Ramadan is almost upon us, forty days and counting. Ramadan is not just about fasting – believers should form Intentions – follow them during Ramadan, the idea being that the good habits of Ramadan should replace bad habits, not only during that month but during the entire year. I compiled a book of Intentions during Ramadan 2022, it is with me. The Intentions were scrupulously followed, every day my progress in each intention was measured. The Book began: This Journal Belongs to Fatimah. My Intentions. There were 6 Intentions. Number 2 was: Retreat from the world of politics and focus on the faith. This Ramadan it shall again be my intention to dissociate myself from world politics. But in order to do this I will need to ‘get things off my chest.’
Get something off your chest means saying something that one has wanted to say for a long time, resulting in a feeling of relief. Usually the telling is about something that has been making one upset or unhappy. This is how it works. “One’s interpersonal effectiveness increases as one’s relevant thoughts and feelings are expressed and discussed. Emotions are much more controllable, trust increases in the relationship. One is more likely to be influential with the people when they receive a fuller communication. It feels good because silently harboring concern, anger, sadness frustration or anything else requires a lot of mental energy, far more than sharing it.
So here it goes! I was fortunate in reading an Al Jazeera article written by Marwan Bishara, a brilliant staff writer, whom I have read and relied upon in the past. The topic was Biden’s State of the Union address. It was striking in that almost nothing was said about foreign policy. There was a reason for this, said Bishara who has been watching what has been going on, particularly in the Middle East. He said it like it is: “where the US has failed miserably. And disgracefully.”
Mishara was comparing Biden’s stance on subjects compared to Bernie Sander’s positions. “The president rejects Sanders’s stance on the Israeli occupation and the racism of its prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu. Worse, he embraces the populist right-wing premier as his best friend, and continues to support his government of fascists and fanatics.”
I cannot imagine anyone, much less the President of the United States considering Netanyahu as their best friend. Supporting his government of fascists and fanatics is absolutely reprehensible.
Reprehensible synonyms say it all: deplorable, disgraceful, discreditable, disreputable, despicable, blameworthy, culpable, wrong, bad, shameful, dishonorable, ignoble, erring, errant, objectionable, odious, opprobrious, repugnant, inexcusable, unpardonable, unforgivable, insufferable, indefensible, unjustifiable, unacceptable, unworthy, criminal, sinful, scandalous, iniquitous; condemnable, reprovable, reproachable, censurable.
My favorites are odious, opprobrious and despicable. I would glory in the opportunity of speaking to President Biden.
Me: Excuse me but considering Netanyahu as your best friend is absolutely odious and opprobrious!
He: You have no say in this matter. You live in Canada.
Me: I was blessed to be born in a country where the leader may have some faults but is not best buddies with a guy whose government is chock full of fascists and fanatics.
It is highly unlikely that President Biden and Alexis McBride are ever going to meet, much less see things eye to eye. “If you see eye to eye with someone, you agree with them and have the same opinions and views.”
Mishara casts his eye upon the entire situation. “There has not been a single foreign policy accomplishment anywhere in the greater Middle East, unless one considers the humiliating and disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan in favour of the Taliban a success, after 20 years of horrific war.”
“Truth be told, the Biden administration has helped reach ceasefires or maintain stalemates and status quos from Sudan to Syria, through Iraq, Libya, Palestine and Yemen. But that’s hardly a good thing; in fact, it’s a terrible normalisation of a dreadful situation.”
Biden, who promised to put human rights at the centre of his foreign policy, has ignored US clients’ human rights violations and has been supporting strongmen who rule with an iron fist, while the region teeters under violent sectarian and authoritarian regimes.
Washington cannot in good conscience claim to confront Russia and China in the name of democracy, human rights and the preservation of sovereignty, while appeasing colonialism and dictatorship in the Middle East or elsewhere. It is hypocritical and counter productive.
“Half a century after young Senator Biden first visited the Middle East in 1973, the older President Biden seems to view the region through the same prisms he did back then: Israel, oil, and the Cold War with Moscow. But as one exhausted 19th-century saying goes: history repeats itself, the first time as tragedy, the second time as farce.”
“It is indeed laughable that despite 50 years of costly strategic, diplomatic and military interventions, the US is back to square one, appeasing misbehaving regional clients in the name of a global democracy crusade and getting rejected and humiliated in the process.
Biden began and ended his State of the Union speech with the lofty idea that America is the land of possibilities. It is a nice and catchy slogan, one that allowed the country to dream big and to reach the moon, literally.
America is indeed a mighty nation, but it is not almighty. It must stop its evangelical approach to world affairs as if it is ordained to shape it, police it, and lead it. It is not.”
This is how my ‘private audience’ with President Biden would end.
Me: Sir, as was articulately stated by Marwan Bishara. America is not an almighty nation, stop evangelizing as if you all are ordained to shape it, police it and lead it. It is not. If the shoe fits wear it!
He: Who do you think I am Cinderella?
Me: No sir. If the shoe fits is an idiom used to convince someone to accept the legitimacy of a criticism sent their way, or the truth of a description about themselves. It is an American phrase that was first used in the mid-1700s.
He: I shall ask by wife Dr. Jill Biden about that, she is an educator.
Me: I know. While you are discussing this matter with her perhaps you could ask her some history questions – the 50 years of US costly strategic, diplomatic and military interventions.
This blog has suggested possible diplomatic interventions on my part in the past. They have not been accepted. For example, the title of the June 11, 2022 blog suggested: Alexis as Good Will Ambassador on Private Jet. I shall use quotations, quoting myself.
“I have a brilliant idea for world peace, unity, ending the strife. ME, provided with a private jet. I land in Moscow and meet with Putin.
Me: Vladimir you may think that is your destiny to return Russian territory HOWEVER Allah disagrees totally and whole-heartedly and he is in charge, not you. I would not like to be you on the Day of Judgment. You must repent, believe and perform a charitable act. The charitable act would be to stop this ridiculous war and return the Ukraine to its people and pay substantial reparations.
I would have done my job – clearly communicated. I would jump on my jet and go to Washington, appearing before Congress. I would put my hand on my hip, assume a superior stance, speak out saying:
Me: Okay you Republicans. I do not think these hearings are going to convince you of anything because your minds, your brains, do not operate. I do know what male Republicans think with but no idea what female Republicans think with.
Now that will bring great laughter, at least amongst those who are not Republicans. Laughter is unifying and Republicans would say.
They: Alexis, you are right! Engage brain, disengage penis. Trump is a bad guy and we would hate to be him on Judgment Day. He did not even have the brains to leave gracefully. He needs to disengage the portion of his anatomy that he thinks with as well. He might find peace and happiness.
Then we would have a great big bipartisan party.
They: Alexis, you have an American passport.
Me: Indeed I do! Became a citizen during the 70s but now I choose to live in Canada as there is less strife in these parts it seems. Clean up your act and I might be back.”
When you type Putin into the search engine 23 blogs pop up. They are delightful reading, some of them. Sometimes I read blog posts in wonderment.
Me: Read this. It is funny and smart. I wonder who wrote it.
Alter Ego: You did Alexis
Me: I guess I did. Circumstances do change. I learn the truth about people, places and things. Such as MBS and Saudi Arabia. I was previously critical because I had not learned the truth by going there, observing the people and receiving awesome support from them. I went to live in the UAE, spoke glowingly about it but then learned the awful truth. But spoke of it when safe in Canada.
When speaking of politics it is impossible to know the truth, one can attempt with reliable news media but it is difficult unless you are ‘on the ground’. Speaking of the Islamic faith is entirely different as it is a religion of truth. It values the truth.
Quran 34: 48-49 Surely my Lord hurls the truth ‘against falsehood”. He is the Knower of all unseen.” Say, “The truth has come, and falsehood will vanish, never to return.”
Therefore, it is abundantly clear that a retreat from the world of politics and placing one’s focus focus on the faith is an excellent idea.
The two following photographs were placed on Instagram with the following caption. My prayer room with photographs I took in Mecca?. I was, and am so blessed to be here. They are hung in the direction of the Kaaba. Swipe to see my prayer rug purchased in Edmonton at the Muslim Heritage Festival. A collaboration of Indigenous and Muslim peoples.