SBIA 35th Anniversary Banquet

Sherman Jackson

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Channel: Sherman Jackson

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The speakers discuss the upcoming American celebration of the 50th anniversary of the American Mahindra Service, which is a celebration of the 50th anniversary of the American Mahindra Service. They emphasize the importance of belief in service to earn pleasure and achieve goals, and the potential for conflict between Muslims and non-crualist groups. They also discuss the "we" movement and its potential harm, including violence and paralysis. The speakers stress the importance of serving the community and not denying one's own values and experiences, and stress the need for individuals to make their own decisions and not try to make things up their own way. They also emphasize the importance of acknowledging and embracing unity as a way to empower Muslims and their community.

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Larimer Rahim.

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Al hamdu we learn a stain on witness the federal witness the de when the earth of the layman should be and fusina women say Dr. Delina man you had the left for la medalla I mean you live Allah, Allah Masha Allah ilaha illallah wa de la sharika wa shadow ana Muhammadan abdomen or Sulu sallallahu alayhi wa ala alihi wa sahbihi wa sallam rubbish Sherif Ali suddenly misery Emery was Dr. Tam lasagna calling

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me Sharon FC with philatelists ending when other Odle

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Rabbil Alameen wa salam aleikum wa rahmatullah

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and welcome. I want to start off by saying that I can't see a thing up here. But

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I wanted to start off by saying that I'm not sure of what to make of all of those hair jokes. Just just before I come to the come to the stage to speak,

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I'll just, I'll count it a coincidence.

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A couple of things. Before I get into my remarks proper. First of all, I really want to congratulate SBA, for this monumental achievement, of not only being able to establish a community, and not only being able to lend it longevity and a semblance of permanence, but also in the process of doing so to be able to enlist the clearly sincere appreciation of the community around SBA, in terms of what it represents, in the overall context of the community. I think that's a wonderful achievement, and a testament to the leadership within this community, I want to congratulate you in that regard. The second thing is that

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while the occasion on which we come together tonight is a celebration of the past 35 years, I want to speak a little bit to

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what the next 35 years may look like, and how we as a Muslim community, in the context of the broader American community, might begin to think about that reality in ways that enhance our ability to be mutually beneficial one to the other. Now, I've been asked

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to speak on the topic of serving the Creator, and our community.

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And I have to say that in all honesty, especially in this post 911 moment in which we live, and in the context of the national discourse about Islam and Muslims in America, I always get a little bit nervous when I hear the whole theme about Muslims being of service to American society. And let me explain why that is. Obviously,

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I have no objections, it would be silly, as a Muslim, for those of us who don't know, in the Quran, and perhaps the most oft repeated statement is those who believe and do righteous deeds. So belief alone as an interior reality is not enough to earn God's pleasure. God's pleasure, also requires service. And God does not need our service for him. And therefore, that service always devolves upon the society in which we live. And so the idea of Muslims being of service, that is a very, very slamming idea.

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But what

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makes me a little bit nervous about this is is the following

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America.

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And I've always believed myself that America was meant, virtually from its inception to be a different iteration of the West,

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that it was to be a different version of the West, as some scholars have said, you know, the Europeans came to America, and they dumped 1500 years of a 2000 year history in the Atlantic on the way over. And in that context, this was to be a new kind of Western experiment. Well, like I say, a Western project. And part of what makes America unique is

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is that we are not necessarily bound together by common blood, or even a common history. But we are bound together by our mutual recognition that we will negotiate what our society becomes. We are a society of a negotiated reality.

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And

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the national discourse on Islam and Muslims today in many ways, and 1000 Unspoken ways, and in some spoken ways,

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sends a signal to Muslims, that you are only Welcome to negotiate what America is or what America becomes, when you agree to a blueprint that has already been established for you. In other words, we are called upon to reinforce or to confirm someone else's vision of America, as opposed to being recognized as having the right to contribute to the vision of America. Muslims are made very,

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very, up sort of, sort of afraid and, and for Muslims to come forth. And to say that, you know, we want to be a part of the negotiation as well. There's a lot of fear generated about that. And I want to say that this is not only detrimental to Muslims.

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But it's also detrimental to America.

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And I want to call your attention to

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one of my, I want to say my childhood favorite movies, but I was also always so scared watching it, that wouldn't be completely accurate. But I want us to go back to

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Frankenstein,

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and Dracula.

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And for those of you who might be a little bit

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how shall we say, challenged in their cultural literacy in America?

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Frankenstein was, of course, this thing that was sort of made into a quasi human. And Dracula was this vampire, who sort of brought him back to life. And I heard Dick Gregory, the American comedian and thinker. Tell the story once about his experience with Frankenstein, and Dracula. I don't mean direct experience. He went to the movies with a group of children to see Frankenstein. And he said he learned something about himself and these children at this movie, he said,

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I went to the movie with these kids.

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And every time Frankenstein appeared on the screen,

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I would shrink into my chair and sign it bit of embarrassing horror. I was scared of the monster.

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The children on the other hand, they burst into a popcorn spilling giggle. They thought Frankenstein was so funny.

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When Dracula came on the screen, however, the kids shrink in fear.

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And he, on the other hand, breathed a sigh of relief.

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And he said that this occurred a number of times too, it finally dawned on him, that those children were more perspicacious viewers of that film than he was.

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Because while he was afraid of the monster,

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they were afraid of the one whom the monster was afraid of.

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And I say that to say that law in America today, and I'm not necessarily talking about San Jose, I'm talking about a national discourse in America today. While it is very easy to generate fear about Islam and Muslims,

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not many people are paying attention to the fact that Muslims themselves are fearful of those who generate that fear.

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And I think that it's important for us to start understand what this means not only for Muslims, but for America.

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As a society, because the reality is, is that

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even if we assume that all of the stereotypes about Muslims are true, which they are not. But even if we were to assume that, for the sake of argument, I think we have to recognize that even sporadic violence

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is not as detrimental to a society like America, as is normalized, domination.

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Normalized domination, violence can hurt America,

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normalized domination can destroy her.

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And by normalized domination, I mean this

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when you take my story away from me,

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and assign me a supporting role in your story,

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to the point that everything that I contribute

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in here enhances you,

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and reinforces your vision, your value, your dreams and aspirations to the exclusion of mine.

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That's a modern form of slavery.

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I am working for you.

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And

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I think it's important for us to understand how dangerous it is when governments are powerful people who have lots of influence over governments and society at large,

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when they engage in this business of promoting normalized domination, because what happens here

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is that

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you see, anybody who acts to unleash violence on our society, will be recognized as doing something that is bad.

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And as a result of that, we as a society, we will take steps against them, we will condemn their acts, we will punish their acts, we will take every measure we can to stop that violence.

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But when normalized domination sets in,

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the people who are dominated,

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they are given the sense that they are some kind of virus, that they are abnormal. And as a result of that, what they will do is tend to fight against themselves.

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They will try to seek refuge in invisibility,

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they will try not to, quote unquote, rock the boat, they will accept what is defined for them as the way to be American, as opposed to understanding that they have agency and defining that for themselves. And when this happens,

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when this happens,

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we end up losing their voice, they are reduced to silence. They are placed in a position when they can never challenge the policies of their government or the dominant culture.

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But they can only apply these and go along with them, even when the policies of the government are wrong, even when the dominant culture is wrong. And what we have to understand is that this is the first step toward a totalitarian society.

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And we imagine that it cannot happen here.

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But I don't think that any society that has ever been visited by that I woke up one morning and said, You know what, I think we can become a totalitarian society. I don't think any society ever predicts that. And the reality is, is that power.

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It is in the nature of power,

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always to seek to expand itself. That's in the very nature of power.

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And if Muslims can be reduced to these levels of fear, and paralysis, the powers that bring that about are not likely to stop with Muslims.

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And then not only denying Muslims, this place at the table and the negotiation over what America is, this will spread to other aspects of society. And it's in that context, that normalized domination is not only a threat to Muslims, it is a threat to America. And I think this is the context in which we must begin to understand and address this issue.

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Now, one of the problems with this business of normalized domination and I,

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I seek your permission to speak frankly, here,

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I'm getting a little older.

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And I just don't feel that I have forever

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to fool around.

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And some things

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need to be said, even if they're not necessarily what we want to hear.

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I think that

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one of the effects of the dominant discourse about Islam and Muslims today

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is that the call to service

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and the answer to service

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to society

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is often experienced by Muslims as not necessarily coming from a place of inner strength,

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of strong belief in the value of what Muslims have to offer to society, in order to enrich society. But rather, this call to service

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comes from a place where Muslims feel that, well, this is the criterion on the basis of which I am likely to gain acceptance. And so I don't want to be rejected. And so I'm going to try to offer this service, not necessarily out of conviction, but out of fear,

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out of fear, that if I don't offer this kind of service, what society at large recognizes as service and going back again, to the very possibility, we have lived through errors in this country, when the dominant culture has been wrong.

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Wrong, and of Muslims are called upon to blindly lend service to a society, aspects of which it sees as being wrong or inconsistent with its vision of America. How can it be a community that demonstrates and maintains its own integrity?

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This is one of the fears I have about these calls to service. And I think it's very dangerous for Muslims. Because, and I've said this on other occasions, Americans are very adept at reading insincerity.

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And they are especially adept at reading insincerity in those who claim to be acting in the name of religion.

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If we, as a Muslim community,

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do not render service

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from a place of integrity and conviction, and genuine caring for our society, in the light of our own values as Muslims,

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then our efforts

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will come to not because we will not be able to enlist the confidence of society at large to the fact that this is a valuable segment of our community.

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And we have to be careful about faking service,

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giving service just to be seen, to gain good press or to silence potential criticism.

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We have to be a community that serves just as the Quran

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says,

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We feed you, not because we want any thanks or praise from you, but we feed you for the sake of God.

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We do what we do of service to society, because we believe it is the right thing to do. Not because we want recognition from society, and I think that I should remind us of something in this context.

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You know, many of the, the issues that grab the news these days,

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sort of give a skewed picture of Islam and America.

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And that skewed picture is that the slam in America is just another chapter in the story of American immigration.

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But the reality is, is that one four to 1/3 of all Muslims in America, were actually born in this country.

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In fact, they are native born African Americans.

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This is this is the reality. Not Now I said that because I'm African American.

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Wow, that was a joke, guys. Wow. No, I say that, to underscore the fact that

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Americans are our people, they are our mothers, our fathers, our uncle's, our cousins, our sisters, our brothers, we are not some separate entity in America.

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We are not some separate entity in America. And so the idea of serving America is not serving some foreign who are those people, there are uncles, there are childhood friends. There are our teachers, I don't know a Muslim in America, who is successful, who doesn't on some aspect of his or her success, some non Muslim in America,

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we are joined by our interest by the fact that we mutually occupy this society. And so we should not understand that Muslims really have to bend over backwards to come to terms with the whole idea of serving society. But when that service is held out, as something that we must do on someone else's terms, to the to perpetuate the kind of society that someone else wants to see, not the kind of society, we think it should be done. That is normalized domination. And let me be very clear about something here. We're not talking about imposing anything on anybody. I know, that's the stereotype. We're not talking about imposing anything on anybody. But this is what we're talking about. I wish I

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could say your name, and I'm sure I would just mangle it. So I will say our friend

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just talked about trying to raise

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God fearing children in America.

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We have an interest in doing that too.

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And while we have no interest in imposing anything on America, we want to contribute to the dominant culture, to the extent that there is a place a welcome place for God fearing practicing Muslims in society, that Muslims in society who want to practice their religion are not viewed as alien threats as somehow abnormal, as somehow a contradiction to what it means to be America, we want to enter into the negotiation with the dominant culture, to become a part of what that dominant culture consists of. And in that context, we make our contribution. Everybody else makes that contribution. We negotiate what our society is supposed to be. And hopefully that will come out with Muslims

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having their place in society, welcome, recognized, honored and respected, and others have their place. I think one of the points that we need to really stress to America and maybe even to some Muslims, quite frankly,

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Islam does not and never has had a problem with pluralism. That is a myth.

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And I don't want to be too controversial.

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It's too late.

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But But let me just give you

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a glimpse into what I'm talking about.

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Because Islam has always been

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confident enough to say,

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we believe you are wrong.

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But that does not translate into a policy to deny you the way

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that you choose to live.

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And let me give you a concrete example.

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You see, I'm hesitating, right.

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But it's too late, right?

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That was a classical Muslim jurist.

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I won't say his name. But he was not known.

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Maybe I shouldn't say his name because people think I'm making this up.

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In fact, you can find it in this book. It's called capitalism, the ordinances of non Muslim communities and ordinances governing non Muslim communities in a Muslim society. So they come to this guy, and they say, we have these Zoroastrians

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who are practicing

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this institution of what they call soft marriage,

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where

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a man can marry his mother,

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or his daughter, or his sister.

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So they come to

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the jurist and they say,

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What should we do about this? This isn't a majoritarian Muslim society.

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The jurists gives this two part answer.

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One, and by the way, this isn't a classical period, where Muslims are the power not only in their society, but in the world.

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All right, they are the ascending civilization,

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he gives us answer.

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If they don't seek our adjudication,

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we don't do anything.

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If they do seek our adjudication,

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we judge them, according to their religious law, not ours.

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And he himself went on to talk about what anathema

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how morally wrong he felt this was,

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but that people will have different moral visions from our own. And we don't have a problem living in a world that's like that. Now, mind you, not all of the jurist would agree with him. I'm not making that claim. But even in their disagreement, we see, again, a replication of the value of pluralism.

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Muslims don't have a problem with this,

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of living in a society where people are not Muslims.

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That has never been the case, from day one in Islam. We have never lived in a society that didn't have non muscles,

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ever.

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And so the idea that what Muslims just want to impose their way, this is a false notion. Muslims want to be able to live in a society where they can have a dignified existence as Muslims.

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That's what we want. And that does not preclude others ability to carve out their own dignified existence

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at all, and this is especially pertinent, because, as I said, America is supposed to be the place where we negotiate what we're supposed to be as a society.

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We're not France, or Germany. We are America.

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And we have to understand that we have to be very careful about losing this, about losing this. Now I want to say two more points, and then I'll stop.

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A mentor asked me to limit myself to 25 minutes. He knew that was a mission impossible, but I'll come as close to that as I can.

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I think that

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one of the things that we as Muslims

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We

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have to recognize

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is that

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we have to

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place ourselves in a position. And this is, especially if we're serious about serving American society, honestly.

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And with integrity,

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we have to understand that we have to make an impact on the dominant culture in America. And let me give you a sense of what I mean by that. I'm not talking about what people eat, or what they wear, I'm not talking about the sort of plastic features of culture, I'm talking about how people arrive at what, what calibrates people's moral sensibilities,

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how people

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view reality and process it. And let me give you an example of what I'm talking about. In case, this is a bit too esoteric. There was a time in this country

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where it would have been not only legally acceptable,

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but we live in a culture that

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authorized

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the legal interpretation that would have said, it's acceptable to ban Dr. Jackson from this building, because he's black.

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We lived in a society, same constitution.

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Our Constitution hasn't changed since that time, same constitution, it was read through a different set of cultural sensibilities. No one saw anything wrong with that, I shouldn't say no one. But the dominant culture didn't see anything wrong with that we have evolved out of that American culture has evolved out of that. And while racism may still exist, it's the tiny majority that will accept this as acceptable. That says, It's okay.

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This is what I'm talking about in terms of culture.

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Because our laws, our Constitution, no matter what the words are, they will always be read through the prism of the dominant culture.

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And if the dominant culture is one that is antithetical to Muslims, our laws will be read in a way that's antithetical to Muslims.

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And so we must understand that we must become active to the point that we can make our contribution to shaping American culture, in the broad sense.

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And this.

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And this, to me,

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means a couple of things.

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First of all, I think that, and we have to be honest here.

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When we talk about making our contributions to shaping the substance, the tenor, the texture of American culture, and the broad sense that I mentioned,

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we have to make it very clear. And as the Muslims in this room won't make it very clear, let me make it very clear. We are not talking about producing a replica of any country in the Muslim world. That's not what we're talking about.

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And again, this is not even to say this is not to say that the cultures of the Muslim world are wrong. I'll say something about that in a minute. Again, we believe in pluralism,

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but we have to make it clear to America that we are not trying to make this country, some other country.

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This is America.

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And it is capacious enough for Muslims to have a dignified existence. And I think that many Americans, non Muslim Americans, they think that what Muslims want is for San Jose to be Karachi

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or Los Angeles to be Cairo

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I'm not joking about this, this is this is very serious. And I'm not denigrating Karachi or Cairo

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at all. I lived in Cabo for many years. Dunya I love it. That's not the point.

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But what I am saying is that Islam is not a black box.

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Those of you who know anything about technology, I'm the last one to talk about technology. But let me fake it for a minute.

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You know, black box technology is, you know, you go to the console, you got a problem with the console, you pull that black box out, you just stick another black box in very portable, right. And that black box can be fitted into any model of that same console, by understand what I mean by that, you just take one black box here, you go to the other side of the world, plug it in, and it works. Islam is not that people think that's what Islam is. Islam is not a black box. Islam always goes in negotiates with a culture that it's in. And that's why you can see a difference between Karachi, and Cairo, and Lagos, and Kuala Lumpur, all of these places have their own character.

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And Muslims have no problem with America having its character. So when we start talking about making our impact on American culture, we are not talking about some replica of some Muslim country.

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Second,

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we have to figure out, we have to identify, and then we have to extend the hands of cooperation to our cultural allies in this country. There are many Americans who feel that something has gone

00:36:59--> 00:37:05

awry with our dominant culture. And they love their country, that's not

00:37:07--> 00:37:08

up for question.

00:37:09--> 00:37:28

But trying to raise children trying to sustain families, when we look at out of wedlock birth rates, and the kinds of things that this contributes to, there are many Muslims, and many non Muslims who are saying that we can do better than this.

00:37:29--> 00:38:01

And what I'm saying here is that we Muslims, we need to, to identify those cultural allies, and extend a handle cooperation to them. And to try to work together to restore the kind of culture in the broad sense that makes for a Healthy America. That's what we need to get serious about trying to do. Because Muslims need to understand we will not be able to do this by ourselves.

00:38:02--> 00:38:07

Nor will we be able to escape the influence of the dominant culture,

00:38:09--> 00:38:21

we won't be able to do that. And we need allies in order to try to field the kind of culture that is healthy for us, as a society.

00:38:22--> 00:38:24

And the last thing I want to say,

00:38:25--> 00:38:27

and this is maybe even more controversial.

00:38:29--> 00:38:36

I've let you down with all these warnings about controversy, right? So far, nothing's been controversial. That good.

00:38:39--> 00:38:47

Whenever you start talking about culture, and shaping and informing culture,

00:38:48--> 00:38:51

we have to acknowledge

00:38:52--> 00:39:05

that this is a corporate enterprise. I don't mean corporate in the business sense. I mean that individuals can't do this. individuals don't make cultures

00:39:06--> 00:39:09

collectivities make cultures.

00:39:10--> 00:39:40

And this brings us in the context of the Muslim community, to the issue of unity. And let me just say as a little footnote, footnote here as well, not only do we need to get serious about addressing some of what is amiss in the dominant culture in America, we need to get serious about examining our own Muslim culture and addressing whatever it is we find within our own Muslim culture here.

00:39:42--> 00:39:43

And that,

00:39:44--> 00:39:58

that, again, will require that we recognize the value of unity. But here's the problem with Unity

00:40:03--> 00:40:06

The problem with Unity

00:40:07--> 00:40:09

is unity itself.

00:40:11--> 00:40:15

Because too many people think of unity

00:40:16--> 00:40:17

as uniformity.

00:40:19--> 00:40:23

And so the moment we start talking about coming together

00:40:24--> 00:40:25

and being unified,

00:40:26--> 00:40:28

many people interpret that

00:40:29--> 00:40:30

as

00:40:32--> 00:40:38

a call a mandate for me to dominate you.

00:40:39--> 00:40:44

And when you come over to saying things my way, then we have what

00:40:45--> 00:40:46

we have unity.

00:40:48--> 00:40:56

And this undermines the very ability to unify and I want to

00:40:57--> 00:40:58

very gingerly

00:41:01--> 00:41:01

put forth

00:41:03--> 00:41:05

an idea that I think

00:41:07--> 00:41:09

we would do well to consider.

00:41:22--> 00:41:23

Our

00:41:24--> 00:41:25

tendency

00:41:26--> 00:41:29

to interpret unity,

00:41:30--> 00:41:31

as uniformity

00:41:32--> 00:41:36

is detrimental to our collective existence.

00:41:37--> 00:41:42

And many of us don't recognize that we are that way.

00:41:45--> 00:41:46

And I want to

00:41:47--> 00:41:55

suggest that we need to start thinking about where are these impulses

00:41:56--> 00:42:01

to try to dominate, in the name of unity, where they come from?

00:42:03--> 00:42:06

And I would suggest that we consider the following.

00:42:08--> 00:42:10

It is an unfortunate reality.

00:42:12--> 00:42:16

And let me just preface this by saying the following, and then I stop, I promise.

00:42:18--> 00:42:25

Many Muslims, when they hear me say what I'm about to say, they're gonna say, Why is he airing, dirty laundry like that.

00:42:28--> 00:42:41

And this is a natural impulse, whenever you are an embattled community, you know that the dominant culture will take advantage of any flaw that it finds in you, it will try to, to

00:42:43--> 00:42:45

universalize universalized, to generalize that

00:42:46--> 00:42:57

has been characteristic of you as a whole. So minorities always want to hide their little flaws. But let me suggest this to you.

00:42:59--> 00:43:01

If I don't cut my lawn

00:43:03--> 00:43:04

for four months,

00:43:06--> 00:43:10

you don't have to know what my underwear looks like to know what kind of person I am.

00:43:13--> 00:43:19

I don't have to add dirty laundry, for you to know what kind of person I am.

00:43:20--> 00:43:29

And we have some realities in the Muslim world, that form the prism through which the world looks at Islam.

00:43:30--> 00:43:32

And one of the things that we have to be

00:43:36--> 00:43:37

cognizant of

00:43:38--> 00:43:50

is that some of those realities have gone on so long, that they may have bred a culture of tyranny and domination.

00:43:51--> 00:44:03

And we ourselves have to be very careful that we do not become carriers of that culture. Because when tyranny and domination becomes the culture,

00:44:04--> 00:44:09

then we read Islam through the prism of tyranny and domination.

00:44:11--> 00:44:19

If we want unity, we as a Muslim community, must start with ourselves

00:44:20--> 00:44:41

and make sure that we are not carriers of a culture of tyranny and domination, that we can come together with other Muslims who disagree with us, who do not see things exactly as we see it. And we do not see it as necessary

00:44:42--> 00:44:43

to try to

00:44:45--> 00:44:57

conquer them, to convert them to our particular vision. And if we don't do this opening, we have to understand something. Human beings

00:44:58--> 00:44:59

you know,

00:45:00--> 00:45:08

Like Allah says, Allah, Allah, I name and I'm not sure who I named, did we not give him two eyes? A shirt

00:45:09--> 00:45:18

from Egypt had interpretation, application of this once. He said, it's not just your physical eye, you have an inner eye as well.

00:45:20--> 00:45:24

And human beings, all human beings have an inner eye.

00:45:25--> 00:45:29

And no human being wants to be dominated.

00:45:30--> 00:45:31

And when domination

00:45:33--> 00:45:44

pervades the atmosphere, in which we in which we exist, human beings will detect that, and they will have a natural an aversion to that.

00:45:45--> 00:45:52

And that will preclude the possibility of coming together. And being a unified community.

00:45:53--> 00:45:56

I know this is different, and difficult to hear.

00:45:58--> 00:46:15

But we've got to get serious about understanding that we, we are the ones who make the reality of Islam in the world. Islam is an ideal is one thing, Islam in the world, it is us.

00:46:16--> 00:46:17

It is us.

00:46:18--> 00:46:32

And that means that we must have the kind of sensibilities, the kinds of virtues, that kinds of bigness of self, so that our religion is read

00:46:33--> 00:46:44

through magnanimity, through generosity, through empathy, through the unconsciousness, not to domination, not to tune.

00:46:47--> 00:47:04

And none of us, none of us should ever think that we are beyond this. None of us, including our non Muslim friends, all of us, all of us have this little quiet addiction to domination,

00:47:05--> 00:47:41

all of us. And we have to be very careful about this. And this is acutely important for Muslims now, because we need brothers and sisters, we need to come together. And we need it, perhaps more than any other Muslim community in the world. Look at us. Look at our colors, look at our ethnicities, look at how many countries we come from, look at how many class differences we have, we have a lot to reconcile, as a Muslim community, and look at how many different histories we have

00:47:43--> 00:47:47

just a black American history and Pakistani history

00:47:52--> 00:48:09

in the same room now, in the same message it now in the same country now we have to have a bigness of heart that will enable us to negotiate this, to reconcile this to be a community of empowerment, not a community of control.

00:48:11--> 00:48:32

Because we have to understand, and by the way, and I will end on as I want out my welcome. I'm not saying this because it's so hard to talk in American society as a Muslim today. You want to put 1000 writers on everything that you say, because the understanding of Islam and Muslims that is out there is so

00:48:33--> 00:48:34

fantastical.

00:48:35--> 00:48:41

And it's become so pervasive, that when you come and speak the truth about Islam, people don't believe you.

00:48:42--> 00:49:11

And you have to say it over and over and over again. 1000 different ways. And people think that oh, this is a something for for modern American consumption. Now this is not this goes back to the Prophet Muhammad himself. alayhi salam, this was a man whom his people believe to be in direct contact with God Almighty himself. They believe that about him.

00:49:12--> 00:49:14

And yet, they will not afraid of him.

00:49:16--> 00:49:40

Look at some of the questions people came in asked the Prophet Mohammed, stuff we were blush about today. They had no hesitation in going and asking their prophet, this question, no matter how embarrassing it was, and the Prophet always answered them in such a way that would empower them, because he knows that empowered Muslims are good Muslims.

00:49:42--> 00:49:59

I have to be empowered in order to face the kinds of challenges any human existence is going to present. And that's what we want for Muslims in this country. And empowered Muslims who are not insecure.

00:50:01--> 00:50:25

Who are not threatened? They are the kinds of Muslims who will be able to reach out, join hands with others and contribute to the remaking of an American culture that makes for a much healthier America. For Muslims and non Muslims Allah. I will stop there. I apologize for hold you so late. Salam aleikum wa rahmatullah wa barakato.