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Islam, Citizenship, and Religious Liberty

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Event Name: Islam, Citizenship, and Religious Liberty
Transcription Date:Transcription Modified Date: 3/29/2019 8:41:02 PM
Transcript Version: 1


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the fact that these great churches existed in Iraq for fourteen hundred years and the Christians perceive the Muslims in those places is proof that the Muslims always honored those so the destruction of these churches is completely alien to the Islamic tradition the Muslims did not forget their religion for 1,400 years and then this enlightened group called I see suddenly realized here's the true Islam that we're going to implement it's just complete nonsense so these great churches that have been destroyed this is one of the greatest crimes in our history and and unfortunately they are a sect of people that claim to be Muslims and it's going to be a blemish on our history just like the the the burning of the church of the sepulchre was a blemish on the fought them it's when they burned it down and 70 years later caused the Crusades but less people forget Muslims immediately rebuilt that church and recently shed Mohammed paid for the renovation of the of one of the great churches in Jerusalem so the Muslims you know they they honored the Christians and I have a two hundred years ago I have a book by Solly in Egypt where he says it's sad to hear so many Muslims saying I wish I was a Christian because the perks that the Christians got the Armenians in Ottoman Turkey were called The Omen favela you know before the Armenian crises they were one of the most honored groups in the ottoman tradition and the same is true with the Jews that Sabbath was a what we would call a prime minister today under the ROM and a second so Christians and Jews and even Buddhists of our Meccans were from a Buddhist shrine keepers the the great Buddhist traditions of Central Asia so the Muslims you know they had multicultural multi-ethnic civilizations this whole idea that were the first multi-ethnic civilization history is it's just stupidity you know it's it's just a hallmark of our ignorance and and they're undeniably I would argue that America is probably the most progressive civilization in human history in terms of legislating non-discriminatory law.  I think that would be a fair thing to say.  But for the Muslims for pre-modern records nobody compares to the Muslims.  And I say that objectively as a student of the history of that of that civilization I don't think any society and Toynbee and others would would also I think you know make that point as well in terms of the context of what we see today both within many Muslim countries as well as the tensions that exist in the United States in the the amount of Islamophobia that continues to exist in this country and in many ways is is getting worse what are your thoughts about this context and are you hopeful for the future I think Islam phobia is is a problem globally I think it's a problem in Muslim countries there's there's a lot of fear that the rulers have of kind of awakening that comes from Islam because Islam has a profound justice based element in its tradition but as far as I'm concerned I think you know overall the Muslims are doing relatively well in this country I think we have dropped the ball I think we dropped it over after 9/11 I made arguments for pre-empting this study you were in that meeting we had 15 16 years ago yeah where I made these arguments about having a getting you know a national organization and to start dealing with the anti-muslim rhetoric that's going to emerge in the coming years that's right and nobody listened to me at that time so you know Cassandra was cursed with you know seeing the future but not being listened to so it's kind of a bummer but that's the way things so in terms of what I see I see if if Donald Trump gets elected I think it could could be very problematic for the Muslims I think if Hillary gets elected Huma Abedin might end up being the chief of staff at some point so I I wouldn't say I'm hopeful I know enough about history to know how bad it can get but our religion is a religion of optimism were challenged to be optimistic and so I'm probably an optimist trapped in a pessimist body so let's hope for the best and expect the worst and Shella we as you know we're taping this on c-span and so her time is quite fixed and so I'll stop there please join me in thanking Sheikh Hamza she hums on behalf of Santa Clara University we just want to extend our deep gratitude for your presence with us and your thoughtful engagement and reflection and entering into dialogue with our community and thank you for Reid for your facilitation and also to all of you for coming today to participate and for your thoughtful engagement please join me in thinking once more our guests thank you