Demystifying a Warlord: Conflicting Historical Representations of Ahmad Shah Massoud "In this work, I argue that the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and the devastating civil war that followed was a period of history that defies encapsulation within binaries of “good” and “evil”. This work examines conflicting historical representations of Ahmad Shah Massoud and his role in these two destructive wars. It aims to demystify the image of a warlord."

Demystifying a Warlord: Conflicting Historical Representations of Ahmad Shah Massoud
"In this work, I argue that the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and the devastating civil war that followed was a period of history that defies encapsulation within binaries of “good” and “evil”. This work examines conflicting historical representations of Ahmad Shah Massoud and his role in these two destructive wars. It aims to demystify the image of a warlord."

What are the Foucauldians Dreaming About?: A Review Essay of Behrooz Ghamari-Tabrizi’s Foucault in Iran "What cannot be denied, says Foucault, is that a remarkable event took place on the streets of Tehran in 1978, and a community of people staked their lives in commitment to it. In this moment, the massive, impenetrable walls of global capitalism, market imperialism, and Westernizing modernism that surrounded everyday Iranians, tunneling them toward an inevitable future, floated up from the ground to reveal the glimmer of a different future. Was this hallucination, was it hysteria, ideological blindness? Was it Foucault’s hallucination or a collective one?"

What are the Foucauldians Dreaming About?: A Review Essay of Behrooz Ghamari-Tabrizi’s Foucault in Iran
"What cannot be denied, says Foucault, is that a remarkable event took place on the streets of Tehran in 1978, and a community of people staked their lives in commitment to it. In this moment, the massive, impenetrable walls of global capitalism, market imperialism, and Westernizing modernism that surrounded everyday Iranians, tunneling them toward an inevitable future, floated up from the ground to reveal the glimmer of a different future. Was this hallucination, was it hysteria, ideological blindness? Was it Foucault’s hallucination or a collective one?"

Secularization in Colonial Algeria: Sacred Sites and Bodily Violence "Through the use of memoirs and testimonies by Algerian militants and torture survivors, this paper argues that violence by French settlers and military personnel was not only a product of racial and economic power, but also, a result of secular doctrines, which recasted everyday Islamic practices of veiling, ritual purification, and other forms of worship as sites of antagonism."

Secularization in Colonial Algeria: Sacred Sites and Bodily Violence
"Through the use of memoirs and testimonies by Algerian militants and torture survivors, this paper argues that violence by French settlers and military personnel was not only a product of racial and economic power, but also, a result of secular doctrines, which recasted everyday Islamic practices of veiling, ritual purification, and other forms of worship as sites of antagonism."

Deadly Milestone "In the rest of this essay, we examine the consequences of the May 2013 massacre in Dhaka, Bangladesh. We collected written memories, reflections, poems, novellas, videos, other literary and non-literary artifacts in the aftermath of the massacre. These are some of the forms in which the massacre is memorialized within the Islamist counterpublic. These materials are the remaining traces — like dried blood — of the actual sets of events.  It is a living archive that not only allows an immanent embodied critique of a secular society, but provides a marginal possibility for a realist speculation in retrospect."

Deadly Milestone
"In the rest of this essay, we examine the consequences of the May 2013 massacre in Dhaka, Bangladesh. We collected written memories, reflections, poems, novellas, videos, other literary and non-literary artifacts in the aftermath of the massacre. These are some of the forms in which the massacre is memorialized within the Islamist counterpublic. These materials are the remaining traces — like dried blood — of the actual sets of events.  It is a living archive that not only allows an immanent embodied critique of a secular society, but provides a marginal possibility for a realist speculation in retrospect."

"What Malcolm Will You Celebrate?" In this audio recording, Tyson Amir examines the battle over Malcolm X’s legacy. By weaving together personal narrative and Black social history, he complicates the reduction of Islam in America to its post-9/11 iteration. Rather, he turns his gaze toward the Islam “born, bred, and lived in the midst of the most heinous system of slavery in the history of our species.” Amir situates the figure of Malcolm X within this genealogy and demonstrates the ways in which his legacy is frequently reduced to (a misinterpretation of) his post Hajj moment. While these narratives claim Malcolm X as a post-racial advocate of non-violence, Amir articulates Malcolm’s firm commitment to self-defense, and the undying “black anger” that inspired many.

"What Malcolm Will You Celebrate?"
In this audio recording, Tyson Amir examines the battle over Malcolm X’s legacy. By weaving together personal narrative and Black social history, he complicates the reduction of Islam in America to its post-9/11 iteration. Rather, he turns his gaze toward the Islam “born, bred, and lived in the midst of the most heinous system of slavery in the history of our species.” Amir situates the figure of Malcolm X within this genealogy and demonstrates the ways in which his legacy is frequently reduced to (a misinterpretation of) his post Hajj moment. While these narratives claim Malcolm X as a post-racial advocate of non-violence, Amir articulates Malcolm’s firm commitment to self-defense, and the undying “black anger” that inspired many.

Imagining Re-Engineered Muslims in Northwest China "Yet despite these variations in the engineering project, capitalist secularism instead of Maoist socialism, much remains the same. As was the case during the Cultural Revolution, in our current moment thousands of mosques are being destroyed, Islamic teachers or mollas and their followers or talip are being imprisoned and placed in indefinite detention in political reeducation labor camps. Of course the rise of transnational communications that has accompanied the secular, colonization of the Uyghur homeland has also given rise to increased reception of global Islamic movements, and this, more than an intensification of indigenous Islamic traditions, is what is driving the Uyghur turn toward reformist Islam."

Imagining Re-Engineered Muslims in Northwest China
"Yet despite these variations in the engineering project, capitalist secularism instead of Maoist socialism, much remains the same. As was the case during the Cultural Revolution, in our current moment thousands of mosques are being destroyed, Islamic teachers or mollas and their followers or talip are being imprisoned and placed in indefinite detention in political reeducation labor camps. Of course the rise of transnational communications that has accompanied the secular, colonization of the Uyghur homeland has also given rise to increased reception of global Islamic movements, and this, more than an intensification of indigenous Islamic traditions, is what is driving the Uyghur turn toward reformist Islam."

Yahya Michot, Ibn Taymiyyah: Muslims Under Non-Muslim Rule "In particular, Michot intends to demonstrate the ways in which Ibn Taymiyyah’s Mardin fatwa has been misinterpreted by academics, orientalists, and Islamists alike. Over the course of his text, Michot provides an extensive introductory argument - wherein he explicates upon the concept of hijra, the distinction between a domain of peace and of war, and emphasizes the pragmatic and personalist nature of Ibn Taymiyyah’s writing - a translation of the Mardin fatwa with several complementary fatwas, and fragmented interpretations of the Mardin fatwa written by famous Islamists and academics."

Yahya Michot, Ibn Taymiyyah: Muslims Under Non-Muslim Rule
"In particular, Michot intends to demonstrate the ways in which Ibn Taymiyyah’s Mardin fatwa has been misinterpreted by academics, orientalists, and Islamists alike. Over the course of his text, Michot provides an extensive introductory argument - wherein he explicates upon the concept of hijra, the distinction between a domain of peace and of war, and emphasizes the pragmatic and personalist nature of Ibn Taymiyyah’s writing - a translation of the Mardin fatwa with several complementary fatwas, and fragmented interpretations of the Mardin fatwa written by famous Islamists and academics."

Rian Thum, The Sacred Routes of Uyghur History "Drawing on an ethnography of oral traditions and an extensive archive of sacred texts from shrines across the Uyghur homeland, Rian Thum’s work seeks to amplify how Uyghurs themselves imagined their community prior to the state, prior to modernity, perhaps even prior to Islam. In essence, Thum is arguing that the identifications of the Uyghurs are not centered around a national imaginary or ethnic community, but rather it was articulated through the oral recitation and amendment of sacred texts during pilgrimages to the shrines of the “bringers of Islam” (wali)."

Rian Thum, The Sacred Routes of Uyghur History
"Drawing on an ethnography of oral traditions and an extensive archive of sacred texts from shrines across the Uyghur homeland, Rian Thum’s work seeks to amplify how Uyghurs themselves imagined their community prior to the state, prior to modernity, perhaps even prior to Islam. In essence, Thum is arguing that the identifications of the Uyghurs are not centered around a national imaginary or ethnic community, but rather it was articulated through the oral recitation and amendment of sacred texts during pilgrimages to the shrines of the “bringers of Islam” (wali)."

Asghar Farhadi, A Separation "A Separation focuses on the separation of Simin and Nader, an Iranian middle class couple. Simin wants to leave Iran with her daughter in order to pursue a better future, while Nader, who is a banker, wants to stay in Iran in order to take care of his senile father. It portrays the emotional struggles that arise from this separation as their daughter (played by Asghar Farhadi’s own daughter) and those around them are significantly affected by it. It also centers around a conflict that surfaces between Nader, and his working class caregiver, as the latter accuses Nader of being the cause of her miscarriage. It explores issues of morality and law, as well as class dynamic in modern day Iran."

Asghar Farhadi, A Separation
"A Separation focuses on the separation of Simin and Nader, an Iranian middle class couple. Simin wants to leave Iran with her daughter in order to pursue a better future, while Nader, who is a banker, wants to stay in Iran in order to take care of his senile father. It portrays the emotional struggles that arise from this separation as their daughter (played by Asghar Farhadi’s own daughter) and those around them are significantly affected by it. It also centers around a conflict that surfaces between Nader, and his working class caregiver, as the latter accuses Nader of being the cause of her miscarriage. It explores issues of morality and law, as well as class dynamic in modern day Iran."

The Ghosts of 9-1-1: Reflections on History, Justice and Roosting Chickens "Why should “they” hate “us”? The very question is on its face absurd, delusional, revealing of an aggregate detachment from reality so virulent in its evasiveness as to be deemed clinically pathological. Setting aside the wholly-contrived “confusion” professed in the aftermath as to who might be properly included under the headings “we” and “they,” the sole legitimate query that might have been posed on 9-1-1 was—and remains—“How could ‘they’ possibly not hate ‘us’?""

The Ghosts of 9-1-1: Reflections on History, Justice and Roosting Chickens
"Why should “they” hate “us”? The very question is on its face absurd, delusional, revealing of an aggregate detachment from reality so virulent in its evasiveness as to be deemed clinically pathological. Setting aside the wholly-contrived “confusion” professed in the aftermath as to who might be properly included under the headings “we” and “they,” the sole legitimate query that might have been posed on 9-1-1 was—and remains—“How could ‘they’ possibly not hate ‘us’?""

In the Shadow of the Occupation "In July 2017 I returned to my homeland Afghanistan for the fourth time in my life. With my Canon 70D DSLR in hand, I traveled around the capital city of Kabul and my native province of Logar, capturing images of the ordinary. While Kabul has transformed from a site of strict Islamic order to a dysfunctional modern city controlled by the US-supported Afghan government, much of Logar has remained as it was since I first visited as a child in 1999. Part of this stems from the presence of the Taliban, who have resisted modernization projects in the countryside. Despite - or perhaps because of - these differences, both provinces are important sites at which to trace the shadow of the American occupation."

In the Shadow of the Occupation
"In July 2017 I returned to my homeland Afghanistan for the fourth time in my life. With my Canon 70D DSLR in hand, I traveled around the capital city of Kabul and my native province of Logar, capturing images of the ordinary. While Kabul has transformed from a site of strict Islamic order to a dysfunctional modern city controlled by the US-supported Afghan government, much of Logar has remained as it was since I first visited as a child in 1999. Part of this stems from the presence of the Taliban, who have resisted modernization projects in the countryside. Despite - or perhaps because of - these differences, both provinces are important sites at which to trace the shadow of the American occupation."

The Syrian War and the Western Left’s Myopia "Syria's brutal repression of mass demonstrations across Syria in 2011 marked a decisive model of how authoritarian Arab regimes could avoid the fate of Ben Ali in Tunisia and Mubarak in Egypt (and later, Gaddafi in Libya), who were seemingly swept away by popular revolutions, led by a coalition of leftist youth, liberal, constitutionalist reformers, and moderate, democratic Islamists, such as Ennadha and the Muslim Brothers. Bashar al-Assad and his 'Alawi generals and security officials were determined to eradicate the possibility of mass popular participation in political life, which would have made Baathist and 'Alawi control of the Syrian state and economy impossible."

The Syrian War and the Western Left’s Myopia
"Syria's brutal repression of mass demonstrations across Syria in 2011 marked a decisive model of how authoritarian Arab regimes could avoid the fate of Ben Ali in Tunisia and Mubarak in Egypt (and later, Gaddafi in Libya), who were seemingly swept away by popular revolutions, led by a coalition of leftist youth, liberal, constitutionalist reformers, and moderate, democratic Islamists, such as Ennadha and the Muslim Brothers. Bashar al-Assad and his 'Alawi generals and security officials were determined to eradicate the possibility of mass popular participation in political life, which would have made Baathist and 'Alawi control of the Syrian state and economy impossible."

The Illusion of Realism: What is the Future of Muslim Politics? "In our so-called “post-ideological” world, even the most sincere observers have fallen trap to a myth perpetuated by the liberal order: that strategic political action or realpolitik transcends (or is devoid of) ideology. A case in point is the Tunisian Nahda movement’s decision to separate its political activities (primarily its political party) and its da’wah based activities. In 2016 the Nahda movement announced its shift from an “ideological movement engaged in the struggle for identity, to a protest movement against the authoritarian regime, and now to a national democratic party.""

The Illusion of Realism: What is the Future of Muslim Politics?
"In our so-called “post-ideological” world, even the most sincere observers have fallen trap to a myth perpetuated by the liberal order: that strategic political action or realpolitik transcends (or is devoid of) ideology. A case in point is the Tunisian Nahda movement’s decision to separate its political activities (primarily its political party) and its da’wah based activities. In 2016 the Nahda movement announced its shift from an “ideological movement engaged in the struggle for identity, to a protest movement against the authoritarian regime, and now to a national democratic party.""

Uyghur Names as Signal and Noise "In order to accomplish the mission of the “People’s War on Terror,” the Party Secretary of the university Zhou Xuyong declared that all “static” (zaoyin) and “noise” (zayin) would need to be eliminated. Anyone who demonstrated the slightest resonance with unapproved Islamic ideologies was to be purified through a process of “reverse osmosis” (fan shentou). He said the goal was to create an atmosphere in which Uyghur Islamic “extremists” scurried across the street like rats while the public surrounded them screaming their disapproval and beating them in righteous anger."

Uyghur Names as Signal and Noise
"In order to accomplish the mission of the “People’s War on Terror,” the Party Secretary of the university Zhou Xuyong declared that all “static” (zaoyin) and “noise” (zayin) would need to be eliminated. Anyone who demonstrated the slightest resonance with unapproved Islamic ideologies was to be purified through a process of “reverse osmosis” (fan shentou). He said the goal was to create an atmosphere in which Uyghur Islamic “extremists” scurried across the street like rats while the public surrounded them screaming their disapproval and beating them in righteous anger."

I see the Unthinkable UAE-based artist Imranovi was born and raised in Damascus, though fled his country following the outbreak of conflict to avoid conscription into Bashar Al Assad's army. It was while studying English Literature at University in Syria that he found his passion for graphics and software: a talent he soon began to refine and develop.

I see the Unthinkable
UAE-based artist Imranovi was born and raised in Damascus, though fled his country following the outbreak of conflict to avoid conscription into Bashar Al Assad's army. It was while studying English Literature at University in Syria that he found his passion for graphics and software: a talent he soon began to refine and develop.

A Reading of Frederick Douglass' Fourth of July Oration In this selection from his 1852 Fourth of July Oration, Frederick Douglass denounces the hypocrisy of expecting Black Americans to celebrate the fourth of July in the USA. Douglass shows that Black Americans have a counter-narrative to the white american "independence day" that must be heard - or else America is destined to the fate of Babylon.

A Reading of Frederick Douglass' Fourth of July Oration
In this selection from his 1852 Fourth of July Oration, Frederick Douglass denounces the hypocrisy of expecting Black Americans to celebrate the fourth of July in the USA. Douglass shows that Black Americans have a counter-narrative to the white american "independence day" that must be heard - or else America is destined to the fate of Babylon.

Blackness and Futurity: Malcolm X "Malcolm’s leave to the Hajj is vital. A series of circumstantial instances placed him within a worldly, proximal corporeality, a rich hapticality of the flesh, with an illuminated, emphatic sense of fungibility more external than what reciprocity could provide. Where reciprocity, the vehicle for recognition, is, to its own freely detestable demise, non-exchangeable, the one who lives for recognition nullifies, in the end, from the start, the capacity to attain a freedom independent of the body. He frequents the times he was met with unconditional hospitality and appreciation on behalf of Muslims across complexion and convention."

Blackness and Futurity: Malcolm X
"Malcolm’s leave to the Hajj is vital. A series of circumstantial instances placed him within a worldly, proximal corporeality, a rich hapticality of the flesh, with an illuminated, emphatic sense of fungibility more external than what reciprocity could provide. Where reciprocity, the vehicle for recognition, is, to its own freely detestable demise, non-exchangeable, the one who lives for recognition nullifies, in the end, from the start, the capacity to attain a freedom independent of the body. He frequents the times he was met with unconditional hospitality and appreciation on behalf of Muslims across complexion and convention."