tv [untitled] January 10, 2011 11:30am-12:00pm EST
culture is that so much of the moment a huge visit israel a final look at the market being assisted in misuses of religion islam split on the misunderstood as the put on any more violence in the holy books of christians wealthy british style holds a spot on the tireless. markets finance scandal find out what's really happening to the global economy for a no holds barred look at the global financial headlines to name two kinds of reports on our to. download the official ante up location on the phone all i pod touch from the i choose our. lunch on life on the go.
and you can. follow along crosstalk i'm peter lavelle the uses and misuses of religion islam schooled on the misunderstood is the hold on anymore violence than the holy books of christians and jews and what can muslims do to influence global public opinion about their religion. can. you discuss the quote on i'm joined by wafa sultan in los angeles she's an author of the book a god who hates the courageous woman who inflamed the muslim world speaks out against the evils of islam and in washington we go to it but i am ramey he is the
director of the civil and human rights division of the muslim american society freedom and another member of our cross talk team yell on the hunger all right folks cross talk rules and in fact that means you can jump in anytime you want and i'd like to start with a very short disclaimer here we're talking about a very sensitive topic here and in no way shape or form does this program or i believe its panelist want to inflame any passions this is a very dispassionate discussion about important issues that is being talked about today so to start off the program i'll be a little provocative after that disclaimer i'd like to listen to two passages one from the koran and one from the holy bible the first one here from the koran. slay the idlers where ever you find them arrest them besieged them and lie in ambush everywhere for them also let's go to the passage from the holy bible i will make my arrows drunk with blood while my sword devours flesh the blood of the slain in the captives the heads of enemy leaders all right i think normal person would see both
those passages as being very well violence i think there's that's an easy way to say it so if i am if i can go to you we hear in common discourse very often that the quote on there is a text of violence of blood but you can find many equal if we find these passages about violence there to be a point we can find equal ones in other holy books but not too many people go around saying the holy bible is soaked in blood so what is the difference between the two and why this happened well i think i think the difference primarily is that we are in a historical moment where a radical and violent tendency within islam is really center stage in the global discourse that we are looking at a minority but a very clear minority of muslims that are engaged in actions that we would
consider from a quarter on a perspective or from a logical perspective to be simply not in accord with the best and the highest teachings of the faith so i think that given had to many on the christian side of the ledger if you will given the way in which islam is look at historically i think it's very easy to take those passages and conflate them into a general feeling that islam is violent and i would challenge that assertion wafa in los angeles do you just agree or disagree with it i am on that is that is there any is there in the balance here between the two go ahead yes i believe the holy war is had think problem with islam today and not with the kind of yanetta. muslims believe that is the absolute war of god and they have to follow it quoted by you would decide that if that ends between the bible and the quote on well a lot of he'll get it there's a christian they were saying that there are
a lot of christians that would say that about the bible and if we look over the past two thousand years they have done many christians have done a poor and things in the name of their prophet so i mean if you can say that there is no difference between the two i would agree i think all three of us agree there people use islam the word within the islamic community to use the code on for purposes that make any normal person i never agree to go ahead by saying by just by saying that you are trying to adjust the five what muslims doing and that's when you says same said he what could this help and the middle ages well i don't think anyone should i say only justifies the violence no one justifies violence on my program my point was is there a double standard if we look at the texts the tx the quote on and the bible and i'm not looking at history is this point i'm asking you to compare the texts but that's ok but that is not ns but that is dissidents and the way i was applying that
good an exegesis and the way it could just shows up lying the bible that is a big difference the problem today is was most times it does not was a christian ok so maybe i'm maybe not the problems with that other problems are the christians of today ok i am if i go to you when george bush when george bush wanted to invade iraq he invoked god he invoked through crusade ok i mean in every step of his presidency he invoked his christianity ok so don't tell no one can tell me that people are using christianity for very evil purposes in the twenty first century go ahead. you know it is very easy to conflate politics and race and tribalism and nationality into religion and come out with a mix that is really a toxic brew and i certainly do agree with wafa of that the world does have problems with a certain kind of fundamentalism but let's also recognize for example in the
context of the twentieth century christian nations have gone to war with each other particularly in the second world war. catholics and protestants going to war with orthodox christians in what was then the soviet union and all of them were to some extent evoking you know religious passion as a reason to do to beat back their enemies i believe that the real critical question for the twenty first century is not dissolve in islam or trying to reinterpret the koran for the nth time but rather to come up with an understanding of faith that is truly an authentically that only nonviolent but also rational and i believe also that there is no single interpretation of islam because we have multiple judicial schools multiple historical experiences as an african-american muslim my experience of islam of the koran is radically different from from that of a person in afghanistan although we refer to the same text so let's not try to mix
everything up in the same in the same toxic sense because islam is a plural reality in the same way that christianity is well if i do think that in that i think that i just go ahead by some you live in the united states they do what is your perception do you think americans in american media present islam as being one one a whole a unified thing because reflecting what you would have just said i mean it's quite diverse ok but do you think that it's the perception of this gang that alliance allowing days go ahead the underlying foundation sent. to take all side of the world. muslims you know has to believe in islam as a religion and as a state muslims are not allowed to live under the american constitution they are here eventually to replace the american constitution with islamic sharia because no one is allowed to live but and that islamic sharia ok wasn't the end warfare. any
evidence for what is the evidence do you have to make that statement that they want to take. on their head yet the evidence and their color on and it is you have to read one hundred mudslides in arabic in order to understand that the underlying foundation of islam is to take over i was all done to fly people until they believed in islam. this is what mohamed said what well that is that is. that is absolutely contrary to the reality of a person like me who is an eighth generation american whose parents are christian whose associates and friends and loved ones in many ways in many cases are christian no one has ever told me in any religious context that i've been in that the purpose of my life was to somehow overturn constitutional law and replace it
with sharia that simply isn't true and nor is it true in agreement you know your place is in the muslim world that in which muslims are way way way in which muslims or either a majority or a minority so i think you're simply taking a. chance and trying and you're right and you're trying to universalize it in a way that's not true wafa go ahead it is simply not true that's not the reality they really want in the united states of america you know not some but you're not supposed to wait for someone to tell you about this that you should do your own homework and reach your own conclusion does god does that book i have that by the way i have i mean i definitely know my own homework enrich my own and lucian and my conclusion is yes i testify that there is no god i don't know are one hundred as a possible and i live and i live in a community i live in a community and i live in a world where the kind of radically extremist anti muslim views that you articulate simply don't apply. so you mean you're not you're need you're need
to open minded to see and descend to what muslims are doing and saying not only and that it's not me companies but what i find that they exist. just listen to. this sort of men and slam it done to me you know in that it's the same conclusion that i have very i have never. i didn't wait for someone to tell me what is ok out i have lived abraham i think it's quite interesting and it was i will invoke history so i think i'll go down the same path i mean if you look at the the the muslim ottoman empire that lasted for many many centuries christians and jews survived but they didn't do so well in europe i mean if we can say that you know who wants to conquer the world christianity as the limits of all are actually just really very low it i mean it was no one really
can cheer for the tolerance of christianity but here in muslim societies even in iran there's still a jewish community it still exists. well i mean it's kind of the central question is this because theoretically you have him go ahead tell me what i have read that way wait you can you can look historically at a number of periods in which muslims and jews and people about the face of actually call existed quite well in the medina society under the treaty of medina instituted by prophet muhammad peace upon him and al on the loose now not now known as the a very in financial for seven hundred eighty seven years from seven eleven to fourteen ninety two in vast numbers of places in africa you don't see the kind of enmity and the kind of conflict that wafa is making making reference to now yes there are problems and there have been problems in terms of religious intolerance on all sides of the religious equation but having said that i think also it is also
fair to say that the highest part of the religion the most people have said it or maybe i'm going to let you finish as well as if it was actually what is really going to shortly go to a break here after a short break we'll continue our discussion on the quote on stay with our. children down see how eight thousand murders by the end of elementary school by two hundred silos of violent acts by the age of eighteen. tell me show video games show. twenty four hour news channels where she is now. every day formulate
a staple just really. takes. those while those who say you know if this think about it why this is that the truth about. artistic journalistic creature but most of the violence. but i call. in god came down from heaven and stopped oh. amen a mormon in a faith. makes the pill easier to swallow. everybody let's come. to british. markets why not. find out what's really happening to the global economy in these kinds of reports. and if you.
want to. welcome back to cross talk time period i'll remind you we're talking about the main religious text of islam. but first let's see what russians think about islam and terrorism. islam one of the world's major monotheistic religions articulated by the koran his holy book but with the rise of terrorism worldwide many now claim islam is not a religion but an ideology the russian public opinion research center also citizens if they see international terrorism being closely linked to a slam thirty nine percent of the respondents said it is not twenty five percent
believe the threat of international terrorism may be paused but religious fanatics of any religion and that the seventeen percent of those polled think a terrorism threat comes not from a slam at self but from its fundamentalist elements and only twelve percent see islam as a true reason behind international terrorism but to peter. ok but then before we went to the break you were. eluding to finishing up a point you want to finish there and i'd like to talk about. american foreign policy in the perceptions of islam go ahead. sure the point is that we want to make is that it is possible to look at very complex world history and see the worst and the best size of faith traditions and communities of faith including islam i am not in any way an apologist for evil for terrorism or for violence and i think those things do exist within islam as they have existed and do exist in other traditions
but having said that i also believe that the islam that i follow and the vast majority of people in the world follow and putting those in the united states is not an islam of. terrorism or one that is an apologist for violence or one that sees itself exclusively as a revelation that cannot co-exist with people of other faiths ok well so you made a point in the first part of the program about how there are islam by its very nature needs to take over the world desires to take over the world and that's your position and maybe other people believe that but there's one there is a fact on the ground is that for some muslims and people that in my opinion probably will misuse their own religion they will misuse their own religion because of occupation western occupation of muslim lands in the world that certainly does motivate some people the worst kind of people that abuse the tradition that muslims have so what is the it's going to the political realm right here no it does
motivate people peter go ahead you know peter i'm not to hear you know to i'm not against muslim i am against islam when you'll come up with a clear definition of for elision you'll win easily be able to prove that it's not adolescent i bet so now you don't believe in any other listen but i assume that it election is supposed to establish a spell to well the relationship between at goodison and dream pub that eventually at a flick bus at the flea on his life live and let me just let me put all of that islam has failed as it is listen. i believe system that impulse is itself by force is not an innocent i believe system that at bulis is the women
and go instead of them mentally unfit to take a charge of their own lives is not an illusion believe system that my girl manages your money life does a point that you'll come up to scratch your head without it is just odd that it's not a delusion ok what are you going to say this is where it's very interesting abraham i mean i'll try to go back to the foreign policy of this because i think it is important but while for brought up an interesting point how much in in your perception of the way least the western world looks at islam how much is that religion vs tradition because there's a lot of things will be said in the court on the tradition has been added on to it because i have very many muslim friends that say well peter that's not that's a tradition that's not in our holy book and on and on and on like driving a car or something like that it's certainly not in the code on how much of it how much is that western society in your in your opinion conflated the two tradition
and in the religious text. well just as a statement of fact i scratch my head all the time wolf and nobody needs to issue a religious religious edict about it frankly or anybody trying to take my wife's places away from where there was a major will excuse me excuse me but i'm sure that if and when anyone tried to take my wife's driver's license away from her there'd be a big hassle but but but on a more serious level i think you have to say. that you have had some horrific experiences with muslims and you know and you know i believe i'm saying this from what from what from what i'm able from what i'm able to discern about you in terms of your intellectual development and your position it's been shaped by some very bad things and there's no doubt about that and i grieve that those things will happen to people like you but that is not characteristic the n.o.a.a.
of the reality of one point six billion people in the world most of whom the great majority of whom coexist quite well with their neighbors whether their neighbors are christians or jews or or janes or sikhs or frankly atheists and agnostics ok well if you want to reply to that caught yeah of course i had some bad experiences do you know why because i lived for thirty years of my life and that stomach said yeah but you're living in a free country you kind of chose what to apply is islam and what good is it i couldn't do that if you look at any static country and tell me what do you see there nothing but positive back won't mess dictatorship when at bule with what do you see tell me why the aesthetic world is and not but um. because a lot of allies and well first of all i don't think the islamic world is in on that i think frankly i think frankly you are you are in your own opinions which you are
absolutely entitled to do but they don't necessarily become a generalization that everybody can follow if you say that you want to slime and reject the prophet muhammad and reject the law that's your right to do that but don't try to impose your you know your particular view of that on more than a million people who know most of you you would probably vehemently disagree in most cases go ahead well if you want to but i go you know i have. you know i have read. that lifeforce mohammad and arabic language was by war and i know very well how one how mad had done what he had done and his life and i you know i was start at the very end of the air that mohammad is a lot of role model to follow so if they are following they had a profit food stead and a stomach warrant and that's why women are suffering for the last fourteen hundred years you don't know women situation and any stomach done to me you don't know how
women are treated and afghanistan and pakistan and saudi arabia and syria and egypt don't you hear about how muslims are killing cops and egypt they don't know how many millions have left their own agent and islamic countries and the last fifty years you don't hear them all right ok listen what it was for thank you and what was for you brought me back to a point i brought i wanted to bring up in the early earlier in the program if i can go to you i mean if you look at the it muslims the muslim countries in the greater middle east i would agree most of them have dictators are run by dictators and almost all of them are america's friends ok so because you're proud of your pride and that's what i know and this is this is very interesting because you hear the phrase these people in islam one is against our freedoms and you know it gets just the reverse they probably would very much love to have our freedoms but they're proud they're supported by a government in washington that we want but propped up these tyrannies in the arab
world and doesn't allow people to be free doesn't allow free elections and doesn't allow development of maybe civil society in a different way whatever best way is for them ok but you know it goes there is there are geopolitical elements here and how americans in western society perceive islam in this in its geopolitics as well go ahead. yeah the geopolitical aspects of the argument are always usually pushed aside depending upon what you want to justify so for example when i led a human rights delegation to egypt a couple of years ago there was no discussion about pushing aside islam there was a great discussion however on the part of my gyptian counterparts about the fact that the united states spends nearly eight hundred. billion dollars i'm sorry eight hundred million dollars a year. in foreign aid to egypt and that that become that's the second largest foreign aid development allocation of america anywhere in the world second only to
israel the question then becomes how do we create a moral order in a world order that honors the best of religious traditions but at the same time does not allow for dictatorship and i would agree that dictatorship is wrong but that's not something that was intrinsically placed in islam because there are many examples of quite to the contrary exactly wofully what do you think about that i mean i had i knew you had to go ahead please do please do yeah mohamed was himself dictator at the age of eight i was that mohamed had these head eight hundred jewish men and one night when you're on this is still a very early age what kind of person you are going to be and the future mohamed is a lot of our own mother. you know that. that's let me out that's
a serious and very honestly very clear i haven't heard and i think a lot of progress would mean as i go into it we're almost out of time here in miami go ahead go ahead go ahead you want to reply to that go ahead. yeah i think i think that essentially wafa is an idealogue against islam which is her right i think that she has a particular interpretation of color on and then history which again is her right but let's let's establish two very basic things number one there is a. a business against islam in the world and business is booming but number two let's also recognize that there are numerable muslim advocates and practitioners that are doing very good things in the world that we shouldn't look at that as being part of our faith that we do embrace that as part of our faith and that i believe that the nonviolent and the rational and the humanitarian aspects of islam which wafa never admits to will ultimately be the.