Rastafarians, Talibans and Hijabis: Charsis, Afeemis and Purdah-nashins

July 14, 2008

These are not digressions on Dar ul Harb and Dar ul Islam. LINK

Talibans have it to their credit that when they controlled Afghanistan they came down hard on opium growing. From supplying nearly 4 tons (nearly 75% of the world supply) to almost zero was one big achievement.

But they also have it to their discredit that when were driven out of power they used opium to finance their movement. Colonel North of Iran-Contra infamy has not been contacted by any media for comments. Even his patron these days Faux News has been silent over this. My contacts in ISI are not returning my SMS messages.

The annual US government estimate for Afghan opium poppy cultivation shows that approximately 172,600 hectares (426,503 acres) of poppy were cultivated throughout the country this year, an increase of 61 percent over 2005, the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy said Friday. Two southern Afghan provinces — Helmand and Oruzgan where the Taliban has been the most active — are responsible for the bulk of the increase. Poppy planting there was up 132 percent from last year, compared to an 18-percent increase in the remaining 31 provinces. LINK

Hijab is banned in France. Other western countries are also succumbing slowly to Islamophobia and consider measures to check what they deem threat of Islamic encroachment in their backyards. Yesterday a hijabi woman was denied citizenship in France.
France's ban on religious  symbols and apparel in public schools took effect Sept. 2, 2004. The ban includes all overtly religious dress and signs (including Muslim headscarves, Sikh turbans, Jewish skullcaps and large Christian crosses). However, the furor over the ban has focused mainly on the banning of Muslim headscarves or hijabs.

There are about five million Muslims in France – five to 10 per cent of the population – the largest Muslim population in Europe. LINK


Enters former Emperor Haile Selassi of Ethiopia, a god incarnate and the Rastafarians (The name Rastafari comes from Ras (literally "Head," an Ethiopian title equivalent to Duke), and Tafari Makonnen, the pre-coronation name of Haile Selassie I.) LINK

Who Are Rastafarians?

Last year Italy's Court of Cassation said cultivating even a single cannabis plant was a 'punishable offense'. And yesterday the Court ruled that Rastafarians can use cannabis.

Rastafarians have always regarded Ethiopia as the promised land, but Italy could rank a close second after its Supreme Court ruled that smoking or possessing cannabis is not a criminal offence but a religious act when the person doing it is a Rastafarian.

Italy's Court of Cassation has said Rastafarians use marijuana "not only as a medical but also as a meditative herb. And, as such [it is] a possible bearer of the psychophysical state to contemplation and prayer". LINK

We love Bob Marley. And Jamaica has beautiful beaches also in Negril and Ocho Rios. About Hijabis and Talibans we know less. And here, if ever, less is surely more. And if you have a clear MY on the scrabble board, with these seven letter D  C  I T O H O you can score big.

love people who are in awe of words. words are the sole arbiter and the final survivor. desicritic editor, slave and slave-driver.
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July 14, 2008
07:43 AM

Yes, the Hijab should be banned. It is irritating to have people come to work in strange clothes everyday. Once in a while is fine. If they are so keen on protecting their way of life, why not stay in Sudan or wherever they came from. idiots!! You donot see so many women in hijabs even in India. Strange is this world

July 14, 2008
09:21 AM

The use of cannabis by the Rasta is not something that they can claim was used by King Solomon or that is comes from Ethiopia...BUT rather, Kaya, as they will call it, was brought to Jamaica by indentured workers (slaves) from India. In Jamaica it is also known by another name, Kali. makes me proud to be Indian

July 14, 2008
10:35 PM

No one should be denied the right to wear any thing provided it is not illegal because of indecency or any other laws.

On the other hand there need not be any exceptions for religious reason if for safety or any other reason certain dress code is required. Religious need is only subjective and cannot be objectively ascertained. And it is different for each person. Therefore I do not see why there is a need to make exception.

Religion should be a private matter. The state need not encourage or discourage or get involved by making exceptions.

July 14, 2008
11:50 PM

Very interesting article temporal! That picture of the Rastafarin had me quite intrigued and I did soem googling on Rastafaris. It is very interesting. Rastafari seems to be emerging as a new religion.

This is little off tangent, but while on the topic of spiritual use of cannabis. What about the tradition back home in India. Aren't most of our sadhus also stoned out with ganja? Are they just unhinged by their asceticism or does the consumption of these substances, (however self destructive) actually help reach a higher plane of existance?. Does the mind find some realisations in that delusional state? I am very intrigued.

What do you think ? :)

July 15, 2008
12:14 AM


most Sadhus that I've seen smoke ganja. This 'high' only lasts for 1-3 hours. If ganja is digested, either in a cookie or in a 'bang lassi', the 'high' is much longer (3-10 hrs depending on the dosage) and is more of a 'bodystone', whereas smoking it more of a headstone.
In my experience each person's reaction to ganja is different. I love the stuff. I've never had a bad time on it. BUT I dont think it has the ability to "find some realisations"... maybe some insight though.
Although, as you say, some Sadhus appear to be in a "delusional state." I think they are probably taking opium.
If a "higher plane of existance" you seek then magic mushrooms, LSD, or peyote are what will get you there.

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