Channel: Fatima Barkatulla
Series: Fatima Barkatulla - Ummah Talk
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Welcome to the OMA talk podcast with me, Fatima Baraka Tula.
Smilla Al Hamdulillah Alhamdulillah wa salatu salam ala Rasulillah Dear Brothers and Sisters, welcome to another OMA talk podcast episode. Today I have with me brother, Robert Defour, who is a Canadian convert to Islam. Robert converted to Islam in Windsor, Canada in 2003. He completed his bachelor's degree from the University of Toronto in psychology and his master's degree in social psychology from the University of Windsor. His experiences with both the Muslim community for the last 18 years and the Anglosphere his entire life gives him quite a unique perspective on the relationship between Islam and the West. And the experiences of converts to Islam, and how those
experiences relate to the greater Muslim community. He is currently the frontman for Islam for Europeans, which he describes as an orthodox Muslim organization that is dedicated to healing the broken relationship between Islam and the West. He's currently writing his first book, which I'm intrigued to ask him about on the subject. And that's going to be released, you know, to be to be
confirmed, I guess. I really state to be determined.
Assalamu alaikum brother, Robert Wiley, come salaam, Fatima. Thank you so much for having me having me. I appreciate it.
You know, I think we came across one another on Twitter, right? Like probably the first time you commented on something, something that I was talking about, I don't remember exactly what. And I just saw you as Robert of Canada. Right. So. And then I just, it was interesting to me. So some of the things you're saying so and then I came across your YouTube channel. And that was interesting as well, you were commenting on some of the dour scene here as well in the UK,
which which I found, you know, I liked your discussions and and then I picked up that there seem to be some controversy around maybe some of the things you were advocating. But I must say up to now I haven't fully fully grasped
exactly what you're advocating first, but also
what the controversy is, actually.
And maybe you haven't fully grasped that either. I don't know. But I would love to explore that with you. In this discussion. Yeah. So can you tell us first?
A little bit about that. Did you remember the conversation that we had the first Oh, I have made so many tweets in the last four years? I've just, you know, been on Twitter so much. Almost too much. Really? No, I honestly, I don't remember, you know, the conversation we had over over Twitter could have been, it could have been something to do with
some kind of, you know, racist undertones in
some of the things that Muslims are saying about white converts? Oh, yes, I'm white convert scholars, things like that. That was recent. Yeah. So just as a caveat, I'm not going to name names. You know, like, I think we're talking we're talking more about the overall Zeitgeist. And yes, as another caveat.
You know, I understand, we're allowed these do odds are are coming from well, I'm not gonna say I understand that. I can sympathize but not empathize. You know, there's been a lot of mutual animosity between
the Muslim world in the Anglosphere as you know,
and, you know, like, they, you know, like, undoubtedly, many Muslims have experienced racism, or marginalization being visible Muslims. And UK is sort of like the, the epicenter of that, you know, I'm in Canada where, you know, there's far less animosity between Islam in the Anglosphere. So,
you know, many times when people ask, you know, what Islam for Europeans is actually about, you know, you know, we end up talking about what we aren't just to, you know, Europe and misconceptions as opposed to what we're actually advocating for. Well, how about this
About this, how about you stopped by because I instead of jumping right into what Islam for Europeans is about, I want to understand, you know, like, where you come from we what your background is. So could you tell us a little bit about your background? How you came to Islam and also like, some of the may be experiences that have led you to?
You know, your thinking today? Sure, absolutely. It's going to take a while, but I'll try to be as concise as possible. It's fine.
I was born in 1981, in a small town in southwestern Ontario,
which was 95%, European background.
My father was a stand up comedian. My mother ran the comedy business for him, and was a homemaker. I was raised Catholic, but we weren't really practicing Catholics. I did go to a Catholic grade school and high school. Also 95%. European,
was not really a big believer in Catholicism, to be honest. And you know, even the people I went to high school with, they didn't, very few of my classmates, fully believing the tenants of Catholicism.
And, you know, you know, we had a lot of philosophical discussions in high school about, you know, religion, and, you know, what is this life all about? And, you know, really had a lot of curious questions, but didn't really think about it that much.
I did have the opportunity to go to a mosque.
When my Catholic, this is my religion class, they had a field trip where we get to meet with different religious temples of other faiths. And we ended up going to the mosque where later on, I would end up taking my Shahada.
So but yeah, I guess for a while, you know, after I graduated high school, I didn't know what I wanted to do with my life, my life was going nowhere. I didn't go to university or college, I just was living at home, and didn't have a girlfriend or a fiance. And I was just working part time at a pizza place. That was run by Muslims. They weren't practicing Muslims, but they were Turks.
So yeah, it kind of remained dormant. You know, I just life wasn't going anywhere. And then, and then
911 happened. And, you know, that was a really, you know, jarring incident, you know, because
at first I was, you know, really, you know, angered at, you know, Muslims and Islam because, you know, like, you know, what a horrible event to, you know, to see.
And, but over, within a couple of weeks, my perspective on, I want to get into this too much, but I just preferred perspective on you know, what happened, you know, change, but also the, you know, the political motivations, you know, of these Western governments, to, you know, go into the Middle East, and, you know, quote, unquote, get bin Laden, and just completely destabilize the region in the process.
So, you know, I was heavily involved in like, anti war stuff, and just didn't want, you know, these Western governments to do this. Because, you know, I remember I was listening to a radio show, and, you know, they this is back when they had that huge worldwide protest in February of 2003. And knows one of the radio persons, you know, one of the people who call this radio show us, you know,
you know, what's the point of protesting if it's not going to affect change in government? And the radio host is like, Well, I mean, one thing it will do is, you know, it'll show the Muslim world that, you know, we don't agree with what our government is doing.
You know, so, we'll get back to that later. So, you know, I was a very inquisitive person. And, you know, one day I was, you know, alone, all alone, still living with my parents. But at late at night, I typed up, you know, Islam on the internet, because I wanted to know what it was all about. I had, you know, watched Malcolm Mexican times, and
even the movie, the movie, yeah, the Spike Lee movie.
And the first website I went to, had a picture of an unborn baby in the mother's womb. And I just like that I entered the right website. I mean, what does this have to do with Islam? And it was actually the website where they talked about all the different scientific miracles in the Quran. So, you know, I was hooked. I was like, There's no way a human being, could physically write this book. It's just impossible. So I started researching Islam on my own for about eight to nine months. I didn't tell anybody about it.
And, yeah, November of 2003, it was during Ramadan. And I ended up you know, working up the courage. I went, I made it to the mosque a few times. But I was just so terrified of entering it because, you know, thinking to myself, like, you know, like, what are they going to think about me? What am I going to say? So, you know, the third finally, you know, in November 15 2003, I worked up the courage to actually enter that mosque and I talked to a brother there from the bleakie Jamaat, and he said, Why are you interested in it?
Islam, it's just like, well, in my opinion, there's no way that human being could write this book, it's just not possible. It's got to be written by God. And, you know, so. And then it took my Shahada there. And you know, that started my journey, my 18 year journey up until this point,
I told my family week later, they had no problem with it the Hamdulillah that, you know, they were very accepting.
But still, it took a long time, it was quite a quite an adjustment, because I was living in this small 95%, white town, no Muslims at all. And the nearest mosque was in Windsor, which was half an hour away.
So you're basically living in two different worlds. And even though my parents had a positive image of Islam,
they just didn't want to go to the mosque, it was just like the, you know, that you wanted to tell them about this, you know, beautiful religion, but it's just, there's so many barriers.
And they just didn't want it, I just didn't want to go there. And at the same time, the Muslim community, they were very reluctant to see my parents. And, you know, so I mean, that was, you know, one thing that, you know, we can get into a little bit later, but moving along, you know, me, I converted on the same time, as a good friend of mine, you know, we were, he was another white Canadian convert. And, you know, we noticed that, you know, we were trying to, you know, work on these convert programs, and, you know, because what we're seeing is that a lot of Congress were basically converting to Islam, and then a few months later, you didn't see them anymore, you know,
they would just exit the Muslim community, and sometimes leave Islam altogether. And,
you know, the most security was trying to still get established, you know, and dealing with, you know, Islamophobia, and they didn't really have a lot of solutions, as you know, I mean, they, what they did was try a lot of these convert programs, you know, like, Oh, someone converts to Islam, you know, let's get in the Convert package, as you know, like the free carpet books, and,
you know, like the trips to Mecca. But it wasn't really addressing the issue was more like it was just a square peg for a round hole.
So before we move on, before we move on, you said the Muslim community didn't want to meet your parents. What do you mean by that?
Well, it's not that they don't want to meet them. It's just, you see a lot of these a lot of mosques, especially in Canada, I don't know how it is in the UK. But
the mosque is like the center where everything in the Muslim community happens. And, you know, there, the conventional method of reaching out to, you know, the greater community is by having things like open houses, or having them come to the mosque. And this presents a huge barrier, because a lot of Westerners are even terrified of entering a mosque. And when you have this kind of, you know, like de facto policy, that everything has to be done in mosque, you're only going to get a certain subset of people in the non Muslim population. So it's like a selection bias. Only people who have a very rosy image of Islam are going to want to answer, you know, this the, you know, the
mosque, or, you know, you get the person who's doesn't like Islam at all, but it's, you know, so brave that they'll actually wants to enter this, I guess, you know, people say, Okay, well, let's set up Dawa booths, so we can actually reach the people, that's better. But still, it's kind of like you're creating, there's still a lot of things that people don't want to talk about when it comes to Islam. Because, you know, let's be honest, they're afraid of being doxxed. They're afraid of losing their jobs, they're afraid of being seen as a racist.
So they end up not talking about these things.
That the Muslim community didn't go out of its way to find a way to kind of meet your parents is that what you mean? Like all make it conducive for them to be fit to feel welcome is that? Well, I don't think they did this on purpose. But what they did was, what they did was try to follow the medina model, where they would have a board Muslim, pair up, you know, with a new convert, to help them get acclimated to the Muslim community. Right. So but what they're finding is that this was kind of falling on its face, because even though these formulas were very sincere, and they wanted what was best for these converts, what they was doing it just, you know, call them, you know, every
couple of days or once every week, to see how they were doing. Right.
You know, and in the meantime, a lot of these candidates are going through enormous problems with their family.
And, you know, it was just basically Hey, how are you doing is just, you know, that good, it's very difficult these, even the volunteers, it just did not want to enter into discussion with their family to ameliorate the situation and at the same time, they're not Muslim family doesn't want to reach out to them. So you know, you're basically you have two groups that are basically never communicating with with one another. And, you know, it's a whole discussion about it.
What converts actually need and, you know, the most important thing for converts when they convert to Islam is to ameliorate the situation with their family. And when you have a Muslim community that, you know, let's be honest, I mean, there's a lot of fear, anger and resentment, which to a large extent is understandable.
In doing that, and on the opposite end, you have your non Muslim family that, you know, they don't, even if they have a negative opinion of Islam, they don't even want to hear the word Islam. I mean, it's taboo. And, you know, you are in a situation that is completely opposite of what the dyes online are facing with, you know, because with the dyes online, they're dealing with these Islamophobic, anti Islam people.
And, you know, they have a lot of anger towards Islam and are spreading, you know, all these half truths and rumors and things. And kind, you know, you know, they have to respond aggressively. But for converts, we can't do that. I mean, I can't imagine tog sung talking to her non, you know, non Muslim Islamophobic uncle and saying even half of the things that they say in these conversations, we would get kicked out of the house. So there's direct,
you know, impacts that occur, you know, for people who, you know, have to deal with this on a daily basis. What did you wish? Sorry, continue? Sorry, I don't want to interrupt you. Well, I was just gonna say the other thing is that a lot of Westerners are interested in Islam, but they don't, they can't, they don't want to convert to Islam publicly, and then join the Muslim community publicly, that's a totally different, you know, like level you have to reach. So a lot of times, you know, like, they don't just end up not converting in the first place, because the Muslim community, they just wouldn't be able to deal with the fallout of them, you know, getting kicked out of their house
or losing their job, or, you know, their husband or wife wants a divorce with it, because they converted to Islam. I mean, if the community were to try to take that on with the conventional methods that we use now, I mean, the cost would just be astronomical. I mean, it's just, and that's, you know, part of the angle that we're coming out here, it's not, I think, we're not trying to criticize current dollar efforts, it's just that
it's just you could say it's necessary, but not sufficient.
So what do you wish had happened? Like, when you say, like, with regards to your parents, for example,
what do you think you didn't need, that the Muslim community might have been able to provide? Or, you know, well, what we're advocating for, is that we're, if Well, I mean, it, not just I don't know about the most world, but when Muslims are living in a non Muslim country,
and the converts of that country
have you know, basically have to lose their basically enter into a whole whole new community with a completely different culture,
the best thing that they can do is advocate that the converts from that region collectivise and form, you know, their own organizations and basically form a sub community, just like all other Muslim communities have done so in the West, not to separate ourselves from the greater Muslim community, you can still be involved, you can still give all the Muslims their their full Islamic rights, but in order to fully address these issues, the converts to Islam need to collectivise so that they're non Muslim sphere, can see basically a synthesis of Islam, and their culture, their traditional cultures. So that way, they can, you know, incorporate,
you know, the traditional dress and cuisine, and architecture, and so on. And so for sports and games and things like that, that doesn't mean that, you know, say for example, if you create this physical center, all Muslims would be allowed, they will be allowed to pray there, they, you know, they will give them we would give them all the Islamic rights that they have given to us with all the things that they've, you know, the institutions that they have already created. But in order to to fully address these issues need a place where our non Muslim community would feel more
willing to come in and talk to people, you know, come from the same background, so that doesn't just go for the Anglosphere. But Japan, Korea, wherever Muslims are, you know, they're not seeing the basically the nominal some pipeless is not seeing this cultural synthesis. They see the Muslim community. It's not just as a totally different religion, but also, you know, they're coming from a totally different culture.
So, yeah, okay, so that's interesting. So,
let me ask you something. Did so when you got married, I'm assuming you got married at some point after that.
Did you marry into a? Like, what did you marry to a heritage Muslim family or not? Well, my first two marriages were two other converts who have converted before we've even met. So I, as I said before, my family had no problem with my conversion to Islam. But now you're entering into a marriage where when you're entering into a marriage, where the family is clearly opposed to Islam, you really start to see the other side.
And, you know, there's, you basically can't talk about it, the best thing you can do is try to be the best person that you can be.
And so you mean, you're You mean your ex wives? Families? Yeah. Yeah. Well, anti Islam as well. Right. Well, they were anti Islam. Yeah. Yeah. I mean, again, that's, you know, when I use these black and white terms, I mean, there are varying levels of animosity. I know, there was animosity, yeah, that's what I mean. Yeah, I mean, even if usually, it's just one or two family members. And the rest are kind of like, you know, in limbo, or they don't want to talk about it, because, you know, it's just such a taboo subject. So you kind of have to go with the flow. But I think over time, once you you know, once they see that, you know, this person is, you know, following the
manners of the Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him, yes, and sees, you know, this kind of, you know, marriage between their son or their daughter in law, or their daughter and their son in law, you know, that inshallah is a much better strategy, and warming the hearts. And that's another thing that we advocate for is that once you help these people, these converts collectivized, into into into a cohesive group, not only can they help, you know,
improve the relationship with each other's families, but then those groups, you know, those, the people in that group actually start to intermarry. And then you not only have, and then you grow this sub community within, you know, the, the native population from the ground up.
So that way, you never married into a Muslim family. No, no, when I grew up marriage is to a born Muslim, she's a Syrian.
Okay. Yeah, I'm just trying to understand like, because
I guess, a thought that comes into my head is, you know, like, especially in the UK anyway, because I can see it in the from the UK perspective, most convert, don't marry into their own, you know, like, Don't marry converts, right? They'll marry into a Muslim family.
You know. And so,
and even within my own family, you know, we have converts, we have European Muslims who have,
you know, Bosnian Muslim, who's married my sister. And one of the things that I notice is
that, that probably sets a different tone for the relationship of the,
of the Convert with the Muslim community, simply because, immediately, like with my brothers in laws, you know, they're basically being embraced by this family, right? This, this family that loves them.
And that feeds them. And, you know, I'm not saying it's, you know, easy, because obviously, any cultural change is not easy, right from both sides, if you think about it, right.
But at the same time, I think
it's a different experience. And maybe,
maybe the animosity is felt less, because
yeah, yeah. Well, it's it's a multifaceted issue. I understand these are very sensitive subjects.
Let's, let's look at it from a couple different angles. And I'm not saying that these marriages can work out, you know, I've seen many, I've seen many marriages where a converts marry born Muslims, and it works out fine.
You know, but in my case, what I'm saying is, is that's the majority, we don't have the option to marry like to take for the African American Muslim community, for example, they converted to Islam on mass, right? So it's a lot easier for them to find someone from the African American community to marry.
But with the Europeans, it's completely it's a completely opposite. But that they want to, like us, because I know, lots of convicts who actually loved the fact that they were getting married.
Even think they weren't even thinking about it as though they're marrying into different community. They fell in love with a particular person or they,
they they liked they wanted to marry this person, right.
And that's fine. But I think like I said, for a lot of Westerners the that's one of the few options that Westerners have.
To convert to Islam, and you know, supplant, you know, the social loss that they're going to experience. But when that becomes a prerequisite to converting to Islam,
in order to survive, many people just aren't ready to do that. I mean, this is something I mean, if you look at the Muslim world,
by and large, Muslims in the Muslim world don't marry outside of their own culture, I mean, Muslims don't marry other Muslims from an adjacent city in the same country most of the time. And there are reasons for this. I mean, we could say that it's racist, but you know, there are good reasons why they do this. I mean, we don't date in Islam, first of all, so usually the family will look into marrying, you know, like finding a spouse, for their son or their daughter.
And, you know, like, they can investigate and see, you know, if this person is going to be compatible, they can look into the family history, they can see, you know, this person, you know, this you have,
you know, maybe maybe it's a great person, but they're just not, the cultures aren't going to match. So there's all these checks and balances that go into place. Basically, compatibility is, is a consideration, like, right, I met some, some teenagers or some students the other day, and they were in the q&a. And they were saying to me, Well, you know, my, my parents don't want me to marry outside my culture. And isn't that really on Islamic?
And I said to them, actually, no, not necessarily. Because actually, in Islam, we do have a concept of Kapha Yes, of compatibility. So that is a consideration. Like, it's not nothing, basically, right. But what I'm saying Fatima is that for converts, we don't have this family structure in place at all right? So you know, like, we don't date first of all, so we can't find out about the person that way. And on top of that, you don't have a Muslim family to look into a spouse for you to see if they're going to be compatible or not. And that's why the vast majority of marriages I've seen from born Muslims to converts end in divorce. This is something that's really not talked about, because
it's hard, it's, it's really difficult to analyze, because when these divorces happen, you can't statistically analyze them. I mean, a lot of these I talked to a lot of these converts and the after, and after, you know, the, after the divorce happens, it just really falls apart with their anomalous and family because they get into this, I told you, so. attitude. And, you know, I'm not trying to let lay blame at the born Muslim family, it's just you're in a, we're in a situation where we're just not part of the ecosystem. And when you're trying to basically copy and paste what born Muslims to do, and then we put it on to converts, a lot of the times it just, it just doesn't work
out. It's not copy and paste. I mean, look, I perfectly, you know, I can see that it's a massive thing that's happened, you know, there's a huge change happening, change is always difficult. And this is a new situation, very much a new situation. Right. So I completely get that, though. And I completely also appreciate the idea that any community when they recognize a collective set of issues, should get together and try to adapt address, you know, those issues, because they're feeling it, they're, you know, obviously experiencing it, they need to deal with it. What I'm a little bit not seeing, right, is
maybe because of the conference, I know,
I feel like the experiences are very disparate, like, there are convicts who are completely are like, over the moon with being well.
This is it's a selection biases, the conference that have made it, you know, so, you know, it's I mean, they don't necessarily have to lose their identities, you know, it's almost like they forge obviously, this, this needs this, this, the prerequisite to this is a family that's open, you know, like the heritage of Muslim family, who they marry into, there's got to be, you know, open, giving them space, wanting to meet them halfway, etc, right. Not imposing anything on them, right.
But at the same time, I see, I see converts who marry into Muslim families, being very
being better supported in many ways, because, because sometimes they've especially when you have kids, it's really tough to have animosity with your, with the grandparents on both sides. Oh my god, you know, that's a nightmare. Again, I'm not laying blame at the born Muslim community. This is a problem inherent in the Anglosphere. Right. So
when you look at other
communities outside of, you know, Europeans that have embraced Islam, you know, this lingering animosity isn't there. Like, if you look at the Zodiacal Muslims in Mexico,
you know, it's still there a little bit because they're, you know, like, their grandparents may have been Catholic. But as you're saying, you know, like, it's a lot easier for them to convert as a group, because marrying another zone Muslim. You know, there's not as much animosity there. So there's a much like better likelihood that even if the, you know, the both sides of the family if they don't convert to Islam, you know, there's still that understanding there. But what has happened to Europeans that there's so much animosity within the Anglosphere that not only is it incredibly difficult to express one's Islam publicly, but also marrying another European convert, now you have
to deal with two families that hate Islam. Right. So and, you know, like European nationalism, they'll talk about, you know, declining birth rates, and the fact that, you know, Europeans are, you know, like, basically dying out. But the paradox is, the more they're hating on Islam.
The more that it's impossible for, you know, European converts to marry each other to increase the European birth rate. So that's the
European yours. So do you think because I'm just thinking, is it just a numbers issue that there just aren't that many converts anyway? Right, the pool of converts is not that that high in number? Well, there's so so the choice to marry is not going to be, you know, you're not going to have that much choice, right? If you do want to marry within your own culture, right? Yeah, that's one thing. The other thing is, so won't that just be solved in a few generations anyway? Right, with the number of converts increasing and their children, etc? Well, no, I guess, well, here's the thing. The statistics from the last that I've seen, it's probably worse now. But even in the early 2000s, we
kept hearing this statistic that 75% of converts to Islam end up leaving the DT, and I can provide you the evidence, the link for that.
And we'll put that down to
how much time do you have podcast? Top three things? What are the top three things that you've put that down to?
Not having a sub community where you know, you can have the issues addressed, from you know, from your family, in your community, that's one thing where, you know, you have calm other converts that can, you know,
act as advocates on your behalf. For your family, too, is the lack of a positive European Muslim identity. So usually, when a European person converts to Islam, it's a complete rejection of one's former identity, especially now because your identity politics has become so huge nowadays.
You know, and I guess third third, I guess would be the mutual animosity between you know,
the Muslim world and the Anglosphere.
You know, so yeah, I mean, you're basically caught between
about each of those so it's the sub community
issue not there not being a sub community. How did you put it sorry?
Not being there's no, there's no collective subcommittee of converts from that particular group when you don't have that it just it it becomes very difficult to convert to Islam in the first place. And you know, it just becomes a lot easier to exit
Yeah, okay. So,
for that, like, here in the UK, for example, there are I would say organizations like
set up by converts or
retreats you know, that organization I used to work for hire I know sounds like a short term thing but it's mostly run by other ingredient etcetera, right, like the swan by converts, well, it was set up by economists use of chambers etc. And so some of the programs they put in place like New Muslim retreats.
That was that's obviously for usually for very new Muslims but then support systems that and organizations that have been set up
where there has there are circles where converts meet
Don't you think that's going some way?
There's definitely not enough
thing, it's not enough. Again, look, these are massive organizations. And I'm not trying to denigrate them in any way. I mean, Mashallah. Incredible work, and they're very interesting describing some of the efforts that are already taking place. And is that the direction that you
were encouraging? No, because it's look
Look at the things that you described, you know, rich, most new Muslim retreats. I'm sure there's like, you know, courses to learn Islam like Islam one to one. And those are all great things. But none of the things you described, talk about ameliorating the situation with one's family inside the Anglosphere that they're living. Right? So, I mean, think about it, the people who enter these new Muslim groups, I mean, mashallah a lot of them turn out to be great converts. But, you know, like, it's, it's not designed for the average person who convert who is thinking about converting to Islam, but they don't want to because their family is going to have such a negative reaction to it.
I mean, you can throw all the money you want at it at these new conference, like trips, and books and all these things. But if it's not going to ameliorate the situation with their family, I mean, they're going to leave, they're going to exit Islam, or they're not going to convert to Islam in the first place. So you think if there was like, already a visible community of convert Muslims, right? Absolutely.
That would mean that, like, a new convert coming in, would have this. People who have had similar experience to them, who understand what they've been through, or what they might be about to go through?
And can guide them through that? Yeah, yeah. And another thing is that these massive organizations, you know, they're in huge metropolitan like London, or maybe Birmingham, right? So yes, a lot of people will convert to Islam come from rural areas, as they don't have the means and the resources to get to these places. And a lot of these messages that are in small cities, or towns, they don't have, they don't even have even a semblance of helping out converts. And if they were to the amount, the amount of money they would have to spend would just be astronomical, like, let's say, for example, 100, Westerners, you know, converted to Islam.
And, you know, from like, you know, just an average crowd, not like the convert, you see, that becomes like a superstar, where their family was very liberal, and they had no problem with it. I mean, think about it, the Muslim community would have to provide room and board, you know, a new job, a new family, you know, like, they wouldn't have the money, the time and the resources to do this. And a lot of mosques are running on shoestring budgets anyway. And they're trying to address the needs of their own born Muslim community, and then to Ferhat, to ask a mosque to have to take this on. And, you know, the African American community, they see this, and rightly so they criticize
it, because they see it as an example of, you know, this kind of white savior ism, or white supremacy and that the people are going to need these resources, the most are going to be white converts, African American converts already have a collective of Muslim identity, converting to Islam, for them is like an affirmation of one's identity, like a rite of passage. They have, you know, like millions of African American Muslims, you know, they have no problem talking to their family, and their family has no problem talking to them. So they already have this structure set in place. So the mosque doesn't have to spend 1000s of dollars once, you know, they're, I'm not saying
that. So isn't that due to just the sheer numbers of African American condiments and, and also the whole culture of I remember, the there was a period wasn't there when it was very, obviously, because of the stuff that they've been through, right.
There was a
outright rejection really, of Western culture, right? Like, I met some African Americans in Egypt, I used to live with them. And they, they now come to Islam proper, as an orthodox Islam, but they'd gone through this whole process of Africanism, you know, wanting to be African, and, and then eventually coming to Islam, the ones that I met anyway, so there was already this kind of,
there's already a culture amongst the African American communities where there was a rejection of, or re, what's the word like reclaiming of one's
heritage, right? Identity, and then now it's almost like, there's a new forging of a new identity.
But that's probably because of sheer numbers as well. Right? Well, no, it's not just because of sheer numbers. I mean, you don't see them because nothing I mean, you don't see the equivalent thing happening with Europeans. I mean, we convert to Islam, we're a trader or a trader to, you know, our people.
You know, it's this the complete opposite experience. Right? So I mean, she didn't numbers, but also the history, you know, context. Yeah.
And that's the reason why they have these sheer numbers. I mean, there's, you know, like, you know, converting to Islam, for them was like a rite of a rite of passage collectively. So that's why we have so much support from the African American community for this.
And even if you read Malcolm X's autobiography,
He actually mentioned this that while at the time, he didn't even think that white people will convert to Islam on mass, but he did say that anti racist whites should form all white groups and give Dawa to their own people and teach anti racism to their own people, and that they would still collaborate with the black Muslims. But that's something that they needed to do. Because don't try to prove yourself to be an anti racist in front of us, you know, work on your own people.
You know, so I mean, so even what Malcolm X advocated for is even more extreme than what we're advocating for. We're not even advocating for an all white group. So I mean,
he was on he was on a particular particular stage of his own journey as well at that time, but I did get it. Yeah. I mean, he could see the benefit of collectively addressing a problem right, from within your own community before you start. Because that's what even like the whole nation of Islam was kind of advocating, right, like, fix ourselves, fix ourselves up. So ourselves out, because selves up, be independent.
so even when he converted to Islam proper, I feel like he was still addressing some of those problems, right?
While he was becoming becoming close, like, if you look at his sister, Ella Collins, she was not as
other feel that she I feel like she was more integrated, you know, in the general Muslim community.
And that's probably what brought her to Islam in the first place. Proper, and then she kind of nudged him in that direction.
But yeah, I mean, I get it, you know, that. So, so really, what you're advocating is, because you're married to a non convert, right, so you can't be advocating separatism, right. Like, I find that I find that, like, laughable, really.
It seems what you're advocating is, it's about time that
white Muslims or converts, I don't know, get together and start getting more organized. And addressing some of the collective problems that they see are out there.
And provide almost like a, a welcoming space for other white people, right, because I'm just translating Anglosphere as white people. I don't know if that if you think that's accurate? Well, I mean, if you look at Spain and Portugal, I mean, you know, they're, you know, darker skinned than many Arabs and Asians. So that's why it's Islam for Europeans, not Islam for whites. I mean, that's such a loaded, you mean heritage? Can we say heritage Europeans? Is that true? Yeah, that might be a better.
So you're advocating for them to then have an easier passage in a way right. What you see as an easier passage to embracing Islam to being
to I guess,
crossing that chasm? Well, it's not just about people converting to Islam, we have to look at the entire spectrum here. Right. So,
yes, you know, like their families? Well, it's a community. Exactly. And this will change the opinion of Islam in the Anglosphere pretty much overnight. Because a lot of, you know, Europeans, it's,
I guess, the Tombow, the European rights.
You know, it's basically divided into two camps. And a lot of Muslims didn't know this for the longest time, you know, because they've only been seeing the first camp, which is like the liberal,
anti Islam, pro war,
Zionist crowd, like your Tommy Robinson is, and your Amory waters and Douglas Murray, these are the people who get all the attention and get all the book deals to get all the media support.
So that's one camp, and that's the only camp that the most community has been seeing, because the only other camp
they've all been D platformed. So they can't see that, you know, there's a large chunk of people on the European right, whose gripe isn't about Islam, per se, it's that they're having a complete loss of, of cultural identity.
You know, so, but that group is, and again, you know, you know, we're not advocating for their positions either. But, you know, they have, they would have they, you know, a lot of people say, you know, from that group that this idea, if Muslims were to implement this idea, you know, we wouldn't have any problem with Muslims at all. You know, they would see wow, like Muslims actually do care about our culture.
And you know, a lot of them have more positive attitudes towards Islam, it's more of a spectrum. I think you saw this, I'm not going to name names when one of the popular dies did an interview with one of these gentlemen. And, you know, he thought that this guy was going to be like this, you know, anti Islam liberal. So the first hour of the, of the debate or discussion was him thinking that, you know, this guy is like a liberal, really, you know, he had more in common, but with Islam than he ever would have believed.
And, you know, like, I'm not saying this to, you know, disparage that particular guy who did that interview, I think, if any other Muslim would have did the same interview would have went the exact same way. Because, you know, like, we've only seen like the anti Islam crowd. And you know, if you don't really have your finger on the pulse of the Anglosphere, you're going to think that every, you know, European on the right, thinks this way.
But don't you think that those that is not really a good representation of like, I feel like, sometimes if you were only to rely on the online space, right, you'd think that that is where a bunch of, you know, mad sort of ranting,
you know, aggressive male? Well, I mean, they're the de facto face of the most men are the de facto face the most. But But But what I'm trying to say is that it's a bit like,
I don't want to say it's an act. But you know, there is a certain level of
entertainment factor and stuff like that that's going on on the internet at the moment, I think, especially with the dowel in the park staff. And, you know,
I don't think it's a representation of what's really happening on
on the ground, you know, because I'm at university, I see the interactions between
professors and students and, you know,
conversions amongst professors as well. And students,
and the real world, do you know what I mean? Like, do you not think that sometimes
the online space gives a warped view of what's actually happening? I would agree with that. Fatima, I completely agree with you. You know, once you step out into the real world, you realize that, you know,
that the social media world is just a place where it's just the garbage dump of people thoughts. And, you know, people just say whatever they want to say, and they take a lot of extremes. There are a lot of extremes, right, that exist online. And, and they get exacerbated, because the extremes always get the highest views, you know, like the calmest nicest conversations? usually don't get seen as much. Right? Yeah, I mean, this conversation is probably, sadly, not going to get as many views as some of the other conversations that you see online.
But I mean, the fact remains is that, you know, at the end of the day,
you know, like, people are still not Muslims are still looking for, you know, what Islam is all about? And, you know, like, right now, they're just seeing one of two extremes, like, you know, as you stated, you know, the, the back and forth between, you know, the values and like these anti Islam, ex Muslims, who are getting far more screentime and representation now that, you know, they're in the spotlight.
I don't like those at all, by the way, because I think, a they're not, they just come across very fake, very kind of, you know, click Beatty on sincere conversations, you know, to be honest, and also the just counterproductive, like, what is the point? Like, literally, what is the point
of having those conversations with people who you already know?
Or have made up their minds, or you're already setting it up to be a confrontation? You know,
it's not like a sincere exchange of compassion and understanding between human beings, right, no, absolutely not. And, you know, like, I mean, I mean, that those types of conversations are not productive. You know, when it's, we're talking about Muslims talking to non Muslims on the street or any other, like you said, the relationship you had with your professor or, you know, the bus driver or whatever. And it definitely isn't, you know, like compatible with what Congress are going through, which is to, you know, improve the situation with their family. I mean, there's no way we'd be able to get away with saying this stuff, this stuff to our family. I mean, some of the memes that
these guys have created, like it's on their own telegram channel, so it's kind of like in between just between them and their followers. This is absolutely horrible. I mean, it's just, it's terrible. Dawa. It's not it's anti doll. Don't you think that most most, like non Muslims won't see those anyway.
Well, they are that's I mean,
They are seeing that. But, you know, they're seeing me, they're more likely to see that than they are to have a decent interaction with a Muslim.
Well, I mean, see, because that's where I would like to focus, I would like to advocate for people look, forget the online space, like it's gonna, it's basically sorry to say it yet, but it's like quite immature men, usually the Wright brothers who are figuring out their own identities in a way, but they're doing it in a very public way. Right? They've got a lot of, they're hot headed, they've got the kind of what we would call the enthusiasm of youth, right? I think over time, they're going to calm down, you know, probably insha Allah.
And it's a bit like a show, right? It's just as like a show that's going on in the background. But in real life, in everyday interactions, you know, some of our our organizations, what we've been advocating is encouraging Muslims to be well
equipped with having compassionate relationships, and that will conversations becoming more self aware, you know, as a community, when it comes to our interactions? There's a lot of interfaith stuff going on as well, you know,
I feel like that's the real landscape of, you know, mutual understanding between between European heritage people and Muslims. I agree, I agree, to a large extent, you know, but the fact that remains is that these, you know, online, you know, areas are always going to remain, it's still going to be a lightning rod, for, you know, increasing, you know, anger and hatred between Europeans and Muslims. And I mean, you know, the fact of the matter is, these people are going to are the de facto face of the Muslim community. I mean, I do wish they would, you know, mature up a bit, I must say, I wish, you know, maybe I should reach out to them myself, and some of them when they're a bit,
but, you know, in a way I let it go, because I think they're sort of like, like I said, they're unfortunately, going through like, they're just immature, they're just literally going through growing up in puppet is very public. I feel.
Well, I mean, like, I mean, here's the Well, that's one crowd. I mean, the other crowd is that a lot of left progressive Muslims are, you know, like, they're allying with a lot of these left wing organizations.
And, you know, like they, you know, tossed this the, you know, given up their Islamic ethics for, you know, joining organizations, because they feel marginalized, and they want to, you know, like, ally with all these different groups, but all these different groups, you know, they absolutely despise the Anglosphere. So I'm not saying I mean, of course, like organizations like your IRA, I mean, there's a lot of Muslims who are, who feel a part of these organizations, they represent how they feel about, you know, being a Muslim in the West, and they want what's best for the community at large and for converts. So I'm not
involved, by the way, you know, like they actually forming. They are the trustees, you know, they are the ones who are, who are designing these programs as well. Right. Right. And I'm not, you know, like discrediting the work that they do, mashallah, they're doing wonderful work. But what I'm saying is that there, you still have an element from the Muslim community that has a lot of anger and resentment, whether that's from leftist progressive Muslims, or from even Neo traditional Muslims. So you don't think that's just to do with immaturity?
What is it? Where is that?
It's, it's a trickle as well, right? Like, there's a huge political element. Yeah. And, you know, I, I'm sure they want what's best for the Muslim community. But the strategies that they're using is just, it's like, one step forward, and 10 steps back, I mean, you know, like, you know, I saw one tweet of them was just like, it was like, a two square meme. And the first meme was like, Who far enters into World War, right? And then, you know, on the caption is a guy saying, Oh, that's a shame. And then the second frame is like, so whatever, you know, what, you know, what's for dinner? Like, it's just disgusting. Like, and you know, like, yes, and these people are getting 1000s of
likes and 1000s of fall people following them, you know, and you know, a lot of these people who are falling, they just ignore, you know, things like that and just concentrate on the good work that they do do. But the problem with that is that, God forbid, Allah forbid, if you know, like, non Muslims actually see that. I mean, you know, and to them, it doesn't matter. It was something going on where Muslims was like, talking about white tears, you know, and, and that that's what really upset that upset me. You know, like, when I was
to online, I was thinking, gosh, you know, how do you mean dehumanizing, right? Like, you see somebody crying? And then the only thing you have to say is white tears. Like your thing, right? Yeah. And let me put it this way. Fatima. Let's say you joined a bowling league. Right? So you joined a bowling league of like, and it's all you know, white British, you know, people, right? And you're like, oh, yeah, welcome to this bowling league, you know, like, you know, they're very welcoming and stuff. And, you know, you know, like, half of them are great. You know, they think you're wonderful. Maybe everyone says, you know, like, it's, we're so glad to have you here.
But then, like, you know, 10 20% of them, you know, you find online that they're, they're tweeting about how much they hate Muslims, or how much they hate Indians. Right? Like, how would that make you feel? You know, you know, like, Would you
like to do with the left, though, that is 100% to do that? Because at the moment, the left's whole rhetoric, you know,
obsession with race obsession with
in a way with collectivization, right?
How is your, what you're advocating different to
the, the kind of identity politics that the left advocates? Well, I mean, again, to a large extent, I can understand where they're coming from, I mean, you know, Muslim countries have been completely destabilized and bombed by Western foreign policy.
You know, many Europeans never wanted these wars. We never want to, you know, to destabilize the Middle East. Absolutely. You know, and it's the reason why you see Muslims immigrating to the west, and, you know, like, you can't blame them for that. I mean, they have no choice. You know, and, you know, on top of that, there is the anti Islam, you know, liberal faction that has, you know, those are the ones those are the people protesting a mosque, those are the one spray painting, graffiti, those are the ones stabbing our duat. So this anger that the left and both left and traditionalist, sent traditionalist Muslims have towards the Anglosphere, to a large extent, is very understandable.
What we're saying is that we have a solution to that. And the best solution for us as European descent and commerce is that we have to give Dawa to our own people. Because those are the those people are protesting at mosques, those people who are joining the EDL those people who are, you know, like vandalizing the masjid, those are ants, those are uncles.
And it should be our collective responsibility to lead the charge in changing their hearts and minds about Islam. You know, so and that's not an easy thing to do. You know, like, it's a lot of these white Congress, they convert to Islam, and they become like this quote, unquote, anti racist, but they ended up you know, becoming this white savior in the process and just start saying that, you know, all white people are just collectively irredeemably evil. You know, which is not the right approach, because there's a lot of people in the Anglosphere, who have no problem with with Muslims and actually admire, you know, what is what Muslims are doing. But in a lot of these white Congress,
they in order to fit in, they have to be even they try to act even more extreme in order to try to fit in with the greater Muslim community. And it's isn't isn't that just Paul, that part of the journey as well, because, like, I remember, there was a time when this is this is completely wrong, you know, like when, when somebody would convert, they would be told you got to leave your spouse, you've got to, you know, like, basically change your name. Yeah, here's a new set of clothes.
And now, I think slowly, things are changing, like, most converts, the new ones that I'm seeing, they're not changing the names, which is good, there's no reason to change your name, right?
The Sahaba were converts, right, they never change the names, unless they had a bad meaning, right.
Also, they're kind of not they're being warned as well, like convicts are generally being told, you know, don't take things too quickly. You know, don't do things too quickly. Don't impose things on your family. Slowly, slowly, because a lot of the earlier converts, like from the, you know, last few decades before, they tended to go in with a sledgehammer, right, like with their families and
show themselves show a lot of hatred towards their previous culture, right.
But now, they're being kind of encouraged not to do that, you know, there's no need for that. So I feel like slowly the
the kind of culture is changing.
Yeah, I mean, those are all steps in the right direction. Fatima, like, I'm not disparaging those opinions at all. I think they're all really you know, I'm not, you know, like, humble about that. That's great that they're, you know, advocating for that.
So before it's necessary, but not sufficient. Still, even with all that advice, you still have to deal with your non Muslim family. Yeah. And, you know, that's why a lot of Westerners are admire Islam. And they, you know, like they think it has a lot of truth to it, and they will convert to Islam. But the follow up that would incur, would not. And, you know, you have the most impunity that's not ready to deal with that fallout. And for good reason to I mean, the resources you would need would be astronomical, but they don't just don't convert to Islam in the first place. And that's if you had a European Muslim sub community
that addressed those issues, you would see a lot more Westerners not only converting to Islam, but But staying in Islam. And overall, the opinion or attitudes on Islam would change pretty much overnight. Like you take a look, you know, like well work advocating for us. Let's say you go to book to Romania, like you visit Bucharest, in Romania.
You know, you go to an eye for each chapter, and it's completely run by Romanian converts. The Iftar is the food is Romanian, the traditional dresses, you know, what their ancestors used to wear, even if it's just for eat or Juma prayer, they have their own marriage networks. When, you know,
I guess Europeans have questions about Islam, they can be referred to that Masjid. There's still interacting with the greater Muslim community just like all these Muslims, subcultures have done in the West. But you know, they have specific needs to address. And then, you know, once they intermarry, and they have kids and their kids have their kids, then you'll see the attitudes towards Islam change in the in the Anglosphere. I guarantee it.
You know, and then that's, that's what really needs, but you don't you're not married to a convert? So this is the thing that I don't fully understand, like, are you saying, let's make the the
atmosphere conducive to people doing that? And for it to survive and thrive? You can't force people? Yeah.
Because whether brother Robert, you know, even without Islam, people are marrying into marrying in you know, like, which is a very multicultural community, right, like, right, but that's an option. But again, we don't, we don't have the option, oftentimes of marriage, you're saying, let's make it, let's make it easier, let's make it possible for people to do that. You're not saying let's sort of force people to or encourage people that they have to do that? No, you can't force people to marry one person to the other. But I talked to a lot of these converts who ended up marrying a born Muslim ended and divorce and ask them like, how do you if you converted to Islam? And there was already a
community of Congress from the same background? Would you have married, you know, a convert from that background? They just said, yeah, in a heartbeat, it would have been a lot easier. Let's, let's face it, that's gonna happen, isn't it? Like in a few generations, that's gonna take a few generations? Brother, Robert, I feel like, I feel like almost this generation.
Okay, you're talking to people who, who, whose marriages ended. But I've got people in my family whose marriages are thriving, right in that setting. And in a way, it's actually helped them, you know, like, to have that family that that was, there was a ready made family for them to come home to,
well, to have a different culture to have. And obviously, their children are mixed heritage as well. They don't see that as a
as a negative, or, you know, so what I'm trying to say is that, I guess there's people with different experiences. And maybe the first generation of converts, or the early generations of converts, which I feel like, exists today are going to have to go through that difficult process. And definitely in a few generations,
it's going to naturally happen anyway, you know, that marriage between
people of the same heritage is going to become easier. Just because the pool of converts and the pool of
people is greater? Well, again, these are sensitive topics. And if it were, if a if that marriage works for them, then that's fine. But for the vast majority of Westerners who are interested in Islam, if they were to marry even someone you know, outside of the same culture, their families would be like, Get out of here and you never want to talk to you again. It would just be complete cut off. So Oh, absolutely. Sure. That's not a Canadian thing. Seriously, because, well, maybe I'm seeing things through London or London is is you know, London is very, very multicultural. Very Why have you ever been to London? No, I've never been to London. Unfortunately. I live in London, but
it's London, Ontario. Yeah. Again, again. What I'm saying is that
You know, like, if you have an environment where it's more conducive, where you can marry from the same culture, it's a lot you see people converting to Islam on mass and staying and also, you know, the non Muslim family or community, non Muslim community, generally, their attitudes towards Islam become better.
Yeah, I can see that.
Even in the UK, I can see that for rural areas.
In the big cities, in the towns, it's really become quite normal for I mean, I don't know if you saw the Olympics in Britain, right? When when the Olympics came to London,
the de facto like the, you know, they have the opening ceremony.
When they represented, like the typical British person, it was a mixed race person, you know, because,
like Britain really has become that kind of melting pot.
Well, I mean, also the younger generation, like our generation, we, we do have heritage Muslims, we also kind of figuring out our,
or we have figured out a new British culture of our own right, like, we're not literally just following our parents culture, we don't like Indian desserts, right? Like, we like, we eat mince pies, and we like our chocolate eggs. And we also like, traditional English food, right?
Although, you know, Indian food is like the most popular food in Britain at the moment. But anyway, that's another, that's another story.
What, what I'm trying to say is that there is a new, emerging identity, right, which is very British, British Muslim identity,
which has elements of our previous cultures or our parents cultures, but it also embraces our Britishness
and you don't really get to see that maybe, on the internet, you know, especially amongst the that is certain popular days, but
I definitely feel it's there, like my children are very British, in many ways, you know, like, the, the, in terms of their tastes,
definitely in their clothing, you know,
in what they consider to be fun, what they consider to be normal, is very European and very British. So, I'm just looking at it from a, from a bigger picture of, like, both convert communities, and also, you know, heritage Muslims, and how actually, there's almost like a merging that's happening anyway, you know, in the newer generations of a new emerging culture, which is not going to be as
you know, he's not going to induce as much animosity, I feel.
Well, again, that's perfectly humbly law, that, that you're, you know, that, that Muslims in Europe are creating this, you know, like, integrated culture.
You know, and, you know, we're not trying to exclude other Muslims or throw them under the bus, when we're advocating disease with these things. So, we would never advocate, you know, for Muslims to be harmed, you know, living in Europe. What I'm saying is that
you do agree that there is a lot of animosity towards Islam in Europe, and that's why a lot of majorities, you know, anti Islam, right groups.
I mean, the I mean, you kind of, I mean, I'm not I've never been in your proper, but I mean, I'm sure they're there and they're it's it's a problem.
But don't you think that's that's ironic, though, that you are called Islam for Europeans, and you haven't been to Europe? Like, I'm just saying, like, don't you think that it might be good to come to Europe? I know. A bit.
Yeah, no, I mean, this sincerely, brother, like I'm not I'm not like I would love to. I'm just saying that since you are speaking for Europeans, right. Like as in European heritage people. I think it would be really good. I think it should be part of your work to, to come to Europe, to travel to actually see what's going on because I've been to Canada and there are parts of Canada that felt like he said very, you know,
there were there were hardly any mosques. There are hardly any Muslims at all right.
Europe's not like that. Especially the bigger cities and you know, Britain is not even a very big country really.
We have people in office in various
at various levels that are Muslims, you know, so there's a certain level of normalization. I'm not saying that there isn't animosity, but definitely on the streets, the NHS is basically run by, you know, like, immigrants, right? Like, so many people have different backgrounds, a lot of Muslim doctors and nurses. So I don't know, like, I feel like part of your work should be to come to Europe to spend time with,
you know, convicts and heritage Muslims of different backgrounds here to see what it's really like, because television and the news and even the internet, are not really good representations of how how things are? Well, well, first of all, I don't have them. If I have someone to give me the money to go to Europe and see it. I mean, I will be I will be glad to. I mean, I just, I'm living hand to mouth right now. And, you know, I'm in a lot of
do you know how Malcolm X did that, didn't he? Right, do you think do you see like his journey to Africa? Right? His whole journey to, like, basically, traveling the world completely changed his perspective, right? Because, well, I think we have a big impact. We have a lot of members, I fact, almost all of our members live in our European Muslims in Europe. So you know, like, the, it's not just me, I mean, like, I am the face of the organization, but, you know, like,
you know, like, they should help you to be able to do that, then. But again, we're not, I'm not just going off the, what we see on social media, I mean, this, you know, I've been listening for 18 years, and I've dealt with so many different Muslim organizations here.
And, you know, and I've talked to, you know, many Muslims who convert who've been in the game for longer than I have, and they reiterate the same things that I'm saying that, you know, it's, it's a very big problem that, you know, like,
converse are just entering into just a really bizarre field. And, you know, they're just the mosques are just not they don't have the, the tools to the, to address the issues. And when they do, they end up spending more money than ends up getting wasted.
And, you know, like, if you were to implement this idea, not only would it be a lot cheaper, but it would also be more effective in the long run. But you're assuming that people will, because I don't see what you're saying is controversial, actually, I mean, I'm, I just think you're, you're asking for it to be a more organized effort. And I kind of see it as happening kind of organically Anyway, do you see like,
but what I want to ask you is, why do you think doing it in an organized and as you call it collectivist? Way? Why do you feel that that will be even seen? Because if you think about most non Muslims, right? Everyone is in their own echo chambers, right? Especially online, if they if they haven't discovered a positive Muslim community already? Why do you think they will discover
a European heritage community? And do you see what I mean? Like? Well, I mean, it's not just about, you know, creating these, you know, brick and mortar edifices. It's about changing the whole game about how we, you know, think about giving Islam in Europe, basically. And, you know, like,
cuz I, you know, I had an interview with Dr. Edward Dutton. Last week, a couple of weeks ago. And you know, it, it
you know, this is, this is a crowd that, like, you know, never really talks to Muslims. And I didn't do you know, who Dr. Dutton is, or? No, no, I don't sorry. I don't know much about him. Yeah. So I mean, this is non Muslim. He's a researcher, and, you know, like, he's on the, I guess you could say, like, I'm European, right. But his attitudes towards Islam are more positive than the average bear. Right. So.
So, you know, like, but he, he actually wrote a book on Islam, but it had so many different errors in it.
I guess the basics he got right, but the controversial issues, he actually thought that this is what Muslims actually believe in practice, like FGM. And, you know, forced marriages and,
you know, like, honor killings, but he was taking that and put it instead of, you know, criticizing it. He was like putting a positive spin on it from an evolutionary perspective.
So I went on the interview, just to clear up a lot of these misconceptions, because this crowd never talks to Muslims. Muslims just started reaching out. It's great that you did that. It's great, I think. Yeah, I mean, you know, like, Yeah, I mean, but the thing is,
They don't get any these people don't get any screen time. They're really unknown. I mean, this is a people who watch his videos among that group. I mean, you know, this is
these are people who have varying attitudes about about Islam. But again, a lot of people had negative reactions to me being on a show, but other people thought it was great, you know, that I went on and everything and, you know, like, we're seeing a lot of Muslims who support our idea completely. That, you know, European converts to Islam should collectivise and keep everything about them, and you know, form an organized group that have an organized collective mindset and change the whole mentality but Islam within the Anglosphere.
And they think this absolutely needs to happen. And then the, the, a lot of the feedback from, you know, this particular group on the European right has been overwhelmingly positive.
So it's just collectivization just to just for people who might be listening and,
you know, you've you when you say to collectivization, like can you give us some examples, like, tangible examples of what that looks like? Yeah, just go to any any city in the West. I mean, like, for example, here in London, you know, you know, we it's got a pretty large Muslim community. But when you mean your London, right, yes, London, Ontario, sorry, London, Ontario. Yep. Okay. Yep.
Just naturally, you know, Muslims, it's a big Muslim community here. And when you go to Eid prayer, you see all the Muslims, you know, praying together. At the same time, you know, you have the Bosnian Islamic center,
you know, which is for the, you know, run by the Bosnian community, you have
you know, and, and, you know, like, Arabs will go there, even if they're on the other side of the neighborhood. And there's another Pakistani butcher shop, like, right next to them.
You know, and the people just the people are social creatures, they just have a natural affinity for people based on language, culture,
And, you know, like, as long as you're not denigrating other Muslims, or, you know, thinking that you're better than them. I don't think there's anything wrong with that. And you see this in Toronto as well. Like I we went to an Eid prayer in Toronto outside.
And it was run by this mosque that was running completely by Somalis. And 95% of the congregation was Somali, a block. North of that was a mosque that was run by Pakistanis doing their Eid prayer and Gemma was 95% Pakistani, and the imam for the Somali laws. He was like, you know, this is haram, you know, we should be you know, all praying and one, you know, as one GEMA, you know, like, he was getting mad at like, the other group, I'm just thinking, me and my friend looked at each other, like, why don't why aren't you doing this? You know, like, you know, this is I think, what we see now is that
there's this sometimes we, as a Muslim community, we conflate natural affinity for people based on one's culture, and language, or other, you know, things with disunity in the ummah. And I think that's true. My husband goes to a Somali mosque sometimes, and
there's no problem. Yeah, you're right. Like, it's just basically those, like, basically, people from that community got together, set up something right.
Made sure that the boys were in their language, right, so that they could have that. That feeling of
community, I guess, it doesn't mean that they're excluding others, people. People are welcome to come and enjoy Somali food and
you know, their culture as well. And there's not like a, they're not excluding people who are not Somali, it's just so happens that they collectively set it up. Right. And so it does have a certain what you could call a certain character to it. Yeah, like, a distinctly Somali character to it. Right. But my husband loves going to pray there. So doesn't mean it doesn't mean.
So do you think people get a bit threatened when they see European heritage people doing the same thing? Is that what he's? Oh, absolutely. I mean, think about it. We have to I have to watch as a frontman for a song for Europeans. I have to watch every word that I say, you know, like, I have to be very clear about you know, that we're not trying to exclude other people or trying to be some sort of white supremacist group. Meanwhile, a lot of these other organizations, no one bats an eyelash, you know, like Islam and Spanish. You know, they got an official endorsement from Yasir qadhi And Omar Suleiman. And that's great, but I can't imagine either the hosts universe
ducted brothers supporting us, I mean, they will be de platformed. You know, in a second, but But what the what's the difference? The difference is they're talking about a language, not necessarily I mean, that as long as Spanish does serve important functions for converts from a Latino background. And again, like there's still animosity towards Islam, you know, within Latinos sphere. But Islam in Spanish, they're willing to talk to their non Muslim, the converts, family and community to allay their fears. And when you have someone from the same background, it's a lot more efficient and able to address their issues and
help them help conference survive. So that's one thing. I mean, even if putting his thumb and Spanish aside, you know, the pudding is in the proof, whenever Muslims evolved this idea of allowing the conference to collectivized into a cohesive group, the results have just been enormously positive. I mean, you know, they not only convert to Islam on mass, but they stay.
And, you know, like the event where have you seen that?
Everywhere, the Zulu Muslims in South Africa for the longest time, and South Africa, as you know, the overwhelming majority of Muslims there were from a South Asian background. So they never even reached out to you know, other, you know, tribes in South Africa. You know, if you converted to Islam, you basically had to take on the South Asian culture, like you had to drop the dress and dress like a South Asian.
You know, you have to wear a shawl or communions. A Topi.
You have the spicy food. So a lot of like when they tried to give Dawa to the Zulus, the Zulu was like, Yeah, we don't want to,
if we convert to Islam, we don't like spicy food.
You know, we'd have to change the way we dress. And that's too hard for us, because our families the way our families would react, they would completely reject us. There's a good chance that I talked to his name of this smile, calm diaries in South Africa, and oh, yeah, he addressed this. Yeah, he addressed this issue. And he said, look like you know, the Zulus, you know, they need to have their own collective Zulu Muslim identity.
And once they implemented that, and the Zulus actually created their own community center, then you saw the Zulus convert to Islam on mass, and Omar, Farooq Abdullah, he talked about this in Islam and the cultural imperative. This is like, yeah, like, they can convert to a, you know, they, you know, we should respect that the Jews are going to convert to Islam, but they're going to remain Zulus, and they're going to be great Muslims.
And that's, I think, what's missing, with a lot of Dawa, not just in the Anglosphere. But you know, in non Muslim communities at large, because
when we saw the spread of Islam through the world, you know, what would happen was those people, you know, they would the people giving Dawa would give Dawa, to the, you know, the heads of state and the chieftains and they will convert to Islam. And then, as a result, you know, their subjects, you know, they will convert to Islam as well. So basically, those groups converted to Islam on mass. So quickly to the point where, you know, the Muslims in that region, the overwhelming majority were from that region, and they basically, you know, the, the dots are the people who came to spread Islam, they actually became the minority within the Muslim community within a couple of years. So,
you saw this the race gonna happen, their culture? I think that is gonna happen. We're seeing that slowly, like, No, I mean, it's just because it's just because Asians have so many kids.
Look at it this way. Like, let's take Chatham, Ontario, for example, right? It's 43,000 people. It's 95%. White, the whole Muslim community there is.
There is a South Asian Deobandi community that opened up their own mosque there and an all white town. All of the congregants there were South Asian clothing. shalwar kameez the whole deal, and all the women wear black niqab dogs. And they have they don't have anyone there convert to Islam, because it's just such so seen as a such a separate, separate thing. Yeah, it's just and it's just not conducive. And it gets to the point where even the Arabs from in Chatham air Muslims in Chatham, they ended up forming their own mosque on the other end of the city. And this is a city of only 40,000 people where you have less than 100.
So even other Muslims from other cultural backgrounds didn't even said, you know, we need to open up our own thing, even they felt they needed. Yeah, as imam who was from a Palestinian background, I had the chance to talk to him and I talked to him, I started talking to him about, you know, trying to give Dawa to the people in Chatham, and he's like, he said, flat out people don't like us here. And then I'm like, Look, I've been Muslim for 15 years. Like, I know what I'm talking about, like, not everybody hates Islam, like there's some people who don't have a negative impression of Islam, and he's, he's like, very few. And this is a person who just doesn't interact with the Anglosphere.
So I know you're talking about large organizations like a Euro, where they're very integrated and the
We want to reach out to the greater novelists and community and that's wonderful. But unfortunately, that's about that's not what we're seeing on the ground, especially cities outside of large metropolitan, no, not even organizations, I feel like
in Britain anyway, as a community, Muslims are opening up way more, you know, like, there's just much more like I don't know, if you've seen
before I say that I want to sit on acknowledge that, what you've just said is, it really, you know, resonates because I don't know if you heard my conversation with your arm. And I was talking about this letter that I got from a, from a non Muslim, elderly lady, and how she, she spoke about how she feels that her community has changed overnight. And she doesn't feel she could speak to Muslims, you know, that that's exactly what you're kind of describing, right? Like, because of the way Muslims tended to get wise, right. And that could be, you know, internal, as well as externally imposed, I guess.
But also the way that Muslims sometimes have not reached out, and have not made the extra effort to make people feel more welcome, and encourage them to understand, you know, mutual understanding, etc. She felt very,
she felt this animosity, she felt, she said, My country's changed overnight.
I feel like it's gone backwards, when it comes to women's rights when I see a woman dressed, you know, like in a veil.
So all of those things that she was expressing,
I could actually empathize with, and I really felt, probably because I've grown up with non Muslims, you know, like, all my school life, I can kind of empathize with, with their families. And I remember one of my friends at school her, her mom said to her, you know, don't, don't be friends with a girl like her, like me. Yeah, she said to, you know, don't don't make friends with her. Because we don't really understand what kind of background she's from, you know, but then I had friends whose moms were so happy that their daughters were with my friend, because they knew they wouldn't go drinking and, you know, no boyfriends and stuff. So we'd have good, good, clean, fun.
So, I mean, I feel like this, the the wider community has slowly been grappling with this change this immense and very rapid change that's happened, you know, some people are more open to change. Some people are not as Muslims, we should be reaching out, we should be like, I love the Ramadan tent project here in the UK, for example, you know, these, these, these projects that really kind of welcome in my dad, he's organizing a community of thought just out in the out in the open in on his street. And he's, you know, inviting everybody, those things are all kind of way better than what's what does happen in some communities, which is, like you said, you know, people keeping to
completely being different to the wider community.
But I think one of the things, I guess, what I'm trying to get at is, it's, it's changing slowly and organically, the immigrant community themselves have been grappling with identity, who are we, you know, which aspects of this culture can we adopt? And which Can't We? And slowly, I feel like we're, I definitely feel very comfortable as a British Muslim. I feel very British, I have no real connection with India, you know,
in the sense that, of course, I do have relatives, you know, but I mean, I've hardly ever been there, you know.
So I feel like, slowly, but surely the culture and the openness of the community is changing, and shouldn't we be
encouraging the entire community to just become way more open?
Well, that'd be more effective. Well, again, a lot. I mean, some people in the Muslim community they, you know, they have legitimate grievances and fears and they don't, they don't want to and they're just terrified of even, you know, you know, reaching out and talking to these people and vice versa. I mean, it's it's just, it's just natural and and you know, like I said, the work that you guys are doing it like the tents and everything that's wonderful. I mean, that's a lot better than you know, the kind of like the ghettoized
you know, what's happening on with, with Muslims living in like these, you know, in like, you know,
Self segregated communities. But it's still a problem just because you're at an earlier stage as well. Well, Canada, yeah. I mean, Canada, lovely Britain a few decades back. Yeah. Well, I don't want again, I don't want Canada to turn into another Britain in the sense that, you know, there's this growing animosity between Islam in the in the Anglosphere. I mean, think about it this way, let's say, you know, we may make a make up this,
you know, like,
you know, like, fantasy, a European country, you know, the top of our heads, you know, like, Muslims go there, and there's already an existent European Muslim population, like, let's say, 10% of the population, who already have, you're already Muslim. And, you know, like, they've integrated everything from their culture into this, you know, Muslim community that they've created, when that that would mean that, you know, there will be a lot less animosity towards Islam, as opposed to saying if there was nobody there from that community who you know, who was Muslim. I'll give you another example. Lithuania is the only country in Europe that has a halal meat Council that's a
supportive by their government. And that is because the Muslim community in Lithuania is either they're either indigenous Lithuanians or they're taters who have, you know, stayed there for centuries. So they've assimilated into the Lithuanian culture, you know, to the point where even other European countries that have large Muslim populations, they actually have to import halau me from Lithuania.
So, you know, since the these, this small Muslim community has been able to, you know, like, represent Islam within their culture, that's been, it's been a lot easier process for them. So it takes, but again, it takes time, you know, I just, I just see it getting worse. Generations, I see it getting worse, unless we change the game that I see I see it getting worse, I don't see it getting any better. A lot of these cities like, you know, Windsor, and Chatham, I mean, they're not taking a new converts, Westerners are just too, they're just not conducive to go there. And they're just not going to be ready to address other issues. Unless you have converts who are willing to do
one of three things either completely assimilate into the Muslim community, change the way they dress, change the way they talk, change the way they act,
to marry into a Muslim family, which hey, if it works for them, it works for them. But I mean, that's not going to be the case for a lot of people who are interested in Islam. And three, you know, become like this kind of anti racist, white savior Crusader type. Apart from those three options, I mean, it's very difficult to there is another option, why? What is that, and that is to encourage the entire Muslim community to become more open.
To be okay with being Canadian. Like, like we're advocating be okay, with being British. I think it took some of our alumni actually here in the UK, especially for the more conservative communities. Yeah, people like Shahid, firm, etcetera, to actually say, you know, what, we're your British, you're British Muslims, and be proud of being British, being British is good, you know?
Because there was, like, I remember, there was a whole time when, especially conservative Muslims, they were like, they were just waiting to leave, you know, like, they were trying to make hijra, so called Hijra. And, you know, if they couldn't, then they were living in these kind of very separate lives. And it took, I feel like it took all of my took leaders and, you know, people from within the community to say, actually, you know, we're British, we're here to stay. We were part of the fabric of this society.
And I think until the wider even if you do create collectivist, you know, convert communities until the, the majority of Muslims which is basically non European heritage, right, until they open up and start becoming more open and becoming more inclusive. It's, it's always there always going to be seen as a,
as a fifth column. I'm not trying to sound all doom and gloom here. Fatima. I mean, there's a lot of positivity, you know, going on within, you know, Muslim organizations that are doing great work. But the fact remains is that there's a lot of animosity between Islam and the Anglosphere. And I don't see it getting any I see getting worse. And, you know, like, give me let me give you an example. Abdul Hakim Murat got into hot water and his latest book coming home, or when he said that he wanted Muslims to feel, quote, unquote, sympathy for indigenous Europeans because of what has happened to their country. He got into
hot water for saying that. I mean, you know, he was cancelled out. And it just, he's not in hot water. He's he's too he's too big to be in hot water like this. This is why I do feel that look. I know there is a vocal minority that really are really annoying and really like quite racist as well towards white people as well. Right.
when you're actually experiencing it on the ground,
it's really not as dramatic like I
observed, like a Murad has a mosque, right. Or he set up a mosque, the Cambridge mosque, eco mosque.
I think that's a wonderful example of a model mosque. Right? Like, it's literally a British, a European mosque. Like the way it's designed. The technology that's gone into it, the thought that's gone into it, okay, it has Turkish elements, it has Arab elements, etc. But it's a very modern British mosque.
It's an eco mosque. I mean, come on, you know, they can't get more modern than that, like it literally reuses its own, like rain water, and, you know, stuff like that, you know, and the air circulation, and it's complicated stuff, but it's very sophisticated. And he's obviously
consulted with the community set this up the designers, the the architects of the mosque, were all like Westerners, right. I think it was actually a Jewish Jewish architect. Some of the best architects in Europe. And that community is amazing the way I mean, I just visited a few my relatives, actually, one of my relatives of the Imam of the mosque is Bosnian. And subhanAllah. Just going there. I saw so many convert, forget condiments, non Muslims, I saw so many non Muslims, just coming to the mosque, just walking around, just loving that atmosphere. And I don't think that could have been created. I think what was beautiful about it is that it is multicultural, like, I guess it
took a visionary like, Abdullah came, right. Sheikh Abdullah came to, to be able to kind of see what kind of mosque he'd like to see in Britain, right, like a very open, very inclusive, very modern, mosque, but at the same time, very traditional. And it's salami approach. It definitely takes visionaries, but without the support of the
entire community, and the openness. I don't think
it could have been a reality. And I don't know, just seeing seeing a mosque like the Cambridge mosque, it makes you feel very positive, actually, about the future. And I don't see
things getting worse, actually, I see the opposite. I can see literally things are getting better. Well, written things are definitely getting better. Well, here's the Eco Mohsen care, which is a wonderful idea. And, you know, like, like I said, these are all steps in the, in the right direction. I mean, they they have, I think, you know, they're all They're definitely on the right track, and they spent enormous amount of money, trying to, you know, definitely include more, you know, to be more inclusive, and you need the money of the heritage of the Muslim community. It's, you know,
well, okay, well, again, a lot of like I said, a lot of these mosques are outside of you know, these major metropoles are just running on shoestring budgets. So the Eco mosque is great, but to implement it into every city in the West, they're just not going to have the funding a lot. A much cheaper model would be,
you know, to have a chapter like Islam for Europeans. Just take an old abandoned church that's just sitting there and just refurbish it, we go to those as well. Yeah. So I mean, and, you know, that should be the center. I mean, a mosque doesn't have to have any shape. I mean, I know you're talking about you're on both, you know, like the anti Islam right. You know, they're there and you know, they want to get rid of like minarets, well. You don't need a minaret
mosque and that's, you know, you don't have to make it look like an air of mosque. If you look at the mosques in China, like in Seon China, they look like Chinese temples, you know, there's no air I mean, apart from the Arabic calligraphy and some of the, of the mosque It looks to be like a Chinese temple.
You know, I agree. I agree. Definitely. That's similar to the whole kind of, you have to change your name. You have to change your you know, your clothing thing, right, like, well, you don't have to and a simple building a beautiful simple building can be a mosque. Yeah. Well, I mean, the these are all great steps forward. And I'm not trying to sound all doom and gloom and I think that you know, I era
Abdul Hakim Murata doing wonderful work.
I just think that, you know, there's a final step, you know, that's beyond the Overton window that they can't really talk about. But it's so simple that it would just
solve all these problems for everyone involved non Muslims, Muslims on the European right converts to Islam, and born Muslims living in Europe, it would be a win win win win for everybody. And that is that the collectivization of European descendant converts, you know, and you know, that we can incorporate, you know, everything in our traditional culture, while still remaining part of the greater Muslim community. And you know, that old lady who received that letter from I mean, there's just so I mean, that's great that she reached out to you, but there's a lot of people who have really negative opinions toward Islam and mass immigration in general,
they'll never write you that they're never you're never going to be able to reach these people view, their view won't change. Only due to collectivism, do you see what I mean, their view will change through a multi faceted approach, right? Like, because because the fundamental change through immigration, whether it's from Muslims or non non Muslims, there's plenty of immigration from non Muslims as well.
That fundamental change is there, you know, so, to a certain extent, that community has to come to terms with it. Right.
So no, I agree. And I guess one thing that's just popped out to me is, yeah, so
first of all, I think we shouldn't assume that just because there's criticism of like, what, you know, for example, what I did, like you said in his book, just because some people are criticizing, I feel like those are like the minority and certain certain people, their track record is so solid, yeah, they can't be canceled, you know, they've got such wide acceptance in the Muslim community, like in terms of, from all backgrounds, so doesn't necessarily represent what's actually happening. But also isn't one of the problems that when I say problems, I mean, one of the
one of the things that maybe will stop is not allowing this idea of yours to have maybe as much traction is that some, so many Muslims now convert have got heritage Muslim families, right, and relatives. And so, for them, that kind of huge friction doesn't exist.
Obviously, they, if your wife is, you know, from heritage and Muslim backgrounds, like, obviously, their children are now also have got that mixed background. So they want their whole families and everyone to come along with them. Right, like, on any journey that they go on. So. So that would make it difficult to
revise? Well, we're not again, we're not trying to denigrate them, or make them feel excluded in any way.
You know, like, you know, they went on a particular path, they chose that path, and, you know, who am I to stop them. But what I'm saying is that,
you know, accepting Islam as the truth is one thing, but accepting it, and actually joining a Muslim community, all these ingredients have to be right. And usually, that is a combination of your family, you know, as accepting of not just you converting to Islam, but marrying into a totally different culture.
And having a, you know, belonging to a mosque and Muslim community, you know, that takes you and accepts you as your brother, if that if all those ingredients are right, humbly, loud, that's great. But for the majority of Europeans, that's simply not the case. And it's just not feasible for them
to do any of these things.
And that's, that's what's creating more and more barriers to entry. And that's great that these, you know, converts, you know, like, you know, we're able to integrate into the Muslim community. But that's simply not going to be the case. I think for a lot of people who are going to be interested
in Islam. So you know, a lot of it is just, you know, having that option available, where you grow Islam from the ground up within the Anglosphere.
And that way, do you think sometimes that you might be overstating this? I don't think so. I mean, the look at the influence. So in other words, I'm not saying that what you're saying is wrong. I'm saying it's happening anyway in a very slow but sure way, right. And maybe allowing it to happen organically is going to be healthier and less, I don't know confrontational and maybe easier as what like just allowing
If there to be like a collective, you know, flourishing and growth and opening of the Muslim community, and then slowly as the numbers increase, there will almost inevitably be a certain level of, you know, collective effort on every community's part.
Do you think maybe that's what I mean? Like, do you think you might be over stating it? And I don't push back? I don't think I'm overstating the problem at all. I mean, we have there's so many factors at play here. One is that, you know, and I don't want to talk about media, but again, it's usually the these leftist, you know, Muslims by name, you know, who get onto you know, mainstream media. This is the face, you know, the Muslim community that was never chosen by us traditionalist Muslims, but the fact remains like this is what non Muslims see, as you know, the representatives of Islam. So they've probably never heard of people
like Abdul Hakeem, Murat. I'm talking about your average,
they are not going to change what why do you think that will change through through? You know, because because that's no one's
talking about it. They're not, they're not addressing this issue. When ash Sarkar says, you know, I'm a Muslim, and you know, like, at the same time says, it's impossible to be racist to white people, and traditions.
And yeah, but people still think that she's because she identifies as a Muslim, and traditionalist Muslims aren't addressing what she's talking about, you know, like, so I mean, but there will always be personalities who push themselves forward, you know, like, as as the spokespeople for
us converts directly, because we have to deal with our non Muslim family and community, and that's who they see as the face of Islam. So for people who are born into a Muslim family, they don't have to deal with this directly. So you know, they have all their families Muslim, they have to deal with Islamophobia. That results? Absolutely, no, no, I'm not denying that at all that is being a visible Muslim in the West is it must, I can't I can't fathom how difficult that must be. mean, you have to deal with that every day, you don't know who is going to be an Islamophobe on the street. It could be basically anybody and then
brother, Robert, is the media, they're the ones who pick who gets to be on these programs. It's not it's not that the Muslim communities put these people forward? Not at all, you know, no, you're right.
So the more Muslims that enter various spaces, right, like, at the moment, there's, there's a huge drive in Britain to get Muslims intermediate into all the different areas of society. Right. The more Muslim representation there is, the more likely it is that they will suggest the right voices, you know. So I think one of the problems of that is traditionalist Muslims are gonna have a very difficult time trying to enter into the, into the mainstream media, because their opinions don't really fit this liberal agenda. I mean, even who we consider as very moderate Muslims, you know, traditionalist, most Muslims who want to reach out to the greater non Muslim community, even they're
painted as extremists by the liberal media. And I'll give you a perfect example of this is Nouman Ali Khan.
Trevor Noah is scheduled to do a comedy show for Islamic Relief Canada, and you know, like, he's going to be alongside Dahlia will go ahead and Nouman Ali Khan and I saw an article and like this,
anti Islam, you know, like, liberal conservative paper, saying that Nouman Ali Khan is like some sort of like, ISIS extremist, you know, because he advocated that he said he didn't agree with, you know, homosexuality and things like that. So.
So, I mean, it's, I don't mean to sound doom and gloom here, but it's going to be very difficult for traditionalist Muslims to enter into those spaces. And, and again, Trevor Noah, you know, has made a career out of like, blasting the Anglosphere. And now Islamic Relief, Canada is a mainstream Islamic organization. So I don't know who approved of him and he's not a Muslim. So I don't know who approved of Trevor Noah, doing a comedy show for this, the whole this is going to change, like the whole narrative when you have mainstream Islamic organizations, you know, pushing this idea that and people are going to look at it and go, Yeah, you can disagree with his opinions on his opinions on
Islam in the Anglosphere. But a lot of us are going to have an influence, and people are going to see that. So So I think that's the that's the whole problematic relationship between Muslims and the left in general, right like that is being
that the people are grappling with. I think that's that's a whole other area that is important, too. That needs addressing actually and I feel like Muslims have gone too far with that.
But I don't think it has to be so called traditionalist Muslims.
Who, who enter these spaces that will make a change? You know, like, I think
it can be the average Muslim who, who identifies and feels, you know, an affinity with Islam
is definitely going to, even though it might be small changes, Stephanie gonna make changes. If you just look at the example of
Jordan Peterson, I feel like the fact that so many Muslims were willing to engage with him, right.
And also meet him. And when they met him, they met him positively right, in person, and would suggest names like, you know, different different Islamic scholars names, and
I think that made it more likely and conducive to him actually making connections with Muslims, you know? Yeah. And that it wasn't necessarily traditionalist Muslims who did that, you know? Yep. So, what I think everyone has a role to play slowly, but surely, I don't know, I'm seeing this shift very, very slowly, although is towards a way more kind of inclusive and accepting and
I think that's on all of us, you know, like, each and every one of us has a role to play in that. I don't think what you're, what you're advocating is particularly controversial,
I think is going to happen anyway. Well, I mean, I think, here's, here's the thing. Again, these are all the, the work that traditionalist Muslims and other regular Muslims have done, you know, giving Dawa, to the Jordan Peterson crowd is, I think, is wonderful work. And I'm not trying, you know, I think that's really positive. And that's the kind of work that we need to be doing.
You know, I do think that many, I think, the way that I think Jordan Peterson, he kind of acts as like, you know, he represents more like the, the liberal conservative, you know, kind of crowd, but he's kind of slowly getting away from that. Whereas the group, you know, that doesn't represent all of the of the Anglosphere on the right, by any means. In any case,
I think that for us converts the urgency, it's a lot more urgent situation, not only because, you know,
giving Dawa to our own people may mean the difference between us being kicked out of our house, or being able to stay, or maybe the difference between us being accepted by our family and being rejected. So there's, you know, I guess more physiological, you know, more our needs, you know, the more immediate and trying to, you know, like, trying to get a foothold, and surviving, as converts, but also, you know, you know, we want our families to become Muslim as well. So, I mean, the fact that it's going slowly, I mean, I understand that you, you're trying to put a positive spin on it, and that's wonderful, that it's happening slowly, but surely, but, you know, our families, you know,
they're not going to live forever, they need this. Exactly, we want them to convert to a slam, and when, you know, things are going slowly, quote, unquote, slowly, but surely, that's not good enough for us. Okay, so, paint a picture for me paint a picture for me for, you know, like a,
what would be nice, like, what would be a nice transition for a convert from beginning to just just so that I could see like, how it will be different.
how you'd like it to be, you go, okay, so to make it conducive for them, I had millions of dollars and, you know, Islam for Europeans is able to establish like, you know, like, centers everywhere like that to bleakie Jamaat does, you'd have
even when then we would start out small, we'd have like a small, you know, like,
office space with them with Salah in the back, maybe like a game room.
And it would be catered to conference from that from that area. But Muslims would be allowed to, to come there and pray there and you know, we give them all their stomach rights, but it's a place where a convert comes in, or people maybe a non Muslim interested in Islam.
And, you know, we'd be able to ask them about, you know, you know, they not only can we answer the question about Islam, but help, hopefully inshallah deal with the problems that they experienced with their family. Maybe they have a family member who, you know, is willing to talk to Muslims, but not at a mosque or any Muslim environment, maybe at a neutral territory. Maybe they'll be willing to do a phone conversation.
You know, you know, maybe they need, you know, like, maybe that particular convert needs, you know, so
Social Services, so we get to get them in touch with the people, you know, that are professionals in that regard. But, you know, that's and mosques are, you know, they refer these converts to us, so they don't have to keep draining their money and time and resources on them. So we're better able to do that. And, you know, you get comrades who come in who had they gone to a mosque, that was, you know, 95%.
You know, like non, you know, born Muslim, that, you know, like, they would have been kicked out of the house, because their family didn't want to talk to Muslims are they didn't have any Muslims, they could they can turn to, if you had this center, you know, we would have a whole team that may be able to, you know, talk to their family, or may be able to just be friends with them. So they just by mere exposure, they now have a Muslim friend from the same background that is now interacting with their family, and that maybe not even mentioning anything about Islam. So you may be able to prevent them getting kicked out of the house. And that way, the Muslim community doesn't
have to spend 1000s and 1000s of dollars, providing room and board for this person. And then once you have a community of like, 5100, you know, converts, then you're able to,
you know, grow that community from the ground up. And then on top of that, the, you know, the rest of the non Muslim
community from that background, they see that Muslims are not a Islam is not a cultural threat anymore, because they see the converts from that region, adapting Islam into their traditional cultures. So this doesn't just go for, you know, European descended converts, but any country in the world or any place where there's Muslims there, and they make up in the majority immigrant population or non native population, they need to help convert from that region, set this up, so they can have their own centers and sub communities. And that way, Islam will be seen as a universal cultural filter, as opposed to,
you know, an a cultural foreign invader. So
that's that's a beautiful picture, actually, that you Thank you. Do you think that that could, for the time being anyway, could be set up as, like a department of current Musk's? Well, I mean, there's no harm in trying if we had the funds. Absolutely. I mean, we would, you know, do a prototype models. I feel like that would be a good start. Yeah, like Yan from debating truth of Yan. I had a conversation with him a couple weeks ago, and he's trying to implement the same thing in Slovakia. And it's a really rough go. And he said, Yeah, like, if we had the funds, we would totally set up an Islam for Europeans chapter where we would still be interacting with the immigrant Muslim
community, we'd be giving them all their Islamic rights. But that would be catered to Slovakia and the issues that's the lock in converts to Islam face and also the Slovak population, you know, who has fears and resentments towards Islam? So, you know, we can work on giving Dawa to them.
And then you foster an environment where it's a lot. Not only are you know, you're helping us to lock in converts, we're creating an environment that's more conducive to help Slovaks you know, like learn more about Islam without seeing it as sort of this this sort of this cultural threads alien culture. Yeah.
Yeah, I can I can really see this starting as because it has to start somewhere right, like, starting as
a dip Department have a current mosque of current wow, I don't think that's that's gonna that's not gonna work. Because again, a lot of non Muslims, they don't want to enter a mosque. It's enemy territory. Yeah, even for concrete. A lot of converts don't want to enter a mosque. But what I mean is not physically, I don't mean physically in the mosque. I mean,
financially supported by a mosque. Yeah, but do we have to work our way? I mean, it has to be like an office, and it has to be a neutral third territory, is what I'm saying.
And, yeah, I mean, that's basically what needs to be done. And it's very easily implementable. It's, it's, you know, like this, you know, this can be done. It's very feasible. It's just changing the mindset of people because now, you know, like, it's, it's, like I said, it's going to be very difficult. The knee jerk reaction is to reject this idea, especially among traditionalist Muslims because they see any type of thing like this as quote unquote, creating division within the Ummah,
you know, and I've had people tell me straight up, I've had converts, you know, who've been in the game for decades, who say, you know, this is they can't get their heads around that they think it's, you know, going to create division, quote, unquote, division and become a cult.
I was gonna say, that's where you have to play politics. Because I was thinking to myself, you know, sometimes the community is not right.
differ something, right?
Yeah. Like, in from my own experience. Being a female scholar, you know, that's something that I think sometimes I've had to be very diplomatic about. But also,
you know, quite politically savvy in the sense that you, this is why I was mentioning like the overstating aspect. I don't think you're overstating it really like, I feel like you've identified a real issue that you want to address. But sometimes you have to, I'm just suggesting that's, you know, something for you to consider, like, sometimes you have to, like, understanding the culture and the context, and how people can sometimes react and perceive things right, due to their own misunderstandings, right. Sometimes you have to traverse that carefully, and be a bit more understated
as a political maneuver. Well, that's why I'm writing this book. I mean, if you ever heard of the movie Moneyball, did you ever see Moneyball?
You know, Moneyball is okay, so
I'm gonna go off on a bit of a tangent here. But I'm going to come back to you know why this is a perfect parallel for what we're trying to do. So
I refer to baseball, do you ever watch baseball? No, sorry. Okay. Britain, and baseball, not really a mix. So, traditionally, for the longest time, the way that baseball teams are run is that scouts would look at particular players, and, you know, look at things like their physique, how they hit the ball, if they're a pitcher, how they throw, you know, like bat speed,
power, in what they call five tools. So basically being able to hit hit with power or being able to run, be able to catch and so on and so forth. So this for the longest time was the traditional way that baseball clubs would find baseball players.
in the late 70s, when statistics, you know, sort of become, you know, more of a thing in universities, there was a statistician who worked at a pork and beans factory. His name was Bill James. And he wrote a book about how the way that they traditionally find baseball players is completely wrong, because they're not looking at the output that they produce, mainly how often they get on base.
You know, and he saw the discrepancy between how traditional scouts were, you know, trying to seek out ballplayers and how all these other ballplayers were actually better were looked
sort of overlooked because of different physical problems, or maybe like personality problems.
And so he wrote this a couple, you know, several books on this, called sabermetrics, the whole, the whole thing was called sabermetrics. Where the way the best way to find baseball players was to statistically analyze how often they get on base. So this was written in the late 70s. For the longest time, this book was absolutely hated by the entire baseball world, like they absolutely hated. It was a complete,
you know, like a heresy.
until like the late in the early 2000s, there was
a baseball manager called Billy Beane of the Oakland Athletics, and the Oakland Athletics had a very shoestring budget, they had much smaller budget than like the New York Yankees or the Boston Red Sox, and there, they lost all of their good ballplayers to the better teams. And you know, like all you know, like Billy wanted to, you know, he wanted to win so badly, but everyone was telling him you know, we can't give you more money. You know, the, the ballclub didn't have a lot of money to spend. So he implemented Bill James's book and sabermetrics to find ballplayers not based on you know, what code and what their scouts thought, but by statistically analyzing how often they got on
base, and the entire his, his scouting team was completely opposed to this. They said, you know, baseball thinks the way we think you're not going to win. They don't see it.
And everyone thought he was really crazy. And he was gonna get fired the Oakland Athletics and ended up winning, went on the biggest win streak in baseball history. They made the playoffs
on a budget of like, one quarter of the New York Yankees.
And finally, you know, the Boston Red Sox ended up implementing Billy Beane's model, and it became they ended up winning the World Series and now every single baseball team uses the same process in assessing baseball, so it completely changed the culture of the organization. So but that's a gears that took about you know, 22
I need to 25 years after Bill James wrote that book for Billy Beane actually implemented because he had a the power and be the money to do this.
So you need people that can affect change in order for it to to occur. And once people start to see the putting in the proof, that's when, you know, the whole culture changes, because people start to see Yeah, I mean, this is actually a much better model. And you know, the old guard is completely changed, the only difference, I would say, between what we're trying to do and what Billy Beane was trying to do is that Billy Beane, was trying to implement an entirely new system that never been done before. Whereas what we're doing is what the spread of Islam was done naturally anyway, just because, you know, these different cultures, they spread on foot, there wasn't this type of thing
where you had a Muslim population that was entirely from another region, and the novices from a different culture. People from you know, Pakistan and present day Iran in present day Morocco, they converted to Islam on mass, and basically overtook the dyes themselves and implemented Islam into their culture. Whereas you don't see that anymore. Because you know, what we have going in the west now, but watch, I read highly recommend watching the movie Moneyball to see exactly what we're trying to do here and how to, you know, what we're how we're trying to affect organizational change, which is very difficult. But once you know you a write a book on the subject where you can explain
your ideas, be have people in power that actually implement them, and see, see, you see the changes on the ground, then the tide will actually start to turn. And you know, Billy, he didn't care what his scouts thought, because he was the general manager. I mean, even one of the scouts is like, this is the man you know, we make suggestions, he makes decisions. He didn't, he wasn't a person with no power, he didn't have to, like politically like be, you know, you know, careful, like tiptoe around and stuff. You know, like he you need someone who has, you know, the power and money to actually implement this idea, and not care about what other people are gonna think. So
well, even if you don't have money, and power, you can take leadership, right? person can take leadership, and slowly but surely get his cause or her cause can gain momentum, and support?
If you see that, have you seen that video? By Simon Simon Sinek?
I think it's the third most viewed TED talk is called start with white. Okay, I recommend you watch that. It's
80 minutes. Simon Sinek Start With Why is the third most watched TED Talk. And when I was setting up my organization, that that video was recommended to me by so many heads of Muslim organizations, you know,
because people follow and people support
the way, you know, they support and, and follow what you believe. And so I feel like if you can articulate that, well, okay.
People will support you in Sharla. And you will gain momentum and things will, things will go positively in Charlotte and you the resources will come to you slowly but surely, like I'm experiencing that myself, having set up a new Muslim women's organization.
I feel like part of it is having an excellent network of people as well.
Having those conversations like you're having with people,
but also keeping people on site, you know, a certain people you want to keep on site and you want, when I say key on site, I don't mean like everybody has to agree with what you're doing. But for example, with with my organization, as a women's organization, I keep the scholars, the male scholars on site, you know, I'll go out of my way to include them and keep them as part of the conversation because I'm not trying to create an organization that's feminist, right, right. Or that's anti men in any way, shape, or form. But I want to focus on women, right? In a similar way, you've got a focus, and you're not trying to, you know, cause animosity, I don't see that at all. I
do feel like you're having to sometimes be a bit defensive.
And maybe if, maybe if you were less defensive, I'm saying this sincerely, you know, like maybe if you didn't highlight some of the criticisms you've got.
They would minimize because I'll tell you why because I didn't even I wouldn't have even considered what you're saying to be controversial and until I heard you mentioning some of the criticisms that you've had, you know, so
Sometimes as leaders, we've got to just get on with it, you know, like, don't focus on the negative voices, because those negative voices by us focusing on them, they end up growing or overtaking our narrative. Just keep just just get on with it, you know, just just work on what you're working on. And by your fruits, they will know you, right. Yeah, no, and that's a great advice. And, you know, like, I don't mean to be to come off as negative or reactionary.
You know, and I understand I don't think your message is that, but I feel like sometimes in the way your, your focus sometimes goes
towards the negative, like, the negative criticisms. I mean, I feel like you might end up giving it too much airtime.
True. No, I can, I can definitely take a look, I'm trying, I want to be humble. And you know, like, we want to be a collaborative organization. And I don't want to be a top down style organization. You know, I want to be able to take feedback from everybody, and we're willing to talk to anybody really even. Yeah, even my biggest detractors, I always tell them, Look, you're more than welcome to, to talk to me, and just, you know, lay it all out and just say, you know, I got the I got a problem with this, this, this, this, this, and let's, you know, flesh out these ideas, you know, whether that's from other converts, because they're our biggest detractors.
Everyone, we look at the majority of our support is from, you know, non white Muslims. White converts are our biggest detractors. Like why why do you think that is so interesting? What I think, I think, what do they say? They're trying to fit into the greater Muslim community? And a lot of them are, you know, newer, and they think that, you know,
you know, like, they're trying to go by the assimilation model, because they're trying so desperately to fit into the, into the greater Muslim community. Maybe it's just because they've, like I said, they've got relatives who are from, do you know what I mean? Like, yeah, it's hard to, it's hard to think you have to look out for when you when your own kids are mixed race, right? I mean, oh, absolutely. No, no, no, no. And that's why that's the need. That's a big reason why the knee jerk reaction is to, you know, reject this idea. Because they, you know, they went to another way, and that's not, you know, criticizing their decision. I mean, that's, that's how they want to
do that's really up to them. But you've done that, too. What do you
Oh, yeah. Well, I can the first two marriages were two other converts. And that didn't work out because there was no sub community. You know, like, there was no, you wish the it could have. So yeah, exactly. Then you would have you had that problem. This never, you know, who knows if it would have worked out or not, but you know, the when you're when you're in these type of relationships, where you see firsthand how difficult it is for converts with Anonymous, a non accepting non Muslim family, who doesn't want to hear about Islam, and who only tolerated you because they married someone from the same cultural background, you start to see the other side. And that's why a lot of
Westerners don't convert to Islam in the first place. But also, do you think some converts the the object, because in a way, there is a model that's already playing out? Okay. I don't know if I haven't really spent a lot of time thinking about this. But, for example, you have people like Sheikh Hamza Yusuf and Abdullah, okay. People like that, who almost like have used the Senate the Yeah, in a synergistic way.
provided leadership, right.
But have done it with the whole Muslim community. Do you see what I mean? Like? Well, I mean, they've done it very effectively. Well, if that's what the work that Hamza Yusuf and Abdul Hakim Murad have done is absolutely incredible.
You know, but, you know, not every
convert to Islam is ever going to be able to achieve that level. You know, like, it's, I think, what happens is that, you know, like, a lot of born Muslims will say, Oh, you know, Congress are so much better than us. And they're on such a high level of Eman. And you know, Mashallah. But what's happening is that, especially for European ascendant converts,
it's there's so many barriers to entry, you know, to convert to Islam and enter into a totally different community. That is just it just siphons off. Only, you know, pretty much everybody, unless you're like the strongest, very best, and have, you know, an accepting Muslim family. You know, other than that, it's very difficult to be able to survive as a convert.
You know, both living in you know, like with your family and community and the greater Muslim community, not to say that the most community
is doing anything wrong, it's just that yeah, they're just not, it's not conducive to that. So, you know, like, I would love if everyone, every convert was praying five times a day and wearing hijab and had a beard and was fully practicing, but that's just not the reality. I mean, in every Muslim, so community, you're gonna have people who are very pious, you're gonna have people who are practicing, but you know, still not doing everything, you're gonna have people who are just hanging on by a thread, and people who are just, you know, challenging, you know, their Islam to begin with, you know, but since they have a Muslim sub community, those all service protective factors to help
them, you know, come back to, you know, Islam, or, you know, become stronger whenever they want to. But, you know, with converts, especially with European converts, that whole sub community is just completely absent. So, you know, you don't, that's why, you know, you see, white Congress kind of acting as, like this kind of savior for the Muslim community, because, you know, that's really, the only option that they have is to just to go all in, and just, you know, like, just really dive in, and it's like, an all or nothing approach.
You know, and then that's why a lot of converts, did they just end up not being able to hack it, and they end up leaving the Muslim community or unfortunately, Islam altogether?
Well, do you feel, brother Robert, that in our conversation that do you feel I've understood you?
I think you've done an amazing job of looking at this problem from a totally different angle, because this is not normally the kind of
Naseeha that we really see, you know, especially within these large Islamic organizations.
You know, and that's totally understandable, because you want to concentrate on the positive, you want to say no, like, you know, everything's, you know, running smoothly, you know, slowly but surely.
And I think that, like, you know, you're, that's great that you're willing to listen, you know, to the problems that US Conference are facing,
you know, and there are other converse, aside from me, who are far more pessimistic than I am. But, you know, I'm trying to bridge that gap and saying that there are major problems, you know, that I don't I don't think you're pessimistic? I hope I didn't. I don't feel that I just, I just feel like,
No, I think maybe some of the wording and the focus, if it was
a bit a little bit shifted, you know, yeah, I think you would get a lot more support. And
and I think there's a lot of support for what you're saying. I mean, it's basically you're basically saying, let's, let's create a community,
let's create a model that allows Islam to become normal in the West, you know, that's, that's basically what you're saying will lead to, right, yeah. And then, looking at by this, you know, like a lot of born Muslim communities are confused about their identity. But if you have this model, you don't have to worry about trying to fit in to the decadent western monoculture. Like take a look at the mosque in Chatham that I talked about, like it's 95% deal that 99% deobandis. And they all there is like you're walking into a slum about when you walk into that mosque, they're not going to change, you know, and I talked to the Imam there. And he said, This is a major problem that, you
know, we're not going to change because, you know, non Muslims are not going to feel like they can convert to Islam unless they assimilate into our culture. But if you have this model, what happens is that the, you know, the Europeans or whoever convert to Islam, go back to their traditional cultures, it's all be seen as a universal cultural filter, and there'll be less pressure for those born Muslims in their children to feel like they need to change really, because someone will be seen as, you know, something
that can actually improve the image, don't mean, changes change the West for the better. So how much traction Have you got? Like, have you got a center yet?
Like I said, I'm living hand to mouth, we're at the conceptual stages. So I have absolutely no money. In fact, I'm in enormous debt. So the type of center we'd have 1000 subscribers, whoo.
Okay. And that's why I'm writing this book, because, you know, you couldn't have much reach a much wider audience. While you know, being less openly controversial, and being able to explain your ideas and, you know, have kept me capital in the process that you can use to further the cause. I think it's important to I think you will gain traction, you know, if you want to set up at a center, you want to set up a mosque even right. I think Muslims are always, always want to fund mosques. But as the leader, you're gonna have to do
articulate it in the right way
to get buy in. And that's why I would encourage you to, to look at some of this material, you know, the Start With Why style material, but also to build relationships with Muslim scholars. Yeah. Okay and Muslim at the current Muslim leaders, and go and talk to them and help and allow them in a way to help you develop your thinking even further. Because I feel like, that's never a bad thing. You know, even in, like I said, setting up this Muslim women's organization.
Initially, some system, some people were a bit weary, you know, that, like, Why do you have to do this? Why does that have to be a women's only organization sort of
women, it seems very similar to what we're doing. But but like I said, what I've tried to do is build a lot of good relationships in behind the scenes. So I've got like, the top scholars, the top, you know, people
understanding why I want to do this, but also helping me figure out because, you know, obviously, like you said, We've got to be humble, right, like, other there are people more knowledgeable than us, or they might have a perspective that we haven't considered. And sometimes allowing that openness, to help us to,
like, crystallize our vision,
means we get more support as well.
And makes, and helps us to do things in a wiser way.
So that when we do launch, if you like, or if we do when we do start talking about what we're trying to do, it's received a lot better.
So yeah, I really hope that you're able to do that. Yeah, I mean, I always want to collaborate and you know, there's a very knowledgeable Muslim.
That, you know, like,
completing his PhD in Islamic studies, you may have already completed it, he has his own channel, as well. It's a beautiful man from knowledge north.
And, you know, but you know, like, he's kind of humbled, he's been my mentor, you know, may Allah reward him for that. But I always want to whenever I you know, whenever we try to produce new material, or that's a video or written form, you know, I always want to double check and have, you know, like, knowledgeable, scholarly Muslims, edit it, and make sure that it's Islamically sound. So that, you know, we're not saying anything that's against the Sunnah. And even myself, you know, like, I know, I'm a very, very busy, very busy person, but you know, I want to, you know, pursue, you know, like having getting into,
you know, like, official Islamic education, even if it's just like, a Bachelor's of a couple of years. And that way of grounding, you know, when I talked to these, when I talked to, you know, these groups in persons, yeah. And also because it benefits you, right, like, as a human, and I just figured out one thing, I think maybe we could, we should start wrapping up, but
I just figured out one of the things that might be also causing a bit of pushback, and that is related to this, start with why framework. And that is that, if you, instead of telling people how you're going to do what you're going to do, which is I feel like that's, that's what you've been focusing on, right. Like, the collectivist aspect. That's the how, you know,
and also like the what, which is, you know, what you want to do,
I feel like if you articulated the y, which is actually have a much greater vision, right, a vision of a Europe that is comfortable with Islam, and of Muslims that are comfortably European, right, that's that's actually of it. Sorry, I'm just like, I'm just articulating it the way I the way, it seems to me, if you articulated that as the vision,
nobody would object to that. That's that's the vision everyone wants to see. But because we focus on the one on the how, okay, when I'm talking about in our communications, yes. When we focus on the how, and the what
you'll see from from the research from this video that I mentioned to you, that actually can get less buy in and can turn people off. Yes, more effective to talk about the bigger vision that everyone wants to see. Yeah. Well, I really think that that will make a big difference. No, absolutely. You know, like I said, this is a win win. It's a non zero sum game to many times, you know, in any organization, not just with, you know, Muslim or
organizations, we get into this funk, where we think that if if something is good for one group, it has to be to the detriment of another. And that's totally not the case with what we're trying to do. I want, I don't want, you know, visible Muslims to be harassed on the street, I don't want, you know, like, violent incidents to occur. masjids. You know, like, I don't, I don't want to see that I don't want to see women's hijab is being ripped off.
But my perspective has been, you know, my 18 years of being a Muslim and my entire life and the Anglosphere
my perspective on how we, how we reduce that, or, you know, like, improve the situation, it's a bit different. And it's difficult for some people to see why, but once we explain to them, it makes a lot of sense. And, you know, even a lot of people and also how it fits into the bigger picture, do you see?
How, if you can articulate how it fits into the bigger picture that benefits everyone? I think that that is very powerful. Yeah, I mean, look at that this is an easy feasible way to not only it satisfies all parties, so if you look at it, like a Venn diagram, you know, you have the people if you draw two circles, right, and the people in the middle are going to be traditionalist Muslims,
and those on, you know, the European right, who have more positive attitudes towards Islam, and they see keeping their culture as more important.
You know, then, you know, if I guess,
you know, there will they love this idea, like you talked about, I talked to a lot of, they're just like, yeah, Muslims were to implement this idea, we wouldn't have any problem with them. Because a, you know, people who convert to Islam, among Europeans would keep their cultural identity and be if there's an environment that's more conducive to intermarriage, then it would increase the European birth rate, and you wouldn't have to, you know, you know, that's just an easy, feasible way. And then the, the opinion of Islam would completely change in the in the Anglosphere. But there are still some people on the anti Islam, right, who, you know, they're, they're gonna always have
negative attitudes towards Islam. But by implementing this idea, they can't say anything against us. You know, they wouldn't be they would, you know, like, totally change, you know, the attitudes towards Islam among that group. And then amongst the Muslim community, you know, like, the traditional Muslims, they, you know, maybe on our side, but the more progressive leftist Muslims, they say, well, you're, you know, they wouldn't be able to say anything about us either, because we would actually be reducing Islamophobia. It addresses all the grievances that they have. Like, it would basically reduce Islamophobia overnight. It's all become a fabric of the Anglosphere. We
wouldn't be appropriating their culture anymore. And we will be reaching out to the people who are Islamophobic.
You know, so I hate that phrase.
appropriating culture. Well, I hate it too. But again, like, they come up with these ideas to get a lot of traction, you know, within the progressive left, but they really have no recourse against us. Because, you know, we would it would solve all the grief, I've tried to explain this to them, and they just don't want to engage with me, because they just have nowhere to go. Because I've been so right. I think you focus on the people who already get you. Yeah, exactly. And
the early adopters, as they're called, right, and then the, the majority slowly but surely, come on board. I have to admit, there was a time when, when I went to Egypt when I lived in Egypt and left Britain for the first time. Yeah. And I saw some of the things that British people, tourists and I'm also just became much more politically aware of what's going on in Palestine, etc. I think I went through an anti British phase. Yeah.
And, you know, I was like, God, you know, Britain, I don't really want to go back. And when I go back, I'm just going to be in, you know, go to a Muslim school. You know, I was really like, I felt very negative towards Britain. And when I became active on social media, I remember posting something really stupid, just like you've described, not as bad as that. Wasn't that stupid? But, you know, something about the royal family or something, right?
That was completely uncalled for, you know, but it was literally an immature
young person's. I had no expression, you know. And what happened was one of my best friends from school non Muslim. Yeah, I my best friends were all non Muslims when I was at secondary school, which is like, between the ages of 11 and
16 year, one of my best friends from secondary school, she, she contacted me and she was really upset by what had written.
Okay. And for the first time, in a long time, I became very self aware and realize, oh my god, like, what you say in public is you're not just saying it to your mates, you know, your, your, like my non Muslim friends from school who really loved me and loved is actually they loved Islam, because of me, you know, they had a positive image of Islam because of me.
I'm wrecking that by being so irresponsible online, and denigrating the royal family or whatever it was that I was, I've been that immature. Person, do you know what I mean? He's just expressing themselves online, not realizing, actually, there's Muslims, non Muslims, all my old friends, people who looked up to me all reading that, right? They're not in the headspace that I'm in, they don't know, the nuances of what I'm thinking, right. So I have to be way more responsible in public. So I feel like after that, I completely changed the way I was relating in public realizing that as a Muslim, I have a responsibility. And I'm sure I made mistakes still after that, you know, because
we're, we're human, but I feel like some of these people, some of the that he's online, are,
are just self a really not self aware. And don't actually they this, they, they they diminish their own power, you know, by by considering them, they're playing small. That's what I'm trying to say, well, they're all they also have a large following follow them, you can disagree his credit, I mean, a lot of these things that they posted, they get a whole bunch of likes. And you know, like when we looked at like way to counter it is
you just have we just have to create our own alternative voice really, I mean, it kind of kind of, you know, what it kind of reminds me of is the anti Islam, right gets all the attention within the media. At least back you know, 510 years ago, the mark Collette Richard Spencer, Edward Dutton, Keith Woods crowd, they've all been de platformed. So their attitudes towards Islam are more positive than, you know, the Tommy Robinson crowd.
But, you know, like, they don't get any traction, and they can't get their voice out. So everyone, when Muslims see, you know, you know, who they think are representatives of you know, what people think about Islam as a whole. They think, you know, a lot of people in the Anglosphere think like Tommy Robinson and Anne Marie waters, and Douglas Murray, you're right, it's a total group thing, and they're not self aware. And no one is, even in their inner group is telling them. Yeah, you know, like, you don't actually think this way, and you need to readjust how you're gonna learn, they're gonna learn through final. Yeah, but sooner or later, you realize, wait a minute, who do I
really want to be? You know, like, what you said, on social media actually had an impact. So you know, like, you had to adjust how you your thought processes, whereas these people, they don't really didn't have a normal some family, and the only non Muslims don't know, maybe just like, you know, the bass that they have with like, David Wood, I think we should ignore them, to be honest. It's almost like it's almost like very,
like a drama that's going on in the background, you know, let that drama play out. We redouble our efforts in a positive direction. Yeah.
Yeah, I think the bigger issue is addressing the alliance with the progressive left, which, you know, like, it gets actual,
you know, like traction and mainstream media. And that's, what did you think about what you're upset? Your head about? You know, he said, he said to me,
yeah, he said, this problematic that when, when Muslim support the left is mixed signals, you know, and why these messages? But then he said, and I said to him, yeah, but you know, like, the left actually are nice to Muslims, you know, so, so what are you advocating vote for? Right? And he said, we set up our own institutions? Well, I mean, there are parties that are
I mean, mean, yeah.
So it's good. I mean, the thing is, here's the thing, if you look at the Jewish community, right, I always said this, the Muslim community always votes left, right. And they don't even have an influence on the left. The Jewish community, they both they have a huge influence on both the left and the right, because they vote for both parties. And they used to be despised by both parties as well. But because they have such a huge influence, through money and power, and their voting bloc,
you know, the both parties have to cater to, you know, their opinions. Whereas Muslims, if they're always going to vote left, the left is going to be like, well, we're gonna get the Muslim vote anyway. Why should we bother actually caring about their issues? And the right is going to be like, Why should we bother catering to Muslims, you know, because we're not going to get their votes anyway. I mean, we saw kind of a get away from that which
Trump because Trump was an isolationist. And Trump actually got I think, like 20 25% of the Muslim vote in 2020, which is the largest chunk of the Muslim votes since George W. Bush in 2000. Because he was an isolationist, even though he said bad thing, you know, he said, you know, derogatory things about, you know, Muslim immigrants. A lot of us is that in the voting for him, because it just like, well,
you know, like, the Democratic Party, as you know, has such a horrible track record on foreign policy, and they're just as much, you know, Zionism pro Zionism is basically a moot point. Because all these parties are Zionist anyway. So, you know, that's why a lot of Muslims ended up voting for the Republican Party. And, you know, you're gonna see, I guess, more Republicans trying to reach out to Muslims, who, you know, even though they understand they have, there's some, there's anti Islam sentiment amongst the right, and the Republican Party. At the end of the day, you know, would you take that, plus not invading Muslim countries? Or would you, you know, take Democrats who were like,
you know, nice to Muslims, but at the same time, a behind your back, you know, do all these interventions in Libya, and Syria and support all these puppet dictators, so,
or there might be a third, you know, right wing party that is anti war that doesn't, you know, wants to return to traditional values,
where Muslims might find a home, and even though there's still people on the anti people who don't like Muslims on that group, you know, there's still an opportunity for us to get our voices heard, because we're now a voting bloc, and if we, you know, if they're not going to cater to, you know, what we, you know, like, the values that we want, we're gonna, they're gonna, they could actually lose our votes. Right? So, like, in Canada, you have, you know, so that's something to think about, you know, so but it's politics is a good thing. Yeah. And the good thing about Dawa is that we can continue, regardless of the politics, you know, like, I feel like sometimes mixing the two too much
is what's causing some of the problems, actually.
I mean, the qualifier we're actually doing, we're called the qualifier we're actually doing for a reason, you know, and after them, I'm not saying that, though. It wasn't better, or you know, that it wasn't good. I mean, but that's what I mean that people have a caricature of what an Islamic society is, and what Islamic.
And it's Islamic polity would look like, it's very much a caricature.
And I think that's going to change through education through maturity. Yeah. I just think through good
communication. And I think this, what you're advocating is something that Muslims will understand. And, you know, especially with all the caveats that you keep putting, yeah, it, I think it's a case of focusing on the vision,
and how to articulate it in a way that everybody can get on board. I think you'll, you'll get money, you'll get support, you will, you'll get that once the vision is articulated more effectively, the issue that I had written down, but I didn't touch on was, I was thinking of asking you, like, you know, when I read Islam, for Europeans, I thought, Well, I'm a European, you know, like, that's, that's another thing that you might want to address, like, in terms of
a lot of us feel like Europeans, because we don't have any other other culture. Do you know what I mean? Like, no, we do have a culture. Sorry, we do have a culture.
we're so kind of separated from it. You know, Europe is home. Europe is home, Britain is home. There's no other home. So Well, I mean, again, you were thinking about when you try to identify, you know, tribal or national heritage through the nation state that becomes problematic.
You know, so, like, for example, I live in Canada, you know, but I'm not a native Canadian. I mean, I'm not First Nations, you know, I understand that, you know, my ancestors, you know, came here and colonized this land. You know, that doesn't make me any less Canadian. But I do understand that, you know, when Islam for Europeans, if we ever do st dolla, and go to the First Nations organization here, that, you know, we want people from a First Nations background to keep everything in their culture, and have a collective native Muslim identity.
So, you know, and there's room in this, you know, these countries for everybody, but, you know, I understand that, you know, the indigenous population here, you know, they don't they want to keep their culture like I can't imagine that to Leakey. Jamaat going to a First Nations reserve with their shalwar kameez is and their black Nick Hobbs and expecting you know, First Nations Congress to dress the way they do. I mean, their families would just disown them. Europe has always had this you know,
Their whole identity has been to be against Islam, you know, for the longest time. Yeah. Right. So there's this whole aura about, you know, when you convert to Islam, you're just a converso like a traitor, you've turned Turk. So you know, like, and that's why a lot of, you know, Europeans and they do convert to Islam, they just change the way they dress change the way they talk, change the way they act, change the food, the change everything about them.
Because their family and community has rejected them.
So, you know, that's sometimes they will feel rejected. Yeah. Families and Communities, right. Like, there's there is this allure to the exotic
or a lot of people.
Yeah, I mean, Rene Rene going on, did it. I mean, you know, he's well respected among the European right. And even he married an Egyptian he moved to Egypt, he changed the way he dressed. And still, you know, people in the European right, highly respect Rene Goodall. I mean, you know, they, and that's how a lot of them get into Islam is by you know, reading up on quinoa and even Eveleigh was in like, a Sufi order for, like,
But, you know, if you, I understand you, we want to go you want to go slowly, but surely Anila that I respect that, you know, you know, like,
there's so many different types of converts. That's, that's what I mean, like, there are economists who actually don't like their culture.
And they want to move away from that culture, because it sucked them into certain lifestyles, you know what I mean? Yeah. So in a way, they're forging a new culture anyway.
So some of them I know, they just want to, like,
clearly have a clean, clean cut from, you know, some of the more toxic toxic elements, but obviously, sometimes that's that's thrown the baby out with the bathwater, right? Yeah, yeah, we're trying to get rid of the toxic elements, too. I mean, we don't want to drink beer, we don't want to, you know, you know, like, you know, you know, like dancing, you know, but again, anything that's Halal in the culture, you know, will stay with us. And those people, you know, like, those converts, you know, like, they go their own way. And, you know, I, if that's what they want to do, that's what they want to do. You know, I'm not here to like, Please help people act and things. But I think,
once we establish, you know, are good this organization off the ground, you know, Inshallah, they'll start to see, you know, hey, I mean, I like what these guys are doing, and maybe not everything in my culture wasn't all that bad.
Yeah, I think eventually, a lot of candidates do come back to that though, they'll be naturally. Well, I remember even updating him talking about how when he converted, he told me, he was like, You said to his mom wanted to play tennis with him. And he said, No, I don't do tennis, and then later regretting that, you know, thinking, you know, that was such an overreaction like, But that had nothing to do with that was
that was I think, like,
a level of I would say in maturity, you know, when you first convert and you're, you have this fervor you have this almost almost like you are rejecting aren't you?
element of your past past, past identity. So sometimes I think people over overcorrect you like,
and then regret it and they wish they'd done. I have met a lot of convicts, who will say, Oh, God, I wish I'd been gentler. I wish I'd been.
You know, I wish I'd had tried to force my family to think the way I'm thinking and just just being a lot more gentler, and,
you know, allowing them to adapt. Yep. The more confidence you have in the game, you know, with you know, who have gone through these experiences firsthand, the better chance that we'll be able to guide these, these brothers and sisters inshallah. So, do you have any like, last message that you'd like to share with?
With our audience? Yes. Feel free to subscribe to Islam for Europeans. I'm on YouTube, Islam, the number for Europeans. I'm also on Twitter, at Robert of Canada.
We accept donations. And
I think I created a new GoFundMe actually. But yeah, that's that's basically what we're all about. And you know, I'm free and open to talk to anybody Muslim or non Muslim. Even if you want to just, you know,
even just want to lay it all out. If you you know, whether you clearly agree with our idea or completely against it or anywhere in between. I'm always up for you know, these types of conversations. Yeah, I think you should have more of them as well, even with the people who especially converts who, who hadn't are not agreeing with what you're saying or misunderstood. I think you'll be
Good to have dialogues with them to see what their concerns are, you know, and, and also not just see what their concerns are. But for them to really understand
where you're coming from. And I think your personal story, especially like, what you described about, you know, being married to converts initially yourself, and I think that that's quite relevant, you know?
Yeah. And it never gets discussed, because, like I said, once, you know, these marriages, you know, fall through,
you know, no one wants to talk about it. And, you know, like, you know, it's an attrition bias, like people who lead exit the organization, you don't get their data. So you only talk to people who are already involved with the organization. So yes, but I think your personal story is important as well. You know, it's part of the it's part of the greatest story, I guess.
Which is the hiring brother, I really appreciate.
Thank you so much for having me on. felt to me. It was a great conversation. You know, like, thank you. And, yeah, subscribe to thoughts. I know I'm saying this from your channel, but subscribe to this channel. And, you know, thank you so much for having me on. And just higher. And yeah, Salam aleikum wa rahmatullah does, where they can sit on what I had to lay off, but to go to? Well, brothers and sisters, I hope that was a benefit of conversation.
And I hope you understood what we were trying to get to. together.
I think, you know,
it's very common to find people who find a cause that they feel passionately about, because there's a problem in society that they've identified. And I think, you know, all power to you, if you've identified a problem, and you want to address it, go ahead, start addressing it, you know, start building momentum towards your cause. Make sure you consult with scholars make sure you get, you know, more knowledgeable people on board so that they can help you form your vision, you know, because all of us need mentors, all of us need guidance from our elders and from people who are, you know, the people of knowledge, right?
And go forward in a positive way.
With your vision. I hope that brother Robert is able to do that. And I think he's, you know, his whole objective is a positive one. We all have the same vision, you know, but we might all have a different part to play in fulfilling that vision. And I think we should support one another in the positive efforts that we are each trying to make. Please leave any comments that you have about this conversation. If you think there's something that we missed,
or a perspective that we didn't take on board, I'd love to hear it with that I will leave you and bid you farewell. Subhanak along Moby handig a shadow Allah Ilaha illa
wa salam Wa alaykum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh