Tom Facchine – Why Token Muslim Representation Is Actually A Bad Thing

Tom Facchine
AI: Summary © The speakers discuss the need for representation in politics and society, rather than just a pan- systemic view. They stress the importance of quality representation rather than just quantity and discuss the potential negative impact of over represented people on society and society's values. The speakers urge the audience to turn away from being excited about representation and focus on the positive impact of their beliefs on society.
AI: Transcript ©
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A lot of Muslims, they they talk these days about representation, right about how we need representation in the media, we need representation in politics, we need representation in society. And this is coming from a good place, right? Because it is true that if a child for example, a Muslim child sees somebody who's in a position of power and status, that they are able to see themselves the literal word, the literal meaning of identity, see themselves in that person. And therefore, that person can become a guiding light for what they're going to be able to eventually become themselves as opposed to the if the all the people of status and skill and people who are

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admired and society, none of them look like you, right, and none of them sort of represent you, you can't identify with any of them, then you're kind of unmoored, you don't necessarily have an anchor or a sort of guiding light to model yourself after. So that's true. And we have to pay attention to that. But there's a huge mistake that a lot of Muslims are are making. And that is to assume that the quality of representation doesn't matter. Rather, it's just about quantity of representation. We shouldn't be chasing percentages of people in movies or TV or anything that call themselves Muslim, or have a certain color skin or have this identity or that identity, right. What we want is quality

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representation. We want people who actually embody our beliefs, because if we don't, if we're not paying attention to the quality of the representation, then it really is a vehicle for the indoctrination of Muslims and abandoning what makes us special and abandoning our faith and abandoning what we believe we're going to have caricatures. tokenization. Right, people who are supposedly representing us, they look like us, they claim to be us, they might have a few tokens sort of similarities with us, but down deep their entire paradigm, their entire worldview is completely not only on Islamic, but anti Islamic. And so now it's actually hurting the Muslim

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community, this type of representation rather than helping it. So we need to turn away from just being very excited about representation for representations sake, and we should be concerned with the quality of the representation that's going on. And we should worry about the sort of ways in which our beliefs and our values can manifest and actually contribute to society and not just people who claim the same identity as us.

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