A hilariously accurate assessment of Mr Gazi over at the Intellectual Muslim
Our latest competition: Can you think of a similar, pithy description of Der Spittoon’s Fuhrer?
A hilariously accurate assessment of Mr Gazi over at the Intellectual Muslim
Our latest competition: Can you think of a similar, pithy description of Der Spittoon’s Fuhrer?
Black Skin, White Masks (French: Peau noire, masques blancs) is a 1952 book by Franz Fanon in which Fanon studies the psychology of the racism and dehumanization inherent in situations of colonial domination.
With the application of historical interpretation, and the concomitant underlying social indictment, the psychiatrist Frantz Fanon formulated Black Skin, White Masks to combat the oppression of black people. He applied psychoanalysis and psychoanalytic theoryto explain the feelings of dependency and inadequacy that Black people experience in a White world. That the divided self-perceptionof the Black Subject who has lost his native cultural origin, and embraced the culture of the Mother Country, produces an inferiority complex in the mind of the Black Subject, who then will try to appropriate and imitate the culture of the colonizer. Such behavior is more readily evident in upwardly mobile and educated black people who can afford to acquire status symbols within the world of the colonial ecumene, such as an education abroad and mastery of the language of the colonizer, the white masks.
Based upon, and derived from, the concepts of the collective unconscious and collective catharsis, the sixth chapter, “The Negro and Psychopathology”, presents brief, deep psychoanalyses of colonized black people, and thus proposes the inability of black people to fit into the norms (social, cultural, racial) established by white society. That “a normal Negro child, having grown up in a normal Negro family, will become abnormal on the slightest contact of the white world.” That, in a white society, such an extreme psychological response originates from the unconscious and unnatural training of black people, from early childhood, to associate “blackness” with “wrongness”. That such unconscious mental training of black children is effected with comic books and cartoons, which are cultural media that instil and affix, in the mind of the white child, the society’s cultural representations of black people as villains. Moreover, when black children are exposed to such images of villainous black people, the children will experience a psychopathology (psychological trauma), which mental wound becomes inherent to their individual, behavioral make-up; a part of his and her personality. That the early-life suffering of said psychopathology — black skin associated with villainy — creates a collective nature among the men and women who were reduced to colonized populations.
Spittoon’s Faisal Gazi certainly seems taken by Fanon. He even has his picture as his Facebook profile picture How ironic then that Fanon diagnosed the coconut syndrome suffered by Mr Gazi.
Fanon’s work on the Algerian war of Independence is seminal. But of course that was the past – even longer ago than the 1971 ‘Bangladesh’ war. Except in our time it is the war of terror that dominates the headlines and it is the ‘Brown skins , White masks’ of people like Gazi who defend western imperialism. Hamid Dabashi has a brilliant book of that title exposing Mr Gazi and his neo con ilk -‘the native informers’
Dabashi shows how intellectuals who migrate to the West are often used by the imperial powers to misrepresent their home countries. Just as many Iraqi exiles were used to justify the invasion of Iraq, Dabashi demonstrates that this is a common phenomenon, and examines why and how so many immigrant intellectuals help to sustain imperialism.
The book radically alters Edward Said’s notion of the “intellectual exile,” in order to show the negative impact of intellectual migration. Dabashi examines the ideology of cultural superiority, and provides a passionate account of how these immigrant intellectuals — rootless compradors, and guns for hire — continue to betray any notion of home or country in order to manufacture consent for imperial projects.
Here’s a review:
The anti-colonialist writer Frantz Fanon’s first book was a howl of outrage called Black Skin, White Masks, published in 1952. It explored the psychology of colonial subjects who came to identify with their oppressors.
Hamid Dabashi has written a new howl of rage with Brown Skin, White Masks against these “native informers”.
Dabashi is a radical Iranian living in New York (see interview on page 20). He sees a new version of Fanon’s happy colonial intellectuals in the academics, pundits and columnists – largely from the Muslim world – who make their living cheering on Western imperial intervention in Iraq or Afghanistan. Initially it can be confusing for a British reader as he assumes you will know the people he is attacking – writers who have become bestselling authors in the US. In the early chapters he doesn’t spend time repeating what they wrote.
But by the middle of the book he lays into two authors at some length – the Iranian writer Azar Nafisi and the commentator Ibn Warraq. Now Dabashi makes the reason for his rage very clear. He says that Nafisi’s Reading Lolita in Tehran “exemplifies the abuse of legitimate causes (in this case women’s repression), for illegitimate purposes (US global domination).”
He hates writers who the US right cites because they are from the country’s affected, but who seem to have picked up much of their knowledge from Western sources and appear unaware that there are traditions of criticism in the Muslim world. They appear unaware that “there has been scarcely a period when radical and subversive thought has not been integral to Islamic intellectual history”.
He uses Edward Said’s concept of Orientalism and combines it with Malcolm X to come up with the “house Muslim” who uses the idea of the Muslim as other to get in with the West. His polemical style sometimes uses an overly broad brush. To take one example, it is not true that the US never seriously considered using nuclear weapons between 1945 and its plans to attack Iran in 2006.
For me the most interesting section dealt with the demonisation of Barack Obama, and the shift in right wing racist dog whistles as to what is the worst thing to be – black, Arab or Muslim. “One no longer need be in Algeria to be colonised – Harlem, the Bronx and Newark will do just as well”, he says. This idea was popular with the US left in the 1960s, but is unclear what “colonisation” means as opposed to simply racism or oppression.
In the end he may be throwing in arguments from too many unrelated traditions, but the bile is refreshing and he is quite right to conclude that “the world today is more than ever divided between the overwhelming majority who are abused by capital and the very few who are its beneficiaries”.
Brown Skin, White Masks is published by Pluto, £14.99
A magnificent article , published in the renowned Huffington Post, from the respected barrister Toby Cadman on the shameful murder of Shaheed Motiur Rahman Nizami (rahimAllah) in ‘ Bangladesh’. Predictably the hordes of AwamiNazi League barbarians, unable to answer these points, have resorted to disgusting anti semitic abuse against Mr Cadman.
Legend tells that in 333 BC, while wintering at Gordium, Alexander the Great disentangled an impossible knot. The prophecy told that the man to untie that knot would become king of the land. At first, Alexander the Great attempted to unbind the Gordian knot, but frustrated by the difficulty of the task, he finally decided to slice it in half with a stroke of his sword.
This anecdote became an early example of Consequentialism, an ethical theory that considers the consequences of a particular conduct as the relevant reference to judge its moral character. The most emblematic figure of this theory is Machiavelli, who held that “for although the act condemn the doer, the end may justify him”.
This (un)ethical theory was completely rejected in the 20th century’s political world. After centuries of massacres and atrocities justified by ‘honourable’ ends, humanity undertook to establish a set of minimum rules that could not be breached under any circumstances. The Rule of Law and the respect for human rights became the two unbreakable limits to State and Prince’s Power.
Nevertheless, the current Government of Sheikh Hasina Wajed in Bangladesh has decided to recover the absolutist maxima of ‘the end justifies the means’ to deal with accountability for international crimes committed during the 1971 War of Liberation. Although seeking justice and accountability for gross human rights violations committed during the war is a desirable and legitimate end, nothing justifies depriving accused persons from their inherent rights, setting unfair and dependent trials to judge members of the political opposition, and condemn more than a dozen people to death.
Today is a tragic day for international justice. On 11 May 2016, at 00.10am, Motiur Rahman Nizami has been hanged in a Dhaka jail.
He is the fifth person to be executed upon the orders of the highly flawed International Crimes Tribunal of Bangladesh (ICTB), a tribunal created to provide justice and accountability for international crimes but whose legitimacy has been tarnished by its trend of procedural irregularities, political manipulation of the trials and legal unfairness.
Nizami was the former leader of Jamaat-e-Islami, one of the main opposition parties in Bangladesh. He was elected Member of Parliament twice and became Minister for Agriculture and then for Industries for the period from 2001-2006. In 2014 the ICTB condemned him to death for genocide and crimes against humanity. This year, the Supreme Court controversially upheld the death sentence.
A simple reading of the sentences by the ICTB and the Supreme Court permits one to conclude that Nizami, like the other defendants before him, was not afforded a trial consistent with international standards of justice. This is the position adopted by a number of leading international legal scholars in a public statement issued two days before the execution in which it stated that by “explicitly removing constitutional and fair trial protections from those due to appear before the BICT” the Government had “undermined its effectiveness and its legitimacy from the outset, and further, set the tone for what was then to develop.” The statement, signed by an independent group of prosecutors, judges and academics
According to the prosecution, Nizami was the Chief of the Al-Badr, an auxiliary para-military force of the Pakistani Army. However, despite having access to abundant resources, the prosecution was unable to provide any evidence emanating from the conflict that would demonstrate that Mr. Nizami held such position, instead preferring to rely on inference and innuendo.
The language and the narrative of the sentence is literary and partisan rather than technical, but what it is more surprising from a legal point of view is the complete lack of analysis of the relevant elements of the crimes. Although in the appeal verdict the Supreme Court confirmed the conviction for genocide, the Court examined neither the subjective requirement (i.e. the existence of a recognizable relevant group under the genocide definition) nor the mental element of the crime, which is the essential feature of the offence.
Nevertheless, the unfairness of this trial is not limited to a concerning lack of evidence and legal analysis, but infects and abruptly removes the most basic fundamental rights. The trial against Nizami was infected by an alarming inequality of arms: while the prosecution was afforded 22 months to conduct their investigations, the defence was granted a mere three weeks to prepare the case for trial; while the prosecution called 26 witnesses, the defence was prevented from calling any more than four. Even more worryingly is the fact that prosecution witnesses admitted to have provided false testimony after having received bribes to rehearse a certain narrative.
Despite the rhetoric advanced to the contrary, there is no moving away from the fact that the ICTB is a politically-manipulated tribunal. The ‘Skypegate’ scandal, which analyzed hours of conversation and emails between the ICTB judiciary and a third party, demonstrated not only that the ICTB judges follow external orders but also that the defendants’ guilt is pre-determined.
Several international human rights organizations had already criticized the ICTB and the Government of Bangladesh for explicitly depriving defendants from constitutional rights and for its partisan character. It is important to recall that the Tribunal’s jurisdiction is limited to prosecute crimes committed by just one side of the conflict.
This time, the public calls to stop the execution of Nizami were firmer and more abundant than ever before. Statements were issued by Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission, the Bar Human Rights Committee of England and Wales and the former US Ambassador-at-Large for War Crimes. Significantly, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights called to halt the execution of Nizami and declared that “the trials conducted before the Tribunal have unfortunately not met international standards of fair trial and due process”.
Sadly, the Government of Bangladesh simply ignored these calls and criticisms, which invites one to believe that it is time for stronger action by the international community.
The need for justice has been perverted, and allowed to mutate into a quest for revenge in Bangladesh. Without due process, without rights, a judicial process is a mere show trial, and a death sentence becomes an arbitrary killing.
The ICTB trials, and more particularly, the imminent execution of Nizami, creates further political and social tensions, as thousands of individuals demonstrated against the unfairness and arbitrariness of the processes. These tensions have become violent in the recent history of Bangladesh, placing the country on the verge of internal conflict.
Meanwhile, the Government has responded with extreme oppression to this opposition, and the country’s security record is now littered with reports of murders, extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearances and torture. Crimes that are met with an absolute impunity.
After all, for the Government of Bangladesh, the end justifies the means.
Follow Toby Cadman on Twitter: www.twitter.com/tobycadman
A heart breaking headline from the Saudi Gazette that recalls the verse from the Holy Quran : “On the Day of Judgment ‘When the infant girl buried alive is asked,’ for what crime she was killed.”(Quran, 81:8-9). This verse was revealed about the jahilliyah practice of the Pagan Arabs of burying alive their girl children. In our time the greatest government of jahilliyah is probably that of the Awami League of ‘Bangladesh’.
While the pre-Islamic Arabs killed innocent baby girls, the monstrous pre-Islamic Bengali nationalists kill innocent elderly grandfathers and religious scholars such as Maulana Motiur Rahman Nizami (may Allah have mercy on him):
A brilliant article by ex-Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate Ajmal Masroor on the incredible hypocrisy of liberals (including the liberals at Spittoon) over the current reign of terror taking place in East Pakistan:
I’m becoming impassive to the inconsistent and selective mantra chanting of Western liberals calling for human rights, rule of law and democracy. They seem to be quick to condemn human rights abuse in certain situations but in others, especially those involving Muslims, they remain curiously silent.
Let me give you a very recent example. Yesterday, on the 10th of May, the fourth member and the leader of Jamate Islami Bangladesh, Motiur Rahman Nizami, was hanged at the age of 73 for alleged war crimes during the Independence war in 1971. He was accused of genocide, rape and massacre of intellectuals during the Bangladesh-Pakistan war.
Mr Nizami served as a cabinet minister in a coalition government led by Ms. Hasina’s bitter rival, the Bangladesh Nationalist party a few years ago. He played a prominent and frontline role in Bangladeshi politics for over 40 years. Yet his execution by hanging has hardly raised an eyebrow in the Western World’s liberal and intellectual circles.
Despite many respected political analysts accusing Prime Minister Hasina of carrying out politically expedient executions motivated by revenge, the silence from the West is deafening.
After being returned to power in 2009, Prime Minister Hasina vowed to bring war criminals to justice, and many quite rightly hoped that this afforded the opportunity to “right a historical wrong” but instead it has become a tool, fueled purely by political retribution, to silence the opposition by execution.
Bangladesh’s tribunals process has fallen far short of anything resembling justice, and has clearly served as a method of railroading the politically inconvenient to the gallows. It has failed to meet basic international standards. The process has never been independent of political interference from its inception. Several leaked documents and videos evidences have foiled the government’s attempts to hide its political influence over the judiciary and have even highlighted the conflicting affiliations of the judges themselves.
The tribunal has restricted the number of defense witnesses who could testify during the war crimes trial. Mr. Nizami was allowed just four and disallowed any defense challenge to inconsistent prosecution testimony.
The prosecution has miserably failed to establish guilt beyond reasonable doubt and yet has executed many people so far. The state murder of Nizami will not bring an end to the “historic wrong” of 1971. In fact it will create further resentment amongst the masses of innocent people who have suffered at the hands of this tyrannical government. It will fuel an environment of instability in Bangladesh when the ruling political party is using the security apparatus to terrorise people and strengthen its grip on power. But the World’s leaders remain silent!
The governing party has run a state of terror while the international community has stayed deaf, dumb and blind to these terrible developments in Bangladesh. The world leaders have not held Hasina to account; in fact they have welcomed her with red carpets whenever she has visited other countries including the UK. She has been provided a cover and patronage by India. She has got away with murder, mayhem and corruption. Where is the international outcry? Where is the international media’s reporting of this government’s terrible crimes? Where is the international arrest warrant?
Western liberals and intellectuals have made a lot of noise when extremists murdered the secularist bloggers in Bangladesh. They have demanded a full investigation to bring the murderers to justice and have, quite rightly, brought these murders to the attention of the international community. Of course those who have murdered these bloggers should be brought to justice and punished. But can we circumvent the rule of law and the judicial process? No, we must always consistently follow a legal process that serves justice and does not compromise international standards.
Contrast this to how the same liberals and intellectuals of the world are deadly silent when a number of Islamic party leaders have been executed without due process in Bangladesh, when members of the Muslim brotherhood leadership are unfairly languishing in the rotten hell holes of Egyptian jails, when Israel has committed war crimes against Palestinians for decades, when the Syrians have been mass murdered by Assad and Putin and when the Rohingya Muslims have been dehumanized and displaced by Burmese government – why such hypocrisy? Why such deafening silence?
We have to offer the right to due processes even our archenemies. We have to remain fair even to those who we vehemently disagree with. We have to be consistent with our call for the rule of law, human rights and democracy in all parts of the world. It is only through our consistency and honesty that we shall defeat radicalism, extremism and terrorism from the world. We can only enjoy peace and stability in the world when we have eradicated injustices.
Follow Ajmal Masroor on Twitter: www.twitter.com/AjmalMasroor
As the Secular Fascist regime in ‘Bangladesh’ creates another martyr over the alleged atrocities during the 1971 anti-terrorist action, what better time than to publish an article debunking the myths that have led to the callous murder of a much loved 72 year old grandfather: