Interview with ‘The Thinking Muslim’ Podcast
Channel: Yasir Qadhi
File Size: 83.61MB
Difficult Questions About the Situation in France
Tip number seven is
Shakira cardea salaam wa Alaykum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh. And it's a pleasure to have you on the thinking Muslim podcast. Well, it was my pleasure to be on your show.
Now I would like to explore the situation in France for speech of Macron calling for an Islamic reformation but killing of Samuel Pattie, the events that happened afterwards, I also want to explore the Islamic context, all of this, looking at viaticum Sharia pertaining to minorities and to the events, the unfortunate events that are unfolding in in France, and generally, the Sharia rules related to Muslims here in the West. But I think it'd be remiss of me not to mention the events currently unfolding in Nice. Yet again, France is subject to another set of murders Initial reports suggests that Muslims may be involved. You said about after the killing of Samuel Patty, but Muslims
should stop condemning yet after today's attacks. You did condemn these crimes? But doesn't that condemnation imply some level of culpability on behalf of the Muslim community? Can you explain your thinking behind this year?
To be precise, it wasn't that I said we should stop condemning unconditionally. I was contextualizing and saying that, that we need to understand where that anger is stemming from. And I did even in that hot by experts that he said that what that individual did was wrong. So we need to be a little bit more careful because we're, we have so many different demographics we're dealing with and it's well nigh impossible to say something that's not going to offend one demographics, which means we need to forget about offending and not we need to think a little bit more about speaking the truth, speaking the reality. So we are now caught between a rock and a hard place.
Right? We have on the one side, our own Muslim community that has been burnt and scarred that has been, you know, our profits lesson has been ridiculed and threatened. They've just been completely, you know, just rinsed out for the last decade and a half, always having to condemn, as you said, Quentin are always having to be on the defensive, and they're simply tired, they really are tired, and they have every right to be tired. For how long are we going to be expected to, as you said, condemn or apologize on behalf of somebody that has nothing to do with us. That is a valid point. On the flip side, you have the majority of Western inhabitants who are in a totally different paradigm,
right. And from their perspective, there's not enough condemnation, from their perspective. It is as if the narrative that is being fed to them by the Crown by Fox, news by sky but all of these networks, you know, by Murdoch and his crew, then the the narrative of radical Islam, the narrative of, you know, Muslims, and Islam has an inherent problem with violence. And even the more broad minded amongst them, even the more tolerant amongst them are saying, okay, the majority of Muslims are not terrorists, but the majority of terrorists are Muslims, they have bought that narrative, right? Even the more broad minded that is, and it should be, in its own way, terrifying to us as the
minority, if even the more tolerant amongst them are, in fact, intolerant, right? If even the more educated amongst them have such an educated views, then we as Muslims really do need to think long and hard about the predicament we find ourselves in. And we need to work to challenge the narrative of the mainstream, because we have to look, we feel our safety in numbers, we go to our massages, we go to our conferences, and we're surrounded by 10s of 1000s of Muslims. But let us never forget, we are a small, miniscule minority in America especially and in England as well, when it comes to the overall country. Our statistics really are, you know, quite miniscule than small. And that means we
need to stop thinking within our own bubble and understand the broader narrative, even if we disagree with it, and then work to counter that narrative. That's what I've been trying to do since the days of al Qaeda and ISIS. That's what I've been trying to do to present that balanced middle. That's, of course, my opinion is the balanced middle. Obviously, I have critics from both sides, but that's what I've been trying to do consistently, which is to call out acts of violence when they occur from our site as being illegitimate as being things that should not be done, but to always emphasize the context to make the bigger issue, not the violence from within but the
Causes of violence from without, right? That's what I've consistently done since you know of returning from a Medina. And remember, I came back in a car, there was a pinnacle, and then a car, the disappeared and ISIS came up. And that was seven, eight years. And now we're seeing yet another, you know, issue and controversy arising. And throughout all of these, we have to balance between the insensitivity of the broader public, their, you know, belief in notion because realize the majority of French and British are not Macron, they understand that Macron might be a little bit crass and crude, but they're still sympathetic overall to that paradigm. Right? Let us be, again, pragmatic
and real here. It's not as if they are ardent supporters of being rude and obnoxious to Muslims, but they're feeling, hey, this minority needs to be put in check this minority is doing things that any other minority is not doing, we need to understand their narrative, and then work to change it, the way that's going to happen is by getting out of our safety zone and bubble from within our own communities, and to acknowledge that you know, what, they have been misread a series of lies a narrative that is incorrect, in order to battle that, we're going to have to say things that I don't like to apologize for what happened, I don't, it's not my business to do that. Having said that, by
the way, let's also be fair here, when a random, you know, brown person does something in the name of his, you know, his, what, in the name of his let's say he's part of a mafia gang or something that's understandable. I don't have to say anything. But suppose a brown person a Muslim supposed to, you know, Arab or Pakistani, does something in the name of Islam? Do we not have some responsibility when he's dragged in my faith in your faith? Do we not have some because again, and that is a valid point that when a racist does something in the name of kkk, let's say right, in the name of whatever it is, it's understood that he's using that, that platform, if that platform does
not associate if the KKK does not say that, hey, we might have our vision, but we don't endorse violence, we may legitimately blame the KKK that they did not do that. And the same applies for us that if the religion is used explicitly, then there is a small responsibility collected in front of QA and there's a small responsibility on the leaders on the movers on the intellectual, you know, figureheads, to basically say, Hey, guys, he might have used our name, but that's not the faith that I follow. Don't you see that that is also a sensible, you know, response, we have to not be so emotional, that we lose track of of reality, and Allah knows best in this regard.
And we also have to conclude that there is a strain or a narrative within the Muslim community that uses Islam to justify such actions. I mean, let's look at the murder of Samuel Pattie. We now know that he was killed after he showed the Charlie Hebdo cartoons ridiculing the Messenger of Allah sallallahu sallam. We know that as Muslims, we love the Prophet sallallahu wasallam more than anyone after Allah subhanaw taala. And our history is replete with such devotion towards the messenger. Like all discussions, we have to start with the revelation, how does Islam ask us to respond to such deliberate provocations against the Messenger of Allah?
So again, as somebody who tries my best to be very accurate and always present the truth without sugarcoating, we have to acknowledge that we do have two sets of principles or paradigms depending on our context, that there is indeed a mccunn phase and the Medina and phase now my paradigm is that in this issue, the Medina phase does not abrogate the mccunn phase. So I have to put that disclaimer here, because there are, you know, especially the radicals, that's one of their main points here is that that strand of Islam, which is a minority, it's a very small minority, but it does exist. Their claim is that the laws of Medina in totality abrogate all of the laws of Mecca. And this is a
controversy that actually does exist from the past is nothing new. The famous verse of the sword Ayah to say, for example, if you read the classical books of Tafseer, there is a controversy does that verse abrogate all of the verses pertaining to turn the other cheek and you know, let them do what they're doing and Allah will deal with them. Because again, in Mecca in Mecca, no Muslim committed any act of vigilante justice against those that persecuted them, right? There was not a single act because the prophets ism was in charge, right? So nobody's gonna go and do something the process doesn't allow them to do so in the second phase, you have, you know, so Mejia and Yasser
being tortured to death in front of the eyes of our model, the whole Sahaba know about this, you have Beloved, being dragged in the streets of Medina and you know, torture being done. You have multiple cases of beating ups, dozens of Sahaba were were were
beaten almost to death including oven mushroom aboubaker acidic la de la Juan was beaten and had to recover for weeks in his house, not to single Sahabi raised his hands and then attacked Abuja hill or secretly assassin needed one of the leaders of the corporation or did anything that would cause more propagation in this regard. This is the Medina and fate sorry the Macan phase, you have no exaggeration, almost 100 verses almost 100 that teach the Muslims that let them do what they're doing teach the Muslims by ninja he didn't turn away from the Jahan teach the Muslims that when they do this just say Salaam teach the Muslims that fun through India America minimoto Just wait. Just
wait. Allah will deal with you. And I'm also waiting you wait and I wait the both of us are going to wait that I really have to do a lot. So all of these verses are there. That's the Macan phase. Now obviously, in the Medina and phase, Muslims have now political power. And there's a very different set of rules. You have civil society, you have order you have law in a Muslim society, can Allah and His messenger be publicly ridiculed? obnoxiously? You know, literally, the goal is to provoke the Muslim community, obviously, and I'm definitely, you know, not going to sugarcoat this mainstream Islamic law. In fact, even taymiyah says by unanimous consensus, this would not be allowed in a
Muslim land. And why should it be allowed in a Muslim land for a person to go into public and intentionally want to provoke the sentiments the sacredness there should be an element of sacredness that, and this is common sense. Like, we're not talking about a Christian saying, I'm a Christian. We're not talking about the abuse that is happening in various countries of the blasphemy law, which I'm also against. We're talking about example of the Charlie Hebdo cartoons. We're talking about blatant profit provocation, that there should be no two opinions about that the intent is to ridicule The intent is to incite. I have no qualms in saying that an ideal Muslim societies there
should be a red line for all faith traditions. The Quran even says that don't insult other false gods, you know, a Muslim should not go and intentionally want to provoke Yes, debate and dialogue in a good manner, but to intend to insult and it's common sense when that occurs, Islamic law is against that. Now, the question here is that, should we apply any laws of Medina in societies and situations that might be more, you know, akin to Makkah? Well, we know the Muslim community is well aware that the bulk of our scholarship is against this, that Al Hamdulillah, mainstream, you know, Sunni, and Shiite film as well, but all mainstream movements of the religion, that we understand
that in minority situations we do not enact vigil vigilante justice, that the harms that will come are far more than any potential good that you think is going to happen. And we actually have precedents in this regard. When the Muslims were in Abyssinia in the time of the Prophet salallahu idea he was setting them people left the faith motivated, there was a death that took place there. And no one did anything to the motor in the lines of Abyssinia. We do not have the right to enact punishments in minority situations, even if we think that they are justified in majority situations. And this isn't hamdulillah we think a lot this is the bulk of the community. This is our scholarship
that is universally respected. Are there dissenting voices? Of course there are Who are they? Well, let's look at their credentials. And look, let's look at their background. They are all people who belong to these fringe, very small, miniscule jihadist movements. And none of them were reputable scholars before the advent of these modern movements, this is a point that used to make back in the 2005, all the way throughout far than ISIS. And I still make it now those minority of voices that support and justify these types of vigilante actions. They were unknown before the advent of these vigilante actions, they were not established bona fide qualified rula respected clerics they were
unknown. And that in and of itself is an indication of the eccentric views that are held by these people. How do we reconcile your understanding with the Islamic duty? My understanding is for the calfire to enjoin a model from forbade and Moncure. Surely we have a duty to forbid all evil, even with our hands as ahaadeeth mentioned, but if we see a Moncure we need to remove it with our hands as one of the stages of of rebutting that mancora Rebellion, bad Moncure How can we understand this Islamic duty in relation to Muslims living in the West and seeing almost on a daily basis, the sanctity of this religion, being ridiculed in the press in in a major in an in wider political
circles? So I mean, this is something that is well known. I mean, you've been to me and others, they they mentioned this, that you weigh the pros and the cons, you look at who you are, you look at the context that you're in, and you see what you have.
These three as the profitsystem said, if you can change it with your hands, you should do so if not then with your tongue. And if not, then with your heart, this this is something that varies from time to place to culture and even to individual, right. So even in the same time and place and culture, two people standing next to each other might have different levels of which one each one should do, depending on their own status and prestige, their own protection, their own their own status in society, and their and their own responsibilities. And therefore, this is something that every single community with its own aroma and scholars is going to decide, you cannot expect the
weavers of China, may Allah protect them and have mercy on them. You cannot expect the weavers of China to act the same way that we're acting in America. Neither can you expect somebody in America to act the same way as let's say in Medina or in Mecca if they see an evil as well, a blatant Republic evil. So each of these circumstances is contextual based, who gets to decide this local scholars, the local clergy, they will tell you that to what level should we go. And it is, of course, as I said, Even these radical these, you know, people that justify these types of actions and whatnot, they cannot be consistent. Are they going to stop the drinking of alcohol in the
various cities that they live in? Are they going to stop the nudity that is prevalent everywhere? Are they going to stop you know any other type of sin that Islam considers to be a moral sin, they cannot, and they should not physically get involved because the Muslims of Macau as well would see worse evil. They saw idolatry in front of the camera, there is no worst sin to commit than shift. And there is no worse place to commit it in Mecca. And there is nothing more sacrilegious than to have 300 false gods in circling the Kaaba, not once did a Muslim come and tip an idol over not once did the Muslim come and destroy an idol. They didn't choose the story of Ibrahim alayhis salaam,
which is revealed in Makkah, they did not choose the Abrahamic story, right? And then derive from it that, hey, we need to now destroy idols, Ibrahim alayhis. Salaam was a case that allows the origin of course, and that was a special case for his time that Allah chose him to, you know, manifest his prophethood. in that manner, the Muslims of Makkah, did not do anything to even idolatry in front of the Kaaba, do you think then, therefore, that we should have more right to then enforce our version of laws in America or in France or in or in London? Not at all, we will repel the evil that we see with our tongues. That's what we're going to do. We think a lot, at least in America, I don't know
what's happening in France. Now, maybe that's changing. In America, we have ultimate First Amendment freedoms. And if you listen to, again, I don't want to always talk about myself, but I know what I did. That's why if you listen to my lectures throughout a higher than ISIS era, I was always without exception, bringing up American foreign policy as a primary cause of those jihadist movements. I want. I gave a number of lectures that went viral that once again, yes, I criticize the beheading of journalists, I criticize a lot of the
Arabic interviews that have higher than ISIS had in the killing of civilians and whatnot. But I never stopped speaking of the broader picture, which is these movements are a reaction to your invasions. The same applies over here now that what we're seeing now is wrong, what these people are doing is wrong. But we cannot ignore the provocation we cannot ignore. This is what I call it. asymmetric warfare. Okay, you have the state. On one side, you have the media, you have the President on one side, that is prodding and poking and provoking and wanting to incite continuously demonizing the entire faith. And on the other side, you have a bunch of citizens like us expected to
monitor each and every individual That's impossible. This is asymmetric warfare, it is not possible for us to monitor each and every individual within our own ranks. It is the government that should think about its future course of action, not as a threat to, you know, for a future attack, but as a sensible policy, because the government is supposed to represent all of its citizens, including the Muslim citizens, when the government takes it on itself to divide. When the government intentionally wishes to demonize 10% of friends of a Paris's Muslim or I think 15% of viruses Muslim, when the government is intentionally inciting that type of hatred, the government is not neutral. This is not
like a city. This is not pure secularism, where it has taken a step back No, in this case, secularism has become an excuse to be anti muslim. Therefore, even when this one attack happens, or three attacks or two attacks, we criticize those attacks. But we always jump to the broader narrative and Allah knows, but this is the way this has been my philosophy from the beginning. You mentioned that we should respond by using our voice. Is that an adequate response to these deliberate provocations? We're told to
In effect turned the other cheek.
Now some accused modern Muslim scholarship of promoting Muslim pacifism ready to excuse all oppression and all Moncure. Do you think that that that accusation is a fair accusation?
Depends on what type of pacifism that your requests like I've never again, again, you're talking to me? I've never and you can check all of my videos I have never once criticized epsilon muslims for defending their homeland at all pay muslims for defending their homeland. Never once I have been very precise, in what I say, Okay, I have criticized and I continue to criticize Western Muslims getting involved in militancy, or even at the time Western Muslims traveling to Syria at the time, because I said, You're simply adding to the confusion, you don't know who's on which side. And history has shown that what I said was was valid, it was a complete mess. And there were third
parties getting involved, and there were sinister motives, etc, etc. I did criticize Western involvement. I never once criticized locals defending themselves. So I'm not promoting pacifism across the globe. Not at all. But every single community needs to look at its own interests. And we in the West, we have our own interests, and we have over was what was calculated A few years ago, 50 million Muslims living in western last I forgot the exact statistic but around 50 million Muslims living in western lands, what is our survival? What do we need to do across the western world, the life of a Muslim in western lands is also sacred, as is the life of Muslim and Eastern land simply
because a Muslim is born in America doesn't make that Muslims life any less sacred than a Muslim born in Iraq, we have to stop romanticizing foreign causes, we have our causes as well. And they have their causes, we need to Yes, look globally, but also act domestically and locally. And from a local perspective, from a perspective of over 10 million Muslims in America, I forgot how many in England seven, 8 million in English, something like this, right? 4 million, 4 million, but it's still higher percentage, you guys are higher percentages, and it's right. So we are less than 1%. And you guys are I think three 4% or 2%, where the population. So looking at all of these, we need
to look at what is for our best interest as well, we need to preserve Islam in our progeny as well. And this is a part of the goals of the city. So I am not promoting global pacifism. But I am saying if you have chosen to live in England with a British passport, and I'm not saying it's wajib to do that, I'm not saying that. I think it is sensible, definitely to live in western countries at this point in time, because they do allow religiosity I'm speaking of American England right now, not France, they do a lot of religiosity that is difficult to find in the Middle East. And I don't have any problem saying I didn't choose to migrate, I was born here. Now that I'm born here, I have
chosen to live here, it is my choice, I have the opportunity to go to other lands and countries. But I have traveled the globe, I have lived in Saudi Arabia for almost half my life, almost 20 years other than Saudi Arabia. I'm not criticizing any other country. I'm saying for me, I have made my choice. And I'm very content with the choice that I made. I have the freedom to be a Muslim, and to speak out against my own government when it is involved in wrong. And I thank Allah for those for those freedoms. And I don't see any religious problem in doing what I'm doing. And I am caught my conscience is clear, and what I have done, but that's my decision, every Muslim should make up their
choice. But if they decide to live in those lands that they live in and carry those passports or their visas, then they must abide by those laws, and they cannot betray, they cannot act as double whatever it is not allowed to do that. islamically This is piano and a lot never allows piano. Allah knows best.
What about the argument raised by journalists like Mr. Poe, a call of the New York Times who argues about Muslims in the West that benefit from the general freedoms, can't have it both ways. They have to accept the same freedom when Islam is being criticized. And when Islam has been ridiculed, how would you respond to this argument?
That's his specific position that they can't have it both ways. I don't see why not. Because I don't see the problem in claiming that when we are citizens of a particular country, yes, we must abide by not necessarily respect but abide by the laws of that land. And if we are that opposed to the laws of that land, and we should go and leave that country. That's very simple to me. I don't see a problem with that. But why? Why should we expect the entire globe to follow the principles of the paradigm of any one locality? Why are American values universal? Why are British laws to be extrapolated around the globe? Why? Why can't I say that look, as an American, I am required to
respect not respect necessarily what you
Get my point but to abide by the laws of the land, even if I don't agree with them fair enough deal. I agree with that. But why should Saudi Arabia have the laws of America? Why should the constitution made by the founding fathers be applicable in Timbuktu? Why? Why can't every society in every nation decide what is best for itself? And in fact, even in western countries, as we're all aware, there are plenty of things that are illegal in one country illegal in another, even the versions of secularism that America practices is radically different than laser tape of France. And of course, this goes back to the history, you know, the French people revolted against the Catholic Church, you
know, they really felt that they were under the yoke of an oppressive Catholic regime. As for America, the founding fathers were religious folks fleeing from ironically the persecution of the British, right, fleeing from the religious persecution of England, and they wanted to enshrine religious freedom. All of the initial pioneers to America, all of them were God fearing believing folks and trying to say they were religious. They were Puritans. And they were, you know, Calvinist. And there were various stripes. And in fact, at one point in time, the 13 colonies, every one of these colonies had its own official sect, right? This is pre 1776, like in the 1600s, if you were a
Calvinist, I forgot was in Connecticut, you would go to a particular place, if you were Catholic, you go to another place, they had their religious flavor from the 1700s. In contrast to this, France was revolting against religion, because the papacy, as you're aware, was supporting the the Emperor, the king, the papacy was very much involved. So the French versions of secularism lasertec, are radically different than the Americans. If amongst themselves, they have different methods, different interpretations, and they cannot agree, then what right do they have to enforce their versions in the rest of the world? Bottom line? I respectfully disagree with this notion that just
because I'm a Muslim in America, I must demand you know, churches be built in in Mecca and Medina, I think this is ludicrous. I'm not speaking as a Saudi as a Egyptian as an Emirati as a Kuwaiti as a fettucini. I'm not speaking as them, but I am saying, Let them let them decide what they want to do. That's real democracy, isn't it? Right? That's what it is. And they're going to find their way. And for me, as an American Muslim, I fully understand that I've made a deal. And that deal is if I want to remain in this country, and the law says something, I have the right to appeal it, I have the right to fight it in court, I have the right to hate it in my heart, but I do not have the right to
become violent against it. Otherwise, I should leave this and go to another place and not call this land my land. But I think the argument of Mr. Pi equal is a Muslim living in France, who lives under this system of radical secularism of laissez faire. They willingly accepted citizenship of this country, or their fathers or their forefathers willingly accepted citizenship of the country, knowing that the country has a very strong aversion towards the church, a very strong view about mocking religion, a very strong sensibility of freedom and freedom of expression. And that comes through in the comedies, it comes from the Charlie Hebdo. Magazine, it comes through, you know, if
you just have to visit France, and you see that on a daily basis, so should a Muslim in France, you know, if I understand the logic of your of your argument, should a Muslim in France then just accept and respect that that is the country in which they live. And now they've got to accept that the French are going to mock religion in exchange for other freedoms they may receive by virtue of the fact that they are citizens of France. I don't like the usage of your word, except
I don't like accept, because accept implies
a level of admittance that this is correct and valid. I will say that Muslims in France should understand that the laws of the land, the culture of that land, is very different than the culture that they want. And if they wish to live there, they will have to learn to not retaliate violently. When these types of things happen. They have the right to get angry. They have the right to criticize, they have the right to respond back in kind which means our beds, editorials go on television, and blast the double standards point out that in France, you know, as far as I'm aware, I'm not a French law expert, but I'm reading all of these news that you're reading. In France, it is
illegal to desecrate the French flag, right. You cannot wipe your behind with the French flag. Gross you're going to be fined in France. The sharlee. Abdo newspaper itself fired a cartoonist when he did too many anti semitic cartoons about
The Holocaust. This was around a decade and a half ago right pre 911. So this is what Muslims should be doing. I'm not saying accepted, but I'm saying understand that it is a different culture. And yes, you will have to bargain you will have to make a deal that for certain greater freedoms, and there's nothing wrong with those freedoms for economic privilege. And there's nothing wrong with safety for your family. We need to stop guilt tripping Muslims, we all want to live decent lives in this world and the ACA, we have to choose the you know, the the pros and cons. And look, you can live your life in America without really getting involved with these racist and xenophobic once in a
while you'll see something but your email is not in itself being affected, nobody's putting a gun to your head and saying, don't pray to Allah don't pray five times a day in America, at least that's not happening. And until that happens, I mean, if you are really forced to do *, or Cofer or major sins, in this case, we should start talking about hedgerow. I'm not qualified to talk about that for the friend situation. I'll leave it to the scholars of France to do that. And again, I reiterate our loyalties are to our Creator, not to our nation state. I've said this on American national stage, and I will reiterate this our loyalties are to our Creator. If the Constitution of
this land allows me to maintain that loyalty, I shall abide by the Constitution, and I will not betray that constitution. But the minute the constitution comes, or the law comes, or the government comes and tells me I have to choose between my loyalty to my Creator, and my loyalty to my nation state, instantaneously, there is no choice to be made. My loyalty is to the one who resurrects me who causes me to die who created me right? That Allah is the one who will you meet. That is the one my loyalty is to. And I'm going to say this publicly. And I want I wish Western Muslims can also I don't know if they can be that blunt in Canada, in France, I don't know. But if they can, they can
then you know, they can be very clear. We will not make nation state into any new religion, we will not take the idealistic concept of a nation as our new God, you've read Benedict Anderson, you know very well that these are imagined communities, you know very well, that there is no such thing as a as a nation state. It is really the collective figment of the imagination of whoever wants to agree to a nation state, Muslims should be at the forefront of Benedict Anderson's philosophies. And Muslims should be teaching their fellow citizens about the shallowness of some of these concepts in a wise manner, not in an unwise manner, so that their fellow citizens understand where they're
coming from. And always reassure them that hey, look, even as we say this, we are not talking about you know, double stabbing, crossing betraying, we will be the best neighbors you will have in terms of morality in terms of kindness. And I wish Muslims would actually do that we the best citizens you have in terms of public peace, but at the same time, understand, we are religious folks, and we have our loyalties, and our priorities. And if we were to do this, I think the world would be a better place if Allah knows best. I can also I often find that Muslims from American and forgive me for saying it like this, but Muslims from America, maybe sometimes don't quite appreciate the really
hostile environment. We Muslims in Europe face I mean, I think France is that is certainly the head of this, but but certainly there is an element of it a very big element of this hearing in the UK, in the sense that it's not just a benign, benign freedom that is exhibited in France, where you've got comedies and you've got, you know, political elites, but from from time to time, ridicule the faith and ridicule religion. But actually, there is a, a more, there is an assertive campaign to change Muslims, but not just change, not just the community in general, but also the children of those communities. I mean, Sam, your party, of course, you know, the actions against him were
completely unacceptable from an Islamic perspective. But he was showing the cartoons in school. The idea really was to desensitize the next generation of Muslims, and desensitize desensitize them towards
their sacred symbols and to and to make them worry less about the Prophet alayhi salaatu wa Salaam and make them think less about, you know, the Islamic observances. And, you know, we observe this sort of this tightening of the noose almost daily on a daily basis. And, you know, the next generation of this oma is is really facing what I would call an ideological battle. Where are they now? You know, their faith, their Islam, their, their place in, in the West is now at at at stake, their religious place in the West is at stake. I mean, how would you, you know, understand how a Muslim in France or how, how would you advise a Muslim in France who observes fits and sees
universe, this assertive state sort of slowly strangling their faith in
Back in their communities?
That's a question that I don't feel qualified to answer because once again, so I've been an advocate for the last decade and a half of of insourcing artha was right. These types of very, very culturally sensitive questions should not even be attempted by outsiders speak to me of American the American situation, frankly, even the British situation I've been to England more than 100 times, I don't think any other American there, as far as I know, has been more often and stayed longer than I have. So even the British situation, I feel a little bit comfortable, at least speaking generically about the Canadian situation I've been, again, more times I can count, you know, those countries, I
feel very comfortable being a little bit more specific. As for France, I've only been three times I think, and I agree with you the and of course, I've met many French Muslims. I agree with you, the xenophobia. The Islamophobia is really, I don't know of any other western country in the world that is more blatantly Islamophobic than France. I don't know of any other country. And that is frightening. Because France has the highest percentage of Muslims in the entire western world. Those two facts together do not bode well for the future. That's all I will say. They do not bode well, if you study history, and the exacerbation is going on and the tit for tat. At what point? Do the
Muslims say enough is enough? That's a very good question. I'm not qualified to answer. I will simply say generically, from a fiscal perspective, generically, from a fiscal perspective, as long as you have the freedom to do your rituals, and to avoid the major sins, there is leeway. islamically that's all I will say. I'm not saying you should. I'm not saying you have to. I'm saying there's leeway. islamically No matter how much fascia and how much evil let us never forget that in Mecca. meddigan. Muslims don't like to think about this, right? The Quran tells us that women and men would do throw off naked just think about that, okay, in broad daylight, they would or with a
villa with a Villa de they had their perverted ideology and whatnot. This is in Makkah in front of the Kaaba. And because of this, no Muslims that are Oh, the bill, I cannot be here and whatnot after going fully over it. What are you going to do? Okay, it happens, you lower your gaze. You know, there is fire everywhere. There was idolatry in Mecca, there was singing, there was women dancing naked. All of this is happening that right? Drinking alcohol is rampant in Makkah, we know this, what are the Muslims going to do you avoid your sins, but the law is still taught. And that's why we do need our clergy and our odema to be more forceful in this regard. Unfortunately, this is one of
my issues. I know we were supposed to talk about this as well, I guess we'll get there. One of my pet peeves really, is what we have now is a lot of overzealous under educated Muslims, a lot of Muslims, who are they think they're more knowledgeable than those that have spent a lifetime studying? And rather what we find is an Uber literalism, right, a simplistic notion of what it means to be a Muslim their notion of Islamic laws of Shetty out their notion of CSR of politics, it is so simplistic. You do not find Rama in their 70s and 80s. holding these views at all, nobody who's been involved in film, no solid film, and most of the shot and how I then feel nobody who studies Islamic
history is going to be so naive. But this 25 year old comes along. And if a scholar says something that doesn't fit his paradigm, oh, this guy is a sellout, oh, this guy's a, you know, soft do this guy's a left wing, his guy's gone liberal. He doesn't know the shedding of a lot. And that's a problem, which is a major problem of overzealousness. amongst our youth, they're not even willing to listen to the aroma of our own community. By the way, these types of attacks. They are, in fact, one of the symptoms of this problem, because I'm not aware of any scholar that's advocating such violence. I'm not aware of any trained jurist saying that go ahead and behead three people in the in
the in the Cathedral of nice, I'm not aware of anybody. Where is this coming from? Then? This notion of our odema are all sellouts. This notion of our scholars don't know, they're all purchased and bought. And to compound this problem. There are a group of people that do seem to be very sympathetic to despotic regimes. So like I said, we're battling so many different problems. And along with Stan, that's our life. Allah created us for a certain time in place and we have to deal with the problems that are coming to us.
Emmanuel Macron said just under a month ago that Islam is in crisis all over the world.
Just to take you if we remove the fact that Macron said it. Would you agree with that sentiment check. Hello, sir. Not again, the objective is to harsh not crisis. No, I don't agree with the term crisis. Islam. Muslims around the globe are grappling
With new problems, yes, no question about that. But in fact, they have been grappling with new problems for the last century. Right. And definitely different problems before this nameless about other problems. But for the last century, you know, since the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, and since the rise of the nation states, even during colonization from the 18 1900s, right, new sets of problems are coming. And the Muslim community is being tested by Allah subhanho wa Taala in different ways. And we're now undergoing a new set of tests of our time. And that does require a new set of conversations and responses. I don't consider this to be a crisis, I consider this to be a
searching for the truth. I consider this to be an internal interrogation, an internal conversation in which Muslims will have to ask some very, very difficult questions, or odema will have to get involved in thinking about things in a very different manner. And there's going to be a diversity of responses, as is always the case and eventually amazed tree is going to be developed, I would say, for most issues that mainstream has already developed. crises. Nope. Islam is on the rise of hamdulillah. By and large, I mean, I think that is an undeniable fact, in the streets of Karachi, you know, in the universities of Cairo, you know, across the Arab world, across the Indian Pakistani
world, in western lens, our generation is more religious than the generation of our parents think about that. Okay. My parents came to this land in the late 60s and 70s. Hardly, in fact, let me say, I think nobody were hitched up. One my parents started the first Mr. of Houston, Texas, right? The ladies only came not that a job is the only you'll get my point is it's an indication. It's not the only point, right? I mean, most Muslims didn't even pray of that generation five times a day, you know, my father told me that there was even a group that would pray Juma on Sunday, when he came, not because they had a fifth key ruling, but because they didn't have any, any choice. They were
working full time, right. And they thought, okay, and you know what, maybe even in their situation, maybe they have a back in the 50s or 60s that they're working 50 hours a week and whatnot. And the only day they have off is Sunday, right? So they would literally just do something on a Sunday to make up for Juma. I mean, different filters come they had to rethink through things and whatnot. I mean, hamdulillah we beyond that stage, But to answer your question, I don't agree with the term crisis. But I do agree that we have a new set of challenges. And Alhamdulillah, the oma has always risen to his challenges and the oma is always going to succeed in the long run. We firmly believe
this because of the promise of the Quran, I mean, Leo, the hero while at the Nikolay Hamdulillah, right, so, the menorah, minoura, who is the light of Allah is going to shine perpetually. It's our job, whether we're qualified to carry the light, that's our responsibility and test, but the light will always shine.
And the Macron said in in the same speech that he believes Islam needs a reformation. And I think he was speaking beyond the French Muslim context.
His argument is that the religion of Islam needs to accept some of the European enlightenment values. I mean, what's your take on this? Again, this is a very Eurocentric, Christian centric view of the world. Why should Muslims traverse the same path that Christianity did 500 years ago, the problems of Christianity were definitely there. They have nothing to do with the issues facing the oma, the oma has its problems. I'm not saying it doesn't, right. The oma has a new set of issues the secular state and Muslims living under the secular state, the modern nation state this is a very difficult question, how much Sharia compliant should a nation state to be like Pakistan like Saudi
Arabia? These are questions that are very difficult to answer because the The goal of the idea was to have Muslim land where any Muslim is the citizen, and all Muslims can be a citizen. There is no country in the world that allows a Muslim to be a citizen, just because you're a Muslim. Every country is representing its own anyway, I go into the tangent there. But your point of the reformation, again, I would say, I've said this in the past, and even this has a lot of caveats. If by reformation, you mean with a small r. And you mean, we need to rethink through for certain groups of Muslims, perhaps maybe that Muslims in America, Muslims in Europe, Muslims in Canada, they need
to rethink through certain aspects and understand how to live as minorities, some have called this Phil Kalia in the 80s. That was a very popular term of minorities as you're aware, and others have objected to the term and to me, wordings are irrelevant. The concept is definitely valid. When you are living as a minority, right? different situations bring about different laws of physics. This is universally known. It's not nothing radical about that. Whether you call it philosophically out or not. It doesn't really
matter to me, the concept is there that as a minority, we do need to rethink through various things about our own personal lives and attractions and whatnot. So if you mean by reformation what I just said, Call it what you will, yes. Okay, fine. But they don't mean that what they mean is a complete, you know, a Martin Luther esque if you like a complete radical rethinking. And of course, the reformation of Christianity was a response to the in Justices of the Catholic Church. It was a response to the intransigent to the to the narrow mindedness to the anti modernistic and anti scientific nature of the Catholic Church. We've had our problems in the oma, but opposing science
has never been one of those problems. Okay. But here's the irony, when you tell a Christian, an average modern day Christian of the Middle Ages, when the church ruled over them, they shudder like oh my god, I wouldn't believe their version, when you tell them Muslim, that when the Sharia ruled, he gets this nice smile on his face, this romanticized version of the past, because our histories are totally different. Okay, from our paradigm being very, very simplistic, but it is true to state our best days as a civilization were when Muslims Alhamdulillah ruled by the laws of Islam when there was a, you know, the early Roman years there are buses, Haruna Rashid, okay, those were our
best days under loose whatnot, we have and it is legitimate. We have a reason to romanticize those epochs and to say, yes, those were the good old days, science was at an all time high, we were the global superpower. Arabic was the lingua franca. And guess what Islamic scholarship was at an all time high as well. Europe never had that when the church rule they were in the dark ages, right? The only people that could read and write were the clerics and priests. That's why Martin Luther comes and calls for a reformation with a capital R. Why should we as Muslims offer the solutions of Martin Luther, when we never had the problems of medieval Christianity? This is a huge Eurocentric
christocentric mistake. We don't have those problems. So our solutions are going to be different. And therefore, if by reformation, you mean what Macron means? Definitely not. We don't need that reformation, because we never had the problems that Europe had.
Now, here in the West, the Muslim community are seen to be the problem when it comes to Western policymakers. Do we, in your mind have something hardwired in our collective adherence to our faith to Islam, but makes us harder to integrate into the modern secular nation state?
That's an interesting question. And no, not at all.
In fact, I don't see this as even that much of a religious question as it is a sociological one. Any time a dominant majority is in contrast with a small minority, there are going to be tensions between the two. And the notion will come that why doesn't this small minority accept our ways and our values? Nothing new. This is the story of humanity from the day of cave dwellers, I'm sure right? When the Chinese came to this country, 130 years ago, right 1818 to 1910. And they came in small batches, they were less than, again, point 1% the way they were stereotyped, the caricatures drawn the the the, the language used, okay, in the New York Times, even I have some clips and
whatnot, breeding like rats, they smell, they don't know how to cook properly. They don't take bats, why can't they learn our laws and values and whatnot. And of course, all of these were such exaggerated tropes, right? Of course, they take bats, of course, they eat decent food, but the smell of the food is different than your food, right? So you consider it to be vulgar or cooking rats or whatever they would accuse them of you get my point, right? This is a simple sociological problem, that the dominant majority always feels a bit of a threat, when a minority comes with different cultures, different society, different, you know, whatever, but they don't realize that there is no
stagnation in culture and society. This is a huge simple human history throughout all of humanity, you know, cultures keep on evolving. Customs change, Moore's, you know, are adapted. And every time a new mix is added a new spice is added, it will affect the majority without even recognizing it. So, Americans think that they have a stagnated culture, and nothing could be further from the truth. The same goes to England, the England, the racist of England, they want to go back to you know, some glorious mythical password not in reality, they have a snapshot of 1985 let's say okay, when they were children, and they think that is all of England.
But 1985 was radically different than 1955. England, right, which was different than 1935, and so on and so forth. So I don't think at all, but Muslims are in any way different. However, you ask a blunt question, I'll give you a blunt answer. And I say this as a loving, faithful humbler shallow Muslim, we do have something that is alien to the modern Western psyche, and that is strong religion. It terrifies them. They don't have it, they've lost it. They used to have it once upon a time, frankly, ironically, during the time of the crusades, let's say, Muslims and Christians could actually understand each other better, even if they killed one another. Right? Then our times
because the West has lost by and large faith in God, even those that go to church do not actually firmly believe in their religion to the point of impacting their lifestyles, to the point of them actually living like Jesus wanted them to live. They're very small amongst them, who are actually faithful to the values of their religion. They're there, of course, but especially in Europe, what less than 1% even when would be too much, I think, okay, who would actually sacrifice something for the sake of their God and the sake of their faith? So when they come across us, and by and large Alhamdulillah Alhamdulillah. Eman is strong in the hearts of the oma. They find it alien to their
understanding, because their understanding is higher to dunia. Their understanding is they want this done yet with all of its glory. And they're not thinking of an alpha. And by and large, even the nonpracticing Muslims amongst us, they have a sense of, okay, there's a heaven and hell, there's a resurrection, I have a next life to think about. And there is a sense of EMA that is going to flare up during these times of crises of the cartoons and whatnot, where people are going to react in this manner. So I don't think it's any hardwiring. I think it's basic sociology, basic history, basic human psychology, and the divide between a heart that doesn't understand faith, and a heart that is
upon faith that Allah knows best does not care. I mean, that's a really interesting answer. And it really is, puts a lot of things into perspective. Can I can I unpack that a little bit further.
You've got many communities here, in, in Britain, in France, in across Europe, you've got Hindu communities, Jewish communities, you've got Polish Christian communities who are quite strong believers. They, they've revived the Catholic Church here in the UK for Polish community, yet, the the extent to which government policies interact with those communities and governments despair at a lack of integration in from those communities is it's miniscule. Right. But government does not worry about those communities like they worry about the Muslim community. And you say it's the religious aspect. But is there something is there something deeper here? I mean, for you know, you
made reference to how we view our past. Shadi, Hamid talks about the founding moment of Islam and how Islam is, it's antagonistic to the whole notion of secularism. We don't we as believers, we have a notion of an on a global Muslim community. We have a view about our faith, which transcends the religious, the so called religious and spiritual to every aspect of our lives, whether it's economics or political, or whatever it may be, you know, we we have a, a dean which an a, an a, an attraction to our Alma, which doesn't sit very neatly into the modern secular nation state. So is it is it less about just those religious adherence is more about? Maybe there is a hard wiring there?
There is a, a, yeah, I don't like the term hardwearing. But I agree with you believe it or not, in that.
There is something about our faith that is different from Christianity, and that's very simple. It's obvious, it's self evident. It is the fact that we have a Sharia, we have laws that dictate down to the smallest minutiae and that we also have a small percentage of our laws that are meant to be applied at a community level, ie society. Okay. You have to, of course, take into account that Christianity was shorn of all of that, you know, since the time of Paul, Paul comes along and says, you know, you know, the famous incident is it in Corinthians or whatnot where basically you don't have to circumcised if you believe in Jesus forget the covenant of Abraham, you know, the symbol
was, was that you know, every single faithful child, you know, of
Abrahamic tradition is going to maintain as a circumcision was the issue that came up. And Paul basically says no belief in Jesus is the law. And therefore, from the very beginning, Christianity went a different path. Of course, Polish Catholics can fit in to secular Europe far easier than we can, because there is very little that is really at odds very little. And you find this an abortion and LGBT, very small areas, if you really want to comparison, what you need is the Hasidic Jews, what you need is the Hasidim, what you need is the ultra orthodox, right? That's where you will find, believe it or not quite a lot of similarities between us and them, and the laws that they
have. And the fact that they are by and large, isolated from society, they have their own schools, they have their own internal court systems, right. In America, at least I'm not sure. Actually, there is one in England, basically. And I know that I do my research on this. They have their, their their communities that they live in. And by and large, they come out of their bubble to earn money, and then they go back into their bubble. They are not mainstream integrated the way that the West once here in America, we have entire neighborhoods in New York, entire neighborhoods, that is essentially a Jewish enclave. And everybody knows this, and they have no problems accepting and
whatnot. In fact, outside of the city of New York, there are actually entire mini villages, there was a very famous case done to have an entire community of ultra orthodox that migrated there, like the Amish, like the Amish, they broke away from society. And then there was a number of abuses that happen. And that's what became national, that, you know, obviously, we are human beings. I'm not saying Jews are any more predisposed than we are anybody else it happens, your human beings in a community is going to have child abuse, sexual abuse, but they tried to cover it up and etc. Some people have fled from it. So it became a national story, that there's an entire community living in
its own ways. No lady drives, for example, in fact, this is in America, no lady drives, everybody has to wear the heads covering this is not *tier. This is halaqa. This is the Jewish law being applied on them. But see here is where we point out the double standards. Is that why is it that those communities get very little attention? They get to live under the rainbow radar? Why is it that there's a quid pro quo, you know, you'll be who you are, will let you be who you are. And yet for our communities, there's so much happening now, they would say, because of the violence and whatnot.
And that we have to say that's a valid, that's a valid point that okay, maybe that point is valid at the same time. All that we're asking for is that those communities that choose to live, different lifestyles that choose to live somewhat on the fringes of society should be allowed to do so. And that's, again, it's contextual based basis in America, once again, I speak as an American, we definitely have the freedoms to do that. And the Amish have done it. And the Hasidic have done this. And in the 1980s, by the way, I don't know if you're aware of this, there was a group of Muslims that tried to do this, they called the daughter Islam. In New Mexico, they actually purchased, you
know, grew a land and hundreds of families. This was a Sufi Baraka, hundreds of families came down there. And they actually started a new city called Data Center. And it's still around to this day, but it's very small people, they left and whatnot, and the government allowed them. As long as there's no militancy, as long as you're not going berserk and whatnot, you have the freedom to do that. So, again, my position is very straightforward. Why are we asked to, quote unquote, integrate? When it's not a part of the requirements of the law? Why can't we live on the fringes, those that choose to do so by the way, right? Me personally, you know, I am definitely somebody who does not
agree to those ghettoization I don't think that is healthy for the community. And I think that we should live in society and be a part of society. And some have called my version modern orthodox, that's like, all of these terms, or, you know, I don't know, if you're aware of modern orthodox of the Jewish community, but you know, these are all terms that have their pros and cons. I mean, in the sense, I believe in the shediac, but I also believe in living in the modern world, that's what this one reporter grabbed me like that. But all of these terms are meaningless. Um, to to, to answer your question. simplistically, why is integration a condition?
And to what level of integration, let the law come and tell me by court cases, this is the minimum requirement and let it apply to every single community, without exception, and then we can discuss and by and large, if the courts were to do this, I actually trust that in America and Canada, in England, in the majority of Western countries, maybe minus France, that what they would say would actually be reasonable, and we would be able to live up to those expectations. And Allah knows best. Yes, I mean, I was speaking to his mind roya from the States about the Benedict option, which is very much the idea that we should move away from from society and and set up our own communities to
build distinct qualities within within our our community. The problem we've got here in Europe and I think Britain is moving
Slowly but moving in the direction of France, the problem we have here is the governance of all of us are now concentrating on the idea of Islamic separatism. And then you see Macron talked about that in his original speech. And it's now becoming much more difficult for Muslims to even set up very modest forms of, of separation in order to build the faith of their community members, you know, just simple acts of having weekend schools or having
madrassas, or Islamic schools are now seen to be acts of separatism. And mostly, it's about that idea that the noose is slowly being tightened. And it's now becoming very difficult for a Muslim parent to exhibit or to show autonomy over their children and to have autonomy over how their children should be raised because the state wants to intervene. And the state has has now introduced a series of laws, which specifically, you know, it may it may these laws may cover all communities, but they specifically target the Muslim community.
You know, in such a hostile environment, you know, surely, well, how would you advise, I mean, again, your perspective would be I'm in America and Muslims in Britain need to work it out, you know, in, but you know, from, from your perspective, if that happened to Muslim communities in America, what would your your stance be towards that? So, definitely, we don't want to be the proverbial frog in the boiling pot, if you get the analogy, we don't want to be, you know, the one that the changes keep on happening, and we don't realize the changes until it's too late. Okay, and then we are no longer existent. And what is happening in France? So one of the reasons why I have
been so vocal about the French issue is that I believe this is the canary in the coal mine.
I believe that France is an issue that all Western Muslims in particular, need to be extremely
cognizant of, and then involved with, because if France succeeds, it will become a role model for all of the far right parties now in America in particular, because again, you guys don't even have a constitution that we we do in America, this would really be very, very, very difficult because our Constitution. No, I mean, you you cannot, I mean, as of yet, you know, even even during the war of terror and everything and whatnot, generally speaking, you could not go to jail, there was a few cases what not, but generally speaking, you were not imprisoned for saying something that was politically incorrect. Okay? One or two cases of actual incitement was deemed what that's a
different story. But I mean, generally speaking, I mean, you could criticize the government, you could criticize the troops, you could do it. Now, we do have a very different system in our country. However, for European Muslims in particular, France is very worrying, very worrisome. And I think all of us should be aware and speak out and put pressure. And I again, I'm not qualified to tell French Muslims when they should think of packing their bags and leaving. But I will say one thing I was speaking with a French activist yesterday, yesterday, who's founded one of the largest Islamic anti Islamophobic organizations and umbrella organization, with over 100,000 Muslims involved,
basically, you know, collectively, and he said something that, to me indicates one of our biggest problems, he said, 70 to 80% of the French Muslims, do not even vote. Now you tell me, you have in France, maybe 8% of the population is Muslim. And Paris alone, maybe up to 15% is Muslim. That's like one out of every nine p or whenever every eight people Muslim in Paris, right. And the majority of them are not even voting. So you tell me on this question, as community leaders, do you really think our emphasis and anger should only be on the French? And we should not feel that our own communities are living in their own bubbles? And do you know why they're not voting? I'll give you
one guess. How long?
What do you want? Like the frustration that I feel right? That that mentality is so prevalent? And we still have these? I'm sorry to be so blunt, these idiots in our midst that are propagating these bizarre Fatah was thinking that this is the happen to either end soon and what not what the heck are you doing in France, if you really feel this, please go and live in your lines and leave us alone. You are, You are a bigger problem internally than much of what is happening externally. Because externally, we expect them to do what they're doing. But for you to come
And to cause, you know, with your fatawa 70 to 80% of the French Muslims, you know, not getting involved in the political process to me, how can you possibly have Islamophobia so rampant when 15% of Paris's Muslim? ask yourself that question? Surely we also have some blame, hear that our own, you know, certain clerics amongst us and certain, you know, trends and whatnot, our own issues are, again, so disconnected from reality, you know, and again, I understand the anger that some movements have against, you know, the, you know, certain strands of I don't want to mention names in this interview, but movies that I used to be associated with, okay, because most of these fatawa come
from that movie. Okay, I understand the anger because it is an impediment of the highest magnitude to believe that one should not be involved in the process. So I would say I knew that before we criticize those people outside, let us get our own act together, and realize that we haven't even reached a fraction of the potential we ourselves have. How can the French government get away with what it is doing? When there are so many millions of Muslims in France? How it's because most of them have become a political, they've just Can you believe a party running in Paris, therefore, does not even need to care about the Muslim vote. Think about that. So then, go figure what should we do?
Should we then allow this just always criticize the coup falls outside and not understand that we have elements in our own ranks, not just the radical jihadists, maybe one out of a million that does something stupid like that, but we have, you know, not one out of 1,000,007 out of 10? who think that voting is wrong, you tell me? Should we not get involved in that attitude? And trying to correct that attitude as well? and make them understand that when you vote, it doesn't mean you go further, no matter the law? I mean, there is a level of neo hermitages theological point here, but this verse that is being anyway, I don't want to go, No, it is allowed to vote, we must get involved
in the process. And you can't blame other people, if you just stick back and do nothing. And then people are making the laws for you know, it's a democracy, you third, fourth generation, North African origin, French person, how can you not understand that that government is your government, you are paying their salary, it's your taxes going there, you have a right to get involved, you have an Islamic duty to minimize harm on yourself and your children don't come to me and say is how to vote and then get angry when the government strips away the rights of your daughters to wear hijab, you didn't get involved in the process in the first place? I find it.
I mean, again, I'm not French, I don't want to be too harsh. How can 15% of the city be Muslim, and all of these policies are being are being enacted. This means that 15% in a democracy that 15% is not doing its job properly. I'm sorry to be too harsh here. I shouldn't be that hard to learn knows their situation. But this photo, this photo needs to be eliminated from the minds of the masses.
It's been really fascinating interview. Dr. Yasser, tardy, and I want to really end by asking about scholarship in general. Now, there's a growing sentiment in but online, and maybe it's unfair, and maybe it's unwarranted. And forgive me for asking the question in such a way. But there is a growing sentiment that that argues that once a scholar reaches some level of fame or notoriety, they become a political. Maybe that's because fame becomes a goal and reply to that almost takes a backseat. But But again, this is not really directed towards you. And we've we've spoken about a very political topic today. But isn't there a basic truth in that criticism?
That's a very awkward question. Because I know most of the art and I know, you know, I'm friends with many of the people around the world that are involved. I can't speak for them look, likely follow nevsun illa was our you know, I mean, not everybody's living in the same circumstances that that I am and
there is Western privilege By the way, there is American privilege, my passport I was born here, that is also a privilege had I been in, you know, nationalized that acquired nationality, I would not be at the same level in terms of privilege, okay. I have had no other citizenship that is also a privilege that I you know, nothing can happen, you know, to my citizenship, you know, unless a lot you rules, a radical change of the Constitution, what not, nothing can happen to affect my citizenship, the way that the laws of the land stand. being who I am with my privilege with my background, I have taken a course of action and I do not regret it. I cannot expect somebody from
other countries to take the same stance. So I have been very vocal about scholarship not being tainted by politics, ie not getting their funding from politics and not being subservient to political regimes. I have been
very vocal that scholars keep the politicians in check and not the other way around. That having been said, I had a Facebook post when the Arab Spring was happening, and I categorize scholars into five categories, okay. And I said that really, you know, the the first three or four we should we should, you know, tolerate, it's only the last category that we should really be angry about. And that category are the rubber stampers. They're the ones who for all intents and purposes have sold their souls to the highest bidder. And they are validating, you know, the the robber massacre, they're validating, you know, the, you know, shooting upon innocent protesters and whatnot, I have
lost all respect for that group of clergy, because to me, they have sold their religion for a measly profit, they neither gained this dunya nor the aka unless they repent. That's the group we should criticize. I actually category four in my list was actually those that speak generically in praise of the status quo, but not necessarily in praise of the ruler.
And I said that even those we should excuse, because we see they're coming from the notion that civil war is worse than civil war is worse than status quo. And if you look at the Arab Spring, you can see where they're coming from, okay, Syria,
Egypt, and other lands, that and you can tell category four and five from their wordings. Those that say, No, we should obey the ruler. No, we should keep society peaceful is not the same as saying firing on the protesters, right? There's a clear market difference between four and five, even though there might be gray area, right? The first three categories were basically those that were not supportive. The third category was quiet, it's complete, apolitical, those that are based basically teaching Shahada and will do one Salah no argument will do and say, hey Buhari, and athlete and whatnot. And I said, You know what, guys? We need people to do that even the thick and
thin of war.
And you don't know their situation. You don't know their Eman level, you don't know their family circumstances. You know, as long as they're not in category five. They have an excuse in the eyes of Allah. Because you see,
again, we I get this so much travail to protect all of us, Effie. scholars are human beings, we need to stop idealizing and idolizing our odema just because you go to an Islamic University and study there for five years, 10 years, 15 years. It doesn't change your humanity. There are grave scholars, there are cowards amongst scholars, there are corrupt scholars, there are pious scholars, there are scholars that are tempted by money, there are scholars that are never attempted their scholars that fall prey to women and their scholars that humbler can. So just because you studied Islam doesn't make you an angel. Just like every other profession. Now, the masses would hope that every item is
like even taymiyah, or even hedger, or authority, or his or Sarah or these great Roma. But we know everybody who's been through this knows us who have been in the communities of scholarships, all people who have studied Islam know that studying Islam does not necessarily make you pious at all, at all. And again, I have Horace, everybody has horror stories, but for the sake of the masses, let's not say that we all know, simply entering an Islamic institution, there were people that were studying in our institutions, for the sake of a government posting job they had no, they had no reason because in that country, you would get a position, they failed engineering, they filled
mathematics to fill medicine, and they got into Sharia, and their everybody knew, like their lifestyle and what they did the sins and whatnot, I'm just gonna get a government job after this, they didn't care. They're in the same classes as us, right? Getting the same education as us. But their mind is at a totally different level. And it's terrifying. Some of these people are going to end up as professors in the same institutions, some of them will end up as Islamic judges in that country, okay, and etc, etc. And we know how they were, because we interacted with them, right? doesn't mean anything. If you go and spend five or 10 years, for some people, it really is just a
means to an end of a job or fame or whatnot. So I am not critical of those who choose any of the first four categories. The first was the anti government and I said, I'm not I'm not of that paradigm, because I really think it's foolish right now, but I allowed them to be who they are. The second which is my camp, that's what I like, is critical, but still not militant. I identify with that camp completely. Okay. I do not like any of the despotic regimes of the Middle East, not a single one of them and the kingdoms of the oil rich countries. I despise what they have done in the last few years and I'm a vocal critic, but I do not call for the unsheathing of the sword. I do not
call for a revolution because every single
King has been worse than the previous one. The king that was there when I was studying, we all of us used to say what an evil man and whatnot in comparison to the modern guys, he looks like a walking Angel and a saint. Okay? That guy actually respected that roadmap, in the sense he would not openly oppose them. And he verbally outwardly etc, many 1 million stories, right? So every so that's the second group. The third was a political, right. And the fourth, I said, were those that were mildly supportive of status quo, but not they're not the individual, not the regime. It's only the fifth that I have no respect for the first four, in my opinion, we let earlimart fits into their place.
And Allah will be the judge. And here's my point to you as well. You might be critical of category, you know, three. But what would happen if in a tyrannical regime, all dilemma that were in categories, one and two, were locked in chained up? And even maybe what not, you know? Wouldn't you want somebody to teach your kids about Quran? Do the basic facts at hand? You know, wouldn't you need that. So take a broader perspective and understand. And I've always tried to do this in my answers of fatawa Philips iasa. Don't just give my opinion, take a step back and look at the positions that the oma needs, even if I disagree with those positions, right? We have to be broad
minded enough to actually accept that diversity is healthy for the oma to a certain level. And my concern is not my opinion, it is where does the diversity become problematic? That has always been my concern, when it comes to the positions when it comes to the speakers and preachers. That's why I personally don't generally criticize specific individuals by name, even if I find their views to be too extreme or too liberal or whatnot, unless it is genuinely problematic. Otherwise, I'm actually embracing the importance of a diver. It's good that some people are fanatical about al Qaeda, fanatical about dressing the way they do fanatical about, it's good in its own way, we need that
little bit of dosage in the oma, we need that 1%. And it's good that there's others that are on the, you know, good meaning from a sociological perspective, right? Not a theological one, it's good that we have some people that are on the very liberal side of things, but still telling people to pray five times a day, because the the types of people that are attracted to them, they might not even be Muslim. You know, if the if that guy didn't exist, you know, there are some very interesting characters in England and America and Belgium and whatever. They're preaching Neil, more intensity versions of Islam. Okay. I don't agree with them on a theological perspective, but I say, from a
sociological perspective, their existence actually does serve a purpose. Even as I disagree. You understand what I'm saying? Here? I understand what you're saying. Let me come back to a point you made earlier on in that answer. When you said that, you know, the situation could be worse if we, if we try to change the status quo. You know, and I agree, you know, militancy has failed, and it's not going to change the status quo to a, in a in a, in an appropriate direction. But then how do we move on from here, the Muslim world is in a mess, you know, our, our history and our belief system, and our religion tells us but, but, um, is, is one community, and we're one political community, as you
said earlier on in today's discussion, you know, there was a time when we didn't think in a nation state. From a nation state perspective, we thought about ourselves as part of this political almost part of his one big one, holistic community. How do we change? How do we move away from the dire state of the Muslim world to something better if we're not going to take a stand against these regimes?
That's the million dollar question. And my opinion, is no more accurate or predictive than any other persons. We are all in this together. We have been thinking about this issue for the last 100 years. Right. And because of this question, multiple groups and parties have come from the obon to tably have to his brutality, one Muslim into Jamaat e Islami, you know, to the seller fees and wahabis you have the entire gamut of opinions. And even within every party, each one is trying to do its own good. I don't think there is one unilateral decision that is going to be effective. I don't think anybody is going to figure out this question and then go and change it. If change is going to occur.
It might even be a result of happenstance circumstance or less clutter, it might just occur without even the meticulous planning that was actually many of the groups were doing it. So I have a different philosophy visibly, all of these movements and that is frequently in here. There's good in all of these mainstream movements and it's good that one group is fanatically talking about the khilafah one after another all the time anything happens at a level. You know what keep keep you know, keep talking and reminding
There is something that we're not going to negate that reality. But in the meantime, there are people dying, I need to save them. In the meantime, people's minds are getting lost, I need to save them that it's good that others are updated, updated, updated, okay? We understand though, hey, there's an important, let's always talk about that as well. So my perspective is, let each person find his or her passion, let them do what they're doing within the bulk in the mainstream. And at the same time, let us inshallah those that are more mature and wise, take a step back and realize this is a massive jigsaw puzzle. And everybody's doing certain things, as long as it's done under
the rubric of Islam. I don't think anybody can answer your question definitively. And in fact, maybe there is no definitive answer, maybe, in which case, and this is where those that are on the hit opportunity really get irritated me, but I believe this, this is my perception.
our priorities really should be to do what we can to engender from NZ ID 90, what are the gender modifiers, whoever protects himself from the fire of hell, and enters gender that is the victorious person. And in order to earn gender,
brutally honest, I don't need to figure out how to solve the despotic regimes. I don't need to figure out how to solve the Kashmiri or Palestinian crisis. I don't I was not going to ask me about the global situation single handedly. But allow will ask me about my personal piety, about my influence on my family and kids about my community service about what I did with the tools that I have is so because of this not because I don't agree that there should be a political system where we have to get involved with the regime. If you look at my hood, bas and whatnot, I'm very politically motivated. But at the same time, in my personal life, I recognize that Allah subhana wa,
tada is not going to ask me, did you establish the caliphate? He's not going to ask me, did you solve that evil dictator in that world that, you know, killed this than that did? What can I do? But Allah is going to ask me, did you make sure your children are praying five times a day? Did you make sure that your community knew about you and your religion? Did you make sure you did Dawa in accordance with what you're given? So I understand some people find my answer, very frustrating, and they think I'm the cause of the problems and whatnot. So be it. I don't need their approval to enter agenda. It's Allah subhana wa tada who will judge and I am a firm believer that Allah will ask us
what we have done, given our means and circumstance. That's it. Check. Yes. Because you've been very kind of your time. If I may just squeeze in one last question. You're the final one Bismillah.
The world is changing show. And we're seeing the rise of populism, we're seeing the rise of of nativism. The the old standards of globalism have disappeared, and countries are putting up barriers against one another. There is a cultural assertion within each and every country in your country in America. There's the rise of white nativism, and who knows Donald Trump may win the next election and that's very possible. I mean, even though opinion polls say otherwise, it's still very plausible, but there is a lot of fire in an energy in, in back constituency, we see in across Europe, the rise of the right and various of, of this form of sort of, of white nationalism which is
which we fought had disappeared for a very long time. We've we've all of this going on and with what's happening in France and and our situation across the west and the more precarious position we find ourselves in shocky. Also, Cody, do you have hope for the future of this on? Definitely. That question. Definitely hope for the future of the oma definitely hope for the future particularly segment of the oma that's a different thing.
segments, nation states, particular communities.
Allah knows what's gonna happen under those worked out the way that it did. Okay, mass conversions, forced conversions, or being sent away to North Africa, as we're all aware, millions of Muslims not to trace left of Islam, even the Muslim civilization remade.
Is it possible that that is replicated in modern times?
Given the current circumstances in 2020? In Sha, Allah, I can say I don't think so. But see, who could have predicted World War Two and the effects of World War Two? Nobody? Things change dramatically. Right. And is it possible given a few more changes that something like this could happen in some countries? Yes, it is possible. And my fear is that we are heading in that direction. The world has not been under a global war for two generations.
People have short memories, and people don't learn from history. And unfortunately, the way things are
Headed globally. Personally, I am
a little bit scared for myself and my children after I put my trust in Allah a low protect, but I'm allowed to be scared for reasonable precautions, you get my point not scared in a theological sense, but worried is maybe a better term not than scared. I am worried about the rise of these trends. And these types of incidents that we're seeing in France.
World War One was started with one assassination bullet between parties that were already at the cusp of antagonism. People don't study history, and therefore they are doomed to repeat it. We are headed in a very worrisome direction across the world. the far right parties, Brazil with bolson, arrow Modi in India, Trump and his ilk and whether he's going to even step down peacefully which might be another catalyst Okay, in Israel as well, no matter how we don't like the apartheid regime, but we have to also comment on their their their realities that the far right has become entrenched in Israeli politics as well. You know, even though from our perspective, all of them are a type of
right but still not all right is the same. You are far, far, far right. And you have others across the globe. This nativism, as you said, friend, I'm sorry, Canada just barely lost. You know, Trudeau we are loving Trudeau, but remember his opponent, it wasn't a victory. That was like a clear cut victory. Okay, and his opponent was essentially the equivalent of Trump. So it is worrisome, which is why every single Muslim needs to get involved beyond just personal, you know, selfishness every Muslim should do his or her part. Otherwise, when whatever happens, happens, we have no one to blame, you know, because we did it, we didn't do our job. So, do I have hope for the oma?
Definitely, why do I hope for the woman because Allah told me to stay logical. And also because we see a revival. The fact that Al Hamdulillah, millions of people are genuinely passionate and believing about their religion, it's a positive sign. Even the fanaticism, we criticize it, right, we criticize it. But it is coming from a heart that has a skewed belief of the faith, but it is still a belief of the faith. You understand? I'm not I'm not condoning at all, but it is still coming from some type of of any whatever, you know that no, you're not gonna insult me because I'm like, you know, I mean, at least they are. Again, I shouldn't say there's, there's no condoning but
even fanaticism is coming from, as I said, a misinterpretation, but it is still coming from something that is of the of the faith. So on the overall side, Islam is on the rise, which is why it is so threatening to McCrone and others, because they don't have the equivalent, they do not have that faith based equivalent. The only alternative is nativism. The only alternative is the theorisation or the the the Nazi theorisation. Sorry, the theocracy position sorry, of the nation state, okay, to make the nation state God to make the values of the nation state worth fighting over. That's what they're doing now. Okay, okay to make the symbol of the nation state that which is
protected, to bring the past of the nation state to the romantic, romantic, glorious past, they are theocritus facing the nation state, their God is the country now that they're going to defend to they die. That's the only alternative. And of course that comes with fascism. That comes with a new version of militancy that we are seeing now, what the future holds, Allah knows best. But if things continue this way, I think Muslims in Europe in particular need to think long and hard, especially of France about what they're doing and their future goals. I'm not saying they should leave, but I'm saying they cannot remain
blissfully naive Li cut off from the rest of society. That's my, my takeaway message, get involved, do something, be active, renew your faith, and then become active in the society we live in, in every aspect possible? That is the least that we can do. And if we do that, even if we don't succeed, as a political entity, inshallah, we would have succeeded in the eyes of Allah subhanho wa Taala. And that is the ultimate success.
Check er sakarya does that color care for your time today and for your generosity with time and malice upon Allah accept from you and reward you for your contributions I've ever had me I actually had a very interesting conversation and I look forward to future conversations. Well, you had some very pertinent questions. Generally speaking, your questions were far more meticulous and thought out and provocative and needed, and I appreciated that and I understand that this is going to generate more questions in interviews and whatnot. So be it miss Miller. I look forward to being with you for round two inshallah, as well. Is that gonna love it?