American Muslim Priorities

Tahir Wyatt

Channel: Tahir Wyatt

Topics: Education

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Class Divides, Education, Infrastructure

Episode Transcript

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509 COVID-19 Salatu was Salam O Allah, Allah Sunni and continue on early, he will remain in my bed. When I think about the, let's just say some of the challenges that the Muslims face. In the United States of America, particularly, this may be a problem for the West as a whole. But I know for a fact that in the United States,

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we can look at

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divide between the Muslims on ethnic division, which which definitely exist, I mean, there's still methods, which you would say, are primarily dc masajid, or primarily error messages, so many messages or whatever. But I think that the bigger divide, that that has to be bridged for us moving forward as Muslims is, is a class divide. So you could almost say, suburban Islam versus urban Islam. And I think that there's a very different way that Islam is practiced in major metropolitan areas, as opposed to how it may be practiced, and even viewed in suburban America, for example. And there's a there's a huge challenge there. And it has to be overcome. And I would say that, to kind

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of digress a bit, if you look at any of the books, where the scholars deal with Muslim minorities, what they would call an Arabic Allah, palliat. And Muslim, they say that the primary job of a Muslim who is living as a minority are the Muslims of a generation, who live as a minority is that they pass this lamb on to the next generation, hopefully better than the way that they received it, whether that's better in terms of the authenticity of the knowledge that they're passing on, whether that's better in terms of the institutions that they have, and so on. I mean, obviously, you don't control what's happening in society as a whole. But you do have a degree of control over your own

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massage at your schools, your institutes, and so on. So that these should be in a better condition, hopefully, the way that you receive them. And I think that every generation of Muslims really has to look at that. If we look at let's say, 20 years ago, though, there were some diverse communities in the United States, in terms of ethnic, I'll say ethnically diverse communities, I would say that today in 2017, they're much more than they were in the 90s, you have massages where even the administration's Not to mention that the just the regular population of people that are praying in domestic but the administration themselves are made up of diverse ethnic backgrounds. So I think

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that the move towards that is, is something that has happened somewhat naturally, probably because America is a melting pot. And I think that as you go down generation by generation, you will find that the next generation identifies with being American, let's say more than their parents generation that may have, you know, viewed themselves as Pakistani, or viewed themselves as Indian or Palestinian or Egypt, or so on and so forth. So you get the next generation. And they view themselves as being American, you may even find them into marrying, which is something that their parents generation probably would not have done. So that by virtue of being in america that's

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happening, good or bad, or ugly, whatever, that's not the issue here. The issue is that is happening.

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However, what we still have in America as a whole is a major class divide. And if you look at the probably one of the biggest movements in America, prior to black lives matter that let's just say for 10 years, there wasn't probably any movements going on, except for some anti war things and so on. Was was Occupy Wall Street, which was based on what there's a 1%. And then there's the rest of the 99. So it is that that class divide. Now, the class divide in the Muslim community is probably not that Stark. I mean, you know, when you start talking about suburbs versus urban, well, you're not talking about a 1% versus the 99%, which you are talking about the affluent, the haves versus

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the have nots, a lot of times and, and then somebody needs to be able to come with it needs to be an effort, a real effort, amongst the amongst the administration's amongst the conscious, yeah, to help bridge that gap. Because it is very difficult for those who have and those who don't have to see eye to eye on a lot of different issues. And I think that this is a major issue that we face as Muslims living in the West. And I think that if we can bridge that gap, the ability, what we'll find and this is just in general, and I A lot of times when you when you overgeneralize or when you generalize

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You will there will be some inaccuracy. So I'm going to generalize here. And there's going to be a bit of inaccuracy. But you'll see what I'm talking about. Generally, with the fluent Muslim community

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comes apathy. So you find that there's a lack of real practice of this thing, you're not gonna find them forbid, you know, in zealous trying to pray five times in a day, you're not going to find those are not going to be the ones going to the prisons and giving down and, you know, so on and so forth. Now, there's not to say there's not exceptions to that rule. But in general, what you find is that, that they are very laid back. And that's because in general they have, they are comfortable as it relates to worldly matters, material matters, they they're very comfortable. So you, you don't find that comfort doesn't breed like people pushing themselves extra, especially when it comes to when it

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comes to religious pursuits. And that is why the Prophet it is Salatu was snam, you know, mentioned authentic hadith that he doesn't fear for this poverty, but he fears that the dunya troops of Elena Ghani that that the dunya would be made expansive for us, and that we would have a lot of material and worldly things. What happens when that's the case is that people tend to not work on their connection with the loss of Hannah who Tada. And so, you know, you have that classic debate amongst the scholars, what is better, to be without, and be patient or to have and be thankful? And he isn't better for someone to have, I need that Allah Subhana, Allah has blessed them with a lot, and that

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they are shakin that they show gratitude for that, or is it better for them to be without, and, and be patient with the fact that they are being tested that they are moved to China, right, they are tested. So as the classic debate amongst the scholars is not something that's gonna be solved in a, you know, two to five minute talk. But But the issue here is that in general, you have this Jamaat of Muslims who are fluent. And you have another group of Muslims, who tend to be in the inner cities who are not fluent. And they tend to be the ones that you see a lot more active in the masjid, you'll find some of them that try to pray five times a day in the masjid, you'll find them striving

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to learn more about Islam, you'll find them being the ones that in general are out there giving Dawa trying to call people to Islam. Their issue is they lack the resources, they don't have the financial means to grow their institutions.

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You have the floor, Muslims who have the resources, but they don't have anybody in their communities that are even that active. Yeah, and either. So if you could bridge that gap, and you could find a way to fund the initiatives that are at the end, the end the institutions that exist in the inner cities, then I think that what we will see is progression. And I think that we would be able to pass on Islam in a better state than the way that we found it to the generation that comes after this. This is you can see this, for example, in the Islamic schools. So let's give you an example. Right? The in general, people who want their children, you know, they themselves are doctors, they want

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their children to be doctors. They are not sending their children to the Islamic school. Why aren't they sending their children to the Islamic school because in general, or in a lot of cases, the Islamic schools are not accredited. If they are accredited, they still Yani are fighting to keep their accreditation because they can't keep good teachers. Why can't they keep good teachers because they simply are relying on tuition. And that reliance on tuition is not enough to pay for good teachers. I'll give you example, you get a teacher who, let's just say, graduates, fresh graduate out of college with a bachelor's degree.

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They go into teaching and let's just say any state public school, and they are making in the 50 1000s in the high 40s, low 50,000 to start off with start off with, but they're also getting a pension. They are also getting an A paying into Social Security. They are getting dental and health benefits, and other perks. All right. And so they go to work, and this is what they get. They apply for the Islamic school.

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The Islamic school is going to pay them half of the amount or they're about, let's just say they might give them 30 35,000. If the person is like excellent, but they're not going to give that to a fresh graduate. All right. They're not giving them any of those perks, no pension talk. And a lot of cases they're not giving them health or dental.

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They're working them more.

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What is it that

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is going to attract this person, to the Islamic institution to the Islamic school, the only thing that's there that it offers them is that they want to be a part of doing something that will help educate the Muslim children, when it comes to finance for financial reasons, they're not doing it. And so a lot of times, people simply can't afford this person has to live, they have to live their lives, they simply cannot afford to work for the Islamic school. So what happens now is the qualified teachers are going off to other institutions, what do we have left, we have left any of the people who perhaps don't have the qualifications, or maybe there are some sisters who do have

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the qualifications, but they don't really need the money, their husbands are taking care of them will have to rely like they should as Muslim men. So they don't need they don't have the same financial needs, as let's say a Muslim man who is trying to build his family and take care of his family. Okay, so this is what's happening. This is the state of the Islamic school, in the inner city.

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Now, what you'll have is, you'll have someone in this, you know, we go to the Floyd communities, they don't mind $60,000, to pay for new carpet for the Mexican Mafia, okay, it's not a problem, they'll do that.

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If we go now and try to get 60,000, so that we can supplement, let's just say, two to three salaries now, now that we have paid them, but we're able to now supplement with the Islamic school could pay so that we could get some qualified teachers, it's like, we don't have the money for that. Right. And so this is this is that divide. Now, if we could develop solid Islamic schools, for our children, both solid in terms of their secular pursuits, and solid in terms of the Islamic knowledge and etiquette and decorum in general, that is thought for an Islamic school, the the Islamic environment that we will create there, this will depend a lot, we could actually turn out, the type

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of students that we're looking for, that can be productive members of the Muslim community, in a community at large for the future, those graduating from Islamic schools, there's nothing stopping them from going from that Islamic school to a Harvard or Yale or Ivy League or any school of their choice for that matter, because we have qualified teachers, and we do have qualified Muslim teachers around the United States, qualified Muslim teachers in these institutions that could put out the type of Muslim students that we're looking for, you know, for the future, but But until that divide is bridged,

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then we are, you know, running a cycle, where a lot of the students who are coming out of the Islamic schools are simply not at the level that they need to be to compete with their age group going into higher education. So these are, these are things that we need to look at. I know that it may seem a bit convoluted, but the reality is, is that a lot of this is based on that that class divide. And if we could figure out a way, and this is something that, that I've spoken about, you know, prior to now, and that is that our generation, I think that it is our duty, not necessarily to build the bigger massages, or to build the finest Islamic schools, but to, to invest in the

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infrastructure. And the costs, which I've spoken about before those endowments and trusts and foundations, that will serve as the fun Yani, that will be the economic wing or the funding wing for those initiatives that we're talking about right now. So if we look at our generation that wouldn't invest in commercial properties or anything else, that we could invest in businesses that would later fund the Islamic schools and institutes and things like that, because education is key is going to take education for us to overcome this, this, this class division and everything else that we are struggling with, as Muslims in America, the more educated we become. And, and I'm not just

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talking about secular education here, I'm saying the more educated we become about our religion, then be it the lighter, the better off that we will fare for the future. So these are just some of the things that come to my mind. Initially, you know, when you ask about

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some of the challenges that we face as Muslims in America