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Dr. Jordan Peterson Questioned on ‘Message to Muslims’
Channel: Mohammed Hijab
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Episode Transcript ©
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Your brothers and sisters in Islam net from Norway are establishing a masjid a Dawa Center. This center this masjid, this educational institution will act like a beacon of light, calling the Muslims in Norway back to the essence of the slum. So give generously and Allah azza wa jal give you even more
to me that I let me kind of push back a little bit on that point, because your individual like, obviously, in your newest book, you're talking about, categorically about precision. And I would say you're an individual that is very precise. They're categorized, like if I was, say anything, I would say that your individuals are scrupulously meticulous in exactitude. And, I don't know, meticulousness or whatever. Yeah. So you speak. And you think about what you're going to say before you say it. That's what you're known for. In fact, if someone says something, which is kind of off the market, but you pull them up for it, and you're usually because they don't understand it, then
yeah, for example, like the Kathy Newman interview, like the assumptions in the questioning that she had, she had when she was questioning, you pulled her up on it. And that's why it became so
popular, that discussion was so popular, and just clinical psychologist, so I was gonna say is that, for example, if I were to make a video, right, I say this message to the, you know, to white Canadians or something. Yeah. Yeah. And I said, you know, it's hard to talk to say, look, you know, sensitively, why don't you reach out to some Russians, you know, or, you know, heaven forbid, you know, reach out to black Africans, or First Nation people, you know, whatever it may be? What do you how do you think
the community of white Canadians, let's say, for the sake of argument, will react to that kind of message? Well, if it was you? Yeah. Well, you're pretty disagreeable. So you'd probably get bit back a lot. Yeah, exactly. I don't I don't, it's hard to say until you do it. You know? Yeah. I mean, I have reached out to other communities. Let's say I did an interview with a friend of mine, who's a Native American Carver who lives on the West Coast. And, no, I'm not very happy with the narrative that's being promoted in Canada, which is that the European settlement of Canada is best viewed as genocidal Lee colonial. And having said that, my friend is Carver was in a residential school in
Canada and the residential schools were put forward by the government, in an attempt and other institutions in an attempt to separate the indigenous children from their families, and then socialize them rapidly, according to European norms. And there was some positive motivation for that. And sometimes that helped and work. But one of the things that did happen was that some schools were, let's say, invaded by people of a pronounced pedophilic. And, and sadistic bent, and my friend ended up in one of those schools, and his life was so dreadful than he can't even hear about it without, without, without serious emotional damage. And so I went forward with that
discussion, and it was very contentious, but it went very well. And it, it told a story that was true and needed to be told. Yeah. And so you know, you step into foreign territory at your peril. That's for sure. But, you know, and it was relatively difficult for me to arrange for this to be a possibility, of course. And, and but my my thought, again, because I'm trying to look for what we have to offer each other, rather than what divides us, I thought it was worthwhile.
pushback. And once you once you get to this point, so for example, it's not always what you say, sometimes it can be what you don't say. So for instance, I think you've become somewhat of an emblem of Western civilization, right, in terms of your an intention help us now. Yeah, I also push back on the point that this is a foreign culture, because I think that Islam, you've mentioned this in the lecture as well, that Islam has now become part of like, you know, Western culture. Yeah. So that's the open question. As we noted in the introductory Marxist, like, our is Islam part of the West, we're kind of having the same discussion about Russia in some real sense. And yeah, that's really
going well, at the moment. Yeah. So there's that part. But what I would say is that, you know, if there is a bloody history of Western colonialism, and it's almost undeniable, like, for example, look at Algeria, for instance, Algeria, when it was annexed by France, there was no dispute, there's no dispute and what happened there. So the like, I'm giving you one example of many the Spanish colonialism of Latin America, for example.
There are things that happened and things that happened on only just on the Western Front. Yeah.
Those things are happening on the Muslim front as well, of course, it's true. Yeah, no doubt about it, right? No, I'm not gonna stand here and you know, defend them. Why don't who came in were very intolerant to Jews and Christians and kick them out of their homes and stuff like that, who existed in Spain as well, in fact. So the point is, I feel like I don't know. As a psychologist, I think my question would be to you, don't you think? Is it of any benefit to be concessionary? In this regard? like to start off the discussion by saying like, we know
that these are things that could cause resentment. Yes. Because like, for example, I know a lot of Algerian people, and this is very clear in their historical memory. Yes. And the accusation will be that the West have colonial amnesia here. They don't, they are not taking into account what they've done. I'll be honest, I don't even know how well okay, so do you see what I'm going? Yeah, well, absolutely. I mean, look, here, here's how I would address that, psychologically.
In many of the mythological stories that I've read, there is the motif of the evil uncle. And so for example, in in ancient Egyptian cosmology,
that there were two, there were four deities for central deities, although a host of associated deities, and one of them was Osiris, who is the deity of the state, that might be a good way of thinking about it. And he had an evil brother, Seth, who was always conspiring in the background, to overthrow the state and to establish his own rule, say, based on power, and the Egyptians, this is 1000s of years ago had figured out by that point, because their society was quite large, that there was something in the social structure itself that posed a threat to the structure. And that was the tendency for the structure and its leaders to become willfully blind and for conspiratorial
powers or patterns that would use resentment and the desire for power to overthrow that. They thought of Osiris as willfully blind and south as an eternal danger. And that's true, and, and then, but there's, there's another element to the evil uncle, too, which is that in some real sense, and it's a very difficult thing to sort through morally, all of us walk on bloodsoaked ground, because human history is, in some regards, a nightmarish catastrophe. And some of that's just because life was so difficult, but it's also because people did in unbelievably cruel and malicious and deceptive,
committed, committed unbelievably cruel, and atrocious and deceptive acts. And so we're all stuck with this problem that here we are in relative peace and harmony so far, although we seem to be doing everything we can to try to disrupt that at the moment. And part of the price that's been paid for that is an endless litany of historical catastrophe. And then we all have to face up to what does that mean for us in terms of our individual responsibility? And how do we construe ourselves in our society, in light of that fact. And we could go back and forth continually about whose historical atrocities were worse. And that's a rough contest, because, you know, the devil is
definitely in the details there. And then it also brings up the other problem, which is, well, when the Spaniards went to Central America, a lot of the bloodshed they produced, or the death they produced was actually a consequence of the introduction of disease, because that took out about 95% of the native population in the western hemisphere. And then the conquistadores were, well, maybe they weren't the finest representatives of the, of the highest flowering of Western civilization. We don't know what to what degree they were the sort of thugs that couldn't get along at home, and went out adventuring and, and then and, and even if I say attempted to take full responsibility for that,
I'm not sure what it would mean, because I suspect I have a lot more in common with you people in the modern world than I do with Spanish conquistadores from 300 years ago. Now, I'm not saying I bear no responsibility for the bloodshed of the past. But I would say we all bear that responsibility. And that's something I would say that something like the conception of original sin. That's the point of difference. To be honest, I would disagree with that point. Like as a Muslim, there was a verse in the Quran says what it tells you to wear zealots was that one soul should not bear the responsibility of someone else's actions. Yeah, well, that that's the other ethical
complication. So can you call me out? Yeah. In relationship, not on a trustee of the past? When it's complicated, right, because, yeah, but because at the same time, you do say, and I don't mean you. But, you know, we can say things like, well, the West is not bearing sufficient responsibility for its colonial past. And so at some level, that kind of devolves down to the individual. Let me let me kind of rephrase it, then I think I think that's more of a left wing criticism that's like, you know, reparations and affirmative action programs. Well, yeah, I'm not advocating any of that a new wave and believe that to be honest with you, nor me, yeah. So what what I was putting as an
alternative to that is this is there is this kind of I would call this maybe an oriented it's a new oriented its narrative, which states that Islam is incapable of XYZ, let's call it tolerance, call it whatever it is, and look at what's happening in Islamic history. You've got all of these deaths, and you've got all of these kinds of things that are happening, comparative to what we have in the West. And what we're saying is that let's look at what you have in the West because liberalism was an ideology that was signed in 17 cents.
A trip, like, I mean really was crystallized, you know, with John Locke and all these kind of things, then, and after liberalism was established, in fact, the Constitution and the documents of the founding fathers and stuff like that were based on the liberal secular principles. Even after that you had Napoleonic Wars. Even after that you had colonialism continue, you had slavery continue until 1867, whatever it was, you know, the American Civil War ended.
So what we're saying is that this picture of history that you know, the West is best, basically this idea, because our ideology confusable problems, it's not reasonable when you look at the historical record. I mean, one of one scholar called and David Schiff actually done a piece, it's called body count. And he was counting the amount of people that died in each civilization. And he put the Western civilization as the highest. And because you have things like World War One and World War Two, and these things were World War One World War Two and nationalistic conquests that were not religiously inspired. And you can you can argue, to what extent we will do one was religiously
inspired. But certainly Islam didn't was not a main feature of the 30 million people that died in World War One or however many million people died. Well, the two. So the point is, is that we're seeing is that and obviously, you've got concepts in the West, like manifest destiny, and which I think every single president of the United States of America believed in westward expansion, these kinds of things. The point is, is that it's a proposition that the ideology of the West can fix our problems. This is what we have an issue with, because what we're seeing is that if we look at the historical record, there is no evidence of that. In fact, what has shown us is that there's more
bloodshed, individualism has caused more death. Like with all due respect, and that you you do cherish individuals, I'm not saying everything is bad about it, but there's when you have a society deplete of a communitarian ethic, is bereft of a communitarian ethic, then you can have these issues. And so these are conversations and I think you are moving towards a communitarianism as your newest book, you're talking about institutions and these kinds of things and the respectful tradition and these kinds of things. I'm not sure if I'm reading you correctly, but these are the kinds of conversations I think we need to have. But on that point, I think I don't want this to be