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Out Of Context – Part 9

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Omar Suleiman

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Does Racism Drive Islamophobia – Omar Suleiman

In Part 9 of the interview, Shaykh Omar takes questions from the audience. There is certainly an element of bigotry and racism, says Sheikh Omar Suleiman, because you’ll find that the same people who are Islamophobic are also anti-Semitic.

Episode Transcript

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Hi, my name is Mike Bachman. And I mean, I'm a Methodist pastor, and I'm excited that we're able to share a little question and answer time with Imam Omar Suleiman. 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. So now we have Claudia Wilson, who is here, she lives in Fort Worth, which is a city right next to us here in Dallas, and also a lot of the time in New Mexico. So I'm excited to have your question with us, Claudia. This is probably one of those questions you can answer with.

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Yes. But I'm really aware that there are a lot of racism exists in the world, in within cultures within countries.

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And quite European types are probably the worst at this. But do you think that the the Islamophobic reaction we're seeing that there's a strong underpinning of racism is what drives that that fear and hatred so that the same people that are islamophobes tend to be anti semitic tend to have other there's certainly a an element there of bigotry and racism that's, that extends beyond the Muslim community.

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There are different levels, there are different types of islamophobes, you've got the far liberal, right, the bill maher types, right, you know, and you've got the hardcore, extremely bigoted, racist types that are racist against other groups of people. So the same people that will say derogatory things about Mexicans and say derogatory things about Jews will probably say about blacks and about whatever. We'll also say it about Muslims. Right? And so yeah, there's definitely an element of white supremacy and much of and much of that bigotry. But it's not it's not all all. It's not across the board, but it is stemming from them in many cases. And what about within Islam itself? I know,

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there are three types that I'm aware of the third being ismaili.

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And I asked that a question, once I've been a mom and he dismissed one of those groups is not being, quote, real. And so what about the Is there a certain amount of pecking order, shall I say, amongst different adherence to Muslim faith? So there are lots of sex, lots of sex, right that that in some way, shape or form associated affiliate with Islam, right. It's not for me as an individual to say to any person that you do, or do not belong to Islam as an individual, but there are groups certainly that adhere to a foundational, you know, set of, of what we call the articles of faith, the articles of man, that make a person a Muslim. And in Islam, you don't, it's not, it's far more

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monolithic than you'll see in other faith traditions. So 90% of the Muslim world adheres to one school of thought, for example, then in that 10%, you have many, many, many different schools of thought. So amongst the largest, obviously, being the Shias. And even that, by the way, I would say I'd like to point out something that I don't think we got around to in the interview. But it's very important to point out that sectarianism is also a product of political turmoil. Because in Iraq before the bombings and before the country went to the in the direction that it went to Sunnis and Shias intermarried, they had children together, they had, they had good relationships, there were

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clear theological differences. But there wasn't this, you know, fighting that we see now. You know, where you have ISIS, and you have Shiite militias, and things of that sort against each other. This is this is a product of political turmoil. But there are clear differences. So even within Shia Islam, this man, it would be a group of the CR. Within Shia Islam, there are multiple schools of thought, some of them adhere to the core principles of Sunni Islam as well. And some of them are even considered, you know, not to be Muslim by other Shia groups. So within the Shia spectrum, there are some Shias that would consider other Shia groups to be, you know, too far

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off from the, from the foundational principles of faith in Islam. But what I would say is this just because as a feel as a theologian or as a person of faith,

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I would not consider a person to necessarily be adhering to the foundations of Islam, and I would not consider a group to be Muslim in the Orthodox sense does not mean that I have to bomb that person or that I have to, you know, we have to bomb their mosques and we have to fight them and things of that sort. So I would still respect them as human beings and as citizens even if I did not consider their faith tradition to be in accordance with mine. But that there's a great diversity there just as there is in Christianity and and other groups as well.

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Thank you.

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So much