Peace Be Unto Those Who Follow Right Guidance.
It is now five years since my late father, (Al-Hajj Al-Haafidh) Syed Shahid Ali, passed away. (In this connection, interested readers might want to read the tribute I wrote to him on Friday 24 May 2013.)
Similarly to what I stated in a post commemorating my reflections last year entitled “The Lark’s Ascending and The Soul’s Ascension“, much has happened in the intervening period, some of it good and some of it not so good, but all of it as viewed from my limited human perspective.
In what follows, I want to reflect briefly on some of the apparent good that has taken place since the post from the previous year. Once again, I have been blessed by God/Allah with a number of opportunities to further develop and apply my (Islamic) decolonial thinking in various settings.
- I delivered a talk entitled “The (Un)bearable Whiteness of Informationalist Religion” at the OURS2018: Contemporary Religion in Historical Perspective: Publics and Performances conference which was held at The Open University from 19-21 February 2018, Kents Hill, Milton Keynes, UK. The abstract is here.
- I have been invited to be guest editor for a special issue of ReOrient: The Journal of Critical Muslim Studies dedicated to exploring “The Decolonial Question Concerning Technology.”
- I presented a paper entitled ‘White Crisis’ and/as ‘Existential Risk’: The Entangled Apocalypticism of Artificial Intelligence at the AI and Apocalypse conference organized by the Centre for the Critical Study of Apocalyptic and Millenarian Movements (CenSAMM) which took place in 5-6 April 2018 at the Panacea Gardens in Bedford, UK. I have subsequently been invited to submit this paper for publication in a special issue of Zygon: Journal of Religion and Science, the oldest and pre-eminent journal in this field.
- I was invited to become the convenor of the newly formed Critical Information Studies (CIS) research group based in the School of Computing and Communications at The Open University, UK in April 2018.
- I have a chapter entitled “Heidegger and the Islamicate: Transversals and Reversals” in the forthcoming book Heidegger in the Islamicate World edited by Kata Moser and Urs Goesken and published by Rowman & Littlefield.
- I have a chapter entitled “Prolegomenon to the Decolonization of Internet Governance” in the forthcoming book Internet Governance in the Global South edited by Daniel Oppermann and published by the University of São Paulo.
- I presented a paper in the session on ‘Critical and Political Issues’ at Philosophical Hermeneutics in the Islamicate Context, an International Conference held at Université catholique de Louvain in Belgium May 9–11 2018. The abstract is here.
- I presented a paper in the panel on ‘Colonising and Decolonising Data’ at Data Justice 2018, an international conference hosted by the Data Justice Lab at Cardiff University May 21-22 2018. The abstract is here.
Truly a huge barakah from The Most High.
Unfortunately, I have not yet had an opportunity to visit the grave of my father at the Gardens of Peace Muslim Cemetery this year due to work commitments but will visit soon, insha’Allah.
I should like to end this post with the following piece of music which I dscovered this past year and which made me think of my father when I recently listened to it (the composer himself passed away earlier this year):