• Books: Bury the Chains by Adam Hochschild, Endless War: Hidden Functions of the "war on terror" by David Keen, Capital Vol. 1, Tin Drum by Günter Grass, What is Islam? by Shahab Ahmed, Desiring Arabs by Joseph Massad, Spies, Soldiers and Statesmen by Hazem Kandil, La Condition Humaine by André Malraux, Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck, Imagined Community by Benedict Anderson, Culture and Imperialism by Edward Said, The Wretched of the Earth by Frantz Fanon, The Richness of Life by Stephen Jay Gould, Children of the Alley by Naguib Mahfouz, The Mass Psychology of Fascism by Wilhelm Reich, Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, 1984 by George Orwell, Noli me Tangere by José Rizal, Age of Extremes by Eric Hobsbawm, ذهنية التحريم لصادق جلال العظم, Karl Marx by Francis Wheen, وليمة لأعشاب البحر لحيدر حيدر, Candide by Voltaire, النزعات المادية في الفلسفة العربية الإسلامية لحسين مروة, Listen Little Man by Wilhelm Reich ..
  • Films: Alexanderplatz by Rainer Fassbinder, Clockwork Orange, Apocalypse Now, The Battle of Algiers, films by P. P. Passolini, Persepolis, Midnight Express, 1984, Papillion, Gangs of New York, Sophie Scholl, Life of Brian, Ivan the Terrble, Battleship Potemkine ...

Thursday, August 03, 2017

This is an interesting argumentative essay on "Salafism". However, it is also a disappoitment.
If I was to give a score, it would be 50\100. It is a good essay in terms of arguments and counter-arguments, etc. I have learnt a few things from it. However, I find such a way of writing too horizontal as if ideas emerge from people's minds with no connection to real life in their respective societies. I do not accept the excuse that I often hear: "Dealing with the social, economic, political, class, background of ideas is beyond the scope of this essay." A history which we can learn from is a history that is holistic with its interactive components and ingredients. Otherwise, it is sterile. I recall reading Assef Bayat, for example, analysing the Islamic movements in Iran and Egypt or Karen Armstrong dealing with how "Religion Fights Back" or how "Jihād" went global. There is a background, there is the vertical and the horizental. I have been disappointed here. I will though read the other essays.

What is Salafism?

and this one too confirms the fragmentation of social thought. We cannot see even two pragrapghs about the social and political context in which the people we talk about lived.

Ibn Taymiyyah and Ibn Abdu al-Wahhāb brothers

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Cambridge University Press accused of "selling its soul" over Chinese censorship