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Remembers Deedat-Swaggart Debate

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Siraj Wahhaj

Channel: Siraj Wahhaj

Episode Notes

Episode Transcript

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I

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only speak publicly because people make me a little guy, man, you know, saying so don't try to get a final when I'm trying to make people. You know, watch me. Look at me. You know, I used to play basketball. I'm feeling bad now.

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Salam Alaikum. Everyone. Welcome back to that Canadian brother. I'm Siddharth and I'm here with a very special guest, which is imaams Raja Hodge from Brooklyn, New York, I would say at least all the Muslims above the age of 20 are above the age of 25. With all due respect, everyone knows who Rajmohan is. See, the article was mentioning, there was a time in the 90s when we didn't have big conferences here. And we take a caravan of cars, you know, university, Muslim students, we'd go to Kansas City, Chicago, wherever it is remembering I remember that. Yes. And always you were the the featured speaker that we forward to one of the guys just one of the guys.

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So Imam, I've been watching your videos on YouTube. There's so many different issues and topics that you've covered. And I thought if I catch him, I'm Suraj. How can I do something a little bit different? A little bit off beat that hasn't been done already. So I did tell you about the word association game. Yes. And the rules are you know, you can pass if you really need to, but a one to two word answer would be would be a pocketed perhaps. Coffee. Airplanes. No, C sharp. You have no idea the association. So NASA airplane you like

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talking about coffee and play? What? There's a logic behind it? Yes.

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Here Yes, please. Yeah. Is that the only time that you drink coffee? Perhaps? There was a time that's the only time I drank coffee. I never drink coffee in my house. And but I went on a plane. And I think one of the first times outside of my house I drink coffee on the plane.

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For me would be airplanes and V eight. You know the vegetable? Yeah. Drink that. Yeah.

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White, Black. Okay, that was an easy easy one. Yeah. America. Home. Canada. Second home.

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Very nice. Brooklyn. Home. Sorry, Toronto.

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Very beautiful place. YouTube a

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lot of information.

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Farrakhan

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complex?

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alcohol, alcohol. Tremendous problem. Islamic conventions? Wonderful. Shake em deedat. My man, my buddy, my mentor. Great, wonderful. You shouldn't have used all those words up because the next one you might want to recycle Imam WD Muhammad. great and wonderful.

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Books. Love them. Movies.

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Interesting. Computers. Useful.

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Imam Suraj watch.

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Regular guy.

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Okay, so Imam Suraj I've always had a bit of an interest in the history of Nation of Islam and in the story of American Muslims. And there's already lectures of yours already that have been uploaded to YouTube previous lectures in which you've talked about the transition from Nation of Islam for yourself to the more mainstream Sunni Islam. But in all the books that I've read and online internet searching and stuff, I've never been able to find a photograph of this mystery man named Jeffrey 12. Right, just to fill the viewers in Jeffy 12x was the name that Imam Suraj Sahaja used in his years during the Nation of Islam, right? So we have pictures of Louis Walcott is Walcott, that's Louis

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Farrakhan. We have pictures of Malcolm Liddell, right. We even have photos of MasterCard, Muhammad, right. And not to compare, but we have we have photos of Houdini, we have heard of Rasputin. Right. But this Jeffie 12x. We don't have any photographs of really. So there are many of them. This course, are given to you. Do you know what Jeffrey 12x meant?

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I understand the X representing the unknown. And I think 12 X's because apparently they would have been 11 previous Jeffries, who already used the name Jeffrey only in New York. That's how it happened. So So I was Jeffrey 12x was made which Jeffrey 12x cures was my work because slave name. Okay, that means that was a 12. Jeffrey, in New York City to join the Nation of Islam. There may be another Jeffrey 12x In Chicago, Jeffrey 12x, or whatever the last name. So Malcolm X was the first Malcolm in Detroit to join the nation. And then as

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to him was Malcolm 2x and three Oh, I didn't know that I didn't. So how would they make a distinction between Malcolm 2x and Detroit and the last 2x? The last name? Okay. They will say Jeffrey 12x cares. I see. Okay. Excellent. Excellent. Another question. I don't think anyone's dug into it. At least I haven't seen you disgusting in the interviews is this legendary epic debate that everyone knows about, especially from my generation. Shake Md dot Rahim Allah and Jimmy Swaggart that was the debate of the century. Absolutely. And you wouldn't I'm sure, you can imagine how many dies and Muslim debaters and Muslim apologists even who are active on the internet that I've spoken

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to, when you ask them what got you interested into debating or inter Muslim Christian dialogue or debate. So many of them will reference that debate. Ama DDOT and Jimmy Swaggart, and again, for the younger viewers, I think they don't understand how big Jimmy Swaggart was, because now he's just some guy that comes on TV at 3am. My time, but in the 80s, I'm the man like the man, Joel Olsteen, maybe or big hand or something like this. So this was like a big, big catch. And unfortunately, we'll never be able to ask in this life, we'll never be able to ask shake DDOT about, you know, the behind the scenes information, like I mean, how did that debate come about? How was it arranged?

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What was the mood like, What was the atmosphere like? I don't think I'll ever have the chance to ask Jimmy Swaggart, he might not want to remember the debate, I don't know does not want to write. Just want to record a question. Yes, let you know that beforehand. Both me and Jimmy Swaggart agreed that they each could publicize the event. When was over?

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Jimmy Swaggart didn't want it to go out. Is that right? Yeah, it's not surprising. So you can imagine why it would be great if you just shared with the audience. Because the funny thing is, you know, at the time, I didn't know who you were in 1986 1987 When I saw the video debate, and then years later, when I watched re watched it on YouTube, even then I look at you twice and I thought that's imaams Raja Hodge. You know how many people don't know that's me. I asked them. Have You Ever Have you ever seen the debate in Medina and Jimmy Swaggart say, Yeah, of course. Yeah. I said, though, who was the moderator?

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You know, I don't know. I said, Yes. You know, there's no, I don't know, I said, Yes. You know, they said, You see, yes, in a moment, because it was the first and last time that we saw you in the tie in the suit. So it had the Clark Kent Superman effect. Like, you should be able to recognize the man why shouldn't you logically but the tie in suit, it's like the Clark Kent glasses and Superman. Where did that suit come from? I you know, actually did that Rahim Allah thought that would be better to to have rather than having a traditional Islamic dress to have more neutral, neutral look. So we bought that suit I wore just for him. I hadn't worn a suit in years. Was that suit now? In the

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closet? Okay, what we know, eBay? I'm telling you, someone will buy that. Yeah, that's another fundraising idea. Right.

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So check. I mean, what led to your involvement in that debate? How did it come about? Bizu I got a visit in my house in Brooklyn. Can you imagine who knocked at my door

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to guess the comedy that made that wow, he came to my house for dinner. And he was actually going to stay with a seminar son Yusuf. And he told me about what he wanted to do. And he wanted me to do it. He wanted me to to moderate it, he thought I would be the best person to do. And of course I did.

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I did. That was a great inspiration for me. When I first heard him, I was amazed. A powerful speaker, a powerful man.

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A man full of confidence. You know, your first the first time we did that would debate the Christians. We didn't have the right idea. Or like most Muslims, like we went to go see Army Depot, did that beat up the Christians? And that's not that's not the right spirit. But that's the that's the way it was. We respected him. And at that time, you know, people, evangelists would criticize the Muslims. And so I did that would be the one to defend the Muslims and, and that's, that's where it began. So he asked me to come Louisiana. And I did and that wasn't the only model debate that Mr. Reid before Chicama Devo Chefman did Yeah, but with the others. videotape. televised. It was, it was

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videotaped. I'm sorry. I'll try to get it for you. But it's somewhere in California. We had had a debate with a a well known evangelist, I can't remember his name.

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Excellent. And what was the mood and atmosphere like because I imagine being a Muslim at the time thinking No way. Our chick is going to

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to debate Jimmy Swaggart, I mean, it's just such a it's such a high profile thing. What's the mood like, during, after? Was it kind of a celebratory mood perhaps afterwards? It was, you know, my dad had gotten a reputation as a man of great confidence, see what he did is instilled into the Muslims confidence. Here's a man who knew the Bible, yes. And can feel the objections from their own book. So when did that came, it was like anticipation, hey, you know, is going to be this great debate. And it was afterwards, he told my celebration, there was celebration throughout the country, because this man did that was our champ he was out Muhammad Ali, in the debate. Guest. Absolutely.

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Absolutely. And just a side question that triggered in my mind from there is, as you said, you know, there's a way of talking to people of other faiths and debates and so forth. But even today, in 2020, with all the Islamophobia that exists, and especially in the US, you know, is there still a role for, you know, bad cop, good cop, bad cop? Is that dynamic? Do you think, over the years, and I've had this discussion, but somebody that

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I think we would do differently now, is the No More bashing, but sharing more like Dr. Dre, by the way, he doesn't try to get your opponent down and beat on them. So it's different styles at different time. And during that time, there was really a lot of criticism against Islam, but in a very harsh way. So I think I did that net that. Right, but I think now we will, we will do it differently. Right. It's not trying to lock out your opponent. No. Maybe it was some of that. Yes, it did. It was a tough guy. Yes. He wasn't tough. He was a tough guy. Yeah. And I think that breeds a lot of confidence, though in, in youth as well, too. Yes. And final question on behalf of the the

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viewers would be, why don't you start your own blog, you know, which is, you know, making videos that get uploaded once a week or every couple of weeks to YouTube people know where you're at? You're right. But I'm a low key person, believe it or not. I only speak publicly because people make me a lot of grammar, man, you know, saying, I don't try to get a funnel when I'm trying to make people you know, watch me. Look at me. You know, I used to play basketball. I'm feeling bad now.

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Yes, yes. Yes. This is a difference, right? Yes. I played basketball for my college of New York University. That was pretty good. I was a great shooter outside shooter and a

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tremendous defender.

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With different from the folks now. Today, college and NBA, disco basket and this celebration, and they look at me stuff like that. I never did that. When I scored the basket. I'm supposed to score a basket. Yes. And that's called the basket. I ran and played defense. Yes, no celebrations. Yes. That's the way I'm like Loki. Yes, I really am. I'm Loki. If people asked me, ma'am, we want to do a video view. I do it. But I don't. My secretary is good. May Allah bless her. She makes me do this stuff. Now. Yes. She even records the code bars and stuff. And I have meetings with very important people in the city. She comes and she takes it. And she posts and stuff like that. Yes. I'm like,

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maybe still in the 20th century? No, I think that's, I think that's a very wise and mature advice that everyone including myself has to hear, but especially a lot of the youth on on social media. Look at me, this is what I eat for dessert.

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Well, I do think that that's too much, but I don't think this is this good in in sharing

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things of value. Yes. You know, and we pray a loss one word that would benefit the people. If we do something like that. May Allah benefit us. I mean, I'm not saying that I won't do it in the future. Allah knows best. Yes. But I'm not inclined to do it. I don't like you know, which is a good quote, because you asked me to do it. Yes. Right. Yes. I'm only here right now. Could you ask me that? Right? That's right. And on that note, does Akela care for your time you've been very generous and very gracious with your time. I appreciate very much. May Allah bless you and your family, always your progeny always until the day of judgment and kindly remember us in your doors as well too,

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because the prayer of the traveler is always accepted and my pleasure said that may Allah bless you and your family is all you do. Thank you so much. Thank you, mom. I really appreciate