March 8, 2009
Beyond Islamopohobia–Shaykh Hamza Yusuf
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
Here are my notes on Shaykh Hamza’s speech, Beyond Islamophobia.
–As a country, we are moving from destroying radical Islam to dealing with it.
–Islam needs no adjectives (i.e. wahabi Islam, salafi Islam) or modern vs. radical Islam. There is only ISLAM.
–Words are defined by how people use them:
—>Islamophobia: -phobia: means an irrational fear, so Islamophobia is having an irrational fear of Islam
—->Fear and ignorance are related
—-> When you are ignorant of something, you become a natural enemy of it.
—–>Xenophobia: irrational fear of the other (i.e. in this case, Islam)
–Everyone is Bani Adam. We are all from the family of Adam (as)
–Adam (as) came from the earth (phosphorus, carbon etc.) and the spirit is from the heaven (ruh)
–Islamophobia are from three main categories of stereotypes:
—->Racial profiling: All Arabs are Muslims or vice versa. Although Muslim Arabs make a minority.
—->Religious persecution (ex: being held up at airports just because you are a Muslim.)
—->Framing: ex. Muslim men are brutes and Muslim women are ignorant (although both are a minority and to some degree, not true)
–>Racial Profiling in the world: British starved the Irish, Catholic churches used to be set on fire.
–>Religious persecution–America was meant for tolerance of different *Christian* groups. There was no expectation of other religions. But Benjamin Franklin made an interfaith pulpit.
–>We are immigrants. ALL of us. Including Anglo Saxons.
–Muslims, after Jews, are the most intelligent religious group.
–History of the U.S. (minus Anglo Saxon Christians) required fighting for one’s civil and human rights.
–There are more Muslims in non Muslim lands than Muslims in countries with an Islamic government. (Although I personally think no Islamic state exists today.)
–Islam is too conflated with politics
—->Islam is first and foremost a path of salvation that is open to everyone.
–It is permissible to live in a non Muslim land so long as you can practice being a Muslim.
–We may disagree on politics, but we all can agree on humanity/human rights for everyone.
–Half brother of the President of the United States is a Muslim who prays.
–Obama is Arabic. Obama is a paradigm of Osama. Obama is a nickname for ‘this black guy’
–In Islam, God has a sense of humor–he makes you laugh and makes you cry. (???)
Two other main stereotypes
–Islam is violent
–Islam is against women
—->Honor killings are crimes of passion.
—->Killing is not honorable. Islam does not have this concept.
Teo qualities of the Prophet:
—->Never repay ignorance with violence
—->more violent another person becomes, more calm the Prophet (saw) becomes.
–Muslims have too much materialistic zeal.
–God loves gentleness in everything.
–We need to calm down as a community
—->Best supporters of Islam (spiritual, intelligent, etc.)
—->When building masjids, women should be kept in mind.
—->Judge men by how they treat their women.
—->You can’t judge a women’s religion by hijab. (Don’t alienate them)
—->Islam is considered the most violent religion.
—->Buddhism is viewed as the most peaceful (although like many religions, it also has some murders)
—->Most evil is done in the name of religion.
… Then he concluded his speech pretty much. Hope it was beneficial!