Title: Anarca-Islam
Date: 2009
Notes: A thesis submitted to the Department of Sociology. Queen’s University Kingston, Ontario, Canada (August, 2009)


    Chapter 1. Panegyric Desert of the Present

      On Islam, Anarchism and the Newest Social Movements

      2. With an Alibi: Who is Speaking?

      3. Everything Divided — The Argument Condensed

    Chapter 2. Who Says What With Respect to Islamic anarchism...Can Anyone Speak to What it Is?

      1. Chapter Introduction

      2. A Review of the Academic Literature

      3. Review of the Movement Literature

      4. Conclusions Drawn from Reviewing both Literatures

    Chapter 3. Methodology and Theories

      1. Chapter Introduction

      2. Thus Spoke God: The Method of Anarchic-Ijtihad

      3. Thus Speaks Academia: The Theoretical Framework

    Chapter 4. Anarca-Islam’s Space and Political Consciousness in Relation to anarchism, Islam and the capitalist-State

      1. Chapter Introduction

      2. Islam is Dead. Anarchism is Dead.

      3. Daddy-Mommy-Me = Deleuze & Guattari’s Oedipal Triad

    Chapter 5. The Birth of the Clinic — Seeing and Knowing the Clinic’s Commitments in Resistance to Daddy-Mommy-Me

      1. Chapter Introduction

      2. Castrating Daddy: Anarca-Islam’s Anti-Authoritarian Concepts & Practices

      3. Shit-Talkin’ Mommy: Anarca-Islam’s Anti-Capitalist Concepts & Practices

      4. The Patient comes to their own Aid

    Chapter 6. The Beginning is the End is the Beginning

      1. A Summary of the Thesis

      2. Connecting M.A. to Ph.D.: Where Anarca-Islam proceeds to from here

    Bibliography (or References)


As an anarchist and a Muslim, I have witnessed troubled times as a result of extreme divisions that exist between these two identities and communities. To minimize these divisions, I argue for an anti-capitalist and anti-authoritarian Islam, an ‘anarca-Islam’, that disrupts two commonly held beliefs: one, that Islam is necessarily authoritarian and capitalist; two, that anarchism is necessarily anti-religious. From this position I offer ‘anarca-Islam’ which I believe can help open-minded (non-essentialist/non-dogmatic) Muslims and anarchists to better understand each other, and therefore to more effectively collaborate in the context of what Richard JF Day has called the ’newest’ social movements.

Chapter 1. Panegyric Desert of the Present

On Islam, Anarchism and the Newest Social Movements

In Open Sky (1990), Paul Virilio argues that “the ban on representation in certain cultural practices and the refusal to see — women, for example, in the case of Islam — is being superseded at this very moment by the [Western] cultural obligation to see, with the overexposure of the visible image taking over from the underexposure of the age of the written word” (90). That is, Islam and Muslims[1] are now not only facing the perils of invisibility, but also “the impossibility of not being seen” (1997: 90, emphasis added). This Western obligation to “gingerly sneak a sidelong look” (Virilio, 1990: 90) at Islam and Muslims, I contend, is generally based on two intents: First, an intent to unmask an inexhaustible supply of hidden terrorists. And, second, to set up Islam as an oppressive regime, as is the case with the clichéd view of veiled Muslim women undergoing the horrors of Non-Western patriarchy, or of Iraqis and Afghanis as feeble subjects of Islamic tyranny who must be freed. Muslims in the West face an intensified assault on representation; in other words, representations are abundant and often function through binary significations. As Jean Baudrillard argues there is a “reduction of Islam [and Muslims] to” the representations Fundamentalism and Orientalism, or terrorism and oppression, “not to destroy but to domesticate [them]...and the symbolic challenges” they represent “for the entire West” (Baudrillard, 1995: 28).

In the West, it has practically become a pathological obligation, born “of scorn”, to clear the semiotic space of any alternative representations, as if the Fundamentalist/Orientalist pairing were school uniforms (Foucault in Afray and Anderson, 2005: 210). The West’s symbolic challenge is forcing Muslims to submit to these representations, especially immigrant and citizen Muslims of the West who have slipped across that formation’s necessarily porous borders (Deleuze, 2000: 90). To the West, controlling[2] Muslims by limiting fields of possibility for revolutionary representations of their subjectivities is now the only remaining feasible form of discipline, considering that the West cannot ex-communicate Muslims en masse to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, or the notorious Abu Ghraib that has been renamed Baghdad Central Prison[3]. But then I rhetorically ask, what is the difference between being held between the four walls of a prison cell, and the manipulation of one’s identity to the point that one comes to resent oneself?.[4]

Many scholars have contended that September 11th has resulted in the intensification of reductive imagery of Muslims. As Jean Baudillard argues, “September 11th ...is there first — only then does its possibility and its causes catch up with it, through all the [binary] discourses that will attempt to explain it” (2005: 135), like heroes/villains, victims/perpetrators, innocent/evil, “enemies/future allies” (Virilio & Der Dian, 1998: 89), with us/against us, terrorists/oppressed, Fundamentalist/Orientalist. “The United States’ ‘war on terror’” successfully bred “a particular geopolitical terrain in the post-9/11 period,” enabling the blatant racism now being exercised on the bodies of Western Muslims (Razack, 2008: 84). Now when Westerners “speak of the ‘martyrs’, it is their way of Islamicizing the Japanese suicide attack[s]” (Virilio, 2002: 178) on Pearl Harbor. But the satire behind 9/11 is not only that it created Muslims as racialized enemy targets, but that any ‘other’ remotely resembling, defending or supporting Muslims became a terrorist or a co-conspirator of terror as well. In the article 9/11 Violence ‘stalks UK Sikhs’ (2004), published on the British Broadcasting Corporation’s website, Jagdeesh Singh, a member of the Sikh Community Action Network in Britain, noted that “racial assaults on Britain’s Sikh community have become ‘fashionable’ since the 11th September attacks,”[5] with “racist abusers...shout[ing] ‘Bin Laden’ at Sikh men because of their beards and turbans”.[6] Singh, himself a victim, not just of a racial assault as a result of a case of mistaken identity, but also of the general climate of 9/11, is now seen as a co-conspirator of terror. In this sense, 9/11 has caused the confusion of others as Muslims, legitimizing violence not only on Muslims but ‘the generalized other’ as well.

Beyond generalities, and although these representations can be seen as abstractions, they can be brought closer home to demonstrate their existence on an everyday level through the specific example of racist, Islamaphobic incidents at Queen’s University, Kingston, Canada in 2008–2009. In late September 2008, as Jane Switzer reported in the article Muslim Student Targeted in Racist Incidents (2008) of the Queen’s Journal, the Queen’s Muslim Student Association’s (QUMSA) prayer space was barraged by multiple “anti-Islamic crimes”.[7] Crimes that started with advertised slogans spanning a mass condemnation of Muslims to death (“all Queen’s Muslims should die,”[8] the graffiti said) to the “breaking in, [and the] theft of charitable donations”[9] (Switzer, 2008). These incidents were followed later by the “vandalizing of a poster”[10] and the tearing to shreds of religious texts (Switzer, 2008). These incidents happened in two days, seven years after the attacks on 9/11.

Under such circumstances, it would seem that Western Muslims have one of two options: We must either use mainstream media and politics against those who represent us, or continue to silently accept our lot and truly live in hell. It seems to me that most Muslims in the West have in fact chosen one of these options. Some, however, are resisting this false choice, by recreating alternatives to it, by becoming[11] Muslim anarchists.[12] They are becoming revolutionary subjects in a Deleuzian and Guattarian sense (1984: 127). That is, they are “casting off their shame [of being identified as Muslim] and responding to what is intolerable”, i.e. the dichotomous representations themselves (Deleuze, 1990). These Muslims, many of whom identify as anarchists, are taking it upon themselves to pierce open desiring processes by reconstructing a new understanding of what it ‘is’ to identify and to be identified as a Muslim in the West. And it is because of anarchism’s anti-authoritarian and anti-capitalist orientations that these Muslims are particularly drawn to it. Anarchism offers Muslims new avenues for their identity’s reformulation.

This embracing of anarchism by a minority[13] of Muslims as a response to the “problem of Muslims and Islam” (Foucault in Afray and Anderson, 2005: 210), and this presentation of Muslims as a socio-political force, allows us to see Muslim anarchism as an example of what Richard JF Day has called the newest social movements[14] (2005: 9). Because of the critical role it has to play, by acting as a safe space for Muslims’ (further) resistance, it is in the newest social movements that I see hope, not only for Muslim anarchists, but also for all Muslims. It is in this critical space where I can see a place for Muslims and Muslim anarchists to be able to begin again and again the radical recreation of their socio-political identities in a way that is conducive to Islam’s present confrontations with contemporary Western societies. It is there that there are infinite possibilities and opportunities for a Muslim’s resistance to the horrors and neuroses of a Muslim’s daily life. Muslims supported with time by a passage through anarchism’s vernaculars in the newest social movements can be bodies that are not frozen in their current socio-political state of coma and naiveté.

It is in the newest social movements too, that anarchism and anarchists stand to learn from interacting with Muslims. For instance, anarchists could benefit by learning how to disagree ethically as a community as opposed to tearing each other apart over ideological and personal differences. Islam developed this type of ethics early on, in what is referred to Usul Al-ikhtilaf,[15] or the ethics of disagreements, as a compassionate and forgiving form of etiquette for Muslims to address disagreements amongst themselves. Anarchists in the newest social movements, as much as Muslims, indeed stand to gain, culturally, aesthetically, politically and ethically, should anarchists learn to accept that others who are not exactly like them ought to be able to join them in their anti-authoritarian and anti-capitalist revolt. Despite the fact that the newest social movements can potentially act as a safe space, Muslims and Muslim anarchists still have a long way to go in terms of being made to feel welcome and comfortable by anarchists. This necessitates the opening up of a panegyric desert of the present, a metaphor that stands for a more hospitable space carved out for Muslims and Muslim anarchists in the newest social movements. That is, a space where they can interact with anarchists and anarchism, and similarly for anarchism and anarchists to interact with Islam and Muslims. This panegyric desert is especially pertinent given that vital and critical misconceptions exist between Muslims and anarchists, which hinder collaborations between the two. These misconceptions have an especially adverse effect on Muslim anarchists. They leave Muslim anarchists facing difficulties because of their ostracization by anarchists on top of what is already their ostracization by Muslim communities. Still there is no way to eradicate misconceptions completely. They will indefinitely persist, given that their cause, stereotypes, can never be entirely eliminated, but only identified, situated contextually, and minimized.

2. With an Alibi: Who is Speaking?

Throughout my thesis, I will showcase how the seemingly dichotomous identities Muslim and anarchist can co-exist. For now however, let me state that I self-identify as a Muslim anarchist. In fact, I am, in a Deleuzian and Guattarian sense destined to be becoming both Muslim and anarchist, considering there is no ideal state of either (Deleuze & Guattari, 1987, 7–13). As a former immigrant and now citizen left feeling as a disrespected worthless foreigner, a second-rate citizen, studying, working and living in the West, I am a settler on indigenous land. I am also a racialized person of color. I am a socially constructed heterosexual male. I have class privilege. I am a human being who has experienced a cosmopolitan upbringing taking me on journeys across four continents. I have no home or community. I want one with anarchists and anyone willing to share similar anti-capitalist and anti-authoritarian commitments to myself, and more importantly to anarchism. I would go anywhere for that community. I would do anything for it. I am a fascist with fascisms crystallized at the centre of my heart because of the privileges I possess (Guattari, 1995: 244–245). I am a fascist till I arrive at a position of grasping and comprehending my standings to privileges, but then undertaking journeys and stories of warding off those privileges. Finally, I believe that “those who enjoy structural privilege must strive to identify and work against this privilege if they hope to establish relations of solidarity with those who do not share it” (Day, 2005: 11).

In trying to convince anti-religious anarchists not to out rightly reject what I am saying because it is religious, I say to them here that: part of the reason that I feel the pain I feel is because though your anarchistic ethical-political actions are so honorable, “innocent and disarming” (Derrida 1987: 186), they are also ones based on wanting to take anarchism back from me on account of what to you is my ‘useless’ spirituality. As anti-religious anarchists, you shun me from our community when you have never met me. You shun me when the anarchism you and I believe in is a commitment to standing against the exercise of any form of oppression. You shun me out of your fear of Islam as an institutional and organized authoritarian mechanism of repression. But, who is to say that Islam has to be institutional, organized, authoritarian, and repressing? I prove in this thesis it does not have to be. As for your dogmatic view that ‘God is Dead’, I believe that view to be too easy to fathom because it simplifies what is, in fact, a complex reality. Furthermore, there is no proof of God’s life or death. Your view is nothing more than a Euro-centric view, rooted in the essentialist perception that “God [and God’s fettered religion solely possess]...promises...null and void...only...fulfilled by man’s subordination” (Goldman, 1969: 5–7). But Emma Goldman’s statement pertains to a particular interpretation of Christianity being practiced at a particular place and time as opposed to all types of religious interpretations. And so my belief in God is not an aesthetic thing or a ritual I do, but the strength from which I derive reason to drive myself to stand and share the same ethical and political commitments as you. It is God who graced me with the gift of encountering anarchism after 9/11. Now anarchism is what is compelling me to come back to Islam to unleash the Islamic and anarchic anti-authoritarian and anti-capitalist concepts and practices that I believe exist in Islam in an attempt to bridge the proximity between the two, Islam and anarchism, me and you.

As for you, immigrant and citizen Muslims, whoever and whatever interpretation of Islam you choose to follow, I can feel some of you are lost, trapped between the politics of a former corrupt native land and an adopted Western immigrant and citizen tongue. I feel you by virtue of my years of residency in the West and my prayers with and alongside you in Mosques. And my interest here rests on not bending “myself to your determination” (Derrida, 1987: 186) by believing in barriers when discussing anything ethical and political with anarchists. My intent is to politically and ethically reorient your Islam and mine because our Islam, as I will demonstrate, has given me the Koranic right to do so. Know that what I write here cannot be rejected on the grounds of heresy. I am merely writing here because I am deafened by the termination of dialogue between us as Muslims, as well as the ambivalence and complacency of some of us towards patriarchy, trans-queer-phobia, racism, ageism, capitalism and authority, unwarranted and existing in our communities. So after reading this come up with your own interpretations and I welcome all criticisms after study, as long as they are done respectfully.

Finally, what is left and what I expect from all Muslims and anarchists reading this thesis is that they listen before passing judgment on what I have come here to say.

3. Everything Divided — The Argument Condensed

There are five remaining chapters to this thesis:

In the second chapter, Who Says What With Respect to Islamic anarchism...Can Anyone Speak to What it Is?, I carry out a literature review of writings by Muslim anarchists. It includes Hakim Bey’s essays Millennium (1996), Islam and Eugenics (1997), Sacred Drift: Essays on the Margins of Islam (1993), and Michael Muhammad Knight’s fictional text Taqwacores (2004). I also discuss three articles on the topic ‘Islam and anarchism’, written by non-Muslim writers. The first is Harold B. Barclay’s “Islam, Muslim Societies, Anarchy” published in Anarchist Studies (2002). The second is Patricia Crone’s “Ninth-Century Muslim Anarchists” published in Past and Present Volume 10, no.2 (2000). The third is Anthony Fiscella’s “Imagining an Islamic Anarchism: A New Field of Study is Ploughed” in Religious Anarchisms: New Perspectives (2009, forthcoming). I also present contemporary and historical examples of Muslim anarchists and anarchist Muslims, including Yakub Islam, Gustave Henri Jossot, and Leda Rafenilli. The literature is a positive step in resisting the dichotomous representations of Muslims but there are three critical problems I address: First, the literature does not deal with the Koran, leading to the secularization of the texts. Second, the writers do not particularly identify who the intended audience is or the purpose of what is written. Three, the writers adopt and advocate for a Stirnerian individualistic approach to writing on Islam and anarchism (Kropotkin, 1910).

I will be arguing for three things in light of this literature’s problems. The first is the construction of an anarchic interpretation of Islam and an Islamic interpretation of anarchism. And for this construction to be done Koranically and anarchistically, by drawing conceptual and pragmatic anti-authoritarian and anti-capitalist resonances between Islam and anarchism. Second, that this synergistic interpretation addresses a relevant audience and be with a particular purpose. The audience addressed will be Muslims and anarchists within the newest social movements, with the purpose of helping increase the possibility of solidarity between Muslims and anarchists. Three, that this interpretation adopt and advocate for a balanced approach between communal politics, “based on affinity-based ethico-political commitments”, and micro-politics (Day, 2005: 17, 143) as opposed to a strict adherence to an individualistic Stirnerian approach. Under these criteria, I offer the interpretation that I label Anarca-Islam.

This interpretation is of value for three reasons. First, it can allow Muslims, and Muslim anarchists, to resist the aforementioned dichotomous representations. Second, because it counters two misconceptions of Islam and Muslims amongst anarchists. The first misconception is the impossibility of the construction of either an anarchic interpretation of Islam or an Islamic interpretation of anarchism. The second misconception is the impossibility of the co-existence of Muslim and anarchist identities in a single subjectivity. Evidence of these misconceptions is to be demonstrated through anarchist articles, forums, and blogs. Third, this interpretation is of value because it carves a panegyric desert of the present where Muslims, anarchists, and Muslim anarchists can collaborate more effectively in the newest social movements. Examples of their current collaboration are groups like No One Is Illegal (NOII) and Solidarity Across Borders (SAB).

In the third chapter, Methodology and Theories, I introduce a method I call Anarchic-Ijtihad and outline the theoretical paradigms I use in my contribution, Anarca-Islam, to the existing discourse on Islam and anarchism. Throughout the thesis, I carry out a critical exegesis of the Koran, as well as other Islamic and anarchistic texts, using Anarchic-Ijtihad as a method of interpretation. Some orthodox Muslim scholars, known in Arabic as Muftis or Imams, will doubtless regard this method as heresy, and secular Muslims such as Michael Knight will regard it as unnecessary. The accusation of heresy will be levied under the guise of safeguarding Islam from an impure and tainted Westernized reading. When, truthfully, the issue is related to power, its concentration within institutions versus its dissemination amongst the Muslim populace at large. The perception of Anarchic-Ijtihad as unnecessary will be levied under the pretext that the Koran, as some scholars like Knight contend, is a “tiny little book for tiny little men” (2004: 105). In defense of the practice of Anarchic-Ijtihad, I argue that Islam grants me the right to conduct a critical exegesis of the Koran and to write on Anarca-Islam. This right, whose classical form is referred to as ijtihad, literally implies striving. Ijtihad denotes not only an Islamic right, but an obligatory duty, entrusted by God to Muslims involved in scholarly study, to interpret and re-interpret Islamic ethico-political principles and thereby engage in “independent reasoning” (Esposito, 2002: 159). Anarchic-Ijtihad is so-named to highlight that it is an anarchistic type of ijtihad. Anarchic-Ijtihad is the deconstructive logic and force I will use to reread conceptual and pragmatic practices in the Koran and the Prophetic Oral tradition(s) so that they resonate with anarchism.

Following my discussion on Anarchic-Ijtihad, I identify the theoretical paradigms used to create Anarca-Islam: post-anarchist, deconstructionist, post-colonial, and poststructuralist theories, along with sociological theories of social movements. I discuss how these theories will be individually and collectively used. Briefly, post-colonial theory offers a discursive resistance to Eurocentric biases (Gandhi, 1998: 4; 10; Minh-ha, 1991; Bhabha, 1994; Monod, 1970). As Jacques Monod has argued, Muslims in the West face a “survivalist necessity”(1970) to resist assimilationist and racist practices and policies directed against them. Poststructuralist and deconstructionist theories offer a resistance to structuralism, hierarchies and dominant relations established upon the construction of essentialist or reductionist qualities. Here I have in mind qualities along the lines of race, ethnicity, gender, ability, age, sexuality, religion and class. Post-anarchist theory offers a poststructuralist interpretation of anarchism, resonating with the interpretation of Islam I advocate for. Social movement theory is the space where these theories are manifesting and interacting (Deleuze, 1990).

In the fourth chapter, Anarca-Islam’s Space and Political Consciousness in Relation to anarchism, Islam and the capitalist-State, I define Anarca-Islam in relation to anarchism, Islam and the capitalist-State. First, I argue for the death of a singular puritanical Islam, and the death of a singular puritanical anarchism; both are in fact pluralistic traditions (Deleuze and Guattari, 1980: 26–39). Islam is only alive in so far as it manifests itself in the Holy Koran and the Prophetic Oral tradition. Anarchisms, Western and Non-Western, are also only alive in so far as they manifest themselves in their classical texts (Bakunin 1873; Kropotkin, 1890; Goldman, 1910; Adams; 2003). Anarca-Islam is then defined. Its relation to Islam and anarchism, specifically post-anarchism, is established. An immanent critique of Western classical anarchism’s Euro-centricity and perception of power operating strictly at the macro level — the state and institutionalized religion — is carried out. This involves a discussion of Nietzschean/Foucaultian and post-anarchistic views of micro and macro power (Day, 2005; May, 1994; Call, 2001; Rolando, 1990; Newman, 2001) and of the similarities and the differences between strategic and tactical political philosophy (May, 1994:10–11). This critique is done to distinguish between Western classical anarchism and post-anarchism.

Following this, I define, in line with Saul Newman (2001), a triadic relationship that consists of: Daddy (authoritarian practices of the type macro and micro), Mommy (capitalist practices) and Me (oedipal subject). The analogy, Mommy-Daddy-Me, is derived from Newman’s reading of Deleuze and Guattari’s Anti-Oedipus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia (1977), and which Newman discusses in his text From Bakunin to Lacan: Anti-authoritarianism and the Dislocation of Power (2001). Newman’s argument is that in a capitalist-State society, the “Holy State” acts as a symbolic Father and “capital” as the symbolic Mother as if the Oedipal duality were active as “religious signifiers to which individuals are subordinated to” (Newman, 2001: 99). In this light, I discuss the particular role each parent has with respect to me and discuss the effects their relationship has on me. Given, that is, that I am an Oedipalized subject seeking to become relatively de-Oedipalized[16] (Day, 2005: 142–143) by creating and attending a clinic, Anarca-Islam. In other words, Anarca-Islam resembles a clinic that I, an Oedipalized subject, construct and attend in an act of resistance to Daddy, Mommy, and thus the capitalist-State.

In chapter five, The Birth of the Clinic — Seeing and Knowing the Clinic’s Commitments in Resistance to Daddy-Mommy-Me, I construct Anarca-Islam. I begin by establishing Anarca-Islam’s resistance to authoritarian practices at the micro level through micro-anti-authoritarian concepts and practices extracted from Islam, i.e. Shura, Ijma and Maslaha. I then show how it is possible to resist authoritarian practices at the macro level, such as institutionalized religion and the modern state. I offer an alternative rereading of the classical interpretation of the Islamic concept Khilafah, Islamic state. I thereafter address the ‘authority’ of Prophet Muhammad and God. In the end, I will have constructed an anti-authoritarian Islam through Anarca-Islam’s resistance to authoritarian practices.

I then construct for Anarca-Islam its resistance to capitalism, through concepts and practices extracted from Islam: Property, Communal and Individual Caretakers, Mudarabah/Musharakah, Riba, Zakat, Ramadan, Sadaqat Al-Fitr and Islamic banking. The rereading of these concepts and practices produces an anti-capitalist Islam. Finally, I announce myself as no longer merely Oedipalized but becoming relatively de-Oedipalized. Anarca-Islam’s, or the clinic’s, construction is the symbolic act of both delineating the misconceptions held by many anarchists in the newest social movements and the opening up of a panegyric desert of the present for Muslims, Muslim anarchists and anarchist Muslims in the newest social movements.

In the sixth Chapter, The End is the Beginning is the End, I summarize the argument and project the future trajectory of Anarca-Islam.

Chapter 2. Who Says What With Respect to Islamic anarchism...Can Anyone Speak to What it Is?

“The anarchist ‘movement’ today contains virtually no Blacks, Hispanics, Native Americans, [Muslims], or children...even tho in theory such genuinely oppressed groups stand to gain the most from any anti-authoritarian revolt. Might it be that anarchisms offers no concrete program whereby the truly deprived might fulfill (or at least struggle realistically to fulfill) real needs and desires?”

(Hakim Bey, 1991)

1. Chapter Introduction

In this chapter, I carry out a critical assessment of academic texts as well as non-academic anarchist movement works that are relevant to the field of Islam and anarchism as it currently exists. Here I am seeking to identify both academic and non-academic writers whose work could be used to support my contentions, as well as what I consider to be gaps in the existing literature.

In the first section of the literature review, I identify six tendencies I have observed in academic texts that I will use as resources to support my position for constructing Anarca-Islam. The first tendency I observe is in academic texts by Muslim anarchists or anarchist Muslims, such as Peter Lamborn Wilson (a.k.a Hakim Bey[17]) and Michael Muhammad Knight.[18] Bey’s non-fictional texts Millennium (1996), Islam and Eugenics (1997) and Sacred Drift: Essays on the Margins of Islam (1993), as well as Knight’s fictional work Taqwacores (2002) dispel “the false image of Islam as monolithic, puritan, and two-dimensional” (Bey, 1993). In other words, Bey and Knight argue that Islam is neither homogenous nor monolithic, an issue I will return to in more detail in chapter four. The second tendency is in academic texts by non-Muslim writers, such as Harold B. Barclay,[19] Patricia Crone[20] and Anthony Fiscella[21]. Barclay’s “Islam, Muslim Societies, Anarchy” published in Anarchist Studies (2002), Crone’s “Ninth-Century Muslim Anarchists” in Past and Present (2000) and Fiscella’s “Imagining an Islamic Anarchism: A New Field of Study is Ploughed” in Religious Anarchisms: New perspectives (2009, forthcoming) provide evidence against “the traditional view that Islam and anarchism are necessarily incompatible” (Fiscella, 2009). In other words, Barclay, Crone and Fiscella identify resonances between Islam and anarchism, in support of my argument for the possibility of constructing Anarca-Islam. The writers identify these resonances anthropologically and historically, and therefore adopt Bey’s approach. The third tendency is in Bey’s works Millennium and Jihad Revisited (2004). In these two works, Bey advocates for a “necessary revolution — the jihad” (1996), a method I develop in chapter three and use to “form the constellation of a new propaganda within Islam” (1996) for Anarca-Islam in chapter five. The fourth tendency is in Bey’s text Islam and Eugencics. In this work, Bey advocates for the rise of a politicized Islam with a new spirit, what he calls the “spirit of Sarajevo” (1997), in America and Europe. Bey hopes that when this politicized Islam rises that it is one based in “communities, not professions of faith,” and that it creates in “mutual tolerance & synergy a city-state of precious value, with an Islamic heritage”(1997). What Bey advocates and hopes for is descriptive of Anarca-Islam’s orientation to a panegyric space in the newest social movements. The fifth tendency is both in Bey’s text Sacred Drift: Essays on the Margins of Islam and Knight’s text Taqwacores. In these two works, Bey and Knight engage in a “scathing critique on ‘authority’” (1993) in Islam, resonating with Anarca-Islam’s anti-authoritarian position that I construct in chapter five. The sixth and final tendency is in Fiscella’s text Imagining an Islamic Anarchism: A New Field of Study is Ploughed. In the text, Fiscella classifies the studies of Islamic anarchism into three categories that are useful in defining the discourse of Islam and anarchism. The first category is concerned with “studies of Islamic anarchist theory” (Fiscella, 2009). The second category is concerned with “studies in the anarchic character of tribal Muslim societies” (Fiscella, 2009). The third category is “studies of the anarchical structure of Islam” (Fiscella, 2009).

In the next section, I move from reviewing the academic texts to reviewing non-academic works in the form of articles and blogs. The review includes the article and blog forum titled Islam and Anarchy Join Together[22] (2003) by Chris R. on Info-shop. It also includes the articles, “The Trouble with Islam” in Red and Black Revolution: Issue 7 (2003) by Andrew Flood and Muslim Anarchism (2009) by Eric van Luxzenburg. The movement’s articles and blogs reaffirm my contentions that Islam is neither homogenous nor monolithic and that there exist resonances between Islam and anarchism. Nevertheless, the articles and blogs also paradoxically produce two misconceptions about Islam and Muslims. The first misconception is the impossibility of the construction of either an anarchic interpretation of Islam or an Islamic interpretation of anarchism. The second misconception is the impossibility of the co-existence of Muslim and anarchist identities in a single subjectivity. I argue that these misconceptions exist amongst anarchists for two reasons. The first reason is their exposure to Western corporate media representations. The second reason is that they do not speak nor read Arabic, practice the Islamic faith, nor have they struggled with the Koran to adequately understand interpretative traditions of Islam derived from it.

In the final section of this chapter, I argue that although the academic and non-academic literature are a positive move in resisting the dichotomous representations of Muslims there are three critical problems with them. First, both types of literatures do not deal with the Koran and the Prophetic Oral tradition(s), the Sunnah, leading to the secularization of the texts. Second, the academic and non-academic writers do not identify who the intended audience is or the purpose of what they are writing. Three, but particular to the literature of Bey and Knight, the writers adopt and advocate for a Stirnerian[23] individualistic approach to writing on Islam and anarchism (Kroptkin, 1910). I argue for three things in light of the literature’s critical problems. The first is the construction of an anarchic interpretation of Islam and an Islamic interpretation of anarchism, Anarca-Islam. Moreover, I argue for the importance of this construction Koranically and anarchistically by drawing conceptual-pragmatic anti-authoritarian and anti-capitalist resonances between Islam and anarchism. Second, that this synergistic interpretation addresses a relevant audience and be with a particular purpose. The audience addressed to be Muslims, Muslim anarchists and anarchists within the newest social movements. The purpose of this approach is to help increase the possibility of solidarity between Muslims and anarchists currently collaborating in groups like No One Is Illegal (NOII) and Solidarity Across Borders (SAB) — two groups that, in Day’s view, constitute part of the growing newest social movements (Day, 2005: 189–190). Three, for this interpretation to adopt and advocate a balanced approach between communal politics, “based on affinity-based ethico-political commitments”, and micro-politics (Day, 2005: 17, 143) as opposed to a strict adherence to an individualistic Stirnerian approach.

2. A Review of the Academic Literature

The first tendency Bey and Knight raise is supportive of my contentions. They concede that Islam is not monolithic, but rather is multiple. To them talking of Islam as a singularity is blasphemy. After all, it is problematic to speak of Islam as singular when, as Bey argues, it is born from the recognition that:

“The ‘hyper-orthodox’ & the ulemocracy can’t...reduce [Islam] to a hegemonistic/universalistic ideology...to rule out divergent forms of ‘sacred politics’ informed by Sufism [like the Naqshabandis], ‘radical’ Shia-ism, Ismaelism, Islamic Humanism and Sunni-ism, the ‘Green Path’ of Col. Qadafi (part neo-Sufism, part anarcho-syndicalism)...not to mention the ‘cosmopolitan Islam of Bosnia [Note: we mention these elements not to condone them necessarily, but to indicate that Islam is not a monolith of ‘fundamentalism’]”[24] (Bey, 1996).

Following this premise, Bey’s work[25] focuses on mapping and identifying, anthropologically and historically, “anarchisitic elements in Islam” (2009). In doing so, Bey demonstrates, as Fiscella notes, a plurality of anarchically oriented interpretative traditions of Islam as practiced through the:

“Qalandars, Ismailis (especially the Assassins), the socialist Ali Shariati, Khezr (or the Green Man whom Wilson associates with militant environmentalism, Khaldun’s Bedouins, Sufis (such as Ibn al-Arabi, al-Hallaj, and Rumi, Muammar Qaddafi’s Third Universal Theory, and his own Moorish Orthodox Church (originally a white beatnik outgrowth of Noble Drew Ali’s Moorish Science Temple)” (Fiscella, 2009).

In demonstrating a plurality of anarchically oriented traditions in Islam, Bey is identifying Islam as multiple as opposed to it being monolithic.

Next to Bey is Knight, who in his text Taqwacores also argues against the idea of a monolithic Islam. Knight’s text is a fictitious story of a straightedge Sunni, Umar, a drunken Mohawk-wearing Sufi who plays “rooftop calls-to-prayer on his electric guitar”[26] (Knight, 2009), Jehangir, a dope smoking riot girl donning a burqa, Rabeya, and an Iranian Shi’ite skinhead, Ayyub. The central protagonist and narrator of this renegade anarchist pack of Muslim-punk-rockers out of Buffalo, New York, is Yusuf. Yusuf is an engineering student of Pakistani descent who is caught between the worlds of “Muslim piety, angry hardcore music, and....[a] mixed dose of both soft and hardcore sex”[27] (Knight, 2009). The novel beautifully illustrates its characters’ “collective articulation of a heresy-friendly, pluralist Islam”[28] (Knight, 2009). The novel sheds light on a few of the representations of Islam that are left out of mainstream representations of it by “looking into the twin identities of punk and Islam in their many varieties and degrees of orthodoxy”[29] (Knight, 2009). A memorable passage in the novel is when Umar says to Yusuf,

“’Islam enjoins solidarity with our oppressed and persecuted bothers. But I’m not a nationalist; that’s why I got that one up — ‘

He gestured to the Islam Conference flag. “We’re one community, brother; that’s the umma, the only legitimate political entity on this earth.” (Knight, 2002: 53).

In this passage, Knight clearly demonstrates, through Umar, a view he believes exists amongst some Western Muslims. The view is that Islam is monolithic. Only then pages later, in contrast to Umar’s view, during a conversation between Jehingar and Yusuf, Knight writes of Jehingar’s response to Yusuf when Yusuf asks Jehingar about what taqwacore is. Jehingar reveals that it is about ugly Muslims, outcasts from their individual communities, who constitute a multi-faceted Islam as opposed to a monolithic Islam. Knight writes:

“‘So what do you think it is?’ I asked.

‘I think it’s just about being ugly...But yeah,

man...I think that’s where it’s


‘What’s taqwacore then? Ugly Muslims?’

‘Kind of.’

‘I stayed plopped on the porch, Jehangir stayed stretched out on the sidewalk and we went a while without speaking. In silence I lost myself daydreaming of an Ugly Muslim Parade marching single-file down our street with every Ugly Muslim included: the women who traveled without their walis, the painters who painted people, beardless qazis, the dog owners in their angel-free houses, hashishiyyuns like Fasiq Abasa, liwats and sihaqs, Ahamdiyyas, believers who stopped reading in Arabic because they didn’t know what it said, the left-handers, the beer swillers, the Kuwaiti sentenced to death for singing Quran, the guys who snuck off with girls to make out and undo generations of cerebral clitorectomy, the girls who stopped blaming themselves every time a man had dirty thoughts, the mumins who stopped their clock-punching, the kids who had pepperoni on their pizza, on and on down the line” (Knight, 2002: 56).

Knight’s juxtaposition of Umar and Jehingers’ positions on a puritanical legitimate Muslim community versus an ugly impure Islam is commendable. It symbolizes the way some post-colonial Muslims perceive themselves and the relative ease with which the West appropriates these perceptions. Knights’ view, like Bey’s, is therefore in line with my contention that Islam is not monolithic.

The second tendency I observe, as taken from academic texts by non-Muslims, is the recognition that resonances exist between Islam and anarchism. To these writers, Islam and anarchism are not identical, but neither are they necessarily incompatible. For instance, Barclay in his text Islam, Muslim societies and anarchy begins by addressing a “possible relationship between the idea of anarchy and Muslim society”[30] as it exists in “Kharijite and Sufi traditions”[31] (Barclay, 2002). Barclay then proceeds to push his argument further by considering “various [anarchic] manifestations of tribal organization in North Africa and Southwest Asia” (Barclay, 2002). Barclay pays specific attention to the anti-statist approach of these tribes that was “documented by Ibn Khaldun” (Fiscella, 2009), a thirteenth century Muslim philosopher and sociologist. Barclay finally concludes his contribution with an “assessment of writings”[32](Barclay, 2002) by Colonel Mu’ammar Qaddafi, Libya’s present day dictator. In doing this, Barclay argues like Bey that Qaddafi’s writings “appear to have some anarchist content”[33] (Barclay, 2002), especially in the context of “Qaddafi’s Third Universal Theory”[34] (Fiscella, 2009). At the end of Barclay’s text, Barclay writes that “although there is no consistent rejection of the notion of domination, and no advocacy of a free society”,[35] nevertheless “it is apparent anarchistic themes do pervade Muslim societies”[36](Barclay, 2002). Barclay therefore confirms my contention that there are anti-statist resonances between Islam and anarchism.

Crone, who adopts Bey’s anthropological and historical approach in her text Ninth-Century Muslim Anarchists, also recognizes resonances between Islam and anarchism. Crone identifies anti-statist Muslims such as Ja’far ibn Harb (d. 850), Al-asamm (d.816 or 817), Al-Nazzam (d. between 835 and 845), Hisham al Fuwati (d. 840) and his pupil Abbad ibn Slayman (d. 870). All these Muslims are Muslims who:

“lived or began their careers in Basra [, Iraq, and belong to the] so called Mu’tazilite ascetics (sufiyyat al-mu’tazila) [a Muslim sect], active in Baghdad...[and who along with a] sub-sect [of the Kharijites, another Muslim sect, called] the Najidiyya,[37] or Najadat, [but] who had appeared [earlier] in the seventh century and who seem to have survived into the tenth, possibly in Basra and possibly somewhere else” held “that Muslim society could function without ...the state”[38](Crone, 2000: 3–4).

Crone, like Barclay, therefore reaffirms my contentions that anti-statist resonances exist between Islam and anarchism.

Fiscella’s text Imagining an Islamic Anarchism: A New Field is Ploughed also recognizes resonances between Islam and anarchism. Fiscella does this by pointing to contemporary examples of Muslim anarchists who find compatible the identities Muslim and anarchist, and the discourse of Islam and anarchism. Fiscella first points to a U.K. based Muslim, Yunus Yakoub Islam, born Julian Hoare. Yakoub[39] had discovered anarchism in the 80’s through a punk band, Crass, only to convert to Islam in 1991 and then began writing a “Muslim Anarchist Charter” (Fiscella, 2009). Amongst the commitments of Yakoub’s Muslim Anarchist Charter is that the purpose of life as a Muslim anarchist necessitates a:

“Wholehearted commitment to learning, where such learning is carried out freely, consciously refusing to compromise with institutional power in any form, be it judicial, religious, social, corporate or political... the active pursuit of justice with the aim of establishing communities and societies where free spiritual development is uninhibited by tyranny, poverty and ignorance. Such a purpose requires an affinity with all peoples who define themselves as belonging to cultures of Judeo-Christian-Islamic origin in which both commonalities and differences are acknowledged and understood, and disagreement engenders debate rather than division and satire but never mockery...The Muslim Anarchist Charter rejects fascist forces which seek to enforce a single, absolute truth, including patriarchy, empire, and Wahhabism”[40].

Fiscella also points to the seductress[41] Leda Rafenelli, whom I consider as Islam’s contemporary Emma Goldman (Fiscella, 2009). Born with an “early [anarchistic] poetic vein”[42] (Fiscella, 2009) in 1880 in Pistoia, Italy, Rafenelli immigrated in 1903 to Alexandria, Egypt. Bewitched with her treatment by Arabs, Rafenelli learned Arabic, embraced Sufism, and became a mystic anarchist. Rafenelli then started writing[43] of her experience in Egypt. In the early 1920s, Rafenelli went back to her native Italy and co-founded with Joseph Monanni their Publishing House Company. She started publishing the works of “Nietzsche, Malatesta, Kropotkin, Stirner”[44] (Fiscella, 2009) only to then write 50 novels in Italian dedicated “to anti-colonialism...[opposing] European Imperialism...raging against clericalism, militarism and the oppression of women”[45] (Fiscella, 2009). Near the end of her life, Rafenelli dedicated her writing to the issue of solidarity among anarchists, writing:

“I see comrades who, because of a word or two which offends them, forget the brother/sisterhood, the solidarity that bring us anarchists together... It is natural that there should be some disagreements among us...But when someone expresses his/her opinion on people or facts, those who oppose those judgments should do so without personal antagonism”[46] (Fiscella, 2009).

Finally, Fiscella points to Gusatve Henri Jossot or Abdoul-Karim Jossot (Fiscella, 2009). Jossot was an early 19th century caricaturist and contributor to the anarchist publications Les Temps nouveaux and l’Assiette au Beurre (Moreel, 2003). Though Jossot never claimed to be a Muslim anarchist like Rafenelli and Yakoub, Jossot targeted his caricatures at authoritarian families, the army, the courts, the police and the church[47], all of which are anarchist concerns (Moreel, 2003). Converting to Islam in 1913, Jossot contributed a statement to La Dépêche Tunisienne[48]. In his contribution, Jossot wrote: “no mysteries, no dogmas, no priests, almost no ceremonies, the most rational religion in the world...to start Islamic fatherlands [, states,] is betraying Islam” (La Dépêche Tunisienne, 10 February 1913). Fiscella, by pointing to the former contemporary examples of Muslim anarchists therefore, along with Crone and Barclay, reaffirms my contentions that there are anti-authoritarian, pro-solidarity and anti-capitalist resonances between Islam and anarchism, and the identities Muslim and anarchist.

The third tendency I observe is in Bey’s texts Millennium and Jihad Revisited (2004). In the texts, Bey emphasizes[49] the revolutionary Islamic concept of jihad. Contrary to popular perception, the concept does not mean holy war. It means ‘to struggle’ in the sense that it is “derived from the Arabic root jhd, ‘to strive’” (Marranci, 2006: 17). Jhd also “serves as the root for other verbs emphasizing effort and struggle...in difficult tasks” (Marranci, 2006: 17). An example of such a verb is ijtihad, which means “‘to strive for understanding and interpreting the Qur’anic law’ [and with]...the same jhd root as jihad” (Marranci, 2006: 17). Jihad and ijtihad are not just Muslim practices that involve offering variant “meanings of individual words” (Al’awani, 1993: 83) in the Sunnah and the Koran. Rather they also involve dealing with the “linguistic difficulties...over questions of grammar” in the Sunnah and the Koran and deciding whether God is speaking in an active or a passive voice[50] (Al’Awani, 1993: 82). Jihad is the reason why there exists a pluralistic, impure Islam. It is the concept I develop as a method in chapter three, through its form ijtihad, and which I then practice when constructing Anarca-Islam in chapter five. Bey argues in his text Jihad Revisited that it is jihad, which allowed the Neo-Sufis and others, like the Sanussi order in Libya, to break with:

“the medieval concept of the all-powerful ‘master’. Instead, they sought initiation in dreams and visions. In North Africa, the Sanussi Order and the Tijani Order, amongst others, were founded by seekers who’d been empowered in dreams by the Prophet Mohammed himself...[It is jihad that allowed] the Neo-Sufi orders...[to be] conceived and shaped to some extent as reform movements within Islam, in competition with modernism & secularism on one hand and Salafist/Wahhabi neo-puritan ‘Islamism’ on the other. [It is jihad] that allowed] education & health and economic alternatives to colonialism...[to be] stressed in the Sanussi Order in Libya. And when armed struggle against Italian rule erupted, Sanussi fuqara (dervishes) led the uprising”[51] (Bey, 2004)

Bey also rightly points out in Jihad Revisted that jihad has unfortunately become a forsaken and an abandoned Islamic practice. This is particularly important considering that “perhaps the single most damaging blow to Islamic knowledge came in the tenth century under the Abbasids when the ‘Gate of Ijithad’...was declared closed” (Esposito, 1984: 19). In this light, Bey in Millennium advocates for jihad, because it is only with it that:

“Traditions of tolerance, voluntarism, egalitarianism, concern for social justice, critique of usury’, mystical utopianism — etc. — can form the constellations of a new propaganda within Islam, unshakably opposed to the cognitive colonialism of the numisphere, oriented to ‘empirical freedoms’ rather than ideology, critical of repression within Islam, but committed to its creativity, reticence, interiority, militance, & style. Islam’s concern with pollution of the imagination, which manifests in a literal veiling of the image, constitutes a powerful strategic realization for the jihad; — that which is veiled is not absent or invisible, since the veil is a sign of its presence, its imaginal reality, its power. That which is veiled is unseen[52] (Bey, 1996).

Bey’s emphasis on jihad as an Islamic practice, therefore, affirms my contention for the necessity of its development as a method for constructing Anarca-Islam.

The fourth tendency I observe is in Bey’s text Islam and Eugenics. In this text, Bey advocates and foretells the rise of an anarchic interpretation of Islam and Islamic interpretation of anarchism in the West. The interpretation Bey hopes will be endowed with a ‘spirit of Sarajevo’ and in possession of its own Islamic heritage as it introduces itself into ‘a precious city-state’, a metaphor I perceive Bey uses in reference to social movements. Moreover, this interpretation’s task, as Bey sees it, ought to create a panegyric desert for Muslims and Muslim anarchists amongst anarchists in social movements. Bey describes the interpretation’s spirit in Islam and Eugenics, writing:

“Inshallah, some day Sarajevo will rise again as a unique particularity in which European Moslems and European Christians (I’m speaking loosely here of communities, not professions of faith) will create in mutual tolerance & synergy a city-state of precious value, with an Islamic heritage. That would constitute an imaginal infusion, a flow of energy from the past, which would now be ‘our’ past. This would mean far more than an empty apology for the old Ottomans, Caliphs of Islam and inventors of the fez”[53] (Bey, 1997).

Bey then goes on in Islam and Eugenics to describe his vision of this anarchic interpretation of Islam and an Islamic interpretation of anarchism, writing:

“‘Islam’ in Europe & America? Why not? Why not enjoy it? Autonomous enclaves in Berlin, Paris, London — linked by anarcho-federalism with other autonomous zones, squats, social centers, eco-farms & free rural municipalities, & other anti-Capital entities & non-hegemonic particularities. Revolutionary difference against the idols of Moloch & Mammon, & the culture of global sameness. Why not introduce into ‘western culture’ the virus of a critique of the tyranny of the image — an iconoclastic breath from the desert? Reactionary fundamentalism has long since betrayed itself as a revolutionary force. Why not something else, the ‘spirit of Sarajevo’ perhaps — or the castles of the Assassins”[54] (Bey, 1997).

Bey’s hopes and visions in the passages above therefore affirm my contention that it is indeed possible and favorable to construct an anarchic interpretation of Islam and an Islamic interpretation of anarchism.

The fifth tendency I observe is Bey and Knight’s anti-authoritarian stance. In advocating for this stance, by “drawing inspiration from his interpretation of the abrogation of the Law (Qiyamat) during the Assassin reign at Alamut” (Fiscella, 2009), Bey writes:

“In a sense anyone can be the Imam; in a sense, everyone already is the Imam...the idea of the Iman-of-one’s-own-being implies the idea of self-rule, autarky: each human being a potential king, and human relations carried out as a mutuality of ‘free lords’... To liberate everyday life...beings with the individual and spirals outward in love to embrace others...’radical’ (post-Qiyamat) Ismailism restores ‘sovereignty’ to the individual, who thus becomes his/her own ‘authority’. Spirituality is not a master/slave relation — it is not an ‘Oriental despotism’. Not anymore. Not now. Maybe it never was. Who cares? Here and now: — we need something different” (Bey, 1993: 58).

Similarly, Yusuf in Taqwacores expresses Knight’s anti-authoritarian stance. Knight writes:

“Fuck the local imam, fuck the PhDs at al-Madina al-Munawwara ... give me the Islam of starry-night cornfields with wind rustling through my shirt and reckless fisabilillah make-out sprees that won’t lead to anything but hurt. Knee-deep in a creek is where I’ll find my kitab. If Allah wants to say anything to me He’ll do so on the faces of my brothers and sisters. If there’s any Law that I need to follow, I’ll find it out there in the world” (Knight, 2004: 252).

Bey and Knights’ arguments for an anti-authoritarian Islam therefore affirm my contention that it is possible to construct an anti-authoritarian commitment as a foundation for Anarca-Islam.

The sixth and final tendency I observe in the academic texts is Fiscella’s categorization of the anthropological and historical studies of Islamic anarchism to date in Imagining an Islamic Anarchism: A New Field of Study is Ploughed. Fiscella applies three classifications that could be useful in defining the Islamic-anarchism discourse. Fiscella does this but also humbly acknowledges that:

“Alternative models are required. It is not possible right now to do justice to the richness and complexity of the material but a crude tool might be crafted in order to at least begin digging” (Fiscella, 2009) the discourse on Islam and anarchism.

The classifications Fiscella uses include the following:

“[Type One[55], inclusive of works of Crone, Bey and Knight, are] studies of anarchist theory [and with the subtypes Organic Islamic anarchism and Post-modern Islamic anarchism]... [Type Two[56], inclusive of the work of Barclay, are] studies in the anarchic traits of tribal Muslim societies [and with the subtypes Pre-modern Muslim anarchy and Post-modern Muslim anarchy]...and finally, [Type Three[57] are] studies of the anarchical structure of Islam [with the subtypes Anarchical Islam (Caliphate period) and Hyper-anarchical Islam (Post-Caliphate period)]...Within each category further distinctions can be made based on qualitative developments” (Fiscella, 2009).

Fiscella’s identification of the preliminary parameters of Islamic anarchism as a discourse, affirms my contention that Anarca-Islam does have a theoretical and pragmatic role to play in terms of its contribution to anarchism and Islamic-anarchism as discourses as well as the newest social movements.

3. Review of the Movement Literature

Non-academic, movement articles and blogs reaffirm that there is no monolithic Islam and that there have been historical, anti-authoritarian movements within Islam resonating with anarchism. Nevertheless, the same articles and blogs also paradoxically reproduce the two misconceptions of Islam and Muslims that I discussed earlier. In Muslim Anarchism, Luxzenburg writes of anti-authoritarian resonances between Islam and anarchism and acknowledges the existence of multiple strands of Islam as well. Luxzenburg writes:

“The first recorded strand of anti-authoritarian Islam dates all the way back to the death of the third [Caliph] Uthmān ibn ‘Affān. They had a disagreement about who should succeed him as the leader of Muslims, resulting in the [Shia] — [Sunni] split. There was a third group, however, the [Kharijites], who opposed both the Sunni and Shia sects, and claimed that any qualified Muslim could be an Imam. They held that all people were individually responsible for the good or evil of their acts. They challenged all authority and encouraged all, especially the poor and dispossessed, to see the struggle against injustice as being divinely sanctioned. However, although Kharijites saw all believers completely equal regardless of any social differences, they believed that non-believers had no rights, and could be killed. At least one sect of Kharajites, the Najdiyya, believed that if no suitable [imam] was present in the community, then the position could be dispensed with. A strand of Mutazalite thought paralleled that of the Najdiyya: if rulers inevitably became tyrants, then the only acceptable course of action was to stop installing rulers”[58] (Luxzenburg, 2009).

In addition to Luxzenburg’s article, but hardly as historically and anthropologically informative and interrogative as his, there is also Chris R.’s article Islam and Anarchy Join Together. In the article, Chris R. also acknowledges resonances between Islam and anarchism. He writes:

“ISLAM and the LIBERTARIAN SOCIAL struggle are, in no way, opposed, but rather have an ample nexus that joins them together. To that end, brothers and sisters, know that we are not different, we are like you and have the same objectives, bringing awareness to social struggles...in reality ISLAM is pureness, love, peace, social awareness and more”[59] (Chris R., 2009)

Nevertheless, and in spite of the article’s positive viewpoint(s) on Islam and anarchism, anarchist bloggers like ‘Brain-Fear’ and ‘PJP’ responded negatively to the article through its blog forum. In their comments, the anarchist bloggers dismissed the possibility of Muslim anarchists and the possibility of an anarchic interpretation of Islam and Islamic interpretation of anarchism, basing their views on their homogenization of Islam and Muslims. Brain-Fear and PJP write:

“Any form of religion is thought control — Islam is sexist and homophobic... If they [Muslims] are serious about anarchism, they would have dropped the sexist and homophobic aspects of the religion and accentuated more libertarian aspects of the religion”[60] (Chris R., 2009)

A third anarchist blogger, ‘Burning-man’, also expresses a similar yet more direct critique towards what is described as ‘Anarcho-Islam’; a neither Koranic nor anarchically proven fusion of Islam and anarchism. Burning-man’s comments demonstrate the two misconceptions of the impossibility of an anarchic interpretation of Islam and an Islamic interpretation of anarchism as well as the impossibility of the co-existence of Islam and anarchism in a single subjectivity. Burning-man wrote:

“Anarcho-Islam is about the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard of. Islam is about submission. Slave to Allah and all that crap. It has an extremely rigid set of rules and conduct and, while more enlightened than other monotheistic religions in a number of important ways, it never quite went through anything like the Reformation. It is reactionary, pro-capitalist, pro-slavery, imperialist and misogynist to the core. Just read the fucking Koran”[61] (Chris R., 2009).

Treading in line with Brain-fear, PJP, and Burning-man, in regurgitating these misconceptions are also anarchists associated with the Anarchist Federation in London, England. The anarchists in question produced an article in the “December 2001 issue”[62] (Adam K., 2007) that levels all differences between Islam and Muslims and portrays Islam as monolithic, fundamentalist, reactionary, homo-trans-queerphobic, and oppressive towards women. The article reductively and Islamophobically claims Islam “the enemy of all Freedom loving people”[63] (Adam K., 2007).

Similarly, in Flood’s article The Trouble with Islam the two misconceptions reappear. Flood’s argument revolves around this introductory statement:

“The left in general ...[but in particular] groups like the British SWP [Socialist Party of Britain] have gone so far as to describe left criticism of the Islamic religion as ‘Islamophobia’ echoing the official line of their government which insists ‘The real Islam is a religion of peace, tolerance and understanding’. While there is a real need for the left to defend people who are Muslims from state and non-state victimisation in the aftermath of 9–11 this should not at any time imply a defence of the Islamic religion. Freedom of religion must also allow freedom from religion!”[64] (Flood, 2003).

While I concur with Flood’s views that ‘freedom of religion must allow freedom from religion’ and that the ‘left ought possess the right to critique Islam without fear of the accusatory charge of Islamophobia’, Flood’s argument is problematic because Flood writes of Islam and Muslims as if both were monolithic. Flood dismisses the possibility of constructing an anarchic interpretation of Islam. Causally, and by failing to acknowledge Islam’s multiplicity, Flood also denies the possibility of the existence of Muslim anarchists in social movements. However, I find that the most unfortunate part of Flood’s article is his concluding statement. In it, he praises anarchists and anarchisms’ historical commitments to anti-oppression, yet expresses his yearning for an anarchic vigilance in opposition to Islam. Flood supports this conclusion through his view of Islam as puritanical and running counter to anarchism’s commitment to freedom from oppression(s). Flood writes:

“Anarchists have a long and proud tradition of fighting the power of organised religion, including in countries like Spain fighting fascist gangs formed on a religious basis. While we recognise the freedom of people to hold a religion we also recognise that there has to be a freedom from religion — an idea that runs against the basis of Islam. Anarchists in the Middle East and beyond will need to determine for themselves the most effective ways of counteracting the influence of the fundamentalists there. In the west we can at least make sure their attempts to impose themselves on the immigrant communities are opposed”[65] (Flood, 2003).

The two misconceptions exist amongst these anarchists for two reasons. The first is that these anarchists are influenced by Orientalist and Fundementalist Western representations of Islam and Muslims. The second is the fact that these anarchists, for the most part, do not read Arabic, practice Islam, and have never read the Sunnah or the Koran. Moreover, these anarchists have never practiced jihad and ijtihad and therefore have not understood interpretative traditions of Islam derived from either the Sunnah or the Koran. The majority of anarchists are not aware that within Islam, “everything that is said under the explicit form of the law usually also refers to another meaning” (Foucault, 1978: 753–4). For instance, they are not aware that the Arabic word ayn in the Koran may change from meaning “an organ of sight” to “running water”, from “pure gold” to a “spy” (Al’Awani, 1993: 82). Anarchists for the most part do not realize that it is possible through jihad and ijtihad that the Koranic “word qar’ (plural: quroo’) can either mean menstruation” (Al’Awani, 1993: 82) or the exact opposite, “purity following menstruation” (Al’Awani, 1993: 82). As a result of not being aware of any of this, the majority of anarchists remain blind to the fact that there are non-dogmatic possibilities in literal and figurative connotations that Muslim scholars, Muj’tah’eideen, encounter when they engage in jihad and ijtihad, especially when Muj’tah’eideen are orienting Islam ethically and politically to a specific hermeneutic such as anarchism.

What the majority of anarchists need to recognize then is that they cannot take for granted the difficulty[66] Muj’tah’eideen face at deriving different connotations and alternative readings based on the subtleties of the Sunnah and the Koran. In not recognizing this, these anarchists undermine the power and burden of a Muj’tah’eid (singular for Muh’tah’eideen). Anarchists, for the most part, dismiss the sacred responsibility a Muj’tah’eid is entrusted with and for which he and/or she is accountable before God. All anarchists must understand that “the East and Islam don’t necessarily have the same regimes of truth as the West” (Foucault, 1978, 753–4). These regimes of truth are knowable truths, but which a majority of anarchists know little of. Anarchists cannot afford to be ignorant or ambivalent of Islam out of fear.

4. Conclusions Drawn from Reviewing both Literatures

In drawing my conclusions from reviewing the literatures, let me say that the literature is undoubtedly a vital symbolic step that can help Western Muslims in confronting Western representations ascribed to Islam. However, the literature shows weaknesses on three interrelated fronts. First, there is the weakness of the secularization of the texts, and this applies to both the academic and non-academic literature. The secularization occurs because the texts use neither the Koran nor the Sunnah. The writers abstain from offering conceptual and pragmatic Koranic and anarchic justifications of how it is (im)possible to construct an anarchic interpretation of Islam and an Islamic interpretation of anarchism. The literature defers instead to identifying useful but still just anthropological and historical resonances between anarchism and Islam. The consequence is the literature’s weakened effectivity due to the overarching dismissal of what I see as a critical aspect with respect to the discourse of Islam and anarchism. As Fiscella argues, it is not “merely about the imagination of the potential options for how things can be” (Fiscella, 2009) between the two, Islam and anarchism. Rather, it is about proving the Islamic and anarchic concepts and practices necessary for this idea’s presentation to a socio-political arena comprised predominantly of non-secular Western Muslims. That said, I have little doubt and can almost guarantee that post-colonial immigrant and citizen Muslims, regardless of how liberal, can tolerate but will never seriously accept a word in any of these literatures unless the Koran and the Sunnah are used.

Second, there is the weakness that the academic and non-academic writers do not identify clearly who the intended audience or the exact purpose of their writing. The literature lacks clarity when in fact the writers could direct the literature and its intended message(s) far more adequately to a particular audience. For instance, Bey and Knight parley between representing Islam and Muslims either through fictional insights that call the Koran a “tiny little book for tiny little men” (Knight, 2004: 105) or through insights using what Bey calls “poetic terrorism” (Bey, 1993: 58) in his quest for “poetic facts” (Bey, 1993: 58). As Fiscella writes, Bey’s “work is easy to read but difficult to follow...seamlessly blend[ing] scholarly research with manifesto in a quest for ‘poetic facts’” (Fiscella, 2009). The consequence of the inadequate addressing of the religious literature, as well as the lack of clarity, is the persistence of the former misconceptions in the hearts and minds of anarchists.

A third weakness found generally in literature on anarchism and Islam, but one that is particular to the literature by Bey and Knight, is that they adopt and advocate for a Stirnerian individualistic approach to writing on Islam and anarchism (Kroptkin, 1910). I am vehemently against this approach. Bey and Knight encourage Muslims to:

“not only [be Muslims in] a complete revolt against the state and against servitude...but also [after] the full liberation of...[themselves] from all social and moral bonds [and responsibilities to even themselves as community] — the rehabilitation of the ‘I’, the supremacy of the individual, complete ‘amoralism’, and the association of egoists’”(Kroptkin, 1910).

For Bey and Knight, when it comes to representing Islam and Muslims “heresy and the margins of legitimacy are perfectly respectable options” (Fiscella, 2009). This means, according to Bey and Knight, that any Muslim reserves the right to do as they please without being bound by or accountable for the ethico-political rights of the community over that individual. On the one hand, Bey “speaks of a need for the individual to be bound by an ethical and spiritual stance...[yet] on the other hand, he argues that the individual alone has the right to determine the validity of those ethics” (Fiscella, 2009). Whereas in Knight’s case, “Knight’s vision is one of multiple heresies and quasi-orthodoxies [of Islam and Muslims] living under the same roof and together manifesting an Islam where individualists are bound together in a radically intentional pluralism” (Fiscella, 2009). I however believe in the need for a more balanced approach between the rights of the community and the rights of the individual, and beyond Knight’s ‘radical intentional pluralism’ and which is not rooted in shared ethico-political commitments. In this sense, the literature inadequately addresses Muslims and anarchists in the newest social movements, and remains lacking in Koranic substance, encouragement, and call for communitarian action amongst Muslims and anarchists.

It seems to me then, that Bey and Knight fail to construct what I think is necessary. That is, an anarchic interpretation of Islam that is simultaneously an Islamic interpretation of anarchism. I accept and respect Bey’s anthropological and historical approach as well as Knight’s fictional approach. However, the construction of an interpretation or a multiplicity of interpretations is necessary, if only to effectively mobilize Muslims, Muslim anarchists and anarchists towards understanding each other better within the newest social movements. Without this type of interpretation, Muslim anarchists are fetishized revolutionary subjects and representatives of a dreary fusion of Islam and anarchism. In fact, without this kind of interpretation, Muslim anarchists exist only in name, since they are without the adequate theological foundations for the fusion of their two identities. Leaving Muslim anarchists susceptible to mockery by anarchists like Brain-fear regarding something called Anarcho-Islam, and which no one, not even Muslim anarchists, have defined. The consequence is more of the same thing for Muslim anarchists. That is, their further separation and ostracization from anarchists and Muslims. An interpretation is not a guarantee of the end of misconceptions between Muslims, Muslim anarchists and anarchists but it is a start in proving Koranically and anarchistically the concepts and practices behind a Muslim anarchist’s right to exist.

I argue for three things in light of this literature’s critical problems. The first, as I have already mentioned, is the construction of an anarchic interpretation of Islam and an Islamic interpretation of anarchism. This interpretation needs to be achieved Koranically and anarchistically by drawing conceptual, pragmatic, anti-authoritarian, and anti-capitalist resonances between Islam and anarchism. Second, that this synergistic interpretation addresses a relevant audience and have a particular purpose. The audience addressed needs to be defined to include Muslims and anarchists in the West, but more particularly Muslims and anarchists within the newest social movements; this literature should have the purpose of increasing the possibility of solidarity between Muslims and anarchists currently collaborating in groups like No One Is Illegal[67] (NOII) and Solidarity Across Borders[68] (SAB). Three, I am also arguing that this interpretation adopt and advocate for a balanced approach between communal politics, which would be based on shared ethico-political commitments, and micro-politics as opposed to a strict adherence to an individualistic Stirnerian approach. This way the interpretation is advocating for an ‘escape’ from what Day refers to as “the hegemony of hegemony, but [not] at the cost of an excessive [heretical] reliance upon a ‘nomadic’ conception of subjectivity” (2005: 17) and which “rejects not only coercive morality, but affinity based ethico-political commitments as well” (2005: 17). My hope is that this interpretation assists Muslims and anarchists in forming a community where they can organize themselves in a way

“so as to minimize domination and exploitation [amongst each other and in their own communities], particularly in a world increasingly colonized by neoliberal globalization and the societies of control” (Day, 2005: 143).

In organizing in this communitarian way, as opposed to an individualistic way, this interpretation is calling on Muslims, Muslim anarchists and anarchists to avoid the legacy of what the Koran calls an individualistic ‘narrow and constricted existence’[69]. After all, there has to be balanced approach between the rights of an individual and the rights of a community. As God says in the Koran:

“And do not dispute with one another [by delighting in what each of you thinks] lest you fail and your strength desert you” (The Holy Koran, Chapter 8: Chapter of ‘The Accession’: Verse 46; Al-awani, 1993: 3).

In line with the three criteria, I advocate for this interpretation, what I call Anarca-Islam, as this thesis’ contribution to emergent views on the discourse of Islam and anarchism. I believe it to be an important contribution, considering as Fiscella argues:

“None of these [aforementioned literatures] can tells us what Islamic anarchism is but all of them tell us how an Islamic anarchism might be imagined — even if the imagining borders on the realm of wishful thinking and fantasy” (2009).

In response to Fiscella, I offer Anara-Islam as a reinvention of Islamic forms of anarchist thought and anarchist forms of Islamic thought. For now, however and before constructing Anarca-Islam the following chapter will address the methodology and theories necessary to construct it.

Chapter 3. Methodology and Theories

I will say only this: if I ask to look closer, concerning this concept of position...it is that it bears at least the same name as an absolutely essential, vital mechanism...The position-of-the-other...to pose — oneself by oneself as the other of the Idea, as other-than-oneself in one’s finite determination, with the aim of repatriating and re-appropriating oneself, of returning close to oneself in the infinite richness of one’s determination...overturning...displacement...scenes, acts, figures of dissemination.”

(Jacques Derrida, 1971)

1. Chapter Introduction

In this chapter, I identify the methodological and theoretical positioning(s) necessary in constructing Anarca-Islam. In the first section of this chapter, I introduce a method I call Anarchic-Ijtihad. Anarchic-Ijtihad is the method I use to construct Anarca-Islam in chapter five. After introducing Anarchic-Ijtihad, I defend its use against possible objections against this method of inquiry, such as the critique offered by some orthodox Muslim scholars and secular Muslims such as Michael Muhammad Knight. In the second and final section of this chapter, I introduce the theoretical paradigms I use, alongside Anarchic-Ijtihad, to construct Anarca-Islam, including post-anarchist, deconstructionist, post-colonial and poststructuralist theories along with sociological theories of social movements. Following the identification of these paradigms, I explore the individual role of each paradigm in constructing Anarca-Islam. I conclude this section and chapter by clarifying a critical point to my argument for constructing Anarca-Islam. That is, I distinguish between Islamic principles and Muslim cultural practices. The two are not to be conflated, albeit that they do intersect.

2. Thus Spoke God: The Method of Anarchic-Ijtihad

Anarchic-Ijtihad is the method I use to construct Anarca-Islam. This method is derived from its classical form ijtihad. Ijtihad is the Islamic practice of using independent and rigorous reasoning while interpreting and re-interpreting Islamic principles in the Sunnah and the Koran. The act of re-interpreting the Sunnah and the Koran in Islam is referred to as “tafsir” (Al’Awani, 1995: 25).

The principles on which tafsir is based are not connected to matters of belief. Ijtihad is a particularly acceptable act for a Muj’tah’id, or a scholar, to engage in when there are “matters on which there is no clear guidance in the Qur’an and the Sunnah” (Al’Awani, 1993: 25). Ijtihad, when there is no clear guidance in the Koran, therefore becomes a critical deconstructive force for a Muj’tah’id to re-interpret principles in Islam. A force that involves not only a Muj’tah’id’s critical exegesis of the Koran, but rather:

“the act of making a judgement, whether through considering the explicit meaning of a text or analyzing it with respect to the pertinent principles and proofs...[and in this sense is] one of the most important types of juristic reasoning... one which the early Muslims followed” (Al’Awani, 1993: 25–26).

This act of making judgement requires knowledge of pertinent linguistic and variant grammatical implications when analyzing and understanding the Koran. This judgement allows the Muj’tah’id to exceed the parameters of critically explaining, expanding, and interpreting the text and therefore endows him and/or her with the ability to go beyond critical analysis. The Muj’tah’id is authorized to make ethico-political judgments with respect to the re-interpretation of Islamic principles, provided the Muj’tah’id supports the re-interpreted principles by the necessary textual evidence and Koranic justifications for the Muj’tah’id’s ethical-political re-orientation of the Islamic principles in a particular direction. The Muj’tah’id is able re-interpret the principles, if the principles are not already oriented in the particular ethico-political direction a Muj’tah’id believes they should be oriented towards. In this thesis, I will show the textual evidence for my argument regarding the existence of anti-capitalist and anti-authoritarian principles, concepts and practices in Islam. As well, I will provide the Koranic justifications for my re-orientation of these principles in order to demonstrate the interpretative tradition of Islam that resonates with anarchism.

One might ask: What does a Muj’tah’id do then with principles that pertain to matters of belief and which a Muj’tah’id, as noted earlier, is forbidden from practicing ijtihad with respect to? The Muj’tah’id is to “adopt the manifest meanings and what is properly and strictly sanctioned by the purport of the text” (Al’Awani, 1993: 25). The reason for the forbiddance of ijtihad in such cases is that these types of Koranic verses address matters the details and the knowledge of which is reserved for God alone. One example of such a verse is in the second chapter of the Koran. The chapter is titled ‘The Cow’. It begins with the verse “Alif Lam Mim”[70]. The verse is comprised of three Arabic letters ‘Alif’, ‘Lam’ and ‘Mim’, and which do not form an Arabic word. The details of this verse, of which there exist ample similar Koranic examples, are “beyond the reach of human perception included in the term al ghayb” (Al’Awani, 1993: 27). Al-Ghayb means that the true meaning of the verse belongs to God. In this light, no Muj’tah’id possesses the ability to delve into interpreting such verses as ‘Alif Lam Mim’. While a Muj’tah’id is permitted to comment on these types of verses, the Muj’tah’id’s comments are bound to and cannot contradict what has been generally stated in other verses in the Sunnah and the Koran in regards to the interpretation of this verse. That is, ‘Alif Lam Mim’ cannot contradict enshrined principles of the faith such as the oneness of God. God says in the Koran of these types of ambiguous verses:

“But no one knows its interpretation except God. And those who are firmly rooted in knowledge say: ‘We believe in it’” (The Holy Koran, Chapter 3: Chapter of ‘The Family of Imran’: Verse 7).

God therefore strictly demands in the verse above from a Muj’tah’id that when an ambiguous verse as ‘Alif Lam Mim’ appears that the Muj’tah’id simply accepts its ambiguousness. In a sense, a Muj’tah’id’s task here is therefore one that exceeds that of conducting a discursive analysis of the text. That is, a Muj’tah’id’s duty exceeds studying, analyzing, and comprehending the circumstances behind the revelation of a verse as ‘Alif Lam Mim’ or the linguistic boundaries of the very verse itself. The Muj’tah’id accepts the verse as God’s verse or as ‘is’. That is, the verse is not to be analyzed, understood or misunderstood, but appreciated as it is beyond a Muj’tah’id‘s grasp and comprehension. In light of this and in the case of my thesis, there however are no such types of verses upon which I will draw to construct Anarca-Islam.

In light of the mentioned verse above, it is clear that the Koran that it is a complicated[71] text. This makes it more necessary for the reader to comprehend the Koran’s complexity as a text. To quote Seyyid Hossein Nasr on this matter:

“Many people, especially non-Muslims, who read the Quran for the first time are struck by what appears as a kind of incoherence from the human point of view. It is neither like a highly mystical text nor a manual of Aristotelian logic, though it contains both mysticism and logic. It is not just poetry although it contains the most powerful poetry. The text of the Quran reveals human language crushed by the power of the Divine word. It is as if human language were scattered into a thousand fragments like a wave scattered into drops against the rocks at sea” (Nasr in Brown, 1992: 90).

Language in the Koran is therefore language that is not fixed in meaning. Rather, the Koran’s language is endlessly reinventing itself anew. God’s words remake[72] the rules and limits of Arabic as a language. In fact, as Nasr notes, God replaces human Arabic with a Divine form of Arabic that is seemingly incoherent, poetic, and mystical. The Koran offers a descriptive account of tales of past prophets and callings upon the reader to contemplate the very truth of the Divinity of the words and the language used.

The degree of detail in the Koran transforms the Koran into a text whose principles can never be fully analyzed and understood by a Muj’tah’id. It becomes a text that requires a Muj’tah’id‘s endless struggle. Ijtihad in a sense is God’s perpetual challenge to a Muj’tah’id. In this challenge, during a Muj’tah’id‘s interaction with the Koran, a Muj’tah’id encounters and reads a variety of different meanings for the same Koranic words. The different meanings offer varying principles and consequently result in different interpretations of Islam. Examples of such words are ‘ayn’ or ‘qar’, which were discussed in chapter two, and upon which Koranic principles are laid and based. The Muj’tah’id’s task consists of offering varying insights, reasoning(s), and advancing proofs regarding Koranic principles. In doing so, the Muj’tah’id is continually engaging in an act of destabilizing dogmatic principles interpreted by other Muj’tah’ideen.

This analysis leads to this question: Who is entitled to conduct ijtihad and who is permitted to become a Muj’tah’id? Ijtihad is considered to be a divinely decreed right and gift from God to Muslims en masse. As Taha Jabir Al’Awani argues in the Ethics of Disagreements in Islam (1993): The Koranic “legal intellectual effort is required by the divine injunction: ‘Learn a lesson, then, O you who are endowed with insight’” (26; The Holy Koran, Chapter 59: Chapter of ‘Banishment’: Verse 2). Ijtihad is then a necessary right ordained and tantamount to duty for Muslims through the Koranic verse Al’Awani indicates above. This right exists for all Muslims according to their individual abilities and upon scholarly study. God intends ijtihad as a merciful mechanism to accommodate Muslims. In this regard, God states in the Koran:

“Shouldst thou not bring them a sign, they say, ‘Hast thou not yet made choice of one?’ Say, ‘I only follow what is inspired to me by my Lord [i.e. in the Koran]. These are perceptions from my Lord, and a guidance and a mercy to a people who believe’. And when the Koran is read, then listen thereto and keep silence; haply ye may obtain mercy” (The Holy Koran, Chapter 7: Chapter of ‘The Elevated Places’: Verse 201).

In the verse, God acknowledges the Koran as a merciful text, a gift to Muslims. Moreover, God advises Muslims to partake in ijthad with the Koran, not necessarily by literally re-interpreting it, but by actively listening to it as highlighted in the verse above. That is, God ordains that Muslims understand the Koran as opposed to blindly ascribe to its message. Furthermore, God advocates that Muslims neither dogmatically accept nor rely upon a Muj’tah’id‘s interpretation of the Koran. Muslims are not to take ijtihad for granted. God even vows to guide Muslims in explaining the Koran. That is, God vows to support and enlighten any Muslim who engages and struggles with the Koran and not only Muj’tah’ideen. As God says in the Koran: “We explain the signs in detail for those who reflect” (Chapter 10: Chapter of ‘Yunus’: Verse 24). God’s insistence that capable Muslims use ijtihad as a mechanism to re-interpret Islamic principles in accordance with their spatial, temporal, political, and social conditions and circumstances highlights the relative ease which ijtihad offers and brings for Islamic practice. In fact, God expects differences in Islamic principles due to the practice of ijtihad in different spatial, temporal, political, and social circumstances. Below are two Koranic verses that address this matter:

“Not all of them are alike” (The Holy Koran, Chapter 4, Chapter of ‘The Women’: Verse 113)


“unto every one of you We [God] have appointed a different law and way of life and if God had pleased, God would have made you a single Ummah [community], but that God might try You in what God gave you. So vie with one another in virtuous deeds. To God you will all return, so that God will inform you of that wherein you differed” (The Holy Koran, Chapter 5, Chapter of ‘The Dinner Table’: Verse 48).

In the above verses, God acknowledges that Muslims are created equal but not alike. God did not intend for Muslims to be organized into a single community, but rather that each Muslim individual and community vie with the other in virtuous deeds while also appreciating the differences that set them apart. The difference in laws as a consequence of ijtihad, and which the second verse refers to, does not imply that Muslims ought not appreciate Islamic interpretations of past Muslims or laws of other communities. Rather it encourages Muslims to do right by themselves for their own conditions, while drawing upon lessons from the past in order to appreciate and contextualize past achievements and interpretations of Islam (Esposito, 2002: 159). God confirms that the Koran is an adaptable text through ijtihad and for all time:

“Will they not ponder on the Koran? If it had not come from God [i.e. adaptable for all time[73]], they could surely find in it many contradictions” (The Holy Koran, Chapter 4, Chapter of ‘The Women’: Verse 82).

In spite of the fact that Muslims are afforded this Divine gift of interpretation most Muslims today have become complacent in their right to ijtihad. This complacency can be traced historically, as I note in chapter two, to when the “Gate of Ijtihad” was closed during the reign of the Abbasids in the tenth century (Esposito, 1984: 19, emphasis added). The consensus of the ulama[74] at the time of Abbasids was that an Islamic way of life had already been established and thus there was no need for further ijtihad or investigation. That is, that “there could be no justification for independent judgment or rational inquiry” in Islam (Mehmet, 1990: 60). The consequence of this closing off of ijtihad’s gates was that future generations of Muslims were bound to dysfunctional taqlid. That is, the “unquestioned acceptance and memorization of precedents and interpretations of past” Muh’tah’eideen (Mehmet, 1990: 60). Furthermore, with the closing of the gates of ijtihad:

“...the ulama assumed a monopoly control of public education, morality and opinion, and, in the process, advanced the cause of jahiliyya (mass ignorance), fatalism and underdevelopment as effectively as imperialism and colonialism” (Mehmet, 1990: 61).

As a result of this monopolistic control over ijtihad most Muslims nowadays are caught in a state of intellectual paralysis that has “afflicted both their resolve and their decisive intellectual endeavor” (Al’awani, 1993: 8). This nearly total absence of ijtihad amongst Muslims nowadays is all the more troubling[75] considering that the gate of ijtihad was reopened in the nineteenth century.

At its opening, “Islamic modernists, notably Afghani, Abduh and Iqbal, clamoured for freeing Islamic knowledge from its ‘dogmatic slumber’ as a precondition for adapting it to the requirements of life in a modern world” (Mehmet, 1990: 61). Islamic modernists understood the dire consequences Muslims and the Islamic world faced due to the closure of the gate of ijtihad. Muslim modernists fought for the gate’s reopening, realizing the dire consequences should the new generation of Muslims continue to be forbidden from partaking in ijtihad. Yet despite this call by Islamic modernists, save for a “few notable Islamic scholars...[as] Ibn Timiya (1262–1328)... Jalal ad-Din as-Suyuti (1445–1505)...[and] Ibn Khaldun (1332–1406)” (Mehmet, 1990: 61), few others have dared to conduct ijithad or claimed their authority as Muh’tah’eideen. The result is the continued state of intellectual paralysis that nowadays exists amongst a predominant majority of Muslims. It seems, as opposed to the acceptance of this divine gift, Muslims have predominantly opted for a strict dogmatic adherence to past interpretations by past Muh’tah’eideen. Muslims opted to dismissing the divine gift of interpretation when the fact is that it is with ijtihad that Muslims:

“will undoubtedly release an abundance of energies [, hima,] in the Ummah [Muslim Community] — energies which are now dissipated and wasted in the theaters of futile internal [, as external] conflicts” (Al’awani, 1992: 9).

As a Muslim, I see a necessity for ijtihad. The method I choose is its anarchic form or Anarchic-Ijtihad. It is the method I develop for myself in my attempt at reaching:

“out of the intellectual paralysis which afflicts the Muslim mind...by tackling the roots of this intellectual crisis and rectifying the methodology of [Muslim] thought ...[arming Muslims through] a renewed stress on intellectual formation and the recovery of a sense of [ethical-political] priorities” (Al’Awani, 1993: 9).

Anarchic-Ijtihad is committed to identifying and re-interpreting, if necessary, anti-capitalist and anti-authoritarian principles in the Sunnah and the Koran. I use Anarchic-Ijtihad to identify these anarchic commitments in Islam, so that the interpretation I am advocating for, Anarca-Islam, resonates with anarchism. Similarly, I use Anarchic-Ijtihad to reread Islamic anti-capitalist and anti-authoritarian commitments in anarchism so that they resonate with Anarca-Islam. Because Anarchic-Ijtihad is an anarchically oriented ijtihad it is not only a form of critical or discursive form of analysis. Anarchic-Ijtihad, by virtue of the very definition of ijtihad, is a method I use to make judgements in favour of Anarca-Islam. It also affords me the ability to critique interpretations of Islam that do not uphold Anarca-Islam’s anti-authoritarian and anti-capitalist commitments. I regard these commitments as Islamic commitments, just as I regard them as anarchist commitments. Anarca-Islam too is the method I use to coalesce the individual anti-authoritarian and anti-capitalist concepts and practices from Islam.

The perception of this method of inquiry as unnecessary will be under the pretext that in the mind of seculars as Knight the Koran is innate, benign or useless. To Knight, as I discussed in chapter two, the Koran is a ‘tiny little book for tiny little men’ (Knight, 2004: 15, emphasis added). In Taqwacores, Knight has the female character Rabeya cross “out a verse from the Koran” (Fiscella, 2009) that Knight believes allows a man to beat his wife. Knight highlights in the passage below through Rabeya his point of view of the Koran:

“Finally I said, fuck it. If I believe it’s wrong for a man to beat his wife, and the Quran disagrees with me, then fuck that verse. I don’t need to stretch and squeeze it for a weak alternative reading, I don’t need to excuse it with historical context, and I sure as hell don’t need to just accept it and go sign up for a good ol’ fashioned bitch-slapping. So I crossed it out. Now I feel a whole lot better about that Quran” (Knight, 2004: 105)

As a Muj’tah’id, and using Knight’s words, I prefer to stretch, squeeze and work through the historical contexts of the verse and if necessary to re-interpret and provide the Islamic justification(s) for the verse’s re-interpretation using Anarchic-Ijtihad. I do this not to provide weak alternatives for the verse as Knight claims, but rather to construct a powerful position from it in Anarca-Islam. In sum, what I find beautiful about the way the Koran uses language is that it does so using Arabic words and sentences that are at times:

a) Extremely precise (whether in the scope of describing things and events or giving guidelines, clear lessons, or ‘rules’ to Muslims)


b) Filled with metaphors that could be ‘deciphered’ using ijtihad, or any of its types like Anarchic-Ijtihad


c) Contaminated by the use of Divine phrases that are ‘secret’ and to which Al’ Ghayb is applied.

As an Arabic reader, I find the Koran a difficult text to challenge that way. That is, in its ability to resist ‘the judgments’ of human beings on its divine integrity as a text, especially without critics understanding the different grammatical context to which rules of syntax are also applied. Unlike Knight, I therefore believe that it is in the spaces of these judgments that are leveled by critics as critiques on the Koran that there is an advantage for Muslims in using this space to their advantage while reinterpreting the Koran. After all there can be little doubt that the Koran speaks a thousand lies and truths that to this modern day creates uncertainty because of the language the Koran uses. The Koran creates this uncertainty while also disabling the degree to which heresy could be committed against it. This is because the Koran prides itself on being a text of moderation and that is lucid yet considerate to the understanding and comprehension of an Arabic reader. As a text, it is the Koran that haunts and holds Islam, and which means ‘the middle path’, and without which Islam does not exist.

3. Thus Speaks Academia: The Theoretical Framework

Throughout this thesis, the principal theories I use and which I intend to fuse are: post-anarchist, deconstructionist, post-colonial, and poststructuralist theories, along with sociological theories of social movements. This fusion denotes a common ethical and political project to dismantle the belief amongst Muslims and anarchists that it is impossible to identify as a Muslim anarchist, as well as the belief that it is impossible to construct an anarchic interpretation of Islam and an anarchic interpretation of anarchism. My destination, Anarca-Islam, is dependent upon the cohesive joining together of these ethical-political theories and philosophies to establish what, I argue, ought to be a designated space, a panegyric desert, for Muslims and Muslims anarchists through Anarca-Islam. It is the above stated theories that will individually and collectively allow me to contest the validity[76] of that which is politically and ethically assumed of Islam and anarchism.

In this thesis, I argue that post-colonial theory allows Muslims to challenge and resist assimilationist and racist practices and policies directed against them by the West. As Jacques Monod argues, post-colonial theory is premised upon fate (1972). That is, post-colonial theory is a dividing line differentiating between necessity and chance, or an ordered and erratic disordered set of historical circumstances in light of colonial and imperial interventions upon the Muslim other (Monod, 1970). It allows for the relocation of post-colonial Muslims in light of “their definitive abandonment of an ‘old covenant’ [for] the [survivalist] necessity of forging a new one”[77] that can resist the representations ascribed to it by the West (Monod, 1970). Post-colonial theory is a theoretical form of power that functions for Muslims, as a singular step towards a “theoretical resistance to the mystifying amnesia of...colonial [and imperial] aftermath(s)” (Gandhi, 1998: 4). That is, it offers Muslims a discursive, if not also a pragmatic, form of resistance to Eurocentric biases (Gandhi, 1998: 4; 10; Minh-ha, 1991; Bhabha, 1994). In particular, it offers resistance to Fundamentalist and Orientalist readings of Islam and Muslims by the West.

Poststructuralist and deconstructionist political philosophies, in this thesis, offer a resistance to structuralism, hierarchies and dominant relations that are established upon the construction of logo-centric[78] and essentialist or reductionist qualities. Here I have in mind issues like race, ethnicity, gender, ability, age, sexuality, religion, and class. Poststructuralist and deconstructionist political philosophies as discourses and practices therefore serve to challenge “andro-, phallo-hetero, Euro-, and ethno-centrisms” (Hutcheon, 1989: 31). Poststructuralist and deconstructionist political philosophies also signify the means necessary through which Anarca-Islam will reabsorb and then counter attack the essentialisms of modernist Western paradigms[79]. A critical point that I ought note is with respect to what Jacques Derrida calls deconstruction. As Derrida argues deconstruction is not a method. Richard Beardsworth explains deconstruction in this way:

“Derrida is careful to avoid this term [method] because it carries connotations of a procedural form of judgement. A thinker with a method has already decided how to proceed, is unable to give him or herself up to the matter of thought in hand, is a functionary of the criteria which structure his or her conceptual gestures. For Derrida [...] this is irresponsibility itself. Thus, to talk of a method in relation to deconstruction, especially regarding its ethico-political implications, would appear to go directly against the current of Derrida’s philosophical adventure” (1996: 4)

In other words, deconstruction is already always at work in a text. A theorist does not ‘do’ deconstruction. Rather the theorist[80] tries to bring to the surface fragments of what the text is willing to offer and reveal of itself from its depth and that is inscribed in it as a text. Deconstruction is therefore not “the dismantling of the structure of the text but a demonstration that it has already dismantled itself, its apparently-solid ground is no rock, but thin-air” (Miller, 1976: 34).

In this thesis, post-anarchist theory offers a poststructuralist interpretation of anarchism that resonates with Anarca-Islam. This is particularly important considering that classical anarchism “retains the marks of its birth out of the womb of the European Enlightenment” (Day, 2005: 16; May, 1994; Newman, 2001; Call, 2002). Western classical anarchism emerges out of a Western modernist paradigm and which poststructuralists and deconstructionists critique. Anarca-Islam is therefore opposed to Western classical anarchism on this ground and especially with regards to its dogmatic and essentialist perspective on religion. Post-anarchism does not share Western classical anarchism’s essentialist and dogmatic perspective with respect to religion. That is, post-anarchism is more open to religion than Western classical anarchism. Furthermore, post-anarchist theory sets itself apart from other interpretative traditions in anarchism, especially Western classical anarchism, by recognizing a Foucaultian analysis of power. That is, post-anarchist theory sees that “power is decentralized” and therefore takes as one of its central pillars that sites of oppressions are numerous and are not merely constricted, as in Western classical anarchism, to the state and capitalism (May, 1994: 12). Again this is in line with Anarca-Islam’s perspective on power. Power neither operates from the bottom-up or from the top-down, but rather everywhere, although points of concentration or conglomeration of power do exist, as will be discussed in the following chapter. Post-anarchist theory also resonates with Anarca-Islam because it realizes what is called a “poststructuralist critique of representation is, at the political level” and therefore rejects “the idea that one group or party could effectively represent the interests of the whole” (May, 1994: 12). Post-anarchist theory therefore refuses to play the role of the vanguard of anarchism. This resonates with Anarca-Islam’s position[81]. That is, Anarca-Islam is not intent nor is it going to seek to represent Islam and Muslims as a collectivity for itself and its own interests. Finally, post-anarchist theory, and in particular Day’s work, recognizes the need for a balance between communal and micro-politics, and again this resonates with Anarca-Islam’s position and that goes against any individualist approach to addressing the discourse of Islamic-anarchism, as highlighted earlier with respect to the works of Bey and Knight.

Social movement theory in thesis is a membrane that indicates “precisely this boundary of a continuous two-way movement [to and fro] between an Inside [theory] and Outside [praxis]”[82] (Deleuze, 1990). It bridges the gap between academics and activists who are at war at the grassroots and fighting against capitalism, the state, and numerous other oppressions. Social movement theory[83] therefore is the space where all the former theories I identified are manifesting and interacting. Social movement theory is the source upon which the former theories I discussed unfold and without which mediation of the theories is, without surprise, theoretically and pragmatically impossible if not in fact useless to the grassroots.

With the former theories discussed, I however strongly argue, as others[84] such as Tariq Ramadan[85] have done, that while Islamic practices and Muslim cultural practices may intersect, the two practices are not to be conflated.

My intent here is to distinguish between Islamic principles and Muslim cultural practices. That is, to clarify the fact that in constructing Anarca-Islam my goal is neither to reduce Islamic cultural sensitivities, nor dismiss culture altogether. I consider culture, in general, and especially Muslim culture as valuable and is historically, politically, and socially rich. Muslim cultural practices are heterogeneous motifs by virtue of the fact that they are comprised of intersecting interactions of ethnic, geo-political, trans-market, social, and historical webs. Despite the fact that Muslim cultures of all types do historically possess revolutionary power however, these Muslim cultural practices in this thesis are viewed as bound to Islamic principles. Islamic principles and Muslim cultural practices revolve around and through one another, yet this revolving performance takes place only in so far as the former does not contradict the latter[86].

As Tariq Ramadan argues, this Islamic theological perspective on culture is an overarching one. It is a perspective that exists, astonishingly enough, regardless of whichever culture Muslims identify with or belong to and whichever interpretative traditions of Islam Muslims choose to follow. That is, given the fact that all Muslims may differ over the Sunnah, they however share an identical text: the Koran[87]. When asked in an interview about the interaction and difference between Islamic principles and Muslim cultural practices, Ramadan said:

“We [Western Muslims] need to separate Islamic principles from their culture of origins and anchor them in the cultural reality of Western Europe...[We] can incorporate everything that’s not opposed to...religion [Islam] into...[Islamic] identity” (Ramadan, 2009).

Therefore, Ramadan’s perspective, to which I adhere, stems from a desire to neither abolish culture altogether nor utilize culture to validate[88] Anarca-Islam. The existence of similar resonances between Islam and anarchism is not a result of my offering a Westernized reading of Islam either.

Having discussed Anarchic-Ijtihad and outlined the theories I use in this thesis, in the following chapter I discuss Anarca-Islam’s relation to Islam, anarchism and the capitalist-State.

Chapter 4. Anarca-Islam’s Space and Political Consciousness in Relation to anarchism, Islam and the capitalist-State

There are more ideas on earth than intellectuals imagine. And these ideas are more active, stronger, more resistant, more passionate than ‘politicians’ think. We have to be there at the birth of ideas, the bursting outward of their force: not in books expressing them, but in events manifesting this force, in struggles carried on around ideas, for or against them. Ideas do not rule the world. But it is because the world has ideas... that it is not passively ruled by those who are its leaders or those who would like to teach it, once and for all, what it must think.”

(Michel Foucault, 1978)

1. Chapter Introduction

In this chapter I sketch the outlines of Anarca-Islam, by identifying its relation to Islam, anarchism, and the capitalist-State. By the end of the chapter, having established Anarca-Islam’s relation to anarchism, Islam, and the capitalist-State, I am prepared to establish Anarca-Islam’s anti-authoritarian and anti-capitalist commitments in resistance to the capitalist-State in the following chapter.

In the first section of the chapter, I argue for the death of Islam. Islam is only alive in so far as it manifests itself in the Sunnah and the Holy Koran. A similar argument to this is posited with respect to anarchism. That is, that anarchism, like Islam, is dead. Anarchisms, Western and Non-Western, are only alive in so far as they manifest themselves in their classical texts. The classical texts include works such as: Michael Bakunin’s God and The State (1882), Peter Kropotkin’s Mutual Aid: A Factor of Evolution (1902), Emma Goldman’s Anarchism and Other Essays (1910), William Godwin’s Enquiry Concerning Political Justice and its Influence on Modern Morals and Manners (1793), Sam Mbah’s African Anarchism: The History of a Movement (1997), Arif Dirlik’s Anarchism in the Chinese Revolution (1991), and Frank Fernandez’s Cuban Anarchism: The History of the Movement (2001). Following my argument for the deaths of Islam and anarchism, I define Anarca-Islam in terms of its relation to anarchism, and particularly to post-anarchism. I do this by carrying out a critique of Western classical anarchism’s Euro-centricity, and a critique of Western classical anarchism’s perception that power operates strictly at the macro level, through the modern state and religion. The critique of Western classical anarchism’s perception of power involves a discussion of Nietzschean, Foucaultian, and post-anarchistic views of micro and macro power, which result in micro and macro authoritarian practices (Day, 2005; May, 1994; Call, 2001; Rolando, 1990; Newman, 2001). This critique of classical Western anarchism also involves a discussion of the similarities and the differences between what Todd May refers to in The Political Philosophy of Poststructuralist Anarchism (1994) as strategic and tactical political philosophy (10–11). In carrying out the immanent critique of Western classical anarchism and establishing Anarca-Islam’s relationship to post-anarchism, Anarca-Islam is defined as an Islamic reinterpretation of post-anarchism. Having defined Anarca-Islam’s relation to post-anarchism, I define Anarca-Islam’s relationship to Islam. Anarca-Islam is defined as a post-anarchic reinterpretation of Islam. Moreover, seeing that it is a post-anarchic reinterpretation of Islam I argue that, Anarca-Islam resists the Euro, phallo and logo centric tendencies that accompany Western classical anarchist discourses (Day, 2005; Guattari, 1985; Adams, 2003). This resistance offers Anarca-Islam’s anti-Euro-logo-phallo-centric and feminized form — Anarca.

In the next section, and in line with Newman (2001), Rolando Perez (1990), Deleuze and Guattari (1980), I discuss the relationship between Anarca-Islam and the capitalist-State. I do this by defining a triadic relationship that consists of: Daddy, symbolizing authoritarian practices of the types macro and micro, Mommy, symbolizing capitalist practices, and Me, as an Oedipal subject. Having defined this triadic relationship, it is critical to note that capitalist practices too are authoritarian in so far as capitalist practices are intent on transforming everything in a social space into a commodity for the forceful extraction of “surplus value” (Marx, 1867: 1055). In this vein, the triadic relationship, a result of the interaction between the modern state, capitalism and individuals, is modeled on the Freudian Oedipal structure of Daddy-Mommy-Me. As Newman argues, in line with Deleuze and Guattari, a capitalist-State society consists of this Oedipal relationship, where “capitalism and the state form a system of signifiers and axioms that become internalized within individuals” (Newman, 2001: 99). In defining the Oedipal relationship according to these parameters, I discuss the particular role the modern state and capitalism have with individuals (Deleuze and Guattari, 1980: 205).

The modern state, according to Deleuze and Guattari, functions as an “apparatus of capture [which] has a power of appropriation” (Deleuze & Guattari, 1980: 437). That is, the modern state’s role is disciplinarian and coercive. The modern state’s goal is the capturing and appropriation of space in a social field, as the space of an individual’s identity for instance. In this example of an individual’s identity, the modern state operates by carving up and hierarchically ordering the space of identity according to applied labels along lines of race, gender, sexuality, ethnicity, and ableism, for example. Though capitalism’s role as mentioned is disciplinarian and coercive, its particular role in the Oedipal relationship is that of seducing an individual’s desire. That is, it functions through “inscribing, coding and re-directing [of] the flow of desire(s) so that they may correspond with the flows of capital” in the market (Perez, 1990: 56). Again, in the example of an individual’s identity, once the individual’s identification is facilitated by the modern state, capitalism’s role is materially exploiting the representations of the individual identities. After discussing and distinguishing the particular role each parent has with respect to individuals, I discuss the effects the relationship between them particularly has on me as an Oedipal subject. That is, I discuss the relationship between the capitalist-State and me. I discuss the relationship between them, because as others like Day, Newman, Deleuze and Guattari, have argued, I believe that the modern state is infinitely intertwined and bound[89] with capitalism. Therefore, though it is possible to distinguish between the particular role of each, as Day argues, “it is clear that the state form and capitalism have grown up together, in a relationship that while it may be fraught with localized and short-term animosities, has been in the long term been mutually beneficial” (Day, 2005: 142). In the vein of Day’s analysis, Anarca-Islam’s relation to the capitalist-State is that it resembles a clinic that I, an Oedipal subject, attend to become relatively de-Oedipalized. The clinic is a “parody of the very self-defeating symptoms,” capitalist and micro and macro authoritarian practices that led me, an Oedipalized subject, to construct Anarca-Islam in order to become relatively de-Oedipalized (Al-Kassim, 2007: 115). In other words, I construct Anarca-Islam as an act of resistance to the capitalist-State. I do this, while recognizing the impossibility of ever constructing a space of resistance ‘free’ of capitalist and authoritarian practices and the representations ascribed to me by the capitalist-State.

2. Islam is Dead. Anarchism is Dead.

Islam is dead. Islam is only alive in so far as it manifests itself in the Sunnah and the Koran, besides which there is no monolithic Islam. Rather, there are a pluralistic series of traditions, perspectives and cultural discourses radiating from Islam. As Jacques Derrida argues:

“How dare we talk religion, talk Islam? Of religion, of Islam? The singularity of religion, the singularity of Islams today? How dare ...we speak of them in the singular without fear and trembling, this very day? And so briefly and so quickly?” (1998: 1).

Utilizing Derrida’s question, it is inappropriate[90] to speak of Islam as a monolith, without the acknowledgment and recognition of the field and host of possibilities that exist in the specific politicization of a particular interpretation of Islam in a particular context. The variant interpretations, or what could be referred to as the names of Islam, arrive as a consequence of the concept and practice of ijtihad. Ijtihad therefore serves as mechanism of resistance embedded within Islam in resistance to Islam’s conception as monolithic. For instance, as a consequence of ijtihad’s practice during the Iranian revolution of 1979, Shi’ism, a traditional branch of Islam, bore the fruit of the “Islamic-Leftist Mujahedeen al’Khalq”, “the Marxist-Leninist Fedayeen i-Khalq”, and “Ali Shariati’s synthesis of Marxism, existentialism, Heideggerianism [with]... a militant form of ‘traditional’ Shi’ism” (Afray and Anderson, 2005: 38–40). These interpretations of Shi’ism are just three preliminary examples that bear witness to the power of ijtihad. In the absence of context, it is blasphemous to pronounce or write anything with respect to Islam as a whole. As Aziz Al-Azmeh writes in Islam and Modernities, “there are as many Islams as there are situations that sustain it” (1993: 1).

This argument regarding the ‘death of Islam’ is an argument that is applicable to anarchism, as anarchism is dead too. Anarchism is only alive in so far as it manifests itself in its classical and contemporary texts. Particularly considering that anarchism, like Islam, bears fruit to a multiplicity of different interpretative traditions. As Jason Adams writes: “anarchists from all kinds of backgrounds with all kinds of ideas have sought to make contemporary anarchisms relevant to them in their own unique situations”[91] (2003). The result of the unique situations is an ample number of variant reinterpretations and traditions of anarchism. These interpretations of anarchism arrive not only through the reinterpretation of anarchism, as it is classically understood as a European tradition. Rather the interpretations include anarchism, as it is presently understood to possess Non-Western[92] roots despite the fact that these Non-Western traditions of anarchism are not as well recognized and publicized as Western interpretations of anarchism. As Adams writes,

“[that] most available anarchist literature does not tell this history [of non-Western anarchism] speaks not to a necessarily malicious disregard of non-Western anarchist movements but rather to the fact that even in the context of radical publishing, centuries of engrained eurocentrism has not really been overcome”[93] (2003).

Despite this engrained Eurocentrism, anarchism is to be understood as a pluralistic tradition, enriched with variant interpretations of it like: anarcha-feminism, anarcho-indigenism, poststructuralist anarchism or postanarchism, anarcho-primitivism, African-anarchism, Cuban-anarchism, panther-anarchism and so on and so forth. All the former interpretations of anarchism are interpretations that arrive from a multitude of cultures and subcultures that anarchism has come in contact with and vice versa. If anything, the arrival of these variant interpretations is a testament to anarchism’s appeal and ability, not to be ‘reformed’, but to be reinvented anew[94]. That is, I argue for the possibility for anarchism to be made into the image of individuals and communities and for it to address the particular struggles individuals and communities encounter.

In light of anarchism’s identification as a pluralistic tradition, it follows that Anarca-Islam is an Islamic reinterpretation of anarchism, and more particularly post-anarchism. This Islamic reinterpretation of post-anarchism is constructed through Anarchic-Ijtihad and the multiplicity of theories I discussed in chapter three. Using Anarchic-Ijtihad, I locate, extract, and interrogate Islamic commitments in post-anarchistic texts, concepts and practices that resonate with the Islamic interpretative tradition of anarchism I seek. Anarca-Islam therefore operates on the promise of identifying and coordinating shared ethico-political commitments between Islam(s) and anarchism(s) using shared concepts and practices. For pragmatic reasons, in this thesis, the ethico-political commitments are confined to anti-authoritarian and anti-capitalist concepts and practices due to the fact that it is these two commitments that symbolically represent the commitments upon which classical anarchism was found and continues to predominantly operate. Anarca-Islam, outside the parameters or confines of the thesis nevertheless is not confined to the former two commitments. Nor are the former two commitments regarded to be less or more important than the ‘new’ commitments to be established in the future[95]. Rather, I am constantly drawn towards the continual search for what I regard as important Islamic commitments resonating with post-anarchism’s commitments. These commitments to be established cause an endless series of transformations of Anarca-Islam’s ever-expanding contour towards post-anarchism and vice versa. The contour of Anarca-Islam, in a sense, is therefore constantly made anew. Examples of the future commitments include, but are not confined to: anti-transphobic, anti-queerphobic, anti-sexist, anti-racist, anti-Semitic, anti-ageist, pro-environmentalist and anti-ablest.

There are four reasons that inform Anarca-Islam’s particular resonance with post-anarchism. The first reason is post-anarchism’s immanent critique of engrained Eurocentrism in classical Western anarchism. The second reason is post-anarchism’s stance on religion. That is, post-anarchism is not anti-religious. It distinguishes between an individual’s right to hold religious beliefs and the transformation of such beliefs through institutionalized forms of religion into authoritarian practices. The third reason is post-anarchism’s immanent critique of classical Western anarchism’s perspective with respect to understanding what power is and how exactly it operates. Anarca-Islam, as I show later, shares and adopts, like post-anarchism, a Foucaultian and Nietzschean interpretation of power. Anarca-Islam in essence possesses anti-micro-authoritarian concepts and practices, recognizing that power plays “everywhere...flow[ing] through every social relation” (Call, 2002: 52–66). This Anarca-Islamic reading of the operation of power is in line with the generally accepted view amongst post-anarchists that:

“power is not essentially repressive (since it ‘incites, it induces, it seduces’); it is practiced before it is possessed (since it is possessed in only a determinable form, [for instance] that of class [privilege], and a determined form, that of the State; power passes through the hands of the mastered no less than the hands of the masters”(Deleuze, 2006: 60).

According to this post-anarchistic reading, power is therefore simultaneously libratory and repressive. However, this reading is unfortunately not recognized or acknowledged in classical Western anarchism. That is, classical Western anarchism does not recognize that microforms of power or micro-power exists nor that power neither reductively “operates as many people believe from the top down nor the bottom up” (Call, 2002: 66). Rather classical Western anarchism’s perspective is that power is “concentrated at the top” and is always oppressively exercised “upon the bottom” (May, 1994: 14). The sole forms of power classical Western anarchism recognizes are macro forms of it, through the modern state and capitalism. This classical Western anarchist perspective therefore dismisses the responsibility, role, and power individuals in any society have as social actors. That is, it dismisses the existence of micro-authoritarian practices, settling only for macro-authoritarian practices. However, in post-anarchism as in Anarca-Islam, power is “distributed among those affected by it...at the bottom” (May, 1994: 14). According to this analysis, in post-anarchism and in Anarca-Islam, unlike in classical Western anarchism, individuals have power, micro-power, that can be used to resist oppression. That is, individuals are oppressed no less than they are oppressors themselves.

The fourth reason that informs Anarca-Islam’s particular resonance to post-anarchism is post-anarchism’s immanent critique of classical Western anarchism’s strict adoption of strategic as opposed to tactical thinking. That is, in classical Western anarchism “oppressions and injustices” and the possibility for justice pervade and are located in a single problematic (May, 1994: 10–11). To classical Western anarchism, the abstract modern state and capitalism are perceived to be the only forms of oppressive powers that are at play in a social field. Classical Western anarchism operates strategically, with its first and final concern resting with the resistance of macro-forms of power. To classical Western anarchism oppressions like heterosexism, queer-phobia, racism, ableism, and trans-phobia, etc. are not seen to be as oppressive as the modern state and capitalism. Classical Western anarchism in adopting this view operates as if there is a definitive way to quantitatively evaluate different oppressions. In fact, classical Western anarchism genealogically and reductively attributes the existence of the former oppressions to the modern state and capitalism. In post-anarchism and Anarca-Islam however, power does not originate but rather conglomerates around not one, but multiple and different sites. Only then, upon its conglomeration, power interplays “among these different sites in the creation of the social world” (May, 1994: 10–11). The interplay implies that oppression does not start nor end with the modern state and capitalism. As May argues, this is “not to deny that there are points where various (and perhaps bolder) lines intersect” but rather that “power does originate at those points” (1994: 10–11). According to post-anarchism, power thus operates everywhere and in its operation everywhere offers individuals the means for oppressing and repressing others at the micro or myopic level. In this sense, post-anarchists are not interested in reducibly leveling and conflating oppressions or attributing all oppressions to the modern state and capitalism. Rather they are interested in analyzing “mutually intersecting lines of power” to contextualize how an oppression visibly peaks one moment, but then ‘disappears’ only for another oppression to peak in its stead (May, 1994: 11).

In relation to Islam, Anarca-Islam is defined as a post-anarchic reinterpretation of Islam in so far as Islam manifests in the Sunnah and the Holy Koran. I choose to reinterpret Islam as a whole, as opposed to choosing a particular tradition of Islam to reinterpret and focus on, because I refuse to privilege one Islamic tradition over the other. Each tradition exists because of the other. Each tradition possesses ‘good’ and ‘bad’ ethico-political concepts and practices. I choose to seek the ‘good’ in whichever traditions of Islam I encounter to serve for the interpretation of Islam I am out to construct. In this thesis, this post-anarchic reinterpretation of Islam then is constructed through Anarchic-Ijtihad and the multiplicity of theories that I discuss in chapter three. Using Anarchic-Ijtihad, I locate, extract, and interrogate post-anarchic commitments, concepts and practices in Islamic traditions, but particularly as they exist in the Sunnah and the Holy Koran, such that the concepts and practices I locate resonate with the post-anarchic interpretative tradition of Islam I seek. Seeing that Anarca-Islam is a post-anarchic (re) interpretation of Islam then and given post-anarchism’s critique of engrained Euro, logo, and phallo centric tendencies in classical Western anarchism Anarca-Islam is anti-Euro-logo-phallo centric. In this vein, it is Anarca-Islam’s resistance to Euro, logo, and phallocentricity that leads me to adopt for Anarca-Islam the feminine ‘Anarca’ as opposed to ‘Anarcho-Islam’. ‘Anarca’ is moreover adopted to dispel the general Western false image that all interpretative traditions of Islam are naturally anti-feminist. For now, and in relation to Islam, Anarca-Islam is grounded in the anti-authoritarian and anti-capitalist commitments, concepts and practices I find.

3. Daddy-Mommy-Me = Deleuze & Guattari’s Oedipal Triad

In Deleuze and Guattari’s Anti-Oedipus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia (1972) Deleuze and Guattari proclaim that presently:

“the hour of Oedipus draws nigh” by dint of a “privatization of the public: the whole world unfolds right at home, without one’s having to leave the TV screen...private persons [are given] a very special role in the system: a role of application, and no longer of implication, in a code...[the capitalist State] is produced by the conjunction of the decoded or deterritorialized flows...[while] capitalism merely ensures the regulation of the axiomatic” flows (251–252).

Deleuze and Guattari therefore argue that a family’s been born and to which individuals in a capitalist-State society are required to submit. This submission could be in the context of the representations the capitalist-State offers of different individuals. The capitalist-State therefore forms an “open praxis...the subaggregate to which the whole of the social field is applied” (Deleuze and Guattari, 1972: 262–265). The capitalist-State’s family is constructed as a triadic hetero-normative relationship modeled on the Freudian Oedipal structure of Daddy-Mommy-Me. In this structure, Daddy symbolizes macro and micro authoritarian practices, Mommy symbolizes capitalist practices and Me, symbolizes an Oedipalized individual in a capitalist-State society. The Oedipal relationship is a consequence of interactions between three parties. The first party is the modern state. The second party is capitalism and that forces the modern state “to enter with so much force into the service of the signs of economic power” (Deleuze & Guattari, 1977: 252). The third party is an individual in a capitalist-State society who is trapped as a consequence of his and/or her interaction with the former two parties[96]. Because of the internalization of this Oedipal relationship, an individual’s “potentiality selfmastery and autonomy is denied” (Perez, 1990: 28). The individual becomes someone who is his and/or her own legislator, desiring his and/or her own slavery and repression. The repression and slavery is due to an individual’s unwillingness to create new political alternatives to the dominating authoritarian and capitalist practices internalized by individuals and the representations ascribed by the parents to individuals as a consequence of the Oedipal relationship (Newman, 2001: 99–100).

In discussing the particular role of the modern State and capitalism on individuals, while maintaining a non-reductionist approach to the role of either, the task of modern states as Day argues is to:

striate the space over which they reign. States hope ‘to capture flows of all kinds’, to make order where is chaos, convert outside into inside...whatever is outside and not part of the plan is to be brought in, reduced to a the known, and thereby rendered manageable” (Day, 2000: 42; Deleuze and Guattari, 1986: 59).

Modern states, in the abstract sense, then macro-authoritatively discipline and coerce individuals. Modern states form maps to divide and establish walls to cordon and conquer landscapes and social spaces. In other words, modern states territorialize and striate spaces[97]. The purpose of the identification is for the modern state to authoritatively insert the individual into a malleable hierarchy that is established according to an individual’s race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, ability and so on and so forth. Any face that does “not conform, or seem[s] suspicious” and that attempts to escape or deviates from the modern state’s grasp is appropriated, disciplined and coerced back into the hierarchy (Deleuze & Guattari, 1980: 177). As Deleuze and Guattari note, the modern state’s objective is to pinpoint and discipline individuals, and once located a binary logic of “Aha! It’s not a man and it’s not a woman, so it must be a transvestite” is applied to an individual (1980: 177). The modern state pinpoints through its establishment of institutions that apply macro-authoritative practices to individuals by employing regimes of normalization. Normalization “is, as its name implies, a practice of defining what is normal in a group and attempting to [hegemonically] hold people to that norm” (May, 1994: 132). That is how, for instance, “racism operates: by the determination of degrees of deviance in relation to the White-Man face” (Deleuze & Guattari, 1980: 177). The hegemonic mechanism of establishing a norm by the modern state therefore operates through ascribing judgments upon an individual’s body. The judgments are passed upon the individual regardless of whether an individual exudes, identifies, or possesses affinity with the macro-authoritatively assigned representations that led to the individual’s appropriation and insertion into the hierarchy.

But the macro-authoritative practices of institutions such as the modern-state are not merely confined to disciplining and coercing individuals through ascribed representations. Rather, macro-authoritative practices are complicit in the production of individuals as disciplinarians who have internalized the macro-authoritative practices and representations produced and applied by modern states and institutions to individuals. The macro-authoritative practices, as Deleuze and Guattari write, create “‘little command centres’ proliferat[ing] everywhere, making coaches, teachers and cops all little Mussolinis” (1980: 228). In Deleuze and Guattari’s vein, macro-authoritative practices possess the capacity to colonize individuals. The process of colonization transforms individuals in a capitalist-State society into micro-fascists in possession of micro-fascisms[98] during social interactions with other individuals (Deleuze & Guattari, 1980: 205). Individuals become micro-fascists who operate according to the hierarchy imposed upon them by the capitalist-State they have internalized. The hierarchy as noted earlier is related to a particular set of privileges every individual enjoys a relation to. The consequence of the play of privileges is the transformation of individuals into “micro-Oedipuses, microformations of power, micro-fascisms” (Deleuze & Guattari, 1980: 205). Here individuals are transformed into micro-Oedipuses, or the modern state and capitalism’s handymen, where in each individual’s interaction with other individuals, the individual possesses the ability and power to affect others and the power to be affected by the forces and privileges of others (Deleuze, 2006: 60). According to this analysis, the consequence of this play of privileges is micro-authoritarian practices indefinitely at work between individuals and in every social relation.

Contrary to the modern state, capitalism is:

“not at all territorial: its power of deterritorialization [and reterritorialization] consists in taking as its object not the earth, but ‘materialized labor’, the commodity” (Deleuze & Guattari, 1980: 454).

In applying Deleuze and Guattari’s quote above to the example of representations constructed by the modern state, capitalism’s task in the Oedipal relationship is the consumption and appropriation of individual representations that the modern state assigns. Upon the appropriation of the representations, capitalism then repeats, multiplies and therefore produces varying expressions of the representations, with slight adjustments each time. Capitalism does this to permit the correspondence of the variant expressions of the representations it creates to the market. In this sense, capitalism enables the materialization of the representations the modern state ascribes to individuals. In line with this understanding, capitalism permits an individual’s desire[99] to create new forms of expressions outside what is generically produced by the capitalist-State and internalized by an individual. Yet “whenever there is some danger that” these new forms of expressions may take a life of their own, capitalism reterritorializes the representations and therefore the individual (Perez, 1990: 55). In this vein, capitalism and its practices are authoritative and coercive as the modern states’, yet its early role “from the start” (Deleuze & Guattari, 1972: 252) is the forceful enslavement[100] of everything in a social field into the service of the market. Whether this enslavement is:

“from the standpoint of ’free’ workers; the control of manual labor and of wages...the flow of industrial and commercial production; the granting of monopolies, favorable conditions of accumulation, and the struggle against overproduction” (Deleuze & Guattari, 1972: 253)

Capitalism’s task is thus the material exploitation of a social field. It seductively creates desire for love and friendships merely to transform them into something that can be brought and sold on the market. It therefore assigns relationships a price, engraining in individuals the capacity to calculate and rationalize relationships. That is, it breeds in individuals the ability to themselves materialize their relationships with a friend, a lover, such that the sole purpose of an individual’s pursuit of friendship with a friend or love for a lover is born out of egoistic interest. In this vein, capitalism’s function in the Oedipal relationship is the appropriation of flows[101] to push an individual further into connecting and consuming, as when a child’s mouth could connect with a breast, a finger or noise to eat, suck, or make. Capitalism waits for the child’s desire to appear and transforms the child’s flow or event into a commoditized exchange.

In adopting and maintaining the same anti-evolutionary approach that underlies Deleuze’s, Guattari’s and Day’s works regarding the conjoined relationship between the modern state and capitalism, I too believe that the modern state and capitalism are inseparable. That is, they are infinitely bound together to form what is referred to as the capitalist-State (Day, 2005: 142, emphasis added). The function of the capitalist-State is the conjoined application of the described Oedipal relationship[102] between the modern state and capitalism to individuals. That is, individuals are made to feel dependent upon the Oedipal relationship, incapable of either desiring or constructing possibilities of life outside the ascribed parameters of the capitalist-State. According to this analysis, and as a Western Muslim internalizing this repression, my objective then is to re-channel my desire as an Oedipalized subject, by inventing[103] a new form of political action that counters this repression. In my case, it is a repression that is a consequence of my internalization of the dichotomous representations of myself as a Fundamentalist or an Orientalist Muslim that the capitalist-State super-imposes upon me. It is also a repression that is a consequence of my internalization of micro-authoritarian and capitalist practices. The form of political action I choose in resistance to the representations is the construction of Anarca-Islam as a clinic that allows me to become relatively de-Oedipalized (Day, 2005: 142–143, emphasis added). In other words, the clinic is a place I go to in order to seek ‘therapy’ and it allows me to temporarily break free of dichotomous representations, and the micro-authoritarian and capitalist practices I internalize by constructing a new political identity as a Muslim anarchist. That is, an identity, that for now is outside the purview of the representations imposed on me by the capitalist-State. However, and in constructing the identity, I also realize that no identity can be ‘free’ of capitalist and authoritarian practices no matter how creative the identity constructed may be.

Chapter 5. The Birth of the Clinic — Seeing and Knowing the Clinic’s Commitments in Resistance to Daddy-Mommy-Me

It’s strange that we had to wait for the dreams of colonized peoples to see that, on the vertices of this pseudo triangle, mommy was dancing with the missionary, daddy was being fucked by the tax collector, while the self was being beaten by a white man...It’s precisely this pairing of the paternal figures with another nature...their locking embrace similar to that of wrestlers, that keeps the triangle from closing up again, from being valid in itself, and from claiming to express or represent this different nature of the agents that are in question in the unconscious itself... The Father, mother, and self are at grips with, and directly coupled to, the elements of the political and historical situation — the soldier, the cop, the occupier, collaborator, the radical, the resister, the boss, the boss’s wife who constantly break all triangulations, and who prevent the entire situation from falling back on the familial complex and becoming internalized by it”

(Gilles Deleuze, 1997)

1. Chapter Introduction

In this chapter I continue the construction of Anarca-Islam by establishing Anarca-Islam’s anti-authoritarian and anti-capitalist commitments in resistance to the capitalist-State. By the end of the chapter, having constructed Anarca-Islam, I will have delineated the two misconceptions, discussed throughout the thesis, of Islam and Muslims amongst anarchists. The two misconceptions are regarding the impossibility of constructing either an anarchic interpretation of Islam or an Islamic interpretation of anarchism, as well as the impossibility of the coexistence of the identities Muslim and anarchist in a single subjectivity.

In the first section of the chapter, I construct, using Anarchic-Ijtihad, Anarca-Islam’s anti-authoritarian commitments with respect to micro and macro forms of authority. First, I introduce three micro-anti-authoritarian concepts and practices I extract from Islam: Shura (mutual consultation), Ijma (community consensus) and Maslaha (public interest). I read Shura, Ijma and Maslaha as micro-anti-authoritarian concepts and practices that inform Anarca-Islam’s commitment to minimizing micro-authoritarian practices amongst individuals and communities. After reading these concepts and practices through an anti-authoritarian lens, Shura, Maslaha and Ijma are collectively taken to inform Anarca-Islam’s anti-micro-authoritarian commitment in resistance to microforms of authority. From there, given that “the State is not a point taking all the other [authoritarian practices] upon itself, but a resonance chamber for them all” (Deleuze & Guattari, 1980: 224), I construct Anarca-Islam’s anti-authoritarian commitment at the macro-level. Anarca-Islam’s anti-authoritarian commitment at the macro-level involves an anti-institutional and anti-statist critique. Anarca-Islam’s anti-institutional commitment is established through a critique of the Muslim clergy and Sheikhs, who “with the coming of [nationalist] independence... increasingly proclaim[ed] their ‘attachment to Islam, in a frenzied search for an ideological guarantee for their social and material advantages”(Rodinson, 1973: 226). After constructing Anarca-Islam’s anti-institutional commitment, I construct Anarca-Islam’s anti-statist commitment. In doing so, I go against the Islamic concept Khilafah, meaning representation, and which is used by the clergy and Sheikhs as the context for the establishment of an Islamic state. I reinterpret Khilafah to correspond to “identifying human beings in general as God’s vicegerents [Khalifahs, multiple, in a vehement opposition to the singular, Khalifah,] on Earth...[with] human stewardship over God’s creations” (Esposito, 1996: 26).

After constructing Anarca-Islam’s anti-statist commitments, I address the ‘authority’ of the Prophet Muhammad and God. Regarding the ‘authority’ of Prophet Muhammad, I argue, using the Koran, that the Prophet Muhammad is nothing beyond a Rasul, a messenger, for a religious call, working purely for the sake of the call on behalf of Islam. With respect to the ‘authority’ of God, I first argue that in Anarca-Islam “there is no compulsion in religion” (The Holy Koran, Chapter 2, Chapter of “The Cow:” Verse 26). That is, according to Anarca-Islam and in line with the Koranic verse cited, anarchists are not required to accept Anarca-Islam’s God, only to recognize the right of a Muslim to believe in God. Second, I argue, in line with Newman, that “God has not been completely usurped...as has always been claimed [in anarchism]... only reinvented in the form of essence” (2001: 6). According to this analysis, anarchists ought to acknowledge the difference between resisting God and resisting institutionalized religion. When anarchists resist God, God is not truly the subject and object of resistance. Rather anarchists are resisting institutionalized religion. There is a difference between the two and therefore the two must not to be conflated. Having addressed the authority of Prophet Muhammad and God, Anarca-Islam’s resistance to micro and macro authoritarian practices will be constructed.

In the next section, I construct, using Anarchic-Ijtihad, Anarca-Islam’s resistance to capitalism through concepts and practices extracted from Islam. These concepts include: Property, Communal and Individual Caretakers, Mudarabah/Musharakah, Riba, Zakat, Ramadan or Sawm, Sadaqat Al-Fitr and Islamic banking. First, I offer an anti-capitalist reading of the concept and practice Property. In Anarca-Islam, property is interpreted as belonging solely to God, with human beings as merely Caretakers of God’s property. Property is therefore publicly shared amongst Caretakers and is not to be privately hoarded as in capitalism. Second, I offer an anti-capitalist reading of the concept and practice Caretaker. A Caretaker is a temporary beneficiary and a trustee or borrower of God’s property. A Caretaker’s role is that of a borrower and is thus radically different from that of an absolute owner under capitalism. There are two types of Caretakers: Communal and Individual. Communal Caretakers are defined as Caretakers engaged in economic unity and who are in collective partnerships as a community, dealing in business matters as “a large number of small firms” (Awan, 1983: 30). However, though Communal Caretakers in Islam are preferred, Individual Caretakers are permitted because an individual and their desire(s) must not live in servitude and be forgotten on account of the community. That is, Individual Caretakers are permitted given that the “construction of healthy communities begins and ends with unique personalities, that the collective potential is realized only when a singular is free” (Guattari, 1985: 17). However, while Individual Caretakers are permitted there are three restrictions placed on Individual Caretakers to establish equilibrium between the desires and rights of an individual and those of a community. The first restriction is that they are forbidden from caretaking for natural resources. That is, natural resources like water or oil for example belong to the whole community, and all its members have equal shares and rights of access to these resources. Second, if their caretaking of property is done in an ignoble, indignant, “manner, which damages...others” then the community intervenes to prevent them from causing further damage (Ahmad, 1991: 33). Third, is that if “a segment of society is without shelter, clothing, food, and adequate economic opportunity, then societal needs...take priority over” (Ahmad, 1991: 33) the Individual Caretaker’s rights by virtue of Maslaha. Having offered an anti-capitalist reading of Caretaker and distinguished between Individual and Communal Caretakers, I read Mudarabah/Musharakah as Anarca-Islam’s third anti-capitalist concept and practice. Mudarabah/Musharakah in Anarca-Islam is interpreted as a communally established anti-monopolistic and anti-oligopolistic external financial structure, completely devoid of interest and with the role of encouraging joint ventures amongst existing Caretakers and new Caretakers.

Having read Mudarabah/Musharakah as an anti-capitalist concept and practice, I read Riba as Anarca-Islam’s fourth anti-capitalist concept and practice. Riba, interest, and its “collection...was and is forbidden because it...[serves] as a means of exploiting” all those who undergo dire and bare poverty (Esposito, 2002: 163). Having read Riba as an anti-capitalist concept and practice, I read Zakat as Anarca-Islam’s sixth anti-capitalist concept and practice. Decreed in the Koran, Zakat is interpreted as an obligatory charity and denotes the perpetual “disassociation of oneself from one’s accrued wealth”(Cummings, Askari, Mustafa, 1980: 27–28). I then read Ramadan and its associated Sadaqat Al-Fitr as Anarca-Islam’s fifth and sixth anti-capitalist concepts and practices. Ramadan is interpreted as an “act of worship ... [existing to] lead Muslims to perceive, to feel inwardly, the need to eat and drink and by extension to ensure that every human being has the means to subsist” (Ramadan, 2004: 89). Sadaqat Al-Fitr is interpreted as “another [obligatory] charity”, along with Zakat, and that is given to those poor and “imposed on every Muslim who has the means for themselves and their dependents” (Budak, 2005: 93–96). Finally, I interpret Islamic Banking as Anarca-Islam’s seventh anti-capitalist concept and practice. Islamic Banking in Anarca-Islam is interpreted as an anti-capitalist concept and practice that offers unrestricted access to financial resources in banking systems without reference to the criteria of “creditworthiness” (Ahmad, 1991: 46). In concluding the section, I clarify that it is the anti-capitalist concepts and practices of Property, Communal and Individual Caretakers, Mudarabah/Musharakah, Riba, Inheritance, Zakat, Ramadan, Sadaqat Al-Fitr and Islamic banking that now collectively form Anarca-Islam’s anti-capitalist position of resistance to capitalism.

In the final section, having established Anarca-Islam’s anti-authoritarian and anti-capitalist commitments, I make two claims: First, that I am no longer Oedipalized but becoming relatively de-Oedipalized. Second, that Anarca-Islam’s construction is the symbolic act of delineating the two misconceptions of Islam and Muslims amongst anarchists.

2. Castrating Daddy: Anarca-Islam’s Anti-Authoritarian Concepts & Practices

Islam seldom offers concrete guidance, in either the Koran or the Sunnah, regarding macro-politics. Nevertheless, Islam invests in pragmatic, micro-political concepts and practices. Islam develops the micro-anti-authoritarian concepts and practices to limit Muslims, individually, and as a community, from derision (Esposito, 1996: 28). To dictate Koranically less to Muslims, Islam breeds an alternative sense of individual and collective responsibility through these micro-anti-authoritarian practices that are to be applied individually and by the community. That is, in order to catalyze Muslims in an anti-authoritarian direction, Islam creates the following micro-anti-authoritarian concepts and practices as counter-measures to micro-authoritarian practices: Shura (mutual consultation), Ijma (community consensus) and Maslaha (public interest) (Esposito, 1996: 28).

This section will start with Shura as Anarca-Islam’s first micro-anti-authoritarian concept and practice, signifying “’consultation’, ‘concertation’ or ‘deliberation’” (Ramadan, 2001: 81). Shura is not just a micro-anti-authoritarian concept and practice, but rather is of critical importance, as evidenced by its having been named and prescribed as a chapter, number 42, in the Holy Koran, Surr’at Al-Shura; The Chapter of ‘The Counsel’. This is the extent to which God emphasized Shura’s criticality. In this chapter, we can read:

“...but what is with God is better and more enduring for those who believe and put their trust in their Lord...[than] those who avoid the heinous sins and indecencies and when they are angry forgive, and those who answer their Lord, and perform the prayer, their affair being counsel between them, and they expend of that We have provided them...” (The Holy Koran, Chapter 42: The Chapter of ‘The Council’, Verses: 36–38).

In this verse God describes ‘the enduring Muslim believer’ as a Muslim who conducts his and her ‘affairs through counsel’ or mutual consultation. The Koran therefore envisages “the ... Ummah as a perfectly egalitarian, open society based on good will and cooperation” with each Muslim, advised to seek Shura with ‘the other’ Muslim (Esposito, 1996: 28). In other words, through Shura, Muslims, individually and collectively, are encouraged to embody, each towards the other, the essence of the practice described in the following words: “If you see me in the right, help me; if you see me in error correct me...If any of you sees distortion in my actions, let him [and her] rectify me” (Ramadan, 2001: 83). To beckon for help, to beckon for advice, is Islamically tantamount to humbling oneself in comprehending the ‘rights’ and the ‘wrongs’ of the self and hence caring for that self. Muslims are to perceive these ‘rights’ and ‘wrongs’ by contemplating comprehensively and reflecting indefinitely, through ijtihad, on the ethico-political commitments they espouse. For how else can a Muslim seek counsel without comprehending, to a fair degree, the ethical-political commitments they commit to or are charged with while acknowledging the sets of privileges enjoyed by each Muslim (Ramadan, 2001: 83)? In this vein, Shura necessitates a “kind of radical personal responsibility”, a jihad, on the part of each individual Muslim and a responsibility to engage in internal molecular insurrections[104] (Guattari and Negri, 1985: 116). As related in the Sunnah regarding these insurrections:

Imam Ja’far al-Sadiq (a) said: “The Prophet (s) of God dispatched a contingent of the army (to the battlefront). Upon their (successful) return, he (s) said: ‘Blessed are those who have performed the minor jihad and have yet to perform the major jihad.’ When asked, ‘What is the major jihad?’ the Prophet (s) replied: ‘The jihad of the self (struggle against self)’”(Al-Majlisi, Vol. 19: 182, hadith no. 31)

These insurrections therefore create room for the comfort and safety of a Muslim in the Muslim’s community. They enable a Muslim to humble him and/or her self publicly as an ethically and politically conscious individual. That is, an ethico-political individual, who thrives in seeking Shura with respect to other Muslims, and an ethico-political individual who asks and trusts others to rectify his and/or her politically and ethically distorted acts. This ability to ask and trust other Muslims also demands a Muslim’s consciousness of the individual ethico-political commitments that he and/or she espouses with respect to their relationship to others. Accordingly, Islam, having recognized the necessity of Shura sought to constitute Muslims as ethically-politically conscious individuals, with each aware of their occupying and occupied surroundings. In other words, due to a Muslim’s power dynamics in relations to others as a concurrently singular individual as well as being part of a community, God commands Shura as a form of retaliation to micro-fascisms. Islam recognizes the necessity for constructing a non-egoistic[105] spirit, to be engrained by Muslims, individually and collectively, through the practice of Shura. In this vein, Islam recognizes that social and political “organizing signifies first, work on one self, in as much as one is a collective ‘singularity’” as ‘that’ singularity, in the end, constitutes, and contributes to the collectivity (Guattari and Negri, 1985: 116).

Through Shura, a Muslim arrives, Islamically, at an understanding of the dynamics of micro-power, and micro-fascisms that grow as a consequence of pride. Shura’s practice on an individual and a collective level becomes a practice that is warranted to minimize dominating and oppressive micro-authoritarian power relations occurring at the myopic level. Islam targets micro-fascisms by recognizing micro-power’s passing through the domestic hands of the mastered no less than through the hands of the masters. We can find Islam’s recognition of micro-fascisms in the Koranic verse below, particularly with the emphasis on micro-power existing in the word ‘innerselves’:

“Verily God does not change people’s condition, unless they change their inner-selves” (The Holy Koran, Chapter 13: Chapter of ‘Yusuf’, Verse: 11).

Combating pride is therefore the heart of Islam’s Shura, as pride is at the heart of micro-fascisms. As Spinoza writes of pride:

‘...A man [and/or woman] is proud if he [and/or she] thinks too little of other people [to seek their advice]...the proud man [and/or woman] is necessarily envious [enough of the opinion of others]...he [and/or she] hates those above all others who are the most praised on account of their virtues. It follows, too, that his [and/or her] hatred of them is not easily overcome by love or kindness” (1949: 229–230).

But Shura is not solely prescribed for its application to a group of individuals beckoning for each other’s call for counsel. Rather Shura’s prescription is for its everlasting engagement with the entire community. Shura exists “to guide the community’s decision-making process” (Esposito, 1996: 28). In its collective application, Shura proffers a committed sense of communal cohesiveness. It breeds and manifests in a community a shared notion of mutual responsibility. A mutual responsibility, which too rises in Shura’s varied communal form when exercised during Ijma — Anarca-Islam’s second micro-anti-authoritarian concept and practice.

Ijma is the pertinent practice required by a Muslim community in seeking “consensus”, through Shura, on matters pertaining to the community as a whole (Al’Awani, 1993: 24). For it is narrated, regarding Ijma, that “upon the first confrontation of with the people of Makka at Badr, [Prophet] Muhammad called his Companions: ‘O people! Share with me your views” (Ramadan, 2001: 82). Ijma stresses and calls for a well-spirited, extenuated bonding, which ought to be embedded within a community, particularly with respect to what is consensually agreed upon collectively, through Shura’s exercise by virtue of Maslaha — Anarca-Islam’s third micro-anti-authoritarian concept and practice.

Maslaha is the community’s search for and effort towards the establishment of its political, as well as social, survivalist necessities or interests. It is “the principle of the ‘public interest’” (Al’Awani, 1993: 75). Although it is possible that differences and disagreements may surface in the absence of Ijma or consensus over issues that pertains to the community’s Maslaha, Islam develops an ethics of disagreement in the event of disagreements as discussed in chapter one. Under the presumption however that consensus is achieved the concept and practice of Maslaha ought not be taken with requisite delicacy, in spite of its ostensible ideality. That is, because Maslaha has to “provide benefit to individuals and the community as a whole and not only to a class or an individual”, Maslaha reemphasises the Islamic importance of seeking an egalitarian community (Ramadan, 1999: 80). In this vein, the micro-anti-authoritarian practice of Maslaha is “at the essence of [communal] Islamic commands” and principles (Ramadan, 1998: 81). It is a command and principle that denotes the community’s collective search and struggle for not merely its cohesive existence, but rather its existence as a healthy egalitarian community. That is, a community striving to become egalitarian having comprehended its necessities and cared for its mutual interests[106].

Ultimately, no singular individual or collective is immune to micro or macro fascisms, irrespective of the quantity or the intensity of Shura, Maslaha and Ijma practiced as micro-anti-authoritarian practices. Nevertheless, these micro-anti-authoritarian practices assist in warding off micro-fascisms, individually and collectively. In other words, provided there is acknowledgment amongst the community of the distinction between an individual’s personal opinions and the opinions of the community. Islamically, an individual reserves the inherent right not to seek consultation or the conduct of Shura. However, this individual’s right[107] not to seek Shura exists only with respect to what pertains to the individual. In the end, above a singular individual, the giving of dues to Maslaha is indefinitely final. Maslaha is always over and above the individual for that is precisely the reason upon which Maslaha was Islamically prescribed to begin with (Al-Awani, 1993: 129).

To end the discussion of the themes of Shura, Maslaha and Ijma, I identify Anarca-Islam through other Islamic interpretations. That is, Anarca-Islam’s micro-authoritarian stance is not built upon the “classical doctrine of Shura, as it developed, [and] was in error...[where] it viewed consultation as the process of one person...asking other people for advice” (Esposito, 1996: 28). What I advocate for and what Anarca-Islam demands is quite the opposite. That is, that “the Koranic understanding of Shura does not mean that one person ask others advice, but rather refers to a process of mutual advice through mutual consultation” (Esposito, 1996: 28). Mutual consultation, Shura, in so far as Anarca-Islam is concerned, must be accompanied by Shura’s multiple form, Ijma, which complements the lively simultaneous practice of the individualized Shura on the personal stratum with a preservation of Maslaha. Ultimately, as the Prophet Muhammad proclaimed in Khutubatul Wada’a, the last sermon given prior to his death, regarding the necessity of Islamic egalitarianism:

“All humankind is from Adam and Eve, an Arab has no superiority over a non-Arab nor a non-Arab has any superiority over an Arab; also a white has no superiority over black nor a black has any superiority over white except by piety and good action... Nothing shall be legitimate to a Muslim, which belongs to a fellow Muslim unless it was given freely and willingly. Do not, therefore, do injustice to yourselves”[108].

The former overarching anarchic reading of the concepts and practices of Shura, Ijma and Maslaha are collectively Anarca-Islam’s micro-anti-authoritarian principles, unveiled using Anarchic-Ijtihad. Over these principles there can be no compromise.

Before moving on to a discussion of Anarca-Islam’s macro-anti-authoritarian principles, it is critical to clarify a few matters. As stated earlier, generally, Islam offers little in concrete guidance in the Koran or the Sunnah on macro-politics. With respect to the arena of macro-politics, Koranic access is only offered to abstract principles (Ramadan, 2001: 148). However, in general, any “hierarchal, dictatorial system has been condemned as non-Islamic” (Esposito, 1996: 25). The premise for the condemnation is the notion of God as the sole sovereign and ‘protector of rights’ for all beings in the Islamic concept Tawheed. Tawheed is “the paramount duty of [a Muslim to solely] affirm the oneness [, and thereby, the Absolute Authority,] of God” and none other but God, human or otherwise (Al’awani, 1993: 2). With Tawheed affirmed, God affords Muslims the right to embrace ‘any’ macro-political structure Muslims deem fit. That is, the right to orient macro-politically is entrusted to a Muslim community. This is contingent upon the guarantee that the macro-political structure chosen by a Muslim community does not contradict the concept of Tawheed and the practices Shura, Ijma and Maslaha (Ramadan, 2001: 148). God intends this right as a merciful act for Muslims so that they can adapt to differing geographical, spatial, temporal and historical circumstances (Ramadan, 2001: 148). Given these requirements, the macro-political orientation adopted by Muslims could thus be anarchistic in its approach and viewpoints.

This potential to render Islamic practice compatible with anarchism has nevertheless been subverted by Monarchies of Meccan Kingdoms with Sheikhs[109] and Muslim clergy ushered in by European colonialism. Historically, this occurred during Europe’s imperialist fragmentation of Islam in the 19th century, and resulted in the abandonment of its former native principles for Europeanized institutions via a gradual transition towards nationalism (Abdul-Rauf, 1978: 13). Muslim clergy and Sheikhs thus came into being and “non-Islamic dynastic notions” were introduced into Islam (Abdul-Rauf, 1978: 13). Currently, dynasties of successive heirs have come to inherit “concentrated power and corruptive influences [preserved amidst their]... families and... entourages” for generations to come (Abdul-Rauf, 1978: 13). While the Sheikhs concentrated their power, a new generation of self-righteous Muslim clergy also arrived to institutionalize Islam as in the example of Al-Azhar Islamic University in Cairo, Egypt. This new generation of Muslim clergy arriving with the Sheikhs is very similar to the earlier generation of Muslim clergy who shut the door of ijtihad during the Abbasids. As Max Rodinson argues, this new generation of Muslim clergy

“with the coming of [nationalist] independence...gradually...[rose] on the social scale...[alongside] the (more or less exploiting) upper strata [who] increasingly proclaim[ed] their ‘attachment to Islam, in a frenzied search for an ideological guarantee for their social and material advantages”(Rodinson, 1973: 226).

In institutionalizing[110] Islamic knowledge the Muslim clergy simultaneously opted for Europeanized institutions, dismissing the imperative of Shura, Maslaha or Ijma as public and open practices. In dismissing the rightful public practice of Shura, Ijma, and Maslaha, the Muslim clergy violated a right decreed by God for Muslims to partake in the interrogation of knowledge (Esposito, 1996: 26). This is particularly important considering that seeking knowledge is a vital task of Muslims. As Anas Ibn Maalik reports, the Prophet Muhammad said:

“Seeking knowledge is incumbent on every Muslim; he [and/or she] who offers knowledge to those who do not appreciate it, is like the one who decorates pigs with precious stones, pearls and gold”[111]

The right violated by the clergy is one which “no authority, no leader, no government, no assembly can restrict, abrogate or violate in any way” (Arkoun, 1994: 106). The clergy’s corruption, as well as the fact that they sought the accumulation of power in the consolidation of Islam when Muslims did not elect the clergy as a representative[112] voice for Islam, violates key Islamic principles. As a result of the overarching corruption of the Muslim clergy, their disregard for what are divine rights, and the clergy’s settlement for the adoption of Europeanized institutions, Anarca-Islam is principled upon an anti-institutional commitment. Over this commitment there is no compromise.

But the Muslim clergy did not only institutionalize Islam and advocate for the adoption of Europeanized institutions as a mechanism of controlling public knowledge, they also legitimized the authority of Sheikhs using the Islamic concept Khilafah (Badiou, 2003: 149). That is, Khilafah became the context the clergy manipulated to correspond to the ‘dire necessity’ for kinship as a type of ruler-ship. Furthermore, Khilifah became the justification used by the Sheikhs and the clergy for the adoption of the Eurocentric[113] notion of upholding an Islamic state. Khilifah “according to the Arabic lexicon means ‘representation’...in addition to the connotations of ...a deputy [or] representative” (Esposito, 1996: 26). Classically, the choosing of such deputies occurred “by means of elections, a representative system or any other original ideas” (Ramadan, 2001: 148). The criteria for choosing a representative included “all the conditions that allow Muslims the opportunity to choose with full knowledge of the facts” regarding representatives (Ramadan, 2001: 148). The second criterion holds that “any pressure or attempt at coercion, to influence public opinion” is unacceptable (Ramadan, 2001: 148). The classical criteria therefore operate upon three presumptions. First, that Muslims participate in the decision-making processes of choosing. Second, choosing without being coerced by any means, measure or standard. Last, Muslims must possess all the ‘facts’ with respect to the field of candidates or representatives from which they are to select. Nevertheless in light of ignorance, illiteracy, poverty, corruption, and misery, social phenomena rather rampant and predominant within societies, such criteria cannot be fulfilled Islamically due to the failure to meet every condition (Ramadan, 2001: 148). This un-fulfilment of every condition obstructs the participation of grass-root Muslims in the process of choosing a representative according to the classical principles and criteria (Ramadan, 2001: 148). This move of the Muslim clergy, adhering to the classical lexicon of Khilafah, clearly does not hold. Furthermore, it undermines and clashes with the Koranically commanded micro-anti-authoritarian practices Ijma, Maslaha, and Shura.

Given the absence of fulfilment of the conditions required for the Khilifah, as the “non-binding nature of the idea itself”, there can be no doubt that a truly radical interpretation ought be posited in its stead (Esposito, 1996: 26). Anarca-Islam’s anti-statist commitment emerges therefore by marking a radically different ethical-political territory[114] in reference to Khilafah. In resisting the classical view of Khilafah, I contend that Muslims en masse are bearers of God’s trust. Muslims are collectively caretakers of one another and their affairs. As it is assuredly:

“possible to interpret...the Koran as identifying human beings in general as God’s vicegerents [Khalifahs, multiple, in opposition to the singular, Khalifah,] on Earth...[with] human stewardship over God’s creations” (Esposito, 1996: 26).

In order to interpret Khilafah as multiple, it therefore follows that upon a Muslim’s subscription “to the principle of Tawheed...Muslims are then collectively and as a group ready to fulfil their responsibilities of representation towards one another” (Esposito, 1996: 26). According to this analysis, each Muslim is then worthy of “the responsibility of the Khilafah ... [and] each one shares the divine Khilafah” (Esposito, 1996: 26). That is, in this divine Khilafah, every Muslim in an Ummah, a Muslim community, ”enjoys the rights and powers of the Khilafah and in that respect all individuals are equal” (Esposito, 1996: 26). This analysis that Khilafah ought to be interpreted as multiple is also confirmed in Islam’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1996) that emphasizes, “that the ultimate objective of the Ummah, Muslim community, ... is to reach the level of self-governance” (Esposito, 1996: 26).

To conclude and concretely establish Anarca-Islam’s anti-statist commitment, it is in reinterpretation of Khilafah from singular to multiple that there is “a foundation for concepts of human responsibility...of opposition to systems of domination” (Esposito, 1996: 26). Anarca-Islam’s anti-statist commitment is therefore informed by two positions: First, an appreciation for human responsibility, where individuals are responsible for themselves and for each other; second, an opposition to systems of domination, given they contradict Tawheed, This anti-statist commitment is the only way for “consultation (Shurah), consensus (Ijma) and independent interpretative judgments (ijtihad)” (Esposito, 1996: 26) to be preserved and not contradict Koranically decreed Muslim concepts and practices. That is, it is only with Anarca-Islam’s anti-statist commitment that there may truly be a “transfer of power of ijtihad from individual representatives of schools to Muslim legislative assemblies which in view of the growth of ‘opposing’ sects is the only form of Ijma” possible (Esposito, 1996: 27). This type of Ijma would allow for contributions to and discussions from lay Muslims who desire and have a right to publicly participate in political decision-making processes (Esposito, 1996: 27). This is how an anti-statist Anarca-Islam, an egalitarian Islam becomes possible.

The two remaining figures of authority — upon the failure of the classical Khilafah and due to the “lack of any further [political] generalities or specificities” — are the Prophet Muhammad and God (Esposito, 1996: 25). With regards to the former, Muslims ought to appreciate everything that the Prophet Muhammad taught. However, a prophet merely signifies prophecy, nothing beyond. Accordingly, Prophet Muhammad — peace be upon him — is not a Sheikh or God. The Prophet Muhammad’s function is nothing beyond that of a Rasul, a messenger, for a conveyer of a religious call, purely for the sake of the call, on behalf of Islam. Unblemished by the desire to rule[115], Prophet Muhammad was not called forth to rule. Sufficient evidence justifying this stance has been provided in three Koranic verses. The first Koranic verse is: “Say (O Muhammad) that I am a man like you” (The Holy Koran, Chapter 18, Chapter of ‘The Cave’: Verse 110). The second Koranic verse is: “Say I [Muhammad] am nothing but a man and a messenger” Chapter 41, Chapter of ‘Explained in Detail’: Verse 6). In this vein, a third Koranic verse was revealed to address directly the scope of Prophet Muhammad’s authority. The third verse is:

“For those who take as Awliyâ’ [guardians, supporters, helpers, protectors, etc.] others besides Him [i.e. whom take other deities, other than Allâh as protectors, and worship them, even then] Allâh is Hafîz [Protector] over them [i.e. takes care of their deeds and will recompense them], and you [O Muhammad] are not a Wakîl [guardian or a disposer of their affairs or have say] over them” (The Holy Koran, Chapter 42, Chapter of ‘The Council’: Verse 6).

This verse reaffirms that God is an Absolute Authority with respect to Muslims and Non-Muslims, and that the Prophet Muhammad himself is forbidden from becoming a Wakil, a guardian, or a disposer of affairs or having a say over Non-Muslims. According to this analysis, the Prophet Muhammad’s ‘authority’ ought to be put to rest.

As for the ‘authority’ of God, it is pivotal to first understand that in Anarca-Islam “La ikrah Fi’d-din” (The Holy Koran, Chapter 2, Chapter of ‘The Cow’: Verse 26). That is, there is no compulsion in religion. In this vein, Anarca-Islam is not concerned with ‘taking over’, ‘conquering’ or ‘converting’ anarchists or anyone to either Islam or Anarca-Islam. Rather, Anarca-Islam is determined through exchange and the offering of an extended arm to individuals and communities who espouse ethico-political commitments that resonate with those of Anarca-Islams. In other words, Anarca-Islam could care less should anarchists or anyone choose to believe in God, the Prophet Muhammad or Islam. For it has been foretold, in the Sunnah that:

“It is narrated through Thauban, that the Prophet peace be upon him said: “[Upon the approaching of the day of judgement,] you [Muslims] shall be in great numbers, but you will be as powerless as the foam of the waves of the sea” due to feebleness in hima, political-ethical vigor of spirit (Prophet Hadeeth, Sunan Abu Dawud, Book 37, Number 4297).

Anarca-Islam is not interested in giving rise to mass-produced[116] anarchist converts, nor does it require that anyone else become conquered colonial Muslims.

Second, as Newman argues, anarchism has:

“not ousted God ...[as anti-religious anarchists would have hoped because] the place of authority of the category of the divine remains intact, only re-inscribed in the demand for presence...Atheism changes nothing in this fundamental structure” (Newman, 2001: 6).

In this vein, anti-religious anarchists ought to concede that within a scenario where anti-religious anarchists proclaim and chant ‘God is dead’, as other religious anarchists argue[117] for the possibility and the usefulness of divine presence within their lives, both remain trapped in the unverifiable empirical existence of either God’s life or death. All that could result then — from the inexhaustible deliberation or the cruel argumentation over this moot point — is a massive loathsome expansion of dogmatic, essentialist, and flattened-out perceptions of the world. These conceptions merely enhance micro-fascist tendencies internalised amongst religious and anti-religious anarchists, while both are aligned to cherish anarchic sensibilities and mutually resist common enemies. According to this analysis[118], as far as Anarca-Islam perceives it, and is committed, every politically and ethically committed individual is a rightful bearer of ‘the trust’[119] in themselves and the community. In this vein, the issue of God’s authority ought to be put to rest.

Having put to rest the question of the ‘authority’ of the Prophet Muhammad and God, I hope to have made clear that my focus is on the micro-anti-authoritarian concepts and practices, and the anti-institutional and anti-statist commitments, that collectively inform Anarca-Islam’s anti-authoritarianism. I will now return to the level of the conceptual and practical inscriptions of Islam, where we may discover, using Anarchic-Ijtihad, an ensemble of fundamentally anti-capitalist concepts and practices, which complement its anti-authoritarian leanings.

3. Shit-Talkin’ Mommy: Anarca-Islam’s Anti-Capitalist Concepts & Practices

The first anti-capitalist concept and practice I want to discuss is Property[120]. In Islam, property belongs to God. Human beings are merely Caretakers of God’s property. For it is stated in the Koran:

“O believers, expend of the good things you have earned, and of what We have produced for you from the earth; and intend not the corruption of it for your expending, for you would never take it yourselves...Those who expend...night and day, secretly and in public, their wage awaits them with their Lord, and no fear shall be on them; neither shall they sorrow” (The Holy Koran: Chapter 2, Chapter of ‘The Cow’: Verse 269).

It is in the divinely stated words: ‘We have produced for you...for you would never take it yourselves’ that we can see that property is produced and owned by God (Hasan & Siddiqi, 1984: 91). God’s maxim and intent is for property to be shared and distributed in equity by Caretakers whom God had entrusted with God’s property (Cummings, Askari, Mustafa, 1980: 37). God ordains property as divinely possessed, to circumscribe the hoarding of property by Caretakers. No Caretaker may deprive another Caretaker from property, even if by force. This is because the right of access to property is a divinely decreed right by God, and is amongst a set of other divinely ordained rights referred to as Al-Dururiyat Al-Khamas, or the fundamental qualities of life (Cummings, Askari, Mustafa, 1980: 37). Al-Dururiyat Al-Khamas are five divinely protected and sanctioned rights, two of which are property and life (Cummings, Askari, Mustafa, 1980: 37). The role of a human being, as noted, is the temporary caretaking for or ‘borrowing’ of God’s property. As Esposito argues, “everything ultimately belong to God...human beings are simply Caretakers, or vicegerents, for God’s property” on Earth (Esposito, 2001: 165). Upon death and resurrection, a Caretaker is accountable to God. That is, on the Day of Judgement, God is the Witness and Absolute Judge of the Caretaker’s role in the Caretaker’s ‘partnership’ with God. God judges whether the Caretaker betrayed and corrupted the entrusted property or not. Property is thus publicly entrusted, owned[121] by God, and to be collectively and equitably shared by Caretakers[122] and not privately hoarded. Read in this manner, property is an anti-capitalist concept and practice.

With property absolutely possessed by God, as noted, a unique economic relationship emerges: God-Caretaker. A Caretaker is a temporary ‘beneficiary’, a ‘trustee’ or borrower of God’s property, nothing more. A Caretaker is not an absolute owner as under capitalism. A Caretaker cannot become a capitalist, if the Caretaker is to fulfil the concept and practice of caretaking (Cummings, Askari, Mustafa, 1980: 36). Rather, a Caretaker has two types of available economic relationships with God and with other Caretakers in God’s community. The Caretaker can either become an Individual and/or a Communal Caretaker.

Communal Caretakers are Caretakers who are engaged in economic unity and collective partnerships. They deal in business matters as “a large number of small firms” through borrowed property from God (Awan, 1983: 30). Communal Caretakers, are expected to “conduct their affairs by mutual consultation” by virtue of Shura and Ijma (Awan, 1983: 30). According to this analysis, small firms co-borrowed by Communal Caretakers from God and with Ijma from the community differ from worker-owner relationships under capitalism. Furthermore, this economic structure distances a Muslim community’s economy from being economically centralized and controlled by monopolies and oligopolies as under capitalism. Instead, a Muslim community’s economic system is decentralized. That is, it is a system structurally comprised of a multiplicity of decentralized small firms co-borrowed from God, with each small firm constituted by a group of Communal Caretakers in collective partnership. Communal Caretakers choose which small firm they partake in. The collective partnership in each small firm is continually transforming through the entry and exists of other Communal Caretakers in a community into the small firm (Awan, 1983: 31). That is, the small firms are open to ‘everyone’ in the community to participate in, provided they adhere to certain particular ethico-political principles over which there exist Ijma. In this vein, Communal Caretakers are capable of entry and exit into or out of a small firm without having to deal with “capitalist suppliers, [and] planning authorities” (Awan, 1983: 32). In this interpretation of Islam, the ethico-political principles involve upholding anti-authoritarian and anti-capitalist commitments. According to this analysis, comfort, safety and a collective sense of shared ethical-political commitment amongst Communal Caretakers are bred as a result of this relationship between Communal Caretakers and property (Wilson, 1997: 134). This entry and exist of a new Communal Caretaker into an established small firm also minimizes the possibility of the concretization of the partnership of the small firm amongst existing Communal Caretakers. Communal Caretakers from this Islamic perspective are therefore expected to be Caretakers who are conducting their affairs collectively in Shirakah, partnership, with God and with each other (Awan, 1983: 32). It is under Shirakah and this decentralized Islamic economic structure that Communal Caretakers in Islam can truly become worthy human beings capable of deciding “freely [, Ikhtiy’ar,]...[to participate or not] without outside influence” in a small firm of their choosing (Awan, 1983: 32). With all Communal Caretakers equal before God, each Communal Caretaker’s voice contributes to the decision-making processes of the small firm and each Communal Caretaker’s voice is respected (Cummings, Askar, Mustafa, 1980: 44). Communal Caretakers in Islam are thus afforded “a dignity in keeping with ... [their] status as ... vicegerent[s] of God on earth...[whose] return[s] can take the form of...a share in the useful profit of enterprise” (Ahmad, 1991: 37).

Although Communal Caretakers are preferred in Islam, Individual Caretakers are permitted. That is, Islam offers room and appreciation for the arrival and survival of the unique and the singular, the stem of every collective root, that is, the Caretaker as an individual (Esposito, 1980: 42). The logic behind the Islamic right to become an Individual Caretaker is that an individual must not be compelled to live in servitude and forgotten in an act of forceful enslavement on account of the whim of a community. As Guattari and Negri argue:

“the most important lesson is that the construction of healthy communities begins and ends with unique personalities, that the collective potential is realized only when a singular is free” (1985: 17).

In Islam, it is therefore unnecessary to privilege the right of the community over the individual, or the right of the individual over the community, as both are interdependent. In Islam, ‘the death of the individual’ and ‘the death of the communal’ denote extremes. Islam therefore advocates for moderation, preserving an individual’s right to introduce new desires into the individual’s corresponding social field, while maintaining its position with respect to the importance of a community’s Maslaha. It is not necessary that a community explore the same zone of desire that an individual might. And it is equally not necessary that an individual’s desire be driven by an individualistic ego or result in the exploitation of his and/or her community. Rather, an individual’s desire may be guided by an individual’s search for a community’s Maslaha. Nepotism then is as lethal[123] to a community’s healthy existence as individualism is under capitalism, since nepotism usurps and strips individual autonomy. Islam rejects the extremes of both capitalism and communism. For as Guattari and Negri argue:

“Capitalism and Socialism have only succeeded in...[subjugating] work to a social mechanism which is logo-centric or paranoid, authoritarian...[resulting in that which is] destructive” (1985: 14).

According to this analysis, Individual Caretakers may exist as a small firm. The Individual Caretaker’s small firm, as with Communal Caretakers, remain unconditionally and conditionally open for other Caretakers in the community to partake in. Therefore, while Individual Caretakers are permitted the right to exist, Individual Caretakers are restricted by three impediments that Individual Caretakers are not to exceed. These impediments exist because it is expected that differences in Mal, money, between Caretakers will naturally arise. The difference in Mal is a consequence of differences in productivity and work ethics between Caretakers. That is, some Caretakers may enjoy working a lot while others may prefer to work less. There is no reason in the end that the two should earn the same Mal. Nevertheless, the difference in Mal, changes nothing with respect to the preservation of the latter’s right to a decent quality of life in light of Al-Dururiyat Al-Khamas.

The first impediment an Individual Caretaker is restricted from proclaiming base or natural[124] resources (Cummings, Askari, Mustafa, 1980: 41; Ahmad, 1991: 33). The Individual Caretaker’s community because of the virtue of the community’s Maslaha enforces this forbiddance. Therefore, an Individual Caretaker is only permitted to borrow specific types of property. As Cummings, Askari and Musafa argue, an Individual Caretaker is forbidden from:

“Natural resources in the universe, such as land, capital, general circumstances such as shortages for reasons of war or disasters as well as laws of nature, all these belong to the whole of society, and all its members have equal shares and rights of access to them” (Cummings, Askari, Musafa: 1980: 31).

The second impediment is that if an Individual Caretaker’s use of property is accomplished in an ignoble, indignant, “manner, which damages...others” then the community is to intervene and stop an Individual Caretaker from inflicting further harm or damage (Ahmad, 1991: 33). In the end, as the third impediment, if “a segment of society is without [the qualities of life which include] shelter, clothing, food, and adequate economic opportunity, then societal needs...take priority over” this myopic Individual Caretaker’s rights (Ahmad, 1991: 33). That is, the community is required to intervene in the Individual Caretaker’s economic affairs by virtue of Maslaha. Read in this way, the concept of Caretaker, Communal and/or Individual, is anti-capitalist in principle and practice.

The third anti-capitalist concept and practice reread for Anarca-Islam is Mudarabah/Musharakah. Mudarabah/Musharakah is a communally established anti-monopolistic and anti-oligopolistic external financial structure. It is completely devoid of interest, with the role of encouraging joint ventures amongst existing Caretakers and new Caretakers. In this sense, Mudarabah/Musharakah delimits attempts by identical Caretakers to take control of small firms for themselves. Mudarabah/Musharakah’s obstruction of the existence of monopolies or oligopolies therefore tends towards extending existing Caretaker relationships. That is, it creates room for new Caretakers and new small firms as independent offshoots of presently pre-existing Caretaker partnerships and small firms (Choudhury, 1997: 110). There are three beneficiary effects of Mudarabah/Musharakah. The first is the creation of other diversified autonomous small firms for new Caretakers. This move assists in creating room for new Caretakers and facilitates less animosity amongst new and existing Caretakers that may arise due to jealousy between both. In this vein, Mudarabah/Musharakah promotes sharing between both new and existing Caretakers, as well as Ehsan, kindness or generosity by adequately and fairly allocating resources between Caretakers of a community (Choudhury, 1997: 110). The second beneficiary effect of Mudarabah/Musharakah is the minimisation of stockpiling or otherwise what is referred in Islam to as Israf (Choudhury, 1997: 110). That is, since Mudarabah/Musharakah’s objective is adequate resource allocation, Mudarabah/Musharakah[125] minimizes waste in production, consumption and commodity exchange values. Mudarabah/Musharakah minimizes the gap of stockpiling and prevents unnecessary depletion or destruction in production and consumption once a threshold is reached (Deleuze & Guattari, 1980: 440). The third and final beneficiary effect of Mudarabah/Musharakah is that Huquq al-Ibadah, the dutiful responsibility to new Caretakers, and Huquq al-Allah, duties to God, are expressly reaffirmed through a fulfilment of God’s intent for the preservation of Huquq al-Ibadah, or the duties of Caretakers towards one another (Choudhury, 1997: 110). Mudarabah/Musharakah is an anti-capitalist concept and practice.

The third anti-capitalist concept and practice is Riba. Riba, interest, is forbidden at least thrice throughout the Koran. We may read:

“Those who benefit from interest shall be raised like those who have been driven to madness by the touch of the Devil; this is because they say: ‘Trade is like interest’ while God has permitted trade and forbidden interest” (The Holy Koran, Chapter 2, Chapter of ‘The Cow’: Verses 275).

Riba, and its “collection...was and is forbidden because it served as a means of exploiting” those who undergo dire and bare poverty (Esposito, 2002: 163). After all, Riba advances the life of the wealthy while it exhausts and harshly abuses the life of others in dire poverty on account of their weak economic position or strata. Riba is therefore repugnant of the spirit of Islam, and contradicts the philosophies of al-‘adl wa’l-ihasan, justice and benevolence (Ahmad, 1991: 36). Riba is also an anti-capitalist concept and practice.

The fourth anti-capitalist concept and practice reread for Anarca-Islam is Zakat, progressive alms tax. Zakat is a Haqq, a right[126], for the poor over the rich. The Koran is clear that Zakat is ordained and to be interpreted as such:

“The offerings are for the poor and needy, those who work to collect them, those whose hearts are brought together the ransoming of slaves, debtors, in God’s way, and the traveller; so God ordains” (The Holy Koran, Chapter 9, Chapter of ‘Repentance and Dispensation’: Verse 60).

Zakat progressively keeps social equity integrated in the wider social field. Zakat desegregates class differences, which are due to differences in Mal[127] between Caretakers. As the third pillar in Islam, and there are five, Zakat is not merely a concept and practice but is divinely decreed for any Muslim to attain salvation (Cummings, Askari, Mustafa, 1980: 26–27). Zakat is an act of expiation for the sins of a Muslim, aimed at engraining in the Zakat giver the desire to give further. In this vein, Zakat is the temporary minimization of micro-fascisms, which are a consequence of class privilege, through the perpetual “disassociation of oneself from one’s accrued wealth”(Cummings, Askari, Mustafa, 1980: 27–28). An interesting element with respect to Zakat is that a payer of Zakat is forbidden from constituting a self-righteous ego because that negates the act of Zakat’s payment. That is, if Zakat is paid begrudgingly, or self-righteously, it is not accepted. Zakat ought be offered willingly and “not to be paid begrudgingly, if the divine law [associated with it] is to be fulfilled” (Cummings, Askari, Mustafa, 1980: 27). In this vein, the Koran is rather clear with respect to the attitude of the individual payment of Zakat:

“as does he [and/or she] who spends his [and/or her] wealth only to be seen and praised by others...for his [and/or her] parable is that of a smooth rock with [a little] earth upon it-and then a rainstorm smites it and leaves it hard and bare” (The Holy Koran, Chapter 2: The Chapter of ‘The Cow, Verse 264).

This Koranic verse is therefore an impassioned witness for the attitude and the duty to give, bearing[128] “the mark of respect for an individual’s dignity in all circumstances, even the most intimate...[and] to avoid being seen by anyone so that no one has to be embarrassed” (Ramadan, 2004: 181). Zakat is also repaid indefinitely to humble the ego of the payer and remind the payer of Zakat that it is God who is the Supreme giver and the true provider. This indefinite repayment of Zakat therefore “demands...knowledge of the environment, the community, and the social and economic situation” (Ramadan, 2004: 193). This knowledge of the community’s circumstances has the further positive effect of emphasizing and reinforcing a communal sense of responsibility that is continuously renewed. Therefore, Zakat is not to be understood as “just a widow’s mite to be paid out of [spite or] duty and distributed as charity...anything but that...Woven into the very fabric of society...[it] aims at freeing the poor from their dependence so that eventually they themselves will pay Zakat” to help less fortunate others (Ramadan, 2004: 189). That is, because Zakat is “the annual payment of alms in income and savings, in trade commodities, in crops, and in certain other properties,” it acts as an anti-thesis to taxation (Ramadan, 2004: 193). As Deleuze and Guattari note:

taxation ... creates money...and it corresponds with services and goods in the current of that [economic] circulation...[In it] the state finds the means for foreign trade, insofar as it appropriates that trade...and which makes monopolistic appropriation of outside exchange” possible (Deleuze, & Guattari, 1980: 443).

Thus Zakat, unlike taxation, is not a conventional source of “nourishment supposedly for the poor” provisionally provided through government revenues then distributed (Cummings, Askari, Mustafa, 1980. 27). Nor is Zakat to be manipulated, as with taxation, for the appropriation of an outside exchange as for foreign trade. Rather, unlike taxation, Zakat is not to be collected by way of government or a revenue-collecting agency but paid specifically and directly by hand and through personal communication (Cummings, Askari, Mustafa, 1980: 27). Zakat is not to be distorted or understood as a subsidy or charity for some towards others in the hope that the wealth of the rich and the destitution of the poor will miraculously find a point of balance (Ramadan. 2004: 178). Zakat is the right of the poor over the rich and not a privilege honourably bestowed to “those in whose wealth is a right known for the beggar and the outcast” (Cummings, Askari, Mustafa, 1980: 27). For those who refuse the payment of Zakat, God in the Koran states:

“As for all who lay up treasures of gold and silver and do not spend them for the sake of God give them the tiding of grievous suffering [in the life to come]: on the Day when that [hoarded blessings] shall be heated in the fire of hell and their foreheads and their sides and their backs branded therewith, [those sinners shall be told] “these are the treasures which you have laird up for yourselves! Taste, then, [the evil of] your hoarded treasures”(The Holy Koran, Chapter 9, The Chapter of ‘Repentance and Dispensation’, Verses: 34–35).

To conclude, Zakat is a rightful act of giving what is already rightfully due. In this sense, someone who willingly pays Zakat is someone who has chosen “to bare faith ... to bear responsibility for social commitment at every moment ... to possess is [tantamount] to have the duty [and obligation] to share” (Ramadan, 2004: 182). Zakat, read in this manner, is anti-capitalist concept and practice.

The fifth and sixth anti-capitalist concepts and practices for Anarca-Islam are Ramadan and Sadaqat Al-Fitr. Ramadan is a fast, a Sawm, from dusk till dawn, for a lunar month every year. Ramadan is an “act of worship ... [decreed by God, designed] to lead Muslims to perceive, and to feel inwardly, the need to eat and drink and by extension to ensure that every human being has the means to subsist” (Ramadan, 2004: 89). Fasting during Ramadan leads to the purification of the faster’s mind, body and soul. That is, fasting is an act of expiation in the voluntary washing out of a faster’s sins internally and externally. Furthermore, Ramadan reduces surplus, excessive acts of production and consumption, and the waste of property entrusted to a faster by God. Ramadan, in essence, sanitizes and purifies a faster’s body and the property she and/or he are entrusted with even if it is only for a month. Upon Ramadan’s end is Sadaqat Al-Fitr. It is “another [obligatory] charity ... imposed on every Muslim who has the means for themselves and their dependents” (Budak, 2005: 93–96). Sadaqat Al-Fitr exists in connection with Ramadan and is therefore:

“related to property and is obligatory on every Muslim that possesses more than the prescribed amount of provisions after giving the charity...[and is] to be given in person into the hands of those who are eligible to receive ... [not] the wealthy” (Budak, 2005: 93–96).

Again, like Zakat, Sadaqat El-Fitr is to be paid face to face and in discretion, without any state or institutional-like intervention. Ramadan and Sadaqat Al-Fitr, read in this manner, are anti-capitalist concepts and practices.

The seventh and final anti-capitalist concept and practice read for Anarca-Islam is Islamic banking. Islamic Banking is an act of resistance to capitalism. It gives way to and offers a new form of unrestricted access for Muslim and non-Muslim individuals and communities to financial resources in banking systems. Unrestricted access in Islamic banks is therefore different from capitalist financial systems because it does not refer individuals or communities to the criteria of “creditworthiness” (Ahmad, 1991: 46). Islamic banks first appeared in

“the mid-nineteenth century ...[and consists in] funding trading activities ... [opening] saving accounts with no interest ... [and] whose patrons participate in investments and either earn a share of the profit on the return or suffer a portion of the losses sustained by the bank”(Esposito, 2002: 167–178).

For their part, banking transactions do involve risk. That is, they involve “the use of equity sharing rather than debt financing” (Esposito, 2002: 178). However, despite this risk, Islamic banks offer a way of supporting willing resistors with a preliminary necessary set of credit systems that can be used to ward off current capitalist financial systems. Islamic banks showcase an understanding of the problems with current financial institutional systems. Islamic banks offer financial opportunities that create favourable conditions for real transformation. Islamic banks are capable of empowering “grass-root levels by extending their social funds towards developing a diversity” of “small firms“ and generating resistance by offering an egalitarian way towards organising autonomous grassroots workplaces (Choudhury, 1997: 178). Islamic Banks are a way of demanding the reopening up of what are cordoned credit-worthy asylums by setting up real alternatives and encouraging individuals and communities in engaging in inter-communal economic cooperation and participation. In this sense, Islamic banks possess the capacity of restoring agency to every individual and collectively within the community (Choudhury, 1997: 178). Islamic banking, read in this manner, is an anti-capitalist concept and practice.

It is the former anti-capitalist concepts and practices that collectively inform Anarca-Islam’s anti-capitalist commitment. That is, it is in the rereading of the principles of Property, Caretakers, Mudarabah/Musharakah, Riba, Zakat, Ramadan, Sadaqat Al-Fitr and Islamic banking that there is clear evidence of alternatives to capitalist practices and an offer, instead, of fair measure of value in economic transactions.

4. The Patient comes to their own Aid

Obviously, many of the anti-authoritarian and anti-capitalist commitments I have discussed work against currently dominant interpretations of Islam. Indeed, these principles may be seen as slogans against capitalist and authoritarian practices that Anarca-Islam and post-anarchism oppose. That is, it is:

“through these [former] slogans, [that] each individual [Muslim] would have to see himself [and herself] confronted with an immediate duty to perform, each in his [and her] place...[through] a denunciation of the privileges of wealth and power identified with those who had distorted Islams” (Rodison, 1972: 230).

For it is only with Anarca-Islam’s construction that the capitalist-State can be denounced as an adversary of the highest values to which Anarca-Islam’s ideology appeals.

Moreover, it is in constructing Anarca-Islam, that I, a Muslim anarchist, am able to stand with an attitude of theological and epistemological certitude, becoming both anti-capitalist and anti-authoritarian, breaking through the walls that purportedly cordon Islam and anarchism from one another. Moreover, it is in constructing Anarca-Islam, my clinic, that I remain a micro-fascist, yet one who despite their micro-fascisms is now becoming relatively de-Oedipalized. That is, I have no illusions of being completely free of the capitalist-State. I suggest only that I have begun “to avoid micro-fascisms” by rejecting the practices imposed upon me by the dominant order (Day, 2005: 176). Perhaps now that I have constructed Anarca-Islam, and because of my willingness and openness “to sharing values, resources and spaces” with Muslims, anarchists, and others in the newest social movements, we may collectively begin “building communities of resistance and reconstruction that are wider and more open to others”, yet however that “remain non-integrative in their relation to others” (Day, 2005: 176).

Chapter 6. The Beginning is the End is the Beginning

If literature dies, it will be a violent death, a political assassination...Creation takes place in choked passages...Your writing has to be liquid or gaseous simply because normal perception and opinion are solid, geometric...So style requires a lot of silence and work to make a whirlpool at some point, then flies out like the matches children follow along the water in a gutter...What’s really terrible isn’t having to cross a desert once you’re old and patient enough, but for young writers to be born in a desert, because they’re then in danger of seeing their efforts come to nothing before they even get going. And yet, and yet, it’s impossible for the new race of writers, already preparing work and their styles, not to be born...If you don’t admire something, if your don’t love it, you have no reason to write a word about it...[because writing is] the exigency of life against those who would mutilate and mortify life”

(Gilles Deleuze, 1990)

1. A Summary of the Thesis

In this thesis, I offered an anarchic interpretation of Islam and an Islamic interpretation of anarchism by identifying anti-authoritarian and anti-capitalist resonance between Islam and anarchism.

In chapter one, I talked about how Muslims in the West are facing dichotomous representations of terrorism and oppression, Fundamentalism and Orientalism. I explored these representations as abstractions, but then brought them closer to home by demonstrating their existence on an everyday level by discussing specific examples of racist and Islamphobic incidents at Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada in 2009. I then claimed that 9/11[129] resulted in the intensification of these reductive representations of Islam and Muslims.

I also discussed the presence of a minority of Muslim anarchists escaping these representations, and doing so in a positive sense, by “transversing the gaps, puncturing the holds [of representations]...opening up the new world order to a quite different and new world of the multiple” as opposed to subscribing to the aforementioned dichotomies (Howard, 1998: 123–124). Muslim anarchists are escaping these dichotomous representations in the face of the isolation and distress some Western Muslims have been facing since 9/11. Instead of being led by the majority, Muslims anarchists have chosen not to retreat. They did not become paralyzed and complacent as a result of the damaging representations. Instead, they understood their standing(s) and positioning(s) as political subjects in the West, whether they like it or not, post 9/11. They chose to never again become “subjects of the signifier [, subjects of Western representations, and]...[of] Knowledge, Power, Money” (Guattari, 1984: 143). And based on that choice, Muslim anarchists acted by engaging internally in “molecular revolutions” (Guattari and Sutton, 2005: 65), as well as externally by creating new aesthetic, cultural and ethico-political Islamic territories of reference with respect to anarchism through literature.

In this light, Muslim anarchists have creatively envisioned and pragmatically embodied a unique formula in reinvigorating Islamic life in the West. This has come at a cost of their ostracization by the dogmatic and essentialist majority of constituents constituting the two communities these Muslim anarchists belong to. This ostracization is the price[130] paid for their simultaneous allegiance to Islam and anarchism. There is always going to be a price exacted for inventing anything new and, for now, the cost is ostracization and the lack of community. Like the Holy Koran says: “Verily, God does not change people’s condition until they change their inner selves” (Chapter 13, The Chapter of ‘The Thunder’: Verse 11).

In chapter two, I examined academic literature written by Muslim anarchists like Bey and Knight. I also discussed academic and non-academic literature on the discourse of Islamic anarchism written by non-Muslims like Crone, Barclay, Chris R., Luxenburg and Fiscella. Moreover, I also empirically proved the existence of contemporary and historical examples of other Muslim anarchists like Yakub Islam, Gustave Henri Jossot, and Leda Rafenilli in order to demonstrate that Muslim anarchists are not entirely a new phenomenon. I argued that though the academic and non-academic literature is a positive step in resisting the dichotomous representations of Muslims, there were three critical problems with the texts. Based on these problems, I offered Anarca-Islam, firstly, to give willing Muslims and Muslim anarchists the Koranic and anarchic concepts and practices necessary to continue on with their resistance against negative representations. I offered Anarca-Islam, secondly, to counter two misconceptions of Islam and Muslims amongst anarchists like Flood in the newest social movements. I encouraged anarchists to overcome their fear of Islam by exploring jihad and ijtihad in Islam. I tried to engage anarchists by explaining to them the difficulties a Muj’ta’hid goes through while partaking in jihad and ijtihad as well. I encouraged anarchists not to accept what they think they know and hear of Islam. Thirdly, I offered Anarca-Islam so that there is a more welcoming space for Muslims and Muslim anarchists in the newest social movements. This space, which I call a panegyric desert, is the place where I hope Muslims, anarchists, and Muslim anarchists can collaborate.

In chapter three, I introduced a method that I call Anarchic-ijtihad, and then defended it as my right against dismissive views from both secular and orthodox Muslims. I distinguished between Anarchic-ijtihad and ijtihad in that the former is an anarchically oriented type of ijtihad that I put to practice when I write on Anarca-Islam. I emphasized that I use Anarchic-ijtihad to extract anarchic concepts and practices in Islam and vice versa. I adopted it as my method to engage in a rigorous interrogation of semantics and syntax in the Sunnah and the Koran, thus overturning themes in the arena(s) of Muslim, anarchist, and Islamic and anarchic politics. After discussing Anarchic-ijtihad I finally outlined the theoretical paradigms I used to construct my contribution, Anarca-Islam, to the existing discourse on Islamic-anarchism. In doing so, I discussed post-anarchist, deconstruction, poststructuralist, post-colonial and sociological theories of social movements.

In chapter four, I began the process of constructing Anarca-Islam. I discussed Anarca-Islam’s relation to Islam and anarchism, but more specifically to post-anarchism. I then defined a triadic relationship that consisted of Daddy (authoritarian practices of the type macro and micro), Mommy (capitalist practices) and Me (Oedipal subject). I discussed the particular role each parents has with me and then discussed the effects the relationship between them has on me.

In chapter five I constructed Anarca-Islam. I did this so that Muslim anarchists are no longer just an illusory image gripped by repression like essentialist Muslims and anarchists would have themselves believe (Guattari, 1995: 82). I first constructed for Anarca-Islam its resistance to authoritarian practices at the micro-level through micro-anti-authoritarian concepts and practices extracted from Islam by using Anarchic-ijtihad. The micro-anti-authoritarian concepts and practices were Shura, Ijma and Maslaha. I then showed how it is possible to resist authoritarian practices at the macro-level, through resisting institutionalized religion and the state. I offered an alternative rereading of the classical interpretation of the Islamic concept Khilafah, Islamic state. I then concluded the discussion on anti-authoritarianism by addressing the purported ‘authority’ of Prophet Muhammad and God, all of which finally led to the construction of an anti-authoritarian Islam and Anarca-Islam’s resistance to Daddy. After this point, I constructed for Anarca-Islam its resistance to capitalist practices through concepts and practices from Islam and again by using Anarchic-ijtihad. The concepts and practices of Public Property, Communal/Individual Caretakers, Mudarabah/Musharakah, Riba, Zakat, Ramadan, Sadaqat Al-Fitr, and Islamic banking were reread and then collectively used to construct an anti-capitalist Islam and Anarca-Islam’s resistance to Mommy. At the end of the chapter, after having established Anarca-Islam’s anti-authoritarian and anti-capitalist commitments, I proclaimed myself as a Muslim who is becoming relatively de-Oedipalized. As for Anarca-Islam’s construction, it is the symbolic act of delineating the misconceptions held by many anarchists in the newest social movements.

I hope that what I am calling Anarca-Islam[131] will be seen as making useful contributions to the discourse of Islamic anarchism, both theoretically and pragmatically. For example, I do not believe that any of Fiscella’s three categories and their subtypes, which I point to in chapter two, and which Fiscella devised for the discourse of Islamic anarchism, made room for Anarca-Islam. The closest category and subtype Anarca-Islam could fit into is the first category and particularly its subtype, which Fiscella calls ‘Postmodern Islamic anarchism’. Although Anarca-Islam could fit into this category, I do not believe it ought to for two reasons. In his description of ‘Post-modern Islamic anarchism’, Fiscella writes:

“Postmodern’ is meant to refer to that point (historically and culturally) at which the two worlds meet and are capable of producing a synthesis”(Fiscella, 2009).

Given Fiscella’s definition, the first reason I do not believe Anarca-Islam would fit in this subtype is because of Fiscella’s use of the term ‘postmodernism’. It is an elusive and highly ambiguous term, which, following other more established theorists who have been called postmodernist, I reject in light of the fact that it signifies an era that follows the ‘modernist movement’ and not a movement that rejects the “attitude” of modernity (Foucault, 1984: 32–50). If understood as era then, I reject the term ‘Postmodern’, given that the ‘modernist movement’ is still alive, well, and ongoing. That is, as an era in space and time, the ‘modernist movement’ in fact has not ended, and therefore it is not possible for another movement labeled ‘Postmodernism’ to follow it. The terms modernist and postmodernist are therefore problematic because from the beginning their use as eras, as opposed to attitudes, assumes a linear conception of time and history. However, history is not linear, it is rhizomatic[132] (Deleuze & Guattari, 1980: 7–13). That is, the past, present and future are interconnected as the inverted root of a tree.

The second reason that I do not believe Anarca-Islam fits in Fiscella’s subtype ‘Postmodern Islamic anarchism’ is that Fiscella reads Bey and Knights’ literatures as examples that ‘produce a synthesis’ of the two worlds, Islam and anarchism, and therefore as examples of ‘Postmodern Islamic anarchism’ (Fiscella, 2009). Fiscella does this despite the fact that Bey and Knight do not truly produce a synthesis, as I have argued above. Neither Bey nor Knight provide the Koranic and anarchistic conceptual and pragmatic practices for an Islamic anarchism, and therefore neither develops an anarchic interpretation of Islam and an Islamic interpretation of anarchism. Interestingly, Fiscella himself acknowledges this when he admits that none of the English-based literature he encountered on the discourse of Islamic anarchism can tell us precisely what Islamic anarchism is (Fiscella, 2009). His acknowledgment sets the stage for what I offer in this thesis. That is, my thesis registers the possibility of Anarca-Islam and therefore contributes and aspires towards the creation of a community between Muslims, Muslim anarchists and anarchists in the newest social movements. In light of these two reasons, perhaps a new category ought to be constructed for Anarca-Islam, or perhaps Fiscella should reconstruct the parameters of the subtype ‘Postmodern Islamic anarchism’ in such a way so as to distinguish the works more adequately.

2. Connecting M.A. to Ph.D.: Where Anarca-Islam proceeds to from here

In my future[133] work, I intend to examine Islamic sexual practices. I do this to add an anti-queerphobic commitment to Anarca-Islam’s set of pre-established anti-authoritarian and anti-capitalist commitments. I am particularly interested in homosexuality in Muslim societies and traditions, as I search for a different way of understanding, demystifying, and justifying the rights of queer Muslims and non-Muslims in Islamic terms, especially among immigrant Muslims in North America. My starting point will be, as it was here, that Islam is not a monolithic, unified belief system but rather a heterogeneous and pluralistic series of traditions, perspectives, practices and discourses, not all of which embrace the authoritarian, conservative and essentialist positions that have emerged in modern and contemporary expressions of orthodox or Fundamentalist and Orientalist Islam. My current research will be strongly linked to my future project, which is to develop the historical and intellectual bases for an anti-authoritarian, anti-capitalist and anti-homo-trans-queerphobic Islam that likewise can play a positive and critical role in political and social theory and practice.

My early investigations indicate that different attitudes prevail in Islamic interpretations of sexuality, which conceive of it not only as necessary for reproduction but also for worthy experiences of pleasure and enjoyment. Yet, often, the same texts attempt to limit, discipline, and punish non-heteronormative sexual practices. Little has been done to theorize this contradictory evidence. However, scholarship has begun to document Islamic legal and medical discussions of sexuality and to consider the cultural valence of same-sex desire in poetry and historical accounts (See, AbdelWahab Bouhdiba’s Sexuality in Islam, 1975, Amr Shalkany’s Comparative Law as Archaeology: On Sodomy, Islamic Law and Human Rights Activism, 2006, Joseph Massad’s Desiring Arabs, 2007 and Michel Foucault’s Discipline and Punishment, 1975).

To this end, I will take up cases like that of Sayyid-Sally, a transsexual medical student at Al- Azhar University in 1982, a pre-eminent institution for Islamic religious studies, in Cairo, Egypt. In this instance, I will be examining the role that two psychoanalysts and a surgeon played in judging Sayyid-Sally prior to Al-Azhar’s involvement. I will be showing that the psychoanalytic practices that Sayyid-Sally underwent represented an embodied and an interpersonal authoritarian and capitalist voice of an Eastern form of post-colonial psychoanalysis, inherited from the West, which I argue constituted an attempt at silencing Sayyid-Sally’s voice. Because even after the revelation of Sayyid-Sally’s identity, her sex change operation and the fact that Al-Azhar later admitted the existence of the category of the ‘Hermaphrodite’, according to certain Islamic legal interpretations, heteronormative gender orientations were re-established and re-worked to correspond to a new logical order with the sub-categories: Natural Vs. Un-natural Hermaphrodite.

In my future work, anarchism will provide a political and philosophical orientation that I argue can help to move Islam, beyond a practice of mere tolerance to developing a doctrine of acceptance of queer identities. I will then use this as a basis for an exploration of the possibility of a new radical politics and an ethics of friendship that might emerge between these two traditions. I will suggest that Muslims and anarchists can negotiate relations of friendship, appreciating the similarities that bring them together, as well as the differences that drive them apart. I will attempt to partially delineate the circumstances under which these kinds of compromises might take place, intellectually, politically, and practically, by developing an ethics of disagreement between and for Muslims and anarchists.

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  • Zola, Emile. 1968. Three faces of love. New York. Vanguard Press.


[1] Conscious of the force of such a word, and its singular form ‘Muslim’ as opposed to its plural form ‘Muslimeen’, I use it somewhat differently. A Muslim is someone who chooses to identify as a Muslim, or is by ‘nature’ that (that is, embodies Islamic tendencies/characteristics). Unless, and in either of the two cases stated, the individual has undergone compulsion, coercion or rejected Islam after knowing it. Moreover, I chose to use Muslim, as opposed to Muslima — the feminized form — following a cliché, but only in so far to allow room for both the reader and myself to subscribe and/or not to one area or category of gender, the other, or both. This way I am recognizing that there are those who want to exhibit and remain in states of the Deleuzian and Guattarian concept of becoming with respect to gender, sex and sexuality. As for the question ‘who is a Muslim’? Personally, I believe a Muslim is an individual who expends from his and her wealth for a just cause, and who believes in the hereafter and also chooses to believe in the value of the primary principle pillar of Islam called Al-Shahada. That is, La illaha il Allah, Muhammadon Rasool Allah (trans.: There is authority but God and Muhammad is the final Messenger of God). The basis of these prerequisites and only these prerequisites, to be identified as a Muslim, I take from the Koranic verse: “The (true) believers are those only who believe in Allah and His messenger and afterward doubt not, but strive with their wealth and their lives for the cause of Allah. Such are the sincere” (The Holy Koran, Chapter 49: Chapter of The ‘Hujurat’, Verse: 15). Respectively, when I use and address Muslims (my own straw-persons, unless they are specified, constructed for descriptive convenience) here: I mean to address all Muslims (and also but indirectly non-Muslims as well). Particularly, however I address those Muslims who have not yet embedded and opened themselves up to an ethically and politically oriented Islam to meet our conditions as Muslims in our present day and age.

[2] There is a special, delirious and different relation between Disciplinary and Control societies. In disciplinary: “we’re supposed to start all over again each time...it’s analogical ...as you go from school to the barracks, from the barracks to the factory” (Deleuze, 1990: 178). Disciplinary societies adore relating between two confinements they have created, and using binaries, male/female, black/white or hetero/homo. That is, in order to define and manage everyone all in an effort at characterizing and giving character the complexities of what is really static in life. But in Control, the various forms of control used want to jail us all the time using these inseparable variations digitally. All the time in Control, there are constantly modulating confinements, people and institutions, capable and willing, identifying and differentiating, pinpointing and monitoring. This results in the creation or birth of us as micro-fascists, “‘little command centres’ proliferat[ing] everywhere, making coaches, teachers and cops all little Mussolinis” (Deleuze & Guattari, 1980: 279/228). In Control there is a system of: “Varying geometry, a language that’s digital” and that can be, but isn’t necessarily binary (Deleuze, 1990: 179). And now you and I are never finished with anything — not business, training or military service without having coexisted with metastable states of a single modulation of control; a sort of universal transmutation of everything that is around you and I.

[3] The new prison, now supposedly a “humane prison”, has “water fountains, a freshly planted garden and a gym — complete with weights and sports’ team jerseys on the walls”. And is this supposed to erase and rewrite the history of all the atrocious monstrosities that happened in between its prison walls before? Article: “Abu Ghraib now a human prison, Iraq official say” by Arwa Damon. Retrieval Date: February 22nd, 2009. Retrieved from: www.cnn.com

[4] ‘What is the difference’ between a rage that destroys, exterminating, strangling everything human poured between concrete prison walls or inducing loss, manipulating all you want, wearing the subject out with no objective or out of shear pleasure of watching, with a grin, the subject wears and tears his and her own identity out; to make them resent and despise the vine that makes them different. This is not to insinuate — no difference — between a literal concrete asylum wall as Abu Ghraib, but an emphasis that the greatest traumas, the real asylums, are engrained as walls within. This view is in line with Sherene Razack’s argument. That is, that Western Muslims, as Sherene Razack argues, echoing Etienne Balibar, are clearly a stigmatized group, barricaded and internally walled by the representations Orientalism and Fundamentalism: “qualitatively ‘deterritorialized’, as Gilles Deleuze would say, in an intensive rather than extensive sense; they ‘live’ on the edge of the city under permanent threat of elimination; but also, conversely, they live and are perceived as ‘nomads’, even when they are fixed in their homelands, that is, their mere existence, their quality, their movements, their virtual claims of rights and citizenship are perceived as a threat for [Western] ‘civilization’ (Balibar, 2003: 125–130; Razack, 2008: 84–85). Because of the dichotomous representations, Western Muslims’ subjectivities have been “marked for dying” (Razak, 2008: 85), “subjected to conditions of life [, unworthy of the full benefits of citizenship, tantamount to] conferring on them the status of the living dead” (Mbembe, 2003: 40).

[5] Article titled “9/11 violence ‘stalks UK Sikhs” courtesy of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC). Retrieval date: February 14th 2009. Retrieved from:

[6] Article titled “9/11 violence ‘stalks UK Sikhs” courtesy of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC). Retrieval date: February 14th 2009. Retrieved from:

[7] Article from The Queen’s Journal; “Muslim Student Targeted in Racist Incidents”. Retrieved on: October 6th, 2008.
Retrieved from: www.queensjournal.ca

[8] Article from The Queen’s Journal; “Muslim Student Targeted in Racist Incidents”. Retrieved on: October 6th, 2008.
Retrieved from: www.queensjournal.ca

[9] Article from The Queen’s Journal; “Muslim Student Targeted in Racist Incidents”. Retrieved on: October 6th, 2008.
Retrieved from: www.queensjournal.ca

[10] But it did not end there. In the following weeks, the pyramid of these cowardly incidents piled up sky high over crypts of Fundamentalist and Orientalist clichés of Muslims, as a hijab dawning Queen’s Muslim sister walking home one fine evening became a masturbatory target and a recipient of racist wails by a speeding motorist. The motorist wailed: “let me unwrap you”, “you fuking Terrorist...you fuking Taliban”. Who then is the terrorist? A sister warranting unwrapping because she is ‘oppressed’ or a cowardly motorist disappearing beneath the blanket of a shared night’s sky as the betrayals of a faded sun became queues, green traffic lights, for this racist to flaunt ‘car love’? In the meanwhile, amplifying things even more, Queen’s University’s administration, having done long ago with seeking justice on behalf of its othered minorities, maintained itself in total ambiguity and total duplicity. Its response only included enhanced campus security. Apparently ‘security’ was the best the administration could do as its sufficient evidence of aid to the sister harassed in the face of racism, and terrorism. The fact of the matter is that the sister was left behind, stranded, by the administration, un-encouraged to even suggestively file a police report. The administration did not even try to find out what the sister’s life at Queen’s was like as a Muslim, widening even more an already existing distance between the administration and Muslim students. Since the incident, the non-Kingstonian sister took the initiative of filing the report herself. The harassed sister offers proof that the administration’s attention was diverted. In fact, it was nowhere, already in a diversion, out of touch entirely with this ‘other’ on its grounds and left entrusted in its care. And even if it can be posited that the administration did blink an eye in an affectionate public display by denouncing these crimes publicly and adequately enhancing campus security, undeniably these ‘actions’ are anything but a performed stunt on the administration’s part, given the fact that a vast ample of other crimes have happened since. Totally short circuited, it did not occur to the administration as a simple gesture of common decency to visit, not once, the Muslim prayer space broken into for instance. The administration had washed its hands of the incidents, sweeping them under a Persian carpet rug for ostracized Muslims, racialized minorities, at least those demographically available, and radical allies at Queen’s to deal with these racist incidents. QUMSA, as reported, was compelled to form “a Task Force [, given the administration’s inadequate response,] to deal with the consequences of these incidents...to implement security measures for the safety of the members, raise awareness, and organize support”. The shouldered burden it seems was to continue, as always, to shift onto the innocent recipients of racism, in this case Muslims, to set up a “task force” to educate Queen’s non-Muslims of Islam in the hope of minimizing more terrorist attacks. I offer these corroborating words from QUMSA’s progress report dated November 27th, 2008: “We are only a student group ...[we] are having a hard time trying to collaborate with other [student] groups and the Queen’s Administration, we are not even able to guarantee ...that Canadian right [, that is, of respect]”. As a Queen’s Muslim, I cannot bring myself to write anything more on these particular incidents.
Article from The Queen’s Journal; “Muslim Student Targeted in Racist Incidents”. Retrieved on: October 6th, 2008.
Retrieved from: www.queensjournal.ca

[11] Becoming is the imagination and thereafter the actualization of “perpetual projects of self-overcoming and self-creation, constantly losing and finding ourselves” (Call, 2003: 33). The implication of which is that subjectivities, not necessarily identities, are subject to directions of motion and intensities, resulting in their instability. (Call, 2003: 33). Anyone is already “a multiplicity, the actualization of a set of virtual singularities that function together, that enter into symbiosis, that attain a certain consistency” (Deleuze, 1993: xxix). Our subjectivities are socially constructed through our experiences. Becoming is the “perpetual projects of self-overcoming and self-creation, constantly losing and finding ourselves”, consciously, subconsciously and unconsciously (Call, 2003: 33). An anarchy of our subjectivity is an anarchy of becoming(s) where becoming(s) are not confined to linear progressions and regressions along the lines of the past, present and future as a logos or telos. During becoming(s), “everything stops dead for a moment, everything freezes in place — and then the whole process will begin all over again” (Deleuze & Guattari, 1987: 7).

[12] I do not see a difference between the terms Muslim anarchist and anarchist Muslim. Especially and considering that writing either ‘Muslim anarchist’ or ‘anarchist Muslim’, with one identity always before and one always after the other, will always lead to the privileging of one identity over the other. When, in fact, my initiative is for them to always be together, with each other. It is only possible to keep the impossible initiative when keeping the term silenced. In light of this, and to avoid the reader’s confusion, from here on in I will use Muslim anarchist as opposed to always referring to both.

[13] The difference between minorities and majorities isn’t in their size. “A minority may be bigger than a majority. What defines the majority is a model you have to conform to: the average European adult male city-dweller, for example ... A minority, on the other hand, has no model, it’s a becoming, a process. One might say the majority is nobody. Everybody’s caught, one-way or another, in a minority becoming that would lead them info unknown paths if they opted to follow it through. When a ‘minority creates models for itself, it’s because it wants to become a majority, and probably has to, to survive or prosper (to have a state, be recognized, establish its rights, for example). But its power comes from what it’s managed to create, which to some extent goes into the model, but doesn’t depend on it. A people is always a creative minority, and remains one even when it acquires a majority — it can be both at once because the two things aren’t lived out on the same plane.” (Deleuze in a Conversation with Antonio Negri)
Retrieved on: October 6th, 2008.
Retrieved from: www.generation-online.org

[14] Day wrote an entire book on this concept, the newest social movements. I use, summarize, contextually, the term to imply social movements that in his words are “non-universalizing, non-hierarchical, non-coercive relationships based on mutual aid, and shared ethical commitments” (Day, 2005: 9).

[15] Ikhtilaf is “the Arabic term...[meaning] taking a different position or course from that of another person either in opinion, utterance, or action” (Al-awani, 1993: 11). Ikhtilaf is from “the related word khilaf ...from the same root...sometimes used synonymously with [Ikhtilaf]...mean[ing] difference, disagreement, or even conflict broader in meaning and implication than the concept of direct opposition...because two opposites are necessarily different from each other whereas two things, ideas, or persons that differ are not necessarily opposed to or in conflict with each other” (Al-awani, 1993: 11).

[16] As Day argues, a relatively de-oedpalized subject is one who lives their life without having the “capitalist-State’s” sanction or support and “who does not love the [capitalist-State] form”(Day, 2005: 142–143). In fact, a relatively de-oedipalized subject is one who “seek[s] to render it [, the capitalist-State,] increasingly redundant” as much as the subject possibly can (Day, 2005: 142–143).

[17] Bey is an American political writer, essayist and poet. He is an ontological anarchist and a non-practicing Muslim convert, mostly known for his concepts of Temporary Autonomous Zones (TAZ), Semi-permanent Autonomous Zones (SPAZ) and Permanent Autonomous Zones (PAZ). Bey “spent years living and working in Iran under the reign of the Shah and returned to the US after the revolution” (Fiscella, 2009). In response to the question “would you define yourself as a Muslim, and if so, what kind of Islam would you say you practice amongst the multiplicity of different forms?” Bey responded:
“Well, I’ve been many things in my life and I don’t renounce any of them. But I don’t necessarily practice any of them on a daily basis either. I never renounced Christianity or if I did, I take it back. I’ve been involved in Tantric things that I guess you could call Hinduism, although that’s a very vague term. I practice Sh’ite Islam. I still consider myself all those things but, obviously that’s a difficult position to take vis-a-vis the orthodox practitioners of these different faiths. So, if I had to define my position now in terms that would be historically meaningful in an Islamic context, I would refer to Hazrat Inayat Khan and his idea of universalism, that all religions are true. And if this involves contradiction, you know as Emerson said, OK. We’ll just deal with it on a different level. And the inspiration for this in his case was Indian synchrotism, between Hinduism and Islam especially, although other religions were involved too such as Christianity, Judaism and others. This happened on both a non-literate level of the peasantry and still persists to this day on that level, and also occurred on a very high level of intellectual Sufism which was almost a courtly thing at certain times, especially under some of the wilder Mughal rulers like Akbar who started Din-i Ilahi. So these things have precedents within the Islamic traditions, this universalism, this radical tolerance would be another way of putting it, but nowadays of course it’s hard to find this praxis on the ground. I can’t practice some Indian village cult here, that would be a little — well I sort of do, you know — but actually (laughs), it’s highly personal”.
These excerpts from Peter Lamborn Wilson’s Interview on Islam are part of Richard JF Day’s Affinity Project. The interview was done in 2005, transcribed and listed in 2008 Retrieved on: November 12th, 2008. Retrieved from: affinityproject.org. The Affinity Project’s website and home: affinityproject.org.

[18] Knight encountered Islam at the age of thirteen while he was listening to a record by Public Enemy with a reference to El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz, better known as Malcolm X. Knight converted by seventeen then wrote two books Where Mullahs Fear to Tread and The Furious Cook which he printed as Xeroxed zines. His bestseller arrives in the winter of 2002, Taqwacores, a gesture of ‘his farewell to Islam’. After Taqwacores’ success, encouraging feedback from Michael’s readers led him to travel back, Inch Allah (God willing), not too far in reconsidering ‘his farewell to Islam’. Knight “owes the spread of his Taqwacore...to Wilson’s anarchist publishing company Autonomedia” (Fiscella, 2009). Knight recently “disavowed his former mentor due to Wilson’s advocacy of paedophilia/pedastry” reflected in Bey’s “own membership and activism within the North American Man-boy Association (NAMBLA)”(Fiscella, 2009). A brief bio of Michael Muhammad Knight is available on the website below. Retrieved on: October 8th, 2008. Retrieved from: www.autonomedia.org. For Bey’s view on NAMBLA see “untitled letter” in The Spark, 1 no. 5, 1984 and “My Political beliefs”, NAMBLA Bulletin (1986, 14). www.indybay.org

[19] Barclay is an anarchist and an anthropologist, but not a Muslim, whose central concern is “charting what might be regarded as anarchist elements in Islam in general” (Fiscella, 2009). His contribution to the discourse of ‘Islam and anarchism’ was through “’Islam, Muslim Societies and anarchy’ published in Anarchist Studies” (Fiscella, 2009). See Anarchist Studies Volume 10, no. 2 (2002).

[20] Crone is a Danish born professor of Islamic History at Princeton University, New Jersey (Fiscella, 2009). She is the author of God’s Rule: Government and Islam (2004) and “Ninth-Century Muslim Anarchists” in Past and Present (2000), no. 167.

[21] Fiscella is an anarchist researcher and author of “Imagining an Islamic Anarchism: A New Field of Study is Ploughed” in the forthcoming Religious Anarchisms: New Perspectives (2009).

[22] The article in the link below is “Islam and Anarchy Join Together”. It is available through Infoshop. Retrieval Date: October 17th, 2008. Retrieved from:

[23] Max Stirner advocated for individualist anarchism, or an individualistic approach to anarchism, and which viewed “the ‘ego’ or the ‘person’ as the repository of all that is human and self-determining, and the States as the repository of all that is inhuman and oppressive” (Horowitz, 2005: 48).

[24] Hakim Bey’s essay titled Millennium.
Retrieved on: October 8th, 2008. Retrieved from: www.hermetic.com

[25] However, Bey hardly stops there. Bey scorns Islam and Muslims on masochistically offering a puritan representation of their self to the world. Bey’s writes in the opening lines of Sacred Drift: Essays on the Margins of Islam: “As for Islam, it sometimes seems to want to represent itself as an emaciated parody of itself, stripped of all organic subtlety, ‘purified’ to the point of mindlessness” (Bey, 1993: 5). To Bey, why should “the light of flaming oil wells seen on CNN” (Bey, 1993: 5) surprise Muslims when there is a complicit role played by them, resulting in little more than their desire of sameness transposing itself to become material translated for “imperial/colonialist appropriation” (Bey, 1993: 5). Muslims are not powerless. They are equally responsible for the images they have created and no less than a West basking on the appropriation of the representations. Appropriations, as Bey notes, “Edward Said” (1993: 5) showed in The Clash of Ignorance (2001) and Orientalism (1978), and Joseph Massad wrote of in Desiring Arabs (2008). Bey equally scorns and opposes the Western appropriations, critiquing the Western monolithic logic of “the Huntington/CIA ‘Clash of Cultures’ model of Islam” (1997) adopted by authors like Ronald Inglehart and Pippa Norris in Rising Tide (2003). Huntington’s essentialist model is “that the primary source of conflict in the world today is the cultural difference between the West and non-West, a culture clash in which Islam figures prominently as the antithesis of Western civilization” (Razack, 2009: 89). Echoing Huntington, Inglehart and Norris write: “regardless of the degree of economic modernization, Islamic religious heritage remains ones of the most powerful barriers to ‘self-expression, subjective well-being and quality of life-concerns’” (Razack, 2009: 90; Inglehart and Norris, 2003: 154). Huntington, Norris and Ingleharts’ cultural clash rests on their absurd portrayal of Islam as identical everywhere, paralyzed and paralyzing its followers. A puritanical singular Islam perceived to be with an innate “propensity towards violent conflict” (Huntington, 1997: 264), indefinitely ready to war with the West. A war which Huntington, Norris and Inglehart propose Islam devoted itself to “for fourteen hundred years, a conflict that flows from the two civilizations’ differences” (Razack, 2009: 89; Huntington, 1993: 47). Huntington, Norris and Ingleharts’ theses, like Said blatantly said in The Clash of Ignorance (2001), amount to nothing short of “gimmick[s] like ‘The War of the Worlds’, better for reinforcing defensive pride than for critical understanding of the bewildering independence of out time”. The theses, in fact, are uncritical and dismissive if not ignorant of “historical processes” (Razack, 2009: 89), with an interest in merely engaging in essentialist, totalizing and homogenizing readings of Islam and Muslims at an attempt at narrowly regurgitating and constricting the representation of the duo as monolithic. In line with Said, Massad and Razack, Bey writes: “The Huntington/CIA ‘Clash of Cultures’ model of Islam proposes it as a kind of disease that has to be kept isolated & confined. The neo-liberal ‘Global Market’ model of the ‘Orient’ views it as a source of raw material (such as black gold) and cheep labor that must be exploited. The resources are to be taken away, the labor is to be kept in place. Obviously Moslem immigration to the ‘North’ does not fit well with either of these models. If Islam is a disease, then ‘refugees’ are a virus, penetrating borders like immune systems. But then disruptions are also inevitable, given the ‘logic of the Market’. The old liberal response to the problem of immigration was to turn the migrants into Europeans or Americans, to erase their difference into sameness” (Bey, 1997).

[26] Article titled: “Taqwacores by Michael Muhammad Knight”.
Retrieved on: October 8th, 2008. Retrieved from:

[27] Article titled: “Taqwacores by Michael Muhammad Knight”.
Retrieved on: October 8th, 2008. Retrieved from:

[28] Brief bio of Michael Muhammad Knight is available on the website below. Retrieved on: October 8th, 2008. Retrieved from: www.autonomedia.org

[29] Taqwacores’ description on Autnomedia’s website. Retrieved on: October 8th, 2008. Retrieved from: www.autonomedia.org

[30] “Islam, Muslim societies and anarchy” in the Journal of Anarchist Studies Volume 10, 2002, No. 2. Retrieved October 11th, 2008. Retrieved from: www.lwbooks.co.uk.

[31] “Islam, Muslim societies and anarchy” in the Journal of Anarchist Studies Volume 10, 2002, No. 2. Retrieved October 11th, 2008. Retrieved from: www.lwbooks.co.uk.

[32] “Islam, Muslim societies and anarchy” in the Journal of Anarchist Studies Volume 10, 2002, No. 2. Retrieved October 11th, 2008. Retrieved from: www.lwbooks.co.uk.

[33] “Islam, Muslim societies and anarchy” in the Journal of Anarchist Studies Volume 10, 2002, No. 2. Retrieved October 11th, 2008. Retrieved from: www.lwbooks.co.uk.

[34] “Islam, Muslim societies and anarchy” in the Journal of Anarchist Studies Volume 10, 2002, No. 2. Retrieved October 11th, 2008. Retrieved from: www.lwbooks.co.uk.

[35] “Islam, Muslim societies and anarchy” in the Journal of Anarchist Studies Volume 10, 2002, No. 2. Retrieved October 11th, 2008. Retrieved from: www.lwbooks.co.uk.

[36] “Islam, Muslim societies and anarchy” in the Journal of Anarchist Studies Volume 10, 2002, No. 2. Retrieved October 11th, 2008. Retrieved from: www.lwbooks.co.uk.

[37] Delving deeper with the case of the Najidiyya, Crone writes: “Najdite Islam was a do-it-yourself religion. Politically and intellectually a Najdite would have no master apart from God” (Crone, 2000: 25–26).

[38] Patricia Crone’s “Ninth-Century Muslim Anarchists” in Past and Present, No. 167 (May, 2000), pp. 3–28.
Published by: Oxford University Press on behalf of The Past and Present Society
Retrieval Date: October 8th, 2008. Retrieved from: www.jstor.org

[39] On Ihsan’s blog, Becoming a Muslim Anarchist, Yakoub writes: “Prior to my conversion [to Islam], I had always considered myself an Anarchist — one that believed in a spiritual reality. My anarchism was founded on a mistrust of all forms of coerced authority, however tacit, and like Emma Goldman...Thank God, I now realize Anarchism is the hermeneutic through which I must approach and realize the truth [of Islam]”. Ihsan’s blog-spot Retried on: October 8th, 2008.Retrieved from: ihsan-net.blogspot.com.

[40] Retrieved on: October 8th, 2008. Retrieved from: www.bayyinat.org.uk.

[41] Rumor has it Rafenelli is later caught in a torrid love affair with the fascist Mussolini. Mussolini writes her retro-love letters: “When I want to have a break in my tumultuous busy but lonely life I will come to you. You will make me live oriental hours. We will read Nietzsche and the Koran”. Farrell, Nicholas. (2005). Mussolini: A New Life. Sterling Publishing Company, Inc. pg. 49. Retrieval Date: February 3rd, 2009. Retrieved from: books.google.ca. In 1923, Rafenelli rebuffs Mussolini. The result is that the scorned Mussolini lights a great ‘holocaustic’ fire to her publishing house. Rafenelli died in 1971. Her self-obituary reads “Leda Rafanelli, leaving forever, salutes all her comrades, Viva l’Anarchia!’”. Inter-access Website. Retrieval Date: February 3rd, 2009. Retrieved from:

[42] The link below is a brief bio of Leda Rafenelli. Retrieved on: February 3rd, 2009. Retrieved from: translate.google.ca

[43] he wrote: “No one, other than the brute, can escape the charm of the desert, to the charm oasis...Those who have lived several years among the Arabs will hear the influence forever”. Brief bio of Leda Rafenelli. Retrieved on: February 3rd, 2009. Retrieved from: translate.google.ca.

[44] Brief bio of Leda Rafenelli on a Sufi Website. Retrieval Date: February 3rd, 2009. Retrieved from:

[45] “Our Daily Bleed” from Recollections Books. Retrieved on: February 3rd, 2009. Retrieved from: recollectionbooks.com

[46] Inter-access Website. Retrieval Date: February 3rd, 2009. Retrieved from:

[47] RA-Forum Website. Retrieved on: October 8th, 2008. Retrieved from: raforum.info.

[48] Following his anti-statist comments on Islam, Jossot went on to demand from the French State equal pay for its French citizens, refugees, legal and illegal immigrants but rejecting retaliatory acts of violence if the demands he called for are not met (La Dépêche Tunisienne, 10 February 1913). Before concluding his statement Jossot no less turned against French schools and which to Jossot were supposed to distribute knowledge but focused instead on engaging in pedagogical practices and maintaining power in the hands of a certain social class while excluding the other social class from that power. “School deforms the brain” is among the things Jossot said (La Dépêche Tunisienne, 10 February 1913).

[49] Jihad is a critical concept and implies the constant juristic struggle through free thinking as well as the use of analogical “independent reasoning” (Esposito, 2004: 148) by Muslims during their localized daily practice(s) and contact(s) with the Holy Koran and Sunnah, the Prophetic Oral tradition(s). Bey revisited this concept, jihad, in Jihad Revisited (2004) having relegated it a brief paragraph in Millennium. Bey writes this of jihad in the context of Sufism, a denomination of Islam: “Sufism itself is sometimes defined as the ‘greater jihad’ [, in Arabic, jihad al-nafs as jihad al-akbar,] while holy war is called the ‘lesser jihad’ [, in Arabic, as jihad al-asghar]. [It, jihad al-nafs, is] the struggle to ‘become who you are’ [and that] takes precedence over even the most righteous cause. But esotericism is not always quietistic in Islam. Sufis have launched revolutions, including 19th and early 20th century anti-colonialist/imperialist struggles...I fantasized, it’s now time for a kind of Islamic Zapatismo to emerge” using jihad (Bey, 2004). Bey in this light advocates for jihad, seeing that: “There is only one world — [the] triumphant ‘end of History’, end of the unbearable pain of imagination — actually an apotheosis of cybernetic Social Darwinism. Money decrees itself a law of Nature, and demands absolute liberty. Completely spiritualized, freed from its outworn body (mere production), circulating toward infinity & instantaneity in a Gnostic numisphere far above Earth, money alone will define consciousness. The 20th century ended five years ago; this is the millennium. Where there is no second, no opposition, there can be no third, no neither/nor. So the choice remains: — either we accept ourselves as the ‘last humans’, or else we accept ourselves as the opposition. (Either automonotony — or autonomy.) All positions of withdrawal must be re-considered from a point of view based on new strategic demands. In a sense, we’re cornered. As the old time ideologues would have said, our situation is ‘objectively pre-revolutionary’ again. Beyond the temporary autonomous zone, beyond the insurrection, there is the necessary revolution — the ‘jihad’” (Bey, 1996).

[50] For instance, a “direct imperative of a verb, for example ‘Do!’ often indicates a command to fulfill an obligation; the negative imperative (‘Don’t do!’) indicates prohibition” but “these imperative forms...are not always used in this absolute sense” (Al’Awani, 1993: 82).

[51] The link below is for the article, Jihad Revisited, by Hakim Bey, from the website “World War 4 Report — Deconstructing the War on Terrorism”. Retrieval date: October 21st, 2008. Retrieved from: ww4report.com

[52] The link below is for the article, Millennium, by Hakim Bey. Retrieval date: October 21st, 2008. Retrieved from: www.hermetic.com

[53] The link below is for the essay, Islam and Eugenics, by Hakim Bey. Retrieval date: October 21st, 2008. Retrieved from: www.hermetic.com

[54] The link below is for the essay, Islam and Eugenics, by Hakim Bey. Retrieval date: October 21st, 2008. Retrieved from: www.hermetic.com

[55] With respect to the first type Fiscella explains and writes: “‘Organic’ is meant to refer to any religious anarchism that arises independent of influence from classical anarchist theory and this would include all religious anarchism that preceded the eighteenth century whether European or otherwise [as the work of Crone]. ‘Postmodern’ is meant to refer to that point (historically and culturally) at which the two worlds meet and are capable of producing a synthesis [as the works of Bey and Knight]. Either of these subtypes could potentially draw further distinctions between, for example, esoteric and literalist or individualist and communist variations of Islamic anarchism. What all of these variants share in common is that Islam as a conceptual framework is the base from which an anarchist theory is developed” (Fiscella, 2009).

[56] With respect to the second type Fiscella writes: “There is already a question of synthesis inherent in the material — — that of the potential synthesis between tribal culture and Islamic religion. Therefore, the term ‘organic’, in this case, might be replaced by ‘premodern’ to better characterise the point of distinction [as is the case in Barclay’s work]. A ‘postmodern’ tribal anarchy in Islam, wherein anarchist theory and Muslim faith meets tribal culture, may not even yet exist but it has the potential to do so [i.e. the work has not yet manifested or been studies]” (Fiscella, 2009).

[57] Finally and with respect to type three, Fiscella writes that “the study of Islam as anarchical has not been covered here but it appears nonetheless to be a related area of study that is clearly distinct from the other two types” (Fiscella, 2009).

[58] The link below is to Eric van Luxzenburg’s article titled Muslim Anarchism. Retrieval date: January 22nd, 2009. Retrieved from: knol.google.com#

[59] The link below is to Chris R.s’ article titled Islam and Anarchy join together. Retrieval date: October 23rd, 2008.. Retrieved from:

[60] The link below is to Chris R.s’ article titled Islam and Anarchy join together and Brain-Fear and PJPs’ misconception. Retrieval date: October 23rd, 2008. Retrieved from: (

[61] The link below is to Chris R.s’ article titled Islam and Anarchy join together and Burning-man’s misconception. Retrieval date: October 23rd, 2008. Retrieved from: (

[62] The link below is to the article titled Anarchist Orientalism and the British Muslim Community by Adam. K. Retrieval date: June 22nd, 2007
Retrieved from:

[63] The link below is to the article titled Anarchist Orientalism and the British Muslim Community by Adam. K. Retrieval date: June 22nd, 2007
Retrieved from:

[64] The link below is to Anrew Flood’s article titled The Problem with Islam. Retrieval date: October 23rd, 2008. Retrieved from: struggle.ws.

[65] The link below is to Anrew Flood’s article titled The Problem with Islam. Retrieval date: October 23rd, 2008. Retrieved from: struggle.ws.

[66] Most anarchists do not realize that a Muj’tah’eid could succumb to meanings and imprints “totally at odds” (Al’alwani, 1993, 82) with God’s intended imprint and word. The two, the Muj’tah’id’s intent to imprint and Gods’ intended meaning do not oppose. Each is the condition of possibility for the existence of the other provided the Koran and the Sunnahs’ textual sustenance of the imprint and the Muj’tah’eid’s sincere investigative intent in dealing with the subject matter while deciding whether a Koranic “text may be regarded... as either general or specific, absolute or limited, summing up or clarifying” (Al’alwani, 1993, 82). Otherwise and in the absence of this power of a Muj’tah’eid there would not be a power of original formation of Islam or impression to arrive anew to as inscribed through the concepts ijtihad and jihad. In fact, as practices the two would be innate, benign and utterly useless while Muslims dispute as they do now in ignorance. Most anarchists do not recognize that Muh’tah’eideen, and whatever their “relation to religion may be, and to this or that religion” (Derrida, 1996: 7), “are not priests bound by a ministry, nor theologians, nor qualified, competent representatives of religion...in the sense the certain so called Enlightenment philosophers are thought to have been” (Derrida, 1996: 7). A Muj’tah’id’s jihad and ijtihad can never be a quest for the Muj’tah’id’s self as an authoritative figure. Anarchist’s need to realize that a Muj’tah’id’s Islam is longingly a spiritual bond, “a reflecting faith...opposed to dogmatic faith...in so far as the latter claims to know and thereby ignores the difference between faith and knowledge” (Derrida, 1996: 10).

[67] NOII is a forum for “a loose coalition of activists” resisting neo-liberal globalization in relation to its links “to the displacement of people from the South compelled to leave their homes due to persecution, poverty or oppression...[and] colonial exploitation” (Day, 2005: 189–190). These people of the South leave “only to be categorized as ‘illegal aliens’ by the supposedly benevolent G8 countries where they seek refuge; they are denied the same rights as ‘regular’ citizens, and therefore face limited opportunities and further degradation” (Day, 2005: 189).

[68] Solidarity Across Borders is a group where Muslim and anarchist activists are “involved in awareness-raising activities and direct action casework, and are committed to recognizing that ‘struggles for self-determination and for the free movement of people against colonial exploitation are led by the communities who fight on the front lines” (Day, 2005: 190).

[69] This interpretation is seeking to encourage Muslims and anarchists to exercising and embrace deep compassion towards each other as community, without each individualistically focusing on “what divides and disperses, ignoring the wisdom of difference and the objectives of...[adhering to specific ethico-political commitments] to begin with” (Esack, 1997: 171). This is not to say individual differences or that the individual should not exist. After all, “if intentions are sincere, [individual] differences of opinion could bring about a greater awareness of the various possible aspects and interpretations of evidence in a given case...differences could generate intellectual vitality and a cross-fertilization of ideas” (Al-Awani, 1993: 14). Moreover, “such a process is likely to present a variety of solutions for dealing with a particular situation so that the most suitable solution can be found” (Al-Awani, 1993: 14). In this light, it is not that Muslims and anarchists in their own communities or amongst each other should not have differences over individual opinions but rather that they learn how to differ ethically because “if [the] differences of opinion operate in a healthy framework they could enrich the Muslim [and anarchist] minds and stimulate intellectual development. They could help to expand perspectives and make us look at problems and issues in their wider and deeper ramifications, and with greater precision and thoroughness’ (A-alwani, 1993: 4). What is critiqued here then are heretical politics stemming from an egoistic desire for a divisive and righteous approach to politics in order to preserve the individual, without true regard for the politics of others save through a purportedly shared intentional but not action oriented pluralism. This interpretation is against this individualistic self-righteous approach because righteousness cannot be “the monopoly of any single competitor...[In this interpretation,] the judge God, has to be above the narrow interest of the participants...and any [arrogant] claims of familiarity with the judge with any particular ‘team’ will not avail the participants” (Esack, 1997: 175).

[70] Electronic Text Center’s translation of the Koran and which is available at the University of Virginia library. Retrieval date: October 11th, 2008. Retrieved from: etext.virginia.edu

[71] Furthermore on several occasions in the Koran, God even offers a wager that should humanity and all intelligent life forms in their entirety gather together to construct a verse, that the verse would fail in matching a single Koranic verse. God demonstrates the wager in the following two verses: “[For] If all humankind and the other intelligent life were to band together to produce the likes of this Koran, they could not produce the like thereof (The Holy Koran, Chapter 17: Chapter of ‘Children of Israel’: Verse 8); [and] Bring then a single surah [verse] like unto it, and call upon whomsoever you can if you are truthful” (The Holy Koran, Chapter 10: Chapter of ‘Jonah’: Verse 37).

[72] At times the Koran’s descriptions are general and at times bafflingly specific and ahead of its time. For instance, in this verse below God describes the process of how the wrapping of muscles over the bones of a child occurs inside a mother’s womb. God says:“[We] then formed the drop into a clot and formed the clot into a lump and formed the lump into bones and clothed the bones in flesh; and then brought him into being as another creature. Blessed be Allah, the Best of Creators! (The Holy Koran, Chapter 23, Chapter of ‘The Believers’, Verse: 14)As Louis Massignon wrote: “God’s word unmakes all human meanings, all the proud constructions of civilisation, of high culture, and then returns all the luxuriant cosmic, imagery back to the lowly and the oppressed, so that in their imaginations it can be made anew”(Cheetham, 2005: 202)

[73] In God’s call upon Muslims to ponder the Koran, God assures Muslims that the Koran is a text that is confident in its program and is capable of situating exoterically and esoterically any analytic activity, where truth plays apiece limited by a more powerful functioning of the text itself.

[74] Ulama is another word for policymakers or religious scholars. See John L. Esposito’s Practice and Theory: A Response to Islam and The challenge to Democracy (2003). Retrieval date: October 13th, 2008. Retrieved from:

[75] The absence of ijtihad is troubling considering that “like many others [, Muslims have to be] worried about the future being readied for...[them], one that could make [them]...miss the fascism of yore” such as during the Crusades and the Mongol wars (Guattari, 1995: 94).

[76] In doing so, I am therefore no longer neutralizing or accepting by virtue of naturalizing that which has been given to me of Islam or of anarchism, but rather opening up a new anarchistic horizon for Islam, and a new Islamic horizon for anarchism, in Anarca-Islam.

[77] Monad, Jacques. 1970. “The Ethics of Knowledge and the Social Ideal” from Chance and Necessity. Collins Publishing. Retrieval date: February 9th, 2009. Retrieved from:

[78] Logo-centricity is “the assumption that words can un-problematically communicate meanings present in individual’s minds such that listener, or reader, receives them in the same way as the speaker/hearer intended” (Sim, 2001: 306).

[79] That noted, I acknowledge that poststructuralist and deconstructionist philosophies are without a doubt Western paradigms, but they are Western paradigms that emerge out of a Western modernist paradigms’ insurrectionary movement against its own-self.

[80] With deconstruction, a theorist is doing work on work that is already at work in the text. In other words, auto-reflecting. That is, reflecting on an already present state of reflection. A theorist at the end with deconstruction merely captures fragments from texts, while the rest hides. With deconstruction, the ultimate achievement any theorist could hope to accomplish is to reveal what Derrida refers to as différance. As Jacques Derrida writes in Positions: “there is no economy without différance [...] the movement of différance, as that which produces different things, that which differentiates, is the common root of all the oppositional concepts that mark our language [...] différance is also the production [...] of these differences” (2002: 7)

[81] Anarca-Islam will not save Western Muslims. Western Muslims are the only ones to save themselves. Anarca-Islam cannot, however, do so itself. Not now, not ever. Quite the contrary, I merely hope Anarca-Islam will encourage and inspire other Muslims to conduct ijtihad for themselves and that it mobilize Muslims in the West out of their state of paralysis.

[82] From an interview of Gilles Deleuze by Antonio Negro. Retrieval Date: February 9th, 2009. Retrieved from: www.generation-online.org

[83] That is, after these theories have been derived and confirmed by warrior activists (Deleuze, 1990). Without academics then, this energy that is derived from their efforts in analyzing the interaction between theory and praxis and that is put to work through their publications to the membrane of social movements and their activists, social movement theory would not exist.

[84] Tamim Saidi shares Tariq’s view regarding culture and Islamic practices. Saidi argues in an article titled Islam and Culture: Don’t mix them up: “There are certain areas of overlap: A people’s religion influences their culture, and culture influences how they practice their religion. But in Islam there is a clear distinction between the two” (2008). I agree with Saidi and Ramadan’s views and will illustrate this further in Sayyid-Sally’s case study as it pertains to Fat’wah, Islamic laws, in light of their post-colonial encounters.
Retrieved on: October 18th, 2008.
Retrieved-from: www.minnpost.com

[85] Tariq Ramadan has “the measured delivery of an academic, which is no more than you would expect from a man who used to be a high school principal and wrote his doctoral thesis on Nietzsche. But as the leading Islamic thinker among Europe’s second- and third-generation Muslim immigrants, the Geneva-based university lecturer also inspires a good deal of mistrust — from both Arab Muslims for his Western sensibility and Westerners for his controversial Islamic roots. Ramadan, 38, is the grandson of Hassan al-Banna, founder, in 1928, of the Muslim Brotherhood, an Islamic revival movement that spread from Egypt throughout the Arab world”. Retrieval Date: February 9th, 2009. Retrieved from:

[86] After all and from a theological perspective Muslims reserve the right to engage in their different cultural practices. Even more so, cultural practices are appreciated, respected and expected to exist in Islam. God even acknowledges this intentional creation of varying cultures and the existence of differences as result of cultures in the following verse: “We created...and made you into peoples and tribes so that you might come to know each other” (The Holy Koran, Chapter 49: Chapter of ‘The Inner Apartments’: Verse 13).

[87] And this had been the premise upon which God had vowed that it is God that would protect the Koran. God’s vow is in the verse: “Verily We [God] ourselves have sent down this exhortation, and most surely will be its Guardian” (The Holy Koran, Chapter 15: Chapter of ‘The Rock City’: Verse 10).

[88] Any perceived differences between Islam and anarchism are not the result of a ‘cultural problem’. Having that perception would be falling into a trap and would only be regurgitation and a re-enforcement of Eastern versus Western dichotomies. I am therefore not seeking to establish a puritanical Islam by constructing Anarca-Islam, nor dismissing the importance of culture, but giving paramount attention to Islamic principles and that have been dismissed by a predominant majority of Muslims or of which the predominant majority are not aware of. I do this, as I put culture quietly to ‘sleep’.

[89] In doing so I am “following the same anti-evolutionary logic that underlies Deleuze and Guattari’s concept of the state form, capitalism” (Day, 2005: 142).

[90] There is a danger when pronouncing or writing anything with respect of Islam without context. It is more appropriate to speak of Islams or Islam(s), given the variant different interpretations and names of Islam. Considering, as Bey writes: “that Islam possesses a far deeper & more sophisticated critique of ‘the modern world’ than that proposed by the ‘Islamists’. In fact, more than one critique. To mention a few (without judgment or evaluation): -The militant anti-colonialist sufism of Emir Abel Kader, or the Sanussi Order of Libya -The strange ‘anarcho-sufism’ of Col. Qaddafi’s Green Book (Qaddafi rebelled against a Sufi king, but was himself raised as a Sufi) _the Shiite socialism of the martyred Ali Shariati -the idea of the Mahdi or Redeemer as a collectivity — the ideal of Social Justice — the ban usury (which makes Global Capital impossible, of course) -the heroic Naqshbandi Order in Chechnya, resisting Russian imperialism for centuries -going back in time, the Persian Syrian Nizaris or ‘Assassins’, who went so far as to proclaim the Day of Resurrection, and to liberate a network of castles in the cause of esoteric enlightenment -etc. etc. — or even further back in time, the Prophet himself: professional revolutionary, guerilla leader, returned from his exile to establish egalitarian iconoclastic mystical/militant regime in Mecca...and so on” (Bey, 1997).

[91] The link below is to Jason Adam’s article Nonwestern Anarchisms: Rethinking the Global Context Retrieval date: October 18th, 2008. Retrieved from: www.geocities.com

[92] Adams writes of how he employs the terms Western and Nonwestern as follows: “By employing the label “Western” I am not referring to the actual history of anarchism but rather to the way in which anarchism has been constructed through the multiple lenses of Marxism, capitalism, eurocentrism and colonialism to be understood as such. This distorted, decontextualized and ahistoric anarchism with which we have now become familiar was constructed primarily by academics writing within the context of the core countries of the West: England, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Canada, United States, Australia and New Zealand. Since there was virtually no real subversion of the eurocentric understanding of anarchism until the 1990s, the vast majority of literature available that purports to deliver an “overview” of anarchism is written in such a way that one is led to believe that anarchism has existed solely within this context, and rarely, if ever, outside of it. Therefore, the anarchism that becomes widely known is that which has come to be identified with the West, despite its origins in the East; Kropotkin, Bakunin, Godwin, Stirner, and Goldman in first wave anarchism: Meltzer, Chomsky, Zerzan, and Bookchin in second and third wave anarchism. Rarely are such seminal first wave figures as Shifu, Atabekian, Magon, Shuzo, or Glasse even mentioned; a similar fate is meted out for such second and third wave figures such as Narayan, Mbah, and Fernandez — all of non-Western origin”. Retrieval date: October 18th, 2008. Retrieved from: www.geocities.com

[93] The link below is to Jason Adam’s article Nonwestern Anarchisms: Rethinking the Global Context Retrieval date: October 18th, 2008. Retrieved from: www.geocities.com

[94] The particularity of uniquely moulding anarchism is accomplished by these individuals and communities, while generally attempting to preserve anarchism’s anti-authoritarian and anti-capitalist tenants, in so far as the two commitments are understood to be the foundations upon which classical anarchism was grounded.

[95] In the future, and upon discovering the ‘new’ commitments these commitments are to be included with the two commitments that will have been pre-established for Anarca-Islam in this thesis.

[96] Laing says: “In some families, parents cannot allow children to break the ‘family’ down within themselves, if that is what they want, because this is felt as the breakup of the family, and then where will it end” (Laing in Perez, 1990: 27; also in Cooper, 1971: 73). This internal Oedipal structure that is inscribed by both parties/parents into an individual’s psyche, its purpose is to destroy an individual’s yearn for “self-directed action or what Nietzsche called the ‘innocence of becoming’” (Perez, 1990: 27). The result is that we become poor, defenseless, guilt-ridden puppets in internal straightjackets, un-free and Oedipalized (Perez, 1990: 28).

[97] The modern state attempts to do what God does with a space as an individual’s face. That is, carving and establishing a place on the face for the infinite shapes and sizes of the face’s traits, and therefore forming a map. Unlike God who appreciates and thus creates differences amongst individuals, the objective behind the modern state’s construction of a map is the disciplining and coercion of a definitive space. For example, in the case of an individual’s face, the face acts as space that is to be defined, labeled and categorized to assure the identification and recognition of an individual by the modern-state.

[98] Every “fascism is defined by a micro-black hole that stands on its own and communicates with others before resonating in a [great and then] great [er], [more] generalized central black hole”; macro-fascisms are a subsequent of the macro-politics of the couple, the neighbourhood, the community, institutions and the modern state (Deleuze & Guattari, 1980: 214). With the Eurocentric State not being the common central point “where all [these] other [macro-fascist] points melt together, but instead acts as a resonance on the horizon, behind all other points”(Deleuze & Guattari, 1980: 224). Micro-fascisms therein provide the necessary breeding ground, impetus, and conditions for the germination of thinking which resonates with, as (re) affirms the existence of the State, a macro-fascism possible (Call, 2003: 51). Currently the modern state no longer merely exists external to us, to be fought outside us, but engrained internally, entangled, crystallized, within our hearts, as our thoughts, to be fought within us. With both fascisms (re) affirming their resonance with the other, micro to macro, and macro to micro.

[99] It is capitalism’s ability to seductively free, yet when necessary contain an individual’s desire to resist the ascribed representations that permits capitalism to never be saturated. Here I have in mind desire, as Deleuze, Guattari, Donzolet and Marx understood it: “As a natural and sensual object, not bolstered by needs, but such that needs are derived from desire” (Donzolet, 1977: 36).

[100] In other words, “capitalism constitutes an axiomatic (production for the market), [while] all States and all social formations tend to become isomorphic [, or of heterogeneous characters — democratic, totalitarian, socialist — ] in their capacities of realization” of the State form but “there is but one centered world market, the capitalist one, in which even the so-called socialist countries participate” (Deleuze & Guattari, 1980: 436).

[101] Flows like: the flows of milk from a breast to a child’s mouth, of faeces from an anus, or flows of a look from a face; capitalism operates through the appropriation of flows.

[102] A relationship that is internalized by individuals not to repress an individual’s desire, but rather to construct desire “in such a way that it believes itself to be repressed” (Newman, 2001: 99).

[103] Deleuze and Guattari refer to this process of critiquing and going beyond the Freudian Oedipal structure, “which determines the life of the individual by making him or her dependent on the internalized ‘mommy, daddy and me’ structure” as “schizoanalysis” (Perez, 1990: 22).

[104] Insurrections, that entails confrontations of knowable privileges vis-à-vis political-ethical commitments committed to by a Muslim.

[105] There is no shame or pride, Islamically, in seeking the advice of others. There is no shame or pride, Islamically, in being compassionately and forgivingly called out by others. There is no shame or pride in erring before others. Provided, that is, that a Muslim possesses the will to comprehend the err erred, and the undeniable resilience of heart and mind in correcting the err upon erring.

[106] And hopefully the community’s interests are not deemed ‘bad’ interests. Because ‘bad’ interests can exist regardless of the ‘type’ of collectivity given that there is “rural [micro] fascism and city or neighborhood fascism, fascism of the Left and fascism of the Right, fascism of the couple, family, school and office” (Call, 2003: 52).

[107] Without a similar courtesy however bestowed, or extended, during a matter’s pertinence to what there is collective contention over. Due, in other words, to the matter’s pertinence as a necessity with respect to the community’s existence as a cohesive, healthy, egalitarian community.

[108] Translation of the Prophet’s last sermon is from the website, Islam-city, with the link below. Retrieval date: October 13th, 2008. Retrieval from: www.islamicity.com

[109] As for labels like “sultan/king” (Malik), there are absolutely no grounds in the Koran for what really is just arbitrary personal dictatorship and domination (Esposito, 1996: 25).

[110] It seems, as such, the meek come forth to inherit the Earth and Islam. Considering as Rodinson argues: “the more successful the ‘clergy’...[became] in raising their standard of living, or even merely in becoming integrated in the nation [in the aftermath of colonialism and imperialism], the less Islam serve[d] as... slogan[s] for the disinherited” (Rodinson, 1973: 226).

[111] The quote is part of the Sunnah. It is retrieved from the link below. Retrieval date: October 13th, 2008. Retrieved from: www.geocities.com

[112] As John Esposito argues, the “theory that the influential persons could represent the general public was [and still is] operative in [Islam] ... but in view of changed circumstances and in consideration of the principles of consultation ... it is essential that this theory should give place to the formation of an assembly ... [a] real [representation] of the people” (1996: 25).

[113] There exist a number of “significant problems with Eurocentric-style democracy ... as every Muslim [is required, each according to their abilities,] ... to give a sound opinion on matters ... entitled to interpret the law of God” (Esposito 1996: 25). This becomes “a basis for distinguishing between democracy” in Western traditions and Islam (Esposito, 1996: 25–26). This is because the vision, of bearing the communal right to self-govern, “do[es] not fit into the limits of Eurocentric based definition[s] ... [because of its anchorage in] ... consultation (Shurah), consensus (Ijma) and independent interpretative judgments (ijtihad)” (Espoito, 1996: 25–26)

[114] A territory that is bound by an anarchistic alternative and Anarca-Islam’s never-ending aspiration for micro as macro anti-authoritarian commitments throughout and in spite of authority’s stratas: myopic, and macro institutional and state-like existence.

[115] For further emphasis, see reference: to Ali Abdel Razeq (1925), “Al-Islam wa Ushul al-Hukm — Islam and the Principles of Governance,” in Ulil Abshar-Abdalla, Muhammad: Prophet and Politician (May 9, 2004). Retrieval Date: December 8th, 2008.
Retrieved from: see, Yunan Labib Rizk, “Cabinet Toppled by a Book,” Al-Ahram Weekly Online, 522 (February 22–28, 2001). Retrieval Date: January 2nd, 2009.
Retrieved from: weekly.ahram.org.eg

[116] For as it is, numerically Muslims’ resemble ‘grains of salt within a sea’ but are as ‘the foam of the waves’ as narrated above in the Sunnah.

[117] As Newman argues, “God has not been completely usurped...as has always been claimed [in anarchistic discourses]... only reinvented in the form of essence” (Newman, 2001: 6). In other words “as long as [anarchism and anarchists] continue to believe absolutely in grammar, in essence, in the metaphysical presuppositions of language...they will continue to believe in God” (Newman, 2001: 6).

[118] However, if in the end still — despite the aforementioned — anti-religious anarchists perceive that with the metaphysical slaughtering of God there lies an anti-authoritarian ‘solution’ to every type of authority, an expense comes with the adoption of this conduct or ‘solution’. For with the presumed metaphysical ‘Death of God’ there arrive infinite demagogues, mini-gods, vying and squabbling over the displaced dead God’s space and power. A space now ‘abandoned’, open, to receive the highest bidder. It would be deceiving to think otherwise. In other words, to presume upon God’s metaphysical death, God’s space and power will remain void and unoccupied is absurd, given that God’s space does not disappear with the ‘Death of God’. Rather, God’s space and power, upon God’s death merely becomes a battleground, battled for by us as individuals — no longer human, but demagogues — instead.

[119] This is the case, whether the trust comes from atheists or religious anarchists. The adoption of any other alternative interpretation would merely imply the unleashing of an apocalypse upon the constitution of political-ethical individuals, and communities, with demagogues cropping up in the absence of a collective commitment to becoming anti-authoritarian, each to the other. At least within the framework of the absolute sovereignty of God, human hierarchy in theory is impossible, as before God every human being becomes equal (Esposito, 1996: 25; Newman, 2001: 6).

[120] It is the role of property to drag. For it is reported in the Sunnah, through “Abu Huraryrah that the Prophet [peace be upon him] said: ‘The poor will enter paradise five hundred years ahead of the rich‘”(Hasan & Siddiqi, 1984: 91). That is, while the latter remain behind accounting for accrued and hoarded wealth, how they received it and how they expended it, the former will not be answerable for any such thing; in this sense, property drags.

[121] There are four other Koranic verses that confirm this aspect of God as Absolute owner of property. The emphasis in each of the four verses below is on the constantly returned keyword ‘We’. The Koran confirms: “And the earth We have spread out (like a carpet); set thereon mountains firm and immovable; and produced therein all things in due balance. And We have provided therein means as subsistence, for you and for those whose subsistence ye are not responsible. And there is not a thing but its (sources and) treasures (inexhaustible) are with Us; but We only send down thereof in due and ascertainable measures. And We send the fecundating winds, then cause the rain to descend from the sky, therewith providing you with water (in abundance), through ye are not the guardian of its stores, so intend not corruption of the earth” and “Do not kill a soul which Allah has made sacred”(The Holy Koran, Chapter 15, Chapter of ‘The Rock’: Verses 19–22; and Chapter 6, Chapter of ‘The Cattle’: Verse 151).

[122] In vein of this relationship, God-Caretaker, human beings, individually and collectively, are nothing but Caretakers, legatees, and Khalifahs of God’s property, with none permitted claim or the corruption of property borrowed from God.

[123] That is, catering to a community’s needs. Otherwise, what remains with an individual’s repression is not only the ‘death of an individual’ but the eventual ‘death of the community’ due the community’s constitution by what is now a repressed individual (Abdul-Rauf, 1978: 18–19).

[124] For further emphasis see Abdul-Hamid Ahmad Abu-Sulayman, “The Theory of Economics of Islam,” in Contemporary Aspects of Economic Thinking in Islam, proceedings of the Third East Coast regional Conference of the Muslims Students Association of the USA and Canada, American Trust Publications (April 1968) (emphasis added).

[125] Mudarabah/Musharakah seeks to minimise the production of what a community is not need of by transforming the threshold of production or consumption into the exchange limit, in which exchange is of interest to a consumer and a producer. As Deleuze and Guattari note: The exchange limit, is “one of temporal succession[s] because ... [it] preserves itself [from Israf] ... by switching territories [of that which is produced and consumed by way of a joint consensual collaborative operation between both parties, [consumer and producer,] at the conclusion of each period (itinerancy, itineration)...[and it is] this iteration [that] will govern the apparent exchange” (Deleuze, & Guattari, 1980: 440). Capitalism, the other way around thrives on stockpiling, as its cardinal law and concern is that of “the simultaneous exploitation of different territories; or, when the exploitation is successive, the succession of operation periods bares [exploitation] on one and the same territory” till “the force of serial iteration is superseded by...global comparison”; that is, capitalism functions by over-producing, under-producing, intentionally, serially, locally or globally, the consequence of which are exploitative assemblages, markets, in the absence of consensual collaborations between consumers and producers (Deleuze, & Guattari, 1980: 440).

[126] It is worthwhile noting as well the existence of other varying forms of Zakat and that are considered too to be rights. For example, Infaq and It’am. Infaq of Sadaqah, denotes the act of the voluntary spending of charity and though unlike Zakat in that it is un-obligated, it is still as Zakat in that it is directed to the welfare of those in more need, is always insolent and cheerfully encouraged as a practice amongst the community. Of course there remains then It’am. It’am is the act of leaping beyond worldly glory, to hosting and being able to do so without cost, calculation or rationalisation, and therefore co-existing and voluntarily feeding guests, foreigners, brothers and sisters in need of sustenance; un-obligated, it stills brings strange freedom into the Mut’imar’s or host’s world by basking in the company of those poorer on a dinner table (Ahmad, 1991: 42).

[127] In terms of money there is also the minimization of the accumulation of it in terms of inheritance. Islam established inheritance laws in order to maximise the mobility of comforts arriving with wealth. Inheritance laws in Islam in a sense is a capitalist mechanism directed at folding back wealth upon its own self. An anarchic reading of Islamic inheritance laws would illustrate that Islamic inheritance laws are fundamentally at their core anti-capitalist: “aimed at achieving a wide distribution of wealth amongst the close relatives of the deceased; at the same time the laws are geared to avoid hoarding and individualistic discrimination and squabbling within the family unit”(Cummings, Askari, Mustafa, 1980: 35). Looking at them, ‘Islamic’ inheritance laws therefore seek the reshuffling and de-centring of the ‘pettiness’ of the deceased individual’s whims, with respect to their individualistic allocation of their wealth upon death, through a displacement of them, as the fabric of a community, Maslaha, is placed “ahead [of and above] the emotional whims of the deceased ... [thus] a dispersal of wealth from the one to the many, instead of channelling wealth from the many to the one” (Cummings, Askari, Mustafa, 1980: 35). For we can read as the Holy Koran confirms: “Never let those who hoard the wealth which God has bestowed on them out of His bounty think it good for them: indeed it is an evil thing for them. The riches they have hoarded shall become their fetters on the Day of Resurrection. It is God who will inherit the heavens and the earth. God is cognizant of all your actions. God has heard the words of those who said: ‘God is poor, but we are rich.’ Their words We will record, and their slaying of the prophets unjustly. We shall say: ‘Taste now the torment of the Conflagration. Here is the reward of your misdeeds. God is not unjust to His servants...[and] the multiplication (of possessions and its boasting) occupied you (from worshipping and obeying) until you visit the graves. But no, indeed, you shall soon know” The Holy Koran, Chapter 3: Chapter of ‘The Family of Imran’: Verse 180; and Chapter 102; Chapter of ‘Rivalry in Worldly Affairs — Competition’: Verses 1–3).

[128] In this vein, the giver of Zakat is to experience, and to feel the ‘shame’ the other feels, and the affect of the effects that hover over the other’s body when it is judged for being poor.

[129] 9/11, better than the first Gulf War, acted as the mask dawned by the West for perfecting its ‘non-colonial and non-imperial’ entry into and exit out of Muslim life and resources under the name of freedom and in the face of what a few Muslims in the name of Islam had done. Islam and Muslims because of 9/11 have indefinitely become the ideal candidates handpicked by the West as the enemy after the Cold War, with the war on terror as a war on ghosts.

[130] For now Muslim anarchists are destined to be ostracized and ‘othered’ exponentially beyond the ‘othering’ the average Western Muslim faces as a result of the West’s representations of them. Muslims anarchists have no community. That is the cost however of the (re) invigoration of Islam and that is now being driven forth by these Muslims anarchists and their helpless falling in love with anarchism, its currents and its commitments. Commitments, which I proved in this thesis, were once Islamic but unfortunately have been abundantly dismissed or forgotten by the majority of Western Muslims, let alone most Muslims worldwide.

[131] What I did throughout this thesis is bring together two traditions to a conversation, Anarca-Islam, which has been going on internally inside me for over 21 years. They are now negotiating their resonances and differences. And negotiations sometimes last so long you do not know whether they mean the beginning of war or the beginning of peace. Anarca-Islam is always going to be caught between anger with the way things are and a peace so close when the discourse of Islamic anarchism is broached. But, lest we ever forget or even fool ourselves, Anarca-Islam is not power. Institutional religions, states, capitalism, empires, multitudes, science, law, public opinion and television are powers, but not Anarca-Islam. Anarca-Islam is always going to have its internal battles between Islam and anarchism, but they are mock battles. When it comes to powers, Anarca-Islam, not a power, cannot battle with the powers that be, because it fights a war against these powers without battles. It only fights a guerilla campaign against them all through Islam and anarchism. Just it cannot battle with these powers, Anarca-Islam cannot converse with them either. Anarca-Islam can only negotiate between Islam and anarchism. But since powers are not just external things, but permeate each of us, Anarca-Islam has already thrown willing Muslims and anarchists into a panegyric desert of the present where they will be eternally negotiating with each other, in a guerilla campaign against their own selves, until Muslims and anarchists learn that they will always stand in the shadow of their names in the fight of their lives to live up to the commitments that ought have arrived with the names, Islam and anarchism. Muslims and anarchists, from here on in, have to learn to negotiate and compromise. It is time for a community, which is not a totality but is, as in Spinoza, absolute, to rise, with a force so strong, that it stands tall without a base (Deleuze, 1995). One day the day will come when the day will no longer come, but before that day, I promise you this: That Community will come.

[132] What I have written in this thesis is part of a past, that is also a present and also future, all intersecting at once. I would have preferred Fiscella use the term poststructuralist, and which I discussed in chapter three, this way leaving less room for ambiguity, as opposed to the term postmodernist and which is altogether different from poststructuralist.

[133] Nearing the end where the end is just the beginning of another end, because the end can only mean that I would have to just begin again and again, my silence has been temporarily broken and I feel incredibly lonely. From here on in, the ethical and political anti-authoritarian and anti-capitalist responsibilities I discussed will not and cannot allow me to hesitate anymore before the cynicism of Muslims, anarchists and anyone else who says that “things are as they are because there is no other way” (Freire, 1998: 101–104). And although Freire is writing about a different topic, in a different time and context, I believe his words are relevant here. Just as Freire notes, with respect to faith, I cannot “see how ...[Muslims] who so live their faith could negate” the rights of anarchists who do not want to have faith (Friere, 1998: 101–104). Even if that means that they do not want to have faith in their selves or the ideals they espouse. In the same way Muslims cannot be rejected by anarchists for having faith because “being in faith means moving, engaging in different forms of action coherent with that faith ...to engage in action that reaffirms it and never action that negates it” (Friere, 1998: 101–104). Negating faith is not “being without it, but rather contradicting it through acts” (Friere, 1998: 101–104). Not “having faith is both a possibility and right of human beings, who cease to be human if they are denied their freedom to believe or not to believe” (Friere, 1998: 104). Having faith and believing never was and never will be “the problem; the problem is claiming to have it and, at the same, contradicting it in action” (Friere, 1998: 104). Taking on a name, Muslim and anarchist, will never be what it is about. It is about the set of commitments that should have arrived by taking on those signifiers. Besides that, one is always destined in the shadow of the name. Let me also not that lonely is not being alone. The former denotes is a state of catatonic loneliness’ a neuroticism, revolving around the absence of a profound connection with another like a friend, a community or a lover without having to stutter or talk to this other. That is, the incessant yearning for communication through an aesthetic meditative type of silence, as opposed to moving one’s tongue or speaking to the ‘other’. That is loneliness. Everyone should be fine being alone. No one should be fine being lonely. And the pain I feel is worse than Ovid, an ostracized poet two millennia ago, who wrote in Tristia, describing “the cultural hostility... alienation...[and] bodily pain that reflect his mental anguish” as an immigrant (Hron, 2009: 33): “I often weep when writing so...teardrops overflow to wet the page [and] cold sorrow drops in the heart like rain...as [every waking moment] old fresh wounds feel fresh again” (Hron, 2009: 33). But in my case and beyond using Ovid’s words, I cannot even begin to describe my pain and in a language, English, that is not mine to begin with. I cannot begin to describe, when I am left feeling every time like “a sufferer try[ing] to describe a pain...and then language runs dry” (Woolf, 1926: 84), as described in Virginia Woolf’s essay On Being Ill (1926) and Elaine Scarry’s The Body of Pain (1987) when it comes to the ineffability of translating pain through language and especially in English. English will never be my mother tongue, Arabic.