‘Sir Alfred Lyall once said to me: . . . “The European is a close reasoner; his statements of fact are devoid of any ambiguity; he is a natural logician, albeit he may not have studied logic; . . . His trained intelligence works like a piece of mechanism. The mind of the Oriental, on the other hand, like his picturesque streets, is eminently wanting in symmetry. His reasoning is of the most slipshod description. . . . They are often incapable of drawing the most obvious conclusions from any simple premises of which they may admit the truth.” – Lord Cromer (British controller general in Egypt.) Modern Egypt, Chapter 34.
The above quote is referenced by Edward Said in his book Orientalism, which after much delay I have finally picked up to begin reading. He studies the way in which the vast plethora of so-called intellectual discourse, study and dissemination of European knowledge of Non-European colonial subjects sought and seeks to present our people as irrational, savage, uncivilised and in need of guidance by the European white man, in order for us to reach some level of usefulness as human beings. The book has so far allowed me to provide further tangible evidence and concise arguments for a truth we’ve all come to realise; in today’s world, only white lives matter.
Years of dehumanisation of all non-Whites has meant and continues to mean that the murder of them, of you, is less horrifying, and much more easily justifiable. Your lives will never hold the same value as white lives here. We must only seek to remind our own people that we are human rather than accept any authority above us which is based on a premise of superiority. You will find that the media and the world around you will always seek to rationalise and contextualise white murder – it must be that this man is an anomaly, he must be mentally ill. He is an anomaly because, by default the man from the Occident is rational, whilst the man from the Orient is not.
I think back to my school days when White students were able to act up much more than any others, since they were also anomalies to the norm, since they had ‘ADHD’. Students of colour, especially Black, were much more quickly disciplined, they ‘had issues with authority’, they were a ‘danger to other students.’
Your death will never cause millions of white Europeans to pour into the streets and say ‘Je Suis Deah’. It will not cause shock waves of grief, there will be no state wide funeral, there will be no visits from international leaders, there will be no worldwide uproar. The reason is simple, your death cannot be held valuable if your life never was.
“I do not understand this squeamishness about the use of gas. We have definitely adopted the position at the Peace Conference of arguing in favour of the retention of gas as a permanent method of warfare. It is sheer affectation to lacerate a man with the poisonous fragment of a bursting shell and to boggle at making his eyes water by means of lachrymatory gas. I am strongly in favour of using poisoned gas against uncivilised tribes. The moral effect should be so good that the loss of life should be reduced to a minimum. It is not necessary to use only the most deadly gasses: gasses can be used which cause great inconvenience and would spread a lively terror and yet would leave no serious permanent effects on most of those affected.” – Winston Churchill.
One of the most celebrated and respected figures till date in Great Britain, on using gas on Iraqi Muslims (uncivilised tribes, apparently). Yet it is a surprise to us whenever we realise that our lives are seen as disposable test subjects. (Note his demonstration of his high compassion in ensuring minimum deaths during the repression.)
Yesterday it seemed the entire Western world came to a stop to say ‘Je Suis Charlie’, today, for the entire Western world, life goes on. There will be no mourning for the 3 killed innocent Muslims.
If it’s a question of the death toll and its proportional public reaction, then we expect at least a quarter of the public outrage and media coverage that Charlie Hebdo had gotten, we expect a quarter of the thousands of people who took to Trafalgar Square to support Charlie Hebdo, to support these three young Muslims.
However, we are well aware that ultimately we shouldn’t expect anything from a people who have historically seen us as sub-human, but surely we have expectations of ourselves? When we had Muslims and all people of colour coming out to say ‘Je Suis Charlie’, maybe now they’ll realise what that statement really meant – it meant that ‘we’ support the right to offend whomever we want, be it depicting Black people as savages or the Prophet Muhammad explicitly. We draw the line in freedom of speech, we will never be stopped from doing as we wish whilst we will exercise authority over all others. The killing of 1000 Nigerians by Boko Haram on the same day is sad, but irrational beings are expected to kill each other. The killing of 12 Europeans is deeply heartbreaking and shocking. We are the flag bearers of rational conversation and criticism.
These are the underlying statements I’d read between the letters in ‘Je Suis Charlie’.[pullquote]I think about the future of the Muslim world, and the complete subjugation we will continue to live in if we persist in failing to see the truth about the way in which we are perceived[/pullquote]Those of you who stood with the entire white world in saying ‘Je Suis Charlie’ will stand and say ’Je Suis Deah’ alone. No outpour of solidarity. You, who reminded them of their superior value and worth, will be reminded by them of your inferiority in their eyes. You who were asked to condemn and thus condemned, will not be asking all white people to condemn nor will they even have to think about it. You may accept for them to freely ask ‘What were the religious views of the victims? Any of them extreme?’ – flirting with the idea of justifying their deaths, but when will you become empowered? When will you stop answering the questions they have for you by which you can prove yourself as civilised and moral? When will you question THEM? And THEIR morality, and THEIR values? When will you accept yourself as a human being? You’ve spent 13 years explaining to a people that your religion despises terrorists, and that you don’t condone the killing of innocents, today they, who prompt you to prove your morality, pour out in numbers to applaud American Sniper.
I think about what those 3 young victims felt in those last moments, the fear that overcame them.
I think about the future of the Muslim world, and the complete subjugation we will continue to live in if we persist in failing to see the truth about the way in which we are perceived, and we continue to accept that premise for ourselves, intent on living in an idealistic world in which ethnicity doesn’t matter, and we are all equal. The enemy you can not see is most likely to be the one that’ll defeat you, or more specifically, the problem you fail to identify will be the one that causes your downfall.
‘Our duty is to understand Oriental civilisation. . . . We claim, rightly or wrongly, to represent a superior civilisation, and because of the right given us by virtue of this superiority, which we regularly affirm with such assurance as makes it seem incontestable to the natives, we have called in question all their native traditions’ – Sylvain Levi, Author, 1925.
This idea is still being regularly affirmed, and we, must no longer refuse to contest their assurances of it.
Please recite a Surah Fateha for the souls of the victims in the Chapel Hill shooting.