Imam Talk Podcast #05 – Orientalism & Western Academia with Dr. Shadee Elmasry
Channel: Tom Facchine
Series: Tom Facchine - Imam Talk Podcast
File Size: 46.06MB
Bismillah Alhamdulillah wa salatu salam ala Welcome back to Imam talk. And we have here a special guest, Dr. Shatila Masri Welcome.
Welcome is the first time we're meeting actually, first time we're meeting, I did hear your name have connected to some of my students who are on legacy. Yep, I would say we have students in common, which is, which is a special thing, and they speak highly of you. And I think highly of you have been following us for a little bit. So, you know, I really appreciate you being on the program and taking time. My pleasure. So just give us a sense of one of the things that we try to do for em talk is talk about as a, what was your pathway to religious leadership? What was your pathway? How did you kind of come up into the positions that you are in currently, and maybe give us an idea
about what are the different things that you have going on currently? Sure. So for me, it was very simple. It was that when you when you observe people, and you observe
people who you never think of leadership, but you observe people who are given direction, and essentially, if you think about it, telling us how to live, that's what she would do. And they tell us what to believe about, this is the most intimate thing possible, what to believe about your Creator and yourself, your origin and your future, and get into the world of how to show that you know, how to how to prove this or how to, you know, pass this on. And you can only do so with evidence, and then you have to study those evidences. And the sort these sources in the Quran and the Sunnah is built on a spiritual element with yourself, but also hand in hand never separated from
it is a social element, where you have to go out there and tell people about this. This is it's like a code read, it's a five alarm fire, that you have to tell us and that the first thing in the dow of the prophets, I said that he said, If I tell you there's an enemy coming, what do you do? So it's a five alarm fire. That's literally what this message is. And so it grips you right away, because it's giving you literally the most compelling.
It's the most compelling message and piece of information that you will ever going to come across, which is that there is an eternity after this. And what we do regarding this book, and this messenger is going to dictate an eternity. So
once you're exposed, the moment you're exposed to that, there's really no going back, you can put that back in a bottle and put it away. Right and act as if you never heard it. So you end up having to eventually make a decision my Am I doing this or not? Because this is an eternity we're facing, we're talking about you either believe that you're all in. You have to be all in if something's wrong with your calculations
about what eternity is on one scale, very little could defeat that right. You're gonna burn your boats. Right, Nicholas, this you're either all in or you're all out. Right? You cannot possibly it makes no sense. No rational sense. So hearing that message, when I was young, you immediately you
you buy into it at one level, you grow up, there's a reexamination. And people either buy into it again, right. There's always I think always all people have a time where they have to re examine the matter, right? When they get tested with something and sometimes just longevity. So it's hearing that message.
Right, hearing the message. And seeing people doing that seeing people drive up, give classes, give clips, tell us Oh, that's this is what's going on here as wrong and it's got to be fixed. Or this is something amazing that has to be shared with everyone. Sometimes you get a like total Gibbons or heap sometimes you see, it's a warning against, oh, we're going astray.
When you hear someone say that, that means that the implicit thing is that there's a straight path. There's a wrong path. You got to know help people, you got to warn people protect people. And you gotta warn against people who are,
you know, ruin this ruining the straight path or misleading people. It was in New Jersey that there were she plenty of preachers and she you?
Their life was exciting, right. And it was meaningful, extremely meaningful, and exciting to going up and down. And that's sometimes feuds even so people think that feuds are always bad, but they're not always bad. shows.
It shows that you care. It shows that there are two parties who care and that you get sucked into the feud.
You will choose a side and for most people if there's no feud, there's not a big deal. There's nothing worth fighting over. But having come into to that man
internists on one side, you know, the people who are practicing doing the deen on one side and the modernists on the other side, immediately you have to study you got to think now nobody, no youth, I don't think 1314 years old, really is calculating what's happening. But you're in it right away, right? The ecosystem that you're surrounded with. So you're saying, this was part of your, your upbringing, then like, this was the very much less and that was in New Jersey or, or wherever that was in New Jersey. And it was a time where there was like, I would say, I guess you could say retired scholars.
And a cup, there are a couple, sometimes they come in to move to America and some of them just retire and move to America to give Dawa and, and teach the small burgeoning Gyptian community that was here. And
they were fine. Some one or two was extremely fiery, passionate. And I guess I got the book. Write a good book. I caught the flame. I should know I got I got the overall flame. Yeah, I got the overall flame. You may later on tweak some things. But I did catch no doubt about a cut the overall flame. And that's how your vision your mind is set. And it's it wasn't hard before I realized this is the most important thing. There's nothing more important than this. There's a lot of things I wish I would have loved to have done. But every time I put that on one skill and this message on another skill, like this is way more important. And it seems like it's not taken care of. Right? There's no
we don't have like the Ottoman Empire that's got 1000 of them up and an army taking care of the Dean so I can just become a calligrapher or an artist or,
or you know, something like that. This is like it's a chaos born and chaos. Right. And so he realized, we got to stabilize the religious messages that's out here. That's why Yeah, so So you took that fire? And where did it lead you? What did you do? What were the steps that you took to kind of get to where you are today? Well,
it died out. When the ship moved.
It died out slowly. And it climax that hedge I made hedge when I was only 14 years old. Right. And when you make Hajj and you're 14, you go from your little world of your elementary school, your soccer club, your intermediate school. And then you do know that there's another side of you that nobody knows about. Right? None of your friends could fathom what's going on in these mosques. Right? Not like it's something from the political or the legal element, but just the message itself. And the people you're seeing in the masjid felt like you're living these two lives. And went to hutch, you see the whole world's at Hutch. And in the back of my mind, the world that I come from in
a suburb of New Jersey, not nobody, from my school can fathom what's going on here. Nobody has seen more languages, has heard more languages seen more cultures. And this is 1994 Before modernity has really spread to a lot of places. Right? There's a lot of oddness, relative, of course, relatively odd to you, you know, cultures that the internet today you can see all the cultures in the world. Right? Right. Everyone's in villages like Matt Walsh goes to these villages. And he, you get to see villages of Africa, right on your phone. So there's, but back in that time, you got to imagine that you're not exposed to that stuff. So to you it's odd, obviously, to them. It's normal. That's the
cultural relativism. You know, it's relative. So but seeing all these people, there's something implicitly down, deep down. It's like the whole world's has this lamp. Right? It's only us that are way over on the edge of the border of the OMA. The whole world has Islam you know for sure, the Christians have nothing like this. The Jews have nothing like this. The Hindus have nothing nobody atheists have nothing like this. Nobody has anything like that how to manage *ty fame. And what goes on in these places is nobody. So you go in and your ex Allah set. Now mind you, most youth will not will later on they'll be able to put pen to paper on what actually is happening in their heads.
But at the moment, you know that this is nobody's got anything on Islam, although Islam may have some things that you're like wondering how do I explain this to people? You also know that nobody's got anything on this religion. Yeah. That's a great point to you know, to remind parents is that that is a wonderful age to take your kid
through. That's why we started something. We started something called ombre for youth. Just because of that I knew for I know for sure that it's it's an impressionable age, and they see the whole world doing this, that they'll be set up to walk taller. Yeah, people that walk a little taller, they'll have their heads up. They have no pride.
problem now, coming to the masajid were in throbs and praying to Allah subhanaw taala. And, and having Amen. But what what ended up happening is that that light had to dims a little bit. Right? It dims over time, and I had a dry spot in a bad spot, relatively speaking, right? Not going to be bad spot like the way some people
tell us amazing convert stories, right? It's nothing like that. But it was a dry spell. And I felt like something's terribly wrong. It needs this is not right, what I'm in right now. What I'm doing right now is not right, this is not good. And then came along
a couple tips, and sometimes use IV tips. And that was basically a kickstart.
It was a kickstart. And it was now I'm 17, out to turn 18. And now I'm starting to start thinking about ideas
within Islam, as opposed to just that Islam is, when you're young, all you're thinking about is okay, I just can't do that thing. And I should do this thing. It's very binary and simple. But that's how you express your loyalty.
And as God has seminars, this comedian, he says he makes fun of Islam saying that it's a transaction with God, because if you do these things, you get this much credit. Now, you know, my response to that is
matters of the heart,
require a physical objective way to express themselves. If you go to any counseling,
the with the wife is upset with the husband, the counselor will say, tell the tell your husband, what he can do to make things right does don't just say, I'm upset, and you know what to do. And if you don't know why I'm upset, that's a bigger problem. You're right. That's what a lot of people say, if you don't know why I'm upset, then we got bigger problems, right? Not my job to educate you. Right? That's what they will get. It's not my job to educate you. I'll tell you I upset you should know. And you need to make it right. Okay, now, the guy doesn't know why you're upset. And he doesn't know how to make it. Right. So human things of the heart, they need to come out, like what
is what is art, something's in his heart. And he brings it out, right. But he's got to put paint on the canvas. And so what this religion does is that I remember at a certain period of time saying to myself, I have
I have the See, man, I may have a lot of what Sal was and mistakes. But I need an objective way to show Allah subhanaw taala that I, I'm with this, right? I believe this. That came up on the Hadith, a sadaqa tube or hand sadaqa is the proof.
You have Iman, but it's mixed with a whole bunch of gunk,
you want to prove that you siding with the men, right? Here's an objective action you could do to prove it. right not to prove it, but to to reflect it. So in that, that's the way I went, I need something objective, to show what's really feeling in my mind's eye words mean nothing, right. So
that's what that knowledge benefited. And I started latching on to things that you can do, to express yourself objectively.
And that's the route that I that where knowledge and fifth became extremely special. Because it shows, alright, I want to please my Creator,
I want to show that I'm faithful, and I believe this.
I need something to do. Gotta give me something Do this. Don't do that. You've got to be even if it's minor, like entering the bathroom with your left foot exiting with your right foot.
It's a it's a micro expression. And the marriage examples very powerful. Because even in marriage counseling, they talk about the concept of currencies, right? And it's like, so you can be spending, okay, and shelling out a lot of cash. But if it's not in the currency that your spouse is looking for that it's worthless, right? They're looking for a certain currency, well, then why should it be any different with our Creator? That's right. I can go stand out in the sun all day and say that, well, that's my genuine expression of thanks to my Creator. But if he's not reading that, or, you know, he doesn't accept that from me as a legitimate expression of gratitude and thanks and what
what good is it really? Right, exactly. That's exactly the point. So once I got into that world of FIP,
became, and I think it's it's fitrah it's federal, right? We understand relationships, right? People understand relationships and the divine speaks to us in a very similar way, that this is how I want things to be done. This is how you prove your faith. i You can't have something where I go over the top and you're still not happy. Like I need to know what makes this
Creator happy, please with me and not pleased with me, right? There's a lot of stuff that goes on in people's heads that Allah forgives. Right? But what matters is when the moment of truth comes and there's a hokum?
Do I obey that hokum or do I not? Right? And then there's a hierarchy of
certain things I can't do, nobody can do. Right? The too much is their hierarchy. This is the obligation is the prohibition within this realm, you're good to go. You want to do more, do as much as more of this and decrease as much as more of that. That's my group and my job. So I became obsessed with that way of going about things. And then the way he like you asked the way to like, where things are now, is that you got to spread this.
I would, as many people, I'm sure you're not no different. You can't read these things. And just sit on him. What's the point? You need to it needs to spread to other people.
So was that a career decision that you made you went you know, you were making these decisions to go study this? Where was where the study takes place? Or that mostly here like, you know how to go, how did that affect, like your professional course? Because that's fairly rare, right? There's what we have in the Muslim community that I joke and called the Holy Trinity, which is Doctor lawyer engineer, right? And if somebody who's a young person right at the cusp of adulthood, and they have the opportunity that and they have the zeal to go study, what Allah Spano Tata, once of them, it's a fairly rare thing that that person actually, you know, actualizes that. So what were the what were
the steps? What were the decisions? What were the institutions that you that you pass through?
So there there, my thought process was,
it was a bit different. It was that I'm going to study and whatever else happens, happens. And however things happen happen. Now having this reckless approach to things because I knew like, I Hamdulillah we never needed for any money. I never saw heard a discussion about bills and money, never even heard one in our house, never saw really much checking for prices. So money consciousness in my mind. And when I was young was zero.
It was just a given, there's always food, there's always things are taken care of. Right? It was a given.
Resulting from that, you get to live in your own head.
There was never a practical need for for any money. So I never thought about making money, more how the world works. The lights are always on. That's it, right? That's, there's always gas in the car, there's Do you just give the guy a card and there's gas in the car.
So my mentality was,
are living in my own head. Luckily, hamdulillah fortunately, from Allah, it was in a good direction, you could have lived in your own head, you know, for something useless, right? But it kind of freed you up maybe to have larger concerns, totally freed me up and I'm living in my own head. And all I'm thinking about from the age of 17, I would say, No. End of my age 17 into age 18.
Probably until recently. I don't think about anything, except I didn't and slug and Tao. That doesn't mean I study all day, everyone's got a different measure, right? And my measure oftentimes is what dollar works like what?
What works in the field of Java in the field of community, more so than diving, some people dive into books so deep, right, and they become specialists. I never went that route. I didn't feel it was practical. So but every living moment was just thinking about that. Right? And then how to make money out of this and how to actually have a career was something that probably thought of like later on, but never actually thought of it.
From the beginning, that's why if you're reckless, but you're on the right track, Allah sends you, someone to protect you. And then that's where my parents said, you have to get a formalized education,
which I went did kicking and screaming, did not enjoy one second of it didn't respect. I didn't respect not only due respect, it was an open enemy to the orientalist. Now we're gonna get there in Sharla have some questions about that? Sure.
Yeah, I purposely did not attend as much as I could despised every minute of the separation between studying Islam like a dead cadaver with your arrogance and your colonizer mentality versus the actual Dean. So that ended up taking me from Rutgers did some nonsense degree I don't even know what the degree was to be honest with this completely useless and
Then, but it was just something to be called a BA. And then I did study Marxism and studied different religions. That was something, okay, fair enough. It's fringe footnotes stuff to study to know in your head. But then I went to George Washington University. And the only reason I went there was because there was a chicken in Boston in a jar
who was there, and I wanted to study with him privately. So that was my motivation. Luckily, I also found a Mauritanian scholar in Washington. And I studied Arabic with him and I learned, you know, the legitime like the back of my head, yes, I know. Mashallah. Then went to England, London, England, I tried to go to up to Cambridge and Cambridge. But I ended up going to London, England, and that was a blessing, because Cambridge is this tiny town with very little Islamic activity. Now, it has a lot with Cambridge Muslim college, but at the time, it wasn't. And London is filled with some activity. Right. So
I went to University of London, so as but most of my time was spent, go into different tools and modalities that were there soaking up as much as I could, finding any excuses to go study abroad. And 100. I did, almost like most of the summers there went to different countries. And of course, there's a network as you know, once you meet one Schiff is a network of shoe. And that's where
that's what I do. Super Well, that's really interesting and important, because, you know, a lot of people, you know, we have like different tracks, like so there's somebody who might,
they might come into consciousness about Islam or want to study Islam more once they get into college, but they're not aware of the whole Orientalist package. And so they get blindsided and colonized all over again, and brainwashed and stuff like that.
But you managed to make it through despite all that, and this is a real commonality that you and I have, because actually, studying sort of colonialism is what brought me to a slam in the first place when I was in Vassar College is my bachelor's in political theory.
Because what I came to realize, you know, without taking up too much space, but I'm going somewhere with this is that the the liberal reforms, and the liberal sort of progressivism that is dominant now is simply the latest wave of colonial endeavor, right, the latest imperialism, and I came into college as like a Marxist and anarchist, you know, these sorts of things, a feminist. But when I realized that, it really set me back to zero, it cleared the pathway. And I happened to also come to know some Muslims at the same time. And that was what got me on the path of being interested in eventually converting to Islam. But not before I took a class on Islam in the same institution. And
I was one of those naive, guys, I thought that if you are you want to study Islam, you're enrolled in the university, what do you do want to take a class on Islam?
What a mistake. But, but thankfully, it was so galvanizing for me, because I was so enraged at the things that were being taught, I had so much, you know, I guess, jealousy and the Zira for for the Dean before I even converted. So it was absolutely, you know, like you said, you know, a loss MZ what you need.
It ended up sending me down on a completely different path. The bridge to this, and where I'm going is that recently, you know, you had this sort of discussion of this debate with with a certain academic
about the historical critical method and these sorts of things. This is an enormous issue. It's not even one issue. It's a constellation of issues. It's a package of issues that most people are not aware of.
Tell us just, you know, briefly, like what is so wrong with this way of approaching knowledge, because the counter argument, I gotten a little bit of a dust up with a couple of people on the blogging theology, Facebook group that are these sorts of Western trained academic Orientalist types, because they're coming back and they're saying, Well, you know, all of these methods, they're just methods, and they have a certain descriptive power. And it's really not that big of a deal. Why is that inadequate? And what is so wrong with this way of approaching the study of Islam?
Well, historical critical method, you got to look at its birth. And history as a philosophy is, is never philosophically history is not a neutral examination of the past. You're as a historian telling the story. That story is not a fiction. Right? It's a nonfiction story, that there are human beings alive today, who will read that
and form their own self identity based on that history.
The historian to me is an activist.
It has to be right that horse Aryan can't not be an activist. Yeah, you are. And I realize that and some, don't.
You If you study Egyptology where there are no Pharaohs left in the world, right? There are still people and parts of the world that identified that's their part of the country. And that's part of their history.
And they're either going to be proud or downtrodden by that, you as a historian do have a perspective, you're a human being, you will never be perspective plus, right? You will have a perspective towards people, whether you know it or not, you will lean one way or another in how, what you choose to elevate of evidence, what you choose to put forth, whether or not you choose to search deeper for opposing evidences, or call it a day, on the opposing evidences, right. And keep pushing deeper on the evidence that you want there to be. So at the end of the day, you will be using actual evidences, and sewing a story together, the reader will say the common reader who's not
a historian, not a philosopher will look at this, without much of a critical item. All the evidence is here. And that's the conclusion, right. And he is like some guy in a in a suit and tie. And he's out of university standing upright at a lectern, as if he's a computer and AI that just produced this right, as if he's not a human being that has an agenda. So everyone who gives us a photo? We as Muslims, for example, we don't take a photo from a festival.
You don't take a photo from someone who has no record.
I find history is very much no different. If you're going to tell me my story, I need to know your story. I need to know your agenda. Right? It's totally a fair question. It Western historians, the method that comes out of it comes with a spirit, there is a spirit of doubt on every religious authority. Now, why is that? Because the Inquisition, the inquiry into history was born out of the abuses of the church, you go back the Catholic Church, and we might have like some ally ship with them now on certain moral issues. This church is one of the most oppressive institutions in history. And what they did to people now think about, it's a bunch of guys, you bring a bunch of guys
together, and you said, listen to everyone's gonna listen to you, they're going to oppress at some point, some, some may not. And some may, they're going to oppress when they discovered that massive elements of the story of the church was a lie. And they discovered this when they went about studying languages, and comparing texts and looking at translations, things that the church had borrowed them to do for a long time, then now they're able to do it is the church has less of a stronghold over people after the Black Plague? The Black Death or whatever it's called.
So now they're studying languages, there is no no, we've been lied to. So if your dad lied to you,
you're going to start suspecting everyone else's dead is lying to them, too. It's just natural projection, you never going to trust authority again. And those lies are very consequential just to give the viewer a sense of what we're talking about here. These are issues of life and death, like we're talking about, and anybody should everybody who lives in North America should familiarize themselves with the doctrine, the Doctrine of Discovery, and the papal bull that basically declared every single land in the world that was occupied by a non Christian was fair game, whether the Muslim or a Native American, which enabled the entire colonial project for them to come and
literally just plant the flag and say, Yeah, that's mine. Right? This is something that is exactly the fruit of the arrangement that you're saying. So this doesn't just esoteric or obscure, sort of theological points. This is real life and death stuff that people are making crazy decisions about. When you look at the the way of Iblees. How does it bliss produce a human bliss, right, is by an injustice incurred upon that person that produces such a rage, that bliss can redirect that victim to a worse, a worse injustice in making it look like a justice. One you read about the Renaissance? We're all taught this in school, right? You read about the Renaissance, you read about the
Protestant Reformation. You read about the scientific
oppression that happens scientists, there are the suppression of science. You're like, wow, this Catholic church is the antagonists it is the Hitler of that time, they are the Nazis of that time, everything bad goes back to them, the socially and economically you have these these the the feudal system, and the church was all with it, right? Because they're hands in hands with the with the rich. So and then the poor comes the throne Nicolet the poor, so the poor could feed
feel like you've given them a shoulder to cry on. This is a good cop, bad cop operation, right? So at every turn in that chunk of centuries, basically, after the Crusades, that chunk of time, for a couple of years, the antagonist is the church. So the historian, the scientist, that inquiry is born
out of the enemy is the church to try, really and so trauma response. It's a trauma response. Atheism is a trauma response. scientism is a trauma response, even politically, like these Pope's have too much power. Why? What are you doing for us? Good physically, to have all this power. So taking down the Kings, who were in it with the Pope's, all this is modern worlds born out of trauma response, that trauma, Never, not anything similar, or close existed in the Sonic World. And then you got them. They're like, Okay, we out of this trauma, we built a new world, it looks pretty good, right?
Strike lightning with modernity, good technology, technical revolutions, etc, you turn, they turn now their face on every other society with the mold that made them
that the dad is the bad guy, the religion is the bad guy, the Kings, the bad guy. Technology is the solution, atheism was a solution that was for you, right. And by the way, it wasn't a solution. Because look where atheism is taking you. Right? You got a serious problems in your society now. So but in any event, they took that model that molds and literally like a cookie cutter, Africa, Japan, China, South America, everywhere else with that mold, and the weak minded of every one of those civilizations bought into it. Right? Without ever note, there's like no critical thinking here, that your problem
is not our problem, right? Your solutions could be our diseases, right? So to me, the people go into Islamic Studies, and fall into this, I really view them as extremely,
more motional li weak mentally, like a critical thinking. Because they're, they're not thinking outside the box. These academics have built a box for the sandbox for you until you play, and you're playing. And I used to see these kids come in regular Moscow and kid come into the grad school. And just professor puts down the box, and like these kids aren't that clever, they're going to be fooled. Right? It's not book knowledge. It's almost some street smarts where you see them right before your eyes being fooled, premises, accepted, snuck premises accepted. And all of a sudden, his DNA has changed. Which is why it's also it's very, very relevant, because somebody could argue or
could say, well, that's why we need Muslims to go into the Islamic studies departments to change it, etc, etc. But I mean, look at what cost right and who's doing the hour to who right you you enter in, you think that you're doing data to the field, the field has a momentum, the field has premises, and there's only so much work that you're going to be able to do to push back nine times out of 10, you know, the fields doing data to you and not the other way around. And the interesting thing that I found just anecdotally, and this speaks to your point, is that even the individuals that come from Muslim household or Muslim backgrounds that go this route, a lot of them do have almost a personal
religious trauma with the own type of Islam that they grew up with. Right? You find either the father or the grandfather or something like that, with this very overbearing, sort of like crude caricature of a strict religious person, that kind of whatever. And then the person, it's almost like, you can feel sympathy for them, because they're, they're trying to salvage some sort of Muslim identity. In order to do that. It's like they're trying to redefine all of what Islam is, and say, well, Islam, it can't be the Islam of my father and my grandfather, it has to be this thing that just happens to coincide with all progressive and liberal values. Yeah. I mean, that that's where I
really have to say like, How bright are you? Right? Because what a coincidence that all of your conclusions about Islam are literally the list. Yeah, of you know, blue state purple haired, lib, whatever the latest thing is, that's what you've come to the conclusion. And you're like, Oh, we're brave, making a brave, but how both bold and brave when you're siding with 99% of the culture, right? So those types they got, they got played, the sandbox was made, and you didn't even realize it, and now you're playing in it.
And I like to go to the underbelly of what underwrites some big things that we see in life like for example, New York City, right. Use go to see
This massive event and obviously you're from New York. So you always go to New York City. Right? So how far are you from New York City? Like, five hours? Yeah, we're Utica. Oh, so you're up Syracuse. But we go, that's pretty often enough, okay to upstate New York. But you go to new cities, massive lights, these massive cities. And my curious is what's underwriting all this? Right? Like, what are the deals? Like who owns these buildings? Right? Actually, no one owns one of the building. It's like, groups. And there's one guy who's got 11%. Everyone else got like, 8%, right?
And then, like, how are decisions made? Who's paying what? Right? That's like what underwrites that's the under and then how is this stuff actually done, like how these cities actually built. And then there are construction companies, and you see them walking in and how they do their business. That's how a city is built. When I thought about someone who wants the these, these this naive, idealistic idea of, we're going to change the academy, you firstly, what is the academy and what underwrites it all, ultimately, the end of the day, it's checks, right? People write for a check. At the end of the day, you get, you may start off with one idea or otherwise, but you will move or not
move. After a certain age in your life, you will move or not move, what dictates whether I wake up and go right or left has to be who was writing me the check, right? Because that's what life ends up big. It becomes responsibilities you have, you have kids, you got a house, you got cars, you got a marriage, you got care, the things to care about financially,
people you care about that you have to take care of. And ultimately, that decision is going to get made, right? And you harden on the side of where the check is coming from is not that hard, right? And who's paying these checks in and when you put in a book, I need to get this book out, right? I need to get a publication out, because I'm gonna apply for a tenure ship. I need the publication. These publications are not coming from some neutral Angel. That's, that's that's deciding making the decision. There are human beings here. These human beings have parties, the human beings get together. They go out to lunch, they meet up conferences, they hang out. They make they're not
And they're the people at Cambridge and and brill, and all these other places that will make decisions on publications. It starts in newspaper in journals. And then it moves up and up and up and up. Right. And
you got to always look at what underwrites it. Right. And
people tend not to go that deep. Right? Yeah, that's that's all very, very relevant to our times. You said something and I want to we only have about 10 more minutes. Unfortunately, this is going to be an abbreviated one. But you said something I want to transition there because I think it's a really important topic. And we're still going through it as a Muslim community. You know, you mentioned the the Democrat, purple haired,
you know, it's on the political agenda. And obviously, both Another commonality that you and I have is, is very kind of outspoken critic of the LGBTQ lobby.
And I recently went back over the podcast that you did with Mohammed hijab and Dr. Jonathan Brown, we had that three way conversations a couple of years ago. Yep. And I really appreciated some things that you said there that I don't think are appreciated enough across the board with Muslim sort of Duat, etc, which is the kind of the issue that you are taking with this logic of, well, we need to support their secular right to do X so that they're not so that the government's not going to come back and stop our right to do why. What's, what's the problem with this sort of logic, because this is one of the main barriers that people have from taking a moral stance and standing up and saying,
This is completely wrong. And I'm going to actually agitate my political rights against it and try to reverse engineer this thing and flip it like the Catholics recently did the Roe versus Wade. Right? This is a big barrier for people. So how would you respond to that? Was this a complete miscalculation that some of the Muslim community did, and what's the way forward? People always feel that they want to be consistent, right?
But consistent on what set of boundaries and rules and according to whom, and what's the level of obligation and what's the consequence? People feel that once you're when they're in a secular world, I want to be consistent with the secular world. Right. So as I want myself to be approved, I will approve of others. So number one, you're in a game of a sandbox to say, a set a world and a set of ideas that consist you
consistency with that, will this allow you to be consistent with another set of beliefs you have, which is Islam?
So that's one thing. Now, consistency number two is Why do you think you need to be consistent? Good? Do you think anyone is asking your permission? Right? Do you think anybody really cares what you have to say? And if someone now let's go to the consequences, if someone levies the charge at you, you're not consistent. So I'm not a secularist in the first place.
I'm announcing and I have a, I am surprised that you are the western countries you've let Muslims in. That's your problem, right? Because we have our own law. Right. And we're not budging from that law to be consistent with yours, because in this law, I have a lot more to gain and lose. On yours. I don't have much to gain and lose. That's right. I am legally, it is totally permitted legally, to be as inconsistent as I want to be. There's no consequence here. It's an important point that you're making. I mean, there's no, there's not. We're policing ourselves. And we're kind of hamstringing ourselves. In reality, we could be like, well, I'll be lobbying for my rights when Yeah, when it's
for me, and when it's against me, you know, I'm gonna be trying totally out.
And do you think not that other people are our teachers? But do you think other groups out there are like, we have to be pious, consistent citizens? Are these lovely for themselves, to em cheat to their motto, they'll do anything that they can to get there. I'll tell you one other thing that Muslims take Islamic mentality, but put it in a secular, that's what they did. They took a good righteous Muslim mentality, but you put it in a secular sandbox, right? And a secular set of rules. And you want to be pious and consistent Well, you don't have to be.
I heard, I was talking to one day to a brother and saying, listen, so and so he knows how to get you out of paying taxes, right?
And he knows all the tricks, the legal tricks to get you out of size, one brothers, and he's not. I never do that. I pay my taxes fully. I'm like, Okay, this is not Zika.
Right. This is not even lawful by Sharia, right to pay the taxes the way they're making? No, you know, what if they told us for North Brunswick, you're paying for this roadway for this garbage? Right? Well, I'm assuming income tax, me 40% of your income, whatever nonsense. That is. Yeah. And I have no idea where it's going. And then they'll tell you, Well, you know where it's going, but not specifically. That's right. bombs and bullets. Exactly. So I'm like, brother, this is not even lawful, this taxation that they're taking your income like, this is not even lawful. There is lawful taxation in the Sharia. It's very strict, right? So I'm like for you to get out of it. First of all,
all these tricks are lawful tricks, legal, their legal tricks, lawful and Islamic terms will say legal in secular terms, their legal loopholes, to get out of paying taxes, right. So we're not even telling you something wrong. It's like, almost right. But you cannot take this mentality of paying taxes like a pious Muslim, is paying Zika.
And that's how people went and approach this LGBT thing where, yeah, it's almost like I want to be consistent. But no, you got it all wrong. Yeah. Right. Yeah. And I never really bought into, you know, again, reviewing the arguments, the whole fear was that a government that is concerned with issues of morality is going to come back and bite us as Muslims. Yeah, I'm not 100% sold on that, on that scare tactic. I think that there's enough. First of all, you know, first of all, the Christian right is not a monolith. There's a big difference between Catholics and evangelicals
and, and their attitudes or potential for alliances with Muslims. And I'm not sure that I buy that argument in the first place, right? Because if we bring the argument back onto moral grounds, I think we have really good arguments for for things on moral grounds. Yeah, it almost seems like again, we hamstring ourselves by trying to play in the secular sandbox, as you say, because then we're in not only, you know, by trying to be consistent and trying to be kind of goody two shoes with it, but also, is it the right sandbox, we want to be playing in the first place. I would also look at
the left does not believe does not hold that there is an actual truth in reality. Everything's relative, right? The right holds that there is a truth. Yes. Okay. We're at odds with their, their version of the truth. They're at odds with ours. When you look at the foundation, the right is closer to what is correct at the foundational level. Okay, you can you will butt heads with someone a hardcore Christian, you will butt heads
But you are within an accurate foundation that there is a truth that faith matters. God matters. afterlife matters. That's why you're butting heads.
This person, although he looks like a severe enemy to you, it is rationally possible for him to recognize one day that his truth is wrong. Your truth is right. With the left, they do not believe in an absolute truth at all. Right? They don't believe in a truth or an afterlife or a god. Yeah. So it is it's much less fees fees. fathomable that whoever recognize any validity to what you're saying. And they're also on their follow up mixed up. It's like we're going TO to jump in with somebody who happens to agree with authority issue. Exactly. And they're also all wrong.
And that's why people whose are sore you know, Yanni sound okay, they have furore that are kind of whatever. And we are exactly running the overall lens of the Christian is. All right, there's god, there's afterlife, right, Adam and Eve. God afterlife. There's right and wrong in this life. Right? And there's a message from God. That's a far closer framework, even though he hates your guts,
then the other one, and now it's the Crusaders. And it's called minuites. Right? And the of Islam. This is the praise of the Prophet is strong enough to withstand both. Yes. All right. So let me tell you this, too. It's pretty interesting that one guy says, Let's listen. He's another comedian making fun of Islam. And he goes, I don't mind you believing anything you want, if that's what you believe, right? If that's what you know, you're, you're,
you know, your identity is or what you what you have come up with. So the summary of that is, we will can accept your *tier provided you admit that it's from your knifes, and it's your hella, do whatever you want. The left will accept niqab if niqab. He says this is my desire, my whim and my identity. There will never accept less than that. They won't even accept less than that. If you say it's submission to Allah. Yes. So they want that, like you said, they want that also. They're smarter as enemies, right? They are smarter, do what you want. It doesn't matter. As long as you're also, like, if you have a kid, I don't know how old your kids are. But you got to go for your for
your whole time into Yeah. So if I were to if your 12 year old, comes up to you one day, and he says something to you.
Let's say he comes up to you. And he says, I'm not going to raise my hands in front of ROCOR and sujood anymore. And and you say, Oh, why? And he says, because I just liked the way it looks right? You got another one who says no, no, I'm not doing it. Because I'm actually going to adopt I really liked the HANA feat will soon on things. And I'm actually I lovable Honey, if and I'm convinced by the HANA field school.
Or let's say, let me let me fix that analogy. Like say that kid, another kid says, I'm actually going to get up for 200. Because, you know, it feels really good. Right? Which one is more reliable? And you're the one who's doing less, but for the right reason, or the one who is merely emotional, doing something good. But his foundation is weak. Yeah, that's not the foundation. That's not the main foundation, because I heard that it's healthy to wake up at 4am and it's healthy to wash your face health. Healthy makes me feel less stressed at work or whatever. Yeah, materialistic benefits are exactly so one is doing less. Right. But his foundations right. One is doing more, that's
Foundation's wrong. Right. So well, unfortunately, we have to cut this short there because, you know, we had some scheduling issues and that's and I have to duck out but yes, it was a wonderful conversation and I really hope that we can pick it up for a round to some time. We'll pick it up it was my fault I had Oh, no worries. Now we're headed to a situation that made me late but we'll pick it up in the future inshallah. Okay, but a coffee I really appreciate offering your time and your thoughts. This is a great conversation and an important one, I think to
the readers benefit so Subhanallah when will you have the courage to step foot or to be like, thank you very much. Instead, I'm like, why like Mr. Lamb Angela?