'Terror' is a diffuse notion that takes no account of local particularities and 'war on terror' is a contradiction in terms. This book is based on the lectures that were given on the subject in Oxford in 2006. Amnesty has described 'war on terror' as a war on human rights. It is also a contest of narratives: stories that the protagonists tell about themselves, about their enemies, and about what is happening now. The book considers how the recent actions of the United States have stressed and stretched two areas of international law: the right of self-defence, and the rules of international humanitarian law. State terrorism, with a bit of careful spin, can be reclassified as counter-terrorism, in other words as inherently good in the same way that terrorism is inherently bad. The book engages with the politico-conceptual difficulties of distinguishing between war and terrorism. The interface and tensions between the human rights tradition and the Islamic tradition, particularly Islamic law, is discussed. The intensification of Western repression against Islamic thinkers or activists has at times been coupled with policies that seemed designed to change the religious trajectory of society. The sexualization of torture is only one way in which the 'war on terror' has delineated who is (and who is not) human. Religion, human rights, and trauma narratives are three other mechanisms for rationalizing suffering. The book also discusses the subject of censuring reckless killing of innocent civilians by the issue of fatwas by Muslim teachers.
I Introduction and Taqrīẓ – Shaykh Gibril F. Haddad
In the name of God, the All-Beneficent, the Most Merciful.
Gentle reader, Peace upon those who follow right guidance!
I am honoured to present the following fatwā or ‘response by a qualified Muslim Scholar’ against the killing of civilians written by the Oxford-based Malaysian jurist of the Shāfi‘ī School, my inestimable teacher, Shaykh Muhammad Afifi al-Akiti, and entitled Defending the transgressed by censuring the reckless against the killing of civilians .
The Shaykh authored it in a
’s Nest is planned by the director Apoorva Lakhia. Perhaps most revealingly, the name of Salman Rushdie has become so familiar internationally that even those who do not generally read literary fiction have heard of him and know something about the subjects concerning which he writes.
Whilst Rushdie’s prominence as a writer is everywhere apparent, however, it is harder to establish what it is precisely that he is famous for – his writings, or the 1989 fatwa in which the Ayatollah Khomeini demanded his execution for blasphemy. It is almost
Such arguments gained less traction as the war receded into history, but Iranian denials laboured under a much more difficult problem of perception following the decision in 1989 of the then Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khomeini to issue a fatwa (religious judgement) sentencing the Indian-born British novelist Salman Rushdie to death for blasphemy. This single act, further sullied by the fact that a bounty of some $3 million was offered as a reward to anyone who succeeded in killing the author, probably did more than any other in tarnishing Iran with the
Rules, rigour and relaxation in Islam and Christianity
Kant detested the old Catholic discipline of moral casuistry …
and would also surely have detested the practice of seeking fatwas . (Asad 2003 : 246)
Many who might be damned are saved by a probable opinion. (Juan
Caramuel (d. 1682), cited in Jonsen and Toulmin 1988 : 168)
The Islamic sharia is a central example of what we
are thinking of in this book as a ‘ruly’ or legalistic approach to living
Rushdie friends in high places. Indeed, Rushdie’s habit of caricaturing political figures has, to date, earned him a law suit, exclusion orders from several countries and a death sentence (if we regard the fatwa as, in part, a by-product of his portrait of Khomeini in The Satanic Verses ). Controversial as Rushdie’s political attacks have been, however, many would recognise that such representations are licensed (if not made unproblematic) by the conventions of satire. Applying the technique to members of your own family, by contrast, seems a more intimately exposing
In times of national security, scholars and activists who hail from the
communities under suspicion attempt to draw readers and listeners to the
complexity of the world we inhabit. For those who campaigned against the SUS law
in the 1980s, when young Black men were being routinely stopped in the streets,
the wave of counter-terrorism legislation and policy that exists today will be
very familiar. Similarly, recent discussions about the impact of drill music in
the culture of young Black men has drawn questions around the ways in which they
should be securitised, with senior police calling for the use of terrorism
legislation against them. In this environment, when those who study and have
lived alongside the communities who are at the scrutiny of the state raise
questions about the government, military and police policy, they are often shut
down as terrorist-sympathisers, or apologists for gang culture. In such
environments, there is an expectation on scholars and activists to condemn what
society at large fears. This volume is about how that expectation has emerged
alongside the normalisation of racism, and how these writers choose to subvert
the expectations raised on them, as part of their commitment to anti-racism.
This volume aims to disclose the political, social and cultural factors that
influenced the sanitary measures against epidemics developed in the
Mediterranean during the long nineteenth century. The contributions to the book
provide new interdisciplinary insights to the booming field of ‘quarantine
studies’ through a systematic use of the analytic categories of space, identity
and power. The ultimate goal is to show the multidimensional nature of
quarantine, the intimate links that sanitary administrations and institutions
had with the territorial organization of states, international trade, the
construction of national, colonial, religious and professional identities or the
configuration of political regimes. The circum-Mediterranean geographical spread
of the case studies contained in this volume illuminates the similarities and
differences around and across this sea, on the southern and northern shores, in
Arabic, Spanish, Portuguese, Greek, Italian, English and French-speaking
domains. At the same time, it is highly interested in engaging in the global
English-speaking community, offering a wide range of terms, sources,
bibliography, interpretative tools and views produced and elaborated in various
Mediterranean countries. The historical approach will be useful to recognize the
secular tensions that still lie behind present-day issues such as the return of
epidemics or the global flows of migrants and refugees.
The archive has assumed a new significance in the history of sex, and this book visits a series of such archives, including the Kinsey Institute’s erotic art; gay masturbatory journals in the New York Public Library; the private archive of an amateur pornographer; and one man’s lifetime photographic dossier on Baltimore hustlers. The subject topics covered are wide-ranging: the art history of homoeroticism; casual sex before hooking-up; transgender; New York queer sex; masturbation; pornography; sex in the city. The duality indicated by the book’s title reflects its themes. It is an experiment in writing an American sexual history that refuses the confines of identity sexuality studies, spanning the spectrum of queer, trans, and the allegedly ‘normal’. What unites this project is a fascination with sex at the margins, refusing the classificatory frameworks of heterosexuality and homosexuality, and demonstrating gender and sexual indecision and flexibility. And the book is also an exploration of the role of the archive in such histories. The sex discussed is located both in the margins of the archives, what has been termed the counterarchive, but also, importantly, in the pockets of recorded desire located in the most traditional and respectable repositories. The sexual histories in this book are those where pornography and sexual research are indistinguishable; where personal obsession becomes tomorrow’s archive. The market is potentially extensive: those interested in American studies, sexuality studies, contemporary history, the history of sex, psychology, anthropology, sociology, gender studies, queer studies, trans studies, pornography studies, visual studies, museum studies, and media studies.
In May 1958, and four years into the Algerian War of Independence, a revolt again appropriated the revolutionary and republican symbolism of the French Revolution by seizing power through a Committee of Public Safety. This book explores why a repressive colonial system that had for over a century maintained the material and intellectual backwardness of Algerian women now turned to an extensive programme of 'emancipation'. After a brief background sketch of the situation of Algerian women during the post-war decade, it discusses the various factors contributed to the emergence of the first significant women's organisations in the main urban centres. It was only after the outbreak of the rebellion in 1954 and the arrival of many hundreds of wives of army officers that the model of female interventionism became dramatically activated. The French military intervention in Algeria during 1954-1962 derived its force from the Orientalist current in European colonialism and also seemed to foreshadow the revival of global Islamophobia after 1979 and the eventual moves to 'liberate' Muslim societies by US-led neo-imperialism in Afghanistan and Iraq. For the women of Bordj Okhriss, as throughout Algeria, the French army represented a dangerous and powerful force associated with mass destruction, brutality and rape. The central contradiction facing the mobile socio-medical teams teams was how to gain the trust of Algerian women and to bring them social progress and emancipation when they themselves were part of an army that had destroyed their villages and driven them into refugee camps.