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Religious Freedom: Why now? Discussion with Robert P George

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Event Name: Religious Freedom: Why now? Discussion with Robert P George
Transcription Date:Transcription Modified Date: 5/28/2019
Transcript Version: 1


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ess that modern logic has.

And I'm not saying that flippantly, I mean, I just,

the fact that we've,

we've removed logic from tra...

Even in law school, they no longer study,

in most law schools, they don't study formal logic.

The inability to understand...

The Arabs, what I was talking about

with one of my Logical teachers, he said,

that the foundation of understanding is that is,

he said, it's first tasorl, conceptualization,

and then he said it's hookum, judgment.

And then he said, and then's it's reasoning with those,

those two, that you need those two tools

to do the third.

And then he said, but the hookum Is based on...

The ruling, the judgment about a thing,

is based on it's conceptualization.

And then he gave me this principle, (foreign language)

(foreign languag).

Which means, before you can judge a thing, you must grasp

and understand it, in all of it's understandable dimensions.

And so, this is the idea of really teaching people

how to think, defining terms,

understanding how we can reason.

I mean, this is the great gift that we've been given,

the ability to reason, arguments.

The Quran uses many arguments.

There's a book written by a great theologian,

Imam Jafer e Sadiq called (foreign language)

which means the sound standard or balance,

and he argues in there, that he refutes those

who reject the logic, saying that God himself

uses reasoning in the Quran, usually in the form

of enthymemes, right?

But they are solid logistic, in their basic structures.

All of my teachers were very committed to

a rational understanding, and the idea, like

when I taught, I taught theology last year, and we read,

we read the traditional the Kalam Cosmological Argument,

for the existence of God, which is the great contribution

of Muslim theologians.

Even now, to Western tradition, because

the primary book we use, was written by a Christian scholar

who used the Kalam Cosmological Argument,

because it's a very sophisticated form

of the traditional cosmological argument.

And so, they were really struck by that.

And when we dealt with the new atheist,

I mean, the thing that I tried to point out, was

that the new atheist, they're reasoning is so shallow,

they're not...

Nietzsche was a much better atheist,

- Oh, yeah, yeah. - than these modern...

I mean, if you've ever read Nietzsche,

Nietzsche was the only guy that ever, in my experience

in reading, I felt like he grabbed my spine,

my religious spine, and just shook it.

- Everything's gone to pot, including atheism.

It's so much better-- - Exactly, exactly.

Yeah, no, much better atheists, much better theologians.

We're now waxing nostalgic, you know, the past...

I mean, even Georgetown, look at the students.

You know, seriously, and I tell the...

I was at a college, because I teach

at a junior college, I'm teaching a class

with another teacher.

And they were asking about, you know,

oh, doesn't Saudi Arabia claim to be the only true religious

state

in the Muslim world?

And I said, well, don't you all claim to be students?

I mean, does a claim really mean anything?

(laughing)

(laughing)

I said, I know you're all smoking dope,

and doing your Gameboys.

You're not reading the books, we know,

we can tell from the tests.

(laughing)

(laughing)

- Being a Catholic, I'm not quite as strong

on my scriptures, as I should be.

But I believe, Mike Harmony can correct me, if I'm wrong,

and will, I'm sure,

that it's our common spiritual father, Abraham,

who argues with God.

He begins with a negotiation, right?

- Right, yes-- - About Sodom and Gomorrah.

But he doesn't just negotiate--

- That's in the Quran, too, by the way.

- He makes an argument. - He makes an argument.

- He essentially--

- Give me 10 righteous people.

- Well, there's the bargaining, but then, the argument is,

you wouldn't want it to be said, of the God of all creation,

that he would do an injustice. - Yes.

- You know, it's contrary to the nature of,

to the nature of,

nature of God. - We have the same argument.

- At that Regensburg

speech, which caused so much controversy,

but also then, I think, generated--

- A lot of dialog, I think he...

I actually met the Pope, because of it.

- Yeah, you were one of the 38--

- We met, and he got like completely shocked, because...

And he was very gracious, he actually

stayed on the same level as the Muslim interlocutor,

that represented the Muslim.

So he didn't, he wasn't raised on a dais.

But he came down, and greeted each one of us,

and really connected, and spent like 30 seconds.

Which is a lot of time, when you're meeting the Pope,

you know, 30 seconds. - That's right. (laughs)

- I was really struck, first of all,

by how poorly he photographs.

He actually has a very soft face, that really,

when I met him personally, it really came through.

But I told him, I said, "Listen, I have a mother-in-law

"that I've got problems with, because

"her daughter married me, and she's a Catholic.

"So I think I can solve this problem,

"if you would just pray for her".

(laughing)

- Never miss an opportunity.

- And his eyes just lit up, they really did.

And he said a prayer, in Latin, by the way.

I had four years of Latin.

He said a prayer in Latin, for her.

When I told her that, I am just like in like Flynn.

I have no problems, you know.

I've solved all of my problems.

(laughing)

So she's got, she's Mexican Catholic,

a really devout Mexican American.

But she's got a picture of me meeting the Pope,

that everybody that comes in the house,

"That's my son-in-law".

"I don't care if he's Muslim, or what".

(laughing)

(laughing)

So anyway, that--

- The thing the Pope was concerned about,

it's interesting the way the thing came up,

the faith and reason issue, directed toward

the engagement with the Muslim world,

if I'm recalling correctly.

Of course, the debate over fideism within Christianity,

is a long standing debate.

The Reformation has a lot,

a lot to do with that.

But his concern, express concern was,

that when religion is not, as he put it, purified,

that's the term he used, at least it's the translation

into English, I believe he was speaking in German,

was purified.

That unless religion is purified by reason,

it can degenerate into violence.

So that's where that, so he sees reason as...

Let aside, the merits of the argument about Islam, but

he sees reason as necessary to religion,

as part of religion, and not something apart from it,

for the sake of humane,

compassionate values, peaceful values.

- Anyways, I can agree with him, I mean,

he's absolutely right on that, yeah.

I think Asimov's remark, that violence is

the last refuge of the incompetent, and that

it's lack of reason, that leads to that inability to deal

with the problems.

And I think what's happening in the Muslim world today,

the social problems are so great.

We're talking about religious freedom, right?

Which is a serious problem.

And it is, in the Muslim world.

On a lot of different levels, like he was talking about,

intra-religious debate, because within the Muslim community

there are people that actually will deal better

with interfaith, than they will with intrafaith.

Like they'll actually be able to talk to Christians

and Jews, with respect, and mutual tolerance, and dignity.

- That's true in all religions.

- Well, I think, but it's a problem.

- It is a problem in all religions.

- It's a type of stupidity, because...

First of all, human differences, we will never agree.

You know, the Arabs, and Mutanabbi is a great Arab poet,

he said, "Man will never agree on anything, accept

"that they disagree, and death".

And then he says, "But even in death, they disagree,

"because some say, the soul dies with the body,

"and others say, the soul goes on after the body.

"So even in death, men differ".

So, you know, this idea that we can somehow construct...

And this is the Utopian fantasy, of every

ideology, that we can kind of construct society

in a uniform image.

There's nothing in nature, that's uniform.

Nature is, it's not chaotic,

but it's extremely diverse, and it has a chaotic element

in it, I mean, from our perspective.

So this idea, that we have to regiment people.

I mean, I believe in a magisterium, I do.

I think that religion does need, because of the dangers

inherent in religious belief.

Because, you know, nothing is done more heinous,

than when it's done in the name of religion.

It's very easy for good people to do evil things,

has been noted by many people, because of religion.

And so, when you're dealing with religion...

This is one of the issues with freedom of religion

in the Muslim world.

Jordan, I mean, I'm very familiar

with the situation in Jordan.

Jordan does issue a weekly

sermon, that all the Imams give in the Mosque.

And every Imam, every mosque has like a secret police,

in most of the, I would probably say, almost all

of the Muslim countries,

monitoring the Imam's statements.

Now, part of that, for me, it's deeply troubling.

I would like to see like here, I'm able to get up

and say whatever I want, in the masjid

I mean, now we have FBI monitoring some of the masjids.

Generally, I'm not gonna get,

the FBI's not gonna come and arrest me, for what I'm saying.

They might mark down, that he said some things

against the government, or whatever.

- But that would happen throughout the Arab world?

- Well, in the Arab world, if you say certain things,

and some of them, yeah, large parts of the Muslim world,

you will end up in jail the same day,

if you say certain things.

One of the things about Americans,

and I think Western people in general, is this idea of

freedom, how we define the term.

Because it's, as you know, it's a very problematic term,

especially as a legal theorist, you know

the relationship between law and freedom is a very

nebulous one.

- I've written a couple of books on that.

- Exactly, yeah.

- In fact, they're on your reading list, on your website,

for which, I thank you.

- We have one of the great

legal theorists, and you do have the

Hadley Marcus. - Hadley Marcus.

- I mean, I would love to have him up here, instead of me.

You know, this idea...

Mortimer Adler, who wrote this in topic on essays,

and they identified that University of Chicago project,

identified 102 great ideas, and freedom was one of them.

When he founded the Institute of Philosophical Research

back in the 50s, the first great idea that they decided

to do, they never got beyond it, because it took so long.

But the first idea they decided to investigate, was freedom.

And they wrote a two volume work, that I think

maybe one or two people have read, on freedom,

but it was identifying the different types of freedom.

You know, moral freedom, in this country,

we don't talk about moral freedom.

Like

the ability to be free to control your akrasias.

- St. Paul. - Exactly!

The ability to control...

We have political leaders, that lose their careers,

because they don't have moral freedom.

They're unable to freely act, they submit

to their own lower tendencies.

And so, moral freedom is just absent

from this talk about freedom.

Freedom in America becomes licentiousness,

and the idea that it's the freedom to do whatever I want,

as long as I don't hurt anybody.

That's always the nice caveat.

Not recognizing that, for instance,

in the case of pornography, we now know that there's

a great deal of statistical evidence, that indicates

that people that engage in pornography,

over long periods of time, end up in pedophilia.

They end up watching pedophilic

images,

which, as you know, anybody in a society

that wants to maintain the fabric of a society,

to hold it together, has be be deeply concerned

by evidence like that.

And just say, look, this can't just be about

what I do in the privacy of my home.

We also know that a lot of the films are made by

organized crime.

A lot of the women, that are in these films,

are actually in sexual slavery, which we have,

literally, millions of people now engaged

- all over the world. - All of this came out,

in the conference. - Exactly!

There are deep issues about this.

So when we look in the Muslim world, I understand,

and the Jordanian example,

that it used to be, that scholars were allowed to say

whatever they wanted.

This was when the great teaching institutions

of AlAzhar, of (foreign language),

of Zaytuna, that were producing these world class scholars.

In the colonial period, a lot of these institutions

broke down, their funding was absconded,

there was a lot of malfeasance, there a lot of problems

that came about.

These institutions lost their credibility.

They became part of government

control.

And so, AlAzhar went under the government.

It used to be an independent

organization, but it went under the government.

And so, you got the scholars for dollars,

the people that were, you know, under,

they were being paid by the state,

and they lost their independence, and their freedom.

But these men, and the women also,

that were involved in this, were people

that were committed to a balanced, moderate tradition,

in Islam, recognizing that social order

was extremely important.

And so, you had very responsible sermons on Friday.

What happened in the 60s, 70s, and 80s,

when you got this transition to the weekend scholars,

because of the high literacy that emerges

in the Muslim world.

And suddenly, you have people reading.

As you know,

St. Augustine wrote on Christian doctrine,

arguing that the Liberal Arts was necessary,

that you had to be a liberal artist, to read the Bible.

You have to know what a conditional sentence is,

you have to know what the subjunctive mood is,

if you're gonna read a book that purports to be from God.

If you haven't studied Grammar,

if you haven't studied rhetoric,

if you haven't studied logic, than it's very dangerous

to open up a book, believing this is from God.

Years ago, when I was, I did a rotation in an Insane Asylum,

I wasn't in there as a patient.

(laughing)

I did a rotation in an Insane Asylum, and there was this guy

he was a Manic Depressive, and he had gone,

he had a psychotic episode, because he read in the Bible,

stay awake and keep vigil.

And he took it literally.

And he stopped sleeping.

And he went into this psychotic episode.

So I was, you know, talking to him about this, and I said,

"Did you ever think that that might actually have been

"more like metaphorical, that it meant like

"stay awake, and keep vigil,

"not all the time, but just when you're awake,

"and be aware that there's danger."

And then, he said, "No, I didn't think of that".

And it was, this kind of light went off, on this poor man.

But we have people reading books,

that are very dangerous books.

I mean, the Quran is a dangerous book.

The Bible is a dangerous book, these are not easy books,

and in the wrong hands, I think, they cause

an immense amount of harm.

I mean, the metaphor that I would use,

to use an economic metaphor, we have externalities, right?

In economics, you have a company that will do something

for a primary reason, but then, it has these externalities.

Now, there's positive externalities,

and negative externalities.

So suddenly, they're polluting the river, do you know?

And then, people downstream start having birth defects.

The people want that corporation responsible

for those externalities.

Well, we tend to forget, that religion has externalities.

You know, there's toxic side effects, of religion.

And as religious people, I think we need to take

more responsibility, for the toxic externalities.

I can't, as an individual, say, "Look, I'm responsible

"for Bin Laden, and what he did".

But I have to acknowledge, that there's a strain

of thinking, within the Islamic tradition,

that is incredibly dangerous.

And if it's not marginalized, if it's not, in the same way

that we would deal with a nuclear power,

because religion is like nuclear power,

it's incredibly clean, and it's,

it will illuminate houses, at much cheaper,

and less harmful effects, than

petroleum, and other energy sources.

But, it has toxic

that waste.

And if you don't have some way of dealing with that,

then you have meltdowns.

- I've never thought of that analogy.

We do want to have some time for Q&A;, but there are two,

I want to a little lightening round with you, first, Hamza.

I don't know if David Frost every talked about

lightening rounds.

There are two issues that I--

- What's the first thing you think, when I say?

- Yeah, right.

- The poor candidates, you know.

Like, how would you describe yourself?

- Or, do you prefer deep dish, or thin crust?

Here are the questions.

One has to do with

the impact of

Islam on America.

And the other, with America on Islam.

So let's start in reverse order.

- Okay.

- That document that I referred to so frequently today,

in my prepared remarks, Dignitatis Humanae

of the Second Vatican Council.

I believe was only made possible, because of

the American experience, of religious liberty.

And the work of American thinkers, above all,

the Jesuit thinker, John Courtney Murray,

who for all I know, might have been

at Georgetown, I'm not sure.

But anyway, he was a very distinguished Jesuit thinker,

who for awhile,

was required by the Church, not to publish his work.

He could continue doing it, but the Church wasn't quite sure

about his robust conception of religion liberty,

that he was advancing.

Not quite having yet disentangled their idea

of religious liberty, from French Revolutionary ideology,

which these European prolets associated it,

not quite gotten hold of the American idea.

But Murray, in the end, prevailed, and his prevailing

wasn't the achievement of one man, it was really

the transmitting of the experience of America,

with a non-French Revolutionary version

of religious liberty.

One that was pro-religion, that was friendly to religion,

that supported religion, that enabled the church

to move from a limited, and cramped idea

of religious liberty, to the robust idea.

Is something like that...

Will the work of American Muslims, and the experience

of Muslims in America, have that impact

on Islam internationally?

- I totally believe that.

I mean, one of the most interesting things about Muslim,

Muslims in America, is that for the first time,

a lot of these immigrants, have never had to like

build a mosque, because the state does all this stuff,

where they come from.

And so, suddenly it's the idea, you know, self-reliance.

The American virtue

becomes part and parcel of the Muslim immigrant experience

in this country.

Of having to have fundraisers, and do these things.

Because in Muslim countries, it's all controlled

by the state.

And so, the state builds the mosque,

the state runs the mosque.

I mean, there's still areas where that's not totally true,

and I was in a few of them.

But, generally, that is the case.

There's an immense amount of strength, that comes

with this separation.

And I mean, my own personal experience, I really believe

that the conflation of state and religion,

is the worst thing that can happen to religion.

Because it deracinates religion of it's spiritual sources.

It really, you know, sterilizes the,

the religion, it has a horrible affect on people.

Which is why you see so many people sleeping

in these Friday sermons,

throughout the Muslim world.

And then, the passivity it creates,

because people aren't forced to have to think about things.

- Well, it hasn't done much for England,

to have an established church, in recent years.

I mean, that's certainly--

- Yeah, England, I think it's such a unique, I mean,

I think, we underestimate the impact that having

a world war on their continent had on them.

We didn't have, we lost a lot of people, my Father

was a World War II Veteran.

And he came back, fortunately.

But we lost a lot of people on the continent.

All those cities were destroyed.

I mean, people really, you know,

their faith was shaken to the core,

with World War I, and then II.

They had a devastating impact on them.

- There's not doubt about that, but it seems

that the people who were most eager to disestablish

the Church of England, are not the secularists,

and people who are hostile to religion.

- The very-- - It's the Anglican people.

Exactly, when it-- There are religious people

who think that this is--

- It's gotta stop. - They say, what you say,

that it deracinates religion, that it makes if proforma,

and so forth.

But then, shifting now to the second.

The impact of Islam on the United States.

Catholics have had a major impact on the United States,

Jews have had a major impact.

Obviously, Protestants, the original European settlers, did.

Muslims, and not just extremists.

And not just Muslims abroad, although them too.

But American Muslims do worry,

especially raising their children, about this issue

that you mentioned, of licentiousness.

- Okay.

- We don't hear a lot of...

From you we do, but we don't hear a lot from others,

about

these kinds of moral issues.

- Right.

- And I think that's probably because

as was the case with other minorities in the past,

especially recent arrivals, they are very concerned with

prejudice against them. - Right.

- With dealing with being in a new place.

With wanting to seem as though we're not outsiders,

we're not hostile, we're not dangerous.

But my hope is, and your own work

leads me to think this hope

is a reasonable one.

Is that, Muslims will join with Protestants, and Catholics,

and Jews, who are faithful,

in the moral renewal of our culture.

Is that a reasonable hope?

- First, you know, I want to just take a historical stab.

Who would say was the most influential

philosopher on the Founding Fathers?

- On the Founding Fathers? - Yeah.

- Well, it's interesting, like the standard answer

to that question, is Locke.

But when Jefferson wrote his famous letter to Henry Lee,

in 1823, near the end of his life,

he

said,

that he drew the inspiration, the content

of the Declaration of Independence, not for any one thinker,

but from, Hadley can help me here,

the standard books of political right.

And then, he listed four or five names, and then said, etc.

And they were Aristotle, Cicero,

- Yeah, great. - Sidney, Locke, etc.

- This is what's wrong with asking an academic a question,

because he was just supposed to say John Locke.

(laughing)

- Well, this is a lightening round, so it's Locke!

- Yeah, okay, so John Locke.

A lot of people don't know that John Locke

actually wanted to do Islamic studies,

and that one of his main influences, was Edward Pococke.

And the Pococke Library is in Oxford today,

with 400 Arabic manuscripts, because Pococke was his teacher

at Oxford, and Pococke had studied in Syria

for several years, and actually became a scholar,

a notable Muslim scholar.

Not a Muslim scholar, but a very good scholar of Islam.

He was a Christian when he returned.

And one of the things that he promoted, was Unitarianism,

which is why Locke converts to Unitarianism,

and he also promoted toleration, because he thought

that the Muslims had really solved the problem

of religious plurality. - This is Pococke?

- Pococke, yes.

- Locke had a more limited tolerance.

- Absolutely.

But I think the impact that he had on Locke, is real.

And so, I think the Muslims that Islamic tradition

has had an impact already, and it's an area that needs

a lot of research, and investigation,

but I think that there's room for that.

In terms of modern, the modern situation,

one of the things that's so striking,

is wherever you go now, you will see Muslims

in some of the best universities in the United States.

And I know you've got several students yourself.

A lot of them are very committed to

a moral life.

They might not be, you know, as devotional

as a really committed Muslim would be.

But they're raised in environments with, usually,

a very strong family, solid families.

The divorce rate is much lower in immigrants,

than it is in the community at large.

I think they're gonna really begin to have major impacts,

because they've just got so many advantages,

over a lot of the...

In many ways, I think we mirror a lot of the Jewish

communities experience, in the United States.

So a lot of the...

I always tell the Muslims now, like first of all,

you don't know what persecution is, so don't say

you're persecuted in America.

I mean, we've got some troubles, and we need something,

but this idea that we're a persecuted minority,

is absolutely absurd.

I think there's been some egregious mistakes made,

in law enforcement, and things, undeniably.

But overall,

it's just, it's a fallacy to say that, because

they don't know the history of this country.

And that's one of the things I try to remind people,

that every minority community that has come here,

has been bitten,

and had a difficult time.

Which is why they tended to call

the source of those stings, wasps.

Because they really saw that, as kind of,

you know, you had to assert yourself.

The Irish Catholics had to do it.

They were not part of that Anglican

Protestant community.

The Italian Americans had to do it, you know,

and they're still dealing with the territ...

And we forget, you know, the Waps, Diegos, Kikes,

Niggers, Spics, Greasers.

My Irish Great-Grandfather changes his name.

My Greek Grandfather's name was Dimitrius Uri Appolos,

and he becomes James George, right?

And he was light skinned-- - See we were related,

I knew we were related.

- He was light skinned, and he had to tell people

that he was from France.

And this is like 30s, and 40s, in America, you know.

I think, people, we've come a long way.

And I think the Muslims, and the Hindus,

and the Buddhists, now, are the new kids on the block.

They aren't part of the European...

Because the Eastern European migration to this country

was a radical change, from the past.

I mean, at the turn of the 20th Century, all of...

And a lot of the anarchists that came over,

and I mean, it's a very interesting period.

So the Muslims are, they're here,

and they're here in larger numbers.

We just had a report that was released, they did a study.

I mean, the growth in mosques in the last 20 years, is 79%.

There's now, almost 3,000 mosques.

There's more mosques here, than there are in Jordan,

if that quote today was accurate.

We now represent one of the largest minority communities

of Muslims in the world.

There are several Muslim countries,

that have smaller numbers, Mauritania is an example.

And yet, we don't have representation on the Hajj.

All of the Muslim countries have Hajj representation.

We now send more people to Hajj,

than most of the Muslim countries.

We send 17,000 people a year, to Hajj.

There's still no quotas, on Muslims to Hajj from America,

like they said, because all the the other countries

have quotas, because they can only take

about three and a half million people maximum,

and they get so many requests.

So, the Muslims, Keith Ellison is actually trying to get

some kind of representation from this community,

so that they can meet with the King, and petition, right,

the right to petition,

for the necessities of the American Hajjis.

So I personally think, there are many areas

where Muslims are going to increasingly impact the country.

I mean, for instance, what we're trying to do

in California, with the Zaytuna College,

and I'm really trying to, to get back to a kind of,

it's almost like an 18th Century, early 19th Century ideal

of a Liberal Arts college, in the United States.

Swarthmore is a good example, what you might do.

I mean, I think that you should have, just like you have

Pre-Med, you should have Pre-Law,

in a Liberal Arts college, instead of churning out these

lawyers, that have no philosophical understanding

of the real issues about law, like positivism,

and natural law theory, and really thinking deeply,

about these issues.

They end up becoming specialists, that know a little bit

about a subject, that needs to have

a generalist understanding,

if you're gonna specialize in law.

If you don't have a generalist understanding

of the philosophical underpinnings of law.

And these are ancient problems.

I mean, religious freedom, we're talking about Antigone,

is where we can argue about religious freedom

in a Liberal Arts college, if you read Antigone,

the same issues are there, when the state impinges

on the right for people to practice their religion.

As moderns, we're so arrogant in the assumption

that these are new problems, you know.

- At Cornell, West and I, in our seminars,

always begin, we have lots of different readings,

we change it in different ways, but we always begin

with The Agtigone. - Great.

- Well, okay, let's open the floor.

Yes, Professor Bradley?

- [Jerry] I'm Jerry Bradley,

from the University of Notre Dame.

That's a school in the Midwest, that was formerly

a football powerhouse.

My question has to do with Robby's favorite text,

which is Dignitatis Humanae.

And it may seem paradoxical,

after all that's been said today, and including this evening

to say that the writer, with this liberty

that's affirmed there, by the Council of Fathers,

based as Robby said, I think quite rightly,

in light of the American experience,

with freedom of religion.

Not so much specifically, I think Murray's theological

writings and arguments, but the American experience,

I think, had a lot to do with Dignitatis humanae.

But it's actually, though, a basic human right,

and a big deal, and the reason why we're here today.

Freedom of religion is actually derivative,

it's not foundational, it comes from something else.

When you look at the first part of Dignitatis humanae,

it's easy to see that the something else

is a moral duty. - Right.

- It's the moral duty to the truth,

each one is required,

to seek out the truth about matters religious,

and to adhere to that truth, which he or she finds.

And my question is to you, Shaykh Hamza, is there a

counterpart notion, parallel notion,

or something like that, in the Islamic tradition,

where you have this...

Now these are my own terms, to describe this phenomenon

and to touch, right?

You have this foundational commitment

to the truth, whatever that happens to be.

And Catholicism comes in a little bit later.

Is this overriding moral duty of each one, to what's true,

part of the tradition in Islam?

Because if it is, then you have the sort of the resources,

to develop a critical theology.

And you really have the opening, to move philosophy,

and reason, Benedict would say, into a kind of,

consortium, with the Islamic theological tradition.

- Yeah, and that's what, it's been there, I mean,

our theologians were very committed to that idea,

that faith had to be based on reason.

They were very troubled by circular reasoning,

they call it (foreign language), I mean,

we studied these things in our theological training,

that you can't argue...

The Quran has to be proven,

to be true rationally.

So there's all these books written,

making rational proofs, of why it's revelation.

There's all these, because they needed to ground it in that.

And so, I think that's foundational, to the understanding,

that you had to have faith and reason,

and that component was so important.

And also, there are many, there's no verses in the Quran

where any coercion is mentioned.

The Quran states clearly, in Chapter 18,

(foreign language)

who ever wants to believe, let him believe.

It literally says (foreign language), let him believe.

And whoever wants to disbelieve, (foreign language),

let him disbelieve.

And then, the Prophet Muhammad, it was said to him

in the Quran, can you compel people to be believers,

in the second chapter of (foreign language),

it says that, th