“The substitution of the tempus mortuum of the mechanical clock for the biological and psychological time “natural” to man is in itself sufficient to suppress all the traditional rhythms of human life in favor of the mechanical. Again, genuine human communities are suppressed by the technological society to form collectivities of “mass men” incapable of obeying any other law than the statistical “law of large numbers.” All the technical devices of education, propaganda, amusement, sport, and religion are mobilized to persuade the human being to be satisfied with his condition of mechanical, mindless “mass man,” and ruthlessly to exterminate the deviant and the idiosyncratic.”—
Notes from Jaques Ellul’s, “The Technological Society”.
Ellul is certainly a formidable thinker, though like many French philosophers, his mode of processing reality turns axiomatic on a number of presuppositions: Ellul’s concept of the natural, of “natural human life” appear to be Rousseauian of some type or another, where man’s “natural state” is some what abstractionist, if not wholly theoretical. Additionally, Ellul’s treatment of religion is very one-sided, based presumably on his experiences with Christianity. His description of time, for example, in how it suppresses “genuine human communities” would apply less so to a Muslim context, especially as time, as Muslims reckon it, is determined not by the tempus mortuum - the clicking of the mechanical clock as he puts it - but rather by natural phenomenon: the position of the sun to determine the time for the five-times daily canonical prayers and even the phases of the moon for deciding when fasting will begin in the month of Ramada.
All in all, I think Ellul’s, The Technological Society, to be an engaging and worthwhile read.
“The Technological Society (the book)" is a description of the way in which an autonomous technology is in process of taking over the traditional values of every society without exception, subverting and suppressing these values to produce at last a monolithic world culture in which all nontechnological differences and variety is mere appearance" - Jaques Ellul”—Notes from Jaques Ellul’s, “The Technological Society”.
“…men in the past were not confronted with technological means of production and organization which in their sheer numerical proliferation and velocity unavoidably surpassed man’s relatively unchanging biological and spiritual capacities to exploit them as means to human ends.” - Jaques Ellul”—Notes on Jaques Ellul’s, “The Technological Society”.
Is it possible that God does not merely save followers of other previously valid religions besides Islam out of a divine amnesty, but for the truth that exists in previous religions, including those such as Native American religions, and others?
University of Pennsylvania professor and former Daily News Columnist Mark Allan Hughes once wrote critically of "a world that demands simple solutions for complex problems…"
The need for understanding and addressing the subtle and complex realm of urban development and public policy is the unspoken premise of John Kromer’s new book, Fixing Broken Cities: The Implementation of Urban Development Strategies.
It goes without saying that Americans have had a turbulent relationship with Islam in recent decades. Not only have African-American converts faced direct anti-Islamic sentiment for many years, but in the days following Sept. 11, many in the U.S. — including elected leaders — seemed to reflexively adopt an outright disdain for Arab Muslims (see Rep. Peter King telling Politico that the U.S. has “too many mosques”). The ensuing years, which have included two U.S.-led wars in the Middle East and frequent terror threats against the West, have done little to ease tensions between the largely Judeo-Christian American public and the Muslim world.
While most examinations of Islamophobia suggest that it is only the most recent expression of American nativism — made manifest after the 9/11 terror attacks — the history of using the fear of Islam as a tactic actually extends much further back. The first attacks on Islam in the Western Hemisphere had little to do with religion and more to do with suppressing Africans during slavery.
Islamophobia, Racism & the Islamic Center Controversy
Lamppost Productions is offering a free online session with Temple University’s Dr. Khalid Yahya Blankinship entitled, "Islamophobia, Racism & the Islamic Center Controversy". The webinar will take place Sunday, September 19th at 2pm EST.
The proposed Islamic center two blocks from “ground zero” in New York City has sparked violent protest, open hostility, and opposition against Islam and Muslims. Around the country there has been an increase of hate crimes against Muslims, arson investigations of masajids, planned Qur’an-burnings and violence.
Why? What are some of the underlying causes of this increased hatred against Muslims? What does American history teach us about the increased bigotry and resentment which is now being so openly displayed?
Lamppost Productions presents this special online session with noted Islamic historian and scholar, Dr. Khalid Yahya Blankinship for a unique look at the issues surrounding the controversial Park51 project in Manhattan, NY. Don’t miss this session: Sunday, Sept 19th 2pm EST.
"I am very concerned by the potential repercussions of the possible (Qur’an) burning. Even the rumour that it might take place has sparked demonstrations such as the one that took place in Kabul yesterday. Were the actual burning to take place, the safety of our soldiers and civilians would be put in jeopardy and accomplishment of the mission would be made more difficult."
However, Terry Jones and company are not to be persuaded. In a written statement to the Associated Press, Jones said that, “America should, ‘Quit apologizing for our actions and bowing to kings.’”
Jones wants to send a message to radical Muslims that the country won’t be controlled “by their fears and threats.” The head of the Dove World Outreach Center says: “It is time for America to return to being America.”
WEST HAVEN — A local man is facing criminal charges after police said he walked into a Campbell Avenue hookah bar and shouted profanities and racial epithets at a group of black and Arabic people. Read the rest of the article here.
Post script - you may want to think twice about rocking the Casbah!
"Here is a paradox for a modern age which seeks to do away with the Divine, to remove it from their frame of reference and erase it from the public sphere: "Those who have no belief set up rivals to their Lord" (Qur’an 6:1). But how can those who disbelieve in God set up rivals to their God?"
One of the most memorable lines from the Star Wars franchise was Emperor Palpatine’s cruel admonishment of Luke when he cackled, “you shall pay the price for your lack of vision”. This chastisement was swiftly followed by searing bolts of blue lightening. If it weren’t for the timely intervention of Luke’s at-one-time sinister father, Darth Vader, Luke may have met a very unfortunate fate. In what has also become now a cruel twist of fate, American Muslims are now paying their own price for lack of vision, as the United States now increasingly turns on Muslims, demonizing and terrorizing them, not unlike this recent incident in New York, where a mosque was attacked by a small pack of marauding teens. Similarly to Luke’s blunder, American Muslims simply did not adequately prepare, in this case, for life in America. Where is our Darth Vader in our time of despair?
Sadly, Islam in American, in its heretical inception—referred to as the First Resurrection via The Nation of Islam—did a far better job of indigenizing Islam. The Second Resurrection [Islam 2.0?], consisted of both immigrant Muslims and new orthodox converts, who were initially unconcerned with the dominant culture’s views of Islam, and thus chose to either live anonymous lives in their new found homes—vis-a-vie through the door of whiteness—or in the case of Blackamerican Muslims, chose to live new lives that had little to do with the existential realities as colored folks living in a post-Jim Crow America. Both groups lived in a fantasy; a bubble. Of particular interest to immigrant Muslims, whiteness has been the gateway that many if not most immigrants have successfully integrated into the American social landscape. This created a dichotomy in American Islam in which immigrant Muslims increasingly turned a blind eye to the underside of assimilation: whiteness, and all of the unearned privilidges it entails. Blackamerican Muslims, having no such option, opted to simply limp along, paroting their immigrant counterparts without the Players Club incentives. Much to the dismay of [immigrant] Muslims, the 9/11 attacks did away with any hopes of Muslims being considered white/American, and thus we arrive back at our “price” for “lack of vision”. In another twist of ironic fate, blackness and its legacy of civil rights engagement [i.e., its holy protest against white domination and supremacy] seems to be the last bastion of hope for both communities. It is the only social modality that is seen and recognized as viably America: out of immigrant and indigenous Muslims, it’s the only one that’s socially acceptable, if not preferred. Perhaps if immigrant Muslims had not uncritically flocked to the banner of whiteness [I can hear Admiral Akbar shouting now, "it’s a trap" - or "it’s a twap", however you prefer your phonetics] and Blackamerican Muslims had not been so quick to abondon blackness, we might very well be in a completely different situation today.
The Nation of Islam, and subsequently its splinter group, led by the courageous Warith Deen Muhammad, charted a vision of Islam [by Islam here, I mean as it was socially expressed by the NOI, and not by the normal rigors of classical Muslim theology] that sought to place the cares, concerns, and proclivities of [Black] American Muslims at the heart of its agenda. And while the WD movement has also fallen on hard times, it still alludes to the crux of the current social predicament.
In many ways, Muslims in America were afforded a tremendous blessing post-9/11. Public sentiment towards Muslims was somewhat tarnished but by and large, the cloud of negative perceptions of Islam were held at bay, only occasionally making their way in to the public arena. In fact, there was a notable calling amongst non-Muslims that the 9/11 attacks were perpetuated by a few terribly misguided souls and that Muslims and Islam were not to blame. American Muslims, instead of capitalizing on this opportunity to push forward efforts to indigenize [not assimilate] themselves to their social, cultural and political landscapes, simply rested on their laurels. Both sides of the indigenous/immigrant isle have been equally to blame. Native-born Muslims still continued to favor a brand of Islam that was more about cultural acting than getting down to brass tax and most immigrant Muslims were so devastated at the quandary of being abandoned on the doorstep of whiteness that most of the efforts out of that community have been mostly assimilationist at best, if not simply down-right floundering. So again, where is our Darth Vader in our time of need?
Simply put, it is my belief that if Muslims do not solve this issue [if it is already not too late], then Islam will suffer a fate worse than persecution: irrelevancy. And by issue, I mean to address what is at the heart of mainstream America’s growing resentment towards Islam. I believe this to be mainly aesthetic: people simply do not like the way Islam looks and feels as a result of not knowing what Islam’s story is, or more precisely, what the American Muslims’ story is. And American Muslims have failed in telling their own story because they have yet to craft one. Narrative is crucial to survival in America; if you don’t have one, you don’t belong. Perhaps it’s not too late to stop, reflect, and take stock of our condition, our situation. Let us look at examples from our common cultural past that have succeeded: the Nation of Islam as well as the American Jewish community, who have critically understood the necessity of story and narrative as a primary means of not only survival but also of flourishing. To delay any longer would be akin to another favorite Star Wars quote: “almost there … almost there …” – and we all know what happened next after that.