Discussions of Islam, Afghanistan and Politics. Also, BDS.
September 2nd
9:35 PM

I was slapped with a mountain of literature to sift through and analyze to see where my own research/thesis for the next year will be. All ideally by the time I take this huge test.. Or even before that

Alhamdulillah it isn’t as broad of a field as last time (lmao) but this time it’s more intense, more dense reading, more scrutiny, and …. yknow … Just working with superstar faculty nbd no pressure at all

9:05 PM

Sugar snap peas are my favorite snack in the world how do I stop myself from eating 7 lbs help

12:36 AM

a message from 1stthoughts

All our teachers have always taught us that feminism is haram and it creates fitnah, I'm really confused now, perhaps you could shed some light?

I would be curious to understand what these teachers define feminism as. Because, in some regards, Islam has built-in provisions for women that many would consider feminist: If feminism is concerned with justice for women, how can that be against Islam? 

Islam has given so many rights to women - some of which continue being denied to women today - if there was no need for an active, conscientious struggle toward justice for women, why would these provisions be built into Islam? To say that this struggle is a fitnah is to actively brush off things that were in place for a reason. If someone is more concerned with what justice for all might mean for the status quo than with actually struggling toward that justice - as prescribed countless times in our Scripture - then that’s an issue of priorities that needs to be fixed. 

I was talking to a friend about this just today. We were all brought up with the idea that feminists are just crazy people with armpit hair and without a man. So to challenge that notion, to see the struggle for justice for women as more than an ad hominem or a strawman argument is our struggle today. If that’s the image you’re fighting, that’s the problem. If you don’t give the movement the benefit of taking it seriously even for the argument’s sake, then all you’re doing is dismissing it before even engaging with it. And I’m not saying that this struggle for justice for women needs to have the label “feminist” - I myself don’t take on the label for various reasons - but we need to move beyond this and I’m simply not gonna take basic ass ungrounded pontifications on feminism anymore.

We need to be bigger than this and whatever you label it, whether you’re down with the label “feminist” or not, I challenge anyone who calls themselves a Muslim and a member of the Ummah of Muhammad (pbuh) to actually go against an effort to promote justice for women. Anyone. 

August 31st
11:37 PM

a message from Anonymous

Do you think that the Westernization projects that were carried out by Amanullah Khan during the 1920s good for Afghanistan?

I take issue with the term Westernization when it comes to Amanullah Khan’s rule because it was so polar in many ways. 

He went from considering calling Afghanistan the seat of the Khalifah to emulating Atatürk’s secularist tendencies, how can that all be encompassed in one term? 

Amanullah Khan has done some phenomenal things for Afghanistan and other things were questionable. Under him, the first Afghan constitution came into being. This constitution enfranchised all Afghans - beyond ethnic or religious lines - as citizens of the country. It abolished slavery and torture. Is this Westernization or were we ahead of the West at the time? He fought the third Anglo-Afghan war and got complete independence from the British. He had pan-Islamist tendencies in so far as he helped Muslims from Bukhara to India in their struggles against Empire.  

He messed up. He went to tour Europe and came back as a changed man. He tried to emulate Turkey and did not see the ways in which the two countries were so drastically different - he did not have the military Atatürk had to back up the acceleration of reforms. He was a changed man. He changed his title from Amir to Padshah at some point. He designated something like a third of his annual budget to the construct of the Dar-ul-Aman Palace which was to be connected to Kabul City by a train (?). He put a ban on the veil, he forced men in the capital to wear Western clothes. All of this led to his demise - he was soon overthrown. 

To put it in Mahmoud Beg Tarzi’s words, who was his advisor, a visionary well ahead of his time, the father of the Afghan press, a mastermind in his time and Amanullah Khan’s father-in-law, “If only he had waited two years and built up the army as Atatürk suggested, what might he have done?” This is not to say that Amanullah Khan implemented those faulty policies too soon - this is to say he lost it towards the end. But does this undo the good he’s done? The evil of his father, Habibullah Khan’s, rule he’s undone? No. 

11:32 PM

a message from Anonymous

which reading list is the other anon talking about?

I don’t know, probably this tag

11:17 PM

a message from Anonymous

hi! i absolutely love your blog. im currently going through your reading list. so many books to go! i was hoping for some advice. my brother and his wife and sister are the most important people in my life right now. i got into a huge argument once about the misogynistic views they hold. it didnt do much and we stopped talking for a few months. we made up and i now know when to open my mouth but i just really want to help them understand instead of arguing with them. the girl hate is too much

Keep at it. Ask them questions according to that logic, say things like, “by that logic, does this justify ___?” “am I a bad person for ___?” Just keep questioning the very underlying assumptions. It’ll take time and a lot of patience but you’ll get around to them. Appeal to what they value - religion, whatever cause etc. Frame it in language they’ll understand and show by example. 

11:15 PM

a message from Anonymous

Personally, I'm very uncomfortable w/ men who pay for sex, & I think that topic/accountability needs to be engaged, but I don't want to detract from workers' incomes. I know many sex workers advocate for decriminalization as an interim measure. How do you recommend that feminists like myself support sex workers while simultaneously advocating against the sex industry? I know capitalism is the problem, but shouldn't we still hold male buyers accountable?

Read this

11:10 PM

a message from Anonymous

(1) When I first got into feminism, I was incredibly focused on attacking every notion of patriarchy, and since the middle east and south asia were the two environments I was most familiar with within which patriarchy existed, I increasingly began to question both. It wasn't until later that I realised how relative to western norms my judgement was, and since then I've attempted to educate myself much more with regards to intersectional versus imperialistic feminism.

(2) However, recently I’ve begun to realise that I become so defensive whenever anyone brings up something problematic with regards to MENASA, not to mention generalising a particular issue to the culture/religion in it’s entirety, that I find it really difficult to not only actually explore the problems being faced in my own region, but distinguish them from what the west would consider problematic. I would really appreciate any suggestions you may have to overcome this way of thinking?

It’s normal to feel this way. You don’t wanna air your dirty laundry; you don’t wanna discuss the issues at home if they’re going to be used to attack that home - this is a constant, ongoing struggle we all face. 

You just look at audience, honestly. There are in-group conversations that need to be had. I performed a spoken word on sexism in the Muslim community to an audience of 1,000 Muslims - I wouldn’t have done it elsewhere, you know? I’m very protective of discussing the issues in our communities in vacuums or giving people more to put on their shit list against MENASA communities. 

So have in-group conversations, and have out-group conversations. I wouldn’t discuss specific brands of sexism within my community with people outside of it - what’s the point? But with my community? For sure. It’s all about audience. 

11:05 PM

a message from Anonymous

I want to write a story that's based on Afghanistan, and I am the only audience im keeping in mind atm (I write for myself). You probably have plenty of such posts, but if you could link me up or kindly advise me on 'how not to write about Afg', xxx
11:04 PM

a message from Anonymous

Is it true that the Hazara people currently living in Central Afghanistan are matrilineally Pashtun and patrilineally Mongol or is that just a myth?


9:39 PM

I’m so tired of the tendency among some Muslim Americans to be obsessed with the idea of sitting at the table lest they be ~on the menu~. If the last White House Iftar hasn’t showed you the glory with which you can be both I don’t know what will.

Y’all are delirious out of your gotdamn mind if you think talking to the president for 20 minutes is gonna make him change his role in empire like, “hello yes Assalamualaikum Barak Hussain brother I’m just here to tell you that the situation in the Muslim world is just really very truly bad and if you could reconsider, yknow, your imperialist ambitions that’d be good. If not, we’re not gonna vote for you again!!” Trust me he knows more than you and me about how much misery he is causing and letting happen. There is so much we don’t see and choose to ignore. For how much longer are you going to front like there isn’t an entire array of lobbies and entire industries as well as the system of global capitalism behind this country’s global political ambitions? Imperialism is advantageous, if we stopped fighting wars and stopped incarcerating people at these rates, how many industries would go out of business?

Do you really think it takes like a handful of oh so brave Muslims sitting down as tokens at a table with White House officials to unwind the foundation of this country, to unwind imperialism, colonial roots, racist institutions all fueled and necessitated by a capitalist world system that feeds on this, that needs the creation of new industries, that needs the constant peripheralization of more people?


some muslims care more about candy containing gelatin that’s haram than the fact they are racists 

12:48 AM

When will our countries know peace.

August 30th
11:36 PM

Watching my cousin’s wedding video and I remember, after we performed the attan, my non-Afghan friends asked about its meaning/significance. At the time I just compared it to something along the lines of Dabkeh, a dance anyone can join in and that is performed at weddings and other occasions.

I realize it dates back to our people being warriors. The origins of attan are a war dance. Warriors gathered their swords around a fire and danced to the tune of a dholchi/dholnavaz playing the dhol. When you analyze the Attan from an athletic perspective (I did for a PE class once), you see a lot of practices that build stamina. At its core, it’s an interval training - quick, fast, challenging intervals followed by slower ones. This builds stamina and perseverance. It’s done as a group - as Farhad Darya sings, “hay baa yak tan attan kay meshawad?” - and that builds precision, cooperation, teamwork. Good piece of culture to hold on to.

August 23rd
11:24 PM

Hiatus time from here and other social media for a while. Call/text/whatsapp/fax/etc if you need me.