Discussions of Islam, Afghanistan and Politics.
April 18th
12:54 AM

Man, if you wanna know about human rights, you gotta read Douzinas. Also, Wallerstein on European Universalism. Both shed very important light into the way we perceive human rights and humanitarianism. 

12:47 AM

a message from Anonymous


I start college in the fall and will have to start picking courses soon, I'm wondering what some of your favorite courses have been. I'm interested in Econ, and we share similar views about it, but I'm not nearly as knowledgable as you, I'm wondering if some of your classes contributed to this knowledge or was it reading outside of class? Also any tips for a incoming freshman? I get more nervous and anxious by the day!

You have to just look into how your economics department is structured. Many have a very homogenous set of faculty that all have very mainstream economic views and worship the ~self-regulating market~

Look up potential instructors. Look at the work they’ve done. If you’re interested in stuff I’ve been posting about, consider taking anthropology, sociology, development, and political economy classes. Urban anthro, anthro of development, critical social theory, economics of development, international political economy etc. 

Obviously, I am a product of what I’ve been taught within and outside the classroom. I still know very little but whatever I do know is the product of classes I’ve taken and conversation I’ve had with professors, TAs, and knowledgeable folks I am honored to call friends and mentors. 

12:43 AM

a message from Anonymous


salam hii! i'm wondering if u can help reccomending some books about human rights in islam please?

Walaikumassalam, 

I can’t think of anything off the top of my head. Maybe my followers can help? 

12:38 AM

a message from Anonymous


Salam :) I have a question for you. Do you live at home? In no way do I mean to pry, it's just that, I'll be a freshman in college next year at a university five minutes away from my house. I don't see the point in spending $2,000+/year on housing when in my home I'll have my own privacy, space, place to pray, etc. I guess my real question is: Will I be missing out on anything? Jazakallah for taking the time to read this :)

Walaikumassalam! 

I don’t live at home. 

No you won’t. If you live 5 minutes from campus and have your privacy at home, there’s literally no reason to move out. You’ll be close enough to partake in all kinds of activities because of your proximity. As a general rule, don’t do things for the purpose of doing them. Look at your situation, look at practicality, look for purpose. I moved out because spending up to 4 hours every day driving back and forth was something I could not afford. If you are that close to campus, you’ll be able to really take advantage of that kind of convenient location without having to actually move out. 

Your parents may not be as lenient with letting you out as late at first, but they’ll get used to it. Stay home, buddy. 

12:34 AM

a message from Anonymous


What are some islam videos I could watch to just make me a better Muslim.. Or what you watch? I'm curious I need some real pushing

It really just depends on what appeals to you the most or what part of your faith you’re struggling with. Intellectual and practical stuff generally moves me on a personal level. Or Tafseers of various Surahs by Nouman Ali Khan or Wissam Sharieff. Dude! Wissam Sharieff! I don’t know. It just depends on what you personally find uplifting. 

April 17th
10:55 PM

It has been an overwhelming set of days and God is great. 

9:14 PM

I think caffeine stopped working on me 

???

2:48 PM
Via

a message from Anonymous


do you think pashtuns have privilege over hazaras (or other minority ethnic groups that have suffered under the taliban)? it seems like that, but idk, what are your thoughts?

warkadang:

musaafer:

Sure, and it’s not due to the Taliban because Pashtuns cannot be held to what a foreign-produced, foreign-funded group has done. It is because of societal and historical privilege. Hazaras have been historically disenfranchised because they are an ethnic and a religious minority. 

With that said, it is important to not export and import notions of privilege and identity politics from elsewhere. The ANA has large amounts of Hazara members, and the vast majority of media is not in Pashto but Dari and other languages. Don’t get me wrong, I completely support the representation of various linguistic groups. I just think it’s important to keep the context in mind and the fact that societal power structures depend heavily on region. Pashtuns are not “privileged” everywhere; there are places where they straight up can’t go by virtue of their ethnicity. 

This is not a personal attack, I just feel like there are more things that need to be taken into consideration in such discourses, so I hope you’re okay with me sharing my thoughts. 

I think it’s so weird when people try to apply privilege politics on Pashtuns because it completely ignores that they have been targeted because of their ethnicity. I’ll take an example that has been documented by HRW but little in social media: violence against Pashtuns in northern Afghanistan by non-Pashtun militias.

In a 2002 report on abuses against Pashtuns in northern Afghanistan, HRW documented “widespread looting and extortion of Pashtun communities” as well as “killings, rapes and abductions”. One of the report’s findings is crucial to understanding the nature of the anti-Pashtun activities in areas where Pashtuns are a minority, like in northern Afghanistan. The report points out that atrocities against Pashtuns “[took] place against the background of a legacy of Taliban atrocities”. [x] So it appears that non-Pashtun militants target Pashtun civilians in revenge against the Pashtun-dominated Taliban. Nevertheless, the goal to ‘ethnically cleanse’ Pashtuns from northern Afghanistan has discplaced tens ouf thousands of Pashtuns, who are now mostly sheltered in IDP camps around Kandahar. [x]

This notion of “privilege” that Pashtuns “supposedly have” completely ignores how Uzbek, Hazara and Tajik militants (Junbish-e Milli, Hizb-i Wahdat and the Northern Alliance) have raped, displaced, murdered and looted Pashtun civilians in northern Afghanistan for the past decade as “payback” for what the Taliban did to ethnic minorities. 14 year old Fatima was not “privileged” when she, her mother and her two sisters were targeted because they were Pashtun and then gang-raped by Dostum’s Uzbek militia for eight hours in Balkh [x]; the Pashtun women of Urozgan were not “privileged” when they were gang-raped by Hakim Shujoyi and his Hazara militia (they lash out in the wake of any Taliban violence against the Shia/Hazara minority), having their breasts ripped off with bare teeth while they were being raped [x]. Keep in mind that they were subjected to this because they were Pashtun. 

Pashtuns have been targeted for their ethnicity and held accountable for the atrocities of foreign-produced militants for years. Their so-called “privilege” has not granted them any exemption. You have the fact that Pashtun-dominated provinces have experienced much more violence in the War on Terror than in the rest of Afghanistan [x]; that drones in Pakistan only operate in Pashtun districts of KPK and FATA (which are two regions dominated by Pashtuns to begin with); [x] that the PK army has been targeting Pashtuns in KPK and FATA for years [x] (which has been breeding the Pashtun separatist movement, along with U.S. drones) and much more. So if Pashtuns really are privileged, then why do they experience some of the most grusome violence that is very much genocide?

Thank you for sharing this.

I did not have the data to back up much of the claims I alluded to and appreciate you sharing this. I do agree, privilege politics are complicated when war has torn a country apart in these ways.

April 16th
10:57 PM

Just saw Shaq tbh

2:45 PM

a message from Anonymous


I remember a while ago you said that we should stop understanding hijab as simply covering our hair. What did you mean? Did you mean that hijab means "modesty" in a broad sense?

It’s a very Western-centric approach. I was editing an article about this the other day. I thought of this equation: 

   Muslim norms of covering for a woman: full body, incl. hair
- Western understandings of normal covering: full body
___________________________________________________
= covering of hair 

In other words, the only difference between what Muslims understand the physical hijab to be and what Western norms accept as “normal” covering for a woman is the covering of the hair. It is completely normal and acceptable for a woman to cover her legs or her arms or her entire body in the West; it is even recommended in professional spaces (e.g. see long trousers, loose tops, tied-back hair). It is not an anomaly. 

In that sense, it is not only reductive but Western-centric to reduce the physical hijab to the headscarf. We struggle with covering the rest of our bodies too; with finding a shirt long enough to cover our bums and pants loose enough to not look painted on and with layering up to cover arms and cleavage. All of that is part of what Muslims understand the physical hijab to be but it is only reduced to the single way in which it differs from Western standards: the covering of the hair. 

And this is, obviously, only with regards to the physical hijab. There’s much more to that; modesty, as you mentioned, is a part of it. My contention is at that level as well. However even at the physical level, it is a very problematic approach to understanding the hijab. 

2:29 PM

a message from Anonymous


do you think pashtuns have privilege over hazaras (or other minority ethnic groups that have suffered under the taliban)? it seems like that, but idk, what are your thoughts?

Sure, and it’s not due to the Taliban because Pashtuns cannot be held to what a foreign-produced, foreign-funded group has done. It is because of societal and historical privilege. Hazaras have been historically disenfranchised because they are an ethnic and a religious minority. 

With that said, it is important to not export and import notions of privilege and identity politics from elsewhere. The ANA has large amounts of Hazara members, and the vast majority of media is not in Pashto but Dari and other languages. Don’t get me wrong, I completely support the representation of various linguistic groups. I just think it’s important to keep the context in mind and the fact that societal power structures depend heavily on region. Pashtuns are not “privileged” everywhere; there are places where they straight up can’t go by virtue of their ethnicity. 

2:20 PM

a message from Anonymous


Salaam :) do you know if higher education in Afghanistan is taught in Farsi and Pashto, or just one or the other? Thank you!

It depends on the province, from my understanding. 

April 15th
1:45 PM
  • Ali: *asks you for minor favor*
  • Ali: A disclaimer: I am just asking for your help
  • Ali: I have no other intention
  • Ali: This is not pre-khastgari
  • Ali: I am not interested in you
  • Ali: I have no intention of marrying you
  • Ali: I am not going to marry you
  • Ali: I do not like you
  • Ali: I am not flirting with you
  • Ali: Don't mistake my jokes for flirting
  • Ali: I am just asking for assistance
  • Ali: I. do. not. like. you.
  • Ali: I am just.
  • Me:
April 14th
2:45 PM
"After a long and painfully uncomedic “role call” of various national backgrounds and obscurely personal questions asked of audience members (“What is your full name? Are both of your parents Muslim?”), [Ahmed Ahmed] prompted the audience to ask him questions. When an audience member asked, “Are all of your jokes based on ethnicity? Because that’s not funny,” he got visibly irritated and questioned the questioner’s knowledge of comedy.

Visibly aggravated that his offensive jokes were not well-received, he made a scene and concluded by telling the audience, which largely consisted of underage, Muslim middle school and high school students, “Y’all need to get laid.”

When organizers and leadership took him to the side to talk to him, he continued to feel entitled to finish his performance, shouting at the audience, “This is why Americans have problems with Muslims.”

Clearly, Ahmed not being given the opportunity to tell kids to get laid is not the reason why Americans have problems with Muslims (if we even accept that dichotomy to be real). Islamophobia has deeper roots but perhaps realities of imperialism, racism, proxy wars, racialized Other-ing, blatant Islamophobia, and military occupations have escaped a man who has elsewhere joked about how “all Muslims do is blow shit up,” and other thinly veiled racist and Islamophobic tropes that were passed under the guise of the second-rate attempt at comedy we saw that evening. Ahmed’s brand of “humor” is part of a long line of subpar comedy that only gets exposure because it makes non-Muslims feel comfortable and cozy when they laugh at Islamophobic jokes like, “all Muslims do is blow shit up”. Beyond jokes that make tropes out of identities, this line of comedy has little going for itself."
April 13th
1:14 PM
Via