Stop Teaching Back Home Culture
Channel: The Deen Show
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Bismillah Alhamdulillah Salam Alaikum peace be unto you. I'm Eddie, your host of the deen show. That's right. You're watching the deen show every week, same time, same channel. And in the studio, we're going to talk to American, former Christian Christian scholar, Dr. Gerald Dirks. And we're going to be talking about the Muslim identity when we come back here on the show. This is the theme
this is the
Hey, what's up How you doing? Good to be here. Always be with you. I just wanted to start you for a second. I was like, Hey, how you doing? But how we do it is with the peace we get the peace. Yes. Cuz we want peace? Absolutely. We want definitely. And peace not just between you and me, but peace between and among all people. Absolutely. You know, Islam teaches that we are all brothers in humanity, that all brothers and sisters, yes. And we share because we care. Absolutely. That's why we're doing the deen show to enlighten the minds and the hearts of the people. And today we're going to be talking about the identity. You are an American. And you're Muslim. Yes. Because this conflict
at all? No. Not at all. But unfortunately, a lot of people think it does conflict. And real. Unfortunately, even a lot of Muslims think that it needs to conflict. And this brings up an issue that I think is vitally important to Muslims here in America. And that is the issue of second and third generation of Muslims in America. And issues surrounding their development of a sense of identity.
I was born here raised in America, and I personally had some experiences when I started to, you know, come to this way, the way of the Creator, Islam submitting to the one God, people would ask because you know, my name is Edie. Sure. So people would say like, well, when you're going to get a Muslim name, you know, and so you would you know, you want to do God's thing. But sometimes, you know, the culture will creep in and you feel like, Am I doing God's thing? Or I'm doing back home? culture? Exactly, exactly. You know, you said, When are you going to get a Muslim name? I've had the same question asking me. But in reality, there's no such thing as a Muslim name. There's Arab names.
You know, there are names associated with with Prophet Muhammad and his companions, etc. But to limit these to being Muslim names is rather ridiculous. And there's no reason that any person should feel constrained to change his name. Unless his name has some clearly anti Islamic meaning. Like if it's named after a pagan god or something. Yeah. Okay. Yeah. Now, also the dress. Some people feel like okay, now, you know, I'm used to maybe going to work in a in a three piece suit for, you know, modest clothing. Sure. But now, hold on, you got to throw this throw bomb before you go to work. Now. You're Muslim. We did you have to do that? Absolutely not. Yeah, no. Absolutely not. Islam
prescribes a modest dress for both males and females. Yeah. You know, within Western clothing, one can usually find modest dress, one doesn't need to wear a thorough job or a Koofi on top of the head, etc. But one does need to dress modestly. Yeah, one does not need to eat. kofta kebabs are Eonni. But one does have to follow, you know, Islamic dietary rules, which is basically no pork,
no alcohol. And there are a few other meats that are we were prohibited from eating. Give us some more examples of some of the dilemmas or the challenges that you feel some of the new converts, and also just, you know, Muslims who come from overseas, and they raised their kids here, and now they're having a conflict here with culture and Muslim and they end up abandoning me. For new converts. One of the big issues is do I have to give up my American identity? And the answer is absolutely not. Unfortunately, some new converts think they have to end up becoming more Arab than an Arab or more Pakistani than a Pakistani, etc. and ended up really alienating themselves from
their environment. And for many of these people, eventually the end up dropping out of Islam, simply because of this overreaction in the first place. You know,
We're actually jumping into a culture, and not to the actual religion of Islam. In terms of the second and third generation of Muslims in America, this is vitally important. Because we have many wonderful immigrant brothers and sisters come to this country. They have their children here, and they raised their children here. But unfortunately, many of them, I think they're raising Jordanian children or Syrian children or Pakistani children or Bangladeshi children or Indonesian children, and they are not. And this is what is so vitally important that they need to understand if their children are being raised here in America, they're raising American children. And this is going to
be the national cultural identity of the vast majority of second and third generation Muslims here in America, their national cultural identity is being American. Now,
really, unfortunately, what sometimes happens is that these Muslim parents, who, through the best of intentions, unfortunately, throw up their hands in alarm, and say, oh, my goodness, you know, My son, or my daughter is turning into an American instead of a Jordanian or a Syrian, or what have you.
And I have to stop this, I have to correct this. And one of the ways they tried to do this sometimes is by so intricately linking Islam, with this foreign culture from back home, that when the kids end up rejecting the foreign culture, in favor of having an American secular,
American American national cultural identity, they also end up rejecting Islam as part of their religious identity. And this is a real danger that Muslim parents who are immigrants, need to be aware of your children are going to be Americans don't fight it. They can be perfectly good Americans, and perfectly good Muslims at the same time. So should the parents be more in tune with adamantly teaching their children Islam from the authentic sources, the crown in the Sunnah, rather than many of the back home cultures? Absolutely. And but but again, this is one of the problems is that for many of our immigrant brothers and sisters, their culture is so intertwined in their
understanding of Islam, that they may have difficulty doing that. And one of the things that needs to be done that they need to do and that we need to be doing in our mosques, and in our private Islamic schools, is we need to make this process of separating culture from Islam as very important, you know, absolutely need to be teaching the pure Islam. We don't need to be teaching culture. Definitely. And with that said, We'll be right back with more Dr. Joe Derrick's here on the deen show.
And if we're going to worship something, I figured I might as well worship the Creator, instead of any of the creations.
Now it upon investigating the religions, I remember finding out the meaning of what Islam is what a Muslim is. Those who surrender their self to God is a Muslim. Those who submit to God, God's will that Islam was pure. It was just you just pray to God your Creator.
I am not afraid.
I'm not afraid.
I'm not afraid.
I am not afraid.
I'm not afraid.
Back here on the show with Dr. Gerald Dirks. Moving along now, Dr. Gerald, please do you see now because of this, pushing the culture on the children and mixing it so much with Islam. And it's confusion that this creates more confusion and one of the ramifications is because now because of this, the kids will start to develop a dual personality. Well, I wouldn't say a dual personality because that has definite psychological implications in terms of a diagnosis, but what we do see happening and brother yahia Emmerich has written beautifully about this and an article that every Muslim parents should read called Just what are you thinking anyway? Okay, which is appeared a
couple of times and the message International. And brother Yeah, he points out and I have seen this same thing from teaching and private Islamic
Schools, the Kids Act One way at home. Yeah, you know, where they pretend to be Jordanian, Indian, whatever. But as soon as they're removed from the home from their parents supervision,
for the first time, they feel like they can really be themselves, you know that they're putting on an act at home.
They feel they can't be honest and open with their parents, because of all this cultural pressure that's coming down on them from their parents. And that the only time they feel they're they're truly free, and truly free to be who they are, is when they're away from their parents away from other adult members of the Muslim community.
This is very troublesome. Yeah, very troublesome.
You know, just speaking from experience, last private Islamic school in which I taught, I taught English language and social studies. Yes, I did not teach Islamic Studies. Yes, I did not teach Quran.
But the kids, the middle school kids, whenever they would have a question about Islam, they would come to me, yes, they would not go to their Islamic Studies teacher
wouldn't begin to go to their Islamic Studies teacher to ask the question, they would come to me why I was the American. I was not the person who was going to stuff down some cultural trappings on them. Yeah. So let's separate Islam. Let's get to the pure Islam here. Islam, as taught by the last in front of messengers and that kind of problem on peace be upon him. Absolutely. And obviously was taught by all the messengers, but we have it now in his Completion with the last in front of messenger. Yeah. And we have to strip it from from these cultural accretions that have occurred
across many different cultures. We have to strip it have
to be blocked. Some of the fairy tales, yes, that get tacked on to Islam, by otherwise well meaning Muslims. Yeah, I can think of one example where
in when I was teaching at the last Islamic school, I was teaching AP, where the students came in middle school students came in and said, you know, we just learned in Islamic Studies class, that if you draw a five pointed star on the floor and a circle around it, which of course was the pentagram, yeah. And you stand in the middle of it. If you try to come out, the gin will come and immediately kill you just like that. So this is obviously this was being taught in Islamic Studies class.
And I said, No,
no way. Oh, yes. You know, our Islamic studies teachers taught us.
So I went up to the blackboard, I took a piece of chalk, I went to the back of the room, I drew a five pointed star on the floor, big circle around it, and I stepped into the middle of it.
And the kids were, Oh, my goodness. They're already programmed now. Oh, yeah. clinching the chair. Oh, yeah. And then I stepped out, of course, I'm a bit of a Hamlet. And so when I stepped out, I clutched my chest and stumbled to get screamed. They thought I'd just been killed. Yeah. Now, here's the point.
This myth, this fairy tale was dismantled by a Muslim in an Islamic setting. Wow. Okay. Which is good. But what happens if that had never happened? And six years down the road, they're telling their non Muslim friend about this. And the non Muslim friend does what I did.
They've just disproven Islam. Yes. This is the tremendous danger that exists with with adding stuff, fairy tales, cultural stories, etc. to the pure message of Islam get that out? We, we don't need it. We don't need it. And trying to tack it on, is going to lead the next generation to reject those sorts of things. And if it's tied too tightly to Islam, to reject Islam as well. And that's the big, big danger. Do you think this also leaves a bad taste in people's mouths? Some of the non Muslims, when they see some of these things, this kind of draws them back sets them back? Of course it does. And media gets a hold of some of these things. Because Because I mean, what what you're doing is
you're creating differences, differences that don't need to be there. Yeah. So if it's so deeply embedded, how does someone where do they begin to fix this? How? Well 100 a little I praise God, I think we have to be aware of the fact that this exists. And I think each and every immigrant Muslim parent in this country needs to sit down and discuss this with each other. They need to acknowledge the fact that their kids, if their kids are going to be raised here are going to be Americans. And the more the parent
Try to fight this process, the more likely it is they're going to force their kids away from the slop. You know, so fine. Let your kids develop an American national cultural identity, they're going to do it anyway.
Just work on making sure they keep the Islamic religious identity. But it's the religious identity. It's not the cultural stuff that has been attached to it. So the parents are going to need to try and separate out what's religion, and what's culture. Certainly, this is something that we need to be doing in our mosques. Definitely something we need to be doing in our private Islamic schools. We need to be separating the religion of Islam, from whatever culture we happen to come from. Now, that doesn't mean that you're an American now that you as a Muslim, now we're talking about, Hey, you know, I can go and have a six pack of beer or I'm going to the nightclubs. I'm living a freestyle
lifestyle, as they call it. No, no, no, we take the good from the culture, but we hold our identity is once you have submitted the card, and we do all the good wholesome things, and we stay away from the all the evil elements. You know, going out and getting drunk or using drugs is not part of the American identity. Yeah.
It's a part of the identity a subgroup of, of people, but certainly not just people in America, because some people will say, oh, American, oh, you're American now. So you can just let loose. No, no, that's not effective. If we look, certainly there are a lot of Christian groups that share the same social values that we share. Yeah. You know, where they're against drinking, they're against drugs, they're against premarital sex, etc. You know, so, hey, if they can be Americans and maintain their religious values, we can be Americans and maintain our Islamic values. But we need to make sure that what we're talking about is what the religion actually says. What the Quran and the Sunnah
actually, tell us to do? Absolutely. And we'll be right back with more here on the deen show. Okay, you've got your dream home, and you've got your dream car, but you're gonna get old and things got to happen to you in your life. And then what have you got, at the end of the day, it's an empty dream that has no real Foundation, we are going to die. And we're going to meet our Lord and He is going to judge us, it becomes an obligation for each single human being to find out what the Quran is. Islam is telling us to stay away from things which are bad for your person and bad for the society.
Back here on the deen show, with Dr. Gerald Dirks, we're talking about the Muslim identity identity. And a Muslim is one who has consciously chosen to submit to the One God doing God's will not our desires. And we're talking about leaving off some of the back home cultures, which you'll actually see a lot of times God Almighty says to be united not divided. And do you see a lot of times this divides the community, of course, it divides the community because America we're looking at a melting pot. We're looking at Muslims who have come from Indonesia, from Malaysia, from India, Bangladesh, from Pakistan, from each of the Arab countries, from many of the African countries,
we're looking at African Americans who have reached back to their ancestral past to claim Islam as the religion. So we have all these different cultures here.
But the next generation and second generation, you know, they're the ones being raised in this culture, they're going to be Americans, etc. One of the the real challenges that the Muslim community has in America is this whole issue of tribalism, or nationalism, or ethnocentrism, however you want to call it nationalism, this holding on to just you know, the flag and yeah, absolutely, absolutely. Because a flag they're holding on to is not the American flag. Yeah.
You know, a survey was done by sponsored by care. Yeah, a number of years ago called a portrait of a mosque in America, I think was the name of the big survey. Yeah. And one of the things they discovered in their national survey of mosques around the country, is that 27% 27% of the mosques in this country reported that they were one of their key goals was to preserve a certain ethnic or national heritage.
Now, I'm sorry, brother.
I don't think there's any way that that's a proper goal of a mosque.
What that saying is that 27% of the mosques in America are systematically excluding every Muslim who does not
happen to belong to that particular ethnic or national grouping.
That should be open to every Muslim everybody, everybody. We're all brothers, we are all brothers and sisters. And we shouldn't be divided like this. Absolutely, we shouldn't be divided. And yet we see the Muslim community being divided so often along tribal lines or ethnic lines, etc. And it weakens us, it fatally weakens us as a religious community. If you go to a large American city, and you stop a Muslim on the street, and you say, where's the mosque? You're likely to get an answer to go something like this. Well, you know, the Arab mosque is over here. The indo Pak mosque is over here. And over here, there's an African American mosque drop all that we have to drop all that
here's we have to become one Muslim family. Hold on to the rope of God, hold on to the local law. This is what the credit is telling us, isn't it? Oh, absolutely. Yeah. So now we're almost out of time, continue to give us some advice, because this is very, very, very, very important topic. And we want to be united, we don't want to be divided. Because the key divider is the Shakedown, they'll say 10 enforces a law wants us to be together, functioning as one unit worshiping one guy. Absolutely. So give us a few closing comments and suggestions for the community at large. Well, let me speak directly to the immigrant Muslims who are parents here in this country, you know, it's
inevitable your children, especially your grandchildren, they're going to start losing your native language, they're gonna start losing some of your native recipes as far as cooking in, etc. This is to be expected. The more you fight it, the more conflict you're likely to have with your children. And I say this wearing my hat as a child clinical psychologist.
Except the fact that your children are going to be Americans that your grandchildren are going to become Americans. Don't get distracted by whether they're wearing a sarong or a sari. Or whether they're wearing modest Western clothes. Focus on the pure teachings of Islam.
Make sure that's in place. Don't waste your time and your energy and your influence, trying to build in cultural issues and to your children. Now, the good things from culture, let's say you mentioned but Ronnie if they want to stick around and some of the good things. They don't have to give up all that right. No, no, they don't have to give it up. That's fine if they want to do it. Yeah, you know, I'm a German American background. Yeah, you know, I still enjoy eating sauerbraten Yeah.
sybok Yeah, you
kind of know. Yeah, it must have a sprocket but don't make that part of the don't make that the religion. No, don't make that the religion and don't force it on your children or your grandchildren. Gotcha. You know, if they want to grab it, they'll grab it. Don't force it. Ah, gotcha. Okay. And people can get ahold of you if they want to invite you to come visit. Where at they reach me at my website. Thank you very much me, God, Almighty Allah, the Creator of the heavens and reward you once again. Thank you, brother. Thank you. And you got to hear some great advice from Dr. Gerald Dirks born bred and raised American he's telling us as a law is telling you to hold on to
the rope of god of the Creator Allah And be not divided amongst yourselves. We need to be one on one humanity worshiping the one God. And if you got some back home culture, you'd like that food, the biani go ahead and eat that. Some people can't. It's too hot and too spicy, but that's not wrong with it. What we're saying is don't mix your back home cultures with Islam. Don't mix it Islam is pure. It's from the Creator of the heavens and earth. And we have the verbatim Word of God the Quran and we have the Sunnah the authentic teachings from the last and final messenger sent to mankind, no more messengers to come get to know this and teach this and live this. And that is how we can attain
peace. And that's how we can stay united. And we'll see you next time here on the deen show. Until then, peace be on to you