressive) Muslims such as Eteraz who as a sort of reaction against the tendency amongst Muslims to overly focus on Israel and some nefarious Zionist conspiracy, or to blame the US and the West for all the woes that afflict the Islamic world, try to compensate by denying the full extent of the culpability of the West(primarily the US) in perpetuating and causing many(though not all) of the injustices across not just the Muslim world but the whole world. And it’s all for fear of being led into some of the same paranoia, or inertia and apathy (with regard to the wrongs of Muslim governments and regimes)that this obsession with the Great Satan or Zionism seems to induce — a laudible aim but you won’t get far by denying the reality of the situation.

  19. Roger — on 3rd December, 2006 at 10:37 am  

    ” both Gaza and Darfur are genocides: in both instances the intention is to ethnically cleanse a piece of land. ”

    There is a qualitative difference between them, though, Anas- in fact, given the continuing increase in population of Gaza, it must be the most incompetent genocide in history. In some ways, I think it’s rather more worrying- a sign of the complete inability of the Israeli government and armed forces to achieve a settled long-term policy with Palestine and the Palestinians, but their habit of just hoping the problem could vanish and so following disastrous- because prevaricating- policies.
    The Israelis aren’t following a policy of deliberately killing civilians and noncombatants- the human shield tactics for protecting houses and fighters wouldn’t work if they were- nor are they following a policy of deliberately not killing civilians- you only need compare the number of deaths now with the number in earlier troubles in Gaza to see that accepted tactics have changed and put more people at risk. They are following policies which kill a few people who wouldn’t otherwise die, harm many and infuriate all of them- the worst possible way to behave from Israel’s point of view, whatever you think their policy should be.

  20. thabet — on 3rd December, 2006 at 12:33 pm  

    Isn’t he a Eustonite?

    Given that Ali is American, I doubt when signing the Euston Manifesto he was interested in the sectarianism of left-wing politics in Britain.

    I’m aware of a number of (I’ll loosely term them progressive) Muslims…

    Your label would be a bit too loose then given the people who have been involved in starting the project.

  21. Sid — on 3rd December, 2006 at 1:48 pm  

    Given that Ali is American, I doubt when signing the Euston Manifesto he was interested in the sectarianism of left-wing politics in Britain.

    In that case, he signed it because of the Euston Manifesto’s unstinting and unquestioning support of Bush and Israeli foreign policies in the Middle East?

  22. Don — on 3rd December, 2006 at 2:57 pm  

    sahil,

    I don’t want to divert this into another debate about Hirsi Ali, but your point 1 is questionable. Certainly she lied about how she arrived in Holland, but on forced marriage both her brother and a letter from her sister {warning her that her father was co-ordinating a search) back up her story.

    http://www.iht.com/articles/2006/05/23/news/dutch.php

    It would be more accurate to say her story is disputed – by the people she was fleeing from.

  23. thabet — on 3rd December, 2006 at 4:25 pm  

    In that case, he signed it because of the Euston Manifesto’s unstinting and unquestioning support of Bush and Israeli foreign policies in the Middle East?

    Heh.

    You could always ask him why he signed up.

  24. Sunny — on 3rd December, 2006 at 4:38 pm  

    this obsession with the Great Satan or Zionism seems to induce — a laudible aim but you won’t get far by denying the reality of the situation.

    The other ‘reality of the situation’ is that people such as yourself are in denial about extent of intolerance and religious extremism that many Muslims observe these days. Maybe Ali is just a bit more nuanced and intelligent (you may want to read the articles to debate him specifically) than you so-called ‘real’ Muslims want to admit.

  25. Katy — on 3rd December, 2006 at 5:01 pm  

    I see nothing’s changed around here.

  26. Chairwoman — on 3rd December, 2006 at 5:16 pm  

    Ali Eteraz is gifted, writes well and is multi-faceted. No wonder he gets up peoples noses.

  27. Douglas Clark — on 3rd December, 2006 at 5:28 pm  

    Chairwoman,

    Now I am completely confused. I thought we were talking about Hirsi Ali, the ex-Dutch MP. Err..up to about post 16 , or so. So why are we now talking about Ali Eteraz? Who does seem to have some good points, it must be said. I missed the switch :)

  28. Sid — on 3rd December, 2006 at 5:45 pm  

    It’s all good. We’re talking about States of Islam. If ‘hal’ is a Muslim’s state of being, spiritually, philosophically, ontologically, cosmologically and hormonally then I dig and respect Eteraz’s state. He’s compassionate in the same way Hirsi Ali is self-serving.

    I’m just prone to be wary of people who don’t like Led Zeppelin or Prince or Coltrane or support the Euston Manifesto.

  29. Leon — on 3rd December, 2006 at 5:53 pm  

    I’m just prone to be wary of people who don’t like Led Zeppelin or Prince or Coltrane or support the Euston Manifesto.

    Well said. Especially the Zeppelin thing.;)

  30. Chairwoman — on 3rd December, 2006 at 5:56 pm  

    Love Coltrane, not keen on Prince, but Jimmy Page was a friend when we were young.

  31. Sahil — on 3rd December, 2006 at 6:09 pm  

    “I’m just prone to be wary of people who don’t like Led Zeppelin”

    True, but not sure about Prince, even though he’s really gifted.

    Chairwoman, are you serious????????????????????? You know Jimmy Page. Did you ever get to see the band??

    That’s so cooooooooolll.

  32. Anas — on 3rd December, 2006 at 6:18 pm  

    Roger, I’m sorry, I don’t agree with your analysis. I don’t think Israel’s actions are merely down to murderous incompetence; rather the murders, demolitions, enforced impoverishment and starvation, and the attempts at destroying civil society, are all part of longterm strategy to render Palestinian existence in Gaza unviable.

    Maybe Ali is just a bit more nuanced and intelligent (you may want to read the articles to debate him specifically) than you so-called ‘real’ Muslims want to admit.

    I’m not denying that Ali is a hugely intelligent and often very perceptive commentator, nor am I even remotely qualified to judge whether he is a real or true Muslim or not, I just disagree with the guy on certain things to do with politics.

    And yes, I have read his articles and commented on them, here on his rather negligent opinions on I/P and here on the contention he shares with you that it’s “the fanatics not the foreign policy”.

  33. Leon — on 3rd December, 2006 at 6:19 pm  

    Innit!

  34. Leon — on 3rd December, 2006 at 6:19 pm  

    Er at the Jimmy Page thing!

  35. Sahil — on 3rd December, 2006 at 6:25 pm  

    Yeah!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Love the bastard. But as a bass player more a fan of John paul jones, however, I’ve never seen a band where everyone one of them is a musical genius and actually create something constructive, maybe Tool!!!!!

  36. Anas — on 3rd December, 2006 at 6:27 pm  

    The Who?

  37. Anas — on 3rd December, 2006 at 6:29 pm  

    but Jimmy Page was a friend when we were young.

    Wow! You must have some stories to tell!

  38. Chairwoman — on 3rd December, 2006 at 6:29 pm  

    Yes and Yes. I knew him before Zep, and also for a while afterwards. I’ve got an old ‘Access all areas’ pass somewhere. I’ ve also got a Live Aid one, amongst others, but most of those were the late Chairman’s who was in the music business. I’d better stop now before Sunny tells me off for de-railing

  39. Leon — on 3rd December, 2006 at 6:33 pm  

    No! Continue the derail! Er over at the open weekend thread————>

  40. Sahil — on 3rd December, 2006 at 6:35 pm  

    YES!!!!!!! TELL MORE!!!!!!!!!!

  41. Sid — on 3rd December, 2006 at 7:16 pm  

    Ramble On! CW auntyji is one cool cookie.

  42. Chairwoman — on 3rd December, 2006 at 7:25 pm  

    I used to be, Sid :-)

  43. sonia — on 4th December, 2006 at 1:58 pm  

    4. Jai – good one. :-) of course everything feeds into everything else! structure and agency. might as well be time we all recognized that and things don’t work one way or linearly.

  44. William — on 4th December, 2006 at 6:30 pm  

    Jai Sonia

    I agree that that a strict linear way of looking at things doesn’t work. It is all about factors, conditions, politics, peoples pyches, religion, sequence of events, cycles, people and groups percieving causation and more cycles. I am watching the world and still trying to work it all out.

  45. Jai — on 4th December, 2006 at 6:37 pm  

    =>”Jai Sonia”

    Sounds like we’re the new Brangelina.

    Not as hot as Anjailina though, mind you ;)

  46. soru — on 4th December, 2006 at 10:42 pm  

    Whaever Eteraz’s politics, he is definitely a way big nerd

  47. soru — on 4th December, 2006 at 10:43 pm  

    I meant nerd

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