The Stones On Our Streets

Lies are created around the truth of our struggle. But truth has a habit of confronting falsehood. Occupation is based on a pile of lies. There’s truth in the resistance of unarmed people on the streets. And truth triumphs in the end. It always does, even if it takes time.

by Majid Maqbool

The street is the home of our stones.  Streets can be occupied, but stones are free for us to pick up, and angrily fling in the air — in protest.  From the hands of the oppressed, once pelted, the stones deliver a message to the oppressor: while you kill with no remorse on my soil, and stage false encounters with all your advanced weapons, I’m not going to keep quiet.  I will not let you kill us without offering resistance.  I have these stones on my streets.  I exist in these stones.  If your occupation is in bullets, our resistance is in these rough-edged, homegrown stones.

We, who come out protesting on the streets, are not an ignorant, frustrated and unemployed lot — as the occupier likes to frame us, and the whole world seems to simplistically believe.  Far from it!  We are the ones who refuse to keep quiet in tyrannical times.  We are the ones who shape the songs of resistance, as we practice them in our streets.  It takes much courage and conviction to come out on the streets, and protest against the heavily militarized state forces.  The sentiment of freedom confronts the idea of occupation.  In every stone that’s pelted, there’s a promise to bring down the structures of occupation, bit by bit, crack by crack.  We know in our hearts and minds that this ugly structure of occupation —  built on deceit over the years — is bound to crumble one day under the force of our stones.  It is this hope that keeps the resistance alive.

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“Veil in the Time of War” or “Veilin’ the Time of War”

In the context of the current multiple arenas of war and occupation in Muslim-majority regions, the issues of gender and sexuality are vitally linked to the casus belli, both within and without academia. Such linkages, with a long and complicated genealogy thoroughly imbricated in the politics of colonization, decolonization, and neo-colonization, also indicate an obsessive desire to re-enact the “discovery narrative” or the “rescue narrative.” Examining current contestations in popular media – including recent articles written by Maureen Dowd, Naomi Wolf and Phyllis Chesler et al and the poster designed by Alexander Segert, which was integral to the success of the anti-minaret Swiss referendum – this essay investigates whether, how, and where the neoconservative, neoliberal, and the mainstream feminist discourses converge, diverge, and intersect.

Segert's Anti-Minaret Poster

by Huma Dar

In the context of the current multiple arenas of war and occupation in Muslim-majority regions, the issues of gender and sexuality are vitally linked to the casus belli, both within and without academia.  Such linkages, with a long and complicated genealogy thoroughly imbricated in the politics of colonization, decolonization, and neo-colonization, theorized by Inderpal Grewal, Gayatri Spivak, Lata Mani, Leila Ahmed, Sherene Razack, Saba Mahmood, Sunera Thobani amongst others, also indicate an obsessive desire to re-enact the “discovery narrative” or the “rescue narrative.”  Examining current contestations in popular media – including recent articles written by Maureen Dowd, Naomi Wolf and Phyllis Chesler et al and the poster designed by Alexander Segert, which was integral to the success of the anti-minaret Swiss referendum – I investigate whether, how, and where the neoconservative, neoliberal, and the mainstream feminist discourses converge, diverge, and intersect.  I undertake to deconstruct the ongoing debates that obsessively revolve around the veil or the sexuality that is variously professed to be suppressed, annihilated, or even “discovered” beneath the veil by some liberal explorers.

Continue reading ““Veil in the Time of War” or “Veilin’ the Time of War””