Dealing with Islamophobia

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Hatem al-Haj

Channel: Hatem al-Haj

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Episode Transcript

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So I have to address the issue from a different angle just for the sake of complementing the comments that were made before me. And I would say that this Islamophobia

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basically, it is a feeling, you know, that people have about Islam, or convictions that people develop about Islam, who are not Muslims, some Muslims have another bit of Islamophobia also. But, you know, you hope that there is not that many of them.

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But the concept of Islamophobia is basically, their feelings, their convictions about Islam. So, Islam is beautiful. So they conviction is a misconception. You know, they have a misconception about Islam, this misconception about Islam, it is either because of their

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biases, personal biases, cultural biases, like when you look at the modesty of a Muslim woman, and think that this is backward and oppressive, and retarded, or I can't help this, you know, as a Muslim, I can basically make that any better. I can't make you feel any better about this, because it is your own biases, whether they are personal or culture biases that made you perceive the modesty of the Muslim woman has a sign of oppression or backwardness. But we should be also honest with ourselves, sometimes it is not because of other people's biases. Sometimes it is because of our own doing. And in this case, it may be because of our mis presentation, or a misrepresentation of

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Islam, mis presentation of Islam. Basically, we, we have some issues when we talk about as speakers, as teachers, as preachers, some of us have some issues that people have been able, other people have been able to craft an address of hip hop, that is that serves their interests, and articulate their convictions and beliefs in a way that is not shocking or offensive. Sometimes we don't, we're not clever enough to do this. And I'm not saying that we're changing the deen, I'm saying that we are sensitive to the cultural variables sensitive to the cultural variables. So that issue of mis presentation is mainly the issue of the speakers, the teachers, the preachers, but most of the time,

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peoples have that people's problem is with misrepresentation, it is with conduct that they see to be sort of backward, aggressive, violent, and we have to be honest, it is basically about terrorism. Most of the time nowadays, they may have reservations about Islam about you know, if you manage an epidemic, that Asian or this or that, so sometimes they're misinformed. Sometimes, we also sometimes misrepresent their religion. But after all, the issue of terrorism is at the heart of Islamophobia. And that issue of terrorism, if we want to counter Islamophobia, suppress combat Islamophobia, then we just want to resolve that issue. It may not be within your means to resolve the universal

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phenomenon.

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But it until we as Muslims realize our share of the responsibility, we are the 99% of Muslims who feel that we got stuck between the hegemony of the West and the madness of the fanatics do not feel that we share any responsibility.

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And that is incorrect, because the environment that produced radicalism is the responsibility of all of us, and the environment in the West that was not able to accommodate the youth and instruct them in the right way and Orthodox, authentic Islamic way. That our failure to do this to make that difference.

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environment that is accommodating, that is inclusive, that is compassionate, to protect our youth from radicalization is also our is our failure to a great extent, we can talk from here until, you know, the end of this conference or until the end of this year about how terrorism will stop if the West stopped their military interventions in our countries of the West, start to their meddling in the affairs of our countries is the West stop back in Israel. And if the West stopped back in tyrannical regimes that abused our people, and if the West stopped also,

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you know,

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stop their Islamophobic rhetoric and if the West stopped the inequality that some Muslims suffer from, particularly in Europe, particularly in certain countries in Europe, where Muslims do suffer from discrimination, to a great extent and employment and and we can talk about this until the end of the day, however, that is what they have to do. But what do we have to do? And we don't have enough time to talk about all what we have to do, but there is a lot that we need to do, and we must do in our countries and here in communities,

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Muslim minorities out in the West, and it is our responsibility and until we are candid about these issues, and we start, like a good honest discussion about them, and we start working towards

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you know, combating the scourge. It will not be defeated.