Book Burning

In the Name of Allah, the All-Merciful the Most-Merciful
It is absurd beyond measure that burning a book, which is a record of speech, should become an issue of freedom of speech. Clearly it is designed to silence speech, in this case the uncreated Speech of the Divine, of the Essence itself, of That which necessarily IS. But absurdity is piled on absurdity. When a former Prime Minister sensibly spoke out in the Folketinget against this behaviour, a half or more of the members told him to shut up. 
But how did we get here? A suitable beginning which is not entirely arbitrary would be the birth of modernity itself and the modern state in the French Revolution whose exultant votaries cried out “Liberté, égalité, fraternité”, failing to notice that if you are free you would be free not to be equal, as demonstrated superbly by neo-liberalism in which some are free to be stupendously wealthy, and others are free to be miserably poor but have to shut up and accept demeaning work in an Amazon warehouse. 
Similarly, no one seemed to notice that if everyone is equal, then no one at all is free, except for the state administrators who enforce equality and spend their weekends and holidays in discrete summer houses that others can only dream about. 
And of course, in all scenarios brotherhood simply dies. That calls to mind the title of Professor Benjamin Nelson’s seminal study on another beginning of modernity The Idea of Usury – from Tribal Brotherhood to Universal Otherhood. But that is an issue that no one feels comfortable with today because he was talking about the usury that lies at the root of banking and stock exchanges, and not just the excessive and extortionate interest the dictionaries tell us is its meaning. And is this a complete and quite vicarious digression? No, because the revealed Speech of the Essence, of the Divine, of That which necessarily IS contains among its many confirmations of prior revelations, such as the Torah and the Gospels, a ringing endorsement of their long-forgotten prohibition of usury, and that is not only very inconvenient for banks, but also for the state which rubber-stamps them. In that way we can make sense of the pictures of the more than slightly deranged book-burner (his brother’s assessment) marching flanked by state-heavies, which clearly shows that the state is not simply safeguarding a citizen’s right to freedom of speech (failing to explain how burning a book fits that category) but is itself the active agent here. 
It is another absurdity for us to believe the fiction that the state merely stands by helplessly while one of its citizens does things it does not endorse. Had he demonstrated to question the holocaust (not something I would suggest), he would have been shut up immediately as were many others who have done so. There is no absolute freedom of speech, and here it is quite clear since the one whose freedom to speak is not allowed is the Divine. Everyone else may speak, but not He.

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Abdassamad Clarke is from Ulster and was formally educated at Edinburgh University in Mathematics and Physics. He accepted Islam at the hands of Shaykh Dr. Abdalqadir as-Sufi in 1973, and, at his suggestion, studied Arabic and tajwid and other Islamic sciences in Cairo for a period. In the 80s he was secretary to the imam of the Dublin Mosque, and in the early 90s one of the imams khatib of the Norwich Mosque, and again from 2002-2016. He has translated, edited and typeset a number of classical texts. He currently resides with his wife in Denmark and occasionally teaches there. 14 May, 2023 0:03

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