Omar Suleiman – Dealing with Problematic Alliances

Omar Suleiman
AI: Summary © The speakers discuss the importance of working on issues that are specific to their beliefs and bring forth meaningful
AI: Transcript ©
00:00:00 --> 00:00:05

Just to play devil's advocate here, one of the kinds of objections for

00:00:06 --> 00:00:17

no more soon is going into the public domain, and working on and calling and cooperating with people on these issues of, you know, helping, clear, you know, muscle health for everyone

00:00:18 --> 00:00:46

helping the poor, the needy, and so on so forth. One of the criticisms, as you probably know, is, you know, you have to end up working with people who have some, maybe, obviously, views that you disagree with, right? I mean, the extreme example, LGBT lobby and that kind of stuff, you know, and they will say, or, you know, the people are trying to reform reform Islam and that kind of stuff based on kind of maybe white western horizons, liberalism and so forth.

00:00:47 --> 00:00:58

So, what would you say, if somebody kind of criticizes you or anyone else for that for, you know, sharing a platform with such and such person? Or, you know,

00:00:59 --> 00:01:11

you know, the usual criticism? I mean, what's your? What's your view about them? I think, I think, look, there are loud, there are the, the very, you know,

00:01:13 --> 00:01:57

the very far criticisms that are that just accuse Muslims of, of, you know, seriously wrong things. And then there are the fair critics, I want to focus on fair critics. Right. And so, I think it is very fair criticism, a very fair criticism that when you go to a space, are you lending more credibility to that space? Are you bringing an Islamic presence to that space, and it's something that we have to juggle in our lives all the time? And, you know, I think that the answer to that is that we need to develop frameworks, right? So, you know, shift that will lead wrote the book towards sacred activism, I recently actually taught a class that column with the seminary students and put

00:01:57 --> 00:02:39

out the notes on towards us in the framework, I think we need to build up our framework so that we're not ambiguous, right? I don't think that we can, we can actually, let me just put it this way. We cannot not I don't think we cannot ever support anything religiously, politically, socially, culturally, that is opposed to the Quran and the Sunnah. Not in the capacity of LGBT politics, or the capacity of CVE or surveillance or some of the others. We can't support any of that stuff, any of it any element of it that opposes the Quran and the Sunnah, right? So the idea is, how do you live the Quran and the Sunnah in the public space. And if you're in a society, a pluralistic

00:02:39 --> 00:03:17

society, you're going to have to work with people who hold differing beliefs and differing differing viewpoints than you. So what that means is that I think that, you know, it's important for us to demonstrate and this is what I'm actually writing an article right now on, on interfaith versus multi-phase. We formed a coalition here in Dallas called Faith, Lord Nelson, we call that a multifaith coalition, rather than Interfaith Coalition. So I'm actually writing an article for Religion News Service on the difference between multifaith and interfaith, and, you know, how we how we can, you know, really encourage people look, you know, come to the table, be the, you know, be

00:03:17 --> 00:03:32

yourself, be who you are, you know, you're a Christian, you're a Jew, you're, you're a Muslim, whoever you are, you don't realize you're you don't have to compromise your religion, like, we don't have to start mixing liturgies and prayers, in order to to be a healthy cooperation. Right. So

00:03:33 --> 00:04:01

what we're looking for is that everyone has their particularities. We certainly have hours as Muslims, right, as Orthodox Muslims. So the question becomes, what's a healthy table to be up. And the way that I generally tried to define that is that the issue should be very specific. So we are here right now to work on police brutality. Police brutality is the issue. I'm actually I'm on a task force right now.

00:04:02 --> 00:04:42

You know, that is that is actually, you know, putting forth very specific demands to change policing in America. Whoever else is at that table. For that issue. I'm not carrying the baggage of everything else they carry, because right now, this is the issue. And so I think it's important for us to work on issues and be very specific to the issues that we're working on. That doesn't mean seeking problematic alliances. That means that there are inevitably going to be times that if you're going to be effective in society and work on these specific issues, whether it's homelessness or, or poverty or policing or racism or health care, whatever it is, right? That there are inevitably going

00:04:42 --> 00:04:51

to be people at the table that are not going to agree with you on a lot and you're not going to agree with them on a lot. So what's important for us is stick to the issues.

00:04:52 --> 00:05:00

be unambiguous about where we stand on our own identity. And, you know, not to not to carry out or not

00:05:00 --> 00:05:38

to carry on the baggage of everyone else, and then to find that place of harmony and coexistence that's important in sha Allah to Allah for us all, as we're living in the society. So we should create frameworks. And I think that's what's going to help us navigate through. And that's what we need, you know, people who love their deen and who also want to see a place for their dean working together to try to figure out, you know, how do we navigate these very, very gray areas where we're inevitably going to make mistakes? How do we navigate the gray areas with a sense of love and mutual concern with one another, I want I want my brother or my sister that's passionate about this issue

00:05:38 --> 00:06:14

to succeed, and not to fall to the pitfalls what so many Muslim activists have fallen to where they ended up championing issues that are just are not okay for us to champion. I don't want my Muslim brother or sister that's kind of on the edge to feel like, well, this is the only way to be effective right now in the public square. No, we pull you back. And let's say okay, you can be Orthodox and Orthodox Muslim, a Muslim who abides by the Quran and the Sunnah in the fullest sense, and not have to fall to those pitfalls. You don't have to go that far. You can, you can stay here you can craft a meaningful space for yourself. And we wouldn't be the first community to do that

00:06:14 --> 00:06:46

there are other religious communities that have crafted a very meaningful space for themselves, that, you know, they have not fallen to the left or the right schism, right, that they are who they are. And as Muslims, we should be leading the way in sha Allah Tana, of not being you know, uncritically, you know, Republicans or Democrats left to right. But instead, you know, just just living Islam, right in the fullest sense and having an authority when we speak on issues because we're presence on the issues that are of importance to society.

Share Page

Related Episodes