Every while, we see some angry folks of the Muslim communities in western countries go out in an angry mode vandalizing property and terrifying people, and for what? For a cartoon of Prophet Muhammad or as a “reaction” to a mere threat of burning the Qur’an, the holy book of Islam, as we saw on news recently in Sweden. The irony is that those Muslims cannot have the very freedom, they express in secular western countries, in their original Islamic countries because the government will shot them dead. The political move done by right-wing Racist Christian groups seek to agitate these intolerant Islamists in order to create an Islamic-Christian clash, in order to help Trump and Republicans in America, and such radicals in Europe, before elections. The radicals on both sides have something in common, and that is both consider Secularism to be against God-and-Allah, and for that reason we see Trump and his Republicans insist on ignoring the Wall of Separation between religion and state, widely known and explained by Thomas Jefferson and James Madison and constitutional commentators, in order to bring the myth of Judeo-Christian Constitution of the United States into power. Islamists in the Middle East, such as in Turkey, Iran, Iraq, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, etc.…’ welcome such a move because it gives them the justification to argue that “as the West is eager to bring their religious heritage to the public sector, so Muslims should do more,” which is a disaster because already there is too much Islamization in the Middle East that such a radical view of life is a threat to the universal peace. No one should call me an #Islamophobe because I had an Islamic education before moving to the United States, meaning that I was a Muslim and I have studied the religion since my teenage years. However, there is something that we all should cherish and promote and that is that we should separate between attacking Muslims as a group of people, which should be rejected and condemned, and attacking the violent, hateful, and backward theology of Islam, so criticizing Islam as an idea should be encouraged and supported, just as we criticize any idea in free societies. Now, I saw today on TV how Trump attacked those who burn the American flag in protest, and Trump reminds me of the Islamists who convert anything, magically, into a sacred thing, and the next time you try to disapprove that thing or practice, they rush to accuse you of being offensive to that thing which they call “Holy”. I don’t approve the burning of the American flag because for me the flag represents the identity of the American experience, but one of the bases of American freedoms is that people can burn the flag and the constitution as well without being subject to any punishment. Trump shares so much with those Islamists who shout hate and violence against some individual or a group of people, simply because they burn a copy of the Qur’an or drawing a caricature of Mohammed. Whether the right-wing Christian is evil or not, they have the right to burn a book, any book, even if it’s allegedly “written by God?”. If Allah is so jealous over Mohammed or his Qur’an, why don’t the Islamists leave revenge and punishment to Allah? They say that God-Allah controls everything, so, why don’t you pray to your God-Allah to show his power and send the Qur’an burners, let say, a thunder or transform those who burn the Qur’an to monkeys? Or simply, go ahead and burn a copy of the Bible, and everybody can go home happy. Obviously, radical Christians and radical Muslims are using religious jealousies as a tool for control and power. The more we ban one side from practicing one of the normal practices of freedom, and we might even dislike these practices, the more we put our societies into a path of fear and distrust. Evil Jesus needs Evil Mohammed and vice versa, in order to spread the venom, it is time for Muslims to learn how to live in a free society, and if we ban Qur’an burnings, we will ban Salman Rushdie’s The Satanic Verses, ban gay marriage, ban cartoons, ban every sentiment that reflects the love of freedom. Islam is an evil religion and it has killed Muslims more than any other group. It is time that you learn peace and leave things to God-Allah, so if he intends to punish anyone, it is not your job to do so.
Sunday, August 30, 2020
Saturday, August 29, 2020
In 2016, I remember how I used to defend some of the Republican "principles", such as small government, allowing guns, and the promotion of strong foreign policy. So, except for the last principle, which I still believe in, I have changed my mind about most things that Republicans consider to be correct. In 2016 I volunteered in Ben Carson's presidential campaign, so I went on to El Cajon Downtown, in San Diego CA with my cousin, who is still an avid Republican, and we would distribute some booklets about Ben Carson's life and career. But, as time went by, and I was following the Republican's primaries at the time, I noticed that the party was voting more and more for this guy who was full of anger, spreading hateful speech, calling names, and owns an empire of money made from selling women and alcohol and gambling and similar "Un-Christian" trades. I felt at the time that Christianity is repeating a phenomenon which I have witnessed in Iraq, and that is the religion that claims itself as a beacon of virtue and ethical behavior is the very institution that gives power to the most corrupt, hateful, and licentious immoral people, you want them away from politics. I'm not saying that Christianity is the same as Islam because I know for sure that the religion which was born in a mixture of Greek-Judaic traditions is certainly less dangerous, but still a menace to secular liberty, than Islam which is born in a hostile environment and I shall explain that part bellow.
Republicans have shifted radically with the nomination of Donald Trump towards a Christian White Nationalistic view, in a clear departure from our secular constitution that which gave more strength to the core nature of Americanism, which is all about "We the People" in which freedom and justice are equally shared. Christianity, in my opinion, is more open to the separation of state and church than Islam, not because it was divine and Islam was Satanic, as many Christians would say, but rather because Christianity was born in an area where the Civil Authorities had an immense degree of power and control, as the Roman Legions were present and ready to crush any zealots, and thus Christianity had no choice but to be an advocate of peace, whereas Islam was born in the Arabian Peninsula and Mohammed was, like any conqueror, a unifier of fighting tribes, so he went on promoting "peace and justice" but only for the tribes who joined to his league of believers, in contrast, he had no problem ordering his men to go invade, capture and bring slaves, women, men, and children. I hope that I'm not frightening you because as you know, most religions have such a history and as Islam was ok with slavery as was Christianity and Judaism.
What I'm trying to say here is that America should avoid voting Republicans, at least in 2020 because the separation of state and church have been made in question by this Republican Party which promotes bringing a Judeo-Christian identity into a system that was established on secular values, and as they ask you more to vote based on biblical motivations, be sure that they want to distract the attention of the American people from corruption and the tax-evasion going on among Christian, and other religious groups, billionaires and super-rich people.
In the RNC Convention, there was a great deal of mixing religion with politics, such as crying for unborn babies, that Democrats are trying to ban God and the bible, that America was found on Judeo-Christian principles and values. and so on. But if you read the U.S. Constitution, you will find no mention of Jesus, Christ, Moses or any appeal to any deity, and thus one can argue that our system considers the state to be a secular institution and the founding fathers did exactly just that because they believed that in order to keep tyranny away, gods and religions should be considered part of the personal freedoms and rights, whereas the government should deal with all the citizens regardless of faith, religion.
When COVID19 began ravaging America about March and April 2020, remember that Trump waited 3 months spewing arguments and shouting like a troublemaking kid: #FAKENEWS, Lies, and #Hoax! Later, he politicized wearing masks, and argued that we should not do more testing, despite the fact that doctors and professionals suggested exactly what he was opposing. When he discovered that he destroyed our economy by his recklessness and carelessness, Trump suggested a miracle is going to happen and the virus will just suddenly go away! Trump is not the first king and monarch who believed that God has given them magical powers because, for example, the last of the Czars, and I suggest that you watch a TV Show made in 2019 under the very same title (last of the Czars), believed that the head of the Russian Empire and the father of the ruling family Czar Nicholas II had divine powers, not just to rule, but even to heal leprosy, the irony was that Nicholas II was devastated by the fact that his son was ill with hemophilia, and he had nothing to do in order to save his son from danger. My point here is that the Republican Party and its senators are enabling someone like Czar Nicholas II with his full arrogance and imagined powers to lead America into the carnage that is avoidable, if they just to care about the interests of the American people. Czar Nicholas II ended his career by causing the destruction of the Russian state and the raging of the Civil War between his Christian based Aristocracy and the Communists, and he died a horrendous death with his family and kids.
I’m not saying that Trump will meet a similar fate because Trump is lucky that he isn’t a Czar or a Monarch, though he is behaving like one, so the American people will not have to assassinate him. Yet, the other part is still possible to happen, and that is the likelihood of America descending into chaos and Civil War. Trump warns us that division and destruction is coming if Biden win in November, while ignoring the very fact that this is happening during his first term. So, imagine him emboldened with a second term. If the rational people of America hesitate going to elections on November the 3rd, it is very possible that the fate of America would be in the hands of a small minority that believes in a cult of Rich Messiah, Trump, and we don’t know what kind of disaster awaits us in 2021 if Trump got his second term. So, #Vote2020 and vote wisely.
Friday, August 28, 2020
I have been trying since I took American History classes, to have a better understanding, and even to better explain America’s political scene nowadays, and I could not find better than seeing it through two American movies: Joker (2019) and 300 (2006). The struggle between the two was fierce even before they have been launched, and each one of them represents an entire series of generational struggle that goes all the way to the French Revolution. If Hitler and Stalin were alive, the former would have applauded 300, whereas the latter would have disliked Joker vehemently. Joker, the movie, is a project of a revolution, an angry individual who finds the status quo appalling and resentful, living in a depressing environment where nobody cares or hears him anyway. When Arthur Fleck (the protagonist of Joker) (Joaquin Phoenix) has a session with his psychological therapist, he discovers that she has been repeating to him the same questions in every session, and slowly he finds out that his dream of becoming a standup comedian is everything but achievable. Now, the joker discovers that his mother is not his real mother, that she adopted him, yet she lets him been abused by her boyfriend when he was a child and that the rich man mayor of the city, whom his mother claims to be his illegitimate father. In this movie, it is the individual who suffers; it’s the individual who should be the focus of our care.
in the movie 300, which has a sequel, it is absolutely the opposite. 300 movie would have won the prize for the best moving picture in Nazi Germany, as it depicts a utopia similar to Plato’s Republic that was inspired by the Kingdom of Sparta, where the majority of males served in an army, and where there was no place for individualistic ambitions or dreams; where weak infants left to die under mountains’ snow; a city where everything serves the common good; everything should be perfect as physically as mentally. In 300 we find that perfection is not described only as rational thing, but that it should be accepted as physical as well, and in contrast in the same movie, we see the forces of tyranny and enslavement depicted as deformed, gay-like, and mostly black, and even the one Greek who betrays his country and his people, Ephilates, is bodily deformed and ugly. In Joker there is no such a thing as to be called perfect, and there is no foreign enemy on the door, probably a normal feeling of safety from foreign foes in a city that lives on the shores of an ocean, and it all revolves around the common man. In Joker, there is no King Leonidas, no foreign enemies, no gay-like treasonous characters, however, there is an enemy from inside, a fear of street delinquents, corrupt politicians, who gain their money and power from a corrupt administration, and backed by a media that anesthetizes society with a faulty feelings of happiness and fun. Again, in 300 there is a show of equality and perfection in a united body of warriors, and certainly, there is no place for weakness or individuality, and the mixing of what history wants to say and what the movie’s makers want to say is vague and blurred to the utmost. It is historically proven that black slavery was not of existence at the time of Greeks, until the late medieval centuries, yet we see a heavy use of African-Black features on the Persian side of Tyranny, and to do that, the moviemakers intentionally created a dichotomy between (Strong White) Freedom versus (Weak and Black) Slavery based on racial, and sexual binaries. 300 also has an enemy from inside, Theron, who is a corrupt politician and wants to take sexual advantage of Leonidas’ wife, Queen Gorgo (Lena Headey), a theme very similar to the Nazi concept of protecting motherhood and female’s nature from an alleged Jewish-Black abuse. Theron is the enemy-inside who should be killed, as the enemies-inside in Joker are killed, but the difference between the two is that in 300, a nation of perfect statures, healthy environment, and with the backing of wholeheartedly fighting warriors, exists, and that if we just to remove Ephilates, the deformed, and Theron the corrupt politician, we will get our perfect society. But are Spartans free as shown in the movie? In historical Sparta, as in the cinematic one, there were no arts, no music, no poetry or an appeal to emotions except for that which glorifies the state and its armed forces. In Sparta, the individual does not exist as an entity and individuals serve only the common good, whereas in Joker, everything revolves and orbits the hero, who despite his madness is a vividly depicted individual who knows that an entire society of suffering individuals does exist outside. Joker is the individual who wants to be happy and laugh from the deepness of his heart, not the way others want him to do, but to laugh genuinely; when he laughs disorderly, that laugh is a cry for help, and no one helps him. 300 is absurd and sorry for using such a term, but there is no word that could describe a dead concept as does this movie, which is nothing but a product of a Platonic Utopia that which detached from reality. In comparison, Joker, despite its revolutionary end, and the violence that comes with it, remains anti-tyrannical in nature; anti-patriarchy; anti-matriarchy; anti-authority in general.
Let me take you beyond the cinematic nature of the two movies, to the politics behind it.
For me, Donald Trump is closer to the 300 movie, not to say that he isn’t a joker in the sense that he has no care for the rule of law, but because he repeats terms like beautiful, perfect, wonderful, awesome; he even described World War II as “beautiful war”, showing interest only in the strong, rich, and super healthy billionaires, thus, the low- bourgeoisie and the poor common American should not vote for the super-rich, selfish party. However, we should follow the Joker movie example in dealing with the Democratic Party, which should be kept away from falling to the utopia of Communist young utopians such as @AOC, despite my respect for her, and also, we should push the Democrats to work on a free-market system that still believes in equality and prevents monopolies, as the Republicans are working hard to create a wider gap between the poor and the rich.
Thursday, August 13, 2020
By: Sohel Ahmed Bahjat There are many awesome, Arab Feminist ladies and girls on Clubhouse App who represent the Feminist Movement in the ...