Channel: Abdullah al Andalusi
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like to thank the Society of Bard for inviting me today to talk about
how the West can understand Islam. And I requested that that topic very specifically, because usually I give different discussions on on Sharia. And I give discussions on
Islam and Christianity and Islam from more theological perspective. But one of the things that I've always kind of tried to mention is how
the West understands Islam or how to translate Islam into something that people from a Western background can actually understand and not misrepresent because of translation problems. And the reason being is
explaining concepts are more than just translating literal words from one language to another. I think most many of you here bilingual work I'm assuming anyone who only speak one language, noshing on only one language to English, distinguish only one language, okay, no shame. But you should always try to learn other languages. Because it's, it's a great mind expander, especially when you see how different languages approach different concepts. And sometimes I'd love to find words in other languages which are not fully translatable in English, for example, like, in Portuguese, which is
kind of my family adventure, my family. We have worked with Soledad, which can't really be translated into English, somebody might say it's a it's a longing, or it's a nostalgia, but you can't, you can't find the right proper English word that translate that Portuguese word. So that, for example, and there are many other words in Arabic, and although I'm sure many of you probably can think of some words, which are very hard to translate, and one of the reasons being is because translation is more than just literal translation, but you're trying to translate a meaning and how what concept means in another society. So for example, the word justice as a word even in English,
it's very hard to translate that into other languages, because different languages or cultures have different understandings about what the word justice means. And I've often found, especially with when I was reading English translations of the sayings of the Prophet Mohammed Al Salam or Quranic terms. Many of these translations come from the Victorian era, and many of the English words used are not really descriptive of the actual Arabic words used. And it leads to a lot of confusion. And unfortunately, because it's these words, these the Quran for examples on these old translations are translated from a Victorian mindset. It puts it infused into these into this, the Quran, concepts
which either might be more Christian and understanding or might be Western Christian, and understanding and misrepresents actually what the Quran is trying to say, leading to people who've been reading the Quran, some of the little translations and being quite shocked and thinking, Well what why is it saying this? Well, this is quite a shocking word to use here and there. So what what's going on and I've spent a lot of my time showing from the Arabic language as well as from how the Islamic civilization understood these terms, the how that the translations are not the most accurate. And there are a few examples I like to bring to mind One example is the term apostasy. So
the word in Arabic that's usually translated into the English as apostasy is if the.in Arabic
and a person who is in it who is committed to dies put a mortar so they usually this is translated in English as an apostate. Or someone has committed apostasy and the thing is that to a
to a Western audience, the art the wedding apostasy.
Thank you, Robert. Both,
unfortunately get much sleep last night. So if he did my flight
anyway, so the word apostasy in the English language is funny in modern, let's say 20th century 21st century European mindsets, is a concept of someone that merely just changes their religion or change their mind as in they just they've left one religion or
They have left a community
that was definitely leaving the community it was the traditional medieval understanding of it. But now we have that we just view apostate as someone who just leaves or changes their mind or has a different belief about something. Whereas the word in Arabic ear to.it, literally translates as to reenact or to become a renegade. So mortar literally literally translates as turning Renegade. I when you see how it's applied in the Islamic traditional sources, if you if you were to make more accurate translation into the English as to what it refers to, it's more sedition, causing sedition for treason. And in English law, for example, sedition and treason can be defined by people not
necessarily becoming violent or act or even advocate violence, but people who are trying to by their words undermine the state and you know, overturn the Her Majesty the Queen, and and so on, so forth, that will be classified as as opposition treason.
And when people say, oh, but are you saying that, and then then one of the other problems is that people then believe that Islam is considered to be anyone who questioned Islam, which is like, which, again, is not the case. But when Europeans look into their own history, they say, Oh, look at the Soviet Union, look at certain fascist governments questioning the the state ideology was viewed as sedition and treason and they think that must be then what Islam is referring to here, again, projection from their own history into a completely different civilization that has a different understanding. Well, just to kind of lay that quite quite
broadly. No, that's not the case. Because in Islam in Islamic civilization, medieval precedent in the medieval Islamic Iraq, Baghdad, in London, which is Iberia, on the Sunday Times, you had public debates between Christians, atheists, Zoroastrians, Hindus, and Muslims, are openly questioning criticizing Islam. St. JOHN of Damascus is a Catholic saint. Why is he called St. JOHN of Damascus is because he lived in Islamic Syria. And he published the first Christian polemic against Islam. He published it in Syria. In the Levant, he didn't go anywhere else to do it. And nothing happens he wasn't executed or killed or what have you. Because Islam doesn't believe that Firstly, anyone
should be forced to change their religion. But secondly, those who have a different religion or different beliefs about Islam, because they believe it, they have different belief about Islam, they have the right to express that different belief, and to express their concerns about Islam. How is truth and falsehood ever going to be known if no one is always able to openly debate these things. And the Prophet Mohammed sauce on himself had one of the first way obviously, obviously, the first Muslim Christian debate in the prophets or mosque in Medina, the Christian delegation of natural was a Christian Arab city, came to the Prophet Mohammed came to Medina, the city of the Prophet Mohammed
City, where you have the first stomach solidity, and how to debate and the prophets almost for free days and two nights, obviously, they slept between on the table and the continuous debate readings, you know, but for free days, they had a continuous debate. And at the end of it, they rejected the Prophet Mohammed, some, obviously, an invitation to Islam, they didn't believe as a prophet, which in a way implies that he's lying, or you're saying he's a liar. If someone says he's a prophet, you're saying no, I don't believe that you're implying they're lying. What the Prophet Mohammed Hassan do? Well, because it was a long journey back from Medina to Nigeria, and he offered if they
want to do their Christian prayers in the mosque before going back to the city. And that as Muslims, we use them as a model. So not only is debate tolerated, it is actually accepted and encouraged. And the response to people who criticize Islam is actually hospitality, and not sensor. But what I found a certainly with and again, it's not,
it's very, you can't it's very hard to, to, to obviously try to avoid generalizations, and I can't You can't generalize the western mindset towards Islam. But there are, let's say, segments within Western society. Sometimes we call them islamophobes, or the far right, or xenophobes or neoconservatives or what have you, which view Islam or Islamic civilization as an A, in a way that they self project, the worst of European history on to the Islamic civilization thinking that this must be the same as what we experienced in the west to various various degrees. And that simply is simply isn't the case. And this is why I really wanted to do a lecture on how the West could
understand Islam. But I wanted to ask you ask a more fundamental question first, because I think it's an interesting preliminary, and there's something that both Muslims and others
and people who could call themselves Westerners, and technically obviously I'm a Westerner.
A more basic question is basically what is the West? What is Western civilization? How do you actually define it? And it's actually quite a fascinating concept because Western civilization to honest if you understand the what the civilization is you can understand where the men mentality is the thoughts the thinking, and better yet how you can translate concepts from a different civilizations into a way that they could be understood with their from their own reference points. So what is the West? Generally, we intuitively know what is a western country? And what is a westernized country? And what is a non western country? So, a western country we'd say, okay,
England, Western country, Spain, Western country, United States, what do you think?
western country, Australia?
It's not in Europe visit but western country? What about Malaysia?
With westernized but not a western country? What about Japan?
Yes, but not a western country are westernized but not Western, even though it's, it has a secular liberal political system, although the culture is, is is very different from the individualized kind of culture we have in in Western Europe. But the political system is what we call secular liberal.
So even though there are countries in other continents, we intuitively know what is Western? And what is westernized? And what is completely non Western. So Russia is a Western?
No, no. Russian Western. I want to get them to actually test you. What about Poland?
Okay, let's take Western eyes out the world because of that might because you just Western or not Western? Let's just make it more simpler. So Poland, Western or non Western?
Okay, good. Good. What do you think?
Non Western, is Western? Actually is Western? Yeah, it was part of the Soviet Union, but it came back into the fold of the West. What are What about?
What about Greece?
In Western, well, actually, technically, not Western. And there's a reason for this, even though Western philosophy includes ancient Greek philosophy. It's not Western. And there's a very simple reason for this. So
it will relate to the Roman Empire. The Roman Empire was not a European Empire. It was a Mediterranean Empire. Right? North Africa was just part of just as much part of the Roman Republic and then later on the Roman Empire, as Spain and Italy, in fact, Germania and what was beyond the the far regional initially England and maybe the north of England, was considered to be a bunch of barbarians, uncivilized barbarians, unsophisticated backward.
Scandinavians. And all these individuals again, will cause it to be barbarians and unsophisticated North men and North men as they were caught. So they weren't considered to be part of the Roman Empire. Germania or German Germany, as we now call it was never under Roman Empire. There was the border was pretty much what the Roman Empire there was many fights and skirmishes, but it was never actually conquered.
But what most don't realize is that Roman Empire, towards the end of its time, it's split into two sides, Western Roman Empire, Eastern Roman Empire, and it split along language. The Western Roman Empire was Latin speaking, the Eastern Roman Empire was Greek speaking. Now, technically, we will say that the Roman Empire fell in the fifth century is not actually true. Because the capital or the Roman Empire had moved from Rome to a wall it was originally called Byzantium, then it was renamed Constantinople. That was where the capital of the you history student by any chance I study this history, okay, some very few new ones. And it's like, Okay, this must be history students. What is
that history buff like myself? So, Eastern Roman Empire? Well, the capital of Rome moved to Constantinople of all Rome, and then it's split into into two parts, and they most mostly followed Greek speakers and Latin speakers. The Western Roman Empire collapsed. The Latin speaking part generally collapsed, leaving the majority of the majority of power which was the Eastern Roman Empire, where the majority of rose Roman citizens who were majority Greek By the way, obviously resided.
Western Empire was taken over by Germanic barbarians,
Don't know about Roman technology don't know how to repair it. The West enters its dark ages, not because of Christianity, but because simply the Western Roman Empire fell. What happens when barbarian takeover and Empire collapses? It's not going to become the age of science and reason is it's going to be, it's going to be a dark ages. And what happened is the Eastern Roman Empire, why they never called themselves Eastern Empire. They call themselves the Roman Empire. That was what they call themselves. They were they were the Romans, there was no the Romans, they were the Romans.
And here's the thing.
When, when the Western Roman Empire fell, and the eastern Romans still occupied or controlled, Rome, they still controlled Rome. At the time, they were different cities have different bishops that were obviously given, let's say, the area that jurists their theological jurisdiction, choose to say or do states, they'll say, Sorry, wasn't an area so we had the Bishop of Rome, the Bishop of Antioch, the Bishop of Alexandria,
the Bishop of Constantinople, and they were all part of the Council. They're all just all part of the council, all under the Roman emperors control, right? And bishops could be appointed or not by the Roman Emperor diktat, but something happened. And this is actually quite fascinating story, that the Roman Empire, which had, you know, had was the Persian Empire, but also dominated large areas of land large areas in the Middle East, which were occupied by Christian Arabs.
Suddenly, there was a new force that arose in the Middle East, which fought the Romans, and went all the way up to Constantinople besieged Constantinople on two occasions. And this force weakened the Roman Empire to such an extent that the Romans had to retreat out of Italy, they left Italy. This had a very strange and kind of unpredicted effect, the Bishop of Rome was now freed from Rome and control of the Emperor. And being free, the Bishop of Rome, and the Roman Church launched many Christian proselytizing missions, to these polytheist, pagan Germanic barbarians in Western Europe, who didn't melson didn't have any written language to speak of.
They didn't have they, again, they weren't sophisticated with
writing or with any advanced culture, and they suddenly couldn't repair the Roman technology. But what the Roman Church of the Bishop of Rome initiated was, he started to teach these barbarians, a way of writing and speaking, taught them Latin, taught them the Latin alphabet, in order for them to be able to speak and then and these Romans, these sort of Germanic barbarians adopted Latin, into their language. And when we recall the romance languages, we say France, French, Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese are the romance languages. Why we say that is because they all initially were Latin. And they all were in essence, corruptions and they eventually became corrupted to the extent they
became different languages. But they all started out as Latin in a way. All these were the romance languages, or different slangs of Latin to put over the way, that's why they're very, they're very common.
Britain or England had a bit of an interesting, different experience, although it did. It did that nice language because they but they will, because there were so many in North men invasions from Scandinavia, and and Germania before the christianization of Germania angle, or,
let's say, Scandinavian languages and Germanic languages were kind of kept been reintroduced into England, to the point that the language wasn't as latinized as the continent and so you have gem many Germanic and Anglo Saxon, or an angle of the angles that because they're called but the Scandinavian words in the English language would make English different from the romance languages, which is more of a Latin slang, anyway, and this but the the christianization of England or the reintroduction of Christianity by the Bishop of Rome and a delegation of the of the Catholics as they will now call that what that wasn't, well, they always call themselves Catholics, but
Catholic means universal, by the way, and technically the the Christians of Constantinople were also Catholics, they were universal church, but the Bishop of Rome fancy themselves they were the universal church. And they they converted over some time the Anglo Saxons of the English isles to Christianity, reintroducing in 600 ad, that's 30 years after the birth of the Prophet Mohammed sauce on him just to give you an understanding of time, so it wasn't well
1400 years, you could say isn't recent. But it wasn't that long ago, it wasn't 2000 years ago, it was actually coterminous with the beginnings, roughly around the beginnings of Islam, Christianity came actually back to the England, or the British Isles.
And what was interesting was, is that over many, many centuries, the church of Rome, you see, didn't have an army, it relied on asking help from all the powers. So it would christianize these powers, it would offer them help by being administrators and kind of being
kind of clerks for four different kingdoms. And in return, it would tell the people that the kings have to be obeyed by the people that was their Christian duty for these kings to be obeyed. So it has little kind of arrangement with these different newly converted Germanic kings, that you become Christian. And will, will kind of tell the people that to obey you, as the Christian Jew to obey you so that you don't have to worry about rebellions. And also, we provide useful services for communications diplomacy in negotiation between the different kings, because we have branches everywhere, and script and administration, we can take care of all that. Okay, they didn't, they
didn't say that as an offer. By the way, I'm just kind of in a way,
kind of giving a as historians do an analysis of what the factor kind of happened.
But, interestingly enough, the Catholic Church latinised
all if you're going if you're educated at any of these, even in England, you had to learn Latin.
It created a common language. And then, in a way, a type of a common culture between all these different Germanic kings, in all these different regions. And this was very significant, because as the Bishop of Rome of the Church of Rome, became more and more powerful, and had more and more leverage. And again, just to show you how much they harken back to the good old days of the Roman Empire,
they gave them they crowned the Frankish King,
was it probably the third, he crowned the Frankish King Charlemagne, as the new Holy Roman Emperor, she had this basic Germanic
form of barbarian with blond hair and blue eyes being given this, this kind of pseudo real Roman robe and dressed as a Roman, like a Roman Emperor, but he's not really Roman. He's just that Germanic, formerly of Germanic, barbarian. But we dress him up like a Roman Emperor, and we call him the Holy Roman Emperor Emperor, we can, in a way kind of resurrect that kind of Roman, the good old Roman times that the Catholic Church used to remember.
And this was really the beginning of what you might call Western civilization. But they never called themselves Western sort of the West. Instead, they call themselves Christendom.
And people want to think Christendom means the minions of Christianity, but know the meanings of the Western Christianity because the Eastern Orthodox Christians, ie those Christians who never separate from the Roman Emperor, and Empire in the east, will not be included in Christendom. They were not part of Christendom, they're Christians, just, they just never left the Roman Empire. And yet, they're not considered part of Christendom, which is why the Eastern Orthodox Church and the lands of the Eastern Orthodox Church were never called Christendom.
And this content brings us really to, to the crux of this is the idea of and the term was actually Christian Christianity has the toe Christendom in or Latin in its Christianity, as is the actual term. It only appears in one particular instance again, quite interesting. When the Catholic Church for one, people often debate why I did this, it declared a massive crusade of all believing Christians and Christendom against the infidels, or the pagans, or what have you. Again, they the pagans actually portrayed these their enemies as idolaters, who believed in idols and statues and things even though that's like the whole complete opposite the case. But let's stick with this.
Because they made this declaration of war. And the pope then had the ability now to launch was to get military mobilization, which in a way is where real power stems from is the ability to launch military operations.
The we see in the historical records, the first mention of the term Christianity was Christendom, so that the Crusades actually formalized
that the idea of a separate individual civilization distinct from others. That's when it actually you see the word crusnik has mentioned the earliest mention is, is actually during the Crusades of this this term.
And of course,
Course later on as the country's became as the Catholic Church encountered reformation, the creation of a new sect that suppose that the Catholic Church the Protestants, the Wars of religion, and of course they had a comment and then the Treaty of Westphalia which was not which was basically Christian, Protestant kings can be Protestant in their country be Protestant, Catholic Kings that comes can be can be a Catholic, what was it chaos? Reggio eius religio, as the saying goes, whoever is their kingdom, their religion is their religion.
But then afterwards, you saw the rise of more secular governments. And then the Christendom no longer was called Christendom, it was just called Christian Europe.
But the term West only arose in the 19th century.
And in the 19th century, we see that there was a discussion as to whether about Russian philosophers discussed this, about the western mindset or the europeanisation of Russians, or, you know, bringing Western European culture, Western European culture into Russia. And there was those who were opposing it, the Slava files those who are more Slavic culture, and so on. And then we see the discussion of zapad in Russian, the West, those in the West. And then it took on and of course, the Cold War really solidified that Russian term. So the West actually got its name the west from Russians.
And it was no one called Christendom, no longer called Christian Europe, it was now called the West. And just so you can fully understand actually, why proof of the idea that obviously the time of Christendom, they didn't consider Eastern Orthodox Christians to be Christian, to be woke yet, because I'm Christian at one point, but also power Christendom is that the northern crusades, were launched against Slavic, Eastern Orthodox Christian countries, they were considered to be infidels. And they launched crusades to the the the,
was it the Teutonic Knights, the obviously the Germanic German knights, nightly order, lead crusades against Russians and people in the Ukraine, consider them to be not Christian, consider them their areas not to be Christendom. And, obviously, launch crusade spread Christianity, to these regions and to force convert many of them
to Christianity. So in a nutshell, this is actually this is actually Western civilization, how it arose as a distinct civilization from other civilizations in the region. And you actually have the Catholic Church famed for this. But of course, the kind of hidden variableness the kind of hidden secret that most people don't realize is, I mentioned that there was two cases where they interacted with a foreign or a foreign power interacted with, with with neighboring powers to cause the West, and it was actually Islamic civilization. It was the Muslims who fought the Eastern Roman Empire, weaken them to the point that they retreat from Italy that permitted the Bishop of Rome to be free.
And also actually didn't mention that it was the new ideas that came into Europe, from a landless Iberian Peninsula under Islam, also, by Sicily, also by the Crusades that also change the character of Europe.
indelibly, but also, the crusades, which was launched against Muslims, helps solidify the understanding of Europe or Western Europe, as a distinct civilization, from others. And of course, and here's the thing.
And this is again, why I think it's very important to say that we have to have a discussion on how the West can understand Islam is because in order to launch these, these Christian soldiers against this enemy, the enemy has to be portrayed as the as the worst possible kind of enemy from the darkest history of Europe, and also for Christians, or Christendom. It was pagans and idolatry. So they depicted Muslims as being idolaters, who had worshipped statues and idols, and they worshipped Muhammad as an idol and a statue. And they worshiped different gods in a in a kind of Pantheon more of a type of polytheism. And this is completely the opposite case in Islam. Muslims are actually
iconoclastic, we don't have statues. We don't believe humans can be gods. We don't believe there are multiple Gods we don't believe any finite thing moon sun mountain will have you all got the tour, God is far beyond on transcends the finite universe and finite existence was the complete opposite. But in order to get the fellow Western Europeans to hate and to justify war, we were portrayed from the worst and darkest recesses of the Christian world, the Catholic mindset at the time, because they couldn't fight against a face that was actually an enemy.
Way more monotheistic than themselves because we don't believe in the Trinity. They couldn't do that it wouldn't motivate Christians to buy, but you couldn't motivate them to fight against pagans and infidels, and those who were polytheists. And that is the case and I think this actually still continues today.
But also like, and again his where language plays an issue Haven't you seen when? Now Jimmy as Muslims, we we believe that, you know, Arabic has a special attachment to ourselves because the language of the Quran, but we acknowledge that God can be called God in any language. We acknowledge this, it's not that it's on us like God will use the word fail or data still worshipping a different God than us. We know it's just a different language, different word for God.
And Arabic Christians call God Allah.
Arabic speaking Jews call God Allah, in the Arabic language as in the language of Jesus, so Aramaic, it's a law.
In Hebrew, it's a law. in Aramaic, it's a law, no sorry, in Syriac, sorry, and Syriac is Allah.
Allah is a Semitic word for God, or it comes from a group of Semitic languages, and the spelling is exactly the same. And if lamb ha, Allah, and ha, the specimen, all the same, all these languages, the spelling is exactly the same. The difference here is actually just the pronunciation in these different languages. And yet, whenever you hear, certainly in literacy, Western discourses, a quote from the Quran, or a quote from the Prophet Mohammed says, I'm talking about God, the Word for God is always represented as will treasures Allah. Because in the European mindset, it sounds like a name of foreign God. Like a foreign either war paid neither Mike
barn or as not to or some other kind of term. It sounds foreign sounds alien. And in order to keep it sounding alien, I realized that with some, some TV channels, some pundits talk about Islam, not necessarily favorable terms, retain the word Allah, because when people hear it when you hear the EDL, walking down during their marches and saying, who who is Allah? They used to explain it, I'm not going to repeat it, but they said Who is it who is is Allah? But Allah is the God of Jesus. In his book, he said, You can watch him, you know, Passion of the Christ, that film they tried to do in Aramaic, they tried to make the whole film in Aramaic, obviously, the Romans spoke Greek or Latin in
it, but they tried to do the whole film in Aramaic. And you could clearly hear the character which is meant to be the people of Jesus, using what Allah every time he refers to God, you can check it for yourself. It's not a foreign word for God, and yet it is retained.
People often say, well, is this Islam? It's very foreign, because Muslims who become Muslim, they changed their names from English names, or French names to Arabic names. That's very alien. We don't we don't understand this. Why do you do it as well, it's not obligatory to do. So firstly, if your person becomes a Muslim, you don't have to change your name into Arabic. But it's no different really to the Christian practice of adopting Christian names.
JOHN, Mark, Luke Solomon, they're not Anglo Saxon names. I know sex names on FL red and Canute. That's Anglo Saxon names Do you want to be all let's do indigenous, let's go indigenous, know if you these names, Solomon, Luke, john, these are latinized Hebrew names. And they're called Christian names. So when a person becomes Christian, they adopt when this is a latinized, Hebrew name.
And it's a practice. So in a way, what I try to show is that Islam is a Semitic religion, as Christianity is a Semitic which actually made this point in oxygen debate. I was on a on a topic related to religion in England and in the state. And I said, I'm here to talk about a, everyone's okay, because they still are Muslim. And I was here talk about a foreign religion that came to these shores, it's Semitic religion. Its followers have changed their names when they convert to it and adopt Semitic names. They will think, okay, Islam sounds like yeah, I'm here to talk about Christianity. And it was like, What? And then there was, Oh, yeah. And they realized and this is the
case Christianity is Semitic religion. Judaism is Semitic religion. And as far as a Semitic religion, I was in a religion that comes from the Semitic cultures, and has similar practices,
but also the some very similar practices. Certainly, for example, Jews, Muslims don't eat pork. We pray for prostrations and bearings, which was ritualized prayer Jesus prayed for prostrations and bowing to
this was actually common practice the idea of just making a supplication In fact, the idea of praying my
This wasn't even early Christian prayer, early Christian prayer. If you look at the iconography and pictures of depicting early Christian prayer, it was always like this, with the hands out. And when you see Muslim supplicating, we suffocate like this. We don't put the hands together, but only Christians that never put the has to give either. This came as a later development in European history. So again, Muslims are not that alien to Christianity, as they originally was conceived, boasts I found something fascinating.
along so I'm not going to really delve into but what really kind of gave Christianity a different character to its Semitic past was some could argue with St. Paul, the Christian saints view to be an apostle never met Jesus. But he converted to Christianity. And 50% of the New Testament is just his writings and letters added into it.
Now, the church of Jerusalem, which was a church that had the disciples of Jesus heading it, so it was headed by J. James purports to be the half brother of Jesus, but could only be the half. Jesus, of course,
heard rumors that Paul was going to Greeks and saying you don't have to follow the law of Moses anymore, so they can summon him back. And what would what have been here? are we hearing that you're telling non Jews, Greeks, the Greeks were the non Jews, of course, we're hearing you're telling non non Jews or Greeks that you don't have to follow the law of Moses. And of course, Paul denies this. And I don't I don't say that. I don't say that at all. But do we have to expect non Jews to follow the dog noses and the Jewish law and so on and is happy to have this debate. And in our this debate, they have they make a concession, they make a concession. So okay, tell non Jews, they embrace
Christianity, they embrace, obviously, Jesus the Messiah, and tell them to abstain from food, polluted by idols, I'm now quoting acts 15, from sexual immorality, from the meat of strangled animals and from blood, for the law of Moses has been preached in every city from the earliest times and is read in the synagogues and every Sabbath. So this is what they say to him. And this is what St. Paul agrees, when I say at the meat of strangled animals, was that Jews were prohibited from eating what we call carrion meat, that how was not bled before it was killed. So it has still had the blood in it. And the quantum Law of Moses is considered to be carrying, you know, like, if a
roadkill, you know, you see roadkill, it's just been knocked on bicarb, all the blood still in it, and it died in that state, and it's gonna be careful not to eat carrier. So they tell St. Paul, to tell the Greeks or the non Jews who become Christian, okay, they don't have to follow the law, but they should abstain from meat that has not been bled before it was it was killed, because that is his carrying, and he accepts this. Of course, later on Roman and in Germanic practices, they didn't really want follow that law anymore. But arguably, hollow meat and kosher meat actually fits that death that that requirement and in essence, non Jews who are Christian, and there are those who do
follow this, like the Seventh Day Adventists they do. So
they should be eating halal or kosher needs to if they want to follow Christian requirements. And you can read as x 15 in the New Testament, so it's not interesting.
The other kind of other kind of concern or issue is obviously, obviously, people in this day and age, say all the headcovering it's very non European.
And this is very hard to understand, because you can't argue it's non European, as as an as a practice in of itself, but it's viewed as non European because it's practiced by the people who seem to be immigrants. Yet, many times I've seen
certainly the old generation in my country, in Portugal, my grandmother had a headcovering over a head, East Europe, West Western Europe, the old generation had headcoverings Well, heck, there's even pictures of the Queen having a having a headcovering. And that was viewed to be normal. In their times. It wasn't viewed as I should be to be modest, even Victorian era where obviously, you see there's a relaxation of this headcovering Victorian women still always wore hats, at most times, not completely, they're completely uncovered in public. And that was as a practice. It's actually quite common in in Europe. But when suddenly once Europe kind of divest itself from this practice,
and yet Muslims come in, suddenly it becomes a strange foreign foreign practice. And I remember Actually, there was a
Pakistani sister who told me this interesting
Dory. So they actually went to Spain. And they basically saw some in some Spanish. Spanish women saw them as peasant wearing, because Spanish people can also be quite tan. So they didn't know this person was Pakistani, they thought this person was Spanish. So they approached this person and in Spanish, another that have been translated for them. Because they had a colleague who spoke Spanish said, Oh, it's really good. You're reviving the old practices Old Spanish practice.
And to which they said what and didn't understand. And then they realize, well, this person isn't Spanish is not answering what I'm saying that the person isn't translating and said, Actually, this person's saying isn't as like what I'm actually learning. But
but that's the case. But when it looks like it comes from a foreigner, suddenly as a non European thing as an alien is using an alien concept.
But also, quite, quite what I see is in European history,
women have never been treated legally, with, with much right as much rights as men enjoy, in, in western history, European history,
up until what, up until just last century, the idea of marriage in Georgia involves this concept called couverture, which is that if a woman gets married to a man, the property of that woman, then belongs to a husband. Of course, on the on the negative side, the husband can be legally liable for the things that she does. So I don't know how you judge that, but only her own property, or even getting married. Even prior to that, in even in English culture, the woman was expected to give a dowry to the man or the woman's family has to pay a dowry to the man as well, that was actually English. Let's practice India as well amongst Hindus, not not Muslims, because in Islam, the Prophet
Muhammad reverse that of opposite direction, if it's actually the man that has to pay a marriage gift to the woman, not the other way around.
And it was, was quite ahead of its time. And that didn't stop until just recently in European history, and certainly in English, English history. But when, when the western mindset of as of now defined, it looks towards Islam, it again is viewed from the darkest recesses of European history. Oh, it's not must be like us a couple 100 years ago, must be just like us discuss some civilization, they haven't reformed themselves or change their religion, they must be just like us, or they must ask that women are covered up because women are either and they make few assumptions or speculation that they must believe women are either infant tile and column and needs to be treated as a
derogatory way or that women are just sex objects is what has been covered up because sex objects which is which is opposite of the thing but or they are, or that really don't have much rights in Islam, women can't work or can't speak their minds or can't do any of these things or don't, are not educated. And they make all these speculations that they project on to Islam. And as many Muslim women can tell you, themselves, that's completely opposite the case. I often often said whenever they say that, oh, you know, Muslim women are taught to be meek and timid, and so on. I often say men are
quite opposite, in fact, quite the opposite.
What they don't realize is that while women only had the right to vote, or have any say in the political processes, just 100 years ago, in West, post enlightenment, post science scientific
revolution in Islam, 1400 years ago, the prophet Mohammed solsona required that both men and women must give the pledge of allegiance to the leader, before the leader can have any legitimacy
in as a leader.
And prior to that, in pagan Arabic society, women were not involved in that they were not expected to be involved. It was the men that decided these matters. You don't need to involve women from that perspective. But Islam changed that. It changed that, of course, Now, to be fair on the pagan Arabs that didn't have any issue against women working per se. But if you were the wife of a husband, the husband has absolute authority over that over by absolute authority, no rights, no nothing. You're at the whim of the husband in pagan Arabic society, society. But the problem hasn't changed that. First and foremost,
women were given the same rule of rights and even obligation to seek knowledge as men do.
Also, unlike what happened in pagan Arabic practices before the Prophet Mohammed Hassan required that women consent to before they get married to her whoever is either proposing to them or is being proposed to them, they have to consent is they will decide if they want to get married or not to that person. And if they want to get married to someone that their father or mother does not
prove the Father has to give a legitimate reason to before that can that can be held. But even then, if she insists it can't stop the marriage from happening, she insists, then she has the right to get married and your marriage to who she wants and who she chooses. And one example This was woman was married against her will by her father. So she came to the Prophet Mohammed Salaam Salaam and said my father, married forced me to marry this man, I didn't consent to it. So the Prophet Mohammed said, Okay, well, you know, I can, I'll not know the marriage, she goes, Well, no, actually like the guy. But it's for the principle, I want it to be known in a society that you couldn't do this just
so happened that she actually liked the guy. So she said, actually want to stay with me. But I wanted to be known. I wanted to be known that this cannot happen, this cannot happen.
And that's and that was the case in
what the prophet Mohammed was the last time did. We also see that, aside from
earning money, there was no even shame on a woman earning more money than a man, even even though she earned so the wife of the Prophet Mohammed is awesome. Khadija was a successful businessman. In fact, she was his boss, initially, and she actually proposed to him. And he saw no shame in accepting the proposal. And being married to an essence is a woman that was earning more than him, of course, and was his boss. So no shame in this. There's no shame in this. And yet, obviously, in Victorian society with Victorian values that will be used, it's very odd. And I dare say, post colonial Muslim societies is also considered to be odd and strange. And why do I say post colonial,
when you look at the Muslim world, now, you're actually looking at
British imperial values 100 years ago. It's not that Muslims, what they're following now or backward cultures that predate your Western civilization, is that they were good students of Western civilization 100 years ago, they just didn't get the update on the latest updates via Apple, whatever.
So the idea of a woman's place in the home is very much a British imperial comfortable Victorian concept, which Muslims didn't previously have, prior to that point in time. One example this is I, I kind of typically bring this because it kind of emphasize the point. So in Egypt, prior to British, taking it over from the Rome, the Ottomans, right.
Women studied for and became nurses and doctors, doctors, medical practices. And because it was it was due that you know, if women would prefer to have a female doctor, then obviously when there should be female dogs, but but that there was that advantage, but but also that women and men can do whatever they want in terms of profession. That was always been the case. When the British came in civilized the natives, they expressly said that, well, why do you need to have women doctors, people should just make do with men, doctors, women, women's places more for the home. So they stopped women from continuing studying medicine and practicing as doctors, because it didn't view as a woman
as a profession appropriate for women.
And that's what the Egyptians learnt. Because these were, he was a civilization which came technologically superior, they said they were superior. They said they had superior values, they change the education system, because the state legislature was was funded by the state and they could not control that state. So they changed it, they cut off a lot of the static subjects out of the education system. So they created in their own image. And then educated Egyptians learnt if you weren't educated Egyptian, you will westernized and you learn from him from the English education system. And he ended up proof. The point is, I'm going to give an example. This is those who are in
the Muslim world who esteem themselves with the most westernized also students have been most enlightened. But if you look look at their opinions, they're also very backward. One example. cc, President Sisi of the Fatah CCI, again, I often make this point and I also say it with the understanding that I'll probably never be allowed in Egypt. Or I don't really want to go to Egypt, because I know what they do if they hit this, on these enlightened values. He's a secular leader.
And yet, during the demonstrations, when he was obviously a military General, he advocated that soldiers, molest women or protesters, and those women who who basically advocate the thing where they shouldn't be molested because they're virgins, which is obviously trying to invoke some cut some kind of cultural priety they were virgin don't talk don't touch us that the soldiers do virginity tests on the women. You might have heard this on the news. This was actually quite you have heard this okay. Yeah. That she was outraged and I rightfully should be outraged. But he's not
Islamic fundamentalist, he's not some backward medieval relic from the past. If you look at medieval history, actually medieval times probably more enlightened Actually, I'm actually much more enlightened. He esteemed himself to be a secular enlightened westernized ruler. And the same same, same impartial asset. They all esteem themselves to be secularized, westernized rulers and they have but they have opinions that are 100 years old. in, in, in by European standards at least from Europe and prove the point of the basis. 100 years ago in England, it was viewed that clitoral rec dummies were prescribed for women who were just be hysterical, or could get hysterical. And they viewed it
as a way of of curbing hysteria, quote unquote women could rectum these were prescribed by many medical practitioners in England, and America,
post enlightenment, post industrial post scientific revolution, England and America.
So when you have these individuals or these conquering armies coming to the Muslim world, saying we are superior learn from our values, you're going to get the Muslim world today as a snapshot of what British Empire was 100 years ago. That's what you're seeing when you see the Muslim world today, a snapshot of this.
But all the other issues which we see is that on the fringes of Islamic civilization, on the boundaries of the frontier regions, when the southern civilization declined, the cultural practices that were pushed out to the fringes, of a sense of religion started to come back into those fringe areas. One example is a what is called obviously what is called free female genital mutilation, which we see in the Upper Nile area. And people say, Oh, this, this is an Islamic practice. This is what Muslims do. I say, well, it's not. Because there's a reason why you don't see that anywhere in the central areas of the Muslim world, it was pushed out, it was not viewed as similar to practice,
it was actually in the frontier zones. And it's a practice that is 3000 years old is a ferulic practice from ancient Egypt, practice, long before Islam long before Muslims. And what they don't tell you is it's practiced by Christians and animists. In the same region, too. It's a cultural practice. And it came back in as civilization, civilization started to recede and decline. These these practices came back in same in the frontier regions in India. And so a lot of practice that were pushed out, came back in, for example, just give an example. In Pakistan, many Pakistanis tell me that when a woman gets married, the is expected that the bride's family pay some expenses and
even gifts for the husband's family, and or for the husband directly, imitating the pre Islamic Hindu practice, even though that is not an Islamic practice as the opposite. It's the husband that pays, he holds the wedding, he holds the walima, the kind of the marriage ceremony, he pays that and he also gives a marriage gift to his wife. Every that's why you'll see that only practiced in that region. But you also have practice in Egypt, for example, which is more central. Now. Again, Pakistan, the region was obviously it wasn't a frontier region. But we saw that as Southern civilization declined the receded practices that were pre Islamic. And certainly, obviously, as a
Hindu practice is still current and so affected and started to come back into Muslim practices in that reading. And it's not nothing to do with Islam got nothing to do with someone yet. When it agrees with the darkest recesses of Western history, they project it onto us not all this is not must be doing this, because it's what we did back in the past, so it must be Islam being backward. And so even though in Islam, it's what we call a bad innovation. Because the Arabic word innovation, we don't mean it in a good way innovation as bringing something new into Islam that wasn't part of Islam, it's actually a bad thing.
Technological innovation is good innovation in prak. cultural practice is bad, because you're bringing new practices which would go against Islam.
So this is the kind of
this is the kind of issue and yet obviously Muslims are judged by this and Islam is judged by this. And that's it. So just to finish up another common misconception and I suppose this lecture is really becoming a lecture of misconceptions or a litany of misconceptions, but I wanted to do more than just discuss misconceptions but also discuss where they came from, and how they are projected onto onto Islam and how they actually come from the darkest regions of European past. So actually, there are two small misconceptions actually. One misconception is that is
wants to spread sherea sherea go across the world onto the Muslims and make everyone under Sharia law. Firstly, Sharia in Arabic means law. It just means law. So when you say Sharia law, you're really saying law law.
They want to spread law law against over us. I mean, technically the law of England or Wales is the Sharia of England, Wales and the law of United States America is the Sherry of United States of America. So, you can you can tell us to an EDL person who will be freed them out England is already under Sharia, the Sharia of England and Wales,
and so on applied by the queen. So what's in it is in her name.
this projection actually is in a way ism, is a projection from the 20th century. And it was an idea that if all political ideas or ideologies like communism and secular liberalism, the two main ones,
they each tout their worldview is universal. So people say universal human rights, what they mean is secular liberalism is understanding of human rights. And they say this is universal. And the communists would say,
the rights of the proletariat universal workers, they're universal humans, almost everyone must be under the liberation of communism or liberation for the proletariat against the bourgeois which they need to be back with the following a, an economic system, which they view, communism has now superseded This is the perspective. So the thing is that because second, liberalism believes his views on values are universal, and communism pleases using values of universal it believes that every human being must as a mandatory requirement beyond these values, because it is that that's how justice is defined. And therefore the human being does not live on the secretary of realism, or does
not live on the communism, they are under injustice. So they all must be liberated and whether they like it or not. It's secular liberal and, and the communist perspective. So that when they hear that Islam had a has a political project are these political laws and might I add, and is not a misconception? all cultures and religions, up until secular at the time of secularism, were had laws, laws, religion was always part of the Torah. What does the Torah mean in Hebrew, it means law. In Arabic, same with Torah, it means law in Arabic, Semitic language.
Buddhism has rules for governance, how state should be governed, what a wise Buddhist leader should do, and and how they should administer justice and money and helping the poor and a whole number of things they had on standards of laws. Again, Shinto Buddhism in Japan or Bushido had the same idea laws and beliefs and values all linked together. Hinduism, that Hindus don't call themselves Hindu, so they don't believe in Hinduism. It's called Hindu dharma. What is Dharma mean? law, the law of Hindus.
So that even Ancient Greeks and Romans Yes, they might be the Emperor's might have made laws, but they will believe that these laws were based on the the virtues and values upheld by the Roman religion, and by the different gods, Roman religion, but it was always linked to their religion, linked to their morals and values, morals and values come from religion, and motivated on the pin law. Therefore, there's always a natural link between morals and values and laws, there always has been only the very modern times of and cronyism which, which spread it to the world, the idea of secularism, taught that religion should be only dealing with personal matters of ritual worship, and
law should be purely looking at material benefit in this life. That is a brand new idea. We can all thank Thomas Hobbes, mostly for that, mostly, that's Thomas Hobbes is actually mostly for that. So Islam just never got the memo from Thomas Hobbes. And didn't secularize itself, because why would it? Why should it? Again, you know, Jewish law has laws for a state and governments as well the kingdom of David, the kingdom of Moses.
So when Muslims talk about what we need in the Muslim world, to have Islamic law and create justice as a solution to find revive our civilization, someone, suddenly many some Western pundits see this and they go, Oh, they believe in a political project. And they don't accept secularism, that must mean that they want to impose it on us ultimately, because that's what we do. In essence, because they will view that if something is if you view this as Justice and you view is universal, that everyone must be under it, whether they like it or not, because that's justice. So they make the projection onto Muslims. The thing Muslims want to spread Sharia on everyone else. And it isn't the
first time they've said this, in 19, in the 1890s, to about 1940.
In countries our journey to science needs to talk about Germany, England, France, United States, there was conspiracy theories and an anti semitism that said that Jews want to subjugate all non Jews under Jewish domination and Jewish law.
They use the same arguments and try to that in Protestant countries that Catholics want to subjugate all Protestants to Catholic canon law, law of the Catholic Church. The same arguments repeated again and again and again says Groundhog Day if anyone remembers that film. So it's a it's a repetition again, of something that was very old, the same old fears and worries about this minority. Can they trust them or their loyalties to the state? Can you get Can you guarantee this and we even see this from john Locke, you know, famous, classical liberal philosopher, he wrote this letter called a letter on toleration. It's actually ironic if you consider a few passages he says, but what a church
or a religion that doesn't deserve or doesn't have a right to claim toleration is a religion that makes this ruler a foreign power. So either foreign Pope, or I mentioned my Hamilton's or most amounts, I think as a Muslim Islamic coach with us. He said that they also don't really currently have a base to claim toleration because they base their religion on the as equal to the Fein oracles, the fatwas of the the great Mufti of Constantinople, who is under the thumb of the Ottoman Calif. So we don't we can't really trust Muslims, because we don't know if they're fully loyal to our state. That's what john Locke said in his letter on toleration. Please read it for yourselves,
please. So basically, say Catholics and Muslims, you said atheists can't be tolerated because you can't try they don't have any morals and you can't trust what any any oaths they give. And someone measures in the payment makers who actually like john Locke, and he was actually quite shocked and saddened that his
his hero actually would would condemn him on this matter binary.
So we see this is a recurring theme in in European photo worry and concern of a minority and they all they want to play with the law over us. But it's not the case. And it's very, very simple thing in Islam and in the time of the Prophet Mohammed, salaam. And ever since Sharia or Islamic law has only been for Muslims, there's no point what why would you expect the Christian not to eat pork? If you don't believe in Islam, you're not going to earn good deeds, if they've rejected us. If they reject religion you consider to be true. You're not going to get into own good deeds, if they follow its law, even though they don't believe in it. It's not it's not going to do anything. How would
that save them? won't save anyone to follow laws and know that they will they don't believe in it. That's not that's not sincerity.
And we see this very aptly discussed in the Quran. Now people usually use the tongue this verse in the Quran, there's no compulsion in
the word isn't Arabic DNA translates religion and as was mentioned before about Arabic words, the word Deen doesn't just mean of religion, it means a way of life and, and a system of belief. You could translate it as worldview, you could translate it as an ideology. It's a broad term, the word Dean. So there's no compulsion in Dean in, let's say, worldview or ideology, or have you true stancliffe marijuana, people usually mentioned this. But I want to give you another verse. I want to give you another verse, which approached it from a different angle. Most Muslims don't realize this, this person has this angle, or they don't realize about this verse. But this verse explains to
people who are worried about Muslim spreading Sharia much more than anything else I could ever say, here's what the Quran says it addresses Muslims, had your Lord wailed, those on Earth would have all believed all of them together. So will you then compel mankind to become believers? It is not for anyone to believe except by the permission of God. So the first thing if God wanted to, everyone would have followed the same religion, they've all been one religion. So if they're not following one religion, this is the will of God. So if that's the case, and who you are, who is anyone to compel people to follow a religion? If God didn't? Will everyone still follow? one religion? That's
what the first is pretty clearly saying. And say that no one will believe is not for anyone to believe, except by God's permission, as in God is who controls all things is ultimately the size with guided who's not guided as a theological discussion. But it's discussion that's purely in the hands of God not in the hands of humans.
So here's the thing, in Islamic civilization for centuries, Christians has their own law courts, they, the Armenian Christians, for example, they had their own police,
for their for their areas, that normal smoke on the semi autonomous regions, and I'm not saying ghettos, regions, no boundaries, no walls, people no in and out, but it was jurisdiction, purely controlled by them out wherever they want to manage the jurisdiction of it semi autonomous regions.
You had in Damascus, you have the Armenian Quarter.
Jewish Quarter you have these items of quarters, parts of the city whereby people naturally want to come in with their own community. It wasn't it wasn't say you must only go to this because there were Jews living outside that Armenians living outside it, but it was a quarter saying that this is their area. You can live outside if you want, but if you want to live inside it, it's your area to run as you see fit. That's it. No one says you must be following British values. We cannot have ghettoization. You didn't get this, you get this multiculturalist fail, you don't get this argument, which we see in modern Western societies. We saw that Jews want the Jewish law.
So rational is Western law. There's even a discussion by Ben Kaymer, Josie,
who wrote his book in his book, come after them. So that the term then by means of a non Muslim who's a contracts is and like, you know, Jacques Rousseau's contracts is an idea. So he discusses the, the idea the practice of Zoroastrians, there was a sector of the Russians who believed in self marriage, but it wasn't it was translated self managing means they can get married to a member of their own family, whose brother sister, mother, father, what have you, it was a practice Muslims finding apartments was disgusting, but he'd been but it'd been. Josie discusses it and says, Well, look, the prophet Mohammed saw salon, he ruled over areas where there was restrooms, he didn't seem
to prohibit it. And he discussed the principle of Islam of non interference, which is, that's what they believe. And you've offered them to be Muslim, they want to be Muslim. You can't interfere, what they want to do. How they want to do is what they really want to live. That's how many of you no matter how disgusting you personally find it, it's their culture, don't interfere with their culture. And the same concept came with also Sati, which is a was a Hindu practice of, of when a woman became widowed, some women were expelled. Usually the upper class women were expected to throw themselves on to the funeral pyres of their husbands
and not mean widows who was competent to kill themselves. In essence, it wasn't pass by every hand do and it wasn't it wasn't by working class generally, but it was a practice. Muslims didn't interfere. In that practice. We find it obviously extremely disagreeable. No offense to anyone who believes in it. This is just a Wi Fi extreme disagreeable, to put it lightly. But it's not fast to enforce Islamic law on people who don't believe in Islam.
That was true multiculturalism. So I say to EDL and xenophobes and even members or people who are influential in government, some neoconservatives they have Muslims or Islam middle applied Sharia on Muslim non Muslims living in it Muslim hands, I want to play Sharia in the West upon non Muslims makes no sense.
And just to kind of give you a quote, which Juliet is a famous historian, he wrote his book, a 2004 book, the case for Islamic Christian civilization, where he talks about the critical mass of Christianity and Islam and so on. He says this minute study in case after case they have shown that the justice was generally melted down impartially, irrespective of religion, official status and gender within the Islamic world, not being subject to Sharia, Jews and Christians were free to go to their own religious authorities for adjudication of disputes. But in many cases, they went instead to the southern judge. Obviously, they are allowed to go to seminars, if they want to say no, you
can't go in. But they it wasn't it was optional. They could just resolve these disputes amongst themselves.
So we see these kinds of discussions. We also see the Prophet Mohammed Salaam Salaam, make prohibitions about, about what Muslims could have against Muslims for how they treat non Muslims who live amongst them, they say, surely whoever presses a more head, the Arabic word is more that means a non Muslim citizen. So whoever presses a more hit or imposes upon him more than he can afford, and humiliates him, or takes anything from him without his consent, I will challenge him on their judgement. So the family forbade or even humiliating, even humiliating a non Muslim living in Islamic lands. The man also said was harmed didn't mean not an Arabic word for contract Muslim, non
Muslim contracts ism. So it has it has haunted me has harmed me. Now as Muslims, we wouldn't want to see a single hair on the head of the Prophet Mohammed hunt. We didn't even we don't even like people insulting him. And yet, he said, that harming a non Muslim, living amongst in Islamic lands or Muslim lands, is the same as harming him, the prophet Mohammed. So under this prohibition, how would Muslims be motivated by their vision to harm non Muslims or even humiliate them or take anything from them without their consent? It's not the case. Why? Why is all this but Islam does believe it to be universe itself be universal? Yes. But why did God make us a free will? Why did God make us on
this world is to have choice. The whole point of this life is to choose the truth and choose to do good without that
There was no points made from us. So yes, as long as to be universal, yes, as long as the shades be to give justice. But the key is that it has to be embraced voluntarily by choice, because that's the purpose of human beings is to make choices. That's our purpose. And that's what the kind of saying, if God wanted, he would make everyone want religion.
Right. But it's not for us to compel. It's for him to decide, so to speak, who is guided who's not guided? And it's for us to make that choice as to whether we accept truth or not. So I'll generally kind of leave it there are a few misconceptions. But I also want to try to discuss where these misconceptions arise. A lot of it is self projections from the dark
histories and resistance of resistance of the of the Western mind. And we have to be conscious of this. Just as the first
Crusaders fought, they were fighting people who were polytheists and idolaters. Even today, the diametrical opposite of that, likewise, today, people depict these wars and fightings unborn terror and someone has a fight between those who want to kill
non Muslims just because they're not Muslim. And I and I always make the same argument in any debate platform I go on against neoconservatives and xenophobe say, there are there are Muslim communities in South Africa, in South America, in Switzerland, in Republic of Ireland,
in Suriname, in South Africa, South America, about 14% of the population is Muslim. So it's more than France, France, but 9%. So it's more Muslims, proportionally in Suriname, among amongst a bigger, obviously, non Muslim population than in France. And yet in all these countries, where the domestic policy is non discriminatory against religion, and as you know, it doesn't single out Muslims is not Islamophobia. Their foreign policies are generally neutral.
Switzerland, as Western countries well, Republic of Ireland, Western country, but neutral foreign policies, we don't see terrorism. And I always I always mentioned why we don't see terrorism in these countries. And I want to make very clear, terrorism is actually prevalent in Islam. And if you leave, if you read where
many of the somebody gets his ideas from, he actually talks about imitating American military history and British military history. That's what he mentioned in the q&a, you can ask me down. I'll say more about this, where he gets his ideas from he actually says, when someone else said to him, why did you go against the Prophet Mohammed prohibitions and Al Jazeera reporter, Milan in 2001. On October 2001, in an interview on TV and find a YouTube video of mine actually asked, Why do you go against a prophet Mohammed's prohibition about targeting civilians? He says, oh, what are the provision? Yeah, you're right. That's a prohibition, but it's not set in stone. And he and then he
argues, it's logical to fight against the West as the West fights against Muslims and kills Muslim civilians. That's his argument. And then he cites he cites World War Two. He cites Hiroshima and Nagasaki. He says Americans didn't care about killing civilians. Why should we? That's his argument. Not while the current told me to kill infidels? No, he didn't say that. He does not say that at all.
He acknowledges that he goes against Islamic prohibitions. My argument against the Salam movement these guys is I'm sorry, but the prohibition is set in stone. Because as a, as a proud fundamentalist, I found the fundamentals of Islam. I don't change them when they're not convenient. And yet some Ilan says, you can change the fundamentals or not ignore them. And when it's not convenient, when it's not logical in his mind, I reject his argument as not a fundamental argument. It's a modern argument. And I've always said this, we can discuss this. But there isn't, there isn't a existential threat to Western civilization by Islam or by Muslims, Muslims on killing Irish
people, or Swiss Swiss people, or South American people or South African people. We don't see that. So I always ask the question,
why we don't see terrorism those countries. Of course, every criminologist and many criminal ologists, and people who slayed terrorism for a living repeatedly say like Robert Pape, very renowned American,
kind of Professor of terrorism, counterterrorism, endocrinology.
He says, its foreign policy. And every time in human history, the same foreign policy conditions and medical conditions have existed. You see the same kinds of acts of terrorism from different people, different religions, different civilizations. So we must do religion. It's got nothing to do with politics, so should keep religion out of it. But unfortunately, always projects will say walls must be due to religion. So it must be Muslims are fighting us because Islam tells us to fight us. And it'd be fast anyway. When I'm not that's not the case. And Islam doesn't do that, when it's not the crusades, understand projection. So anyway, I hope I've kind of dealt with some misconceptions, but
also, more importantly, invite you to look at the origins of these misconceptions.
How we can stop repeatedly generating these misconceptions, seniors misconceptions, or new ones that arise by making sure that we understand people and civilizations from their own source and from the outside themselves and not from our own self projection that doesn't benefit anyone. So thank you for listening.
Thank you very much for anyone have any questions, they would like? Questions, comments, and I also invite contention. So feel free to
deny when I say criticize why I say I actually prefer debates more than lectures.
preference I was wanting, I'll just want to yesterday, so I'm still in debate mode. But I do also want you to criticize or question because I don't want to be, I don't want anyone to be blindly believed or accepted. I want you to ask for evidence and demand it in fact, so you have a point? No question. Okay. So I was gonna ask about the non interference principle. Like, I wanted to dig into a logical extreme.
What if, like, say there's a Muslim of some moderate wealth,
sufficient wealth, power, whatever. And you were to come across perhaps a culture that engaged in human sacrifice? Yeah. Is he bound to interfere? Or does he should you remain? You know,
that's a good point. And again, I mean, it became a Josie I mean, encountered this discussions, we took bus westerns, and of course, Muslims, scholars discussed Sati, the effects of something, and which, in a way that humans sacrificing themselves, and so on, of course, Muslims didn't encounter the Aztecs, but
they didn't count them. But generally speaking, the point of Islam is to offer the message. So as Muslims, when I say no interference, I mean, no, no physical interference, when we say you, we're going to stop you, we're going to invade or attack you, or what have you until you follow what we think is right for you know, it's, we're going to tell you what we think is right is our opinion, we're going to argue it with no debating whether to offer to get invited to you.
But it's your choice to accept it, and the day. So if you're accepted, it's fine, more, continue reiterating the message and preaching it, and so on and so forth, until hopefully, we can persuade you to adopt it. If not, then we can't, you know, can't get involved in force for that culture. Because the whole point is, has to be choice. They have to volunteer to embrace Islam, for Islam, to have any meaning. for Islam, to be able to save people, both in this world and the next has to be voluntarily embraced. That was the starting perspective. But like, one of the person who was about to be sacrificed was unwilling to like, you know, offer his life. And he was asking for help, would
I be bound to interfere or not? Well, actually, it's an interesting point as an interesting point, I mean, it has is discussed by scholars, and I'm going to be fair and objective. There were classical semi scholars who have strong objection to self marriage and Sati and argued we should intervene. And so there was a difference of opinion, I'm not going to say it was all homogenous, but the killer Sati, the non interference principle, one out, actually, in the case of self marriage, it was non interference, and then Muslims slightly to interfere in some cases, but there wasn't many much cases to be found. And you only know about it, someone tells you about it. So they wouldn't inquire
amongst the restaurants. Are you? Are you married to your sister? Are you married your vote? They wouldn't do that. It was all you know. So it was only someone would compensate that? Well, this is why I didn't have you. But so To be fair, to obviously, the historical precedent, that was the case for the problem of heretics are never never interfered in these practices. So it's interesting debate that classical schools would had, and I can't say that one is exclusively in the know that but what I can say is that was mostly practiced the pin that journey one out was always the non interference principle, because as Muslims are meant to be witnesses to mankind not to compel as a
mankind to see, the Quran mentioned many verses, are you to be the Joaquin, of an Arabic with a garden over over people who are ignorant, you know, how could you be a garden people England's right, you're not here to be a garden. What key is like someone who is looks off for the parents looks after the child not here to do that, as Muslims from Hamilton had to do that. You have to be witnesses to bear testimony. You understand? So that was the argument that generally one out for the majority of Muslim history was non interference by someone who is what I mean? I mean, technically, if someone
if someone is basically being taken to the sacrificial altar then says, I declare myself to be Muslim under the Treaty of protection of Muslims. And I suppose that might be the case where Muslims say, oh, okay, well, he's joined Islam. And so he comes under the treaty agreement between Muslims and the non aggression pact between Muslims and this particular community, for example, so they can't kill that person because it would be breaking the pact. So that might be the case. But yeah, many some customers will say intervene, some say not intervene.
It's a case by case basis, but generally the majority was not intervene. Because if they were to commit this injustice of killing someone against their will, or we need to say kill someone, even with their wills is unjust.
You know, some Muslim scholars that debate that that would serve as a witness assigned to those who were left behind to say, maybe we should stop doing what we're doing, maybe what we're doing is wrong. For example, in many pagans convert to Islam, after they had they buried their firstborn daughters alive. Because in in, in pagan Arabia, if your firstborn, if your firstborn daughter was also the first one was a daughter, it was a big shame.
Like you, they want to hope for their firstborn to be a male. Now, not everyone practice this, you know, maybe the working class probably didn't practice it in the pagan society after class, they seemed more concerned about reputation. So they will practice it, they will bury their firstborn, alive, if they were daughters, and we say has been practiced in India and China, as well as many, many concerns by different religions that the female infanticide is an issue. So
many people did that. And then they when they saw that Islam, was saying the opposite of this was saying, you know, the Quran has a very powerful argument against this when you know, on the day of judgment, the young, the young, baby daughter will speak and say, Well, what crumbles I buried? What crime was I killed for it, you know, it's very powerful argument in the Quran against this practice. And we see, the prophet Mohammed does, I'm teaching that if a person if a man
basically, if he if he dies, while having only known daughters in his life, only having daughters, and he's happy to have they only have daughters is that is, except that he likes that fact, he's not ready for that fact, then he will go to heaven, you'll be saved, you know, God will forgive his sins, and he will be rewarded for this is because that was just like the worst thing that ever happened to anyone and pig in our society, only daughters, oh, my god, no sons, oh, no. Whereas the song did the opposite that trying to change that mentality, fundamentally. So.
But if that wasn't the case, and people didn't do that practice, they might not have seen the error of their ways. So there's a big debate happening. So I would say that some people say intervene in most cases, but generally don't intervene, some say don't intervene at all whatsoever, and let them see the error of their ways. And let us continue to preach and sure we'd like come in and shout and say, don't do this and stop what you're doing and whatever. But But whether you should do it by force is a different question. That's the question. So what I can say is that different schools, different opinions on that, but the majority opinion or the opinion that tends to win out in India,
for example, was non interference.
I have a question about,
education or not, at all, at all. But I've noticed, I know that's true. But there are maybe some similarities between the Bible and the Quran, in the sense that,
like in the Bible, I know that there are some passages of the Bible that contradict other passages of the Bible, like the Old Testament is very violent. And if you don't believe in God, He will punish you by death. By whereas the New Testament in the Bible, he's more loving. I'm generalizing a bit. Yeah.
And I've seen a lot of people blaming Islam, I'm French. So very heated debate about Islam in France, actually.
And there have been lots of anti spam people who cited versus the Quran
like promoted violence, or maybe it's just wrong translations. But do you think we should alter as like your religious guide?
Do you think you should alter the sacred texts in order to clarify the message today of Islam? Because a lot of people I think, like the problem is there's lots of misconceptions about like Islam because of what's been in the Quran. It's an old text. And if we could like clarify, rewrite it maybe it'll be easier for people to understand that's not magnesite thing. Okay.
But mercy provides Christiaan avec la
I say I speak English, but I just love the ability to practice my French opportunity. Unfortunately, everyone's monolingual lingo here or not speaking much the European house, but your first language is French. I'm assuming you have a great English accent. No shame on us. When we when we speak a foreign language sound that we
already got our English accent comes out
Francis is very is a very
it's a very extreme case in European kind of politics because England is quite interesting as well. France is much more secular than England, if people don't understand that, as because England technically is not actually secular, the head of state or the head of the church. There are, I think, was it 33 bishops in the House of Lords and unelected body, but then in the House of Lords non elected gentlemen. So what have you. So that technically means that people who are religious clerics just get to have a say, direct say on laws in England was unthinkable in France. secularism established in France, actually, not that long ago, only in early 20th century as it was official
And the French Revolution was
it wasn't just preclusion, then a continuation of Cyprus. And from that time, until then, it was there was restorations of monarchies and clerics, and a whole bunch of stuff happened in between that point in time, anyway, long story. But
what you see in France is, is an understanding of secularism, which is linked to national identity or nationalism. And the idea that people, if they are free, they look like this. And they don't look like this or act like this, they must not be free, and therefore they need help to look like x, y and Zed a certain mold is cut for them. Whereas Anglo Saxon or English,
secular liberalism is it offers more we call negative liberties as it as in as long as you don't coerce and do this this to what you want, more or less, of course, there's loads of exceptions and so on. So anyway,
I think in France, for example, there's this restriction on, on liberty of speech, for example, you can't insult the French flag in a public setting. And at one point, he canceled the prayer, the President, but that was never enforced and dropped.
And so yeah, I mean, this delimitation restrictions, and obviously Americans have different understanding of that. So.
But what happened in France is that the outward displays of religions, certainly from non Catholic religions, was viewed much more as a combination of both a foreign culture imposing onto France as well as a challenge to secularism, because secularism and nationalism are linked
together in France, and in a way that does not exist in England.
and so in France, the understanding of how people should live is different. And there's a lot of ethnic tensions and problems in France. And it's mostly due to these these kind of undermine situations in England, to an extent but they follow different tradition. And America obviously, is more Anglo Saxon tradition. But anyway, we've got your chronic versus what you mentioned. The cron, almost time isn't pacifist. It's not a pacifist religion. That's not like the Quakers. But then again, Christianity is not a pacifist religion, neither Judaism, and neither is any political ideology and communists will go to war, secular liberals will go to war. And in many cases, they'll
go to war to don't don't use offensive warfare to spread their ideology to different countries are all saying the same bad guy wish to get rid of him. Oh, but it's strange how you selectively pick one bad guy who's not all that useful to attack, but they're not the bad guys. You don't suddenly bad guys who are sitting on top of resources tend to get more attention strangely, strangely, coincidentally.
And what you see is that when people start opening up the Quranic text, not Muslims, people who are trying to explain terrorism, they want to give another analogy, not analogy, but a not a narrative other than a more common understanding, because Muslims in a way our view that Muslims must act by their religion, whereas we act by secular motives. So if we go to war against iraq and bomb and kill people, it's It's regrettable. It's just the people doing it, you know, let's blame bush blame bear Blair. It's not us doing it or will you regret it or World War Two bombing Dresden, or bombing German cities generally just civilians is not unguided bombs just dropped when cities were
population centers. And Dresden was firebombed where 30,000 Germans, mostly women and children's men, mostly women and children will burn to death. by the British Royal Air Force, the bro Air Force burned to death 30,000 women and children and those who are in shelters were cooked to death, because it was the final Oh, you know what happened back then. It was regrettable but it was necessary or whatever. Some people say necessary. Some who just say sorry, it's what happened back then. Or it's too bad, what have you. But
whenever a Muslim does something, they say, Oh, it's the crime making do this. And I've had this debate with with xenophobes that all the time. For example.
debate with me at the time Tommy Robinson, a member of the English Defence League. So he says all Muslims autorun is rape gangs and there, they are raping these girls. I'll say, okay, we know that raping that we will not say Muslims, these gangs are going around raping people, firstly,
are Muslims, the only rapists in this country have the right to only commit by Muslims when no majority is committed by those who are not Muslim proportionate. But these people who are doing the right they're drinking alcohol, somebody's been poke taking drugs, any most immortelle you, you can't drink outcomes, and most of them you can't eat pork as a Muslim. You can't have sex outside marriage as a Muslim. And yet, English translator Robinson was attributing this to Islam and then he said it was actually part of the Quran. And they said, Oh, the Quran allows you to have sex with with slave girls, whatever, which is not that's a whole nother discussion. That's not really the
case that says anyway, and so so so this must mean they're they they, they raped women, because they view them as a slave girls or whatever, which is not even. It's like so outside the bounds of that of any interpretation ever. But they they're desperate to find something in the crumb, because they want they've already decided in their heads that Muslims can only act by Islam, but they don't do. They don't. They don't. There's no bad Muslims. There's only Muslims who are always good and following Islam. There's no idea that Muslim is not religious, not practicing or what have you. And the only good Muslim that they do recognize is someone who actually repudiates their religion. I had
this guy in EDL, called Abdul, and you know, they said, Yeah, he's a good Muslim, and he was saying, I don't really believe in God, Mohammed, but yeah, Muslim.
Yeah, he's a good Muslim. He's a good Muslim. And that's the problem.
People debate the issues and say, oh, explain, explain ISIS, they call themselves the Islamic State. So there must be something now and I always say, Okay, so the People's Democratic Republic of North Korea call themselves Democratic and Republican, so they must be Democratic or Republican. Because they call themselves that, I think,
and people don't realize that.
In in an area where religion like Islam is obviously very important. Everyone has to justify what they do by Islam. Bashar said, secular, Arab nationalist socialists, but he himself says as he does his part of Islam is not against Islam. President Abdel Fattah Sisi depose the Muslim Brotherhood center, we save the Egypt from theocracy, pro secularists. And he basically got what he obviously because he he's got the power to dictated a fatwa from, in a way he's got a fat British ruling from a member of the institution to say that it's okay if we're supposed to shoot protesters, and submit a social Islamic battle. It was him telling them what to say. And they said it. Yeah, Islam does it.
Simon was saying I consider him to be the father of ISIS because ISIS, it was exposed by the Spiegel that they formed the former Baathists, no one knows what Buffett is, is a Arab secular socialist, as well. And then when he lost power, oh, they suddenly what found religion and became ISIS or how coincidental, but what is that I'm saying do in 1993, to shore up the power of His government to get more legitimacy from the people. He put Allah Akbar on the flag, Iraqi flag, he said that he was the son of the Prophet Mohammed Salaam. And he, he created a minute of a static militia called fit in
and he would use Quranic verses and I saw his videos they would also videos of his police forces in his soldiers beating people up and they would quote verse the chronic they're doing it, even though these words could have like no relation to what they're doing, but they couched it in Islamic terms. So I'm not surprised that his children ISIS did actually literally the exact same thing as Saddam Hussein, but no one would say something was this Tomic leader because he was secular. Everyone knows he was secular. And yes, what did ISIS do? They put a lot on the slide. The leader, they say he's the son of the Prophet, Mohammed Sonam. And they create militia and so on. So I also made this point
in a debate with individuals who were supporting Bashar Assad, and they were criticizing ISIS. And so yeah, I crystallize this too.
But in this debate, now, I started out the debate by saying, I want people to play a game with the audience.
Who can they meet this group, as a group of people who are
they are, they're certified for Islamic calls, they kill civilians. They kill people, different schools of thought they don't agree with what they attack most when they destroy these places. And they get foreign fighters to come for them under the name of jihad to join the forces to fight for their their leader. They get sold
Children soldiers to join them or they force children to join during their ranks. Who are they? Oh, ISIS, right ISIS? Oh, no, it's bad for us as
the leader of Bashar Al said foreign fighters from Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq joining his his army of militia groups on the Islamic declaration today jihad against what what have you? Oh, yeah, also, I was including my question.
They will they say follow up with before they find their guns, or there's videos of Suriname Manus, they got cannon ash pulling the cord and that kind of shooting there. But as it as it does, as it happens, I think everyone for I'm seeing a license was actually was partially offset, who was also a Baptist, just like the leaders of
unfortunately, West, they don't see that there are people in the Muslim world that have the same motivations or can be as different from their religion as Westerners can.
And yet, everything that wasn't due is their religion, no idea that you get wacky crackpot Muslims who go outside the fold of Islam thousandfold. And in Congo, for example, there was a group called the anti black movement, but lack of movement from practicing correctly. And it was an ethnic conflict or a fight or conflict between different groups, but because they haven't been Christian, they didn't like this.
They had issues of Muslim minority because there was a a militia group that was had majority Muslims in it that was in control. They didn't like them. They fought against them. They removed from power men as they they started to fight against all Muslims in the Congo region. And they asked that all Muslims must convert to Christianity or die.
They made a declaration they beheaded people you have treated them with knives capable they x people literally eating it again, eating disgusting things. You can see actually cannibalism pictures, undisputed pictures, not not, you know, fringer undisputed on mainstream newspaper, actually, and once a mainstream mentioned briefly on mainstream newspapers. And yet no one says oh Christianity, the police doing in Congo. No one says that, because we all know that's not Christianity.
But had they been Muslim? And did exactly the same things? Or is the chronic doesn't do that? They would say, so that what I'm going to tell you is, the Quran has verses that urge fighting Yes, in the chronological age piece, but more importantly, and here's what the Quran says, on this matter is that it says fight those who fight you so the Quran says, fight the fight. God does not forbid you. For against those who do not fight for religion nor persecution or for out of your homes from being kind and just
diverse continue to not only forbid you against those, for making allies against those who fight you for your religion, and and for you out of your lands. Because Because you say that your God is God. You only worship one God. The Crown says this only forbids you from making friends or allies with those people who fight because your religion, but if you don't find your religion, then you don't find them. That's what the Quran says no one called Atlas strangely, in the Quran. And when we when we see ISIS and these, and these terrorists, say what they say, you know, I've made some big claims. I made some claims about what what somebody has said and what have you. I like to do my laptop
because I always want to bring the exact citations and the exact references. So if you want to get your pens and papers out, or listen to the video, later on, I'll give you the citation. So this was an interview in Algeria interview, October 21 2001. You can see it quoted in a book written by Professor Bruce Lawrence called messages to the world the statements of Osama bin Laden. You can see he reiterated that. So here's, here's what he says. Somebody says, our religion forbids us from killing innocent people, such as women and children.
That he talked about the school Muslim scholars, they say that the killing of innocence is wrong and invalid and for proof they say that the Prophet forbade the killing of children, women, and that is true. It is valid and has been laid down by the prophet in authentic tradition. But this forbidding of killing children and innocence is not set in stone. If the disbelievers were to kill our children and women, then we should not feel ashamed to do the same to them, mainly to deter them from killing our children or women again, that's his argument. And then he continues in a but we're not going to there's another citation. An Interview by ABC reporter 1998. I read it.
So people asked him about his justification of fighting Americans and attacking civilians. Here's what he says. Here's what he says as his argument. Not from the Prophet Mohammed's history. He says this, America has not been known to differentiate between the military and the civilians or between men and women or adults and children. They flew atomic bombs and use the weapons of mass destruction against Nagasaki and Hiroshima
Nice. Well the Americans doing this, can the bombs differentiate between military and women and infants and children? America has no religion that can deter her from exterminating whole peoples. Your position against Muslims in Palestine is despicable and disgraceful. America has no shame. We believe that the worst things in the world today and the worst terrorists are the Americans. Nothing could stop you except perhaps retaliation in kind. That's his argument.
And of course, when Bush said, they're fighting us because of our freedom of summer responses. So you say we fight you because your freedom, then why don't you explain why we don't attack Sweden. That's his argument. And yet, the politicians are trying to portray that these people are attacking the West. Because we are non Muslims. This is not Muslim country, and they want to kill infidels. Oh, they don't like our freedom. But that's not the argument. Now, he himself admits he goes against Islam. And his, his his, his logic is anti Islamic. But he's not taking his example from the Prophet Mohammed. He's not saying what the prophet Mohammed did. So I can do this. His argument is, America
is doing this. So we should retaliate. That's his argument. So people, some people tell me, Abdullah, what what what are you doing to counter the Islamic arguments? Or the interpretations of ISIS or al Qaeda say what interpretations because they only think they bring is Western military history? They don't mean the Prophet Mohammed. They don't bring the former having assassins history.
So I know it's a bit of a big answer, but because your question touched upon a number of things I fully needed to hear this. So I'm giving you some citations. There's a you can see more on my website, but I think it's very important that you know this and and as I mentioned, the citations God didn't want you just to say after the claimed it, or after there's just whitewashing Islam or trying to hide his references. Here the evidence you read it for yourself. Any other questions, comments, or contentions?
Okay. Thank you very much. Thank you.
coming away from London. Yes. You had a debate when she got back from 5am this morning. So he came over in the morning. So, again, thank you very much.