Notes On Bitcoin Futuwwa
Futuwwa1 was not merely an abstraction detached from the concerns of the physical realm beholden only to other-worldly personal acts of spiritual excellence. Futuwwa was grounded into the political economy of the Islamicate, weaved in with the guilds, taverns, trading routes and vital organs of commerce of the day. It was in the commercial realm that futuwwa was allowed to flourish as an avenue for Muslim men to combine the twin tasks of taming both the nafs and dunya2. Futuwwa in many ways by...
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Notes On Houellebecqian Fahishism
No matter what might be said, access to the artistic universe is more or less entirely the preserve of those who are a little fed up with life -Houellebecq Fahishism This has been a concept that I have tried to flesh out for some time, here I attempt to sketch it out. The basic premise is that the Western bloc is engulfed in Fahishism. The idea stems from the concept elaborated upon in Quranic Revelation - fahisha, where Haleem and Badawi in their dictionary of Quranic usage look at the l...
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Notes On Encryption
Just as divine authority was legitimized by religious mythologies, and human authority was legitimized by humanist ideologies, so high-tech gurus and Silicon Valley prophets are creating a new universal narrative that legitimizes the authority of algorithms and Big Data. This novel creed may be called “Dataism”. In its extreme form, proponents of the Dataist worldview perceive the entire universe as a flow of data, see organisms as little more than biochemical algorithms and believe that huma...
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Notes On Digital Sovereignty
Crises have a habit of bringing to the fore uncomfortable and deep seated cracks in civilizational competence. Take for instance, one field that is becoming more and more pertinent as this century unfolds - digital/data sovereignty. For the last fifteen years or so, Muslims have been sleep walking en-masse in adopting Western produced software with systemically close relationships to American Empire and its Deep State - namely the products of Meta - Instagram, Facebook and Whatsapp. Indeed, the ...
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Notes On Culture War Accelerationism (CWA)
This is a short piece to try and outline a new position for the Muslim Diaspora - perhaps even a new commitment for digital Muslim communities worldwide in trying to leverage the current Culture War controversies to the broader agenda of trying to reach towards Islamicate Sovereignty. There has been no shortage of commentary and metacommentary about the Culture Wars - it has become a central part of "The Discourse" in the Anglosphere - a favourite national pastime of intellectuals, podcasters ...
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Notes On British Muslim Politics
I read with some interest this piece about British Muslim electoral prospects by Muhammad Jalal amidst the freefall decline of British political culture - needless to say there is tremendous opportunity at stake for Muslim communities to make a carve out an interesting niche for itself amongst the Deep State Uniparty composed of Labour, Conservative and Liberal Democrat. It is a well researched piece and I wish to expand on it. Related to this were two threads on X here and here where I tried to...
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Notes On Palestine and the Diaspora
There is a very simple premise I want to introduce to the Muslim diasporas living in the Anglosphere - that Palestinian advocacy in the long run that is sustainable and coherent is only possible by allying with and encouraging "isolationist" tendencies that prioritise a sense of national interest. At present, the Western bloc is dwarfed by consideration of American Imperial Sovereignty. That is to say, many of the so called "partners" of the Americans are vassal states that have abdicated import...
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Notes On Ozempic
Ozempic, the widely popular diabetes medication, has become the latest symbol of pharmaceutical technologies' profound effects on conceptions of selfhood. This injectable weight loss drug lays bare the Faustian bargain of biotechnological mastery. As patients lose pounds through medicated metabolic manipulation previously impossible, Ozempic provides a window into the emerging techno-nafs unbound by natural constraints. While lauded as a wonder drug against obesity, Ozempic raises tensions arou...
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Introducing Iqra Post
Peace be upon you, I've started Iqra Post on substacks here. The goal is to try and separate my personal writings from own readings. Iqra Post will be a periodic newsletter containing readings from politics, to AI, to technology, great threads from Muslim Twitter and more. It is intended to be a sort of companion related to the themes covered in Iqra Files. I believe the separation is necessary - Iqra Post can ultimately be a type of repository of the works of more insightful writers than myse...
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Notes On The Secularity of Dissent
The above is a play on words inspired by the work of Saba Mahmood who arguably was the most insightful academic working on Islam in the Anglosphere in the shadow of the War on Terror. Time and again Mahmood got to the heart of the matter in a way that many of her peers failed to (sometimes due to a lack of ability, but perhaps other times due to a simple lack of courage). Most notably she articulated and exposed the religion building project of the neo-cons in trying to bend Islam to the contour...
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Notes On the Twin Cultures and the Future
Nasrian Perennialists What is it to be Muslim? For better or worse, the Perennialist camp has penned the most convincing elaborations on this - see Chittick, Nasr Hossein, Gai Eaton and Lings. Despite the obvious grave theological errors (specifically around soteriology) in their discourse, which has now been meticulously covered in various places such as here and here, these works remain foundational in articulating a distinctly Islamicate aesthetic sensibility in terms of how to act in the wo...
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Notes On Fitna in France
Seclusion in Times of Confusion Many look at the scenes in France, a country that few truly understand, and think that represents an opportunity to set out one's stand and cast assertions about their political agendas. They hope that amidst the extrajudicial violence, the burning, and looting one can make a case for x or y political manifesto. Yet, the Prophet of Islam ﷺ advocates the exact opposite in such times and it has everything to do with this notion of fitna. This is not just part of th...
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Notes On Techno-Nafs and Algorithmic Culture
Ibn Maghreb The Chinese Cybernetic State I saw an incredible picture which I think really gets to the heart of what I mean by the Cybernetic State - it was an infographic of China's social credit scheme: The Omniscent Cybernetic State pic.twitter.com/idgN59bkUN— Ibn Maghreb (@IbnMaghrebi) June 6, 2023 It really does speak a thousand words and brings to bear the Hallaqian Problem - if we accept in principle that these are technologies of dominations and surveillance that are bundled with th...
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Notes On the Fiqh of Minorities
Ibn Maghreb By now, there are a few studies worth checking out on the discourse of Fiqh of Minorities (FOM) for the Muslim diaspora in the Anglosphere. Unfortunately most publications from within academia read as practical apologia for the discourse, offering soothing reassurances and platitudes to the reader that all is well with the Ishmaelite hordes and that they are actually behaving themselves. Studies by the likes of March (Islam and Liberal Citizenship) and Fares Hassan (Fiqh al-Aqalli...
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Notes On Anglophone Sunni Authority
Ibn Maghreb Decentralised Blessings I was struck whilst reading a blog post from Moxie Marlinspike, the co-founder of the popular encryption messaging app Signal who whilst sharing his thoughts on web 3and crypto technologies wrote: If something is truly decentralized, it becomes very difficult to change, and often remains stuck in time Inadvertently, one of the tech lords of our time in a nutshell encapsulated what I believe is the real strength of normative Sunni Islam. It is decentral...
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Notes On Pharmaceutical Liberalism and Transhumanism
Ibn Maghreb In the ephemeral flux of our postmodern world, the question of body sovereignty reverberates across our cultural and political landscapes. We stand on the precipice of a transitional moment, moving from classical liberal autonomy to a concept entirely new. I posit that this pivotal shift was heralded by the introduction of the contraceptive pill, a point in history that future generations may regard as the initial breakthrough for Promethean aspirations to conquer the perceived base...
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Notes On Iqballian Cypherpunk Ethics
Ibn Maghrebi Iqbal's Creed Allama Iqbal was arguably the most impactful Muslim thinker of the 20th century. Even though he would never ascribe the label to himself, he was more a poet than a systematic thinker with formalist philosophical inclinations. His works galvanized a large portion of the Islamicate to will itself towards an independent homeland, free from Hindu coercion. Unlike other thinkers of the period, Iqbal's words found a sympathetic audience amongst the emerging postcolonial el...
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Notes On Cybernetics II - Therapeutic Culture and Dataism
Ibn Maghreb In the previous article, we explored how data sovereignty is instigating a new form of governance, providing the State unprecedented reach into citizens' lives and the issue of metadata. However, cybernetic governance can only thrive in a world reimagined along the data's outlines. The concept of "data" as an entity to be gathered, classified, and utilized should be feasible first before any additional structures of governance be placed on top of it. Notwithstanding the horrors of ...
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Notes On Cybernetics I
Ibn Maghreb "the conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society" From Propaganda - Edward L Bernays Cybernetics might appear esoteric but it is a radically simple idea - data-driven governance. The constant mining and harvesting of data from our usage of the internet and other digital technologies is used to train and create algorithms. These can be deployed by governments to extend their sphere of infl...
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Notes On The Hallaqian Problem and Cybernetics
The Hallaqian Problem Ibn Maghreb What was Wael Hallaq's message to Muslims - a curious individual - an Arab Christian who has been spending his life elaborating on the intricacies and development of fiqh whilst dabbling in philosophy from time to time (for example his work on Ibn Taymiyyah and the Greek logicians)? Hallaq writes in his seminal work the Impossible State that Muslims engaged in the political struggle made the mistake of assuming the ''state'' was a blank canvas, a type of neutr...
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Notes On the Enlightenment and the Prophet ﷺ
Ibn Maghreb The creed of Mahomet is free from suspicion or ambiguity, and the Koran is a glorious testimony to the unity of God. The prophet of Mecca rejected the worship of idols and men, of stars and planets, on the rational principle that whatever rises must set, that whatever is born must die, that whatever is corruptible must decay and perish. In the author of the universe, his rational enthusiasm confessed and adored an infinite and eternal being, without form or place, without issue or ...
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Notes On Privacy and Authenticity
Privacy and Authenticity Ibn Maghrebi “The age of surveillance capitalism is a titanic struggle between capital and each one of us. It is a direct intervention into free will, an assault on human autonomy.” It is the capture of our intimate personal details, even of our faces. “They have no right to my face, to take it when I walk down the street.”, From Shoshana Zuboff: ‘Surveillance capitalism is an assault on human autonomy’ | Society books | The Guardian at 31-03-2023 The Threat to Pri...
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Notes On Hope and Fear
Between Hope and Fear Ibn Maghreb The reality is that no one at the beginning of the printing press had any real idea of the changes it would bring.  No one at the beginning of the fossil fuel era had much of an idea of the changes it would bring.  No one is good at predicting the longer-term or even medium-term outcomes of these radical technological changes (we can do the short-term, albeit imperfectly).  No one.  Not you, not Eliezer, not Sam Altman, and not your next-door neighbour. Fro...
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Consolidating Old Notes
Ibn Maghreb Many years ago I had a short-lived run on Medium but in the interest of consolidation and posterity I have linked older pieces from that Medium account: What is Neo-Traditionalism? Some passing reflections: https://medium.com/@ibn.maghreb01/what-is-neo-traditionalism-some-passing-reflections-321593332eb5 Qatar and the CILE — The Absurdity of Islamic Reform - https://medium.com/@ibn.maghreb01/qatar-and-the-cile-the-absurdity-of-islamic-reform-dc3d55a5ac4e The Philosopher King — The...
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Notes On The Datapocalypse (Technognosis)
Ibn Maghreb If we are to fully understand the peculiar moment in which believers have found themselves in, then it is time to understand the gnostic and spiritual tenents underlying technosupremacism and scientism which are animating the AI moment. Marshall McLuhan is one of those like-minded travellers who though outside the shade of Islam shared a keen and refreshingly blunt insight into the technodystopia that we have come to inhabit. Marshall attacks the tehcno-order with a ferocity and zea...
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Notes On Dawah Inc
Redemption preserves itself in a small crack in the continuum of catastrophe. 1 Ibn Maghreb The Problem Islamic apologetics evolved steadily on the back of trailblazing personalities such as Ahmed Deedat and Dr. Zakir Naik. This came at a time of evolving political projects of state-capture by Islamist actors across the Islamicate – think about the Iranian experiment, when Deedat was at the heights of his powers and a master of his craft. Islamic political projects globally speaking have a...
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