Thursday, March 12, 2009

Identity Uncrisis

Aqsazine identity

In our feature issue we claimed that this is a place for us to inspire each other and to simply be. We’ve received many inquiries as to who the “group behind the AQSAzine” is. Perhaps we can begin to answer that by stating who we are NOT.

AQSAzine is not an organization. We have no mandate. We thrive in chaos, have clashing personalities, and have differing opinions on just about everything.

AQSAzine is an idea, a forum, an entity created by individuals who have MANY histories and many futures. We each speak for ourselves, united by our individuality. We could never define ourselves because we wouldn’t know where to start. Even the words, images and ideas reflected in these pages belong to those of their authors, and push the limits of those physically putting the publication together. That is the point. WHO WE ARE is what you are holding in your hands as you read this. It will change, it will evolve, it will grow into many different things.

We reserve the right to hold ephemeral ideas. We reserve the right to be scatterbrained and contradict ourselves. We reserve the right to disagree, even with each other. And it is in the mess of this chaotic indecisiveness that we unite ourselves in our differences, and allow each other equal weight. THAT is the true nature of equality.

So, who are we?

Well…You’ll see us if you look hard enough.
You’ll hear us if you listen hard enough.
But you’ll never capture us because we’re not all the same thing. We’re not all in one place. We’re certainly don’t all hold the same ideas…

And as such, we refuse to pigeonhole ourselves under any circumstances. That is diversity. We speak for ourselves individually under the umbrella of the idea of “aqsa”….pushing beyond limits to discover who we are. This, ladies and gentlemen, is a journey, not a conclusion. And we all get a say in where we’re going.

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AQSAZINE is a grassroots zine open to 16-35 year old people who self-identify as Muslim. It is a creative avenue for us to express ourselves, share our experiences, and connect with others. In Arabic, "aqsa" implies the furthermost, as in reaching out to the furthest possible point. AQSAZINE aims to motivate the utmost resistance to violence in all its forms. 16-year-old Aqsa Parvez, who was murdered on December 10th, 2007, also inspires this zine. It is to honour her and other Muslims who experience and resist violence. We strive to work from a feminist, anti-oppressive framework.