12:05

The crucial element of this video begins at 12 mins and five seconds.

Confirms my conspiracy about the growing army of flat earth conspiracists too, who have turned it (and the associated cover up) into an an article of faith, which they speak about at every opportunity. Distraction therapy.

Paranoia

How easy it is to succumb to paranoia. On my return from lunch today, I found an alert on my phone and then my computer telling me that my Apple ID had been locked for security reasons. Apple says: “If you or someone else enters your password, security questions, or other account information incorrectly too many times, your Apple ID automatically locks to protect your security”. Continue reading “Paranoia”

Footnotes

A word of warning to the young demagogues who must forever berate the forlorn Mister Nawaz: when we knew him, he was just like you.

Indeed, over the years, we have watched many an unwavering firebrand come and go, each one vanishing into obscurity or infamy, after abandoning the harshest and hardest opinions that had once caused them to rebuke all others. Those of us who have lived a little longer can enumerate all of the stalwarts of community, once fierce in their defence of orthodoxy, nowadays but footnotes, long forgotten by the generation that came after them. Some of us even remember their names, and their own rallying calls against the backsliders and hypocrites they saw all around them.

So mark my words, dear young revolutionary — dazzled by your own brilliance, aroused by your own bold certainties, disdainful of your opponents, conceited in your dogmatic rightness — know that in another twenty years, you too, like the rest of us, will be but a footnote in the annals of community. Some may even remember your name, referencing you in a cautionary tale told to the next generation of immovable, unwavering activists, who believe themselves divinely guided, urgently speaking the truth to power, because they alone represent our mighty tradition, so misunderstood by all others. Yes, know that your Lord can do all this, for “Indeed, God does not like the conceited and boastful.”

Bound by the truth

A lesson encapsulated, from November 2015:

We are bound by the truth only. And it is the truth that we seek wherever it is.

Muslims are just like other people. Some of them are good people. Some are wicked. And there are all those in between. This applies to us at any point in our history.

In seeking the truth, struggle is of essence. It is not a rose that one just plucks with ease.

The writer

“A writer who adopts political, social, or literary positions must act only with the means that are his own—that is, the written word. […] The writer must therefore refuse to let himself be transformed into an institution…” — Jean-Paul Sartre

Record player

You ask me why I keep returning to this topic, like a broken record, skipping on the same track over and over again. It is because of posts like this, just shared with his 27,000 Facebook followers and 7,200 followers on Twitter, its impact soon to be multiplied by the multitudinous shares and likes: Continue reading “Record player”

Strange morality

For our beloveds, we have successfully personalised, internalised and secularised our faith. “Who are you to judge?” we demand, whenever public sins are acknowledged in public. “Let him without sin cast the first stone,” we retort, whenever confronted by our misdeeds. “Have you never sinned?” we ask, whenever charged with holding our beloveds to account for their actions. In this new realm, the one who is mugged must never reproach the thief. The one who is wronged must never demand redress. All deeds, however they impact others, become personal, between the individual and his Lord alone, never to be tried or condemned.

Bizarrely, our activists — who claim to be despised because they speak the truth to power — are foremost in promoting this new dichotomy. Such is our spectacular failure to inculcate a morality that affects us in any meaningful way. Instead we have a generation that preaches forgiveness for the oppressor and demands the oppressed turns the other cheek. It is all back to front. We are supposed to be harshest on ourselves: as individuals, to forgive those that wrong us, not to forgive ourselves for wronging others. But in this age of identity politics, such a demand is impossible. Thus the one who has been wronged is told today: only the sinless has any right to complain. What a strange morality, indeed.

Defence

No, dear sir, it is not true: I am not your ideological opponent. In fact, from a theological perspective, we walk similar paths. Often I agree with the sentiments you profess in public. I have owned and read your works, and have always considered you a kindred spirit. But this isn’t about ideology or fraternity. It’s about something else entirely. As we have both always noted, we are not called to defend our brothers come what may, but rather the true, the just and the good. “Stand out clearly for justice, even against yourselves…”

Tendentious advocacy

Look, the first interrogation undertaken by investigating judges followed a preliminary investigation conducted over a period of three months. That preliminary inquiry yielded at least one certainty, that the accused had actually met at least one of the complainants. Continue reading “Tendentious advocacy”