As a Muslim Woman in Canada, I Understand Quebec’s Burqa Law

burqa

The recent law passed by the Quebec government, known as Bill 62-the “religious neutrality law,” will require women to remove their burqa or niqab (meaning face covering in Arabic) while giving or receiving public services such as getting on a bus or taking a book out of the library. The controversial law is getting a lot of attention and criticism. As a Muslim woman living in Canada I feel compelled to weigh in, not least because I can say things that non-Muslims may be too afraid to say.

I should note that I am secular; and am not a practicing Muslim. However, I come from a very religiously observant family, and with the exception of myself and my sister and a few cousins, all of the women in my family and extended families wear the hijab (head covering). And three of them wear the burqa. The women that wear the burqa live in Egypt, and when they adopted the practice of face covering, many in my family—the hijabi women included—thought that it was too extreme. While my family members are devout and practicing Muslims, the majority of them find the burqa (or niqab) unnecessary. Indeed when my mother worked and lived in Saudi Arabia decades ago, she defied social customs, and the law, and refused to wear it.

All this is to say that, the niqab—or face covering—is something that many Muslims consider to be off-putting and wholly unnecessary. So if it is too extreme for the streets of Cairo or Beruit then it is definitely too extreme for the west. Now before you go accusing me of Islamophobia, let me remind you that I am Muslim and, more importantly, that the Quran—the Islamic holy book—does not call for women to cover their face. In fact, there is even debate among some Islamic scholars about whether or not the hijab or head veil is mandated in the Quran, with some arguing that the Quran only explicitly mandates modest dress and the covering of the bosom [1]. I am not an expert on Islam, far from it. There is much literature that explores these issues, especially the burqa or face covering, and I urge readers—Muslim and non-Muslim—to do their own research.

With respect to the buqa, it is widely held that the practice is not mandated in the Quran—nor is the word mentioned—but instead grew out of hadith, a collection of traditions based on the daily life and practices of the prophet Muhammad. As Chris Moore explains, most followers of these “traditions” know little of their origins or authenticity.[2] Moreover, Moore points out that “for the thousands of traditions attributed to the Prophet only one bears notable credibility:

‘Do not write down anything I say except the Quran. Whoever has written something other than Quran let him destroy it.’” [3]

This implies that hadiths are not something Muslims should base their religious practices on. The practice of face covering comes largely from Wahhabi Saudi Arabia. Wahhabism is a strict and archaic Muslim sect founded by Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab (1703–92). It advocates a “return” to the early Islam of the Quran, rejecting later innovations. But there are many that argue that Wahhabism—which spread to many parts of the Middle East following the Saudi-US oil alliance of the late 1970s—is not a return to literal or early Islam but rather a complete contradiction of it or movement away from it [4]; meaning Wahhabism is not Islamic at all. In this respect, much like the practice of the burqa, Wahhabism should have no authority over the lives of Muslims.

Once upon a time, when Wahhabism far less influenced the Arab and Muslim world, Arab leaders, such as Egypt’s Gamal Abdel Nasser, were opposed to publicly mandating even the hijab (see the video below). Nasser believed that religious practices were a private matter and not a public obligation.

To date, most Muslim countries do not force women to wear neither the hijab nor the niqab, with Saudi Arabia being a notable exception on the latter. So why are western governments in countries that are secular and do not have a Muslim majority not allowed to regulate something as extreme and culturally incompatible as the burqa.

To argue that the burqa is necessary in Canada in order to ensure religious rights and freedoms is ultimately fallacious given that the burqa is not actually mandated by Islam. Like many things, the growing popularity of the burqa among Muslims over the last few decades can be attributed to politics, not religion. As I argue elsewhere, the massive oil alliance that was formed between the United States and Saudi Arabia after the oil embargo of 1973 led to religious radicalization in the Middle East. In exchange for Saudi Arabia only accepting US dollars for oil, giving the US and its currency global economic hegemony, the US allowed and (indirectly) helped the Saudis to spread Wahhabism and radical Sunni Islam across the Middle East for political ends.

Bolstered by its alliance with the US, Saudi Arabia has been able to promote Wahhabi extremism in the region. The Kingdom has spent millions and billions of dollars propping up Islamist movements and Islamist groups in the Arab world. Among many other things–such as increased terrorism in the region–the spread of Wahhabi political Islam has led to an increase in burqa wearing. Understood in its proper political and geopolitical context, the increased “popularity” of the burqa is as much political as it is religious; if not more so, given that the burqa is not mandated by Islam and the Quran.

But even if the Quran did mandate the burqa, I believe that a secular country such as Canada should be allowed to regulate expressions of extreme public religiosity, especially when matters of identity or public safety are concerned. While many Canadians are likely too afraid to say so in the current overly sensitive and rabidly politically correct culture, I suspect that a great many feel uneasy about the burqa. While most people may have no issue with a woman covering her hair (hijab), the complete draping of face and body in all black is a menacing and eerie sight that even makes me uncomfortable as an immigrant [5] from the Muslim world. This is something I tell my own burqa-wearing cousins every time I visit family over seas.

It is just too much for present-day urban society, whether in Canada or the Middle East. And what it connotes about women is very problematic. While it may be intended to reduce the sexual objectification of women, the burqa results in a different type of objectification altogether, for a faceless human being all in black garb, becomes little more than a moving object in black. For me, and I suspect for a great many others, the burqa is at once both dehumanizing and objectifying.

I feel the exact same way—though for opposite reasons—about overly exposed flesh, such as the ever-shrinking shorts some women wear that essentially reveal the entire lower buttocks. As I write elsewhere, while on the surface burqas and exposed butt cheeks are polar opposites, what they share in common is that they are both just too much for day-to-day life. Moreover, while the former may seem oppressive to women and the latter a sign of female liberation, I feel that both ultimately serve to overly objectify women, reducing them either to sinful bodies (and faces) to be covered up or sexual objects to be overly exposed. While they do so in opposite ways, by tending towards an extreme obsession or emphasis on the female form, both end up reducing women to the physical. In the end, both do not lend themselves to any form of moderation.

So before we enter into reactionary debates over the burqa in Canada, let us take pause and consider all of the above, especially the (western allied) political agenda of Islamic radicalization.

 

 

Notes

[1]http://www.irfi.org/articles/articles_1451_1500/burka_not_mandated_in_the_quran.htm

http://www.quran-islam.org/articles/part_3/the_burqa_(P1357).html

[2] http://www.quran-islam.org/articles/part_3/the_burqa_(P1357).html

[3] Cited in [2]. Taken from: Ahmed Ibn Hanbal, Vol. 1, page 171 also Sahih Muslim, Book 42, Number 7147.

[4] http://www.ahl-alquran.com/English/show_article.php?main_id=6308

[5[ My parents immigrated to Canada when I was two years old.

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Electric Cosmology And Shifting Paradigms

AUTHOR’S NOTE: This article is based on the breakout room talk I gave at the EU 2017 Conference in Phoenix. It is a summary of my previous EU work, and there is some overlap with earlier EU articles here.

electric sky

Like many interested in the electric universe theory, I am not a scientist. Yet, like many, the Electric Universe speaks to me and appeals to me. In this article I raise three points that may be interesting to non-scientists, such as myself, with respect to the electric universe theory. First: That cosmology is the biggest and most definitive paradigm there is. Secondly: As a meta-paradigm, cosmology influences other subsidiary paradigms, even if indirectly. Finally: Given the first two points, if and when cosmology changes, then other paradigms will also necessarily change.

Cosmology is the Mother of all Science and Philosophy

Starting with the first point, think for a moment about what a significant and defining paradigm cosmology is. Historically speaking, cosmology can be seen as the mother of all science and philosophy. Cosmology tells the “big story” of our universe and deals with the big questions. Fundamentally, cosmology tells the story of what is.

What is this thing we call the universe? What is the structure of the universe? What is its driving force? How and why did it develop the way it has? Also, Is it isolated or is it connected, is it finite or is it infinite, does it have an origin, does it have an end..?

These questions are as much philosophical as they are scientific, and therefore have impact far beyond the sciences. To put it simply, just thinking about the universe will eventually lead to contemplating everything within it.

Cosmology Impacts Other Paradigms

This leads me to my second point. Given that cosmology deals with the big questions and addresses the big picture “out there,” it necessarily impacts all subsidiary paradigms, and in turn influences our understanding of our man made world, here on earth. An example that demonstrates how meta-paradigms such as cosmology may affect other paradigms is that of Galileo. Galileo was threatened with ex-communication in the 17th century for positing a different cosmology based on the revolutionary ideas of Copernicus (i.e., that the sun is the center of the universe, not earth).

Galileo’s innovations affected many other subsidiary paradigms, and ultimately brought us away from religion, into the world of science and the Enlightenment. This suggests that a change in our cosmological paradigm has the potential to transform and affect the broader culture and society. To understand how, let us look at some of the ways that contemporary cosmology has impacted certain areas of knowledge, and how this may change with the shift to electric cosmology.

EU Cosmology is Shifting Our Understanding on Many Levels

Human Nature

This introduces the third point, and main focus of the article. For starters, EU cosmology is changing our understanding of history. And this may in turn impact accepted views on religion and human nature. For centuries, phenomena occurring in the heavens have influenced meta-paradigms such as religion, as well as our understanding, or misunderstanding, of our nature as human beings.

For instance, monotheistic religions have a view of humanity as “fallen” and deserving of heavenly wrath (so too do many older religions). But where do these notions come from? Mainstream science tells us that they grew out of myths and fantastical stories from the past. But mainstream science does not allow for the possibility that these mythologies could be based on real events that were misinterpreted.

According to the electric universe theory, ancient mythologies are based on real life cataclysms and actual plasma formations seen in the ancient sky. These cataclysms happened when heavenly bodies in space affected our earth, long ago. This could help to explain where religion derived its interpretation of humanity as “fallen.” To paraphrase David Talbott: When our ancestors looked to the sky and were affected on earth by events happening in the heavens, entire mythologies, religions, and existential narratives were born.

When catastrophe rained down on them from above, ancient humans may have interpreted this as the “wrath of the gods.” This is hugely significant, not least because the view of humanity as fallen, flawed, and deserving of punishment persists to this very day. A change in perception, ushered in by the adoption of the EU’s take on ancient myths as a recording of real events, could shift our view of humanity and human nature. Rather than flawed and fallen, we may come to understand humanity as merely being victims of cosmologically induced traumas, and therefore, in need of collective healing through a form of historical re-examination.

This suggests that properly understanding the past could help us navigate the future. In the EU future, when people think about cosmology they may reflect on how it can actually affect our physical world, even potentially destroying it in an instant (figuratively speaking), as it did with the ancients. This may give us a sense of urgency and, therefore, greater reverence for our existence and the forces of the universe. This may also foster within us a need to cooperate and collaborate with our fellow humans, rather than spend our lives fighting it out and waging wars on this fragile planet.

Moreover, our religious paradigms may experience a change (given our new understanding of the past). Rather than fixating on our “fallen” or flawed nature and “saving us” from ourselves, religious ideology may shift towards a focus on the more neutral or even positive aspects of humanity. And this could have a major ripple effect. For history has clearly shown that when there are fundamental shifts in religious doctrine, the course of humanity is forced to change (for better or worse).

The Structure of the Universe

Another way EU cosmology may impact our future is by changing our view of the nature and structure of the universe, as well our connection to it. The EU presents a universe that is not as “bizarre” and inexplicable as mainstream astrophysics and gravity-based cosmology would have us believe. While I do not have a background in science, mainstream cosmology—based on the Big Bang, gravity, and Einsteinian relativity, etc—always seemed disjointed and inaccessible to me in some way. This cosmology does not seem to provide a very reasonable explanation of the universe, and, indeed, many of its suppositions remain shrouded in mystery and fiction to this day. Concepts such as the big bang, black holes, wormholes, dark matter, etc., all seem to generate more questions than answers.

Now, mainstream scientists might tell us that we cannot understand these concepts because, unlike Einstein, we and are not “geniuses.” But the reality is that these theories are un-testable and, not to mention, they are often posited ad hoc to fill holes in preceding theories. Of course, entire careers and fortunes have been built on these flawed theories, so one can see why mainstream cosmology is reluctant to let go of them

As an alternative and interdisciplinary cosmology that is not based on un-testable hypotheses, the electric cosmology of the EU seems far more plausible. Even to a non-scientist, such as myself, it’s rather apparent that the EU offers a far more accessible, comprehensive and comprehensible explanation of the universe and its nature.

The EU breaks from mainstream cosmology in several important ways. I’ll mention three:

  • First, it sees electricity as giving shape and substance to the universe via electrically charged plasma.
  • Second, it sees electricity as driving the universe by way of electric currents carried through this all-pervasive plasma
  • Thirdly, it perceives the universe as an inter-connected system–For the EU everything in the universe is connected through these electric currents.

This view of the cosmos is arguably more rational and far less mysterious and contradictory. In the EU paradigm there is no need for black holes, dark matter, dark energy, etc. Phenomena that are inexplicable in contemporary cosmology are more readily explainable using electric cosmology. Most importantly, the EU’s theories are testable. Space age technology is making it possible to measure and demonstrate the electricity in space.

Cosmic Connectivity

But for me, as a non-scientist, it is the notion of an integral connectivity—or dynamic cosmic connectivity—that makes the EU especially compelling and thought provoking. The idea of a force billions of times stronger than gravity, that permeates all things—from the most minute to the most massive or galactic—and connects all things within a dynamically structured system, is one that should peak our interest, not least because it hints at a far more cohesive and organized universe than we are presently led to believe exists.

This has both practical and philosophical implications. Philosophically, the electric universe’s notion of “cosmic connectivity” opens the door for a deeper and perhaps sublime understanding of ourselves as electric beings connected to all other things in the world and universe. Rather than existing as random isolated instances within a larger, disconnected universe, electric cosmology is suggesting that we may share a similar and scalable structure with, and within, a highly organized universe and all of its parts. This begins to paint a picture about our nature as living beings.

From a practical or less philosophical standpoint, if the notion of a connected universe spreads and becomes more popular and mainstream, it could impact how we understand and approach other systemic structures; such as our understanding of societal structures, health and healing, education, and even politics. As the ancient wisdom holds: “as above, so below.”

For instance, while Einstein and mainstream cosmology are not responsible for the alienation of modern-day societies, there is no denying that mainstream cosmology alienates us from ourselves and other things in the universe by presenting a very random and isolated cosmos. On a very subconscious level, this alienated cosmology may contribute to a greater general sense of alienation, that lends itself to the isolated and disjointed social model we presently have. So, if our cosmology changes and there is popular awareness and acceptance of the notion of a web of energy connecting the universe (and all thinks within it), this could change our conception, and practice, of social structures as similarly connected.

This point is conjecture and will be more fully developed later on (in another article perhaps). So I will not go into further detail about it here. The point I’m trying to drive home today is that cosmology impacts how we see other things and other structures as well.

Conclusion

In closing, I’d like to stress the following: If and when cosmology or the “big story” changes—and it is currently changing as a result of the adoption of the EU and its testable hypotheses—then everything else, including the way we think about our world and ourselves, will also be made to change.

Just as Galileo’s controversial cosmology (borne of the Copernican Revolution) had ripple effects that revolutionized all of science, religion and philosophy, the EU’s electric cosmology—which unseats gravity as the principle driving force in the universe and reinterprets ancient mythologies as reflecting real events in our solar system—may also one day ignite a meta-paradigm shift of massive proportions.

A shift of this magnitude will have impact far beyond the sciences, and will one day influence knowledge and thinking in other areas–such as sociology, religion, history, law and justice, popular culture, the arts, story telling, esoteric knowledge and much more.

Now, we may be long gone before the full effects of this shift are realized, for the shift is just beginning. But we are here now, at its inception, and we can all be part of the spark.

Because future science is more than “just science.” It encompasses many fields and it will be told and disseminated by people from all walks of life; from electrical engineers and astrophysicists…to poets, artists and filmmakers.

 

Undoing & Awakening-EU 2017 Poem

Author’s Note: Transcript of the poem I performed at the EU 2017 Conference. As this is a performance piece, it is written the way it is meant to be spoken.

cosmic-electricity

Dear Dying System:

I am an observer… but don’t think me mute

Give me a pen and i’ll shoot

Words that ringggg like ammu-ni-tionn

Bringing you dowwwn to pure sub-mi-ssionn…

 

You see, there’s a flawww in your scientific design

For the people are ready to take back their mindddd

You don’t believe me well here’s the proof

The struggle right nowww is the struggle for truth

 

We can’t run from this des-tin-y

We’ve been stifled too long by rela-ti-vi-ty

While ignoring the power… of e-lec-tri-ci-ty

An answer….soooo elegant…in its sim-pli-ci-ty

 

So let’s wield our pen like a thunderbolt

Our voice like a bow and arrow,

Sending out wooords of emancipation

Words for con-scious-ness liberation…

Intended to raise….. our future vibration

 

Cause if you look realll hard you will find

That truuue freedom, it starts in your mind

 

So to undo yearsss of scientific confusion

This must be the first site of the re-vo-lu-tion

 

Because we cannot see if we’re blind…

And the first step is to take back our mind

From theoreticians and… ma-the-ma-ti-cal magicians

Who conjure black holes…while fostering revisions

 

They confuse us with endless equations….

That contradict their own pedagogical persuasions

 

So it is time…to…take…the story…from…them

And it is time to name the source from which all things… stem….

 

It’s s in every starbeing……planet… and flower

 

It’s time to embrace its ubiquitous presence

And acknowledge its universal power….

Cause there’s a shiftthere’s a shift…there’s a paradigm shift!

Follow Up On My Critique of Liberal Western Feminism

This is a long over due follow up to my March 8 article, “We Need to Talk About Women: The Problem With Western Liberal Feminists”. In today’s post I will address some of the comments, questions and feedback that that article garnered. The main reason I decided to write this follow up piece is because, following the March 8 article on western liberal feminism, I received messages from young women who had shared that article on social media and received a lot of flack (mainly from other young women) over it. Today’s article is dedicated to the young women that bravely shared my article.

As a side note, the fact that some women were bullied for sharing that article, which was unabashedly critical of so called modern day feminism (what I describe as pro-establishment, liberal corporate  feminism) demonstrates just how intolerant and hypersensitive some of today’s politically correct Millennials are. But I digress. Back to the point at hand: Today’s piece addresses some of the concerns and criticisms that my March 8 critique of liberal, consumer feminism generated.

  1. The Article Bashes International Women’s Day

While the March 8 article was published on International Women’s Day, it was indeed not about International Women’s Day. The intention of the article was to make a statement about a certain segment of the female population in the west (liberal, consumer feminists), within the context of a broader critical analysis of identity politics. I chose to make that statement on international women’s day because it is a day where there is dialogue on women. Moreover, despite its title, the larger focus of the March 8 article is the critical analysis of identity politics. That is something I have been writing about for many years.

Continue reading

Calling All Muslims: It’s Time For An Anti-imperialist Secular Awareness

SYRIA-CONFLICT

Given that June 20 is World Refugee Day I want to take the opportunity to share some observations and opinions that may ruffle some feathers, but urgently need to be stated, especially by Muslim immigrants in the west. [1]

Part I. An Encounter With a Syrian Refugee

The other day I met a Syrian refugee family that had recently come to Canada. They moved next door to some friends of mine and I said hello to them in Arabic when I saw them sitting on the porch. The wife, a bubbly hijabi woman named Amira who is around my age, was overjoyed to meet someone that spoke Arabic and quickly struck up a conversation with me.

In a matter of minutes I learned that the family had left their small Syrian village three years ago for neighbouring Lebanon and lived there till they were approved to come to Canada as refugees, just three months ago. I also quickly learned that Amira and her husband, like many Syrian refugees, are ardent haters of Bashar Al Assad and critics of secular culture. Amira told me (in Arabic) that, while it was hard for her to leave her family back home, it my be fate that they ended up in Canada so that they can “spread the Muslim faith.” Uh oh…

To a secular Muslim—or, more appropriately, someone that can be described as culturally Muslim, since I was raised by Muslim parents in a Muslim immigrant household but do not practice religion—this set off some alarm bells. This woman left a secular Muslim country—yes, for all the supposed concern over radical Islam, the west is currently trying to destroy a secular Muslim country, with a very open and tolerant mixed society—for asylum in a western secular country and hopes to spread her religious beliefs here? Is that what we’re dealing with, Muslim missionaries? Amira seemed excited about the prospects of spreading the faith and told me that she felt Canadians were far more accepting of Muslims, and receptive to Islam, than Christian Arabs in Lebanon. She also offered to give me “religious advice” in exchange for English lessons in the future.

While Canada is a multi-cultural country that prides itself on religious tolerance and diversity, as a secular or non-religious person, I should also be tolerated and respected, and not subjected to religious peer pressure or attempts to make me “more religious.” During my conversation with the newly arrived Amira, I was asked why I do not wear the hijab (Muslim headscarf), if I practice Ramadan fasting and if my husband was a Muslim. While she was very friendly about it, the conversation quickly digressed into a religious guilt trip and interrogation. This is something I have experienced many times from “deeply religious” and rather prying Muslims that are “concerned for my soul” for one reason or another. As she talked, I could see her looking me up and down with a judging smirk, as if to evaluate my holiness, or lack there of.

I do not tolerate religious sermons from my own family members, even when I am visiting family over seas. And I should not have to experience it from a complete stranger that has been here for mere months, and is my age if not younger. Now before any apolitical liberals or fake lefties—who fail to see the connections between certain segments of the Syrian refugee population and western sponsored political Islam and Wahhabism—accuse me of being Islamophobic let me remind you that a) I am Muslim and b) I would not tolerate religious lecturing or “shaming” from someone of any other faith as well.

While some might assume that Amira felt comfortable lecturing me in this way because I am Arab and Muslim, and, that she likely would not submit non-Arabs and non- Muslims to the same pressure and religious guilt trip, let me remind you that she specifically told me that she believes that she was destined to end up in Canada so that she “can spread the faith.” While all Syrian refugees probably do not think this, the fact that even some do, is worrisome in a secular country such as Canada. Practicing one’s faith is one thing, pushing it on others is another thing altogether. While non-Arab or non-Muslim Canadians may be too afraid or polite to say this, I believe that I have a responsibility to say it as a secular Muslim.

Continue reading

Trump Continues His Betrayals: Broken Promises and Servitude to the Deep State

Trump war

Pre-election Guarded Optimism

During Donald Trump’s presidential campaign I wrote that I was guardedly optimistic about possible changes to foreign and economic policy under a Trump presidency. Given his campaign rhetoric and promises—which galvanized a type of anti-globalist economic populism and anti-interventionist foreign policy claims—and, more importantly, given that the mainstream media was so venomously opposed to Trump [1], I cautiously believed that positive changes to foreign and economic possibly might be possible. At the same time, I was aware that Trump could be another, and perhaps competing, incarnation of elite power. I asked on the day after the election if the Trump victory represents “a blow to the global establishment or its latest iteration?” I stated:

“Is that what Trump represents, the division within the global power structure? Does he have friends in high places that wish to revamp the current global militarized corporate and banking oligarchy? Or, is he but its latest iteration of it? Is he a gateway to what is to come–Martial Law, etc…?” [2]

In the early days following the election I held on to my cautious optimism about the new direction that economic policy and, more importantly, US foreign policy could take under his presidency. But as names started to surface for potential cabinet members, who were as neo-con and war mongering as the Obama and George W. Bush eras, my optimism began to waiver. In an article for the Asia Times I stated:

“If Trump is willing and able to rein in corporate oligarchy and economic globalization… and if he were willing and able to reign in the imperial war machine, then he would have already surpassed the broken promises of the last administration. But if he, like so many others before him, fails to deliver on what he promised during his campaign, then the people have every right and reason to oppose him.” [3]

Post-election Reality Check: Broken Promises

Now, four months into his presidency, the writing is clearly on the wall. Donald Trump has done a complete 180, broken almost all of his campaign promises, and has totally bowed down or surrendered to the globalist establishment and the imperial war machine. I want to state that, as an analyst and writer, my guarded optimism about potential foreign policy changes under Trump was very short lived.

Trump has so far broken every one of his campaign promises that had to do with reining in US interventionist foreign policy and the pro-terrorism, imperial Deep State. [4] For instance, Trump criticized former President Obama for his military actions in Syria and made overtones about being less interventionist in the Middle East, and then bombed Syria on April 6. During his campaign, Trump criticized Saudi Arabia and stated that the US should loosen its ties to the Saudi state, yet he turns around and signs the single largest arms deal in US history with the Saudis. On May 20 Trump signed a landmark arms deal with Saudi Arabia, which will have the US selling and estimated $350 billion worth of weapons to the Saudis over the next decade [5].

The significance of this arms deal is huge, and hugely problematic. Wahhabi Saudi Arabia, in alliance with the US and Israel and western intelligence agencies, has long been a supporter (through weapons, funding, training, etc) of radical Sunni terrorist groups like Al Qaeda and, more recently, ISIS. These groups’ main purpose is to destabilize non imperial bowing/collaborating Middle Eastern states—secular or moderate Muslim countries like Syria, Iraq and Libya—and terrorize the entire world.

As Larry Chin aptly argues, this arms deal benefits the all-powerful Israeli regime” and …influential Israeli lobby as well as the neo-cons in DC, the all-powerful American Military-Industrial complex, and US intelligence and its international network of terror fronts, including ISIS and Al-Qaeda. With his never-ending foreign policy debacles in the Middle East, “President Donald Trump continues to demonstrate that he is a puppet of globalist masters, the Deep State, and the existing international criminal political establishment.” [6]

For anyone that had the slightest hope that US foreign policy—especially its interventionist, terrorism-sponsoring Mid East policy—would improve under Trump, his policies are a complete betrayal, and proof that the imperial Deep State and globalist war machine is as entrenched and powerful as ever.

This goes to show that the US presidency is little more than an empty suit. No US president will ever be able to change or take on the Deep State. The only US president in history to actually try was JFK, and well…we all know how that ended.

So I go back to my vow–which I made to myself shortly after-9/11–to not take anything in US politics at face value, least of all its leaders.

If change is ever going to come to America and its policies it will come through the people, not politics–though in the US this is tricky because the people are especially powerless.

As I have argued elsewhere, the larger significance of the Trump victory had little to do with Trump and more to do with what its signifies about the American people. Though he is presently reneging on his campaign claims and promises, Trump galvanized a type of anti-corporate, anti-globalist and anti-war populism that crossed the political spectrum. Though they are currently being betrayed, many who voted for Trump did so because they were fed up with business as usual. The desire to turn  the page on globalism and endless imperial war is very real for many Americans.

Addendum

It is interesting to note that now that Trump is on board with the imperial war machine and the globalist Deep State, both the mainstream media and democrats/liberal progressives seem to be backing off of him. How ironic, and tragic, that getting on board with murder, destabilization and mayhem abroad suddenly makes Trump less of a bad guy to these so-called progressives. Just goes to show that the new left/fake left is now part and parcel of the globalist establishment.

 

 

Notes

[1] As a rule, I tend to believe that if the mainstream media is opposed to a person, they must be a threat to the establishment in some way.

[2] http://www.globalresearch.ca/donald-trump-wins-us-presidency-a-blow-to-the-global-establishmentor-its-latest-iteration/5556323

[3] http://www.atimes.com/significance-trumps-victory-little-trump/

[4] He did keep his promise to withdraw the US from the TTP trade agreement, which he did shortly after his inauguration.

[5] http://www.globalresearch.ca/trump-signs-single-largest-arms-deal-in-us-history-with-saudi-arabia-worth-350-billion/5591313

[6] http://www.globalresearch.ca/trump-bows-deeply-to-globalists-surrenders-to-puppet-masters/5591488

If You Can’t Take the Heat…. Bomb Syria: Trump Lifts Russian Collusion Heat By Bombing Russian Ally Syria?

trump-putin

As the saying goes, everyone has a breaking point. Apparently for Donald Trump, the threshold is paper-thin. He came in a like an anti-Washington policy cowboy, vowing to stand up to Washington, “make America great again,” and focus his attentions at home. He trashed those that came before him for wasting time and money and US soldiers on the Middle East. He urged former presidents not to bomb Syria no matter what the circumstances, alleged chemical weapons attacks included.

And yet, less than three months into his presidency, he does just that: bombs Syria over a conveniently timed and highly suspect chemical weapons attack. Really? Is that all it took? Did Trump really fall for the played out “Assad is gassing babies” meme? It’s doubtful. There is likely more than “gassed Syrian babies” at work here. Some claim that Trump was under immense pressure; that the unrelenting political and media attack against him, especially with respect to accusations of collusion with the Russians, was too much to bear. And perhaps it was. We do not know what was happening behind the scenes. Maybe he was being threatened with impeachment over supposed collaboration with Russia during the presidential election (a fabricated pretext). Maybe it was something worse?

Whatever was happening behind the scenes, it appears that Trump couldn’t take the heat. It took less than three months for Trump to diametrically change his tune on Syria. What better way to take the heat off of him, and show the world that he is not in bed with Russia, than to bomb Syria, Russia’s ally in the fight against western proxy war and US-sponsored terror groups (like ISIS and Al Qaeda) in Syria. Whatever his motives for caving and surrendering to the deep state, Trump’s actions are a line in the sand. There is no coming back from this– for him and for those that believed or hoped, even for a brief moment, that Trump would back up his cowboy pestering and stick to his guns on foreign policy in the Middle East.

There is no doubt that Trump benefits some how from his bombing of Syria. But what he has gained may pale in comparison to what he stands to lose or has already lost. Any geopolitical and foreign policy support he may have had from the “alt right” and the anti-imperialist left—not to be mistaken with the pro-war, fake left of the liberal progressive mainstream—is either completely obliterated or on very shaky ground.

What makes his bombing of Syria all the more mystifying is his earlier sentiments about not getting involved in the Middle East and not continuing Bush and Obama era follies in the region. It seems he doth protest too much.

He may have proven to the powers that be—and the mainstream media, which is hypocritically praising the man they loath for this recent act of war—that he is not in bed with Russia, but in doing so, he now appears to be precariously in bed with the deep state.

What this means going forward is anyone’s guess.

Trump Bombs Syria–and Obliterates His Anti-Interventionist Promises

crazy Trump.jpg

On the evening of April 6 the U.S. military fired 59 Tomahawk missiles at an airbase in Syria. The bombing was a “response” to the alleged chemical weapons attack by the Assad government, which critics of the American deep state and the US imperial agenda have called a false flag attack.

The U.S. assault, which was done without congressional approval, marks a complete reversal of Trump’s campaign trail anti-interventionist claims as well as his condemnation of previous US presidents’—Bush and Obama’s –military actions in countries like Syria and Iraq.

As Think Progress reports, this action marks a “dramatic reversal from Trump’s position when Obama considered military action against Syria” after Assad allegedly used chemical weapons in 2013. “Trump repeatedly derided the idea of striking Syria, characterizing it as a foolish and expensive waste of time.” At the time, Trump released a series of quotes urging Obama not to bomb Syria. Some of Trump’s tweets stated:

Given Trump’s dogged resistance to and criticism of Obama’s involvement in Syria and his campaign rhetoric about focusing less on other nations as well as his numerous overtures about improving relations with Russia, many commentators—myself included—were guardedly optimistic about potential changes to US foreign policy under Trump and a movement towards less intervention aboard. This was compounded by the fact that the mainstream media was and remains staunchly opposed to Trump. [1]

But it appears that the opposite is true. With this bombing, Trump has joined the neo-con/neoliberal humanitarian imperialism band- wagon, which uses so-called “concern for human rights” as a pretext for imperial wars, ‘regime change,’ and invasions abroad. That Trump got on board with this meme indicates that he is as beholden to the deep state as any president before him.

bombs-2

Despite his condemnation of Obama’s involvement in Syria and despite his claims and allusions about making American less interventionist, it took less than three months for him to expand the US imperial war machine. With this move Trump is likely to lose much of his support base, including among the “alt right”, which is far less war mongering than the neo-con right, and is indeed often anti-war.

Syrian Chemical Attack a Ploy?

Many are calling Assad’s supposed chemical attack an obvious false flag attack, not least because it came just days after the U.S. Ambassador to the UN and the U.S. Secretary of State overtly maintained that it is up to the people of Syria to decide their leaderhip and the country’s future.

Former Representative Ron Paul (R-TX) has denounced the chemical attack as a false flag attack and believes that there is zero chance Assad is behind it:

 “Before this episode of possible gas exposure and who did what, things were going along reasonably well for the conditions…Trump said let the Syrians decide who should run their country, and peace talks were making out, and Al Qaeda and ISIS were on the run….“It looks like, maybe, somebody didn’t like that so there had to be an episode, and the blame now is we can’t let that happen because it looks like it might benefit Assad.”

The timing of the chemical attack is just too convenient and too suspect. Though, it takes much longer than two days to plan such an attack; and one can surmise that it may have been in the works for a while. What it took to get Trump to diametrically change his tune is anyone’s guess.

It will be interesting to see if mainstream “progressives” and “liberals”—i.e., the fake left—will applaud Trump’s bombing of Syria. This group has supported the imperial agenda to oust Bashar Al Assad (for so-called humanitarian reasons) from the outset. Now that Trump seems to have gotten on board with this agenda, liberals may have some strange common ground with the man they call public enemy number one.

Final Thoughts

Just when I thought that U.S. foreign policy might become just a bit less belligerent and less interventionist, things get even more belligerent and far stranger. It took less than three months for my guarded optimism to be dashed. I suspect I’m not the only one feeling this way at present.

This goes to show that the deep state is stronger and more entrenched than ever.

Notes

[1] Though the war mongering, mainstream media backed his bombing of Syria. Little surprise there.

We Need to Talk About Women: The Problem With Western Liberal ‘Feminists’

femen-not object-2.jpegToday (March 8) is International Women’s Day. No doubt there will be numerous articles about women’s issues, women’s struggles and women’s triumphs. In this article I take a different route and address an issue that is rather taboo and off-limits, but ought to be discussed. Before I do, I want to stress that women in the west have come a long way and have a lot to be proud of. Western women have fought hard and bravely for rights and privileges that were denied to generations of women before them and have made vast strides towards greater equality and representation in society. For this, western women and traditional feminism should be applauded.

At the same time, the version of feminism that presently functions in the west—liberal, consumer, mainstream feminism—has become problematic. That is what I wish to address in this article. I want to honestly address the issue of women. I don’t mean “women’s issues”; those have been discussed at length. I mean the issue with women, meaning the problem with certain segments of the female population in the west, namely: liberal, mainstream, consumer feminists. Before you bring out the PC (politically correct) lynch mob, please read on to understand what I mean by this.

There is a segment of the female population in the west today that is very puzzling and frustrating, especially to traditional or former left-wingers, such as myself.1 I am referring to the slut marching, pussy rioting, liberal consumer feminists that fancy themselves progressive or liberal or “left wing,” today. These are the women that fight the sexual objectification of women by sexually objectifying themselves (topless FEMEN protestors anyone).2 Or the women that talk about ‘girl power’ then turn around and applaud when a Woman of the Year Award is given to a male-turned-female woman. Or the women that think revering and emulating cheesy, female pop stars—like Madonna or Beyonce or Niki Manaj—makes them ‘fierce feminists.’

While they may think themselves politically avant guarde, many of these women come off as rather apolitical and seem to have purchased ‘feminism’ as a media constructed/promoted lifestyle; hence the term consumer feminists. Their ‘feminism’ or girl power is reflected largely in the products they purchase or the lifestyle choices they make. These consumer feminists mistake buying Activia yogurt (a product marketed solely to women) or practicing yoga (in stylish and expensive yoga outfits) for being political or “progressive.” Newsflash ladies: these are lifestyle choices, not political acts or movements.

Western Liberal Feminism and the US Presidential Election

And when these liberal, consumer feminists do attempt to tackle politics or political issues, it is often done through reactionary identity politics, which substitutes the personal—personal identity, personal feelings, etc—for the political in a manner that negates broader politico-economic understanding and analysis. For instance, women that support candidates like Hillary Clinton simply because she is a woman—despite her many political and geopolitical crimes and blunders. Mired in identity politics, their femaleness forces them to support a female candidate simply because of her sex, while ignoring her political actions and behaviour; however heinous it may be.

This reflects one of the many follies of identity politics: It excuses the crimes of people like Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama–which includes the slaughter of innocent women and people of colour all over the world–based on their gender or race. As I argue elsewhere, it is not rational to support a president or presidential candidate simply because they are a racial minority or a woman. And I say this as a female racial minority.

Nor is it constructive to build a “political” protest movement centred mainly on feelings of personal offense.  A few days ago I was offered a pink hat with cat-shaped ears on it (the “pussy hat,” as it is being called), to wear as a symbol of “women’s resistance to Trump.” The pussy hat is part of the Pussyhat Project, a project begun by two American women following the 2016 US election. According to Business Insider, the hat’s name was inspired by Trump’s 2005 comments in the Access Hollywood audio leaked in October 2016, “in which he bragged about grabbing women by their genitals.”3

pink march.jpgAccording to one of its co-founders, the Pussyhat Project is “about women refusing to be erased from political discussion,” reports Business Insider.  While I am not sure exactly what she means by this, it seems to suggest that given that Hillary Clinton is a woman, and given that she lost the election, women—especially those women that voted for Hillary Clinton—are now being “erased” from political discussion. That does not make much sense. Are we to believe that Hillary Clinton lost the election because she is a woman? Last year in the UK, a female Prime Minister, Teresa May, was voted in and replaced the former male Prime Minister, David Cameron. Does that mean that men in the UK are being “erased” from the political discussion?

While there is a disproportionate amount of men in western politics in general, this did not begin with the 2016 US election, and statements about women being erased from political discussion need to be politically and historically situated and qualified. The Pussyhat Project and the sea of pink at the “Women’s March on Washington D.C.” on January 21 (the day after Trump’s inauguration), with thousands of women adorned in fuzzy pink ‘pussy hats,’ served to confirm something I have thought for many years now: That western women—especially liberal, consumer ‘feminists’—are extremely conformist and easy to manipulate as well as contradictory.

Where was the female indignation during the eight years of the Obama administration, when Obama and a female Secretary of State (in the first four years) repeatedly and systematically war mongered and deployed drones to kill scores of innocent people overseas, many of them minorities and women? Where was their women’s march on Washington, D.C. then? It simply did not exist. There were no mass women’s marches or female protest movements against the previous US administration, despite its myriad political, economic, and geopolitical crimes and atrocities.

While the Obama administration was among the most imperial and war mongering in US history, continuing and intensifying many of the policies of the George W. Bush era, and while Obama failed to keep any of his campaign promises, such as his promise to close Guantanamo Bay or to end the war on terror, there was no mass female uprising against him and his administration. Of course, during the Obama administration, the mainstream media were its biggest cheerleaders. The media was not helping to “trigger” women and rile them up as they are at present.

But protesting topless or wearing a pink hat does not, in and of itself, make you political. At best it makes you a cliché and, at worst, it makes you controlled (or fake) opposition. For there is nothing genuinely political or oppositional about following a herd trend, even if that trend is said to be a political statement or a “symbol of political resistance.”

Identity Politics is a Diversion From Bigger Issues

Identity politics is a form of political capitulation that gives into the establishment. It is a distraction from, and substitution for, a failed economy and a failed political system. Identity politics replaces political and economic power and choice, or lack there of, with personal choice and personal empowerment. The personal freedoms granted under identity politics—for instance, the freedom to choose among the ever-growing number of genders, etc—can mask how politically and economically un-free and powerless we are.

Under the present global neocon/neoliberal politico-economic mono-culture, people are increasingly politically and economically disenfranchised and dis-empowered. Rather than focus on the ever-creeping economic collapse, escalating unemployment, political dis-empowerment, the growing police and surveillance state, and the general economic despair that plagues much of the world’s population, identity politics (and contemporary progressives in general) points our attention towards differences, personal identity and personal choice. How convenient for the global power structure/elites. This is especially true among that segment of the western female population—liberal, consumer ‘feminists’—that I describe above.

Western Liberal Feminists are Largely Apolitical

pussyhat

While Donald Trump’s misogynistic comments may  warrant criticism, the problem with pussyhat wearing mainstream/consumer feminists is that they protest against him largely because they are personally offended. These women are apolitical in the broader, general sense. While they are raging against the pussy-grabbing Trump, they are silent on—if not oblivious of—the myriad other political, economic, and geopolitical problems and crises that plague humanity at present.

If these women were truly politically or critically minded, they would not have rallied behind the likes of Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama. This is not about “defending Trump,” but about pointing out that a lack of political perception and critical analysis makes many ‘feminists’ blind to the crimes of the previous US administration as well as to the globalized, militarized, neoliberal/neocon politico-economic power structure in general.

Western, liberal mainstream/consumer feminism is different than radical feminism, socialist feminism, and, especially, third world feminism. This topic is too complex to address here. For now I merely wish to note that much of what passes for ‘feminism’ in the west today would potentially be questioned by veteran feminists and/or more political and class-based understandings of feminism as well as by third world feminism.

For instance, unlike many western feminists, who tout gender neutrality and the “anything you can do, I can do better” mentality, “African feminists do not attempt to rob the man of his value and worth. They simply want to be given value and worth, as well.” As Dr. Hildra Tadria of Uganda, member of the African Women Leaders Network (AWLN) and co-founder of the African Women’s Development Fund explains, “For us, the fight is to dignify what the African woman does, not to try to get her to do what the African man does.” 4

For African feminists one of the most curious aspects of western liberal feminism is its emphasis on “sexual liberalization” or hyper-sexuality. Most third world feminism is not about sexual freedom but freedom from over sexualization and over objectification. While mainstream western feminists often use the term “rape culture” to describe the west, there are many countries in the world wherein women do indeed live under the constant threat of rape–where rape and sexual violence are rampant and ignored by the state. For these women, feminism includes the desire and struggle to be less sexualized.

Ironically, while contemporary western ‘feminists’ also claim to oppose the sexual objectification of women, they often employ sexual objectification as a tool to fight or denounce it (see the slim and sexy FEMEN protesters in the picture above). While this tactic may be aimed at reclaiming the female form and female sexuality, it is ultimately counter-productive in a society where the naked form (both male and female) is still seen as sexual. Protesting topless or naked takes attention, especially media attention, away from the issues these women are protesting, and focuses it instead on bare breasts and naked bodies. Here, the image ultimately distracts from—and upstages—the message.

I am aware that criticizing these types of women may be seen as catering to the divide and conquer tactics of the power establishment on some level; since we should seek to unite with others, not criticize them. But the liberal feminism of the fake left has reached a point of absurdity and counter-productiveness that simply cannot be ignored. And western women have to have the courage to call it out.

While wearing a fuzzy ‘pussy hat’ or slut marching topless may be said to be a symbol of ‘resistance;’ I ask, resistance to what? It most certainly is not resistance to globalist power or the US establishment. Let us not forget that, prior to Trump’s victory, there was very little anti-government dissent among so-called feminists and progressives in the US. Nor was there much resistance or opposition among them to the imperial war machine and western interventions abroad, which was as robust as ever—if not more robust—under the supposed feel-good regime of Barack Obama and his sidekick, Hillary. Indeed many on the new/fake left (including liberal feminists) support these imperial, regime change interventions, in the name of liberating oppressed women or protecting human rights,etc.

Final Thoughts

It appears that second and third wave western feminism has degenerated into something that is at once apolitical (or faux political), consumerist, and a service to the global establishment. In the midst of the feel-good, reactionary spectacle of contemporary western feminism, there seems to be very little that is political or left wing in the traditional sense, meaning politics and protest that is critical of hegemonic power, Empire, imperial wars, economic collapse and despair, unemployment, and class issues.5 You know, all those “old fashioned” and un-hip issues that the left used to care about before identity politics took over and/or forced its way in.

It also appears that contemporary ‘feminists’ have been manipulated through marketing and mainstream media and sold a clichéd lifestyle as politics and political opposition. Yet, as mentioned above, their form of politics—i.e., identity politics—actually serves the establishment inasmuch as liberal feminists, and liberals or ‘progressives’ in general, readily support imperial wars, policies and interventions. In this way, these groups have (unwittingly) become pawns and proxies of the global politico-economic power structure.

While the personal may be political, it will never be more political than actual politics and political consciousness. In reality, identity politics is the opposite of politics, in that, traditionally, politics or public engagement dealt with common issues, whereas identity politics further fragments consensus and is extremely divisive. Identity politics–women competing with men or racial groups pitted against one another–reflects the divide and conquer desires and strategy of the elite, since the masses are always weaker when they are divided. It forces a false polemic that stands in the way of consensus building, collective identity, and unity. As the old activist saying goes, “the people united will never be defeated.” Identity politics flies in the face of this and does the exact opposite; it divides people at a historical juncture when unity is most urgently needed.

Western liberal feminism has succumbed to the divisive and diversionary agenda of identity politics. I for one am not moved by the media-driven, diversionary spectacle of women in pink hats or topless FEMEN protestors, which is reactionary and provocative but lacking in deeper political thought and analysis. Like so much else on the establishment or fake left, it reeks of simulacra, or, put another way, it is more spectacle than substance.

So you can keep your pussyhat, ladies, this woman has more on her mind than what’s between her legs.

 

 

 

 

 Notes

1 I no longer use the term left wing due to identity politics. It should also be noted that I do not identity as a feminist. If I had to use a label it would be anti-imperialist humanist.

2 I am not “shaming” women for going topless but simply pointing out the contradiction of doing so in order to oppose the sexual objectification of women.

3 While misogynistic comments—such as those made by Trump—may warrant criticism, he made those comments privately. As Hillary Clinton once told a group of Wall Street banking executives in an email exchange leaked on wikileaks, “you need both a public and private position.” I’m sure Hillary’s husband Bill’s private “position” on women would be even more shocking than Trump’s. Bill is a notorious womanizer and his private comments on women and their bodies would likely leave many horrified.

4 http://www.newdmagazine.com/apps/articles/web/articleid/76478/columnid/default.asp

5 Today class is not just about money or income, nor is it simply about the means of production. Today class it is arguably equally about, if not more about, similarities in the way people live and the things they do.

The Roots of the Refugee Situation: Rising Above the Forest to See The Trees

This post is a follow-up to my previous article on the refugee situation in the United States. For me, this is not about Trump. The fact that I even have to say this shows how anti-intellectual and devoid of rational dialogue our society has become, especially among the so-called left. Accusing someone of being a “Trump supporter” simply for being analytical is not a PC scare tactic I respond to.

It is because the majority of so-called progressives were sleep walking in an identity politics, feel good la la land during the foreign policy disasters of the Obama administration—which the mainstream media was completely silent on—that the current situation has come as such a rude awakening to so many.

But for those of us that have a political memory longer than nine weeks, the refugee situation can be interpreted within the context of a much broader geopolitical and foreign policy landscape that includes several previous administrations, including and most notably the Obama administration.

At the risk of feeding into the false and diversionary duality of good administration/bad administration, I wish to point out the following two things. First, in the wake of the arrest of two Iraqis in Kentucky on terrorism charges in May 2011, the FBI suggested that dozens of terrorists might have entered the US posing as refugees. This led the Obama administration to reexamine the records of 58,000 Iraqis that had been settled in the US and to impose more extensive background checks on Iraqi refugees, limiting intake for up to six months, according to the Washington Post. I do not mention this simply to point out that previous administrations were already scrutinizing and limiting refugees from certain Muslim countries—that is just a side note and something that has already been noted by others.

Continue Reading