Piers Morgan, DOUBLE STANDARDS & Secular Bias

Tom Facchine

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Bismillah R Rahman r Rahim

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Al hamdu Lillahi Rabbil Alameen wa Salatu was Salam, ala Ashraf al Anbiya, WA more Celine nabina with watching and Muhammad Ali he offered a Salah was good to Salim Allahumma, allimand ma and fountain know and fountain I'd love to know as in their element, the out of the lot. I mean, first of all, thank you everybody, for being here today for organizing this wonderful conference and for inviting me it's an honor and a privilege.

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There's so much we could talk about, I'll start, I'll start with maybe something familiar to some of you, if you're like me,

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in the last two plus months, you've watched more Piers Morgan, than you would care to admit.

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And one thing that comes through because I'm not just a purveyor of narratives, but I also am a bit of a nerd. So I actually watch them with pen and paper in hand. And, you know, I started to try to record and keep track of some of the inconsistencies in the double standards and the narratives that were going on, I'd like to bring up just three of them. Because they're, they're interesting to think about, and they're especially relevant to us today. And I'm going somewhere with this, a lot of times we talk about double standards, and we draw attention to double standards. And, you know, say, hey, there's a double standard over there, that's not fair. But we don't always get underneath

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the double standard to account for why that double standard is being practiced in the first place. And if you get to that level, then we're really cooking with grease, as Sheikh Taha would say.

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So one of the double standards that's often deployed on the Piers Morgan show has to center around the right to defend, right, we've seen according to piers and the guests that he does not interrupt that they have basically an unequivocal right to defend themselves. Everything that happened on October 7, justifies anything that they could possibly do thereafter. Now, Norman Finkelstein pointed out that this is to confuse cause and effect, that he said that basically, by that logic, then everything that Israel has done to the Palestinians would have justified October 7. So what I'm saying that was Norman Finkelstein is saying, and so we see that there's a double standard here,

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when we're looking at who has the right to defend themselves, right, and what that defense is supposed to look like, especially now, that would be bad enough. But then if you look at the asymmetry of these two parties are these two peoples, the people of Israel who have full rights and citizenship, somebody from Long Island who can just pull up and get on a flight and go and claim citizenship, receive military training, and a house that doesn't belong to him, versus somebody who's been in that land, Palestine for generations, and as a refugee in their own land, who has been under embargo for the past 17 years has no access to medicine or food, let alone weapons. So there's

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a huge asymmetry going on there. So that's just put that aside, that's double standard. Number one, double standard number two, I think is interesting, and has to do with the idea and the definition of terrorism. And the person who pushed him further on this was Abdullah Andalusi, who tried to get peers to define it, what is terrorism, and he could only say, it's committing an act of terror. And then, of course, he's Abdullah scharffen. He's like, Well, what's that? It's like, it's terrorism. So Fie, though. I mean, it's there's a lot of circular logic going on there.

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But what's interesting, what's interesting about it's not again, just about having a double standard. What's interesting is what's hidden by the double standard, or what's lying underneath the double standard. And that is, and it came sort of to light more when piers was talking the topic, Tommy Robinson, and Tommy Robinson was actually did a lot better than peers and at least spelling out a definition. He said, Well, the difference is, somebody is deliberately targeting civilians, and the other is collateral damage. Now we're going to, again, put that to the side for a second and come back to that because it's patently false. It's not true. But what's more significant is why

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it's not true.

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The third double standard and the last one is who you believe, right? Which actors which speakers do you deem to be credible in the first place? Okay, do you believe and peers as somebody and his uninterrupted guests, the ones who believe the occupation forces at their word, believe all their stated goals and excuses, even when their actions indicate otherwise or belie their true motives? They can get on to CNN and declare that they're targeting Hamas? They can declare that they're using precision strikes that they're avoiding or minimizing civilian casualties. And yet the actions speak for themselves bakes, bakeries and hospitals have been terrorized and bombs taken over. People

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executed there in schools, UN school

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Almost everything imaginable. Journalists and academics have actually received phone calls in the night telling them that they're about to be assassinated and targeted them to be assassinated the very next day.

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So that's on one side, these supposedly credible speakers and actors that are believed no matter what they do. versus the other side, when Palestinians, even people from the Palestinian resistance who try to stress the attempt to not target civilians or to, to treat hostages in a fair manner, is dismissed out of hand. And we're not here to comment about this group or that group or to approve or to denied. We're just showing the double standard here, that one group is being believed, no matter what they say, and no matter what they do, and no matter how much distance there is between the two, what they say and what they do. And then the other side is completely denied or disbelieved A

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priori, no matter what they do.

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But again, the main point of bringing this up, is not to just point to the fact that there are double standards, we've known that anybody who has a pulse, and a few brain cells can tell that double standards abound when these issues and others are brought up. The more interesting question is, why do these double standards exist in the first place? What's underneath of these double standards such that something that's so obvious to you and me, could go completely undetected, or deliberately ignored from other people. And the thing that I'd like to put my finger on is what I call a secular prejudice, that there is a secular prejudice at play, when it comes to explaining the

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existence and the functioning of all of these double standards, lives, the secular prejudice, the secular prejudice is an assumption that secular violence is always rational. It's always calculated. It's always limited. And it's always necessary. It's always for peace. Even if it's regrettably, there's peace on the other side. Whereas religious violence within the secular bias, he's always fanatical. It's always hate, firm and hate filled. It's annually is unquenchable. And it's always a threat to peace, rather than a path to peace. Now, it's a really telling examples, and I've got this fantastic book with me that I just finished, which I think is required reading for the Muslim

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community. It's by a scholar called William T. Kavanaugh. It's called the myth of religious violence. And I do recommend everybody check it out. It's a fantastic book.

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There's a couple of quotes that I'll pull here from figures that he has pulled. Now some of these ones surprise you, with some of these may, for example, when he's demonstrating this secular bias, right, this unfair way that religious and secular actors are treated, he quotes from the likes of Sam Harris, for example.

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Now, Sam Harris, he talks about the need for supporting even Muslim dictators in the Muslim world. He's not very shy about this at all. He says, in fact that we have to support corrupt and oppressive regimes in the Muslim world to try to keep a lid on their irrationality. He says, quote, this is a terrible truth that we have to face. The only thing that currently stands between us and the roiling ocean of Muslim unreason is a wall of tyranny and human rights abuses that we have helped to erect mashallah, this situation must be remedied, but we cannot merely force Muslim dictators from power and open the polls. The remedy is as follows He continues and says, that seems all but certain that

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some form of benign dictatorship will genuinely be necessary to bridge the gap. But benignity is the key. And if it cannot emerge from within a state, then it must be imposed from without the means of such imposition on necessarily crude, they amount to economic isolation, military intervention, whether open or covert, or some combination of both. While this may seem an exceedingly arrogant doctrine to espouse, it appears, we have no alternatives. So what Sam Harris is doing, and everyone liked him, he's not an exceptional example, is that on one page in his book, he is criticizing, let's say, the Salem witch trials, right? The religious torture of people is something that is so

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unconscionable that thankfully, we have secularism that saved us from it. Whereas He then goes on to defend the torture of terrorists, and the intervention and insertion and imposition of dictators across the Muslim world. You might say, Okay, well, it's Sam Harris. Sam Harris is a nutjob. And that's true. But this type of thinking is

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is widespread and it's much it's not limited to just Sam house types. For example, we have, I'll get to another sort of nut job. And then we'll have one more that's, that's more interesting. Christopher Hitchens, he equates religion with totalitarianism. And he says, basically, and this is really, really fascinating.

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Quote, we can't live on the same planet as them. Man, he's talking here, the context of this quote, is his opposition to what he calls Islamic radicals. And why he supported and was a vocal support for the invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq. So he says, We can't live on the same planet as them. And I'm glad, because I don't want to. I don't want to breathe the same air as the psychopaths and murderers, and rapists and tortures and child abusers. It's them or me, I'm very happy about this, because I know it will be them. It's a duty and a responsibility to defeat them. But it's also a pleasure. I don't regard it as a grim task at all.

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He goes on cluster bombs are perhaps not good in themselves. But when they are dropped on identifiable concentrations of Taliban troops, they do have a hardening effect.

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So we see again, a very similar thing, we have the justification of torture, the justification of barbarity when it's done by a secular actor, when it's done for a secular cause. It not only becomes a regrettable thing that we have to suffer through, it can be necessary. It can be pleasurable, even hardening is the word that he used. But if the same exact thing were to be done by somebody who says that either Allah, or God forbid, they say, Allahu Akbar. And then all of a sudden, this becomes the worst thing that one could possibly do. Now, again, you might say, well, these are some really far out figures, Tom, I mean, what is this really so widespread? And I'll say, Okay, let's go to an NYU

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professor of journalism, who is a self identified liberal named Paul Berman.

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He says, when he's talking about the Palestinians, and any Palestinian resistance to the occupying forces, he calls it only motivated by mass pathology.

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And he says, liberal democracy.

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And free markets also reinforce each other.

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Good, I'm sorry, is not the right quote, pardon me here.

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Yes, here we go.

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This is the one

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the blankets, a greater violence that is imposed by the Israeli occupation. Now this was written before the Piers Morgan interview. So just like think of this,

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the blanket of greed or violence imposed by Israeli occupation is always seen as a response. And I'm sorry, these are not the words of Burma, these are the words of the author Kavanaugh are always seen as a response to and never an aggravating factor in the futility and madness of Palestinian violence. Burman rules out a priori, any serious consideration of the actual root causes and history of the Israeli Palestinian conflict, by declaring one side to be mad, before any empirical work is done. So we see that this bias, if why, why am I talking all about this, because this bias is probably one of the single single most powerful biases that exist throughout media. If you go to

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CNN, you go to MSNBC, you go to Fox News, you go to Piers Morgan, we see the same bias over and over and over and over again. Why is it that one side is always starting out, having been in the right and doing something noble, where the other side starts at a deficit? Now, it shouldn't take a lot. To demonstrate why this secular bias is such a fallacy. In fact, if you look back on just the last 100 years of history, it throws the entire thesis into doubt. We have seen probably the most violent past 100 150 years in the history of humanity. And that goes by any metric at all. Whether you're looking at conflicts and wars, the wars of World War One and World War Two deserving of their names

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were more barbaric, and achieved much more casualties than any sort of conflict that was known up until that time. If you want to look at particular regimes, well, we have the Nazis, we have Stalin, we have Mao, we have the Khmer Rouge, we have many to pick from that were secular regimes, and some of them actually atheist regimes that were the most violent that the world has seen. If you want to look at particular massacres. The secular age the last 150 years also wins on that account. You have the ball

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bombing of Dresden by the Allies. You have, of course, the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, you have massacres, like the malai massacre and the Vietnam War, and of course, Fallujah. If you want to look at the technology of it, right, the instruments of war that have been used and deployed on people, you have things such as the atomic bomb, something that poisons the earth causes birth defects for generations, consequences and things that were unknown, many of us have seen the consequences of white phosphorus, and how it's something that's designed to burn from the skin, down to the bone. These are all products of the secular age, they didn't exist before. We have military

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technology such as napalm, which was literally invented, scientists got in a room to figure out how to make the fire stick to the skin for longer. This is an outcome of the secular age, not any religious person who came up with this. We see the weaponization of hunger, in many places in Nevada right now, famously in Iraq, in the 90s, where Madeleine Albright was asked point blank, if the lives of 500,000 Iraqi children's were, were worth it. And she unflinchingly said yes, if you want to make torture your metric, well, that's one that the secular age has run away with, with Guantanamo Bay, and Abu Ghraib. And all of the dark sites spread across the world. If anything, if

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anything, secular violence, has proven in the last 100 150 years, to be far worse, far more violent, far more abhorrent than anything that the world has seen before. And that the secular individual, a secular nation, the secular actor, is perhaps more prone to violence, then supposedly the religious fanatics ever were.

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So we're going to talk about now here's the the theme of the talk is, is taking back the narrative or reforming the narrative, I'm telling you, this is one point that we absolutely have to push. And we absolutely have to educate, and illuminate and fight back against if we want to even start any conversation, let alone an interview or an interrogation on Piers Morgan, on an equal footing. But you have to expose this bias, the secular bias, and you have to make it as nonsensical as it actually is. Because if we look at the limits, that a slam poses on imposes on violence, and violent actions, then we see the difference very clearly. Why secular violence, so quickly went off the

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rails, and so Unchained, there's two types of limits. If we're to look at Islam as a system, and what possibilities are there for violence to be imposed or carried out? One of those types of limits are theological limits. And the second type of legal limits, most people talk about the legal limits. So I'm only going to spend a tiny bit of time on that I'm gonna spend a little bit more time talking about the theological limits. What I mean, when I'm talking about the theological limits to violence, is that there's a fundamental difference between somebody who believes in a soul and an afterlife, and a day of judgment with accountability, versus somebody who doesn't, okay, somebody

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who believes the consequences of their actions, and with the beating of their heart in this world, is far more likely to be able to do something that they think that they're not going to be held to account to, in the communities that I've been in, I've always given the example of speeding, and anybody who drives with me knows that it's hard to follow the speed limit, sometimes most of us drive a little bit over and some of us more than others. And yet, we do it. And we do it, and we do it. And we do it some more. And I ask why. Why do we drive over the speed limit? Well, we know it's illegal. We know we can get in trouble. We know we can get points on our license or our license

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revoked. And the Frank answer is we don't think we're gonna get caught. And that is a fundamental point about human morality and ethics, that if you don't think you're going to be held to account, then the majority of people will do whatever they're able to do, and do whatever they're able to get away with. So if somebody rejects the possibility of a creator of an almighty God, let alone have a soul, let alone have consequences in the afterlife, a perfect God holding you to account with eternal consequences. Think about what that person is capable of doing. versus somebody who fears the Lord. Maybe they have an interest, maybe they have an invested reason what they would want to

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commit an act of violence, but at the very least, they have this theological barrier. They know that they're going to have to stand in front of their Creator, and they know that they're going to be held in account and that the consequences of what they have done, they might be eternal.

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No, Allah subhanaw taala says is that we live in an era Mona Willa DNLA, Allah,

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Allah subhanaw taala told us that these two types of people, they're not the same. And we can't pretend that they are the same. So that's a very important theological limits of violence. And it also explains why secular violence has gone off the rails and basically is floating into outer space at increasingly accelerating speeds.

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There are also legal limits within Assam, and some of them are well known. And some of them are maybe not so well known. We have very specific particular limits, such as only fighting combatants, right, we don't target civilians. You know, when it comes to people who surrender, you know, accepting that surrender, we have many different sort of things that are very, very well known. I don't want to spend a lot of time on those. But there are also legal limits when it comes to what is the purpose of jihad? What is the purpose of violence, it's not something that's good, in and of itself, it's not a MCSA. It's not something that is an end to which we strive rather, it's an ad,

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it's a tool, it's a means that is used to achieve something else.

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What is that thing? And is it a good thing? I think if we look at secular violence, and we look at what it's geared towards, we can easily say that it's not good, no, thank you, we don't want it. When it comes to the violence that Islam or the city I do permit, then the overall goal we can maybe mention to. One is just to create a space in which Dawa can happen, that data has to be allowed to happen. And if somebody is going to try or a nation is going to try to stop preaching to the truth, then that is a problem, because it stops people from potentially saving their souls and their afterlife. And the second, the second is so that Justice reigns, so that Justice reigns for everyone

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and every creature on earth.

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And why that's so important for us as Muslims is because we believe axiomatically that we're the only ones left with guidance that's intact from our Lord and our Creator. And so were Christians grasping for straws and try to find a just war theory and squeeze it out of their books.

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We have something that's much more clear, much more concise, and much more well preserved.

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Many of the images and individuals that have come through social media, with its coverage on the genocide in Gaza, have laid waste to the secular bias. And I'll talk about them more in tomorrow's session, inshallah Tada, particularly the figures of the Muslim men. And among the Muslim men of Gaza, particularly figures such as Khalid Nahan, somebody who the secular bias has portrayed as the most dangerous person on earth. He's the big bearded Arab guy, the Muslim guy that's going to shout Allahu Akbar, you don't have to worry about what's under his vest. That's the image that has been sold to us and reinforced to us through media through images, books, movies, you name it. And yet,

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the world has seen and hearts have melted at the humanity of this individual. And his gentleness, his firmness, his reliance upon his creator.

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Were the people who are supposed to be more trustworthy,

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the shamed faces, the stuffed suits, they are the ones who are committing genocide. They are the ones who are telling us that the slaughter of babies is okay. They're the ones who stand before the world exposed and condemned as the animals that they are, because they do not have any limits. They do not fear their Lord. And so we see that when it comes to up ending these particular narratives, and taking them back we have everything that we need. Islam obviously has the theoretical chops. We have enough history on our side to demonstrate the fallacy and the folly of thinking that this world that we live in is somehow the most just and peaceful world that has ever existed. And we also have

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the shining examples from our own mother Omar Muhammad sallallahu alayhi wa said, that embody and demonstrate what humanity and guidance and justice and mercy truly look like. And we take heart from that. Thank you very much. Subhanallah when we have to consider when they're there, the answer's no political to be late Saramonic moved