Sunday, May 1, 2016

A Muslim Chick With a Pronounced Animus Toward the Jewish State? Wow, That's So "Interfaithy"!

Hey, all you interfaithers out there. Do I have an event with your name(s) on it:

30th Annual Event – Wednesday May 25

Please join us for our 30th Annual Event, being held at 7:30 pm on Wednesday May 25, 2016 at Grace Church on-the-hill300 Lonsdale Road (at Russell Hill Road).  
Interfaith Panel Discussion | The Language of War and Peace in our Religious Traditions, with
Rabbi Baruch Frydman-Kohl (Senior Rabbi, Beth Tzedec Congregation)
Rev. Dr. Karen Hamilton (General Secretary, Canadian Council of Churches)
Azeezah Kanji (Legal Scholar, Noor Cultural Centre).
Reception with Light Refreshments 
Tickets : $10  
To purchase, please contact your congregational representativeor event co-chairs Gary Posner( and Samira Kanji (  
Purchase Deadline – Friday May 20 at 5 pm
We look forward to seeing you on May 25!
Gary Posner (Beth Sholom) and Samira Kanji (Noor Cultural Centre)
Event Co-Chairs
Now, here's where I get to grouse about these "interfaith" interactions. They count for nada if you can't even mention Israel because doing so is likely to destroy the veneer of civility that's been established and disrupt the superficial feelings of amity that suffuse the room. And, anyway, how can one really forms bonds with the likes of Azeezah Kanji, a woman who writes for hard leftist, Israel-despising website, where she has expressed disturbing views re the Jewish state? Here's but one example:
If incarceration and torture have long been staple technologies of colonial assertion of power over subject populations, their current employment by states like Israel and the United States is (just) one salient vector of continuity between the colonial past and neocolonial present. 
Tracing these continuities Abdo argues that "a proper understanding of the Palestinian anti-colonial and anti-imperialist struggle requires a comprehension of the imperialist and colonial context within which the Palestinian struggle has unfolded and continued to unfold ... [I]nsofar as the Palestinian women's struggle was/is concerned, the imperialist context within which they were/are viewed has been largely one of an ideological nature ... that was and has remained characteristically Orientalist and racist in essence." 
Mired in Orientalist logic, dominant Western representations of Palestinian women activists -- including by ostensibly feminist scholars -- portray them as nothing more than victims of patriarchal Palestinian society, driven by "shame and dishonour" (as well as rabid anti-Semitism) to engage in acts of "terrorism." 
As Abdo points out, these representations not only completely discount the political agency of Palestinian women, but also erase the context of colonial violence which produces their resistance -- instead fixating on the supposed pathologies of Palestinian culture.
"Fixating on the supposed pathologies of Palestinian culture"? Yeah, why on Earth would anyone want to do that

I say we fixate on the evident pathologies of interfaithiness instead.

Update: But wait--there's more (my bolds):
On this week’s episode of Talking Radical Radio, Samira Kanji and Azeezah Kanji talk about the work of the Noor Cultural Centre in support of a vision of social justice grounded in Islamic teachings. 
Many non-religious progressive and radical folks in North America have trouble wrapping their heads around the grounding in faith that is crucial to many who work for social justice. And to the the extent that this is understood, it often goes as far as a nod to strands of Christianity like the social gospel and liberation theology, and no further. The ways in which, for many, Islam is a powerful resource for understanding and acting in the world that calls for and guides towards social justice is often completely off the radar. 
Samira and Azeezah Kanji are a mother and daughter who are part of Toronto’s Noor Cultural Centre, a place of Islamic worship and education. Samira is the centre’s President and CEO, and Azeezah works with both her mother and her sister to organize the programming at the centre. A key element to the centre’s work is a concern for social justice along multiple axes, grounded in Islamic teachings and ethics. Samira and Azeezah talk with me about the critical education work they do with the congregation and beyond around questions as diverse as poverty, animal rights, and globalization; about the ways that their vision of justice is integrated into worship at the centre; and about their work against Islamophobia in local, national, and global contexts. Particularly timely is their role in organizing a recent public statement calling for an end to the “callous devaluation of Palestinian life communicated by [Canadian] political leaders,” and signed by hundreds of academics and cultural luminaries from many places, institutions, disciplines, faiths, and communities across the country.
To learn more about the Noor Cultural Centre, please click here. To see the statement calling on Canadian political leaders to take a more just stand in response to the massacre in Gaza, click here.
Update: Azeezah writes:
Israel invokes the privileges of engaging in international armed conflict but denies Palestinians their corresponding entitlements under the same body of law. This is the colonial nature of Israel’s legal logic. 
You mean Hamas, a jihadi terrorist entity and the local branch of the Ikwan, a.k.a the Muslim Brotherhood,  can "invoke the privileges of engaging in international armed conflict" too?

Not only is that not interfaithy, it's not even sane.

As for Israel's "colonial nature"--how can you "colonize" something that was yours from waaaay back; certainly long before Islam's founder (a huge "colonizer" himself) was even a gleam in his mama's eye?


Minicapt said...

The link to the is disconnected as of 1645hrs PDT 1 May.


scaramouche said...

The link is back up today (May 2). That's how I know the joint is hosting a event featuring an amigo of the Chomsky-Zinn-Said trifecta.: