Discover more from Adventures of Bad Hijabi
The Legacy of The Grand Mufti
how the ideas Hajj Amin espoused lived on
Early Lessons About God From My Mum
One of the earliest lessons about God I received is that He is not a tool for me to control others, He is not a peer or social pressure. God is about controlling me as I move through the world, not about me controlling others. Mum taught me that God was a personal relationship with myself, and that the personal relationship other individuals have with God does not concern me. My dad did not convert to Catholicism until I reached around age 7. Before then, mum would take me to the weird looking French church in Saint Boniface, Précieux-Sang, and dad would stay behind with his books and his pipe. I, a child, didn’t understand fully why dad didn’t come to Sunday morning mass with mum and me. I wanted us to be together all the time. Daddy, come to church with us, I once pleaded. Mum gently stopped me, and explained why my behaviour was wrong.
I could not have been more than 4 and I understood. God is not a social pressure. We do not push God onto others, we lead with love and we let anyone who wishes ask us about our faith path and we teach them from the heart, not the ego.
I will stop here and say that, I am pretty certain my older siblings, all born pre-Vatican 2, received a different vision of God than I did at the age I was in this story. My sisters have regaled me with tales of being forced, as very young girls, to kneel before the giant statute of the Virgin Mary in mémère’s front sitting room and listen to some radio broadcast and say the rosary. My older siblings seemed to have had a more forceful and cruel introduction to God. Mum’s other bookend, my late gay eldest brother, had a very different devout belief in God than did I, more focussed on tradition and rules because that’s what pre-Vatican 2 worship meant. The very same mother passed on this religious culture to us. What happened?
My father being an outsider, my mother having endured the worst thing to ever happen to her just before her courtship with my dad, my birth, my grave illness immediately after birth—these factors profoundly impacted our mother’s vision of God, faith community, and what worship means vis à vis other people. Sometimes the things which break + betray our hearts bring us closer to God Consciousness, and thus, to ourselves—maybe that’s what happened to Mum? Some people are not ready for intellectual + social + spiritual1 progress, Mum always was—many Catholics did not survive Vatican 2, the church experienced a mass exodus of membership from religious, clergy and ordinary membership.
Mum emerged with bells on, she loved God and she would embrace change. Mum taught me that God is for the individual and anyone can have Him and no one can stop you if you truly want Him He is yours to love. But love means choosing compassion every moment and sometimes your humanness finds that difficult. Mum also taught me that you can only have and keep God if you love and serve others and embrace your humanity with humility and grace. Like joy, we cannot force God.
To Be A Muslim
So, when I decided to become a Muslim, I noticed a marked lack of such spiritual and emotional maturity as I just described in the mainstream Muslim faith community. Every religion has a culture of faith, I hadn’t considered this until leaving Catholicism. I took some of my faith culture with me and left behind the parts that no longer helped me to see and connect with God. An integral part of my spiritual culture remains individuality, thinking for myself, perceiving and understanding God through my intellect, exercising my ego to polish that mirror of which Rūmī speaks.
Imagine my shock when I walked into the Muslim community, a stagnated place where people will not think for themselves, where the hive mind wallows in victimhood and resentment, where contracted thinking dominates all—where God lives in earth shattering questions such as does swallowing my toothpaste break my fast? Like, dude, what? How did all these people memorise the Qur’an, and they totally missed it’s entire message? Like, some of these people can even read Arabic and they still have missed the boat entirely on the Qur’an and the really important stuff of God-Consciousness. I want to scream sometimes are you all okay? Because this does not feel okay, in a God-centred way.
The Grand Mufti Lives On
So, let’s talk about the legacy of The Grand Mufti now. How do the ideas he espoused live on today? The Pro-Palestinian mob2 will swear up and down that the British foisted the Mufti onto them, that he did not represent any sentiment of the Arab people, including the Palestinians. Oh the Mufti witnessed the devastating effects of the British repressive policy against his people, cue the dramatic musical score, also cue the eye roll. Yeah, he super cared about his people, hiding out in a luxury apartment (stolen from Jews) in Berlin, living the high life, on the Nazi payroll, giving Arabic language radio addresses to spread the message of anti-Jew-hatred to the masses. The Mufti looked really moved for his people sitting at that picnic table with Himmler during his tour of Station Z. Yeah, I’m moved by his devotion to his people when I read historical accounts of his movements and actions. NOT.
Let me just get something straight here. He toured a fcuking Nazi camp. He blocked Jewish refugees escaping Germany, knowing full well the persecution Jews sought to escape across Europe. He recruited SS officers in Bosnia. He was the father of Palestinian nationalism. Yasser Arafat drew inspiration from him, and also changed his name from Husseini so he could break association with the Nazi collaborating Mufti relation (thereby gain credibility as statesman by ditching the Nazi association) and secretly keep his hateful unhinged ideas and corrupt methodology of leadership.
So, yeah, I would call that complicit. And— like the rest of the human world has done, Palestinians, Arabs, Muslims all need to own that sh1t and engage in humble introspection. One of the first things I saw just after I joined the local Facebook Muslim group and connected with a Muslim from that group was a Holocaust denial post and vehement justification and a stream of anti-semitism from that particular Muslim. Having grown up when Jim Keegstra made headline news, and in the shadows of the Holocaust, this sh1t hits me in the gut.
I honestly had no idea, not knowing anything about the Muslim world, as to the level of intense anti-Jewish sentiment that’s normalized within the Muslim world. A chilling apathy and disinterest in the most profound historical event to happen in modernity—I found it off-putting. I never have gone to a mosque to find or connect with God, the Holocaust denial thing creeped me out. I try half-heartedly and I find the level of engagement so surface and shallow, in a way that lends itself to fundamentalism. That is never gonna be me—Mama + Daddy didn’t raise me that way. Still I am a Muslim, an independent one. The Holocaust profoundly affects my worldview, always has, not just the events also the social processes that happened to enable the horror to unfold. I look for patterns in stuff, in society, in history—and I sometime see them repeated.
The whole world participated in the Nazi genocide of Jews and other designated subhumans—everyone. I was not alive and I take it as my responsibility that this happened under everyone’s nose, in knowledge of those who could do something to stop it. This was mass murder on an industrial scale, executed painlessly and also joyfully by the architects of the Final Solution. Yes, they developed new technologies specifically to be able to mass murder more Jews and subhumans with little fuss so no one would notice. Nothing else compares and we shouldn’t even try to compare anything to that—it is a stand alone horror. Period. That should not even be a thing we debate, because it takes energy and effort away from how we can move forward for peace for all.
Living in the bowels of chronic historical Arab disgruntlement serves no one.
Be. Here. Now. | Self-Compassion—Ride That B1tch | Where Are We Headed?
So how does the Mufti live on in the ideas of today vis à vis the Palestinian issue? What kind of fragrance has Hajj Amin al-Husayni left on the Palestinian liberation movement? Can we acknowledgment that the liberation needed is the one of the deranged leadership, and has been from the beginning? So far the history reveals a story that changes depending on the convergence of interests, with the Palestinian peoples—honestly who are they, it seems like this needs to be nailed down—serving as a convenient pawn or currency for imperial or elite leadership of the era.
So far the historical record reveals that NO ONE ON ANY SIDE except the Zionists wanted a Jewish state. The British did not want the formation of Israel, anyone who thinks this is a case of Jewish supremacy has too much Amin al-Husayni cult garbage on the brain. The biggest lie he left is one still being promoted by Linda Sarsour and progressive left-wing America—Jewish supremacy and Jewish privilege blah blah. Western minds see this and find it repugnant because we know where that thinking leads and now we can remember where it came from, we should never forget, forgetting happens at a price.
The Mufti lives on in today’s pro-Palestinian movement in the following ways—
Obstinate commitment to violent opposition and refusal to concede anything toward peace — priorising the hypermasculine fanatical d1ckbag culture of leadership before the well-being of the people
Vehement + irrational hatred of the Jews + Jewish presence in the Middle East, fomenting this hatred, living in this hatred, to the exclusion of all that would progress the society and community
Refusal to engage in introspection + take personal responsibility, corrupt + tyrannical + narcissistic leadership style, emotional immature entitlement mindset
Propagandist myth that al-Aqsa mosque is in danger of being destroyed by the Jews
Animosity and resentment toward the British (and Allies), refusal to agree to the presence of a Jewish state in the Middle East
Belief that Judaism + Islam are incompatible or at odds, and therefore Jews = enemy of Muslims
I think the connections I have made and continue to explore can help us see a position in all the geopolitical chaos more clearly—what really is God? What really is Ego? Intention matters, and teasing these out can take some careful and patient reading of the history and studying the players. One think we cannot deny, Nazis were bad men and anyone who collaborated with and praised them for their work in liberating the world from the Jews also is bad. Put very bluntly at a child’s level of language. That said—fast forward to present day. Do we know what we are supporting and why? Do we know who we are supporting any why? Does this align with Bismillah, with the universal values God gave us in the Qur’an?
It matters very much to me where the ideas I support originated. I hope it matters as much to others. This is the work of worship—to seek to understand the world around me. Bismillah.
The Qur’an isn’t a war manual, or if it was it would be a figurative one, to wage a war against one’s own human narcissistic tendencies. Anyway it puzzles me that Muslims seem to be stuck in that medieval mindset where humans use religion and God to wield geopolitical influence and gain power, and how masses of Muslims, even those in the very free western world, seem captured by the belief that being a Muslim obliges them to shill Arab nationalism. I feel like I need to ask questions about this and push back on where these weird ideas come from because some things don’t jive.
In the spirit of remembering my mother, who was a 14 year old girl in St Boniface, Canada when the Allied soldiers discovered the Nazi death camps—I write these words and I dive into this intellectual exercise. It completes the education she began, to teach me about hate and what it looks like and how it can creep up uninvited when you aren’t looking that closely.
Adventures of Bad Hijabi is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.
by spiritual I mean relationship with oneself, and not necessarily anything religious
by mob I mean excitable crowd intent on causing trouble and violence