Pending the outcome of the continuing review of our current operations, all Muslim Faculty of Advanced Studies programmes are suspended until further notice. In the interim, we have made the lectures freely available here on this site.

Gazan Reflections

In the name of Allah, the All-Merciful, the Most Merciful, and may Allah bless and grant peace to our Messenger Muhammad and his family and companions.

In trying to make sense of the appalling and utterly unacceptable Israeli slaughter of the defenceless Palestinians of Gaza, we must nevertheless look for causes and not surrender our intellects entirely to the emotions aroused. We do so, not in order to intellectualise that to which we should respond with action but, to discover solutions to their dilemma and ours and in order to be able to act effectively.

If you start with Sykes-Picot you cannot understand what happened and you cannot do anything.

The nation-state emerged out of the violent crucible of the French Revolution. It defined ‘the people’ as belonging to a nation, in this case the French. Other people, such as the Basques and Bretons, were simply coerced into being French, expelled or liquidated. There were a great many people in 'France' who were not 'French'.

Soon everyone needed a nation state. Soon everyone was assimilating into the nation state those who were not of the nation; or else liquidating them or expelling them.

The Arabs wanted a nation state. So, they reneged on their allegiance to the Ottomans. Having betrayed, they in turn were betrayed: Sykes-Picot.

The Zionists wanted a nation state, and they got it. This desire was nothing to do with the Holocaust, which it long predates. But it was the Holocaust that put the defining seal on their nation-state. They set about assimilating, expelling and liquidating their inconvenient non-peoples.

One by one, Syrians, Iraqis, Saudis and Libyans got their states, for which they are paying the price. Of the Arabs, the Palestinians are left and Hamas want a nation-state. Who knows what they would do if they got it?

The asymmetry of the Zionist-Hamas struggle is clear to all.

But the root of the issue, the desire for the genocidal racial nation state remains unaddressed, except, that is, by various supranational bodies such as the 'United States', the EU and the UN.

Nevertheless, their supranationalism is predicated upon the functioning actuality of the established nation-states across the world that have given rise to the problem in the first place.

The supranational bodies are themselves identical in process to the nation: assimilating, expelling or liquidating those inconvenient individuals and entire peoples who do not fit the profile, in the case of the US, those very native peoples who have a genuine claim to being the original inhabitants of the land.

Thus the problem of the genocidal nation state is not solved by supranationalism or internationalism and certainly not 'Islamic' statism.

The state is the problem. It is a problem that is not solved by revolution or insurgency, which serve only to reinforce its political modalities.

The key to it is that in every case the state and the superstates are subject to the transcendent power of fiat money amplified by the exponential mathematics of usury.

For the Arabs, for us all, the way forward is to understand what happened in that initial act of betrayal. Yet, there is no way ‘back’, no way to suddenly erect a Caliphate. That has simply become a code word for an ‘Islamic state’.

But khilāfah means ‘succession’, the succession by a man to the men who succeeded the Prophet, peace be upon him, in his leadership of the community. We need to rediscover the skill of choosing the right man: someone who is knowledgeable, capable and good. We have become more or less accustomed to picking knowledgeable men for our imams and ‘ulamā’ and we have become more or less accustomed to picking good men for our shaykhs. Now we must learn to pick capable men; being always aware that their good character, knowledge and timely availability are intrinsic to their capacity and a proof, rather than being taken merely as fortuitous adjuncts.

This essential summary is abstracted in part from MFAS module, The Politics of Power