By rahnuma ahmed
Ikhras, the Arabic word for “shut up”, is the name of a website http://ikhras.com/ which nominates a House Arab or a House Muslim every month, for having earned the glory of receiving the hurled at shoe, so that he does… well, precisely that. Shuts up.
Exactly what Muntadhar al-Zaidi had done to former US president George W. Bush Jr to get him to Ikhras!
Bush, while on his fourth visit to Iraq as the sitting president, was addressing a press conference at the prime minister’s palace in Baghdad (December 14, 2008). He spoke of having built “a freer, safer, and more hopeful world.” Of having shown the people in the Middle East that “America stands firmly for liberty and justice and peace.” Of having ensured that the next US president would inherit a “stable foundation for the future.”?Whoosh. “This is a farewell kiss from the Iraqi people, you dog,” al-Zaidi yelled, as he flung the first shoe.
The second followed, within split seconds. “This is for the widows and orphans and all those killed in Iraq.”
But Ikhras’ monthly shoe awards, as its mission statement pronounces,? is not for white oppressors but for House Arabs and House Muslims. Its editors draw on Malcolm X, Black American revolutionary leader, who, in these memorable words had distinguished between Field Negroes and House Negroes in a powerful speech in 1964 (the video has been uploaded on Ikhras’ website):
“Back during slavery, when Black people like me talked to the slaves, they didn’t kill ’em, they sent some old house Negro along behind him to undo what he said. You have to read the history of slavery to understand this. There were two kinds of Negroes. There was that old house Negro and the field Negro.? The house Negro always looked out for his master. When the field Negroes got too much out of line, he held them back in check. He put them back on the plantation. The house Negro lived better than the field Negro. He ate better, he dressed better, and he lived in a better house. He ate the same food as his master and wore his same clothes. And he could talk just like his master — good diction. And he loved his master more than his master loved himself. If the master got hurt, he’d say: “What’s the matter, boss, we sick?” When the master’s house caught afire, he’d try and put out the fire. He didn’t want his master’s house burnt. He never wanted his master’s property threatened. And he was more defensive of it than his master was. That was the house Negro. Continue reading “'Ikhras', inspired by Muntadhar al-Zaidi, Malcolm X”