The Palestinians are Offside: Observations on German Football

In April 2022, Borussia Dortmund, a German club, that in recent times has distinguished itself on the football world for the development of players such as Erling Haaland, Jude Bellingham and Jadon Sancho, hosted a charity match against Ukrainian club, Dynamo Kyiv, to raise funds for Ukrainian civilians affected by the Russian invasion. Both teams and officials raised a banner with the slogan “Stop War.” While their efforts were noble, raising over 400,000 Euros for the cause, it is ironic, to say the least, that four days after this display of goodwill, Dortmund announced its trip to Israel for a friendly match against an Israeli club postseason. Although the trip was quickly called off, or rather, postponed to an indefinite date for “security reasons,” it is hard to ignore the hypocrisy of values the club allegedly holds.  Continue reading The Palestinians are Offside: Observations on German Football

Genocide in Palestine and Western Support

Raphael Lemkin (1900–59), a Polish-Jewish jurist, coined the term “genocide” and popularized it in a global context. International law clearly defines genocide in Article 2 of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, 1948.

The stages of genocide do not necessarily have to occur step-by-step. If some of these elements systematically exist, it would be enough to consider it a genocide. Upon analyzing Israeli aggression in Gaza, it becomes clear that Israel is deliberately using the recent attack by Hamas as a scapegoat to indiscriminately kill innocent Palestinians including thousands of children. Many of the stages of genocide such as discrimination (cutting off electricity, water, and internet.), dehumanization (labeling Palestinians as human animals and children of darkness), preparation (ground invasion), persecution (bombardments and rocket firing), extermination (ethnic cleansing and genocide), and denial (lies, propaganda, and disinformation) are underway and a cause for grave concern. Continue reading Genocide in Palestine and Western Support

The Islamic Case for Unapologetic Propaganda

During the Global War on Terror, post-9/11, it was not a priority for Muslim adult generations that experienced it (now comprised of older millennials, all of Generation X and the Boomers) to fight back against the extreme hate they were receiving with organized, well-funded propaganda campaigns through the various media platforms available. Why would it be? There weren’t any Muslims in the newspapers and magazines. Social media was not heavily used (Facebook was created in 2004, Twitter in 2006), so the only way to combat the extreme Islamophobia (a term I use begrudgingly) boiling up at the time was through the mainstream news channels. Even then, it was done with extreme apologia rooted in the framework that Muslims were flawed in their beliefs. Continue reading The Islamic Case for Unapologetic Propaganda

The Metaphysics of Palestine

Taha begins his lecture by declaring that political analysts, historians, anthropologists, and sociologists—even if they are pro-Palestine—have engaged in secular violence to Palestine by erasing the ghayb in their analysis of Palestinian history. The world of the unseen—or the ghayb in Quranic idiom—is a critical feature of discussing the land, and by assigning Palestine into secular time, outside of her ghaybi, cosmic, dimension is to conscript Palestine into a Western philosophical framing.

We can not limit Zionist violence to temporality but must trace it to spatiality and geography: by forbidding Palestinians from praying in Masjid al-Aqsā’, or Masjid al-Baḥr, in Jaffa, or even accessing their historical Awqāf, legal endowments, Zionism hopes to shear off the millennium-long metaphysical relationship of Palestinian desire to kneel before God in their ancestrally-constructed Masājid—and the angels who populate those very spaces of spiritual yearning for God. Taha brilliantly sums the acuteness of this: “Palestinian relationship to time is only decreased with the loss of their relationship with geography.” Continue reading The Metaphysics of Palestine

Did India Previously Support Palestine? What Happened?

In the same manner [Hindu] Indian Americans post-9/11 sought to gain power and respectability by allying themselves with what opposed Muslims, the narrative that portrays Hindus as victims of Muslim terrorism is furthered by drawing parallels with the distress of Jewish communities over terrorism in Israel. For India, Israel – and Zionism – is the manifestation of domestic fantasies, a vehicle through which people of the world can hold Islam and its seemingly endless list of crimes at bay with.

In perfect accordance to the BJP supporter playbook, despite previous attempts at centrist engagement with both Israel and Palestine, India now uses the Palestinian struggle to build on the anti-Muslim climate in the dregs of British colonial rule: Palestine’s struggles are due to perceived wrongdoing, the people are reaping what they sow like the Muslims in India, etc. What is humorously macabre is that Zionists insult and reject Indian support. Not only do Hindutva supporters tolerate this degradation, they continue drooling for their approval. Continue reading Did India Previously Support Palestine? What Happened?

International Law Aids and Abets Israeli Crimes

The go-to tool for determining which party is in the wrong is international law: turning off the water supply is a war crime (never mind that for years Palestinians were forced to be dependent on Israeli goodwill to have their water tanks filled), killing civilians is a war crime (never mind human rights’ subservience to global politics means little scrutiny over how and when Israel deems a Palestinian to be sufficiently harmless), etc. While the international community browbeats Palestinians into reacting the correct way, Israel continues to act in deplorable ways, bolstered by the legitimacy some aspects of international law, already derived from a colonial order, grants them. Demands that Israel “comply more” with international law as they raze Gaza  — the same law they use to their benefit — will not rattle principle into the morally bankrupt.

Noura Erakat, a prominent Palestinian-American legal scholar and human rights attorney, challenges the nature of international law as a paradigmatic moral guide in her book, “Justice for Some: Law and the Question of Palestine.” Born into a family deeply rooted in the struggle for Palestine, Erakat brings an incisive and reflective perspective that builds on her legal acumen. She argues that international law has facilitated Israel’s settler-colonial ambition. She describes how the interpretation of the law is often subject to manipulation and “legal work,” or the strategic efforts undertaken by legal actors to shape outcomes according to their preferences. Continue reading International Law Aids and Abets Israeli Crimes

East Asia in the Islamic Civilization: Han-kitab as Minority Literature

The following is adapted from Dr. Qayyim Naoki Yamamoto’s lecture Muslim Scholars in Japan: Contemplating Islam in a Non-Muslim Society. It is part three of a three-part lecture series entitled ‘East Asia and Islam: Present, Past, and Future’ at the Centre for Asian and Middle Eastern Studies (CAMES) The transcript has been condensed and edited for flow. Part one is available to read here and … Continue reading East Asia in the Islamic Civilization: Han-kitab as Minority Literature

Girlfriend Ḥalāl: What Happens When Islam Is Bereft of Submission

Before meeting Senator Menendez, Nadine was friends with an immigrant of Egyptian origins, Wael Hana. Somehow, Hana had become the sole halal certifier authorized to clear meat exports to Egypt, a marked change from the Egyptian government’s years-long practice of accepting the certifications of a handful of U.S.-based legacy certifiers.

However, this particular monopoly carried a comical twist—Mr. Hana was a Christian and had no idea what halal was. That did not stop him from forcing a manifold increase in certification fees for meat exports, driving a sharp spike in certification revenues, and ultimately, costs to the Egyptian consumer. Continue reading Girlfriend Ḥalāl: What Happens When Islam Is Bereft of Submission

Panegyric Poetry and the Poetics of Panache: Exploring the Rich Heritage of Mappila Songs

The word Mappila (sometimes pronounced as Moplah) comes from the ancient Dravidian language, meaning “great child” (maha, “great” and pilla, “child”). The Mappilas today are for the most part descendants of foreign traders from the Middle East who visited the southwestern coast of India, known as the Malabar Coast, through Indian Ocean trade routes.  Continue reading Panegyric Poetry and the Poetics of Panache: Exploring the Rich Heritage of Mappila Songs