Defending Your Religion

Zaid Shakir


Channel: Zaid Shakir

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Bismillah R Rahman r Rahim al hamdu Lillahi Rabbil alameen wa Salatu was Salam ala say you didn't were sitting, say you didn't have even a Mohammedan Wallah. Early he was happy he was sent him to Sleeman kathira as salaam alaikum, warahmatullahi wabarakatuh

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Alhamdulillah. It's great being here.

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The weather is stormy outside. But it's warm in here. And it's not warm in here because the temperature is very pleasant is warm because of all the wonderful hearts that are gathered here.

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And hamdulillah we indeed as a community have been challenged, but not in unique ways. In fact, our challenges are far less than those encountered by Muslims in many parts of the world. As we know, the challenges facing the Muslims in Myanmar former formerly Burma, as we know are very, very, very daunting challenges. People being driven from the livelihood their homes, forced out to sea in many instances with no clear destination, all because they're Muslim. That's the only reason they have wronged no one. And their pride is largely unknown the plight of the Rohingya Muslims. We know the situation in places like Syria, may Allah protect that land and restore it to its former glory and

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status as a land of safety and security.

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And the the massive waves of internally displaced individuals and refugees. And we should never forget that most Syrians who have been forced from their homes are internally displaced, which means by and large, they're being taken care of by their Muslim cousins, and uncles and relatives, brothers and sisters, in other parts of Syria. And I say that.

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Because sometimes we forget we see the news coverage of most Muslims going into Europe, and some people say we're the Muslims.

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You guys have heard that. And certainly there are countries such as Saudi Arabia or the Emirates or Kuwait, or others who could definitely open their doors and receive more refugees.

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But we should never forget about the 1.5 million Syrians in Lebanon, almost a quarter of the Lebanese population, and certainly the stresses and strains. But by and large, they've been received.

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And the Muslims and in Lebanon have opened their share their resources, and it's a poor country to the best of their abilities, or the almost 3 million in Turkey,

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who are in some instances been taken care of by refugee standards, and very, very good and healthy, wholesome ways with a lot of

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positive contributions from the Turkish government and from private organizations, NGOs in Turkey, also. So we should never forget that when we say Where are the Muslims, there are the Muslims in Syria receiving their brothers and sisters, there are the Muslims in Turkey, and Lebanon, and Jordan. So we should never lose sight of that.

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We have a responsibility to help this religion.

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All of us have have a responsibility. And we should understand when we help our religion when we help our fellow Muslims, we're helping ourselves. So Allah tala says in tomsula, young soracom.

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If you help the religion of the law, someone might say it doesn't sound tonsil budino law that's something that's understood from the context. There's what we call half man woof and tone Sula and tone sudo Dino la young soracom. If you help a laws religion, a law will help you a lot doesn't need any help.

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So we understand court and by looking at other verses. So we knew first serum core an herbal core and overland. So the first source of Tafseer is the Quran.

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itself and elsewhere in the Quran Allah tala says yeah you have nurse and to move for para la la he will la Who? Who are the honey will Hamid are you people Muslims, Christians, atheists, Hindu Buddhist who knows what you are all in need of a law and to move for Colorado law and the law is fear of our knees Willow, Willow Hill ohanian Hamid Allah is free of our knees Worthy of all praise. being free of all nice Allah doesn't need our support. And so we understand in town sudo la ha young soul come in that regard when you set bit, you set bit academic home. If you help the deen of Allah Allah will help you. So when we help the religion we're helping ourselves

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in Tulsa, hello, hello law if you help the people of Allah,

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then Allah will help you.

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Allahu Allah, Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam man macconnell Americana men, men can no longer be only

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Well lo fiandre OBDII McKenna omad diamond Abdu fionn yfp la houfy on an Abd madana on that candle Abdul fionna T. Allah will help the servant as long as the servant is helping his or her brother and his or her sister.

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So when we help the religion we help ourselves if that's not enough encouragement, what is a lot Allah mentions in the Quran? Yeah, are you headed in Romania to test them in command dnfs Sophia Tila who be combing your hair behind me Hakuna. As a Latin Island Mina is Atenolol Kathie Lee new j he doing a feasibility la vida ha funa la Motta La Liga la te mania Sha la la Wes you're 19 all you believers the last dress as addressing us brothers and sisters. Yeah, you Hello Dina Ellen. Oh,

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man your tech dimin kumaun Dini whoever turns back What do the literally on the religion but it's not talking about apostasy which is bad.

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Talking about something else. Man, you're Ted the men come on nuisance Nusrah t d. Whoever turned as many of the commentators the professor in and form us. Whoever turns back from helping his religion.

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Then a law will bring another people a sofa yet Tila who'll be comin home. He will love and they will love them. You hipbone we have buena, we're talking about this next door earlier. So

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if we don't do the job, brothers and sisters alone will bring other people who will do the job.

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He'll bring other people.

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So we have a job to do. How do we help the religion?

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Look at our situation and I'm speaking in this North American and specifically this

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American United States context and other parts of the world how people help the religion would vary.

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But we're here in a context where Islam has been vilified, demonized, misrepresented, misconstrued and misunderstood.

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So we help the religion by clarifying the truth about our religion, which has been lied about.

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Our religion has been lied about. One of the greatest lies is that Islam is a violent religion.

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Look at all of these peaceful people here at this conference. 1000s of people

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know criminals might be one or two.

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Generally speaking, no criminals, no one with Who would ever think of harming their neighbors in any way, shape or form.

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No one who would ever think of harming their fellow workers in the workplace in any way, shape or form.

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But because of the actions of a handful of misguided individuals, there are those who have taken

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that opportunity to distort and to lie about the entire community.

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Every community has its miscreants every community has its its violent people.

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But every community is not have an industry built around the actions of its miscreants to defame the entire community.

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In this country, there have been this year, over 360 mass shootings,

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over 360 shootings that involved four or more victims. Muslims have been implicated and two of those out of over 362 Chattanooga

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where there was a person who was diagnosed

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with a mental disorder

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and on

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psychotropic medicine,

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and in San Bernardino,

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two out of 300 over 360.

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But only those two

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become an opportunity to vilify to slender to defame and to distort the reality of an entire community.

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We mentioned the individual in Chattanooga, Tennessee, whenever any non Muslim person who's not a Muslim

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commits one of these heinous despicable acts, and we condemn them all.

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We condemn Chattanooga, we condemn what happened in San Bernardino.

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We express our condolences to those who lost their lives just as we can express our condolences to those Palestinian mothers, and those Iraq, in Syria, in Afghanistan, Somali mothers who are losing their children every single day.

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But the first thing when it's not a Muslim, is he has some sort of psychiatric disorder

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is just a lone nut.

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Who snapped

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But when a Muslim has is diagnosed as having a psychiatric disorder, as in Chattanooga, who is known to be on psychotropic medicine, as in Chattanooga, he is motivated by an evil religion called Islam.

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And any other consideration goes out the window. And this sort of distortion has created this image of Muslims as the violent community, when the reality is, if you look at the world today,

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overwhelmingly Muslims are the victims of violence. And I don't say that to invoke any pity, or to invoke victimhood. We're not we're not victims as Muslims. We're people who stand up and bear our responsibility. But this distortion has occurred and to represent our religion, we have to correct that. And we correct that, first of all, in our context, as a Muslim community in North America, renouncing violence

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and our status as citizens as ours and our status as Muslims here. There is nothing in our Sharia that condones violence.

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And those individuals, those handful, upwards to 10 million Muslims in America, some people say there's 3 million Muslims, but I know that can't be true, because there's 1 million cab drivers, and they have families of four or five, so that's 5 million right there.

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I mean, have you ever gone to an airport and the cab driver wasn't a Muslim?

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So it is so real that there's jokes about I'll tell you a joke. Here's a quick cabdriver joke, in fact, is a joke in Chicago is a joke. It probably didn't happen, but it could have happened. That's what gives the joke resonance. So it is a Jewish rabbi, he comes into O'Hare Airport and he comes to the curb is getting ready to get in the cab. And he sees a Palestinian flag hanging from the mirror. He looks and he turns around is he leaving

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So the Palestinian brothers a rabbi come back come back he says this I know we got this beef but we leave all that over there this is America we leave that over there to get in you're okay it's okay

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so plus we respect rabbis your religious men we you're not some kind of you know with idea for anything get in the car. So he gets in and he's driving and so he comes to a red light show me goes through it It almost has an accident he goes

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man Do you see the red light? I'll just relax Rabbi comes to another red light

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goes through it almost gets clipped drab Are you trying to kill me You said we're gonna leave that over there.

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Just relax. See comes to a green light.

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And he stops

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rabbi said What's going on here? I mean, two red lights you go right through almost got killed? No, he come to a green light and you stop and the sort of Palestinian bro Pat cabdriver says, Yeah, I know I stopped. So how do you explain that this is crazy. His three brothers they're also cab drivers.

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They're running red lights to stop that the green. All right. Moving right.

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Moving right along.

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now just just just imagine for a minute, imagine for a minute.

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Something was still getting

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Soviet like clapping next week, they'll be at dinner.

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Moving right along. Now just imagine, just imagine if every time there was a school shooting,

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which happens every other month or so

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that you have 24 hour coverage for a week, or two or three weeks about the threat of the crazy white teenager.

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And then when you went into the bookstores, yeah, whole shelves, to the threat of the crazy white teenager,

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the violent, crazy white teenager.

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And this went on for a decade.

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And you'd be scared to death of why teenagers.

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Don't shoot me.

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This is what's happening with Muslims. But it's not the responsibility of the people doing it to correct it is our responsibility. It's our responsibility, as we said, to renounce violence as a community, I'm talking here in North America. And I'm not talking in self defense. Everyone has a basic fundamental human right to defend themselves. I'm talking about renouncing the use of violence to advance political agendas.

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This is something that is unsanctioned by our religion,

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and the circumstances we find ourselves in, and it's something counterproductive anywhere. I would argue the time doesn't allow me to present the full case.

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But as a community, we have a responsibility to let people know, for the sake of our religion, this is what we stand on. And if you want to reject that, that's your business. If you want to deny the fact that we've made this unequivocally unequivocably clear, that's also your business. But this is what we stand on in this way. This is what we will meet our Lord on. Secondly, as a community, we have to build alliances with others. As you've seen, all of you seeing the incredible shows of support across the board.

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I guess that will mean Trump and his followers also almost across the board. for for for Muslims. As this I know sisters who have been in public spaces and people have come up and apologized. I was just in Toronto at the reviving the Islamic spirit conference. They had an interfaith panel and evangelists from Houston, Texas.

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apologized to the Muslims for the bigotry, hatred and

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racism that many members of the evangelical Christian community advocate in advance

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against Muslims.

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Lindsey Graham of all people,

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Senator from South Carolina,

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apologizing to the Muslim world.

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And then actions, people reaching out. People come into the masjid to express their desire to help to protect the community. This is happening. People sponsoring programs, right here in Where's Wheaton College that's in Ohio. Chicago, right here in Chicago, Wheaton College Professor wearing he jabbed in solidarity with her Muslim sisters with Muslim sisters expressing that we worship the same God which is true. This like always, you know, baffled me. Yeah, that's the Christian God and that's the Muslim God.

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Well, there's only one God.

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All of our God who controls one universe, and the affairs of this universe.

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And the issues is decrees that govern what's happens in this universe. To be impossible, they will cancel each other out if they were both all powerful. As the theologians Heather Minh and Mr. Hale at mu Han is impossible.

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And she gets fired.

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And she still maintains her supportive position. And then students at this evangelical college stand up and express solidarity with her. And female students say they're going to wear hijab home to their evangelical families during the holiday break, during the Christmas break.

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The holiest day, amongst the holiest days with Easter.

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In the Christian calendar.

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There are good people out there brothers and sisters, and we have to support them. We have to reciprocate their overtures. Because if we don't, then we're being ungrateful. And what does the law tell us about a lack of gratitude is the center of Buccola in Chicago to lezzy dinner, calm weather in California, in our there be Russia deed, if you give thanks for my blessings. Well in Chicago,

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in Chicago, and we are blessed to be in a place where these things happen.

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And there are people good people who stand up and say, we support you, who stand up and say, we will stand with you who stand up and say we feel your pain. I was at the airport.

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And my wife was with me and raw in the singer. He's gonna sing tonight. I can tell you a singer joke, but is worse than the cab driver joke. So I'm going to spare you. We're on the curve and the lady who tells you to scram if you stay there too long. The police lady, African American lady, very dignified sister. We're sitting there looking very Muslim. Like I got on this Koofi.

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And my wife has on her hijab.

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And brother raios. He's looking Muslim, even with his guitar.

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And so she said, You guys are Muslim? We say yes. She's mad at y'all.

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Okay, that's good to know.

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And she, like, you know, I'm with you.

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Oh, I cuz I understand what's going on.

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I know what's happening in Chicago,

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to my community. And so I say yes, it's all from the same poison. I didn't say it in this way. But I said it with this meaning is the water from the same poisoned Well, a well that's been poisoned by hatred, by racism by bigotry.

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And that water has poisoned the Native Americans, African Americans during slavery Chinese Americans during the series of events that culminated with the Chinese Exclusion Act, Japanese Americans during the 30s when they were vilified and culminating in the

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Mass internment of Japanese Americans on the West Coast that's poisoned. So many Latinos, Muslims are worried about concentration camps. They work they build concentration camps, and put us in them

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will just make the concentration camps My dad is coeliacs will Jeremy x.

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And when they tear the walls down, there'll be a lot more who followed, there'll be a lot more football, there'll be a lot more.

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The Dino will either be deadly harsh, harsh, he was solid hand was solid, hard.

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Ban the war before they built them. But we worry about it. They already have concentration camps, the call detention centers and they're filled with hundreds of 1000s of Latinos, as they wait await deportation. And they're all privatized that I add to the crime, people are making money off of their existence. They're already in existence. And we have a responsibility to stand with the people who are suffering because of it, to stand with the people whose children are being shot down in the streets like dogs every 28 hours, but the Washington Post Tour de Malcolm X grassroots report every 28 hours, but the Washington Post said every day to people in this country projoint overwhelmingly

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members of minority communities but not exclusively. That's why folks that are suffering, that pain and that loss also to our day. We have to stand with these people, brothers and sisters. That's why how we felt defend Islam. That's one of the great ways we defend Islam because when you stand with people, they will stand with you. And if we have African Americans standing with Muslims, who have Latinos standing with Muslims, if we have poor white folks, who also victims of police brutality, whose jobs have been shipped overseas, as the middle class has been eviscerated, who is suffering in places like Appalachia, if you stand with them, they'll stand with us. And if they stand with us,

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those racists and haters and bigots won't be able to do anything with us, or anything to us. It's that simple. Brothers and sisters, that's how we defend the religion.

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If we stand with them, they'll stand with us. And if we empathize and feel their pain, they'll feel our pain. You know, it's it's bad and it's tense, it could get worse. But right now, people aren't being shot down in the street like this young young man here in Chicago. laquan. McDonald

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lied about covered up.

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Like an Oakland Oscar Grant means you face down handcuffed face down on a train platform, a bullet in the back. Oh, Gary King, like three blocks from our Masjid tased

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and then shot with his shirt off. He couldn't be concealing a weapon. He doesn't have any shirt on. Where's he concealing it?

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And shot anyway, Alan blueford. When he saw the cops, he knew he might be the next Oscar Grant. He might be the next Gary King. So he started running. And when the cops caught him, no premeditation, on the ground shot him dead. Or Sean Bell in New York, or Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Florida. Or the young man in Cleveland 12 years old.

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What's his name?

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Tamir Rice in Cleveland, or this young man in Minnesota?

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And what are the what are the people in Minnesota? What are the activists saying? They're saying that this police brutality

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is rooted

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in Islamophobia because and rooted in racism, because where's the intersection? The intersection is in that huge Somali community in Minnesota. And the young men who are facing the race, the the, the racial profiling, because they're black and facing Islamophobia because they're Muslims, and then the activists there recognize that. And so, we have to have more than

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congressman Keith Ellison who's a Muslim and that says this

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or his son, who was had the police pointing weapons at him. We have to have Muslims and numbers standing with those people who are out there. Clearly saying that we're all in this together.

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And we are all in it together.

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Brothers and sisters, this is a struggle.

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But it's a beautiful struggle. It's a struggle, struggle gives us our dignity. Struggle defines our religion. before Allah tala says

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that he called us Muslims. Who will who will lead this American Muslim Amina?

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What does he say before that? What jay he do filet hochkar Jihad struggle in the way of Allah as should rightfully be the case, we'll never fulfill the hack that we owe to loss upon Watada. So we're being told struggle in the way of the law to the utmost of your ability. Just give it all you have. Because you never give enough but allows merciful he'll take what we give.

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With j he do filler he hochkar jihad. hu h tabacum women jannali confit dinniman Horridge Mila TRB come Ibrahim, who are some Nachman muslimeen. militaria become this vs is so loaded. Number one, it tells us our religion is struggle with j. e. Do filet haka jihad. Number two, it tells us we were chosen for this struggle, who has to back home he has chosen you to do what to struggle with J Hindu phila hochkar jihad, who wants to back home and then he's told us it's not difficult.

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It's not difficult. It's edifying. It strengthens you.

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In tones who rely on soonercon for law strengthens us we're strong. If we try to strengthen ourselves, we might still end up being weak. Like we could get really strong you could go to a gym. You can pump iron, like three years. You are happy you got these big biceps. You don't even wear jackets anymore. You were like

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you just you're on the sisters a sister, which was the whoo area.

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Oh, it's over there.

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And you felt so good about those muscles like three years I was working like drinking protein formula buffed.

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And then Ranga Tang comes does nine times stronger than you grabs you snatch your

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body slams you.

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No matter how strong you get as a human being without a law, you're weak.

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Without a law, you're weak.

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But with a law, we're strong we're powerful. So law says he's chosen us to struggle and then he says it's not hard. When Matt jayalalithaa confit Dean him and Horridge. Vijay who do filet haka jihad is struggle, who has the back of his chosen you to struggle when Allah Allah conferred Dean him inherit, and he's made no difficulty for you and your religion. It's not hard brothers and sisters, is easy. But attitude is everything. If we think it's hard, it's going to be hard. Why? Because the law is going to make it hard, and are in the hands of dB. One and a mile high for the colony, and with my servant as my servant thinks I am.

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If we think a laws made this hard for us is going to be hard. If we think of laws made as easy it's going to be easy. If the atheist thinks a law doesn't exist, along with Val himself from the atheist,

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he'll still exist but the atheist will be veiled from Allah

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allows here, a laws self evident truth, right, We hold these truths to be self evident. The most self evident truth is a law. Because this order in this universe couldn't come about accidentally, this unique human brain could not have been the result of the lucky gene that just happened to mutate in the right way. And bam, there we have it human intelligence

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that outstrips all other intelligence.

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All the monkeys mentioned are Ranga Tang, the spider monkey receives monkey Reese's cup Wait, that's not a monkey, the the gorilla the chimpanzee

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The bamboo, the bamboo, the bamboo, I a serious jetlag, folks, the baboons, all those monkeys are in one category.

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They like, you know, this is the nut.

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That's this this is this is every monkeys tool. This is the tool making ability of a monkey brothers and sisters.

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Human beings are making nano instruments, instruments you can even see with the naked eye.

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Oh, wow, we have to start. So you're not a monkey, you're a human being. And as a human being you were created to struggle, and you were chosen for that struggle, and the law said is not difficult. And he says this is what it means to be a Muslim.

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This is what it means to be a Muslim. Who will lead this American Muslim Mena.

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This is what it means to be a Muslim. So hamdulillah let's accept it. Let's get on with the struggle. Let's build alliances. Let's have a non violent struggle, this renounce it, let's condemn it. And let us stand up and go forth and work with others. To make this country live out the meaning of its constitution, the meaning of the Declaration of Independence, We hold these truths to be self evident that all men are created equal, that all men are created equal, and that this equality, Justice doesn't stop at the door of the masjid. This equality doesn't stop at the boundaries of the country, that this equality is a God given right. When a law tyla declared that equality will occur

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Karana Danny Adam Walcott, Khurana Danny Adam, we have a noble the human being all of them, all of them. Not just the Americans amongst them, not just the quiet middle class American, not just the rich cabal of people dominating Wall Street and dominating our politics. All men and women are created equal with the same share of human dignity with the same right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. And if we stay here, and we struggle, this these things they want us to run away or can live in America anymore is too overwhelming. People are looking at me with nasty looks, man, you know, the people in Gaza last summer would really appreciate some nasty looks instead of

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bombs falling on their head.

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Where are you gonna go? You live here and you're going to go to Libya is going to be better.

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You Syrian, you're going to go back to Syria is going to be better. You're Palestinian, you're going to go back to Palestinian, it's going to be Palestine, Palestinian jetlag people, it's going to be better, you're going to go to Iraq is going to be better. You're going to get all pumped up and juiced up and go join ISIS, you think it's gonna be better?

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When the real bombing starts,

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is going to be better.

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You think the man is gonna come and save you?

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better think twice. Gonna go to Afghanistan, it's gonna be better.

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A good percentage of those people running into Europe are running from Afghanistan for an attempt at boom, where are you gonna go? A lot put us here. He put us here for a wisdom and a reason. And we stand up, defend our religion, defend our community. And build alliances with those people know that things are wrong and want to be better and know that this war machine is going is eating away at the soul of this country. And we have to stop it. Everyone will benefit on this planet Muslims and other people. That's our mission. Stand up brothers stand up sisters. Stand up, be proud, defend our religion, defend the rights of others who are oppressed, and inshallah

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we'll have a good life. We have a good death. And we can die with dignity. Santa Monica.

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Just take to

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suddenly come out to God the question time we're willing to do two questions. And we hope one was from a brother and one from a sister and we try to

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Be brief because I know the next session. They're coming in here and our wonderful moderator. What's your name system? Let's give it up for Khadija, the moderator, Allahu Akbar.

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just sticking your thumb and pull out a pump, just grab a question.

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Any two? Oh, you're gonna read it for them

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to come down if you're leaving leave quietly.

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These are two reoccurring ones. So hopefully, many people have them as well. So the first one it says most Muslims apologize and denounced and have to defend themselves every time the media reporting on violence by Muslims should be given that we are against murder and violence, and how do we go about doing that?

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A lot of people have the luxury of course of acknowledging that truth. I didn't do anything, I don't have to apologize for anything. We shouldn't apologize for what we didn't do. But we should try to qualify and take the opportunity, the rare ones the media does provide here to

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clarify the truth that our community is not violence. And that to present it in this way is an injustice. So and when people do that, we should leave them their space, leave care, their space, that's their thing. That's what they do. You might disagree. But that serves a purpose. And so you don't have to do that. But leave them their space. We have to have the sophistication to realize some people have their niche. And we have to respect that we shouldn't condemn them. And we have our niche and in our niche we might not have to make those kind of condemnations and etc, etc. Okay, the second most popular one asks How do you approach a non Muslim who uses violent verses in the Quran

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against you and how do you explain the context of the ayah

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This is how you address a Muslim will use violent verses in the Quran. You just tell them look those violent verses were in the Quran for 1400 years and Muslims weren't doing the thing some people who

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appealed to those verses are doing

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How can I how come this I say to them, I

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violent versus inspire Muslims to try to exterminate the disease in Iraq. Why the Yazidi is there in the first place. Have they been there for almost 1400 years living side by side with Muslims and great great scholars who are in Iraq everyone from mmm Ahmed from in new raha away he from mmm Shafi who spent part of his career in in Iraq, from mmm Abu hanifa from the greatest scholars and then historically, Al Houthi, Al Baghdadi, etc, etc. And they didn't have any problem with the Yazidi. So suddenly these people come and they know Islam and they know Tafseer of these verses better than the giants of this oma.

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You know, so how Muslims are so inherently violent? How come Christians are in Syria and Bab Touma

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and elsewhere and my Lula living in harmony with their Muslim brothers and sisters in the city in Damascus?

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And out in the countryside and my Lula and in the Tamia who was Syrian

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and spent his career in Damascus in the IM Jo Zia spent his career in Damascus mm Noah we spent his career in Damascus, Mo Salah, and on and on and on, and none of them have problems with the Christians and these violent verses were in the Quran. And they didn't interpret it like that. So you know, time doesn't allow that can be a whole separate lecture, but time is really

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we thank you, Sister Khadija for those extra minutes smell I'll reward you salaam aleikum wa rahmatullah.