Race Issues in America & in Muslim Communities
Channel: Yasir Qadhi
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Episode Transcript ©
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around me don't need how
many Mina most need me.
Salam aleikum wa rahmatullah wa barakato Alhamdulillah wa Salatu was Salam ala Rasulillah. While early he was behind one more way to hammer but I am very, very humbled and honored to have a very frank one on one conversation with Imam Zaid Shaka Alhamdulillah. I consider him to be one of the No, let me let me actually change that. No, I'm going to be brutally honest, I know Imam Zaid is listening on the other line, but this isn't for him. This is for our viewers here. In this entire country that we live in amongst the Islamic leadership, unequivocally and unconditionally. I consider your mom's a Chaka to be the leader of American Islam in terms of every single meaning that
the term leader has. And if there was any issue that troubles me about the future, what we should be doing, about the direction that we will be taking, I would consider your mom's day to be the person that I personally turn to and this is before what's going on this before the crises and I say this, not with the biller to inflate his ego something is a very mashallah a humble share. But in order so that we underscore that, you know, people like Imam Zaid, they have things that none of us can possibly have age, experience, wisdom, what he's gone through his life transitions. These are things that you don't learn from books. And so Imams aide is somebody that I consider genuinely to be a
person that is not just a leader. But if anyone were to be the leader of the direction of American Islam, somebody who's balancing very well between the tradition and the heritage that we have as Muslims, along with being in this land along with understanding the social and the political contours of what we're facing. There is no one that is more qualified in my humble opinion than Imams a Chaka. So it gives me great honor and pleasure to welcome Imam Zaid to our platforms, and I want to condemn him. Zaid, can you hear me while it comes?
Yeah, I heard you So alhamdulillah
hum, did it? That's okay. Shekinah. That's okay. It wasn't meant for you that the previous bit hamdulillah Shia Sana, we're very, very honored that you took time out. I know you've had an interview earlier today, you have another one in an hour or so. So we're gonna literally jump straight into Monday. They know that time is limited. And I have a number of questions that I want to ask you. All of these questions, by the way, have been submitted online via Facebook and social media. So I'm literally just going to be asking you these questions that have been submitted by our viewers. Firstly, Shoshana as an introduction. Can you remind us about the year that you converted
to Islam? And also, we haven't really heard many of us some of your own anecdotes and experiences as an African American convert, and having to face some of the stereotypes and let's be honest here, the racism from even within our community. So I'm going to ask you a very frank question to open up this entire interview with your own personal anecdotes that you'd like to share with us Bismillah Herman or HeMan hamdu Lillahi Rabbil Alameen wa Salatu was Salam. And let's say you didn't mursaleen Sayidina Muhammad Ali, he was.
So now my lawyer or accountant. First of all, like to thank shakey SEO for setting the stop low reward him for all that he does for the community. And thank all of the brothers and sisters for for viewing this conversation, taking time from from your busy schedules and really showing your desire to really seek guidance and a time of crisis. And I think this is something all of us are doing.
So I converted in 1977.
When I converted, really I converted
at a time, there really wasn't very strong bridges between what might be referred to as sort of the immigrant based community and the community of African American converts at the time I was
my view of Islam has been shaped growing up by the Nation of Islam before Islam was the nation they were the ones coming for our neighborhood selling fish my mother would buy the newspaper when she didn't have a quarter for the newspaper. The brothers would give her the newspaper for free we buy the fish when they had the whiting HMG program, fish being imported first from Japan then from Peru and last and that was the primary source of protein
In the diets of a lot of people, we saw people that were gangsters being cleaned up. And so we thought that was Islam without is very socially active religion without converted, I converted into the community that for a period of time
worth it as its animals for the community of Addison West, and then I became a billion. So that was a big thing back then. And then when I
grew up in Islam and went through my education, I spent time in Turkey.
I was in the Air Force. When I converted, I was actually in the Air Force asked to get out. They said, there's no war, this is post Vietnam 1977, I asked him to send me to a Muslim country that happily obliged before I changed my mind because no one wanted to go to a Muslim country, even a place like Turkey, because even though secular, still 99% Muslim, you couldn't date the girls. There were no wild nightclubs you could go to. So anyway, they sent me before I changed my mind, I have a wonderful experience. When I came back, we started a mascot in New Haven, Connecticut, it was primarily founded by people converted people I've grown out of the nation, people who had been
affiliated with the movement of work to do Mohammed, bottom line for most of my first I can divide my Islamic life into two parts pre Syria, going to Syria to study in a post Syria, pre Syria, we have very little interaction with what might be called the immigrant community, and what interaction we had, we were pretty much taking the lead and doing things in the New Haven. Community, even with the West Haven massive was shaky. So you're very familiar with the community there. So there really wasn't much opportunity to experience what a lot of converts a lot of African American Muslims that Tino converts complain about contemporarily I'll say something else also, and this is my personal
experience, I don't want to extrapolate from my experience to
Saved My Life, and it was so powerful, I couldn't even talk about it for about 18 months, I would just break down into tears, we sometimes have these gatherings and everyone's bearing witness, and I could not bear witness. And so it was a powerful experience. And I really would, I would not have noticed any kind of negativity, because that experience was so powerful and so transformative that it would have, it would have the light from that was so powerful, and wouldn't a vote allow any of the darkness of negativity. Like I said, I don't extrapolate from my experience to delegitimize or dismiss anyone else's experiences. I've heard enough horror stories, enough stories of being
alienated enough stories of being marginalized and dismissed to know that the discrimination in many of our masters in centers is real. And that's something we have to address and this moment is perhaps one of the most suitable moments to addresses Alhamdulillah Alhamdulillah. So it's nice to hear there are positive stories as well. hamdulillah and of course, Chefin. It's interesting that Masjid Al Islam, which you founded, the year that you left is the year that I came to New Haven. And so we have that connection as well. The hood was I would give when I was in New Haven at Yale, was that Masjid that Islam? And so we had that overlap as well? Sure. Going to the second question we
have comes from one of our viewers who says that we know for a fact that and again, we're being honest here that Muslims in the US, they come from two very different and extreme socio economic backgrounds. On the one hand, we have the extremely wealthy, and the other hand, we have the extremely impoverished. And of course, the general generally speaking, the wealthy are from an immigrant background. They tend to be highly educated professionals, they tend to live in the suburbs. And of course, those that are on the other side of the spectrum tend to be from within the African American community and living in the inner city. And the fact of the matter is that their
worlds rarely intersect together. And so what can be done Shahana about the fact that we have these two completely, almost disparate communities that have so many differences socio economically education wise, ethnically what
What are some of the practical steps that we can take to kind of bridge that divider gap that we all know exists?
I think first of all, we have to acknowledge that there are differentiations in societies. And those are historic. The end, they're ongoing with Santa Barbara, community bonding city, and hospital, some of us have been made as a trial for others, and we have to patiently endure the difficulties that come through there. So the immigrants can be a trial for the inner city Muslims and vice versa. So we have to acknowledge that and recognize that perhaps there's wisdom in that, and the sense that there has to be a division of labor. And there are advantages that most of the inner city communities, primarily African American, not exclusively, we have an increasingly large community of
Latino converts in many of our inner city areas, especially on the West Coast.
Also, so they're their advantages. When I was in New Haven, for example, we got front page cover for all of our coverage rather, in the New Haven registers second largest paper in the state of Connecticut, because one of our sisters who was a convert, her best friend, was a call and assistant editor at the New Haven register. And so she would just call a friend, listen, next week's holiday show us a little love. And we get beautiful pictures, we get
So we seem to have some technical issues,
a lot of connections that converts bring with them into Islam, and they're still there. And there's something we can take advantage of. On the other hand, as you mentioned, to gas you're generally the suburban communities are wealthier communities. And so they have the advantage of material resources. And we can bring those together and do for ways that think is not necessary for us to think of ways of leveling or negating those very real realities, and also not negating the nuances. Generally, the community of the man worth the Deen Mohammed is more established and tend to be more of a middle class, upper middle class within the African American community is very different from a
lot of new, more soon, more orthodox, if you will, this orthodox group. But you know what I'm saying? Sunni groups, which tend to be the Dawa Islam was focused heavily on ex convicts, or people I shouldn't say ex con formerly incarcerated individuals, a lot of Tao in the prison. And so those
that community tend to be a lot more poor than the community of the man worth the D Muhammad. Similarly,
due to our recent wars, a lot of our more recent immigrants tend to be poor, such as Somalis, or the Iraqi Kurds and others who tend to settle in our inner city communities and deal with a lot of the inner city issues to a certain extent that some of the more established African American communities deal with so there's a lot of nuance. The bottom line is, we have to bring it all together, recognizing the differences, but understanding we're all on the same team. And I can give you a few examples of how it can be brought together in Oakland, through the lighthouse mascot.
Sorry, guys, we seem to have technical issues with the transmission for the site.
The house mosque established the Zakat program of two suburban communities the Muslim community center MCC and San Ramon Valley Islamic center srcic. And that program over the last several years, we've probably distributed upwards to half a million dollars in Zach cat to shallow inner city Muslims, and to assist in inner city projects, the Masjid itself, our fundraisers were primarily supported by those suburban Muslim communities. And so there's a working relationship between the two communities. So and there are other places where similar things are happening. So I think that is very important. Amen. And is an example in Chicago inner city connection that we're working in
the inner city but drawing on a lot of the human and material resources of those suburban
communities to do some real groundbreaking work. So these differences are real. I don't think it's necessary for us to try to level these communities. But it's important for us to realize we're all on the same team and the visionaries on both sides have to work to establish functional programs to bring the strengths of those two communities together. Mashallah, so if I can just rephrase your kindness that mashallah, what you're saying is that this diversity is actually, we can use it as a positive and as a strength, and each one is, has its pros. And I really liked the fact that you mentioned the issue of zakat, because all too often the immigrant communities are us children of
immigrants, we prioritize giving zakat overseas. And yet, there are so many people that are Mr. headcovers accounts within our own communities, if only were to build bridges, between them, just luck, we'll look at
one of the foundation or educational pieces just mentioned the rule.
So this is the connection from his site guy, sorry,
distant land when we explained that the lights went on, and then it became very easy for people to say, if I don't give all of my cat for the needy people in these eight categories in my area, I'm gonna give a good part of it. So I think we have to really educate each other, and listen to each other. So you know, we have a question from a sister who is obviously from the generation basically, our generation born and raised here. And she's saying that there's another awkward divide between the children of immigrants, basically, my generation and the elders, and the elders, generally speaking, they have established the massages, they're the ones that are, you know, the ones in
charge. And yet they also have, generally speaking, latent racism. And it's difficult. There's an internal struggle going on between the second generation and between those born and raised here, versus those that are in charge of the massage. And so she's asking for advice. How does one respectfully challenge the elder committees, the uncles, if you like, are those that are the ones that established them? Because there's this double dichotomy of we wanting to execute the change, and yet we're not fully in charge of the very massage that we want to do the change in. donde la. That's a wonderful and very thoughtful question. I think.
We respect the contributions made by the elders, we understand their mentality, because they grew up in areas where a lot of times there's a lot of even implicit biases in terms of race, sometimes it's not even race is more skin color. So there's a lot of color consciousness, there's not full blown racism, but just discriminatory ways of thinking based on skin color amongst people who would technically be the same race or the same ethnicity.
bypass it as much as possible, we could try to make a dyed in the wool based on uncle for lack of a better term.
Join Black Lives Matter, you know, good luck. Or we can just bypass that and say, Listen to us Chabad value. In this master, we're going to do what we know we have to do to make a difference. And we're going to respectfully ask the more established uncles and aunties, if you will, to just help us financially, we're not going to try to change their mind. And so we're we're going to have conversations to let them know that we understand where they're coming from. Someone recently, by way of example, mentioned to me that they're having this battle in their family, where
their parents are very much a look, what's happening in Kashmir is far worse than what's happening to African Americans in this country. And so they're battling is and
that's an argument we don't have to have because they listen in that context. That's very real. And we understand that and we're doing everything we can to help in that situation. But we live here, and our existence here and the way that we benefit economically, has been been paved the road, the smooth road we have has been paid by the struggle of our African American brothers and sisters, and the even the financial strength of the country that we benefit from, disproportionately in terms of those who might denigrate in some ways, shapes or forms. That was
Based on their blood, sweat and tears and 20% of them conservative estimate of those slaves, African slaves were Muslims. So there's a debt that we owe.
Sorry, guys, this is a connection issue from his shift side, internet connection to oppression and Kashmir or Rohingya oiling else, but we are here. And there's a debt that we owe here in addition to whatever else we might be struggling to overcome. And Jelena is a personal example, as well, when I posted on Facebook about any issue about what's going on and the riots and whatnot, inevitably, a percentage of the comments not a large percentage, but a percentage that is not negligible, is posting about why are you mainly concerned about this when we have Palestine? Why are you talking about this issue when Syria exists? And there is this notion that we're not prioritizing what needs
to be prioritized and of course, we understand that this is a classic example of what about theory? What about this? What about that? And for us as Muslims you know, the so called ad hoc pin hochkar who give everyone its do it's not a matter of either or, you know, right now is a time we're going to do inshallah one project that needs to be done, and inshallah we're going to continue doing the other projects and there's not they're not just put on the backburner. Exactly. Also, I think we need to understand that what difference as a community have we really made as American Muslims to resolving the issue on Palestine resolve the issue in Kashmir in Indian general now? All of them
yours, Kashmir, all of these issues? What difference Have you really made, I think we need to understand if we establish strong relationships, particularly with the African American community, who can relate to what's happening in Palestine better than the African American community here, if you establish those relationships and build those bridges. And third, the return from Muslims is disproportionately greater than then what we invest in these relationships of smiling the Japanese Americans because of the experience of Japanese Americans, internment camps, etc.
Peter Honda, to every level, the Japanese American community has been without us post 911 911 at every level in every imaginable way, shape, and form. And then I just, I now stop because then we have other questions. But Imam Taha Anwar, who's a beloved friend of both of us beautiful muslim, and a beautiful human being Imam Thai here hosted a meeting in his mascara, I think it was the fifth ninth anniversary of 911. And then there was a candlelight walk from there to the Buddhist temple. And so I spoke in the program. And I said that until we are as moved by 300,000, Japanese who were killed during the two atomic bombings of Hiroshima, Nagasaki, and the firebombing of Tokyo, as we
are by 3000 Americans who lost their lives in those towers, then we're not truly human, just saying that the Japanese Americans invited me to be the keynote speaker at their commemoration of the ending of the internment during World War Two. And so just expressing sympathy and solidarity to people here and recognizing the struggle of people here that are our fellow citizens and people we share this land with, can reap incredible dividends and returns in terms of being effective in addressing those issues overseas.
Zach Shahana, we have a brother who sent this question is that the Deci, and our Muslims reach out to the African American communities. And it appears that there's just this token reaching out. In other words, they're doing it for the sake of doing it, they're doing it for the sake of looking good. So how can we overcome this tokenism and form genuine meaningful bonds between the African American community and between the, for lack of a better term immigrant and by the way, if you haven't heard this term immigrant, it doesn't quite apply to those born and raised here. We're like the sons and daughters of immigrants, but that's another issue there. Yeah. That's why I mentioned
early immigrant and based Yes, immigrant base. Yes. Anyway, but listen, everyone knows a phony when they see one. And so if you're sincere and you go to your, the closest Masjid that might be predominantly
run and populated by African Americans, you go to the man or you go to one of the people
and charge there are who have influenced there and you sit down and say, Listen, we want to really establish some long term programs and relationships. This current crisis might be the spark, but we know as soon as the media attention dies down in the south of the news cycle, a lot, not all of the concerns going to die down. So let's sit down and put together some meaningful programs and whatever resources we have financial and otherwise, we'll share with the resources that you have and let's get something done. If you're sincere, believe me people will know it. Mashallah, that's beautiful. So just a class, the bulk of its class mashallah, that's really beautiful advice. Mashallah. But
Shekinah? Is there any specific
program or agenda? Is there anything that you can give us more concrete from your own experiences? About how we can? Okay, we lost the connection again.
Sorry. Thank you again. Yeah, I think your connection to the zeros is breaking off every few minutes. But any meaningful programs that from your own experiences having obviously toured the country and whatnot, I mentioned earlier, there's a cat program. That's something I think in all of our communities we can do where there's a surplus of the cat or a deficit in terms of people who are the cat eligible, reach out and establish a program with communities were many many members of those communities, or people and Muslims they know my Arza cat eligible. So as the cat program
join educational programs, I think and Memphis where you were formally shake Yes, sir. Some of the brothers and teachers from the midterm Moscow last year Imam Hamza, were teaching classes at the the Islamic school last visit your school will give him cook bars at the masjid at your masjid and other messages, and for lack of a better term now, we'll come up with a veteran immigrant base messages. So providing those platforms. And for that's one of the best things we could do. I do SR istead, the Ayesha PIME right now it's probably one of the most recognized and appreciated female scholars and lecturers in this country right now very provided a platform by dato Hijra and immigrant based
community and so giving talented individuals platforms, scholarships for children to the Islamic school is not funny when preacher John Moss can make a joke about the local Muslim school it's this and that and this and that, and they have three black children. And and it resonates with us and might not be as wealthy is that cat program joins a cat program providing a fall platforms for sharing educational yourself, Jake? Yeah. So when you were in New Haven, you think you had a Syrah class and probably other classes that will
create it and what it did, it brought the communities together in the inner city Masjid. So my understanding you have people coming from West Haven, you have the people living there in New Haven. And so that the fact that the masjid gave you that platform was a great means to bring people together. So there are all sorts of things we can do. And I think maybe we can put this in writing as opposed to just on the fly. But we mentioned some things I think are pretty concrete on
my shoulder, really good suggestions, you're gonna share some awkward questions here as well. Now, we know for a fact that there are Muslim businesses that are run predominantly in African American communities that are benefiting from the situation and doing things that are somewhat unethical and immoral in terms of what they're selling. And these businesses are owned by people that are sometimes giving to the mosques of the immigrant communities. And yet they're doing things that are very unethical. And I mean, again, even in this case of George Floyd, I mean, I'm not speaking about that particular business owner, but the dynamics are definitely you have the, you know, the the shop
owner who's from one community, and then what's happening is with another community, and again, I'm not reading into that particular case. I know it's more complicated, but I'm speaking over all of this very well known very awkward dynamics of certain people taking advantage of their background and their wealth and selling and let's be honest here,
alcohol, port and gambling
lottery ticket. Yeah, let's very, very awkward, you know, issues here. So let's, let's address this issue here kind of what do you what do you advise both sides of the aisle here when it comes to these types of businesses not in denial concerning briefly in Oakland, it was short lived, but we had an effort to, we even had a demonstration going store to store, I forget the name of where I still have the banner, but
over 80% of the alcohol franchisees in this San Francisco Bay area, a Yemeni Muslims,
you could go to communities, Chicago, the Palestinian Egyptians. And so this is a real problem. The bigger problem there was that
the Oakland Tribune, the community, the major newspaper there did a study where a large percentage of homicides took place in the immediate vicinity of these alcohol scores. And you'll go into some stores, there's a rack of alcohol and above that head, I've been fugly rugby. And so this is
what we did, though, we propose alternatives that convinced some store owners that this is destroying this community is giving Islam a bad name. amongst some of its strongest allies, you know, historically African American have been the most receptive to a slump. But this is being used by certain groups, black nationalists and others, to drive a wedge between the community and Islam. So we what we did, and we were successful in a few instances, was to educate and encourage selling healthy food healthy produce, because these communities where you have these stores, many of them run by Muslims, their food deserts. And so you can't get protein, she can't get fresh foods, you
can't get harder to make connections with vendors to bring in different set of products. And we and this urging repentance, and we were able to get some to move away from that. So I think is a question of organized pressure, coupled with presenting an alternative. And then reminding people that religion is taught they love someone in the whole chain of selling alcohol is curse, from from beginning to end. And so just educating and papilla presenting alternative, educating in terms of programs that are available. A lot of people don't know this. The Small Business Administration, formerly did not provide small business loans to alcohol franchises. They changed their rules to
empower the Yemeni commercial community in the Bay Area, to set up outlaw franchises to provide a more solid financial foundation for that community that have been agrarian worker workers in the Central Valley and some the first martyr in the Cesar Chavez is movement was a Yemeni Muslim nadji de la. It was killed, working with Cesar Chavez in the lower quarter in the United Farmworkers movement. So there were positive contributions, but generally the Yemenis were poor community janitors low levels, local service workers, and the SBA changed their rules to allow them to obtain liquor licenses to economically empower them. But it came at the expense of relationships with the
inner city, African American communities. And the sad reality Chicago is that most of the donations that come I should say most but many of the largest donations, especially the cash donations, and I've seen this with my own eyes, because these these stories do deal with cash. And so when the masjid needs to be built, these owners have plenty of cash, and they are able to give basically give them you know, cash donations to build the masjid and even spoke to one of the Imams like how can you accept this money coming from this person? You know, what he's doing? And he just sheepishly shrugged and he's like, shall Allah Allah will only repent and whatnot. So the we are complicit. I
mean, we are complicit when we accept money from from people who we know are selling alcohol taking advantage and the irony of ironies, many of them in their personal lives, they think they're righteous, they don't touch alcohol themselves. The irony of ironies, there are five times prayer praying five times a day, and they think that what they're doing is not really a big deal, and they're just, you know, taking advantage of it. So I think those of us that are on the other side of the aisle, we need to police our own and we need to be
Whoa active those amongst us who own liquor stores and they're selling drugs and they're selling alcohol and they selling gambling and filth or with Allah, Allah azza wa jal calls it and the President called it on will have it and Allah azza wa jal called it filthy. And we cannot allow them just to, you know, turn a blind eye, we need to police ourselves in this regard. Now, again, this is a generic talk, I'm not speaking specifically about what happened in Minnesota. That's where that's not we're just talking about generally this is a sad reality across the country. And again, it takes action from both sides we've been, we've boycotted a store in New and New Haven, Masjid Alice
numbers on Dixwell Avenue, a one of the brothers is started selling alcohol, we said, Listen, we will go to New York to the fish, we will bring you fish, you will sell more fish than you will an alcohol alcohol, the brother said is a you don't know how hard I worked to get my liquor license. So we boycotted him and we, the Muslims, we had an effective boycott of that store. So we need to start boycotting, we need to start shaming, we need to start calling attention
these proprietors might belong to, as you mentioned, Zach maloca, Chef Anna, let's get to now, you know, we only have two or three questions left. But these are now some of the juicy ones. In light of all that is happening. What is your take on protests and we still have people in our community that are stating fatawa that protests are not allowed. And that's from the theological side. Then we have the other side, which is in terms of pros and cons. Forget that theology. Suppose we think that protests are Mova, which is my position, then the issue comes, should we, at this point in time, be protesting what is happening? Should we want the Muslims to be at the forefront? Given the the very
dangerous realities of police brutality against the protesters? And we have a brother from Germany actually literally said, What is your perspective on political violence? Is it justified from a religious and socio political paradigm, given that many, if not all, successful movements around the globe always had an element of political violence to achieve their goals, very tough questions shaken up, but it needs to be asked in this difficult climate. Let's take them one at a time. First, the permissibility of protests, I think it will be very difficult to make a strong case that protests, qua protests are haram or even Makrooh.
And I think you can make a case that there, Musa hub or even in some situations where
so and I think our history is replete with many of our leading gulaman, who led public protests against the oppressive authorities. So I think that will be a hard argument to make will love it. And so I would say protests are definitely permissible. And I think in this moment, especially for young people is something encouraged in the sense that
with some of their peers, as Muslims, so there should be that identify five years Muslim, I think it allows them, if we tell our young people you can't protest is too dangerous. You can't do this. You can't do and certainly if we know there's going to be violence, so we shouldn't encourage them to go. But most of these protests overwhelmingly are peaceful protests. Overwhelmingly, the ones that are violent make the news. So the one that's violent make the news, the 500 that are aren't newsworthy if it bleeds, it leads. So I think there are certain benefits. But it's a case by case basis. We shouldn't have a blanket. The community needs to mobilize and go out into the streets that
we have to have division of labor, we have to realize some of our people like the young folks, those the young folks are far more, they have the energy. They have the motivation, and they don't have the responsibility. If one of our college students is thrown in jail for a few days, you know, we'll make a lot of DUA and bailed them out. But if someone who's working taking care of a family gets thrown into jail, and then in this climate that that charge gets elevated to a felony, and they lose their job and now they're their families in jeopardy, especially in this Coronavirus economy. So this economic meltdown hasn't gone anywhere is still with us. So we have to have a division of
labor, which elements in our community should we
and try to accommodate their desire to produce tests. Who should we shield from that? If we know there's going to be the possibility, even a slim possibility, should we have our women and children going up?
So, you know, we have to have a division of labor, some of our community are very effective writers. So I don't want to see you, if you're an effective writer out at a protest, you should be at home writing a very powerful argument based on the news you get, and the feedback you get, that's going to touch the hearts of have 1000s, or even 10s of 1000s, or hundreds of 1000s. of individual because you took the time to take advantage of the skill set that you have. And so that's one the second one, what was the second question that was a series The last one was a little perspective on the concept of political violence? Okay, political violence, I think in our day and time, we have to be
very careful, because and I think I would not agree that every successful movement has come about as a result of political Biden's certainly the revolution of the American Revolution, the French Revolution, the English revolution.
The civil war that actually, amongst other things, resulted in the abolition of slavery in this country. Those those movements, the Russian Revolution, or the Bolshevik Revolution, there was violence in those revolutions. But not all change has resulted as a result of political violence, the civil rights movement in this country, there was a nonviolent movement, Gandhi's movement in India, and when we mentioned Gandhi, we should not neglect mentioning that Chaka Khan, Abdullah for Khan and the NorthWest Frontier area that these will numb by the movements they accrue that can't met God, the movement that Abdullah for Khan started, was more instrumental in breaking the back of
Very, very careful. The epitome of political violence, ISIS, what did that result in?
You know, the whole regions torn apart all of these young people from encouraged to go there to just lose their lives?
To accomplish nothing. And so I think we have to really assess what's happening in Yemen. You know, everyone's I'm justified in my binders, vi houfy, zd, VI, Sunni, bi.
Whatever faction Emirati saw the Iranian other
proxies, manipulating the forces is a total mess of total humanitarian disaster, no light at the end of the tunnel, and everyone feels they're justified. Everyone's saying, learn how Allah Muhammad Rasul Allah. I think as Muslims, we have to step back and understand what resources we have and our our our resources in terms of our maximum effect. Does it lie with violence, we are at a severe disadvantage in any struggle. We're enough a world public opinion and ultimately, for the mercy and looking for Billa what will stop the Israelis from making all of Palestine the West Bank, Gaza?
Cast iron ore cast lid or Iron Dome? What was what what would stop
the United States from from looking like some of these crazy politicians are actually saying we don't have any strategic resources as Muslims to stop now.
And so when we're talking about violence, we have to look at what are the long term implications of where our strength and then what does three, and specifically racism, what the Malcolm saying Malcolm and Malcolm to political observer no one would deny that and some people don't Malcolm got it wrong on race, but he said from Mecca very famously, perhaps, if the white I've seen these Muslims, whose eyes were the bluest of blue who's hairs what was the brown is the brown skin was the whitest of white, coming together as brothers with all their other brothers and they didn't have that
in them. So perhaps if the white man in America could study Islam, and could become Muslim, they were in the race problem. Some people all Malcolm was being hyperbolic, he was just overwhelmed by the Haji experience. So what about Arnold Toynbee
will probably arguably the greatest historian of the 20th century, Islam in the West is famous essay Islam can offer the West two things, a solution to the problem of alcoholism, by extension drug addiction as a solution to the race problem, but violence undermines the receptivity of Western people to that solution. So I think this is a deep issue that we really have to think deeply about, and people defending themselves. Absolutely. That's a God given right. When when you're talking about violence in the service of a political agenda, and expecting that to result in positive change. I think the recent history of our own money doesn't bode well in terms of the pushing that
particular solution, saying that I'm not questioning any people's decisions to resist their particular oppression, and ways that they end their
JHF Oh, again, another very frank question.
A lot of the protests are being dismissed by members of our own community, because of the looting that is going on social media. And again, I'm just telling it like it is like, people are very skeptical, very dismissive of the protests overall, simply because of the clips, the YouTube clips, the WhatsApp. And again, I'll be honest, it's it's going within our own communities. I myself have been forwarded by people that like, Oh, look at these people and whatnot. And this is meant as a indirect dismissal of the entire agenda. So again, I want to address this head on how do we address this this looting, and this Google who hooliganism that we're seeing from some protesters, what do
you say to our audience that are dismissing the entire protest and the movement because of those, those incidents? Number one, the overwhelming amount, most the overwhelming, Pro Number of protests are peaceful protests. My nieces and nephews are organizing some of these protests here in Connecticut. I know that they are not
members of any radical organization, there are people with talents and skills and organizing ability whose hearts have been touched.
The violence is a small fraction of primarily provocative tours. From the right and the left from the from the left, the black bar, black blah, blah, blah, we're anarchist
the Anti Fascist in Oakland,
in Oakland, California, and I'm on sabbatical, this woman out in Oakland, and I'm writing out we shut down the college and riding off the slum close to mashallah, you see, most of the people at these protests are European Americans, and African Americans avoid them being for the simple reason that these groups like the Black Bloc, an anarchist groups, and now from the right, you have white supremacists, you have the Boogaloo boys, you have along the center of white lives matter which is a neo Nazi, fomenting and engaging in a lot of this violence to discredit the genuine
elements of the movement. And this is documented, I will say that the Muslims who are taking the position you just articulated, have
allowed themselves to be
affected by this strategy. And so we have to understand the the overwhelming majority of people out there just ordinary people who have been touched by an historic moment, these moments don't come every day, a moment that God touches our hearts, black, white, rich, poor, across the political spectrum. Look, Mad Dog Mattis just wrote in The Atlantic, a condemnation of our president and his defending the protesters. And so if Muslims don't have the consciousness of
Mad Dog Mattis in this moment, something's wrong brothers and sisters, we have to see it for what it is. These are provoca tours. And then the news is not newsworthy the show hundreds or 1000s of peaceful people just marching up and down. And what's his name George, George Floyd. That's not newsworthy, it's newsworthy when a handful somewhere in this country, and be it in New York elsewhere. Stars looting.
If I can say one other thing on this issue of violence, a lot of times is the police.
And or the National Guard. And or in Lafayette Park, the US military that precipitates the violence in Lafayette park before Trump's famous photo op with the violence and with the Bible, it was peaceful people were there minding their business. And then here comes the military who comes in troops, you come the tear gas, here comes the helicopters buzzing them 20 feet above them hit their heads, military helicopters, so that violence was provoked by the elements that were protesting against
racism and violence. So we should be very careful of how the show kind of the reality is that the same elders that are forwarding these WhatsApp messages and you know, having that attitude, they don't realize they're falling prey to the exact same attitude that they criticize when Islamophobes to say that Islam is a violent religion, because of the actions of a few people. They're doing the exact same stereotyping without even recognizing and realizing it. I know, certainly, I have to go. I have one major question and a very quick one at the end. The last major question we have. And again, I apologize, because these are very frank questions, but they need to be asked, we have a
number of people saying that, isn't it problematic to join the hashtag Black Lives Matter? Given that there are agendas that are not necessarily Islamic? And of course, the issue of gender and sexuality always comes up? And so instead of being led by other banners and other institutions, shouldn't Muslims have their own protests and their own separate agendas and boundaries, so that we don't seem to ally with some causes that might not necessarily be our own? So what do you say to that shift? Now? I'd say, at a certain level definitely is protests and you can go to that peaceful protests as a Muslim identifiably as a Muslim, you can carry a sign that has a Quranic verse, or a
hadith that's relevant to the situation, why wouldn't you go, that's not saying you're a card carrying member of Black Lives Matter. And you endorse the movement that was started by three queer black women, etc, yada, yada, yada, that's not we have to be able to have the sophistication to separate the apples from the oranges. And to understand, in general, what are those levels were even as a distinct Muslim organization, so we start Muslims against racist violence. That's our organization. And there's going to be a mobilization of peaceful mobilization to call attention to this issue coupled with a lot of other behind the scenes political work, as happened in Ferguson.
Now we have the first African American mayor in for you to know the total makeover with the City Council, etc. So there's a lot of behind the scenes out of the spotlight action going on. And then there's there's pressure being put in the street, FDR famously said, when I think Bayard Rustin, or a Philip Randolph went and said, We want a, b, c, and d. He said, Okay, that's great. Now get out in the street and make me do it. In other words, create some public pressure, some visible pressure that will give me leverage to go to these millionaires and say, Listen, if you don't give up a little of your wealth to support these New Deal programs, you might lose it all to this to a
revolution. And and so that pressure was effective. So if we're being invited to be part of that pressure,
that someone interviewing us, do you stand for everything black lives matter? This is CBS News, Mr. Muslim, Mrs. Muslim, do you say no, I don't I disagree with ABC and D. But I share the concern of institutionalized violence in our society that disproportionately affects some members of our community, African Americans specifically in this instances.
For instance, as opposed to others, again, Mattis, Mad Dog, Mattis said, equal protection of the law under the law is a constitutional principle that we should all support, as does Muslims, we benefit from equal protection under the law. And if we stand silent, when the continued assault, we shouldn't forget, the Patriot Act is primarily designed to deny Muslims equal protection under the law. And there were a whole lot of Muslims and people who want Muslims, such as the Center for Constitutional Rights in New York, that was taking the lead and advocating for the eradication of a lot of the more draconian measures in the Patriot Act, taking the lead and advocating for the
Muslims who are unjustly incarcerated at Guantanamo. And so when it's time for us to reciprocate, Michael Ratner was not a Muslim, he and some of the other members, there were some Muslims at the Center for Constitutional Rights, but he's not a Muslim.
So probably disagree with a lot of things Muslims advocate, personally, but he understood the issues are deeper than those those points of difference. And the benefit accrues to all of us. So I think Muslims have
so it's a very, very specific question then as Imam Zaid Chaka last question. I know either two more very quickly as Imams a Chaka to your fellow Muslims that look up to you as a 50 as an Islamic point, should we be using the hashtag Black Lives Matter? I think as Muslims, we shouldn't be. Okay. That's what it should
be called us from joining an action that might cool. Some people from Black Lives Matter because otherwise you there's no action to join. Okay. Okay, last question. Sure. I know you have to go as well. Final question to, to join to join an action doesn't mean you have to use the hashtag. Of course, of course. Yes. So final question is, you know, what specific books and documentaries would you advise our viewers to read and to watch so that they can better educate themselves, we can better educate ourselves about the reality of the situation. A good starting point is
President Obama's livestream yesterday. So about an hour 25 minutes is not all President Obama, but it's a lot of young people who are strategizing to address these issues to address issues such as qualified immunity, where the Supreme Court basically has given the police the latitude to kill anyone with impunity, to address issues like qualified immunity to address issues such as the militarizing of our police forces. There's an excellent
talk by a former IDF soldier. I forget his name. I just heard it today in my car, so I didn't get the details. But there's a lot out there that we can take advantage of to educate ourselves about these.
Look at YouTube, but then you can find the documentary.
Chef who got cut off there? Can you repeat the documentary name? You got cut off for a minute? Eyes on the prize? Eyes on the prize? Okay, the oil one?
No, no. Not
the history of African American. Oh, sorry. Okay. So there's another one there. Okay. So And how about 13? Would you recommend that? Just playing the prize? Surprise? You're right. You're absolutely right. My mind got messed up there. And how about the 13th? That documentary, or 20th? Absolutely is another one to just see how the effects of lessons of incarceration. Michelle Obama's book, Michelle Obama, Michelle Alexander, her book, The New Jim Crow, I think this is must be nice. Because again, it goes through the history of slavery, Jim Crow, mass incarceration. And now, in her introduction, she discusses this issue of police violence. So I think that's absolutely essential.
But in conclusion, if there are no more questions, yeah, so your concluding thought, Shekinah conclusion, we have to as Muslims, not allow ourselves to become bitter and to embody
to become the hate that hate produced we should not allow the hate that we're witnessing and the actions of the likes of that officer Chauvin and his accomplices or those two
Men are stopped ahmaud arbery or we should not allow that hatred to make us hateful. We hate what people do. We hate actions that are haram and forbidden. We don't hate people per se. And that's one of the reasons when some of the most hateful anti Muslim figures just as Hindu, Abu Sufian
Omer been an OS or Khalid bin a lowly were killed the most beloved companions of the Park Service, a hand hired the assassin of them when they let their hateful actions.
You're part of my community, at no 7am Well, Muhammad, welcome, welcome to and so we have to have that magnanimity of spirit. And we have to understand all communities are affected by this violence, African Americans are affected disproportionate, no denying that. And it's it's represent a lack of equal protection under the law, but other communities are affected twice as many European Americans are killed every year by police in this country than African Americans. And so what does that mean? That means we have to create a kind of movement and this is a challenge for most Muslim we want to most a movement, a movement that is can bring us all together. And that's what's happening in the
streets. You see all races. President Obama and the Intrada. His introductory remarks? Yes, there he says something that we should reflect on. He said that
the people marching in the 60s were pretty much a monolith among the African American community mobilize in the South and the North. Overwhelmingly, today the people marching to African Americans, European Americans, Latinos, Latino on the day, the week that Alton Sterling, was was shot in Louisiana, and Philando Castile in his car with his fiancee and his little baby is I think it was his daughter shot in his car legally for mentioning he had a legal weapon. During that week, five Latinos were killed in California, Nevada and Arizona. And so not to again, not to dismiss, especially the history
not to say that, but this affects us all. This is a scourge that affects all of us. And it's going to take all of us coming together to end it. Otherwise, we just won't have the critical mass. And so if we as Muslims can do anything, I think we can tap into the teachings of our religion that have been historically the most effective force in terms of bringing people from different backgrounds and races together from the first community that brought Salman and Pharisees to Havre Rumi and the Arabs and Bilal al Habashi, the African, the Asian, the European the Arabs all together in a unified community under the banner of law in the law going forth as a positive moral force in the world and
I think this is what we Muslims should be focusing on right now. Under the banner of land hell, Allah all of us going together to play our part in bringing our country together, and we doing it under the banner of
Alhamdulillah shahada In conclusion, you know, it's at times of chaos is a times of complete fitna and turmoil that sensible leadership is the most needed. And I thank Allah subhana wa Tada for blessing the American Muslim community with someone like yourself what it is like yada yada I thank Allah azza wa jal for the wisdom the sensibility that you bring to the table, you are truly a blessing and an asset to the American Muslim community. And I ask Allah azza wa jal to protect and preserve you and all of us and ask Allah azza wa jal to give you an all of us if laws and sincerity and ask ALLAH SubhanA wa Tada to allow you to be guided and to guide others through you and to all
of us JazakAllah Heisha for your time in sha Allah hope that we can continue these conversations and ensure that better times as well. So may Allah azza wa jal bless you and your family may Allah azza wa jal quick piece of advice for that anytime from your show. Rather than sisters as shaky as you said these times they trials no one has the whole answer
is keep close to be honest. Keep your most half your core N close at hand. Keep your prayer rug data close. And if you use a sub ha ha ha keep that close if not get your fingers busy, vicar or n and saw that when the Prophet Salah Salem was agitated by an
Fair he immediately went to pray. So may Allah blesses to be a prayerful, remembering me Quranic community very lofty concern, which is Kamala Harris and Rahmatullahi Wa Barakatuh apologies for the technical issues but in sha Allah Allah overall the message was given each other we hope to continue conversations with Imams aid and others inshallah we'll see you next time said I want to live
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