tv Charlie Rose WHUT July 1, 2011 11:00pm-12:00am EDT
>> rose: welcome to our program. we begin this evening, a year long journey into islam. tonight is the first of a series on one of the world's most important religions. >> islam is -- a black america, islam, advocate the eradication of the kkk, how many people would believe that islam was my motivating factor there? even if i quoted chapter and verse from the kor. very few people would be willing to say that islam is what is motivating this platform to wipe out the kkk. they would look to my storical experience as a black america and that would ex -- explain post of why i am add view cate -- advocating what i am advocating but when it comes to these muslims and mosque in yemen history, politics,
modern experience, everything is pued to the side and iam emerges as the sole, solitary possible explanation for why they could be saying what they are saying. and so i think that we need to sort of as you mentioned earlier, i mean ask some different questions. why are these people sayin this. and really mean the question when we ask it. not have a ready made answer, well that is what islam says for them to say. but why really are they saying this. >> rose: inside islam for the hour. coming up. this program was made possible by a grant from the carnegie corporation of new york. >> funding for charlie rose was provided by the following: every story needs a hero we can all root for. who beats the odds and comes out on top. but thissn't just a hollywoostoryline.
's happening every day, all across america. every time a storefront opens. or the midnight oil is burned. or when someone chases a dream, not jt a dollar. they are small business owners. so if you wanna root for a real hero, support small business. shop small. additional funding provided by these funders: captioning sponsored by rose communications from our studios in new york city, this is charlie rose. >> re: tonight we introduce a charlie rose special edition on islam it is called inside islam, because that is where we go looking for answers. et muslims speak for
themselves. islam is theorecld's'sdon largest religion. it is the world's fastest growing religion. in the year ahead we will explore its diversity and many voices. there are 1.5 billion muslims. they live in 57 different countries. they speak many different languages and belong to many different cultures. we will examine the debate about whether islam is compatible with liberal democracy. we will ask questions about political islam, its controversies and future. these issuesre increasingly the focus of the world's attention. our series began cairo egypt. i was there in the final moments of the 18 day revolution that brought down the regime of hosni mubarak. in that time, egyptians spoke to me about breaking down barriers of fear and sectianism. >> it wajust this moment ere you i realized that basicay clearly the barrier of fear that has been there for so long was broken. and i think this is one of the most significa outcomes of what we've seen happen so far regardls of, you know, how the political
situation develops. this is one thing. the second moment was when mubarak made his first speech addreing the protest that had been going on. and he was a ten minute speech. he made almost no concessions at all. hardly addressed what was going on in the streets and the demands of the people. but the interesting part was how, i was outside on the 6th of october bridge, the demonstrators were still out there. and everybody went quiet. they went to the cars, turned up the radios. and tuned in, listened to every single word of the speech. and right after started to chant that you know down, down with mubarak. it was interesting because normally egyptians don't listen the president speak. i mean they just don't think anything new will come out of it. they have lost any sense of interest. and this was a moment where i felt like they believed they had a stake in what was going to happen. and they had a role to play determining their fate n a way.
>> rose: here you have peaceful, powerful, democratic force that people can believe in. >> yes. >> rose: who believe in change and sometimes thought the only place they could find change out of desperation wasomewhere else. >> an image that is totally different from the stereotype of islamist of themselve. >> rose: exactly n the streets too. >> exactly. >> rose: ? joining forces. >> they feel now that for they are distinguishing themselves from talking about terrorist cells or whatever, and then islamist is saying yes, i'm islam. so yesterday i heard on the egyptian government tv one of those people -- the relinl us guy, islamist was saying to the reporter, i came here today following a christian girl shouting and leadin me in the march. and he's proud thatyes, i am saying that. and most of the churchs were guards with no police, with
the chaos of police, all the police are collapsing, with islamist people from the muslim brotherhood and others, not only them. but they really participated in protecting the churches. >> rose: we heard concerns that the muslim brotherhood uld hijack egypt's transition. we spoke to one of egypt's most prominent businessmen. since the revolution he foed a political party called the free egyptian party. >> bause my fear as -- my fear that the muslim brotherhood are gog to be the ones who will lead the movement and do this movement and do the coup dethat and take over like iran, you know. and what did we find out? it was the pure, brave, innovative kind, loving, intelligence youth. you know, kids from rich families. kids from the middle class.
poor guys, rich guys, everybody was in that square. half of my staff was in the square. and i was laughing. i mean i looked, i walked into my office and it was empty. people went. so it was like, you know, facebo united, the youth to ignite the revolution in egypt. >> rose: what do you worry about the most at this point. >> well, if you lk at the first interview we made together. >> rose: you and me. >> yes. you will fd me that i said that this regime has deprived the secar, the liberals, the armed people to have some political parties to represent them. so the only force that was there always prepared, organized, even militarized is the muslim brotherhood. because they were working undergund, dow understand. and because they were working underground they kept o working. and everybody was decent, secular, liberal, couldn't
work underground, were you know, didn't have the facilities a so on. so they didn't. so the force which is today even today which is organized, militarized, well-funded is the muslim brotherhood. >> rose: what is the threat of the muslim brotherhood. >> to manage the hijacking or the kidnapping of the revolution r do you think they can do that? >> i think they started to do that, you know. i think they start to do that. >> rose: you fear the muslim brotherhood. >> i am responsible what i am saying. if you took a sample on january 25 of let's say 1,000 young kids, 1,000 people from the square and on january 25. >> re: right. >> you would find that the -- would have 20% muslim brotherhood youth and 80% i will call them the free youth. the kids made us all look really bad. >> rose: people say the muslim brotherhood doesn't represent more than 10, 15 percent of the people of egypt. >> less, maybe. >> rose: so why do you think they can overtake this
revolution. >> i will tell you. an organized 10% is better than an unorganized 60%. >> re: popular unrest continues to sweep across the middle east and north africa as egypt d tunisia transition towardsemocracy, the question remains, what of the models in the muslim world r this process. many have poind to indonesia and turkey. we travel to jakarta, the pital of end knees ya, it is a busy and booming city where modernity rubbed shoulders with tradition. like egypt indonesian over through in a popular revolution 13 years ago. today the country has a vibrant and secular democracy it is an economic success story. many say that it's form of modern islam could be a model for the arab world. >> i spoke with indonesian president. what can we learn from the indonesian experience. >> indonesia is the largest muslim population in the world but we are not an
islamic state. we respect diversity through religions and multiculturism. but i have to say at -- it is not to be taken for granted. what we are doing now is the forcof moderation. islam and democracy is compatible in indonesia. that's why we want to be a model that from democracy and modernity can live together in harmony. that's our ideas and our -- on the one hand developing democracy, on the other hand, managing modate attitudes of our muslims. >> rose: is islam in indonesia different, say, than islam say in the middle east? >> well, the teachings of
islam is, of course, the same. but i would like to say there are always extremism, extremist groups. we could find that kind of groups anywhere in the world. while were maintaining our force of -- because of the neork of radicalism, we try to check those groups, not to bringing harm to others, not to -- the true teachings of islam, not committing the act of terrorism. so i could say now that islam is islam. but in reality, there are a
global networks of terrorism and radicalisms. and if i am talking about networks in indonesia, in the middle east, in southern -- in the philippine and many other places. >> rose: are they connected? >> somewhat they are having connections, one to another. that's why in dealing with radicalism in the region and combatting terrorism we need to work together. end knees ya, malaysi ya, the philippine, thailand, and of course with other countries in other regions. >> some of the people who i know look at indonesia today and say they see or they fear rise in radical terrorism. >> yes. i can see to a certain degree there is an escalation of radicalisms in many countries. probably we could see also that kind of wave that
moderatism, so it could be yes buti'm not really worried about the so-called rise of radicalism. >> rose: we also heard from indonesi -- the former medder of tempo magazi. an islamic scholar with liberal views. >> ifndonesia is successful, it will prove what to the world? >> well, it will prove that despite what people say about islam is not ready for democracy, that it is actually can work together. the cthat although we are the largest -- country in theorld, consisting of many islands, that we could live together as one nation and of course the most important is despite the paranoid of having been for more than half decade living under authoritarian re, we could ill learn to live in a democratic society. >> rose: is there a debate today within islamic
communy. >> yes, very big debate. >> rose: and tt debate is? >> tha debate is, ones that whether you can go create an islamic state through the current political democratic way, or that democracy is the enemy of islam, it's not an islamic way so you have to topple it through, you know, an undemocratic way. i think there is a dete on that. and then the second underlying debate is if we are in power, should we still be democracy. so more directly into what they callslamic wing. >> rose: and what wod be the role model for that? >> well, this is the problem. because they don't have what we call the practical example in reality. t they wou have like the
way when prophet mohammed rule or -- 1400 years ago. >> re: do most people in indonesia consid iran a success? >> only minorities. turkey is much more a mod. >> rose: and turkey is what indonesia would le to be? >> some indonesia is, the justice party look at turkey as a model. but some of the people saying that turkey is not a finished model. it's going to the right model. >> rose: there are people who think this includes the prime minister and others an argument for being in the european union is that turkey can be a bridge to the muslim world. >> yes. >> rose: can indonesia be a bridge to the muslim world. >> well, the problem with the muslim world is to --
maybe indonesia can be a bridge to some muslim society but i doubt it if it is for all muslim societies. for instance, the indonesia mainly sunni muslim, while iran is shiite. >> rose: yeah. >> so not necessar and you know the history of the sunni and -- is quite bloody. >> rose: yes. >> so mayb we could be a model for some like malaia or even brune >> rose: what is the difference in juer of islam and the islamic defen fund? >> i think the biggest difference is in how we approach the relationship between islam and the modern
and the current situation. i mean the liberal and the progressive muslim across the world, across the globe tend to see islam as a dynamic -- it's not a static it is dynamic. and the way we understand islam is that islam is not one stop religion, it -- islam is a progressive message. it can, and it's able to respond to the current situation. and that is the difference between us and the fundamentalist the radical, the extraneous and the other side. they tend to see islam as static. >> rose: tt suggests there a differee between islam in indonesia and islam in saudi arabia. >> yes, course.
so this, tt is what we lieve as a progressive muslim, that islam at the end of the day islam is coloured pretty much by the local culture as well. so isl is not, you know, a nonhistorical faith it is historical faith. it is coloured by different context where it exists. so when islam come to indonesia it should be and it is coloured by the local situation, the local culture. and we he different type of islam. i think one of the good example is how muslims here treat woman. the idea of segregation -- and doesn't exist in malase culture t doesn't exist at all. >> rose: what is the biggest misconception about islam? >> the biggest misconception is that islam and muslim society are a monolith. one society without
diversity in it. think, for example, i think ny people outsideities lamb and outside muslim world are not aware that there is something serious happing within islam society in terms of sole searching. there is a serious muslim -- and that trend, that soul-searching process that taking place in our society is not, you know, it's not known to outside world. people still see isla as, you know, a static entity it is as if islam from -- then there is turkey in the past 15 years, as a political and economic powerhouse in the region and beyond it has done this under the leadership of the prime minister. he heads the religiously
conservative justice and development party. a party won an unprecedented third term in office last month. when i went to anchor in istanbul i folk to the prime minister and foreign minister. >> what is it you want turkey to be? >> well, the answer i can give -- is i hav no aim to be a leader for the islamic world and for the regio we don't have -- we want to be a country which is mentioned lik an element of peace in the world. we are a country with a strong history. we are a nation with a strongistory. and we want turkey and the occasion of the 100th anniversary of our republic, we want to prepare our country for the future.
we want a competitive country in the world. and we say turkey is ready. the objective is 2023. >> you want to rewrite a new constitution, correct. >> this is what we need them to do. and according to the election results we are going to take the results but it will be a contribution that does not allow extremism. fundamentalism, et cetera, no way. i mean there is no way we can accept such a thing. if our party is favored, it attracts the sympathy of the people. it is n fundamentalists it is not permitting extremism. we are not extreme, right. we areot extreme left. we are right in the cente of turkish politics. we he adopd a central policy. this is our difference. some people said we are
rightist, we are not, are not leftist either. we are sitting right at the centre of turkish politics. >> rose: you have auld made the pot that you as an individual were a devout muslim, yes? and that the state would always be secular. how do you protect the secularity of a state? >> just i explained before in a democratic secular social state of law, this secular structure of the state is who is protect it. of course people will govern the state. and that's as simple as that. here the issue is the following. all groups of faith are eck which distant to all of the states, all of the delivery. as long as you gaurn tee their faith, this state will
be a healthy state. and this is the orinal structure of secularism, the government, the state should be eck which distant to all -- they are all under the protection of the state and th's what we are doing in turkey. and we have no concessions to give on that and we have not done that, whether they are muslim, chrtian, jewi, buddhist or atheist, whatever they are. >> rose: is there a move to play an expanding role i the islamic world. >> not -- in general, in the wod, yes. we are trying to increase, to expan our role in global affairs, in regional affairs. for example, we have a latin american -- we open two new embassies in latin america. and our relation with brazil is geting -- and they are not the same countries.
similarly our zero problems with our neighbors. we are -- with syria and iraq and iran as muslim neighbors but we have eight other nonmuslim neighbors, russia, ukraine, georgia, bulgaria, greece, romania, we are developing the same level of strategic relation with all these neighbors. so our foreign policy is not direct to one wrench on or group of countries. we want to have same level of intensified relations with all the countries, including muslim countries. >> rose: do you think turkey can be a model for the future as to how they might develop into a democratic, pluralstic, secular. >> of cour this is our experience. we cannot impose our experience on anyone. but other friends, or nations from the region can get lesson out of these experience. but i can tell y that
these autocratic regimes, they have three arguments to legitimize. one argument is they said they have to have an autocratic strong regime because there is a fight against israel. and they are in a situation of war. secondly, they said that if they change in the direction of democracy, a cause may come, democracy m be a cost. they turn their face to western powers a they said if we go in democracy comes, then islamic radicalism may come. but in the case of turkey, democracy did not produce chaos, and did not produce radicalism. demoacy produced stability, economic development, and a much more active foreign
policy. >> rose: then we talked to the turkish novellist and nobel laureate. he spoke about the fears that turkey is boming a more religious country today. >> politics is being handled by people who are certainly more devout from previous generation of politicians, no doubt aut that. is country becoming more devout, i can't tell. again, lifestyle in turkey or cultural texture, qualities of rkey is not radically changing. homuch of it is we are geting rich, middle classes who are more traditional and devout, has more visibility and how much of it anxiety about secularism or these parties foreign politics. it's so hard to make a distinction but i think the
country is not getting to be more regious. >> a crucial queion looking ahead will be how muslim majority democracies do israel and the palestinian question in the light of the arab spring. we will continue to monor thesdevelopments in e months ahead. many debates about islam in the 21st century are happening toda on american unersity campuses. this spring we traveled to duke university my alma mat never durham, north carolina. the ke islamic study center is one of the nation's top venues for the study of islam and islamic culte. its miion is to tch a generation of leaders who will understand islam's diversity and complexity. we met with mirrium cook, professor of asian and middle east easrn studies and an associate professor of political science. >> i think it's very important to think about islam beyond the religious boundaries. anthat is what we've ted to do her at disc.
and that is to think about the way in which islam influences choices people make in particular societies, what we try to do here was to emphasize not only religion and the humannities but also to look at the ways in which political science, so -- has been here for a number of years and political science in economics, in anthropoly, the importance ofhinking about islam when thinking about these societies. >> rose: you had something to do with thereation of , did you not? >> i did, yes. with my husband, at the end of the 90s. we put together a small group of scholars, faculty here at duke and we called it the center for the study of muslim networks.
and then along came the events of 9/11 and we realized that we had to develop it even further. that we had to reallytart to bring on more faculty. and to mainstream the study islam,rabic and the midd east. and the me that we spoke with people outside the university, the more we realized that the title th we had chosen, the name for the center, the center for the study of muslim networks was not working. because it sounded too much as though we were, you know, just interested in al qaeda and terrorist networks. >> rose: so you changed it to disc. >> we changed it and i think that also then opened it up. >> rose: the students who come here to make in their principal academic concentration, what do they
curious about? >> i think again going back to 9/11, that was definitely a radical break from the past in terms of students' intest. and their aspirations. >> rose: and their questions were what, do you think? >> they are really -- they were and increasingly have become increasingly concerned to go to these countries that would have been unthkable 15 years ago to have every year with a program that we have that's called duke engage where students become involved in service learning. >> re: so rather thago to paris they want to go to -- >> cairo, to istanl, they want to go to yemen. so these a students who are absolutely committed to wh we call service learning. and that is to working in ngos, rking with refugees.
and their as places are very different -- aspirations are very different. so that before the 21st century,he students th i had were out of the ode, nobody would ever say that they wanted to go into -- to work for cia. but now that cia, fbi, government service in the dertme of defence is, i would say, 20% of the classes are interested in that kind ofwork. >> rose: when you look at the u.s. government, for example, is there increased interest, certainly after 9/11, in reaching out to academia, saying help us understand howo communicate. >> yes, i think it an effort to rea out to academ, especially in terms of public diplomacy,
to try to get ideas. and in fact but we have to remember that government agencies work within rigid structures. and it is only so much they can really do. i mean you can meet with say the department official and you can -- the situation and this is how -- but there are, the structures of the government, they are rigid there are things you simply can to the do. and i think that remains an obstacle. >> rose: like what, what do you mean? >> well, like, for example, political islam is a major political force in the middle east and muslim world. so there was a lot of hesitation on the question of engaging, whether we should -- to the parties or not. i mean the ideas as well, the parties may be connected to terrorism and that would be a lack of understanding that political islam comes in very, diverse views. and therefore you have to do the work to say well look,
these are politic parties. your interest is primarily politics or primarily has, with the religion itself. >> well, it is about the religion and politics. i think that islam like all other religions have having interesting toay about politics, about community, and wehould listen to that message. >> but it has been to think about islam or political islam as monolithic group. gee logically, politically whereas it is a great diversity within the islamic movement, within the political parties. so therefore,my work is to see what are the possibilities for incorporating political islam in the political process to become part of the political system while at the same time, talking
frankly about some of the issues that are problematic of islam. one of them is gender this is an important one that has to be addressed. >> tell me what hopes you have. what you would like to see happen in the understanding of islam. what are your deepest and most profound hopes? >> i would hope thatslam could return to being just a relinl on. >> wl said. >> and you? >> i think i would like to see the muslim community flourish, spiritually and individually, to -- also i think we he to be realistic that muslim societies are not going to evolve to become democracies. but religion, islam is going to inform public life in one way or another. the point is how do you put restrictions on theeligion
so it does not become oppressive. >> rose: islam phobia and reform in islam are also being debated. here is the associate professor of sociology and ibrahim moosa associate professor of islamic studies an religion. what are the misunderstandings that feed islamophobia. >> some are just the visible misunderstanding that continue to harp on women's appearance and the thought that because women were the -- then they are oppressed by men that there is lack of equality. i think there's a lot of concern over, and i think this is a little bit ironic but i think there is concern over if you are a muslim you can't be an american and you can't be a democratic participant in american society. and the irony there is that a lot of muslimsho have immigrated here so that they could be a part of the democratic society, coming from places where they didn't havthat liberty. so i think that there is this he gap between what they think of muslim values and beliefs and what they think of mainstream american
value and beliefs i think that gap is mh, much smaller than the mainstream perception and just to give you one example in a recent national study t showed that most americans ranked islam second behind atheists to groups in america who don't share american values. they rank them above immigrants, above homosexuals, so in other words, there is this idea that if you are a muslim you are very different from other americans. >> and the post 9/11 anxiety on the spectrum i think has metas sized to the point that now you are hering very vocaly various people saying that islam is not a relinl on t is an idea. and the goal of muslims in america is that they want to take over this country and they want to displace and replace the constitution with the sharian, and therefore all the sharia, savnt sharia chatter that is going around, and 14 states have taken legislative action to prevent any kind of mixing betweensharia
concepts and american legal system. because that's the fear. >> rose: how many muslims are in america. >> there's huge debates over how big the population is and depending on your political stance or your religious stance you can say it is as low as 2 million. and then you've got people projecting 8 or 9 million. you know --. >> rose: in a pochlation 6300 million. >> right. >> so for me there is no definitive answer. i would best guess estimate base and figures i've seen are ybe 4 to 5 million. but what which would say is less contentious is what the demographic makeup of the population is, in terms of their ethnic ogin, in terms of their immigrant status, educational attainment. that you know regardless of the size w what we do know is what do these people look like. artheythe idea that they are mainly arabs is mpletely false, you know, they are mainly southeast asian. the idea that well they are lesser educated like some of the other muslim populations throughout the world. no because of immigration policies in the u.s. and historical forces of migration, we have a fairly
well educate add simulated population of immigrants who are increasingly becoming second genation. >> i think we all recognize that we need to have muslims be a part of the solution. not just here in the u.s. but worldwide. a month and a half ago, throughout my career someone asked me, how do we deal with islamic terrorism. and i said we need to get the west out of the picture. we need to make this about other muslims who are moderate don't want terrorists and radicalization. >> rose: why isn't that perception, and they clearly don't. >> right. >> rose: why isn't that perception taken hold that peoe understand that any acts of radical violent terroris whatever the religious affiliation of the people who committed the terrorism, is often motivated by different kinds of actions. actions and motivations. and has nothing to do -- >> i think it is the question of you know there is a narrative. and i think the narrative
frame has yet to broken in america. >> rose: and the narrative frame . >> the narrative frame is that muslims really do not belo here. or they are part of a larger global problem. they are a threat to our security. so everything feeds into that frame. >> rose: we project on to muslims that the islamic identity is the number one importanidentity for the that everything that they do from morning to night is dependent on them being muslim. >> and you're here to say. >> absolutely not it would be like saying that everything i do is because i'm dark headed or woman. i mean or christian, right. we don't say that about christians there are some christians who go to church, you know, every day there are some who never go, some go to easter. we don't assume when we know a christian that well, they are going to vote a certain way, they're going to -- so people have occupy all these different identities and the assumption that one of them is the master identity that determines all else, well, there's two big fallacys with that. one is of course it doesn't. the other is there's not an islam there are muslims who
are very liberal, muslims who are conseative, rich, poor, all these other things come together to create identities and beliefs and attitudes and behaviors. >> rose: what reform is necessary within islam, in your judgement. >> i think the reform that islam is necessary is tt muslim religious leaders need to understand the knowledge of the time. you know, for the last 200 years muslims have been using the slogan about independent reass in order to kicstart the tradition. most of the people, the reformers of the 19th and 20th century is trying to kick-start the tradition on the basis of the old knowledge. and i'm saying the only way to kick-start a tradition is to give it oxygen. >> rose: what ought to be the debate within islam? >> the problem su i don't think there is a debate. we need like the muslim eu. we need the muslim religious leaders to come together and actually have debates.
i think that --. >> rose: why isn't. >> that's not a problem of theedia or the perception, that's a problem within s it not? if you are saying they need have a debate but they're not, you know that's a responsibility from within to have a debate. >> that there is a problem. and there is a problem that some governments are hostage to the religious leaders. pakistan is a good example. saudi arabia. >> iran is a much more intense example because we have the religious leaders within the government to have the control but take north africa i think some of the most enlightening kind of intellectual work being done happens in morocco, tune ease -- ton ease ya, algeria and egypt, or will you find it in indonesia or malaysia or in sub sahharan africa. so there is an internal muslim problem that muslims need to address by themselves. it's not going to lp if it is tainted by some european assistce. that's the inside problem but muslims are not paying sufficient attention to that and i doelieve that american muslims can play
the role of a talyst. and you know what, when i do my research in india and pakistan, i find people there telling me that you know the way forward is going to be that you people in the west, you muslims living in the west, in north america and europe, you guys might be pave approximating the way. i said really, do you really want us to show you the way, we have a different economic system, different experience. said you can say whatever you want but whatever light are you going to shine on kick-starting the tradition is going to help us. we might not take everything you say. but we are too caught up in our indonesian struggles. and the other thing, charlie that we have in this country. we have possibly the most extraordinary resources, literal resources on islam and muss lim societies that no other country in the world has. e lrary at chicago, harvard's major library, princeton's library has terials an literary resources in arabi, petitionian, turkish, in
every language. we have experts that can tell y about details about practices of islam in indonesia to timbuktu. and but that knowledge that we have in our universities doesn't reach at least three audiences it doesn't reach the general american pubc. it doesn't reach themuslim community in america. and it doesn't filter into our government and policy. >> finally we brought togeer a group of scholars, muslim and nonmuslim from a variety of fields. we asked themwhat they think are are the key issues that are series on islam should engage. rash ad hussein president obama's special envoy to the organization of islamic conference, the assistant professor of religion at bot ton yooufert, john esposito is university professor of religion and international affairs at georgetown university. and an associate professor 6 arabic literature and arabi studs in corn nell, ing rid mattson from hartford sell
enary and sherman jackson from the university of michigan. the message is that essentially, than is a message that he has delivered with regard to people all around the world. and people of all faiths and no faiths. and that is that all people they have the same fundamental aspirations in life. they are worried about their jobs. they're worried about education. they're worried about taking care of their families b their health so wn we engage muslim communities around the world or talk to muslims you shouldn't immediately jump to security issues and say oh, let's start a discussion about terrorism. the engagement that we have should be broad. engagement should be comprehensive. it should recognize that muslims historically have play a pioneering role in so manyields. and they shoulde engaged in all of those fields n science and technology, education, in entrepreneurship. in so many areas. now at the same time we're very clear about the fact that there are polit ca call issues and political conflicts that have been sources of tension between
the united states and muslim communities around the world. and those are issues that we must work to resolve. just like any other political conflicts. just like any other sources of war, sources of tensions. but aswe do that. as readdresshose issues, of violent extremism, as we make it clear that that is something that islam rejects, that's something that the overwhelming body of muslims reject. at the same time, we have to make sure that the conversation is broader. >> we always keep coming back to muslims as a category. and i think to a certain extent as long as we say we're talking about muslims and th aner is invariably going to come out in terms that are religious. because what unites pakistis a egyptians and saudis and iranians, islam in some important sense, if it is islam we're focused on then we're going to see r rerx ligiosty as a more
significant factor than it otherwise might be. something that hasn't come up tay but i'm sure it will over the course of the series is gender in a me significant way. you know, you talk about everybody in mecca beingn the white pilgr, that's not what women wear. there is a tendency to think of the belver as male and to just assume that generalizations about muslim behavior apply regardless. you know, you went to a mosque in china and played with women there are places in the world where women don't go to moss,s. and that's changed in someplaces very dramatically with the rises in islamism, over the last several decades. but not everywhere. and so i think that's an important thing. >> i mean even after 9/11, very basic questio. that are still for many americans, is islam a more violent religion tha other religions. is it something about islam or something about the koran. and dealing with that. and by dealing with it, what i mean is that one s to deal with the fact that when you look at a sdript ture you have to look at the concept in which the religion arose a do it
comparatively in a program with the bible. so part of it is addressing the issue of violence but context actualing it. and therefore for example when i deal with calm-in shows and the host says to me well you know the difference is that mohammed was also a warrior well, what was joshua, so putting that there. the other is th whole question ofs islam is there something about islam that mes it anti-thetical with modernity. we he heard that question for 20 or 30 years but that is so basic becaus it plays into the issue of women t plays into the issue of if you will broader democratizatn, it plays into a whole host o issue and there there is still that very deep vein that runs in my experience, anyway, whether i'm dealing with government officials, or military orothers, the will publicly say that they don't see a lot of these problems. just like they say we don't believe it is a clash of
civilization. you get into private conversations and there's a way in which we talk about where there is a kind of islamic exceptionalism. and i think bringing that out in the program and the best way to do it is to to force your speakers or to get it into where you get comparative examples. because once you go comparative, then a major part ofour audiee which is not muslim will be able to identify, you know, with that issue. and i think the comparative approach and the historical apprch is really important. i think will be very important to underscore diversity but not necessarily to use islam as the organizing principal. maybe as you say going to different regis. maybe bringg people together who are very different experiences about what it ans to be a woman in indonesia, in morocco n russia n china. the other thing i would say is i would like to see a discussion of islam as a civilizaon as opposed to just as a religious phenomenon or relinl on.
and so for my money as it were, i would want to know a litt bit more about what came before. i think what we do is tend to see, when we ta about islam we tend to think about it as -- islam or political islam, so we look at it in its political manifestations, what the they might or might not say whether they are saying nice things or not, the reality is as you pointed out is all of u pointed out, muslims are born. they get married, they fall in love, have children, read books g to the circus. they go to the movies. you know what about that, iran has a tlifing film industry. we don't talk about that. we talk about the difficulties, you know maybe between 40 and 100 million in china what is happening with them. what are their experiences. i think if viewers can understand that it plays out as it were all over in exactly the same way it fwlis -- plays out for everyone else. your problems are my problems, then that will make the muslim individual and the group more complex for our viewers. >> we used the wd
understaing or understd a lot in ts program. if the problem is only misunderstanding. and i think we have to address the realits that there are interest groups who deliberately distort the ality who will succeed by increasing tension between musl and others. that is aery, you know, unfortunate ality. but it nds to be uncovere because if this were simply a question of lack of education or lack of exposure or maybe you know sort of distortion because the media focuses on the bad stories rather than the every day norm, i don't think we would be facing the same kind of problem that we are. but you know colin powell last year coined this phrase, the terrorism industrial complex. and there have been some stories recently about people who are rlly
profiting from giveing, you know, giving advice and consulting about how to deal with this muslim enemy. so you know, i don't think we would be able to really present the reality of what we're facing in terms of education and tryg to bring people together if we didn't address a very, you know that there is a very deliberate strategy out there to divide us. >> there is a tendency to see islam number one as being something that is passive, it's from a past era. and second, as being something that is over there. >> yes. >> and therefore all of the sort of wild imaginative stereotypes that we have about the premodn medieval past are -- about those people over there attached to islam so one of the things that i would like to see is for us to have a discussion about islam in
america, the reality of islam in america, what american muslims really represent. and i think what's important here is that, you know, if i'm talking about islam, about the phenomenon of lam, i have to talk about all kinds of things because islam is very diverse. i, however, happen to have my own view abo various insund things. i think that in conversations with me, i should be given the respect ruff bei taken at my word in terms of what i represent, as opposed to always being told that no, those people over there are doing this and therefore you must really represent that. i think that's an important discuss to have. and finally charlie i think quite frankly one of the most important conversations that muslims themselves are having and perhaps not enough, but i think there is an important discussion to be had about how modern muslims relate to islamic
history. oftentimes wt we find that scholars of the past dealing with their reality, they deal with their reality. they justify their articulations in script actual terms. we then in modern times are left with the assumptions about reality that are their assumptions about their reality being brought into our time and our space as being equally legitimate as assumptions. and so i think that what we have to do is find some way separating the historical wheat from the chaff. and giving equal important to modern and particularly modern western history, as the focal point of the intellectual, the religious, ideaological, energies of muslims who live in the west. and to have that taken as a serious representation of what islam and the world can
be. >> rose: throughout this year we will bring you more on this fascinating and complex religion and what it means to muslims and the rest of the world. we thank you for joining us this evening for the beginning of our series inside islam. we hope will you follow it on our web site, also it is charlie rose.com. see you next time. captioning sponsored by rose communications captioned by media access group at wgbh acce.wgbh.org
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