Thursday, October 19, 2006

91] Beware the linguistic terrorists!

Beware the linguistic terrorists
Azly Rahman
Oct 9, 06 11:57am

We now have the following words and phrases chanted and propagated as post-modern mantras in public discourse: Liberal Islam. Islamic Feminism. Islam Hadhari. Civilisational Islam. Islamic Jihad. Islamic Fundamentalist Islam. Moderate Islam. Radical Islam. Conservative Islam. Islamic extremists. Islamic jihad terrorists. Islamic terrorists. Jihadists. Islamicists. Sunni Islam. Shiite Islam. Political Islam.

There are also related labels such as Sisters in Islam and, I assume, its counterpart Brothers in Islam. There are also cognate labels such as ‘Islam of the Quranists’ and ‘Islam of the Anti-Hadisists’.

Is Islam becoming ‘denominational’ as a strategy of global divide, conquer and confuse - orchestrated by the unseen hands of linguistic terrorists? Is a biological warfare on Islam in progress?

These are terms that are polluting, metamorphosing, morphing, mauling, terrorising and cancerising the word ‘Islam’ (submission to the Will of Allah, the Merciful, the Compassionate, the Just Ruler) and hypertextualising and heteroglossising the meaning of Islam rather that providing conditions for a deep-spiritual inquiry of the concept; one that ought to be recited with deep reverie.

Many, including misguided writers and columnists in Malaysia have fallen victim to their poor understanding of the word jihad and have spread their ignorance of the Palestinian issue as the nation struggled helplessly against the brutality of the Zionist state. These writers belittle the plight of the Palestinians brutalised daily by the Zionist regime. These Malaysian Zionist sympathisers use the term “fashionable" in describing the praxis of those who speak against the brutality of the Israeli government.

One needs to spend some time reading the history of the Middle East, of the claim to Jerusalem, the origin of the Zionist movement, the Balfour Declaration, United Nations Resolution 181, the Oslo Accord, and the covert blockage of the emergence of the Palestinian state and the US-Israeli nexus to clearly see the global picture of structural violence that has been going on for decades in Gaza and the West Bank.

Malaysian writers imprisoned in the anti-Palestinian straightjacket must at least read the work of Edward Said (photo) or Noam Chomsky before talking about terrorism. I have written elsewhere of an unseen terror network that has taken shape in the form of a post-modern Empire.

Pro-Palestinianism is not a trend and a fashion. It is a deeply serious and much-needed awareness of the plight of a people raped by the brutality of the ideology of practitioners of Zionism; just like millions of European Jews suffered the holocaust because of the brutality of the ideology of Hitlerism.

And now we are beginning to read writings that attempt to spread ignorance of the suffering of the Palestinians, supporting the brutality of the Zionist regime that continue to encroach the land robbed from the Palestinians. Obviously these writers are not well-versed in articulating the difference between the various forms of Judaism - Reformed, Orthodox and Conservative - and these with Zionism.
These differences are as varied as Martin Buber, Madonna, Bob Dylan and Ariel Sharon. What would it have been if the Jews were to settle for Africa and Latin America as a Zionist state - in a region where oil is not in the abundance? Would the United States still be interested in giving $4 billion a year to Israel?

Trapped in ignorance

Why are we straightjacketed in this form of ignorance?

Is it the ‘Islamic understanding of Bush-ism and of the American Empire’ or ‘Pax neo-Brittanica’ persistently fed into the consciousness of the global masses that is becoming hegemonic and which has helped us progress towards such ignorance? Is it the repetition of the "terrofication of the word Islam" that has made the Western media more profitable and have made ‘Googling’ the phrase ‘Islamic terrorism’ a rewarding and intellectual experience, not realising that one is actually building cages around however much is left of one's intelligence in understanding this beautiful and peaceful religion?

Finding out that the phrase "Islamic terrorism" registers more hits than "Buddhist terrorism" and concluding that Muslims are terrorists constitutes not only blatant ignorance of what researching means but also openly announces one's hatred towards Islam and the Muslims. Writers as such must either apologise for their ignorance, or stop propagating hatred through the democratic space of free speech. These writers are only fit to be lumped and dumped into the genre of those Danish cartoonist who masked their sub-intelligence as freedom of expression.

‘Researchers’ need rudimentary training in collecting data.

From "Islamic jihad to jihadist Muslims" and back to the past and into the future - these are invented concepts transplanted into our consciousness as a natural progression of the play of words that have deadly consequences. Jacques Derrida would analyse this similarly as in how the ‘word’ 9/11 has become emblematic of the "rude awakening of the sign, signifier and signification of global terrorism”.

Many writers, academics, columnists and journalists both in Malaysia and internationally have been disciplined, punished and douched by the hybridisation of the simple words ‘peace’ and ‘submission’ that have characterised the thought, consciousness, actions and commitment of the followers of Islam. The deadly connotations of these words have spread like wildfire in all forms of literary medium - print, broadcast and digital.

In fact, there are also those who research and conclude what Islam is by merely ‘Googling’ the meaning of ‘Islamic terrorists’. Not a very intelligent way to do research especially when the point is to criminalise those who wish to live in peace and harmony. Of course the Internet produces a lot of information -and junk too, including pornography, pedophilia and beastilia. To Google ‘Islam’ and to present it as data and conclusion in one is to engage in a linguistic terrorising act, akin to the strategy of creating a ‘semantic terror-vision’ by the media owned by say, Rupert Murdoch or Ted Turner.

Academics, intellectuals, columnists and students of ‘global terrorism’ continue to be fed with propaganda from the Fascist global-corporate media that profits from its own brand of evangelising terrorism. From embedded journalism, live reporting and simulcast broadcasting to investigative journalism - all this, in the hands of media moguls and captains of terror-vision, become a staple diet for those who make a living construing and criminalising Islam. Islam is not under fire - it is we who are letting our perceptions become victims of fascistic media's wildfire. The gung-ho global media has a built-in terror as it attempts to survive in this age of cut-throat informational capitalism.

False researchers

These ‘truth Googlers’ and false researchers are those who do not understand the meaning of the words/spiritual progressions of shariat, tariqat, hakikat, makrifat, haq and wajib in Islam. They have not read some basic texts such as Al Ghazalli's ‘Ihya Ulumuddin’, let alone the ‘Al Quranul Karim’. They have Islamophobised themselves through years of being fed with a steady diet of Islamophobic terror-vision that inspire them to become defenders of ‘liberal’ or ‘progressive’ Islam - whatever those terms mean.

They fail to understand the simple meaning of the ‘fundamentals of Islam’ and misconstrued that to mean ‘Islamic fundamentalist’ provided by the deeply terrifying propaganda of television stations such as Cable News Network and Fox News Channel 5.

But then again, perhaps it is not intentional but sheer ignorance of the meaning of Islam that has produced and reproduced these cadres of linguistic terrorists - those who use hybridised terms of endangerment to become apologists to the empires of the new West.

The West loves the bogeymen especially after the death of the Siberia Bear (Soviet Empire) buried under a mountain of Coca Cola, McDonalds and Freedom Fries. (The word ‘bogeyman’ also originated from Orang Ugi or Orang Bugis, invented by the colonials to scare their children. As history tells us, the Bugis are a great seafaring, God-fearing, colonial-hating Muslims who have always played the role of saviours to Malays kings; saviours to Malay sultans who used their wealth and power to terrorise those under their rule.)

It was the ‘bogeyman’ philosopher-warrior Raja Haji who defended to his death, the kingdom of Melaka against terrorists from the Dutch East India Company. The Dutch colonial terrorists were then replaced with British terrorists and next Japanese terrorists -all this is part of the order of things/genealogy in the periodisation of terrorism. We now have neo-colonialists terrorists in every nation - plundering and colonising the natives without a single shot being fired. Billionaire prime ministers are among them.

Let us not Google happily and spread terrifying words we are intoxicated with, after having drunk from the River of Selective Forgetfulness. We will only succeed in frontal-lobotomising ourselves of the beauty of all religions.

This Muslim-bashing must stop. And bashers of any religion must be rehabilitated. Muslims do not necessarily turn their other cheek when slapped with terrifying Googled terminology that denigrates the sanctity of Islam. They stand up against social and linguistic injustices. That is what ‘justice’ in Islam means - to put words/concept peacefully in its proper place. In the Malay language the opposite of ‘Adam’ is bila-adam or biadab (adab means ‘civil’ as derived from the first civil human being, i.e Adam. A not-yet-civil human being is therefore 'non-Adam').

Beware the new breed of linguistic terrorists and Zionist apologists!

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