Category Archives: Easy-Guides

The Crisis of Civilization

Now I have some thoughts on this. But I’ll keep it brief: Continue reading


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Tariq Ramadan’s Speech on ‘Faith in Politics’

Watch Tariq Ramadan’s speech on ‘Faith in Politics’.

There are some very important topics raised. Ramadan’s points have been generally paraphrased. Sub-headings have been inserted for easy reference and our own occasional commentary has been added also.

Starting points – 3 things:

Faith, Politics and the Psychological Factor

  1. When trying to address the relationship between faith and politics, Muslims must first ‘deal with’ what he calls a “psychological problem”.

a)    A defensive attitude when we feel we have to ‘knee-jerk’ a reaction/response to ‘the West’ since (we feel) the “dominant discourse is a secular discourse” as defined by the West. Muslims (inevitably) respond in 2 ways – both responses are wrong:

b)    Either by (uncritically) accepting and parroting the dominant secular discourse, or

c)    By doing the exact opposite (i.e. reject everything in toto).

Ramadan’s advice is:

“The first liberation on this is an intellectual liberation to say we are not now responding to something which is the ‘dominant discourse’ but trying to challenge from within a tradition, from within a specific history, and from within references, a framework, telling us in which way we have to deal with our reference, our principles and our objectives.” (3.26 – 3.55)

MODWESTMUSE: Very good point. Question: why must this be the first liberation? That is to say, upon what basis must we conceive of challenging this discourse in the manner Ramadan articulates? Perhaps either response b) or c) is more appropriate. Indeed, though this may be deemed ‘defensive’ perhaps that’s because Muslims are being ‘attacked’ (intellectually as well as militarily). To neglect this is to capitulate? Perhaps a way of justifying Ramadan’s perspective is to say there is a scale of responses we may take: from acting ‘defensively’ to ‘assertively’ to ‘offensively’. I guess being ‘defensive’ and ‘offensive’ is wrong as they are (extreme) emotion-based reactions. Being ‘assertive’ is the best course, being more rationally based. Perhaps Ramadan is merely opening up a way to think assertively.

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The Problem with Modern Schooling

This slideshow has been prepared to paraphrase the key ideas from John Taylor Gatto’s book “Dumbing us Down” about mainstream education. This will be useful for the inquisitive individual, parents and anyone in the field of education:

Problem with Modern Schooling


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A 7-Step Guide to Dealing with Difference

7-Step Strategy for Dealing with (‘Distressing’/’Different’/’Difficult’) Ideas that could Shake Your Belief in the Foundation of ‘Things’

An Easy-Guide Method to Navigate Your Way through Confusion

We live in changeable times.1

In such times, one can feel particularly disoriented. We all have ideas, beliefs about what life is about; about the purpose of us (alive and breathing) on this world.

So what is it about?2

I’d suggest that we all have to – and do – respond to this uncertain changeability. We negotiate a range of options in the responses we take to it; sometimes consciously, sometimes not.

We could: keep up with the times; put our foot down and remain unchanged; get ahead; be the changing force; or be the thing that gets in the way; hold onto the essentials of life; let go of all attachments and carry on; review and restart…

I believe, in sum, most of us would want to be able to deal with changing times adequately and effectively.

Here is a 7-step way of navigating your way through life without suffocating in uncertainty, procrastination and despair:

1. Be Open

2. Listen to your Earnest Conscience

3. Use the Wisdom of the Journeyman

4. Deal with the Challenge of Difference

5. Consider an Eclectic Approach (to ‘Truth’)

6. Engage with ‘Workable Theories’, and

7. Remember your Purpose Continue reading

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