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The Cancel Culture – An Islamic Assessment

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Yasir Qadhi

Channel: Yasir Qadhi

Episode Notes

Episode Transcript

© No part of this transcript may be copied or referenced or transmitted in any way whatsoever. Transcripts are auto-generated and thus will be be inaccurate. We are working on a system to allow volunteers to edit transcripts in a controlled system.


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on TV?

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Today's hot it is going to be about a phenomenon that has swept the country for the last few years. And it is something that our teenagers, especially our youngsters are involved in. And even many of us are caught up in this. And I wanted to give it a perspective from the Islamic lens. And that is what is known as the canceled culture, what is known as the canceled culture, all of you youngsters are familiar with the canceled culture, perhaps the elders are not fully aware of what the canceled culture is. The canceled culture is a unique recent phenomenon.

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Literally five years old, literally less than five years old, in which groups of people society deems specific, famous people in particular, worthy of being censured or being isolated or ostracized. So they launch campaigns, and they say this person should lose their job, this person should not be invited. And so large campaigns are done, and the people are canceled, the people are taken off of the public eye. And this is a a psychological empowerment to those who typically didn't have power. What is happening is that, especially the last, you know, decade or so, groups that have been marginalized have discovered a very powerful tool. And that is the internet, that is social

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media groups that have been downtrodden in the past, a simple example. And again, not to be too contentious, but as to be factual here, a simple example, the reality of molestation and sexual exploitation right? In the workplace amongst the Hollywood elites, and whatnots people were taking advantage, you know, of lots of actresses, for example, there is no power, what are they going to do, they're not going to go to the police, the police can do nothing. So what has happened is they've used this tool to come together, look at that famous Harvey Weinstein guy, right, the guy that was well known for doing this groups of people have come together. And power is now on their

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side, they can now be Judge Jury Executioner against people who should be tried by an actual court, but that's not going to happen. And so the public now has a tool that they did not have before. And it is, as I said, a reversal of the tables were those that didn't have any power, the masses, actually at times are more powerful than the ruling institutions, they can literally get tenured professors fired, they can get some of the most famous actors and actresses, some of the most famous politicians, some of the most powerful political men on earth or women on earth, they can get them literally ostracized, things are very interesting in this regard. So it's a social pressure, to

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publicly shame an individual that the public deems worthy of shaming, and then to penalize this person, how financially or PR or even more than this, so that a message is sent, what is the message or rest of us society don't do like this person, all rest of you out there, this is not the role model that we should have. Now, it really is, by the way, a very effective means of empowerment, and it has the potential to be a force of good, but as we are all painfully aware, it also has the potential to be a very chaotic force, and a very evil force. And it can easily be flipped around and and has been flipped around to become a force of evil, a force of division. And unfortunately, our

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own youth and our own, you know, Muslim congregations are getting involved in this Kancil culture for our own internal causes. So in today's brief Katara, I wanted to take this psychological, sociological phenomenon and examine it through the lens of the Sharia, what are some of the key factors that we need to be aware of when we understand it because at the end of the day, canceling is a tool I am not saying it is all haram. But like all tools, like all effective means, we have to look at it from the lens of Islam and not from the lens of modern culture, right. So what are some of the things we need to look at? First point, point number one,

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we have to be careful that this cancellation culture does not become our main focus because when that happens, we fall into

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to a very clear Islamic error, what is that error, concentrating on the mistakes of others rather than your own mistakes? Our Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam said, do not follow the mistakes of the believers let the Tibbett rah rah tell movement, do not follow the mistakes of the believers. Because whoever follows the mistakes of the believers, Allah azza wa jal will follow his mistakes, and Allah will humiliate him, even if he's covered in the privacy of his house. One of the biggest issues of the cancellation culture is it gives you a sense of ego, that I am better than that person. And I have to show the rest of the world that person is evil, and we emphasize the faults of

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others in our study. I'm not saying we ignore the faults of others, but the emphasis my emphasis should be my sins, I should be more worried about my sins than the sins of other people. One of the students of Imam Malik the generation Imam Malik, he made a famous remark. He said, I grew up in an era where people concentrated on their own mistakes rather than the mistakes of others. So Allah subhanho wa Taala covered their mistakes from the eyes of other people, but my generation, they're concentrating on the mistakes of others rather than their own mistakes. So Allah is revealing their own mistakes for the rest of the people. So panelists a very profound reality. Concentrate on the

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mistakes of others. Don't make it your main focus to go follow the latest scandal, the latest gossip, the latest innuendo, the latest drama, no, we've follow our own mistakes more than the mistakes of others. Point number one. Point number two, even if you come across a mistake, we have to consider the Islamic principle of center covering the mistakes of our brothers and sisters. And this is a very, very simple point will lie. It is not controversial. Listen to me carefully, I'm going to be as explicit as I can. No matter what sin you have uncovered from your brother or sister, as long as that sin is personal, and not affecting the broad public, a personal sin, you have no

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right to expose that personal sin in front of the public. Now, yes, if the person is stuck for the law, harming innocent people, that's a different category of sins. We're talking about a personal sin. We're talking about a slip up in his own or her own personal life, something they did in their private life that is not affecting any other people. It's not preying on innocent people, you have no right this is the default. And the exceptions are very few. Unfortunately, we emphasize the exceptions and not the default. Our Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam said, again, these are Hadith that are so much against the cancel culture. Whoever covers the faults of his brother in this

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world, Allah will cover his faults on the day of judgment. And whoever exposes the faults of his brother in this world, Allah will expose his false on the day of judgment. And Allah of His Names as a city means he loves to cover the faults of people, a city, Allah does not want to expose the faults of others. So why are you exposing the faults of other people even if your brother your sister made a mistake made an unwise comment made a derogatory joke. It's not your business to go and tell the whole world they did that correct them privately tell them one on one, but for you to post or for you to make a big issue about this. This goes against the clock of their religion,

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unless the crime they have done. They're embezzling money. They're stealing from innocent people, no doubt. Now you need to make a bigger case when it privates in the rule is setup. Point number three, what happened as well to the concept of Amana? Or keeping the secrets of a conversation? A lot of times these scandals that take place, they involve private recordings in a gathering. They involve somebody taking out a phone and from the bottom of the room just recording nobody's looking at this right. And our Prophet sallallahu sallam said that Al Majelis will be Amanat when you are sitting in a gathering, this is an Amana you cannot tell what is happening. And there are two different sins,

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the sin of Riba, the sin of doing something bad and the sin of no Mima, which is to take that private sin and make it public to separate sins. Suppose somebody made a crude joke suppose somebody backbite it suppose somebody was racist in a private gathering, that is a sin, for you to record and then to Dyneema to spread it. This is another sin separate and distinct from the first sin and the first sin is on the one who did it. The second sin is on you for spreading it. And that's why the sin of Libre is different than the sin of Namita libre. The one himself says something he shouldn't say no Mima, the one who heard

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a takes what you have said and goes to other people. That's an amoeba in English we call it tattletaling in the modern

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canceled culture, we tattletale, not to our friends to social media immediately. In fact, all of you youngsters are aware there are entire TV programs on various channels. I don't want to mention these names that are dedicated to gossip and tattletale that are dedicated to, you know, finding out the latest that somebody secretly recorded. Something happened. Whatever happened to the fact that it's Amana? What happens in a private gathering? And our Prophet says that I'm warned whoever eavesdrop on a person knowing that they don't want them to hear this, Allah azza wa jal will pour molten fire have Jahannam into their ear, you're eavesdropping, you're secretly recording. It is not allowed in

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our chatroom to secretly record again, this is the default don't quote me the exception the 1% It might be allowed the default it is not allowed. So secret recordings or no Mima are not called Yanni carrying the tattletale all of this is a sin on the one who does it. And that is a separate sin from what the first person has done. And the canceled culture embraces Nitnem Mima and embrace his secret recordings, which is against the Shediac point number four of the principles we need to look at, because no one a lot of times a slip up happens. Ambiguous wording happens maybe not the most wisest phrase, a lot of times you're in a gathering and you know, maybe you know, a ambiguous word was

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said, and to read in the worst rather than the best is a part of the cancel culture to literally find the most derogatory meaning or the most nasty interpretation and to run with it immediately. This too goes against our Shetty. We know that hearse nirvana is a part of iman, we know as the Sahaba said that find 70 excuses for your brother. And if you cannot find an excuse, then say to yourself, maybe my brother has an excuse I cannot think of this is what our Shediac teaches us suppose they made an ambiguous statement, think good thoughts about it, rather than think evil thoughts about it, this is just Novan point number five, even if it is unequivocal, a clear mistake

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was made something rude, crude or rude or racist or something misogynistic was said or a clear sin occurred. This is now you know, this person has done sin and you are a witness to this. Whatever happened to the concept of forgiveness, whatever happened that okay, a person does mess up. We all mess up. I mean, again, one of the problems and the only reason that canceled culture is happening now is because of the proliferation of iPhones and social media, and you can record everything and videos are everywhere. Can you imagine if everything you ever said as a teenager was recorded? Well, Allah hamdulillah thank Allah that, you know, the iPhones were not around when I first started

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giving my buzz when I was a fiery 1920 year old Hamza did I have enough to deal with when I was a fiery 27 year old? I can't even imagine what I have to face if I was a 19 year old and the whole buzz were recorded because I'll give you an old but since I was 16 years old, back in the day, there was no recordings back then, of course, because nobody had these iPhones. They didn't have these recordings. I'm asking you can you imagine if every tweet from your teenage years, every dumb joke you made as a 15 year old if this were recorded until you're 4050 years old, we need to understand the canceled culture. Literally unearths mistakes that may be a 4050 year old made when they were

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1715 years old, a famous professor at a prestigious university engineering professor lost their job because of an article they wrote when they were an undergraduate in the early 90s. Somebody somehow uncovered it. He was a world renowned professor. And it was a very it wasn't not a very smart article. It was an undergraduate saying that men are better engineers than women, something like this. And women should not be an engineering department. I'm not joking. This is exactly what it was. This is back in the early 90s. You know, third wave feminism is coming. There was a debate going on that women should be teachers, men should be engineers. And this 20 year old young man, I'm

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not saying he's wrong. I'm not saying he's right. He wrote an op ed in his local newspaper. Now he's an established Professor of Engineering at a prestigious university. And he goes guys, I wrote this and I was 19 years old, cut me some slack. No, for the rest of his life. He got canceled. God lost a job fired from the job, and on and on and on. There are examples that come up every few days every few weeks of a person who made a mistake 1520 years ago, and that's it no mercy from where can we Muslims take this culture and imagine how the villa if this canceled culture were applied to us when we're about to enter Jannah imagine if we were caught because of one mistake that we made. Oh do

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Billa Milo Kincaid for tat C'mon, how can we as Muslims judge a single mistake made whenever it was made as a lifetime and that's why I quoted the Hadith last week or quoted again that our prophets Allah sallam said that the people

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Who are have dignity and respect, cut them some slack when they make a mistake, this is a Hadith and a Buddha would write that if somebody makes a thorough he falls, and he's a person of mooloolah. He's a person of integrity. And you find one mistake cut them some slack. This is a Hadith. Why? Because a person who has a habit of committing sins is not like the one who slipped up once there's a hadith of processing is telling us you judge a person by his overall character, the council culture is the exact opposite. They want to find the impeccable, the elite the best, and they want to find one mistake so that they can say, Oh, this guy's totally wrong. This is not our Shetty. Even

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if we find a mistake, where's the concept of Rama and Mo Farah? Where's the concept of moving on from that? So this is the issue of forgiveness. The next issue point number six, that is the goal punishment of the [???]tier? Or is the goal rehabilitation? Do you want to just punish, punish, punish? Or do you want to facilitate that this person learns from the mistake and comes back to being a better person in our Shediac it's rehabilitation, it's not punishment. As for the canceled culture, they want to just punish and they want to feel happy that they punished a person what will punishing because of a mistake of 15 years ago accomplish rather you should be rehabilitation,

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acceptance of a mistake. And moving on. That is what our Shetty demands. So we have here a mob mentality. You know, if you back in the day, you know, in this country, there will be these witch mobs, right? Somebody who's accused of being a witch, the whole city, oh, there's a witch burn, the Witch burned the witch the whole city goes door to door saying we have to burn the witch. This is exactly what is happening with the canceled culture, they discover one mistake of one person and have lost an entire lifetime of good is forgotten. This is another problem of the canceled culture. The next point, I think on point number seven. Now, the next point or So point number six would be

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who made you judge jury and executioner? Really? Who puts you in charge? Did Allah subhanaw taala give you that right? That I'm gonna decide that this person should not be invited anymore? I'm going to decide this person is canceled. Who exactly are you? And who puts you in that position? Did Allah azza wa jal give you that responsibility? So Humble yourself. And don't put yourself to be judge, jury and executioner? The next point point number seven? Who gets to decide what is a sin and what isn't? Because here's another problem. The cancel culture has gone to extremes that are totally under Slavic. And a person might say something that is fully Islamic, but the culture will be

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canceling of him. And the best example for this his morality, sexuality, LGBT trans, all of these issues right? The most famous author of children's books JK Rowling, she has been canceled for saying, gasp here. There's something called a man and there's something called a woman for saying this and she is a the only author who is a billionaire because of her books. She was the most famous author and the most respected author and she is a feminist. No, she herself is a self proclaimed feminist. But she says I believe in two genders. This has caused her as you're probably aware to be completely canceled. She is not welcome on any campuses anymore. She does not have any speaking

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engagements her life has been threatened she has armed guards at times when she goes out. So are we going to jump on the this this this canceling culture when something that might not even be a mistake is considered a mistake? Or how about the level of mistake again, let's be a little bit real here. Sometimes somebody makes a small mistake and for whatever reason certain people exaggerate it and make it much larger than this for example, somebody might be caught let's say you know flirting with a lady that's not appropriate. But then to equate flirtation with let's say rape say oh, this person is molesting woman this yucky use some intelligence what is the sin that this person is

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accused of? Don't let emotions cloud you what is the level of guilt that this person has? So the problem of the cancellation culture, there is no nuance black and white. And literally what the [???]ty I might call a minor sin. It is exaggerated to become literally in the eyes of those that are canceling worse than shook they will treat a mushrik better than they will somebody who has engaged in a minor sin because in their eyes that minor sin is worse according to them than even the sin of Shrek Subhan Allah once again, we have our Shetty and we have to be nuanced and not be emotional here. So the level and gradation of should have shut another version of sin what is the level of sin

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and the final point is shallow to other here and again much more but these are some points that I came to mind. The final point here. One of the biggest problems of the cancellation culture is the sheer level of arrogance that the person has that that person demand

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Hands, the rest of the world must agree with me and my interpretation. If you don't cancel the one who might have canceled, what's gonna happen to you?

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You get canceled as well, to sell solo cancellations. Hmm, we have to sell solo cancellations. Okay, domino effect, if you don't cancel the one whom I've cancelled, and if you have slightly different opinions, then this means call us you are yourself evil, you are the SubhanAllah. And I swear to you this mentality, it is one of the most dangerous mentalities when you apply it within the Islamic circle. Because this is what happens here that you don't agree with me that my vert you know what, honestly, here's the Islamic point, right? If you think a certain person is bad, don't listen to him. That simple? Well, why it's not that complicated. Nobody is forcing you, if you think this

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person is beyond the realm of acceptability, okay, no problem. Don't listen, your friend, your colleague might disagree with your assessment, feel free to go back and forth. In the end, they're not convinced, okay? They have the right to have a different assessment than you. And you have no right to force your assessment on the other person. If you don't like a particular person you think a person has wronged or a person has don't listen, but you cannot and you have no right to become judge, jury, executioner and say to the rest of the world, all of you, you have no right as well to listen to any talk of this person. And if they do, listen, oh, this means you must support rape, you

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must support should you must support quote, Subhan Allah, Allah, hey, again, the level and this mentality by the way, we find it in the extremists like the hotter dice like the ISIS, I'm not saying the canceled culture is hotter. But the mentality of the salsola top deer the mentality of if you don't agree with me, then you're evil, that mentality, we find it in all extremist groups, the sign of extremism, you don't tolerate diversity of opinion, there's the sign of extremism, right. And we find this within the cancellation culture. So end of the day, cancellation culture wreaks havoc in society, and it causes disunity amongst the ranks of any group. And unfortunately, it has

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caused disunity in our own ranks as well. And unfortunately, if we allow this to go rampant, we actually lose the ability to think critically, we just become like sheep following what other people say, now, is all cancellation culture wrong? No, obviously not. We don't want to invite you know, the Abuja equivalent. We don't want to invite somebody who's in Abuja, hell, somebody who's like a torture and a killer of Muslims and whatnot, we don't want to invite them and honor them. But at the same time, let's be real here. How often do we actually have to face somebody like this? Also, key points here, context is crucial. Context is very crucial. Why are you sending this invitation? What

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is the goal? What is the setup here? I'll tell you something that happened with us here at Epic. That was two years ago, we invited the chief of police. Tomorrow we're having the mayor, we invited the chief of police here of Plano, right. And we invited him I didn't invite on the board did but I was on the panel. It wasn't my decision. But as usual, not that I'm against it. But as usual, I become the target online just because I'm, I'm present to, again, the sensible cancellations right? We invited the chief of police and the board said you're interviewed the chief police. Okay, call us. We'll interview him, because there was a whole national outrage of police brutality of what's

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happening of you know, George Floyd, all of this happening right. hamdulillah in Plano, we've never had anything like this. And our chief of police. This one has no track record of anything like this, you know, very clean, what not? And that's what he's trying to say that play. No, we are a role model. We're trying to prevent this. We put him on the spot. And we asked him point blank that hey, look, you need to explain why this is happening. You need to explain our rights when we see this happening. It was not a nice interview. We you know, and it wasn't nasty, either, because we want to show him some respect. It was a fair interview that we're trying to get to the root of the problem.

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Subhan Allah online campaign against epic, Masjid epic must Judas supporting the killing of George Floyd now hold our quota Billa Yandy. The level of foolishness, right? How foolish can you be? You have sided with the murderers against the innocent people? This is the problem of cancellation, that they lose rationality. Look, we, in the end of the day, we have to engage with the police. May Allah protect all of us, if your family is attacked, your home is attacked, who are you going to call? Who you're going to call? You're going to call the police what else you're going to 911 Right? We might disagree with a lot of things going on. In the end of the day, our philosophy we have to work with

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what we have and try to make it better. Feel free to disagree. Wallahi if you think it's a big problem to invite the chief of police, good for you don't come Don't listen to the interview. But to then claim that epic masjid and Yasser Ali is supporting the police murders. This is what the cancellation culture does.

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And I don't want to give it two more examples, but you get the the facade here that this is the problem. Now, when you bring in this notion of guilt by association, which has nothing to do with Islam, guilt by association has nothing to do with Islam. If I'm sitting next to you, doesn't mean I agree with everything you're saying, even if I invite you on my platform for another cause we're inviting the mayor here of Plano. I don't know his private life and I don't care. He's coming as the mayor. He's coming as our elected representative. He might have some policies I disagree with. Okay, now is that time to challenge him now to somebody might do a Google research. Oh, this mayor has

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said X. And he also called He has invited him I didn't the board did but no problem. I'm going to be here still. You also called the environment. This means he supports x. This means so called his mom after coffered. Subhanallah Do you understand how foolish and how divisive and how much it is against our shutting up? So bottom line brothers and sisters, the council culture the way that it has developed 90% of it 95% of his and Islamic there's a small kernel that once in a while, yes, if it is applied wisely, if it is applied to actual evil people whom we universally agree, this is an evil person, and even then even then, if somebody has a different perspective of that person and

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advice them for another reason or cause cred, you don't agree, and you say I disagree strongly, but you cannot extrapolate that that person is agreement with the evil This is against our religion. So may Allah Subhana Allah Allah grant us the wisdom to see the truth is truth and to see falsehood as falsehood. May Allah Subhana Allah Allah grant us the lack of the Prophet system, to be able to forgive to be able to cover up to be able to have personally gone to be able to overlook to be able to not be of those who are constantly finding mistakes and others and to Constitution are our own mistakes before the mistakes of others and inshallah tomorrow we'll see you without any

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cancellations inshallah for a very important event here Zachman locker cinematic Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh.

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Either call

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me Mr. Heaton doll Seanie

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tells

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to me, Jenny dasa, down to

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me down