“The Honeyed Bear Trap. The bear hunter does not chase his prey; a bear that knows it is hunted is nearly impossible to catch and is ferocious if cornered. Instead, the hunter lays traps baited with honey. He does not exhaust himself and risk his life in pursuit. He baits, then waits.” – THE 48 LAWS OF POWER. Robert Greene.
When Joe Biden spoke on the Million Muslim Votes Summit, it was really sweet as honey and it lifted me from my chair to say, “He is the man!” But I was quickly sensitised to reality like a burn on the finger from a blazing fire and and I said to myself, “Take a look and know how important your vote is but how cheap Muslim blood is.” The Project of the New American Century’s aims and objectives and in particular, Cheryl Benard’s paper, Civil Democratic Islam, reflects its working on how Joe Biden appeals for the Muslim vote. The subtle yet influential tone of Joe Biden’s speech and Cheryl Benard’s research espouses that Muslims have to learn Islam from them. What a Honeyed Bear Trap? What entrapment? We think and realise too late and that’s why we are entrapped as willing sheep to the slaughter house. Like sheep to the slaughter house that are encouraged by the overtones of careful herding and prodding we are herded by words and phrases that have apostolic vibrations to be apologetic about Islam as our faith.
Clearly the message of Joe Biden has encouraging overtones and perhaps the sincerity is deep but, why is the Muslim vote a distinct category and then the Black vote a distinct category when we are all human and freedom and dignity are the inalienable of the rights of the people? It is so because Islam as a case in point must fit the agenda of the USA’s Project for the next century. It is imperative therefore to quote what Cherly Bernard writes because it establishes the mindset that Islam is best understood by those outside its practice and following. She states in the preface that:
The United States has three goals in regard to politicized Islam. First, it wants to prevent the spread of extremism and violence. Second, in doing so, it needs to avoid the impression that the United States is “opposed to Islam.” And third, in the longer run, it must find ways to help address the deeper economic, social, and political causes feeding Islamic radicalism and to encourage a move toward development and democratization.Cheryl Bernard. Civil Democratic Islam. Partners, Resources and Strategies. Page iii.
While the detail of this research is unfolding in action we heard the remarks of the French President Emmanuel Macron that created an outcry amongst Muslims and our response was meek but, it has never faded the faith in our hearts. President Macron described Islam “as a religion that is in crisis all over the world.” The entrapment of these type of remarks is that it generates doubts in the minds of people to the extent that they are blinded by their own ignorance. The French Revolution did for France what 9/11 did for the USA and the world i.e. it presented the reality that religion is the opium of the people and that secularism is the answer to the modernism. In this fashion, suddenly governments became the priests and scholars of faith determining how religion must fit into politics and how religion must be shaped, designed and taught. It worked well in France and England at the time when the Divine Right of the King was dissolved and where religion became a private affair whilst government dictated secularism, wars began to erupt on grounds of regime change because global domination became the new mantra under the guise human rights.
Human rights are universal but, it is strongly understood that if the human rights are in conflict with the secular world then, those rights have to be aligned with regime decapitation, obsessive propaganda, carpet bombing, war mongering, arming both sides of the conflict, natural resource looting and regional destabilisation. This is the modus operandi and that is why we are entrapped into thinking that the best people to tell us about Islam are those that are not Muslim. While it is true that Islam appears to be under threat because of the mess in the Middle East or the many splinter groups and deviant terrorist groups, it is the still the only faith that cannot be diluted because Allah, the High has perfected it an called it Islam.
Islam is a way of life and the entrapment Muslims face around the world is how it must fit into everything else and not how everything must fit into Islam. Therefore, the attempt here is not to sermonise but to establish an understanding of what is in your control as a Muslim or as a person who wants to know about Islam. The brutal fact is that you and I cannot control what is beyond our reach because it’s impossible but, what we have our mind and that is what we can control. We have lost far too much time entrapped into the world of social media and propaganda that we have forgotten our own mind and lost track of our own precious time we have that we call, “My Life.” Our life is minted in seconds and we have stopped to note that every hour is limited to 60 seconds.
Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.Steve Jobs.
Cheryl Benard’s research article is hard hitting and makes you think on how Muslims are being understood and how Islam is perceived. This research came about as a result of concern and planning for an envisaged future of the Neocons of the world. That envisaged future is being played out in front of our eyes and we are not conscious of it because of our entrapment in things in our control for example, hours on Facebook, Instagram and the likes where the algorithms mark us and track us for the next dose of materialistic immersion and psychological delusion. Their ideas have become our life and we are wasting our time on their dreams. Therefore, the point of this article gives me a great concrete sense of triumph because it reveals to the world that I have a different opinion. This is so empowering and liberating that it discloses to me the power of thought and the glory of action. Action is the criteria of judgement and thought is the rocking chair of the dreamer. Dreamers don’t act and when you act you become part of the few who become powerful enough to influence change and change is the only constant.
Consider how Cheryl Benard states how the plan of action must be for the modernists as opposed to the traditionalists and fundamentalists to understand that they rely on influencing Muslims by word and action. She states:
- Support the modernists first:
- — Publish and distribute their works at subsidized cost.
- — Encourage them to write for mass audiences and for youth.
- — Introduce their views into the curriculum of Islamic education.
- — Give them a public platform.
- — Make their opinions and judgments on fundamental questions of religious interpretation available to a mass audience in competition with those of the fundamentalists and traditionalists, who have Web sites, publishing houses, schools, institutes, and many other vehicles for dis- seminating their views.
- — Position secularism and modernism as a “counterculture” option for disaffected Islamic youth. (Civil Democratic Islam,page xi)
Our defence is to counter the above with word and action too. Therefore, the encouragement is to get you, the reader to begin writing intently on what you truly believe. In this way you will avoid entrapment where you will live other people’s lives. When you read Cheryl Benard saying that, “Publish and distribute their works at subsidised cost.” as a case in point does it not urge you that you should be writing more and to be more practical with what you know? Yes, you should be but, we are not because we are so entrapped in vain glory on Instagram and the likes that we forget we have a greater purpose to live for. That is why again, this experience of writing gives me courage beyond the norm because it allows me the space to contest Cherly Benard even though it might not reach her but, it will register with discerning minds. The above makes me believe that only the weak will be bought out because a person cannot serve two masters and; a man for all seasons might never come out of his winter thereby sealing his fate in something already dead.
The dead are those who with all the human and academic potential do nothing but criticise. Then you have the dead heart. When they hear a person like Joe Biden for example use the word, ‘Inshallah’ (If God Wills) for example are caught in some epiphany thinking that Islam has some credibility because a USA Statesman used an Islamic phrase. This attitude leaves me in a fit of pique because it manifests deep entrapment of an identity crises that can only be resolved if the solution is a Western one and not and Islamic one. Indulge yourself for a moment on Cheryl Benard’s statement that, “Introduce their views into the curriculum of Islamic education.” and ask yourself how much are we doing to write our own curriculum for mainstream education particularly Islamic curriculum.
On the Islamic curriculum who are we? Are we Fundamentalists, Traditionalists or Modernists? We are already defined and categorised by Cheryl Benard therefore, we need to assert ourselves beyond these categorisations and assert that a Muslim never deviates from the teachings of the Holy Quran and the teachings of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (s), submits himself to the will of Allah and strives for justice and peace. In order to do this we need to take back what is in our control.
What is in our control are our daily actions and lets begin with the following:
- Don’t be apologetic about being Muslim even of the facts are daunting because there are frightening facts too on the other side. Research the facts/issues that confound you and talk to trusted scholars to know that which you don’t know. Google is not the space for that.
- Begin reading books on History to become wiser of the world. Until you don’t read about history you will be entrapped.
- Take to the art of writing. Write your views and opinions because it will nourish your mind and sharpen your thinking. Readers are many, thinkers are few.
The practice of writing, reading and research will save you for the Honeyed Bear Trap because you will know when you are baited. Honestly, I am not convinced on the whole ISIS narrative because of writing, research and reading on it therefore, it allows me the freedom to discern what the undertones are in articles the likes of Cheryl Benard and it strengthens my resolve in Islam. The difficulty is getting started. Getting started saves you from exhausting yourself in aimless argumentation and risking your life on things you know are dangerous like the hunted bear. Entrapment is a gauntlet that is subtle, enticing, shrewd, clever and smart but, steering away from it requires a skill of not getting involved in that which is not your business.
I started writing knowing that I wanted to comment on how entrapped the Muslim in the USA feels under the current wave of politics in the move towards elections in November 2020 but ended up strengthening my resolve in knowing that I truly have my own mind. This such a powerful feeling and it cannot be imprisoned or chained. It might appear to some that I am some aficionado but, its not the case. The case is simple. To reclaim your thinking and the power to discern broadens your mind and saves you from entrapping yourself in a world of social media or in the world of other people’s thinking such that you literally feel the courage of your convictions. When this happens you know that the sweetness of honey has a trap when you don’t see beyond it.
Beyond the words of Joe Biden then I cast my gaze deep into the heart of his speech and wonder if he knows about Kashmir as a case in point to know that lives matter and for too long Kashmir lay entrapped in a siege that the most powerful country in the world ignores or supports. How, I ask will Joe Biden come out of the honey jar to explain to an Indian in the USA about why he is free in USA and not in his native land Kashmir or India for that matter. Furthermore, it would be interesting to note if Joe Biden will consider the position of Occupied Palestine and the USA’s involvement in affirming the annexation of the West Bank. Even more compelling what would Joe Biden say about Guantanamo Bay to the Muslim voters in the USA? Clearly, I believe, his entrapment is deeper than what you and I can imagine. It appears that the colonial masters entrapped those in power too or those who they want in power. The entrapment then is beyond Cheryl Bernard’s research, it stretches in my view to who is required to carry out a plan designed for a world order that is even beyond their own understanding or knowledge. Then in the likes of those in power the entrapment comes to a full circle with them leading from a script and so will it be until the gyre spins out of the control until ‘mere anarchy is let loose upon the world’.
The anarchy that we see today is not the wars and the globalisation of poverty but the very leaders who are entrapped into a world order that they themselves cannot fathom out because they too are just another cog in the wheel. In the greater scheme of things, you and I are more free and the test is to act. To act is to have a voice and today marks the beginning of you using the voice. In the final analysis take less than four minutes and watch the video. The message is shocking but, the freedom of the man tells me he is not under any entrapment. His voice has given millions of others a freedom from their entrapment. That is the power of making a point. That is defeating entrapment. The honeyed trap is set again. Are you wandering aimlessly throwing caution to the wind? If so watch it, you might be in the game of entrapment or entrapped already. Get out before you sink wilfully to the bottom of the jar, lost forever.
In the end this tells the whole story: PITY THE NATION by Lawrence Ferlinghetti Pity the nation whose people are sheep And whose shepherds mislead them Pity the nation whose leaders are liars Whose sages are silenced And whose bigots haunt the airwaves Pity the nation that raises not its voice Except to praise conquerers And acclaim the bully as hero And aims to rule the world With force and by torture Pity the nation that knows No other language but its own And no other culture but its own Pity the nation whose breath is money And sleeps the sleep of the too well fed Pity the nation oh pity the people who allow their rights to erode and their freedoms to be washed away My country, tears of thee Sweet land of liberty“ (After Khalil Gibran)