Islamic Counter-Racist Thought Food #65

Peace Be Unto Those Who Follow Right Guidance.

Consider this:

There are all sorts of limits that liberalism imposes and all sorts of exclusions it secures. Modern liberal society does claim to value multiplicity and variety of experiences, which seems attractive until you look carefully at what this means. Indeed, it justifies certain kinds of arrangement as being more open and tolerant when it isn’t. The mere fact that there is supposed to be a multiplicity of views and preferences in modern society is given as the reason for the moral and political superiority of the market: because the market is the mediator among people who have very different preferences, it is the best possible arrangement for our egalitarian, plural world; that is what the market is—a way of responding equitably (neutrally) to the fact that people want different things, physical, intellectual, spiritual. So the market comes to be seen as the supreme value rather than merely a dispenser of multiple values. It creates a particular kind of society in which wants are generated and increasingly monetized, and so only certain kinds of social relations can flourish. The liberal-secular prescription is that one must accommodate every sort of experiences and belief, and one must value them all, but it ends up encouraging a specific kind of experience typified in the consumption of commodities. The market is not a neutral mediator of multiple values; it is an active constructor, a re-former of specific values [emphasis added]. (p.79)

Extract taken from “Interview with Talal Asad” by Ovamir Anjum. The American Journal of Islamic Social Sciences 35(1), 2018, pp.55-90.

Peace

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Islamic Counter-Racist Thought Food #64

Peace Be Unto Those Who Follow Right Guidance.

Consider this:

A case could be made that racism was the meta-ideology that framed other ideologies, in the sense that its assumptions were in broad outline shared among political theorists with seemingly starkly divergent views (conservative, liberal, socialist). (p.221)

Achieving a new world will require an admission of the white lies that have been central to the making of our current unjust and unhappy planet. Global justice demands, as a necessary prerequisite, the ending of global white ignorance. (p.225)

Extracts taken from “Global White Ignorance” by Charles W. Mills. In Routledge International Handbook of Ignorance Studies. Edited by Matthias Gross and Linsey McGoey. New York: Routledge, 2015.

Peace

LINKS: The Critique and Redemption (?) of Racialised Liberalism

Peace Be Unto Those Who Follow Right Guidance.

Two important pieces by critical race philosopher, Professor Charles W. Mills, the first exploring a critique of liberalism as racialized, the second attempting to redeem liberalism through fusing it with the black radical tradition:

  1. The Critique of Racial Liberalism (2017)
  2. Black Radical Liberalism (2015)

Peace

VIDEO: How ‘Liberal’ WSR Co-Opts Non-Whites

Peace Be Unto Those Who Follow Right Guidance.

Consider the following excerpt from the 1974 film Trick Baby which succinctly explains the mechanics of non-white co-option by white people under the global system of Racism (White Supremacy) operating in its ‘refined’ / liberal mode:

Peace

LINK: Political Ideology as Religion

Peace Be Unto Those Who Follow Right Guidance.

Those interested in the subject of political theology, in particular Islamic political theology as articulated, for example, by Wael Hallaq in his recent The Impossible State (2013), are invited to consider the following essay by non-white male Maxwell O. Chibundu, Professor of Law at University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law:

Political Ideology as a Religion: The Idolatry of Democracy

University of Maryland Law Journal of Race, Religion, Gender and Class, Vol. 6, No. 1, pp. 117-157, Spring 2006.

Here is the abstract:

In contemporary international law and politics, the invocation of the term “democracy” transcends both objective description and ritual symbolism. Normatively, it is deployed to delineate the good society from the pariah state. Prescriptively, it is employed to shun and coerce foes into preferred policies. In this article, I reflect on the ways in which contemporary liberalism’s faith and commitment to “democracy” have become akin to those that classically are associated with religion. By tracing the roots, rise and spread of democracy to the demands of an essentially European middle-class engaged in industrialization, commerce and colonization, and by relating that history to its current unquestioning deployment in legal and political centers of power as an universal dogma that confers benediction or absolution to friends and damnation to enemies, the essay seeks to spur some reflection on the power and force of the concept. The preliminary reflections undertaken in this essay suggests that, as is often the case with most sociological concepts, democracy’s sphere of authority, if it is to be sustained and made relevant, ultimately must be constantly revised and limited by the needs of the society over which it is intended to preside.

Peace

VIDEO: (Mentacidal) Faith Versus Tradition

Peace Be Unto Those Who Follow Right Guidance.

Check out the following video by Mustafa Akyol, a Turkish journalist and writer and self-styled advocate of “Islamic Liberalism” (sic):

Mustafa Akyol: Faith Versus Tradition in Islam (TED Talk)

Akyol, like so many CON-fused people in the so-called “Muslim World” (in his case, Turkey), is a staunch advocate of democracy, constitutionalism, citizenship and an “Islamic modernism” embracing socio-economic-political emulation of Europe; in short, an endorsement of ‘modernity’ and state-nationalism, both of which have been subjected to devestating critique by Wael Hallaq in his recent work, The Impossible State: Islam, Politics, and Modernity’s Moral Predicament (Columbia University Press: 2012).

Akyol might respond to Hallaq’s critique by insisting that the latter’s line of argument is “traditionalist”, relying on contingent secondary sources while his (Akyol’s) “Islamic Liberalism” is firmly grounded in The Qur’an. However, that move simply isn’t going to work since Hallaq’s critique of liberalism, modernity and “the state” is equally grounded in The Qur’an, yet uses this text to deconstruct the modern project without lapsing into the kind of crude ‘Islamism’ that Akyol finds so problematic for his target audience – Eurocentric ‘Muslims’ and Western [=white] people. The difference between their two positions and the strength and weakness of their arguments reflects, but is not determined, by the scope of their learning: Akyol is a journalist; Hallaq is a scholar of Islamic thought (principally, jurisprudence and “Islamic Law”).

(Attempted) Muslims who know anything about their history should be able to see Akyol for what he is: a “House Muslim“. His pathetic, apologetic, fawning admiration of all things European and his desperate attempt to bring Turkey – and the rest of the so-called “Muslim World” – into alignment with Europe via appeal to 19th Century Ottoman reforms (as if it wasn’t already so aligned) is, IMHO, nothing short of nauseating.

Peace

VIDEO: Racism and Liberalism – Hesse and Mills

Peace Be Unto Those Who Follow Right Guidance.

Check out the following Provost lecture delivered by Charles W Mills entitled “Liberalism and Racial Justice”. In the lecture, Mills asserts that a striking feature of the literature on social justice produced over the past few decades is the marginality of racial justice as a central theme. Although Western political philosophy (liberalism, basically) has undergone a revival since the mid-20th century, race has been ghettoized as a legitimate topic. Mills will discuss how a liberalism shaped by a history of domestic and external colonialism might need to be rethought to deal adequately with race.

Now check out the following Northwestern University Political Union Debate on “Race and Racism in Western Modernity” with Professor Barnor Hesse (Associate Professor of African American Studies, Political Science, and Sociology) and Professor Charles Mills (John Evans Professor of Moral and Intellectual Philosophy):

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