Yasir Qadhi – Muslims and the Western ‘Culture War’ – MIDDLE EAST EYE

Yasir Qadhi
AI: Summary © The speakers discuss the challenges faced by the Western Muslim community in the face of the lack of support for the "medicals movement" and the "foundationalist" movement. They emphasize the importance of history and the need for transparency in politics. They also touch on the need to defuse tension and create a safe space for men to express themselves. The speakers stress the need to address issues related to men and women, including issues with men and women, and to create a voice for their own narrative.
AI: Transcript ©
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The extreme voices have the luxury of being extra blunt, because they've already developed a fan base. These fan bases the both of them are so radically disconnected from each other, but they're both identifying as Muslim. They're both coming to our mosques. They're both. unless we do something what's going to happen? young Muslims today find themselves caught in the midst of a cultural war, one that is playing out in social and political spaces, both online and offline. In particular conversations around women's rights, masculinity, sexuality and colonialism have become more polarized than ever before.

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These aren't just debates happening in Western society between the right and left. They're happening in real time in Muslim communities, leaving many young people confused as to how they should navigate their identities, their faith and their understanding of the world. At a time when most of these conversations take place online. Where does that leave the role of Islamic scholars who traditionally were the center of their communities? Welcome to the big picture, a show about the past the present and the future. My name is Muhammad Hassan, and today we sit down with theologian, speaker and scholar, Dr. Yasir qadhi. Dr. Hardy is one of the foremost voices in the American Muslim

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community, and spent years studying Arabic and Islam between Saudi Arabia and Yale University, where he completed his doctorate in theology. Online, he has a strong and loyal following. And offline, he travels the world speaking about the challenges faced by Muslims today, and how to tackle them. He's also someone that isn't afraid of controversy, and his views on gender, sexuality and radicalization have been slammed by some for pushing a hard line conservative doctrine, and by others for doing the complete opposite, being too liberal.

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So where does he see himself and his role in society today?

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Thank you very much for being here with us. Welcome to the big picture. hemraj Thank you. Hi, Miss My pleasure. It's really fascinating to speak to you as somebody who is like myself somewhat of a Western Muslim, spent most of my life in the West growing up as a Muslim, witnessing a lot of the cultural and political events that have shaped the world around us, but it also shaped our lives.

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I when I was born, and when I was growing up, you know, I saw the shift happened from everybody around me not knowing what a Muslim was, to all of a sudden everyone knowing what a Muslim was, or thinking they know what a Muslim is, looking a few decades on, from your perspective, where do you see yourself as a Muslim living in America living in the West?

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Well, firstly, I have to say that's a very, very profound and deep question, where do you see yourself has a multiplicity of answers depending on which perspective you're asking? If you're asking as a citizen of the globe, obviously, as somebody who's traveled the world and lived in multiple places, I have come to feel very comfortable with my American passport and identity. And I recognize that it is a blessing that Allah allowed me to be born in a country like America, which has the freedoms that it does, I now, appreciate this even more so having lived in many countries in which those types of freedoms only exist. But along with those freedoms, obviously, I'm also

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cognizant of the challenges that come with living in a society that is not fully conducive to my environment. So battling that is one of the angles right? Another, you're saying, Where do you see yourself? Well, I mean, another reality of my persona and identity is that Allah has blessed me to study to the religion and now be somewhat active in guiding and shaping and preaching and teaching. And so I'm also looking at the future trajectory of the not just American Muslim community, specifically, but overall, the Western Muslim community because, you know, globalization and the Internet has really flattened the world. And especially those who are speaking English or living in

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western lands, by and large, these nation states are not significant impediments for us to impact. And so my audience, at some level really is almost global. So looking at it from that perspective, obviously, one of the things that I am asking myself is what will Islam look like? What will the Muslim committed to look like, you know, not just 2030 years ahead, but 100 years from now, in America, in England and Canada, in these western lands, you know, once so, our generation, my generation is unique in that we have a full footing in the old world of where my father came from, right and a full footing in the new world of where he landed to. I feel fully comfortable, you know,

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with my ethnic identity, I speak the language fluently. You know, I have the clothes and I visit the country and the cuisine is Michael

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ASEAN right. And I'm also fully you know acclimatized to the country I was born in in Greyston. This is going to be the only generation that has a foot in both worlds, already my children understand or do but don't speak it, you know, none of my children have visited, you know, Buxton or India, you know where my ancestors are from. And frankly, some of the millennials have the desire to do so because they're so accustomed to their identity. And that is the trajectory of all immigrant communities. So knowing that my great grandchildren will, in all likelihood, have nothing to do with my ethnic background with my language with my civilization. For how long will they remain hyphenated

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Americans? And what will that generation look like? And how can I preserve what is most important to preserve, which is for me, their religious identity? Right? That's something that these are the challenges that I'm thinking about. And of course, that brings up a whole host of complex theological questions, legal questions, Sharia based questions, right? Loyalty questions of, you know, again, we saw this 1520 years ago, when my country my nation, attacked unjustly other Muslim countries, right. And you had to battle this really difficult line, like, I am an American, but I am extremely angry at what my country has done. And how do I speak out without joining the other side,

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which I also think has gone to extremes, and when they say you can kill every American, we're not, that's clearly not just an Islamic it's inhumane, and, and counterproductive, whatever ideology you have. So we've already seen, as you already mentioned, 911, we've already seen the materialization of a community very quickly in the incident to 911. Frankly, of course, the horrific incident, they acted like a catalyst for us to, to to make sense of the reality that this is our country. And for good or for bad, we're gonna have to figure out how to navigate through that. Now, I don't have all the answers. But I do know somebody has to begin these frank discussions, somebody has to, you know,

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take the bull by the horns and lay out the foundation, should we do this? Should we not do that? And I, I acknowledge people in my generation are going to make mistakes, but I hope and pray that inshallah the good that we do is more than the mistakes and perhaps people can learn from the mistakes that we make. But anyway, hope that kind of began the answer to your to your question. When you when you asked that question, what does Islam look like in the West? What does the Muslim community look like in the West? decades from now? 100 years from now? What does that picture look like in your mind? And what would you like it to look like? So ideally, I would want the American

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Muslim community to be a thriving, intellectually vibrant, diverse community, a community that is proud of its Islamic heritage, a community that is contributing to the broader society and has a positive reputation amongst the broader society, a community that understands its values, its theology understands, and is faithful to its rituals and its morality. Now, obviously, that is a very idealistic picture. I hope and pray that we even get close to that, or at least some communities, I also recognize that, without a doubt, we're going to have a spectrum of practice and of interpretation. And we have to think about what level of the spectrum is tolerable? And what

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level we just are going to have to agree to disagree with? And what level we're going to actually maybe have to like say, well, that's beyond the scope of acceptability, you know, there's a spectrum, you know, there's something that you're completely fine with, and that there's something that okay, well, we'll agree to disagree. And then there's like, No, we just can't accept that, right. These are very difficult conversations, we already have a lot of difficult issues of morality, of sexuality of gender, that we're already grappling with within our community. And we already see a number of different interpretations come forth in this regard. We see a buckling down

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in a doubling down, excuse me, a reversion to a very simplistic understanding of black and white binary understanding, we see a complete acquiescence to the broader culture, right? And we see every single spectrum in between

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very few people are explicitly talking about the spectrum, explicitly asking what is theologically permissible? What is Islamically surely always allowed and isn't allowed, where is the spectrum? And even I myself, I mean, I'm not an expert in everything we need to bring in other experts as well. But yes, my point is, ideally speaking, we'd like to see a fully acclimatized in a group of individuals or vast groups of individuals, another point by the quantity, right now we are less than 1%. I sincerely hope realistically that a generation from now two generations from now we're in the double digits, I sincerely hope and I think it is practically possible. I think it is possible for

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two reasons. Number one Hamdulillah we thank Allah we have high birth rates. That's something that we thank Allah for, not because there's any conspiracy because we love we love families. You

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No, we've come from large families, we like it to have families and Hamdulillah. And by and large, the ad the Muslim communities around the globe, they are family oriented people, right. And number two, of course is, you know, the rate of conversion, you know, we can add here, the rate of attrition is relatively less in the Muslim community than it is in other communities. Now, I hope it stays that way. And it becomes even less than it is now. But if you add all these three statistics, of course, the projections in Europe are, of course, you know, far more

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clear in this regard. And without a doubt, in many European countries, Muslims will form a significant minority,

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perhaps even close to, you know, a majority, but never actually an actual majority in the new European country. And in the foreseeable future. In America, if we get to the double digits in the next two generations, I think that is a reasonable aim. And it's also a healthy and because obviously, in quantity comes safety. And in quantity comes protection. And in quantity comes level of acceptability. So right now we are 1% political power, political power and influence, right, all of this comes as a package deal. So we hope Inshallah, that, that within a generation or two, that's you know, that small statistic does become a larger number. And that will automatically bring, of

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course, a new set of challenges. It's not all rosy, because one of the things about being a small 1%, frankly, the cohesiveness of the community, a lot of American Muslims don't appreciate and realize this, that wherever they go to another city, and they go to a mosque, by and large, there's a sense of, like, unity, there's a sense of, okay, this is what this is our group, our people, right? Once you're gonna get to be 10 20%, let's say of the population, it doesn't work that way anymore, right. So there are going to come some, obviously, the diversity of thought also is going to increase, it's going to be compounded. So, with every positive, there's also going to be some

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negatives. But overall, I think it is, I think it is self evident that having larger numbers is always going to be overall more positive than negative when I was growing up, and I was raised in New Zealand, and we have a very, very small Muslim community there. But in a very small immigrant community as well. And one of the things that that was instilled in me, from my parents and from the community around me was that I was an immigrant myself, but definitely a child of immigrants. And what you said, about the Old World and the New World was very clear in our minds, you had your culture, my Arabic, Egyptian culture, and then you have Western culture. And those two things are

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very clear and vivid and separate, and distinct. Exactly. And you have that with your Muslim upbringing and the teachings that you have, as a Muslim that your dad instilled in you are also quite distinct. But as you grow up, you venture into a society that itself is changing the society around us, I mean, like the societies that we let back home, which has also changed in a lot of ways, Western society has changed, and it continues to change. And we are kind of experiencing this cultural social shift that has been happening quite rapidly over the last decade or so. And you get to a point that, as you mentioned, you know, where there are conversations happening around you,

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that you don't often get to be involved in or or witness in the Muslim community. And those are conversations around sexuality around gender around a lot of things. Where do you see the role of the Muslim citizen in that, so one of the biggest problems we have is that of authority. By and large, our parents generation that was back home, there was a societal hierarchy, when it comes to Islam, when it comes to understanding the religion when it comes to your role when it comes to inter family relationships, right? Everybody knows his or her place, there's a hierarchy, there's a shell, you go to there's the or elder or the family, there's this and that. And because of this, there was

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a lot more uniformity. I'm not saying complete, but there was in the Western world, obviously, you know, it's a very individualistic, you know, it's a very self centered world, the world revolves around you, yourself, and me, myself, and I basically, because of this, the notion of going to an authority for something has really been diminished. So a lot of our youth, frankly, are not that interested in what a scholar might say.

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They feel empowered to have their own opinions about the faith. That is a challenge we're gonna have to face that was not that common back in the 60s and 70s, in the Middle Eastern Box center in India. I mean, you knew your place in society. Obviously, it has its pros and cons, as with all things, right. So a lot of our next generation, their interpretations of Islam. They are comfortable googling their interpretations of Islam. They're comfortable reading a few passages, they don't know an iota of Islamic actual knowledge and they're just comfortable reading a position on a newspaper or whatever. And considering that to be well, there's multiple opinions. I'm going to take this one.

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So what we actually have is a lack of appreciation of scholarship in large segments of the cut

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Unity. Now for those that do appreciate scholarship, you have the standard problems that we have back home, which is sectarianism, which is whose scholarship over who's right. And that's a never ending battle. And we're seeing this in the western world as well with myself in particular others, like, there's always a battle of who is the authoritative interpretive interpreter of Islam, which group which, which, and in the end of the day, it is a free market really, of ideas. And sometimes the best product doesn't win. Sometimes the product that seems to be the best, but isn't actually the best wins, we're gonna have to take some hits. We're seeing this with the internet, we've seen

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this with the rise of personalities online that are not really trained, they're not really but they appeal to that generation without having the formal training. My philosophy and vision is that listen,

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people of quality will attract students of quality, we're not looking for numbers, we're looking for genuine people who understand what it means to be a committed Muslim living in the Western world. For those people, they should listen to the scholars they appreciate and look up to and if they find some type of, you know, mesh with them, if they can appreciate them, then good for them. And if not, then what can be done, it's you're going to have to acknowledge that there is no enforcement of authority. And that's why in America and England and Canada, we have interpretations of Islam that would not even be heard. In some Muslim majority countries. They wouldn't even be verbalized. But

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they're considered to be normative. And in so it is possible within a generation or two that these voices will increase. We're just gonna have to take it in stride. There's not much we can do. It's it really is a free market. But I'm a firm believer that good quality will attract good quality. So we have to concentrate on producing and presenting the message of Islam as authentic as possible, but grounded in reality, which is where I see myself doing this, I mean, just a commerce of a for thinking traditionalists like we wouldn't be here without tradition. But we still need to move forward with our tradition. You've said before that the idea of political correctness is something

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that promotes extremism and or extreme ideas. fundamentalism is fundamentally against political correctness. And this isn't just in Islam, by the way. I mean, let's let's talk about reality. Let's talk about the rise of the far right. Let's talk about you know, these internet personalities of the far right, or even Donald Trump type figures, right? One of the reasons why their popularity grew is because it was viewed by their followers, as these are the champions speaking the truth in the face of political correctness. These are the knights in shining armor that are defending, you know, mainstream values. Since nobody else was giving some common sense talk. People who might have

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extremely far right views or extremely misogynistic views are extremely hateful views, but they also have a little bit of wisdom, a little bit of truth, a little bit of common sense. They become champions, because there's no middle ground here. Right. So I mean, how explicit you emanate? I don't know. But I mean, let's talk about

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the notion of gender being an imaginary construct. Okay. I don't believe it is an imaginary construct. I believe there is biologically something called * and * is biologically linked to gender. I do believe there's two genders. Now, to to even say this, in some in some subcultures is deemed to be hate speech, to even verbalize this basic biological fact that all of humanity agreed upon in its cumulative history, right? Not just the Abrahamic religions, but the cumulative lived experience of humanity was to divide society into two genders, right? And that genders are real * of biological * is real. And because of that, genders are real. And because of that, there are

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certain things as default gender roles, right? Not to say something as simplistic as this, automatically people get extremely worried and cautious. What do you mean, are they and are you trying to apply this or, and it becomes a very sensitive topic. Now, when this common sense middle road is not mentioned. The only people that are mentioning it might have views that are demeaning to one of the two genders, right? And the other side is saying no, there's no such thing as gender, since there's no middle. Those that are on the far right, are deemed to be the champions, even though they have baggage that is not mainstream and is not healthy. It's because of this now, to

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give you a less controversial example,

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is that of militancy and Jihad which again, I carved a name out for myself, in terms of opposing it in a different way. There was a New York Times article about me was it 10 years ago, the cover page of the New York Times tire, you know, 10,000 word, in depth article about my F

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For it's to combat jihad, but from a different way, you know, why is it called the wants to talk about? Yeah, that's the title of The New York Times article Why asset holding was talked about yet. And in it, I was saying that the most effective way to combat actual terrorism and actual militancy is to explain the realities of these movements and of jihad. And if we did, so, it would be the biggest impetus to stop our youngsters from joining these crazy groups. But in order to do so we're going to have to point out a very, very, very politically incorrect reality. And that is the cause of radicalism the cause of ISIS, the cause of a lie that is not reading the Quran, it is a reaction

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to our imperialistic hegemonic foreign policies.

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Now to say that now is somewhat passable, but 20 years ago, in all likelihood, and I'm not even exaggerating, you might even go to jail for this type of speech in America, I know people that were prosecuted for similar type of talk, and one or two actually went to jail for similar type of talk, the level of, of sensitivities post 911, right, reached proportions that we haven't seen since World War Two and the attack on Pearl Harbor, where they rounded up Japanese Americans and threw them in concentration camps, right? That level of paranoia, and the Bush Doctrine if you're with us or against us, and I said this in New York Times interview, if this is your doctrine, you are going to

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increase radical jihad, if you don't allow the healthy middle, and what is that healthy middle, I tried my best to do it, to contextualize the rise of these movements, and to link it more with politics than with theology.

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That's the middle that we need to to criticize our foreign policy. And to say that it is based more on profits for multibillion dollar companies, you know, it's based more on oil and on, you know, Raytheon and these other companies that are manufacturing weapons than it is for freedom. And we all know this, actually. Now everybody knows it. But 2005, you dared say something like this? Right? So this is symptomatic of your question to me, if you don't talk about the middle, and you're too coward to mention the real cause. Youth are going to see through the fake PR. They're going to see through the softy leftist and saying oh, Islam is a religion of peace. And and they're going to say,

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who's dealing with Guantanamo? who's dealing with the breakdown of Iraq, who's talking about who's talking about a million Afghan people that were killed? A million Iraqis were killed in response to 911 1 million Iraqis, by our bombing in our infrastructure, right? Who's talking about that? Who went to jail because of what trial took place? Who even got a slap on the wrist? for going to war illegally knowing it was a blatant lie? Who says that? Nobody, right? So when you don't have that middle ground, and when you have these two extremes of you got the crazies on one side, and they are radical crazies, killing people and wanting to bomb and whatnot, that's what are you going to

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accomplish? What did they accomplish, I say to those people that were flirting with those ideas, but now they've grown up, remember yourself when you were 2025 actually haven't interviewed one of them is called dealing with the J word. I actually have an interview where interview one of these people that I'm that Allah saved him from going to radical, but he flirted with those ideas. And he was angry at me. And he called me a Kaffir. Because I said, you should not go to those lands and fight against America, because this is not going to be conducive. It's not even Islamic to do that. What what is happening right now, both sides are committing mistakes, right? Different types of mistakes,

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no doubt about it. But you as an American citizen should not go over there. I said, I'm not speaking to their athletes or college, I'm speaking to you as an American citizen, you should not be traveling to Syria, to Iraq to Afghanistan, you're going to make things much worse. Your job here is to educate the people that their country is doing wrong, and educate in a manner that will be effective right now, as I said that middle ground was rare to find, I would like to think I was one of the many people that's why the New York Times had this article about me. I feel if more clerics had been doing that, because I remember vividly at the time, it was taboo to talk about American

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politics, American foreign policy, you couldn't do so. And I understand why because my own colleagues were being, you know, locked up and thrown in jail by the American government, you know, because, oh, this means you're supporting the radicals. If you dare criticize in our foreign policy, this means you're a terrorist. And of course, it's first amendment and whatnot. Most of them were, you know, released, but a number of them went to jail for essentially First Amendment issues. Right. And my point in all of this is going back to your question, if we don't be brave and bold enough to talk about the challenges in a sensible manner.

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What that does, our silence allows the more fringe voices to become central, because there's no voices in the middle. Now. You've got the crazies on one side and some people always react to them. Then you got the crazies on the other side. If you don't speak with some common sense in the mid

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All, both crazies are going to so I used to say this bluntly, like both al Qaeda and Bush They need each other to validate their world who's because each one of them is saying the exact same thing. You're either with us or against us. You know, that's literally what the American cleric that was assassinated said in Yemen, you're either with us or against us. That's literally what Bush said in the White House. You're either with us or against us. And this binary doesn't work. And we seen the results of this, it doesn't work. Anyway, hope that answers your question. Yeah, absolutely. Thank you for elaborating on that. I want to ask you kind of the flip side of that question with regards

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to political correctness with regards to not having a space in the middle to address contemporary issues. Because when we talk about fundamentalism and jihad, this is something that you and others have addressed quite extensively. Do you think the others the same, or the opposite effect is happening with young people who are feeling alienated from mainstream Muslim spaces that they don't feel are adequately addressing issues such as sexuality or gender in a way that feels like it's honest and transparent to them?

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I think this is definitely a palpable reality. I'll give you a personal example in our own community that we wanted to have a conference addressing the LGBT issue. And we wanted to explain Islam stance, we wanted to empathize with those that are struggling with these emotions, but not wanting to act upon them. Right. And we wanted to say that there are red lines and these red lines is you don't bring in Islam to justify, you know, something that's blatantly a sin. We were fairly mainstream. But to have this conference, hosted by a masjid, Masjid, our Masjid became an issue. And it caused a national conversation. And scholars senior to me were asked about me that oh, there is

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this cleric that wants to have a conference about LGBT not, of course, I'm not just if I'm not just about it, the word is going to come in, as mentioned inside the mosque, is this permissible or not. And we're going to interview somebody who

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self identifies as he has this desire, but he doesn't act, he doesn't want to act upon them. And he wants to teach Muslims how not to act upon them. So I brought in somebody anonymously, who's basically giving therapy to Muslims that, hey, don't feel you know, that is inhumane, don't feel that you're sinful simply for having the desire, but understand this, so you can cope with it, right. So some practical advice for people to be faithful to their religion, even as a coping with these urges that they have. But this was deemed to be extremely controversial. And a few weeks before the conference, you know, I was inundated. Our mosque was inundated with, you know, anger,

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angry letters, and how could you do this, this is an Islamic and whatnot. So I just remarked,

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the conference itself became the topic of conferences, like to have a conversation became problematic, because the topic became taboo, if you can't even talk about it, what hope do you have of solving the problem? And I had to give a bit of an emotional lecture a few days before that, where I had to bring up a very awkward reality that which is not, you know, it's a bit blunt to say, but it is rarely said, you know, here you are, the elders in the community, some of you some of you who are offended, the majority will find the board was fine, but you know, some of them elders like you know, this should not be having in a mosque, you should not be having it, you should as a share,

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who should not be mentioning this stuff, you know, the members can be polluted to talk about, I had to say, yesterday, one of your own young teenagers was in my office crying, that they identify one of these movements. And they're scared to come out or whatever they don't know, they're grappling with it. Right? And they're coming to be crying. That teenager, his parents is in the room right now. And you could be of the same people that are saying, we don't want this conference. You don't even want me to talk about it. How am I going to get there? At least he came to my office, what if he or she didn't come into my office? Right? How would the message get out there? So what we have is

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this, this backlash of fear, that if we simply address the topic, if we try to deconstruct if we try to talk in a sensible manner, this means we are caving in. This means we have accepted the ideology. And I understand it's a natural defense mechanism, I understand. But this is our battle. It's our struggle that we're going to have to gently persuade coax for every single one of these issues. And when unfortunately, unfortunately, I'm, I'm well known to do this. I talked about the transition. Remember, she talked about marrying outside the faith. I talked about all these issues, which they're awkward conversations, but unless we preach them from the member where people are coming,

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these are the topics that need to be addressed in our times. What does it mean to be alone?

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slim, struggling with gender identity issues, there are Muslims that struggle with gender identity issues, right? What does it mean to Muslim to struggle with sexuality and morality? What does it mean? We have to address it? And then maybe even not reinvent fifth, but, you know, dare I say it's rare to find earlier scholars empathizing with those individuals and genuine empathy. It's rare because their culture didn't need to. Is it an Islamic to empathize? I don't think so. Some of my peers think it is some of my peers think this is caving in this is the slippery slope, you know, slope argument. So be it these are our battles are going to take place. I mean, you're asking me

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these blunt questions, let me throw another one out there. Gender roles. This is perhaps one of the most contentious topics, because the Sharia did not come with explicit versus and explicit a hadith about gender roles. So there is a lot more wiggle room a lot more leeway. And there are massive, you know, gender wars going on, not just in broader society, but within our own communities, and frankly, between our brothers and our sisters. And it's to me looking at it as inshallah community leader in an older person than the ones that are usually talking amongst themselves. It doesn't bode well for a community, when their men and their women have so much angst and irritation against each

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other. It just doesn't bode well for the future. And we need to address these topics. Now, again, I might not have all the solutions, but unless we engage unless we hear the other, we're not going to proceed. I mean, how does how does any piece begin with peace talks, you come to the table, and you discuss your grievances and whatnot. If you look at what's happening on social media, if you look what's happening across the internet, and even in communities and whatnot, that opportunity to express grievances in a legitimate manner is rare to find. And what happens is you have your bubble, your self identified circular, you know, echo chamber, all young men are in one bubble, you know,

00:32:08 --> 00:32:47

angry and we're all, you know, angry and irritated. And you know, young women who feel that they've been marginalized, and also one bubble. And so your grievances are self validating to one another. And in the process, your anger gets higher and higher, and you become even more disconnected from the other group. Each one of them I'm putting fault on both sides. I don't have I mean, I spoken about this a little bit, I need to speak more about this, but the topic is so sensitively charged now we have to deal with the canceled culture of all sites, right? There is nothing you can say about gender, and gender roles, except that you will get attacked from multiple angles,

00:32:48 --> 00:33:11

you will get attacked from, you know, those who self identify as radical feminists, you will get attacked from those who self identifies, you know, hardcore traditionalists, they will not appreciate any nuance. And ironically, and this has happened to be multiple times, each group will accuse you of siding with the other maybe even over the same sermon that you gave, because from their vantage point, you are too far on the other side.

00:33:12 --> 00:33:30

This is I think, one of our biggest problems right now, but hopefully inshallah within next few years, we have to continue. I mean, there is no alternative we have to defuse the tension, there is no alternative. Do you think this tension exists because there isn't a real space in the Muslim community to talk about women's rights issues, for example.

00:33:31 --> 00:33:36

And, you know, but also like their concerns, like, like concerns of Muslim women in the community.

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I'm gonna get flack for saying this. But why are you only concerned in one of the two genders? That's one of the problems? A lot of young men feel the exact opposite. That all we hear about, I'm getting I'm just verbalizing from them. All we hear about is the grievances of women and their experiences with bad men. How about, they would say, our grievances, how about the demonization of being a man and being masculine? So it's a two way street here. And this is this is the this is the tension, right? This is the tensions which one is accusing the other of ignoring its own issues, and both need to be brought to the table. And, you know, we tried to do this but frankly,

00:34:17 --> 00:34:51

there are there are issues you have to resolve before doing this. You're gonna get a harsh backlash you're gonna get again, the canceled culture has run amok, and I've even spoken against the canceled culture, right? I've said there's a topic of canceling the canceled culture, this this this naive notion of one mistake or one thing and that's it, you are persona non grata. You should never speak visionary. That's ludicrous. As a Muslim, I say, imagine if your Lord did that with you on the Day of Judgment. Imagine if your Lord treated you that would the canceled culture you're treating everybody else with one mistake and one you know slip of the tongue or one single? Islam doesn't

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work. The Human Nature doesn't work that way. Society doesn't work that way. Allow people to make some mistakes. If they express regrets and remorse, move on if they don't try it.

00:35:00 --> 00:35:37

Teach them have a conversation. So this is a topic I am you know, we're currently doing things. I've given some talks and lectures about this. And it's not just me. I mean, other people need to get involved as well. Because, again, what we see are the more extreme voices who don't care about the backlash because they have their own, you know, echo chambers to push them up, right? The extreme voices have the luxury of being extra blunt, because they've already developed a fan base. These fan bases, the both of them are so radically disconnected from each other, but they're both identifying as Muslim. They're both coming to our mosques. They're both unless we do something what's going to

00:35:37 --> 00:35:50

happen? It's not healthy, so we need to defuse that tension. Talk to them frankly, and blunt the and create a safe space where and again, this is one of the problems. Hope this isn't misunderstood, but both sides not any one gender.

00:35:51 --> 00:36:11

Lower the emotionalism and verbalize with with succinct integrity, what exactly is the issue? What happens very easily is the voices are raised and anecdotal things are thrown out and you don't really get to the crux of the matter.

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I would like to see a forum where genuinely dedicated, enthused forward thinking and intelligent young men and young women are able to verbalize those grievances in a manner that is not meant to inflict pain, but to actually bring forth some progress. And it is possible this is the generation to do that. What is your advice to young Muslims about how they should get to engage with the political and social world around them? Do they see themselves as active participants in these conversations and these movements or sees themselves as something separate from that? Not every single person is inherently equipped to be bold and brave and extrovert and an activist.

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Every Muslim should strive to be a pious Muslim in his or her personal life, every Muslim should observe their rituals believe in Allah the hereafter live a morally upright life, those who have the skill set to take on bigger challenges. And you know this by the people around you, whom you trust telling you that this is good go do this go give this lecture there go take on this those who find that should get seek the advice and counsel of elders of not just scholars, but people that are wiser than them older than them. Nobody should go out completely on the limb. There should be a type of Shura where I'm wrong, I'm sure by no means the Quran says. So those people who have the

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charisma, the bravery, the the eloquence or whatever skill set you need. They do need to take on bigger challenges. And we need Muslims to have a voice of their own. Our narrative has to be owned by us. We need to speak our own narrative for too long. Others have to speak on our behalf. So definitely, but not everybody needs to become such an activist because sometimes if you're not qualified, you do more harm than good. Thank you very much, doctor. I guess a call Do you think I had one yesterday?

00:38:11 --> 00:38:12


00:38:13 --> 00:38:17

Jolene, either call

00:38:18 --> 00:38:25

me Ms. De Heaton doll. Seni. Wanna tell

00:38:27 --> 00:38:29

me what to feed?

00:38:32 --> 00:38:33

The what?

00:38:35 --> 00:38:38

feels cool. We told me

00:38:40 --> 00:38:43

Jenny tassa down.

00:38:47 --> 00:38:47


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