Saturday, March 7, 2015

Islamism

"Now everyone knows that to try to say something in the mainstream Western media that is critical of U.S. policy or Israel is extremely difficult; conversely, to say things that are hostile to the Arabs as a people and culture, or Islam as a religion, is laughably easy. For in effect there is a cultural war between spokespersons for the West and those of the Muslim and Arab world. In so inflamed a situation, the hardest thing to do as an intellectual is to be critical, to refuse to adopt a rhetorical style that is the verbal equivalent of carpet-bombing, and to focus instead on those issues like U.S. support for unpopular client re­gimes, which for a person writing in the U.S. are somewhat more likely to be affected by critical discussion.

Of course, on the other hand, there is a virtual cer­tainty of getting an audience if as an Arab intellectual you passionately, even slavishly support U.S. policy, you attack its critics, and if they happen to be Arabs, you invent evi­dence to show their villainy; if they are American you confect stories and situations that prove their duplicity; you spin out stories concerning Arabs and Muslims that have the effect of defaming their tradition, defacing their history, accentuating their weaknesses, of which of course there are plenty. Above all, you attack the officially ap­ proved enemies-Saddam Hussein, Baathism, Arab na­tionalism, the Palestinian movement, Arab views of Israel. And of course this earns you the expected accolades: you are characterized as courageous, you are outspoken and passionate, and on and on. The new god of course is the West. Arabs, you say, should try to be more like the West, should regard the West as a source and a reference point. Gone is the history of what the West actually did. Gone are the Gulf War's destructive results. We Arabs and Mus­lims are the sick ones, our problems are our own, totally self-inflicted.

A number of things stand out about these kinds of performance. In the first place, there is no universalism here at all. Because you serve a god uncritically, all the devils are always on the other side: this was as true when you were a Trotskyist as it is now when you are a recanting former Trotskyist. You do not think of politics in terms of interrelationships or of common histories such as, for instance, the long and complicated dynamic that has bound the Arabs and Muslims to the West and vice versa. Real intellectual analysis forbids calling one side innocent, the other evil. Indeed the notion of a side is, where cultures are at issue, highly problematic, since most cultures aren't watertight little packages, all homogenous, and all either good or evil. But if your eye is on your patron, you cannot think as an intellectual, but only as a disciple or acolyte. In the back of your mind there is the thought that you must please and not displease" ― Edward W. Said, Representations of the Intellectual



What it means to be Muslim movement in 20th century? Entering second decade of 20th century, this world enlivened by phenomenon of political change in Middle East countries. After decades of reign, authoritarian rule of Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali in Tunisia, Muammar Gaddafi in Libya, Hosni Mubarak in Egypt and several other countries eventually collapsed. Turmoil of mass demonstrations forced them to hand over power to a transitional government and, little by little, bringing the democratization's process. Although in some countries such as Egypt and Syria the transition process actually ended with the military's return and a prolonged civil war, but the Middle East in general faces a transformation process that invites the observer of this region to rethink theoretical assumptions that exist about Islam and Politics in region.

Political changes that we know it as the Arab Spring, in its development, raises the discussion about issues which has been a lot of coloring the Middle East, namely the movement of 'political Islam' - a movement then we call it as Islamism. The transition process that accompanies Arab Spring takes many countries entered the democratization's process which -- so far -- is inhibited by authoritarian government in power. Consequently, some Islamic movements in various countries meet their momentum.

We can see an example of the rise of Islamic movements -- which brings 'Islamism' as an essential part of political discourse -- in some countries: Egypt, Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco, Turkey. In Egypt, there are Muslim Brotherhood which became the opposition for more than five decades and have the opportunity to perform on democratization stage by forming Hizb al-Hurriya Wal-'Adala or Freedom and Justice Party.

In Tunisia, Rachid Ghannouchi finally returned to his homeland after two decades in exile in London, and founded the Ennahda party (Renaissance). So also with Omar Ghoul (Algeria) and Islamist activists in various countries, including Morocco that put their party as the election winner.

Surprisingly, they managed to win popular support and some of them (Egypt, Tunisia, Morocco) formed a government. This phenomenon needs to be highlighted: what causes the Islamist movements are capable of being the "alternative" power after the collapse of authoritarian regimes in Middle East? How they can build a new political order in Middle East and how their ideas for contestation in each country?

Bobby S. Sayyid -- 'disciple' of Ernesto Laclau -- tried to elaborate on some of these problems in his book, A Fundamental Fear: Eurocentrism and the Emergence of Islamism (1997). In his books Sayyid tried to disassemble, epistemologically, erroneous views about Islamic movement and gave a new perspective on 'how' true Islamic movements articulate its identity in the midst of modernity constructed in Muslim countries.

Sayyid divided his book into five parts. In the first part, he presented a critique of many people view to what was referred to as 'Islamic fundamentalism', something that he thought was wrong and more pejorative meaning instead of explaining the essence of Islamic movement. The second section then provided a theoretical framework to understand Islamism as a political discourse, which he framed through the Post-structuralism Laclau Mouffe and Lacanian psychoanalysis. In the third part, Sayyid parsed Islamism birth from the collapse "of  Ottoman Caliphate" in 1924 which also marked the collapse of hegemonic order in Islamic world.

Meanwhile, in the fourth part, Sayyid wrote about the trail crosses between "Islamism" and the emergence of "modernity" which was characterized by colonialism and decolonization after World War II. The final section attempted to reconstruct the picture of Islamist movements struggle against the invisible empire in the existing global order, among others, through their resistance against authoritarian regimes that emerged in Muslim countries as well as the presence of global political power among them.

Sayyid departing from a phenomenal idea point in the late 1970s: Orientalism. The term was first discussed in depth by Edward Said (1978) and then opened the debate about constructions of thought 'West' in view of Islam and 'the East' in general. Sayyid admitted (p. 49), Edward Said's work opened a new way to approach studies of Middle East more critically. Edward Said was the first one to dismantle the tradition of knowledge about Middle East in the West, which is known as the tradition of Orientalism.

According to Said, so far, the literature on Middle East were not free of "certain values". He saw, from many writings, speeches to literary works, there was a kind of attempt to show the East's face to Western interests. "East" was displayed in such a way, with the description of caricature, essentialist, and full tendencies, to show the West superiority over the East. In line with Foucault, who saw that basically texts showed a certain power relations, which -- if it was tracked -- would lead to the narratives of 'West' colonial on 'the East'. By tracking the power relations of Orientalism's study texts in Europe and United States, he concluded that Orientalism study was not just a study of the neutral interest, but also between the fine talk in these studies, Orientalism tended to assert  the Western superiority over the 'other',  in this case : Islam.

Said's view about Orientalism later criticized by Bobby S. Sayyid. For Sayyid, Said had been stuck on "essentialism", had conducted over simplification of the 'West' and 'East' only at one particular point of view (p. 32). Sayyid distinguished two types of Orientalism (pp. 33-34): Weak Orientalism and Strong Orientalism. In Weak Orientalism, East-West relations mapped just as the relation of knowledge / power, which saw textuality as relations of dominance between Europe and The Other. The arguments built by Said -- both in his book Orientalism and Covering Islam -- made on this analysis.

Sayyid criticism is simple: East-West relations as something conflicting tend simplistic and fail to read the diversity of "Western" narrative about Islam (which is not all inspired by Orientalism study) and the diversity of Islamic world; and how the process of formation of the 'East' by the 'West' takes place (p. 34). For Sayyid, this view is very limited due to see his relations only in the history of Western domination on 'Islam' and does not see how the dominance occurs, what kind of space dominance, until (which is actually important as the study's implications) how to fight these false narratives.

Meanwhile, in the second perspective -- Strong Orientalism -- the analysis directed at "how the West to form the East". With this perspective, the relationship both seen as adversarial identity construction, in which the West "existence" is only possible through the East 'negation' (He saw this on Turner and Derrida analysis). Sayyid saw Said analysis failed to see the possibilities of Orientalism in this perspective, which allowed us to see how the "East" constructed by the "West" as an identity. According to Sayyid, "Weak Orientalism" as shown by Said stuck on simplistic readings when he began to read Islam, because Orientalism implied totality of readings to Islam. Is it possible for us to read "Islam" without being orientalis if we are outside of what is called "Islam"?

By using discursive perspective as developed by Ernesto Laclau and Chantal Mouffe (1986), Sayyid preferred to use the term of 'Islamism' which he defined as a political discourse that made Islam as "the main marker" of articulation (p. 47). Discursive perspective becomes important to distinguish many articulations of Islamic movement, from those who use the parliamentary politics as a path and those who use violence as an orientation. They may differ in strategy and political approach which they profess, but basically tied by the "same marker", namely "Islam as the main goals and ideals".

Sayyid developed his argument further by borrowing Jacques Lacan's conception of the master signifier. Based on this approach, Sayyid saw the Islamists actually trying to make "Islam" as the center of the existing political order, or make "Islam" as a master signifier that bound every articulation of its race (p. 47). In psychoanalysis rooted in Jacques Lacan's thought , the master signifier is a "marker that does not have content marked, but bring together all the meanings that are formed from all forms of articulation". Islamism makes "Islam" as the main marker to make the main goal of all forms of articulation that use Islam both in content and repertoire. At this point Sayyid then entered the jargon, "Islam is the solution" or "Islamic law", which inflamed by some Islamic movements such as Muslim Brotherhood or Hizb ut-Tahrir.

From this cmoes the 'antagonism', because Islam that binds every articulation and political order can not be accepted by non-Islamists. For Islamists, "Islam" should be the main marker of any articulation which forms the existing political arrangements at all levels. However, on the contrary, for non-Islamists, master signifier is definitely not Islam, because it can not occupy the "center"position of political order that is being built. At this point antagonism is formed. Islamists articulation pivots on the idea of 'Islam' as the main marker and responded by circles who do not want it. However, the articulation never being in its "total meaning". There is always a dynamic, conflict and contestation which then accompanies the process of antagonism, which makes 'Islamism' is actually also not something final.

Based on this analysis, Sayyid moved on the question, "How does 'Islam' become a master signifier for the Islamists?" Sayyid reconstructed the emergence of Islamism to track Islamic Caliphate. Sayyid illustratedCaliph was not only as a 'political order' in the Muslim world, but also as a binder of Muslim political articulation (p. 52). Caliph 'set' the meaning of Islam and gave Muslims a sense of "comfortable" which allowed the political order established in the name of Islam (p. 53).

By looking at the discourse on Islam and the State, he argued that 'Islam' became a master signifier in the era of Ottoman Empire (pp. 53-54). Caliph bound and defined the meaning of 'Islam' in a standard institution, made every articulation beyond it became impossible. This was what he called the Caliphate as the Lawgiver, forming the legal order that freezing all political articulation and assigning symbols (p. 55).

But, in the 1920s, came the crisis. At that time, Turkey had just defeated in World War I. There was dissatisfaction with the Caliphate. At the same time, 'Young Turks' movement by Mustafa Kemal Pasha appeared as the main locomotive, which immediately filed a political demands. The crisis peaked, and finally the Caliph was dropped in 1924, placing Mustafa Kemal as the new ruler. He immediately introduced the abolition of the Caliphate with 4 packs of modernization in Turkey: (1) secularism; (2) nationalism; (3) modernity; and (4) westernization. These four themes replaced Caliphate "ideology" which politically based on raw Islamic norms. (p. 63-69).

From here Sayyid entered on his analysis of the emergence of 'Islamism'. When Kemal Ataturk abolished the Caliphate and replaced it with a secular state system, the meaning of Islam was 'dispersed'. Four Kemalist modernization package "floated" the meaning of Islam and made raw bond  which ultimately made the Caliphate hegemonic discourse during several centuries later be collapsed (p. 57). With this way, Kemalism brought the old hegemonic discourse into a crisis and building a new political order, with reference to the modernization. This discourse was supported by de-Islamization political which wass done either by replacing old institutions into a new institution -- laden with modernity -- as well as through the language of culture by replacing the "Arab" with "Turkey". In other words, Kemalism succeeded in making his discourse about Islam, that made the "meaning of Islam" should be in accordance with the framework of "modernity" as hegemonic discourse in Egypt (p. 59).

However, Sayyid focusing not only on Kemalism in Turkey. He also noted that a similar trend in the post-colonial countries, where the discourse of modernity became very significant to see the relation between "Islam and the State" or Islam in the existing Political Order (pp. 69-70). A similar trend shown by the Pahlavi regime in Iran or Quasi-Caliph in Saudi Arabia where Islam was an "unfamiliar with politics" religion. Pahlavi regime made the values of pre-Islamic as the main marker of political regime he built in Iran by embedding "Aryanisme's" discourse as a cultural and political identity in Iran (p. 71). On the other hand, Quasi-Caliphate regime in Saudi Arabia and Gulf countries put the "empire" and a political system that mimicked  concepts of "modern's" states, framed by Caliph slogans (pp. 72-73).

In these two forms of "state", Islam is applied as the basis of state's legitimacy  (with the apparatus of scholars, islamic symbol, and its sort of), but does not bind other discourses such as economic or political  development that is managed with modern references (p. 72). Saudi Arabia or the Gulf countries using the concept of "nationality" as the state and a highly capitalistic economic system. Thus, the hegemonic discourse is modernity. We can read one important thing of Sayyid analysis, "Islam as a hegemonic discourse, in the case of Kemalism, replaced by modernity."

In Kemalist perspective, "Islam" was described as an anti-modernity and had to be modernized. Islam became the object of modernization process (p. 87). Quasi-caliph countries , especially Saudi Arabi inspired by the Wahhabi revolution in the 18th century, made 'tradition' as something that should be replaced with the basics of modern Islam. However, different from Kemal, modernity understood by Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab instead pivoted on which country he understood as Arab with the limits prescribed by Ibn Saud and filled with content of Islamic purification. Purification, as reviewed by Fazlur Rahman, then became an important trademark of Islamic reformism in the early 20th century.

From Turkey, Sayyid switched to Iran. Hegemonic discourse marked by Pahlavi's Aryanisme survived until, roughly, when the Ayatollah Khomeini and his followers of Shia thrilling this world with the revolution in Iran. Here another interesting things emerged: Khomeini gave a new perspective that tried to dislocation existing hegemonic discourse. With his Islamic revolution, he aimed not to create a dialogue with the "West". He aimed to change the existing political order with Islam (p. 89). Khomeini, thus, made the process of marginalization of modern Aryanisme discourse constructed by Pahlavi as the only discourse that - perhaps - became a political order in Muslim countries.

Islamic framework shown by Khomeini became the hallmark of Islamism: aimed to decentring the west of its position as the hegemonic discourse, and made Islam as "the main marker" of the existing political order in the country. In other words, Islamism was an alternative discourse of "modernity" which had been seen as the only way to progress (pp. 88-90). The picture shown by Khomeini against "the West"  in some respects, appeared in the depiction of Hasan al-Banna and Sayyid Qutb (the leading thinkers of the Muslim Brotherhood)  about "Islam" and "the West". If Khomeini saw it in the form of anti-modernity, then al-Banna and Qutb saw it in the discourse of anti-colonialism, which positioned "Islam" as an alternative force against Western imperialism through Colonialism. Al-Banna and Qutb slogans were used as jargons by Islamic movements, especially those who referring to Muslim Brotherhood.

With this perspective, Sayyid then understood Islamism was an articulation of identity. Islamism was a model of the use of Islam as a 'political' which aiming to build an alternative to the hegemonic discourse of modernization projects which implanted through a mixture of colonialism and authoritarianism in Muslim countries. By using the theories of 'hegemonic discourse' and 'primary marker' borrowed from studies of post-structuralism, Sayyid tried to read Islamism as an articulation which "challenging" modernity as the dominant construction about Islam.

Reading of Islamism as a critique of Eurocentric modernity, as a consequence leads us to a critical reading of studies on Islam and political Islam with exposing them to claim that "modernity" becomes a major marker of non-Islamist political articulation in Muslim countries should referred to the 'West' and 'Europe', or often called Eurocentrism. Sayyid saw that "modernity" was not singular; there were a variety of (multiple) type of modernity, because of its articulation in the social field, respectively, were different. Sayyid, at this point, analyzed that Islamism, consciously or not, also had roots in multiplicity of modernity.

According to Sayyid, after extensively reviewing Sami Zubaida's study about Khomeini, he concluded that Islamism was basically also had roots of "modernity", because it came from the response to process of modernization in Muslim world (p. 99). However, in contrast to Zubaida, Sayyid saw Islamism was basically articulating a conception of  different modernity with European modernity, which was supported by the assumption that 'the West leads the rest' (pp. 101-102). That was then referred to as "Eurocentrism". This conception became the main target of Islamism, because it had a discursive tendency to exclude Islamism as "the Other", which had to be willing led by the "European" (p. 106). The dominance of Eurocentrism in the study and political praxis in Muslim countries have put Islam is under subordination of discourse rooted in the Europe's identity.

Thus, Sayyed concluded that Islamism was present as a manifestation of "counter-discourse" to Eurocentric modernity. By challenging Eurocentrism, Islamism no longer be a "way to go back to the past"as accused by Bernard Lewis or Bassam Tibi. Islamism means an attempt to disarticulate modernity of other superior claims and put another possibility about the world's future (p. 111). Thus, Islamism is a hegemonic project that wants "to challenge" European universalism and states that itself is not the center of all forms of articulation, and to do what is called Sayyid as "provincialism of Europe" (p. 129).

This challenge was related to the interaction experience of Islamic world and the "West" that had been loaded with the practice of colonialism, imperialism, and westernization then "snapped" the meaning of Islam in their category since the Caliphate was abolished. Conflicts of identity since the emergence of Caliphate, then causes Islamism became a very resistant discourse against "the West", seen from the rhetoric displayed by Khomeini and, at some point, by Hasan al-Banna.

Islam will be Islam which then gives political energy for articulation refers to the narrative identity in it, in this case: Islamism.

In a broader context, the rise of Islamism as a global political discourse in later underlined by Sayyid with "globalization". From an economic standpoint, globalization asserts "European hegemony" with the division of 'North-South' (p. 132). In the post-colonial perspective, especially in relation to Islamic world, the processes of globalization which forms historically have confirmed the "Europe's" superiority. The effort is then challenged by Islamism and other subaltern discourse (pp. 134-135). Islamism, more specifically, to articulate imagination about people at global level, which then becomes an alternative to the "European universalism". This conception then leads to identity contestation between "Islam" and "West" occurs continuously and dynamically.

As a conclusion, Sayyid stated that Islamism is a political discourse that emerged as a result of the weakening of Kemalism's hegemonic narrative and similar variants in other countries. Islamism got a chance to build a new hegemony project when the existing hegemonic narrative was in crisis and as discourse it had a certain credibility. Citing Laclau & Mouffe (1986), the credibility of a particular discourse is not located on the perception of "external" to itself, but rather on the ability to build a chain of equivalence and establish a new political order. Islam has the power as far as it has rhetoric which is able to bind all other discourse, or becomes a Master signifier for its followers.

Although not specifically mentioned by Sayyid, a manifestation of the rise of Islamism can be seen from the Islamism after Arab Spring. With the  "rhetoric power" it has, Islamic movements such as Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt managed to build alliances with other Islamic groups and formed a government in 2012. But their hegemony project fell apart after a chain of equivalence which they had built was interrupted by military presence. But as noted by Sayyid, Islamism could not domesticated only on state and nation border. Because of the universal reference in it, it crosses national borders that its manifestations can be seen in the complex network of Islamism in Middle East, Southeast Asia, to Europe and America.

Nevertheless, Sayyid acknowledges that Islamism is not single. There are a variety of articulation refers to Islamism and all have a variety of demands and forms of organizing. However, it does not mean Islamism has no coherence. In a certain point, when another discourse threatened, they will be able to establish common ground and make their discourse strong (pp. 159-160). This is why, for Sayyid, Islam can be a marker of "expectations" about better order.

Book written by Bobby S. Sayyid has more or less open our understanding of contemporary Islamic movements that are now taking the momentum of democratization in Middle East. During this time, Islamic movements, both moderate as the AKP in Turkey or Jihadists in Egypt and Afghanistan, more often positioned as a political rather than academic. They are seen, with very Orientalist perspective, as a "threat" to the civilized world order and as aspired by the United States. This view, following Sayyid's criticism, clearly fall in the trap of essentialism and in some cases overly generalizes the problem.

It is interesting to read Mahmood Mamdani analysis (2002), also short writings of Tariq Ramadan (2010) about 'Good Muslims and Bad Muslims'. Their analysis about "Muslim" after 9/11 shows that the discourse about Islam has been cleaved by the United States's foreign policy interests. There is a good Muslim profile, which described as a moderate Muslim, peace-loving, and does not have orientation on violence (jihad), while there are others who imaged as 'bad Muslims' who incite jihad against US imperialism, or critical against the West.

As a consequence, we can see the image of "Moderate Islam" dominates the discourse of academic to foreign policy. The efforts of some countries to see "Moderate Islam" as something that must be carried out, reflecting the hegemonic discourse that sees Islam must be in accordance with the framework of modernity, and excluding others who oppose this perspectives. This perspective, in some respects, articulates Islam as a representation of particular interest and even excludes the representation of others interests who also want to refer to Islam.

Through his book, Sayyid had warned us early not to fall too deep into this view's trap. Critical Islamic Studies constructed by Sayyid contributes to saving the Islamic studies from the trap of essentialism that sees "Islamism" only as an attempt to return to the primitive civilization which is now no longer relevant. Islamism must be seen as more complex by understanding the construction of identity in it.

But, of course, there are some weaknesses in his book. I noted there were three fundamental weakness of Sayyid's study. First, his study about "Islamism" forgets the material basis of the demands and discourse shown by Islamic movements which become his study's target. Because so focused reading Islamism in the context of the discourse and identity, Sayyid forgets that Islamic movements voice his discourse and demands in community life. As a result, Sayyid's reading about "Islamism" and criticism of "Eurocentrism" also falls in overgeneralization.

There's social and political economy context which is also important to explain, for example, why the Muslim Brotherhood failed to maintain its political legitimacy in Egypt or why "Islamic economics" -- on an intellectual level -- until now can not present a concrete alternative on the global economic crisis. Studies with orientation at the analysis of historical sociology or political economy can contribute to close this gap.

Secondly, Sayyid study also does not help us to understand the transformation of Islamic movement that is currently going on, both at the local, national, or global. This could be due to a very theoretical explanation or because of the limited time (this book was written in 1997).

Sayyid does not give a lot of explanation, for example, how the Islamist movements after the decade of 2000s actually builds a critical dialogue with Western civilization and receives partial concept (this can be tracked, for example, at Rachid Ghannouchi's thought, Recep Erdogan, and in some ways Anwar Ibrahim).

Although Sayyid admitted, at the end of his writings, that "Islamism is not a single", we can ask," How is the relation between 'post-Islamist' generation - if I am allowed to use this term -- with a modernity that emerged from the West? Is there a "transformation of identity" or is this just the dynamics that could lead to a new political discourse?" This question is not answered in his book and demands further elaboration.

Third, as criticized in two of book reviews of Beverley Milton-Edwards (1998) and Muzaffar Iqbal (1999), this book will be hard to be understood by readers who do not know Derrida's tudies, Laclau, Mouffe, Lacan, or Zizek. Besides very philosophical, it is difficult to translate into certain methodological framework for analyzing its grass roots issues. On the other hand -- more theoretical-- this study also too emphasizes to "Islamism" as a political identity and less elaborate on its practical dimensions, such as rhetoric, the network they built in the local sphere, as well as the attitudes of "Islamist" to contemporary issues such as capitalism. So, let alone dig "progressive side" of Islamic Movement which can be seen from its engagement with issues at local level, this book actually showing "to draw the line" between Islamism and "Eurocentrism" as a discourse. Though, indeed, there is contestation between them, but the intersection at a more practical level remains important to ask for understanding the contemporary Islamic movements.

Nevertheless, the book with 178 pages is very interesting to read by observers and activists who study contemporary Islamic political movement. With readability and systematically English lnguage, this book gives enough "alternative" on Islamic studies that has been dominated by orientalism and negative stigma on Islamic Movement.

With some weaknesses that I have explained above, now I have unanswered questions, "By understanding the Islamist movement as a manifestation of resistance to 'Eurocentrism', could they turn into progressive in the fight for oppressed classes in global politics scheme? Those who have been oppressed by global capitalism are also Muslims, right?"

More comprehensive answer to this question will help us to build an uninterruptible bridge between "Islamism" and "Socialism".
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CZ

"Thank you for your perception! I like your romantic side, even if I do not always comment and I'm glad that you're in my circle of friends."
(Courtesies by: Wolfgang A. Gerhardt)

Wolfgang A.Gerhardt : May be you like this Sunday collage

Cisca Zarmansyah : Before today, there never was a person doing this to me. You create a simple matter to look special. This is a special thing for me.

Cisca Zarmansyah : Thank you. I love it. I love you, my friend.

CieL- FreYa Ceastle : Hmm, he's so nice...















"I am me.
In all the world,
there is no one else exactly like me.
Everything that comes out of me
is authentically mine,
because I alone chose it --
I own everything about me:
my body,
my feelings,
my mouth,
my voice,
all my actions,
whether they be to others or myself.
I own my fantasies,
my dreams,
my hopes,
my fears.
I own my triumphs and successes,
all my failures and mistakes.
Because I own all of me,
I can become intimately acquainted with me.
By so doing,
I can love me
and be friendly with all my parts.
I know there are aspects about myself that puzzle me,
and other aspects that I do not know
-- but as long as I am friendly
and loving to myself,
I can courageously and hopefully
look for solutions
to the puzzles and ways
to find out more about me.
However I look and sound,
whatever I say and do,
and whatever I think and feel at a given moment in time
is authentically me.
If later some parts of how I looked,
sounded,
thought,
and felt
turn out to be unfitting,
I can discard that which is unfitting,
keep the rest,
and invent something new
for that which I discarded.
I can see,
hear,
feel,
think,
say, and do.
I have the tools to survive,
to be close to others,
to be productive,
and to make sense
and order out of the world of people
and things outside of me.
I own me,
and therefore,
I can engineer me.
I am me,
and I am okay."

VIRGINIA SATIR
(American Phychologist and Educator, 1916-1988)