Islam’s forgotten bohemians

Header essay sufism nyc132186Sufi men dance inside a tent next to the Al-Ikhlas mosque in Alexandria, Egypt, during celebrations in honor of Sufi saint Sidi Burhan Al-Din Ali Al-Ikhlas Al-Sarkani. Moises Saman/Magnum

With its subversive poetry, rejection of politics, and ecstatic rituals, Sufi Islam continues to surprise and to thrive

by Nile Green

(Nile Green is professor of history at the University of California, Los Angeles. His latest book is The Love of Strangers: What Six Muslim Students Learned in Jane Austen’s London (2015).)

I was lying in the dust, staring into the African sun, when their swords came down on me. The crowd was about a hundred strong, all of them Muslims shouting in a sonic blur. First they began slicing my arms. Next, pulling my shirt open, they cut into my torso. My eyes were closed with pain by the time I felt a blade moving hard across my throat. I thought I would die there, in that poor Durban neighbourhood where, despite the warnings of middle-class South Africans, I had decided to go exploring that evening.

Just minutes earlier, I’d turned a corner into a crowd of African and Indian Muslims. And then I was on the ground, being sawed with swords. When they finished with my throat, a dozen hands pulled me up again. Soaked in blood, I opened my eyes and saw it was just sweat. I was not even bleeding, though the scarlet lines from the sword strokes left wheals in my skin for months. Everyone was shouting, ecstatic. It was a miracle, a show of faith and power in which the Africans with the swords were well-practised. They were Rifa’is, a brotherhood of lower-class Sufis, and in the eyes of the assembly I had inadvertently renewed their prestige.

There are few of these Rifa’is left now, but a century ago they were numerous enough for travellers to give them a special name. They were called the ‘howling dervishes’, as a coarser counterpart to the elegantly balletic ‘whirling dervishes’. That latter name survived as a figure of speech when the ‘howling dervishes’ were forgotten. But this demeaning name hides a history of entanglements between Europeans and Muslims that redefined the Islam we now call ‘Sufism’. Together, European scholars and Muslim reformists decided that the popular and festive traditions of such dervishes were not true Islam, and not even true Sufism.

Writing in History of Persia (1815), the East India Company diplomat John Malcolm remarked that the Islam of the Sufis ‘is the dream of the most ignorant and the most learned’. Two centuries later, Malcolm’s epigram makes a good place to start thinking about the mystical Islam known as Sufism. On one level, it encompasses much of the popular practice of Muslim religiosity: it is an Islam of saints, miracles, pilgrimages, and popular displays of charisma of the kind I encountered in Durban. On another level, it consists of mind-bogglingly complex treatises in philosophical Arabic. This philosophical Sufism dwells on such doctrines as the ‘passing away’ of the lower self, the meaning of the Qur’an’s mysterious secret letters, and the ‘light of Muhammad’ manifested at the dawn of creation from God’s own primordial light.

At the same time, Sufism consists of an unfathomably rich tradition of poetry written in Arabic, Persian, Urdu and many other languages. The West knows little about this literature. This ignorance is a loss, for Muslims and non-Muslims alike, because such poetry – and its jokes and iconoclasm – forms a historic literary testament to a shared humanity…



Depressing Survey Results Show How Extremely Stupid America Has Become

No Thinking - Public Domain

By Michael Snyder

Ten years ago, a major Hollywood film entitled “Idiocracy” was released, and it was an excellent metaphor for what would happen to America over the course of the next decade.  In the movie, an “average American” wakes up 500 years in the future only to discover that he is the most intelligent person by far in the “dumbed down” society that he suddenly finds himself in.  Sadly, I truly believe that if people of average intellect from the 1950s and 1960s were transported to 2016, they would likely be considered mental giants compared to the rest of us.  We have a country where criminals are being paid $1000 a month not to shoot people, and the highest paid public employee in more than half the states is a football coach Hardly anyone takes time to read a book anymore, and yet the average American spends 302 minutes a day watching television.  75 percent of our young adults cannot find Israel on a map of the Middle East, but they sure know how to find smut on the Internet.  It may be hard to believe, but there are more than 4 million adult websites on the Internet today, and they get more traffic than Netflix, Amazon and Twitter combined.

What in the world has happened to us?  How is it possible that we have become so stupid?  According to a brand new report that was recently released, almost 10 percent of our college graduates believe that Judge Judy is on the Supreme Court…

The American Council of Trustees and Alumni publishes occasional reports on what college students know.

Nearly 10 percent of the college graduates surveyed thought Judith Sheindlin, TV’s “Judge Judy,” is a member of the U.S. Supreme Court. Less than 20 percent of the college graduates knew the effect of the Emancipation Proclamation. More than a quarter of the college graduates did not know Franklin D. Roosevelt was president during World War II; one-third did not know he was the president who spearheaded the New Deal.

It can be tempting to laugh at numbers like these until you realize that survey after survey has come up with similar results.

Just consider what Newsweek found a few years ago…

When NEWSWEEK recently asked 1,000 U.S. citizens to take America’s official citizenship test, 29 percent couldn’t name the vice president. Seventy-three percent couldn’t correctly say why we fought the Cold War. Forty-four percent were unable to define the Bill of Rights. And 6 percent couldn’t even circle Independence Day on a calendar.

Even worse were the extremely depressing results of a study conducted a few years ago by Common Core…

*Only 43 percent of all U.S. high school students knew that the Civil War was fought some time between 1850 and 1900.

*More than a quarter of all U.S. high school students thought that Christopher Columbus made his famous voyage across the Atlantic Ocean after the year 1750.

*Approximately a third of all U.S. high school students did not know that the Bill of Rights guarantees freedom of speech and freedom of religion.

*Only 60 percent of all U.S. students knew that World War I was fought some time between 1900 and 1950.

Of course survey results can be skewed, and much hinges on how the questions are asked.

However, even studies that are scientifically conducted confirm how stupid America has become.  In fact, a report from the Educational Testing Service found that Americans are falling way behind much of the rest of the industrialized world.  The following comes from CBS News

Americans born after 1980 are lagging their peers in countries ranging from Australia to Estonia, according to a new report from researchers at the Educational Testing Service (ETS). The study looked at scores for literacy and numeracy from a test called the Program for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies, which tested the abilities of people in 22 countries.

The results are sobering, with dire implications for America. It hints that students may be falling behind not only in their early educational years but at the college level. Even though more Americans between the ages of 20 to 34 are achieving higher levels of education, they’re still falling behind their cohorts in other countries. In Japan, Finland and the Netherlands, young adults with only a high school degree scored on par with American Millennials holding four-year college degrees, the report said.

Out of 22 countries that were part of the study, the Educational Testing Service found that Americans were dead last in tech proficiency, dead last in numeracy and only two countries performed worse than us when it came to literacy proficiency



EU Minister: “Europe WILL be diverse!”, “there is not going to be” a White Europe in the future

By Steve Goode |

Frans Timmermans, the Vice President of the European Commission, gave a speech saying that Europe is not allowed to remain majority White.

Diversity is now in some parts of Europe seen as a threat” he said.

Diversity comes with challenges. But diversity is humanity’s destiny.

There is not going to be, even in the remotest places of this planet, a nation that will not see diversity in its future. That’s where humanity is heading.

And those politicians trying to sell to their electorates a society that is exclusively composed of people from one culture, are trying to portray a future based on a past that never existed, therefore that future will never be.

Europe will be diverse, like all other parts of the world will be diverse.

The only question is, how do we deal with that diversity? And my answer to that is, by ensuring that our values determine how we deal with diversity and not giving up our values to refuse diversity. That will bring us down as a society.

If we don’t get this right, I truly believe Europe will not remain the Europe we built. Europe will not remain a place of peace and freedom, for very long.

This speech is originally from October 2015, but there has been a complete media blackout, at least on the web.

They talk about “mixing the races” or “mixing the world”, but it is only in White areas where this “mixing” must be enforced by law, and those who oppose it are labelled with scary-sounding words.

There is no international pressure on any Asian countries to destroy their Asian majority. There is no international pressure on any Black countries to destroy their Black majority.

This is White genocide. “Diversity” is entirely about destroying White countries. This is genocide under the highest international laws, and those who push it may end up like Saddam Hussein.


Meet the Church of Satan, Anarchist


Anarchism, while certainly having a dark side, often tries to stress to the masses that it’s not all fire and brimstone, not simple violence and seizing the means of production. We stress that Anarchism is about mutual aid, about living life freely and to the fullest; we often paint pictures of joyful federated villages where everybody matters and everyone is happy. But where’s the Anarchism for those folks that LIKE fire, that CRAVE darkness, that would go so far as to swear allegiance to the ultimate symbol of Evil and Depravity? You go to the Church of Satan, Anarchist.

I can’t remember exactly how I stumbled across them, though my client work as of late had certainly taken a darker tone. My readings all seemed to involve disasters and divorces, my candles were aimed at breaking hexes or putting them on, even my trips to the graveyard were to make pacts and alliances with Spirits to set certain people straight. Perhaps it was this abundance of “baneful” energy that pulled the church’s facebook page my way. Whatever it was, the sheer fact such a church existed was enough to piqué my curiosity.

The idea of the Devil is an uncomfortable one for modern Paganism: it comes far too laden with Christian undertones, begs the question of moral baggage, and hints at a more infamous side of magical practice most are loath to accept. The many traditions are trying to make themselves palpable to the general palate.

But what has Paganism lost by excluding the Prince of Darkness from its list of acceptable deities? A lot actually, according to Gordon from Runesoup:

“By the time the Devil reaches us here in the era of Apocalyptic Witchcraft, it has picked up and embodied the transgressive, animating force of all life in the universe, the face of a homosexual donkey, the tools for rebellion against the outgoing archonic regime, the blood of two Crusades, a role as Western Europe’s Trickster Spirit, some kind of extraterrestrial initiatory tech literally fallen from the stars, centuries of clandestine meetings in forgotten places and a decidedly Neighbourly hurricane of High Strangeness accompanying it down through the millennia to our sabbats… High Strangeness that persists to this day.”

As a Conjurer I’m free from such spiritual hangups. I’m not trying to make my “faith” suitable to anybody; an air of darkness and mystery is something every Hoodooman and Root-Woman cultivates carefully. Like cigarette smoke we drift in-between the darkness and the light as our work takes us.

After cleansing my home and preparing for whatever spiritual nasties might follow a Satanic Priest I talked with a member of the Church, whom we’ll refer to as Apolloyn, to discuss just what exactly was Lucifer’s role in bringing down Capitalism and smashing the State.


Dr. Bones: “Glad to be speaking with you. Firstly, what is The Church of Satan, Anarchist? Is it a group of Anarchists that follow the Left Hand Path? Are they Left Hand path folks that like Anarchism? How did such a thing come to be?”

Apolloyn: “The Church of Satan Anarchist is an organization based upon the reinterpretation of Satanic mythology through the lens of anarchist thought in order to demonstrate anarchist values such as antiauthoritarianism, voluntary association (generally meaning freedoms of speech and assembly, and the corollary freedoms to refuse to speak or assemble), mutual aid, solidarity, autonomy, and direct action. Anarcho-Satanism critiques State and Corporate hierarchies as pre-conceptually based upon the hierarchies of theism and clergies, all of which rely upon the cultural preconceptions of an imagined “divine” hierarchy.

“Satan is an empowering archetypal symbol of anarchism when the character opposes such hierarchies. However, we don’t necessarily ascribe to a “left-hand path” philosophy… generally, we view the left-hand/right-hand dichotomy as reflective of the different anarchist philosophies of individualism and collectivism, and we seek a balanced (or adaptive and flexible) approach to these positions. Many historical anarchist thinkers, including Godwin, Bakunin, and Proudhon spoke highly of the character of Satan (especially as portrayed by Milton in Paradise Lost), and we are expanding upon their praise. Bakunin referred to Satan as “the original rebel, the first freethinker, and the emancipator of worlds”, and this statement is axiomatic of our organization and foundational to our belief structure.”

Dr. Bones: “Whew, a mouthful and a lot to go into. We’ll start at the top. How do you see the figure of Satan in Anarchism? How is he viewed in this lens and how do you use this spirit/symbol as a guide?”

Apolloyn: “Satan can be viewed as embodying several anarchistic roles or activities. Firstly, Satan can be seen as an instigator of a militant and liberating resistance movement (of angels, against God). Secondly, Satan can be seen as a labor organizer (who organized angelic laborers to effectively go on strike and cease working for their boss God). Thirdly, Satan can be seen as a political prisoner (who was imprisoned in Hell for political activity against God’s governance of Heaven and Earth). Fourthly, Satan can be seen as a fugitive, trespasser, or illegal immigrant (who escapes from Hell and makes an unauthorized crossing into Eden). Fifthly, Satan can be seen as a subversive educator (who inspired humanity to seek forbidden knowledge). Because Satan is a multifaceted and complex mythological character, Satan, as a symbol, can be used to personify the aforementioned anarchist values. Other symbols of anarchism, such as the circle-A or black flag, do not provide such personification.”…



5 Cancer Facts that Conventional Medicine Wants You to Believe are Myths

by Dave Mihalovic, Prevent Disease, Waking Times

According to the conventional wisdom of mainstream medicine, the world’s leading health practitioners in alternative, complementary and integrative medicine have it all wrong and are misinforming millions in practice and on the internet with a barrage of myths and misconceptions they claim are causing more harm to cancer patients. Could this initiative to sway opinion by leading cancer authorities possibly, just possibly be related to the revolution that is happening around the world–highlighting the dangers and ineffectiveness of toxic chemotherapy and radiation, bringing cancer cures such as cannabis to the forefront, or the emerging mass markets now creating awareness on the reality of our food and the consequences of the cancer industry itself?

FACT #1 – The Rise In All Types of Cancers Are Due To Our Modern Society Diets, Lifestyles and Environment


Why The Cancer Industry Claims This Is a Myth

The claim is that our genes are responsible, combined with the fact that people are living long enough now to develop cancer. It’s because of our success in tackling infectious diseases and malnutrition that we now get cancer. It’s perfectly normal for DNA damage in our cells to build up as we age, and such damage can lead to cancer developing. Cancer has existed as long as humans have.

The Reality

The only reason that people around the world today believe that our ancestors did not live past 100 years is because the official data has been sparse. There are very few records that show (officially) the age of our ancestors before then 18th century, but there is a reasonable amount of evidence suggesting there were many people living hundreds of years in prehistory and beyond.

In all the skeletons collected in the history of paleoanthropology, scientists have only been able to identify a mere 200 possible cancer sightings dating to prehistoric times, and these identifications are far from certain. Despite the numbers, when you look at the remains, it seems to indicate that malignancies were a “striking rarity” in ancient times, but that evidence is hardly conclusive. We just don’t know for sure, so to use any type of argument that cancer existed or did not exist to any extent in prehistory involves making a great deal of assumptions.

So let’s just focus on what has transpired in the last century alone.
According to the U.S. National Center for Health Statistics, Vital Statistics of the United States, from the early 1900s alone up to an including 2011, there was a greater than 3 fold increase in cancer death rates.

According to a 2013 featured report compiled by the American Cancer Society and other government and cancer advocacy groups, progress has been made in the “war on cancer.” But what kind of progress? Declining mortality rates are not due to decreases in incidence. More people are getting cancer, but they’re staying alive longer. What the cancer industry does not point out is that the trends clearly show that we haven’t eliminated cancer to any extent, but we have managed to be able to diagnose it and treat it and thus profit from the actual disease itself.

People globally are living longer but chronic debilitating conditions are becoming more prevalent.

Diagnosis and treatment are the money makers in this industry. Actual prevention is not. So when it comes to prevention, conventional medicine has stuck its head in the sand.

Overall, cancer deaths began dropping in the 1990’s, with death rates declining by 1.8 percent for men and 1.4 percent for women between the years 2000-2009, according to the featured report. Children’s death rates from cancer are also declining at a pace of 1.8 percent per year, although incidence is still rising by about 0.5 percent annually.

Other cancers are also still on the rise though, including liver and pancreatic cancer and melanoma (among men).

A 2008 study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science demonstrated how nutrition alone can have a tremendous impact not only on prevention, but even on the treatment of cancer once you’ve been diagnosed.

This type of information is never emphasized by the medical community because they do not believe cancer can be treated without either cutting, poisoning or burning cancerous tumors.

FACT #2 – Super-foods and Herbs Can Prevent Cancer

Why The Cancer Industry Claims This Is a Myth

The claim is that specific fruits and vegetables you choose don’t really matter. There’s no such thing as a ‘super-food’ or medicinally powerful herb and any assertion has no scientific basis.

The Reality

This one is just embarrassing for them. While there is not one super-food or herb that may cure all cancers, to suggest that super-foods don’t exist or that herbs are not medicinally powerful is reaching deep in the pits of ignorance. In fact, there is so much evidence that super-foods exist and have anti-cancer properties, that any claims suggesting the opposite are a good measure of where the credibility lies among many of these industry quacks that make such preposterous statements.

As of the date of this article, The American Cancer Society (ACS) appears to have removed references to “super foods” or “super-foods” off of their website. Yet, several authors have written extensively about previous recommendations of the ACS, specifically regarding the potential of super-foods to prevent cancer. Northridge Hospital Medical Center lists several super foods using the ACS as a source. has posted a super food infographic also using ACS as a source. But information on super-foods on the ACS website does not appear to exist…


Disclaimer: This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of WakingTimes or its staff.


Israel Becoming a ‘Refuge for Pedophiles,’ Warns Advocate for Child Sex Abuse Victims

Israel Becoming a ‘Refuge for Pedophiles,’ Warns Advocate for Child Sex Abuse Victims

by Goody

Israel has become a safe haven for Jewish pedophiles from around the world, a leading advocate for child sexual abuse victims warnedMonday at a Knesset committee pre-hearing on pedophilia in the ultra-Orthodox community.

“Sex offenders tend to move from country to country to avoid jail, but what makes Israel unique is the Law of Return, which essentially grants unhindered access to anyone who is Jewish to come here without any real screening,” said Manny Waks, the chief executive officer of Kol v’Oz, a newly formed nonprofit that aims to prevent child sexual abuse in the global Jewish community.

The Law of Return grants automatic citizenship in Israel to those who meet its definition of a Jew.

Among those accused of sexual abuse who have fled to Israel, Waks cited the prominent case of Malka Leifer, the former principal of a religious girls’ school in Melbourne, who allegedly assaulted eight of her charges. She is now under house arrest, and the Australian authorities are seeking her extradition. Waks noted several other cases of pedophiles and alleged pedophiles from the United States, Britain and the Netherlands who had fled to Israel either after being charged or to avoid being charged. .

“It seems to us Israel is increasingly becoming a refuge for pedophiles and alleged pedophiles,” said Waks. “It’s an easy get-out-of-jail card for them.”
According to research data he cited, one in five children in Israel experiences sexual abuse.

“There’s a range of factors that suggest there may be a significantly higher proportion within the ultra-Orthodox community,” said Waks. “I think any closed community would have increased cases, because these cases are silenced. They’re swept under the carpet.

His new organization, he said, will be lobbying the Knesset to change the statute of limitations so that victims of sexual crimes can have more time to file complaints.

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What Currency Has the Highest Purchasing Power?


Establishment economists are the first vindicators that having a weak currency is essential to foster international trade. The utter absurdity that a nation can prosper when their coin of the realm buys less is inherently illogical. Yet, for the globalists, maintaining the myth that promoting exports in a system that is designed around transporting our domestic manufacturing capacity overseas is intellectually incongruent. So what is the essential argument for having a strong currency?

If you are an economic nationalist, you will agree with Stephan Smith, when he acknowledges in How a Strong Currency Affects an Economy.

“There is really only one advantage to having a strong currency and that advantage isn’t usually felt buying goods and services where parts and components are obtained, manufactured and sold all in one country. It takes international trade and the use of different currencies to be able to feel the benefit. The primary benefit of a strong currency is to be able to get foreign goods and services at lower prices. That’s it.”

Now if you disagree that this objective is the rational objective, you are in need of serious reflection if you have lost your mind. At the outset, all fiat currencies are based upon the power of implemented confidence or imposed exchange limits. Floating rates have little to do with free markets. Currencies are a measure of national policy and globalist objectives. So when the U.S. Dollar is favored with reserve currency status, it is based upon the Bretton Woods dictates that America was the World War II victor.

Much has changed since that era. The world economy has become a petroleum based environment. Reflecting this reality has the 10 Most Expensive Currencies in 2016 disproportionately represented by several oil rich minor countries.

“As of January 19, 2016, the most expensive currency in 2016 is not the U.S. dollar, the British pound, or the euro. Surprisingly, the most valuable currencies in the world don’t always belong to the wealthiest economies.

The following list of currencies gives the U.S. dollar a run for its money when it comes to the most expensive currency in the world. All exchange rates are as of January 19, 2016.”

  1. Kuwaiti Dinar (KWD) One Kuwaiti dinar buys US$3.28
  2. Bahraini Dinar (BHD) One Bahraini dinar buys US$2.65
  3. Omani Rial (OMR) One Omani rial buys US$2.60
  4. British Pound (GBP) One British pound buys US$1.42
  5. Euro (EUR) One euro buys US$1.09
  6. Swiss Franc (CHF) One Swiss franc buys US$0.99
  7. Libyan Dinar (LYD) One Libyan dinar buys US$0.74
  8. Bruneian Dollar (BND) One Bruneian dollar buys US$0.70
  9. Singapore Dollar (SGD) One Singapore dollar buys US$0.70
  10. Australian Dollar (AUD) One Australian dollar buys US$0.69

Half of the currencies on this list may be a surprise to most. Without the reliance upon oil, what exactly would these Arab notes be worth? However, just having a favorable exchange rate does not necessarily guarantee access to all the goods and services that would normally be associated with affluence.

While, many Arab states have developed the most modern infrastructures on the planet, their oil assets do not ensure that their wealth is secured going forward. As the American war machine deploys into the region, so goes the risk and downfall for regimes that no long provide a favorable advantage against the latest villain that is targeted for removal.

Erik Townsend is quoted in Prepare for the Death of the Petrodollar, “The petrodollar system breaking down, where oil is no longer paid for in dollars internationally, essentially would be the death knell to the U.S. dollar as the reserve currency. It means the U.S. can’t borrow with ‘exorbitant privilege’ anymore, and it means the U.S. Treasury market is set for an out-of-control interest rate spiral.”

The elimination of Saddam Hussein and Muammar Gaddafi had much to do with their intentions and plans to dump the dollar as payment for their black gold. While both failed to produce a lasting alternative, the economics of the depressed price of oil, in dollars; has created other alliances.

Most notably, Russia and China: The Dawning of a New Monetary System?, ask if the major powers can precipitate the final demise of American hegemony.

“The US is able to maintain pressure on other currencies, currently the ruble, only as long as the petro dollar remains the major world reserve currency. This is the main reason why Washington gets away with a seven-fold indebted dollar (i.e. total outstanding and uncovered commitments are currently more than 7 times higher than the US GDP (US$ 17.6 trillion, 2014 est. – vs. US$ 128 trillion of unmet obligations); making the US worldwide the most indebted country – by far.”

While the fall of the U.S. Dollar does not seem imminent, the empirical reality of paper debt obligations is inescapable. Yet, the important point is that recent history has indicated that these insurmountable financial obligations just do not matter very much when it comes to a soaring dollar…


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