Al Jazeera published this article by Shenila Khoja-Moolji titled “Why is the West praising Malala, but ignoring Ahed?” The article is useful except for two whopping problems. The first is that it doesn’t place the lack of political support for Ahed within the framework of Zionist influence & Israel’s role in world politics as a fortress against democracy in the Middle East. The problem is not an abstraction rooted in the psychology of Western supremacy, but in the realities of Zionist realpolitik.

The second problem is its tiresome attempt to stick it to Western feminism & portray it as preoccupied with “commodities & sex” rather than politics. It’s a cheap trick because there is no Western feminist movement–not to mention that feminist groups in non-Western countries have also not come to Ahed’s defense. Feminist bloggers do not constitute a social movement. What needs to be examined is the influence of Zionism on many leading feminists, at least in the remnants of the US movement, & the growing support for Palestinians among feminists around the world which was reflected strongly in the Women’s March of January 2017.

{Mondoweiss has a similar article titled “Where is the #MeToo movement for Ahed Tamimi” but that is a foolish reproach since that isn’t the nature of the MeToo movement. It’s not a political movement per se but personal attestation by women who have been sexually assaulted.}

The Assad school of falsification:

Vanessa Beeley subscribes to the method of throwing horse manure against a wall to see how much of it will stick. Now she claims, one year after the fall of east Aleppo, that the White Helmet rescue workers there supported unspecified “terrorist factions” abusing & using “mentally handicapped” people as suicide bombers. Her source of such rubbish? Fares Shebabi, a major industrialist & the Assad official for Aleppo. Not what an independent journalist would call an unimpeachable source but a propagandist’s primary source.

Some admire Trump’s inability to be controlled as though he embodied the ‘rugged individual’ of American mythology so evident in the cowboy & private eye genres. But you have to distinguish those who refuse to buckle to the prevailing winds, those who stand their grounds for justice, from those who are deranged & antisocial like Trump. If he hadn’t been born with a silver spoon in his mouth, he would be serving life without parole for any number of felonies & be featured on “America’s Dumbest Criminals.”

Mir Laieeq on India’s Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill 2017 which outlaws Triple Talaq. Triple Talaq is a procedure where Muslim men divorce by repeating “I divorce you” three times. As a Muslim, Mir’s criticism of Triple Talaq is not the same as the Indian government’s attempt to pit Muslim women & men against each other, as Heba Ahmed has pointed out.

“Indian Muslim men in the positions of some power, be it religious scholars, intellectuals, politicians and thinkers, have collectively failed the larger Muslim community in india on the most pressing sociopolitical issues.

On the issue of gender justice, their failure has been colossal, simply because most of these prominent members hide behind thoughtless maxims like “islam has given women all the rights 1400 years ago”, they simply refuse to see the difference between ideals of islam and the practiced realities.

Triple Talaq is one such issue which prominent Muslim organisations dominated by Men did next to nothing to address. Such an openly atrocious misuse of Islamic principles which caused tremendous injustice to Muslim women in india for decades was left untouched in the name of protecting Muslim personal law. Most of these Muslim bodies have always proven tough to reform.

Now that an openly islamophobic regime in india, has criminalised Triple Talaq to corner, push and punish Muslims further, many Muslim men are blaming Muslim women who fought against the Triple Talaq for this cunningly dangerous move of the government. This is nothing but the classic case of blaming the victim (many of these people also blame Kashmiri Muslims for the atrocities committed against them by Indian occupying forces)

Many Muslim countries have decades back banned Triple Talaq on the grounds of it being a violent misinterpretation of Islamic law. What stopped Muslim leadership in india, dominated by men, to do exactly the same for all these decades? Instead of blaming the women, they should do some soul searching, and, stop opposing if not facilitate Muslim women to take the centre stage when it comes to issues of gender justice.”

“The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill 2017 is nothing but the Hindu state’s attempt to expand the penal categories into which Muslim men are already fitted into. Counter terrorism, cow protection, anti-conversion and ‘love jihad’, there are already many punitive measures to facilitate incarceration of Muslim men. And now the state has added one more excuse: use the Muslim woman against the Muslim man.”

–Heba Ahmed

RIP Erica Garner

Erica Garner (2) Dec 30 2017

Erica Garner died this morning of a massive heart attack. She was the 27-year-old daughter of Eric Garner who was choked to death during an NYPD attempt to arrest him for selling untaxed cigarettes in 2014. NYPD policy prohibits the use of chokeholds. After his death, she became a prominent & outspoken activist against police brutality.

She leaves two small children, including a boy born in August 2017, her mother, & five siblings.

May she Rest In Peace.

CBS morning news actually said “gentrification lowers the crime rate in neighborhoods traditionally high in crime.” Like that was a good thing.

Poem for Kashmir

I returned home to broken gutters
spilling onto doorsteps,
bullet casings

she had kept the roses,
from the garden now gutted
by shelling, winter razed the rest

her eyes red from teargas
she never bid him goodbye

in Kashmir,
lovers are suspected of seeking freedom

Ather Zia
29 December 2016