Précis: Mecca v Athens (cc @hhassan140)

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It is being solved. It just takes time: All of time. The day that the forces or vectors currently aligned against each other in Egypt as “Islamist” and “opposition” no longer treated each other with suspicion, mistrust, and fear would be the day that they no longer recognized any meaningful contradiction between their beliefs, the day that reason and revelation were the same, the day that the theocratic utopia and the liberal-democratic utopia were understood and experienced as the same utopia, which would also be the same day that neither was utopia any longer – “and many nations shall join themselves to the Eternal in that day.” Before that day, and perhaps on the day after (who could say but the voice of the Eternal?), we live in the unboundedly self-renewing tension of Mecca (or is it Jerusalem?) and Athens, the prefatory epilogue, the interruption of the philosophers, the cleavage of the House. We are still picking up the pieces and bloody remnants of the Mongol invasion, tremulously approaching, or slowly re-constructing, or, having re-constructed, are now tentatively grasping at the gates. Worldwide post-Western, post-colonial, post-Christian liberal democracy imagines itself as, without knowing or seeing the cleavages that the opening would close, the key to the lock on the gate. Islamism, the archaic modernism of the East becoming West becoming all, returns to the moment, to the scene, in the posture of submission. Whether the gates ever really closed at all, is to will the closing re-opening not a Promethean blasphemy? If the matter is Eternal, to allow or not to resist to the end the intercession of the blasphemer, the infidel, the philosopher, the secular, the Westerner, the colonialist, the capitalist, the modernist is unthinkable. Unthought, it happens, atom by atom. When Hassan Hassan says “solve it,” whom is he addressing?


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4 comments on “Précis: Mecca v Athens (cc @hhassan140)

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  1. In as much as their fears are imposition on themselves, yet their fight is over control of the state (that is, “right” to rule others), the struggle can’t help but hold a whiff of futility.

  2. Well looking at things, through the long lense of history, Mohammed Ali’s dynasty last a mere 150 years, displacing the Mamelikes, the Brits dominated Egypt for a third of that period, their abouts, we aren’t really talking a return to the Fatimids,
    although Erdogan’ neo Ottomanism may be the common element,

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  1. […] On, appropriately enough, July 4 of this year, via Twitter as @hhassan140, Hassan Hassan (“HH” below) offered a provocative summary of an article on Islamists and the Arab Spring by Hussein Ibish (@ibishblog, “HI”). A colloquy between Hassan, Ibish, and myself (“CM”) ensued, its terms anticipating the same arguments, and the same situation, that informed that tweet of Hassan’s at the head of my “1st Précis.” […]

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