Tom Facchine – Minute with a Muslim #285 – Representing Islam In an Authentic Way – Dawah

Tom Facchine
AI: Summary © The speaker discusses the importance of educating Muslims to gain access to non- Islam locations and represent Islam in an authentic way. They stress the need for a class of students to tap into this audience and represent Islam in an "incorrect way" to avoid conflict of interest and confusion. The speaker emphasizes the importance of having a certain amount of confidence and assertiveness in representing Islam in a certain way to avoid conflict of interest and confusion.
AI: Transcript ©
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It's really important for educated Muslims, Muslims who have an actual training, traditional training within Islam to try to make inroads and try to gain some sort of access or representation to places where non Muslims are talking, speaking, thinking, especially if they're talking speaking, thinking about Islam, things end up in silos, right. And so the Western Academy can often be okay, you have a department of religion, you have a department of Islamic studies even. And maybe there's not a single Muslim there, among all the professors in that institution, or maybe there's a token Muslim, or a couple token Muslims, but they honestly hold very, very fringe beliefs that most

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Muslims wouldn't even recognize as being as being authentic Orthodox, Muslim, or Islamic beliefs, right. And so it is important that there'll be a class of students of knowledge or a class of scholars that is able to tap into that audience. Because obviously, if somebody is going to take the trouble to attempt to study something about Islam in the first place, then you would assume that the person would be interested in actually learning about it. So for the universities, the colleges, you know, different institutes and things like that. Definitely, it's a huge, it's a huge undertaking, and a very important task, that not everybody's cut out for, to meet people where they're at, and

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try to gain access to those locations and to represent Islam in an authentic way. And why I say not everyone's cut out for it, because it comes down to that representing Islam in an authentic way. Because sometimes in this world, you are given, you're tempted by proximity to power, you're tempted by fame, you're tempted by access, or even just how you look at yourself. And you will have an incentive to represent Islam in an inauthentic way, right in a way that confirms the hopes or allays the fears or the misgivings of a certain population. And so if your aim is to please the people, and to make people just feel a certain way, or accept you or fit in or something like that, then you're

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probably not going to be the right person for the job, you're probably not going to represent Islam very authentically, or very accurately. At that same time, you can't be belligerent, right? We're not trying to Allah says in the Quran to find a common word, right? When you're doing Dawa, or you're representing Islam, you want to find that commonality. But just because we're finding commonality doesn't mean we have to distort the religion or misrepresent the religion, we can be authentic in our representation of Islamic orthodoxy, and still not be belligerent, or conflict or overly aggressive, or combative, about how we present that. So it's a fine balance to strike. And

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not everybody is suited for that sort of thing you need to really have, you really need to have a certain amount of confidence and assertiveness.

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And you also need to preferably have your, your livelihood taken care of outside of that institution. Because if your livelihood is just dependent on that one institution, then then there's a conflict of interest, you have a financial incentive to say what people want to hear or to portray Islam in a certain light. So but just because it's difficult, doesn't mean it's not very important work. It is very important work. And rather than have, you know, paint, the whole western Academy in broad strokes, and you know, with a huge brush, there's a lot of difference out there, you know, from department to department from university to university, there's some people who are very open

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minded and actually want to learn. There's some people who are very closed minded and think they have it all figured out and are very prejudiced. And so it's a case by case basis, and everybody should try to get in where it makes sense.

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