Is Secularism in Crisis
Channel: Yasir Qadhi
File Size: 85.83MB
With Prof Tariq Ramadan
Tip number seven is
Salam Alaikum. And welcome to today's special, unscripted podcast with me Your host salon. But it's been a very difficult few weeks for our brothers and sisters in France, with macrons infamous speech claiming Islam was in crisis, following some draconian measures against many Muslim organizations, branded separatists.
Then we saw the tragic murder of the school teacher last Friday, which has been used by the French state to launch countless other raids on Muslim organizations to so called send a message we have with us very glad to have with us Professor direct Ramadan streaming all the way from France Islamic compressor.
And we have shaped us and Cody as well streaming all the way from Dallas. Is that correct?
Well, it's Texas.
So I'll start off with the professor Doberman, Dan, you've been quite active on on your social media feeds, commenting on recent events. However, it's mostly been in French, fortunately for us English speaking. audience. So I wanted to ask you exactly what is going on? And what do you make of it?
I think that if you look at what is happening now, it's not new, by the way, it's a very long process. It happened, you know, it started a long time ago. And
yes, it is quite right when he's writing that it understand what is happening now you have to go all the way to the colonization time, where you can get a sense of the way not only Muslims were perceived, and Islam was perceived, but but even the citizenship and the fact that they were the subject of the French society. So it's a very long process over the last
few years. Now we have, and it started with the cartoons with Charlie Hebdo, and all the murders and where every time what is happening is the far right party is taking advantage. In fact, they may lose the elections, but they are winning.
As to the discourse. Now you have normalization of the far right discourse about Islam and Muslims in the name of lazy T and the secular system. And then they are instrumentalizing, this attacks and everything. The only reservation I would have with yourself, are these text years that he's saying that these enfranchise Muslims can support what happened, for example, with the murder of the professor. And this never happened. In fact, you don't have anyone now supporting this. In fact, it's, it's, it's
meaty, that you get the consensus to condemn this. So it's one guy in 18 years old, who is doing this on his own, and they are calling him now
quickly radicalized guy, because it happened overnight. So he's completely isolated. And they are saying this is why he's so dangerous, because you that you can't
you can't know from where he's coming, what is happening. So I think that we have to be quite clear that the Muslim community is quite clear on this, we are condemning and this is, this should be clear, and you don't have even now anyone saying, you know, that's right, and you are supporting him. So, from the Muslim community, the position is clear. The leadership now is not always clear, but what you said as an introduction to our discussion is is important is that they were the government is using this to send message to the organization's now you have to be careful. Now you are under our radar. And we are now supervising and monitoring all what you're doing. Even the
organizations that are you know, like care in the United States, you know, supporting and defending the Muslim rights. Now, these people are perceived as you know, not radicalized, but the means for radicalization and even you know, organization that are, you know, for charity. This is what, and that is my point. You know, for many years, I was saying what was happening in this
stage was not going to happen in Europe. And it's the opposite now that what we are seeing now in Europe, he had this, you know, on all the charities and just putting the Muslims in the situation where it's very difficult to speak out. This is what we are seeing now. So I can check out sukhadia. What do you make of the recent events?
Well, I think Dr. Jones is referring to a post that I made on Facebook. And in that post, I basically said that it is, it is impossible to understand this particular incident without looking at the broader socio economic and even historical background. Generally speaking, colonialist powers have very selective short term memory, generally speaking, superpowers pick and choose what facts to portray. And most of their own populations are blissfully naive, the ignorant about the realities of what they themselves have done. And again, whenever you start speaking like this, you automatically have to face accusations of justification, you have to first and foremost clear yourself of that and
say, No, nobody is supporting this particular vigilante act. At the same time, we need to contextualize that this act is not coming because somebody read a factor of 1000 years ago, this act is not coming from a cleric who studies a book of classical physics, and then studies the chapter of more than hokum of blasphemy and some Barrasso solo senate and then comes and does it. No, this act is stemming from a deep seated anger, where does that anger come from? It is not justified to act upon it. Where does that anger come from? That is the question that needs to ask. And we've been there done that we've had the same conversations. I have been having the exact same conversations
for the last 20 years since 911. Trying to contextualize the movements out there acquired an ISIS and although them contextualized not justified, where do they come from? Why are these people so angry and bitter? What is the cause? And my position has always been the primary cause is not religion, it is political, it is social, economic, the primary cause, why there is so much angst and animosity is not something that you have to be a Muslim or a Christian to understand. And in fact, I used to teach a class when I was a professor at Rhodes College called Jihad and fundamentalism. And in that class, I would talk about you know, the the the grievances that these movements have, every
student fully understood them because they transcend religion. These grievances are political in nature, the religion comes in, because from the perspective of of these people, obviously, religion and politics is melded together in their identity, but the cause is not religion, the cause is socio economic. And I think French society has to ask itself, how, what is it going to gain in the long run, by ghettoizing an entire segment up to 10% of its population is of North African heritage. Firstly, where did they come from? Why are they there? It's not their fault. They're there, right? Who started the colonisation who made Algeria an entire province of France for I don't know how 130
years what happened in Algeria for that entire century. Let's talk about that as well. So the reason why there are so many millions of North African heritage people in France is not their fault. It is France's responsibility, the least that can be done. Secondly, their lifestyles, their socio economic status, their education, the ghettoization the racism at every single factor of their lives. And this is something that Dr. Titus and others can speak to better than I can, but it's something well known. I have experienced. I mean, I've heard plenty of French Muslims tell me this. And obviously, I've only been to France three or four times, but you get a sense of it as well. In
my experiences in Europe, I have not been to any land where Islamophobia seemed to be more blatant to me as anecdotally, then of France. So these are the two main factors that we need to bring up. And then we have to say this as well, before I hand it back to you. And that is that, yes, we do have the responsibility to police our own, it is our responsibility to, at least in a way, not necessarily police the meaning of the word police, but at least, to be aware that there might be some people that going down this type of path, and just like any community should be aware that we don't want any more problems or issues to happen. It is a part of our responsibility to make sure
that if somebody is preaching views that we think are an Islamic that we think are extreme. Yes, we are, we are obliged to refute them in an academic matter. Make sure that that is, you know, that that is corrected. And, again, it's not my position to speak about how French Muslims are perceiving this doctor, doctor, that's yours and others. But let me just say when I gave my post that I just gave last week, I got diffused immediately by a few dozen people. Right. So you're saying nobody sympathizes online there are quite a lot of people that are very sympathetic simply to point out, and I didn't even say By the way, what he did was wrong. I'm saying it now.
What he did was wrong. But that wrong doesn't justify their reaction. I didn't even say it in the post. The fact that I didn't agree with that lone perpetrator was enough to get me a dozen took fuse. We do have a small group of people that are so angry, they have lost track of reality, they have lost track of how to channel that anger. But let's be very frank here. Do we not have some people that went over to ISIS before that's ability to apply that? Did we not have some people that were preaching we should kill civilians every we had that very small, we did have them. And it is our responsibility, I think, because they are Muslims, they're claiming to be representing the
faith, it is our responsibility to correct and speak out against them, even though it is not our responsibility to act like obviously, you know, the government in that regard, but I do think we have that role, that we challenge that misunderstanding from within, and we explained that these rulings have a context at a time and a place that needs to be discussed, I suppose one of the issues that we find ourselves in is that you have to one has to balance the need to correct or refute incorrect ideas or harmful ideas with the broader discourse of the of the war on terror and Countering Violent violent extremism, which will explicitly seek to problematize the Muslim identity
and use these types of beliefs and so forth to push the and narratives and theories that somebody is, you know, an otherwise normal, healthy individual will become radicalized by reading these texts and having incorrect radical Islamic opinions. You know, the conveyor belt theory that we call here, or the underpinnings of, of CV in general,
because it requires us to really problematize and look at Muslim exceptionalist Muslim violence, you know, I mean, I was thinking, just how many people for example, are going to be a psychopaths, you know, they say, 1% of all people generally are going to be psychopaths, or three to 4% are going to be a sociopath, so incapable of, you know, feeling empathy for others. And if you have five, 6 million Muslims in France, regardless of what the Islamic opinions are on anything, you know, you're you're looking at 10s of 1000s of Muslims, psychopaths that you just expect, just if we, you know, Muslims were to be proportionally representative, I can say that. But the problem is, you know, when
when these types of attacks happen, they do get they do get spun more quickly through the the war and terror narrative. And this now to this discourse, has seen, you know, this type of crackdown in France, but also you know, things like concentration camps in China as well. On the on the topic of France, Professor Ramadan, I wanted to ask,
you've spoken about and shuckers Katya spoken about the the colonial legacy, right, and the history of, of the French in the Muslim world. How do French people view Muslims? How would you characterize that relationship? We've seen Marwan Mohammed, for example, I read, he the former leader of a
CCI F, the advocacy group, he said that French people, some French people have two colonial instincts, one is to dominate, and the other is to civilize. And these two instincts are still quite prevalent in, in the modern political discourse, the extent to dominant is in a more far right, and the instinct to civilize is his left wing. So how do French people view Muslims?
No, I think he's right. And I think we have to be quite clear about the fact that the perception today, it's very negative 76% of the French
people think that Islam is a problem, and that even that the secular life ICT system is in danger to deal with the Muslim presence. So this means that they think of the Muslim presence as a danger to the unity of the Republic, which is the main, you know, reference and principle. And, and this perception, this negative perception means that we have to do something about it, and we can adjust victimize ourselves and just say, that's your fault. And this is why relying on what
the poor as a body just said right now, I think that this is essential for us. I would put this in, you know, for responsibilities and duties when we are facing this situation. The first as he said, and I think I have read been repeating this for the last 30 years. You cannot deny the fact that there are misunderstandings and bad interpretation and wrong interpretations of Islam.
This is not new, it happened from the beginning it it's the same in Muslim majority countries and now in the West, and then when does these interpretations are, you know, promoted and pushing people to kill in the name of Islam, we have to be quite clear. And we have to speak from within, as Muslims saying that this is our responsibility to say that this is Islamic, and this is not this cannot be accepted and this violence and targeting innocent people. And I said this, not only in the West, by the way, I said, even when we are dealing with some issues, for example, in Palestine, in Muslim majority countries, we have to be clear, as to our position, this has to be your no bit
Topsail, meaning it should be rooted in our tradition. And we have to be quite clear about this is our religious, intellectual, political and social responsibility. This is what the second is really to be quite clear about the fact that when the people are simplifying the whole political perspective, we also have to be quite cautious with the fact that sometimes it's not even political, because many of these young, you know, young guy there are that with what they are doing. This has nothing to do with even a political understanding. It's it's much more emotional and psychological than political. And we have to be quite clear that as Western citizens, when we are talking about
political issues, this is not political Islam, this is citizenship, active citizenship, talking to our own government saying you can't do this. And I think that this is also essential that as Muslims, we have to make clear that respecting the secular society or the Western societies mean, that means that as citizens, we have to be involved in the social political discourse of our society and make clear that this is not to politicize Islam is just to be a citizen in our society, and to have the right to ask the right questions, to let Muslims have a seat at the table. Exactly, that that's essential, because this is the very meaning of being a citizen. And my problem with some
Muslim leaders is that they speak about this, but their behavior is not exactly understanding that you know, the fabric, the way it works from with it, it's that they are in and speak from outside. And that's that's the problem. There is a third responsibility, which is essential, I'm sorry, as citizen and as Muslim, we have the right to ask all the questions that are necessary to know the truth. Because we know now that some of our brothers and sisters are instrumentalized by political trends, and sometimes not, from within the community, in failed trends are known in the United States as the unknown number. So when, for example, someone is saying, you know, I was in touch with
these guy or the intelligence service, at least we have to ask all the questions, what is happening, tell us the truth, we have to ask for independent inquiries to know what happened. It's true with what happened in the 11th of September, but it was it was what is happening now is not to have you know, a conspiracy, you know, theory is just to ask the question, we want to know in a transparent way, what is happening, because if you say that this is coming from us as Muslims, we have to do something about it. But if now these people how come you're telling me that in one night, someone became radicalized, how by home? What is happening when he was dancing the day before taking drugs,
and you come to tell me this is Islam? He himself his father is saying not in this case, but it happened the last time he's fine, saying it has nothing to do with religion. He's not a practicing Muslim. He knows nothing about Islam. So we have to ask the right and we have to be courageous enough. Not always to be on the defensive to apologize but as citizens to ask the right questions with all our citizens. You had what the professor just said. Do you agree with him? disagree with him? Let us know in the comments below. And remember to like and share this podcast, click subscribe, and also make a donation in the link below.
Do you suspect foul play on the part of other security services because identity might sound conspiratorial, but if we look at the US context, for example, the FBI has been
roundly criticized for foiling plots largely of its own making shipyards have you've spoken about this in the past, where they you know, entrap young,
impressionable people with the lure of either money or let me tell you something. There is one police officer
Who is coming from Algeria, he's a French, he's saying, We are infiltrating some groups and pushing to know up to where they can go. So this is sent by by the police itself. So police, you know, the police system is saying this, we are not going towards, you know, trying to avoid taking our responsibility, we have the responsibility to ask the right question. And my last responsibility as Muslim, as a Muslim, and and if we understand
that we are eternal Island, we are mercy to the world, we have to be clear that today, even if France and the French people have a negative perception of Muslims and Islam, we have to make our presence a gift to this society. And to make it clear, if today you are targeting the Muslims, and you are now targeting them, and preventing them to be free, that they have limited freedom of expression, limited freedom of conscience, at the end of the day, all this is will will come back to you. Because you can only target the segment of the society. And this is important because if the far right parties are taking over, we are not the only victims. It's the whole society. So we have
to universalize our discourse, as Muslims and as citizens to make it clear that if we are the first target, the whole society is the second one. Yeah, exactly. I mean, check yesterday, you were nodding your head for four parts of that we're seeing a move towards
some might argue, xenophobic kind of populism throughout the Western world. Steve Bannon, as you know, has been globe trotting, meeting with right wing politicians spreading his tried and tested method of, you know, create the enemy within and then, you know, create some kind of public discourse against that and you'll be, you'll be, you know, successful victorious with, and he's managed to shift the Overton Window called the window of expressible public opinion, further and further to, you know, against Muslims and other minorities. What's your view
with regards to this kind of network? And how do you believe Muslims can prepare for it? So I think it's really saddening, how people don't learn from history. Barely a century ago, the Nazis came to power with the exact same game plan. It was, as we're seeing now, barely a century ago, hardly 100 years have passed. And we are we have completely neglected the lessons that mankind has seen. It is horrifying when fascists when far right xenophobes get into positions of power, the exact same game plan, you take a minority that is very easy to stigmatize. You take a minority that looks different, speaks different acts differently. And you blame society's woes on them. Like Germany in the 1920s,
Germany began to claim that all of our problems emanate from this one group that if we were to have this group solved, then Germany would reach its maximum, you know, height and power and they began smearing and campaigning and in return, maybe the group did retaliate. Maybe it was conspiratorial, you know, a number of bombings happened the parliament in Germany was was bombed, a politician was assassinated, which led to Kristallnacht. You know, the the night of the glasses and whatnot. And these incidents happened and accusations were made against the Jewish community. And this exacerbated the situation the Nazis come along. They claim they are the Messiah, they claim they're
the godlike figures that will protect the German people, and they foment that hatred and hatred. They foment that racism and xenophobia in order that they can then claim to be the knight in shining armor. You see, the knight in shining armor has to create the boogeyman has to create the Frankenstein. So you create the Frankenstein so that you become Mr. Powerful Mr. Messiah, Mr. godlike figure that's going to swoop down and protect the people. We see it in Trump. We see it with Modi, we see it at bolson arrow in Brazil, we see it now with Macron the same mentality, these people don't care about their countries, they're willing to divide their countries in order to
conquer their seats. That's the reality of what we're seeing. So what we're seeing here is the other realization of the Muslims of France, just like the Jews of Germany, 100 years ago, I mean, Subhanallah we all know that yesterday, or was it two days ago, they're going to broadcast the Charlie Hebdo cartoons on the national are in the building of the city, they're going to make it now so big. Can you imagine in America, the movement of black lives matter? Can you imagine the KKK? You know, I would have been like doing some type of nooses or maybe the N word or something very vulgar and making a very public show about this and then saying, we have the freedom of speech. Yes, you
have the freedom of speech, but you are inciting hatred. This doesn't justify violence. But do you really think that to flout a person
sanctity, a person's ethnicity, a person's religious beliefs, you think to provoke them constantly is going to bring about civil society. On the contrary, what Macron and what his ilk are doing, they are the ones that are dividing society in order that they can then bank in on that division by claiming to be the saviors of their own people. And in the end, who is going to be harmed society itself, the entire society, not just that one segment of Muslims are over the others. History teaches us that and alone was dying. I mean, we're supposed to be optimistic, we have optimism. At the same time, the situation, it does not bode well, politically and allies, Georgia has helped us a
lot, I get the feeling from listening to Muslims in France that they don't have platforms to articulate to make use of the so called free speech equivalent to those who are attacking them and goading them on and this, this leads to these kind of provocations, they lead to kind of cycles of violence. So someone might do or show a provocative cartoon. And naturally, if you show something that provocative, so maybe even, not even a Muslim, just criticizing some insulting someone's mother, if you do that to 100, people, one of them might react violently. And that's more a case of their own personality and their own history and their mental state and so forth. So when somebody
does react, then it goes into, you know, defiance mode, or we must provoke them even more, how dare they react, and then you know, people will more and more interaction will be
greater and greater. And that's why the French model of the Charlie Hebdo, right, rather style has been regarded or described as punching down, it's, it's privileged, usually white men who are criticizing and mocking,
you know, Muslim women or African women or with these types of
insults. But on the other hand, some Muslims are saying, you know, we're getting raided for tweets that we sent against certain politicians or certain rapper, maybe from an African background is taken to prison because of so called insulting Republic, the republic or
insulting the police and this type of stuff. So is the actual genuine, fair free speech Professor diagrama in France,
you know, the situation in France as to free speech, it's, it's really problematic, this is the only country in the world where over the last 30 years, I was not an hire not have been able to speak within the university can make this 30 years, the only time I was able to speak in one universities was in the suburb, and we had to announce my presence one hour, before the meeting, just to be able to speak and at the end, we had to stop. So, it's not possible there is a problem here as to freedom of speech, my own brother is prevented from entering the country over the last now, three years for what he never spoke against the law, he never spoke against the he is critical towards the French
politics, but this is the reality there is discrimination as to freedom of expression in France, and add to these that all the platforms and all you know the the media and what we have now within the media is always the same people coming and they are choosing who are the representative of Muslims, and by the way, this is the way everywhere in the West now that they are choosing who has to speak for Muslims and if you are not supporting
the government and not speaking within this, not within the secular system, because I have been saying this for 30 years, we don't have a problem with the secular system and the secular system is not against our freedom of religion, even only if you apply and and and and understand the secular system as being equal for all the religion and you let the you let the Muslims and leave the Muslims choose for themselves. But now, you know, when it comes to the reality of Muslims, the French government is asking the Moroccan embassy, the Algerian embassy, the Indian embassy and and even now the Emirati embassy about what is this? Are we talking among French people? Are you talking to the
embassy to talk to your own citizens because because they are still Muslims, or they are Muslims for you, they are still foreign citizens. There is a new object,
a new object or a new way of putting it that you if you are citizen or you're not now you are foreign citizens. So you are a citizen, but still, because you are Muslim, you're perceived as a foreigner. And I think that
This is work for us.
Now, yes, there is a big problem of freedom of expression. But still there is a space and you have now leaders, women and men, who are now more and more visible, the only thing that we have now is that there is a lack.
You know, I have a sociologist, a Belgium sociologist who told me once, you know what, I talked to the leaders within the Muslim community, I found many leaders, but I didn't find leadership. And I think he was right. So there is not a vision here. And we are completely divided and not even supporting one another. It's as if they are targeting one organization, the other organizations are quiet, they don't talk to us care. And this is what is happening now where's where's the politics in in France is now to sprint or to send around a message. If you don't now, follow our rule or speak the way we want you to speak, you're going to be targeted. And this is what is happening with all
these organizations. And for us, once again, it's important to understand that
you have we have to be clear, we abide by the law of the land and the country, and we want to be treated equally. And this once again means that we have to be courageous enough to see it, and even to support our sisters and our brothers when something is happening. You know that for example? Yes, Adi spoke about what happened for two women, one was tapped the day before yesterday. And even the French media, were not talking about it, it was not the right time to talk about it, because this would have covered what happened to the professor. It's just crazy. And the Muslims were all scared to speak about it as if, you know, we have to be very cautious. So if fear is around, there is no
behavior here, coming from the Muslim leaders, and this is missing today.
You know, let me just add to that a little bit, that from what I've experienced, again, I was active teaching at a university. I'm no longer at that university. But I was active teaching for a decade, when I was active when they called a sama bin Laden when ISIS rose up and it and it died down. So I was in the academic sphere teaching undergraduates for an entire decade. What I discovered in that experience was that the the the bubble that our community has versus the other communities, those two bubbles are completely distinctly separate from one another, it is almost impossible for the average Westerner to understand the bubble that most of us are inhabiting. Likewise, it is almost
impossible for us to fully comprehend how an average american an average Frenchman is seeing all that is happening, what we need to do is to be brave enough to both sides calm down. And for a few hours, or even longer than that try to see the world from their perspective, the average American has no clue as to the grievances that the Muslim world had. Similarly, the average French person, I'm assuming I haven't lived there, I'm assuming they're occupying a totally different paradigm. And they are believing what has been fed to them by their politicians by McCrone. So rather than get angry at the average guy on the street, it's not really his fault, he has been brainwashed rather
than getting angry at him, you need to understand that it's your responsibility to somehow break down, you know, the narrative to somehow make him reorient himself. And that's very, very difficult in 10 seconds, or 10 minutes, it will require time, I've taught hundreds, if not 1000s of students an entire semester. And I can tell you 100 100 in every single student that took any of my classes, by the time the class was over, they had a very different perception of the religion of the politics of the grievances than when they walked in. But that took an entire semester that took deconstructing the world that they inhabit. And that's something that unfortunately, to this day,
I'm really surprised. Nobody has a half hour video, for example, from the Islamic paradigm trying to explain what is going on. Why are these radical movements there? Why is there so much anger in a manner that might potentially crack the bubble that the average Westerner, the average, you know, Frenchman or Englishman or, you know, American finds himself in that's on us to do, it's not on them to do the politicians are doing what they're supposed to do. We expect Trump to be Trump McCrone to be Macron you know, for them to be funan it's our responsibility to try to fight that with education, which I didn't believe to hear us and, and I think that in that regard, there's too much
that we can do. I mean, the the the other rising of
Islam and Muslims is not something new is it? It's something that some some have argued is has been central to Western Europe's depiction of itself to define its borders visa v Islam you know as the as the necessary other side's Orientalism go back to 1975 Edward sighs Orientalism you cannot have an oxidant without an orient right yeah that by default the other and by other rising the other you actually help define yourself right and that's something that again Edward sidewalk but again how few people even know that right the average Westerner has no clue about this entire this entire narrative that again, you need to have deca you're not actually every single semester in my classes
I would have a week where we read Edward sides book where we you know saw depictions of Arabs and Muslims in the media so that they could see how easy it is to brainwash, you know how easy it is that they're even realize how how
subtle the brainwashing is, it takes time, but it can be done, are you then not, however, calling therefore, to something that some people might regard as a dissolving of their very own identity and their own essence. And this is this is perhaps how we might be able to interpret some of the fall rights narratives about, you know, the white European being an endangered species and this type of victim narrative that marine lepen and all these types of people are now increasingly, you know,
main mainstream mainstream discourses, is, is harking at a process like Ramadan is this, is this something that can be undone if it's something that perhaps started according to some a millennium ago?
Look, my take on this is quite paradoxical. I think that why all this is happening now. And you have populism coming. So strong and and being so scared, it's because what is happening on the ground is exactly what they are scared of that, in fact, this new presence of Muslim now it's not so new, we are reaching the fifth generation of Muslim presence in France. And it's very important to remember that this the biggest Muslim community in the West, proportionally to the to the, to the society even more, you know, proportionally it's the more than even the United States. So it's a very important community. And now they are getting out of the social ghetto. Now, they are much more
visible. Now. They speak French as the French and they are French. And now they almost it's because, in fact, they are saying, Oh, you know, integration failed. I'm saying it's exactly the opposite. In fact, it works. And now these Muslims are here. So this, you know, other ionization that you are talking about, look at macrons last speech when he was saying separatism, and now we have to, you know, to fight separatist these people don't want to integrate, they say it's exactly the opposite. You are creating them, you put them in the same, you know, suburbs, you create them outside the society. And now, you know, 20 years ago, I was talking about the new way, and these new ways for us
to feel so you, we might not have it coming out of our leaders now. But on the ground, this new citizenship, European citizenship, and even Western citizenship, the you know, in the United States is exactly the same. But it's even much more visible now that something is changing in this society. So they are scared, and they are scared of these
West, you know, Muslim citizens being able to vote being able to be involved, and they are within the political parties. And now even saying, as I have been saying, you know, what, Islam is a French religion. Islam is a European religion, and you can see it on the ground. So we have sometimes to go beyond this, you know, tensions that we see now, to understand that the historical movement, it's exactly, it's completely different from what we see, we tend to look at distinctions, and not to understand and this is why I'm quite optimistic, it's going to be difficult, they want and once again, I repeated this even when I was going to the states and going to Europe, they are not going
to let you normalize your presence. You know why? Because there is one thing which is important for us as Muslims, and I repeat this statement, we have to normalize our presence without trivializing it, meaning that what we need to get as Western Muslims and French Muslims, is that be a gift for your society. And as it was said, by yes
Cuddy, yes, it's true, he is completely right at our level, we have to deconstruct the perception and your presence in itself, it could help the deconstruction of what is a Muslim who is a Muslim, how a Muslim, leaving his or her country. This is the starting point of changing mentality changing perception. But let me tell you something, in fact, even though the media are strong, and the political discourse is very negative, on the ground, something is happening, it's going to take time. And we have to look at it that by saying to the Muslim and the Muslim citizens, build at the local level, change mentalities, teach your religion, share your principles, and serve the whole
society. This is what we have to understand now, by understanding that the African proverb is right, you start
sending stones on trees, when the trees are bearing their fruits. That's exactly what's happening with the Muslims today. And we have to get it right, that this historical moment, we should not only take the negative out of it, we have to understand that something is happening on the ground, which is, we are here, and we are French Muslims, and we are French, as much as your French. But professors are that that is what that might be maybe what Muslims are saying on the ground now. But what do you say to someone who's had their mosque closed down, or the Islamic charity being raided, or, you know, the Muslim school being being closed on who doesn't feel that they actually belong?
And that is that the secularism or the LSAT in, in French, in French society, is not actually neutral at all, but rather, it's just blind to its own religiosity. But it's a you know, it's just the imposition of one history, one set of values one discourse,
instead of others. So the Muslims are, they might argue, progressing economically, socially and so forth in spite of secularism, not because of it.
No, I think you're right. But as I said, it's not going to be easy, it's going to you have to fight for your rights, they are not going to give that to you in such a simple way. It's going to be to fight meanings just to be a citizens and to understand when they close your mosques, when they close your organizations, you have to struggle and an ask, and we have now people in our psyches in the West, once again, it's in France, but it's everywhere, lawyers, politicians, thinker, intellectuals who understand that something is wrong with the whole process in the way the laws are implemented, are applied to the people there is a discriminative reward. So we have to struggle for our rights,
it's not going to be easy. So you are right now, even what was what is said now about, you know, practicing Muslims, practicing Muslim is all is almost radicalized Muslims today, in many of, you know, the the secular discourse that we have in France. So So this is where, as I said, we have to understand that the it's it's a very long process, it's going to take effort to take time, we are going to go through very difficult times now because of the atmosphere. And what you said, you know, yes, I thought he was talking about macro and saying he's, you know, political project, you should remember that Macron came to power with a completely different discourse about stamina, as he
changed over the last three years, understanding now that if he won, if he wants to win the next election, he has to follow that is what is happening now is a complete change in his political vision, understanding it through this conflict. And by nurturing this, you know, separatism, and this clash with Islam and Muslims, and talking about security and talking about, you know, the danger for our society that he's going to win. So by promoting the far right parties, he's putting the power parties as the only party against him, and he's going to win because they are demonizing the far right party. But normalizing its discourse, this is exactly what is happening, demonize the
party, normalize its discourse and win over the next election. So we have to be quite
aware of the whole process now and be part of the society. I know, once again, I don't deny and I'm completely aware of what is happening for, you know, Muslim organizations, but once again, has to do with
rights, our struggle for our rights, and let let it we have to put it that way, understanding Islam the right way, and be courageous enough as citizens to speak the truth to power. And to the you know, the way this the secular system should work, there is a separation of power that they have to respect and not to use the law for the sake of political or ideological objectives.
Check Yes, are you nodding your head there you agree.
So, I'm not going to speak directly to the French context, because again, I think we need to point out, no doubt Western Muslim share quite a lot in common vissa v. Muslims and Muslim majority lens. But still, every single western country has its Yes, minor details, nuances, pros and cons. So I think one of the biggest Pros for the French Muslims is simply their quantity, there is no other country in the western lives that has a higher percentage of Muslims than France. So you have almost almost 10% I think, Muslims. So that is something that is very different we in America, we are less than 1%, less than 1%. Obviously, our demographics or socio economic status, very different as well.
So it's, and also we have different constitutions. So again, we don't have the exact same type of problems that France does, we really, by and large, the First Amendment does give us a lot more freedoms to say things and do things. And it's only a very small group of people that have actually been caught for speech. And those there are those that are, you know, trying to justify violent actions, which is a gray area, you know, as being discussed in the court. So I can only comment to the fact that every single country, its Muslims has to see its leadership, its Muslims have to see what they're going to do best. And I think I have to reiterate the fact that has gotten me to a lot
of trouble at the same time. But it is something that I'm very adamant that every single land has its scholars, and we need to insource scholarship rather than outsource it one of our biggest disasters or calamities of the 80s especially. And then maybe even it was loaded, because we didn't have that many local or whatnot. But one of our biggest disasters was to outsource our fatawa from countries 3000 5000 miles away, we cannot get fetch was about the specifics of what Muslims of a country should do, except from Rhoda ma who live within that country, and hamdulillah. We're now living in 2020, where every single Western land, has rhythm either trained abroad, and then coming
and living in the country for many years, or born and raised and then going overseas and come back. We need to understand as your payment others say this is nothing strange or radical. I think that in giving the fatwa is to understand the context of the fatwa so in source our scholarship, which is why I'm not going to speak too much about what French Muslims should or should not do. Generally speaking, Western Islam needs to understand what are its goals? What is its position? What is it plan to do? What are its visions about its identity? Where does it see itself 20 5100 years, you know, down the line, and then work its way through that vision shallow Dodge, if had one check, your
psychologist said, I agree with him, disagree with him, refute him in the comments below. Don't worry, he's expecting it. But if they may say something, yes, sir, which is, I think very important what you said right now that it it has to do with every single country should rely on its or lemma. And that's very true. At the same time, what is also necessary is that we need to have more dialogue, and exchanges and discussion between leaders and leadership among the Western
countries. that's essential, because let me tell you something, it's very important for the French people, for the French Muslims to understand that what they are experiencing is not the West is is something which has which is specific to their country and the way they are treated. And you have to rely on what is happening in the UK, what is happening in the in Canada, what is happening in the states to help the Muslims to get a better understanding of the West. So it's true that the fatawa for a specific country, they cannot come back from the old man from this country. That's completely right. But on some issues, there are transnational reality that should be should be discussed.
Because this is going to help the Muslims of the other western country which is important. So for example, when I visited you know so many times the United States of America, coming back to Europe, coming back to France, coming back to Switzerland coming back to the UK
See, look what is happening there is this and that. So the West is not this is not your your reality. And if the people are telling you, you don't understand the west by lying on the situation, that's, that would be misleading. And more than that there are some fatawa that are very local or national, and they are fatawa that are continental. And that we need also to understand that is coming out of our discussion. It's true at the European level. And it started also with the council and some of the scholars coming from the States dealing with Muslims in Europe and understanding that these are realities that we have to discuss. So so we need to get this right, because this, you
know, overall understanding of the West, and what is happening in the West will help all the western Muslims. So we need to get the two levels to the back of that. Some people have said that what's happening in France right now is kind of like a an experiment
for states to see how much they can actually get away with, do you think that this is this can be used as a model and replicated elsewhere? If we're not careful? And if so, what can we do to stop that happening?
my my take on this, you know, at for, you know, over the last 30 years, and more than that, even my hope was that what was happening in France, we could have an impact on what is happening in France by relying at the European level. But you know, in other countries, things were quite different. My take now is just the French society is very influential at the European level, to the point that it's the opposite is not the European countries, you know, influencing France, it's France now spreading around you this fear, this suspicion that Islam is a problem. So now we have it throughout Europe. And even Of course, we know what is happening now in the United States. So yes, there is
something which is like an experiment that now the discourse that we have in France, the Populist Party that we have, which is now leading the discourse, not leading, you know, the political competition, but leading So in fact, they can lose the election, but when the argument, exactly, so this is what is happening now. And I think that this is true throughout Europe, now that we have, you can see that this is happening. So everywhere. Now you have this, you know, people repeating are taking, you know, France as an example. And we have to be very cautious. So this is why it's very important for us to be able to talk about it, for example, you know, on the situation about the
veil. The French Muslims thought for a while, that all what was said about the headscarf in France was what was said everywhere, in in the in Europe and even in the West, which is completely wrong. So now the very simple statement, it's against Islam, to impose them to a woman to wear the headscarf. It's against human rights to impose it to a woman to take it off. And that you say it's about freedom of conscience. In France, if you say this, you are perceived, as you know, a fundamentalist why in the states in the UK everywhere This is understood. So this is where we need to get, you know these arguments and to be able to make them influential, because if not, the
mainstream French discourse could take over in Europe, and even things that were said in France, which were not said in the states are now even said in the States about the Muslim presence perceived as you know, be careful on Trump's rhetoric about the Muslim ban and the Muslims being a problem. This is exactly what we heard 15 years ago about the Muslim presence in France. So we have to be very cautious that this is also could get
could spread this negative discourse coming from France, as, as we said, the most important Muslim community in the western country.
The CCI f released the statement, the advocacy group that details and campaigns against Islamophobia. They mentioned I think it was yesterday or very recently that 10 years ago, it was only the far right Marine Le Pen and that and her ilk that were calling for its dissolution and closing it down. But today it's the you know, the the interior minister himself, so it's mainstream French society. We've seen so they're remarked on how
Much the discourse has changed in the last 10 years and even in the UK. I was speaking to a French brother who's been in the UK for 15 years and he said, Even I feel the the lurch towards this type of
enforced muscular liberalism, we call it in the UK, unfortunately. And unfortunately, that's been kind of corny. Some people exported from the United States where neoconservative think tanks.
Prime Minister David Cameron, in 2011 gave his infamous Munich speech about being intolerant against intolerance and this type of rhetoric. But my question to you should be also called the is if secularism can be weaponized to push to become push society to become so intolerant is secularism itself in crisis.
So, secularism is of course now very easy to deconstruct, maybe 20 3040 years ago, people thought that secularism is one strand, and it is totally neutral. Of course, with post modernism, we fully understand that secularism has the potential to be just as fundamentalist and just as dogmatic. And just as terroristic really, as any faith tradition can potentially be. And of course, there are great thalassa has done some amazing work in this right where he's talked about, you know, via an anthropology of the secular, he's talked about taking the tools of secularism, anthropology, as they use them against faith or against religions, and then using it against a secularism itself. What
we're seeing now, really, and I've said this, for the last decade, really, is that rather than being a clash, between civilizations, you know, which is what was propagated by Huntington and others, since the 90s, what we're seeing is a clash within Western civilization. We're seeing a clash for the heart and soul of Western civilization. We're seeing a clash about the identity of Western civilization. In America, we are mere pawns, we're less than 1%. In America, Muslims cannot shape the discourse, even if we would want to were too small and insignificant to them. What is happening is we're being used as a pawn between far larger and much more powerful trends within Western
society. And they're the ones discussing what it means to be secular, what it means to be liberal, what it means to be basically modern, free and whatnot. And we are like the canary in the in the, in the canary in the, in the coal mine, right? We're the ones that are being used by both sides. And again, look at Hillary Clinton, when she was campaigning, and she chose his con right. And again, not pro again, I'm just saying that what she chose is a con as a token, like that was a point it was done intentionally, because you want to demonstrate, you know, that's what this party stands for. And this is what that party stands for. So I totally agree with the notion that secularism is crisis
is a big word secularism is splitting up in its own ranks, and the future of secularism is going to go different paths. So the French version of secularism is going one path, the Canadian version, the New Zealand version, the maybe Australia to a lesser degree is another path, America is still vacillating, you know which way it's going to go, we're seeing different men hubs of secularism, and the future is something only Allah knows, we have to try our best to influence the discourse. And we haven't even begun in our own internal conversations about the realities of balancing our our loyalties to our faith, with our loyalties to our country, which is a very difficult conversation
that needs to happen at some point in time. And I've said this in the American context, I know I'm not gonna say this in the European in the American context, I have said nationally on stage, you the YouTube videos are there. And I have no problem saying this in the American context, our utmost our ultimate loyalties are to our Creator. And our loyalties to any other entity are contingent on the freedom to be loyal to our Creator, if any other entity, political or otherwise, were to challenge my loyalty to my Creator, I will give up that loyalty I'll not betrayed, I will give it up. And I will go to another place where I can practice my loyalty to my Creator. Now, within the American
context, I can say that the Constitution guarantees me that loyalty to my Creator. And it is not allowed for the Constitution of this country to intervene between me and my worship and my belief and my faith, the minute that the Constitution does that it has betrayed its own values, and then I am free to leave. And I'm not going to betray. I'm not going to backstab but I'm very clear here that the the whole point of this constitution for me is that it allows me the freedom, my conscience needs to have that attachment to my Creator. And if it does that, then all other loyalties shall be fulfilled contingent to the loyalty to my Creator. I don't know about the European context, but in
the American context, I'd say that and
It's not a problem. Yes, I think that that's very interesting. And I think we can we can follow this by, by, I would put it another way, if I may, because I completely agree with the fact that, and I, if I talk about this, what I'm saying is that, you know, as a believer, my loyalty is to God, and I'm loyal to my principal, I belong to my principal. But my principals are telling me that I have to respect the law of the country, as long as the law of the country are not asking me to act and to behave against my principles. That's the starting point, not putting it as to, you know, loyalties, but to put the priorities and I can say this everywhere in the world. So that's something which is
important is that the first is I belong to God, and I belong to my principles, and my principles, as the Muslims are telling me, wherever you are, you abide by the law of the country, to the point where the law, the country has not asking you to behave against your principles. Why am I saying this? Because this is where they are trying to put us in a situation where there is, you know, a double loyalty, so or a conflict of loyalty, because between your loyalty to God and Islam and your loyalty to your country, and I think that this should be put clearly that this is not, you know, when I was asked about Oh, you following the Sharia, and the Sharia is against the law of the
Republic, I say, No, my loyalty to Sharia is telling me respect the law of the land. And this is what is important, as long as you are not asking me to behave against the principal. So if you prevent me from praying, I'm not going to accept if now there are secondary issues I have to look at. And to understand what are the priorities in Libya, then. And this is something which is essential in the way we deal with the society. And I think that his discourse should be quite clear, as Muslims and the Muslim scholars and the allameh, and the EU and the IMA in their country should be quite clear. We are not talking here today about the conflict of loyalty, there are priorities.
And the priorities that we have as Muslims are quite clear on the fact that you respect the land of the country, except back. Wish back to that if I don't disagree with what you're saying, but the caveats and the devils in the details, as they say, right, you're saying we have to respect the law of the land? And I don't like this terminology.
to abide by the Yeah. Okay. So then we have to be careful here, right?
At least ROM is something which is okay. Let's make sure that is clear to our viewers as well, okay. Because I don't have to respect the law, I do have to abide by it. Yes, I have the right as well, to challenge within the mechanisms, if I'm able to work to change it, I have the right to work to change it. And again, I speak in the American context, I have the right to criticize the law. I don't know about the European context, right. But as the American context, and by the way, in my case, the example that I found works very well with those that are sympathetic to the far right is the issue of abortion, right? This is a very good example, because over 35% of Americans strongly
disapprove of abortion, and yet it is the law of the land. And the Supreme Court has, you know, basically passed in Roe vs. Wade everything, and most of those who are against abortion are also a little bit Islamophobic. Okay, so you ask them point blank, and you know what the stereotype I'm talking about? You ask them point blank, you are following your Christian Shetty are against the law of the land. Okay. You are prioritizing the Christian Sharia and thinking that your law of God is more correct than the law of the land. Does that make you any less American? Now? Where do you become, you know, illegal or whatnot. When you shoot the abortion doctor, you can preach against the
abortion doctor, you can not like the abortion doctor, you can preach against abortion, all of this is protected by our Constitution. But the minute you raise a gun, and you shoot the abortion doctor, which has happened in America multiple times, right, that's when you're doing something illegal. So we have to explain to the other why we have the right to do exactly what they are doing. I do not have to respect the laws of the land. I have to abide agreed, but I can criticize. I can hate it. I can try to change it. All of this is something I will do as a Muslim. Yes, I completely agree with this. And this is what I meant by by the law of the country. But there is also something that we
have to add here is that when the law is saying that you can do they are not obliging you
To do it. So this is also the spec. That's very important because many of the people who are talking about abortion, yes, it's legal and accepted by law, but you're not obliged to do it. It's exactly the same with alcohol, it's the same. So there is here, a latitude for you to decide what you can do and what you can't do within the limits of the law grid wide of the law, we also have to understand and this is why, why because in Muhammad, Allah in Islam, it's this space, it's very important to know what you can do within the limits of the law, so to abide by the law doesn't mean that you are doing all what is permitted for others to do. And I would say something else, which I think it's
important in the discussion about secularism, and what you just said, we can talk about who is in crisis, because you know that Macron was saying Islam is in crisis now, have some scholars say no secularism is in crisis. So it's between, you know, your crisis, our prices. That's another discussion. Now, it's clear. And it should be clear for us that by leaving in western countries, you in the United States of America and us in Europe, it's important within our society, to know and to determine and to identify, who are the people for whom we are, our presence is a problem.
It's not only secularists. Yes, they are here, some of the, you know, fundamentalists secondaries, they have a problem, not only with Muslims, they have a problem with religion. So we have to know that something is going to come from there. We need to know that far right parties and populace are going to target us. But not only you, we have to be clear on this, many of the people who are also targeting us, as Western citizens, are also, you know, government's foreign governments, we understand that by being in western citizens and Muslim at the same time, our voice as to that policy in the Middle East, or in the southern countries is going to be a problem. So the more we are
demonized in our country, the best it is for them, we need to get this right, because some of these people are very influential everywhere. So we should not be naive. Our enemies are not only the secretaries of the secular fundamentalists. No, no, no, it's also people who have an agenda with our presence. And add to this, that our voice as citizens, when I'm saying this, you know, I'm not only supporting the Palestinians, I'm supporting all the persecuted, and all the victims of dictatorships everywhere, but you need to get this right. If you are making your presence that you are on the side of the victims in China, or in India, or in the Middle East, or in Palestine, some of the political
forces are going to target you. So we need to get this right because this is to help our brothers and sisters Don't be naive. It's not about secular society only it's about it's about the relationship, the north and south relationship. And this is my take on this. I'm sorry, I am a Muslim. And I'm Muslim, European citizen coming from somewhere, I'm coming from somewhere and my parents were immigrants coming from a dictatorship. I would never, in the name of my citizenship, share with my fellow citizens, and my fellow Muslims, keep quiet about what is happening around the world. And know that your dignity as an American Muslim, as a European Muslim, is to speak for the
victims to speak for the oppressed, whoever they are, by the way, not only the Muslims, but it's not because you are a Muslim, and you want to be integrated within the political spectrum, that you have to keep quiet about what is happening to Muslims in Muslim majority countries. That's not acceptable. So I would say that here, we also have to understand that our Christ is not our enemies, or the people don't like us are not only these people that we know populist and secondary, we have you know, there is an international agenda here. Where as, as Muslims and as Western Muslims, our you know, come out of Santa Clara attended Harlem in the Ramadan in Harlem in this mercy for the
world's is be the voice of good and the voice of justice for every single human being Muslim or non Muslim. Here are there and I would say that sometimes I I'm quite sad to see that some
In order to be accepted, even by the populist,
accept, even at the same time to be quiet about in justices around the world, and I don't think that this is right, this is not a gift we should be, and we should provide the West with. So totally agreed. And therefore, to finish this point, before we move to the next question,
Muslims need to understand our ultimate goal in this world is not the acceptance of the other. Our ultimate goal is the pleasure of our Creator. Now, we don't want to cause problems we don't want to cause you know, any type of issues and we want to live, you know, where we're living with peace and comfort. But it should never happen by infringing or by giving up that which I consider to be sacred, my worship of Allah, my morality, my values, where that is the case, our priority will be the pleasure of Allah. And we will be preaching and teaching the truth wherever we are. The ultimate goal, as you yourself have said it many times, is that we are Shahada. Allah says the Quran is
saying we are witnesses unto mankind. That means that sometimes we're going to have to say uncomfortable truths, that means that we're going to have to preach to power, that means we're gonna have to sometimes preach against the morality of our peoples. What is that delicate balancing act between, you know, trying to live a peaceful life versus saying things that are unpopular, that is something that will vary from time to place to culture to civilization, and once again, to go back to going to our leaders of our own communities and balancing the Muslims of China right now, the weavers for example? their situation is very different, what they should or should not do, I'm not
qualified to say that the same goes for Muslims in France. At what point does some people say you know, enough is enough is enough, maybe we should go somewhere else. I'm not the one to say that, right? I'm best qualified to speak about my own land the country have been born and raised in. And then having done that, you know, that's where I can speak more freely. But you're right up to the moment, we should be speaking amongst ourselves and exchanging ideas and seeing the pros and cons of every country, we can benefit from the histories and the and the differences between the various lens. And on that point, if you don't like the way Muslims are portrayed in the media, maybe you
should help by funding your own alternative media source. I wonder where you could get that from? Oh, links in the comments below. Speaking of which, Professor Tarik, you mentioned you're an optimist of you know what the future has in store in short alarm. But I do put this to you. However, the one writer in France Muslim writer, he said, he feels that there's no hope of the situation in France getting better. Saying that, you know, the attacks against Muslims and Islam is similar to the kurush. There's no room for Islam in the in the public discourse as to in simply to intolerant. Muslims are, you know, they're getting their massager closed down, and so on and so forth. And I was
waiting for him to just drop the H word hedger. But instead, the way he phrased it, he said is normally against the whole Hegelian narrative. And then I'm assuming we will agree here in this call. But he was saying, maybe if Muslims were to seek political asylum in neighboring countries, would that put a global spotlight and embarrassment for for for the for the French state, when it comes to the international community?
To tell you the truth, I don't think it's going to work is just maybe it's a cosmetic political
positioning here. I don't think it's my, my, my take on what is happening in France? Yes, it's difficult. Yes, some mosques are closing, but at the same time, at the same time, you know, I have been here for the last and working at the grassroots level for the last almost 40 years, almost 40 years working. And I can tell you that things are moving. And I understand why they could be scared because in fact, they are settling down. They are having more masks, they have, you know, organizations and schools, it's going to take time, it's going to be challenging, but it works. So I think that we have to be very cautious. At the end of the day, are citizens they are going to vote
and they are much more visible everywhere. You know, 10 years ago, you didn't have all these journalists coming from, you know, North African countries and African countries. Now they are here. They are medical doctors, they are teachers, they are university students and university professors. We have to be patient and we have to be
you know, at the end of the day, what coolala it's exactly this. You know, you should stop looking at the negative side of the picture have you know what was said by Yes, sir. It's very important the history
Record I mentioned the perception of time, you may lose the next election, you may face You know, all this discussion, but at the end of the day, the French society will not do without the French Muslims. This is it, this is the reality of it, they cannot do without you now be part of this society and remember what I have been saying for 30 years, if you are a gift for society, the people don't ask you, where are you coming from? But if you are perceived as a problem, of course, they they will ask, oh, you're not one of us. But yes, it's difficult, yes, is going to take time. But, but I think that there is only one duty,
rely on God, stay here and do your best. So you also, again, with regards to the the hijra issue, I mean, I have spoken about this in the American context, you know, again, for the last 20 years, I've been saying the same thing, that generally speaking, those that are the most eager to make digital, we need them the most, because they are the most dedicated to the faith in their own way. And they're going to be very, and those that have absolutely no idea or concern, generally speaking, we need them to increase their image and whatnot. So the irony is there's an inverse relationship between that but my position on this is been very consistent, every family needs to decide on their
own. But I think that it is, it is not wiser, it's not proper to quote, let's say, one show DC, you know, from and Lucien times, and then quote, his first one, apply it in our context, because times have changed, it really is we're living in a new unprecedented era. And let's be honest, here, some of the greatest, you know, Muslim activities are Muslim, even institutions, or even Muslim minds are living in the western lens, right? The world is a very different place now it looked at London is called the capital of, you know, intellectual Islam or whatever, even though the word intellectual Anyway, let me just was a teaser joke here, but how many of them up, you know, across the globe have
migrated from political factors, social factors to to Europe, how many great minds how many Dissident Voices that are actually, you know, maybe they might have some pros and some cons or whatnot. So this notion of this clear demarcation between data Islam versus the other data, we have to rethink through that issue these days. And I'm not the only one saying this, so many great odema Dr. Akram nadwi. And so many others have the you know, Europe and America are saying this simplistic categorization that binary categorization that might have been valid 500 years ago, it is no longer valid right now. And there are pros and cons everywhere in the world, we make the best of our
situation. And as long as we have the freedom to worship Allah Subhana, WA Tada, and to pray Our prayers, and we're not being forced to commit kabbah. As long as that is the case, from a filter perspective, you cannot make the argument that is obligatory to migrate, and then it is up to the individual, whether they they choose to do so. But I think overall, the presence of Muslims around the globe is a very positive factor. And that we need to understand as long as Muslims are giving back in their presence is being felt, in short, a lot, a lot of hate and good can come out wherever they are, you know, just one point that I wanted to make. Because I have been once again, I wrote
about this, when I started to look at the situation of Muslims in Europe by writing about to be a European Muslim. But I think that it's not, you know, this binary vision, I agree. And I said, these binary vision has nothing to do with the reality of the world. It's not only that we have to go beyond we have now to understand that we have to go against it because it's wrong. All the qualification that are putting in all the old man, we're talking about what are the qualities and the characteristic of Darren Islam and Darren Hardy, this was discussed by scholars, you know, we have great scholars talking about this.
For me today, what we have to understand that even for you and for me, sometimes it's easier to be to worship and to be a practicing Muslims, it's easier in western countries than in Muslim majority countries. You know, you know, you know, 90% of what I'm saying in the West would be impossible for me to say it in Muslim majority country in my country and over in Egypt. This is why I'm here, by the way. So for me the world today is the Abode and our shed, wherever you are as a Muslim, the witness to the message of Islam, even in Muslim majority countries, you know why? Because today even some of our governments in Muslim majority countries are promoting Islamophobia. Islamophobic
discourse is the reality of it. It's coming in Muslim majority countries.
So the fact that we are talking about the door in Islam door and how this is not only today wrong from, and by the way, it's not coming from the scriptural sources not coming from the ER and much sooner, it's coming from a perception on understanding of the way the world was organized. Now, we have to say this is wrong, and we have to change it. So wherever you are, when you can say La, la, la, la, you are at home. And if you are at home, rely on God, pray, do what you have to do, and serve the people around you this is to be a witness. So what we are, we should ask the Muslims wherever you are, is not to categorize, you know, in a in a very artificial way, the land or the
space where you are, is just whoever you are now is to change your perception, and stop having your body in one country and your heart in another one. Because at the end of the day, if you say, last line, you pray, your first duty is to
gather your heart and body and to pray where you are, and to serve where you are, and to serve this human brotherhood that is essential to our understanding. So So I would say that our qualification of the world our perception of the world is the starting point of the way we have to deal with it in our societies, the way we understand this, how do we serve? How do we promote this? And I think that when I started talking about this even you know what, when I worked to be a European Muslim, what I got from Muslim says no, no, no, not to be a European Muslim to be a Muslims in Europe. I'm sorry, take it right. Islam is a universal message. But it deals with diversity of cultures. So when you
are a European Muslim, it means that you rely on the universal principles of Islam, understanding the European culture exactly the same as you do with the American culture. So that's very important because the universality of Islam is not to neglect the cultures, but to take from cultures the best to try to change what is bad. So I'm going to be tomorrow for ne and monka, from an Islamic perspective is wherever you are, you have the right to criticize the law of the land. Even though you abide by the law of the land, you have the right to criticize the culture of the land. Even though you deal with the culture of the land, you have to promote the best in the language of the
land. Even though you speak the language of the land. This is the positive presence of Muslim as a witness. sokola has some very interesting stuff to think about there. first started Ramadan. I'm aware that you've given us you've both given us a lot of your time very generously. But I have just one question for shipyards, alcalde.
I couldn't end this episode without asking you What's the mood on the ground with regards to the general with the rest of the presidential election? within the US?
I don't know if there can be a unified mood and depression.
I saw a picture of some Muslims kind of making dua for Trump is all it is is that the Muslims were Trump is just a token 510 people you know, this is very, very few people. Um, so To be honest, I mean, again, as we are aware, there are subcultures within every Muslim community within the American Muslim community, there are subcultures you have, you know, those that are, you know, completely given up hope of any good in any election, which is understandable completely, and they're just not doing anything. You have those that are, you know, grudgingly for Biden because they're, he's a better candidate than Trump. You have those that are gung ho over Biden just
literally salivating, you know, overbite, and these are the three main camps, I would say, you know, as for the Muslims, for Trump, obviously, there are a few handful and some of these are but it's not a movement per se, it's a very small sliver. So the three main camps are basically, you know, complete indecision as despair as sarcasm, basically towards status quo, which I can fully sympathize with. And then those that are simply saying, you know, awful but again, they're both bad, but at least Biden will bring a sense of normalcy bring about healthcare, and again, my position has has always been to not necessarily endorse but to look at it from a theological or after the or
filter perspective, what are the parameters of permissibility? What Where can we differ? Where can the, you know, what is the spectrum of acceptable difference of opinion, from a city standpoint? That's what I am more interested in always. It's not a matter of my personal opinion. It's a matter of where do the Masada Han Mufasa become how long become sinful? That's my question that I'm always asking, from my perspective, you know, all three of these paradigms are not sinful, per se. Even though I strongly questioned the wisdom of those that are on the pro Biden camp. I think that's kind of silly, but as long as they're recognizing as long as they're recognizing that they're choosing
this candidate, because
He is the better one compared to the other. Because it's a matter of healthcare. It's a matter of like this particular candidate, our guy has created a hysteria. I mean, sorry, no industry has created what he has created his term for the far right has created a pandemic, you know, exacerbated the pandemic situation, over a quarter of a million people have lost their lives because of his incompetence, because he has flouted every norm imaginable. That is a factor. My pet peeve when it comes to our Muslim brother in is that for many factors for many of these candidates, they simply cannot see beyond Palestine or beyond certain issues. And I of course, it is a factor. But how about
our health care? Is that not also a factor? How about the the fact that this particular person right now has quite literally created this sense of arrogance towards the virus and has directly caused directly from his recklessness, his attitude, his lack of supporting, you know, virus research, so many things, if we had a more sensible candidate, if Allah had willed this, we would have had, you know, far less deaths in the community. Now, my point to our Muslim brothers and sisters is that let's make a long list of the factors that are that are important to us. And definitely lists include Palestine, definitely lists include, you know, LGBT and morality issues. But let's also
include on that list, me and my children and how we're living in this country, right? The the crime issues, the criminalization where my tax dollars are spent, isn't this of concern to me when 20% of my income goes to this country and goes to the taxes of this country? Shouldn't I also be concerned about the, the the way that the I mean, of course, I'm going to a different tangent here, but the entire mess of the penal system here of the of the prison system, right, the the for profit prison system, this is a huge issue, why should I not be concerned when my tax dollars are being discriminately used against one ethnicity? I mean, the African Americans, and others are getting a
free pass over here. So it does irritate me that for many of our especially practicing Brethren, there's only two or three issues that are on the table, and everything else is ignored. And my humble, you know, pushback is, look, let's keep those issues on the table. I'm not saying ignore them. But let's also add other things to the list. Me personally, I consider myself to be between camp one and two. Right. So I i understand the the the cynicism, but at the same time, the cynicism is not going to get us anywhere, right. I mean, I sympathize with that cynicism, but simply discarding everybody out there. You're correct in all of your criticisms, but what have you
accomplished? Okay, I agree with the cynicism. But where does that get you? How does that benefit me and my children are you and your children living in this land? So along with Stein, we don't have, you know, good options on the table. And it really is a matter of just choosing the best of all the evil out there and those that genuinely sincerely choose to not participate in the system? I understand. And I don't, I don't fault them at all. I understand that as well. But my only caveat you yourselves when you stay away from the system, don't fault those who want to be a part of it by choosing the lesser of the two evils. That's my message to that group. They're sorry, for your
message and for inadvertently revealing which tax bracket you fall into.
Ramadan, you're a global kind of person. Mashallah, what do you think in your just a few words? which candidate as president would serve the Muslim have the greater world do you think?
I can't respond in two minutes about this, because position is quite, it's quite complex about our involvement in politics in the West today. I have a problem, you know, I understand exactly, you know, what, yes, sir. just said, I understand this positions and these positions are there. I should tell you how I would have a problem to support Biden, with all what I know about him and what he did and the way he was dealing. Now what was said by Yes, sir, is is so important. You need to deal with domestic issues you need to deal with racism in the United States of America was the prison system was was discrimination has a system and all this, that's that's very true. But I would tell you that
my position more and more in the West, is to tell the citizens not only the Muslim says, just be careful with, you know, presidential elections when the people are making you think, a push you to think that this is where the big
political decisions are taken. It might be that if you want to take over power, this could be perception and the perspective. But I would say you have to be much more involved socially and politically at the local level in the domestic issue.
at your level, and this is where you have to be a citizen. Because this, this is much more a comedy,
kind of a, you know, a drama and and you think that you are promoting
or trying or helping to decide who is going to be the president. Now, I would say that the true decision and the true impact that you can have, it's at the local level. So put it the other way around, try to be involved at the local level. And sometimes silence at the national level could be wiser. So once again, I understand those who want who want to vote. But I completely understand that people say that's not going to change anything at us focus at the local level, do our best in the political system, and being very much involved in all domestic issues that are so essential. It could be black lives matter. It could be the the prison system, it could be the health care at the
local level. So I'm not very much.
You know, I'm not so happy with the national elections. By the way, I have to say that before that, so doctor, I completely agree with you. On a personal level, I will not be getting involved it my own voice in this because I agree with you. But my main question is the parameters within the community. I always think for others, not necessarily for me. You're absolutely right. I mean, it's the show in the end of the day, it's not going to change that much. But still, some people should get involved, even if it's not me or you.
I agree. One brother coined the term lesser of two idiots
that's, uh, you know, maybe that's where we've come in the presidential race. certainly seems that way when you look at some of these debates going on. But yet Zack Mahela and I've taken a lot of your time taking liberties with your time but I'm really appreciative of that. We had Professor Tariq Ramadan, give some advice and messaging for the European Muslim chef. Yes, because he gave some advice and messaging for USA Muslims as well. And we have myself now giving advice to Muslims all over the world.