• 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, May 17, 2018

What is required is a Foucaultian investigation into the conditions of possibility for truth statements about "Islam." Instead of assuming and seeking to uncover the machanisms by which something called sexuality operates inside the category Islam, scholars must begin with the "positive mechanisms" that generate this Western will to know. Folowing Foucault, "we must investigate the conditions of their emergence and operation ... we must define the strategies of power that are immanent in this will to knowledge." The outcome of this kind of approach will reveal much about how Western scholarship on sexuality not only constitutes something it calls "Islam" but also how it constitutes "Europe," the "West," as an always already racialized normativity."

The question to ask then is not what is the nature of "sexuality," its operations, repressions, manifestations, and productions in Islam, but rather in a specific type of discourse about sexuality in Islam (in Western academy, NGO activism, Western media representations, Western governments' policy making), "in a specific form of extortion of truth, appearing historically and in specific places," around the place of women and homosexuality in Islam, to name the two privileged axes to be investigated. To echo Foucault one more rime, what were "the most immediate, the most local power relations at work? How did they make possible these kinds of discourses, and conversely, how were these discourses used to support power relations? How was the action of these power relations modified by their very exercise, entailing a strenghthening of some terms and a weakening of others ...?"
— Jospeh Massad, Islam in Liberalism, 2015, p. 273

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