Muslims and Infrastructure

Figure 1A: As Masjids fall further into obscurity, some Muslims are still trying to accurately grasp what to do about the situation. (Photo courtesy of fineartamerica.com)

Figure 1A: As Masjids fall further into obscurity, some Muslims are still trying to accurately grasp what to do about the situation. (Photo courtesy of fineartamerica.com)

This was a question sent to me about an earlier lecture I had given in February.
wa ‘Alaykum us-Salamu wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh
He stated that the only way to retain Islam, or one of the methods to keep Orthodox Islam pure and undefiled by Saudi Wahhabi money is to separate from global groups or groups with global reach and to live locally.
 
No, I actually said that Muslims should stay united with Muslim Orthodoxy worldwide, but the necrotic masjid barns that have been built will soon be unmaintanable and as we are entering a post masjidism phase, we have to create more tightly knit structures to accommodate this situation and build real communities. Infrastructure is required.   
 
Community building as its called. The dilemma in this is that when one chooses to become an isolated group one tends to expose oneself to the infamy of the larger majority.
 
The assumption being made is that one will be living exactly alongside the majority group and inhabiting the same space. This is what is happening now and has created the enclaves. This is not what I have stated at all. 
 
That is to say that the group, in attempting to form a local identity, becomes prey to the worldviews of the majority civilization. 
 
Jews experienced such a phenomenon when they immigrated to the United States. They found themselves a small minority amidst the larger American Secular Christian population. What they had to do was to tailor themselves to the local community else risk ostracism. 
 
This is erroneous from a number of points: 
 
1) Jews did not come to the United States under the same conditions that Muslims came to the Anglosphere and here is why: 
 
a. Jews coming to the United States came in two waves, the first being those that emerged from the shtetl system of ghettos in Europe. They had not went and established these ghettos. They were put there, starting with the first in Italy for Jews. These Jews that came to the United States were then first sent to the Lower East Side of NYC, not due to the fact that they wanted to but because they were made to do so. As in Europe, they were prevented from being involved with most activities, which led to them changing their names. People such as Kirk and Michael Douglas were precisely in this situation, which is why they had to change the family last name. The same goes for Dean Martin, Woody Allen and countless others. 
 
The second wave of Jews came during or just after the Holocaust. This would include such people as Albert Einstein, Sigmund Freud and Anna Freud, Hannah Arendt and countless others. These same people would inherit the vaudeville tradition and wide ranging political and religious expressions that had already begun under the first wave before them. The second wave had not only left from the shtetl environment, but had also fought in uprisings against totalitarianism and some of the end results of the Holocaust. 
 
The clothing of the Jews has nothing to do with arriving in the United States. The change in clothing and morays was a result of the Jewish Haskalah, a reform movement having its’ strongest influence in Germany in which Jews either converted to Protestantism or moulded Judaism to fit the Protestant culture. One of the best examples of a product of this system was Karl Marx, the son of external converts to Protestantism from Judaism. This had not been done for the religion, but for the step up in society from the ghettos, which had no future. 
 
This cannot be compared to Muslims, who came from majority Muslim countries and then chose to move into ghettos of their own making. Muslims were not coming as a minority and then coming into a minority status somewhere else. Most Muslims did not come as stateless persons, which the Jews did. Even Palestinians, some of whom that arrived in the United States, had passports from Panama, Nicaragua and other places. How would this compare with Jews who had no passport, travel documents and many of whom had to be smuggled out of Europe?
The Muslims that have created the ghettos from themselves in the Anglosphere have to disengage with that ghetto culture and form autonomous structures for themselves. These autonomous structures then produce confederacies.
 
b. Jews that came to the Anglosphere came for reasons of safety and fleeing possible extermination, so they were motivated to succeed. This is not the case for those who come as economic migrants and might only be looking for a better standard of living. Once they obtain such a goal, then they level out. This then produces mediocre scholarship, below standard students in school (Pakistani children consistently rank behind Jamaican children in league tables), along with cynicism towards religion. Jews have not ceased their climb to upward mobility. 
 
c. There is perhaps no other group of people (bar Sri Lankans and Palestinians) who are so small and at the same time are disproportionately represented in every profession on a global scale. Many of these people attended Yeshiva school, which had both forms of teaching and upon coming to university were actually ahead of other students. This has not happened with people graduating from Muslim schools in the Anglosphere. In fact, Muslims tend to be more behind, so the comparison between a Jew and a Muslim in this regard is not fair to the Jew. 
 
d. Jews, inspite of their despised status, have and continue to contribute in a massive way as they realised that the only way that they could be free was through self determination and not through human rights and the governments under which they reside. This is why after the Holocaust, their statement, “Never again,” was realised. When they enter any conflict it is always with the Holocaust in mind. This is not how Muslims in the Anglosphere think, so this can breed laziness. 
 
e. Jews do not lobby Congress or have an AIPAC that approaches politicians. Politicians seek them out and ask if they can attend the AIPAC. Why? Jews are autonomous and also have a confederacy. Muslims are seeking authority through government means and not as the Jews have done. Again, Muslims and Jews in the Anglosphere cannot be compared as the conditions that brought about these two groups’ arrival and establishment is nowhere near the same.  
2) Jews that came in the second wave did not tailor themselves to the dominant community, which was every bit as strongly opposed to Jews as Europe had been previously. Instead, they created structures to try to lift themselves out of the ghetto and produce the community they wanted to see. Thus Louis Mayer purchased/merged a movie theatre and created Metro-Goldwyn-Meyer. Groucho Marx created his own variety comedy show. This paved the way for large numbers of Jews, such as Gene Wilder, who probably would have never been exposed to the wider world, to be introduced to the wider society, but on his terms. 
 
He would not work on the Sabbath, kept kosher and still adhered to Orthodox Judaism. The same thing is the case for a famous convert to Judaism, Sammy Davis, Jr. These Jewish people created a niche for themselves and created a community that was autonomous. This autonomous community’s first loyalty is to the Jews, so it is no surprise that Ari Flischer would have dual Israeli/American citizenship but would be loyal to Israel first. That is his community. This in turn leads to confederacies. These confederacies then make it possible to build a wider influence not just for the wider community but also for other Jewish people in the world. 
 
Thus when the State of Israel was built, Jews from the United States sent people to assist with the kibbutz and so did a large number of other places. These people, along with a developed intelligence community (which was planted in each country they resided by their confederacies that had been formed from autonomous communities) could get advanced warning of Arab attacks and be able to stop them in the wars of 1948,1956,1958,1967,1973,1982 while the Arab World was paralysed in trying to understand how this had happened. 
 
Muslims have not done this at all. They have instead imitated some other immigrant groups, attempting to join the dominant culture while pruning the branches and leaves of their religion. By the time some of them have reached the level where they could have made change, they no longer view themselves as part of that smaller community or they work against them. This did not happen with Joseph Lieberman, who is still a faithful Orthodox Jew. The same can be said of Allison Josephs. 
 
3) Due to the ubiquitous nature of their scholarship as well as their far flung confederacies, they often have conspiracy theories attributed to them. It is not due to accomplishment and confederacies that Muslims have conspiracy theories attributed to them. We know why this is the case. You also have to remember the quality of converts that Jews have and the mechanics that they use to care for them so that they are stable and grounded in their religion. 
 
In the Anglosphere, this does not exist at all for converts to Islam, so you will find a large number of people like 7/7 Attackers, Woolwich Attackers and countless others as there is no quality control mechanism among Muslims in the Anglosphere. And this will continue for the foreseeable future as the foundation is rotten. This is why I have advised people to flee a burning house. 
 
Do the majority of Jews in the US and UK wear their traditional and religious clothing? 
 
This was already addressed above. 
 
The ones that do are a minority in the minority that is the Jewish community. Furthermore the shaykh intimated that he wanted to build a space where Muslim and non-Muslim children could gather to do their homework and have a bit of fun. 
 
No, I did not say that I myself wanted to build a space. Rather, a said such a space should be built and the structure should be in place. 
 
Not necessarily a religious space but something along the lines of a community center. Who influences who is the question. When those non-Muslim children enter they enter with their non-Muslim culture, and it is this culture that our Muslim children will be exposed to and learn from. 
 
This is also erroneous, due to the following points: 
 
The first place built in Makkah for Muslims was Dar ul-Arqam, which was on the outskirts of the city. This was attended by Muslims for learning and praying and such, but even people who were not Muslim arrived there and there were banquets, such as the case when Quraish elders were invited to have a meal there and listen to a short discussion on Islam from the Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him and this can be gleaned from As-Sirat un-Nabawiyyah,vol.2 by Imam Ibn Hisham. 
 
Some got up and left immediately while others stayed behind. The same thing happened in Al-Madinah when Al-Masjid un-Nabawi was built. Muslims would be present but even non-believers would sit in the back and ask questions (source cited the same as above). The only problem was when they were disruptive, in which case they were asked to leave. Furthermore, if the children of unbelievers enter, Muslim children are not going to be exposed to something completely alien to what they know. 
 
Secondly, among Muslims in the Anglosphere, a large group have mobile phones, internet, unfiltered television and cable access, attend public schools that have all the vulgarity that one might fear. The difference between children coming to a public school and coming to a place that you run is that in the former example, the public (which is largely not Muslim) is in charge while in the latter you are in charge and control the environment.  
 
More importantly the matter of a global identity versus a local or national one: It is a matter of global resource allocation. If, for instance there is a national identity cultivated the Muslims would naturally have a greater affinity to the Muslims and non-Muslims of that particular cultural set. 
 
Why would that be the case? Muslims in Malaysia and South East Asia fly to Egypt and study at Al-Azhar first before studying at other institutions of the same calibre in China and these people look similar to them. 
 
Now supposing there is a need for resources elsewhere in the world, the Muslim response would not be to send their boon over to them when their non-Muslim counterparts may be needing said charity. 
 
You are actually making my point. The Muslims that live in these current ghettos that they have constructed with their own hands, send money to their constituents that look like them and not to themselves and others as well, which would be a confederacy. Have you heard of Muslims in the Anglosphere (masjids in particular) collecting for Ethiopia, Central African Republic, Congo, Angola, Mexico based indigenous Muslim communities to build their infrastructure? Of course you have not as there is nothing here…
 
This presentation considers two phenomena, the breakup of global Muslim solidarity and exposure to the influence of the larger non-Muslim culture and sensibilities. How does the Sheikh address these concerns? 
 
Global Muslim solidarity is nothing to do with masjidism, ghetto Muslim enclaves and feudal culture from the 18th century that then is transmogrified into 19th century salafism that leads to vigilante street murders and bombings. If you are not autonomous and/or with some sort of confederacy, you are already part of the non-Muslim culture and sensibilities as you live within and function within their institutions. I am still waiting for a detailed Muslim archaeologist discussion on the equus finds in Neakhanie Bay which show no stratification at all and actually show that there has not been sedimentation laid over the large period of time mentioned in the text books. 
 
Again, you would need autonomy and infrastructure to discuss these matter and have a platform. As none of these exist, the question itself becomes little more than an academic exercise. Please feel to read through the works of Hannah Arendt to get a picture of what I discussed above about Jewish immigrant communities, self determination, autonomy and other affairs. 
 
Was-Salamu ‘Alaykum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.
 
wa `Alaikum us-Salaamu wa Rahmatullah, 
 
Al-Hajj Abu Ja`far Al-Hanbali

***NOTE:*** I had mistakenly mentioned Henry Cohn as the merger and creator of Metro-Goldwyn Meyer, but I had mixed this up, when it was actually Louis Mayer who was behind the merger of MGM while Henry Cohn was the one behind Columbia. I apologise for this oversight. 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s