• Books: Bury the Chains by Adam Hochschild, Endless War: Hidden Functions of the "war on terror" by David Keen, Capital Vol. 1, Tin Drum by Günter Grass, What is Islam? by Shahab Ahmed, Desiring Arabs by Joseph Massad, Spies, Soldiers and Statesmen by Hazem Kandil, La Condition Humaine by André Malraux, Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck, Imagined Community by Benedict Anderson, Culture and Imperialism by Edward Said, The Wretched of the Earth by Frantz Fanon, The Richness of Life by Stephen Jay Gould, Children of the Alley by Naguib Mahfouz, The Mass Psychology of Fascism by Wilhelm Reich, Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, 1984 by George Orwell, Noli me Tangere by José Rizal, Age of Extremes by Eric Hobsbawm, ذهنية التحريم لصادق جلال العظم, Karl Marx by Francis Wheen, وليمة لأعشاب البحر لحيدر حيدر, Candide by Voltaire, النزعات المادية في الفلسفة العربية الإسلامية لحسين مروة, Listen Little Man by Wilhelm Reich ..
  • Films: Alexanderplatz by Rainer Fassbinder, Clockwork Orange, Apocalypse Now, The Battle of Algiers, films by P. P. Passolini, Persepolis, Midnight Express, 1984, Papillion, Gangs of New York, Sophie Scholl, Life of Brian, Ivan the Terrble, Battleship Potemkine ...

Thursday, December 15, 2016

"Can one speak meaning- fully of “Islamic violence”? As long as the Muslim actor is making his act of violence meaningful to himself in terms of Islam—in terms of Pre-Text, Text, or Con-Text of Revelation—then it is appropriate and meaningful to speak of that act of violence as Islamic violence. The point of the designation is not that Islam causes this violence; rather it is that the violence is made meaningful by the actor in terms of Islam—just as the prodigious violence undertaken by soldiers of democratic nation-states is made meaningful for them and by them in terms of the nation-state, and may, therefore, meaningfully be called “democratic violence” or “national violence” (or may meaningfully be designated in terms of the particular nation-state as “American violence” or “Israeli violence”).

In the case of violence, as with everything else, one Muslim may disagree with another Muslim over whether his mode of meaning-making is legitimate—that is to say, whether it is coherent with its source—and may on those terms of incoherence deem the professed Muslim actor a non-Muslim (all heresy is ultimately a dispute over coherence) but this is not the point here.  The point here—as everywhere else—is whether the actor makes the act meaningful for himself in terms of Islam."

— Shahab Ahmed, What is Islam? 2016, p. 452

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