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anarchsim in jordan

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palestinian_ana...
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Mar 26 2008 17:55
anarchsim in jordan

Anarchism in Jordan

Finally after more than 50 years of communist activism in Jordan the anarchists started to gather…most Jordanian anarchists r artists who work in music, film making, and graphic design, one of our comrades is finishing his master in gender studies…some comrades r Jordanian and others r Palestinian refugees living in Jordan…

Most of us come from Marxist background so theory has great importance for us…two comrades finally found an Arabic book that talks about anarchism…actually we found three more books but with different Arabic words for “anarchism”
1- Fawdawiya which literary means Chaotic
2- La soltawiya which literary means anti-authoritarianism
3- Taharoriya which literary means libertarianism
4- Anarkeya which literary means anarchism

We also found an Egyptian and Lebanese anarchist websites which were extremely helpful.

Until now we r about 20 comrades …I believe that there more anarchists in the country but it is hard to find them!

Lately, We became part of a bigger movement called the social left which consists of Marxists feminists and others…despite the fact that the movement has more than a 1000 member, we –anarchists- have ,relatively, very strong influence and effect in/on the group… we meet in Anti-globalization office in Jordan

When we started reading we looked for any form of anarchy in our own history and local culture…after reading a book called “Sufi tropics” written by an Iraqi writer(Hadi al Alawi).. we found that Sufism is ALL ABOUT anarchism…actually we found a website on the internet that talks abut Sufi-anarchism…now most of us label themselves as Sufi anarchists…we even found Sufi anarchist movements and groups from the 8-16 century… So after reading what we were able to find from Bakunin’s Prodon’s Kropotkin’s books…and after studying the history of anarchy in Spain Ukraine Paris Mexico…and after studying Sufism, we started to have our own understanding of anarchism…

a messed up comrade of us even worked on his own understanding of sufi-anarchism in away compatible with his views on post modernism and the fall of ideology or what he called nihilist Sufi anarchism(plz don’t ask me to explain!!!)

We heard about other groups in Egypt, morocco, Lebanon and Palestine but never met any of them…

Last week, a very important columnist wrote about us –anarchists- in the most popular newspaper in the country…after he saw our flag for the first time in a protest…

All political movements and parties in Jordan have a problem with numbers,…recruiting more people can be very difficult because most people r too afraid to participate…

In Jordan we still suffer from
expulsion from universities because of any political activities
laws that r extremely hard to understand and interpret which r used against political activists like:
disturbing civil harmony!
bashing higher status!
long tongue!!!
copying without permission!
Unauthorized gatherings!
Human Rights Watch talks about torture, kidnappings…there is also 3 years in prison because of founding unauthorized groups..

So, anarchism in Jordan still have a long way to go but it is expected to grow in the upcoming years…
From ur brothers/sisters …comrades
Jordanian Anarchists

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Tacks
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Mar 26 2008 19:33

Hey, congrats and welcom to the boards smile

one question:

palestinian_anarchist wrote:
When we started reading we looked for any form of anarchy in our own history and local culture…after reading a book called “Sufi tropics” written by an Iraqi writer(Hadi al Alawi).. we found that Sufism is ALL ABOUT anarchism…actually we found a website on the internet that talks abut Sufi-anarchism…now most of us label themselves as Sufi anarchists…

Hmm. There were some great proto-anarchist christian groups here in England, but i'd never say i was a christian-anarchist.

Don't you reject religion?

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the button
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Mar 26 2008 19:50

Interesting stuff. Welcome from me, too.

Is the first word in your Arabic list (the one that means "kenotic") down to the Sufi influence? The reason that I ask is that kenosis is a term in Christian theology also, meaning "emptying."

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Khawaga
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Mar 26 2008 20:03

Hey welcome and great news! While I am not Egyptian, I live in Egypt and I've actually not found any anarchist groups here. If there are any they keep quiet. I've only met one syndicalist here...

Could you link to that sufi anarchist webpage, I'd be very interested to read it. Have you written some original texts on your understanding of sufi anarchism? I'd love to read it, though my Arabic is not good enough to read it, but I'd be more than happy to get it translated.

If you're interested I have a copy of a PhD thesis that explores anarchist in the Levant/ Middle East during the turn of the last century. If you're interested I can send it to you.

Do you have any contact with the Israeli Anarchists Against the Wall?

palestinian_ana...
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Mar 28 2008 13:00
Tacks wrote:

Don't you reject religion?

Well…!
The link between the LEFT and Sufism is not new…After the 1970s Sufism has become the official religion of the Arab-Persian- Kurdish- Pakistani-Indonesian LEFT…
If u asked any of the so called leftist-Sufis about their religion they would answer:
“Sufi…something beyond religion …just sufi…I am also agnostic”!!! such answer is a typical Sufi answer that would be also the answer of a Sufi who lived in the middle ages…many Sufis in the 10th century refused going to HAJJ “and circle around a stone” and refused praying and talked about a more spiritual relation with god and less superstitious. of course the only traditional form of worship that they approved was “Fasting” as part of their struggle for the hungry and the poor…
so… we do reject organized religion. actually, one of the classical ideas of Sufism is rejecting traditional forms of worship and giving the choice for every individual to find his own way of connecting to god…like whirling dervishes or singing and the most important form is WONDERING…
Muslim Sufi schools and methods that were founded in Indonesia and southeats Asia in general also benefited from Buddhism and Hinduism so it is not strange to find quotes from the book of TAO in Islamic Sufi books.
Sufsim also believes that everyone is connected to the sky(god, wisdom) not only profits…and rebels against the idea that prophet Mohammad was the last prophet…their understanding of equality in front of god(god and man r equal) and equality between all humans in terms of connecting with god is also used to understand social justice and freedoms. Also adopting modest ways of living is used to understand our relationship with consumerism… the most important Sufi ever “al Hallaj” was a political activist and was crucified mostly because of politics not his blasphemous ideas as one might think…there is also “abu Thar” who was sent to exile because he believed that the “ZAKAT” or Islamic contributions which was 2.5% only on the rich should be high enough to cover the poor(Muslims and non muslims) and to free all slaves!
There is also the Qarmatian movement which we need to study more about…actually Syrians study about it at school as the first socialist Islamic group which consists of rebellious slaves and “batini shia” that was active from 880 - 1100 their beliefs were between Islam and Mandaism and gnosticism…but in Jordan we study a very different story –for political reasons- …I mean the way we study about them only mentions their attack on Mecca and stealing the holy stone!!!
We can find also women who were involved in Sufism and surprisingly some of them r very important figures in Sufism like “Rab'a al adawiyah” who was a poet..and that implies gender equality
It is interesting, There is a gay group in Lebanon called “helem” and they also used sufi texts to justify homosexuality!
This is one of the websites that has anti-authoritarian understanding of Sufi Islam…
http://www.bayyinat.org.uk/radical.htm

the button wrote:

Is the first word in your Arabic list (the one that means "kenotic"

I am sorry I meant CHAOTIC not kenotic!

Khawaga wrote:
Hey welcome and great news! While I am not Egyptian, I live in Egypt and I've actually not found any anarchist groups here. If there are any they keep quiet. I've only met one syndicalist here...

Could you link to that sufi anarchist webpage, I'd be very interested to read it. Have you written some original texts on your understanding of sufi anarchism? I'd love to read it, though my Arabic is not good enough to read it, but I'd be more than happy to get it translated.

If you're interested I have a copy of a PhD thesis that explores anarchist in the Levant/ Middle East during the turn of the last century. If you're interested I can send it to you.

Do you have any contact with the Israeli Anarchists Against the Wall?

Egyptian anarchists posts great articles about anarchism and other topics on this website.. they r all members of the anti-globalization movement in Egypt(unfortunately it is all in Arabic)

http://kefaya.org/Arabic_znet.htm

This one in English… maybe it is a Lebanese website – I am not sure:
http://www.geocities.com/aggoa2000/index13.html

There r also a large number of Egyptian leftist bloggers and Egyptian leftist groups(-I bog for socialism- bloggers) (Arabic)
http://www.tymat.org/?q=node/740

this is part of an aticale that talks about left in pakistan:

“Who or what forces are protecting this re-invention of the Left?

Somehow the Left is at a simmer. It cannot be named for fear of instant reprisal, yet it rises slowly but surely from the ashes of popular culture. Some say Sufi, some say democracy, some say balance but all are seeking the Light Side. In an Islamic society, the Sufis quite clearly were Leftist elements whereas the Wahabis are the extreme Right. Pakistan at creation had a Left, injured, excavated as it were from the Muslims of undivided India. However, the Rightists gained power rapidly in the ensuing decades, pushing the Left to the periphery initially, then out to exile or Jail. This pattern is an old one in the history of Islam.”
This is the origninal article http://www.chowk.com/articles/10132

I would love to read it, can u plz send it to me via email

About anarcghists against the walls:
Despite the fact that we r originally palestinian, only two of us r allowed to go palestine…but we exchanged emailes using their website and we heard about their activites in palestinian villages…

admin: contact information removed

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Tacks
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Mar 30 2008 12:21

wow cheers for the info smile

...

damn you guys must get persecuted!

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JoeMaguire
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Mar 30 2008 12:43

Its great that you pass on this information and we know that there is something in formation in the ME, Im just worried slightly however, because Sufi-ism that I have come in contact with in the West is associated with a form of lifestyle rather than challenging the status quo, what are your thoughts on this?

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Devrim
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Mar 30 2008 13:06
palestinian_anarchist wrote:
The link between the LEFT and Sufism is not new…After the 1970s Sufism has become the official religion of the Arab-Persian- Kurdish- Pakistani-Indonesian LEFT…

This isn't, in my opinion, true. I know nothing about Pakistan and Indonesia. In Turkey though (and thus with the majority of Kurds) the Sufis are generally looked upon as being connected to the right (with the exception of Bektaşilik, but this is due to it being integrated with the Turkish folk religion Alevilik). In my experience of the Arab world, they are not very connected to the left either. For example in Syria, Nakşibendilik has been a particularly strong supporter of the State. I don't have much experience of Iran (I have only been there twice), but Sufism does seem to be tied up with opposition to the regime there at least.

Devrim

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Khawaga
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Mar 30 2008 13:42
Quote:
For example in Syria, Nakşibendilik has been a particularly strong supporter of the State.

This is wrong as far as I know. In fact Naqshabendis consider all the Middle Eastern leaders as "tyrants", though of course I don't believe that they are homogenous in their views on various states.

In Egypt and in most of the Arab world, because of Saudi propaganda I think, sufis are considered heretics and sometimes not considered as Muslims at all.

However, I'd agree with Devrim that it is perhaps an overstatement that sufism is the official religion of the Arab left. But I agree with palestinian_anarchist that sufism is quite anarchist.

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Devrim
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Mar 30 2008 14:04
Khawaga wrote:
Quote:
For example in Syria, Nakşibendilik has been a particularly strong supporter of the State.

This is wrong as far as I know. In fact Naqshabendis consider all the Middle Eastern leaders as "tyrants", though of course I don't believe that they are homogenous in their views on various states.

Sheikh Ahmad Kaftarou was Grand Mufti of Syria. Who do you think appoints the Grand Mufti in Syria? I thought it was quite well know about their relationship with the state in Syria.

Actually, I think Turgut Özal in Turkey was a member too.

Devrim

Black Badger
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Mar 30 2008 15:50

There are always some antinomian/antiauthoritarian currents within esoteric threads connected to institutionalized religions, and Islam is no exception, having Sufis (and other "heretical" sects less-known in Europe-America). The problem is that most of them (in Christianity, Judaism, and Hinduism) take pretty strong nationalist forms. Sufism is no exception to this. There are probably more right-wing Sufis than "progressive" Sufis, at least here in the States. In some places, they appear to be more fundamentalist than Sunni or Shia fundis. The point is that there's nothing inherently radical or oppositional in any religious sect--whether they're declared heretical by the mainstream or not. The ideas of Sufism may be attractive, but it's much more important to look at the actual practices of real, live Sufis within a political context in order to determine if some of them might be our allies.

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Khawaga
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Mar 30 2008 17:00
Quote:
Sheikh Ahmad Kaftarou was Grand Mufti of Syria. Who do you think appoints the Grand Mufti in Syria? I thought it was quite well know about their relationship with the state in Syria.

Actually, I think Turgut Özal in Turkey was a member too.

Devrim

Looking into it and talking to some folks in the know I can say that we're both right and both wrong. Naqshabendi as it is at the moment is not a unified tariqa, it's got several sub-orders. One of them, you're correct, is giving legitimacy to the Syrian regime, wheres an other one actually had to flee Syria because of the political climate.

Quote:

The point is that there's nothing inherently radical or oppositional in any religious sect--whether they're declared heretical by the mainstream or not. The ideas of Sufism may be attractive, but it's much more important to look at the actual practices of real, live Sufis within a political context in order to determine if some of them might be our allies.

I do agree with the first part of your argument. There is never anything inherently radical, oppositional or reactionary in religious sects. But for Muslims who are anarchists it is important to make anti-authoritarian interpretations of Islam to create an anarchism that makes sense and is relevant in the Muslim world. Hence, it is not about finding allies in existing religious groups but as palestinian_anarchist said

Quote:
When we started reading we looked for any form of anarchy in our own history and local culture…after reading a book called “Sufi tropics” written by an Iraqi writer(Hadi al Alawi).. we found that Sufism is ALL ABOUT anarchism…
Yasmina
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Aug 6 2008 19:54

I friend of mine was in Jordan (Amman) and he saw some anarchists graffitis :

Is it the anarchist group from Jordan who paind it ?

And can someone translate what it's written cause i don't read arabic.

Some other questions :
- Are the anarchists in Jordan taking part in campaign for women's rights ?
- Did there make some theoretical work about the tribal/feodal system in Jordan, i mean this big famillys who controle the country and deffend the more reactionnarys tribal laws (like the killing of women in name of "honour") ? Of course, Jordan is a capitalist country ruled by the bourgeoisie, but i think in this kind of country, there are still older form of oppressions like this patriarcal/tribal system...

Yasmina
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Aug 17 2008 11:53

Other question : i heard the Communist Party of Jordan tried to organize a one day general strike in august against the rising of prices : have someone news about this strike ?

amerdwaik
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Aug 27 2008 11:09

hola yasmina...the grafiti's say (health care and education for free) , yes it was painted by the anarchist group, along with many other paintings, most of them had been deleted,
anarchists in jordan are fighting for women rights, it's not their only priority though, fighting the tribal system as u called it, is the main goal (for now) ... it's not only women who are opressed because of it, not only honor killings, also if u're a rich a bastard and u hit an egyption labour for example with ur car... knowing that u have a big family and he doesn't u might get off for free...
as for the strike planned in MAY against the rising of prices, it was planned by the Social Left Movement of Jordan... which is a movement that combines anarchists and communists who don't agree with the politics of the communist party of jordan (which discribed the strike as an unnessesary unplaned move)... the strike didn't go well, the secret service was able to catch 2 strike organizers, before completing their job... (i was one of the guys who got cought), we couldn't spread the word all over amman because we lacked time before being arrested... most of the people who heard about the strike did answer, but it wasn't as effective as it was supposed to be.
i'll be glad to answer any more of ur questions
solidarity

amerdwaik
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Aug 27 2008 11:14

i'm not sure u fully understand sufism, i'm not pro sufism at all, but it's actually is believed to be a way to interact with god without the need to go back to religion or religious power, it was a revolution against the islamic rules.
and yes, all of us do realize religion is man made, i'm not a sufi anarchist myself, i'm a plain anarchist grin
solidarity

rabbia
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Aug 27 2008 16:03

check site of ICG comrades, they have some stuff in arabic

http://www.geocities.com/icgcikg/arabic/

amerdwaik
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Oct 13 2008 21:45

the button asked about the 1st word in the arabic list, it isn't a religious word, it comes from the word fawda which is the arabic for chaos..