Trump and the Resurgence of Everyday White Aggression

Since the election of Donald Trump much has been given to the topic of racism, and especially white supremacy, and its malfeasance in the public’s eye, or shall I say, the media’s eye. And while undoubtedly there has been an uptick in such occurrences what is being misconveyed is the important fact, historically as well as present day, that white aggression in the United States has been far more than a few bad apples. For many non-whites, especially so-called African-Americans. white aggression was as ubiquitous as it was vernacular, meaning that white hostilities directed towards blacks was not simply a privilege some white elites enjoyed inflicting on blacks but in fact, its apparently one of the few joys poor whites could enjoy. It would appear that the 2016 election has breathed new life into this phenomena and re-authorized that contingency of white America to again openly and unapologetically flex its muscles. Yesterday, at 1:00pm, I had my own personal encounter with it. Continue reading “Trump and the Resurgence of Everyday White Aggression”

Whether We Look Inwards or Outwards, There Is Only Submission

يا أَيُّهَا الَّذينَ آمَنُوا اتَّقُوا اللَّهَ حَقَّ تُقاتِهِ وَلا تَموتُنَّ إِلّا وَأَنتُم مُسلِمونَ

“O’ you who have faith! Have piety of God, as is His right due to Him and do not die except as those who submit to God’s will (Muslims).” — Qur’an 3: 101

There persists great difficulty and controversy over the meaning of the Arabic word, “Islam”. Popular definitions often hover over “peace”, undoubtedly to dodge accusations of Muslims, the practitioners of the religion Islam, being inherently and exceptionally violent. Other dictionary definitions suggest “to abandon”, suggesting when one becomes a Muslim (yet another definition from the verbal root, aslama, which Islam is derived from) he or she “abandons the world and all its illusions” in favor of God. And while there may be others, I’ll highlight a third here: “submission”. Continue reading “Whether We Look Inwards or Outwards, There Is Only Submission”

#BeyondHalal – The Role of Imagery in Manipulating Food Choices

As Benjamin Missbach describes in his article, Mental Imagery and Food Consumption, human beings have an enigmatic, Proust-like capacity to,

“travel back and forth in time by using mental simulations. By imagining shapes, forms, and scenes, humans can relive the past and visualize future events”1.

The process of reimagining the past, as demonstrated in the above image on the back of a delivery truck, is emblematic of how the food industry operates in the western, developed world. Unlike Marcel Proust’s madeleine, however, whose triggered memory was based on an actual memory, our nostalgic reactions today to such images as the one above — a white cowboy rancher, is based more on fiction and fantasy than fact and reality. Continue reading “#BeyondHalal – The Role of Imagery in Manipulating Food Choices”

The Smugness of Secularism

Secularism is, among many things, smug. It is so heavily dripping with ideology and prejudice — two qualities it would love to convince the lot of us that it is above — that it’s virtually impossible to take anything it says at face value. But its smugness would have no traction without its purveyors, many of whom these days are Muslims.

Of the many ridiculous statements of secularists (and perhaps especially Muslim secularists) is the notion that everything that’s wrong with the so-called Muslim world can be lain at the feet of religion in general and doubly so for Islam. This only furthers the crippling of emerging Muslim societies by discouraging them from solving their problems and challenges they face today by using the tools of genius already present within their societies and culture (influenced and informed by Islam) by shaming them for no other reason than simply being Muslim. Additionally, like a good used car salesman, secularists then proceed to sell Muslim societies on all of the wonders and benefits secularism promises to bring to their societies, a one-stop shop if you will for modernity. This sleight of hand, especially by Muslim secularists and anti-theists, is akin to a magic trick that requires audience participation for the effect to seem believable. In the end, secularists are doubly guilty of reducing the problems of Muslim societies to merely the adoption and adherence to Islam and reducing their solutions to the mere appropriation and unquestioning embracing of secularism. Like any good magician however, they do not like for you to scrutinize their techniques too closely as the house of cards their arguments are built off of may crumble. By this I mean the failures of secularism. Continue reading “The Smugness of Secularism”

How Technology Influences Our Non-Technological Sensibilities

Technology, in particular, digital technology – which includes the explosion of the Internet of Things (IoT), is ubiquitous. Writers such as Neil Postman (Technopoly) and Nicholas Carr (The Shallows), along with many others, have written extensively on the effects and impact of technology on our lives. I agree with them. One aspect of the confluence between this technology and ourselves which doesn’t get as much attention is how technology also re-wires our perspectives on religion. Some of this reconfiguration is direct (such as affecting our attention span) while others are more subtle and indirect. It is the latter that I wish to discuss here. Continue reading “How Technology Influences Our Non-Technological Sensibilities”