In Hajar’s Footsteps: A De-Colonial and Islamic Ethic of Care by Sarah Munawar M.A., The University of British Columbia, 2014 B.A., The University of Toronto, 2013 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE AND POSTDOCTORAL STUDIES (Political Science) THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA (Vancouver) December 2019 © Sarah Munawar, 2019 ii The following individuals certify that they have read, and recommend to the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies for acceptance, the dissertation entitled: In Hajar’s Footsteps: A De-Colonial and Islamic Ethic of Care submitted by Sarah Munawar in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Political Science Examining Committee: Dr. Barbara Arneil Co-Supervisor Dr. Ayesha Chaudhry Co-Supervisor Dr. Joan Tronto Supervisory Committee Member Dr. Glen Coulthard University Examiner Dr. Renisa Mawani University Examiner Additional Supervisory Committee Members: Supervisory Committee Member Supervisory Committee Member iii Abstract This dissertation radically reimagines the boundaries of political theory as a practice and as a tradition in three ways. First, I surface the ableist and colonial paradigm of recognition that shapes the study of Islam and the “Muslim Other” in comparative political theory and care ethics. The colonial legacy of political theory lives on within the textual sensibilities of political theorists, inherited from white-orientated reading practices, epistemic white privilege, and matricide as an epistemological orientation. Refusing to (un)learn how colonial histories of sense-contact have shaped our practices of reading and writing compromises the witnessing capacities of political theorists. In turn, we become complicit in authoring and authorizing colonial world-building practices. Second, I trace how white-orientated and heteropatriarchal conceptions of citizenship travel through the inheritance of the nation-state. Imperial readings of disability, (inter)dependency and care, both within and outside the Islamic tradition, render Muslim women and disabled Muslims as misfits in our knowledge relations. Through auto-ethnography I argue care-based modes of knowing Islam are needed to theorize accessibility because 1) disabled Muslims and care-givers remain visible only through frames of charity or tragedy; 2) situations of dependency care render one ontologically and epistemically incapable of sensing and knowing the Islamic; 3) interpretive authority is sanctioned by legal scholars, Muslim men, or white and secular scholars; and 4) narratives of informal care-giving, care-based epistemologies of Islam and the epistemic authority of disabled Muslims and Muslim women are denigrated within the ecology of Islamic knowledges. I design various care-based and intersectional Islamic technologies by which (non)Muslims can harness care as a critical sensibility that orients how we read, write and think about what is “Islamic”, whose bodies we iv identify as interpretive authorities, and which types of knowledge we authorize as “Islam.” Third, I turn away from imagining moral epistemologies of care to focus on the praxis behind care-based epistemologies of Islam and its vast potential for coalitional politics and de-colonial movement building. By de-centering whiteness, I re-conceive what it means to be a Muslim on Turtle Island and practice Islam in a settler-colonial society. v Lay Summary In the traditions of political theory and Islam, disability, care and dependency are perceived as tragedies, punishments and tests that seriously limit one’s ability to be an independent, free and rational person. Just as racist political theorists have written off Muslims as passive, uncivilised, dependent and obedient followers of Islam, the contributions of disabled Muslims and Muslim women are cast to the margins of Islamic knowledge systems. By reflecting on my family’s situation in a relationship of dependency care, I offer a care-based way of knowing Islam and doing political theory that radically re-imagines how we understand tradition, knowledge production and personhood. A method that centres care-work and interdependency helps us not only account for the colonial legacy of the Islamic tradition and political theory as a practice, but it also opens up space to re-imagine relations of interdependency (and responsibility) between Muslims and Indigenous peoples on Turtle Island. vi Preface I identified and designed this research program in consultation with my supervisory committee. vii Table of Contents Abstract ......................................................................................................................................... iii Lay Summary ................................................................................................................................. v Preface ........................................................................................................................................... vi Table of Contents ......................................................................................................................... vii List of Tables ................................................................................................................................. xi Acknowledgements ...................................................................................................................... xii Dedication .................................................................................................................................... xvi Chapter 1: In the Horizons and In the Selves ............................................................................. 1 1.1 Breaking the Bell Jar of Political Theory ........................................................................ 5 1.2 Inhabiting A Fractured Loci: Positionality and Complicit Scholarship ........................ 13 1.3 Political Theory as a Care-Based Epistemology ........................................................... 19 1.4 In the Horizons: Sense, Sensibility and Sense as an Ability ......................................... 25 1.5 Travel and Empathy: White-Orientated Modes of Knowing ........................................ 30 1.6 Hearing Different Voices .............................................................................................. 36 1.7 Connection-Based Modes of Knowing ......................................................................... 47 1.8 With Loving Eyes: The Political Theorist as a Witness ................................................ 52 1.9 Research Questions ....................................................................................................... 62 Chapter 2: In the Waiting Room of History ............................................................................. 68 2.1 The Plight of Zaynab and Bishan Singh ........................................................................ 68 2.2 Through Whiteness or By Death: The Colonial Politics of Recognition ...................... 76 2.3 Forced Intimacy and the Master’s Refusal to Respond ................................................. 87 viii 2.4 Darkness à Light / Dependency à Freedom .............................................................. 96 2.5 The White Body as a Body that Reads, Feels ............................................................. 103 2.6 The Relational Phenomenology of Sense as an Ability: Translation as Sanitization and Domestication .......................................................................................................................... 109 2.7 Resistant Texts and Mis-Fits ....................................................................................... 115 2.8 Hermeneutical Injustice and Epistemic Privilege ........................................................ 124 2.9 The Poetics of Mourning: Maternity and the Mother(land) as Sites of Violence ....... 130 2.9.1 Mourning the Motherland .................................................................................... 133 2.9.2 The Dead Body in the Master’s Chambers .......................................................... 136 2.9.3 A Childless Mother and the Spectre of the Colonial Metropole ......................... 140 Chapter 3: In the Belly of the Whale ....................................................................................... 147 3.1 Body-Sense, Radical Relationality and the Witness ................................................... 149 3.2 Mapping Points of Arrival ........................................................................................... 152 3.3 Islam as a De-Colonial Theology of Liberation .......................................................... 155 3.4 To be a Maker of Islam ............................................................................................... 159 3.5 The Narrative Textures of a Living Tradition ............................................................. 165 3.6 Islamic-Medical Model of Reading Disability and Dependency ................................ 166 3.7 Re-Reading Code Blue ................................................................................................ 169 3.8 Reading in the Dark with Yunus ................................................................................. 175 3.9 Zulumāt as Radical Subjectivity: The Land and Body as Witness .............................. 181 Chapter 4: In Hajar’s Footsteps .............................................................................................. 188 4.1 Tradition as Birth-Work not Birthright ....................................................................... 201 4.1.1 Matricide as an Epistemological Orientation ...................................................... 206 ix 4.1.2 The Spectral Histories of Dependency Care ....................................................... 211 4.1.3 Maternity as an Aporia ........................................................................................ 215 4.2 The Womb and the World: An Islamic-Feminist Ontology of the Maternal Body ..... 218 4.3 The Hajar Paradigm: Historicizing Maternity as a Category of Analysis ................... 222 4.4 In the Master’s Care: (De)Veiling the (M)Other ......................................................... 226 4.5 Staring, the White Gaze and the Intimacy of Wake-Work .......................................... 230 4.6 Translating Anger as a Shared Labour of Care ........................................................... 234 4.7 The Abuse of Witness: Unveiling as Violation ........................................................... 239 4.8 To be Estranged from our Mother(land)s .................................................................... 244 4.9 Learning to Love our Mothers ..................................................................................... 253 Chapter 5: In the Courtyard .................................................................................................... 260 5.1 Dihlīz: An Islamic Paradigm of Access ....................................................................... 260 5.2 Unlearning Care as Guardianship and Gatekeeping .................................................... 266 5.3 Practicing Intersectional Islam on Turtle Island .......................................................... 269 5.4 The De-Colonial Potential of Care-Based Epistemologies of Islam ........................... 280 5.5 The Stench of Oppression: Smell as an Islamic Sensibility ........................................ 281 5.6 The Mujadila Praxis: A Care-Based and Islamic Mode of Knowing .......................... 284 5.7 Grounded Relationalities and the Land ....................................................................... 290 5.8 Conclusion: Re-Visiting Intentionality ........................................................................ 295 5.9 Do the colonial intentions of dead white guys matter? ............................................... 297 5.10 Niyyah: Allah as an Ever-Present Spectator in our Knowledge Relations .................. 302 5.11 In Between Deen and Dunya: Weaving De-Colonial Futures ..................................... 309 5.12 Ameen. ......................................................................................................................... 313 x References .................................................................................................................................. 316 xi List of Tables Table 1.1 Methods and Sensibilities of Political Theory as a Care-Based Epistemology……………………………………………………………………...21 xii Acknowledgements ﷽nopq All praise belongs to Allah. My scholarship, as well as my personal journey, in the last six years has been sustained by the traditional, ancestral and unceded territories, lands and waters of the Coast Salish peoples–Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), Stó:lō and Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) and xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) Nations. I account for my complicity in settler-colonialism as a Muslim political theorist throughout this dissertation as an extension of this acknowledgment. This dissertation is my way of unlearning white-supremacist and colonial practices of reading and writing in hopes of surfacing de-colonial and intersectional sensibilities from within the Islamic tradition. Writing this dissertation has felt like a great unravelling. I have collected every sentence, every piece of wisdom, from the great depths of joy, grief and miracle. It is a story of losing myself and my sense of place in the world only to be returned from the belly of the whale in the most gentle and compassionate way by the most wonderful community of care. I am incredibly grateful for my family, near and far, for their patience and trust in my dream to pursue higher education. How worrying it must have been when I announced my decision to enroll in this program and move across the country just as Abu was coming home from the hospital. Back then, I only hoped to be a stronger pillar of support and advocate for you. Years later, in writing this dissertation, I have followed through on this promise. Every chapter is my way of speaking truth to the great injustice and violence we, along with every Muslim family situated in a relation of dependency care, have endured in medical spaces and within our relations. I have written this xiii dissertation as a way of bearing witness and holding in place the Islamic knowledge that I have learned in caring for you and in being cared for by you. Thank you, Ami, Abu, Alina, Mishaal and Ammar, for holding in place somewhere I can always return to and for inspiring me to be a force of love and courage. I am also grateful for my Nanoo, Dadi, Uzma Khala and Humaira Khala, who have taught me to be unapologetic in my practice of Islam and to always embody humility, joy and conviction in my knowledge relations. Visiting you in Lahore during my PhD, and again in Dubai, shaped the direction of this dissertation. Thank you. This dissertation would not have been possible without the support of my co-supervisors, Dr. Barbara Arneil and Dr. Ayesha Chaudhry, and committee member, Dr. Joan Tronto. Each of you have impacted me in different ways. I am so grateful for the time and energy (especially your summers) that you have put into editing and revising these chapters. Barbara, I have sat in your office countless times in crisis and in fear that I could not finish this PhD, that my contributions were not smart enough, that I as a person was not a fit for academia. Each time, you held space for my lived experiences and reminded me that my situatedness was a strength and not a limitation as a scholar. I have faced a lot of pushback in pursuing such interdisciplinary and comparative scholarship within the field of political science. Thank you for not giving up on my vision and for always advocating for me. Ayesha, your mentorship, scholarship and care has inspired me, and so many young Muslim women at UBC, to dream bigger. You have taught me to believe in myself again as a scholar and as a Muslim woman. I look up to you and hope to emulate the care you have poured into my scholarship for other Muslim women. Thank you for believing in me when I had nothing but a string of sentences on what I wanted this dissertation to be. Without you, this dissertation xiv would’ve been written in a much different way or left incomplete. I am so grateful to have met you. Joan, you are a force. Your thought leadership in care ethics has paved the way for this dissertation. You have helped me not only find the words to articulate my family’s story but also to be bolder and more unapologetic in my critiques of colonialism and white supremacy. Thank you for inviting me to speak at the mini-conference on care ethics in San Francisco. That was my first ever conference and what a memorable day that was! Thank you for believing in me and the potential of a care-based epistemology of Islam. Hearing you read out loud the conclusion of this text at the defense was one of the most powerful moments in my life. Thank you for holding place for me in the field of political theory. I am also grateful to have met amazing Women of Colour in academia and am incredibly grateful for their mentorship and care. Thank you Dr. Ethel Tungohan, Dr. Rita Dhamoon and Dr. Shaista Patel for reading my work and for your emotional and spiritual care. I am also so grateful for your community organizing and activism in academia by which you advocate for and support so many racialized, Black, Muslim and Indigenous scholars. I also want to thank the faculty and staff of the Political Science Department at UBC for all of their support in this journey. Dr. Mark Warren, Dr. Glen Coulthard and Dr. Bruce Baum, thank you for the amazing graduate seminars and conversations on political theory that inspired a lot of this dissertation. Thank you to Josephine, the most joyous person I have met at UBC. Long talks with you about God and the important things in life were always the highlight of my days at school. And also, to all the amazing graduate students and colleagues at the department, I wish you all so much success and happiness. xv I am also super grateful to have had the opportunity to learn from all of my amazing students at UBC and at Columbia College. Teaching has been a groundswell of hope for me and I am so grateful for Columbia College faculty and staff for supporting my professional development as a scholar and as an educator. Thank you Fatin, Matt, Katrina, Defne, Jocelyn for reminding me that there is light at the end of this tunnel. This dissertation also could not have been written without my amazing friends. Alison, this one is for all those days at the bump and grind café when we should have been studying for the comps. Here’s to not just surviving but thriving. To Maisaloon, Shaquelle, Edana, Afsoun, Rachel, Elena, Camille, Noorhan, Corey, Tahia, Nojang, Rahat, Bara, Seemi, Zehra, Kathy, Abeer, Ghada, Lina, and Kaleigh thank you for the continuous hype, conversations and support in the past few years. Your friendship has shaped so much of this dissertation! Last, but not least, I want to thank my partner, and the love of my life, Jordan. You teach me every day to be softer, kinder, and more forgiving. Marrying you, and writing this dissertation, are two of the best decisions I have ever made in my life. xvi Dedication For my Ami Jaan and Abu Jaan Chapter 1: In the Horizons and In the Selves We will show them Our signs in the horizons and within themselves until it becomes clear to them that it is the truth. But is it not sufficient concerning your Sustainer that He is, over all things, a Witness? Surah Fussilat (Explained in Detail) 14:53 Be ever steadfast in your devotion to Allah, bearing witness to the truth in all equity; and never let hatred of any-one lead you into the sin of deviating from justice. Be just: this is closest to being Allah-conscious. And remain conscious of Allah: verily, Allah is aware of all that you do. Surah Al-Ma’idah (The Table Spread with Food) 5:8 O my Sustainer! Open for me my chest (grant me self-confidence, contentment, and boldness); Ease my task for me; And untie the knot from my tongue; that they may understand my speech” Surah Ta-Ha 20:25-28 What haunts me is that the white supremacist responsible for the Quebec Mosque shooting in January 2017 was a political science student at a Canadian university. When teaching in a classroom, or gathering in a Masjid, like many other Muslims, I have developed a neurotic habit of always searching for the points of exit in the room and mapping out escape plans. Each time I am reminded that there is no place to hide; the innate openness of such spaces makes them defenseless against such hate. I also think a lot about the political science professors and teaching assistants in my (under)graduate studies who held space in their classrooms for students to experiment and air out their racist conceptions of personhood, democratization and civilizational progress. Their contributions were celebrated as natural intelligence or nuanced and critical thinking. Some of these individuals are now thought-leaders of the alt-right movement in Canada, work for major policy think-tanks or provincial and federal ministries, and others have mobilized serious threats against Muslim and migrant communities and organize hate-filled rallies to yell at racialized children to “go back to your country” as they leave school. It is no secret that political science as a field and as a tradition has been oriented by, and deeply embedded within, white supremacist projects of nation-building and sustaining racial hierarchies (Blatt 2018). Just as hate groups thrive in the anonymity of cyberspace (Awan and 2 Barlow 2016), Islamophobia in political theory is camouflaged by practices of pedagogy and scholarship that dismiss the significance of historicity, positionality and intentionality in knowledge production and consumption. Whether a professor or student harbors feelings of hostility towards Muslims or judgments about the “inferiority of Islam” is rendered irrelevant to their ability to conduct research, teach or analyze Islam as a theoretical category of analysis (Grosfoguel 2010). There is also little accountability for Islamophobic violence and discrimination against students by faculty and staff (Mir 2014). We continue to design syllabi and lesson plans that legitimize and naturalize orientalist conceptions of Islam and Muslims as terrorists, Muslims as invaders, Muslimahs as sexually repressed victims of Muslim men or Muslims as the enemy (Ahmad 2018). Institutionally, Islamophobic knowledge and pedagogical practices “place Muslims in a position to act contrary to their faith” such as placing exams on religious holidays and refusing students accommodation (Ahmadi et al. 2018).Or, Islamophobia in political science looks like educators demanding Muslim students to solely use white supremacist or western research paradigms and methods that may compromise Islamic ethics of knowledge production and consumption. In addition, there is no ethical demand for (non-)Muslim scholars, teachers or students to translate their study of Islam, or of Muslim communities, into political advocacy for anti-Islamophobic and anti-racist policies (Kendi 2019). If I have learned anything in my time studying political science it is that the face of hate is not rooted in a lack of education, resources or ignorance. Hate is well-organized, hides behind dog-whistles, feeds on the insecurities of its hosts, and is steeped in a culture of entitlement and complacency. The stench of hate goes beyond what one person’s body can hold; if it is fed, harnessed and given a supporting environment, it becomes the air we breathe. Hate is the refusal to change, to open up how our boundaries of the self-same are predicated upon the exclusion and 3 erasure of others. It is the demand of others to meet our moral values, our anthropological minimum for personhood, while our sense of self remains off limits for critique. Hate is an inherited and enacted textual sensibility by which we read, write and teach in political science. It is underpinned by white supremacist and colonial conceptions of masculinity and racial superiority (Brindle 2016; K. M. Campbell 2014). Whether it is the indifference with which we consume images of police brutality against Black communities; the joy with which we celebrate violence against civilians as a win for our nation; the righteousness with which we author laws that endanger women by denying them access to safe and legal abortion services; the comfort with which we hold our loved ones closer as we support regimes and policies that tear apart families; hate is the force with which we settle and measure ourselves against the earth to develop a sense of place, of rootedness, through an Other’s displacement (Ahmed 2001). The work of hate is inherited and learned as an orientation by which we sustain a social contract to not only refuse others access to the worlds and sense of self we inhabit but to build our sense of place and personhood on their backs. When hate becomes the air we breathe, we all become complicit in different ways. Unlearning such white supremacist and colonial textual sensibilities requires us to not only weed out Islamophobic knowledge practices but also anti-Indigenous and anti-Black racism in our knowledge relations. Here, I am addressing multiple readerships, and engaging various interpretive communities, from Muslims living on Turtle Island, to Black, Indigenous and racialized political theorists, to white and non-Muslim political theorists to Muslims situated in relations of dependency care and Muslim women. Unlearning hate we have inherited through colonial modes of knowing, and the hate we harbor for one another, is a multi-dimensional process that re-orients our sensibilities and bodyminds, transforms how we inhabit a place together, and restores our faculties of moral 4 witnessing in our knowledge relations. Writing this dissertation has felt like a circuitous homecoming—of unlearning ten years’ worth of instruction in secular modes of critical inquiry and finally re-translating and re-coding my political imaginary through the Islamic modes of knowing I have always known, embodied and inhabited. I invite you to move with me through this journey of return and bear witness to my struggle to think Islamically as I begin with relying mostly on secular paradigms of thought and move homewards to inhabit my own breath in critique. What induced this great unravelling was becoming a primary care-giver for my father. Political theory, as I knew it, came undone in tandem with my father’s stroke. The daily pilgrimage of care-work has transformed my political imaginary and textual sensibilities. In order to understand the poetic structure of my inquiry it is crucial to understand the epistemological and moral dimensions of care-based knowing. I argue that knowledge production and consumption in political theory is not a thought-based and logo-centric activity performed by disembodied minds. Rather, such interpretive work is multi-sensorial and multi-generational, engages all dimensions of our bodyminds and is sustained by the care webs we are rooted in and sustained by. In turn, it is only through my positionality as a Muslim care-giver, I can re-imagine what it means to do political theory, and to be a political theorist. My journey to develop a de-colonial and Islamic ethic of care originally began as a criticism of Eva Kittay’s notion of “some mother’s child” and the colonial politics of recognition within ethics of care literature. However, as I searched between the lines to find traces of the Great White Mother, I found myself falling in love again, unable to let go of the “loving eyes” with which I first read Kittay (Oliver 2001). Love’s Labour helped me find words to write about my father as a disabled Muslim, to demand worlds in which my mother as a primary care-giver 5 living with chronic illness, too, is cared for, and to build relations in which my sisters as young carers are not left behind (Munawar 2014). Through colonial mapping of my social location as a dependency worker and racialized Muslim-Settler, I delineate not only the ethical obligations that arise from my situatedness in the netherworld of dependency care within the Muslim Ummah and the Canadian state, but also the orders of my complicity in authorizing and authoring coloniality (Segovia 2005). Such reflexive work can only be done through power-sensitive, connection-based, Islamic and care-based epistemologies that seek to uproot hate as an orientation and textual sensibility. 1.1 Breaking the Bell Jar of Political Theory De-colonial scholarship, from a “non-Western” perspective, is boundary-transgressing, interdisciplinary and a practice of epistemic disobedience; this fragments my work into multiple “emerging” sub-fields within political theory such as ethics of care, Islamic de-colonial thought, and comparative political theory (Mignolo 2015). Contemporary scholarship on the “Islamic” within comparative political theory by scholars such as Andrew March, Fred Dallmayr and Roxanne Euben, aims to “journey to other shores” in search of non-Western traditions of political thought. Yet, my arrival to these the shores of Turtle Island as a Pakistani immigrant-settler and my re-embodiment of Islamic thinking tells a much different story of travel and requires different orders of responsibility and redress. Similarly, comparative ethics of care scholars seek to articulate anti-oppressive and care-based epistemologies rooted in Black, Indigenous and non-Western traditions of thought (Boulton and Brannelly 2015; Dalmiya 2016; R. angel K. Williams, Owens, and Syedullah 2016). Whether it’s fusing horizons, creating a dialogue across horizons, or working within a horizon, modes of inquiry within comparative political theory and comparative ethics range from translating fragments of non-western texts 6 through European categories of analysis, to a hermeneutics of interpreting the Other (Godrej 2009), to imagining models of cross-cultural inquiry rooted in non-western traditions. Although such emerging literature shows some commitment to the global struggles for liberation, there remains an ambivalence on how to reconcile its ambitions with, and where to place it within, the colonial legacy of political theory as a tradition. Beyond placing such intersectional and comparative inquiry within the field of political theory, there is the dilemma of placing myself among others as a political theorist. Within this community of practice, I inhabit a fractured locus (Lugones 2010). For my work to be sensible to fellow political theorists, as indeed political theory, and to Muslims as Islamic, I have to do a lot of mapping, self-qualifying and connecting the dots to frame care-based epistemologies as legitimate modes of knowing the “Islamic” and the “Political”. Preserving for the reader a semblance of comfort and continuity for the sake of being intelligible to western, white and secular readers would follow the colonial logic of categorization (Quijano 2007), or “abyssal thinking” (Santos 2015); such logic is counter-intuitive to the de-colonial, care-based and Islamic ethos of this project. Instead of travelling to foreign lands, or containing Indigenous knowledges within European frames of reference through knowledge translation, de-colonial political theorists find hope not in perspectival reasoning, but in pluriversal and multi-sensorial reasoning that asks of the theorist to interpret through her situatedness in the world, without venturing to appropriate the land, epistemologies, and stories of the Other. Neither of these two sub-fields and their methodologies suffice, together or alone, to articulate the intersectional registers of analysis needed to articulate an Islamic ethic of care. In addition, existing paradigms of cross-cultural inquiry within these fields centre whiteness as a primary lens of relating to the Muslim Other and translating Islam to white readerships. 7 On one hand, despite its “democratic” intentions, CPT has yet to purge itself of its colonialist impulses by continuing to: 1) centre European categories of analysis as points of origin and entry into the “canon”, 2) assume that there exists a pure text, tradition, place or whole which is essentially Other (Tuhiwai Smith 2012, 73), from where we can be one with the Other 3) take-for-granted the analytical leverage of organizing histories, modes of inquiry, texts and epistemologies into binaries (western/non-western, European/Other, East/West) and finally, 4) erase the labours of subaltern communities and scholars who have sustained and maintained their knowledge systems and relations through material and embedded histories of knowledge translation and transmission. As CPT scholars struggle with the colonialist discomfort of not-knowing, the work of comparative care ethics remains on the peripheries of ethics of care as the field has yet to be exorcised of the ghosts of colonial maternalism and the white maternal benefactress (Garland-Thomson 1997; Jacobs 2009). For racialized, Black and Indigenous CPT scholars, such not-knowing what lays beyond the western canon translates as a differential burden to know, “they must know about the oppressor’s culture, but the oppressor need know nothing about them” (wadud 2006, 64). Ada Maria Isasi-Diaz defines this as an “invisible invisibility” when “people do not even know that they do not know you” and in addition to this, your non-Christian and non-Western epistemologies are also not valued or legitimized (qtd. in wadud 2006, 64). On the other hand, for a field that celebrates interdependence, reciprocity and difference, ethics of care has yet to deeply engage the thought, (con)texts, and the care-work of other-mothers or the ways in which labours of care have been appropriated by the apparatuses of coloniality and the nation-state (Collins 1995; Nakano-Glenn 2010; Narayan 1995). Why do we struggle to move beyond non-western and non-secular strains of political thought and continue to 8 de-center the writings of Black, Indigenous, faith-based and de-colonial feminist thinkers as our contemporaries, as grandmothers of ethics of care and political theory? De-centering whiteness in care ethics requires not only opening up its borders, but also, dissolving the boundaries between marginalized feminisms “from unthought locations” and “building feminist solidarities across the divisions of place identity, class, work, belief…” (Mohanty qtd. in Cannella and Manuelito 2014, 45). It is not that I aspire to bridge the divide between white and non-white feminist care ethics, but rather, dispossess whiteness as an orientation when building lines of connection between Indigenous, Black and Islamic feminisms. Both Muslim and non-Muslim political theorists have so much to learn and unlearn through such de-colonial traditions from: Indigenous feminist writings on the differential distribution of domestic care-work (Maracle 1988), kinship care and land-based practices (Simpson 2017; YoungWolfe 2017) and the land as mother with witnessing capacities in our relations (Byrd 2014); to Alice Walker’s (1983) and Audre Lorde’s work on care as an alienable labour; to Amrita Pritam’s and Fahmida Riaz’ work on mourning (Ahmad 1991); to amina wadud’s Hajar paradigm which centres the plight of the single, racialized mother in an Islamic ethic of care (Abugideiri 2001). It seems that Sara Ruddick’s refusal to “speak for any other mother” (1995, 54) has folded into the care ethics as a deeper refusal to address how the legacies of European colonialism, the transatlantic slave trade and settler-colonialism, supported by the structures of white supremacy, continue to orient our ways of relating to, thinking about, and caring-for other mothers. Within this bell jar, the mother, or the scobe, of these two sub-fields is political theory and through it these two fields have inherited colonial modes of knowing. I open up the horizons of political theory and the selves of political theorists by framing political theory as a relational practice of speculative care. If we understand political theory as a care-based epistemology that 9 carries within it multiple cosmological orientations, histories of sense-contact and ethical sensibilities, we can not only make space to include Islamic methods and sensibilities as modes of doing political theory but we can also account for the role care has played in orienting our sense-abilities of reading the “Islamic.” Grounding political theory in care-based modes of knowing requires a hermeneutic and Islamic ethos of openness, uprooting the notion that political theory is a birthright, as well as, identifying and disinheriting colonial and white-orientated textual sensibilities and interpretive sense-abilities. With this criterion as my point of departure, I outline the colonial impulses of CPT, and the colonial politics of recognition within ethics of care literature to illustrate how political theory, as a relational and interdependent practice of speculative care, is deeply complicit in the work of coloniality. However, my re-imagining of political theory as speculative care is generative, not an act of epistemic de-linking (Mignolo 2011), and serves as a footing for expanding what we conceive to be the origins, boundaries and aims of political theory as a tradition. My primary research contributions to political theory, Islamic feminism and de-colonial thought and praxis include: 1) an intersectional and de-colonial Islamic ethic of care, 2) a care-based epistemology of Islam that empowers the interpretive authority of disabled Muslims and Muslim women as knowers and makers of Islam and, 3) a method and as praxis for dismantling coloniality, in all of its forms, as well as de-colonizing our practice of Islam on Turtle Island, that is rooted in an Islamic ethic of care. A de-colonial and Islamic ethic of care is multi-dimensional and engages different registers of analysis. Each chapter engages a different domain of care-based modes of knowing from the epistemic (Chapter 1), to the ontological (Chapter 2), to the phenomenological (Chapter 3), to the affective (Chapter 4) and to the spatial (Chapter 5) domains of care-based modes of knowing. 10 My concern is not to make Islam sensible to political theorists, but rather, to offer intersectional Islam as a moral framework of evaluation that is rooted in care-based modes of knowing. As opposed to studying Islam as a theoretical object of analysis, I engage with it as a category of practice that obliges me to be answerable for my complicities in the oppression of others—especially in my knowledge relations as a political theorist. For example, Islamic approaches to reconciliation on Turtle Island by Muslim communities have been either charity-based or knowledge-sharing through which grounds of overlapping consensus and possibilities for political coalition are charted. Whether mediated through the not-for-profit industry or neo-liberal academic institutions, both of these activities remain deeply embedded within the settler-colonial state and the paradigm of multiculturalism. The work that remains on the horizon for the Muslim community is that of de-centering the Canadian state as the third-party in the relation and establishing a relation of responsibility with the Indigenous nations. Islamic law obliges us to observe the governance structures and legal codes of the rightful owners of the lands we migrate to. We have yet to “hack Sharia law” in Rumee Ahmed’s sense (2018), to articulate in Islamic terms the zulm (injustice) of our complicity in settler-colonialism and possibilities to acknowledge treaty rights and responsibilities within an Islamic framework. Designing a comparative mode of inquiry requires us to ask: what would judgment look like that took place not “within” one framework or another, but which emerged at the very site of conflict, clash, divergence, overlapping? It would seem a practice of cultural translation would be a condition of such judgment, and that what is being judged is not only the question of whether a given action is injurious but also whether, if it is, legal remedies are the best way to approach the issue, and what other ways of acknowledging and repairing injury are available (Butler 2009, 104). I argue that we need an Islam-based framework of moral evaluation by which we can observe and respect Indigenous sovereignties. Only through such epistemological and moral 11 transformation of Islam in response to colonial violence and oppression can we become allies to Indigenous peoples. The site of conflict I identify is that existing pedagogies and methodologies of political theory not only stifle the possibility for nurturing Islamic sense-abilities but also position Muslim theorists to compromise their critical sensibilities and responsibilities as witnesses. As I will illustrate below, this is because existing paradigms of CPT or comparative care ethics, within which such inquiry is contained and fragmented, inhibit intersectional analysis. By enforcing secularism in knowledge production, such practices require the practitioner to embody whiteness as an orientation and as a textual sensibility. Instead, I offer an Islamic ethics of care not as a model of cross-cultural inquiry but as a de-colonial and intersectional theology of liberation (McLaren 2015). To Muslim readers, I offer this as a method by which we can: 1) chart new epistemological and moral terrains of intersectional and anti-oppressive Islamic thought and praxis, 2) build relations of responsibility and care that run deeper than political coalitions with Indigenous peoples and 3) imagine a theology of liberation by which we can build more accessible, inclusive and caring worlds for all. To white, and non-Muslim, political scientists, through an Islam-based model of knowledge production and consumption I make an ethical demand of you to purge coloniality from political theory, as a field and as a practice, and to unlearn colonial and white supremacist textual sensibilities. For racialized, Indigenous, Black and faith-based political theorists, I offer this as a model of doing political theory, on our own terms, in our own words and respective imaginaries, and as a way to disembody relational modes of othering in de-colonial movement building and theorizing (Dhamoon 2019). An Islamic ethic of care is inherently de-colonial and intersectional and calls for liberation from coloniality, in all of its forms for all. The same breath with which we advocate 12 for liberation for Muslims as Muslims we must also acknowledge the different, yet connected ways, in which our plight is tied to the fate of Indigenous people living in settler-colonial societies, or the LGBTQ2 community’s efforts to dismantle heteropatriarchy, or Latinx folk struggle against US imperialism etc. A de-colonial and intersectional pedagogy deepens our understanding of Muslim subjectivities by acknowledging our complexities and nuanced modes of self-expression-that we come in all shapes, sizes and colours—and are not solely or primarily Muslims. There are Indigenous Muslims, white Muslims, Queer Muslims, Black Muslims, Disabled Muslims, Muslims in the Global North and South etc. There are also Muslims who drink, Muslims who only identify culturally, Muslims who have sex before marriage, Muslims who make up the 1%, Muslims who pray five times a day, Muslims who have not prayed in years, Muslims who do yoga etc. And so, we must acknowledge the interlocking, and connected, ways in which we are affected by and complicit in interlocking structures of oppression and how these complex intersections colour the Islamophobia we experience in classrooms, community spaces and beyond. De-colonial feminist Maria Lugones best articulates the aim of such interpretive inquiry: How do we learn about each other? How do we do it without harming each other but with the courage to take up a weaving of the everyday that may reveal deep betrayals? How do we cross without taking over? With whom do we do this work?…How do we practice with each other engaging in dialogue at the colonial difference? (Lugones 2010, 755) Writing about the “Islamic” as a theoretical category of analysis, while engaging Islam as category of practice as a Muslim scholar, charges me with the very difficult task of writing many dissertations in the size of one, with multiple readerships and horizons in mind. De-colonial hermeneutics is pluritopic in that it engages multiple traditions, is multiply placed (Donaldson 2001), and “calls into question the positionality and the homogeneity of the understanding 13 subject” (Mignolo 2003, 12). Such “interactive” scholarship is a form of cultural intervention by which the scholar focuses on the “social and human interests in the act of telling a story as political intervention” as opposed to pulling stories from various locations for the sake of representing diversity or building a theory” (Mignolo 2003, 15). Through this method, I seek to explore how textual interpretation of the “Islamic” within political theory can be “rethought within a pluritopically oriented hermeneutics and the sphere of colonial semiosis” (Mignolo 2003, 16). Instead of using ethics of care, de-colonial Islamic thought, post-structural semiotics, critical disability studies or comparative political theory as filters, frames or containers for my argument, in my scholarship the problems to be addressed arise from within my situatedness as a Muslim political theorist in a relation of dependency care and not an observer of Islam as a theoretical category of analysis. It is through care-based modes of knowing, as well as my membership in a community of care, not filling in gaps in literature, that such issues arise for me as ethical problems to be addressed. And so, the weight and value of my work is in the deeper, more difficult, inquiry into how such gaps, or “blindspots” (Alcoff 2006, 43; Nanda 2003), in the horizons of political theory and in the selves of political theorists are informed by colonial and white supremacist textual methods and sensibilities of caring for the Muslim “Other”. 1.2 Inhabiting A Fractured Loci: Positionality and Complicit Scholarship Situated in the netherworld of dependency care (Kittay 1998), as a political theorist, primary care-giver and Muslim immigrant-settler, I inhabit a fractured locus (Lugones 2010). Theorizing intersectional positionality as a fractured loci helps me consider: who am I facing from the multiple locations I inhabit as a writer? Who have I turned my back on? Whose faces have been displaced in my citationality? Whose faces watch over my writing? Who is my writing 14 accountable to? The fractured loci as a heuristic device illustrates how material economies of attention pull at my knowledge production. The fields of de-colonial Islamic thought, critical disability studies and feminist ethics of care remain on the periphery in both political theory and Islamic thought. In addition, the voices and experiences of disabled Muslims, as well as primary care-givers, as interpretive authorities remain spectral (yet to be inscribed into the written or spoken word) within Islamic (con)texts and western academia, or perceived as epistemologically and ontologically inferior and unreliable (Richardson 2012, 113). In addition to the interdisciplinary and intersectional substance of this project, my responsibilities as a Muslim scholar not only co-exist but are deeply shaped and textured by my responsibilities and situatedness as a care-giver. I inhabit multiple perspectives and have inherited the very difficult task of weaving together multiple worlds to articulate a case of my father as capable of “intelligent embodiment”, of “having a world” of his own (Solomon and Lawlor 2018, 212).What Lugones refers to as the fractured locus, South-African scholar of Islamic thought, Ebrahim Moosa (2005), refers to as dihlīz, “an interspace”, or an in-between space from where he must negotiate and struggle with “the hegemonic and colonial knowledge traditions as well as subalternized Islamicate knowledge systems” (34). He likens Islamic knowledge production to the image of the honeybee in the Quran as a bricoleur draws from “a diverse variety of sources—pollens and nectars—in order to produce a synthetic product that reflects all the colours and fruits of its immediate habitat”; in doing so, the honeybee not only “furthers re-production through cross-pollination that in turn generates new flowers” but also “restarts the cycle for future production of honey” (34-40). In this dissertation, I move with the honeybee. Instead of placing myself between different fields of literature, or within the gaps of 15 political theory as a field, I place myself and my scholarship within the negative space between multiple fields. From this borderland (Anzaldúa 2007), I attempt to “read and write disability [and dependency] differently” (Titchkosky 2007) through a de-colonial and Islamic ethic of care because the epistemologies that arise from my family’s narrative of disability and dependency care cannot be bifurcated or provincialized to fit into the imagined boundaries of an academic discipline (Said 1993). Intersectional scholarship in the field of religious feminism engages not only categories of analysis, by which we speak of others, but also, categories of practice by which we speak for others, “to subsume others, along with oneself, into a collective ‘we’” (Brettschneider 2016; Brubaker 2012, 2; M. W. Dube 1997; wadud 2006; Yildiz 2009). Through intersectional analysis, I am not unpacking how Muslim women and disabled Muslims resist interlocking structures of oppression, but rather, how my situatedness within a relation of dependency care shapes how I read from within “an ethical-political tradition, and against a background horizon of meanings, goods and purposes” (Singh 2015, 670). Here, intersectionality as a research paradigm illuminates how our “ethical-political difference actually modulates the nature and character of oppression, and the appropriate responses/resistances to it; it shapes what will be regarded as oppressive in the first place, in what specific ways it is experienced as oppressive, and how oppressive social structures or relations should be resisted (Ibid.). Identifying positionality is a way of qualifying the scope of one’s interpretive authority as a speaker and knower (of and about) “Other” (con)texts. To locate oneself within the horizon of an interpretive community is not only an issue of positionality, but also, of the viewpoints I assume in writing about disability and Islam and my complicity in (re)producing the colonial difference in my knowledge relations. Echoing Brettschneider’s (2016) wordplay on Jewish 16 intersectionality, just as disability is a raced/sexed/classed/cultured/gendered category, the “personal and social constructions” of my life as an Islamic feminist and caregiver are “historically situated” in various categories of practice as a neuro-divergent Muslim, as a Muslim woman, as an immigrant-settler in Canada, as a Muslim scholar living in care time and in crip time. In a non-fiction essay “Care Time”, Sarah E. Stevens shares her experience as a member of the disability community as a care-giver for her partner living with Parkinson’s disease. In response to Ellen Samuel’s notion of “crip time” as grief-time, time-travelling and “broken-time” that disrupts “normative time” (Samuels 2017); the temporally able-bodied care-giver lives in the liminality of “care time” and must constantly “code-switch…between crip time and abled time” (Stevens 2018). Whereas for Samuels the queer notion of “feeling backward” means a “refusal to stop mourning her mother” and the deep melancholy and brokenness that comes with “the pain of crip time”, for Stevens the texture of backwardness for the care-giver feels like Fanonian ressentiment: Sometimes I am incredibly jealous of those who seem to move through life with the fluid grace of the fortunate. Walking through a bookstore the other day, I felt a sudden flash of hatred for everyone I saw, everyone who seemed untouched by grief or exhaustion (Stevens 2018). Just as crip time casts the disabled body into “a wormhole of backward and forward acceleration, jerky stops and starts, tedious intervals and abrupt endings” (Samuels 2017), the care-giver’s time and body must remain responsive to her charge’s needs; and so, “every plan” that we make “has an unspoken asterisk after it, because every plan is subject to cancellation” (Stevens 2018). In ethics of care literature on the maternal and nurturant joys of care-work, what is seldom discussed is the bitterness, the exhaustion and the depression that comes with being a transparent 17 self in an environment in which there is little to no channels of respite, community or structural care available for informal care-givers. And so, in addition to the categories of practice, how my situatedness as a care-giver in my father’s community of care pulls at my capacity to attend to this dissertation is not only raced/sexed/classed/cultured/gendered/Islamic but also very different than my sisters’ and mother’s share in the distribution of (non)nurturant care-work in our care web (Nedelsky 2014, 2018; Dhamoon 2011, 234). What also remains unaccounted for is how such inequities in the distribution of care-work shape who within our care web is able to face the writing table, face the Quran to recite, or go the Masjid and inhabit their bodies as “knowers” and “makers” of Islam. Therefore, I argue that the paradigm of positionality in intersectional analysis and viewpoint in hermeneutic analysis must go deeper than figuring out where one is situated and the intentions of the author. Instead of wondering about where to locate myself, I worry about the complicity of my scholarship, as thought and as praxis, in the project of coloniality in which I am not only an author, but also a writer, a reader, and a witness, in the process of knowledge production. Theorizing knowledge production as a relational and interdependent process dissolves the self-centered “vectoring of character viewpoint” and opens up space to understand multi-temporal and multi-spatial orders of responsibility by revealing orders of complicity as co-authors and chains of narration by which we authorize ourselves as interpretive authorities, knowers of the “Islamic” and the “political” (Stockwell, 2009). The edgework of reading disability in the Islamic, the Islamic in disability, as a care-giver, as a Muslim scholar, as a political theorist etc., requires reading “what is happening at the edge” between readers, narrators, care-givers, characters, writers and authors and the edges between reader/character, reader/readers, reader/narrator/author, reader/narrator/narrators, reader/character/narrator/author, 18 writer/narrator, writer/character, writer/readers etc. (Stockwell 2009). The combinations are endless and can be expanded to include publishers, editors etc. The point is to read with “a sense of movement of perception” (123). Through such tactile reading, in my scholarship I must trace my movements, or deictic shifts in viewpoint, as a political theorist, care-giver, Muslim etc. to open up conceptual space for interpreting a (con)text and for exercising interpretive authority, and the responsibilities that come with it as a reader, narrator, author and writer. You as the reader must move with me as a care-giver, as a Muslim, as a political theorist etc. This is the dance of collective accessibility. The aim of such a reading practice is to expose how a “single vector line” is composed of “braids of deictic dimensions” (128). This mode of reading begins with “moving beyond the character terminal of the vector” in which we focus on the author’s “perception of her own position” (111–28) Such a frame centres viewpoint as an “autonomous locus with connections to other characters, the narrator and the author” (123). Instead, the viewpoint is not “free-floating within its text world” but can only be understood “with reference to the viewing position of the reader” (ibid). As readers we are both inheritors and enactors, of various contexts of the “Islamic”, decoloniality, disability and dependency care. And so, as a reader, I ask you to remain accountable and mindful of how you re-enact coloniality in your reception of this text. How can we read with de-colonial sensibilities? How do we inherit the work of (de)coloniality from colonial (con)texts in our knowledge relations? Instead of reading this as my personal viewpoint, my story, in opening up myself and sharing my story with you I urge to also open up yourself through your reception of this text. What connects me with you beyond the material by which these words appear to you? The de-colonial reader must locate “a coalitional starting point”, address her “epistemological 19 habit” of erasing the colonial difference and “dwell” in “histories of resistance” in order to (re)imagine “creative ways of thinking, behaving, and relating that are antithetical” to the logic of coloniality (Lugones 2010, 754). Practicing Walter Mignolo’s (2011) textual strategy of subverting the colonial difference to the advantage of the colonized, Lugones argues that de-colonial readers must first learn to see the “active subjectivity” of resisters at the colonial difference by reading against “social-scientific objectifying” readings of the colonized (2010, 753). At the fractured locus, one is not only intricately implicated in the enactment of coloniality but also in resisting it; and so, as readers we must learn how to read with de-colonial sensibilities. To resist from the fractured locus is to always remain accountable for the possibility of resistant thinking and praxis as complicit in the colonial matrix of power and to attend to the material histories that enable, or inhibit, our ability to attend to liberation in our knowledge (re)production. 1.3 Political Theory as a Care-Based Epistemology Building upon Wendy Hollway’s notion of care as a critical capacity (Held 2006a; Hollway 2007), I explore how the situation of coloniality stifles and distorts the sensibilities with which we identify the unmet caring needs of Muslims, practice responsibility in our knowledge relations with Muslim communities, do the actual work of caring for Muslims, and receive feedback from communities we have cared-for through our thought and praxis on Islam. Whereas care ethicists focus on surfacing alternative “epistemologies of moral decision-making” through the imaginative dimensions of care-work, comparative care ethicist Vrinda Dalmiya (2016) seeks to define knowing in general, not just as decision-making and the identification of needs and moral injury, but also as “contextual, narrative, communicative and immersed in particularities” (11). Care-knowing is a process /virtue of mechanism by which we arrive at the 20 “truth about selves” and a character trait/a virtue of character by which we organize “enquiry to make it more inclusive of opposing points of view” (Dalmiya 2016, 23). Doing political theory is practicing what Maria Puig de la Bellacasa and Sheldon Wolin (2004) define as “speculative care” (Puig de la Bellacasa 2017, 75–77). Here, I outline two senses of the term speculative. For Wolin (2004), “speculative exclusiveness” means that a political theorist’s capacity to attend to certain issues and not others is not a matter of choice, but rather, is orientated “by the problems agitating his society” and pre-formed by his horizons (21–23). Conversely, for Puig de la Bellacasa (2017) knowledge production is a mode of caring-for and caring-about others. It is speculative in that it reveals possibilities for connection and “creates a collective and populates a world” (77). It is “a way of relating” that does not create unions or juxtapositions but rather follows a relation “as something that passes between the two as a letter” from a mother to her daughter (ibid). Whereas the former focuses on where we are looking, the latter sense of emphasizes that sight serves a relational, connective function to others and carries different orientations, and textures (Garland-Thomson 2009). Care is more than an activity, it is a relational practice because it incorporates normative guiding values and temporally extends beyond a decision or a single act (Held 2006a, 37). In Caring Democracy, Tronto defines care as a "species activity" through which we "maintain, continue, and repair our world so that we can live in it as well as possible" which includes acts and relations of care which are nestled in a “life-sustaining web interwoven by bodies, selves and the environment (Tronto 2013, 2). Caring labour does not only include direct caring and emotional care but also “maintaining the immediate physical surroundings in which people live…” as well as “fostering people’s relationships and social connections” (Nakano-Glenn 2010, 5). In my knowledge relations, my responsibility as a political theorist is an inherited, 21 collective practice (MacIntyre 2007), of truth-seeking, of holding power accountable, of caring for our relations and the (con)texts in which our thought is embedded, of building, and imagining, worlds in which no one is left behind. The issue of “who cares”, which concerns the differential distribution of care-work in society, should be addressed by political theory because failure to do so offers an inaccurate picture of theorists, “overvaluing their lives as workers” and “devaluing their lives as people engaged in relationships of care” (Tronto 2013, 26). Whereas Alasdair Macintyre (1981) argues that individuals who lack participatory experience in the community of practice are “incompetent…as judges of internal goods” (188), the issue of how we care, who cares, why we care and what do we care about in political theory should be “a large-scale democratic project” (Tronto 2013, 18) that includes and empowers those we write and think about in our knowledge relations. Also, the greater sharing of responsibilities for care (Nedelsky 2014), the less people have to fear and the “more easily they can trust others” (Tronto 2013, 146); by grounding political theory in an ethics of care, through fostering positions of trust, the world in which our knowledge relations are situated will become “more open, more free, more equal and more just” (ibid). And so, as a practice, care teaches us "how to respond to needs and why we should", bolsters "mutual trust and connectedness between persons" and makes humans "morally admirable" (Held 2006b, 42). Political theory as a care-based epistemology engages both methods and sensibilities as defined by Tronto, Fisher and Sevenhuijsen: Table 1: Methods and Sensibilities of Political Theory as a Care-Based Epistemology Practices/Methods Textual Sensibilities Caring about (identification of unmet needs) Attentiveness, aligned with caring about, flows from recognizing the needs that arise from dependency through “a suspension of one’s self-interest and a capacity to genuinely 22 look from the perspective of the one in need” (Tronto 2013, 23). Caring for (acceptance of responsibility for care by individual or group to help meet those needs) Responsibility, aligned with caring for, is the acceptance and materialization of a relation of care through recognition of moral obligation to care for. Care-giving (acts of care work) Competence pertains to the “dirty work” of care, the actual care-giving; it is both a technical and moral issue (ibid). Care-receiving (response from person thing, group, animal, plant or environment that has been cared for) Responsiveness, achieved through care-receiving, is characterized by the response from the person, group, plant, animal, environment that has been cared for; quality of care and meeting of needs is evaluated through the moral quality of responsiveness. The processes of evaluating response include family members, bureaucrats, medical professionals etc., and to whatever degree possible, some response by the dependent, be it physiological, mental, dialogical, emotional etc. Caring with (how caring needs are met needs to be consistent with “democratic commitments to justice, equality and freedom for all”) (Tronto 2013, 22–23) The final quality of solidarity, developed by Sevenhuijsen, achieved through “plurality, communication, trust and respect”, includes critical moral qualities which “make it possible for people to take collective responsibility, to think of citizens as both receivers and givers of care, and to think seriously about the nature of caring needs in society” (Tronto 2013, 35). Caring is not only a dyadic interaction between the dependent and the dependency worker, caregiver and care-receiver or the human body and the act of care, but it is also an on-going relational process embedded in the worlds we live, informed by the relations that hold us in place and shaped by the traditions we inherit. With this said, care is not necessarily non-violent. Nakano identifies two forms of coerced care: 1) status obligations rooted in conceptions of kinship, gender and race/class that force some to differentially carry the burden of care work in society and 2) racialized gendered servitude such as the institution of slavery within which “one 23 party has the power to command the services of another” (Nakano-Glenn 2010, 7). Building upon Eva Kittay’s work on dependency care as a relation of domination (1999), Nirmala Erevelles (2011) defines care relations as dialectical as opposed to reciprocal to pave space to consider the “power differentials between caregiver and care recipient” and the possibilities for abuse (175). Whether it is delivered through settler-colonial state institutions such as forced child removal (YoungWolfe 2017) or abusive care-givers in intimate settings of the “home”, care that is “not responsive” to how the care-receiver understands “their needs, rights and desires” is a form of violence (Tronto 2016, 251). Political theorists have also practiced care in violent ways as their desire for humanitarian interventions for the sake of progress or democracy continue to fuel imperial and white supremacist desires to civilize the barbaric (Razack 2007). There is a political economy of attention that shapes whose lives matter in our theoretical frameworks, our refusal to cultivate response-ability for our complicity in authorizing and authoring colonial world-building practices, and our attempts speak in place of marginalized communities in our scholarship. As political theorists we can cause a lot of harm in our thought and praxis of critical inquiry. Theorizing political theory as a practice of care invites investigation into a non-ethics of care under which consent cannot be possible in carceral conditions of dependency such as residential schools or “hospitals, ‘homes’, ‘sanitoriums’ and charitable institutions.” In contexts of coloniality such institutions sought/seek to domesticate and contain the epistemologies of “disabled, sick, mad and Deaf people…from able-bodied “normal society” (Piepzna-Samarasinha 2018, 71). Unlike abusive care, condescending charity-based and unsolicited care, consensual care empowers disabled or dependent persons as “bosses” of their bodyminds (297). Instead of writing off sick and disabled persons as submissive and passive receivers of care or as 24 patients, consent in kinship care, communities of care, or care webs, requires care-givers to always be receptive to the care and access needs of sick and disabled persons as identified by them on their own terms (ibid). Such a disability justice framework surfaces the able-bodied textures of white supremacist knowledge practices. Just as Muslim subjectivities and epistemologies are cast as the shadow self of European modes of knowing, “white supremacy leverages ableism to create a subjugated ‘other’ that is deemed less worthy/abled/smart/capable…”; and so, “we cannot comprehend ableism without grasping its interrelations with heteropatriarchy, white supremacy, colonialism and capitalism. ” (Piepzna-Samarasinha 2018, 36). Within such systems of carceral dependency, “care meant being locked up, losing your human and civil rights, and being subject to abuse” and this “spectre of ‘the home’ and lockup” continues to shape the “fear of accessing”, “asking for or needing care” (71). In what ways can the visibility that comes with being written, spoken and thought about in academia expose and endanger a community when the political theorist refuses to practice consensual care? Whereas care ethicists articulate how power differentials texture practices of care, I explore how the care-work of uprooting colonial textual sensibilities in our knowledge relations is thrown onto racialized, Black and Indigenous scholars and how such caring labours are alienable and appropriated by CPT and ethics of care theorists in their desires to “not-know.” Such violence is not merely epistemic or ontological in that it shapes only conceptions of care and its delivery, but it also captures the cosmological dimensions of care by orienting our conceptions and practices of care to sustain ableist, secular and white supremacist worlds that enslave, contain, colonize and displace. We can only collapse the “border politics” of political theory (Brown 2002a) by “phrasing worlds together” and to “think with thick populated worlds” 25 (Puig de la Bellacasa 2017). Speculative care holds within it the possibility to both disrupt the “boundaries and cuts given in existing worlds” and also, re-enforce the disconnected ways of relating and knowing to displace populations (Puig de la Bellacasa 2017, 70–71). Thinking with care entwines us in a relation of responsibility and asks of us to explore not only our dispositions and intentions to be caring, but how we care. The aim of such a labour of love is to weave worlds in which no one is left alone, in which our ideas have multiple heritages, and in which there are multiple others with whom we are connected. This requires developing a curiosity about the “connected heterogeneities composing an entity, a body, a world” and to trouble the boundaries that divide us (206). Such an openness is practiced not just in our sensorial reception of strange multiplicities, but also, in our knowledge relations with those, in the past, present and future, with whom we share and dwell with on earth. 1.4 In the Horizons: Sense, Sensibility and Sense as an Ability The sun is the centre of our universe and God is dead. These two statements, by which western political theorists measure themselves against the earth, set in motion the great humbling of humankind by placing sensorial limits on the knowable and (dis)orienting our sense of place in the cosmos. They act as signifiers of the transformative power of our capacity to (re)imagine the horizons of political reflection through the practice of secular judgement and criticism. In this paradigm, it is only through “humanly attained knowledge” that we can “promote human freedom” (Viswanathan 2012). From Sheldon Wolin, to Hans Georg Gadamer, to Charles Taylor, political theorists rely on the horizon as a heuristic to articulate the “bounds of our imaginative abilities” (Alcoff 2006, 56) and how tradition shapes our critical sensibilities. The horizon tunes and orients our attention span to boundary our sense of the “political.” Interpretive approaches to political theory play with this metaphor to articulate the relation between the 26 phenomenology of the political subject, the spatio-temporal field of tradition and the ontological, epistemic boundaries of the “political”: My identity is defined by the commitments and identifications which provide the frame or horizon within which I can try to determine from case to case what is good, or valuable, or what ought to be done, or what I endorse or oppose. In other words, it is the horizon within which I am capable of taking a stand (Taylor 1989, 27). Linda Alcoff (2006) defines interpretive horizons as intersubjective, interdependent and relational limits determined through self/Other encounters, “my self emerges in interaction with the Other because the Other’s perspective gives substance and content and constitutes the horizon from which I perceive and act” (82). And so, what we know is shaped by where we are standing in the world and with whom. What we see from this view is primed, pre-conditioned and curated by our inherited traditions. Through perspectival reasoning, in which horizons have a Nietzschean contouring effect that enables us to act, we work within the curve of our traditions to respond and attend to the present. And so, our ability to sense, what we can see or hear in this case, is pre-conditioned by tradition and our relationships. The image of the horizon serves a disenchanting function and works as a sense-orientation towards the secular. What we know can be perceived, observed and articulated through our senses. Here, the self of the political theorist can only inhabit and embody secular sensibilities of knowing the political to be a credible interlocutor. Any sense of the divine, the spiritual, cannot lay claim to truth but is considered a social imaginary or a point of view that is not demonstrable. Through this metaphor, Sheldon Wolin (2004) defines the tradition of political theory as an “inherited body of knowledge” which is accumulated through continuous discourse between interlocutors defining the “political” spread out across historical situations (21–23). Similar to Wolin, Hans-Georg Gadamer (1975) also defines tradition as a language which acts 27 both as a carrier through which we inherit, and a frame that enables us to see, certain interests, prejudices, questions and identify problems for inquiry (76). Our social location, or interpretive horizons, define “what the self can know” and what is “visible from this location” (Alcoff 2006, 88); through discourse our sense of place becomes sedimented into the tradition. In addition, such horizons are relationally revealed in and through histories of sense contact with the Other. Readers of Merleau-Ponty such as Sara Ahmed push political theorists to acknowledge that we do not just inherit secular logo-centric discourses but that our sense organs, such as our eyes, ears, tongue, skin and nose are faculties of moral judgement that carry within them inherited moral epistemologies, aesthetic orientations and affective cartographies. In western political theory, the sensibilities of sight and hearing, in particular, are centered in secular criticism as the central sensorial capacities through which the political subject’s moral imagination is projected (Mignolo 2011). Wolin (2004), for example, defines political philosophy as a revelatory form of inquiry with a descriptive and imaginative function that requires practitioners to practice vision, “ a form of ‘seeing’ from where we are standing” (17). It is through the sense capacity of sight that political theorists as interlocutors are able to not only perform their diagnostic and prescriptive work within the horizon of the present, but also to identify where their interpretations of the world fit in the overarching tradition of political theory. Wolin’s notion of re-picturization, for example, equips political theorists with a phoropter, the technology with which one is able to see the whole differently, play with different frames, and constantly re-assemble the factual world to re-present it anew (Marasco et al. 2017). He likens imaginative vision to that of religious or aesthetic vision through which one attempts to “mould the totality of political phenomena to accord with some vision of the Good that lies outside the political order” (Wolin 2004, 44). 28 Here is how Wolin’s and Gadamer’s notion of interpretive horizons help us understand the limits of sensibility in political theory: 1) there are horizons of political reflection beyond political order itself, outside the speculative horizons of the political theorist, that the political theorist cannot objectively describe or observe, 2) and that such horizons and perspectives play a vital role in mediating the interplay between situated political experiences and political concepts, and finally, that 3) exercises of political philosophy are “abbreviations of reality” (Wolin 2004, 22), limited in their representation of political phenomena. Although there will always be limits to what we can know, in this secular paradigm what shapes how we see from where we are standing is our inheritance which is a matter of birthright and not positionality. My concern is here is with not only gatekeeping what we can know but also who can know. For Wolin, birthright obliges political theorists to exercise the capacity of politicalness by caring for and improving our “common and collective life” (Wolin 1986, 181). Arguing against the social contract theory which trades in lived histories and our inheritance for an “original position” or the myth of the social contract, Wolin (1986) introduces political inquiry as the exercise of our birthright in which such perspectival reasoning is responsive to our lived history and collective memory. Birthright, for Wolin, entails a “a way of ‘conceiving the person’”; we are not “thrown into the world” but rather just as the person is “prefigured in the womb of their mother” , the person is also “preformed, as an incorporation of elements of family, cult and community” (Wolin 1986, 180). As an inheritance, birthrights require “interpretation” and so, are “contestable” because “we inherit from our fathers, but we are not our fathers” (182). For Wolin, we are situated within a tradition as an interlocutor who through his faculties of sight contributes to and cares for inherited meanings of the “political” co-authored by other political theorists. 29 Yet, he preserves an ambivalence on who and how one is born as an inheritor of such a birthright and how such gatekeeping within the field of political theory can cause practitioners to cause harm to others with our sight and sound and build worlds that create differential access to embodying such critical sensibilities of speculative care. Returning to Tronto’s concern for the differential distribution of who cares in society, what remains unquestioned is: 1) the problematic language of birthright as if some are born, or chosen, as meeting the anthropological and genealogical minimum to be political theorists and perform secular criticism and 2) whether we inherit textual sensibilities of reading, writing, thinking about the Other from the authors we read, the knowledge we consume and the (con)texts that shape our horizons. The issue here is not what is political theory, but rather, who can be a political theorist and whether we inherit only words and not the intentions, sensibilities and orientations of political theorists who have walked this earth before us. In this image of the horizon, I tease out a significant ambivalence between sense, sensibility and sense-ability as inherited. Through a survey of various interpretive approaches to political theory, I argue that our definition of tradition should account for not just the role of the senses in sense-making but also for how we inherit histories of sense-contact, orientations and textual sensibilities of reading and writing about the “Other” by which our horizons have been countoured. Here I define sense-ability as a critical capacity of care by which we learn to attend to and respond to the needs of others. By unravelling the rigid cosmological boundaries of political theory, as we know it, I not only expand the roots of our traditions to account for multiple heritages and multiple epistemological horizons, but also open up our future (and present) to account for relations of responsibility with those whom we have absenced and continue to harm in our knowledge relations. In tandem, I also open up the inscrutability of the 30 political theorist, as a relational subject, as a human whose words and deeds of knowledge production are complicit in authorizing colonial world-building practices. 1.5 Travel and Empathy: White-Orientated Modes of Knowing Horizons are not a pre-formed inheritance, but instead, are actively performed through our textual sensibilities; our sense-ability is oriented by various histories of sense-contact that governs our perceptions of others. Through Sara Ahmed’s notion of whiteness as an orientation I explore how whiteness is reproduced and inherited as a guiding ethos of CPT and ethics of care scholarship on the “Islamic” and as a racializing force that marginalizes Muslim political theorists within interpretive communities of CPT to discredit them as knowers of the “Islamic”. Whiteness as an orientation shapes our sense-ability to render others as intelligible and worthy of our care, as well as, how we care for others in our knowledge relations. In addition, colonial semiosis of Arab and European colonial histories teaches us that Muslims also inherit whiteness as an orientation through instruction in and inheritance of anti-Black and anti-Indigenous textual sensibilities and orientations. Studying the phenomenology of race, Ahmed explores how race “operates through orientation” by studying the “spatial formations of orientalism” (Ahmed 2006, 112). Spaces are racialized by how they are “directed or orientated as a direction that follows a specific line of desire” (Ahmed 2006, 120). Travel or empathy, for example, are theorized as the movement between the familiar and the strange, from one place to another, from one body into the another. Whereas for European colonists what directed them to travel was the imperial desire to discover and expand their dominions, for the refugee, the enslaved, or the racialized immigrant, the desire to travel homewards is forced by the same destruction and displacing legacy of European colonization. Here, whereas the white body of the colonizer is read as the adventurer, the traveler, or the agent 31 that seeks, the racialized body of the colonized are read as dependent upon the European gaze, awaiting discovery and made to feel the destructive impact of being discovered, of publicity. There is of course an ontological privilege here, the body that discovers is the body that displaces, and lays claim to the land, and the body that is discovered is the body that is displaced and dispossessed from her homeland and her knowledge systems. The epistemic dimension of coloniality entails that the body that knows, and discovers, is that of the conquistador, or the colonizer (Grosfoguel 2012). The signature of travel does not end with movement from one shore to another but continues within the inheritance of the upkeep of the domesticated colony, or the settler-colonial state, to continue the work of displacement that sustains and makes space for one’s “arrival” (Byrd 2014). Although we have a different relationship to the desire to travel, and share some (de)colonial histories, in the context of Turtle Island, Muslims migrants are also complicit as settlers in the ongoing colonial violence against Indigenous peoples and the dispossession of and displacement from their land. From Euben to Said to Wolin, political theorists fetishize world-travelling, but do not question the asymmetries of power within which such a desire has been cultivated and shaped. Missionaries authorized their “travel through divine claims” and represented “the targeted foreign lands as in need of or desiring the colonizing heroes and their nations”, and the “colonizing nations as superior and exceptionally favored by divine powers to invade, help or dispose their victims” (Dube 2012, 117). Similarly, political theorists seek to travel to the epistemic domains of the Two-Thirds world in search for the “democratic”, and the “cosmopolitan”, or in other words, the salvageable. Similar to the trope of travel, the notion of empathy has also been theorized extensively within the enlightenment tradition and by care ethicists as a critical ethical sensibility by which we respond to human suffering and call for a 32 universal framework of human rights. Like travel, our faculty of empathy is also an orientation that can be geared towards colonial ends. As Ann Stoler argues, “the politics of compassion was not an oppositional assault on empire but a fundamental element of it” and the “the “production and harnessing of sentiment…comprised a key…technology of the colonial state.” (Jacobs 2009, 26).It is no secret that white scholars of the enlightenment tradition were deeply complicit in authorizing human suffering at a mass scale in the European colonies. In addition, there is a deep colonial history of care as a civilizational mission rooted in the white cry for humanitarian intervention (Narayan 1995). Instead of framing white privilege in our knowledge relations as blindspots in our horizons, I frame it as a refusal to respond to and address the coloniality of the white cry to care-for that dwells within the self and inhabits the body of the political theorist. Empathy, for example, as a colonial emotion was read as a unique trait of white-Europeans as care providers on a humanitarian mission. For examples, Africans were perceived by colonizers as capable of cruel violence against animals, whereas the Europeans “abhorred suffering” unless it was necessary for the sake of civilization (Shadle 2012, 1098). Even in this article by Shadle in which he critiques such imperialist empathy, his care for the plight of colonial Kenya is drenched in racist language and caricatures, some intentionally sarcastic, others perceptible as blatant white ignorance to racialized readers. For readers with colonial textual sense-abilities, “pain can only come into existence at the expense of the slave as subject…” ; building upon Saidiya Hartman’s critique of empathy, Sherene Razack (2017) argues that such a performance of “facile intimacy” in which the act of “identifying so readily with the slave’s pain that he exists in place of the other” obscures “his own complicity and privilege” (377). Such displacement of self by submerging the Other into the netherworld of the self-same is what affirms the Master’s “position as a moral subject” 33 (Razack 2017, 378). With these concerns in mind, Saidiya Hartman asks: “Can the white witness of the spectacle of suffering affirm the materiality of Black sentience only by feeling for himself?” (qtd. In Razack 2017, 376).From the Victorian suffragette’s metaphors of slavery in imperial-feminist descriptions of the situation of Indian women in the colony as a mark of cultural decay (Burton 1994), to the British anti-cruelty movement to criminalize torture against animals set against the backdrop of Indians and Africans who torture animals (Shadle 2012), to the French socialist appropriation of slavery in the colonies as the condition of the metropolitan worker and their defense of settler-colonialism (Andrews 2018), selective empathy and the appropriation of pain are defining features of the colonial imaginary. Here, sense-contact with the colonized, subjugated Other, is mediated through deep racial, class-based and spiritual hierarchies that are sustained and held in place through the textual sensibilities by which we read our interactions with and observations of the Other. Within the contact zone, empathy as a colonial emotion was a site through which colonizers affirmed the boundaries of the self-same against images of the barbaric other. Conversely, Ji Young Shin (2015) explores empathy within “the interiority of the colonial subject” and how the colonized empathized with one another through the situation of sesshoku no shisō (contact) (380). Empathy between and across colonial contexts by the colonized was not based on the “sameness of assimilation” but rather, in feeling dislocated by witnessing “each region’s respective historical particularity” (391) within the shared situation of coloniality and charting lines of resistance through comparison (396). This rhetoric of dislocation has also been developed by CPT scholar, Farah Godrej, as part and parcel of the hermeneutics of knowing the Other. For ethics of care theorists, in which empathy is a mode of connection-based witnessing, such dislocation requires the annihilation of the self through a transparent self “through whom 34 the needs of another are discerned, a self that, when it looks to gauge its own needs, sees first the needs of another’ (Kittay 1998, 52). Is this not what the imperial feminists felt in witnessing the “slave mentality” and birthing practices of Indian women? White women saw a need for others to be civilized, or cared for, which translated into a fear of such horror happening to their bodies and rights in British society. Such empathy fueled white women’s fight for women’s rights and left the Indian woman to “hope for [a] happier birth in her next incarnation” (Mayo and Sinha 2000). Instead the origin of violence against Indian women is displaced onto and naturalized as a feature of Muslim and Hindu masculinities as a mark of cultural decay or civilizational and racial inferiority. A contemporary example is the mandating Muslim-migrants to write cultural values tests as part of the naturalization process or enforcing Muslim women to unveil for the sake of their liberation. In these French-Canadian cases, heteropatriarchal violence is rendered as a feature of a static, homogenous and orientalist image of Islamic societies and not of Western, liberal democracies. And so, domestic violence is read as an imported phenomenon that can spread and harm Canadian society through contact with the Other. Empathy and fear as imperial desires to know the other domesticate the Other into the netherworld of the self-same. In this context, the imperialist feminist does not seek to transform the imperial situation of the Indian woman to fit her own standard of human dignity but instead exploits and appropriates her plight to make a case for the white woman’s epistemic and ontological fittedness as an imperial subject. The imperial feminist builds her image and claim for her liberation through the exploitation of racialized, Indigenous and Black women’s pain and suffering without processing her complicity in authoring or authorizing such harm. 35 Alternatively, merging the orientations of travel and empathy, de-colonial feminist scholars such as Maria Lugones (1987), argue that identification through empathy is the root of combatting racism and white supremacy: The identification of which I speak is constituted by what I come to characterize as playful ‘world’-traveling. To the extent that we learn to perceive others arrogantly or come to see them only as products of arrogant perception and continue to perceive them that way, we fail to identify with them—fail to love them—in this particular deep way (276). What Lugones identifies as a failure to love as a symptom that empathy has been co-opted by colonial affective machinery, ethics of care theorists identify as a breakdown in one’s capacity to care. From Gilligan’s early pre-occupation with difference, there is a very strong, yet under-developed strain within the sub-field of connection-based modes of knowing that are rooted in body-sense and reveal new orders of ethical responsibility. Gender has been the primary category of analysis used in such inquiry into care-based moral epistemologies. Carol Gilligan (2009) argues that due to different social variables men and women come to acquire diverging evaluative horizons towards what is morally right or wrong. Men are conditioned to rely on an individualistic, rights-centric vision of justice focused on the inviolable dignity of each person, and women are socially conditioned to rely on a relational, responsibility-based vision of morality focused on the obligations we have to take care of each other. The latter as a moral compass points to different orders of moral responsibility that do not arise from the dominant vocabulary of the former. Here is where Butler’s call for cultural translation comes into play because it is only through a care-based epistemology of Islam that we can not only study how the distribution of care-work and care-knowing is gendered, racialized, class-based etc. in Muslim communities but also reveal new orders and vocabularies of moral responsibility through connection-based modes of knowing Islam. 36 1.6 Hearing Different Voices However, what is concerning in political theory is when the colonial history of sense-contact, as well as white-orientated textual sensibilities, outlined above disrupt and drive this process of translation, of making the gendered, racialized or disabled Other familiar. What makes the Other familiar or sensible to political theorists is voice—the faculty of speech. Gilligan (2011) argues care is a form of resistance, and a remedy for moral injury, because of its capacity to restore voice. She argues that from a young age, girls are “forced to choose between having a voice or having relationships,” and that this is problematic because “the antithesis of voice is violence” (Ibid). Similar to Alcoff’s notion of blindspots, Gilligan’s politics of resistance advocates for “freedom from dissociation, from the splits in consciousness” that keep “parts of ourselves, and our experience outside our awareness” (Ibid). She argues that a path to resistance against patriarchy should be grounded in our humanity, not in ideology, and paved with honest voices. Though her primary category of analysis is gender, her overall project of disentangling patriarchy from democracy by (re) imagining relationships, the self and morality advocates for mutual understanding across differences through a pragmatic and care-based conception of narrative agency and voice. Fundamentally relying on the “irreplaceability of human relationships”, Gilligan grounds her politics of resistance in the human body, “its vulnerability, its power, and its promise,” and as a “practice of preservative love” (Ibid). She presents the practice of care, as an avenue through which the multi-sensorial dimensions of self-expression can be harnessed. In her most recent work on resistance, she emphasizes the importance of nurturing critical sensibilities within adolescent girls to express democratic dissent, to spot false stories and to develop their core selves by learning to hear in a new way, in their own way. 37 Similar to Wolin’s notion of the imaginative function of political theory, feminist ethics of care theorists frame the embodied practice of care and relational autonomy as revelatory and disclosive. Because of its closeness to the body, and embeddedness in human relationships, the spatio-praxial dimension of care opens up affective, imaginative and epistemological potentials for moral responsibility and political judgment. By focusing on the embodiedness of caring, ethics of care theorists, such as Maurice Hamington, Joan Tronto, Rita Manning, ask us to view the body as a “nexus of the is and the ought” (Hamington 2004, 31, 72) and embodied care as something that adds content to moral consideration. They argue that the practice of care entails dynamic, imaginative responses to the environment. Care-knowing is a corporeal-centric habit; when cultivated it reveals relational epistemologies, of how our bodies fit with each other. Sevenhuijsen (2003) also seeks to integrate care into political conceptions of democratic citizenship and social justice by empowering different moral epistemologies surfaced through the embodied act of care. She suggests the importance of diversifying our vocabulary through the practice of care to surface different vocabularies through which we can articulate moral problems as care is a form of human and social agency within the arena of political judgment (Tronto 1995). Interestingly, she adds the spatial dimension to the concept of relational epistemologies, by grounding relationships of care in material settings by framing the dayroom of the nursing room as a microcosm of a wider political community in which citizens express political judgment in many ways (Sevenhuijsen 2003, 3). Care is a meaning-making practice as it is exercised through the faculty of perception (positionality difference between the knower and the known), figure-ground phenomenon (concrete context) and the flesh (our entrée into the life-world, allows for continuity, inter-corporeal understanding, what it is to be other and what it is to be me) (Hamington 2004). And so, human beings are attuned to care and response to each other, 38 as we have eyes to see, ears to hear, nose to smell etc. all of which are gates where our body “receives the nourishment of otherness” (53). The sub-field of care ethics invites investigation into the role sensibilities beyond the faculty of speech and hearing and contact histories play in the formation of political theorists as imperial subjects. How do we reconcile the non-violent potential of care-based modes of hearing different voices with conceptions of home-making in CPT and care ethics as an essentially conflictual process (Jurkevics 2017)? Building a home, making the strange familiar, or inhabiting a sense of rootedness in a place occurs through body-sense as we learn to manipulate, appropriate and make sense of foreign landscapes, the languages, the people and the cultures. World-building through colonial textual sensibilities, however, rely on the process of domestication by which aspects of the “Other” are “brought home” or domesticated as “something that extends the reach of the West” (Ahmed 2006, 121). Ahmed reimagines domesticity as “an effect of histories of domestication” in order to pave conceptual space to understand that home-making “depends on the appropriation of matter as a way of making what is not already here familiar or reachable” (117). In order for something to “enter” into history, it must be reachable—making history the “process of domestication” that shapes collective bodies and spaces to render ontological and epistemic (mis)fits (ibid.). Within a colonial context, the politics of domestication assumes that the “other is reachable” or “within reach” and can be “brought home” (117). However, in the translation process this “reachability of the Other…does not mean that they become ‘like me/us’” as seen in the colonialist fear of “perceptual distortion” or “going Native” that comes with travel (Euben 2006, 40). Rather, the white subject is the sole agent who does the work of orientating around or toward the object and “does the work” of discovering. Euben conflates the phenomenology of whiteness with the “phenomenology of I”; and in doing 39 so, although she critiques colonial sensibilities of travel, she assumes the same position of the white supremacist philosopher who has a chair to sit on and a writing table to face to reproduce Islamophobic textual sensibilities and representations of Muslim communities. Another example of colonial reading practices, or in this case complicit scholarship, is echoed in Sarah Bracke and Nadia Fadil’s critique (2008) of Leila Babès’ attempt to “de-orientalise” Eurocentric approaches to studying Islam by surfacing points of convergence and compatibility between Islamic and western contexts (6). Bracke and Fadil argue that this approach “occidentializes” Islam by positioning it as “an exogenous phenomenon that can or cannot be adapted to the established frameworks and assumptions of Western scholarship” (7–9). In complicit scholarship , the “Self embodies the norm that remains unexplored and unquestioned” which leads to misanthropic skepticism of racialized and religious others (Maldonado-Torres 2007), settler moves to innocence (Tuck and Yang 2012), inscrutability of the self-same (Asad 1997; Mehta 1999) and epistemic racism (Mbembé 2001; Mignolo 2018). However, as Ahmed suggests, if “we began instead with disorientation, with the body that loses its chair, then the descriptions we offer will be quite different” than the point of view shaped by the “ease with which the white body extends itself in the world” and “orientates toward objects and others” (Ahmed 2006, 138). Euben may briefly identify the imperialist desires of travel in the form of historical accounting; March may identify that it is not his intention to solely translate aspects of the non-West into the Western cannon; and Warren and Williams may identify their desires for democracy and cultivating relations of shared fate; but what they all sanction as morally inscrutable is their inheritance of such colonial orientations in their desires to know and domesticate the “Islamic” within preformed notions of cosmopolitanism as rooted in western political theory. Ahmed urges us to consider our 40 complicity in authoring and reproducing whiteness in our knowledge relations by examining how we “inherit the proximities that allow white bodies to extend their reach” and “how such inheritances shape those who do not or cannot ‘possess’ such whiteness.” (Ahmed 2006, 112). Whether it’s a refusal to address other mothers, or a refusal to respond to one’s self as complicit within the oppression of another, CPT and care ethicists scholars “embody distance” in their scholarship and make whiteness proximate in their representations of the “other side of the world” as associated with “racial otherness” (Ahmed 2006, 121). Andrea Gibbons (2018) argues that such an “epistemology of ignorance” , or white ignorance, operates through five orders of refusal: 1) a refusal of the humanity of the other—and a willingness to allow violence and exploitation to be inflicted, 2) a refusal to listen to or acknowledge the experience of the other—resulting in marginalization and active silencing, 3) a refusal not just to confront long and violent histories of white domination, but to recognize how these continue to shape injustice into the present, 4) a refusal to share space, particularly residential space, with resulting segregated geographies that perpetuate inequality and insulate white ignorance and; 5) a refusal to face structural causes such as capitalism, settler-colonialism, heteropatriarchy etc (729). Here whiteness is a bodily and relational inheritance that serves as a “straightening device”, and not just a “characteristic of bodies”, that organizes, codes, and translates aspects of non-Western culture to fit into the civilizing mission of democratization (Ahmed 2006, 121). And, whiteness in our knowledge production is “reproduced through acts of alignment” (ibid.). What makes it into the western cannon, into the reach of white bodies, are “attributes that are seen to pass along the line” (122) or the anthropological minimum (Mehta 1999). The “point of reproduction” is “when the familial and the racial become aligned” however this alignment is not a fusion or a symbiosis but rather the “the family line coheres around a racial group, which becomes a 41 boundary line: to marry someone of a different race is to marry “out”” (122). Sharing, in this context, is not a matter of reciprocity, or consent, but rather a matter of ownership over the birthright of doing political theory and this is distributed based on degrees of one’s likeness or proximity to whiteness whether by inheritance, passability or by epistemic assimilation (123). Whereas white, non-Muslim scholars such as Andrew March, Fred Dallymyr, and Roxanne Euben, have built careers on the study of Islam as comparative political theorists, Muslim political theorists, especially racialized scholars, “are made to feel that their belief in Islam, their identity as Muslims, somehow compromises their intellectual integrity and objectivity” (Chaudhry 2018, 7). Such scholarship centers whiteness in the study of Islam, and for the most part, has been focused on translating and interpreting the “political”, “cosmopolitan”, “democratic”, dimensions of medieval and pre-colonial Islamic (con)texts by “journeying to Other shores” (Euben 2006). It prioritizes the voices of “dead Muslim scholars, rather than respond to the pressing moral needs of living Muslim communities” (Chaudhry 2018, 6). It is also written for and consumed by primarily white, secular, non-Muslim audiences. I argue that such scholarship, characterized as White Supremacist Islamic Studies (WhiSIS) by Chaudhry, lacks the barakah (blessing) (Demirel and Sahib 2015) of Allah as well as of the Muslim community. In their later scholarship, political theorists who set out to find in the “Islamic world” that which resembles the liberal, progressive ideals of the western, modern world end up running into themselves. Without realizing the imperial origins of their intentions or desires to appropriate, they acknowledge the limits of their ability to know or work within the Islamic imaginary and eventually discontinue or abandon such work. The ethical sensibilities, the desires, that drive such scholarship are self-centered and not in the service of the Muslim community or even to the cause of de-colonization but instead serve to authorize white men and 42 women as interpretive authorities of the Islamic. Conversely, de-colonial scholars of political theory argue that knowledge production does not only engage the intellect, or the realm of discourse, but is also embodied, relational, rooted in peopled histories, and cultivates within us ethical sensibilities and orientations. The colonialist ethos of comparative political theory is best captured by Roxanne Euben’s metaphor of journeying to other shores. Euben naturalizes the association between travel and the pursuit of knowledge and likens it to a “bridge that opens a realm of comparative inquiry across culture and history” (Euben 2006, 38). The text is steeped in the logic of coloniality: from the defining binary she relies on between Muslims/Western travelers, to her sanctioned ignorance towards the colonial orientations of European travel, to her de-contextualized and disembodied attempts at interpreting Quranic Revelation, to her harmful readings of colonial displacement and dispossession as natural consequences of the ambivalence that comes with travel. Although the text is sprinkled with bits and bobs of quotes by post-colonial and racialized scholars, and there is one section on imperialist travel, the majority of her citationality relies heavily on the sense-contact histories of colonialist writers to theorize travel as a concept, as a material, relational and perceptual medium, by which one comes to know. Similar to Wolin’s notion of re-picturization, travel, for Euben, entails the “multiplication of vision—and the recognitions and misrecognitions it inevitably entails—made possible by a condition of simultaneous rootedness and estrangement” (Euben 2006, 45). Euben does briefly connect imperial sensibilities with the impulse to travel as seen in her reference to the colonialist writings of James Mill: Whatever is worth seeing or hearing in India, can be expressed in writing. As soon as everything of importance is expressed in writing, a man who is duly qualified may obtain more knowledge of India in one year in his closet in England, than he could obtain during the course of the longest life, by the use of his eyes and ears in India (Euben 2006, 123). 43 This acknowledgement does not translate into a re-orientation of her own sense-abilities as seen in her move to recommend that comparative political theory as a method and as a sensibility engages the faculties of sight and hearing in the work of discovering “new” cosmopolitanisms. Whereas Euben studies travel writing and Islamic historiography, Andrew March (2009) attempts to place CPT scholarship on the “Islamic” within the broader field of political theory. He argues that political theory is the exercise of: normative political philosophy, critical analysis and interpretation, the history of political thought, the study of forms of political thought and speech (534). CPT scholars claim that they do not do the work of introducing non-western texts to the western political theory; instead March (2009) argues that the contributions of CPT can be organized into five themes: “the epistemic, global-democratic, critical transformative, explanatory-interpretative and the rehabilitative (538). The epistemic argument for comparative political theory is that western political concepts cannot lay claim to universality, without engaging and including non-Western perspectives. Referencing Dallmayr in Beyond Monologue (2004), March argues that the aim of comparative political theory should be global-democratic and work to imagine a “planetary political philosophy” which facilitates cross-cultural understanding and engages globalization. The third theme, critical-transformative, acknowledges that the questions and solutions posed by western political theory are not only acts of ideological hegemony and domination, but also, part of the problem. The critical-transformative dimension in particular engages (post)colonial literature. The explanatory-interpretive dimension mobilizes non-western perspectives and contexts to throw light onto how political problems are articulated to reveal new orders or answers and responsibility. Finally, the work of comparative political theory seeks to rehabilitate the gaps between western and non-western approaches to political theory, to reveal possibilities 44 for similarity and universality. Building the tradition of CPT, Mark Warren and Melissa Williams (2014) offer an alternative method of comparative political theory that elaborates on the ethical sensibilities of CPT not only as a method but as a democratizing force that builds relations of responsibility across various interpretive communities (43–46). Similar to March, Warren and Williams (2014) also assume that such community-building work is primarily intellectual, logo-centric, and involves: 1) Empathy: making the particular trials and tribulations experienced by communities in a global and local context intelligible as problems for political theory and political action; 2) Representation: challenge how problems are articulated through the self-understandings of the political subject, as well as the terms through which power is legitimated; 3) Translation: mapping new terrains of relational responsibility within communities of shared fate; 4) Discourse: generate new discourses “that attend to globalized relationships of fate, and contribute to emergent publics” and; 5) Action: transform discourses into orientations for political action and political actors (43-46). The aim of such scholarship is to further “critical reflexivity across cultural and linguistic boundaries—a condition for fashioning collective futures” (Williams and Warren 2014). Nowhere within these three frameworks is there a critique of why such a glaring absence of Islamic (con)texts exists in the first place within mainstream political theory and how the situatedness of political theorist as moral persons and political subjects is predicated upon the subjugation of Muslim subjectivities, Islamic epistemologies and ontologies. What is missing in these paradigms are the issues of positionality, de-coloniality and the ethics of knowledge production that arise in such encounters. In the words of bell hooks (2014), “to make one’s self vulnerable to the seduction of difference, to seek an encounter with the Other, does not require that one relinquish forever one’s mainstream positionality” (23). Western CPT scholars continue to follow a logic of categorization, west/non-west, that signifies the movement of travelling 45 elsewhere to unchartered epistemic terrain in hopes of finding cosmopolitan notions of democracy, justice, freedom to add flavor to their existing canon (21). It is really a sub-field in which “rebellious” white scholars attempt to rehabilitate gaps within their own self-understandings while policing, gatekeeping and delegitimizing racialized, Black and Indigenous scholars from working within their own knowledge-systems and traditions in order to profit from appropriating non-western knowledge, racialized labours of knowledge translation and stories for the sake of feeding their desire to know. Through such appropriation, white scholars exploit and profit through imperialist nostalgia, the desire to know what they have absenced, “where people mourn the passing of what they themselves have transformed” or as “a process of yearning for what one has destroyed that is a form of mystification” (hooks 2014, 25). Such imperialist nostalgia can look like white political theorists attempting to become like the Other or to dig up the Other’s “abandoned world” or project onto the Other “a sense of plenty, bounty, a field of dreams” that holds epistemic potential for “social control as well as commodity innovation” (ibid). What remains unquestioned is the genocidal impulse with which such epistemologies have been systematically erased within the field of political theory to create such “blindspots” within the self-understanding of political theorists. Disagreeing with Euben, I argue such “blindspots” are not caused by a lack of, or the ambivalence that comes with, of world-travelling. The emergence of CPT as a sub-field is not the first time in history political philosophers have journeyed to other shores. From John Locke’s defense of English colonialism (Arneil 1996), to John Stuart Mill’s plea to civilize the barbaric (Levin 2004), to Hegel’s “slaughterbench”, to Marx’ take on colonial expansion as an organic result of capitalism, the Other has been written and imagined in the history of European political thought as 46 unappropriated land to be conquered, as a dirty body to be purified, as an irrational worldview to be consumed by the cunning of Reason, as unmined terrain (Jenco 2007) to revive European economies or as an object incapable of having a history and a language of its own. In practice, such colonialist narratives were used to justify the deeply violent and violating practices of European-Christian missionaries in the two waves, in 1492 and 1792, of missionary movement into the Americas, Africa and India (Segovia 2005). Care, in this context, was a civilizing mission. The missionaries’ “perspectives of justice” were informed by colonial readings of the Bible. They were not “ethically opposed to the imperial project of their countries” and were deeply implicated as agents of imperialism (Dube 1997, 4). And so, “Christianizing, colonizing, civilizing, as well as enslaving” were all part and parcel of the “mission to save” (M. W. Dube 1997, 10). With a similar ethos, comparative political theorists set out to save the salvageable aspects of non-western cultures and knowledge systems. In doing so, they assume an interpretive authority as translators who have been charged with the burden of locating in the abyss of the non-West semblances of their pre-conceived notions. Upon discovering “new cosmopolitanisms” CPT theorists re-package non-western epistemologies as holistic solutions to problems within western societies caused by systems they refuse to dismantle or disinherit in their praxis. Why is it that political theorists still cling to this story of “the West” as the birthplace of modernity? Is it that, as Dipesh Chakrabarty (2009) argues, “it is impossible to think of anywhere in the world without invoking certain categories and concepts, the genealogies of which go deep into the intellectual and even the theological traditions of Europe?” Just as Thomas Macaulay traced the historical origins of British civilization to Ancient Greece as a way to signify the inferiority of Sanskrit, political theorists continue to center the origins of political theory in colonial language-systems, in the writings and historical contexts of European-Christian 47 philosophers, and in North-American political science departments. We are trained to refer to, and defend, these (con)texts in our practices and pedagogies as the origins of freedom, of civilization and of civil society, of the “political” and of political (inter)subjectivity. This insular interpretive community of shared fate is steeped in colonial textual sensibilities; in addition, there are many gatekeepers and access barriers that enable the privileged few, be it white men or native informants, who meet the anthropological minimum for Reason, to become translators and interpreters of non-Western traditions. 1.7 Connection-Based Modes of Knowing There is little space within the methods of CPT, and within the sensibilities of care ethics, for understanding the ethical implications for our knowledge relations when knowledge is appropriated through non-consensual and white-orientated modes of travel or empathy. In addition, there is also little accountability to consider how colonial sensescapes of care-based knowing are inherited and acted upon as orientations in contemporary political theory. The narrative of discovery or recognition that underpins the sentiment of journeying to other shores, or hearing different voices, fails to account for the spectral histories of caring labour, sensibilities of connective knowing and care-based epistemologies that exist beyond the white imagination and have played a crucial role in Islamic knowledge preservation. Such knowledge has been held in place and sustained primarily by racialized, Black and Indigenous Muslim (m)others. What about the African mothers who braided rice into their daughters’ hair to prepare them for their forced journey to the other shore (Sharpe 2016)? What about Palestinian expecting mothers who must make the difficult, and often deadly, pilgrimage to Jerusalem to give birth (Shalhoub-Kevorkian 2014)? What about the Punjabi mothers who were forced to give birth in the transience of a moving kafila during the partition of India in 1947 (Butalia 2000)? What of the 48 enslaved Muslims who carried knowledge of the Quran in their hearts and on their tongues to Turtle Island (Ibn Said 1831; Ware 2014)? What about the epistemologies, and the Others, that have been denied passage by escaping or evading the sensors of whiteness, as a straightening device? Echoing Puig de la Bellacasa’s call for connective knowledge practices, James Tully also urges political theorists to build relationships with communities of struggle within their present horizon. In Public Philosophy in a New Key, Tully articulates a practical, historical-critical framework of political theory in which the purpose of political theory is to (Tully 2008, 15–26): 1) Transform existing practices of governance into problems for reflection and reform, 2) Focus on disclosing “historically contingent conditions of possibility of this historically singular set of practices of governance and the range of problems/solutions to which it gives rise” as opposed to creating a vision of the normative, 3) Articulate conditions of possibility, also echoed by Wolin, as historically contingent to communities of struggle and help them envision possibilities of “governing themselves differently” and, 4) Build an on-going mutual relationship with “concrete struggles, negotiations, and solutions” and with those who “experiment with modifying the practices of governance on the ground” (Ibid.) Tully argues that political theory is a dynamic practice that is necessarily connected to the struggle for freedom. And so, it requires political theorists to perform historical genealogies of practices of governance, critical surveys of political concepts and facilitate “interlocutory intervention on the side of the oppressed” (ibid). In this light, scholarship must remain attentive and responsive to the care and access needs of the communities whose truths it seeks to articulate and advocate for. As political theorists we must embody a “reciprocal relation to the present, as a kind of permanent public critique of relationships of meaning, power and subjectivity in which we think and act politically” (Ibid). This requires evaluating our complicity in practices of governance that define our knowledge relations. 49 Here, I push Tully, and Wolin, further towards a (de)colonial direction, in that practicing such answerability begins not only with working within our relations and situatedness in the present, but also working through our complicity in (re)presencing coloniality into our horizons by inheriting colonial economies of attention that shape our sense-abilities as political theorists. Beyond the horizon of the present, we inherit histories of relationships, ways of relating, that shape our situatedness and our sense-abilities. Inheriting colonial modes of inquiry, as well as sense-abilities that have been oriented by such histories, places in our hands the potential to harm those with whom we share this world and align with in solidarity. To even make this argument, I have to argue that the work of speculative care for others in political theory is done by embodied humans deeply situated in interdependent relationships that extend across time and space. This requires re-interpreting tradition not as birthright but as relational authorship that is sustained by the birth work of multiple co-authors spread out across multiple temporalities and spaces. Although Wolin assumes political theory begins in the West and can be expanded to account for the unfamiliar and the “new”, he does not acknowledge that this inheritance can have multiple heritages, multiple points of origins and be shaped by interlocutors, epistemologies and histories outside of Europe. Political theory as a dialogue does not take place in the minds of political theorists, as individual readers, and their relationship with the disembodied minds of dead European white men and their observations of unpeopled landscapes. In authorizing herself as the sole interpretive authority of translating the care and access needs of the Other, the political theorist is complicit in the work of authorizing, as well as authoring, the displacement and dispossession of others from their bodies, relations and lands. It is not the case that the colonized, or the “care-receivers”, are not capable of speaking back or responding to violence, but rather the situatedness of such a relation of dependency care within 50 the apparatus of coloniality delimits and distorts the colonizer’s capacity to witness. Often researchers exploit narratives of inequality, violence and oppression suffered by racialized, Indigenous and Black communities to gain material profit in the forms of grants to sustain their positions and scholarship on such violence (Bejarano et al. 2019). Approved, and consented to, by the University’s ethics board, such funds for knowledge extraction sustain the scholar’s experience of caring about another community (Tuhiwai Smith 2012, 58); however, once the academic has abstracted situated stories through translation and answered pre-formed research questions, the non-reciprocal and non-consensual relation of care is absolved. The scholar goes on to publish, and the community is left to perish (Tuhiwai Smith 2012). Or worse, the anxiety, envy or fear of thinking-with the Others you live-with results in engaging with only dead Others or ancient non-Western texts in your scholarship (Chaudhry 2018). Through Tully’s frame, we can spatially expand Wolin’s scope of inheritance to account for the relations of responsibility political theorists have with those who share their spatio-temporal horizons, and, with those whom we have absenced as the ancestors of our traditions as well as the histories we have denied entry into our conceptions of the “political” and the “historical”. We are not only complicit in their absence and erasure, but also, materially benefit from such continued displacement and dispossession. Tully (2008) asks, “how do we attend to the strange multiplicity of political voices and activities without distorting or disqualifying them in the very way we approach them” (20)? Expanding the scope of our roots does not mean appropriating histories of violence for material gain, stealing epistemologies or assuming Indigenous ancestry or interpretive authority as a representative of the “Other”, but rather dismantling and disinheriting white supremacy as an ethical orientation and sensibility in our praxis and within our selves. It means empowering both the critique “produced in and through existing structures 51 of governance” and critique “from the governed” as active agents engaged in “everyday acts of world-building, acts of resistance, and acts of negotiation through existing practices of governance” (Tully 2008, 30–36). Unlike Wolin for whom the political theorist is the one who shapes the boundaries of “the political”, the heart of Tully’s approach is placing the work of understanding within the hands of the people engaged in (re)defining cartographies of their freedom and prioritizing the work of locating possibilities of freedom before articulating what is justice. Attempting to speak Wolin against Wolin, if political theory is a practice of speculative care, then what may be “new” and unfamiliar to us may not be as such for someone else based on their situatedness; re-picturization, which engages faculties of imagination, may reveal new ways of seeing the picture, but it does not interrogate, or reveal, the (non)ethical orientations and desires that texture our sensory-reception and abilities to perceive various aspects of the picture. Although Wolin offers a sense of social location, the work of re-picturization does not account for our embeddedness as participants in the worlds, the peopled histories we observe and our relationships with the communities we speak and write about. Social location in this paradigm is a matter of locating where you are in a tradition, and not who you are, and with whom are you in a relationship of responsibility. In such perspectival reasoning the moral imagination and the moral boundaries of the self, as well as colonial textual sensibilities somehow remain sanctioned and tightly sealed off from inquiry. Desire to chart new epistemic and ontological terrain is taken for granted and naturalized without questioning our inheritance of the sense-histories of colonial contact through which such desires have been cultivated. For Wolin and Tully, the political theorist is embedded in a web of relationships with other political theorists all of whom have been charged with the care work of politicalness. However, the relational and interdependent 52 thinking self that Wolin describes is missing a body and faculties of sense beyond sight, speech and hearing, as well as, non-secular sense-orientations and sense-abilities. Cultivating this desire to know the Other without opening up our our selves leaves one crucial question unaddressed: in what ways is our ability to witness, to respond to, to address, and care for the histories and (con)texts of others interrupted through the inheritance of colonial models of inquiry? Which practices, or sensibilities, of textual interpretation, of reading and of writing, delimit our capacity to care, or (dis)orient us to care for others in violent ways? I argue that the colonial baggage of political theory, as a field, as a practice, and as a subjectivity is inherited by us in our modes of knowing (teaching, writing, and reading) and embodiment of interpretive authority, as knowers and makers of the “political”. This inheritance is not a dead thing, or a dead body, that is hidden in the chambers of the past, but rather is an active ethical orientation that shapes our sense-ability, deeply permeates our world-building practices, and textures our storied lives to continue to presence coloniality—making us deeply complicit as its authors. 1.8 With Loving Eyes: The Political Theorist as a Witness In addition to inheriting colonial sensibilities and orientations of whiteness, we cannot discuss the notion of birthright without asking who is the mother? The image of the horizon is not a floating line that hangs above our field of vision; rather, for ethics of care theorists the horizon dwells within the face of the Other, or the mother as witnessed by the newborn. In the politics of recognition paradigm, “the Other is internal to the self’s substantive content, a part of its own horizon, and thus a part of its own identity” (Alcoff 2006, 45). The primary paradigm through which care ethicists imagine relational intersubjectivities is the mother-child relationship because we are all “some mother’s child”. In this model, care ethicists assume familiarity, as 53 opposed to estrangement, as the natural condition between a mother and her child. In The Capacity of Care, Wendy Hollway (2007) uses psychoanalytical methods to build this notion of relational subject formation to illustrate how infants, whose bodies are read as incapable of care and concern, begin to develop and organize a sense of self inter-subjectively through their relationship with their mothers as the first Other they encounter. At the heart of her argument is the mother-infant relationship as paradigmatic of the dialectical relationship between inter-subjectivity and individuality which contains movement from total infant dependency, to separation, to reciprocal care, to geriatric care. Hollway echoes Arendt and Levinas in framing difference, how we encounter the Other, co-existence, as the starting point of ethical life (Hollway 2007, 102). Though she argues that caring subjectivities are formed through intimate familial relationships developmentally, such a maternal subjectivity is transposed onto networks beyond the scope of our kin. She quotes Levinas, that ethics is being for an Other, which requires, “truly going to the other where he is truly other” (Hollway 2007, 102). The transcendence Levinas speaks of echoes Butler’s discussion of coming undone through the narrative standpoints of others, as strange, unfamiliar and distant as they may seem. Reading the mother/child paradigm through Ahmed’s notion of domestication helps us trouble Levinas’ account of the Other as: “introjection of the other into the self, without which the psyche could not come into being. I unavoidably suffer from the other’s suffering. The self does not volunteer, it is enlisted” (Ibid). In Levinas’ notion of radical alterity, subject-formation, just like home-making, is read as essentially and naturally conflictual and the capacity of care is a way to transcend this drive to kill the Other because: “a person would rather not be troubled by another but there before the other, the self is troubled, a moral self that rises to the occasion and aids the other” (ibid.) It is 54 through love’s knowledge, preservative love in Kittay’s sense, or loving perception in Lugones’ sense, that the capacity to care is realized. Margaret Urban Walker (2006) complicates the notion of love’s knowledge as a remedy to moral injury with her argument that what requires care is not just the injured body, or the core self of the individual, but also the relationships that hold us accountable and recognizable to one another. Before attempting to venture to other shores, political theorists still need to do the work of moral repair within our knowledge relations and this begins with accounting for our complicity in authoring coloniality. Walker introduces the notion of moral repair as the process of “restoring or creating trust and hope in a shared sense of value and responsibility” (Walker 2006, 28). From Kittay’s dependency critique, to Butler’s conception of vulnerability as a political resource, to Tronto’s vision of care as a democratizing force, existing literature on care ethics centres in on the point that: situated and embodied knowledges reveal different orders of moral responsibility, possibilities for freedom, and material terrains of violence and precarity. By framing the practice of care as revelatory, as the work of moral repair, care ethicists open up critical, conceptual space to (re)articulate critiques of how the public/private split and the myth of the atomistic individual and rational political citizen within modern political theory delimit possibilities for relational autonomy and moral personhood. I argue that the work of speculative care should be to reveal orders of relational responsibility and contact histories of sense-ability by which we learn to read, write, think and care about the other. This requires looking within, not travelling to or going to visit new shores or into the Other, and undoing the boundaries of the self-same, as well as opening up the moral inscrutability of the “I” that inhabits the body of the political theorist. In addition, as I argue in later chapters, addressing such sense-histories shows us that the history of political theory as a tradition and its sensibilities are deeply embedded and 55 informed by the sense-contact histories of imperial expansion in which such speculative care was a force of sanitization in civilizing missions. Care-based modes of knowing the “political” and the “Islamic” charge me to first disinherit the violence-prone colonial textual sensibilities within care ethics and CPT scholarship. Historicizing Eva Kittay’s notion of dependency care invites us to not only undo colonialist ways of doing political inquiry but also, to embrace the radical heterogeneity of the (m)others of political theory by authorizing care-based epistemologies of knowing the “Islamic.” In her seminal text Love’s Labour, Eva Kittay shares a vision of a political order rooted in connection-based equality in which we “are all equally some mother’s child” (Kittay 1998, 19). Articulated as a critique of liberal individualism, Kittay’s aphorism “some mother’s child” centres the unequal relationship between a dependent and a dependency worker as a universally shared point of origin for equality. Moving away from the social contract tradition, in which equality is a birthright, Kittay argues that equality is cultivated in and through dependency work. By framing motherwork as the conditions through which we become persons, Kittay guides us towards a world in which the status of care-work is intimately linked to the moral personhood and dignity of the individual as “some mother’s child.” And so, the transformative potential of Kittay’s thesis is framing dependency work, the labour of love, as an incubator for moral personhood in which both the charge and the dependency worker are valued in and through the relationship they share. Kittay concludes that the condition for the possibility of equality is the “inevitability of human interdependence” (50). Connection-based equality centres in on what we are due “by virtue of our connection” to those with whom we share relations of dependency. Throughout this dissertation, I hope to create a tension within Kittay’s notion of connection-based equality and relations of dependency care as life-sustaining, by exploring 56 dependency as a colonial institution that denies (m)others moral personhood by appropriating their caring labours to sustain the Master’s house at the expense of and in spite of their care. For Kittay, this violates the dependency worker’s claim to “a socially supported situation in which one can give care without the care-giving becoming a liability to one’s own well-being…and the entitlement to care itself” (66). Critiquing the vulnerability model, Kittay argues that “an equality that begins with caring relationships can give no moral warrant to actions or relationships that are coerced” (Kittay 1998, 73). However, in this decolonial spin of Kittay’s call to support dependency workers, what (m)others are due through their forced connections to the Master is reparation and redress not just for the violence done to their bodies, their relations and their lands, but also, for the appropriation of their knowledge practices and caring labours. Whereas Kittay’s assumes the mother-child relationship as a point of universal identification, and the mother as a figure that pours her love into the child, historicizing maternity as a category of analysis enables us to consider how colonial violence estranges and displaces us from our mother(land)s and how motherhood itself can be a site of colonial violence. I translate Gadamer, Wolin and Tully’s definitions of tradition and inheritance into the notion of maternity as situated within the contact zone within which speculative care takes place. Mary Louise Pratt defines the contact zone as “the space of colonial encounters, the space in which peoples geographically and historically separated come into contact with each other to establish ongoing relations” (Pratt 2008, 6–7). De-colonial Christian feminist Musa Dube (1997) argues that the contact zone is where two epistemological frameworks that have been “geographically and historically separated” meet; what is of contention here is not world-travelling itself, but rather the method and sensibilities with which we travel as it guided by the colonizer’s desire “to take control of a foreign land—culturally, economically, politically and geographically” (67). 57 What needs to be interrogated is “how we authorize travel” within our modes of inquiry (ibid.) and how we represent foreign land and people “as in need or desiring” to be translated by “superior and exceptionally favoured” white, western intellectuals and their agendas of cosmopolitanism (117). Laura Donaldson (2006) further interprets the contact zone as a space in which there are “ongoing relations” of “severe inequality and intractable conflict” (160). Such a space is not just a colonial frontier where the colonizer does violence to the colonized, but rather, also a place of “co-presence, mutual influence and interlocking understandings that emerge from deep asymmetries of power” (ibid.). There is an “improvisational dimension of colonial encounters” that is often erased in narratives of conquest to deny the sense-ability of the “colonized” to speak back or respond (ibid.). For example, although the Bible was used as a colonial weapon, through her positionality “as a person of Cherokee descent and as an informed biblical reader”, Donaldson practices “responseability” by re-reading Orpah’s exit in the biblical story of Ruth in the Christian context to respond to the historical situation of the colonization of Indigenous peoples and their right to refuse assimilation and return to their motherlands and natal homes (Donaldson 2006, 168). Whereas white political theorists set out to venture to other shores, as a Muslim and racialized settler it is this longing to return, to our mothers and our motherlands, or to have our mothers and our motherlands returned to us, that I tend to and read as the impossible mourning for that and whom have been denied passage into world history and denied their inheritance. In her collection of essays, “In Search of Our Mother’s Gardens”, Alice Walker (1983) imagines worlds of gardens in which the creativity and lived testimonies of her enslaved ancestors are in gestation awaiting safe passage into the world on earth: 58 they forced their minds to desert their bodies and their striving spirits sough to rise, like frail whirlwinds from the hard red clay. And when those frail whirlwinds fell, in scattered particles, upon the ground no one mourned... Our mothers and grandmothers, some of them: moving to music not yet written. And they waited (402). Did you have a genius of a great-grandmother who died under some ignorant and depraved white overseer’s lash? Or was she required to bake biscuits for a lazy backwater tramp, when she cried out in her soul to painit water coulours of sunsets, or the rain falling on the green and peaceful pasturelands? Or was her body broken and forced to bear children (who were more often than not sold away from her)—8, 10, 15, 20 children—when here on joy was the thought of modelling heroic figures of rebellion, in stone or clay (403)? Through the written word, Walker creates a space to hold her ancestors, to grieve for the unconsoled, to articulate that which they were denied to say or do within their horizons. She charges herself with the work of inscribing her ancestors’ truths, their secret rebellions, into the space of appearances, into the memories of Black women, into history. She speaks of an extra-ordinary quilt made with “bits and pieces of worthless rags” that hangs in the Smithsonian representing the story of crucifixion (406). Below it there is a note about its creator, “an anonymous, Black woman in Alabama, a hundred years ago” (407). Intending Black women as her audience in her use of we and our, Walker argues that “if we could locate this “anonymous” Black woman from Alabama, she would turn out to be “one of our grandmothers”—an artist who left her mark in the only materials she could afford, and in the only medium her position in society allowed her to use” (Ibid). And so, despite colonial and white supremacist attempts to kill the (m)other, the truths of her ancestors, “our mothers, and grandmothers, ourselves”, have not “perished in the wilderness” (403). For Walker the work of Black scholars is to “fearlessly pull out of ourselves and look at and identify within our lives the living creativity some of our great-grandmothers were not allowed to know” (405). And so, the work of interpreting her ancestors’ songs of sorrow requires the reader to first acknowledge that it is not what her 59 ancestors sang, but that they kept alive “the notion of song” (Ibid) in hopes that “the seed of the flower they themselves never hoped to see” will one day be planted, or that “the sealed letter they could not plainly read” would one day be read, and received (407). Walker’s text therefore contains not only her stories, but the stories of Black women, and their mother’s stories. And, guided by this heritage, in search of her mother’s garden, Walker finds a garden of her own (409). Her desire to know her ancestors’ songs is made accessible through subjugated histories of care-based epistemologies by which her ancestors preserved for her the notion of song. And so, the point of entry, or access, that racialized, Indigenous and Black scholars have for studying “non-Western” political theory is different in texture and in desire than white political theorists desire to know, and to travel. Practicing speculative care within the contact zone can enact colonial violence but also, open up space for the “transculturation of meaning”, resistant reading and return (160).Yet, I argue that through the study of political theory, through our relationship as interlocutors with colonialist writers that serve as gatekeepers of the tradition, we also inherit a place, a situatedness, within this contact zone, and relationships with the people (colonizer and colonized) within such imperial settings. And so, if speculative care involves charting sense histories of contact, we must explore how our (in)ability to respond and address colonial violence in our knowledge practices is not only contoured and shaped by coloniality but also, complicit in its (re)production. Cultivating de-colonial sensibilities of speculative care as political theorists requires us to orient our reading of texts to ask: 1. Does this text [or author] have a clear stance against the political imperialism of its time? 2. Does this text encourage travel to distant and inhabited lands, and if so, how does it justify itself? 60 3. How does this text construct difference: Is there dialogue and mutual interdependence, or condemnation and replacement of all that is foreign? 4. Does this text employ gender representations to construct relationships of subordination and domination? (Dube 2012, 57) Within my undergraduate and graduate instruction within political theory, these questions were rarely asked or considered, or worse dismissed when raised, in the instruction of political theory in the western academy. Referencing Satya Mohanty, Linda Alcoff (2006) argues that “our relation to social power produces forms of blindness just as it enables degrees of lucidity” (43). Alternatively, de-colonial scholars argue that such blindness is an epistemological privilege (Santos 2015, 145).The metonymical use of blindness here to refer to unknowing, or the unknown, or in this case, a refusal to know, or what rests beyond our horizons to signify an actor that lacks self-awareness is of course ableist and reads sight-impairment as a mark of epistemic inferiority or ignorance (Schalk 2018, 39). In response to metaphors of disability as forms of narrative prosthesis, Amy Vidali advocates for a “disability approach to metaphor” that “is not solely based on critiquing metaphoric disability representations” but instead “actively mines our own stories and artful re-renderings that play on the diversity of ways that we come to see and know” (Vidali 2010, 34). In addition, Black-feminist disability scholars such as Sami Schalke (2018) call to historicize, as opposed to condemn, representations of disability as both metaphor and materiality in order to “read for the possible metaphorical, allegorical, or otherwise abstract ways in which the fictional representation of disability alludes to race, gender, class, and sexuality” and the role (dis)ability plays in “historical realities of these mutually constitutive social systems and to erase the presence and importance of disabled people within other marginalized groups” (41). Such an approach is critical and activist and attends to “how diverse bodies impact metaphor acquisition and use, which shifts disability away from something only 61 “used” or “represented” by metaphor” and how “disability interprets, challenges, and articulates metaphors (Vidali 2010, 42). Interrogating ableist metaphors in political theory requires us to engage the “full range of disability; resist the desire to simply “police” or remove disability metaphors; actively transgress disability metaphors by employing a diverse vocabulary; and artistically create and historically reinterpret metaphors of disability” (35). Such ableist metaphors of blindspots within our epistemic horizons, which exist both in Islamic thought and praxis, as well as political theory, do not identify the epistemic limits of the political theorist but rather are a privileged refusal to acknowledge the “subject status” of the colonized and “recognize them as creative, innovative subjects of their own history” and “violating the most fundamental way a person or people know themselves” (Donaldson 2001, 48–51). Who is cast as blind, not-knowing, or as epistemically inferior is often not white political theorists studying non-Western traditions but rather racialized scholars working within their respective traditions. Building upon Spivak’s notion of sanctioned ignorance within knowledge production, Donaldson re-defines the concept of the blindspot to interrogate “the way in which certain forms of not-knowing are both legitimated and rewarded in the Euro-American academy” (45). In particular, political theorists profit from the “logic of translation-as-violation” without doing the work of emancipation that requires them to account for their complicity in authoring and authorizing the structures that seek to destroy such knowledge systems (ibid.). In addition, in the study of the “Islamic”, ableist metaphors not only serve to justify the exclusion of disabled Muslims, Queer Muslims, Black Muslims and Muslim women as interpretive authorities in our knowledge relations but they also ignore how interlocking systems of coloniality work to dis-able Muslim bodyminds through various orders of physical and psychic harm to constitute white, secular and cis-het bodyminds as capable of knowing, and as knowers (Schalk 2018, 6). 62 1.9 Research Questions In this dissertation, I hope to develop an Islamic ethic of care that engages all five of the ethical sensibilities of care, noted by care ethicists, and the methodological aims of CPT as noted by Warren and Williams. However, I aim to do so in a way that disrupts the colonial approaches of such methods by disinheriting the colonial textual sensibilities that texture the tradition of political theory. To do so, I have created a set of questions as a gauge to ensure that my caring labours of imagining and designing Islam as a care-based epistemology are intersectional, de-colonial and embedded in my positionality: 1) Caring About: If moral personhood is formed in and through dependency care, what of the ways in which dependency care has been institutionalized in the contexts of the Transatlantic slave trade, European colonial rule or settler-colonialism to deny racialized, Black and Indigenous mothers their moral personhood in and through their care-for the Master’s house and the Master’s care-for her? In such contexts of coloniality, can there be a non-ethics of care in which the care-receiver can exist, refuse and deny consent as the Master’s identification of “unmet needs” are driven by colonial desires and modes of caring? How can we cultivate ethical sensibilities through de-colonial and Islamic modes of knowing that engage the heart as a sensorial faculty of judgment by which we pay attention to the needs of others and build consensual and reciprocal relations of care? 2) Caring For: If, through connection-based equality we are owed what we are due, what is the enslaved mother and her ancestors owed by virtue of her connection to the Master and the violence he has done to her relations, her body and her lands through his “care”? How can we extend the cosmological horizons of moral responsibility by inheriting the 63 “burden” of responding to the weaponization of care in colonial contexts in our knowledge production (Tronto 2013, 35)? With de-colonial modes of judgement, how can we move beyond the politics of recognition in which harm is framed as inattention and unintentional and prioritize impact, as opposed to intention, in addressing harm and moral injury in colonial relations of care? And in what ways are we complicit and responsible for reproducing coloniality in the speculative care we practice as political theorists? 3) Caring-With: Eva Kittay’s model of doulia entails that “just as we have required care to survive and thrive, so we need to provide conditions that allow others—including those who do the work of caring—to receive the care they need to survive and thrive” (Kittay 1998, 133, emphasis added). I ask Kittay, what are the boundaries of this we she speaks of, and how has this boundary that ensures the conditions for her to thrive, maintained through the caring labours of the (m)others she speaks for? 4) Care-giving: If the care-giver has a “responsibility to care-for the dependent”, what if he practices this care in an irresponsible, incompetent and violent way, and is still entitled by the “larger society” in institutions of slavery and (settler)colonialism to be cared-for and tended to by (m)others coerced into dependency? What conceptual space and tools do de-colonial modes of knowledge production offer in evaluating such coerceive and incompetent care? 5) Care-Receiving: And finally, according to the politics of recognition paradigm, if the Master, or in this case the Great White Mother’s, refusal to attend to the needs of the Other in a life-sustaining way results in the absolution of the bond, “from its most fundamental obligation...to its founding possibility”, then how can we theorize the origins 64 of the Master’s subjectivity as founded upon such dependency in the same breath as his willingness to abject himself from such a position of authority? With these questions in mind, I challenge political theorists to open up their selves and consider how we build relationships with Others as political subjects, and as witnesses, in the knowledge production process. According to Kelly Oliver (2001), the political subject is a “result of a response to an address from another and the possibility of addressing itself to another” (105). She argues that the way “we conceive of subjectivity affects the way we conceive of our relationships and responsibilities to others, especially others whom we perceive as different” (19). And so, the technologies of address-ability and response-ability compose “the process of witnessing” through which we become political subjects. Whereas Puig de la Bellacasa focuses on relationality, moving beyond the politics of recognition, towards an ethics of response, Oliver frames responsibility as a “double sense of opening up the ability to respond…and ethically obligating subjects to respond by virtue of their very subjectivity” (91). Refusal to respond, in Eva Kittay’s words, in a relation of care results in the bond being absolved “from its most fundamental obligation…to its founding possibility” (Kittay 1998, 131). What makes witnessing relational is that the reader shares in carrying the narrator’s burden of witnessing through an encounter of “coming together…which makes possible something like a repossession of the act of witnessing” (Oliver 2001, 91). Conflictual models of relating within the field disrupt our capacities of response- and address-ability by encouraging deconstruction, the division of “webs of thought that share a history”, and splits and compartmentalization (Puig de la Bellacasa 2017, 73). Thinking with care entails thinking with engagements with inherited worlds, collapsing single-issued worlds and developing within readers an “awareness of multiple 65 heritages” by creating “lines of surprising connections”, to open up possibilities for speculative care (Puig de la Bellacasa 2017, 75). This labour of love requires of political theorists to ground our practices of critique within a hermeneutic ethos of openness. Similarly, Edward Said (1983) argues that the task of interpretation calls upon the reader to acknowledge that no “reading is neutral or innocent”, to avoid falling into an “ideological” trap in which “theories become unanswerable and limited in their uses” (241). Such a task requires practices of reading that enable us to resist theory, “to open it up toward historical reality…human needs…” by maintaining an openness to its own “failings” and by “keeping the concrete, presentness of the everyday proximate in our abstractions” (ibid.) And so, for Said, textual interpretation takes place in various interpretive communities defined by a spatio-temporal situatedness, political interests and social-historical configuration. Whereas Said calls for the political theorist to be responsive and attentive to the present and to her positionality, Gadamer (1960) calls for her to practice an openness to the opinions of the other, to the otherness of the text by “setting it in relation to the whole of one’s opinions, or setting oneself to it” (72). To be ready to “be told something” (xxxii) by a text is to be willing to open up your horizons of self-understanding and to come undone by the practice of reading. Instead of attempting to speak for past Others, Gadamer asks of readers to “to learn instead to recognize in the object the Other of its Own” (78). In addition to opening up the boundaries of political theory as a field and practice, and one’s subjectivity as a political theorist, Brown and Puig de la Bellacasa also ask of us to acknowledge that our thinking is situated in crowded worlds. Wendy Brown (2002a) develops Edward Said’s method of contrapuntal to demand political theorists to practice an “openness” to different perspectives in our praxis and acknowledge that our lived experience “is not the only possibility for meaning” (573). She 66 derives the notion of counter-point from a music metaphor that “describes the texture that results from combining different musical lines, juxtaposed to make a new melody” (Brown 2002b; Foss, Domenico, and Foss 2012, 240). Such a method allows various truths to be “enriched by coming together and playing off of one another” (Brown 2002b). Whereas Said, Gadamer and Brown, speak of an openness within our thought processes, the framework of thinking with care opens up space to consider how textual interpretation is connected to thinking, building and dwelling; and so we must not only open up our minds, but also other sensibilities of moral judgment engaged in the work of care. A question for political theorists is: how are our thoughts embedded in the worlds we care for (Puig de la Bellacasa 2017, 76)? How do we care for the “unavoidably thorny relations that foster rich, collective, interdependent albeit not seamless” layers of meaning that tie together our sense of “we” (79)? And how can we create articulations of a “caring we that conveys learnings from complex conflicts as vital to thinking-with” (Ibid.) For Puig de le Bellacasa, it is through dissenting-within , of recognizing withinness, “to the worlds we engage” that we learn to relate with “the complex layers of one’s personal and collective historical situatedness in the apparatuses of the production of knowledge” (80). To dissent-within a collective requires “testing the edges of a we of that we consider our world”, accepting “one’s thought as inheritor, even of the threads of thought we opposed and worlds we would rather not endorse” (ibid.). Instead of epistemic de-linking (Mignolo 2009), I argue that through my instruction in a western academic institution, I have inherited deeply colonial (con)texts of political theory and have no choice but to engage with them in order to uproot them from my knowledge practices. The refusal to acknowledge the attachments and inheritances that shape our knowledge relations is seen in how we strive to achieve and embody distance in theory. Those we study and 67 write about are “not there only to think-with but also to live-with” and this requires envisioning “necessary joint futures” not just shared fate in which we live “hand in hand with the effects of one’s thinking” (Puig de la Bellacasa 2017, 83). Puig de la Bellacasa notes that “recognizing vulnerability as an ethical stance could be an inescapable price of commitment and involvement” but, “if care moves relational webs, even by creating critical cuts, those involved in caring are bound to be moved too (ibid.). Through our practice, we are not merely tied in discourse as interlocutors but situated and bound to others within relations of care across time and space. These relations constitute a contact zone between readers, writers, publishers, knowledge-keepers etc. that is an extension of our bodies and serves as a dwelling place we share with others (Ahmed 2004b). I ask of the political theorist to care-for the (m)other by first addressing within himself the impact of his inheritance and the harm he can cause to the communities he intends to care for in his scholarship. 68 Chapter 2: In the Waiting Room of History “I leave you in the care of Allah, as nothing is lost that is in her care.” Surely, unto our Nourisher we are returning. O Allah, we ask you on this journey for goodness and piety, and for works that are pleasing to you. O Allah, lighten this journey for us and make its distance easy for us. O Allah, you are our Companion on the road and the one in whose care we leave our family. O Allah, I seek refuge in you from this journey's hardships, and from the wicked sights in store and from finding our family and property in misfortune upon returning. -Duas (Invocations) for travelers, and readers, embarking upon a journey 2.1 The Plight of Zaynab and Bishan Singh Like every beginning, I begin with birth—the birth of Tanveer Kaur, and the twin births of India and the Islamic Republic of Pakistan in 1947. Tanveer Kaur is the daughter of Buta and Zaynab Singh notoriously cast as the Heer and Ranjha of Partition. In the wake of the brutal violence, neighbours became enemies overnight, and when the Chenab River filled with blood, Buta Singh a Sikh farmer purchased a Muslim girl, Zaynab, for 1500 rupees from her abductor. In the months that followed, Zaynab converted to Sikhism, and gave birth to two daughters, Tanveer, “a miracle of the sky,” and Dilveer. As part of the Inter-Dominion Agreement and the Central Recovery Operation, the Indian government recovered Zaynab back to her natal home, with her family in Lahore. Interpretations of the story speak of Zaynab’s lament, her heartbreak and discord of being forcefully taken from her new family. Upon arrival in Lahore, for the sake of transferring inherited property, Zaynab was immediately remarried. In grief, Buta Singh cut his hair, converted to Islam, as Jamil Ahmed, and decided to illegally cross the border into Lahore with Tanveer, now named Sultana Ahmed. After the difficult journey across the border, upon arriving at Zaynab’s village, Buta Singh was beaten by Zaynab’s male relatives and placed in jail as an undocumented, and illegal trespasser. In trial, he begged to be reunited with his wife and daughter, for them to return to 69 India together. At the end of his trial, the judge ordered Zaynab, to appear in the courtroom. Popular accounts of this story depict Zainab’s testimony as a veiled Muslim woman, surrounded by her male kin, who was denied the conditions to speak for herself. All available interpretations end with Zaynab refusing to go back to India and disowning Buta Singh and their two daughters. That night Buta Singh died by suicide at a nearby train station survived by his daughter Tanveer. He left behind three notes, the first demanding Zainab to take care of their daughters, the second in which he entrusted his remaining wealth to a masjid, and the third in which he requested to be buried as a Muslim in the village of Nurpur. Zaynab’s family refused to bury a Sikh man on their land and so, he was buried in Miani Sahib, the oldest graveyard in Lahore. Faint remnants of the story speak of Muslim students across Lahore linking arms to protect his gravesite; however, his grave was razed by members of Zaynab’s family and it is unclear where he was buried in the graveyard today. There are rumours that Zaynab is still married to an abusive husband in Lahore and Sultana was adopted by the first female judge of the Lahore High Court, Rabia Qari, and is now married. The traces of this story that have been inscribed are of course incomplete, possibly incorrect, and misreadings; but this is all we have. The partition of Punjab, the event that marks the birth of free nations, has been inscribed into the land with the barbed wire of fences and onto maps and passports with black ink. What remains as a spectral layer of this boundary are the stories of the millions killed in the name of a motherland-to-come that live on in the margins of historical archives. Whereas material regimes of surveillance maintain the upkeep of borders, it is through the work of remembrance, in the form of oral storytelling and the written word that the spectral layers of the event have been inscribed within the individual and collective memory of the survivors’ descendants. But what of the gravesites? Who cares for, watches over, visits the dead? Without the work of mourning and 70 moral repair, of visiting and caring for the dead, gravesites cease to exist. What of the remains of the unburied refugees who were killed in transit? These apparitions have folded into deeper boundaries between South-Asians, as open wounds left uncared for. Yet, partition is written as a story of birth, a birth that came with the death of many mothers: in the name of the Motherland, in the name of the Creator herself, and in the name of freedom from Queen Mother. And so, I ask, what do we make of a maternity without a mother? In the story of Zaynab and Buta Singh, for example, all we have been left with are two sides of a story: the tale of a heroic Sikh man who overcame all odds to fight for the honour of a Muslim woman, his wife, the mother of his children and a tale of a manipulative, controlling group of Muslim-Pakistani males thirsting to acquire Zaynab’s inherited property through forced marriage. Where do we locate the inner life-world of Zaynab as a Muslim woman whose truths remain stillborn and lost in transition? What would she have chosen for herself had circumstances honoured her moral personhood? Displaced and dispossessed from her home, she is abducted and transferred to a place near the border she does not yet know of and then is recovered and returned to her natal home without her consent. She must marry her abductor for her protection, and then later, is forcefully married as part of an attempt to usurp her inherited property and land by her natal family. She gives birth to daughters as a Sikh woman only to have to abandon them as a Muslim woman. Of Zaynab’s plight during the partition is also Bishan Singh. In the story “Toba Tek Singh”, Sadat Hasan Manto bears witness to the unsayable and unspeakable horrors of the violent and violating birth of India and Pakistan through the narrative frame of lunacy and the liminal location of mental asylums during the Partition. “Upar di gur gur di annexe di bedhiyana di moong di daal of di Pakistan and Hindustan of di durr phitey mun.” This medley of English, 71 Punjabi and Urdu words belongs to Bishan Singh, the protagonist who is a Sikh farmer housed in a mental asylum in Lahore a few years after Partition. He is characterized as a wealthy landowner from the town Toba Tek Singh who falls into the deep hole of mental illness. Having witnessed and lived through the violence of Partition, Manto, as the narrator, places himself with the madmen in the asylum as they struggle to locate themselves within the newly drawn borders of the nation-states. Bishan Singh, in particular, roams the asylum asking about the whereabouts of his hometown. The name of the village mirrors the story of the Sikh Saint Tek Singh who once settled near a pond (toba) and committed his life to charity by supporting vulnerable peoples, regardless of their religion, caste or race, to access the water for nourishment. Like Zaynab, as his family is forced to relocate to India, Bishan Singh, is also displaced and is scheduled to be transferred, without his consent, at the Wagah border in exchange for “Muslim lunatics”. At this point of transit, he asks a border guard about the whereabouts of his hometown, to which the guard sarcastically replies with, “Pakistan”. Distraught, and unable to return to Pakistan, he stands still in protest. The story ends with a jarring image of Bishan Singh, a man “who had stood on his legs day and night for fifteen years” prostrating on the ground in between wired fences that marked Hindustan from Pakistan, dead “on a stretch of land that had no name” (Manto 1955). The narrator inscribes Singh’s death as the death of Toba Tek Singh, somewhere that no longer is exists as a place to retreat to or return to for shelter or nourishment for vulnerable peoples. The stories of Zaynab and Bishan Singh, among millions of others, remain unburied at this borderland from where I descend. The anonymity of Zaynab’s silence and Bishan Singh’s madness have been attributed to the muteness of violence or madness as a horizon that refuses its subjects the comfort of sensibility. Both have been thrown into a community of shared fate 72 (Williams 2001). The author of the social contract that ties them to the nation-state also remains anonymous and the perpetrator of the event(s) of violence remains faceless and unaccounted for. The notion of violence as senseless, as a fate that befalls upon Zaynab and Bishan Singh like a dark veil, leaves no space to locate intentional agency within the actions of perpetrators and the deeper colonial structures that force the fatedness of such relations and situations. Here, the veil serves a b/ordering purpose to domesticate and contain the unsightly and dependent disabled or female body to uphold the myth of the free political subject as an abled-bodied male. Such b/ordering of interpretive authority within nationalist renderings of these two stories cast Zaynab and Bishan Singh as anonymous, faceless, disabled figures and dependency as a decapitating force that eats away at the person until the body is abandoned. The mad, or the female, body is marked as anthropologically illegible and incapable of self-representation and is objectified as a metaphor to signify the senselessness of the violence of the Partition, of being forced into a community of shared fate. I begin this chapter with these two stories of Partition to draw a parallel between nationalist and imperialist sensibilities of reading dependency not only as a limit on interpretive and epistemic authority but also one’s ability to acquire citizenship as a free political subject. Here, dependency is understood through the colonial politics of recognition in which personhood is formed through the death-drive and the master-slave dialectic. In this paradigm, what ties the slave to the Master, or the child to the mother, in a relation of dependency is the notion of shared fate in which each is thrown into the bond without consent. It is force, and the fear of death via life without the Master or at the hands of the mother, that sustains this connection. And so, in a situation where the death drive is naturalized as a feature of dependency in which the slave, or child, obsessively desires and aims for the death of the (m)other, liberation can only be 73 conceived as the process of becoming a citizen through matricide and absolving all bonds of dependency. At the crux of the colonial politics of recognition is a demarcation of readable ontology, and reading as an ability, as inherent properties of white bodies. Whether it is through the purdah system, institutionalized care, or the colony, the inability to be recognizeable as a human in the white gaze and to transform into an autonomous, free subject of the nation-state casts racialized, disabled and gendered bodies to the netherworld of dependency. (Inter)dependency is not only rendered as a mark of ontological and epistemic inferiority but is also a situation that destines one to live in the inescapable space between two deaths—where the only ethical possibilities are death or being forced to rely on others to be seen, rescued or returned. Reading racialized, gendered or Muslim bodies as killable objects, or ontologies that are differentially prone to be dependent and proximate to death and dying, serves to sanction the Master’s complicity and uphold the colonialist defense of ignorance. Instead, I challenge political theorists, and Islamic scholars, to open up their self-understandings and explore how we are complicit in creating mis-fits between disabled, racialized, religious and gendered Others in the worlds we inhabit and create through imperial readings of (inter)dependency. Whereas Rosemarie Garland-Thomson (2011) focuses on how the disjuncture between flesh and the material environment inform ableist representational practices, and Islamic-feminists focus on anti-patriarchal reading practices, I explore how the misfittedness of dependency and disability in our knowledge relations in Islamic scholarship and in the field of political theory is authored by the same logic of coloniality that dislodges the secular from the religious, the Home from the world, the Self-same from the Other, and the mother from the event of birth. In becoming a primary care-giver for my father, I have learned as a political theorist and as a Muslim, that there 74 are violent and violating effects of the colonial poetics of reading disability, the ideas we think about disabled others, our ableist sensibilities of knowing and our world-building practices—in between hospital waiting rooms and the waiting room of History. There are three orders of analysis within this chapter. First, I outline the ableist logic that underpins the colonial politics of recognition in which liberation is imagined as becoming a free, rational and autonomous citizen. I argue that the ableist and white-orientated narrative habits, shared by third world nationalisms and imperialism, operate through four main premises that: 1) white and able-bodied domination are divinely ordained or fated, 2) the disabled, racialized or gendered body is so naturally frail and helpless it is always proximate to and surrounded by death, 3) the dependent Other is born as a slave and finally, 4) because the Other’s body is read as the property of the slaveowner and therefore, incapable of being inhabited sensorially, she cannot read against how she is read by the Master. Here, the body of the Other is territorialized into the netherworld of dependency, and of the self-same, upon which the Master’s sense of place, subjectivity and freedom is founded. Second, through a critique of care ethicist Margaret Urban Walker’s metaphor of the runaway slave, I argue that the lack, or inadequacy, that is projected onto the bodily ontology of the disabled, racialized, gendered or Muslim Other is a projection of the Master’s sanctioned ignorance and refusal to be response-able and address-able for his complicity in coloniality. The inscrutability of the Master sustains various forms of hermeneutical injustice and white epistemic privilege in how we produce and consume knowledge about the “Other” in both political theory and Islamic thought and praxis. By opening up the relational phenomenology of sense as an ability, I investigate how whiteness as a textual sensibility is oriented by colonial sense-contact histories and the impulse to sanitize and domesticate Indigenous cosmologies and knowledge 75 systems through knowledge translation. Relatedly, just as cultural appropriation by white bodies relies on absencing and displacing Indigenous bodies from their knowledge systems and sensescapes, heteropatriarchal textual sensibilities of reading the “Islamic” also serve to presence the white or racialized, able-bodied and male body as a knower of Islam and discredit the witnessing capacities of Muslim women and disabled Muslims in our knowledge relations. As colonial violence serves to “decivilize the colonizer, to brutalize him in the true sense of the word, to degrade him, to awaken him to buried instincts, to covetousness, violence, race hatred, and moral relativism” (Césaire and Pinkham 2007, 35), heteropatriarchal violence too is a sin and compromises the perpetrators’ witnessing capacities as knowers of the “Islamic” (M. Dube 2012). In the third and final order of analysis, I offer an Islamic and de-colonial paradigm of witnessing by which Muslim scholars can disrupt and disinherit colonial textual sense-abilities, engage body-sense and practice intersectionality in their Islamic thought and praxis. Through such an Islamic and de-colonial ethic of responsivity, I attempt to read disability and (inter)dependency differently, de-colonially, by re-modelling the notion of interpretive authority through an Islamic sense of witnessing as a multi-sensorial and pluriversal relationship between multiple others that extends across time and space by which we: 1) pave openings (or closings) in our epistemological horizons, 2) co-author material and ontological fits (or misfits) in our worlds and relations and 3) hold in place or displace disabled and dependent others in our knowledge relations. Built into this ethic is a sensitivity to mis-fits and our complicity in the work of mis-fitting. I conclude the chapter by applying this de-colonial and Islamic ethic of care to re-read my father’s hospitalization through the plight of Prophet Yunus in the belly of the whale. 76 2.2 Through Whiteness or By Death: The Colonial Politics of Recognition Who gets to know? Who gets known? Where is knowledge kept, and kept legitimated? What knowledge is desirable? Who profits? Who loses/ pays/gives something away? Who is coerced, empowered, appointed to give away knowledge? (Eve Tuck and Wayne Yang, 2014, 812) The deaths of Buta Singh and Bishan Singh have been appropriated as imaginary tombstones in the national consciousness of Pakistanis and Indians—a place to visit and remember the horrific violence of Partition and the price of national independence. In remembering the event as senseless violence, and the loss of life as fated, tragic and inevitable, we completely disregard the complicity of every individual within the stories’ horizon who played an intentional and active role in authorizing and authoring such violence. How we remember the events of Partition has been deeply whitewashed by the imperial project of nation-building. Just as the ghosts of colonialism continue to haunt political theory as a tradition, the nation-state, as an inheritance, also comes with its baggage of colonial orientations. Post-colonial theorists Dipesh Chakrabarty (2009) and Ashis Nandy (1983) argue that coloniality is a shared culture and a psychological state co-created through a double-bind between third world nationalisms and imperialism. Such complicity is difficult to dismantle as “the West” controls and regulates not only its interpretations, but also, the boundaries by which it can be legitimately critiqued, or dissented (Nandy 1983). Secular and white-orientated models of political inquiry “make all kinds of suppositions about the cultural sufficiency and breadth of their own thought”; and thus, any refusal or disavowal of the secular as a monolithic framework is rendered as a “covert way of taking up…a position within that framework” (Butler 2009b, 103). And so, in the struggle for liberation, we are forced to “identify with the aggressor” and make our platforms 77 recognizeable through the Manichean binaries of: savage/civil, us/them, West/Orient, and Islam/Secular (Nandy 1983, 70). Whiteness as an orientation positions the West as a protagonist in world history and the moral epistemologies and knowledge practices of subaltern, non-secular, racialized, Black and Indigenous scholars as its inferior, shadow selves. Thus, liberation, conceived as acquiring citizenship within the nation-state, is rooted in the wounds of colonial subservience—as if liberation is an act of retribution for being treated as incapable of meeting the ableist and “secular ideals of citizenship” within the British Empire (Chakrabarty 1992, 7). We cannot transpose the linear (and imagined) plot structure of the birth of the nation-state and the formation of the political subject onto the migration journeys of those who were displaced, disappeared and dispossessed from their homelands. The scurried and fearful footsteps with which our (great)grandparents fled religious persecution and colonial occupation were acts of survival, not liberation, induced by the sheer fear and anticipation of mass violence. Containing struggles for liberation through regimes of national citizenship is part and parcel of the colonial project of modernity within which de-colonial and Islamic histories of resistance can only make sense through the narrative of transitioning to, and consolidating power within, the nation-state (Chakrabarty 2000). Here, liberation is only attained through Eurocentric modes of political sovereignty; and for imperialists and nationalists alike liberation is the ascent from darkness into the light, from the womb into the world, from colonial dependency to a state composed of rational, autonomous citizens. Achille Mbembé (2003) argues that the biopolitical dimension of sovereignty, the right to kill or decide "who may live and who must die, intrinsically links the politics of race with the work of death” (14). He defines sovereignty as a two-fold process of self-institution and self-limitation: the latter entails "society's capacity for self-creation through recourse to institutions 78 inspired by specific social and imaginary significations" and the former focuses less on autonomy and more on the "generalized instrumentalization of human existence and the material destruction of human bodies and populations" in the name of nationalism (ibid.). If whiteness operates as a “straightening device”, then regimes of citizenship serve to b/order how bodies (dis)appear by lining them up and distributing them across the various horizontal and vertical hierarchies within the nation-state (Ahmed 2006, 137). Whether it’s being born into a higher-caste, or a specific sect of Islam, or lighter-skinned, movement upwards does not translate into naturalization as a “fit” but rather is a continual state of walking the line, of following the “lines” of whiteness that we have inherited by always aspiring to “pass” (ibid.). Passing is a way of "keeping the colonizer happy by not disturbing the peace, containing the matter that is potentially out of place" (Campbell 2008, 156). What is seldom discussed is how the nationalist’s desire to emulate whiteness is usually white male able-bodiedness. A key feature of such regimes of citizenship is the logic of ableism and citizenship as a "condition for the acceptability of putting to death” (Foucault 1992). Using disability as a frame of analysis to study coloniality helps us ask the difficult question, "who’s not here and why?" (Burch 2014, 142). Such a project requires surfacing dislocated histories of those, such as Bishan Singh, who were "removed from their communities" and placed into institutionalized care and insane asylums (Burch 2014, 143). For example, the necropolitical framing of the Black, racialized or Indigenous body relies on systems of ability and ableism which frame race, ethnicity or culture as forms of embodied difference that mark one as physically inferior, incompetent and unworthy of being mourned. Such depictions are ableist because they are rooted in a "set of beliefs, processes and practices that produce--based on abilities one exhibits or values--a particular understanding of oneself, one's body and one's relationship with others of 79 humanity, other species and the environment and includes how one is judged by others" (Wolbring 2008, 252). Racism, in particular, is driven by many forms of ableism based on the premise that some "socially defined groups of people have inherent, natural qualities or essences that assign them to social positions, make them fit for specific duties and occupations" (ibid.). It is "the preference for certain abilities over others leads to a labelling of real or perceived deviations from or lack of essential abilities as diminished state of being, leading or contributing to justifying various other isms" (ibid.). Ableist knowledge systems obsesses over reifying the construct of normalcy by domesticating and containing “abnormal” bodyminds and cosmologies in society. If we inherit the nation-state through a white supremacist institution (the British Raj in this case), then a major concern of nationalist storytelling is property ownership and the differential distribution of whiteness, and ability, as properties of citizenship. Both Zaynab and Bishan Singh were usurped of their properties by kin and hence, denied access to citizenship in India or Pakistan as well as, passage to freedom from British rule. Because whiteness as a property “justifies and (re)iterates the centrality of the non-disabled white heterosexual male body as the most productive and profitable citizen for the burgeoning capitalist society” ability, too, then becomes a coveted, “safeguarded, protected and defended” property by which one acquires citizenship (Erevelles 2013, 19). Possessing whiteness and ability as properties determine the extent to which an individual can lay claim to recognition as a citizen (Aho 2017). Zaynab as a Muslim woman, and Bishan Singh as a Sikh man and disabled elder in institutionalized care, are made to suffer because they are least proximate to this standard of whiteness; just as enlightenment thinkers such as John Locke used disability as a metaphor to set the limits of political membership and personhood, Muslim women and persons with disability are also cast 80 as unfit and incapable of consenting and contributing to the capacity contract upon which the nation is founded (Simplican 2015, 27). Citizenship is maintained through the coloniality of being (the work of invisibility and dehumanization) by which ableist, white supremacist and heteropatriarchal conceptions of ontology placed droves of racialized, Black and Indigenous peoples into the sub-ontological category of the damné, the non-being (Maldonado-Torres 2007). Another paradigmatically ableist feature of Eurocentric and secular conceptions of citizenship is the heuristic of the Face as a mark of political subjectivity. Passing as a citizen requires one to possess the following abilities: be recognizable to Others as a human, to have a perceptible face and to appear in public. If not literally, then metaphorically, the face must be perceptible and visible through the capacities of sight and hearing prior to the birth of the knowable and the self-knowing political subject. Our ability to read a face is mediated through grids of recognizeability by which we are able to demarcate “who counts as a subject…as a life…who can be read or understood as a living being” and “who lives, or tries to live, on the far side of established modes of intelligibility” (Butler 2009a, iv). Judith Butler (2009b) marks a distinction between recognition (as a scene, act or practice between subjects), apprehension (as a mode of knowing that operates through sense-perception) and recognizeability (normative regimes of intelligibility). This helps illustrate the role sensorial reading abilities play in subject formation. Recognizeability and apprehension precede recognition and are forms of making by which living beings are crafted into recognizable political subjects. Therefore, grids of recognizeability inhibit the critical capacities of care by which we are able to respond and attend to needs of illegible Others. In this paradigm, Islamophobic sentiment, for example, is an effect of abstracted regimes of representation that de-limit our capacity to care for Muslims. 81 As I will illustrate later, here the white body is active as a reader of difference, yet passive, as an enactor or author of prejudice because her sense-abilities are conditioned by her environment or horizon. And so, for Butler the work of speculative care, entails investigating: “through what operations of power are the schemes that regulate and distribute recognizability working, and how might we critically evaluate those forms of inequality and regulated ‘non-being’ that are its effects?” in order to expose “the implications that such schemes have for the differential prospects of living and dying for various populations” (Willig 2012, 141). Beyond sidelining the complicity of the colonizer, fixating on describing the ontology of the Other as (il)legible reduces our attention span to only see the effects of colonial violence on the body and dismiss its impact on the cosmological and epistemic dimensions of embodiment. Nelson Maldonado-Torres (2007) re-interprets Descartes’ cogito ergo sum to illustrate the various dimensions of the ableist logic of coloniality: “I think (others do not think, or do not think properly), therefore I am (others are-not, lack being, should not exist or are dispensable)” (252). The ableist logic of coloniality, within which whiteness operates as an orientation, shapes how the citizen is conceived in third world nationalist discourse, as well as, within the imperial imagination. Both employ reading practices by which the life of a deviant Other is read as “below Being” and dispensable (254). Whereas critical disability scholars refer to this as ontological imperialism (Corker 2001), de-colonial scholars argue that the aim of such a colonial narrative habit is to produce sub-ontological difference by which society can be divided into hierarchies (Maldonado-Torres 2007, 254). Foucauldian scholars of necropolitics build the politics of recognition by asking “if one is not a human being, then what is one (Mbembé 174)? Those who dwell within the “margins of the world”, or “outside the world” especially those whose embodiment and existence threatens state 82 sovereignty, are differentially exposed to violence, genocide, and exploitation (Mbembé 260). And so, bodyminds that “deviate” from norms of personhood are signified through interlocking systems of representation as inadequate and expendable, making them targets for elimination by the necropolitical gaze of statecraft. Samira Kawash, for example, explores how the marking of the homeless and Indigenous body, as “not belonging to the spaces of respectable citizens” translates into the formation of a placeless body and the marking of territory (of public space) as a settler-space (qtd. in Razack 2015, 44). The eviction, or expulsion, of an Indigenous body when it is written and read as “abject” from public space is an event that consolidates “not only public space but the space of the nation” (ibid.). The Indigenous, homeless, body, in this context, is not “allowed to rest, to heal, or to thrive in settlers’ spaces”; it is a body that must be contained, made to “bear the imprint of colonial power” and exists in a “perpetual state of movement” (22). Marked bodies, in the paradigm of necropolitics, are rendered as “the living dead”, populate “death-worlds” and face “infrastructural warfare—control of water, air, and space—[which] performs a kind of “invisible killing” and denies the “slain and wounded body” care (52). Extending Rod Michalko’s use of disability as a frame of analysis, Sherene Razack compares the “killing rage” of nondisabled people, who support eugenics through mercy killing of disabled people when they realize that “disability cannot be easily cured or managed”, to the rage and neglect with which Indigenous peoples in custody of state institutions are treated. Through ableist tropes, Indigenous bodies in state care are rendered as pathologically frail, "people that no one can really harm or repair"; and so, "no one can be held accountable" for the deaths even if caused by the hands of the state's doctors or policemen (ibid). In the state’s care, the Indigenous body is seen through the eyes of healthcare professionals as so "so deeply destroyed by alcoholism that nothing else can destroy it, a situation that renders the body one that is not worth 83 caring for, and on that can be violated with impunity" (354). They are "marked for exploitation" and "marked for death" (358) especially because they remind settlers of" something they know but they would rather not: that the land is stolen" (ibid.). Through the connection of ableism with racism, indigeneity is framed as "a disabling condition" (372) because by typecasting Indigenous and disabled bodies as flawed bodies the settler with the same natural body is installed as "owner of himself and as owner of land" (ibid.). Such violence is not only representational as a set of interrelated signs that “presents themselves…as an indisputable and undisputed meaning” but is also a cultural praxis, a social imaginary, that permeates every layer of society and “pursues the colonized even in sleep and dream.” (Mbembé 2001, 175). Cast as unknowable, the racialized, Indigenous or Black Other is “never him/himself, but is always the echo of our irreducibility…veiled from his/her own gaze” (178). As seen in the writings of various European philosophers, such as G.W.F Hegel’s description of Africa as devoid of history and Native Americans as biologically pre-disposed to conquest, to John Locke’s writings on Indigenous people as incapable of inhabiting a place, to John Stuart Mill’s racist essay on civilization as a mark of whiteness, the ontological difference between the conquerors and the conquered is justified by ableist logic of race as a mark of cultural decay and natural inferiority. Such narratives give breath to larger structures of coloniality such as slavery, the control of labour and exploitation of land for profit through regimes of settlement and colonial governance. The wretched of the earth, or the damné for Fanon, are read as non-humans; the non-human worlds they inhabit are not cast to the margins of ontological difference but are instead cast into nothingness, as nothing, and in the language of ethics of care theorists, and are left alone to die. 84 For example, in the stories of Zaynab and Bishan Singh, dependency has many layers, that of colonial occupation, the purdah system in which women are folded into the domesticity of Man, and the mental asylum where the body of the lunatic becomes the site upon which the narrator, an able-bodied man, makes sense of his unfreedom. The body situated in colonial dependencies, in both stories, is emptied of its sensorial capacities and appropriated by the witness, the storyteller, as a signifier in his description of violence as unimaginable, as senseless and as mute. Just as the homeless, Indigenous body is expelled or evicted from public space to territorialize the location as settler space, Bishan Singh and Zaynab are domesticated and contained from public space at the dawn of freedom to mark the boundaries and standards of national citizenship. The nation is imagined as a “masculine nation” through “the violations inscribed on the female [and mad] body (both literally and figuratively) and the discursive formations around these violations” (Das 2007, 8). In particular, the purdah system in late-colonial India and post-Partition South-Asia was a system of interconnected practices of governance that instrumentalized the fear of death to control the mobility, self-expression and veiling practices of Muslim and Hindu women. Islamic and Hindu nationalisms, as well as modern Empire, compete to regulate the practice of purdah; the latter punishes deviations from purdah as dishonourable, the former punishes the choice to practice purdah as a mark of cultural decay and grounds for in Tully’s words, “intervention on the side of the oppressed” (Tully 2008, 17). Competing narratives on purdah, how it should or should not be practiced, chronically situate Muslim women in between two deaths. Of the many different ways power represses sexuality, the cycle of prohibition, in particular, exhibits how power regulates deviancy by making it a matter of life and death. And so, “power constrains sex only through a taboo that plays on the alternative between two non-existences” (Foucault 1992, 84). As theorized by Queer de-colonial 85 scholars (Henderson-Espinoza 2017), this place between-two-deaths constitutes an ontology of risk where the individual must constantly erase, hide or make invisible parts of their self-understanding and embodiment or “suffer the penalty of being suppressed” (Foucault 1992, 84). In this scenario, the only ethical possibility available to the plight of damné that remains for those who cannot pass or follow the lines of whiteness is death or assimilation. Here, ethical responsibility is defined by the death drive, a desire for transcending the limits of signification through symbolic or actual death. Veena Das (2007) frames this place between two deaths not as a determined fate or a path towards death, but rather as a limit, “the point at which death is engaged with life”, as a “zone from which alone a certain kind of truth can be spoken” (60). The situated, embodied knowledges that are rooted in this place between two deaths reveal the “unspeakable truth about the criminal nature of the law” (ibid.) An individual’s death in this situation is made to symbolize a release from prevailing normative standards—as a point of departure for political critique as the text of her life-story is released from its horizon. For example, meaning within the Greek tragedy Antigone is embodied in the form and content of the play’s text and the text compels the reader, and the audience, to read Antigone’s suicide and lament as the critique of Creon’s laws. Creon’s laws as a horizon de-limit Antigone’s capacity to speak and do as she desires in her fight for justice for her brother. And so, psycho-analysts like Lacan interpret the meaning of the play to be situated in the interplay between its form and content; the site of this movement is the reader’s and narrator’s senses, emotions and desires because they are situated outside the horizon. The movements generated through this interplay reveal to the reader, or witness, that which cannot be said or spoken from within the horizon of the text. And so, responsibility is a shared labour that requires nurturing receptivity and affirming the ethical obligations that arise from the stories we bear witness to. 86 If not through actual death, Jacques Derrida (1995) argues that when one is placed in such a proximity to death one must sacrifice the horizon of ethics that regulates the decisions made available to her: absolute duty demands that one behave in an irresponsible manner (by means of treachery or betrayal), while still recognizing, confirming, and reaffirming the very thing one sacrifices, namely, the order of human ethics and responsibility. In a word, ethics must be sacrificed in the name of duty. It is a duty not to respect, out of duty, ethical duty. One must behave not only in an ethical or responsible manner, but in a nonethical, nonresponsible manner, and one must do that in the name of duty, of an infinite duty, in the name an absolute duty (65–67). To act irresponsibly, in Derrida’s sense, or to rupture the symbolic order through symbolic death in Lacan’s sense, is to speak when and where speech itself has become a crime. It is through this resistance, the rebellion of speech, we are able to reclaim a sense of the person that inhabits the body that is imprisoned. It is only through sacrifice (of one’s body, one’s self, one’s relations or one’s standards of ethics) that the individual can attain recognition in the eyes of the Master, of the reader, and be released from the place between two deaths. She is released only to have her lived story be re-captured by an inheritor, or descendant, of the same knowledge systems that chased her to death. Just as ableist tropes of disability contain the life trajectories of disabled persons within the narrative arc of tragedies to appease the compassion and sympathy of nondisabled persons, stories about Zaynab’s and Bishan Singh’s plight are appropriated by the nation-state to justify violence in the name of the motherland-to-come. Both characters are read as fated to be situated in this place between two deaths, are refused citizenship and offered death as the only ethical possibility. The purpose of such a grim fate is so their bodies can serve as a reminder to witnesses as the price of national independence and the horrors of dependency. Those who exist “at the ends of the curve” of whiteness are thrown onto the slaughterbench of history and their lived stories are trapped in the poetic structure of a tragedy—forever damned as 87 bodies that were not fated to inherit from the white man the capacity to be free and independent (Garland-Thomson 2002, 10). 2.3 Forced Intimacy and the Master’s Refusal to Respond Just as Zaynab did not choose to be born a Muslim woman who marries a Sikh man in Punjab during the Partition, we do not choose the worlds, relationships and the mortal bodies we are born into and how our stories are told and read by others. Melissa Williams’ notion of shared fate captures how the world we come to share with others is a world “that has been shaped by forces other than our intentional agency” (2001, 44–45). Within this community of shared fate, the work of witnessing, of care, is differentially distributed. Though “we do not choose to be born into such communities” we have little choice but to “act within the set of relationships they structure” (ibid.). We live together in this world, “socially related to one another in the past and the future,” nestled in a web of stories that (de)legitimize the boundaries of community, our identity and citizenship (ibid.).Williams argues that to continue, to begin anew, to share the labours of peaceful co-existence, we must be willing to tell our story, and to listen to the stories of others. Building upon Hannah Arendt, Williams’ case for narrative agency is grounded in the hope that the act of bearing witness (listening) and the act of authorship, (telling the story) reveal new orders of responsibility. However, if the impact of violence in its muteness escapes interpretive sensibility, and can only be sensed by the individual who experiences it in the depths of radical subjectivity, how do we show others violence what is invisible to the ear- or eye-witness? How do we centre the faces of its perpetrators in our knowledge production? Sometimes our ability to speak, to remember and to communicate is impeded by the experience of pain, illness or trauma that plunges us into a radical subjectivity, away from the space of appearances, where we become “unrecognizable” to others as our testimonies and scars 88 of unimaginable pain cast us to the margins of intelligible personhood. For Arendt (1958), bodily pain is “the only experience which we are unable to transform into a shape fit for public appearance,” because “it actually deprives us of our feeling for reality, to such an extent that we can forget it more quickly and easily than anything else” (51). She grounds our ability to be recognized as human beings, in the capacity to appear, to exist in the public realm “in which things can appear out of the darkness of sheltered existence” and that “even the twilight which illuminates our private and intimate lives is ultimately derived from the much harsher light of the public realm” (ibid.). This Arendtian movement from darkness to light, from senselessness to sensibility, from the private to the public, from the ghar (home) to the bahir (world) (Chatterjee 1990), from colonized to an independent political subject, relies on the notion of publicity—offering oneself to be seen among others, as a precondition for voice. In addition to this, individuals living in pain, trauma, or “darkness” in Arendt’s words, are excluded from “the political” as the inability to speak from within the depths of pain strips them of their ability to appear and be recognizable to fellow-others. If the anti-thesis of voice is violence (Gilligan 2011), then placed between these two deaths, both Zaynab, Sultana and Bishan Singh were fated to survive unspeakable violence, and have been charged with the unimaginable generational burden to birth a future out of darkness, out of muteness. Beyond the erasure of Zaynab’s and Bishan’s self-understanding, what is also silenced is Sultana’s grief for the loss of her mother and father, the violations to her identity, and the ambivalence over her future. The ableist male-centered trajectory towards achieving freedom through national liberation folds the voices of women and disabled people into the domesticity of Man, as extensions of his body, his borders, his honour, his property and his personhood. And when Buta Singh dies, and the mental asylum closes, we reach the end of the narrator’s attention 89 span and he takes with him the little access we had to the inner life-worlds of Zaynab, Bishan Singh and Sultana. The liminal space between the birth of the nation and the death of the colony maps itself onto their lives by perpetually locating them in between two deaths. I argue that the violation that comes with the liminality of this space is not that the person’s body is made to speak against itself, but rather, one’s credibility, as well as ontological and epistemic capacities, as a truth-bearer are rejected. The only truth their marked, deviant bodies are made to represent through the poetics of a tragic plot structure is to be enacted as a reminder of the worst case scenario for able-bodied man: to be dependent on others to be delivered, to be born, from the darkness of the womb, or inhabit a body that is not allowed to speak for itself under the violence of colonial rule. Whereas Lacanian theorists interpret two deaths as the difference between actual and symbolic death, Margaret Urban Walker (2007) would interpret this space between two deaths as created when a body is instrumentalized against its personhood to articulate speech, make decisions and perform labours, against its intentions—actions without meaningful authorship and intelligent embodiment. When one is placed between an actual or a symbolic death, it leaves her little place to have agentic intentionality. For Sultana, she must either be killed in her father’s act of suicide or suffer persecution by her mother’s family for having Sikh ancestry. For Zaynab, she must either suffer rape by her abductor or marry Buta Singh; she must either live with her in-laws, be punished by her family or be forced to disown both to protect herself. For Bishan Singh, he must leave his homeland to return to his family, or never see his family again but remain near Toba Tek Singh. The decisions presented to the characters in the stories through the prevailing ethical order are roads that all lead to either a symbolic or an actual death as the only narrative opening. 90 Just as the colonizer sees land as uninhabited and empty, the body of the colonized in his gaze is uninhabited by a person that can think, a person that can speak back. Similarly, Mbembé (2001) describes the colony as the “peak of corruption and mortality” where “life
UBC Theses and Dissertations
In Hajar's footsteps : a de-colonial and islamic ethic of care Munawar, Sarah 2019
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