Thursday, 12 October 2017



Point me the way
And I shall follow thee
O my promitory

Although my appreciation of thee
Is necessarily 2D
You are forever in my sights 

Sometimes I err
And forget your existence 
But then you bring me back to my self

Then I pinch thee. 
But when you bring good my way
I indulge, but do not call thee hero. 

And where my brains cannot justify a path
Then I ascribe to thee all that is irrational and prescient
Thee art the fall guy. 

Ever ready to take the blame
Yet so vital. 

My first sense 

(C) Shafeesthoughts 12 October 2017

Promitory is artistic license. 
There is no such word in the English Language, but for me it fits. 

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

the Rushdie Question

The Rushdie Question. 

I remember in, or around 91, when I was secretary of Bath Islamic Society, I was asked to a school to present on

At that time, Abid Karim asked me what my response would be if I was asked about what should be done to Mr Rushdie. I said that I could not avoid, or meander around, the question and would state it as I saw it. 

On the day, in the Q&A that followed the presentation, I was asked what I thought should be done with Mr Rushdie and I said as I said I would:
"He should be killed". 

A stunned silence followed. 

It was a statement of fact concerning my belief. It was not an advocated position and I was clear in my mind that I was not suggesting that I, or anyone else, do it. 

But what I was stating was that the honour of the man that he impeached in the vilest terms was worth more that his life. 

I knew, even then, that the arguments concerning apostasy bore no weight here. To argue so is to argue about the legitimacy of the action. But the action is purely raw emotion. 

In the decades that followed I have not really worried about the issue, but after two turbulent decades it might be prudent to revisit the arguments and see how a maturer me might frame them. 

Of course the old arguments are one of freedom of speech vs freedom of belief. 

That Rushdie was exercising his right to freedom of speech and that the resultant Muslim backlash was medieval. To the Western mind it recalled the inquisition, and the storm surrounding the age old question of religion and science. 

Never mind that Muslims were always advocates of Science and the Scientific processes. All religions were tagged with the medieval line, and standing against freedom of expression just proved it. 

As many commentators have previously said, the Khomeini fatwa and the price on Rushdies head, was a dramatic political statement made by Iran to curry favour with Muslims worldwide. It had no legal basis, because apostasy laws relate to Muslims living in the Muslim sphere. They are there to protect the community from false converts, then sowing the seeds of doubt. 

It's clear that Rushdie was neither a true Muslim, nor living within the Muslim sphere. Indeed his ramblings rather than causing doubt, increased our faith. 

But that did nothing to address the insult that he heaped on the Messenger, and our faith. 
And so once again I affirm my statement, "that he should be killed". 

This is not advocating an action. But it is a reflection of the hurt and anger that he has caused to our community. 
His life and works are not worth even the semblance of a memory of one who taught nobility and respect. 

You cannot fight disrespect with respect, such things just do not add up. And so if someone disrespects me, and my beliefs, then whilst I am honour bound to respect their lives and their persons- in order to be commensurate- I do not need to show that respect in the words that I use against them. 

And I cannot malign their character as they have done with one who was never impuned in his time, and by his enemies. And so I simply state: "his life is worthless".

That when he dies, and GOD takes him, that I will not cry. I will rejoice that his judgment has come, and he is alone with his actions and deeds, and they will haunt him.