The Middle Path: United against Poverty

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Event Name: The Middle Path: United against Poverty
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Transcription Date:Transcription Modified Date: 4/16/2019 7:29:53 PM
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interesting statement about you know

just the popular culture and how they

take you know how they dress humiliate

these young black artists by getting

black males to wear female clothes you

know there was an interview with Oprah

Winfrey that Dave Chappelle had and he

said one day he went into the his his

dressing room they had a dress on the

chair and the the writer came in and

said Dave we've got a great part for you

we want you to put on this dress you're

gonna be a prostitute ha ha in that

funny days he said I'm not you know I'm

not cool with that because he's I mean

in the end whatever you say about Dave

Chappelle he's all Muslim you know

there's I mean he's got limits right of

where he's gonna go and he said I'm not

putting on a dress and I'll come on all

the greats have done and he said well

then is hackneyed why should I do it if

all the greats have done it and then in

this clip they showed all of these films

where they had these really strong black

men dressed in dresses

you know humiliating them what is that

about why does how you would have to

humiliate people what is that about all

of these people that they they really

squelch down they

end up drug addicts and and meltdowns

you know they kill themselves really

having all these melded what is that

what kind of culture is that that that's

what they do to their most creative

people drive them to drug addiction and

to public meltdowns what that's

impoverishment these are poor people and

if you don't have compassion for poor

people you don't have any compassion but

I'm saying they're all impoverished

really the richest people to the poorest

of the poor they are impoverished

because they're culturally and

spiritually impoverished and that is the

poverty that we should be united against

but if the Muslims are going to

participate in it if we're going to

degrade our religion and turn our art

forms into pale imitations of their art

forms if that's what we have to offer we

don't have the richness of tradition

looking back into the past what did they

do what did they do that can inspire us

today to do it in our own way but we're

people of legacy we believe in legacy we

believe in things handed down and you

hand down things of worth you don't hand

down junk the prophets all the light is

sin and one of the things about him that

amazes me and everything about him

amazes me but one of the things that

I've contemplated is the fact that he

named his personal belongings and what I

realized about that in my estimation

while out on Adam is that he was

honoring goods that enhance our lives he

had a name for his comb he had is a name

for his turban he only had a handful of

things in his life if you actually took

all of the possessions that he had they

would fit into a very small box but he

named them because they were meaningful

things to him we live in a society that

gives stuff no meaning

it's not only nameless it's discarded as

fast as people buy it we have engineered

obsolescence things aren't built to last

if you want a idea because I'll be your

first customer

I have a idea like I want a shop called

till death do us part things for people

that want things that last because when

I was a kid if you bought something it

lasted I do brush leaves because my

grandfather had a cattle ranch um and we

had to go up and he would always put us

to work because he was old school and

that's what he thought you should do to

kids because because they put him to

work when he was six years old he was

selling bubble gum on Market Street in

San Francisco California in 1899 so that

was what he would do so we'd be just

pushing brooms and there'd always be a

tree at the end we could go ride a horse

or something but the brooms that I was

pushing when I was five years old they

were the same brooms I was pushing when

I was fifteen because they were built to


now you go and you buy a broom and you

do you sweep your your sidewalk three

times and it's broken and then they tell

you well it's cheaper to just buy a new

one that's what they tell you now it's

just cheaper to buy new and we have to

reject this whole culture of consumption

we have to reject it the Islamic

tradition most of the if you look now

the wealth in this country 40% of the

wealth is not an economy of goods and

services that is the old American

economy it was an economy of goods and

services you produce things you sold

things or you did things for people like

you hired a carpenter and he would do

something for you or your mechanic so

goods and services that was that now

it's financial instruments it's making

money off of money this is the economy

of America and it's an economy that

takes wealth away from the middle people

and increasingly to the upper echelon

there's a Wall Street Journal op-ed

writer who's been covering the

wealthiest people he wrote a book called

richest an richest and like Pakistan but

it's where rich people live there's some

rich people in Pakistan trust me because

if you want to talk about wealth moving

up right but he wrote a book called

richest an and what he shows in that

book he had lower richest and middle

richest an and upper richest an and then

in Upper richest an he had a pound

called billionaire Vil a population of

one thousand two hundred and thirty

people those are the people that are

billionaires they have half of the

wealth of three billion people on the

planet half eight trillion people eight

trillion dollars half of that goes to

one thousand two hundred and thirty

people and the other half goes to three

billion people you think about that the

inequity that exists today on this

planet and we're part of it and I'm

going to just tell you a few things and

I'll close out with this tell you a few

things one historically the Muslims had

something in that you know when a

merchant comes into town you don't have

to ask where they got their goods from

this is what the I had taught you

know that there's butter on Asli and if

it's if it's a halal thing to purchase

you don't that tesu lettuce arrow

inertia and took that I've come to

succumb don't ask about things if you

find out it's you know so if somebody

comes in he's a merchant you don't ask

where he got it you can buy it if it's

how loud that that's traditionally how

they viewed it in I think in in

societies where most wealth acquisition

was relatively just that's fine I

personally don't agree with that opinion

today for things that we know about and

that we're able to do something about

and the single most important thing I

think to deal with the impoverished

conditions that we're living in this

country is to begin to empower people to

take back their communities

we have to make our own clothes

stop buying clothes that were made in

sweatshops we have to really this is

what we have to do we have to

re-establish family as the central most

important unit of a society because

Islam is about preservation of family

it's one of the six fundamentals

preservation of family if you look now

in the inner cities at the

disintegration of the family because if

you take oh if you take the father out

of fatherhood if you take the father out

of motherhood if you take the father the

brother out of brotherhood and the

sister out of sisterhood what do you

have left you have that the hood that's

all you've got left that's it and people

cannot survive in those conditions they

will die Camden New Jersey Chris Hedges

wrote a whole section on his book the

Empire of illusion about about that town

they they're going to dismantle the

police force in Camden they it's they

don't have money so they're just going

to regionalize it highest crime rate in

America just leave the poor people there

there's children on the streets doesn't

matter because these are throwaway

people what has to happen and the

Muslims and I'm going to chastise here

the immigrant community I really believe

that the immigrant community made an

ethical mistake as well as the strategic

mistake in not seriously taking the

existing indigenous Muslim communities

that you find in the inner cities to

heart and recognizing that they had a

moral obligation

to help them build community centers to

help them build their mosques it is a

disgrace when Suraj WA Haj Imam Surratt

when all over this country building

mosques for the entire Muslim community

mostly immigrant community and and and

he couldn't find the money to build a

beautiful Center in Brooklyn that's a

disgrace to this community because as

far as I'm concerned the single most

important community for the Muslims in

the United States of America is in the

inner cities it is the single most

important and I'm not saying this

gratuitously I'm saying this from my

heart it's the opinion of dr. Hadid

Blankenship who I consider one of the

most brilliant Muslim scholars that we

have not just in the United States but

on the globe and he has said that to me

many times so we have to be real about

helping these communities we want to get

the best and the brightest give them

scholarships so that they can give back

we don't want the migration up right

this is what happened with the the black

middle class and upper middle class they

just moved up and they didn't pick

anybody else up with them and now

they're completely alienating you have

completely separate african-american

communities in the United States that

can't relate to each other right and the

situation is so bad in places like East

Oakland really it's so bad and it's

right next door it's right next door

we're seeing social disintegration and

we have a moral responsibility as a

Muslim community we have a moral

responsibility to serve the unders

understand lisent promised us that you

are given victory by the weakest amongst

you and he meant what I thought he meant

like poor people that's who he was

talking about and he lived amongst them

and a lot commanded him to be patient

with the poorest of people who call on

their Lord in the morning

in the evening be patient with them be

with them don't hang out with the rich

people hang out with the poor people

that's what he told them Allah told him

to be with those to elevate them lift

them up bring them up

we need to dignify poverty in this

country because poverty in this country

is a blemish it's like something's wrong

with you you're like a a moral leper is

God's God is this is Protestantism at

its worst this idea somehow that God's

grace is when you get lots of money

Matthew 19 21 quoting crisp Christian

scripture here Matthew 19 20 19 21 when

the man comes to Jesus and Jesus says go

and sell your garment and give it to the

poor right go and sell your goods and

give it to the poor and you'll have a

treasure in heaven if you want to be

perfect go and sell your material

possessions and then give it to the poor

and then and then you can get a treasure

in heaven and you follow me the

Catholics took that very seriously and

that's why in the Catholic tradition the

highest thing is to renounce wealth

that's what monks do they have a vow of

chastity poverty and obedience chastity

poverty and obedience in those Catholic

schools they were all working for free

they were working for free the prophets

Eliza shows poverty over wealth he was

given a choice to be a slave prophet or

a king prophet and he chose to be a

slave prophet he lowered his standard of

living so that other standards could be

raised up that's a challenge that's a

moral challenge for people there's a

moral challenge wealth is a dangerous


Satan no mater he said Satan Ali said

halala who he sab without on table

what's halau from well the permited is a

severe reckoning and what's Haram is a

chastisement and that's why the zoo had

they in all the books they say this the

people of zoo hood

the people that give up well cardona's

they're the most rational intelligent

people we have to lower our standards of

living really because we're living on a

planet right now that's in peril because

of all this wealth acquisition all this

greed because that's the fundamental

problem it's about bummer is just

wanting more when is enough enough you

know if you watch any program you watch

any of these animal shows you know those

animal program

I was once in West Africa with a

Egyptian American from New York and we

were in a jeep out in the middle of the

Sahara and he saw this all of these wild

animals he said man this is just like

the nature Channel

I said no the nature Channel is like

this yeah you got it wrong but if you

watch those programs when the lion gets

the zebra watch the other zebras you

watch them because they're all running

but right when that lion gets the zebra

they all stop and they go back to eating

because they know you know Harvey's gone

the lion got his lunch you know it's

over but the lion will not eat the whole

flock because the lion has a limit a

natural limit Aristotle said man is the

only one that has no natural limits in

Ellenson Alea tava our host Ivana

Shirley man goes to excess when he deems

himself wealthy when he deems himself

wealthy allies the wealthy and we are

the poor Sara Marku