Islam in America: A Panel Discussion

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Event Name: Islam in America: A Panel Discussion
Transcription Date:Transcription Modified Date: 5/19/2019
Transcript Version: 1

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ey pit characterized kasnia Christian

Church the United States I responded to

the growth of this mom hasn't been any

fpm movement i know i am town birds

bottom or anything that you have some

time to time you do a lot of things

across the Jupiter rev up with the

priests but i just wanted have kind of


where there's any relationship yeah the

other one going muslim-christian dyro

muslim view is dialogue there is an

annual meeting of the American Muslim

Council and the Conference of Catholic

Bishops in Washington I have attended he

says this is now almost 30 years you

have a group of Muslims who will be lit

represent leaf from the Conference of

Catholic Bishops usually they have their

scholars and the Muslim scholars and let

the leaders of the characters you know

they're promoting is a Italian food with

dialogue in with Muslims dealing with

issues that of common interests they for

example the program of Sudan as he was

trash out very fat bonus be an objective

I mean Muslim spread presented their

position have a seat bottom and of

course the Catholics express their fears

and their concerns about letras now in

into that and you have very flat this

question 23 our meetings so

you have that way and the Conference of

Catholic Bishops arranged for the

Cardinal rinzai to come and meet with

sound emotional leaders

I'll be sure morning so you have things

like that I have been present in this

event so I know and then we have you

have Christian Muslim dialogue initiated

in various localities these are mainly

the initiatives of local Christians and

Muslims like it wasn't the secret of we

have the Interfaith conference of

washington DC you have mormons Jews

Muslims Christians from the bow tested

and Catholic denominations six and now

by eyes just join in the very entrance

and some was a very hot in there right

now I'm the president of the role in

addition so I mean later you have

avoided different booty you know they

are all these groups and then ever you

know Joe have well you have all these

different Christians know moments all of

them as who are keeps all they were

former congressman on utah working with

of this limitation something

us christian denominations president of

the chairman of the interview conference

it's a creative battling prison I mean

you have a nigga's oh yeah okay you are

having Presbyterian Church we have been

making some moves toward their local

Muslims and if without a vote when the

years ago now is almost 10 years ago

Christian Muslim together you know that

it is a whole book describing they would

they do being Christians meaning

Presbyterians about their own good

Muslims there's also there's a lot of

thinking in the country now there's

there's a lot because Christians feel a

little besieged as well by the the

secular you know the secular occurrence

and forces in the country one

interesting things was pointed out to me

by a Christian priest was that

traditionally whenever there were any

new land developments there was always a

segment set aside for a church which is

not happening or a synagogue depending

if it's a Jewish area which is not

happening anymore and what's happening

is in cities that it's all there's

running out there's no place for worship

and so a lot of people are actually

buying warehouses you know office space

and things like that but then you come

up with the zoning laws they're not

zoned because churches have a special

zoning and first is in our area we've

had this problem and and the Christian

leaders have responded in support

because there's a mosque there that is

in an industrial area and there are a

couple of the particularly one lsi logic

in particular who's been fighting this

and put a massive amount of money into

this and its cost the local mosque now

it's gone into the hundreds of thousands

of dollars for legal fees and and other

things and their argument is that it

because there's children there they're

dealing with chemicals they do doping

for it's a semiconductor plant but right

next door there's a Christian Vanguard

where they teach children like

instruments or anything that's been

functioning there for years so one of

the priests came and and set on public

TV that you know this is as far as he's

concerned it's religious discrimination

because if this was a church or a

synagogue he didn't feel it would be

happening and and the Muslims were

impressed you know the Christians came

out and helped I I personally don't

think that there's a there's enough

interaction not so much on the dialogue

no but on on more on you know trying to

to work together for mutual concerns

like youth you gang phenomenon a lot of

the violence in the communities

homelessness you know things in which

really they trans these these issues

trans and religious demarcations we're

dealing with some real basic things that

all of our traditions teach like taking

care of the needy and things like that

and I think it'd be useful to maybe

break down some of those barriers and

and there's there's obviously still a

lot of infant unfamiliarity just going

to ask you since

states on the background of Islamic

history and women were involved in

military companies how American Muslims

feel about women Muslims participating

our military well i mean what i will say

is right now there are a few muslim

woman in the military never saw guitar

it's random violence as it has a favor

Monica because Gadhafi where do you stay

over in the military that I was the

woman in the military and now the US

military has recognized Muslim chaplains

so you go out Muslim chaplains who are

now safe I either by KFC among comes

from all emo boy bahama so they Queen

and their work is like the Christian

champions or the rabbi's so the way I

will respond to the question really is

if you go by Islamic history I mean some

of the Muslim woman were not in the US

military they would say that well this

is a job for them because the army is

not a trap I'm is a voluntary am and

many of the Africa woman see the Army

has an opportunity for them to have

upward mobility and Tory good job

because you see if you gotta get out of

it and you going or you had one kid but

you keep custody with your brother and

you go into the military you can laugh

skills and many of our guns all you want

to call them after for 50 years 60 did

you come out if you know electronics and

you now begin to have you won't stop

playing under the earth TVs and radios

we need to better stay in the inner city

and you don't have anything so yeah I

mean in the eyes are many of you have

random and is applied for male and

female to extend wide oceans have all

chicken o Muslims location who suicided

military I don't know because this is

what maybe we are not working for but

what we do know is that the military has

spoken up to so many bishops water in

Denali and I usually see she will be

callable by people i factor would be

they have instead investigating Leary

said and so the true will be asking Phil

questions on decisions I think the whole

issue of women in art forms and is a

tricky right away what nervously what

happen was them because I won't have to

take quite a bit that if a man was

fighting in the field next to a woman

soldier our sources natural instincts

will either to protect him towards our

soldier if you were generally are that


that's female soldiers a weak link in

your thoughts and they'd be totally

wrong on that one but seven in my

generation certainly I think there was

not feeling that women as armed

combatants will be more handy having

help as mothers rei readers are here

we've just had all these kind of sexual

problems you know there's all this

court-martial I going on for four men

been abused there you know they use

their stare authority over people on the

other problem from Muslim point of view

again anytime any situation where a male

will be alone with a female is

completely prohibited the problem is

when you enter into the army or you're

entering the into a situation in which

you are subordinating your beliefs to

you don't join the army if you don't

believe for instance in killing people

from any reason that you don't agree

with whereas in Islamic law you cannot

find unless you have a valid Chettiar

reason you can't gamble hamid ali refuse

to enter into the armed services he lost

his title and was barred from boxing for

a few years because you know you said on

a promise to be account this is not i

don't have any problem with them you

know so and and really i think that

would be consistent with a Muslim

thorough thorough said that an educated

soldier is usually called a deserter you

know if you really know what people are

fighting about he'll tend not to I mean

the idea that the Kuwaiti war was about

defending democracy or anything I

thought I think came out as absurd to

even most Americans you know and there

was a there was a cartoon somebody do

that the Bosnian thing happened and

nobody's helping the Bosnians and one of

the Bosnians in the cartoon said you

know what we need to do is discover

loyal and then you'd have a lot of

people coming over there to defend them

right but the idea of defending the you

know the Kuwaitis or something like that

so I don't know I think it's a main

problem you know the military just in

general not just the American military

with military everywhere you know

because it gets part of a state

apparatus and we have to question what

what is being defended right what do we

defend you here are we defending the

interests of the people or are we

defending the interest of a global elite

army defending interest to burn cheap

oil I mean these are issues that you

don't want them not really dealt with it

you know any time

level and and yet people are being put

on the on the front lines and

perspective to die if called to do so

and so for me personally I think some

real very serious philosophical things i

get rid I mean I would not feel

comfortable being in any of the armies

of the world not any country in the

world right now I really would not

whether Muslim or non-muslim I would not

feel comfortable being in the Egyptian

army right because I don't think they're

defending anything honorable you know

and that's just as my own personal

belief that's not you know that's not

i'm not speaking for the Muslims I'm

just speaking for myself at that point I

just I'm very wary of modern military

apparatus you know I really am and I'm

certainly aware of this this country's

you know because I just died I don't

think that they're they're defending

well I served recently a very critical

humanitarian missions that otherwise

couldn't have provided relief so like

Somalia hit like Somalia when I think

operation provide comfort to the curs

why heartily okay part of the problem is

I mean for me Mary Kay with all with all

respect for the problem is why do we

have a Kurdish problem in the first

place it's one thing when you going /

somebody and then you start offering the

band-aids do you know I mean the

Somalian situation is is so money it's a

classic example of a cold war victim

right some writings were very important

to the Americans and there was they we

kept this petty little dictate

in power for several years right 30

years who in order to maintain his power

took introduced rise and just play them

against one another constantly divide

and conquer you learnt very well from

his masters and then when they're no

longer any significance you know to the

global one of the British used to call

the great game when they lost their

significance in the great game of global

civilizations that all of that support

was pulled up in the next new has a type

of anarchy in the country and then we go

in for the photo opportunity well I

don't mean again into the individual

campaigns them I guess it was a more

generic question because there are

Muslims serving in the military all over

the world in other countries and I just

wondered how my first felt about women

in since non Muslim women serve in our


give you have several positions seem

mentioned to you good a few having

wouldn't win again but the baby hook

Olivia some of the Muslim countries

women al-hajjaj yes sometimes only son

who support is in Egypt yes subsidies

you will not find anywhere in this

saturday i mean is eros able to traffic

as oh so many easy days a matter of

national choice and of course you have

scholars religious scholars to give them

fuck was to rationalize yeah i can't

step 4 yes because it's part of this

like in the Indian Indian football or

seven overall you have to play football

Aggies you know in reality progress on

theirs from yes you see that way anyone

communica yes now we're questions event

regarding Syria time soon it's my

pressure than emotional stereotypes in

this area are not so much these are the

Islamic that so much as error or is I

think a lot of Americans they see an

error and then think of their field

stereotypes and now we know thinking a

lot of relating to Islam's just like an

errand and i was wondering in the only

our community itself in the united

states how many are actually Muslims and

of those how many are really devout

muslims to where they're really crowds

in the heirs of this come here of

Christians yes that's a good question

for these mythical realize I'm like

Ralph Nader is probably the most famous

terror of America right and he's a

Christian yeah and then how was Africa

was a congressman another very welcome

is also Christian can they lose your

honor because if you know most people

are from there with the book the

strongness and things like this not

chasing cases Jack Johnson who is

another Krishna arab-american died about

what was really kind of Shelah then it

owns shall that us shut up on the

economic the cabinet with and these are

all appreciate before more citrusy

investment Danny Thomas was that is a

question of the guy on Nash I camera was

always dressing

Lebanese Christian martyrs just go for a

lot for a lot of Americans over the Arab

that they see does the Arab alone for

gas station especially in California are

you see around and just spend I know

they're immigrants now if are they

Iranians perhaps yeah so there's a shirt

I really semester George how much is a

Christian era also Terry Collins pursue

peaceful and I think generally the most

Americans don't even know their search

terms so I'm as a true this most

American this guy they think most of

they think era yeah I think they think

and then you'll get a whole spectrum and

there was an interesting film done

called the the Hollywood Arab what the

meaty Vieira and and the point of this

guy it goes right from the Sheik of

Araby with Rudolph Valentino when Aaron

wants a woman he just takes her that was

one of the famous lines from that film

and he was a romantic character right i

mean he was he was a romantic character

and there was a lot of women that you

know became a kind of fantasy there you

know getting seduced by the Arab Sheik

but then you get into the 70s where you

get the hook nosed the OPEC Arab right

with the form the four wives with all

wearing veils driving in the rolls-royce

obnoxious I think there was a Disney

film that caused some problems where the

Habib's were the next door neighbors to

a family and they were very obnoxious

that was a recent that's the class of

stereotype is also getting to do right I

mean the missile the aeros game

I think it's interesting but if you if

you studied prop again faces of the

enemy it's a brilliant book on

propaganda and how you know how faces

are distorted one of the things that the

National then the New Republic did

during the Gulf War is that you had a

picture of Saddam Hussein and they

literally clipped off his mustache in a

way that you would not notice right they

just clipped it off enough not to make

it look like Hitler but enough to in the

subconscious for there to kind of have

some kind of anchoring or identification

there so you think you're going to get a

lot of different type of stereotypes

going on but generally most most

Americans my own experience is that they

really do associate Arab with Muslim

right they and the word is either Muslim

Arab they worship Allah this type of

thing you you'd be surprised yeah I

think you'd be surprised California you

would be amazed I'm yes I'm really

serious because I'm there in California

I'm always amazed at you know actually

San Francisco's Southern California

think it might be a little different

maybe but you're dealing with it huh

Sesame Street has st street and the they

have worked as word association thanks

with the letters coming up and they have


danger an era they have different things

this worked out rotisserie and those not

danger and it was a male handed white

crochet looking in writing but an era

and then at book was printed recently

which meant well it was grossing so it

were to go to all the shoulders to

children include us between services as

well as well and the book was published

with about a child saying something that

was showing a drummer sometimes I wish

he'd go back home yet sometimes maybe

thanks Carrie and as lots of things that

frighten me and the part about being

pregnant depicting him like his bed with

in herriman closet this horrible scholar

one abandoned dagger between this is

really will you see this also the Asians

got the brunt of this the fu-manchu's

syndrome which is an interesting book

also the oriental menace which was how

Hollywood kind of perpetrated because

and that was at the time when China and

Japan there was a lot of problems right

and and the Asian got the brunt of a lot

of these stereotypes and they're still

dealing right the the inscrutable asian

and you know they're still dealing the

Asian community so I think every

community that comes to this country

that is not from the dominant

anglo-saxon grouping there's a wonderful

book now just came out a little while

ago call when the Irish became white

which is just letting people know that

the Irish used to be at the bottom of

the totem pole right I mean Irish people

in this country a lot of people don't

know the history of the iris and what

and what they went through to establish

their rights and their I mean even 1960

John F Kennedy that was a big debate you

know and although it was partly because

Roman Catholic but part of it was an

Irishman you know becoming president

united states was still a big shock you

know the mick syndrome and things like

that and people from the east coast

probably are more familiar with this

because of the so i think the Arabs are

just a new

ooh group the indo-pak people these are

new immigrants to this country they're

going to have to deal with the same

stuff that everybody else had to deal

with and the problem is is that we do

have Islam it's not they don't only have

their indo-pak pneus or their Arab pneus

but they have a religious because it's

not just the color that's alien the

accent is alien it's also some

subconscious problems that we're dealing

with with religion unless we forget the

the the Muslims to the European

Christian West was the evil empire for

several hundred years you know Russia

lasted you know 45 50 years the Muslims

you know children were scared to go to

bed by telling him about Turks and

things like that in Europe so that's

part of our collective consciousness is

that there is a deep-seated fear of the

Saracen the Turks at the Viennese gates

you know the the Barbary Coast from the

from the shores of Montezuma to the

halls of Tripoli I Triple E was was

Barbara they were called the Barbary

pirates who according to the Muslims

were actually the Navy right they were

the ottoman navy right so you know you

got you've got a lot of problems and I

think that you know people have if you

want to come to this country it's sink

or swim that's the nature of America you

got to deal with it hopefully that there

will always be sympathetic people that

stand up you know for you know for

what's right and there have been in this

country there have been people from the

dominant culture that have recognized

this is wrong there are people that did

stand by the Jews as they were asserting

their rights or people that stood by the

african-american and and that's all that

that has been part and parcel of art of

the American experience that there are

good people within the dominant culture

and I think Paulo Ferraris point is

well-taken that in the oppressor

oppressed cycle the cycle can really

only be broken from from

within the the oppressive group right

because the oppressed it's it's it's not

possible for them the cycle has to come

is it's our children you know that that

have two from this dominant culture that

have to we have to transmit we can break

the cycle that it is possible but it's a

human condition as well so we're going

to have a lot of problems on the way you

know and we're hoping all of you are

going to go out and help please do some

of the work you know of breaking down

the stereotypes and you know and and

educating some people