Channel: Khalid Yasin
And the guest this week is shake on a guest in Santa Monica, and Tamra. First of all, thank you for being with us. Let's start the show with a simple question. Who is Shakeology?
Shakeology is seen as an American citizen, Muslim by faith,
and world traveler and international lecturer, father of 13 children and grandfather, 3713 children, and 37 grandchildren.
If we look at your own time, when you are a child, could you describe your childhood for us? Because you grew up in Brooklyn?
No, I think I had a very rich
childhood I, I have nine siblings. And we grew up I guess, in a
very simple setting.
say that we grew up poor but principled.
I was born a Christian.
So religion, and Jesus Christ in particular was a very much
part of my life.
So I think that becoming a Muslim was a natural progression for me. He also said I fell for it during my childhood. Could you define that for us? What did you mean by Rich? Well, I was born in 1946. So when I arrived, that the higher part of my adolescence,
this was the turbulent 60s, very controversial era, very
flying time in American history, we had the background of civil rights were not connected during that time. Exactly. So therefore, I think that that contributed a lot towards the development of my
There was a certain point in which you decided to convert to Islam.
Could you tell us what makes you convert
Abdullah, we, we who accept Islam and embrace Islam from another faith, we don't like to use the term convert, we'd like to word revert, reverse returns Islam, but returning to our natural disposition, according to our belief, that Almighty God created the human being with a natural inclination and disposition towards faith and belief and good conduct.
The religious orientation that people adopt, usually from their parents, or from their culture, or from their society, or from the influences around them. So that's what makes them a Hindu, Buddhist or whatever. So I was a Christian by
natural causes. And when I be became a Muslim, is because I was exposed to the court and I was exposed to the life of the Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon them. I was exposed to the principles of Islam, and I found after that exposure,
that there wasn't really any, there shouldn't be any hesitancy on my part to accept the premises of Islam. So I thought, How were you exposed? Well, reading
The Encyclopedia Britannica probably provided me with the best information that I could have received. It wasn't somebody proselytizing, or somebody campaigning or trying to introduce Islam to me know, the word Islam was in the news, there was a group of people called the Nation of Islam.
I had read something about Islam and in school, but one on one particular occasion I was riding the train, I can remember and there was an article in The New York Times, and you were a student at that time. That's correct. And that article in New York Times was a letter written by
the person better known as Naka Max, about his experience in Mecca.
And I was very surprised what he said about Mecca what he said about Islam, about the core and about the Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings upon them. Because in school, I didn't, I hadn't really understood those terminologies. So because this was an epiphany in his life, when he went to Mecca
he thought himself to be a minister of the Nation of Islam, but when he went to Mecca, he found he didn't know anything about Islam. But reading that, what did you read? what's what's changed your worldview? Islam or I, I immediately went to the Encyclopedia Britannica, because I wanted to know those terminologies. I want to know this Islam, what does that say when it came up every year is this terminology called n What is that? Who is this man Muhammad. So it was the Encyclopedia Britannica that provided me what I consider to be the universal information that you know, non subjective information. And so from that information
I started looking in looking into Islam, just from an investigative point of view. And after some time, I compared it with the Christian values that I already had. I found no antagonism, no hostility, and no problem. I just saw Islam as a natural progression to my Christian experience. reverting to Islam is one thing preaching another. Why preach?
I don't know if I ever characterize myself as a preacher. I think it's other people. They see people who represent religion and speak about their religious values as preachers, I'm not a preacher. I'm a teacher. That's a big difference. So we should call your teacher in Islam? Well, no, not necessarily. I have helped us out here, I want to know, I happened to be a Muslim. So the moral values, you see the moral values that drive my views on Islam. But I'm not a person preaching about Islam, calling people to Islam. That's not my ambition. Maybe 20 years ago, and a bit of my night, if a day, you could say that, because maybe people think we need to call people to Islam. But 20
years after understanding human psychology, I don't call people to Islam. I tried to wear the principles of Islam to my conduct. I tried to engage with people. And then people are inquisitive, like yourself, and they say, What is your Muslim? What is what is that about? Then from that point? Because you knock on the door? Then I answer, why do you accept that as being important to you, and maybe to Islam? If I were the manager of a, an art gallery? Wouldn't I feel the necessity of taking people through the, and looking at the art and explaining what it is, of course, because I would consider it to be a valuable job. So as a Muslim, there are 1.5 or more million Muslims in the
world. Islam has occupied a huge amount of the history of the world and its civilizations. So therefore, being a Muslim, I feel very empowered, I feel very privileged. And so it is a part of my life that when people inquire about it, I have to have the answers. And I do we looked up at some
sensational hostile reports about you we could find on the internet, and for once and for all, could you respond by saying if it's true or false? So we finally know
there's a true or false Oh, can I just answer a true or false? And then you can tell me more about that. You can that h was invented at a US governmental lab. Well, Abdullah, I think that if any one of us was to just exercise a bit of research capabilities over the internet, or otherwise, we'll go to a public library, you'll find out that the conspiracies in the background on AIDS is very diversified. There's a lot of information out there.
And one of them is created by not just one of them. But there is a very principal amount of forensic information that leads to Fort Detrick
that the World Health Organization, the Center of Disease Control.
And the names like Mr. Robert Gallo, and the the Dietrich memorandum, so it's true. Well, if you're not going to say it's true, we'll just say that, when there's forensic evidence, when there is when there is
very clear indications, that is something other than a normal virus. Okay. So then, if it is a man made virus, as most forensic evidence seems to point out, that if it's a man made virus, it had to be incubated and developed somewhere. It had to be launched, based upon some kind of a schedule. So now, that's not my theory, but you believe in the evidence? No, no, no, it is, it is evidence that I have to consider and when people ask, we have to consider both sides of the coin. Because if people will just treat it like it's some kind of a medical phenomena, then I think that's only one side of the coin. But if we look on the other side of the coin, then we may be able to see something a
little bit different. So thinking about still looking up while I'm still researching, but I have my own subjective feelings about it. Second one, you say the Quran permits wife beating? I never said that was false. Of course it's false. The Quran doesn't say anything about wife beating
the 6626 verses of the Quran that I've read repeatedly. I don't see anything about wife beating the court and mentions a phrase in Arabic evitable hoonah. And you're an Arab. Yeah, yeah, yes. Now this terminology can mean
number of things in language. For instance, God says
that about whom the Quran speaks, God says vulnerable of whom he doesn't say, it doesn't mean beat them, he says and strike for them a parable. See? So make a parable for them, point out something for them, put a proposition for them, so that they could sustain it as being leave them. Exactly like rolling down moment. That's, that's correct. So there are a number of ways to approach that terminology. But I think the best approach is the approach of our Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessing upon because as a father as a husband, he's our ideal. He never be the wife, he never beat an animal. So he says that the best of you see who's best to his family, and I'm the best among you.
So if our Prophet interpreted that verse from God, and he didn't beat a wife, and those that followed him in piety, the hula, they didn't beat their wives, there are still certain Muslims, a minority which think that they are allowed to be there, right from Islam. So you're basically telling them now we have that they are wrong, we have to say, the love that Islam has been taken hostage by people's culture, just like Christianity, and we need to separate culture from the religion and its sources. But for Khalid, Jesse, just to make it clear, never said that, that is something that somebody took out of context. You said, That's false using sound bites, we're gonna
leave it now. Yes. last statement.
You say that Muslims cannot have a non Muslim friends? No, I didn't say that. No, what I said is that intimacy, friendship, in Islam has two different meanings. One type of friendship is the friendship where we take people into our religious, intimate friendship, and therefore they have the chance to even impact upon our morals. Could you could you point out the difference between
being intimate and interact with me? Like if I'm not Muslim?
Of course, I mean, I have must I have non Muslim colleagues, co workers, neighbors.
And they're my friends. At the same token. They don't influence me religiously. They don't they don't influence my perception of God. They don't influence my moral decisions. But they are necessarily the people that I interact with every single day. So they are friends but of a different nature. I would like to step back from the media and 20. That's politics. Yes.
Because there is a negative attitude towards you from Dutch from parliament, and certain part of that society.
How do you explain that? Well, Abdullah the person because I don't want to use a paintbrush to speak about the Dutch parliament. I didn't hear many people in the Dutch Parliament speaking negatively about me or Islam. I heard one particular person. And I think his voice is probably clearer and more blatant than all others is that Mr. Good wielders? if I'm pronouncing his name correctly, he's a public servant, who has some very blatant
prejudice against Islam and Muslims now, probably in a public interview or a public forum, we could probably get into his head and find out why.
But that's the voice. I heard. Nothing. Mr. Walters has to speak for himself, because he doesn't know me. He doesn't know my background. And he certainly doesn't know anything about the court and about Islamic civilization. But nevertheless, he's a person that holding public trust, whether you call them ignorant, no, I wouldn't call him ignorant. I'd say that he said that Mr. worlders is a protagonist. I say that Mr. Walters is manipulating and exploiting public fear. I say that Mr. worlders is seeking to cement himself in his position by by fanning this kind of dissent among the Dutch public. So asking the Minister of Justice, his body, to block you from entering Holland is not
about you in person, but about his fear for Islam. That is not his fear for Islam is to prevent anyone that he thinks maybe up to speak intelligently about Islam, so as to cast a totally different view about Islam and Muslims to the Dutch public. He wants to dominate the view that people have about Islam and Muslims. So he wants to prevent any other kind of view that would come forward intelligently. If I were a Dutch citizen and Muslim,
or for that matter, a God fearing person. I would be very concerned about Mr. Will and and his party in particular
Yes, because we had the European elections earlier this week,
on Thursday, and
get all this won the elections. So you're from outside you came from from the States? What's going on here in Ireland? What's going on? Well, listen, politics or politics, sometimes cannot be explained politics, or politics or politics sometimes cannot be explained. They are phenomenas that take place on Sunday in basketball, or football, or in politics. It's a very sometimes on a predictable arena, who will be the winners. But that doesn't mean that he will significantly change or alter Dutch society. Why? Because Dutch society today is a part of the European Union. And the European Union is a part of the, of the infrastructure of the of the world. And the world is now
cemented together into a global community by telecommunications and fiber optic intelligent talk, as early on said good old us doesn't want you to enter Holland simply because you don't want people to speak intelligently about Islam. So coming back to his party and his success.
Isn't there anything which he says? That makes sense because? Well, listen, we cannot dismiss the we cannot dismiss the academic intelligence of intelligence of Mr. worlders. We cannot dismiss his his social views, we can't dismiss the fact that he's been
supported by a number of people. But I think that what we can focus on is his ideas about Islam and Muslims. Are they correct? Are they biased or based on prejudice about the letter, their bias, and based on prejudice, and I would say, notwithstanding his popularity, I say that what Mr. worlders needs to do if he really wants to sell his package, or his idea about Islam and Muslims, and this whole idea about being a dominant, a dominant culture being subverted by Islam. If he wants to really sell that to the public. I think he needs to come out into a public forum, he just come out of his dark cloisters. hatless doesn't want to debate Muslims, and certainly doesn't want to debate
you, giving you 20 seconds to speak to capability, what would you like to say to him now? Well, I think that as a public servant, and a person that has earned his position by the public giving him trust, what he needs to do is he needs to bring his ideas and his convictions about Islam and Muslims into a public forum and have a dialogue about that with people who are qualified to respond. Good. Let's turn from politics to your view on Islam in heartland and your view on Muslims.
What is your advice to, for the people of Holland in dealing with with the Islam and Muslims? Well, I think
what we should do
in an act of reciprocity, Muslims need to look at the Dutch society, and not always Dutch people.
The Dutch government is not the people. It's the government. So the government is not always responsible for everything people do. And certainly the people are not always responsible for the posture of the government. And similarly, I want to say to the Dutch people, that Islam is a historical faith based system that needs to be reviewed on the basis of its historical contribution,
to civilization to science, and to the world.
And that there are 1.5 billion people around the world that have embraced or representative of that faith. But people who vote for who voted for civilus feel intimidated by us Muslims, Islamism. If I was walking in the dark, and I didn't know where I was walking, I might be intimidated by the doc. But if I knew where I was going, and I was familiar with the neighborhood, I wouldn't be intimidated, even though it was dark, you know, blind people, okay, who are well gifted. They're not intimidated by the fact that they can see that comfortable by virtue of their familiarity. So I think that Mr. Walters is exploiting the fact that people don't know about Islam. And I would say to
Dutch people that you have to separate culture, from religion. You have to separate Muslims from Islam. Let's look at those Muslims. Because you are like, really popular among young Muslims in Holland.
What is it that you do? What is it in your charisma, which makes you so popular? Or maybe it's this red beard
you're trending as fashionable
Listen, I'm from Harlem. I'm from Brooklyn. So I can metamorphosis.
Quickly, I can speak in Harvard. And I have, I can speak in Columbia University. And I have, I can speak at Oxford University and I have, I can speak in the city hall or the Chamber of Commerce and I have, or I'll meet, or I can speak in elmyra, or
Velma, I think you call it, yes, you see, is that
or I can speak in Harlem, or I can speak in Brooklyn, and I can have the same level of rapport. Because that's, that's my scope of interaction. Why? Because I'm a people person. And I don't exploit that, but I tried to utilize it properly. And, and just as I have a very powerful relationship with my grandchildren, I don't have a problem and having a powerful relationship with young people, in any place, any place in the world where have been. So if somebody has a problem about that, maybe they should ask me how that's done. And I'll, I'll share that with you. I know that you didn't mention your message. No, no, no, no, no, my message is a part of my persona.
See, my message is a part of my persona and young people.
They can smell it out. They can sense it. You know, if you got the right walk, you got the right intonation. And you've got the right look, when you communicate with young people, either they turn off quickly, or they turn on quickly. So I have a way when I'm with young people, to be with them where they are, to talk with them the way they talk, but at the same token, earned their respect. Because if you look at your conversion to Islam or reversion to Islam, you were really critical. Do you think that young Muslims in Holland share the same attitude?
You may be critical about the society, for example, or maybe during the search in Islam or
not separating religion? I think I think that young people today are quite different than young people.
When I was young, I think it's quite different. We're talking about the span of 50 years, the world has changed tremendously. The voices of people are heard across the planet, people are able to Bluetooth from sitting right here to China. So young people are in control of tremendous communication tools. So today is quite different than when I was young. But yes, there are some young people who are angry, frustrated, confused, they want to express themselves. And so Muslim youth are basically the same, they may even have some more frustrations because of language or culture.
Social disadvantages are so focused on I think, I think that
when I'm talking to especially young Muslims living in this country, I'm talking to them about citizenship. I'm talking to them about what contribution they need to make to this society. I'm asking for limited time, I really need to ask you two questions. Could you please, really short? First question was any contact between you and the Dutch government when you came to Holland?
nothing other than normal, the normal immigration process? No minister was calling you to ask you once reviews are never The second question. You are in amiata. Right now. Aaron Holland. What are your plans? I plan to settle here in Holland? Who told you I was in a mirror? You were lecturing me? Or am I wrong? No, I visited a group of people that are new. And there was a very nice city, one of the newest cities of Holland. And I found it very intriguing to find such a beautiful city. Plus, it was very close to hilversum. And, and I'm trying to collaborate with public and commercial people that are in the field of media. What are your plans? I plan to stay in Holland. Is this going to be
on your contract? I don't I don't know. Depends on how the table is set. I mean, I'm a media Bedouin.
I don't know how you say that in Dutch. But a Bedouins searches for water.
And shade. Those are the main resources. And that's why you're here in hon. So Harlan has one of the most powerful, resourceful media gateways of Europe. And so why wouldn't I try to collaborate and take advantage of that and build relationships in hilversum? In particular, so if things work out well, both from a ideological point of view and a business point of view, I may be spending more time in Holland. And of course, if if I fulfill the requirements of doing business in the Netherlands safely, Jessie, thank you very much for being with us. Yeah, for your time. Thank you so much. And we are here for televisie to solve today's specialized training for infocus. You couldn't
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