Reclaiming our Faith

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Event Name: Reclaiming our Faith
Transcription Date:Transcription Modified Date: 5/28/2019
Transcript Version: 1

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issues the only way this country has

dealt with the extremism is like an

emergency room situation there's no

other addressing going on and this is a

major crises now in the Muslim world I

would argue again and I tent over 10

years ago on a hard talk I talked about

the type of pressure that Muslims were

under and that it was a miracle that

they hadn't blown up yet it was obvious

to me in fact the last trip that I made

to Egypt was right before the Revolution

and I said to somebody that I was with

this place is like a powder keg it's

just gonna go off because you could feel

the pressure you could feel the stress

people are living and then unfortunately

they don't make the connections that

there was a direct relationship between

the wall street collapse and the what

happened in the in the Arab world

because as the real estate collapse

suddenly everything goes into

commodities all of the basic food

commodities shot up Muslims suddenly who

were paying 20 to 30% of their salaries

on food were now paying 50 to 60 percent

and there's a tradition on Abu Dhabi

there's another in it some of the but

it's mentioned in many of the books Abu

Dharr said I'm amazed at a man

whoo-hoo the government is not providing

a situation where he can get his daily

livelihood that he doesn't pull his

sword out and go out and and and find it

st. Thomas Aquinas in the Catholic

tradition says that a man who's starving

to death is not sinful if he breaks the

window of the bakery and takes what he

needs to eat of the door ah da da ha ha

ha whoo ha people are stressed out what

do you think about the slave labor in

Bangladesh where these people are

working in these factories look at that

and some of us are wearing the clothes

that they sewed that ethically we're

participating in this incredible global

imbalance all you have to do is look at

the news I have a picture I saved it was

on the on each times it had on one side

of the front page it had the Prince of

Wales and his wife dancing and waving

wands at each other while they were

playing a game about from they were

visiting a Harry Potter Museum and there

they were dancing and waving the wands

right next to it was a Syrian man

covered in the rubble of a bomb blast

and I'm looking at these two pictures

thinking what is wrong with this picture

this is the world that we're in this is

the global situation and I and I am

everybody know people who know me

despite what these right-wing people say

but people who know me I have never

advocated never publicly or privately

people that know me privately and

publicly I have never advocated violence

I believe that modern warfare is

completely unethical I'm opposed to it

on ethical principles if the Muslims of

the past in pre-modern times when swords

and spears were their means of fighting

if they said going against the

government was prohibited because of the

great harm that it leads to in a society

what would they say today with modern

warfare with bombs with weapons of mass

destruction what would they say about

war today Muslims were not blood crazy

they did not this whole idea somehow

that it was

violent civilization no it was an ironic

civilization that loved peace and worked

hard for peace but they were living in a

war in a world in which war was the norm

today we're living in a world in which

war is is also the norm in some places

but in the majority of places it's not

we can travel all over the world for the

first time in in human history and be

relatively safe and the areas that that

are dangerous

you'll get warnings from your embassy

about visiting those places this is

unique in human history so I would argue

that extremism is not going to go away

it's not going to go away humans are

extremists and it's not going to go away

what we have to do is work out

strategies to mitigate extremism to

pacify it in a sense to give outlets for

extreme ideas that are not destructive

we have to be able to criticize we had a

lady code pink lady who interrupted

Obama the other day she goes and she

interrupted Jesus stop the drone strikes

there eight times there are eight times

more drone strikes since Obama has been

in office than Bush eight times more all

those severe we don't even know how many

sue it they say it's less than a

thousand but we don't even know there's

no real counting going on but there have

been many civilian deaths and the drone

strikes where is the accountability but

we had this lady interview in interrupts

President Obama in his address and then

when she was taken out by the Secret

Service she was interviewed afterwards

she said they they tell me it's rude to

interrupt the president I think it's

rude to drop bombs on civilians

I mean I'm sorry that's pretty solid

logic if you asked me that's pretty

solid we can't be you know the Nazis

were gentlemen they a lot of them they

were erudite Rama was a erudite man he

was a well educated man Hitler was a


he loved dogs he loved children there's

all those nice pictures of him with

children patting their heads Goebbels

was a PhD in in philosophy these were

people that listened to Vagner and

Strauss they were educated people

erudite people but they were barbarians

and and it's not progress if the

cannibals eating with forks he's still a

cannibal so it's important for us to

look at our own extremism as a nation

because it's the pot calling the kettle

black you know this guy that hacks some

guy to death in in England recently that

is a barbarian act but it's a barbarian

act where the barbarity is why it's

clear it's it's open for everybody to

see but dropping a cluster bomb from

30,000 feet is a barbarian act it just

it all of these institutions that we

have in this country and what we need to

do is ally with the good people and try

our best to mitigate the extremists in

every group wherever they are finally

about extremism as a Muslim community I

believe there's a good deal of denial in

our community I know dr. Sherman Jackson

has has highlighted this he's one of the

few scholars in our community that has

highlighted that fact I think there's a

lot of denial I got a letter a few years

back from a Somalian American who had

gone to Somalia and he wrote me a letter

and he said I used to think that this

whole argument about extremism was a

Western fabrication but I have seen

firsthand what extremist ideas do in my

own country of origin he said it's

devastating and he said please talk more

about this problem we have extremists in

many Muslim countries now and there and

there are people that getting our get

more extreme because the circumstances

are getting more extreme we have to have

serious concern about Syria they're not

allowing Syrian refugees into a lot of

the Western countries because they're


so here's real people suffering and

traditional areas that would have given

them relief like Denmark and Sweden in

these places and the United States

they're worried and they've got pressure

from their right-wing groups to say

don't let them in because they're just

going to cause problems so we have to

realize the seriousness of this in our

community our Imams need to be much more

educated about these problems I'm

getting a message to conclude two more

points fit and the future of flip in

America v is not fiction tip is is

something that is a human attempt at

understanding what God meant one of the

great scholars of Islam even Ayman

josiya wrote a famous book a lemon moth

I mean the mortar is the one who signs

in the name of and what he said is a

Mufti is essentially acting in proxy for

the Lord of the world and so he has to

be scared he has to be careful at what

he does and what he says we have a

crisis in Fatah we have shift Google

giving fatwa Sheikh blink giving fatwa

all of these search engines now where

people get fed to us we have also too

simplistic statements being made and

public forums v is a very complicated

affair it's not something that can be

reduced to sound bytes the kalam of

Islam are subtle and they're also closer

to homeopathy than a lapa 'they that

there's not one answer for every person

homeopathy looks at the individual

Chinese medicine looks at the individual

you might have too much heat you might

have too much dampness so they'll give

you different herbs than they would give

another person like the man who asked

the mufti is it okay to smoke when I'm

praying he's he's you know making dua he

said no and then another man said is it

okay to make dua if I'm smoking he said


his student said you know what are you

doing he said well the one man he's in

dicker and he wants to go to Buffalo

so I said don't do it but the other man

he's in ruffler and he wants to go to

dicker so I said do it it's a different

understanding so it's important for us

to recognize that fit is a human project

it the Sharia is from God fit is the

human understanding of Sharia and the

Prophet we don't have a theocracy that

is an alien concept in Islam we do not

have a theocracy because humans will

always apply the rulings and the ruling

of God you never know what it is in a

certain defense in fik but it with the

ruling of God it's not the best thing to

do would be to forgive so you don't know

what the ruling of God is so you cannot

have a theocracy in Islam you can only

have a no mock recei which is a rule of

law and law is a human project we've

been given a constitution from God that

we call the Quran that the store and the

hadith these are the constitutional

principles of law and there are very few

things that are fixed in stone and say

no Omar he suspended had punishment we

know this in Amman Ramada and this is

called an Walker with toe up and this is

what sheikh abdullah bin baya says and

one of the most important things in 50

of Tankian men ought to - man ought to

freedom or not there's a process of

understanding when a ruling is

applicable and it's a no suley process

that needs trained people to do it but

one of the most important elements is

type and manat which is when a

understanding what a thing is what is

the Tozawa of a thing the situation and

then what is the appropriate ruling that

is for that situation that takes a lot

of time practice mentorship with skilled

people we've neglected our fit for too

long we have unfortunately in the Shetty

high schools throughout the Muslim world

the poorest students go to them this is

a fact and we have to deal with that

fact so we have people that do not have

the requisite skill sets to be studying

Shetty that are studying Shetty

they end up causing a lot of harm we

have a lot of problems in that so in the

United States of America we need a thick

I'm a traditionalist I'm committed to

the format tab and the fifth for the the

Jonathan school for this Nadia I'm

committed to tradition but I'm also very

aware of the necessity for two Freeland

Oh sold for actually implementing an Oh

luli understanding of the situation

understanding the Mikasa the collide the

the aims and imports of Sharia and how

we apply these principles in our given

circumstances and situations so this is

a very complicated thing and finally

last thing was how to raise children in

a digital age good luck I'm doing my


it's it's a real struggle it's a daily

struggle you know I dreamed of having

children that never saw a Disney film

hey hey hey how to you know but we're in

a new era and we don't fully understand

it there's a new book that just came out

called the new digital age I haven't

read it but he's addressing this issue

that we're in a new age and we don't

fully understand it I'm looking forward

to the discussions that are going to

take place today and I and I I'm really

grateful for the show I know that you

have very busy schedules and I know that

Los Angeles and the Greater Los Angeles

area has a lot of programs and so you've

honored us and coming out to listen to

us and hear what we have to say just

like I'm gonna fight on a poodle Cody

how to a stall fiddle bloody would have

come but he cited a missing