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Out Of Context – Part 13

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Omar Suleiman

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Do Muslims Hate Americans? – Omar Suleiman

In Part 13 of the interview, Shaykh Omar takes questions from the audience. The anger felt by many in the Muslim world and other countries, says Sheikh Omar Suleiman, is primarily directed against the American government not the American people. Many are dismayed by American foreign policy in Syria, for instance, where they feel betrayed because Bashaar El Asad was left to butcher his own people for months until ISIS appeared on the scene.

Episode Transcript

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Hi, my name is Mike Bachmann and I'm not a Methodist pastor, and I'm excited that we're able to share a little question and answer time with Imam Omar Suleiman. If he's here to answer questions from some folks who have been part of our audiences, we've been having an extended conversation together. So I'll introduce them each and looking forward to hearing their questions. And their response to that Imam Omar has and now we have Deborah, who has been a part of our audience today and she has a question for Imam Omar.

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Hi, I was just wondering, how would you explain to like Americans that whose especially whose perception is that all Muslims hate us? My perception is that there is some anti American general feelings in like Muslim countries. And but some of the way I, when I talk to people is I, I try to say, but why do you think that might be like, we have a lot of him as Americans, you know, General, General in America, just growing up. Nobody ever told me. Muslims are bad. We didn't have 911 when I was growing up, we didn't have any of that. But there was still that general thing in the back of your mind to be a little distrusting of Muslim like, we didn't understand it. It was like, oh, not

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good for women. I think I saw the Sally fields movie. Yeah.

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And so that was my only concept before it was even like ever verbalized to me. And so I try to tell my friends or somebody I, like we have, like one thing. That's like a real significant thing to us, which is 911. But imagine what the United States does in other parts of the world. And,

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like, how that might affect like, what, what are some of the things like, where does it Where

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am I? I don't think I've even asked a question. Do you get

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there? I don't want to cut you off. No, that's good. If you can help me with that. Okay, so what I would say is that, are there? Is there anti American sentiment throughout the Muslim world, I'd say that it's it's in various parts of the world. And that anger is primarily directed towards the American government, due to foreign policy, so depending on how affected that country is by America's foreign policy, and then how the people view America's role in whatever conflict they're in. So the people of Syria, for example, many of them feel betrayed, right, because Bashar Al Assad was left to butcher his people without any intervention. But suddenly, when ISIS rose, there was

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intervention, so it was like, what why did we have to get to this, in order for that intervention to take place? There's also a sense of, you know,

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those that live under dictators. So for example, as our government supported history robotic in Egypt to repress this people for all those years, there was an animosity amongst the Egyptian people. Why is why is the American government supporting our dictator? Israel, Palestine is the biggest issue in the Middle East. That's the sore spot, right? across the world. The views of Israel, Palestine are far different from here in the United States, we find that many times the United States vetoes resolutions and things of that sort in the United Nations,

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to sanction Israel and things of that sort. So the Palestinian cause is very, because they're Palestinian refugees all throughout their world, and particularly the Muslim world. So that was the injustice that's perceived of the American government supporting the Israeli government, and so on, so forth, but you know, weapons and so on, so forth, the Iraq War, there are a lot of things to make to make the government to make the American government very unpopular in different parts of the Muslim world. drone strikes, right. So if Look, if, if I'm, if my cousin was killed in a drone strike, right, in Yemen, some guy pushed the button in Nevada, and a drone fell, and it killed my

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cousin in Yemen, I'm going to be pretty upset about that, I'm going to be pretty angry about that. So there are people that are angry and things of that sort. But all of these are limited to political conflicts. No one hates America because they're Muslim.

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So, and also, I would say that it's not always directed towards the American people. In most cases, it's not directed towards the American people, you most Americans that have gone to the Muslim world have had very positive experiences. I know very few Americans that have gone to the Muslim world that have come back and be like those guys hate our guts. Most of them felt that they were that the people were very hospitable towards them and very loving and very accepting. So it's one thing to argue on a government policy perspective. And that's what I was saying, we can't subject we can't become, you know, a country that subdues political dissent and anger towards some of the

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government's policies if you're anti war, you're anti war. You're not anti American. You don't hate your government.

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Don't hate your country, your anti war. And so that should be an acceptable position in our discourse. But Muslims in general, how do we convince the American public that Muslims don't hate Americans? Number one, that they're not mutually exclusive, that you have seven to 10 million Muslim Americans, people that are Muslim and American that function well in the society that do well in the society, and that have great relationships with their neighbors and, and with their co workers, and so on so forth.

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You know, how many people have a Muslim doctor that they go see? Or, you know, so?

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Clearly, it's not because they're Muslim, right?

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And I would say that we have to look at this in a very nuanced way. So do people hate Canadians, because of the simplistic narrative that's out there is that people hate America because of its freedom? Well, there are countries in Europe that are non interventionist, that don't get involved in anything in the world that are a lot more free than we are right. But no one hates them, and no one no one attacks them. And those types of things don't take place that doesn't justify that attack. But it should cause us to reevaluate our foreign policy and to think about our involvement in different parts of the world.

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And, you know, whether we the isolationist interventionist debate is, is pretty old debate in this country, right, and whether or not we shouldn't be involved in global politics, and things of that sort. But that's a fair discussion to have. And Muslims don't hate the American people, though many Muslims around the world are very dismayed by American foreign policy, and that's a debate to be had, you know, of whether or not that's, that's something that we need to reevaluate and analyze. And that's going to be a very, that's a very hard debate to have. And it should be hard, regardless of whether or not people will hate us. It should be hard, whether or not it should be hard, because

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we should be thinking about whether or not what we're doing is correct. And whether it's righteous or not. So, yeah. Well, I like the distinction you drew between

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how some of the Muslim world might feel towards America versus the American government. I think that was good. I, I think American at least some people that I talked to don't see a difference. No, they don't. So and you know, I can can I actually I'll share this with you guys. I was in the UAE when 911 happened. I didn't see any celebrations. I remember you should have been in New Jersey. Yeah, New Jersey, where 1000s of people were out there.

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flooding the streets chanting Allahu Akbar, right, you know? Yeah, those guys, New Jersey, this is jersey jersey, right? The Jersey Boys. I'll tell you one thing that happened that was really interesting on 911. Okay.

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You had these images of people in, in Palestine that were celebrating in the street, right, and that 911 took place, and I was in the Muslim world, and there were no celebrations. In fact, there were candlelight vigils. In many parts of the Muslim world. People were genuinely genuinely disgusted by the attacks. And they also feared the backlash because most people have relatives here and things that are like, Oh, God, now they're going to be pursued another good. So people were not happy about 911 by and large throughout the Muslim world. But when you get some footage of some people celebrating then and it gets pumped out in American media as if that's the norm. And that's right

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after it happened. And let me tell you what was really interesting. I'm sitting here in the UAE, it's midnight, because they're nine hours ahead, and I'm seeing the, the celebrations in Palestine. And it's daytime, in Palestine, I'm sitting there thinking to myself, like how is that even possible? And it turned out that media outlets were using Footage from 1993 when when the Israelis pulled out of the West Bank and Gaza, and they were showing that as 911 protests and some people deny and they say it's a hoax, and it's not true, but there is no way that they were celebrating in daytime over there, and that that happened right away, and so on, so forth. So there was a lot.

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There's a lot of stuff that was going on there. That wasn't true. And certainly even if there were protests, even if there were celebrations that took place in certain parts of the Muslim world, this was not the norm throughout the Muslim world. If you ask anyone that lived in the Muslim world, that's not what it was just happening in New Jersey. Unfortunately, there was nothing we can do about that.

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Jersey man jersey.