Lamppost Education Initiative – The Need For Real Pluralism
Channel: Sherman Jackson
File Size: 44.75MB
How do I know what
And yet they have a level of
shadow Allah Allah, Allah
or shadow I know Mohammed a doctor or solo Salam, Salam wa Alayhi.
proficiency? Certainly, certainly memory was blocked at the Ministry of uncovering.
Can we sharpen up see
on other doctors
like me mean that someone didn't want to leave for what to get.
I want to start off, first of all, by thanking chef Abdullah and congratulating him,
again, for what has proven to be
the beginning of hopefully something that will benefit us as a community for many generations to come on. I also want to thank all the people have behind the scenes some of the internship is may
where's he left us? Okay, I want to thank him for sort of keeping us all on the set up and Mr. Kane, throughout the throughout the conference
should come in and on the other brothers and sisters,
behind the scenes, for taking the time out of their lives and away from their families, to work for the benefit of the community. This is not easy work. And it's thankless work. And I just want to express my thanks to them, and ask Allah to bless them originally. I also want to say that, just listening to that, that last panel, it reminded me of something and I just want to take just a moment
to reflect on this out loud. You know, one of the things it reminded me of the whole business of finance, and get your personal finances in check, etc, etc. Is that as a community, both collectively and individually, we have to remain connected to the value of discipline.
And that there can be no control of personal finances without discipline.
And in that regard, I want to make a plug for us coming to a broader understanding and a deeper appreciation for the institution of Salon.
And I'm not talking about salon in terms of I'm not talking about the purpose of Salon. The purpose of salon is to worship and aggrandized Allah Azza wa
barakato the benefits of salon is discipline.
When you keep your salon regularly, your whole life becomes discipline.
You know, it's like, I want to go out to the mall picks up, man.
The first thing I have to do is what?
I look at my watch, what do I put on my watch?
Because I gotta know how much time I got outside. Now, do I have time to do it when I get back home? Right? I'm gonna take a nap real sleepy man, what I got to do
I got Okay, do I have time now I'm gonna do it. Now what I'm trying to say Sobat is one of those technologies of the self.
And if we are regular with our salon,
what we will find is that we will have greater discipline in our lives and it will creep up on us as just one of those parts of our character now. We think about everything that we do we become natural planners. All right. And this is a part of the whole package of Islam. Allah was not joking around when he says this is a mercy to us. Because this in some ways, brings us a discipline that we might not otherwise have. And that's just a lie.
That humankind Ramadan
doesn't even cannons. Okay. So I just wanted to put that out there. Because
the state of our our souls, the state of our ourselves will be the ultimate determiner of what we are able to do both individually and collectively.
And supply is one of those institutions that that enables us to get the most out of what Allah has given us.
So to Maxwell's remarks, let me just say this, it has become clear over I should say clear, because I think it was clear when we came in here, that there are many issues that we as a community need to work on, we need to develop a vision of God, we need to develop a plan of attack, in order to try and resolve some of these issues. We have issues of money, we have issues of culture, we have issues of gender, we have issues of race, we have issues of marriage, we have all kinds of issues that confront us, as a community. And as we have seen over the course of this conference, sometimes an attempt in attempting to negotiate those issues,
the terrain can be quite rocky,
it can be often difficult for us to talk about these issues. And one of the things that I think that has come out of some of our conversations is that there is a lot of healing, that we need to find a way to bring to our community.
There is pain in our community, there is disappointment, there is misunderstanding, there is a sense of betrayal.
And all of these things are very painful for us. And it's very difficult for us to come together and to talk about these things without exacerbating the pain that brought us to the discussion to begin with. And yet talk about these things and negotiate these things we must.
So how do we as a community,
go about the process of bringing some healing into our midst?
The honest answer to this question
for me, anyway,
I don't know.
I don't know in concrete terms, how we as a community are going to do that. I know that there are those probably here in the audience who would say?
Well, the answer is easy.
All we have to do is go back to the Quran and the Sunnah,
and the teachings of Islam,
and all of our problems will be resolved.
And that's our problem. We're not holding on for an Answer Center.
I want to submit to you, however, that I don't think anybody who comes here to represent a particular position thinks that their position is not based on core Adamson.
Everybody thinks that position is based on finance.
Nobody comes out and says I don't care what it says is my position. Nobody says that.
Everybody thinks that the deposition this way is based on Adamson. And so what we have to learn how to do
is we have to learn how to talk about these things.
And by the way, when we come here, I want to make this clear. There are some issues that are clear cut in Islam, not everything is a matter of discussion. We don't things in Islam on Wednesday, as unanimous consensus always has been involved, well millennium, and they're just not open for discussion. I'm not having a conversation with you about a ham sandwich. I'm not gonna do.
We're not discussing that. That's one of those. We're not talking about Xena. We're talking about what you can get on we're not having those kinds of conversations. And yet, beyond those things upon which there is this enormous consensus, there are many issues that are still open to discussion and exchange. Some of those issues weren't even around at the time that these anonymous consensuses were reached. So we have much to discuss among us as the community and our challenges. How do we find ways of discussing these issues, such that those discussions are more likely to bring healing to our community rather than to tear our community apart? We want people to come into our hall like this
and discuss these these issues and discuss them robustly and honestly, and courageously. But we don't want people to go out of this building saying I
enrollment be at no more.
That's what we don't want.
So how do we get there?
I think it is critical
we learn, not simply how to talk to each other.
I think that this blessing conference has taught us the value of being able to talk to each other. But I think it's even more important that
we learn what
the purpose of talking to each other is, what is the ultimate goal of talking to each other. Because if we're not clear about this point, then talking to each other, can actually make the situation White
can actually make the situation worse.
So I'm gonna spend a little time that I have, and I know that people are expecting me to go over time, but I'm not.
I want to try to resurrect
an aspect of the traditional civilization of Islam
that made that civilization great. And great as a religious civilization.
We don't realize this. Part of what made Islam great as a religious civilization was that a slam among all the religious civilizations found a way to accommodate genuine pluralism?
You found when I'm talking about, I had a professor in college. All right. And he taught Islamic Studies. He was a Catholic. And he taught the students in class one day, he said, this was the civilization of Islam. You could be a mannequin, or a shirt. We talking about soon as a man we can get to the office later, with
You can be 100, you could be 100.
All those were mutually recognized as being equally Orthodox, equally authority. He said he didn't have this in any other religion, civilization. Why did you have the wars of religion in the West, is because they could not accommodate a religious pluralism. And he said, the West was not able to establish a pluralism until they marginalize religion, Islam was able to do it with religion, at the center of civilization.
That's where we come from. But that's a part of what we've lost.
We have to begin again, to understand that we have a concept in Islam is calm the concept of a slab.
It is justifiable disagreement. It's not disagreement, just because I'm disagreeable.
is justifiable disagreement. And the important takeaway from this is the following. Because this is what makes our conversation so difficult.
If I don't want to the conversation,
understanding that there is the possibility of multiple justifiable points of view, then the point of the conversation is to learn what those justifiable points of view are, and to separate those from those points of view that are not justified
by that, but if I don't have that mentality, then I'll go into the conversation on the understanding that there was one right view.
And I listened to everybody in terms of what
are you saying that which will confirm my view? If you are, then I will accept you. If you're not, I gotta kill you.
I have to destroy your point of view. Why?
Because that's the only way mine can stand.
And you can see what this does to us as a community. I can't even listen to you.
I can't even listen to you because of you even sound like you're going in a direction that threatens the point of view
inclined towards. All right, I'm gonna set you down, either by shouting you down, or by second lines
you're gonna talk about right?
Right? I mean, it's like I need to save, you get some argument with your wife, or your husband,
you pretend to listen,
I'm looking for the holes. I'm trying to understand that.
As I got a position I want to defend.
And I'm breaking up the gaps.
And as soon as she's done what.
And the whole time she's speaking of the whole time he's speaking you.
This is what we have to get away from brothers and sisters.
And this is why it's so important for us on a very fundamental level, to get back to a basic religious literacy in our community.
There are many things, as I said that there's no discussion on but look at all of the issues that have been raised in this conference, what is the best way to create wealth in our community, there's going to be one point of view about that. And even if there is one point of view, because at some point, we got to make a decision, how are we going to arrive at that
we want to have to have the kinds of discussions that will enable us to come up come up with the very best point of view. And that means a willingness to listen. And
we have to have this otherwise, my fear is that we will become our own worst enemies.
And that whole business I talked about, of finding Muslims that you like, as well as that you love
that will become what less light because you can't even
you can't even talk to him.
I mean, when we have this common interest, he is so nice. Many of you might not realize this, I prayed
a lot today,
and I noticed I think he may have
doubled he's gone.
But yeah, no doubt that this a lot.
they said to Him, He prayed to rock cause
cause cars. And they said to him, okay,
come and meet the
the fair for us. So don't tell them. No, no, no, no, no, no, you guys go ahead. All right. And so the brother
came up and let us allow for for Awesome. Okay, I prayed awesome with them.
Now, I didn't pray also with them.
Because that's the medical school. That's the dominant view in the medical school.
Oh, my God, what I'm saying so far. All right. No printing costs have not jumped. They don't join. Okay. All right. That's a minority opinion
in that the battle ahead.
Just be I just, I don't want to talk about
I saw him. I think he saw me. Do we have any right
and this has allowed the bipod what I'm talking about
all right. We can come in and discuss gender. We can come in and discuss race. We can come in and discuss culture.
Not it's the very mentality is I've got my point of view I want and nobody said nobody except those people who want to confirm my point of view. Everybody else they got to go
I'm not joking about it. This is serious. This is serious. Because what we don't realize let me let me share a little something to do with you.
I don't know Muslim. Like, like, oh, four years. I was five years old.
So I you know, I want
Watch movies. Like,
I'm always talking about a slap. You know what I mean? And I went to, what is it? Terminator two? Oh, that's what Muslims don't watch movies. I'm sorry.
I was the Terminator two. I'm sitting up in the movie theater, Terminator two, you know that movie was right.
I'm looking at this woman. Right? She knows what's coming. They don't know. She's trying to say them. And I'll tell you what, that's him.
There he is, you don't want to talk about
You can move about your own people than they're able to care about themselves and may reject you.
Right? But that's not the one we want to talk about. Now.
I'm just wanna let you know how I watch movies. So you don't think I'm up here?
There's a movie called Jimmy Hoffa. You have to you know, you know that movie. There's a scene in that movie, man. And it really taught me something. Jimmy Hoffa, you know, he was just
labor leader. And back to the con things had to be done in secret. So there was one dude that was working with them. They didn't really trust him. Right. So the, and they were having a secret meeting. So the dude asked Jimmy Hoffa, where's the meeting on me? And Jimmy, Hoffa Towson when Amin is gonna be, right.
So, Danny DeVito, who is doing homicide can have to do turns around and leaves. He says,
Why don't you tell him where the man is? Right?
Jim Alpha says to him this, and this is relevant to what we talked about here.
He says, listen to me.
Ordinary disagreements can be resolved.
Conflicts of interest can be resolved. Because people aren't really honest. They understand that
he just wants his interest just like I want.
But an imaginary
a perceived slight. As somebody
that models Man, I hate your guts to the day he dies.
That's what we're constantly doing to each other.
You understand what I'm talking about? And because of that, we got all this internal bleeding. And internal bleeding is worse than external wounds. Why?
Because you can't see it.
You can't see it.
And the only choice for this. And I'm not saying this as some, you know, this is not just pragmatics. This is a span.
This is a slant. It goes all the way back to the Prophet Muhammad himself. So he was
very famous during the time and oh my
have a reason for him.
I don't want to say
it wasn't the resignation as Ahmad.
So he took the man and took him to the proxy. And he said, This man was Miss reciting Quran.
And the Prophet said, Okay, we say what did you say? Amari said, Okay, now you recite it. And then you sign it just like you recited it before. The Prophet said. Both of these acquit
is the presentation. Some of you don't know. And some of you in this hall right now, heard some of the brothers we say some watch, you might say the same thing.
And we can talk about gender.
And we've heard on my race.
We can differ on gender.
We can differ on race.
We can differ on culture.
And I'm not talking about any wild crazy opinions, I said to be left as one justifiable disagreement.
But what I mean by that
is I like
this stuff, the firewall agreement. All right, disagreement, I'm sorry. And so there is such a thing as disagreement in Islam. And that's a part of who we are
That's our legacy. All right. And right now, if the world especially our country needs anything, is to learn how to be a genuinely pluralistic society, not a fake pluralist, what's a fake moralism, a fake pluralism is? Yes, you have the right to be that.
So they're really multiple expressions of me
if I want,
that effect call isn't what we need is a genuine.
Alright. And there are many aspects that I can go into, but people started to move on. I'm gonna cut this short. So I want us
as a community to understand this. And there is another aspect to this that I think is important for us to understand. We have to understand the nature of our disagreements.
Because there is one, there's more than one form of disagreement. Sometimes the disagreement is over an interpretation of Scripture.
Using the iron, or the Hadith means this. I think the iron for the Hadith means that all right. And we have to present our evidence as to why my interpretation of the air is a plausibly justifiable interpretation. And you do the same thing. And it's like magic. You know, when people are not trying to force something on you, you find this stuff a lot more open to what they have to say.
You see what I'm saying? Well, we start off with our conversation is about plot plausible disagreement, then I'm open to what you say. And you might actually win me over.
But we have to be careful about not just smashing all disagreement together, because the disagreement might not have anything to do with our interpretation of court. And the disagreement may be over the interpretation of factual reality.
But instead, what I mean by that, let me give you Zeb is falling asleep anyway, let me let me give you a concrete example
of what I'm talking about.
And by the way, this is an example. This is what
this doesn't exempt, right?
This is what educational purposes
Question comes up.
Can you vote for Trump?
We got some good students here. Because students always change the fact pattern. I said, What?
Can you vote for him or not? Is it permissible to vote for him or not?
I'm not hearing
that issue that comes out in the community. You see what I'm saying? And that's fine. No, no, no, no, this is what I'm trying to get it.
If I say no, what do I mean by that? Do I mean that Allah and His messenger said now? Or do I mean that as a factual matter, that is going to be so harmful to the Muslims that you should not vote for? But is that what I mean by that? But that second one, that's a man of your assessment?
I have a different assessment of that doesn't mean that I don't know
what I'm talking about, I said, this is a pedagogical so relaxing.
No, but I'm very serious. This is the kind of stuff that tears was a pot. Because because we go away, man getting
real Muslim. It's got nothing to do with
nothing at all.
It's a matter of okay. There are some factual realities here, that we as Muslims must consider. And based on that consideration, we should not vote for someone else we have another point of view.
But you understand the difference between
understand what I'm talking about, we have to be very careful about that. Because if he did this with me, but she did this with me on the second one, why does that sound about their level of commitment to?
if he disagrees or she disagrees with me on the second one, the factual assessment, what does it have to say about the level of commitment to her and
what binds us as Muslims?
Our commitment or endorphina. So even though he disagrees with me, or disagrees with me, on the second one, I still must acknowledge Him, as my brother and sister,
understand what I'm talking about, we have to learn how to accommodate these differences.
And we can't come in here, listen to people speak, and expect to define or when you're pinging up, we want to hear and everything else has to go. That's not why along with all the talent, and all the experience, and all the expertise, and all the genius in this community, he put it there so that we can harness it. And so that we can harness it in order to pursue his pleasure.
This is something that has occurred to me time and time again, throughout throughout this conference. And now I want to say something, something else because
You see, it's hard for healing to take place, with some of the art community feel that they're not even being heard.
But when we have the zero sum mentality, how can you hear me anybody
know what I mean by that?
Right. And this is part of why we have to come back to an Islamic civics. We've adapted the students of the dominant culture around us,
though, believe me, I'm Charles Barkley once said, I asked him you know, because John's Boston is very popular and you know, the popular
Know, he's very popular and a popular culture. Someone asked him in an interview once, what do you ever thinking about thinking about running for political office? He said, No.
Because they were saying that you could very easily when he said no, why Martin said this.
He said, Listen, man.
I could probably sit with the leader of the kk k, and funds, fattening calm.
And Washington, DC today, you can't find anything in common. Everything is zero sum.
Everything is my way or the highway.
And we as Muslims have adopted the same culture. You see it all the time. There's never any allowance, that there might be more than one plausible disagreement on this issue.
Someone's almost always absolutely right, or absolutely wrong.
We've got to get away from this. Because that mentality will stifle us in our attempts to grow in any of these areas that we're talking about? How can we talk about gender? How can we talk about race? Well
impose my view on your you're going to impose euros on me? How can we talk about culture?
This is what we have to get. This is what we have to get back to. And I think that one of the things that concerns me very deeply Is that is that those of religious knowledge have to be aware of this as well. And they have to be aware of the distinction between the two things that are talked about.
One is a matter of scriptural interpretation, the other is a reading of reality.
Regard to the meeting the reality, there may be many people in this room, just like the people who are talking about finance, who know much more than religious scholars
know by far what I'm talking about, and those people have to be recognized for the authority that their expertise confers upon them. And the religious scholars cannot attempt to shut that conversation down.
Their job is to establish the parameters
Next. And when that conversation books upon this parameter, the religious scholar says, What?
bumping up marks on that bumping up. But within this, what does it really the scholar have to say,
do your thing and come up with the best for the community.
If this distinction is not observed, I'm not saying this to try to pander to those who are not religious scholars. In fact, I'm saying this in defense of religious scholarship. Because one of my fears, and I see it afoot already,
is that, if this distinction that I talked about, is not maintained, then the people would come to resent religious scholarship. And when that happens, they will start seeking other foundations upon which to base their lives, even as Muslims,
that will happen, and it's already begun happening. And that is a disaster
is a disaster.
So I hope that we will be able to,
to establish a Muslim series that enables us to come in and discuss our issues in a successful manner. Now, this is a tall, a tall order. I just got two short things to say. And I'm done. I'm out of here.
I'm actually still tough. But
this is a poll. You know, whenever, whenever these kinds of things come up people no matter how we do that, how do we do that?
I mean, the answer is again.
And that's not a capo. That's like asking me
how do you stay married?
Tell me how to stay married.
This is a roomful of assets.
I say no.
No, no, no. I mean, yes.
I can tell you that.
None of us know what I mean by that.
Well, Michael Jordan is the ball. You don't even know what it
that get the ball.
I even do this. You think he can map it out for you
know, how does he go? He gets in motion.
And then two things take over.
Right? His training and his instincts? Yes, I'm talking about
our training is our literacy as Muslims.
Our instance of those things that come to us as a function of our prayer of passing and especially reading
some people make the mistake, you know, they read and they don't understand.
So I put it down.
All right. Listen to me, brothers and sisters. Alright, Tuesday.
If you keep we report and your understanding will increase. But even more important than that,
the air will always be speaking to more than just your mind.
You understand that? They speak into your soul, your very being. And when it gets there, it will calibrate your being and to being in conformity with those boundaries. That's why, you know, some Muslim community. They're not.
They're not I'm gonna say this.
They're not the most highly educated.
They're not the most sophisticated, but this is intact.
Did you saw what I'm talking about?
I don't know about all that. Drama we're doing.
No, no, no. I'm serious. I'm serious. Right. That's the instance. That's instincts.
And instincts are often we finally move from
that and we'll do some stuff.
chocolate not believe. Before I was, I was the disco kid
cannot imagine what do people do on the weekend? Oh dang.
six months after I'm awesome
No, I'm serious. I'm serious. I'm very serious. All right.
We have to get back to
who wasn't St. St. Augustine, I think it was he said, What? Lord? Make me go?
No, no, we got to be very careful about that. So so. So it's we have our basic literacy of the muscle, and our instincts are in place that we can get in motion.
And we can live now
I'm talking about, we don't have to have the master plan blank.
The blank, the grand plan comes in motion.
But we've got to have that instinct. And we've got to have the literacy. Alright, one of the things that we can do to start this emotion right now.
I saw another commercial
Why do you sit in office?
The Spanish dude in front of them.
And he's given an expanded dude.
interview for a job. Right? So after the interview is over, you might have seen this, this fan dude gets up and goes out of the office. Right? So now right? You'll come to the opposite side. So how did you even if you got and he says it went okay, but it was fine. So the second one guy, he grabbed that and started doing CP, his resume
and balls and throws it in the trash and says, I think we have enough color around.
The first white guy who is behind the desk, gets up, goes into the trash basket, takes the resume out, slams it back on the desk and straightens it out and says to him, I think you lost
your job I'm talking about
individual acts like that can be the beginning of our communities before. And each and every one of us can do that individual act. Yesterday when I'm talking about, we see brothers and sisters attacking each other on these farms basis all the time.
individual acts of checking can spread, again a multiplier effect.
And that's one of the ways we get to being able to accommodate each other in our midst. The last thing I want to say about this is the following is that we cannot allow our situation as particularly black American Muslims in America, to blind us to the fact that we are the errors of omission.
I our mission is not simply to heal our own community. But it is to go beyond the Muslim community. There's healing that needs to be brought to the broader black American community. There's healing that needs to be brought to the broader American society at large. We have a responsibility in that regard. And here, we just need to remember two things. One, that persuasion alone is not always going to bring about the change that we want.
Man, men and women who have vested interest will not simply give up those interests because you point out to them how wrong they are.
When people who have power
do what they do to pursue their interests. They will only be dissuaded if you raise power against them.
And by the way,
power and I'm just I'm just not acaba This is reality.
tell you what
is not synonymous with violence.
You don't believe me,
is not synonymous with violence.
Not long ago, two years ago, you had a sitting United States senator
who took some stupid pictures.
I was in
as a result of which what happened?
He was booted out of office,
women's movements had gained enough power
to unseat the United States Senate.
we have to acquire power as well. But we will never have any power until we have some unity.
We will never have any power do we have some unity. And part of what I've been trying to establish here is that unity is not the same as uniformity.
That's what so many of us keep trying to do.
Unity is not the same as uniformity. So in closing, I ask Allah
to guide us
and to strengthen us to be able to carry the mantle of our beloved prophets of Allah when he was
and to remember, all that those people who came before us sacrificed so that this religion could live, to think about what they gave up, to think about how hard they worked. And to think of ourselves, as the heirs to that legacy. May Allah bless us to be able to carry
to carry this legacy in such a way that we have on to posterity something was which they will be able to build, that they will be able to then pass on to posterity so that when we meet Allah, on the Day of Judgment, we can stand tall and at least at least,
Allah Allah did my best.
And please think that because at the end of the day, we're not responsible for the success.
We're responsible for the effort.
So I asked him to either to bless us to be able to make that effort to heal our hearts to remove the rancor from
to remove the misunderstanding that we may have of each other, to strengthen us to be able to listen to each other and actually hear one another.
Understand, to understand that businessman has been a force does that