My response to this thought-provoking article by Douglas K Murray in The Spectator who says,
Copyright (c) 2013 by Mohamed Jiwa, Nairobi, All Rights Reserved.
They're not Muslims, Doug. Neither you nor Cameron seem to see that.
are just like you and me: products of a world - a world that was
created by people in power which has included us and excluded them, if
you insist on drawing the picture in terms of we and them. Like
impoverished Victorian children in the slums in the East End emboldened
and confounded by the added ingredient of that heady mystery known as
That world is our world, and it's degenerating, as the
neurotic comments herein are, into a psychosis, whose products are
increasingly being thrown into the reject basket because the widgets of
humanity are damaged and losing value like the dollar. Face it: These
are agents of consummate misdirection, trapped in poverty. In a word -
nutters of our making, ill-equipped but (from their own point of view)
bravely doing what you and I dare not do with all the 'education' and
sophistication at our behest - attempting to survive and make sense -
yes, sense even if that amounts to destroying life using means that have
been ruled by the powerful as fair game. They seek to make sense of the effects of a question which permeates the whole planet, let's be honest.
It is an attempt to make sense of a senseless world with the few primitive tools that our history has disposed them with. They do not have time to conceive
of a history. You and I who consider ourselves literate (but are in
terms of the dearth of fellowship between human beings miserably
illiterate, thanks to 'Enlightenment') the ones who write that history.
Somalia was decimated by colonialism to a degree that you would like to
forget. So are many other lands and nations.
And they won't
let you forget, mate. They don't need to domesticate dogs to take a
bite into our legs and never let go. Poverty that is held by the tail
has a mean sting to it.
VOA and BBC etc - voices that are
overpowering and deafening and that demand your ears - have succeeded in
brainwashing most of you into wearing extremely colourful glasses to
the point that it may be too late for you to recover, to be able to
disabuse yourselves of the disturbing and misleading notions that have
driven you into a paranoia and a nostalgia in respect to what the
problem could be (in general and not 'Islamic' terms.) Whether used by
Muslims, pseudo-Muslims or non-Muslims the word 'Islam' is now being
underused, and has become no more than an excuse for lazy platitude and
The militants, the killers, may have
lost it because they have gone over the brink, but we have lost the plot
because our intellects have gone into stupefied hibernation, horrified
and scared. Yes scared, inspite of the fact that you can walk your
streets with complete confidence that the chances of something going
unpredictable in daily life are extremely slim; scared to step off the
island into the the real and larger environment, which is now a product
of a tradition that is inherited, possibly, from the adventures of your
'brave and gallant' antecedants.
I am probably as guilty as you
are: We are the cowards, quite unperturbed by the cold that inhabits
and characterises our islands, yet unwilling to set out across the
planet into the heat and attempt to better understand the effect of the
history we are content to have define our planet's psychological and
human contours . Our current perceptions, made and defined by the
products of the Age of so-called "Enlightenment" are ghoulishly
contorted: Somalis and many others are the peoples against whose minds,
bodies, psyches, dignities, communities, lands and cultures our
histories have taken a god-awful swipe and scarred permanently. They
have inherited the legacy of total destruction.
Perhaps, if we
attempt to take a closer look at the problem and dare to embrace it as
our own, instead of looking for a way to make it go away, that chilling
permanence might freeze in inverse ratio with our ability and courage to
face the truth: It will only thaw when we accept that certainly, not
only within our shores but also beyond - we face up to it and embrace it
Al-Shabaab's are the extremely mutilated
scar-faces but their scarred faces are not visible to the eye of the man
in the pub, the squire at a Sunday table of cream teas, or the father
and husband of those they have killed with chilling lack of feeling that
can only be translated into schizophrenic levels of blind anger.
excusing the Indo/ Pak/ Arabo/ Somali/ and " the other's" contempt of
the system in the UK where it has, indeed, been abused, and smacks of
ingratitude, this mutilation and pain has imploded in face of the
peaking cultures of domination and contempt for the weak, consumerism
and conspicuous consumption amounting to odious example, to such a
degree and in such a manner that, as exploitation for the sake of
reckless profligacy bordering on dissipation gets more and more
sophisticated, the gap widens between what it means to be rich in
contrast to what being 'poor' has come to denote - on what has now
become a scale that can no longer be conceived by the poor who are being
dispersed, trafficked, abused and exploited with equally chilling lack
Mohammed (the Prophet) is said to have declared,
"poverty is my glory" and there is coded into this terse statement not
only a sentiment about living within ones means whatever that might have
meant, even in the two-way street England of old that I once knew,
too. There is bleeding in this sentiment a pulsing value which seems to
have been blown to smithereens by historical forces that are beyond the
scope of this comment.
It is true to say that Islam is very much
about working to bridge the gap between the haves and have-nots, to
create a healthy balance that does not undermine the need to respect
one's status in terms of wealth. This is true not only between
individuals in communities and societies but also between nations. Like
healthy politics, a philosophy of Islam, where it is understood to be
not only of academic significance, deserves to be more closely studied,
if only for the sake of attempting to step out of one's unhealthy and
parochial comfort zone.
Thanks for provoking my response.