Love, Philosophy, Religion, Uncategorized

An Open Letter To My Muslims Brothers & Sisters

Assalamu alaikum

The world tells me we are inherently different. I’m not a Muslim my self, but I’ve always been fascinated & inspired by Islamic contribution to human civilization. The history of & historical figures from the Islamic world have fascinated & inspired me for years, especially the era of the Islamic  Renaissance in North Africa, the Middle East & Spain. As a student of philosophy the works of Muslim thinkers & scholars have always grabbed my attention, particularly Abu al-Walid Muhammad ibn Ahmad ibn Rushd (known in the West as Averroes). I first encountered Ibn Rushed in a wonderful Philosophy class I took in college for my minor. My German born professor admired him & introduced us to the basics of his system of though. This passage from his book The Decisive Treatise stood out to me

The double meaning [of religion & philosophy] has been given to suit people’s diverse intelligence. The apparent contradictions are meant to stimulate the learned to deeper study.

What this has always seemed to mean for me, a non-believer of God, is that religion & philosophy often have the same goal: to understand the Universe, what takes place in it, our own place in it, and how to live with and understand one another. There is intrinsic difference between people of faith & people of freethinking philosophy, just slight variations in emphasis & ontology. We all live by moral standards, we all have family or communities, we all seek knowledge, we all seek to better ourselves & those we love & care for. The differences in how we come to understand ourselves & our world are not nearly as important as the fact we do all seek to know, to feel, to love, to explore. 

There are many paths to truth, to happiness, to wisdom. We do a great disservice to ourselves & our fellow human beings when we close off a path because it may not seem familiar at first. I have found that when one takes the time to take, as Frost wrote, “the path less travelled”, you see that what at first seems to your eyes and mind to be alien is in fact your own world made new again through difference; a tree is a tree is a tree again, and a wise thought is wisdom in any tongue or any culture. We translate our seeming differences by experiencing them, through a striving to see love in unknown places, and emerging from the path to a shared destination.

***

A beautiful building stands near my apartment in Bolingbrook, Illinois, a Masjib & community center. It represents to me the wonderful diversity of this country & its people, people who make our community stronger & more enlightened. I smile when I think of the young Muslim families I see at the library or at the store; how proud they seem, how kind & friendly they are. On a more personal note, when I was in college it was hard for me to make friends (I am autistic and social skills are not my forte) and many of my peers ignored me or did not take the time to try to understand my life or point of view. That is until I met a group of Muslims students, some of whom I worked with at the College library. They were warm, open, non-judgemental, invited me to sit with them at lunch, introduced me to new people & ideas. We enjoyed the time we spent together, and even though we saw the world differently sometimes, we never let these differences get in the way of caring for one another as human beings. Their friendship during this hard time in my life is not something I will ever forget.

***

Today many of our non-Muslim leaders in government, medias & culture are telling us to fear Muslims, to hate them, to shun them. They tell us Islam is an “evil” religion, one that has no intellectual tradition worth studying, no love for women or those outside of Islam. I know these are calumnies, blood libels told to benefit those with power & who want power, whose imperial aims thrive when Muslims and non-Muslims fight & terrorize one another. I know that the West has blood on its hands and has done much to earn the distrust of some in the Muslim World. I know that fanatics on both sides need this hatred & use it to wield power over people who just want to live safe, happy lives. I know that those who hate, who want us to hate, believe that there are two worlds at war. I know the truth. I know there is one world, one humanity. I know refugees are seeking what I seek: a home, love, education, enrichment, happiness, community. I know most Muslims know this too. We are not different, we have no reason to fear one another. We must love one another. I support Muslims, I support refugees, I support immigrants. I support my brothers & sisters. I reject Trump & his fascist ideology, his fascist programs. I stand with you, and I know many more stand with you too. We are not different, you and I. We are the same people making our way, sometimes on different paths, sometimes on the same path, all heading to the same destination.

yours in friendship,

Noah Mann-Engel

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anarchism, Atheism, Catholicism, Death, poetry, Religion, Socialism, Spain, Uncategorized

Heretic’s Benediction

Priests bless the perversions of the fascists

While condemning the sharing of the land

but no foul curate will thwart our demand

we have no fear of holy chauvinists

 

Mass is held with the flesh of socialists

While Fathers absolve the barbarous bands

The sign of the cross made with bloody hands

Having sold their souls to Nationalists

 

We drink the pure water of righteousness

Boorish Priests are drunk on the holy blood

We sup as one on the bread of blitheness

While like cows with their host they chew the cud

they make a desert of faith with their weakness

Lo, and heed; after us will come the flood

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Feminism, Philosophy, Sexuality, Uncategorized

An Immodest Proposal

The main issue I have with the so called “modesty” movement, is that even when it is ostensibly about “women choosing to be modest” for their own reasons, there is an unspoken undercurrent of judgement and shaming. For what is one if one is not “modest”? One is immodest. And if someone is labeled or considered, even by default, immodest, shaming, violence, punishment, and ostracization are tacitly approved of against the person. It is a subtle way of upholding patriarchal cultural norms, and an insidious on at that, because it turns the “decision” to impose an arbitrary morality into one ostensibly made by the women herself. Even the word, modesty, and the accompanying concept and activities that expected in regards to it, are assumed to be set in stone, a certain set of inherent values. The assumption is made that modesty is inherently the act of covering oneself up, specifically the parts of the body that MEN have traditionally deemed there purview to either view, sexualize, control, or shame.

There is no such thing as “natural” modesty, or an inherent human modesty in regards to sartorial choices, it is all begging the question, with the answer being “there is something inherently shameful about the female form, something that one can “choose” to decide to cover up and hide in order to possess some sort of aura of inherent goodness or purity. It is reverse objectification, and sexual violence by stealth, making women into willing accomplices to the continuation of the idea that the female form is special in its potential for physical and moral corruption. Women are told that their “beauty” is better and more morally “celebrated” by “respecting” it with arbitrary, and male gaze focused, garment coverings/veils, as though beauty was something objectively enhanced or degraded by the use or non-use of a certain prescribed accoutrements.

Modesty, in and of itself, is assumed a priori to mean a form of veiling, modifying, distracting from the physical and the female, which underlines the assumption that there is something inherent to the female form that makes it “more beautiful”, more “worth protecting”, more “pure” than the male form. Hence there is no equal movement to compel men to “make the choice to be modest”, at least not with the same subtle shaming and prodding that women face. Modesty itself is a concept that must be discarded if we are to ever live in a truly equal society, at least the idea of modesty that assumes certain arbitrary parts of the human female form are to be hidden or de-emphasized.

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poetry

An Ichthyarchy

Goyafish

Blessed be the wrath of me

my fervor an aeipathy

febrile and sweet sweat

a cotton cloth well met

high mound of dead flagblenny

remains of ichthyarchy

down nepenthe, drown regret

So much I must forget

on down upon bleeding knee

I intone the rosary

Drag on glass by teeth wet

blood Sherry I pay my debt

want and wish and mourn for slavery

instead of man mart bibliopoly

qat on tongue blemish bet

I know it is niff a loo debt

witch watt in the right race cavity

deposit something else white gravity

they fool themselves and fear the Tet

align themselves with the hellbound set

they decry their wholesome scaevity

at mount mass Abraham’s thysiastery

blessed be the wretch who let

the space where her grapes Zion blet

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Religion, Satire

A Letter From Jesus to Josh Duggar

pissed jesus

Mr. Duggar

It has come to my attention that you are using my name and my ability to cleanse the world of sin with my holy blood to excuse and explain away your horrific crimes against little girls. I would just like to say: stop! Consider this a cease and desist notice. My lawyers (Darrow, Hand & Hand) have informed me that I am not allowed to reach down from heaven above and smack the ever-loving evangelical shit out of you, but I can do this: please stop worshiping me. Your status as a believer in my words and deeds is rather, well, let’s just say it is not in the interest of me and my followers. I am aware that you claim to be an ardent believer in my power and my love, but even I have my limits. Your SISTERS? REALLY? And your Dad brought you in to confess to a fellow child molester? Then again, I have never understood your family’s view of my “message”…If I had wanted to to procreate like rabbits I (or rather my dad…who is me…but let’s not get THAT started again) would have made you rabbits. Let’s put a hard limit at, say, six kids? 19…For the love of me…

Anyway, I hope you understand the position you have put me in as a savior. I don’t like having to cut people out of the whole “forever saved by my grace” thing, but, I mean, come on…your SISTERS? If you continue to find a need to believe in something I have heard that ISIS are recruiting and there is always the catholic priesthood…they tend to be understanding of people with your…proclivities.

Yours in Me

Jesus Christ

p.s. Tell Mike Huckabee to shut the fuck up already. He’s already on my bad side, and I don’t want to have to send my friend Lucifer after him…Job didn’t like that very much and I don’t think Mike would either. Just sayin’.

p.p.s And another thing, where the FUCK does Jim Bob Duggar get off saying his daugthers “weren’t aware” of what happened to them/was happening to them? And why the FUCK would you not report it? And what the FUCK does “he was just a juvenile” supposed to mean? HE MOLESTED HIS SISTERS, and his response was to “not let the kids play hide and seek” anymore? WHAT. THE. FUCK? That is all

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Uncategorized

Dukkha/Weightier Than Mount Tai

Mount_tai_rock_inscriptions

dukkha!

aye aye

there is a thorne

in my foot

it bleeds

and I have to pluck it out

and it bleeds more

but

slowly

it clots

 

Sun Yat Sen

and then the Generalissimo

these are the leaders we get before

the Red Emperor

a bourgeois nationalist revolutionary

and a beer hall putsch wannabe

20 years of bland protestant incompetence

and then

the programed life

of leaps

and

revolutions

 

a beggar

was throwing coins into the brush

the Buddha came over and retrieved the coins and

brought them back to the beggar

and the beggar wept and thanked him for his generosity

and then he returned to throwing coins into the brush

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Buddhism, poetry

The Khan is in Tibet/Samyaksambuddha

phoenix-symbol-tibetan-rugs-3

‘brug banner

zing skya scales

grinning and bald

under the hooves of small horses

The Khan of all

between the two oceans

 

Mara bleeds into my eyes and

screams into my chest

a breath smelling of

lilacs

and it is so hard to resist

 

The banner of the horse tails

Qoridai

reigns triumphant

the tumens

roam the roads

the beat into the dirt

I look to the west and see only their empire

I look to the East and the North and the South

and I see only their empire

 

samyaksambuddha

nettles and thirst

blasting heat

like Mara belching fire

the air shimmers

and the beggars

sitting lotus

listening

samyaksambuddha

please

I strive

nekkhamma

 

Tibet

is a appendage

of the

Yuan

who possess

the Mandate

of heaven

Taiding

and now his illustrious successor

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