On the Gaza Ceasefire with Dr. Anas Altikriti
Channel: Tom Facchine
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Oh a hit us up in the chat. Let us know your where you're watching from. And please, please remember throughout the program to send your questions we will be taking your questions, whether they're questions for me, or for our esteemed guest that we will have on shortly. Today in the United States is an official federal holiday known as Thanksgiving. And we recently published a blog piece about the holiday of Thanksgiving and what it's supposed to commemorate versus the reality of the experience of many indigenous people. Or we could say, most indigenous people here in the Americas. And the blog piece connects a specific type of conquest that was experienced, and is experienced
present tense by indigenous people in the Americas. And it connects it to the same experience of Palestinians across Palestine, especially in Gaza and the West Bank, and this is a particular form of conquest that is known as settler colonialism. Now, why is settler colonialism different and distinct and important that settler colonialism is a process by which a foreign group of people come in and they dispossess the original inhabitants of their land. And they use violence and terrorism and intimidation, in order to take their land from them, force them off, sometimes corral them into open air prisons, or concentration camps, or reservations, as the case may be? And take everything
else from them. So this is something that even though it is celebrated as a holiday in the United States, there's a lot of controversy over whether this should be celebrated at all. Is this something that we should be celebrating? Now, of course, there's sort of a
historical revisionist myth that is put to it, which has to do with giving thanks and how people helped each other and these sorts of things. However, it sanitizes and whitewashes what is even if there were moments of perhaps, collaboration,
it sanitizers and whitewashes what is almost entirely a history of brutal violence and domination of one people buy another. And so many people reject the idea of celebrating mistake that this day is not something to celebrate that even if giving thanks, yes, is something that obviously is fundamental to everything that we do, as a Muslim, that, you know, if you could perhaps sum up all of Islam. Within one concept, we could say it gratitude and his gratitude to a lost pound Tata, gratitude to everything that he has done for us and continues to do for us. So it's not the problem of giving thanks, or being thankful or gratitude, but rather, it is, what is the particular history
of giving, of this particular land of the interaction of the people that were coming from abroad, that were not indigenous to this land with the people who were indigenous to it. This is something that, unfortunately, is erased. When we when we sort of only construct a holiday, we call it Thanksgiving, we get around and we
eat turkey or whatever. And this This leads, this leaves to the side the entire fifth issue of the celebration of the holidays of the kuffaar and things like that, even if we were to say just for a moment, put that to the side and don't consider it. Is this something that we should be celebrating when this is sort of the history behind this day. So I encourage everybody, if you haven't already to check out our blog posts, you can find it on keen Institute's website and look under the blog posts and give it a read and see how this is exactly the same thing that is being experienced today by the Palestinians. And we have many people that are chiming in here we have Sevilla from Minnesota
mashallah very nice have in the Minnesota multiple times a very cold place but a very nice and beautiful place. We have Josephine from the Philippines.
We have many people coming in so again Masha Allah Tabata cola our audiences global, we have in a saya from Indonesia. Samantha Tom, welcome. So a lot of people that are watching from abroad they might not be. I see from KL Kuala Lumpur settlement the tongue Selma from Portland Oregon I was able to visit Portland Oregon last year very very beautiful place Ali from from Mercer from Egypt as an assassin
mashallah have multiple people sunflower from Nottingham, Sudan from Minneapolis.
Welcome we have a global audience and not everybody knows the dynamics. So some of the things that happen in the US which is why it it takes a little bit of unpacking
So when it comes to Palestine widecombe Saddam thought from Al Jazeera and we have folks from the UK our guest tonight is from the UK as well and mashallah, it's very early for you. Maybe catching you after your tahajjud folks from Las Vegas from LA, the West Coast, Denmark, Masha, Allah, Germany.
I work by the Dominican Republic. Very, very nice bienvenido
and one of the things that I've benefited from my Sheikh Sheikh Abdullah and TT in Medina and this is something that why okay you say we want to come Saddam Shafi from Florida is to be concerned and this is something that sent me Hamdi remarked when he was on the live stream some weeks ago from Virginia we have mashallah Seattle inshallah I'll be visiting Seattle before too long, Toronto. I was just, I was just in Toronto, Chicago and Shala heading to Chicago in December. St. Louis, Missouri. Well, Hartford, North Carolina. Gracias de nada why they come sit down Plano Texas, Indonesia. I love to see all the different places. Bakersfield, California Allahu Akbar on the road
trucking Abu Musa and welcome Trinidad Masha Allah to medical law.
So one of the things that we that is important that I've benefited from a sheikh Sheikh Abdullah and Katie is being concerned with the affairs of the Muslims, okay. And being concerned with the affairs of the Muslims means educating yourself about where they're from the different places that they're from the different culture, right? The different foods, the different way of dressing the different sort of parts of their land. Mashallah, we have lots of people from India, Ottawa, de Moines, Allahu Akbar, lots of people. So this is something that honestly, is something it's an extremely powerful tool that can break down the barriers between us when these days when we're thinking about how to
feel as an omen, how to act as an ummah and how to be united as an ummah. A lot of it starts with educating ourselves. A lot of it starts with educating ourselves and talking to each other. Right? If you meet someone from Bangladesh, to ask them, Are they from Dhaka? Are they from Sudan? Are they from this part or that part? Most of the time, people will be amazed wow, you know something about where I'm from and automatically those boundaries start to drop in between you right if someone's from Malaysia, right, you from Kuala Lumpur, you from Terengganu or quanta are from different parts. knowing something about you know, we saw the Prime Minister of Malaysia had very strong words for
the president the United States very recently, it inspired a lot of us. This is something that
this is something that brings us together so knowing something about your brothers and sisters where they're from where they live
can't mashallah while they can sit down and our brother who who's from can't
study with me and Medina.
So these sorts of things are, they're not just time fillers. They're actually very, very significant to coming together as an OMA Djibouti, mashallah Hama, southern North Carolina, to educate ourselves. Lumberg Masha Allah, that's beautiful, to understand something about each other to understand, even like I said, if it's just dress, or its clothes, or its food, or its geography or its language, right, being able to say hello, or welcome in all of the languages of the OMA would be a beautiful thing. And something that would go just a little bit further in uniting us. So when we talk about settler colonialism, right, so we're talking about this controversial holiday that really
has a dark history behind it in the United States Thanksgiving, and how it relates to the type of experience that why they come sit down for Pakistan,
people from people that are in Palestine or are experiencing right now, right when it comes to people that are coming in, taking over their homes, kicking them out, dispossessing them from their land, right, taking over hurting them onto in the United States, we call them reservations. What is it other but a reservation or even let's bring it further as other scholars have mentioned a concentration camp? Right? This is exactly what settler colonialism looks like. Now, there's an important distinction to be made, and one that we have made elsewhere, especially in the blog post, which I recommend everybody to check out that settler colonialism is just one type of conquest. Not
all conquests are examples of settler colonialism. And when you look at Islam, and how Islam spread, and how the original sort of generations of Muslims expanded into North Africa or expanded into other parts of the world, they did not conquer like this. They did not practice settler colonialism. They did not burn down villages, they did not kick people out of their homes. This is barbaric practices that the Muslims thankfully did not engage in. Rather the Muslims they set up Garrison towns men
near the famous cities Kufa, buzzer first thought that we know of today were originally Garrison towns that the Muslim conquerors they set up to keep the Muslim population separate. So even though the administration or the rulership would change, that the people were pretty much left alone for the most part. And that the actual adoption of Islam was something that took a lot longer in a very organic and non coerced way. So knowing our own history, in addition to turning towards each other, and educating ourselves about each other, and understanding each other, as an OMA is one important point, but also educating ourselves about our own history. Right?
Yes, Australia. Good day. From Victoria. We have few people from Australia, Queensland.
Australia is another very striking example on the sort of American style settler colonialism. With the Aboriginal folks of Australia know this very well. So this is something that we have to educate people because these are deflection tactics. We've seen many people that apologize for the genocide that is going on to our brothers and sisters in Palestine. They say, Oh, this is what everybody does. This is this is just history. Right? Everybody, they conquer the same way. No, that's not true. That's how you conquer. That's not how Muslims have conquered. That's not how Islam is spread. Islam is spread in such a way that it actually benefits and uplifts the people around it, not
subjugates them and makes their lives into a living health. So that's a brief word about that. Now we'd like to bring on why they come sit on SR Fatuma from Toronto. We've got mashallah a lot of a broad audience is always here. We're going to bring on a very, very special guest and his name is Dr. Ennis treaty. Now, Dr. Ennis is somebody who is based in the UK, so we appreciate very much him tiring himself to join us on the program today. But Dr. Ennis is a person of have long experience and a lot of very, very interesting skill set and activities. One of the more important things is he's a founder of Cordoba Institute, which attempts to foster understanding between the Muslim world
and the West, in addition to a ton of other initiatives, Dr. Ennis, and Amazon, and thank you so much for joining us on the program today. Hi, collo alikoum was Salam wa Rahmatullah. It's a pleasure to be with you today. Him and Tom, I'm not entirely sure whether we should talk about Thursday or Friday. It's 2am where I am today, but said hamdulillah it's a great honor and privilege to be with you today via coffee from either way in the city or that's Joomla. So Joomla for us. After a minute I'm gonna zoom out for you so humbler.
So give us a little bit of background about the Cordova Foundation. And I also want to get into, there's been a smear campaign against the Cordova foundation and yourself in a very similar way to our previous guest, Dr. Hatem Bazian, with his foundation, so if you could enlighten us as to the work that you do, and that the Cordoba Foundation does, and sort of the smear campaign that has been set up against you.
Smilla Rahmanir Rahim Al hamdu lillah wa salatu salam, ala Rasulillah. Once again, thank you very much for inviting me to speak to you about an array of issues, obviously, within the context of what's happening in Gaza. But your introduction is extremely important in trying to outline
something that we now we now know and identify as settler colonial project. But there's something which is quite important, and it ties in directly to
what I'll speak about in terms of my personal experience, as well as the experience of the Cordova Foundation. And that is that this kind of project
necessitates the dehumanizing dehumanization of the other, seeing the other as being less as being other second, probably even third degree.
And this started several centuries ago, probably in the 18th century, when British colonialists actually formed this within an ideology that was to mark the next 200 years.
And that is essentially that it was the white man's burden to educate others. The white man in Europe particularly saw himself as being higher as being supreme as being having attained all the skills necessary to be cold, civilized, and that all others especially the black man of Africa, of Asia, of Latin America, the banana
of America, the indigenous populations of Australia and the such were all of a lesser capacity and aptitude and they need to be educated, they need to be held against their own inclinations, their own ways in the search. And therefore it was termed the white man's burden. And as you know, is famous Rudyard Kipling's famous poem about that, that very concept which which led the way then, to the various settler colonial projects, whether it be in North America, whether it be in Australia, whether it been
in South Africa, for instance, which we saw the end of Alhamdulillah, we saw for ourselves how that particular episode ended, and obviously, fell asleep in was supposed to be also another series within that horrid chain. But coming back to the Cordova Foundation, the Cordova Foundation was established in January 2005. So it's been almost 19 years now. And it was founded the back of the enormous anti war demonstrations that the engulf the entire world, I was one of the organizers of the demonstrations around the world, against the war in Iraq. And previous to that the war in Afghanistan. I was one of the chairs of the historic 2 million March, which is still till this day,
the biggest march and demonstration in the history of the United Kingdom.
And the thinking was, because if you recall, or maybe you're too young to recall, but after 911, what's happened was that there was a narrative that reemerged. And that narrative was something that was proposed by the likes of Francis Fukuyama and Samuel Huntington in the early 90s,
about the clash of civilization, and their proposition was essentially, that Islam was incapable of living with any other, and that there was a necessity to clash because of the intrinsic nature of Islam. And that, at the time wasn't really taken seriously. But after 911, all of a sudden, everyone returned to that ideology and thought, well, there we go. That's, that's explains it.
So we found it necessary to counter that by providing channels of information that are somewhat different from the channels available time, and therefore the Cordova Foundation was founded. Now, you're absolutely right, in terms of yesterday, your guest, Dr. Hatem, Bazian, and many, many others, countless others, and I count myself privileged to be amongst them, and my organization to be amongst them.
It's, it's when you're impactful when you're effective, it's when your work has a real effect and a real impact and you reach to other people and you, people start to listen to what you have to say, all of a sudden, it becomes problematic, and therefore you need to be shut down. And yes, we have for years now, longer than I care to count, to be perfectly honest, we've not only been
attacked and vilified by corners of the media, but also,
you know, practical terms like being the bank, you know, having our bank accounts closed time and time and time again. And, you know, every single time we have an event, we have something happening, we almost now know, to expect exactly how it's how it's going to play out and how we're going to be attacked, but isn't Alhamdulillah and you know, I'd rather not talk about that much simply because we have far more important things to do. And the Cordova foundation and hamdulillah by the Grace of Allah is simply one cog within the machine of change. The the mechanism of transformation that the entire world requires starting from that very conceptual point of seeing the other as being less and
less deserving, and less human
on to, you know, creating an environment that is conducive to the very best of human aptitude and capacity. That's very, very well stated, and you're speaking my language entirely. You know, I kind of woke up on 911 I think that was an awakening for me. I was in eighth grade. And it was sort of the beginning of my politicization and sort of my own intellectual journey. I was able to by the Grace of Allah to figure out enough things to do
be against the invasion invasion of Iraq, even as a teenager, and to do what little I could do as a teenager, to participate in whatever was going on around me at that time. And since then it's been this for me, it's, it's remarkable to see how everything comes full circle,
this progression in this March where everything that's happened since then, now there's a unicity to it. And to the point where in uni, I did study, post colonial theory that was basically what led me to a snap, to give things a very, very short account. But when you say, seeing the other as lack, this is exactly the language of the academy, in which I was trained. The sort of the ideological anatomy, like what How could it happen, right, definitely, like post colonial theory always looking for what makes the colony the colonizer colonize why, why this type of brutality and this type of degradation. And one of the useful things that has entered into our lexicon. Since, you know, since
the escalation in Palestine in the last month and a half, has been this idea that every accusation is a confession. And I think that you know, when you're talking about Fukuyama in the class of the clash of civilizations, and this idea that Islam cannot accommodate, right, and if we know what we know about history, about how Islam actually did accommodate very, very well difference in a way that was superior to what the modern Western world has offered, when it comes to accommodating difference, I think that we're on to yet another accusation that is actually a confession, that the contemporary architecture of the international world order liberalism, whatever you want to put the
whoever doorstep you want to put the blame on, that the status quo cannot accommodate difference very well.
And I think in time, so often in time, in terms of redemption, about how Islam is, I think, a tremendous redemptive force, that has the opportunity to actually educate people and show people precisely what you're saying, which is that difference does not have to be lack, it doesn't have to be less that we can see the humanity and value the humanity of the other. And that perhaps Islam is the best system to teach people how that is to be done. So that's very sort of I didn't prepare on to talk about that. But you're speaking to my heart. And so I had to comment on that. I don't know if you had any other further reflections on this. Well, you're absolutely right. And even you know,
the adoption of the name, the Cordova Foundation, Cordova being the the epitome of Spanish civilization. And I mean civilization, meaning the very engine, the gear Europe towards modernity, as we know it today.
That particular time that in Spanish historians.
Language, they call it the 100, golden years, those 100 years ruled by Muslims, in which every single person, every single citizen, was part of making and shaping the cities and the future. And in fact, we have records of Jews being ministers within within the the de Lucia within the construct the political, as well as administrative contract construct, we have Christians we have. So those were the years, until today, hundreds of millions from around the world flock to Spain, to see the remnants of to see the remains of simply because it was what started what really engineered the, you know, the next, you know, three, four or five, five centuries. So you're absolutely right. And this,
this that you you ended off with, and that is the fact that Allah subhanho wa Taala creates this diverse creates this difference, in order so that we mingle that we get to know each other that we exchange experiences that we get to know each other's perspectives, is something which is absolutely central to the idea to the very concept of Islam. In fact, I would go further and suggest that I no scholar of other religions, but I know in Islam that we have in Surah Surah In verse 71, Kolomna Benny Adam, ALLAH SubhanA wa Taala states, verily We have honored or we have dignified the people of Adam, the sons of Adam, meaning every single
One. Now I don't know of a religion or faith, an ideology that states that every single human being whoever they are, whatever they the culture that they subscribe to whatever their political diminish the minion, whatever their lifestyle is honored and dignified not by any one's the decree, the by Allah's order. And that's it's something which I find is central to everything that we do and everything that we call for.
Beautiful. That's a very profound reflection. And I'd like to remind the audience to please send in your questions for Dr. Ennis, while we while we have him. I'll be asking my own questions. And I will be getting around to your so please just type in your your questions to the chat. And we'll leave time for questions. Now. Another question I'd like to ask you. So I was reading a bit about your your bio today. For you were doing some work with the Muslim Association of Britain.
And then there came this time, where you left and what I had read, and you correct me if I'm wrong, because you know, this is just from the internet. But there was a climate after 911, where it was very, very difficult for Muslims to continue doing political activism and political work. And it seems like many people turned away from that work, and started going into maybe safer activities, such as education or community development or things like that, from what I gleaned, and again, correct me if I'm wrong, you chose to stay doing the political work. And why I want to ask why. If that's accurate, then why? And second, why I'm asking you this question is because we're in a
similar climate. Today, we're seeing the backlash, we're seeing the Daxing we're seeing all these attempts to smear people.
I'm afraid that people are again, going to shy away and try to go back into hiding and and not face this thing head on? What is the value of holding down the fort and standing up at this very, very difficult moment and to continue doing the political work?
You're right, in terms of your description of what's happened, and I agree with you Absolutely. That it's a question that's was and is being asked in? Probably all, you know, wherever Islamic Dawa persists, whether it be in Europe, in North America and Australia and, and the such, and that is, where do we focus? Where do we concentrate on at the time, the time that you're talking about after 911, after the marches that saw hundreds of 1000s, at one stage 2 million people turn up? In the UK, there was this feeling that? Well, we've done as much as remember, I mean, ultimately, after all those, I would suggest glorious events that the Muslim community was very much at the at the
forefront of achieving, ultimately, you know, your president at the time, George W. Bush, our prime minister at the time, Tony Blair, took the world to war in Iraq. And we know the catastrophe that has ensued since since then.
So there was this feeling of despondency, there was this feeling that all of this doesn't really have an impact doesn't really have an effect. And therefore, it's, it's much much easier for people to find their comfort zones, it's much, much easier to say, you know, what, I'm just going to focus on my mosque, because really, you know, my flock really need you know, and my attention, they need to learn Quran more they need to, and we've, you know, we've been on the streets for so long now for so many months. And we've mingled with all sorts of people,
you know, Muslims, as well as non and, you know, maybe we need to go back to basics. And, you know, it's a narrative that very few people can actually disagree with. Because, you know, you're stating something which many people will find quite comforting. And it'll give you that kind of inner confidence that, well, you know, whatever happens with the world, whatever wrongs that prevail in the world, well, you know what, you're going to stay away from that. It's much, much easier. But the fact of the matter is that, to me at least, Dawa itself doesn't work without you being involved in every facet of life. It doesn't work. It can't be impactful unless you're engaged politically,
you're engaged with the business community and get in K. You know, if you're not engaged with the artistic if you wish community if you're not every facet of life, requires you to be absolutely engaged with it.
Everything every single cause. That is the the root reason why people are suffering, suffering, economically suffering, socially suffering from the security perspective, suffering from the information overload or maybe misinformation. All of this requires your full attention and your full engagement, you just can't say, You know what, I'm not going to touch this corner of my of the world that I live in, I'm not going to touch this sphere, it doesn't work like that. It doesn't work like that. And therefore, many of us, I'm glad to say, stuck, stuck with the roots. And yes, those hundreds of 1000s. Turning up every single Saturday, became 10s of 1000s, sometimes became only in
their 1000s. But we stuck the course. And you know what, once they were needed to come out for Palestine, all of a sudden, we have hundreds of 1000s. And we had last weekend, another million. So all of this is something that is having an impact, we might not see it, we might not feel it, you know, it's very, it's it's tiny steps, it's very incremental. But what's happening is a real transformation. Because now, it's not only that a million people have turned up, for instance, in London, hundreds of 1000s millions of others around the world, including in the United States. But what is happening is the people have a clearer understanding of what's happening. And this is
something that is absolutely different from where we were 20 years ago. And this is something that we need to latch on. And it's something that we need to build with all our friends from across society. And that is the epitome of what our means that our means to be at the very heart of things to be at the very center of add a being at the people at people's service, that you know, whenever they have a question, I'm there to answer, whenever they want to see an example. I'm there to give that example, whenever they want guidance, whenever they want to have a discussion and chat. I am there. If I'm not there, then I'm not doing my job. And I feel as Muslims as people who claim to
have this noble title of being to add, I feel that this is where we need to be on the streets, amongst people in the middle of our communities and middle of our society at the service of everyone. Excellent, well stated and very inspiring. And I'm glad you said that, because unfortunately, a lot of people take it as a sort of false dilemma. They feel like they have to choose between being on the street or being in the masjid, learning the core en or being active politically. And I think what what you're saying? And certainly what I'm saying is that no, there's no dilemma here that we actually need both. And in order to realize all of the guidance that a las
Panatela gave us, it has to be implemented. And it has to be implemented around you in the society that you live in. And through representing and being on hand Manning your post, as as we say. That's fantastic. I'd like to switch now to a different sort of set of questions. And I encourage everybody again, who's Washington, please send in your questions.
You do hostage negotiations, which sounds pretty intense.
And I'd like you to potentially give the average Joe a window into this world. It's something that we read about obviously, it's become very timely, again, with the prisoner exchange that is supposed to happen, you know, imminently hopefully.
What should the average person maybe know that they don't know about how hostage negotiations work? Can you give us a window into that world?
It's a part of my work that I don't talk about much for a number of reasons. The first is, I wouldn't recommend it to anyone to be perfectly honest.
It's it necessitates that you work in a very murky part of everything that's happening. It's very backdoor. It's very secretive. It's very confidential. In most cases, in my case, by the Grace of Allah subhanho wa taala. I've helped
with the release of 21 hostages till now since I started by mere accident in 2006.
There are still some 11 or 12 cases that are still ongoing.
We ask Allah subhanho wa Taala to bring them to a satisfactory and good conclusion. In many of those cases, I can't say things
Simply because, you know, victims have their privacy. They don't want people to speak of their plates, and they've gone through horrific things. And therefore, it's not for me to sort of make a story out of their suffering. But basically, I started, as I said, by me, and I just stumbled into this in 2005, there was four Krisztian Peacemaker hostages that were taken in Iraq.
One who was a British and a friend,
called Dr. Norman Kimber,
an American, Tom Fox, and two Canadians. And I was asked if I would consider traveling to Iraq. And that would have been the very first time in my entire life.
Since I left Iraq, as a two year old, that I went to Iraq, if I would go to Iraq and make mediate appeals, you know, just so that maybe the, the kidnappers would hear that these people are not occupiers. They're not with the American forces. They're not with the British forces. They were there in order to help as much as they could, the Iraqi people. So I was there just to make a media plea, but then that evolved into me getting some phone calls and meeting with some people and traveling to some areas being led on some wild goose trail regarding people claiming, oh, we have them and, you know, what are you going to give us in order to release them? It turns out, they were
false trails, and that that was a very painful, very stressful, but very informative, and eye opening.
Process. Thankfully, after about five or six months,
three of the four were released, Tom Fox, unfortunately, was killed just two weeks before the others were released when he tried to escape.
So I don't know, you tell me whether that was a success or not. But that was, but then brought up my profile where people started calling me and saying, Well, we have someone in Syria, we have someone in Somalia, we have someone in Libya, we have someone and so on and so forth. So word of mouth and and that particular profile and Hamdulillah. If I've managed to help him that's, that's from Allah subhanaw, taala. Mashallah. So, one of my reflections. So this is the sort of thing that I'm getting at here, what I'm asking maybe to
a lesson learned or something like this, you know, you began by saying that this is something that happens in a very murky sort of way, is that because and this is my impression, that oftentimes the people who are negotiating don't want to be seen as negotiating with each other. And so they have to rely on sort of back channels that they don't even acknowledge exists.
Is that accurate to say, that's, that's part of it. But also, because, in my case, because I've made a name for myself, that I don't negotiate money, anyone who wants to talk about ransom money needs to talk to someone else, I've made that very, very clear. And I make it clear to everyone, including the family of the hostages, that I'm not going to negotiate on money simply because I find it unethical, I can't I you know, I can't negotiate millions of dollars or whatever people might need to however, that means that the people that I negotiates with usually have political aspirations, political ambitions, and that involves dealing with governments dealing with political agencies
dealing with and I have to say that as
horrid and corrupt, as some of whom I've, I've had the displeasure of negotiating with the times. I have to say that amongst the worst our governance,
the back handedness, the political interests that are put forward before human life, the the often revelation to the media have certain elements which scupper the whole deal, for instance, that's happened several times. So it's very, very unpleasant. Yes, I do deal with people, sometimes who have some very skewed ideologies and believe that they are doing this for some very higher aspiration or goal and the site should they don't see the fact that what they're doing is harming and hurting innocent people.
They have no inhibition in in doing the most heinous
Things are threatening at least to do the most heinous things to the to the hostages.
And thinking that they're doing something good. I've had those conversations. But like I said, it's the it's the murkiness and the bank back handedness of governments that says, This made me more than most, I have to say. And that's a very important point, I think, for the average person to take away. I mean, we've seen that play out in real time with Netanyahu and how he has dealt or mis dealt with the hostages, that are supposedly his responsibility, and that he at least pretends to care about and he's pursued pretty much every single choice decision policy that endangers them, as opposed to anything that's going to do anything for them, much to the chagrin and anger of many
Israelis. So those are exactly the types of reflections that I think are useful for the average person to kind of keep in mind. And if you wouldn't, if you would permit just one last question on the sort of the hostage thing before getting into what's going on now. And it was a in the ceasefire, is, you mentioned sort of that you don't deal with situations where people are asking for for money?
A lot of people I think the average person would question like, What are most people after, when they take hostages or prisoners are people usually after money? Or they, you know, usually after political ideals or something else? What's the typical motivation or sort of the the main motivations that people even purport to have? The smaller organizations are generally after money. And when they can't get the money, or they don't have the capacity to do the negotiations, they usually sell off the hostages to larger organizations. Now, larger organizations
usually are after some political limelight, either. They want to show that they have strength and power and they want to negotiate certain things, maybe the release of their their comrades and friends, maybe, you know, some laws locally that they need the change or Bentall, or the like.
So, usually, in my case, I mean, it's only happened three or four times that once the group asks for, for money, and I say, Okay, I'm stopping this here. I find out later on the beach sold on they moved on the hostages to someone who can actually engage in a negotiation of the highest scale, which is of political interest. And by the way,
those large organizations and groups, they are incredibly politically shrewd, they have built some political capacity, they know what to talk.
They know how to talk, they know what to demand, they know when to demand it. And they know their limitations also. So in the case of several like, I can maybe count five or six.
It was masterfully done by by the group to release the hostages at a particular moment, whereby if they had waited for a few more days, they would have been in danger, but they assessed it absolutely perfectly. And they released the hostages, as they as we had agreed.
And they had gained, well, probably they had gained the kind of thing that they wanted in terms of the political gain, the political credits, the show of power. Don't forget, I mean, we're talking about conflict zones. We're talking about very unstable zones where these people, operators gangs, I mean, yes, they might raise a flag saying Allah ilaha illAllah Muhammad Rasul Allah, but in actual fact, their demands, their expectations are extremely mundane, just like any other, you know, political group, or, or gang or the such. So alhamdulillah it's,
it's something that I look back at with immense gratitude to Allah subhanho wa taala. It's, it's not something I would wish to happen. Again, it's not something that I would wish upon anyone, I don't recommend it as a career path. It leads to many sleepless nights, it leads to many stressful settings with your family where your mind is absolutely somewhere else. But alhamdulillah in any case, handled. Well, thank you very much. I mean, I confess my complete ignorance about that entire world, which is why it's kind of fascinating to me, and I appreciate you opening up a bit about it. So with that experience that you have when you've seen the last, you know, 45 to 50
The days or so, you've seen how the hostages, you know, were taken. And then we had some of them released. And now we have a ceasefire and supposedly a sort of deal on a prisoner exchange of sorts. Could you give us some reflections on
how things have been unfolding in this conflict and the ceasefire that has recently been agreed to?
Well, I mean, this ceasefire is someone probably six weeks too late. But alhamdulillah we're here. And it's good that we're not six weeks further down the line with
more 1000s More having been slaughtered, as we've seen unfold before our very eyes.
way, in all honesty, I mean, for the Israelis, it's very, very clear that the hostages were an important factor, but not the most important factor. And that's was what delayed the ceasefire. And, and that was when governments such as mine in London, or yours in Washington should have stepped in Far, far earlier in order to prevent or to try to prevent the onslaught that was unleashed by the Israelis against the people of Gaza.
Yeah, the hostages are somewhat important, but there is no question that the Israelis had had no qualms about striking areas where they felt the the hostages might be eliminating the hostages. By the way, this is something I experienced on three or four occasions during my career.
Eliminating the hostages might be the easiest and the best outcome for certain countries. And I was often pressed by official authorities, by embassies by certain agencies, which I knew spoke on behalf of governments to identify the location, for instance, that I thought the hostages might be at. And it was clear to me that they wanted to contract groups that would, you know, storm the area and kill everything and everyone. That would have been far easier, far less embarrassing. You know, how all countries say we don't negotiate with terrorists? Right? I would suggest that every single country does actually negotiate with terrorists.
So it's, it was clear that the Israelis, really in their estimation, if I was to state that they had four or five strategic objectives from the massacre against Gaza, I would say the hostages may be one of the three or four. They weren't at the top of the list, and therefore, they weren't keen on the ceasefire itself. They didn't, they weren't really that. I mean, the only thing that Netanyahu can get from the release of hostages is the hope of some political credit, which he has none of these now, absolutely running on fumes. He knows very, very well that if hostilities was to stop from the Israeli side today, tomorrow, he probably be marched to a court of law, and then maybe in
you know, sent to jail. So he's, he's absolutely fighting for his life. And the hostages are merely one of the cards that he's hoping that would turn out in his favor. I see. Give us some insight from the side of the, you know, the Palestinian resistance. They took the hostages, they took, oh, what what are they attempting to do when they do that? Is this something this is not a 50? Discussion? It's not a moral approval or disapproval. But from your experience, what are they attempting to do? And does? Do you think that it makes sense? Or does it? Have they achieved their goals? Some people are pointing out, for example, that the ceasefire that was agreed to now is largely the similar
demands that were made weeks ago. And so therefore, this is something that indicates who's really got the upper hand here or who has sort of worn out the other side. Could you speak to that a little bit? Well, from an absolute strategic point of view, and like you said, not engaging with the filthy side of things. I would suggest that the past six weeks have been an utter horrific failure for the Israelis, and as hard as difficult to comprehend an incredible victory and triumph for the people of Gaza. Now, how can that be when you have more than 14,000 people kill?
Over 6000 of whom are children
The fact of the matter is when you're under occupation, when you're occupied when you're dehumanized, when you're subjugated,
when all your rights are confiscated in the hands of your oppressor, the only thing you can do is to be an irritant is to be there. That is the point of resistance, I find it extremely naive of some who comments and say, well, in terms of numbers, obviously, Gaza has been obliterated, obviously. But that's not the point of what we call resistance, which is enshrined in international law, to resist is to be there is to not be uprooted. That is the point of resistance. And army, the size and the capacity and with the International backing, that Israel has, has no other option. But to try to uproot the resistance, absolutely eliminate zero, the resistance, if it if it doesn't do that, then
it's lost. From the strategic point of view, it has lost. Now the taking of hostages is a very important part of any strategic sort of military action or active resistance or the such because for every hostage for every hostage, you can then negotiate. It's a negotiating cards. It's not only, you know, harming some artillery or or armored machinery, or vehicles or such, it's actually that you have personnel who are vital and crucial, at least in your thinking in your mind, to your adversary to your enemy. So it's a negotiating power. And therefore, and this is something very, very important
for the people of Gaza, for Hamas for the resistance, call them as you make
a hostage is very, very valuable. And therefore they will be looked after they will be cared for. They will be they will be cared for even more than the actual citizens of Gaza simply because they provide cover for the resistance they provide a negotiating
card. Once, you know the battle arrives at a point where people are sitting around the table, or talking at least about some sort of deal. And therefore those hostages were taking by by hammers in order to negotiate more freedoms, more rights, more the breakouts of this prison that we call Gaza, this concentration camp that we call that we call Gaza. Now, that from the other side, we're talking now about approximately 100 Probably 150
held by the Israelis released
and 150 hostages is really held by by Hamas, who by the by the elements, the resistance in Gaza. Now, the question that comes to mind, and because Hamas is actually listed the names of the prisoners they weren't released. And the question that I find, I found no one asking, how is it that we have 13 year olds held by Israelis? How is it that we have young girls, young boys at school age that have been in Israeli prisons now for three, four years? How is that why? Why haven't we ever asked the question? What are these children doing?
languishing in Israeli jails. And by the way, these are 150, from amongst more than 4700 prisoners, many others of whom are also minus women. And by the way, most of those have never been charged and don't stand trial there are under what you call administrative detention. And therefore they don't be they're not charged with any particular crime. They're not standing before any any particular court. They're just held there. And they could be held there for their entire lives. We have on record hundreds of Palestinians who have been in administrative detention for more than 18 years, and no one knows when the time will come when they will be released. So so this is this is the
situation that we are at. I personally think that
the ceasefire agreed and the terms that are agreed
to the total frustration and anger
And and in a quarrel within Israel, especially the fact that the terms are the five days they can't fly anything over, you know, the skies of Gaza. And that is extremely important, obviously, in the strategic point of view. Because if, if Hamas is going to release its hostages, it doesn't want Israeli drones monitoring where they're coming from, or how they're being moved or the such. So from the strategic point of view, it just shows to be perfectly honest, the fact that that term was set, as probably the second point, it shows an incredible
you know, nuance and understanding of, of the intelligence and security elements on the side of of hummus. Wonderful, thank you so much for walking us through that. Really, really amazing insights. We'll we'll move to questions in just a sec. But I want everybody who's watching to think about after hearing Dr. Ennis talk about, you know, we're talking about the taking of hostages, and then the conditions of administrative detention, which is really a euphemism, one would be entitled to ask what the difference is between the two, right? We have, we have taking hostages on one hand, and we call something else administrative detention. And they resemble each other, very, very closely.
So it's, that's an important thing. A lot of the last month and a half has drawn attention to the naming and how we name things and how there's always a media slant, when it comes to the way that certain things are named. While somebody can be picked up in social media has shown us now children as young as five as young as two being abducted, kidnapped, in this administrative quote, unquote, detention, then what really is the difference? So with that said, we do have a couple nice questions here on Syria asks, What would be a good starting point, to educate or inform fence sitters? Who think the current conflict will either tide over like they have in the past, or those that feel that
it's all pointless?
Well, you know, all of this, to be perfectly honest, you don't need to be a political scientist. And you don't need to be some sort of expert on Middle Eastern Affairs. In order to decide which side of the fence you need to be on millions of people around the world, I would even go as far as to suggest billions of people around the world. And regardless of their faith, regardless of their culture, regardless of their race, they have clearly identified the oppressor from the oppressed. And the mere fact that there are people that still fail to, to see with their own eyes, they, you know, they you know, what, I often advise my own family to watch the news. But to do it on mute, not
to listen to the commentator not to listen to the presenter, because the images are sufficient, the images are more than sufficient. And, and to be perfectly honest, I mean, I, you know, when you have a conflict, such as the one that we've seen, and this has been ongoing now for decades, but let's just take the last six weeks in consideration. Anyone who's watched any clip over the past six weeks and still feels that by sitting on the fence that they're doing, they're in the best position, or they're doing the right thing. I think that they need their humanity checked. I think that they need their morality scrutinized, and I think they need to ask themselves some very, very
probing questions. Brilliant, brilliant response. We have several people who comment about lack of faith in the international institutions. One person in particular matters asks why the UN won't act in this horrific situation. We were witnessing things happening in Ukraine not too long ago. Now, even worse is happening and nothing's going on.
It's a very question and I think it brings to the fore the actual crisis that we find ourselves in as, as human beings as a human population, and that is the what we call the international community or the international order doesn't seem to be working. And we know for a fact now for many decades that in the case of Palestine, it wasn't working. But even in proceeding, you know, proceeding to this, you know, events of horrific nature such as what's happened in Syria, for instance, such as what happened in various in Kashmir, in you know, for the Uyghurs for the
Have a award for that. You start to, you know, wonder what use is the international community is the international community for the United Nations Security Council. And as such, are these institutions fit for purpose anymore? I mean, the reports are fine and proper, I have to say that the initial statements of the UN General Secretary was was something that we need to frame and hang on our walls.
But, okay, to what end? I mean, and that's, why is it that we're governed by,
by statements by treaties by declarations that read brilliantly yet, in reality have absolutely no meaning, when, for instance, the United Nations can be pressured by the United States not paying its shares, and therefore, you know, basically being lobbied in to toeing a particular line.
It's, it's, you know, many, many questions emerge as a result of, of the failure of the international community and international institutions. And I fearful what that would mean, because what's the alternative? The alternative is, well, you know, chaos is that everyone runs the shop, just like the they desire or they see fit. And that is truly problematic, the issue of faith, by the way, and I am going to frame it more accurately in terms of the issue of morality, the issue of morality, we have absolutely read, ripped out of our governing institutions, of our politics, of our economics of our business of our lives. And that is all to the detriment of everyone. And that's
something that we as human beings, all of us need to ask once again, because you know, what, in light of the incredible advancements that we're making on every single level, communications, finance, industry, everything. The fact of the matter is, we have around the world, far more depression, far more suicides, far more
conflicts, far more family distributions, far more breakups, far more social strife, far more wars, far more famine, far more disease. So all of these advancements, it seems, correlate somehow, to more depression, more misery, more suffering on behalf of human being. And the reason I would suggest one of the reasons at least, is the fact that all of this has been taken away from the aspect of morality of ethics. You can't bring in the world moral, the word moral to any kind of conversation, whether it be within a group, who run a business venture, or amongst politicians or amongst strategists or the such, once you start talking about morality. It's as though you're
talking about, you know, something that is unseen, you know, something that people just simply can't get the their minds around. It's something that we need to address once again, how do we restore morality in our dealings? How do we identify what is right what is wrong, that I feel would restore a lot of agency to agent to agencies that now have absolutely none? Fantastic. Ruby Kay asks, What are the chances that all Palestinian prisoners will be released from Israeli prisons?
But, you know, I think that over the past six weeks, we've been a trance, we've seen something of a transformative nature, in the struggle of the Palestinian people.
Once the Israelis have been dealt in terms of a humiliating defeat on the battlefield, I mean, bear in mind this, it took the you know, the United States and Britain it took them something around 35 days to absolutely take over all of Iraq 20 years ago.
It's been the how 4546 days since one of the most advanced armies in the world, backed by the United States, backed by Britain, backed by France, have been shelling this tiny strip of land which you can't actually see on the world Atlas. with the naked eye.
for 46 days, they've been shelling incessantly, yet they haven't managed to achieve a single and I mean, a single strategic objective on the field. So from the militarily poor military point of view, they've been dealt a humiliating defeat from the media point of view, despite the fact that media out outlets, including our own BBC, which only a few years ago used to be, you know, the sort of emblem epitome of media professionalism, impartiality, and the such, objectivity has rid itself of all of that. So rivets has never claimed that it is anything but towing the the Israeli narrative.
Even so, the media war has been absolutely won by a landslide. By the Palestinian side, we've seen the emergence of brave young, even Jewish voices from around the world, that are not only criticizing Israel for the genocide, it's committing, but calling Israel by names, which I personally never ever thought of, you know, a Jewish American, young man and woman would ever call Israel apartheid, committing genocide, committing war crimes demanding that Netanyahu and Israeli leaders be be hauled before the hay. And, you know, all these, this, this, this six weeks, as painful
as it has been for the people of Gaza, and it's been painful, just watching imagine living there. Imagine those parents holding the bodies of their children, you know, their dead children. It's something that the hearts really, you know, breaks time and time and time again,
to the scene of but, you know, the fact is that we have just seen a transformative moment. What was before the seventh of October is definitely not what is coming after the seventh of October. I think there are many, many dynamics Israel, I, you know, besides the billions and billions, it's lost financially, I think in terms of political credit, within its own communities, by the way within the Jewish communities around the world. I think it's it's made losses that I'm not entirely sure that it actually can restore whatsoever, however much it piles in in terms of monies or PR campaigns are such. One final question, and we'll let you proceed with your early morning. Lunar sky asks, very
similar question. Does a Palestine Stinney in state have a better chance now? What happens after this war to Gaza to Palestine?
Okay, if it's okay with you, Imam Tom, I'm going to depart a little from my political seat here and say something that might might be a little bit surprising.
I don't care for a Palestinian state. I don't care for an Iraqi state. I don't care for a Syrian state. I don't care for an Egyptian state.
The states we have our failure. They, you know, they are
failed entities. They are elements that subjugate that brutalize that suppress their own people. We've seen how, you know, we're talking about the hundreds of 1000s of people marching across the capitals of the world, the cities of the world, but yet they're quite one thing where it matters most in the Arab and Muslim nations, the Arab countries surrounding that as the only stone throw stone's throw away from from Gaza.
Where, you know, I'm not really worried about a Palestinian state. I think that the the return of human dignity of human freedom, real freedom is what we should yearn for. I'm looking for
what's happened 100 years ago, at the hands of the Brits particularly, and also the French and other colonial powers by shredding apart apart.
A nation that was joined by a language that was joined by a faith that was joined by a culture that was joined by a way of life, including by the way Muslims, Christians and Jews, we've all always, we've always had Christian and
Jewish communities living within us. My father tells me about their Jewish neighbors about how when they were little, and their parents needed to go out, they would go and stay at their Jewish neighbors, how the children would come and they would play with each other. In every single Arab capital, there is always a Jewish Quarter in Cairo in Damascus, and Beirut, in Iraq, in Yemen, in Morocco. That was never an issue. That was never an issue. The project that was imposed upon this region was a Zionist project in order to subjugate the entire region, to steal its riches. It was a colonial project, it was similar to the Crusades, by the way, the Crusades, of many centuries ago,
of 10 Centuries ago, started as the first modern manifestations of an imperialistic colonial
venture covered by the guise of religion, you want to go to heaven, this is the way you go, and you die in the Holy Land, for the for the crucifix for, you know, for for our Lord. And that's how you guarantee your place in heaven. Otherwise, it was pure, imperialistic, colonial manifestations that that then developed into what we see today. So my concern is not for a state, that might be a step, okay, if it's in the right direction, then it's in the right direction. If it's under current conditions, then that's fine. But if ultimately, we're going to create an entity that will be at the behest of the IMF, and then be ruled on democratically by another Arab and Muslim regime, just like
the ones that we have scattered across the region, then I'm sorry, then that's not what we're looking for. We are looking for true human liberation. And by the way, the Palestinians are teaching us that lesson.
They are fully aware of this. Out of all of those, the hundreds, whom we've heard, after, you know, their houses have been demolished, the children have been killed and slaughtered, not one of them, not one of them said, my hope is that I will one day stand in a free Palestinian state, a free Palestinian state is not their objective. Their objective is true freedom and liberation. Now, this needs probably another conversation as to what we're talking about the please, let's not, let's not reduce all this struggle, all this sacrifice all this pain and suffering, so that ultimately we can come up with something that has a national flag, and national emblem, a football team, and then call
ourselves free. That's not the real meaning of freedom. So that's very profound and very timely. And I'm just going to just to repackage exactly what you said very briefly, so that everybody in the audience is a crucial point that I don't want them to lose, or to misunderstand is that what we're after is so much larger than a state that we can't simply focus on this one thing, which is a technology, a state is a political technology that is meant to achieve certain ends, such as liberation, such as justice, such as equity, such as you know, all the meaning in our lives, right? If we've only focused on the technology, it might very well come to pass that we might get that
political technology, we might get our state, but it might have none of the things that we're hoping that we really want. Absolutely. So we have to from now, we cannot simply box our dreams into or latch our dreams onto just that mirror or political technology. We have to imagine the future in such a way that we're actually pursuing the things that maybe some of us assume a state will provide, such as dignity, such as lasting peace, equity, all the things that we mentioned. And so everybody has to this is really a crucial point that everybody has to maybe I hope that you rewatch this if you're watching this now, click rewind, the last 10 minutes go over it again, to really
understand what we're saying here is that we can't get hung up on just
on a short term goal, or something that might not serve what we're really after. And we need to start imagining the future from now. Because if we do not imagine the future and how to get there from now, then what is at stake and what could happen is the same thing that has happened to Egypt, the same thing that has
happened to Jordan the same thing that has happened to the other nations where we get our state but it doesn't serve the people. It doesn't serve justice. It doesn't serve dignity it doesn't serve all the things that we're really after.
Dr. Ennis, this has been a tremendous conversation I've benefited a lot and inshallah I hope inshallah in the spring to to be around the UK in sha Allah and I would love to pay you a visit.
Thank you so much for joining us and we'll stay in touch and I hope to talk to you soon. Inshallah. Jazak Allah Karim Anton, this has been fantastic and greetings to you and to all the brothers and sisters listening from or watching from around the world does that come along?
And for everybody that's tuning in, we're just going to give five minutes because that was a very, very thorough exposition. Five minutes if anybody has any questions for me, or comments, I know a lot of people I tried to repackage and re translate what Dr. Ennis was saying, because I was fearing that maybe some people would misunderstand it. He's not saying that we should not pursue a Palestinian state. But what we're saying is that we need to dream bigger than that, and not fall into the same mistakes that people before because this is if you want to go into history, this is the post colonial situation that a lot of the Muslim nations have fallen into, where we thought
coming out of World War Two, we thought coming out of European colonization, that this was going to be the end of our problems, we get the state we get liberation, that doesn't always work that way, that you can have a state and not have liberation, you can have a state and not have dignity. And if the powers that are dominating and subjugating us right now, if they are preventing us from dignity and and preventing us from a state, if they can get away with just giving us a state and Palestine and still not give us dignity, make us make that state a slave to the IMF, a slave to the international order a slave to foreign interests, then they will do so if it means preventing us
from true liberation and true dignity, and something that Allah subhanaw taala will be pleased with. So we'll just again, give just a few more minutes for anyone for questions. Very, very pleased. Thank you, for everybody for who interacted a lot of people are saying in the chat was very enlightening conversation. I agree completely.
And may Allah bless this gathering and make it a gathering that is pleasing to Him and accepted by him. I don't see any other questions. So we've already gone over time. We'll wrap up for tonight. We have many exciting guests coming. In the following weeks we have people who have faced backlash when it comes to being smeared either from Zionist media or Islamic phobic Islamophobic media. We have people who are on the street, participating in activism. We have people who are internationally very, very well known who are going to help us sharpen our political analysis like we've been doing here today in the past several weeks. So please, everybody continue to, to think to educate yourself
to spread the word and to tune in next week inshallah. Tada, barnacle FICO was salam. Wa alaykum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh