Halal and Haram

In reality, and what we tend to overlook is that the basic line between good and bad, normal and not normal, as well as objective and subjective is a blurry and thin one. What determines these things, in most cases, is power. What is now “bad” or “haram” in Muslim societies, for instance, was once normal and casual or “halal” before Western colonization. Hence the expression of “might makes right.” But in a world where power equilibrium is gradually emerging between East and West, all of our conventional ideas and notions of good, bad, normal, abnormal, objective, and subjective are gradually changing and evolving. For instance, there is now an alternative position or stance in the international system to the Israeli-Palestinian issue that is at play given the rise of China, which means that people no longer have to bandwagon with Washington anymore and in turn single-mindedly echo and parrot every policy line that comes out of Washington. Not only is there an alternative position and stance to this one issue because of the rise of China, but the rise of China means there are alternatives to a whole range of things now. Our attitudes and our behavior are still stubbornly oriented towards a unipolar context, yet in reality, the context has changed dramatically and significantly. 

Hence, our insistence on “behavior” as a logic or justification to continue propping up a failed status quo in a world that is rapidly changing is not only hackneyed, but it also lacks the power that it once had behind it. There is essentially a market for everything. For instance, look at the commercial and political empire which Donald Trump garnered for himself as a result of his behavior. Trump will not be able to get everyone to like him, no matter what he does. But he essentially got what he wanted, because the fact of the matter is that there is a market for every little thing that exists in the world. And no matter what some people do, they will always have their set of admirers and followers and patrons given the “elective affinity” which arises between people in mysterious and unexplainable ways. No matter the character or behavior of the beloved, the lover will always love the beloved because love, attraction, and elective affinities are things which have no rational or empirical explanation for them. 

But just because the line between notions of good, bad, normal, abnormal, objective, and subjective is thin and blurred, one is not necessarily calling for the cynicism and moral relativism which some people are inclined towards in order to justify doing whatever it is that they want to do. There are basic laws, morals, and truths out there which no one can deny. For the most part, the problem is ego, intransigence, and a basic denial of science and truth. As one American expression has it, if you want to upset a liberal, tell them the truth, and if you want to upset a conservative, tell them a lie. In a sense, telling the truth has become bad and taboo, and thus bad behavior has largely been associated with telling the truth nowadays. But then again, the discourse and the logic was something which we have been analyzing, criticizing, and deconstructing all along, to the point where we can now see the basic philosophical and psychological underpinnings of the discourse which has been the subject of our collective focus for a while now. 

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