Neither Broken Nor Crushed

This very succinctly explains my changing views on violence and pacifism, at the right time, in the right place.

I am also reminded of Prophet Muhammad’s (PBUH) Rules of War:

O people! I charge you with these rules; learn them well…for your guidance in the battlefield!
*Permission to fight is given to those against whom war is made and because they have been wronged… Those who have been driven out from their homes unjustly.
*Do not commit treachery, or deviate from the right path.
*You must not mutilate dead bodies.
*Neither kill a child, nor a woman, nor an aged nor unarmed man.
*Bring no harm to the trees, nor burn them with fire, especially those which are fruitful.
*Slay not any of the enemy’s flock, save for your food.
*Do not harm those who have devoted themselves to monastic service.


The “mask of the warrior” I wrote about in Strong Toward the Powerful is no longer hypothetical. All over the United States, people determined to resist the Trump regime and its fascist allies are masking up and taking to the streets.

The black mask of antifascism scares some people, but that doesn’t make it wrong. When you’re faced with a threat as serious as this one, there is no ethical option except to fight back. “Fighting” can mean many different things, and in any conflict throughout history most participants are not in frontline roles. This struggle needs everyone, not only those who are prepared to personally put a mask on and punch a Nazi leader in the face.

There are some highly effective and disruptive nonviolent tactics available for those who are simply unwilling to throw a punch no matter what. The heroic water protectors at Standing Rock have…

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