“There are no shortcuts to changing the system” “When they distort  articles I have written…” “We just have to stop looking to our ‘leaders’ and start looking to each other” “Most of us are poor” “You will not liberate yourselves by toppling a puppet government” “There is possibly nothing more alienating than violence” “No one owns ideas”

We admire his indomitable spirit and energy to help others and seek justice for the oppressed

I met Shahid Bolsen about 2 months ago when I joined a chat group on Twitter (set up by my awesome and respectable friend and activist Jamila Hanan) to work on the Rohingya cause which is very close to our hearts. When I read Shahid’s messages I was blown away by his words. He was extremely enthusiastic, determined and highly intelligent. As days went by it came apparent to me that Shahid is just what the Rohingya cause needed. His ideas, convictions, aspirations and writings were...

His vision can be used and applied to achieve justice

“This is extremism!” He said to me. These words were the very first he told me when I commented on one of his posts saying that all the present regimes are just facades since not one single government is applying the Islamic Sharia and there is no real democracy anywhere. I replied that the only way out of this is to take up arms and fight them since they are corrupted. I finished it off by saying that the only way to achieve the needs of the peoples is armed resistance. Before this...

He rejected all forms of violence directed against states or governments

From the various private conversations I had with him, I was able to perceive how he rejected all forms of violence directed against states or governments. This rejection was based on a wide knowledge about the freedom experiences various countries of the world went through, and which were often fruitful. His outspoken attitudes against violence placed him so notably in opposition to all the conventional jihadi currents. ~ Abu Umar...

“There are no shortcuts to changing the system”

Real revolution; real change, will not happen by a dramatic event, or a spontaneous transformation. The actual process of change is not only long, but often tedious, frustrating, and even boring...

“When they distort articles I have written…”

they cannot prevent people from reading what the articles actually say, which bears no resemblance to their allegations...

“We just have to stop looking to our ‘leaders’ and start looking to each other”

There is an underlying unity in our conditions and aspirations which it takes great skill to make us overlook...

“Most of us are poor”

Most of us are exploited. Most of us are struggling. We are the overwhelming majority...

“You will not liberate yourselves by toppling a puppet government”

The strings that control it will simply be attached to the next government you install...

“There is possibly nothing more alienating than violence”

Even if you are advocating perfectly justifiable grievances, even if you are promoting the most virtuous of ideas; if you pursue your goals through violence, even the people you intend to help will distance themselves from you...

I’ve never seen him as a hero, as many people do. He’s a thinker…

“But this does not, in any way, imply that he lacks the qualities of heroes, which he doesn’t. Heroes (according to Malek Bennabi) work on ridding peoples of oppression, whereas thinkers work on ridding them of the very foundation upon which oppression was based. If thinkers are not allowed the chance to obliterate and eradicate the deeply rooted foundation that had formed with the decline of Muslims centuries ago; and upon which our peoples got oppressed, plundered and manipulated...