Ummah Talk #002 Moazzam Begg – Jihad, Inherited Cowardice, Trump, Obama, French Islamophobia

Fatima Barkatulla


Channel: Fatima Barkatulla


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Welcome to the oma talk podcast with me fathima khatola.

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In this podcast, I speak to scholars, experts, leaders in their field about some of the big issues facing the Muslim community worldwide, as well as your local Muslim community here, especially in the West. So please tune in, you can catch the podcast on Muslim Central podcasts, which is available on all sorts of audio platforms. The podcast episodes will also be available on YouTube. So do share the episodes. Let me know what you think about the ideas and the topics that we discuss in the episodes.

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The revival of the message of Islam, the revival of the aroma of Muhammad sallallahu alayhi wa sallam is a responsibility and it's the responsibility of every single generation to strengthen and pass on something better to the next generation. And I hope that we can begin to do that.

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Listen, Allah Al Hamdulillah Alhamdulillah wa Salatu was Salam ala rasulillah dear brothers and sisters Assalamu alaykum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh and welcome to another podcast episode in which we explore some of the big picture matters that the Almighty is facing today. My guest needs no introduction.

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It is brother Muslim big is an author, ex Guantanamo prisoner war on terror consultant and advocate for the rights of those held unjustly. He's also Director of Outreach for the advocacy group cage. So brother was on salaam aleikum wa rahmatullah.

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Wa Alaykum wa Salaam Baraka live, but

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my pleasure and honor to be introduced and to speak to each other, which I hope it will be very positive discussion.

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inshallah does not come up here and

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handle up before we start, you know, discussing other things. I know, it's been a long time since you wrote your book, enemy combatant, but I don't feel like I ever really got a chance to speak to you directly about it. And I guess there's been enough time now for you to kind of

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reflect on the impact the book had, and to get feedback from people etc, for me to kind of speak to you about it. So. And also, when I told sisters that I'm going to be speaking to you, one of the things they really wanted me to speak to you about was your book. So if you don't mind, I'm going to start by,

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I think just highlighting to you, I think, like how we felt reading the book. And you can tell me, you know, some of your reflections now that I don't know, How many years has it been, since you wrote a book 14 years since I wrote safarnama. So I've got the book here with me, for our listeners and viewers, if they, if they want to get a copy, I would highly recommend it. So I was trying to think like, when I first read it, I read it as soon as it was released.

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What were the kind of three I would say emotions, or three feelings, or thoughts, reflections, i three words, I would say that capture the kind of reflections that I had on the book. And the three words that came up from me or three phrases were number one, eye opening, because I think before reading your book, I was kind of naive. I felt really naive after reading a book about I don't know, I think like growing up in Britain,

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I had a certain level of patriotism and a sense of connection to Britain. And I would say about, you know what it was to be British and although like we know about the we read about we think about the deep state and

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until it kind of

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is spelt out in those terms, you know, the way you wrote about it, and your experiences, I don't think we really think it's real, you know, so for me eye opening was the first thing. The second feeling, I think, was that it was painful. It was very painful to read.

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And I think the reason for that was that

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your story and your experience represented. For us, especially as a Muslim woman, I think it represented

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you like you represented our sons, you know, our brothers, our husbands. And it really felt as though

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what happened to you could have happened to any one of them. That's how I felt when I read your book. And the third emotion I felt was, in a strange sort of way, your book was quite cathartic to read.

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And the reason for that, I think, was, especially the first half of it, like,

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which I think a lot of us who are Asian Muslims who've grown up in Britain could really relate to, you know, the 80s, and the kind of racism, but also the kind of identity crisis, the whole. And also like, what you said about Bosnia, because I remember, I was a student in Egypt at the time when everything was happening in Bosnia, and we used to hear about brothers who were going to Bosnia, and we used to regard them as heroes, you know. So I think the fact that you told that, I think that kind of identity story of what it was like growing up in Britain, it was quite cathartic. So those are my three kind of feelings about the book.

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What do you think about that? And is that what you hoped the book would bring out in people?

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cinema. And I remember reading, a review that you wrote of the book, I think it was on Amazon or somewhere. And that the thing that stuck out in what you're recognizing what I was trying to do is you use the term that he weaves cleverly weaves, Islamic Islamic beliefs into the story. without it being preachy. I think that's what Yeah, the general gist of what you said. And that was definitely one of the aims and objectives of the book, too, I knew that the audience of this book, it wasn't going to be this isn't going to be a book that's going to be sitting solely in Muslim bookshops. This is going to be events, in across. And indeed, it was at the herbal festival, Edinburgh book

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fest everywhere, and translated into many languages humbler, that the main message of the book that I wanted, in fact, probably wasn't.

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It was all of the things you said. But that wasn't they weren't the things that were in my mind when I was writing them. Because I pended the thoughts in my head, the skeleton notes, when I was in prison in Guantanamo. And, surprisingly, a lot of the messaging that I wrote in there was actually for my cap, cap tours, I was thinking about them, I was thinking about, I want you to see who I am and where I come from, and the people that I'm connected to, I want you to see the world that you, you bought us over here and placed us in Guantanamo, but you don't know our world. And I want you to see it. And in, in the if as,

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of course, a secondary objective of the book was, of course, to the Muslim community, I wanted them to see, but I knew, I felt intrinsically, they were already on site. They're already here, they already are sympathetic. And I quoted a British Muslim journey to Guantanamo and back because I wanted to, like you said, in a sense, even though I've faced racism in this country, and so forth, you do have a sense of that you are British, that there's nothing else that you can be. And that's all based on your experiences. It's not based upon government, and so forth. So it was it was all of those things. The hardest part, I would say, is anything that has to do with emotion, anything that

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has emotional, and of course, the book is filled with that, because I'm forced to discuss things that that are emotional.

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So that are not only emotional, but painful. And I get, I guess, with any any story, but that's got to be the most difficult.

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And I was able to do that. And

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I hope that that continues to be a source of people being able to look at such situations and say that these did, as you say, happen in our midst, they don't stories from from the outer world, they happen in our midst, and they continue to happen anonymous. And I must ask you, you know, how are you faring and how, how's your family? And you know, how is everyone?

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Well, it's been quite a long time. But like with everything things are up and done. Family is always up and down. Things are good things. Not so good. Sometimes, my children who at that time when I was incarcerated, ranged from the ages of three years old to add to 10 and are now all grown up. They're all either graduates of universities, teachers, still studying and so forth. And that part of it has moved and they are developing themselves into their own characters.

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But there is also a side of course that is difficult to discuss. This book explained difficult to

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to articulate and, and that is because when you go through an experience and it's not just on tournament format for me, it's it's the experience of serious the experience of Belmarsh. It's the experience of being targeted in the media it's being it's it's having your head above the parapet and being locked down repeatedly, there is a residual residual residual effect of that. And that's a part of something that I want to discuss in future. Because it's not just me in that kind of situation, Muslims are getting hammered all the time. And they need a place to be able to find some kind of refuge

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from within the community and beyond.

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For the Muslim, you know, I think I, like many Muslims in the West, probably only have like quite a superficial understanding of what's really been going on in the last few years. And like, what the status now is of, you know, Guantanamo

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prison, like, what is the status at the moment? What's going on with Guantanamo Bay, if you could inform our listeners and viewers? Okay. So Guantanamo remains open. There are still 40 prisoners there. Most of them, the majority of them still have no charge for trial, there is a handful of them who are accused of being connected to the September 11 attacks. Yet today, after 20 years, almost 20 years in prison have not been convicted for the very crime that they have been brought into custody. Now, that in itself is shocking, because the reason why Guantanamo was opened was because of the 911 attacks. And almost 800 prisoners have been held there. The majority of whom say 747 50 prisoners

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have been released, meaning they're free if they were these terrible terrorist, and why were they all fried like that many of them from all around the world.

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Interestingly, there are I'll give you one example of one of the prisoners, this is called Abu Zubaydah, and it was a beta was infamously became the the reason for the creation of what's known as the enhanced interrogation technique program, the torture program by the CIA. His case has been featured in a film called the report, which you can find on Amazon. And it's about the role of torture, the CIA, torture and

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the United States Senate that carried out a report in 2014. that showed quite clearly that the United States and the CIA had been involved in a torture program developed by psychiatrists and psychologists for the case of Abu Zubaydah where they used medieval torture techniques like waterboarding against him. So he remains in Guantanamo, he's still never been charged with a crime, and has gone through all of this torture, he's been awarded. Now this is the fascinating thing about this case, he has been awarded compensation by three European nations, three European nations, for their role in his torture. So I was a beta was brought to Lithuania was bought to Romania. And we

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bought to Poland, and tortured in a secret CIA sites in each of those countries. The European court was forced to pay him compensation. I don't know how that's happened when he's in Guantanamo. But he won a case against them for their role in his torture. Now, that was being complicit in this torture. So imagine the actual torture, which is the United States of America, have still got away with it. So that's one example of as I said, many, many cases of prisoners, they're still there. Obama said that he would close it, he couldn't. Trump when he came into into into power, as it were, signed an order saying that he's going to keep it open. And it remains open still.

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Just like a hair for that update.

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As an ordinary Muslim, what would you say, like people like us can do or, you know, to kind of help the cause? What, what, what is needed from the Muslim community? I mean, there's obviously we're a cage deal with multiple causes. And Guantanamo is still one of them. And it's being open now for close to two decades. The people that are most in the front of it, as it were, are non Muslim NGOs that are fighting campaigning for a cause that is almost solely and exclusively Muslim, meaning that every prisoner in Guantanamo is a Muslim, there are no, there are terrorists all around the world from all sorts of terrorist organizations, including Americans, but there are none of them in

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Guantanamo. So the only the first criteria to be a prisoner in Guantanamo is you must be a Muslim. The second criteria is that your terrorism suspect.

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And so unfortunately, this is an issue for us as a nation for the Muslim world that we didn't pick up. We didn't take on because we were too afraid, and be perhaps even thought that there must be some merit to the accusations to these amorphous accusations against the majority of businesses that have not been tested in a court of law. So what we can do is arm ourselves with the knowledge again, and if we didn't know then we should know now. And if we weren't supporting those who were campaigning

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From within the Muslim community, then we should now you can still campaign and support with cage, we are still fighting for particular prisoners, you can see lists of them the details, and we constantly this Friday, inshallah I'll be doing a, a discussion with one of the prisoners, who is just talking about the artwork created by the prisoners in Guantanamo and how they did that. So to keep the quotes keep the issue alive, but also to unfortunately humanize humans

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you know? Yeah.

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But I think that's one of the wonderful things

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from the interviews that I've heard, like, for the shocker armors interview, and

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I mean, there are so many on expected things, you know, that either happened, or that are experienced, or have come out of,

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you know, that such a terrible, terrible experience,

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you know, touching stories about, remember his story about how he made friends with little ants, and, you know, the artwork, the poetry that you talked about, as well, in your book, you know, this,

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I think all of this stuff really needs to be kind of preserved, you know, needs to be preserved these stories and these,

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these expressions, you can see right behind me, there's a shed one of my shelves, that's, that's my Guantanamo shelf, that's books written by former Guantanamo prisoners are about them. And so it is preserved. And it when we are in the process of doing more, and ensuring that that preservation is happening across the board, not just in literature, in poetry, in arts, in artwork, all of that is being done shall and will continue to be done. And we want the Muslim community, of course, to pick up on this and say that this is a part of your history as part of your heritage. You can be you can be,

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you know, ashamed by what some do in the name of Islam, but you can be proud of what others doing the members now, and see what they've gone through and try to protect that legacy. So that's part of the work that we do occasionally.

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Yeah, and so, recently, I was teaching the story of Ayesha Dillon, her and her slander didn't doesn't seem like there's a connection between that and what we're talking about. But you know, the I have the Quran where Allah Subhana Allah says to the believers, why didn't you think well of yourselves? You know, why didn't you think good of yourselves? For some reason, it just reminded me of what you just said that, you know, some, like you said, someone says, they might have this kind of reticence to support Muslims who are being incarcerated, thinking that there must be something must have done something, there must be something, you know, there's no smoke without fire type

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arguments. But Allah Subhana, Allah tells us in the Quran, that when you hear a rumor, when you hear, and when somebody is being held without charge, they haven't been, there's no due process that's, that has been that they have gone through as a Muslim, you don't have a right to look at them in that way. Right? You are supposed to think well, of your brothers and sisters. And, and this is I mean, obviously, it's something that's really important. And it is, this is part of the fear. And I talked about this as fear, that is, you can understand some kind of fear where you will, you are afraid if we were in some of the countries, unfortunately, from Ironically, the Muslim world,

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where you spoke about such matters, then it is there is a likelihood that you'll be imprisoned, on cost rated or tortured or even executed without without a blink of an eye. But we're not in such a country, we're in a country where you are you have equal rights, or you're supposed to have equal rights and including the freedom of expression and talking and, and thought and you can, especially when it's pointing out something that's so glaringly obvious, you can't go around the rest of the world, as Britain or America have done and say that we are the bastions of human rights and protecting human rights and citing habeas corpus and Magna Carta, these massive documents that

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civilize the rest of the world because they didn't know about this sort of thing. And then on the other hand, have places like Guantanamo or other places, which I would call Guantanamo is a walk in the park compared to those places

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where people are secretly held at secret detention sites tortured, and in some cases murdered, which is wasn't witness. So all of this has happened under the watch of these countries who claim to be the bastions of of human rights and freedom and democracy.

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Just like her and for updating us on on those things.

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I listened to an interview of yours recently in which you were talking about I think, I hope I've got this right. I believe you're talking about us, especially Muslims who come from the Indian subcontinent. And you you mentioned a phrase I think you said,

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inherited cowardice. I

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That was the phrase. Um, can you please explain to us what you meant by that? And, you know, yeah, if you could just explain to us what you meant by that. And then, you know, I wanted to ask you something about that. This is a theory that I'm still in the process of trying to develop this. But it's a theory that I think and I've spoken to several people about it, and then not nobody's been able to give you a correct answer. My point of view is that when we as in the Asian subcontinent, the Indian subcontinent were dominated by the colonial powers of Britain, there were a handful of resistance movements, a handful of people so far, and one or two others are notable. But for by and

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large, the resistance ended pretty much early on, and we capitulated, and we absorbed and adopted to the point of which To this day, many of us Muslims are affected by that we are the We Are The grandsons of the grandchildren of those who saw the last part or the ending of that, or in my case, the son of who saw the end of the British Empire in India. And this this tradition of if you think about can you name any individuals that came from off wetland off the tip of sulfides period, who fought back other than the kind of regional highness Stan and NorthWest Frontier Province where they defeated the position three wars?

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There isn't I don't find any great deal of resistance.

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while simultaneously you find people in Algeria, if you like find people in

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Lebanon mom and a father or in Morocco.

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Bobby, the Maddie movement in Sudan, in Mount Sherman in,

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in, in Tatarstan in Chechnya, and all of these places, you've always found some kind of resistance movements. And I think to myself that there's something within us that capitulates very, very easily. And

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that for us to take that out of ourselves is going to take maybe a generation or so if you will look at the Muslims in South Africa, there are a lot more confident in who they are. But it's taken a long, long time because they also hail from the rain, same regions. So that's basically my my theory anyway.

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So do you mean that we have internalized what our parents would have internalized what their parents would have internalized, which is a kind of self sense of a

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inferiority complex?

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With in relation to what the British and

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be this kind of feeling of

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being unable to do anything about one's status? Is that is that? Is that how it presents itself? Essentially? Yes, I would say that I think that that has been edited. That's been evidenced in so many ways, you can still see in a lot of places that are connected to struggles over here for very basic rights. And it's one of our struggles is one of our identity struggles. Am I an equal citizen? If I'm an equal citizen, then I should be able to demand equal rights? Or should I, as previous generations have said, Listen, keep your head down. And people, not just previous generations, people said even now, keep your head down. Don't get involved in saying anything against the state,

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or otherwise you will cause trouble to yourself. Now, if you look at the various dissident or not even discipline movements, but movements within Britain that reject the status quo.

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They don't feel that uncomfortableness. They don't feel that disenfranchisement as if you can't go and do something the state will, you're just a brown guy, you're just a

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person that really doesn't fit in because you're getting in trouble if you do. And they don't feel that because they feel that they are equal citizens. Nobody gets told, for example, as much as we do, if you don't like it in this country, why don't you leave? They don't say that to the entire Labour Party that sits on the opposite side of the bench who argues a single day against various laws and things enacted by the government. Nobody says them, can you all get up, which shouldn't, if you don't like it here, get up and leave the whole lot of you half the country should make emigrated to wherever it is. So

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it's internalizing that part, I think that we we are still struggling with.

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And how do you think that if it is true that we have an inherited cowardice or inferiority complex?

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How do you think that will be removed? Because I was just thinking the other day that, you know, you know, I mentioned that we used to consider the brothers who went to Bosnia as heroes, right.

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And today, even the whole kind of topic or subject of jihad has been so watered down, right? Or, you know, people like to talk about it as though it's only a spiritual thing, right? Muslims are kind of scared to talk about it to teach about it.

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etc, etc.

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And yet, it's a very important concept and part of our family, our teaching, right? Our Dean,

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if we can't even talk about it, if we can't even teach about it, how will the next generation ever have that spirit of knowing that, you know, struggling and, you know, striving against an enemy or again or for your rights, you know, in the way of allies is a part of our being?

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Well, this is a very important question and very important point because you know, the entire sort of the

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subject of debt, anybody who wants to deny it and say, that you have faith would be in question, if you were to deny its its real concept, and not just to make it about an internal struggle.

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There's one part of jihad that I think we can all Apply today, but it is it is as a big cost, I think it's at a greater cost in a sense, than if you were to go and fight an enemy on a battlefield. And that is, this is the process of jihad claiming to have been injured that the best you had is speaking in Word of Truth against an oppressive leader. Now, I'm not necessarily saying every single leader in Britain is oppressive, but there are clearly if Islamophobia is wrong, then it's an oppression that is taking place. And it has taken place during the both parties under Tony Blair, and an under labour, and it's taken part take happened under

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the Tories. And so speaking out against this is a form of jihad, I've no doubt about that. But the problem is that, to what extent are you prepared to do that, if you will be tested with loss, if you will be tested with imprisonment, if you will be tested with your name being solid in the press, and so forth? That's all to be expected? What do you think will happen? If you speak a word of truth in front of an oppressive? Or do you think he's gonna say, Well, thank you very much for that we'll, we'll have you at a meeting, we'll do a discussion at a

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at a committee and we'll come back to that, no, you will get attacked, you will. If you're speaking word of truth against oppression, that is the nature of oppression, you oppression will will seek to oppress you more and to sunny your name. So that's the kind of thing that I was talking about is that we are missing, where's our leadership that actually can do that articulately, intelligently, confidently, but firmly, rather than people being pushed onto the fringes, and

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the mainstream Muslim view is actually that you don't Rock the Vote, that you don't speak against oppression that you don't actually say even use the word. Such a word or terminology to describe the government because it is better than for example, France. Oh, it is better than China? Yes, it is. But we should be competitive in Britain with Britain, not Britain with anywhere else, because that's what Britain's do people in Britain, they compare the current government with the past government, and they that's what they don't compare Britain, with Saudi Arabia, with Pakistan, whatever, the only people who would do that are the people from the far right, or people who are completely and

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utterly compromising in terms of their competence.

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Right, and the things that it Britain claims to represent, right, and then the treaties, the human rights treaties are human, and that Britain has signed up to all of those things are the things that we need to write, I guess, hold Britain to account, you know, in relation to, I was just thinking, you know, what you said, it reminded me of also, like, on an everyday basis, I guess there are things that we as Muslims can do to instill that kind of spirit of courage in the next generation, and I'll give you two examples. So

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all this kind of reminded me of that mindset that you were mentioning, once, myself and a group of sisters, we were just standing at a stall, that's an event. And we were, you know, it was an event for women. And a lady walked up to us, and she was a Muslim, but she wasn't wearing hijab. And she looked quite, you know, modern, Mashallah. And,

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you know, like, she takes care of the way she looks, etc. She, she walked up to us, and she said, I want to tell you, women something, and some of us were in Egypt, some of us wearing the garb, she said, You know, it's women like you that are causing us all the problems in this country. Okay. And she says, women like you, because you dress the way you do, and we're in Britain. And, you know, there's no need for it, and you're, you're bringing our community down, right. And Subhanallah You know, it was like, such a shock to us that people, Muslims still think like that, you know,

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but it kind of highlighted that. what you were saying, you know, that kind of thing of, in order to, to succeed in order to get get, you know, progress to have progress. You have to let go of

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Your, your culture, your religion, your values, right? And that that's kind of ingrained in a certain

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to a certain level in our community. When we look at systems, the thing is that we spoke about this the cowardice, I think breeds cowardice, especially at the top. But courage breeds courage. And I just wanna give an example a little story from my stepdaughter, she was she was she started a new school, that's a state school, and she wanted to pray in this in the school, and now the teachers there said, Look, we have no prayer facilities, there's no way you can pray whatever you wrote to the, to the school, and they said what was worse was essentially a secular school, we don't really provide places to pray. So I said to citizen, we have to do is go to your teacher and say that I

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need to pray, this hijab that you allow me to wear is more is not as important as the prayer that I need to do. So it's. So

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if the teacher says to you, sorry, we haven't got anywhere. All you do, is it okay? Thank you for watching, just say hello walkabout and pray right there in front of it. And when I said that to her, she said, I can't do this. And so it'll be hard and whatever. I said, Look, there'll be two things. One is that at the moment, you say a local shooters back off. And secondly, you're now in a state of prayer, you have to pray doesn't matter where you are. So once you approach them,

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immediately, they gave her a place to pray. He said, Look, if you don't get misplaced, we're allowed to pray here right now, right now. And sometimes that's what it takes. I told her the story of what happened to me when I was in, in on a plane. With the first time that I was in US custody that I had my hands tied behind my back, had my legs shuffled out and put over my head, a knife to my neck. And my brother was on the other side. And he said, I think it's time to pray.

00:31:51--> 00:32:22

And I said after your the amount of lead a lot of he said, a locker. And that's how we prayed. So I said certain things like this, if you hold on to them, if you hold on to your faith, if you hold on to your beliefs and your principles, nobody gets in, what are they going to do to what's the worst they're going to do too. And this is the this is that if you speak out, and you think your organization or your Masjid or your mosque, or whatever it is get targeted in the Daily Mail or whatever it is, what are they going to do to you because the worst thing that could happen to you in this dunya is that you lose your team.

00:32:23--> 00:33:00

Not that you die, not that you lose an arm or a leg. And so but because it's happened to them is you lose your team. And if they attack it the worst case scenario, they put you in prison and went into prison for the sake of Allah subhanaw taala for the sake of the truth of the sacred word for them, isn't that a noble thing? Isn't this what all of our dilemma did in the past? And Isn't this the tradition of Islam? So how far are you from the tradition of Islam to where we are today, we were prepared to fight and sacrifice for things that are not even obligatory. And yet will not defend the very notion of of a of protecting our basic rights.

00:33:02--> 00:33:08

So Pamela, yeah, and I remember once when there was I think it was after the Paris attacks the first time

00:33:09--> 00:33:18

my sons were going to, to the masjid for him, and they were wearing their fobes. And, you know, their hats, because that's the uniform in the masjid. And

00:33:20--> 00:33:45

then we're about to get on the bus. And I remember the fourth entering my mind that because it was, I mean, the atmosphere at the time was very Islamophobic, you know? And because they're young, I just thought, you know, should I ask, shall I tell them to put their phones in their bags and like, change when they get there? You know, and I just completely bitten my tongue. I thought, No, I cannot do that. Because that is exactly what you're saying, you know, the perpetuation of that.

00:33:47--> 00:34:01

inherited cowardice. And so I didn't say anything, and I allowed them to, to proudly go out as they are, you know, and I feel like it's those little things, you know, there's little things that we do every day, that make a difference.

00:34:03--> 00:34:16

And it shows you also that it's actually the mothers of mothers and fathers of this oma that are really going to make that change, isn't it because it's the mindset you instill in that child

00:34:18--> 00:34:31

that then that child grows up with and then internalizes and passes on, right? No, absolutely. It is. And you know, our children are watching us, they are watching us, they're watching all of us. And they're growing up in a

00:34:32--> 00:34:54

world in which the word the word Muslim, is synonymous, synonymous with terrorism and extremism and radicalization, and they've caught you constantly on the defensive. I was never brought up that way. I was, I was brought up not in an environment like that. There was there were historical things that we understood, but it was never that you yourself are seen as part of a suspect community be seen as an alien community.

00:34:55--> 00:35:00

That was the Irish back then with the Irish with a substance suspect community now it's us and others.

00:35:00--> 00:35:11

tenfold worse than the Irish because we are connected to an entire world. It's not just one country, it's an entire world that spans from Morocco, to Indonesia and everything in between.

00:35:12--> 00:35:51

So we I think, I believe that we need to use that in itself as one of the things that strengthen us that we are a nation, we're not just, we've got to, I know that a lot of people don't. But we've got to separate ourselves from this thing of that we're just part of the sub continent and the sub continent is what it what brings us together and so forth. No, it isn't. That's what in fact divides us in many ways. What what unites us is the very fact that we can work is isn't of, of diversity, mass diversity. In fact, one report says that the most diverse group of people in the UK are the Muslims. And that is because you could go to any mosque wherever it is in London or Birmingham, and

00:35:51--> 00:35:58

you'll see an array of colors and backgrounds and ethnicities that you'll never find in a church.

00:35:59--> 00:36:13

Or go to Bora Bora or Monday, or a center. Yeah, exactly. So so we have to got to say this thing. We've got to celebrate this and celebrate that the more that Islam rises, the more we the more they attack us, the harder they attend, the harder the attackers.

00:36:15--> 00:36:16

Absolutely, brother was.

00:36:18--> 00:36:25

But you know, it is easier said than done, right? Like this idea that you said of, you know, what's the worst that could happen? Because,

00:36:26--> 00:36:51

well, I think you you have to all of us have the right to say that. But like, I know, this, I felt I felt really weak when something happened to me, that was just like, a tiny thing. But like one of these, you know, like the Henry Jackson society, all of these think tanks. They wrote a report and they tried to demonize different Muslims and organizations. And

00:36:53--> 00:37:10

I read the report, somebody sent it to me, and it had my name in it, right? Because I'd spoken at a fundraiser or something for an event and they'd gone through my social media. And they found a little quote, right, and they put it in that report. I think it was something like,

00:37:12--> 00:37:29

I think I wrote something like, you know, Palestine, was conquered. And, you know, there's only one way that we're going to get it back wanting something like that. Right. And so they put that in that report. And I cried for about 24 hours after reading that.

00:37:31--> 00:38:13

And I know that makes me feel like I was really weak. Maybe and, but I don't know why. I don't know why I felt so affected that my name had been mentioned in something like that. And but you're right, like, so what nothing happened, right? Nothing happened as a result. It's not even so what if I know what you're gonna say tell you that to say that, you know, you said your name is mentioned that. And Could it be possible that as a result of your name being mentioned, it's mentioned amongst the angels? It is mentioned amongst the people Allah subhanho wa Taala from an agenda that is mentioned there that this person spoke up just one small word in the defense of an oppressed people of

00:38:13--> 00:38:52

Muslims, whose cries are law Robin akademin have corrected it man or woman raised for us that take us from this pounders people are processed and raised first one will help us and one will support us. That's what it is. The Quran bears witness to what to this. And so my whole point in this is when somebody like that, right, let's remember this, Henry Jackson society is an organization headed by a guy called or formally headed by a guy called Douglas Murray, who says, and I quote, conditions for Muslims must be made harder across the board in Europe. And he said that knowing that there had been a genocide of Muslims that have taken place in Bosnia in 1995, he knew that and he said that

00:38:52--> 00:39:31

despite that, so when an organization like this that is connected to for example, I mean, the Henry Jackson site is very closely connected to a guy called Steve Bannon, who is Trump's chips advisor, Steve Bannon recently called for the beheading, he calls for the beheading of the head of the FBI and the COVID head. I think Mike Fauci His name is, and he's been banned from Twitter. So if organizations connected to or actually directly linked to people like this are attacking you, you should have had a party system, you should have got a cake, you should have put, you know, systems around and you and your family etc. Come to love being mentioned by these evil people have the luck,

00:39:31--> 00:39:35

this is a great source of joy and benefit for you. And that's how we should be thinking.

00:39:37--> 00:39:50

Yeah, I mean, that's what brother said to me, you know, they said, you know, it's a badge of honor and etc, etc. But the reason why I mentioned it to you is that, I think, the visceral kind of reaction that you have, you know,

00:39:52--> 00:39:54

when you're not expecting that kind of thing,

00:39:55--> 00:39:59

is sometimes different to what you know, it's not a rush.

00:40:00--> 00:40:04

reaction. It's more of a, an emotional and very kind of,

00:40:05--> 00:40:21

you know, visceral reaction, you know, to almost spendable, it's understandable. It's like a second if it's like a lie. That's right. Right. You feel misrepresented? Yeah. Of course you do. But it Sorry, brother was that you've kind of feel rejected by your,

00:40:22--> 00:40:31

by your country. I know this sounds really, like maybe I'm being a bit dramatic, right. But the feeling, if I was to put it into words that I felt was like,

00:40:32--> 00:41:06

no, that's not me, like you're misrepresenting me. And you've rejected me. I just, that's how I felt. Yeah, I mean, one of these things that this is just us, and I think we're still even myself, I include myself in the firing line, whatever. And in the beginning, I remember when I first came from Guantanamo, and I did, I did with Victoria Derbyshire, I did this, this interview, and they were constantly hostile questions, one after the other after the other after the other. So I'm not like that, I'm not like that, why they pointing out to me, that which I'm not like, and I had to sift through people to sift through. So there are people with an agenda, there are people who genuinely

00:41:06--> 00:41:41

don't know. And there are people who genuinely would hate you regardless. And I just think to myself, if you look at that, and you know, look at politicians, the way they get attacked, day in, day in, day in and day out, they're not doing it for the sake of the dean. So they don't expect them to reward him for doing it, right. But they do whatever they do, and they get attacked constantly. And remember, you know, Jeremy Corbyn as an example that I used to get called a terrorist punished more than I did. And you think to yourself, if somebody doesn't even have a belief system, then when you go back to what you do when you take that, and you know, my reward was with a loved one, the

00:41:41--> 00:42:20

prophesies of them used to use these to get paid. He's to feel pain from what the machine used to call them, you know, and almost has nothing to do with my own. We know that which they say about you. And he said, doesn't matter continue with your message, we know what's happening. And this was the mushrikeen, there's not why would you? Why would you feel pain from that which they say about him, they're their own complete falsehood. So it's, there's nothing unnatural about feeling this way for yourself, or myself, or anybody else that gets attacked. It's just the nature of the beast that you enter into that arena. And once you do, you have to understand that if you don't I might be

00:42:20--> 00:42:51

with, if they're not attacking you, you're doing something wrong, you're doing something terribly, terribly long, if they're satisfied with oppressors, and racist and Most islamophobes are actually happy with you, then you need to check what you're doing, you must be doing something terribly terrible. I started thinking to myself, What would my parents say, you know, like, they would say to me, why did you have to get involved with, you know, these organizations? They might say that, I don't know if they would have said that. But that's the kind of reaction. I've met so many youth who say exactly that.

00:42:52--> 00:42:52


00:42:53--> 00:42:58

I've spoken probably to more non Muslims or after Muslims, right. But they don't say,

00:42:59--> 00:43:07

I've never had a non Muslim Student, from an amnesty society event, whatever ever come along and say to me, my mom and dad say they shouldn't get involved in this.

00:43:08--> 00:43:34

Never got a single that's that's the psychological difference, isn't it? Yeah, it is. Of course, it is. And we've got to, we've got to tell our people that, first of all, make sure that you're strong and put on insulin, but that's your that's what you're guiding if somebody tells you don't get involved, because not only do I agree with them, you know, get get firm, but that should be happening in the house. I want to do more of the issues about

00:43:36--> 00:43:40

kind of the psychological effects of some of this stuff, you know, something like

00:43:41--> 00:44:03

that. You read that? I mean, maybe it's a bit of provider, I say, Oh, you know what, if they're hitting you, then you should be separate yourself. Or, if you do feel it, honestly will line it in you feel it, you feel the moment your name is mentioned in even a small column somewhere, you feel even if somebody makes a comment about you on a random post, you feel nice. And that's just human nature.

00:44:04--> 00:44:44

But I wanted to probably maybe explore more ways of how you deal with that. You can take it in Australia stride, develop a thick skin, I'm not under most things in person that I know, in my house all I have the smallest of things I can blow up. And so I don't I don't think you can just develop a thick skin like that. It just doesn't happen that way. Just the question of I'm just in the place of exploring at the moment, but I'm yeah, I said already is that if you believe that there's reward for what you're doing that Allah subhanaw taala knows what you're going through, and that he's adding this on your scales and the scales are getting heavier in his in his way, then that can be a very

00:44:44--> 00:44:48

strong internal way of saying 100 left, another hustler, another hustle.

00:44:49--> 00:44:55

Yeah, I think what it is is you start going through this period of self doubt, right, you start having self doubt. And

00:44:57--> 00:45:00

I remember SR SAR was mentioned in one of the

00:45:00--> 00:45:19

reports as well. You know, SARS is famously that thick skinned famously said, you know, they can throw whatever they want to add to, she just goes on and amazing sister, but I know she felt it. I know, she felt Yeah. She told me she ended up in hospital, because there's a lot. And I think the point is that we

00:45:20--> 00:45:38

we don't really have a support system, I think in place for people on who are experiencing that even on that level, you know, so you are very much on your own, like, especially sisters, I would say, you know, because sometimes I feel like brothers have a certain level of camaraderie, you know, yeah.

00:45:39--> 00:46:14

But as a sister, you just feel like, you're just a moment, we need to develop because honestly, if we, and one of the things, I mean, we have a couple of sisters in cage, for example. And, you know, just to stop and they're in the firing line, you get in the firing line, and sometimes you're in the firing line, not just from the enemies, you're in the firing line from your brothers from brothers. Why are you as a sister coming along, you shouldn't be speaking, you should be you should, you know, all this sort of stuff, right? And that is debilitating. That's a different discussion. Whatever your view on that is, it's fine. But it's you don't need to be attacked, when you're already taking

00:46:14--> 00:46:46

on a particularly important role. And I would like to hopefully somehow develop something that maybe a course or whatever it is that where we can flesh out some of these things and give to both brothers and sisters, tools and abilities and things that they can refer to. Because it's a very, when moms turn around Honey, you told me he got he got it was the Prime Minister mentioned it. You remember? Oh, my God, that's terrible, huge thing that was massive. He called Yeah. I said, Just don't worry. Don't worry.

00:46:47--> 00:47:25

I'm telling you now that inshallah we'll be laughing together at the end of this, and you will be blind, everybody dinner, right. And the amazing thing was, I said, Look, the guys just hit himself. He might have hurt you. There's no doubt about it. But he's just hit himself. Now. He couldn't get Cameron. But he got the defense minister at the time, what what his name was, he said something outside of parliamentary privilege. And he said it on the news, I say you can get you can get in and humbler got noise, you know, noise. And I think he got, he got 30 40,000 pounds, plus an apology, whatever. And then he did an event. And unfortunately, I couldn't make the event. And the event was

00:47:25--> 00:47:28

about celebrating is when we're invited everybody for dinner.

00:47:29--> 00:48:01

So the point is that brothers and sisters need to get, you know, have access to this at the moment, it's you are by yourself, you're by yourself, you need to hold on to them, give people confidence, show them. Yeah, and it's amazing. Just hearing from somebody who just read even though you know that, you know, you deep down, you do know that this yummy. But you know, lies with you. Just somebody else telling you that at that point, you know, and saying I don't wanna you know, it's not a bad thing. It's a good thing. And all of that kind of

00:48:03--> 00:48:39

helps. I know, I can tell you this, if and when an article is written. And they mentioned me, I mean, maybe now not so bad. But there was a period of time when it happened. It has such a devastating effect in my house. So everybody feels it. Everybody feel like, he is reeling from that. But we can take it in front of everybody was called, but inside what where do you? Where do you dissipate that shot? Where does it go? Everybody feels the shockwaves around you. And it's that part of it? Because it's your only by yourself? I don't know, maybe you used to get attacked by the Henry Jackson society. As I said it, you know, it's probably it's not a bad thing. But to get attacked by

00:48:39--> 00:48:44

anybody is not, it's not a natural state for you to be.

00:48:46--> 00:48:58

Yeah, and I guess these experiences strengthen you and make you more thick skinned and, you know, help you to take on more in the future. And so just like my hair, and thank you for your advice, and you know, your words of

00:49:00--> 00:49:14

comfort, I would say she's like a parent, and brother Muslim. So I wanted to move on to speaking about the situation in France and then the situation in America. So a superficial kind of

00:49:15--> 00:49:42

interpretation of what's your explanation of what's been going on in France is, you know, there was a teacher, he showed some cartoons. And people, some some Muslims got upset Muslim parents, and then somebody attacked him and happened to be a Muslim and, you know, killed him. And then the French president and government decided that in a in an act of defiance, they would

00:49:43--> 00:49:59

put images of the cartoons on different buildings, you know, images insulting the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam, and this caused Muslims all over the world to be upset and boycott France. That's the kind of news narrative, right? That was the kind of secret

00:50:00--> 00:50:00


00:50:01--> 00:50:43

what would you say? Like as Mrs. We really need to know about the situation in France? And what's really what's really going on? Because it didn't start with cartoons, right? No, it didn't. Look, one of the things is that France, project itself, it is that that is the country because of all its famous philosophers, Voltaire, and so forth. We're the ones who brought about the Enlightenment to Europe. So they are the defenders of the freedom of speech in the whole of Europe, this is our job to do. Now, in doing so we've seen repeatedly that they have violated every basic normative Islamic practice, in modern times from the hijab dress, to

00:50:44--> 00:51:18

holiday food in some places, or to call that in itself that if you if you are seeking to have halal food, you are separatist, and basically calling Muslims that they are separatist. Now, there is a history without knowing that history of France, you can't really address this properly, because France's role in the Muslim world cannot be understated. They have killed literally millions of I mean 2 million, at least Algerians and others in their wars of occupation. And they did it ironically, they did it using the headings for with the infamous guillotine that they took

00:51:19--> 00:51:59

into Algeria, they took into Vietnam and other colonies. And it is a country that I've actually written an article saying that France was born out of terrorism and beheadings. Literally, the word terrorism comes from the the the French legato, which is the Greek terror, which is what happened, when Robespierre and his French revolutionaries bought this method of getting rid of all of the ruling elite by using the guillotine, which is by beheading them. And that's how democracy came to France, it's quite different to have came to Britain, it was a more of an organic process. And it wasn't violent, and wasn't butchery wasn't full of beheading people in the streets and taking up the

00:51:59--> 00:52:37

world, family and so forth. It was a lot more a protracted affair. So we need to point that out. Because Because of its violent and deeply violent, racist history, it has bought about itself, what it did with the Algerians and the Vietnamese and others. You know, they were involved in using a chemical weapons, for example, against the markers who fought against the occupation of their country by the by the Spanish. So there is a history of how they've treated the people that they are, that they are now looking at. There are there are a series of photograph trophy photographs that shock you that French soldiers took with beheaded Algerians,

00:52:39--> 00:53:21

many of these heads were only returned this year. So the French had kept hundreds of heads as trophies in French museum sitting in Paris, and only returned them to Algeria this year where the Algerians gave them the burial of shuhada. That's how shocking this kind of role of France is, historically has been. And then to say that this is now but I will push the boundary with what offends Muslims across the world. And this isn't just that whenever an individual does this outside the law, individuals decides to take it into his hand, he's going to go and kill this innocent. He's, he's innocent in the sense that he didn't, if he's not guilty of a French violation of the

00:53:21--> 00:53:34

law, so to you to enact something, and to take the law in your hands, you're gonna have to pay the price for it. That's not what Islam ever does. And prophesy lesson was cursed many, many times on many occasions when the Sahaba were around, and the responses were not the same.

00:53:35--> 00:53:38

But that's not my point. My point is this, that

00:53:40--> 00:54:21

the responses haven't just been on the streets. This is not just about ordinary Muslims responding. This is about leaders of the Muslim world, finally taking a stance on something I wish they took taking that stance on the issue of the weekers in China, or the Rohingya community on Palestine or others. But this is something that they have almost unanimously united on the record, the Government of Pakistan, if it's true, is actually expelling the fracture ambassador, not sending in a Pakistani ambassador to France, boycotting all French goods at a government state level. turkeys already taking the French government to court for the publication's of these cartoons. Countries like they

00:54:21--> 00:54:51

have a terrible record with Muslim organizations like Egypt have condemned the cartoons and the sponsor stance of France. And France. France now is feel feels quite isolated because hardly a European government has followed suit, not a single European government has followed suit. They may say that they stand with France against terrorism, which is the natural trope, everybody says even the Turks have said that, but in real terms, France is isolated and is feeling the pinch. And

00:54:53--> 00:55:00

that Yeah, Amnesty International just made a statement about fried France saying to paraphrase the

00:55:00--> 00:55:25

France cannot hide as a defender of liberty. While it is as its own shameless record of hypocrisy in how it treats it acts in this way. So France has been out to bat just hit themselves with a massive goal on golf. Yeah, I mean, as part of our postgraduate study, we had to watch this, this kind of documentary stroke film, which was

00:55:26--> 00:55:30

the battle Battle of the Algiers, I think it was called. And

00:55:31--> 00:55:41

yeah, and it kind of gave you a little glimpse into colonial, the colonial history of France, in the French in Algeria. And

00:55:42--> 00:55:47

so Pamela kind of highlighted that kind of that long standing.

00:55:48--> 00:56:00

Hatred, I would say, of, of Islam and of Muslim symbols, right, like, that whole, the whole kind of anti job, for example, and the cog

00:56:01--> 00:56:26

stances that they have today, they're not really new, they're kind of ingrained, right, they kind of fought for the French, it seems like the hijab and the visible Muslim woman is, is very much a symbol of, of their own inability to erase a culture right, or to usurp our culture. Yeah.

00:56:28--> 00:57:05

And that's where it all comes from. And it just kind of it manifests itself in different ways at different times. But is they want people they want Muslims to assimilate. They don't want them to not even integrate, it's assimilate, to become like, to become a pro of, and I think still in Britain, that's not what the It's not like that. In Britain, there is a there is a difference. In fact, there's a difference between British style, colonialism and French style. And that, as I said, had much to do with how they, how they viewed themselves, they thought that they were the defenders of the Enlightenment, which was the separation of church and state, and now they're into this new

00:57:06--> 00:57:07


00:57:08--> 00:57:24

Those who follow religion are backwards, and we are the ones who are who takes society forward. And we will do it in the most muscular way. And that's why it all It seems they seem like Europe's extremists to the rest of Europe, right? Western, at least, France seems like extremists.

00:57:25--> 00:57:36

But how do you see that playing out? Because if if that kind of, I would say hatred, or you know, dislike of religion, and Islam in particular is so ingrained.

00:57:39--> 00:57:45

And it's so historical, like, what, what possible way forward? Is there going to be for French Muslims?

00:57:46--> 00:57:57

I think with anything, there's there's this strength in unity. So there needs to be unity with Muslims from, from Britain, from Spain, to Germany, and so forth.

00:57:58--> 00:58:38

That if you look at I know, to some degree, the French status is so different to us. Even though we fight for the rights of Muslims over there, they don't do it the way that we many of us do via the very, very competent about our faith. And that's because of where we live in France. it's it's a it's a struggle. It's a great struggle. I know many people who left France to come to go make Concord, hedgerow and migration to come to save them from the French state so they can come to the UK and be in a better situation. Yeah, so it is bleak that there is no easy way, the only way I can say is when Muslim governments Muslim nations start making France feel the pinch, and that is

00:58:38--> 00:59:18

economically right boycott, and so forth. And then they would have to make conciliatory language towards the Muslim world and to the Muslims within the country. And of course, other most other Europeans who started with already in the New York Times, for example, has recently an article that lambasted France for its treatment of its Muslim, because it was looking down through the prism of racism, of what America has had to go through racism and how it's getting lambasted in the rest of the world. France is doing the same thing to its Muslim population, and to its non Muslims, who come from Africa. So it has already been seen as a country that is enacting what it did in colonial times

00:59:18--> 00:59:26

in its own land. Now, as late as 1961 62, there was a demonstration by Algerians in

00:59:27--> 00:59:57

in Paris, and several of them were killed, and their bodies were thrown into the river scene, which is the Thames of our London by the police. I think there's something around 200 this I might I might be mistaken on the number, but it's so it is in living memory. You couldn't imagine something like that happening over here. Maybe Northern Ireland, perhaps but even then, this numbers are far smaller. But imagine something imagine us living with the consequences. Just that one incident alone, let alone

00:59:58--> 00:59:59


01:00:00--> 01:00:06

So why did they Why do you think the European, the rest of Europe kind of allows France to get away with that?

01:00:07--> 01:00:16

secular fundamentalism, you know that it keeps expressing and showing? You know, it's a major player, it's a major economic power.

01:00:17--> 01:00:21

It's a nuclear power is one of the five permanent members of the Security Council.

01:00:23--> 01:00:31

infamously, I remember when I was in Guantanamo, the Americans started to hate the French they said they renamed french fries into freedom fries.

01:00:33--> 01:00:40

Remember that? And they did the other point French wines down. And they did it. Because France didn't take part in or was caught giving

01:00:41--> 01:01:02

some kind of goods against the the embargo against to Iraq. Right. So there is a this this kind of Britain and this famously, there's this thing, I think of one of the older British leaders, what's the best thing between us in France, and he answers the seat. And so the point is that there's always been an animosity between Britain and France, there was 100 years.

01:01:04--> 01:01:14

And so it's not out of love people don't love France is one of the reasons why we got Brexit is because they don't want to be considered historical part. We don't want anything from the European continent dominating us.

01:01:15--> 01:01:56

France is part of that. But it is strong, because of those reasons, as I said, but it is not infallible. And its strength is not at Remember, this is really important to us understand this half of France, the Vichy government of France, which was literally half of France, sided with and welcomed the Nazis during World War Two, they were part of the Nazi Empire. So we get an understanding of the far right in France, john madden, your pen, Marine, Le Pen and so forth, and the movements that exist there. And now, although those those parties died in the last election, because Macron came on Mac, one has to adopt some of the fire rights, language against Muslims and

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immigrants in order to replicate that far. Right. And so that's what he is doing, clearly. So do you feel hopeful about the Muslim leadership at the moment? I mean, I know that, you know, we seem to have this attitude nowadays of like saying, well, at least they're doing this and at least they're doing that, but But actually, you know, because we haven't seen Muslim leaders of Muslim countries, I mean,

01:02:22--> 01:02:32

ever really standing up for anything, you know, it does feel a little bit. You know, we do feel hopeful. I think Muslims do feel positive about the fact that,

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you know, something is being said about, and there are leaders who have some conscience, I would say, yeah, I've met some of these Muslim leaders, I met him I met Marty Muhammad.

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I'm very, very briefly. So all of these and all of these guys speak in a different way. They don't speak in a capitulated kind of way they may be they may make make major mistakes like Imran Khan has on China and so forth. But I think that they are speaking in a way that isn't from a a defeatist mentality isn't from somebody who has no competence isn't from somebody who feels completely dominated by the need to placate the West. What they need to do is to build on what they are doing. I've my understanding is, is they're building economic trading blocks, raping, yes. alliances, military cooperation, cooperation, alliances, and so forth, which is what they need to do more. And

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the more the less they rely on the west, and more than rely upon one another and themselves, they will be coming back to the concept of unity, which is that what are my needs across the board? And a stronger Muslim world means stronger Muslims here in Europe, because we've got somebody essentially, you know, they've got your back mess with us. Yeah, one of the reasons why the what happened to the Jewish community, and the Holocaust in the background would be the argument is, of course, is that they had nobody, nobody had their back. And so that's one thing the Muslim world does have. It has somebody that we just need them to stand up.

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01:04:05--> 01:04:28

So lastly, the situation in America, I think you said something on Facebook, you you mentioned a quote of Malcolm X's, if you could share that quote with us. I think he said something like, yeah, I mean, I can't I can't tell you, but it's essential, essential meaning is that I have more respect for an open enemy and adversary even if he's wrong than one who comes like a

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comes like a friend but it's nothing but a snake. Right. And so what this essentially means and I've always believed this, you know, that the open enemy, the one who openly confessed you open the gates you open says what he does about you without fear or favor, is far better than the one who comes along and smiles in your face and says, I love you. I care for you. I'm looking after you, but behind the behind your back, and he's getting ready with that knife to stick it in.

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Yeah, I do you do. You really

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Do you really see it as that? You know, bad? You know? Because I think I do I do get it that, you know, obviously, if you have an open enemy, you can see them coming, right, you can prepare you can you know what you're dealing with? But isn't the fact, for example, that Obama was even willing to talk about closing Guantanamo? You know, isn't that something even if he was not able to actually do it? I'm just using that as an example. But okay, isn't it the fact that somebody is even willing to go there better than somebody won't even go there. This is this is the this is the mastery of play. So this is how I would say that somebody like Obama is a master of delivery is far more intelligent

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than bush or Obama put together in terms of how he presents himself. And his and his his mortality. Because he's, he's the Constitution is a lot on the Constitution. So very, very smart. And the smart enemy is far more dangerous than the dumb one. You know, who could put it in this way?

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Let's just say this. Malcolm X said that you don't take a knife, put it in a man's back nine inches deep, then plunge it back five inches, pull it back five inches and say we've made progress? Haven't we done you a favor by pulling back that knife? Right. That's what Malcolm X said. And what does it mean here is that Obama is part of the very movement itself, that he says, I'm going to close Guantanamo, knowing that it's unlikely to get to get that closer, you won't get that agreement from the from Congress. But what he does is that he continues the war on terror, and he uses something that his predecessors didn't use. And that is instead of detaining them without trial, I kill them

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without trial. So he introduces something now that has become common, and that is targeted assassination using an

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unnamed unmanned aerial vehicles, drones, right. So he's known, famously, is written a book just now in which he defends the use of those drones. So he has no compunction about what he did. The difference between him and him and the others, is that george bush opened Guantanamo. But before that, a couple of years before Obama came into office, he says, I want to close it, I intend to close it. So he didn't, Obama didn't say anything new. It was part of the rhetoric, he said that we, we will

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not torture people, we will close Guantanamo, and so forth, to make it look like that this is what he's going to do. But all of the world, what did he do? very famously, they were imagery of Muslim women, who had been raped by American soldiers in Iraq,

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gang raped during the occupation, Obama blocked the publication of any stories connected to that by the Associated Press, because he said,

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damage our troops on the ground.

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So what he wanted to do is to make sure that none of this inflames the situation anymore. But you think that the brother the husband, is the cousin, the father of those sisters, who would violate it in that way? don't already know, you think they're not already in the camps of rape, or can book preparing themselves to join what became ISIS? They don't tell you that part of the story. And the other part is this is that people like I was a beta as I mentioned earlier on, they were filmed that torture was filmed and recorded, for in order their feedback if he confesses something you have done record, the CIA destroyed the tapes of his torture, which included waterboarding he was waterboarded

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over 83 times. So mediaeval technique used on Muslims primarily during the Spanish Inquisition to get them to, to renounce Islam. So this technique was used. They filmed, what they did, and then when it was going to come, but this had happened and lawyers were trying to seek this to be taken to court. The CIA destroyed the tapes. And they have they did it under Obama, and Obama said that they are free from prosecution, that they will never face prosecution. So there has been so much I mean, there's a lot more that I can say about Obama.

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Like I said, in terms of my statement, it wasn't that I like Trump more than I like, Biden. I think they're the same point. It's just one is sharper than the other.

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Yeah, so I guess the the thing you were highlighting was, don't don't start celebrating, right? Because we celebrated when Obama came, we celebrate, we literally celebrated there were Muslims campaigning for Donald Trump is very good for Barack Obama. He came famously to Egypt and gave this so called reconsidered free speech to the Egyptians, while at the same time he had ordered 17,000 extra troops to go and kill Muslims in Afghanistan. That's how Obama was clever. He was like the, you know, you hear those of those leaders of the past they will say one thing and do another. It doesn't matter because as long as you say nicely, people will fall asleep.

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So what would you want?

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Message be to American Muslims, you know, like,

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it seems like we've got a result now for the presidency.

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You know, still still some stuff that's playing out at the moment in the, in the courts or whatever. But pretty much I think it seems clear that, you know, Joe Biden one, and

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he seems like on a on a personal human level, you know, he seems like a more empathetic person, a person who kind of is going to be more reconciliatory with Muslims anyway.

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Although, you know, other, he might also support certain things that, you know, as Muslims, we were against,

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what would your message to American Muslims be about the next four years and, you know, the situation in America as you see it?

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I mean, I just think that, you know, you will have to vote for whatever it is that you believe what you think is, that is the best thing for you or not at all, you may choose to abstain, and we are in two different places. We are victims of America, some of us at least have been some of the Muslims have been victims of America. No matter whatever your role in America is, those people in Iraq and Afghanistan and Somalia and parts of Syria wherever America is bombed and showed its face, and have been victims of American you have to deal with that knowing whoever you vote for. So then don't say that you wouldn't be voting for foreign policy. Say you're voting for the interests of the Muslim

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community in America primarily. That's fair, that we can understand that that's, that's okay. But we will tell you repeatedly what America has done to us and continues to do to us because we don't see America through internal policy, it doesn't affect us, your foreign America's foreign policy does. And in that regard, Democrat or Republican, Trump or Obama, it's business as usual. And don't be under any illusions, if anything I would say about Trump is this whilst he was involved in killing many people, including

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an hour ago that his son was only 16 years old, in a world that he was only eight years old to drone strikes and attacks.

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And Yemen got hit many, many times by by American strikes and Syria and so forth, including people who have nothing to do with ISIS.

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He didn't negotiate a peace deal with the Taliban, not only just the Taliban, the Taliban who held in Guantanamo. These were like the worst of the worst prisoners of the whole world. They actually sat spoke to him on the phone and met with Mike Pompeo was the secretary of defense secretary and have said things like he said things that I know that you were fighting to defend your land, I know that you are strong, brave people. I can't imagine Obama ever having said something like this. So this isn't to say like praise Him, it's just to recognize something for what it is. And that good can come from wherever you expect when you when you least expect it.

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And so let's not kind of in our, in our enthusiasm to lambast Trump for every single thing, just that this recognize something. This is the longest war in the history of the United States. Very, very bloody history. You know, Vietnam, World War One World War Two, independence, war, whatever, that Afghanistan was the longest war in the history. And

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Trump is the one who negotiated when nobody else would be prepared to win, which is something you have to recognize

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for the Muslim, would you like to share any last thoughts with us, especially for you know, younger brothers and sisters who might be listening? What What advice would you have for them, you know, in terms of activism and contribution to any of the bigger picture of the Muslim Ummah, and, you know, of course,

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the different ways it's, it's a difficult one to respond to, but from an internal position, I'd say that you have to be strong. You can't help anybody, unless you can help yourself. lustbader says it's very, very often, you know, twice in the Quran in the line that

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Allah doesn't stay to change the status of people until they change within themselves. So you got to start with yourself. And one of the verses that comes to me that I think about often I thought, I mistook it, I mistook it, though I know the Arabic word I mistook it, and that's in a monastery in Milan, in the malleus.

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That, indeed, after I fought, I used to translate it in my head after difficulty comes ease, but it's not. It's my personal user, with difficulty with Yeah, with. So don't think that Oh, it will come, it's going to come, the good will come. The good will be there. You might not recognize it, and the difficulty will come and you might not recognize it. So be prepared and the only way you can be prepared is by it.

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immersing yourself in the stories of the companions of the Prophet Elijah them, of those who went before us, those who have experienced those of knowledge, those who stood up for this religion, and let your heart be tranquil content with the words of Allah subhanho wa Taala let that be attached to your heart. There's one thing that I came up from Guantanamo which is that connection, that attachment of the forearm to my heart to to know that these verses were revealed, for me at this time, just as much as people at the time of prophesized. So, and they are and relevant to me now in my heart time of difficulty as they were to them. So, if you keep that connection, no matter what

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befalls you, inshallah, you will always be

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connected to the greater goal and that is to please Allah subhanho wa Taala. And that this world, all the trials and tribulations of it will come to an end with earth

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and the earth is better and will remain forever.

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Just like him for the Muslim I really appreciate all of your, you know, sharing your thoughts, your advice in you know, your insights, because I think you come from a very unique background and a unique experience. And you see things in a, in a way, I think that few of us had the chance to kind of really, you know, look into So, Michael here and I really appreciate all of your thoughts.

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So, as I come up here, and brothers and sisters for joining us, please do share this episode with your friends and family. And you can listen to it on wherever you hit and listen to your podcasts. And you can also share the video and like the video and leave a comment in shuttler until next time, Assalamu alaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh subhanak A Lahore mobi handig shadow Illa Illa illa Anta astok Furukawa to be like, salaam aleikum wa rahmatullah wa barakato.

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You've been listening to my talk with Fatima Baraka Tila, please share this episode. Please leave a comment. And let us know what you think about the issues that we've discussed. Jessa Camillo Heron was Salam alaykum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh