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Growing currency of the Muslims
Fair Trade Takes Root in Guatemala
- Issue 11 - November 2011
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CONCEPT & EDITORIAL
CHIEF EDITOR Abu Bakr Rieger PUBLISHER IZ Medien GmbH Beilsteinerstr. 121 12681 Berlin Germany ASSOCIATE EDITOR Sulaiman Wilms DISTRIBUTION IZ Medien GmbH GLOBALIA Magazine reserves the right to shorten letters. Readers’ letters, guest articles and quotations do not necessarily represent the opinions of the Editors, nor do articles by named authors. Phone: +49 (0)30 240 48974 Mobile: +49 (0)179 967 8018 Fax: +49 (0)30 240 48975 E-mail: email@example.com Website: www.globaliamagazine.com Cover Image: Islamic Gold Dinar
Chief Editor – Abu Bakr Rieger Kelantan – The Islamic Gold Dinar Cloning Terror The Role of Gold in Pakistan ‘Ottomania’ in Turkey Seeking a New Elite in Prussia The Adab of Urban Planning EMU Gathering in Vienna The Changing Middle East Sharing the Libyan War Booty A View into the India of Today Sudan & South Sudan resolve oil Issues Fair Trade takes Root – Guatemala Diabetes – A Modern Epidemic? Why Shakespeare?
Cover Story Interview
Economy & Finance Europe
36 40 43 46 48 52 56
Central America Lifestyle Culture
Issue 11 - November 2011 -
Litigation and Arbitration. many of which are amongst the top 2020 of the public listed companies in Malaysia. Foreign clients ofof the ﬁrm include from USA. Holland. and modern ICT Locus billing system. Our emphasis on client service and our proactive commitment toto excellence have enabled us to our proactive commitment excellence have enabled us to build and maintain long-term relationships with local. Litigation and Arbitration. Austria. The ﬁrm operates on the basis that the ﬁrm would Triangle. Austria. allall interlinked to each other. China. The ﬁrm maintains a a good working relationship and Pakistan. high-quality and cost eﬀecsucceed only delivering prompt.000 lawyers across more than 100 jurisdictions. Energy & Utilities. Germany. Singapore. media && technology media technology real estate. Islamic Finance. UAE. Chambers Global and IFLR 1000. spanning a broad range ofof industries.com chinadesk. 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then the road is paved toward a new totalitarianism. by using the age-old political tactic of mobilising on the streets. however. In terms of the recent happenings in the Arab world. From the Muslim point of view. and its viewpoint is truly a global one. Coerced by the financial crisis. a capitalism which attacks the very fabric of creation. sooner of later. Globalia Magazine orthodoxy of the belief system surrounding the US dollar. by Abu Bakr Rieger: Chief Editor. with many young people protesting at the loci of the world’s networked banks. more than a dozen American states want to introduce gold and silver currencies as official means of payment and to decentralise the economic order. which for many centuries connected continents peacefully. The industrialised production of paper money long ago destroyed our old notions of trading with things of value. Of course there is already worldwide resistance to the dictatorship of the financial markets. Following the disaster of Muslim terrorism that elicited such a devastating campaign against Islam. In the last edition of GLOBALIA. Globalisation is advancing unstoppably across the world’s power centres. GLOBALIA will continue to follow the role the Muslims play in one of human history’s greatest crises and mediate the discussion between the elites of this world. Without the Islamic laws on finance. cultural and economic lifepractice of the Muslims will be the hottest political issue of the coming century. is not yet dead. Without a new economic order. we must now turn to different and more creative themes. Jakarta and Astana. That is why it remains more of an expression of mood than a potent alternative which the financial powers might fear. The American dream of freedom. One should not forget that systems that consider themselves without alternative are by that virtue alone totalitarian. No nation has the power to command or even reform these global networks. those countries risk relapse into a merely modernised dictatorship. The peoples of the West are presently contemplating with horror the end of the old concept of political sovereignty. without the perpetual illusion that you can create money out of nothing? GLOBALIA has been reporting on the world’s trouble spots over several editions. The social.November 2011 - 5 . a global economy can only be based upon the real economy and real means of payment. global politics will converge.” said the philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche once. Islam allows private property. The Occupy movement throws down a challenge to the invisible economic rulers of the land of infinite possibility. we analysed the Issue 11 . to one. all-consuming question as to whether a modern economy can exist without banking: Can we present people with a way of living that works without banking. The deeper meanings of the Qur’anic injunction – forbidding the taking of interest and permitting free trade – are unfolding around the world. America’s Wall Street has come to symbolise an invisible rule beyond parliaments and senates. more and more people want to abandon the euro and are fighting against a loss of national rights.” It is as a human condition that it is now expressed among people as a growing disinterest in political processes and the tacit conviction that “There Is No Alternative”. The symbol of this order is on the front of this magazine: it is the money. who are coming to grips with the economic order of Islam. there will be no real peace. Without new objectives and real content to fill them – without the inlking of a new nomos – no political grouping can mobilise properly. Essentially. Elections would then be absolutely meaningless. creates social solidarity. and discourages the amassing of capital. Muslims have set upon discovering Islamic contracts.EDITORIAL Editorial Dear Readers. The next stage of this development would see an authoritarian capitalism. If there really is no alternative to unfettered capitalism. In Europe. This natural order is by contrast a complete alternative to dead-end. a new intelligentsia in Europe has also begun to recognise that this fascinating aspect of Islam contains solutions and not problems. uncovering major new trends in cities like Kuala Lumpur. “Nihilism. our own currencies and the Islamic market. outcomes will depend on whether the Muslims there comprehend that the call for justice and the establishment of Zakat are one and the same thing. American society is now discussing alternatives with a passion. void of alternatives. aided by a globally networked financial technique. which we Muslims want to use for our daily transactions. as the actual modern social order. which honours the wealth and resources of the Arab world fairly. Faced with the biggest financial crisis in the history of mankind. old ideologies. We have described new Muslim elites across the world. “is when you no longer have any aims. from Wall Street to the City of London. The young movement however has considerable difficulty formulating clear objectives with which to overcome the financial crisis.
6 . coups. All the different elements of the Deen (distinguished by Islam.Issue 11 . the economy. poverty. Where it really makes a difference is in terms of the socio-economy where relations among citizens can and will improve. inflation. The poor will then have more buying power. trust and love. robbery.November 2011 . and Zakat being one of the pillars. Without Zakat as a ritual obligation. not Zakat Fitr paid before Eid – is not a charity. Gold Dinar and Silver Dirhams are gaining popularity as a viable currency for Muslims to use in religious practices.COVER STORY Kelantan Islamic Gold Dinar of various denominations The Islamic Gold Dinar by Zack Abdullah. which will increase the local demand and supply and improve liquidity. and the list goes on. Muslim leaders who wish to experience peace and harmony within their nation should put Zakat into practice. inadvertently. Zakat’s importance is on par with Salat. whose day on day event is the spiritual and intellectual journey of becoming one in multiplicity through practice. impacts the quality of the socio-economy of the community above. the community or nation will lose economic strength. including oppression. Each pillar of the Deen serves a specific task. both part of five Islamic pillars and both mentioned side by side in the Quran. It is a small individual sacrifice out of love. but rather a religious obligation. corruption. strictly and transparently. and defend the nation against bankruptcy and inflation. discrimination. with the good relations (or love) between its people dying. But is it truly viable? Mercy In Light of Zakat Zakat – by which we refer to the Zakat on wealth. Halal Media Golden Light and Mercy for All Either as Zakat payment. Iman and Ihsan) are the elemental features of Islamic community or nation. bankruptcy. giving away part of what we own to save the needy and. resulting in the emergence of evil. nor an Islamic government tax. wedding Mahar or simply for safekeeping. riot.
we are left today with paper money which was once ostensibly backed by a certain intrinsic value of gold or silver.islamicmint. Unlike the corporation business model where the shareholder’s aim is to maximise profit at all cost. ordinary men and women. their efforts nonetheless much appreciated). one can even start ones own local Dinar Wakala. the number is nowhere near the number of halal certification bodies. people are dying of hunger around the world at the same time. business transactions . which would enable the buying of gold and silver coins online. This is surprising.e. to engage in a war against the seemingly invincible behemoth of capitalism along with its orthodox currency system. looking at how. the concern of some Muslim intellects today is the actual material used in paying the Zakat. but let’s assume for a moment that the Zakat collector is right in prevaricating and saying that the Dinar Wakala is still uncommon. Muslims. through the initiative of governments and sultanates. This would mean that excess gold and silver within a community or a nation would be in the hands of the poor.COVER STORY Furthermore. unfortunately. over-consuming and overweight. Yet ironically. This can be done through Zakat. At present. Since the gold dinar and silver dirham were abolished. especially in rural areas. since Zakat prevents citizens from falling into consumerism. Out of fear of widespread global hunger and poverty such as the above. For us laymen however. the national economy will grow at a steadier pace instead of accelerating rapidly leaving the weak behind. Various reasons can be made and argued. Mechanics of Zakat While many Muslim nations have their own Zakat system. the Islamic Mint Nusantara (IMN) and Wakala Induk Nunsantara (WIN) have given birth to many other smaller Dinar Wakala operators. In Indonesia for example. The WIM has indeed made noble efforts to help local communities and governments set up Dinar Wakalas in certain areas. And for those without internet. and by using gold and silver in our muamalat. Application to set up a Dinar Wakala operation can be made to the WIM or one of its appointed minters (more information at www.com). the co-op is a communityoriented business model where its Issue 11 . If one has sufficient capital. Islamic finance authorities and halal standards regulations have multiplied in the past few years. If waiting is not an option. will still have to wait for this industry to grow. Unfortunately however. but because people do not have the means to buy the food. but as of today. paper money (which shall not be discussed here – leaving the learned to that struggle. since their money has little or no value compared with the US Dollar. In many Hadith Sahih. crime and chaos. the Dinar Wakala can be operated alone. what we should focus on is the Islamic Silver Dirham from between 700-900 AD creation of a socio-economic defence mechanism from inflation. Establishing it under a community as a cooperative enterprise (a Co-op) is however better. they will just have to wait a little while longer for a Dinar Wakala to be set up within their locality. The Light of Gold & Silver Imagine a scenario where a person wants to pay Zakat in gold but the collector is not willing to accept it.November 2011 - 7 . the only dominant global minting authority for gold dinar and silver dirham is the World Islamic Mint (WIM). The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) stated that Zakat must be paid in gold and silver. or in other words. paper money (along with the entire global economy) must forcibly be valued against the US Dollar and its war business. one would expect a similar scenario in the Islamic minting industry – that there should be more of this service today. either within a minority Muslim community or even within a village or a common residential area. Allah knows best. One of the effects of this is the resulting surplus of food. owing to the fact that the Dinar Wakala service – the operating system that exchanges paper money into gold and silver coins and vice versa – is uncommon. This is not because there is not enough food to go around. over-spending. the wisdom of Zakat is in its power to stabilise a given society and its economy. i. the advocates of the gold dinar are calling vehemently for the immediate use of gold currency. In short.
For the purposes of Muamalat. as a global Islamic minting authority. the local mosque or even private residential premises may be used as temporary Dinar Wakala Co-op operation centres. the Co-op is a practical enough solution.Issue 11 . thus easing out the transaction process for the mass usage of gold and silver currency in the commercial sector. but also to commercial industry. if not the best. at the very least. Banks could also be included if local regulations allow. thus enabling it to have in its possession solid gold and silver assets. A Dinar Wakala Co-op. while the Receiver Account is for entities receiving the payment. The User Account is for people who use the gold and silver as payment. A Dinar Wakala Co-op. for Zakat payments. with the aid of WIM and e-Dinar. be it food. The safekeeping account model can be improvised when the need arises to include other industries (e. For small Muslim communities Simple card scanning devices can facilitate electronic gold / silver payements in rural areas around the world (where banks are rare). strategise and operate the business or service for their own mutual benefit. They will finance. pharmaceuticals. This service should also be offered to nonMuslims as well since it is suitable and 8 . should devise a strict law to avoid this possible scenario in the future. logistic. and distribute Dinar Card Swipe machines to Receiver Account holders (whether a religious body or commercial industry). The actual gold and silver are then transferred into Tesco’s Receiver Account at a nearby Dinar Wakala Co-op. When a Muslim consumer shops at Tesco. is practical for a small community to start distributing and using gold and silver. The system would operate as such: Tesco. and since start-up capital is limited. maintains a Receiver Account. The safekeeping account may be divided into two categories – the User Account and the Receiver Account. a Dinar Wakala Co-op does not need a lot of space to operate. besides Zakat. multiplying on a daily basis. in partnership with local Muslim authorities. WIM therefore. he will use his Dinar Debit Card.COVER STORY members are the actual shareholders who create and use its products and services humanely. to cater to the urban populations. we can apply the usage of gold and silver to other Islamic practices such as the Muamalat or financial transactions. which deal with Islamic business and trade. a situation could develop over time where unhealthy competition might develop between Dinar Wakalas hunting for commercial accounts. With the use of a Dinar Debit Card. agriculture.November 2011 . In assisting gold and silver usage within Muamalat. By working together. Due to its nature of business. Receiver Accounts are to be offered not only to Zakat collectors. If allowed by the local municipal law. they may reach an objective that would simply be unattainable if they were to act alone. etc) to practice Muamalat properly and transparently amongst themselves. which is then swiped on a Dinar Card Swipe machine at the checkout counter. retail or automobile. Light Upon Light In expanding the function of the Dinar Wakala. It would be better however if the law allowed banks to operate as Dinar Wakala. oil and gas. the Dinar Wakala provides safekeeping services for its members and customers. for example.g. may offer debit cards for User Account holders.
This is. where companies large or small. stored in their Dinar Wakala Co-op accounts. With the extra saved. using very cheap and low quality raw materials. love. gold and silver currencies will be soon seen as ordinary. giving them an opportunity to taste and savour what had been endowed by The Almighty. A sound farm-to-fork economy can be created through Zakat. or even Citibank will have solid non-depletive savings in gold and silver.November 2011 - 9 . along with an intelligent consumer culture that encourages a moderate consumption of whatever the Creator has supplied to us (natural resources. even monthly income). Issue 11 .COVER STORY This market stall holder in Indonesia also serves as a Dinar Wakala beneficial for all. artificial colourings. the problem with food today is that it is produced quickly and in large quantities. They will no longer be a victim of the depleting value of the US Dollar. which would encourage manufacturers to produce higher quality products at more affordable prices. in its truest sense. stabilizers and flavouring etc. the excess can then be shared with the poor. which will eventually bring down all the world’s currencies and the global economy along with it. and the increasing use of chemicals (preservatives. Clearly. multiplying on a daily basis. If humans were to consume less (demand less). With the mass usage of gold and silver currency in practice within Muamalat. commercial companies such as Tesco. The Problem with Consumerism With regards to the consumption culture of modern society. just as a way of good life in another socio-economic model. can stay afloat even during the worse of economic crises.) is certainly not for the sake of satisfying hunger nor for the sake of their health. as a defence against economic crisis. farmers would have more time to produce a higher quality product at lower prices (steady demand at steady pace – no rush). Nature is forced to grow faster through an inhumane application of science as the public demand more and more food. Along with this new economic culture. products. Walmart. the choice between good and evil is in the hand of our leaders.
What kind of relation can these two different matters have? W. Mitchell W. as suggested by their common portrayal as masked. And the Western reaction to it – the so-called “War on Terror” – is the great novelty in military affairs in out time. Both the clone and the terrorist signify the reduction of the warrior to bare. all willing to sacrifice themselves in suicide missions. In his latest book.J. He is one of the leading international image theorists.Issue 11 . Mitchell: First. the terrorist and the clone are images of dread and of the endless duplication of identical life forms.T. It is decentralised. The clone army of Star Wars represents the new mass assembly of identical storm-troopers. without individuality. Terrorism is the new face of war in our time. T. the historical coincidence of the Age of Terrorism and the Age of Cloning is what I call biocybernetics. anonymous. “Cloning Terror – the War of Images” Mitchell explores the politics of language and image after 9 / 11. J. So my book attempts to explore the coincidence between these new developments in techno-science on the one hand and war on the other.J.November 2011 . but the idea of a global war on terror is something quite new. 10 . just as mechanical reproduction was in Walter Benjamin’s time. instrumental life. Mitchell is an art historian and professor of English and Art History at the University of Chicago. hooded figures. Globalia spoke with Mitchell about the power of pictures and life in the age of terrorism In your new book ‘Cloning Terror’ you think about the relation between Cloning and Terror. or a nation-state sponsor.T. Cloning is the emergent technology of reproduction in our time. What is the similarity between the figure of the terrorist and the clone? Mitchell: Both.INTERVIEW Cloning Terror Interview with W. Terrorism is a very old tactic. Both are figures of anonymity and facelessness. without a front or back.
emergent mode of reproduction that haunts our era. I devote a lot of attention to explaining the power of this image in my book. You also say that there is a certain transfer of figurative language between the discourse on cloning and terrorism. the realisation of the ancient dream of making. that is especially evident in the language of biotechnology. It’s a question of point of view. but also the underlying code that determine the image. has become a vernacular expression to describe the way that the war on terror has had the effect of spawning more terrorists. complete with “sleeper cells. its instant recognizability (like a corporate logo). as a virus. Image reproduction and transmission is thus rendered incredibly rapid.S. as if the “cure” had the effect of accelerating the progress of the disease. Factors which all converge to make the picture unforgettable. You call it a ‘bio-digital picture’? Can you explain this phenomenon? And what is the result of this technology? Mitchell: Cloning has become the mastermetaphor for image reproduction in our time. These are views from outside. the digital photograph carries metadata with it – sets of instructions for its duplication. What kind of impact have 9/11 and the War on Terror had on visual culture? Mitchell: 9/11 was of course a major event in the history of visual culture. and the War on Terror more generally.S. allowsing the exact duplication of any area of an image. The phrase “cloning terror”. the title of my book. not only the surface appearance. Terrorism is almost invariably described in the terms of infectious diseases and auto-immune disorders. Everybody knows the famous pictures from Abu Ghraib. W. that became symbolic of the whole scandal. Mitchell’s book alngside the iconic image of the hooded man from Abu Ghraib Cloning is thus a metaphor for contemporary image making. It was a highly cinematic event that was transmitted globally and made an enormous impact on perhaps the largest tele-visual audience in the history of media. prisons. Like the DNA instructions that permit the copying of an organism. Why did these pictures get so popular? Why do the media continue to reproduce them? Mitchell: I would not call the pictures “popular. has been a rather dismal affair.” Great efforts were made to suppress them. proliferating without central command or authority around. This picture “went viral” and became a global icon for protests against the U. invasion of Iraq. of a living thing. The digital image is similar to the clone in the sense that both are “deep copies” that replicate.November 2011 - 11 . symmetrical character.” It is often described as a “headless” phenomenon. noting its formal. Mitchell: Yes. not just a copy. of course: terrorists see themselves as heroes and martyrs. It is possible now for an image to “go viral” and circulate internationally with remarkable speed. or value. or plague.INTERVIEW heroism. There were numerous attempts to produce a monumental image of victory – the pulling down of Saddam Issue 11 .T.J. The central image from Abu Ghraib. But they did have a major impact in their revelation of what was actually going on under the label of “enhanced interrogation techniques” in secret U. The War on Terror. from the standpoint of spectacle. Why bother with a photograph of your dead mother if you can have her cloned? This is the terrifying spectre of the new. but it is also a literal reality. and its uncanny echoes of the Christian passion. We even have a “clone tool” in Photoshop. was the Hooded Man on the Box. but a living copy. and narratives of human clones portray them as individuals with souls just like everyone else. You also analyse in your book the emergence of new technologies of image production and circulation that accompany the war on terror. and most people found them disgusting and disturbing. cancer.
“But because you love it so much. though I think they would have been better advised to negotiate for the money as a ransom for the statues. drone attacks. the hooding of a statue with an American flag produced a very inconvenient revelation of the American mission as one of conquest and colonisation.November 2011 .INTERVIEW The symbolic end of Saddam Hussein’s reign. namely. From their point of view it made a kind of sense. The story also illustrates the futility of the whole iconoclastic enterprise. been a triumph of collective blindness and invisible culture – the refusal to look. a colossal mistake. The War on Terror has been notably short on spectacular. or the “Mission Accomplished” photo of George W. always seems to be something we attribute to our enemies. The war on terror has. and in one case. Mr. Better to leave images alone. Bush in a flight suit – but they have had little impact. except to provoke ridicule. the worship of images. visually compelling images of success. Give us 5 million dollars to feed our children and we keep the statues. Mitchell. The great “victory” in this endless war remains invisible. That is because it is an abject failure.S.” Does this story illustrate the beliefs about images? Mitchell: It tells us a great deal about images. But they regarded them as idols of a different sort – idols of “Western” values.” The destruction had no real effect. They weren’t asking that much. Idolatry. One can see this immediately by reflecting on the metaphoric character of the phrase.” How can you win a war against an emotion? Would it make sense to wage war on nervousness? I think it is symptomatic that the image of “final victory” in this war. The attempt to destroy them often has the effect of making them stronger. and the kind of irrational violence it involves. 12 . The Taliban were well aware that the Bamiyan Buddhas were not being used as idols by Buddhists. We destroyed the statues of Saddam Hussein in Iraq in order to produce spectacular icons of “victory. has been suppressed. “war on terror. of dead villagers killed in U. the attempt to hide what we have done in the name of this monstrous metaphor.Issue 11 . In an interview you told a story of a young Taliban student and the Buddha statues of Bamiyan. the image of the dead Osama bin Laden. in my view. of mutilated bodies and decapitations of hostages. He said that they not been destroyed because they hated them.S. servicemen. in this sense. elevating stone statues above living children. and the beliefs that cluster around them. thank you for your time. a show for the masses Hussein’s statues. All the striking images are of defeat – of flagdraped caskets of U.
Kelantan Islamic Silver Dirham WIM For more information visit us at: www. WIM supports scientific research of the monetary system in general and the manufacturing process of coins and medallions according to Islamic law. In addition we support the activities of lawyers regarding the introduction of these products as legal tender. The dies of all the Islamic Mints maintain a certain standard incorporating key characteristics that allow people to recognise the coins.islamicmint. We continually monitor the minting activity of all Islamic Mint Offices that mint the coins on a local basis. Correctly manufactured products receive a corresponding licence from the WIM.com . WIM examines the legal requirements and standards for the distribution of coins in the whole world.WORLD ISLAMIC MINT Kelantan Islamic Gold Dinar Ensuring the Quality of a Global Service WIM verifies compliance with legal standards in accordance with Islamic law during the manufacture of coins and medallions.
Haji Haroon Chand. The rise of gold beyond $1. From time immemorial. gold has been respected as the best used precious metal. . people do invest in both jewellery and gold bullion. Gold traders say that long-term investors.952 rupees per 10 grams in local market prices has generated fresh interest in the yellow metal. The popular opinion is not unjustified as there has been a tremendous increase in the price of gold over the years. But investment experts believe that people may not return to this traditional safe haven of investment until a planned commodity exchange is in operation.784 an ounce recently in the international market and passing 50. who traditionally invest in the metal. also find it difficult to go for gold because it is not the right time for buying — the prices are just too high. “Whenever gold prices go high — investors as well as end users will not take the risk. not only through its use in jewellery and ornament but also as a widespread means of investment – ‘a saving for a rainy day’. offering better returns than fixed deposits. The increase was observed as the price of gold on international markets continued to mount while by contrast the Pakistani rupee continued to deteriorate. It is the most credible means of investment. but are currently backing off due to high prices. According to All Sindh Sarafa Association’s Chairman.ECONOMY & FINANCE Gold: its daily and economic role in Pakistan by Amna Nasir Jamal Gold prices have hit 14 new peaks during last two and a half months on the back of surging global prices.
saying that Islam’s prophet never supported the Issue 11 . People who bought gold at Rs 24 to 28. As gold hits record highs. Women of every age want to wear jewellery and bangles to look more attractive. Following the trend. Pakistan produces the finest gold jewellery.600 per 10 grams. no gold means no wedding. said that the problems are multi-dimensional and include a lack of qualified designers and schools. It is also gifted with vast deposits of world-class precious and semi-precious stones including rubies from the Hunza Valley. mirroring the rise in prices on the world markets. a local jeweller. they have latterly prefered purchasing lighter jewellery. Some local mullahs have sought to discourage people from overspending on gold. like many other countries in the region. which traditionally was the most expensive item on the dowry list for parents of brides or for prospective grooms. particularly jewellery. Talking about major problems detrimental to the sale of gold and consumption in Pakistan.ECONOMY & FINANCE They wait to put their money in the precious metal when prices stabilize. with one or two exceptions. the dowry tradition has been criticised by both politicians and the Pakistani media alike. “For long term purposes. In Pakistan. a place where tradition encompasses all.’ Qurat. Lacking design schools and highly qualified designers. while shopping for her wedding scheduled for late in the year. ‘sales are ‘OK’ despite the substantial increase in the price of gold. Sales of gold. have increased over the years due to an increase Typical bridal gold jewelry in Pakistan in the population.November 2011 - 15 .000 per tola four years previously.900 per tola today. which is evident from the increase in its prices over the years. particularly plain and generally studded. pink emeralds from Swat and peridots from Kohistan.000 to more than Rs17. as well as the absence of mass production or diversification. Yousuf. gold is still considered the best investment option. said that owing to the high price of gold.” he adds. and many of its hand made designs are second to none in the world. Substantial increase in the cost of living and the subsequent decline in purchasing power have affected sales. however. For years. While the ratio of visits by buyers to jewellers’ shops has not declined. the shops are full of bangles and artificial jewellery of different colours. gold jewellery is more than just a thing of beauty. According to Ikhlaque.” he says. which describe it as an unnecessary extravagance that leaves families in debt and misery. they will buy an artificial set for her marriage day and a small necklace or locket set of gold for her dowry. Since January this year. some couples are being forced to postpone or even cancel their weddings because their families cannot piece together a suitable dowry. the government should realize that if this particular issue is not tackled there will be further declines in the gold trade. a jeweller. In places like the northwestern Swat Valley. domestic gold prices have gone up by about Rs10. There is a class of long-term investor still taking interest in gold. now have a reason to rejoice as its price has jumped to Rs 58. No wedding ceremony in Pakistan is complete without gold jewellery.
it seems that high prices could yet force Pakistanis to break with the tradition. symbolising feminine beauty.November 2011 . Aside from a traditional 18-carat gold set. but the lure of gold will not go away. brass or copper with a 2-percent silver content. This accounts for the significant drop in the sales that has been observed for the past few years.ECONOMY & FINANCE A shop window decorated with bridal gold jewelry in Pakistan concept of the dowry. Semi precious gems. the bride enters her new husband’s home adorned with the gold. the proud parents will customarily display the wedding jewellery to guests.000 ($320 to $510) on average. With the enormous rise in gold prices. pearls and beads have always been a jewellery fashion theme. but the innovation comes from colours in which the pearls are dyed these days. Shortly before a wedding. Market people and local shopkeepers say people have started buying artificial sets even for wedding purposes with heavy bridal sets being very much in demand. After the wedding. artificial jewellery markets are witnessing a boom as customers resort to alternatives to make up for their needs for ornamentation at weddings. It is also seen as an investment in the family’s future. Gold is a status symbol in Pakistan. Artificial jewellery is becoming more attractive and inexpensive for women who find that they can also get a variety of designs and colours in it. from rings and earrings to elaborate bracelets and necklaces. Pearls have once again taken centre stage. Overpriced gold will not stop the wearing of such significant ornamentation. a normal artificial set can be made of silver. 16 . where no bridal ensemble is complete without ample if not excessive solid gold accessories. in 2011the focus in not on the metal but rather the gems. The increasing gold price has moved jewellery in a new fashion direction. One heavy bridal set usually costs Rs. said another gold dealer at the Liberty Market.Issue 11 . with their ability to compliment any sort of outfit. If the politicians’ and mullahs’ lectures were unsuccessful in ending the gold dowry culture. 30 – 45. semi-precious and artificial stones. which is not provided for decorative purposes only.
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Painting depicting Selim III receiving dignitaries during an audience at the Gate of Felicity, Topkapı Palace.
“Ottomania” in Turkey
by Menekse Tokyay
“Ottomania”, a mass interest in everything Ottoman, has become a new trend in Turkey over the past couple of years, a phenomenon not only on account of the popularity of television series like “The Magnificent Century”, depicting the life of Suleyman the Magnificent and his harem.
It reflects in the increased sales of Ottoman history books, Ottoman-style jewelry, museum exhibitions, the restoration of Ottoman buildings and calligraphy. While the craze has a certain commercial dimension to it, Turkey’s Ottoman legacy may also provide a reference point for its proactive regional diplomacy, the expansion of markets and the overcoming of internal divisions within society. According to Zeynep Ertug, who teaches Ottoman cultural history at Istanbul University, there are two main sources for this increased interest. “The first is the search for an identity by a society which is highly embedded in European culture, while the second one is a belated bourgeoisie becoming increasingly richer and curious about the aristocratic way of life.” However, experts do not see this trend as a move away from Kemalist state ideology that sought to disassociate itself from its Ottoman past in the early Republican era, but rather a reflection of changes in how people see Ottoman culture. Until recently, Turks had been taught that
the Ottoman Empire was merely a state organisation. Professor Emre Alkin of Kemerburgaz University elaborates, “However, despite all forced omissions and reluctant remembering, it became evident that Ottoman is in fact a culture of living, covering a wide range of areas from clothes to lifestyle, from cookery to jewelry and decoration,” he tells SETimes. The trend has led to an increase in those who have become much more proud of their Ottoman past. “In fact, for a long time people were uncomfortable hearing that their past was discredited. But now, they are so glad to know that their past was not so bad; on the contrary, it was magnificent,” says Ertug. However, the Ottoman era cannot be taken as a monolithic issue, but rather it is
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composed of different stages, some of them glorious, others marked by defeat. As a result, people tend to be proud of specific periods of their Ottoman past, with some sense of nostalgia. “In the long run, it can lead to frustration when someone asks you such a question: Then, why did such a glorious period end?” asks historian Ahmet Kuyas of Galatasaray University. While some experts like Kuyas consider this trend as the maturation of an interest over three or four decades, others see a superficial dimension to it. “In fact the interest in the Ottoman Empire has never been interrupted, and the current interest is rather superficial when one compares it to the novels of the past discussing Ottoman as a political heritage,” says Selim Kuru, associate professor of Turkish and Ottoman Studies at the University of Washington. For Kuru, the interest manifested in the TV series, the design of goods in shopping malls, and illustrated publications; all ways of reviving Turkey’s domestic and international market. “This recent interest in all that is Ottoman can be explained by the fact that the subject matter has gained meta-value within the market economy,” he explains. According to Kuru, such a profit-based interest comes at the expense of historical works over the past century by prominent academicians, researchers and artists. Nevertheless, the Ottoman legacy, as mentioned, may provide Turkey a reference point for conducting its foreign policy and overcoming problems of identity. AKP Kayseri deputy Pelin Gundes Bakir says that the Ottoman Empire was a melting pot of different identities and religions in the Balkans and the Middle East. “The Ottoman Empire was a centre of tolerance, peace and political stability during its five centuries of existence in the Middle East and Balkans. In this respect, it is logical that the Ottoman model provides a reference for Turkey’s policies in the Middle East and Balkans,” she says.
Bosnian President Izzetbegovic, Ahmet Davutoglu and the Chief Mufti of Bosnia, Dr. Mustafa Ceric
“History shows us clearly that Turkey has the potential to play a great role in the upcoming decade for ensuring peace, stability and economic prosperity, not only in Balkans but also in the Middle East,” Bakir says. However, the renewed interest in the Ottoman legacy is not an atavistic imperial drive, often dubbed neo-Ottomanism. Rather, it comes as a logical consequence of geopolitical change and economic needs in the post-Cold War era. According to Kuyas, the wrongly dubbed neo-Ottomanism is in fact Turkey’s research for new markets in the immediate geographical vicinity. “It is not so much a matter of cultural extension, but rather a wish to extend its economic Lebensraum.” Neither does Mustafa Akyol, a Turkish political commentator, see it as a neoimperialist attempt, “On the contrary, if conceived in a reasonable way, it can provide a promising vision to the policymakers.” However for Akyol, “there
is always the risk of over-idealisation, if it is not applied in a reasonable way,” remembering the Ottoman’s historical links with the Balkans and Middle East, While some have interpreted Turkey’s proactive policy in the Middle East as a shift away from the West, Akyol doesn’t see the increased interest in Turkey’s Ottoman legacy as a rejection of Europe. “The alliances the Ottoman Empire established with European powers like France and England expressed a significant role in European politics. With such an Ottoman past, Turkey cannot exclude Europe, even though the EU membership path Turkey is pursuing is not so promising nowadays,” explains Akyol. Maybe, and most importantly for domestic stability, the renewed interest in the Ottoman legacy can be a positive step towards rediscovering the pluralism within Turkish society. “In other terms, the Ottoman past can provide the society with a strong reference for identifying its different components, such as Kurdish people or non-Muslims,” he says.
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November 2011 .Issue 11 .EUROPE Seeking a New Elite The Prussians have a thing or two to teach us about living with Muslims by Abu Bakr Rieger 20 .
A new generation of Muslims – all of them born here – certainly consider Germany a role model and a homeland. which was that everyone in Prussia “should be happy according to his own façon. especially the German aristocracy. As the ruler of a multi-ethnic state and a country of immigration. simplistic comparisons ought to be avoided. Today. Given this basic attitude. Frederick had no difficulty in pronouncing that “all religions are equally good” and that “immigrating Turks should be provided with mosques. A thoroughly readable homage to Frederick the Great’s respectful dealings with his minorities. Europe needs new elites for a constructive dialogue with Islam. has taken pains to support Islam’s presence in German society.EUROPE “Islam is part of Prussia” – the title of an article by Iwan D‘Aprile that appeared in a magazine published by the Berlin-based Prussian Castles Foundation. on both sides. Federal President Christian Wulff and Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich have made some very public attempts to sound out the role of Islam in Europe’s past and future. Prussia certainly did not suffer from problems of leadership when dealing with Islam. The Prussian king’s most famous saying. but could never imagine living without Islam. The new Interior Minister in particular. the mood and contemplation of the other was characteristically intelligent. it is also an unusual accompaniment to the public debate around the millions of Muslims living in Germany. each knowing who the other is and leading by example. can the possibility of genuine dialogue or even strategic partnership ever emerge in their respective societies. The contentious issue of whether Islam belongs to the German body politic is forcing a complete rethink of the German republic’s historical and religious identity. History teaches us that only if opinion-leaders. it is no surprise that Frederick the Great considered an alliance with Muslims. Politics has no genuine vision for the future of these new Germans. It is these young people whom the debate is really about. but primarily through the absorption of neighbouring peoples. There was large-scale immigration in Prussia. had no fear whatsoever of contact with Muslims. Back in 1739. The historical situation of eighteenth century Prussia with its first tenuous forms of immigration cannot really be compared to our age of mass Muslim influx. It is worth taking note of the traditional Prussian attitude towards Islam. on both sides. What is the European tradition that populists like the Dutchman Geert Wilders refer to as they attempt to deny citizenship to young men coming from the fourth generation of immigrant families? Such absurdity certainly does not derive from Germany’s historical immigrant experience. Foreigners have been integrated again Ahmet Effendi. the Prussian king Friedrich Issue 11 . Yet the Prussian encounter with Islam is still an interesting one.November 2011 - 21 . Islam no” – has not exactly made believing Muslims feel more at home in Germany. The self-assured elites of that period. CSU politician Friedrich. are able to get along.” summarises well the respectful tone the Prussian leader adopted towards every confession. the famous statements of Frederick the Great are proof enough of this. adept dealings with minorities were part of the great man’s repertoire. although it must be said that his solution – “Muslims yes. of which there was something of a tradition in Prussia.” which was a sincerely meant instruction. over many centuries. Ottoman ambassador to court in Berlin and again into the German-speaking world. especially since. While we may admire Prussian equanimity in their encounters with this other religion.
he revealed to his astonished friend Voltaire plans to settle around 1. Acutely aware of the demise of Ottoman greatness. Nuri commented especially on Frederick the Great’s ubiquitous creative legacy.November 2011 . an incapable. The lawyer travelled to Berlin in the summer of 1913.Issue 11 . When he arrived in Potsdam. “How terrible it is to be stumbling around. his battalion of Potsdam Giants. in 1763. parks. An interesting anthology entitled Turks in Berlin shows just how much impression Prussian traditions made on Turkish intellectuals. All of its magnificent halls. foreign soldiers who were immediately given a small. This Prussian vision of drawing together a wide range of peoples into one great nation was certainly an honourable one. The famous travel journals of the jurist Celal Nuri bear typical witness to their times.EUROPE EUROPE Equestrian statue of Frederick the Great Wilhelm I hosted a number of Turkish lange Kerls. As a symbol of courteous relations between two religions. In a famous letter dated 13 August 1775. improvised mosque in the city. gardens. The Prussians were obviously capable of handling their minorities.” 22 .” As an integrated part of the Prussian army. thus founding what was to become a long tradition of tactful relations between Turks and Germans. A little while later. Frederick the Great even considered the controlled immigration of Muslims a good idea. giving them a genuine feeling of being valued and needed. but the king declared his protection of “the Islamic religion and its practice. domes. “The monarchy is given form in Potsdam. works of art and countless statues demonstrate the splendour and greatness of the state. Today you can still see the graves of the deceased members of such Turkish delegations in Berlin’s Muslim graveyard next to one of the city’s most beautiful mosques. collections. Unlike today there was no lack of bold vision in that respect.” he writes in his travel journal. Not only that. indeed the European aristocracy never adopted today’s simplistic friendenemy attitude in their dealings with the Muslims. Frederick II invited an Osmanli ambassador to Brandenburg. Functional Germany. its cleanliness and the efficiency of its facilities immediately captivated him. awkward bumpkin in this capital of progress.000 Muslims families in his country. Muslims were hardly going to be depicted as absolute enemies. he planned mosques and instructed his subordinates not to be upset if the Muslims praised Allah. this cemetery stands as part of Germany’s cultural inheritance. he described how he witnessed “the collapse of the Ottoman Empire at first hand”. A treaty of friendship and trade was concluded with the Osmanli in 1761 as a practical consequence of these initial links. which of today’s politicians have ever thought to settle Muslims in eastern Germany to counter that region’s rural exodus and demographic decline? But Muslims encountering Prussians were also ready to admire and respect the achievements of their hosts. the magnificence and dignity of the government and therefore of the monarchy.
however.W. Can our current elite actually formulate a vision of how Islam may genuinely belong to Germany. “How weak must our Kaiser Wilhelm II spiritual. saying that it is quite simply the terrorism of the 21st century that separates Prussia’s respect for Islam and today’s situation. the inner and outer teachings of its nomos. To tolerate means to insult. Volker Tschapke. The friendship between Wilhelm and the Turkish sultan Abdulhamid II was a high point in relations between leading Muslim and Christian figures of the time. J. demands not only time but a willingness to learn.” Issue 11 . religious and cultural position has become if what we have always tolerated is now declared a threat?” Some critics may object. but the Kaiser kept on having him write down missives to the Sultan with von Bülow recalling with consternation the varied eulogies he had to employ so that “the Kaiser would not be seen to be repeating himself. Europe has always had a tradition of a deeper relationship to Islam.” So what actually remains of the Prussian tradition of rapprochement with Islam. and why we see a bad omen in headscarves. Prince von Bülow dedicated a whole chapter to his incisive memoirs of his service at the court of the Kaiser on their oriental visit in 1898. The great European.November 2011 - 23 . reveals a certain lack of education. not to exclude the European aristocracy. Sadly our political elites are often hopelessly out of their depth when it comes to the content and requirements of an intelligent dialogue. and wondered why we are bothered by the rituals. While pointing out that he knows and loves his Bible. Tschapke was perplexed that suddenly “togetherness must be replaced by opposition”. in his Maxims demanded more than just tolerance: “Tolerance can in fact only be a temporary disposition. The study of Islam’s relationship to violence. Goethe no less.EUROPE It is without a doubt the period under Kaiser Wilhelm II which reveals most clearly to the German mind Prussia’s close relations with Islam. The Prussia expert then summed up. delivered a lecture in 2006 entitled “Prussia and Islam” in which he defended – in distinctive Prussian style – Muslims and their beliefs against the abyss of an ever-narrowing debate in Germany. it must lead to recognition. which took the German Kaiser not only to Istanbul but to Damascus and Jerusalem as well. the diplomat von Bülow strove to formulate the Kaiser’s enthusiasm about Islam and Turkey in as sober a tone as possible. He himself was interested mainly in the economic possibilities for German industry remaining more sceptical about political alliances. president of the Prussian Society. Worried that other European powers would misunderstand such cordial relations. why we disseminate abusive cartoons. its potential and its possibilities? What we can certainly say is that the basic principles adopted by the Prussians in their dealings with minorities have today become more needed than ever. This criticism. especially when Wilhelm visited Istanbul himself. one which goes beyond mere tolerance? Many Muslims wish to see a new impetus from the new elites.
November 2011 .Issue 11 .EUROPE The Adab of Urban Design by Yusuf Adams 24 .
is ‘not a culture. As a designer and researcher working in the UK. The problems and possibilities are the same.EUROPE A vital aspect to the question of the transformative and beneficial role of Muslims in Europe is undoubtedly the programme of each mosque and its relationship with each specific environment. At the time of writing – August 2011 – the UK has witnessed an urban breakdown: the cracks of social inequality and cultural nihilism are appearing. Islam swept outwards from the Middle East from its beginning. which in the words of the Scottish Shaykh. except as a cultural baseball bat. Layla Dawson. The manifestation of this Muslim thread of life. and those of their surrounding community. Abdalqadir as-Sufi. states that if we. as Islam is limited by neither. ‘The Big Society. however symptomatically linked they may be. the usual reportage for the last decade has been dominated by a climate of fear and distrust. Dr.November 2011 - 25 . questions need to be asked. preserved. in British PM. “substitute ‘Islam’ for ‘minarets’. The issue has been veiled by devastating world events and an ever-increasingly polarised society. Once understood. we ‘have the real subject of this referendum. Can Muslim communities living within a secular system draw fully from their practice to transform beneficially. Not for an instant can we say that the these chaotic scenes are. addressing the issue both academically and practically. and in its path encountered myriad forms of cultures which have been embraced. The Pew Forum Report of 2010 states that the British Muslim community is 2.000 – attended the men’s open-air funeral. I am discovering that the social-political terrain – of which designing and building are a part – in the UK is indicative of the wider European situation. the third largest minority in absolute terms. Unprecedented numbers – approximately 30. nor the largely unreported political coup in Iceland. boys and girls.87 million. and revivified. setting fire to buildings and cars and looting shops for trainers and mobile phones. and smaller city centres. displays both the divisions between disparate groups and the possibilities of a shared future.” (2) The ‘clash of civilisations’ fallacy fails to accurately grasp either an east or a west. Muslims in particular have been out in force protecting their homes and businesses. where the minaret has become associated with conquest – reduced to symbol – falling short of its common function as a tower to call Muslims to pray at the prescribed time. To focus on the meaning of the Mosque is to address its role within the wider urban fabric in which it is enmeshed. and of course misunderstands Islam as a way of life. The recent ban on minaret construction in Switzerland reflects the political potency of architecture. The rate of population growth for Muslims is estimated to be ten times faster than the rest of society. I am engaged with this question whilst working on the proposed design for a mosque complex. and has bound such disparate groups as feminists (who see minarets as phallic) and Neo-Nazis (who see them as something else) into an unholy alliance. David Cameron’s phrasing. Their noble actions and those of their mourning families have shown a side of the Muslim community that some perhaps have never seen. Birmingham. and the inability to address root causes by the political class. Nottingham. During these so called ‘riots’ it has been the actions of some residents in affected areas – in Birmingham in particular – that have shone above the wilful destruction and petty desires of the looters on one hand. after Germany and France. consciously connected to the tumult across the Arab world nor the protests in Greece and Spain. Minaret of the Suleymaniye Mosque Despite recent reports in the national and international media supporting the bravery of individual actions in the country’s unrest. (1) This statistic is of interest to some. woven into a largely secular framework.’ but ‘a filter for culture. All this occurs against the globally shared backdrop of prolonged war efforts and an ongoing worldwide financial crisis. Muslim communities must also free themselves from this confusion. and a source of great concern for others.’ As a lived and experienced reality. writing in the Architectural Review in 2010.’ from within a failing social nexus. children as young as 11. Three young men died in doing so. The United Kingdom and the rest of Europe are no exception to this process – if we can look beyond the frame of assimilation – and must be separated from any confrontations of culture or ethnic identity. It has little to do with architecture. have been arrested following days of group rampages through areas of London. transformed. for those involved. a postindustrial wilderness? Issue 11 .
’ The mihrab ubiquitous in mosque architecture worldwide – was an addition by Al-Walid ibn Abd al-Malik. and intimately connected with being in the company of the Prophet and his family. the announcement of the two Eids. The mosque was essentially public in nature. had a most unusual siting. prayed. the rights of the funeral prayer and so on. This clarifying filter can shed light on the events and context of each persons life and be the sociable axis of the Muslims’ seven day cycle. ‘This. is the dwelling. to recognise. (6) Architectural beauty unfolds from purpose. domestic life distinct but not detached from public life. proportion and materiality. first of all we can say that the mosque is a dwelling place for the people. Architectural historians have agreed that.November 2011 . ‘A place is a centre of action and intention. denoting the direction of prayer towards Mecca. Perpendicular to the dappled shaded area. to sleep and eat. where the first Muslim community in which the entire lived situation or praxis manifested as a dynamic transmission of knowledge. however incongruous to a specific site context. habituated. The very root of insan – man – is ins: to be sociable. IV. (3) To return to the source is to travel back to Madina. terminates eventually in Mecca. (4) So. It is here that all Imams – standing on the lower steps in honour of their role as inheritors of the Prophet’s example and message – address the matters of the time with verses from the Quran that point to their reality. the qibla. In this oblong hall the congregation met. on intimate terms. Shelter – Between earth and sky the community built a shelter in the form of a hypostyle from palm leaves supported by palm trunks. ‘Islam appeared in a time and place where there was no civilisation. it is a focus where we experience the meaningful events of our existence. are not relevant. Once she had knelt down Muhammad said. Transformational Space Like the mihrab. The Courtyard – The stark elemental simplicity of the courtyard strips away all formal typologies later acquired by the multicultural embrace of empire and by technical innovation. Entrance at Selimiye Mosque The Source A return to the source is needed to see the role of the mosque clearly. All aspects of leadership: the assessment and collection of Zakat. The aesthetic considerations of architectural vocabulary: geometry. a small dome above the place of the Imam and four slender and inaccessible minarets were all additions by Al-Walid. as Cambridge Professor and Imam Abdalhakim Murad Winters states. eighty years after the death of the Prophet. III. ‘In it’s simplest terms. So we must clear the ground. all who needed it could find shelter. and the ground was no less sacred for it. was unadorned in the lifetime of Muhammad.Issue 11 . were the small dwellings of the Prophet and his family. the praxis which parallels aspects of amal: knowledge put into action as an entire way of life. These later elements have become the main focus and priority when communities seek to build a new mosque. Within the perimeter of this wall. if Allah wills. (5) If we list the elements of the first mosque we see the transformative role of its program. approximately 56 by 53 meters. The Qibla – The qibla wall. flow from the informative role of the Imams and the informed actions of an appointed Amir. along the eastern outer flank of the courtyard. built in 622 AD by the Prophet and his companions. The House of the Prophet is a walled courtyard. issuing from the far wall. and studied and addressed all matters life. The archetypal Mosque of Madina. where the guest was welcomed. which passes invisibly down the middle of the floor and. Yet it is the multifaceted 26 . with the completion of Quranic revelation twinned with the life pattern of its Messenger. The phenomenologist and architect Christian NorbergSchultz states that. accustomed. II. a mosque is a building erected around a single horizontal axis. the Prophet’s camel walked freely and come to a rest. Before all else then we can say that the first mosque was a home for the destitute. returning to the desert and sky. The Minbar – Here the first public Juma were held and the Prophet would give the khutba (or sermon) from the minbar: a three stepped stool. Gadamer reminds us in Truth and Method that ‘a building is never only a work of art.EUROPE I. may Allah bless him and grant him peace. until this role has been fully grasped. largely open to sky.
. The many renovations of the Prophet’s Mosque are the architectural story of the spread of Islam. are the only original elements. and charitable service. is enlightening: Imaret in Turkish. the very concept of civilisation. with the collective focus of the congregation continuing beyond the confines of the building. Samer Akkach. meaning ‘whole’ – which fit tightly into the dense urban fabric.‘ The mosque can be extended in any direction without upsetting the necessary spatial order. The author of Cosmology and Architecture in Premodern Islam. Gulru Necipoglu. (7) the discovery of which must be experienced on foot via the various paths and gateways to each mosque complex. It’s meaning. as did Sinan and the C16th Ottoman court. I studied the vast range of Sinan’s mosque complexes. the term ‘umran denotes inhabitedness. describes the ambience of this archetypal place as having a sense of ‘neutrality. (9) We are returning to the Prophet’s siting of a dwelling place. A microcosm within the city. and a courtyard. From the same Arabic trilateral root. a covered hall. On a recent research trip. building. Yet the key vocabulary – the qibla wall. populating and civilising. and equilibrium. (8) Lessons for our adab of urban design lie in the spatial organisation of smaller neighbourhood mosque complexes. and uses instead the word imaret. which traditionally contained not only the space for prayer but places of education. self-contained entities. nostalgically hoping to transplant such immense beauty and majesty. often largely unseen from the now traffic-filled streets. trade. for novice Arabic students like myself.November 2011 - 27 . allowing every point in the space to be of equal significance. There is a striking resonance with Heidegger’s notions of dwelling – the locus of dasein – where ‘building is really dwelling. Edirne functionality of the space as the nodal centre of each community that is the vital key to the transformative reality of the mosque. prosperity. the largest in the world at that time. Today’s authority on Sinan. non-procession.. regardless of the time and place they live in. The original Prophet’s Mosque has been seen as a ‘remarkably modern building. from the Arabic ‘imara. which could be expanded and contracted according to the needs of the community. All else is adornment. Mimar Sinan. It is less Issue 11 . semantically represents improvement by cultivating. whose magnificent silhouettes punctuate the rolling hills of Istanbul’s skyline. ‘imara. a minbar for juma’.’ and ‘dwelling is the manner in which we mortals are on the earth. populousness.’ (10) Lessons from Istanbul Very few mosque spaces convey a sense of equilibrium and unity better than the centrally domed mosques by the C16th Ottoman Master. known today as kulliye – from the Arabic kull. A greater understanding of Sinan’s choreography of space will show how he was working with the layers and limits of an existing cityscape. Many communities to this day want an Osmanli silhouette when designing a mosque. repose.EUROPE Dar ash-Shifa or ‘House of Health’ Mosque complex garden.’ well known to what great extent each of Sinan’s buildings constituted the “nerve centres” of the city. in closed. inhabiting. states that the term kulliye is modern.
trade. ‘the focus of social life and the backbone of the city pattern. to beautify the area as a whole. Simple & Profound Design Currently. and nonMuslims can be engaged with in the most natural of ways. (13) and that ‘during the Osmanli era. by the Mosque of Sultan Ayyub. Regardless of just or corrupt governance. the caretakers of the waqf. or varying cultural identities. (14) Our task is not to see such a beneficial reality relegated to a past golden age of Islam.. one can see a waqf for the feeding of birds. Professional nurseries. From the generosity of one person to the care-taking of one family to the activities of each jamaat.a. waqf property has been created and remnants survive across the globe. is not an option. to ‘building. those who were able competed with one another in this cultivation and developed the practice of the establishment of waqfs – from the example of the Prophet – into a series of complexes that are. The 28 .EUROPE Köln Mosque under construction. for every need and case that could be imagined or thought of. by making descendants the mutawallis.’ stating that bauen means at the same time to cherish and protect.November 2011 . where the waqf of Mihirishah Valide Sultan still serves people today.’ Historian Professor Mehmet Maksudoglu states that a waqf is any ‘property or amount of wealth etc. this is no less than to plant the shariah. of ‘I am. British Trust Law cannot establish property in perpetuity. The design of each mosque complex must unfold from this reality of service. dedicated to the benefit of the created to please the Creator. All scales of waqf property must be embraced. from which grows the haqqiqa. the reality. 2011 Heidegger connects the ontology of Ich bin.’ to the topology of bauen. and people in need of skills are trained. complete with low fountain and a ‘birds only’ fenced off area. alongside the market forces of exponential growth and debt.. No act of service must be deemed too small. Such an action has profound implications for the nature of each neighbourhood in which an imaret is sited. all businesses that bring benefit must be considered.. and offer a free trading space within which independent produce and means of trade can be established. yet we must work within this system to achieve socio-economic change. The mosque becomes the unconditional and authentic bridge between people that is so lacking in our privately commodified urban environment. In Ottoman society. geology. specifically to till the soil. to preserve and care for. so let us offer this green solution.s. to quote the late architect Dogun Koban. the reality of the Deen grows from the ground up. echoing the words of Muhammad s. Waiting for the British legal system to recognise the key fact of permanence in Islamic Law. (11) In the words of the Sufis. As Sinan introduced markets into the integral design and function of the mosque complex. the law.w. that ‘actions are but by intentions’ (12) The role of the mosque.Issue 11 . is the subject of all human dwelling. or left in some distant land. people established awqaf. intention and action. To this end the imaret can also contain training workshop guilds where needed things are made.’ Some historians state that ‘two thirds of the city of Istanbul was waqf property. Where it is possible to establish property as a trust. when sending in our planning applications! People will know their local mosque by walking to it. Massive car parks must be sacrificed. to cultivate the vine. we move in the right direction. We can then avoid the crime of inheritance tax on property. with correct knowledge. we can create mosque market gardens. dental and alternative health practices.
IV. Islamic scholar Hashim Ismail Dockrat highlights these integrated socio-economic elements as follows: I.’ Ribats (fortresses) along the North African coast have rounded minarets – manara – which are lighthouses. communities and charitable bodies – create places of light. Zawiyas – The homes of the Sufi orders to which all the guilds belong. The most common term manara or manar – travelling via Turkey to the English language as minaret – means a place for fire or light. like the image of the mihrab containing a lamp to the word nur. Awqaf – The charitable real estate foundations common to Muslim societies. boundary stones. and that serve people by what they need. worship. with beneficial Issue 11 .EUROPE Open ablution area – Bayazit Mosque. X. The key to understanding lies in the name of thing. Change to the original mosque was actually strongly objected to by the people of Madina – the descendants of the Prophet and of his companions – the minarets were additions after the demolition and expansion by Al-Walid. Muslim personal law. Guilds – The organising bodies of traders. manifestations of mu’amalat. (17) Naturally they became the means of identifying the greatly expanded mosque from a distance. Istanbul education system alone seems barely able to teach or train: the Mayor of London stated recently that one in four 11-year-old children in London are functionally illiterate. V. most common during the Ottoman period. craftsmen and artisans. quiet poetic buildings fitting to place and purpose. which constitute the amal or praxis of Islam. This is a most succinct summary of the organic nexus that a mosque complex is the unifying centre of. (15) These brief suggestions are simple instances. VII. from the handshake of the door handle to the depth of the threshold and the natural light within. social and economic needs of a community within towns and cities. ‘light. The imaret system – A complex that fulfils the spiritual. that welcome people when they enter.November 2011 - 29 . IX. (19) These meanings correlate with the minaret as having a ‘connection with light’ which ‘has been used as the basis for a symbolic interpretation of the minaret as an emanation of divine light or as an image of spiritual illumination. III. II. if it can programmatically ‘know it’s place’. Open markets – The physical arena where trading takes place. that draw people to them. Architecture – The importance of architecture and urbanism in Islamic development. (20) With this image in mind. VIII. let us – clients and architects. (16) Places of Light One final note on our pre-occupation with minarets. of attraction. a sign post and an oil lamp. Islamic business contracts – The types of permitted business and partnership contracts. the transactions along with ibada. Islamic currency – The bimetal currency consisting of gold and silver. (18) The term not only connects to nur but also to the words for a watchtower. VI. Caravans – The networking of distance trading and international trade.
15/08/11 16 Dockrat. architecture is to culture as a whole. References & Notes: 1 The Times – January 2009 2 The Architectural Review – January 2010 3 Winters. Mehmet – Essay: Waqf – from Sultaniyya – As-Sufi.’ Yusuf Adams is currently a Jameel Scholar at the Cardiff School of Architecture in association with The Centre for the Study of Islam in the UK (CSIUK) working on a PhD thesis entitled. Thinking. it is best to see praxis as a situation that includes not 30 .149 7 Dogan. and connect these dwelling places to the well being of the city.masud. Christopher – A Pattern Language – p. teacher and architect Dalibor Veseley. Foltz.73 18 ibid – p.November 2011 . which incorporates an ongoing imaret building project in the Midlands. Dwelling.co. Hashim Ismail – Islam. all of our experiences there. The writer.147 12 First Hadith in the 40 Hadith of Imam Nawwawi – Trans. and asks.368 Seated wudhu for worshipers at the Suleymaniye Mosque functions that are needed by all. arguing that what the book is to literacy. Christian – Existence.52 14 ibid – p. speaking on Channel Four News.62 22 Veseley. but on the pattern of events which we experience there. Robert – Islamic Architecture – p.13 9 Necipoglu. and Environmental Concerns: A Development Model Based on Islam’s Organic Society – In Islam & Ecology.68 8 ibid – p. Beyond the Minaret: A Space for the Spirit – A Place for the People. (22) No matter how modest. Martin – Building. it is living and acting in accordance with ethical principles. because the practice or ‘amal of Islam pertains to all aspects of human activity.71 10 Heidegger. – p.uk 4 Akkach.346 – 347 17 Hillenbrand. Space & Architecture – 1979 6 Gadamer. D. Samer – Cosmology and Architecture in Premodern Islam – p. More specifically. Richard – p.F. To look at the lived situation of a community and see its pattern language is to address Christopher Alexander’s reflection that. It can therefore be envisaged holistically. ‘What is praxis?’ Generally speaking. drawing as it were from the clear source of its existence – nothing less than the amal of Madina al-Munawarra. who questions the way in which architecture is used as an instrument or commodity. Prof. ‘Those of us who are concerned with building tend to forget too easily that all the life and soul of a space.194 5 Norberg-Schultz.134 20 ibid – p.57 15 Boris Johnson.350 11 ibid – p. Dalibor – Architecture in the Age of Divided Representation – p. each mosque forms this locus. Muslim Society.Issue 11 .132 21 Alexander. when an authentic place for people is realized. from Basic Writings – Ed. Attilio Petruccioli – p. He also tutors architectural design at various universities in the UK.EUROPE only people doing or experiencing something but also (those) things that contribute to the fulfillment of human life.132 19 ibid – p. Kuban – Essay: Suleymaniye & C16th Istanbul – from Environmental Design: Mimar Sinan. We must poetically orchestrate these spaces and their materiality. The Urban Vision – Journal of the Islamic Environmental Design Research Centre – Ed. C. Krell. Mayor of London. Abdassamad Clarke 13 Maksudoglu. We must seek no less than the illumination of each locus by the transformative daily rhythms that make up the way of life that is Islam. ‘The City of Light. Shaykh Abdalqadir – p. He considers the potential of praxis. depend not simply on the physical environment. Nicholas – Truth & Method – p. (21) The praxis of the community in question is a clear mirror to the urban condition and notions of dwelling within it. Timothy Abdal Hakim – Essay: The Sunna as Primordiality – April 1999 – article from www. Gulru – The Age of Sinan – Architectural Culture in the Ottoman Empire – p. A Bestowed Trust – ed. Our Muslim communities themselves may be surprised in the ways in which this has a transformative effect on a wider secular society.
November 2011 - 31 .Issue 11 .
held during the weekend of 9th to 11th September 2011. their harmonious coexistence with the rest of the society would probably amaze the great Ottoman ruler if he visited Vienna today. Suleiman the Magnificent laid siege to the city in 1529. as was well illustrated by the numerous examples given by the participants in the 32 .Issue 11 . the skyline of the Austrian capital has boasted a new landmark. The freedom and relative harmony in which Muslims live and practice Islam in Austria has become a benchmark of respect towards the Muslim faith. but failed to conquer it. focused on one aspect of that changing reality: The Muslims of Europe and their cities.November 2011 . almost five hundred years ago. What was then a remote peripheral area is now a central location in the city. a contribution that is not only historic but an actual and living one. Stephen’s Cathedral. beside the Danube in Vienna Highlights of the EMU Gathering in Vienna by Abdulhasib Castiñeira Since 1979.EUROPE The Wien Mosque. as much as the Burgtheater or St. have rendered the Muslim communities an integral part of European society. The theme of the conference was: “The Muslim contribution to civic life in the cities of Europe” . The annual gathering of the European Muslim Union in Vienna. coupled with the discovery and full acceptance of Islam by a growing number of indigenous Europeans. Truly times have changed in Europe: the silent invasion of immigrants landing on the shores of the former colonial countries. The Austrian Muslim community is a dynamic example of a well-integrated and well-respected Muslim community in a European country. A green dome and a characteristic Ottoman minaret by the Danube riverside have become once more. an accepted image of Vienna.
In fact. And those who are not seen as a part of ‘European culture’ are demonised as the source of all ills”. the inescapable reality of the Muslim presence in their societies. The European Issue 11 . To be fair. it must be said that the European Union. mainly through bureaucratic bodies within the Council of Europe. admitted Mr. one century ago next year. and is a sign of common sense and good judgement. in the context of the rising unfairness towards Islam and Muslims on the continent. the problems EU member states face today have nothing to do with Islam and Muslims. The alarming fact is that the marginal views of the far right are spreading in mainstream European politics to the extent of gaining seats in parliaments. Bagis. “The fact that these political movements use the case of Turkey’s membership as an instrument in their domestic politics is actually an indicator of their insufficiency in fulfilling the real needs of their citizens. representatives of Muslim communities from 19 European countries. the Muslim and the Moor seen as the quintessential “other’.EUROPE Representatives from 19 countries at the annual gathering of the European Muslim Union in Vienna gathering. favouring ways of peaceful coexistence between different faiths. Austria. prejudices turn to an irrational hatred. constitutes a valid example of how European governments can address.November 2011 - 33 . into hatred. where Islam was legally declared as a religion of rooted tradition in 1989. “A Eurocentric historical view has promoted an understanding of the ‘Muslim other’ for centuries. something which has been happening on the political fringes of European societies in recent years. applauded by far right sections. The rhetoric against Islam and Muslims is used to gain votes. These problems have social and economic roots that should not be dealt with in their own context”. Egemen Bagis. This legal provision is a first step. with populist political leaders in many European countries adopting a dangerous anti-Islamic line of argumentation. Bagis. intent on promoting the safeguard of the social. like in the case of Spain. Austria has recognised Islam as an official religion of the nation. can turn. economic and religious rights of the Muslims within the EU. The centuries long European prejudice against Islam and Muslims. is actively involved in fighting Islamophobia. Particularly in times of crises. said the Minister. Since 1912. Rather than proposing concrete solutions to the problems of their public. observed Mr. set the tone and the standard for the conference and was one of the high-points of the entire gathering. in times of crises. The capable discourse by the Minister of the Republic of Turkey for European Community Affairs. The Minister’s public recognition that the European Muslim Union has assumed the key role of being the voice of the Muslims in Europe came both as an encouragement and a challenge. they are trying to save the day. by means of dialogue and cooperation.
The Muslims. the President of the EMU Foundation. The Honorary President of the EMU Foundation. now have an important opportunity to offer answers to the crisis.Issue 11 . The decades of struggle of the Muslims of Bulgaria was another moving presentation that indicated the steadfastness and spiritual resilience of a European Muslim people. The Muslim community of Granada made history when it first minted Islamic gold dinars and silver dirhams in 1992. Fairness in the market place is what is missing and the millions of protesters occupying the streets and squares of the world to denounce the corrupt banking system await the news of Islam. It has also set an example in the way in which it has overcome nationalist fantasies to establish harmony between Muslims of Spanish. The many decades of Muslim presence in Berlin. spoke about the truly exemplary achievements of the Ottomans in the great metropolis. well-respected Muslim community. The call of Abu Bakr Rieger. the capital of Sanjak. cooperative and active way in society. idiotically labelled ‘War against Terror’.EUROPE Participants of the Vienna meeting during one of the sessions monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia (EUMC) and the Council of Europe Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) are initiatives aiming at combating. the consequences of which we all. Another referent for the Muslims of Europe is the city of Granada. affection and mutual counsel. and in its resolute intention to offer the guidance of Islam to the society at large. already a tradition of the EMU conferences. The Jami’ah Mosque of Granada. for the Muslims of Europe to work in a united. are suffering. the report about Prizen in Kosovo and most relevantly. among other phenomena. A source of inspiration in many regards. reflected the spirit of the three-day gathering in which the strong bonds of respect. Muslims and non-Muslims. The presentations of cities and countries in which Muslims are making a positive impact started with one on Istanbul. remains a beacon of clarity in troubled times. Prof. The struggle to attain dignity by a Muslim people that live under a hostile government was brilliantly illustrated by the case of Novi Pazar.November 2011 . both historically and in recent times. firstly under communism and now a democratic system that still does not fulfil their basic rights. the small Muslim enclave in the Serbian Republic. the testimony from 34 . North African and Middle Eastern origin. during the heights of hysteria against Islam. and to promote alternatives to restore sanity and equity in money transactions. Nevcat Yalcintas. inaugurated in July 2003. the rising discrimination against Muslims. Islam is the only remaining religion that upholds the condemnation of usury with a detailed and clear definition of the limits of fairness in trade and finance. home to a dynamic. Rieger iterated. were again the dominant feature. Dr.
“Islam belongs to Europe”. delivering an address during the opening ceremony Birmingham. The motto of the EMU Foundation. wisdom and manliness. the old capital of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. which implies striving to obey and to fulfil the contract with the Creator in all dimensions of life – in all transactions – and not only in the acts of worship. Another being the second and third generations of Muslims.EUROPE Egemen Bagis. Particularly significant in this case is the fact that this is the earnest endeavour of a team of young British Muslims. and the careful balance sought in attending equally to the needs of the local Muslim community and the demands of the local environment – in this case. Turkey’s minister for the EU membership. tribalism and the destructive divisions brought in from other countries or instigated by Islam’s enemies. but also indicates the need for unity and submission to the Real. born in Europe from families that once arrived as immigrants but who now are clear as to their own Muslim identity as much as they are sure of belonging to European culture. Issue 11 . Yusuf Adams himself represented one of them. but conditional on their acknowledging. Excellence in design. provided a benchmark of sanity. such a high mission and the rejection of the false idols of nationalism. implementation and functionality are crucial characteristics that have made Muslim cities jewels of civilisation and prosperity. as Yusuf Adams is himself.November 2011 - 35 . The gathering of the EMU in Vienna. from diverse backgrounds – both south Asian and indigenous British. in a small town of the British Midlands was another highlight of the gathering. themselves indigenous Europeans. Another reality lies in the growing numbers of Muslim scholars of high caliber. the second city of Britain. Yusuf Adams. The young architect acknowledged the responsibility of Muslims in western societies to regenerate the social fabric. and the events following the brutal killing of three young Muslims during the riots that erupted in August. The vitality and dynamism of the Muslims are decisive factors in the regeneration of the decaying European societies. was fully realised during the three day meeting in September. reflects an indisputable historic reality. The presentation of the young English architect. so much needed in the present time. namely. as Muslims. the growing numbers of young Europeans that discover and accept Islam wholeheartedly. explicit in the aims of the Foundation. was one in which the potential for this awakening and unity. that enlightened the whole world. who are capable guides and leaders of their particular communities. there are deeper currents of great strength with much more durable consequences. Alongside the superficial turbulence of the populist agitation of hatred and hostility against Muslims. about the project of an Imaret – which in Ottoman terminology refers to an urban complex of social welfare built around a Mosque.
However. for the simple reason of the presence of technological and financial conditions that now. Hannibal. Today. The second was to seize technical and/or parliamentary control. But every revolution of the past was led by distinguished political players: Robespierre. Mussolini. Kapp or Fidel Castro succeed today in attempting a coup d’état with their brand of parliamentary and technical capture of the state. Neither could Napoleon (who marked the beginning of the second stage). Mussolini in the Italian Revolution. Fidel Castro in the Cuban Revolution. with a much more complex and subtle technique implicit after the full utilisation of technological advances at the turn of the new millennium.November 2011 . to revolve – is the radical takeover of power by the governed. and every art has its technique. revolution – from the French word revolvere. historians and political analysts are not unaware that coup d’état is an art. Lenin and Trotsky in the Russian Revolution. This has become very clear over the last decade. If it is generally described as the 36 . Piłsudski. Caesar and the Plutarchian military generals of the first stage would unlikely succeed today. Danton.Issue 11 . it is through the technological and technical control of populations (the youth especially) and public opinion that overthrows a government. who the principal players of the current Arab revolutions are is unknown. In political history. and the list goes on.MIDDLE EAST The Changing Middle East by Hasbullah Shafiy’i Governments. Marat in the French Revolution. The art of capturing the state and seizing control of its functions and operations have passed through two stages. Cromwell. Hitler. have an influence over political-economic rule and vice versa. more than ever before. The first chapter was military. Sulla. Trotsky.
at the very least. with implications for China and Russia as well. proposed to change into a Greater Middle East. as well as US-congress financed NED (National Endowment for Democracy) are the cats that have come out of the bag. that is. Georgia (Rose Revolution). It also includes issuing massive micro-financing loans to millions of individuals along with the privatisation of large sectors of the Middle East economy.” as was mentioned in the G8-Greater Middle East Summit paper released by Washington in June 2004. Egypt and the rest of the Arab people undergoing political unrest distinctly echo the colour Revolutions that introduced into history the third stage of the technique of the coup d’état: Serbia (Bulldozer Revolution). financial power over populations. eliminate a nuclear threat from Pakistan. All that is known through the media is the displeasure of the masses for a dictatorship that has been forcibly tyrannising populations of the Arab world. it must also be acknowledged that mere displeasure. Following on from there. Washington has been engaging in a more than a decadelong plan to take full economic and political control of the Middle East stretching from Morocco to Pakistan. who is that leading voice? Nothing is known. police power and the guillotining of kings. Tunisia. and finally a currency. No state in the world today can refute that. In the Greater Middle East project. from a couple of decades to almost half a century.MIDDLE EAST people. leading one to ask what power the people have without. history witnessed the transition of power from control over territory to control over populations. with clear US interest to intervene in Pakistani political affairs and her nuclear capacity. Now. take control over the long stretch of land across the Eurasian continent and by so doing. Iran’s Green Revolution by contrast failed.November 2011 - 37 . In short. Then alone can one attempt to analyse the prevalent chaos and anarchy in the Arab world as well as the destiny of the peoples in what the Pentagon. The technique and art must be indentified and the goal located. Part of the plan includes an economic relationship between the US and this Greater Middle East as well as an economic transformation “similar in magnitude to that undertaken by the formerly communist countries of Central and Eastern Europe. that has long called for democracy. Hosni Mubarak and Muammar Gaddafi had financial control of populations not unlike the financial elite of most democratic states. that from the 18th century. especially in Egypt. Kyrgyzstan (Tulip Revolution) and Kuwait (Blue Revolution) were the successful ones amongst the many others. Lebanon (Cedar Revolution). Ukraine (Orange Revolution). when man came to be defined as a species. The hidden hands that have been working on the revolutions are quite clearly seen. Hidden hands have been pulling the strings. free-trade area stretching from Morocco to Afghanistan. Though the dictatorships and tyranny are true and the revolutions bring good news of the fall of tyrants who had little concern for their own people. it may be perceived that the Greater Middle East stretches further. the Bretton Woods Accord and President Nixon’s abandoning of it assumed a strong concentration of financial colour. Michel Foucault described in his lectures at the College de France. Ben Ali. a leading voice? If so. the Bush administration with Richard Perle and Douglas Feith called for a campaign to have a US-Middle East. this transition became evident. not only by governments but by private economic hands as well. No intelligent mind that has studied the historical development of political power and sovereignty would credit this. exposing the hidden hands behind the Arab revolutions. The Rand Corporation’s involvement in Egypt and Egypt’s Kefaya movement. With the French Revolution and the resulting years of Terror. as early as 2001. Issue 11 . queens and aristocrats. This he defined as biopower. bar Russia from accessing the warm waters. past Pakistan. a central bank and a national debt. The political irony is that the operations of a dictatorship and a democracy are the same in that they all have a constitution. or protests on account of economic dissatisfaction are unlikely to overthrow a government that has been ruling for many years. Through this they will be able to heavily restrict China in her titanic technological and investment projects and keep her in check.
they may differ. Political philosophy and the historical development of the technique of revolution is the key to understand the catastrophic anarchy that we witness today. The revolutionary encourages his followers to manifest this last and worst symptom of herd-intoxication and then proceeds to direct their frenzy against his enemies. plays a key role since the Sinai desert serves as a buffer zone between herself and Egypt.. dictators have always been exposed to open-fire.. the ‘people’ (or rather the crowd) can explicitly point out that so-and-so is responsible for unemployment.November 2011 . which is not surprisingly silent. the major player that grants financial control to unknown private individuals (the financial elite) is a political party that does all the same but in a subtle manner over a short period – for the period it stays in power.. television. assisting him and carrying out his orders. a savage violence. the oppressor – one who has financial control over the masses – is identified as a single man with obedient ilk surrounding him. uneven distribution of national revenue and the string of terms attached to so-called inefficient and corrupt management of the economy. That is. in their normal state. whereas in a democracy. protecting him.. The rebels had already begun preparations to establish a free and private Central Bank while the war was still in process.. which had till today been under the full control of Gaddafi. has churned the Arab populations today to revolutionary frenzy in exactly the same way that it churned the Central Asian and Eastern European populations of the last decade. is re-shaping her destiny.” Huxley goes on to explain that the radio. which the people – overcome by crowd delirium – fail to see happening.MIDDLE EAST thinker than Aldous Huxley. war. such as those that deliver effortless accessibility to communicate with large groups of people without the usual constraints of time and space. the river Nile The difference is that in a dictatorship.. of which. taxation. It is also not by chance that Libya is one of the two countries in the world whose central bank (the monetary authority) is not private (the other is Iran). after which another elected party replaces it only to perpetuate the former conditions. Entitled Self Transcendence. Their plot in Libya failed with the resulting stage. hence today. It is not by chance that Libya has the largest oil reserves in Africa. This is not to mollify their corruption but to point out the greater significance of the system per se that should be more accountable than any individual in power. ‘Intellectuals of the world unite! You have nothing to lose but your brains. “Being in a crowd is the best known antidote for independent thought. The impudent Arab dictators without exception follow the same model of state from that of the first French Republic and found today in almost all nation-states of the world. USA or otherwise indicates clearly that these forces had a hidden agenda in Libya. It is of great importance at this point to turn to an essay of equal pertinence to the subject penned by no less a giant writer and 38 . inflation. social networking websites and other such Information and Communications Technology (ICT). He writes.Issue 11 . The geopolitical and economic shifts that are currently taking place in the Arab world. If Huxley was alive today. The entry of foreign military troops of the UN. he writes. which are not as significant. free and compulsory education etc. economic and religious goals. something Gaddafi recognised immediately. the holders of political economic and religious power. It is those who control the Information and Communications Technology who are the same people who had control over the revolution in Tunisia and Egypt. These economic concerns expose the secret. that the focus of those who initially attempted the coup d’état was not about liberating the people from the iron fist of a dictator but was about taking over the economic and financial control. newspapers. though in terms of policies. Huxley points out the political significance of the term ‘crowd delirium’. Israel. But without that subtlety of financial control prevailing in democratic states. are amongst the technical and technological devices that excite and instigate mobs towards political. Hence the dictators’ rooted objection to “mere psychology” and a private life.’” The crowd delirium that has been caused by modern ICT. of course. “The final symptom of herd-intoxication is maniacal violence . they would be completely incapable. The modus operandi of all republics is the same. The same happened with the central bank when Hitler was removed in Germany. he would certainly have declared the same of mobile phone networking services.
Saudi Arabia. That they want the 1967 borders. then one has been unaware of the historical growth of the political. Issue 11 . will find no fulfilment. unlike Libya. is undoubtedly supporting Israel through the Greater Middle East military and economic project. impinging directly on their currencies. military intervention into these two states. If one cannot see this coming. The economic conditions may resurface with greater intensity after some years. Once the resources have been privatised by foreign companies. Crowddelirium blinds people from seeing this. economic and military power of Israel and her Zionist aspirations – apparently secular but ironically religious – since 1948. then at least in Michel Foucault’s description of biopower. Kuwait. Turkey and some other Central Asian countries directly plunging into the scene. as it could result in Russia. has been Israel’s declared expansionist ambitions on many public political occasions and cannot be overlooked in these times of turmoil in the region. the very reason for the calls for democracy. Egypt. Israel could quite easily seek to expand her territory militarily into the Sinai and the Iraqi desert. as well as onto Golan Heights or to encompass Jordan. Tunisia. China. Libya. very soon. The more immediate results of the revolutions in the coming months will be a massive privatisation of resources in the Arab world and the devaluing of the currencies of the countries undergoing regime-change. also going through anarchy. This is because of the fact that with capitalism and privatisation comes more debt. will not be possible. Syria in the north and Jordan in the southwest form Biblical Israel. especially in light of Milton Freedman’s call for “No government intervention into the economy?” Could democracy today mean privatisation of the nation’s resources? Is this the price the Arab’s have to pay for democracy? Was it not the price that South Africa paid (with all its gold and diamonds) to be free from Apartheid? Then. economic concerns like unemployment and inflation. together with her historical alliance with France and Britain. politically and economically. it may be worth mentioning here that. the revolutions and regime-changes could very well make it easier for Israel to expand her territorial power militarily. Golan Heights to the river Euphrates. Israel may quite easily extend financial and political control over her neighbouring populations. all have relatively strong currencies. Revenue from exports will be channeled out of the countries through the foreign production of these commodities. Very soon. especially with the oil-exporting countries. As a final note. and with more debt comes more taxation and with more taxation comes inflation and then finally unemployment and crime. Washington. if Syria and Pakistan choose to join the Russian alliance.MIDDLE EAST Israeli boarder patrol along the Syrian boarder. The political tension prevalent in this region at this point in history is advantageous to Israel’s political as well as financial control of the region. Could democracy today therefore be equal to capitalism in terms of international trade. then their export power will decrease. Iran. In short.November 2011 - 39 . Bahrain. When the Balance of Trade (BOT) arrives at imbalance then the currencies will be devalued. If Israel’s borders do not expand to cover the Biblical region of the Holy Land.
He is the man entrusted with selling off the Libyan assets and subjecting the Libyan people to a 40 . Mahmoud Jibril. The Libyan government was substantially increasing the development budget for health services. Libya had no debts. Against the backdrop of war propaganda. the Americans and Europeans have hand picked their new man to take over as head of the National Transitional Council (NTC). it was a creditor nation investing in neighbouring African countries. quite the opposite. the incidence of malnutrition stood at less than 5 %. Having succeeded through the UN in imposing a no-fly zone and carte blanche to bomb at will. were the primary strategies used to achieve the regime change so urgently required by the debt ridden NATO allies and their creditors.November 2011 . Libya provided its citizens what is denied to many Americans – free public health care and free education. Prior to the UN/NATO-led invasion. Whatever one’s views regarding Muammar Gaddafi.MIDDLE EAST Oil and gas continue to flow at the Wafa oil field and refinery Sharing the Libyan War Booty by Abdullah Seymour The prey is dead and the vultures are moving in. With the help of the mainstream media and the slogan of ‘civilian protection’. everything has changed. the post-colonial Libyan government played a key role in eliminating poverty and developing the country’s health and educational infrastructure. In fact. and with an average daily per capita calorie intake of 3.144 calories. Libya was considered to be the Switzerland of the African continent and boasted the highest literacy and educational enrolment rates in North Africa. Mahmoud Jibril is known for his privatization and liberalization policies. Now. Libya’s economic and social achievements over the last thirty years have been brutally reversed.Issue 11 . a relentless media disinformation campaign and rapid recognition of the NTC as the legitimate rulers of the country.
Bombed civilian areas are contaminated with depleted uranium 1. is one of the more instantaneous results of the Libyan invasion. Banking Putting paid to the widely rumoured plans that Gaddafi had been preparing to launch the Gold Dinar as a pan-African currency that would have rendered Africa independent of the international banking system. What was destroyed by NATO will be rebuilt by American and European contractors.” The Libyan Central bank was one of the first government buildings to be bombed. in cooperation with the International Monetary Fund. and perhaps greatest so far. The IMF promised a further $35 billion in loans to countries affected by Arab Spring uprisings and formally recognized Libya’s ruling interim council as a legitimate power.MIDDLE EAST lifetime of debt and economic enslavement. banking and energy to name just two. producing around 15 per cent of the company’s total output. Italy has had clear intentions on Libyan energy for a good while. the World Bank has been asked to examine the need for repair and restoration of services in the water. to be followed by a reconstruction ‘bonanza’. the looters have moved in. But instead of wide-screen TVs and Nike Air trainers. Getting IMF recognition is significant for Libya’s new leaders since it means international development banks and donors such as the World Bank can now offer financing. the latest. An entire nation was bombed with the most advanced ordnance. The Italian Energy group ENI was in almost daily direct contact with the NTC since April. 2. employing 2. the NATO nations pledged to lend the (stolen) money back. energy and transport sectors [bombed by NATO] and. Issue 11 . Libya was subjected to approximately nine thousand bombing sorties – tens of thousands of strikes on civilian targets including residential areas. government buildings. to support budget preparation [government borrowing] and help the banking sector back on to its feet. Energy As former colonial masters. of the ‘Arab Spring’ nations to be fed through the production line of regime change and privatization. NATO and international financial institutions operate in close coordination. including uranium coated ammunition. financed by Libya’s external creditors and its own ‘frozen’ assets released under the direction of the Washington Consensus: “Specifically. After having confiscated Libya’s overseas financial assets and captured its oil wealth. Like the recent riots in Britain. Libya is now lined up to join the ranks of indebted countries of the global south that have been driven into poverty by the IMF and the World Bank since the onslaught of the debt crisis in the early 1980s. Libya was perhaps the jewel in the crown of the Arab nations.000 people in plants. The objective of the NATO bombings from the outset was to destroy the country’s standard of living and its civil infrastructure. with Tunisia and Egypt dry runs before the main event. ENI has been present in Libya since the 1950s and was the country’s biggest foreign energy operator before the conflict broke out.November 2011 - 41 . this time the booty consists of the exclusive exploitation of the country’s most lucrative opportunities. Now it’s time for the great ‘fire sale’. to finance Libya’s post-war reconstruction. opening up access to a myriad of international lenders. and its natural resources out of reach of fiat currencies. water supply and electricity generation facilities.
China and Brazil. ENI has been quick to dismiss rumours that the energy war-booty would be spread around other nations.MIDDLE EAST The ENI Oil Bouri DP4 in the Bouri Field – one of the largest oil platforms in the Mediterranean However. I do not think France will want to replace us.November 2011 . in particular France (Total) after its leading role in the military campaign. says it has also been in touch with the NTC. With the European financial systems crumbling. and may offer the Europeans the prospect of a temporary respite from the threatening attentions of the ratings agencies and the nervousness of the money markets. was quick to point out who they will be trading with: “We don’t have a problem with Western countries like the Italians. But we may have some political issues with Russia. “Thanks to our historic presence in the country. which was exploring for gas in the Libyan desert before the conflict. the previously closed Libyan economy was too good an opportunity to miss. France is already ahead of Italy in the race for oil deals. Libya’s largest oil producer. BP (UK) has announced plans to spend upwards of £540m to fund a joint venture with the Libyans to search for gas and oil that would see it take about 19% of any future production revenues.Issue 11 .” Scaroni is to visit Libya in the next few weeks to sign a contract to supply gas for vehicles and natural gas to make electricity. said. while the first three were. French and UK companies.5 billion.” It is no coincidence that the latter three countries weren’t involved in the NATO mission in Libya. BP’s rival Shell. Paolo Scaroni. The now NTC-controlled Arabian Gulf Oil Company. whereas Italy has contracts for only $1. 42 . The head of the Italian oil group. France has spent €160 million on this war but has already secured contracts with the NTC for $28 billion.
it treats India as the good brother. fostering a positive relationship that ignores the reality of the country.3 billion people and by the very nature in which it reinvented itself. we must peel away the veneer that has been lavished upon India. means that many are socially paralysed from birth. which it hopes will be able to check the rise of China. lies an extremely complex and vulnerable nation state that is in constant danger of imploding on itself. formalised and institutionalised by the British. under so-called ‘Hindu Nationalism’ after the fall of the Mughal Dawlet and the era of the British Raj. Democracy or not. India is a massive land of 1. The caste system.November 2011 - 43 . it is home to a people of separation. In order to see past this simplistic double standard. a woman born as a Dalit Issue 11 .ASIA The busy streets of modern day Mumbai A View into the India of Today by Parvez Asad Sheikh Today we are given a picture of a severely unstable Pakistan that for the last decade has been embroiled in the Af-Pak war and the epicentre of the Terror Dialectic. While the United States has flooded Pakistan with the violence that has spilt over its western borders. so that we understand that behind the glamour of a handful of newly-rich and the unfortunate romanticising of the brutal streets of Mumbai. Seemingly diametrically opposed to the negative press afforded to Pakistan is the recent trumpeting of the rise of India as a future international power and the largest democracy in the world.
As do the other hundred or so caste and clan based parties in the country. There are several major areas of instability within the country where the pressure of social antagonism has been exacerbated by economic disparities resulting in armed conflict with the central government. And while the occupation of Jammu and Kashmir and the military nature of the government’s hold on its northeastern regions are causes that fit easily into the idea of a so-called Hindu. is a conflict at the very core of the Indian’s national psyche. affirmative action and quotas still hit a wall of social constraints with parties like the BSP of Mayawati Kumari. what they see in the myth of Hindu Nationalism as the other. These regions are Jammu and Kashmir. And while there have been attempts at a more politically correct approach to such Backward Castes. known as Naxalites. Poverty follows closely with the inherent separations in Indian society: One third of India’s people live below the poverty line. have been fighting a protracted guerilla war with the Indian government since the 1960’s. Those people outside of the caste system. It is a conflict that pits the modern idea of Indian against fellow Indian and is a microcosmic battle across the great divide between the haves and the have-nots.ASIA Delhi – a young homeless street child. his home is the roadside or Untouchable has nearly no chance to live any other reality except that of cleaning faeces from the street and being separated from the rest of society by a strangely pervasive complacency. Congress and the BJP.November 2011 . a Dalit. In a land of more than a billion human beings. becoming pawns in the political ploys between the two major parties. 44 . face a collective rejection by the Hindus. united only by their need for separation from. as they are known. the Naxalite movement. the Muslims and the tribal peoples of northeastern India. this means millions of people living on different sides of a myriad of divides.Issue 11 . the vast majority of the remainder hover not too far away from it and only around 30 percent of the population has any benefit from a recent economic boom that is based on the same economic school that has bankrupted Europe and America. which we hear very little about. State fighting to hold the land of the ‘other’. the northeastern states that were isolated by the creation of East Pakistan and the significant swathe of central India where Maoist forces.
Issue 11 . amounting to almost one third of the country. from middle class intellectuals to the workers who man the fronts used to produce rudimentary arms. in particular as an example for Pakistan to follow. According to recent estimates. the movement established what it terms its Guerrilla Base in the forested regions of Central India. Its make up on a molecular level is suffused with an explosive energy that is manifesting itself in an ever-greater manner under a defunct and idealistic ideology.ASIA A reporter interviews Government armed forces deployed to contain Naxals in Chattisgarh The Naxalite movement was born in the tiny quasi-town of Naxalabri in West Bengal on the 25th of May 1967 when a landlord’s violent coercion of a small farmer ignited an equally violent reaction by Maoist groups led by Charu Majumdar and Kanu Sanyal. faced with a bolder and better trained guerilla force to fight in the ancient forests of India took to the typically clumsy tactics of counter-insurgency and asymmetrical warfare. By arming local militias known as Salwa Judum and importing militia from the ancient headhunting Naga tribes of the northeast.November 2011 - 45 . This battle at the heart of India spreads right across the country with support for the armed movement in all levels of Indian society. the idealistic and the indigenous tribes who are attempting to change the very nature of the Indian state. From here we can see that India is far from the solid state as it has been portrayed in recent times. the Naxalites hold sway in 170 districts and 14 states. After a second wave of Naxalite insurrection was violently quelled in the 1980’s. from the eastern states to Punjab and Maharashtra in the west and this first wave was violently quelled by the government forces of Indira Ghandi. somehow ignored by most. they created a civil war within the heart of their country that carries on to this day. with its epicentre in the State of Chattisgarh. Here the ideology of Maoist revolution mixed with an increasingly wellcoordinated cadre of the poor. And the Maoists will continue to capture the hearts and minds of the hundreds of millions within the country who are in what some Indian intellectuals have termed ‘outer India’. The reaction ignited a wave of uprisings across India. The Indian government.
AFRICA Sudan and South Sudan will Resolve Oil Issues by Saaleha Bamjee. They have to be viable to live together. it is a matter of viability for the two countries. IPS According to Dr.” Alsharif said. 8. 46 . which wrapped up its Fifth Ordinary Session of the Second Parliament in Midrand. Co-operation between the two countries is very important. Sudan’s ambassador to South Africa. South Africa on the 14th Oct.Issue 11 . Ali Yousif Ahmed Alsharif. the governments of Sudan and South Sudan will eventually agree on a reasonable oil-sharing agreement between the two nations as there has been political will from both sides to find a resolution.November 2011 .” “Ultimately they will agree on a reasonable outcome. “and this is an important development.” Alsharif told IPS. His comment comes as South Sudanese President Salva Kiir made his first official state visit to Sudan on Oct. Alsharif was attending the Pan-African Parliament. Alsharif said that Kiir’s visit is proof that there is now political will from both sides towards reaching an agreement. The south is landlocked and they need the ports of Sudan. “During the visit they agreed to never resort to war to solve problems and that dialogue would be the basis of a resolution.
is based in the north. it was agreed that the Abyei region was to have a referendum to determine the future of the area and whether its residents want to stay in Sudan or if they want to be part of South Sudan. due to its large oil investments in Sudan. whatever their previous relations might have been. During Kiir’s visit to Khartoum he was requested to refrain from supporting the rebels fighting in the north. About 75 percent of the discovered oil is in the south (with the rest in the north). So China is in the south and China is also in the north. The problem was caused by the refusal of the south to allow the Missiriya tribe to vote. while when government forces act in order to protect. they held elections and the northernaffiliated National Congress Party (NCP) candidate won and the NCP obtained more seats than the SPLM. Based on a second census. Q: What of the oil-sharing issue between Sudan and South Sudan? A: The oil sharing (agreement) is pending. In the Blue Nile. a northern nomadic tribe. and it is in the interests of all three parties to co-operate in a constructive way. under a United Nations mandate. it had to be decided how they were going to move forward.AFRICA IPS spoke to Alsharif about the difficulties facing both Sudan and South Sudan after secession in July and the tensions in the Abyei region. The issue is with the pricing. to replace the loss of income. So there is no genocide. and how the regions were to be ruled within a united north Sudan. The north said otherwise. 75 to 25 percent. Now there is an agreement for Ethiopian troops. In accordance with the comprehensive peace agreement. we had general elections during 2009 but the SPLM disagreed with the census. but it seems that when rebel forces attack and kill it is tolerated. to replace the Sudanese Army with a joint administration being formed between Sudan and South Sudan for negotiations to continue. it is seen (differently).November 2011 - 47 . the biggest ethnic group in South Sudan. In our experience. That is why the north wants to charge more for transport. China has been a very good partner in development and we think they will be a very good element of stability and development between the north and the south. Q: Some political analysts are saying that China. caused by elements from the SPLA. despite it being declared fair by the international community. The south said only the Dinka Ngok could vote. along with the Missiriya. Q: How would you react to the claim that the conflict affecting the communities along the border states will result in genocide? A: The main reason for the conflict in Blue Nile and Southern Kordofan is that there are many individuals who fought with the southern Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) and its army (Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA)). According to international practice. This referendum would involve both the ‘South Sudanese’ and ‘Sudanese’ in the area voting. It has resulted in the Sudanese army occupying the area because of attacks from the army of the south. however. In Southern Kordofan. The presence of China in Africa raises the envy and concerns of the West. Abeyi remains part of Sudan and could join South Sudan if ethnic groups in the region vote in a referendum to do so. When the south signed the peace agreement. Issue 11 . it was a similar problem with the SPLM faction in the north. Alsharif explained that the oil-rich Abyei region is populated by the Dinka Ngok tribe. The government in South Sudan of course inherited the agreements that were signed by the government of Sudan at that time. The entire oil infrastructure. South Sudan is now a sovereign state and has no right to interfere in the affairs of the north. We started to have problems. you usually split the resources 50 to 50 percent for 10 or 15 years after the split because initially (the previously combined nation) contributed to the set-up costs etc. Q: What challenges do Sudan and South Sudan face after the secession? A: The “divorce” has not been an easy one. What are your thoughts on this? A: I was the Sudanese ambassador to China in 1993 to 1998 and this was when we started co-operation with them in Sudan. is in a position to play a greater diplomatic role in reducing conflict between South Sudan and Sudan. The tensions remain and the referendum is pending. because they see that China is a stable economy when the economies of Europe and America are in shambles. We are now discussing dividing the oil wealth and there is no problem with the share. The SPLM then said the elections were rigged and started the fighting.
CENTRAL AMERICA Fair Trade Taking Root by Danilo Valladares (Guatemala City) 48 .November 2011 .Issue 11 .
fair trade certified cooperatives were selling their coffee at 135 dollars per quintal. The CGCJ produces some 290. gender equality.000 quintals today. the Honduran coordinator of small-scale fair trade farmers (CHPP). Lack of financing. But at the same time. the eradication of child labour. Nevertheless. a coffee grower from northern Guatemala. 40 percent of whom live in poverty. with the Guatemalan network of small-scale fair trade farmers (CGCJ).November 2011 - 49 . fair trade production still represents only a tiny share of the coffee produced in the region. Costa Rica. The cooperative member pointed out that in 2000.CENTRAL AMERICA “We started out with 10 organisations and we now have 22 cooperatives with more than 19. But it hasn’t been easy. sustainable production. from 5.” added López. That is the reason for the growth in fair trade production in Honduras. the price of a quintal plunged to 43 dollars on the New York Mercantile Exchange.” López told Globalia. limited access to technology and infrastructure for production and a lack of knowledge about marketing are just a few items on a long list of limiting factors that have made it difficult for small-scale fair trade farmers in the region to compete in the world of global trade. social and economic focus. “What fair trade represents for small-scale producers is the insurance that their product will always be sold at a price higher than production cost and that it will generate enough earnings to support their families for the rest of the year. during the world coffee crisis.000 quintals (one quintal = 100 pounds weight) of coffee and 830 tons of sugar a year. told Globalia. “We have to be competitive and work hard on these aspects to ensure good production Newly hand-picked coffee berries levels and supplies for our customers.” Nelson Guerra. which are mainly exported to the United States and Europe. the small-scale businessman said. Thousands of members of cooperatives in Central America have turned to fair trade production.” Guerra said.” says an enthusiastic Marvin López. “Our aim is to provide organisations of small farmers with opportunities to earn higher incomes by gaining access to a special niche market with a social as well as economic focus. The seven countries of Central America – Belize. “Fair trade benefits small farmers because it guarantees you a minimum price for your product and gives you a small incentive. just five percent is produced Issue 11 .000 people in this impoverished Central American country of 14 million people. Guatemala.000 members who grow and export crops with an environmental.000 quintals of certified fair trade coffee in 2002 to 200. respect for human rights. El Salvador. The income offers an opportunity for better living standards to more than 100. Nicaragua and Panama – have a combined population of 43 million people. Guerra said that of the more than five million quintals of coffee produced annually in Honduras. based on the principles of environmental conservation. safe and healthy working conditions and the payment of fair prices that ensure farmers a living wage. Honduras.
an independent research centre and think tank in Guatemala. “This is basically because of two things. However. a single private bank finances 80 percent of the coffee production.” Pablo Urrutia. told IPS. “Fair trade has brought together many small-scale producers organised in cooperatives and associations that have improved their situation and conditions in their communities.November 2011 . a farming country. but in Honduras. “The world’s major food exporters. like the United States and the European Union. which make it impossible for us to compete in those markets. told IPS. Costa Rica’s national fair trade coordinator. Of the 105. which inevitably see fair trade as a life saver since it offers them better treatment and access to a niche market”.” he said. she added.000 are organised in cooperatives. at the Association for Social Research and Studies (ASIES). He also called for more intermediaries. and it is difficult for them to organise. accounts for less than one percent of total output. First. 80 percent of coffee production in Honduras is in the hands of small-scale producers. cacao and bananas.” he said.” he said. “Factors like climate change. like competitiveness. Urrutia also underlined the importance of other factors. But according to economists.CENTRAL AMERICA Local Guatemalan farmers harvesting coffee under fair trade conditions – a proportion similar to that of other countries in the region.” Sonia Murillo. only 10. 50 . as are the number of markets our products are being sent to.” said Murillo. admittedly reduced to a minimum in the fair trade process because. Producers in Costa Rica face similar challenges.Issue 11 . the elimination of farm subsidies by the world’s big economies. “There are many people who have no access to markets as they have no middlemen – a mechanism that facilitates trade. Some members of cooperatives estimate that fair trade production in Costa Rica. but little by little our sales abroad are increasing. fresh fruit. “In relation to the country’s overall trade. global trade and the lack of specific government policies make it hard for small companies. “there is a lack of access to financing because agricultural production worldwide depends on credit. sugar. which is mainly coffee. and the strengthening of free trade treaties. there is one key aspect that would enable fair trade to expand: namely. because “fair trade has immense possibilities here”. At the same time. an improved customs system. shell out agricultural subsidies. fair trade represents a very small share of exports.000 coffee growers.
November 2011 - 51 .Issue 11 .
“Diabetes is divided into two basic types: type 1 and type 2. diabetes is spreading the world over like few other diseases. While writing.” (K. diabetes can cause other lasting damage. provides the signal to absorb this source of energy. my wife was injecting the first of a total of eight doses of insulin which she has to administer as a sufferer of gestational diabetes. is when the insulin loses its effect. another two people contract the illness. but the illness prevents this glucose from getting into the cells where it is urgently needed. For many cells of the body. Germany. 2008) As an author one is not normally affected by the chosen subject – unless you happen to be a travel writer. The metabolism is flooded with glucose (a form of sugar and a source of energy for the body). Experts warn that the disease will continue to spread. Type 2.November 2011 . Narayan. This time it was different. For some. The global convergence of lifestyle habits and the adoption of a Western diet are having fatal consequences. Siegel & V.Issue 11 . diabetes is just as dangerous as AIDS: “Someone in the world dies of causes related to diabetes every ten seconds … in the same ten seconds.LIFESTYLE A Modern Epidemic? by Sulaiman Wilms From Saudi-Arabia to Shanghai. High insulin release levels enable the reliable metabolisation of A metabolic illness Diabetes is paradoxical. which in some cases can be lifethreatening. which occurs in more than 90 percent of all diabetes sufferers. Type 1 diabetes is an illness in which the insulinproducing cells in the pancreas are destroyed for reasons yet unknown. insulin 52 . A congenital resistance to insulin once had a biological purpose. in interview. Aside from an acute deficit of sugar.” explained Professor Thomas Haak of the Bad Mergentheim Diabetes Clinic. a special form of the disease.
For instance. excess weight causes additional resistance in those cells that would otherwise respond to insulin.” Nothing could describe type 2 diabetes more fittingly. “The interaction between Western diets and lifestyles on the one hand and a particular genetic background on the other are accelerating the spread of the diabetes epidemic. The most common secondary diseases in the small blood vessels are damage to the eyes and the kidneys.” writes Dr. which can mean insulin is also required for this type of diabetes. one that is widespread throughout the world. Type 2 diabetes mellitus requires a particular heredity disposition. and the amputation of limbs. which used to ensure survival in times of hunger. Self-testing blood kit to determine sugar levels The problem is the way we live “Diabetes mellitus is of considerable import to healthcare policy and society in general. Hu. Excess weight is one of the main causes of type 2 diabetes. adding that lack of movement and excess weight are the causes of this form of diabetes mellitus. “If diabetes exists for several years. Turkey and the Indian subcontinent suffer the disease more commonly than the indigenous population. “Clinical tests proof that changing your diet and lifestyle is a highly effective way of preventing type 2 diabetes among different ethnic groups … Emphasis should be placed on the early acquisition Issue 11 .” explains Haak. This is known as insulin resistance. Aside from a congenital insensitivity to insulin. People with an innate resistance are good “food converters” and. then there is a 25 – 50 percent likelihood of the child contracting it. and the liver.November 2011 - 53 .” says the German diabetologist. This. fatty tissue. Type 2 diabetes carries a particular risk of long-term secondary diseases if not recognised. Diseases of the large blood vessels include heart attack. The practice of marrying within the same ethnic group combined with unhealthy dietary habits among immigrants has made this one of the most common non-infectious diseases among immigrant communities. You have to change your life The poet Rainer Maria Rilke famously ended his poem Archaic Torso of Apollo with the words: “You have to change your life.LIFESTYLE every ingested calorie. Add to that malnourishment (excessive sugar consumption especially) and a lack of exercise. immigrants from the Middle East. light exercise for an hour a day reduces the risk of diabetes by up to 34 percent. Frank B. stroke. and which has to be injected in every case. “One of the main problems in type 2 diabetes is that the insulin cannot take effect properly in the organs where it is supposed to – the skeletal muscles. begins in the womb. particularly in India.” writes Dr. Günter Limberg in an article. because of the frequency of the disease. then it can cause illnesses in the body’s small and large blood vessels and nerves. For example. dialysis. it is the essential insulin which is lacking. With type 2 diabetes. and if both parents have it then this likelihood is even higher. no less than 800 people contract the illness daily. if food is in ample supply. mellitus. A sedentary lifestyle increases the risk of diabetes considerably. there may also be an insulin deficit after some years. and circulatory problems in the legs. Dr. with television emerging as one of the biggest risk factors. tend to be overweight even during childhood. “With type 1 diabetes.” reports Berlin’s famous Robert Koch Institute in one of its publications on diabetes. and the risk becomes greater still. although more common among some peoples than others. untreated gestational diabetes (up to 20 percent in Germany) can damage the unborn foetus. high mortality rates. If one parent has type 2 diabetes. there have been explosions of type 2 diabetes. and diabetes-related secondary illness which can bring with them the danger of blindness. In Europe. In Germany. Hu describes – alongside genetic factors – two main causes for the emergence and spread of diabetes: unhealthy diet and lack of exercise. he says. But because the standard of living has been rising there too. That is why you find a disproportionate amount of people with insulin resistance in the Third World. In his essay on the globalisation of diabetes.
The health risks at the onset of the illness. This is no plaything of rich Arab investors. which is why it is difficult for many people to stem the disease at an early stage by changing the way they live. Cardiovascular sports are ideal in this respect. are but theoretical. as in the rest of Asia. The International Diabetes Federation (IDF) has described Diabetes as the “epidemic of the 21st century”.” Long-term weight loss cannot be achieved by radical dieting or going hungry. it is there to deal with real problems. without insulin.8 per cent of the Focus on Asia: a global epidemic If you drive along the coast road in Kuwait by the shores of the Persian Gulf. “Nowadays. Figures are on the up worldwide with estimates constantly being proven too low. In this region. staying slim and doing exercise.November 2011 . On a global scale it affects 5.LIFESTYLE of healthy habits among young population groups. diabetes is also threatening young people in most Asian countries … That is why many child diabetes sufferers are dying in poor countries.” recommends Dr. presently contribute to the spread of the metabolic illness. A good healthy diet. as follows: “You can’t protect yourself against type 1. however. Professor Haak agrees with this and summarises prevention and therapy. Around half of newly diagnosed diabetics go into remission after losing ten kilograms. since this is then easier to maintain during later life. These findings reinforce the need for a comprehensive change of lifestyle. but now it is impacting more and more on developing countries. This means that energy absorbed in the form of food must be reduced. according to the World Health Organization. Hu. and its consumption increased by increasing the basal metabolism and exercise. at least 171 million people worldwide suffer from diabetes. many people. the famous magazine Lancet warned a few years ago: “Unlike Western industrialised nations where it is mostly older people who suffer from the illness.” Diabetes occurs more frequently in the poorer classes than it does in the middle and upper classes. since malnutrition and underdevelopment in childhood often lead to the emergence of diabetes later on. then diabetes is less likely to emerge even if you are genetically predisposed to it. that is. The most widespread type 2 diabetes can be prevented effectively by losing weight. Diabetes used to be considered an illness of the well-to-do. genetic disposition and a globalised lifestyle collide. is required to lose weight permanently. 80 percent of all cases are in developing nations and emerging economies.” claims South Korean specialist Zoon. but also threshold nations such as Indonesia. long-term. Similarly. You lose weight by using up more energy than you take in. If a patient loses excess weight then his blood sugar level drops.9 percent of all adults.” write Karen Siegel and Venkat Narayan in their 2008 article entitled ‘Globalization and Health’. A growing number of children in China have severe weight and health problems buildings.Issue 11 . South Korea and Thailand. particularly those of normal weight. Extreme obesity is no longer a rarity among the locals. do not notice that they are ill at all. you will notice the ultra-modern Dasman Diabetes Institute alongside countless high-rise 54 . Not only the giants China and India. leading in turn to what is known as the yo-yo effect. especially when older. but then again it is not so important. You should exercise for around three hours a week. but up to a third of adults suffer from it in many Asian and Pacific nations. since this leads to a loss of muscular mass and therefore a reduction in the basal metabolism. author of a study of diabetes. What makes things more difficult is that many poor people live in countries where a lack of healthcare means no screening. As a consequence. undoubtedly connected to their standard of living and the fact that they tend to be unaware of the consequences of diet and lifestyle. “China and India will probably remain the biggest sufferers of this illness up until around 2025. If you do that and keep your weight normal. In 2000. although it is important to build up muscle too. 2.
fish and fruit. It incurs direct and indirect costs. Successful advertising. the provision of everything needed to treat the disease. almost ten percent of all Chinese adults suffered from the illness. meaning that many people take in more energy than they use. changes in dietary habits and an increasingly sedentary way of life have enlarged the epidemic in conjunction with global obesity. with the estimate that. some kinds of cancer. Issue 11 . while indirect burdens include loss of productivity. In the year 2008. the Russian Federation and India will have to spend 558. lack of exercise and tobacco. has seen a takeover of new eating habits. Direct burdens include treatment costs. they have similar or higher rates of diabetes. and a reduced standard of living for patients and their relatives. with globalisation the driving factor as it has brought with it the spread of three risk factors. and are said to contribute to the development of insulin resistance and chronic inflammation. It affects patients. Its incidence is increasing rapidly. Hu. The cost of vegetables.” state Siegel and Narayan assessing the economic consequences. strokes and heart disease.November 2011 - 55 . These changes have led to overfeeding and a positive energy balance. on account of its economic growth and growing population. the rise of diabetes has been caused by factors unrelated to healthcare itself. with its confectionary stores and international fastfood chains. almost 20 percent of southern India urban dwellers are diabetics.” Rapid urbanisation. Furthermore the price of fats and oils has almost halved over the last 50 years. director of the Thai Health Ministry’s department for noninfectious diseases. In the USA the high fructose corn syrup extracted from maize and present in almost all soft drinks represents a potentially harmful source of sugar. Australia and France – to name a few – apply unfair subsidies to ensure that their agricultural and food industry exports penetrate all other markets. Because treatment and medication are expensive.” “Diabetes is serious because it adds social. Another often-overlooked factor is the selling pressure exerted by big agricultural exporter countries. While many countries have much lower rates of obesity than the USA. Thais used to eat vegetables. as well as red meat. Asia. “that China.LIFESTYLE population. Hu believes that type 2 diabetes is “a global health crisis which is damaging the economies concerned – especially those of developing countries. Chaisri Supornsilaphachai. and industrial foodstuffs such as the notorious fast foods and sweets. while a further 148 million were in its preliminary stage. In India and other southern Asian countries the traditional use of clarified fats such as ghee compound the situation because they contain an enormous proportion of polysaturated fatty acids. explains: “We are trying to explain to people that this new illness with which people are paying for their Westernised lifestyle cannot be cured in hospitals. According to Siegel and Narayan. namely bad diet. are now available to many people on account of rising prosperity. societies and governments. the global price for a single calorie of energy has fallen dramatically in recent years [these figures were from before the global run on the food markets]. In Thailand the authorities have been trying for some years to educate their population about the health risks of these changes. according to Hu. this number will almost double. Another aspect of this is that husked rice (which is the staple food in many parts of Asia) has a massive impact on blood sugar levels. Traditional dietary customs in Asia are being abandoned in favour of the eating habits of urbanised zones. the more this physical compensation disappears. Bangkok especially. Particular kinds of grain and bread. The more people leave agriculture. dairy products and butter. chronic respiratory complaints and diabetes – which are responsible for more than 50 percent of deaths worldwide. has increased approximately threefold. many sufferers are not in a position to do anything proper about their condition. Siegel and Narayan quote the World Health Organisation (WHO) estimate. Researchers fear that this sugar can cause obesity to a much greater extent than industrially produced granulated sugar. economic and health burdens to the societies it affects. with 60 percent of all diabetics living there today.” According to JP Morgan (quoted by Siegel and Narayan). It is easily forgotten that growing wealth is eaten up by the concurrent growth in diabetes treatment costs. Dr. According to Dr. The USA. is the epicenter. on the other hand. whereas today they order fried chicken and other fatty meals. British health studies have shown that the predominant consumption of white rice (as opposed to unhusked rice) increases the risk of diabetes. This never used to be a problem since higher blood sugar levels were offset by traditional outdoor work. Many places have seen a radical change in diet over recent decades. 303 and 237 billion US dollars of their national wealth respectively over the coming decade to treat diabetes. by 2030. These three alone cause four patterns of disease – cardiovascular disease. a lack of awareness along with the “prestige” factor have made Western fast food chains the norm on the Arabian Peninsula and in the affluent areas of China.
Issue 11 .November 2011 .C U LT U R E Why Shakespeare? ‘The Power Template’ – Shakespeare’s Political Plays by Robert Luongo 56 .
Issue 11 . What we discover in the history plays. the study of Islamic Robert Luongo was born in 1949 and is a knowledge that explicitly pertains to matters native of New England. is the archetypal model for nearly all the power struggles that have brought countries to war. history and. whether with competing foreign powers or internecine conflict. College a general one that applies to his entire opus and the other Press one more apropos of and specific to the theme not only of my recent book but most especially to the Dallas College syllabus. on the first day of class faced with a new group of 1st year students. and the light they cast geopolitics. These plays not only remain topical but of great importance for acquiring an insight and understanding of current affairs.P E R S O C U LTT I R E NALI U ES I lecture at Dallas College in Cape Town. The author also ventures to make thought provoking comparisons curriculum is based squarely on political with present day governance which call into question the conduct of studies. Roman bearing on the business of governance in our time. together erupting upon the contemporary world stage. right up until today when new words continue to enter the language. his surgical precision – le mot juste – in making a point. after Shakespeare’s first tetralogy that explores the reign of Henry VI up to the demise of Richard III. humour and delightful deployment of double entendres and puns. estimated at 25. on through the eighteenth century and the standardising of both spelling and grammar. Antony & Cleopatra and ending with Shakespeare’s political masterpiece. Ben Jonson wrotecontemporary not of an age. Norse. nevertheless. monopolies Gold Thread: Ezra Pound’s Principles of Good Government and Sound Money members of a society. is that of William Shakespeare’s political plays. a college that focuses on the educating of men The Power Template: Shakespeare’s Political Plays is a study of who will be future leaders amongst the Shakespeare’s History and Roman Plays which identifies references to key political issues of the Elizabethan agelanguages. the core Muslims. we are brought into a profound meditation on the nature of the republican model of government. Saxon or Old French). I ask them: Why Shakespeare? The next question I ask is why we are going to specifically study and explore his history and Roman plays. Apart from that Shakespeare could not have addressed straight-on without falling foul of the Privy Council. (Strangers Press. Robert Luongo The subject I teach. and which remain the primary model for all present day political democracies. the language used from about 1500 to the midseventeenth century when modern English began its ascent. but for all time!’ These plays.November 2011 - 57 . Coriolanus. he has of close to 25 of the last 40 and the spentgovernance years living in protection of the England. 1995). The Power Template. Dallas College Press Dallas There are two fundamental reasons for any study of Shakespeare. matched by an irrepressible wit. When we get to the Roman plays: Julius Caesar. but also to the very focus of Dallas College.political philosophies. He presently socio-economic parameters for trade and resides in South Africa where he is currently teaching Shakespeare & Rhetoric at the commerce that are a safeguard against Dallas College in Cape Town.000 words. we are. Not withstanding that Shakespeare wrote in Early Modern English. Therefore. Robert Luongo THE POWER TEMPLATE Shakespeare’s Political Plays The Power Template The Dallas College Lectures Now for the second reason and the one that not only directly relates to the theme of The Power Template: Shakespeare’s Political Plays. These include that Shakespeare ‘was the modern political class. Spain and Scotland. together with his masterful employment of the use of metaphors and similes as a way of obtaining a deeper and more profound understanding of the meanings of both events and those who initiate them. innumerable phrases we unwittingly use without realising they are directly from Shakespeare.000 new words (often derived from Latin or Greek. exposed through Shakespeare’s works to the very pinnacle of the English language. referred to as the period of The Wars of the Roses (England’s devastating civil conflict) and followed by his second tetralogy that covered an earlier period of history that began with Richard II and ended with Henry V. However. continue to have an exigent and immediate on the nature of power. his own contribution of nearly 3. pivotal to all. you will not find anyone who surpasses him in his use of the English language. His first major work of non-fiction was The and the exploitation of the usury. and the theme of my new book. The range of vocabulary used by Shakespeare. whose origins are derived from the ancient Greeks.
and further. clearly manifesting the signs of acting the tyrant. He was. Of Caesar it was said that he was a de facto king. hatch’d. The conspirators needed a man of impeccable credentials who should be the very embodiment of Robert Luongo. we have included the study of Shakespeare. Wherein I’ll catch the conscience of the King. freedom and rights of all Romans to validate a regime change? It was decided that the best course of action was a pre-emptive strike before events “Which. would as his kind grow mischievous.November 2011 . / And kill him in the shell. Why Shakespeare? Well I hope that it is clearer to readers why in a college for the 21st century.thepowertemplate. Senators enjoyed the privileges of franchises for certain goods and raw materials imported into Rome as well as other lucrative benefits that came with their position.” Robert Luongo www. which was to expunge all interest on loans made to the plebeian class from the patricians.Issue 11 . Might not Caesar possibly rescind those concessions and contracts if he were to become sole ruler? Nevertheless. teaching at Dallas College the ideals of the Republic.C U LTR V IE W INTE UR E The Roman Senate (that ruled by a majority caucus) versus personal rule lies at the core of these plays. a king in all but name. with access to the necessary tools of language through which they can be articulated. an assault on his life would appear as murder unless an ideological justification supported it. although he was legally one of the triumvirs who ruled Rome and its vast territories. to grant additional debt relief to those men who were war veterans just returned from extended campaigns. “The play’s the thing. according to the Senate. someone who could be the moral face of the assassination of Caesar. failing to present it before the Senate for a vote.com 58 . One example that was brought forward by those opposed to his increasing power and popularity amongst the people was the instance when he made a unilateral decision. with a paideia directed towards our future Muslim leaders.” All too familiar within the current political milieu. Future leaders amongst the Muslims must have a sound understanding of the inner dynamics of these matters. many of whom where notable Senators. Who better than the “honourable” Brutus to expound the virtues of the liberty. It was believed that he would (given the circumstances) become a dictator and undermine the doctrines and ideals of the Roman Republic.
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