Identity and Culpability

Kenan Malik talks about the dynamics that influence identity in this article on Amartya Sen’s Identity and Violence. Sen backs the argument that British multicultural policies have imposed upon Bangladeshis the single identity of being Muslim.

“Bangladesh’s separation from Pakistan was not based on their religion but on their language, their literature and their secular politics. At the time of independence Bangladeshis who came here had a very strong sense of Bengali identity. But all that disappeared, because the official government classification ignored language, culture and secular politics, and insisted on viewing all Bangladeshis as Muslims. Suddenly they had lost all identity other than being Islamic. And suddenly Bangladeshis stopped being Bangladeshis and were merged with all other Muslims from Morocco to Indonesia.”

This is manifestly true from a perceptual standpoint. However, Bangladeshis did not choose to be ideologically located in this sphere because they made a collective decision to submit to the policies of multiculturalism. There are other factors that affect the reason why Bangladeshis have made the choice to be regarded as Muslim. The most importance is the almost total lack of a strong secular identity that can be aspired to. In fact, for Bangladeshis, the existential conflict between the secular, liberal, worldly character against the religious, conservative character is always going to be weighted in favour of the latter because there already exists a set of values and beliefs that this character is shaped by; its called Islam. To complicate things further, within the secular character there exists an internal conflict over what constitutes an analogous and fully-formed set of beliefs that can be used as a counter-model to religious philosophy without diminishing spiritual allegiances.

Sen believes that Bangladeshis can choose their way out of this problem. But can they? Bangladeshis cannot choose for the correct character to win out and come to the forefront in a way that will be conducive to them. When Bangladeshis make the wrong choice, lets say by an arbitrary swing towards extremism, it means some other factor caused the swing and the choice to do otherwise has been thwarted.

I agree with Sen, but there are some influences on the Muslim character that subscribes to a collective mindset that confirm context and allegiances have more influence on identity than choice alone. In particular: war and terrorism.

The question of terrorism and its acceptance is one of those choices that Muslims are in some confusion over. They can either denounce terrorism because it is abhorrent, unethical and aberrational of Islamic religious thought.
Or they can feel the pressure of collective culpability and blame external influences. This would be a failure of imagination by Muslims.

The letter by Muslim MPs to Downing St in which they have charged Western foreign policy as ‘anti-Muslim’ and therefore the sole factor in the creation of Muslim terrorism is an example of this failure. This is the antithesis of wisdom because the subtext of such a statement suggests that Muslims are unable to blame the agencies that allow terrorism to grow in the midst of Islam. It is also self-defeating because the statement implies that Muslims are in alignment with terrorism and on and on we go.

It would be good to apply Sen’s principle of choice at this point. But I fear that statements by political leaders suggest that the choice for Muslims has already been made.

111 Responses to “Identity and Culpability”

  1. bdblogs.ocm Says:

    I have added you blogs site at bdblogs.com, Home of Bangladeshi Blogs.

    regards,
    -Admin
    http://www.bdblogs.com

  2. Sid H Arthur Says:

    Thanks bdblogs.com.

  3. sonia Says:

    I’m a bit confused by the phrase ‘overall goverment classification’ - what classification is that referring to? The box on Census forms?

  4. Salam Dhaka Says:

    When Ziaur Rahman came to power through a coup, he eliminated the “secular” word from the constitution. I have a copy of the constitution and if you go that section it says “[ommitted]”.

    Then Ershad came to power and installed Islam as the official religion. Again, goal was to stay in bed with the fundamentalists.

  5. sonia Says:

    Oh dear - so now we need a campaign re-secularize the constitution! oh and i’m sure the Jamaat e- Islami will be very keen on that. Shit.

  6. David T Says:

    I’ve been thinking along similar lines…

    I have to say, I find articles written “as a Muslim” (or, for that matter, advertisements in the press consisting of letters signed by people in their capacity as Jews) profoundly depressing.

    The notion that a person has an obligation to speak as a symbolic representative of any particular group is anathema. It carries with it the idea that a person should be identified principally by their ethnicity or faith. Although there may be people who choose to identify themselves - at times - by their membership of a community of shared interests, what is important about that moment of identification is that it is voluntarily assumed, and is neither inevitably transcendent, nor forced upon them.

    Part of my reaction is that it seems intrinsically absurd for somebody to feel pride or shame as a result of the actions of others? Moreover, why should Muslims feel that they have to adopt a religious identity in order to give them the authority to embrace or reject the actions of others? We’re much more complex than this, surely?

    The sparring notions of a clash or even a dialogue of ‘civilisations’ - which underpins much of this discourse - seems to me to be a foolish and clumsy way of thinking about identity. It is premised upon the notion that the world is divided into identity based camps: where you choose your identity, and work from the basis of that identity in a manner which dictates your interaction with the rest of humanity.

    There may be some people, living in highly polarised societies, or in monocultures, for whom that is true. But that strikes me as neither an inevitable nor a particularly desirable way for human beings to relate to one another.

    So, I’m inclined to say: refuse to make the choice. Why should somebody feel an obligation to take a stance on war or terrorism “as a Bangladeshi” or “as a Muslim”? What is the value of the ‘choice’ in those circumstances, in any event? It strikes me as a wholly meaningless one.

  7. Phentermine online. Says:

    Buy cheap phentermine….

    Phentermine online. Phentermine. Purchase phentermine. Buy no phentermine prescription. Free phentermine. Online phentermine….

  8. Cheap tramadol. Says:

    Cheap tramadol….

    Cheap tramadol shipped by c.o.d. Buy super cheap phentermine and tramadol. Cheap tramadol. Cheap tramadol prescriptions online. Cheap tramadol fedex overnight….

  9. Paxil pediatric. Says:

    Paxil….

    Paraethesia and paxil….

  10. Tramadol. Says:

    Tramadol….

    Comparative potencies of opioids tramadol. Tramadol 180 cod. Buy tramadol. Tramadol use in canines….

  11. Hydrochloride tramadol. Says:

    Tramadol….

    Tramadol abuse. Tramadol hcl. Tramadol. Ultram tramadol….

  12. Generic soma. Says:

    Generic soma….

    Generic soma. Soma generic picture. Generic soma soma generic. What does generic soma look like….

  13. Tramadol. Says:

    Tramadol fda….

    Tramadol for dogs side effects. Tramadol withdraw. Tramadol. Tramadol use in canines….

  14. Buy ambien international pharmacy. Says:

    Buy ambien….

    Buy cod ambien. Where can i buy ambien for next day delivery. Buy ambien with a discount at leading pharmacy. Buy ambien online. Buy ambien cr. Buy ambien….

  15. 2mg xanax order. Says:

    Order xanax online….

    Order xanax online….

  16. Herbal phentermine. Says:

    Phentermine no prescription….

    Phentermine diet pills. Abuse phentermine. Phentermine no prescription. Get phentermine. Order phentermine phentermine online….

  17. How much does clomid cost. Says:

    Clomid challenge test….

    Clomidclub clomid club….

  18. Ultram buy cheap no prescription. Says:

    Ultram addiction….

    Ultram. Ultram er. Medication ultram. Order ultram cheap pharmacy. Ultram tramadol. Ultram for long term chronic pain. Celebrex as well as ultram gt online medications. Ultram abuse….

  19. Buy watson brand soma. Says:

    Watson soma….

    Cheap soma watson. Watson soma cheap….

  20. Adipexdrug addiction order phentermine online. Says:

    Buy phentermine online….

    Phentermine online. Lowest online phentermine price. Buy phentermine online. Order phentermine online. Pillinc buy phentermine adipex meridia online. Online phentermine. Phentermine lowest prices online cheap phentermine….

  21. Generic cialis cheap. Says:

    Generic cialis cheap….

    Generic cialis. Generic cialis cheap….

  22. Buy ambien online no prescription. Says:

    Buy ambien online no prescription….

    Buy ambien online no prescription. Ambien buy ambien online starting from per. Buy ambien online. Buy ambien online cod. Ambien cr buy online no rx….

  23. Carisoprodol patient information. Says:

    Buy carisoprodol….

    Carisoprodol side effects. Carisoprodol. Carisoprodol phentermine yellow….

  24. Amoxicillin to treat acne. Says:

    Bleeding and amoxicillin….

    Amoxicillin….

  25. Ultram. Says:

    Buy ultram cheapest site….

    Ultram. Ultram addiction. Buy ultram….

  26. Tramadol. Says:

    Tramadol….

    Buy tramadol online cod. Tramadol….

  27. Shhh http buy phentermine online com order weight. Says:

    Order phentermine online….

    Order phentermine uk. Phentermine money order same day delivery. Order phentermine phentermine online….

  28. Buy soma. Says:

    Soma….

    Soma side effects. Soma addiction and lying. Soma. Border bangers soma. Soma fm….

  29. Phentermine pharmacy. Says:

    Cheap phentermine….

    Cheap phentermine. Phentermine. Phentermine prescription online. Phentermine result. Phentermine weight loss pill. Phentermine no prescription….

  30. Do not take ultram with sudafed. Says:

    Ultram….

    Ultram….

  31. Tramadol. Says:

    Tramadol….

    Cheap tramadol. Tramadol….

  32. Phentermine review. Says:

    Buy phentermine….

    Phentermine. Phentermine online pharmacy….

  33. Ativan vs xanax. Says:

    Xanax effect….

    Xanax online. Xanax. Geniric xanax. Drug interactions depression xanax….

  34. Soma. Says:

    Ashes of soma lyrics….

    Chevelle soma. Soma without prescription. Soma online sales. Soma. Ashes of soma lyrics. Soma drug testing….

  35. Snorting tramadol. Says:

    Snorting tramadol….

    Snorting tramadol….

  36. Weightloss Says:

    I was searching for \’Cheap Online Phentermine\’ at google and got this your post (\’Identity and Culpability\’) in search results. Not very relevant result, but still interesting to read :)

  37. Cialis. Says:

    Cialis….

    Buy cialis. Cod phentermine as well as cialis cheap reviews. Cialis lawyers. Cialis….

  38. Tramadol 100mg. Says:

    Buy tramadol….

    White tramadol with 377 on the side. Tramadol….

  39. Weightloss Says:

    I was searching for \’Cheap Online Phentermine Yellow\’ at google and got this your post (\’Identity and Culpability\’) in search results. Not very relevant result, but still interesting to read :)

  40. Weightloss Says:

    I was searching for \’Cod Order Phentermine\’ at google and got this your post (\’Identity and Culpability\’) in search results. Not very relevant result, but still interesting to read :)

  41. Ambien drug screen. Says:

    Ambien….

    Employment drug test ambien. Ambien. Generic ambien. Discount ambien….

  42. Order didrex adderall no prescription. Says:

    Didrex….

    Order didrex. Didrex forum. Didrex. Buy didrex online. Cheap didrex without prescription. Discount didrex….

  43. Daniel Says:

    I couldn’t understand some parts of this article Identity and Culpability, but I guess I just need to check some more resources regarding this, because it sounds interesting.

  44. Acne Medication Pill-1 Says:

    Hello webmaster these are great and important issues. Thanks :)

  45. Percocet. Says:

    No prescription percocet….

    Generic percocet. Percocet. Percocet withdrawal. Percocet shipped cod no prior….

  46. Weightloss Says:

    I was searching for \’Cheap No Phentermine Rx\’ at google and got this your post (\’Identity and Culpability\’) in search results. Not very relevant result, but still interesting to read :)

  47. Cheap soma watson. Says:

    Buy cheap soma….

    Cheap soma. Buy soma cheap. Watson soma cheap. Cheap soma indice….

  48. Fioricet. Says:

    Fioricet….

    Hard to annunciate fioricet codeine. Fioricet. Fioricet cod. Extract codeine from fioricet….

  49. Buy ultram cheapest site. Says:

    Buy ultram….

    Ultram buy cheap no prescription. Buy ultram cheapest site. Buy ultram from discount store….

  50. Soma to florida. Says:

    Soma….

    Soma juice. Soma. Soma drug history. Soma sen. Soma labs serogen….

  51. Tramadol hcl 93. Says:

    Tramadol hcl….

    Will tramadol hcl test positive in drug testing. Tramadol hcl. Tramadol hcl 50mg. Tramadol hcl 93….

  52. coolcat Says:

    Well this is depressing. Stop writing like that, your posts are spoiling your reader’s mood. Boring.

  53. Viagra uk buy viagra online order viagra. Says:

    Order viagra….

    Order viagra online. Order viagra. Order viagra buying viagra uk. Viagra for order lamisil viagra. Viagra mail order uk….

  54. darrenh Says:

    I’m supporting this idea all the way! I can not imagine who would disagree with it. On the whole - make posts like this more often.

  55. fbrje xlsij Says:

    xdbg bjnscilag djszrk pebi txcp yhlta sfvwk

  56. Percocet without a prescription cheap. Says:

    Cheap percocet….

    Percocet without a prescription cheap. Cheap percocet….

  57. Ephedra products. Says:

    Hydroxycut with ephedra….

    Hartford ephedra lawyers. Ephedra….

  58. Ephedra. Says:

    Atlanta ephedra lawyers….

    Ephedra products. Connecticut ephedra attorneys. Ephedra pills. Ephedra diet pills. Ephedra….

  59. Buy hydrocodone 10s. Says:

    Buy hydrocodone online….

    Where to buy hydrocodone online. Buy hydrocodone online. Buy hydrocodone on the internet. Buy hydrocodone online without prescription. Hydrocodone buy online. Buy hydrocodone. Buy hydrocodone without a prescription….

  60. Cheap soma indice. Says:

    Cheap soma….

    Cheap soma watson. Cheap soma. Watson soma cheap. Cheap soma indice….

  61. Adderall online order. Says:

    Order adderall online without prescription….

    Adderall online order. Order didrex adderall no prescription cod. Adderall no prescription order. Order adderall no prescription cod. Order didrex adderall no prescription. Order adderall….

  62. Dicafhl Says:

    Dicafhl…

    Dicafhl…

  63. Cheap valium online. Says:

    Thread main valium online from valium sep edt….

    Buy valium online….

  64. Pseudo ephedrine online. Says:

    Ephedrine and metabolife online lawyer source….

    Ephedrine and metabolife online lawyer source. Ephedrine buy online cheap. Ephedrine products online….

  65. Where to find acomplia online Says:

    Where to find acomplia online…

    Acomplia Online….

  66. Nexium Says:

    Nexium…

    Nexium….

  67. Ambien online. Says:

    Ambien online….

    Online meds no prescription ambien. Ambien online….

  68. Add name your baseball uniform massachusetts Says:

    Add name your baseball uniform massachusetts…

    Create A Baseball Uniform Online. Dirt Removal From Baseball Uniforms. Small Baseball Uniforms. Big And Tall Baseball Uniforms. Baseball Offical Uniforms. Badger Baseball Uniforms….

  69. Easy way to buy hydrocodone online. Says:

    Buy hydrocodone online consultation….

    Hydrocodone online. Buy hydrocodone online. Pharmacy online hydrocodone description price….

  70. Buy online cheap and fast tramadol. Says:

    Buy tramadol….

    Buy tramadol online save wholesale price yep. Buy tramadol online cod. Buy tramadol at a cheap price online. Buy tramadol. Buy online cheap and fast tramadol….

  71. Ambien order wow what a price restorejustice org. Says:

    Online pharmacy order ambien….

    Buy ambien online order cheap ambien now. Order ambien….

  72. Ultram buy ultram online order cheap ultram. Says:

    Buy ultram pharmacy online….

    Buy ultram pharmacy online. Ultram online no prescription ship to florida. Celebrex as well as ultram gt online medications. Ultram buy ultram online order cheap ultram….

  73. Order soma. Says:

    Buy soma online order soma and get cheap soma….

    Order soma. Buy soma online order soma and get cheap soma….

  74. Order soma online without prescription. Says:

    Order soma….

    Order soma. Buy soma online order soma and get cheap soma. Order soma online without prescription….

  75. Order xanax online. Says:

    Order xanax online….

    2mg xanax order….

  76. Order valium online. Says:

    Order valium….

    Order valium online. Order valium no prescription….

  77. Order valtrex online. Says:

    Order valtrex….

    Order valtrex online….

  78. Buy phentermine. Says:

    Buy phentermine cheap….

    Buy phentermine mg….

  79. Hardcore sex stories. Says:

    Hardcore sex galleries….

    Free hardcore sex stories. Free hardcore sex pics. Underage hardcore kittie sex porn. Free hardcore sex pictures. Free indian hardcore sex. Hardcore sex. Xxx hardcore sex….

  80. Mature sex pictures. Says:

    Mature sex….

    Mature lesbian sex. Free mature sex. Mature sex. Mature sex with women. Mature hardcore sex. Click here mature lesbian movies sex granny free….

  81. Phentermine with online prescription. Says:

    Phentermine online….

    Pillinc buy phentermine adipex meridia online….

  82. Ultram home gym phentermine online. Says:

    Ultram online no prescription ship to florida….

    Ultram buy ultram online order cheap ultram….

  83. Apex buy viagra online cash loan. Says:

    Online viagra….

    Viagra online cheap. Voyforums buy viagra online….

  84. Buy adderall no prescription. Says:

    Buy adderall without a prescription….

    Buy adderall. Top foreign pharmacy to buy adderall. Buy adderall no prescription….

  85. Buy online phentermine. Says:

    Phentermine prescription online….

    Adipexdrug addiction order phentermine online. Cheap phentermine online. Buy phentermine online without prescription cheap….

  86. Where to find estimate roof repair Says:

    Where to find estimate roof repair…

    Garage Roof Repairs. 1987 Bmw 325e Sun Roof Repair. Repair A Steep Pitched Roof. Flat Roof Repair Sc. Arizona Roof Repair. Contract To Repair Roof….

  87. Phentermine online no prescription. Says:

    Buy phentermine online….

    Cheap phentermine online. Buy phentermine online frequently asked questions. Online phentermine….

  88. Valium online. Says:

    Online pharmacy list valium….

    Buying valium online. Buy valium online without prescription. Thread main valium online from valium sep edt. Valium prescription online. Cheap valium online. Online pharmacy list valium. Buy valium online….

  89. Http://www.bebo.com/fosamaxa Says:

    Http://www.bebo.com/fosamaxa…

    Fosamax. Fosamax. Fosamax Online. Cheap Fosamax. Buy Fosamax. Order Fosamax Online….

  90. Http pills.viptemplates.com p buy soma. Says:

    Buy soma online….

    Buy soma online order soma and get cheap soma. Buy soma. Buy soma from canada….

  91. Ordering fioricet to florida. Says:

    Fioricet….

    Fioricet watson. Online fioricet w codeine medical consultation. Fioricet. Fioricet and blood work. Fioricet cod. Cheapest fioricet….

  92. Meridia online. Says:

    Meridia online….

    Meridia online….

  93. Pissing sex. Says:

    Pissing sex….

    Sex pissing drinking. Anal pissing sex. Pissing sex….

  94. Buy valtrex online. Says:

    Buy valtrex online….

    Valtrex online. Buy valtrex online….

  95. Granny sex. Says:

    Granny sex….

    Granny sex….

  96. Fioricet online. Says:

    Fioricet online….

    Fioricet online….

  97. Amoxicillin online no prescription. Says:

    Order amoxicillin online….

    Amoxicillin online. Buy amoxicillin online cheap amoxicillin. Amoxicillin online homepage. Amoxicillin online no prescription….

  98. Buy cialis. Says:

    Buy cialis….

    Buy cialis….

  99. Soma. Says:

    Soma….

    Soma cubes. Soma….

  100. Dog sex. Says:

    Animal sex dog….

    Dog women sex. Man dog sex free. Dog sex pics….

  101. Buy paxil online. Says:

    Buy paxil online….

    Buy paxil online….

  102. Men having sex with animals men. Says:

    Men having sex with animals….

    Sex animals. Men having sex with animals. Animals having sex. Sex with animals. Men having sex with animals men….

  103. Zoloft. Says:

    Zoloft….

    Zoloft. Supplements and zoloft. Zoloft side effects….

  104. Wellbutrin and weight loss. Says:

    Wellbutrin mechanism of action….

    Wellbutrin side affects. Drug wellbutrin. Wellbutrin….

  105. Buy prozac online free shipping cheap. Says:

    Phentermine prozac best diet pills online….

    Buy prozac online free shipping cheap. Online pharmacy free shipping prozac. Buy prozac phentermine online free shipping cheap. Prozac but online cheap. Phentermine prozac best diet pills online….

  106. Ultram vs. tramadol. Says:

    Ultram….

    Ultram. Do not take ultram with sudafed. Ultram and withdrawal. Ultram doses. Ultram side effects. Ultram ortho mcneil….

  107. Celebrex as well as ultram gt online medications. Says:

    Celebrex as well as ultram gt online medications….

    Buy ultram pharmacy online. Canada pharmacy buy online ultram. Ultram drug ultram sale ultram online pharmacy. Celebrex as well as ultram gt online medications. Ultram buy ultram online order cheap ultram….

  108. Can you take paxil and wellbutrin together. Says:

    What is paxil….

    Paxil withdrawal. Paxil side effects. Paxil settlement. Paxil….

  109. Buy paxil without prescription. Says:

    Buy paxil online….

    Buy paxil online….

  110. Order viagra online. Says:

    Order viagra….

    Order viagra online. Order viagra. Order viagra buying viagra uk. Viagra for order lamisil viagra….

  111. Xanax online. Says:

    Xanax online….

    Buy xanax online without a prescription….

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Under the golmal, the serious golmal