Ending Extremism

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Episode Notes

President Obamas Mosque visit and The solution to extremism with the USA Director of IOU who accepted ISLAM from a Catholic/Christian background with a Surprise visit from the head of IOU Dr Bilal Philips on this weeks show

Episode Transcript

© No part of this transcript may be copied or referenced or transmitted in any way whatsoever. Transcripts are auto-generated and thus will be be inaccurate. We are working on a system to allow volunteers to edit transcripts in a controlled system.


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greetings of peace, welcome to the D Show. I'm your host, we got a really exciting show for you. Obama just recently gave a nice little talk at a Masjid. We're gonna be talking about this and we're gonna be talking about the frenzy of fear that has been perpetuated here in America. And a lot more on this week's show. Don't go anywhere. We'll be right back.

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Salam aleikum

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wa rahmatullah wa cathro. Peace be with you. Oh, hamdulillah you also hamdulillah we did the fifth pillar of Hajj Alhamdulillah. Islam is built on five pillars worship. Number two created the heavens and earth, establish the prayer connect your heart to God given charities. Tell me how you been since then. Have you love working harder transition from the Department of Corrections as a Muslim chaplain to working with guidance TV, and now working with the Islamic online university has been quite busy.

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That trip was a very memorable one. Indeed, it was quite quite quite a member when I think that was the first time. That was my second that was your second one in 2006. And that was 2008 I was honored to be able to share that with you. Me too. It was amazing experience. hamdulillah and we went there seeking to connect with the owner of peace, the that first house of worship was built by Abraham, right? And you have people from all walks of life coming to commemorate the worship one God and Malcolm X. What did he say? He said, You know, you know the quote by Malcolm about ending racism, yes, that he when he got that he found out that his brothers were from all nations that he could no

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longer call the Caucasians white devils as he had been taught that he had Caucasian brothers and African brothers and you see European brothers Asian brothers so this is all D this is Islam you know it's a universal way and and that would Islam, if implemented, it would end racism, absolutely. All these benefits, all of the great things that are there for humanity in Islam, but now is a free fear frenzy. So you guys someone's out there's like, what are you guys talking about? You just sugarcoating Mickey Mouse cosiness Islam, Mickey Mouse in this Islam, you know, you guys are violent and extremist, you want to just, you know, do jihad on everybody. And this is the this is the

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challenge that we as Muslims in America and throughout the world are faced with today. And that is to convey the correct image of Islam and the correct practice of Islam. As you know, we're in a very highly politicized season and environment where Islam and Muslims have become one of the main topics. And unfortunately, most of the society do not know, the real Islam, they don't know. Many of them don't know any Muslim has not had any interaction. So they naturally feed into the fear that is brought to them from political leaders from the election cycle, from their, their, you know, churches or the media, you know, that has given a bad impression in the portrayal of what Islam is

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and who the Muslims are. What about speech? President Obama, this was an amazing, an amazing event that has certainly I wished it more Muslims knew about it, and certainly more citizens of the United States. He was invited to speak at the Islamic Society of Baltimore just yesterday, and CNN broadcast the entire speech, he spoke for about 45 minutes. And he spoke about the inclusiveness of the American values. And that we as Muslims have, of course, he didn't say himself as a Muslim, but that we as Muslim have have a place here in America that we've made tremendous contributions to this society, and so that we should not be treated with bigotry or any kind of hostility in such a way to

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to be excluded. We hear some of the political leaders are calling for Muslims to be denied entry into the country from other other countries, all of this out of fear. You see, so his effort to reach out to the Muslims was really very, very courageous move on his part. And it was very interesting, he made the point that another president was accused of being a Muslim, which was Thomas Jefferson. So can you tell me about when you took your oath of office because it was on a copy of the Quran and not just any copy, but in fact, it was on this Quran that we have right here before us. And you know, in fact, this Quran, which is a two volume set, has the initials TJ

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inscribed right here, Thomas Jefferson, and so you know, we we said this was your reaction when you find out that one of the founding fathers had his own copy of the Quran. Okay, I was gobsmacked

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because they had the

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Exactly he had, he said this was true that Thomas Jefferson was accused of being a Muslim. So he felt he was in good company.

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But, you know, that brings us to the point about the fact that we are as Muslims are faced with the challenge of, of portraying and practicing our religion with the correct understanding of Islam. And so it makes it very important for us as Muslims to, to fulfill one of the commandments from our Prophet Mohammed, God's peace and blessings be upon him. And that is to seek the knowledge that it is incumbent is an obligation upon every Muslim, to learn this Dean to learn the fundamentals of Islam. Because when we do that, and when we when we take our knowledge from the authentic sources and from credible, credible teachers, then this safeguards us against a misinterpretation or

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incorrect practices, it safeguards us from going off into extremes. You see, and this is a big challenge that we are faced with today, where sometimes we will learn something but without the correct guidance, in that guidance, in that process of learning, we will go on our own emotion and as a result, we can sometimes be led into an extreme practice or an extreme understanding. And so this leads to problems not only in the Middle East, where we see conflicts after conflicts, Muslim fighting against Muslims, and so on and so forth. But we see it even in our own communities where, you know, we we have a great need to, to rise above this and to have unity, you also come from a

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Christian background, is that right? That's correct. I accepted Islam, how long I accepted Islam in 1976, I was raised as a Catholic, I was an altar boy, actually in the church, Catholic Church in Washington, DC and, and well, hamdulillah after I learned about Islam, you know, it was no looking back. any regrets? None whatsoever. In fact, for me, it was like all of the pieces of the puzzle came together. You see it and well, how many left? What one of the things that has really stirred my love for this Deen for this way of life is the emphasis that it places on on the knowledge in, in other faiths in the faith that I was raised in. We weren't obligated to learn the religion. We left

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it up to the priests, the deacons or the bishops, the Cardinals, the Pope's, the ministers and other faiths are similar to that. But in Islam, each and every Muslim is obligated to study his religion to study his Deen and so that he can practice it in the best manner and the way that the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him has taught us to do so. We're here on the dean show with the director, US director of Islamic online university University. You're currently representing the University here in the States. Yes, along with my my virtual assistant sister. Yes, main role. And we'll be meeting shortly we are responsible for promoting the university here and encouraging raising the

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enrollment for the university. One of the responses that I've been tasked with is also to provide the the course of study to the inmate population across the country. I want to talk some more that we got a lot more to talk about Donald Trump making some statements I want to get your feedback on that and other politicians now people want to get elected. Seems like Muslims are the guinea pigs here. And this cake goes, we're gonna be right back with more. Don't go anywhere, please subscribe to the show. Follow us on our official Facebook and Twitter pages in the links below. Please also help support the show by making a donation in the link below.

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And don't forget, as I asked you to do already, if you haven't subscribed right now,

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back here on the D show with us director of the Islamic online university and tell me

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how would you respond and this is a misconception that many people have and then you have people out there who have the microphone the platform Donald Trump for instance, and others will they'll say look, you know, I was just in Malaysia I was here and these Muslims are just blowing things up I just left Indonesia bom bom, bom bom. Right? We got a problem.

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I would, I would encourage the people themselves to do as Malcolm said, Think for yourself. Don't let others think for you. And get to know the Muslims get to know what Islam is all about. We have more than 2000 mosques all across the country. We have perhaps as many as 1200 or more Muslim schools, and we are your neighbor. We are the neighbors of of the society. And so we encourage them to get to know the Muslims from the direct interaction and not leave it up to someone else making an uninformed opinion just because

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When you're voting, they're feeding on your fear. You see, fear is an industry in itself, as you well know, they make movies that people will spend billions of dollars just to go and become frightened. And so the politicians know that. And so they'll use that fear as a means to feed into their need to get voted to get elected. And so unfortunately, as you mentioned, we as Muslims, we are now the Islam is the boogeyman, there's no more communism, you see. So now the shift, the focus has been shifted to Islam and Muslims as being the enemy.

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unjustly so because once the people really find out that Islam is a complete way of life about submission and surrender to the will of Almighty God, the same way that all of the prophets and messengers practice that Jesus submitted and submitted his will to God, Moses surrendered and submitted his will to God, Abraham, our Father peace upon all of them, they will see that this is none other than the divinely revealed way that Almighty God intended for all human beings to live. Now, there was a documentary where they fall around, follow around some Muslims. And if someone says, look, now, hold on, hold on. I just saw the jihadi next door. I don't know if you saw this

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documentary in UK. How do you address situation like that? Well, you do have elements, you know, are they representing the true face of Islam and this is unfortunate because this is giving a bad reputation to Muslims in the mainstream of Islam. The Deen of Islam teaches us to be balanced to be a moderate with Edina luster. The way is that's not extreme. In fact, the prophet Mohammed Salah solemn, he condemned extremism, very clearly, he said that the extremists will be destroyed. And so when we see, you see, our young brothers and sisters who seem to be following this, this extremist tendency, or this radical tendency, they want to condemn everyone who doesn't think like them, or

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believe like them, or practice like them, even they'll condemn other Muslims. You see this this, this is a serious problem that we have to look at, and study its roots study, the causes, why people may slip into this arena. Dr.

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mougins robot has a very beautiful book on religious extremism, that addresses this topic in detail. And, and I think, with the work that we're doing with the university and trying to bring the correct understanding of Islam and from authentic sources, this helps to alleviate and minimize the tendency towards extremism. And even though this is a very small fringe element, combat thing, that is something that you guys are doing. Muslims, I mean, such as shake, voila, Philips, Dr. Avila Philips, you representing the Islamic online university here. And that's to that continued legacy of education. Yes, because through education, hopefully this ignorance can be eradicated. And then we

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can go ahead and eradicate most of these extremists by educating them in a proper way. And one of the things that goes along with every act of worship of the Muslim, as you will know, is the sincerity the intention. And so if a person tends to lean towards extremism, you have to question the sincerity and his humility, because once you learn, you realize how little you do know. But some people will learn something and they begin to think that they are the big shapes or so on and so forth. And, and will begin to question and condemn everyone. And then this, you know, also is a part of that problem. So, how important is it? I mean, for every Muslim to be climbing, I call it the

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spiritual ladder, right? We don't want to be stuck in kindergarten, first grade to be seeking knowledge to understand the importance of taking the deen serious and you can't be serious in the deen if you're not educating yourself into the exactly, you know, and it's very important for us to, to not just do it on our own, but to to identify those scholars who are credible and authentic, who are connected to the Prophet Muhammad, Allah says in the, in the traditions, the correct traditions of understanding Islam, to study Islam in a in a programmatic way, in a very disciplined way. So it's not to be scattered in and out on your own, you see, where you will begin to make judgments and

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make and make or commit certain actions that may very well be out of context. So it is very important. And indeed, you know, law tells us the Quran is the one who knows, like the one who does not know, you see, and so we are obligated to be I like to say that we are on scholarship. We are a nation of scholarship that encourages a Muslim to be educated because we're going to be held responsible for what we do. And that's why with I'm so delighted to work with Dr. banal and the staff of the Islamic online university, because we're bringing education to the Muslim nation.

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at a relatively nominal cost of tuition free, you see, there's no cost per credit hour. And we're not just focusing on Islamic studies on Islamic education or Arabic language. But we've also expanded our offerings to include psychology, business and finance, economics, education,

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Information and Technology computer science course in Arabic and Islamic Studies. Both the graduate and undergraduate course offerings are available, as well as the free diploma program. So there's really no excuse for Muslims today to be uneducated, and you don't have to necessarily travel to go a long way to be a student of knowledge. It's very difficult sometimes to travel these days, you see and go and stay. So you can study right in the convenience of your home with the Islamic online university if you have access to the internet or computer, and you don't have to enroll in the graduate or undergraduate course. So you can take the diploma course, which you provided to the

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inmates across the country, free of cost completely with no registration costs, and move at your own pace. We're gonna take a break, and then I think we got a surprise, we got the head of the Islamic online university, going to be with us on The Daily Show. Don't go anywhere, right back, please subscribe to the show. Follow us on our official Facebook and Twitter pages in the links below. Please also help support the show by making a donation in the link below.

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And don't forget, as I asked you to do already, if you haven't subscribed right now.

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Welcome back to the Dean's show, and I'm on the director of the Islamic online university for the United States. And you've also worked many years you still helping people find purpose in the prisons? Yes. How's that going? Well, I'm delighted it's it's been an amazing journey. For me Actually, I started working with the prisons as a Muslim chaplain early on, when I became Muslim back in 1976. And I'm happy to have been a part of a class action suit and 78 to actually get Islam Islamic rights in the prisons, where they could have Juma and other activities. In the state of Connecticut. I served as the full time Muslim chaplain for about 10 years in South Carolina, and

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also the contract the man for the federal groupers and seven correctional facilities throughout the southeast that I would visit from Florida up through Georgia and Carolina. And now I'm working with Islamic online University, Dr. manaan, has asked that we provide the diploma program to the Muslim inmates all across the country. And so

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that's been we have over 800 students now. And hamdulillah. This is a this has been working very well we have 100 students, registered inmates have more than 300 now actually enrolled in the classes, and they receive the materials free of charge, the six levels of study, foundation of Islamic Studies, moral foundation of Islamic culture, the fit of to higher or the foundation, though, understanding the purification, also the Arabic reading and writing, it's very comprehensive course of study for the for the Muslim inmates. And we hope that this will give them a sound foundation so that when they do return to society, they will not only be good at sound, practicing

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Muslims, but they will also be responsible citizens who are dedicated to giving back to the society because they're receiving this effort. Free Free of charge. How long ago? Did you accept Islam? How long has it been now in 1976? over 37 years, over 30 years? Yes. And where you are right now you're helping educate you are someone who got educated, you found your purpose in life, you saw the proof and evidence that Islam provided you come from a Christian Catholic background, you obviously looked at all of the, you know, evidence you didn't jump in as blindly obviously. And now what has helped you progress is seeking knowledge, you know, dedicating your time putting aside enough time to to

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work your heart through climbing that spiritual ladder. So what advice do you have for the people watching for the Muslims out there? Who now they've tuned in and the heart is kind of depleted, right? It's empty, like the bat phone batteries, you know, depleted, and then you have some not yet Muslims, and they're going a different perspective, when they watch the deen show. You know, the Prophet sallallahu Sallam gave us a very beautiful Hadith he said that whoever sets out on the path to acquire the knowledge of this day, you're on the path to paradise until they return. So my advice is, is to, to stay committed to increasing one's knowledge of Islam in all of it.

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aspects, because this is what's going to bring you closer to our last one data is going to enable us to fulfill our purpose more completely, and hopefully enable us to arrive at our destination, which will be the paradise agenda in the in the next life, because this is only a temporary life as you know, all of us will know. Yes. And then not yet Muslims who are out there they tuned in for the first time, what advice do you have from them, I advise them to give an open, keep an open mind to study Islam and other religions and make a sound choice based on the evidence is based on the proofs. Because Islam is not just blind belief, as some other faiths are, but it is based on on

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proof is based on truth. And so, in order to allay any fear that they may have, they need to get to know their neighbors get to know us as Muslim mini mosque or opening the doors for open houses throughout the year where they can come and find out that we are not the strains you know, ideologues that are out to terrorize the society will take over. You see, we want to share the goodness that Almighty God has given us by following the path of the prophets in obedience to our credo, or we got a surprise when we come back we got Dr. Bill Phillips, his fellow Yeah, join us. All right, don't go anywhere. We're right back, please subscribe to the show. Follow us on our

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official Facebook and Twitter pages in the links below. Please also help support the show by making a donation in the link below.

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Salaam Alaikum. Call my you there, Dr. Blau.

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I like to lie over the cattle. I like to give my greetings to all of the viewers of the deen show with brother Eddie. And of course, it's a great pleasure to be back here with you again, after a number of years who've been in different sides of world. So we haven't had the opportunity to sit and share more understanding about the deal. You know, Dr. Pillai, one of the main things that we talk about here in the D show is the message of peace, the message of purpose. And we struggle hard to combat any form of extremism with providing the authentic knowledge. How do you personally contribute to this struggle? I am the chancellor of the Islamic online university whose focus is

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basically spreading authentic is not the knowledge to make this available as easily as affordably as possible for Muslims all around the world. And for non Muslims who want to know about Islam.

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Dr. Billa, please tell me more. Tell us more about your university. How long has it been established? How long has it been functioning? And how many students do you have? This university has been functioning for about eight years now.

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And in that span of eight years, we have reached over 250,000 students who are registered with us and taking different courses, including those who are taking actual degree courses, but the vast majority are taking our free courses being offered. Mashallah, that's amazing, so many students Hamdulillah, what's the essence of the university, the essence of it all is about spreading authentic Islamic knowledge. In fact, the motto of the university itself is changing the nation that is the Muslim Omar changing the nation through education. And the whole purpose of this was to get people away from other methods, which people have taken on in recent times, in the name of Islam

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using the banners of Islam, which are not about education. They're about man about slaughter,

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taking lives, exploiting bodies, blowing up institutions, restaurants, shopping centers, all kinds of craziness, which is being done in the name of Islam. It's really hijacked Islam. The vast majority of Muslims have nothing to do with this at all. Authentic knowledge is so important during these turbulent times you have many people, sadly to say many uneducated Muslims also who really are confused about Islam. And the media doesn't help out you have them portraying Islam as being violent because all they do is pick up on stories of ignorant uneducated Muslims who might do some

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evil acts.

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That is actually opposite to Islam. The media has seen to

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exploit this circumstance, it sells newspapers, it catches people's attention. It makes people popular to attack some group and blame everything on that group before it was the communists back in the 50s 1950s, etc. You know, Russia, Cold War, then after the Berlin Wall fell and Russia crumbled. Who else now to blame? Muslims the most visible, become the scapegoat. The word extremist is used nowadays a lot. Can you tell us who is really an extremist extremists? Are those people who are using methods, espousing principles, which are not from the authentic way of Islam. Islam was never gained power in the time of the Prophet. It didn't get power through violence.

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The prophet may God's peace and blessings be upon him could have gathered, the leading companions of his his disciples, the leading who were ones were most warrior like their strongest, and done a coup d'etat right there in Mecca, killing the leaders of coration, taking over Mecca, and declaring himself the prophet may God's peace be upon him as the ruler of Mecca and Sharia as the law. But he didn't do that. That wasn't his way. And to call to that other way, is not to call to Islam. That is the communist way. You know, you could call it any other way you want even the American Revolution.

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That was a violent way. But that wasn't the Islamic way. I agree with you. That's definitely not the way to share this beautiful way of life with the world. However, what is the correct way? What is the right way to share this message of peace? This message a purpose that brings solace, contentment, satisfaction to the heart? What is the correct way? And will you share some final thoughts with us? It's not one way fundamentally is educating the prophet may God's peace and blessings upon him was an exemplary educator, all of the prophets of God were educators, they were teachers, they taught the message of God, which guided human society, put human lives on the right

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path, a path which is beneficial to society, a path which is away from violence except where necessary to preserve oneself, one's family, one's country.

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So one does not say, well, we cannot fight at any time under any circumstance, no. Where it is necessary to preserve ourselves, then we fight to survive. But otherwise, as the parent says, like Rafi D, there is no compulsion in religion. So Islam is about educating humankind, to the way of God to the deen. I really appreciate it. Thank you very much for joining us, Dr. Billa. I'd like to thank you all for listening to these brief words of mine on the deen show. And I hope to be able to share some more with you in the future and the Peace and mercy of God Almighty Allah be upon you

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by cattle while they come after the love of God. And don't forget, if you haven't subscribed right now