They Came For Us Too


IMG_0333.JPG
This is my Armenian birth & baptism certificate. It was officiated by the Greek Apostolic Church. As a philosophical Abrahamic monotheist, I celebrate this part of my culture as much as my Islamic side.

If there is anything I am paranoid about it is about my fate.

But I have faith.

My faith tells me that there are forces – the agents, after me.

This world is similar to the movie, the Matrix, in some ways. In other ways it is not – naturally.

But time is ticking. There are agents. There are phones. I’m in the white room now. But outside – we have to wait till we get to His throne.

I know where I am headed – but why the need to open up?

Like I said. My story begins with Riyadh. But my family. The KRIKORIAN story started much earlier.

Time are changing. I was supposed to have more resources. My family too.

But we were stripped. It began in Turkey. Like in Germany. The collectivists came after us – demanding they get provisions.

What happened to a world where men sought provisions from God and kept their mouths quiet? Today people complain of systems – the problem is people.

You see what I am realizing is you are what you believe; which impacts what you do; and what you know.

But there are inevitabilities of character – these are what distinguish us from one another. I see devils denying that very reality.

The reality is that, envy is a social phenomenon ailing the world.

That is why capitalism and freedom are necessary.

But there is a vast difference between these ideas and outright racism.

The republican party in America is a group of angry, white men without any respect for personal responsibility, which the so-called right-wing supposedly represents.

Today, hope rests with non-populistic centrists, and that cannot exist on the right side of American political spectrum because it has given way to populism, racism and fear, where as internal disagreements in the democratic branch are merely ideological.

Hopefully, as Turkey begins to behave wildly, America might maneuver to recognize the Armenian Genocide/Holocaust, or Medz Yeghern.

We were even considered to be loyal to the Ottomans, referred to as millet-i sadıka by the Sultan. That is why the modern Turkish creation is an imperial endeavor – a British experiment, as usual, because nationalism results in ethnic, religious and ideological division.

Racism against Armenians is historically engrained.

From the Hamidian Massacres to the Armenian Genocide.

Comparable to Nazi hatred of the Jewish people.

But this isn’t about comparing it is about understanding.

The absence of a modern, liberalized, practical and refined Islamic authority has long been absent. This has encouraged radicalism and primitiveness, and hate.

Turkish nationalism is largely an imperial task of the West – seeking to impose its influence in the region. Orientalism says that Islam could be more developed if it weren’t for colonialism. I wonder, perhaps if the Middle East would even be as “Islamic” so to speak if it weren’t for a history of Western involvement. Ultimately, what determines a nation’s ability to endure, which the Armenians have been able to do, with the blessing of God, is its unity.

The Armenian nation suffered as a result of this forsaken tragedy.

From the top tiers of Armenian society to the bottom. But even the Ottoman Empire itself, the expansion of Islam since the 7th century, greatly undermined Armenian sovereignty.

Islamism – is not new. It is old. Modern nationalism in Islamic societies, is more developed Islam; whereas Islamism is a primitive understanding – innately regressive. The absence of a viable moderate, tolerant and modern Islamic authority, male or female, has cast a dark, fundamentalistic shadow upon Islam which vindicates the narrative that Islam cannot modernize. My mother is a muslim. Philosophically I would consider myself muslim, an adherer of the true Qur’an, but equally I am Christian. More importantly, I am neither, but instead a believer in God, the Creator, and eternal philosophy, or wisdom. The rest is politics – and to be frank; imperialism – political hubris. The sort of force which violates balances of power. The modern nation, Iran, Armenia, Turkey, is disrupted by religious, ideological and ethnocentric viciousness which violates sovereignty and practicality. The cause of this is a blatant American and European disregard for human rights outside their borders. It has propped up radicalism, ultranationalism and prevents individual and national prosperity, thus limiting global competition, and guaranteeing hegemony, even when undeserved, to the West. That isn’t capitalism – that is totalitarianism.

Those who are unable to modernize and adapt to tolerance are gripped by a stubborn ego that latches on to contradictory but nonetheless vociferous and violent ideologies.

But in Syria too, they came for us. Because Syria, unlike most Islamic countries, has been political aligned with anti-colonial states, thus barring it from access to the so-called international community. Now, they’ve come for Syria in the same manner as they came for Iraq and Libya, under the premise of liberalization, despite rampant hypocrisy.

We watch global destruction from America, comfortably, which saddens me deeply. My only hope is that I can alleviate the suffering by fulfilling my individual potential in America, so that I may bring attention to their plight abroad, whether in the Caucasus, or in the Middle East.

Let it be known that we the Armenians, the Muslims and the Jews have suffered similar fates, to varying degrees of course, but still, equally atrocious and appalling. There are many more groups to be included, but these pertain directly to me. I would like to add also the struggle of African-Americans particularly [and all American minorities] who have endured similar if not worse suffering – and who have gifted me with the privilege of getting to know their culture and its immense richness and quality.

But the problem in Turkey was not Islam versus Christianity. This is modern propaganda. Islam and Christianity’s relationship in the Middle East, or the Orient, has largely enjoyed harmony.

Turkish nationalism is the main menace. Nationalism generally, is dangerous. Patriotism is different, we can’t mix the two. Nationalism is justification of some type of othering, as Edward Said might call it. It justifies the alienation of a group that is deemed not part of a nation, and worthy of exploitation. This happens historically to many groups, the Armenians being one among them.

The disintegration of the Ottoman Empires produced disasters for the Arab world in fact, contrary to the original aim of so-called liberation. The idea of freeing itself from Ottoman imperial control was not universally accepted or unanimously felt. The Ottoman Empire was relatively tolerant and secular compared to modern Saudi Arabia, for example. Ironically as previously mentioned, the Armenian population enjoyed a rather privileged status in the Ottoman Empire, due to levels of education and tenacity.

Perhaps the Ottoman Empire was not the best ruler for the Middle East, but it was unifying, and instead of being centralized on ethnic principles, it was based on a respect for the leadership of the greater Middle East. This would likely have persisted or shifted to another empire, as it has historically. But the idea that the world has modernized into nation-states, the premise of realist theory in international relations, largely ignores the reality that Western civilization functions as a unit – the Modern Holy Roman Empire if you will – with Washington D.C. serving as Rome. How else would it survive?

Perhaps this might explain why then the Middle East has become so vulnerable to the West following WWII – which might have been more about completely ending regional sovereignty in all parts of the world outside of the West.

It has really been a quest to find myself. Dear God.

Isn’t it ironic that religious minorities enjoyed more freedom under ottoman rule in ME than under ‘secular’ rule.

And that Islamic civilization was more tolerant and less vulnerable to fanaticism then too. Maybe cause they weren’t under foreign dominion?

Sure Ottoman Turkey was foreign to Arabs but nothing comparable to being ruled by British. In fact Europeans split up the Ottoman Empire, in what is known as the Sykes-Picot, a primarily British and French arrangement.

The beginning of colonialism of the ME.

The death of unity, sovereignty and tolerance ensued. Even Saudi nationalism, was a British Experiment. Maybe Germany nationalism, or Nazism was too, a form of containing in the rise of the “East”. This carries weight since Western sympathies for Nazism were not scarce; particularly as a form of anti-communism.

Modern western political theory, where realism or neorealism prevails, argues that since 1700s, or Westphalia, modern political unit is the State, and not for example, the individual, or the Empire [a collection of states]. This is rooted in temporal reality which may or may not persist. But what if the world operates as a collection of imperial organisms – not states, but states within Empires – based on cultures and/or ideologies? The West, is not a series of states united almost overtly behind American neoliberal hegemony? Does this not function as an empire, despite portrayals of it being otherwise?

We are in America now though. Safe. Thank God.

I only pray that I can be recognized as a US citizen but that means I have to marry an American or get it from my family and hopefully it will happen soon. I would also like to get some financial support or amnesty and recognition for my crafts. Perhaps I will write on Armenia one day, to explain my origin and its legacy. Return dignity to my people.

God willing.

Racism against Armenians in America goes back. I did not know it ran this deep. In the 1920s, Armenians were officially banned from owning businesses of certain kinds as part of an anti-Ottoman policy tradition maintained by the US. The Armenians possess a unique position in history, as a historically Christian nation, swallowed up by the Muslim Ottoman World. Still, their positive reputation for loyalty and competence earned them respect in the Ottoman Empire. It was not until the birth of fascist Turkish ultranationalism that anti-Armenianism became institutionalized. The Armenians have always been harmonious with Muslims and the Turks. This tradition in America, is grounded then in the anti anything that isn’t Anglo-Saxon – aka American racism or White Supremacy.

In relation to Armenian-Islamic or Armenian-Turkish relations however Armenians are not anti-Islamic or anti-Turkish. In fact many like me are from mixed religious families (obviously with the exception of certain fringe groups or peoples). The qualm is against Turkish ultranationalism and the mainly British imperial hand which leveraged it to initiate the Armenian Genocide. Today the Brits are largely replaced by the Americans. Perhaps that is why in both nations, the Genocide remains unrecognized. Neither does Israel, by the way. Peace and love to all.

Album Profile: A socio-economic amalgam of absurd proportions.


cover-art-final1

Album: Rise of the Eastern Son

Genre: Hip-Hop/Rap & Pop

Artist: KRIKOS

Producer: KRIKOS

Recorded at Real Feel Recording.

Engineered by KRIKOS, Palmyra & Chinese Delegation by Thanks Joey.

Themes: Politics, Religion, Culture.

STREAM via Spotify: Spotify – Rise of the Eastern Son

Purchase via iTunes: iTunes – Rise of the Eastern Son

Stream KRIKOS’ latest releases via SoundCloud:

Watch the video for the single, The Numbers, directed by Masood Ahmed, via YouTube below:

 

Sufi in the West


12316649_10101668367610303_8009156524300307876_n.jpg

Album #2 coming this January. The legend of the eastern son continues. 📷 by Hana Maatouk. Salute to “Kustom Sounds” studio.

Stream “Rise of the Eastern Son” the full album by clicking here.

Book Review – Postmodern Imperialism: Geopolitics & The Great Games by Eric Walberg


51xwaajmMPL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg51xwaajmMPL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg

Walberg, Eric. Postmodern imperialism: geopolitics and the great games. SCB Distributors, 2011.

Recent history has introduced a period of heightened military conflicts, uprisings and contentions. This has resulted in many shifts in global patterns. Competitiveness between empires has intensified and further complicated the quest for understanding the global political dynamic. In his book, Postmodern Imperialism: Geopolitics & the Great Games, author Eric Wahlberg seeks to clear the air. The author’s main premise is to illustrate the shift from a bi-polar global dynamic, once dominated by the US on one end and the Soviet Union on the other, to a unipolar world, where the US is largely uncontested in its position as the global hegemony. Proxy wars, insurgent movements and radical militants have filled this void, which, as the author argues, has pinned the US and its main ally against anti colonial movements, Israel, against a loosely defined cooperative of movements and states, as well as a ambiguous enemy – the terrorist.

The author presents a historical backdrop from which he draws his assertions. This stretches from the earliest expression of the Great Games to their modern manifestations, as the Wars on Terror, and the neoconservative crusade for democracy. The consequence is increased exploitation of resources and the rise of untraceable insurgent networks that target their national governments as much as western societies. The double-dealings and inconsistencies of the West are evident here, which taints the reputation of western civilization. This is underscored by the author’s sympathies with the anti-capitalistic Soviet philosophical foundation.

The book is divided into five segments, organized chronologically, in which the author elaborates on the historical backdrop of the Great Game dynamic which has led to the current landscape. Wahlberg begins with the 19th century onset of the great games as played out between the British and Russian empires, followed by the communist revolution, WWII, the Cold War and the post 9/11 era. The author focuses on the British tactic of pinning forces against each other, a strategy which has been arguably adopted by the US in modern times, evidenced by its double-dealings with authoritarians and the radical insurgent movements threatening to depose them.

The three major sections in the book are categorized as GG I, II and III. GG stands for Great Games, and each numeric represents a period in time, in respective chronological order, beginning with the games as they panned out in the early 19th century, onto the WWII period, and finally, to GGIII, the post-cold war era. GGI refers to imperialism that took place during the nineteenth century until WWII. GGII covers the Cold War in which the two global superpowers, the USA and the USSR, competed for global influence.  GGIII is focused on the post-Cold War era beginning in 1989 to the present. Imperialism cannot be discussed without dissecting the role of the British Empire, a main focus of the author throughout the book. The British assumed hegemonic power by constructing a global economic network which would serve the interests of the core to the misfortune of the periphery, and where diplomacy failed, the use of military power was utilized.  The key focus of the book is the Middle East and Central Asia, “the heart of Eurasia”. It has been argued that the Eurasian heartland is a key geographic location; in other words, he who that controls the heartland controls the world.

The author suggests that in modern times, Islamic movements have replaced communism as the new anti-imperial force. The two primary agents of imperialism, argues Wahlberg, is an alliance between the US and Israel. The war on Iraq, and subsequent interventions in Libya and Egypt, are expressions of this new imperialism, and perhaps fall right into the hands of the main players in the global Great Games. The author suggests increasing tensions and growing insurgencies as a direct result of a stubborn imperial alliance between the US & Israel. Rising tensions in the Middle East and the growth of radical Islam in Central Asia are indicators of this reality. The US’ inconsistent foreign policy will only further retaliatory measures. The players of the great game must decide once and for all what is of greater priority; playing a fair game, or winning.

Update: New Album OTW + #RiseoftheEasternSonLP


FullSizeRender
Been in the studio completing finishing touches on my second album. Excited to share this piece with you all. It will be the sequel to . The album will be ready for release in January. 
For now, you can purchase the precursor, my debut album  via http://itunes.apple.com/album or stream it via https://play.spotify.com/album.
IMG_1524
If you can’t afford either, stream my music for free via  here – https://soundcloud.com/krikos88.
Also – Artists who are interested in my production/direction are encouraged to contact me via email at KRIKOSofficial@gmail.com. Professional inquiries only please.
1.

Reza Aslan & Cenk Uygur-Bigotry, Fundamentalism and Neo Atheism in the Media


Confronting Religious Extremism – Reza Aslan