There’s much to write about these days, from the political tumult in Egypt to terrorist attacks in the UK (no, not by Muslims but actually against them). The rise of the far right in the form of UKIP looks worryingly like a respectable comeback for racism and Islamophobia. The cameronian government continues in its contempt for the working class and poor whilst augmenting far-right rhetoric that immigrants, most notably Muslim ones, are to blame for most things. They’ve even got a van out telling the illegals to go home (it’s been claimed that if you give the line a call you’ll be offered a number of Asian languages). The LibDems seem to be distancing themselves from their coalition partners in anticipation of the next general elections but are finding it difficult to muster policies that progress beyond those formulated by the Conservatives – take their policy on student fees, for example.
Back to the Conservatives, the neo-conservative Minister for Education Michael Gove, Labour claims, spends public money on private consultants and marketing at the expense of school places. But why should that surprise us given the Conservative’s dismembering of the education system and handling of public money in a way that will be to the inevitable advantage of someone Mr. Cameron was probably at school with. A ComRes survey for The Independent tells that Labour lead over the Conservatives although not by far, and it seems voters would prefer one party to win an overall majority in 2015. In any case, the IPSA have found that MPs are quite tyrannically underpaid; clearly another eight thousand pounds a year on top of the £66,396 they already get should help them to tie things over (well, just about).
As has been the case for quite some time, most Muslims don’t seem too worried about what goes on at home, unless of course, we’re debating whether we’re permitted to pray behind those who wipe over their socks during ablution, whether it’s a prophetic tradition to wear a thobe (Arabian attire), the monotonous debate over eight or twenty raka’at for tarawih, or whether so-and-so is a scholar – although nobody in the debate has any intention of actually referring to him. If there is any comment on our current standing in society, it tends to be an I-told-you-so at any revelation of corruption or reprehensible behavior by those some may have nominally referred to as vehicles to help progress what is upright. As is nearly always the case, people have more of an obsession with the means rather than the ends. A miniscule few inanely plan to enforce Islamic legal codes on approximately 96% of the British population who have yet to accept Abrahamic monotheism. And they refer to others as corruptive (religious) innovators?
Now to be fair, on some fronts many Muslims have grown up. Those issues that are simple differences of juristic opinion have been left alone, but have such individuals truly moved on to deeper considerations? Well some think they’ll simply live out their lives without engaging the world around them, especially on those things that fundamentally shape their lives and those of subsequent generations. On the other hand, others plan for the great getaway to exotic Arabian lands to help the ummah, by charging ‘the ummah’ excessive pay rates justified by a western education.
On the international front Muslims watch Syria closely, but beyond the rhetorical anti-Assad hype there hasn’t been much resolve to actively bring an end to the crisis. Many have sent money to the dispossessed and oppressed, and that undeniably aids those afflicted. But what for using all means necessary, including the political, to pressure a more robust response from our government? I guess if you can’t do it for yourself why would you do it for anyone else?
While the world contemplates the embarrassing conversations and web calls it has made with the NSA and GCHQ listening in, Bradley Manning has been found guilty on a number of counts whilst Snowden has now been granted temporary asylum by Russia and Assange issues press statements from inside the Ecuadorian embassy in London. (Is this new era of whistleblowing God’s current method of exposing tyranny?) Speaking of embarrassing, the Egyptian defence minister el-Sisi’s Ray-Ban moment had him depicted perfectly as the quintessential military despot, but apparently he speaks for the will of the people. The military coup in Egypt has been utterly besmirched by various media outlets with various revelations hitting the press from the role of Mubarak cronies undertaking a sustained campaign to undermine Morsi (New York Times), the unprovoked massacre of Morsi supporters (as investigated by the Guardian), the complicity of Saudi Arabia, the UAE and the US in both an assassination attempt on Morsi and the coup (The Wall Street Journal), to the allegation that Fatah and PLO had also joined in the campaign to undermine Morsi (Hamas claiming it has documents that reveals their role), and more recently the committee set up to rewrite the Egyptian constitution caught on tape expressing their intent to repressively wipe out Islamic sentiment from Egyptian politics and enforce an authoritarian secular state (al Jazeera). Hilmi al-Namim, one of the members of the committee was caught saying, “Egypt is secular in its essence, and in order to enforce secularism there must be [the shedding of] blood!” The cold call to shed blood by massacring innocent protestors demonstrates the audacity of the secular fundamentalists and a return to despotism and tyranny by Mubarak-era regime members and supporters. Nothing new in Egypt then.
On the cyclical reinitiation of the Middle East peace process, the US has appointed, as its special envoy, Martin Indyk, a former ambassador to Israel and onetime AIPAC employee. How’s that then for brokering a solution to the conflict where all sides are expected to make reasonable compromises? It appears that the Palestinians have begun to, even before having got to the table.
In this period of politically uncertainty and unrest there may be one thing for us to look to with some relief, at least Baroness Ashton knows where Morsi is.