Omar Suleiman: Palestine, Gaza, Oct 7, Israel, Resistance, Faith & Islam | Lex Fridman Podcast #411

You always know when you live in Gaza That it's only a matter of time before The next bombs drop you know if you're In Gazza That you are waiting for your Death people dream about going out in The world and pursuing education people Dream about going out in the world and Pursuing Economic Opportunity in Gazza your idea of opportunity is an Opportunity to see the next year that Has been the case and so when we talk About you know this not existing in a Vacuum if people only hear about Gazza on October 7th that is that is a Major part of the problem and that is Again part of the problem of our Ignorance and our apathy right why is it That the plight of the people of Gaza is Not brought Up until an attack happens on Israel the following is a conversation With Imam Dr Omar suan his second time On the podcast he is a Palestinian American a Muslim scholar a civil rights Leader president of the yakin institute For Islamic Research and is one of the Most influential Muslims in the world Our previous conversation was focused on Islam this time the focus was on Gaza And Palestine this is Alex Freedman podcast To support it please check out our

Sponsors in the description and now dear Friends here's Omar Suan what did you think feel and pray For in the days that followed October 7th I think the First feeling was That uh there's going to be a lot of Death and destruction in Gaza as a Result right we always kind of see this Where one Israeli casualty leads to Hundreds of pales Ian casualties right So it's a pretty familiar cycle in some Ways where there are daily Transgressions against Palestinians in The West Bank and in Gaza the Checkpoints the aggression on MJ AA the settlements Expanding the stories of Palestinian Death and then you have Rockets fired From Gaza and that's when the Western Press catches up and starts to cover Israel responds with Hellfire missiles White phosphorus bombs and the Casualties are wildly Disproportionate and so I think that you Know I wasn't surprised I prayed for the People that I knew were going to Bear The Brunt of this outbreak but the outbreak Was Predictable you wrote a statement on October 9th I was hoping uh to read it If it's okay yeah go ahead our Palestinian casualties are always your

Footnotes the daily humiliation of Occupation ignored the aggression by Settlers and soldiers alike on holy Sights and Souls the annihilation of entire Families that follows the devastation of Whatever scraps remain in the open air Prison of Gaza unsustainable and Inhumane so if you're waking up to a Sudden interest in the region and want To know what's been happening dig a bit Deeper than two weeks and try to read Beyond the headlines of a media that has Been dehumanizing us for Decades again this was not surprising This was very predictable if you've been Watching what's been unfolding before October 7th 2021 Human Rights Watch puts out the Report threshold reached Israel is an Apartheid state Amnesty International 20 22 the crime of Apartheid uh showing how all of the Legal determinations of apartheid have Been reached the occupation is only Getting more aggressive sharen abaka a Palestinian-american journalist is shot Dead in 2022 in front of the world the United States says initially that if it is Shown that Israel was complicit or that Israel carried out the execution then There will be Consequences of course once it was shown

That Israel was indeed responsible for The bullet that killed Sharin abaka the United States did absolutely nothing Shireen's funeral was attacked the Powars were beaten her casket almost Fell and again the world is watching the Aggression Against worshippers in Al AKA is getting Worse you have the flag March the Jerusalem flag March where extremist Settlers are let loose and Wild on Palestinians by the thousands chanting Things like Muhammad is dead we're going To murder you Arabs all with the Protection of the state with Israeli Soldiers and throughout this time it's Like something bad is going to happen And then 2023 comes Along you had 13,000 settler Units in 2023 a plan of 13,000 settler units the Most in the hisory of the occupation the Most racist and extremist government Israeli government that you have ever Had and people don't realize that in 2023 alone over 600 Palestinians had Already been killed it just doesn't make Western headlines and so if you wonder Why the American public sees this so Much differently than the rest of the World it's because American media shows The American public something so much Different than what the rest of the World the shown and so this was a

Pressure cooker this was going to Explode it is extremely predictable You've given people absolutely no hope And so I I think that as we're watching That you know it's important for us to Actually Interrogate the Ignorance that people have of the Palestinian plight the ignorance of the Root causes of the this violence the Ignorance of the Occupation and also ask yourselves you Know why is it that Israel can violate Every single international law on the Books have all these determinations and The United States keeps on issuing these Inconsequential statements while also at The same time funding these aggressions So it's like stop the settler violence The United States will issue statement After statement stop the settler Violence stop the incursions on Masjid AA stop violating the people in Jerusalem stop trying to wipe out the Palestinian people stop openly saying You know that there is no two-state Solution that we will never allow a Palestinian state to be established but At the same time here's your $3 billion Check and uh if the United Nations Issues any sort of resolution against Israel or if any International body Tries to hold Israel accountable the United States stands in the way of any

Accountability it's important for us to Ask why and so I always tell people read Beyond the headlines even now with the Backdrop of a genocide over 30,000 People have been killed if you open the Front page of most American mainstream Sites you will see stories about the Hostages the Israeli hostages you will See stories about October 7th but October 8th is missing October 9th is Missing October 10th is Miss missing 100 Days of genocide are missing and you'll Barely have a story that shows up every Once in a while that you know is still Very much so controlled by the Israeli Propaganda machine because while Israel Kills Palestinian journalists it also Makes sure that American journalists are Only able to tell a certain story They're only able to see Gaza from a Certain perspective they're only able to Speak about Gaza from a certain Perspective and this is well documented That they have to review their media Tapes with Israel before they can Publicize them and so this is State Propaganda at this point the mainstream Media and the United States government Are in lock up telling a very skewed Story and that is leading to a greater Sense of frustration and I think the American public has been wronged as well By not knowing what's happening so you Mentioned settlements so to you this is

Bigger than Gaza it is the West Bank it Is the the Palestinian people broadly Absolutely you can't disconnect Gaza From Palestine you can't disconnect the West Bank from Palestine you can't Disconnect Jerusalem from Palestine and You can't disconnect a very human story From the political plight you Interviewed Muhammad Kur you met him What did the world do when it saw the Images of the CED household being taken Over by a guy from Brooklyn or Long Island who just shows up and lays claim To their home what did the world do when American Settlers suddenly decided they could Walk into historic Palestinian homes and Throw people out of their homes what did The world do and so yes this is very Much so connected to the broader issue Of Palestinian existence if you realize Here we are erased in peace and we are Erased in war In peace it's the Abraham Accords agreements between Israel and Its Arab Neighbors which is supposedly To solve the Palestinian problem but Palestinians are absent from their own Fate from discussions about their own Fate in war it's the Israel Hamas War It's Israel and Gaza where are the Palestinian people the millions of Palestinian people that have either been Removed from their land or are being

Tormented on their land where are they In this discussion what are the Palestinians in the diaspora Feeling I think deeply Frustrated a great sense of anger Sadness every single Palestinian right Now knows someone that's been killed Every single Palestinian is a part of a Story of displacement or destruction Every single Palestinian has a relative That's either e missing a limb or a Loved one every single Palestinian in The world is traumatized by This and in some ways being Outside of Palestine being away from it All hurts even more because you see your People being Killed and starved and brutalized and Slaughtered and you can't do anything About it and the people around you are Justifying that Slaughter if you turn on A TV or if you open a mainstream news Site these sites are justifying your Slaughter and people are being killed Over there because they look like me Because they're Palestinian like I'm Palestinian and so we're watching this In diaspora uh with Agony we can't go we Can't we can't heal our loved ones we Can't Comfort the people that are there I recently spoke to a doctor who's lost 75 relatives 75 relatives and Gaza and He's a medical doctor and all he wants To do is get in there and just use his

Medical expertise to help his people and He Can't and so we're watching it from afar But our hearts are there they are in the Buildings that are being destroyed They're in the hospitals that are being Bombed they are there and they are with The People you're somebody who's always Rushed into the midst of a crisis so What does it feel like on a personal Level to not be able to do that here to Go to Gaza to Help yeah It's it's really hard I mean when any Group of people are Killed Uh my instinct and I think a lot of People is to go there to help whether It's a natural disaster or especially After an incident of Terror um wherever It is right it's Rush there and do the best that you can To help people get through it um so it's Been extremely hard uh to watch this From afar and feel like I can't do Anything about it and so that's why Instead I think that uh most of us are Driven to continue to be the voice of The voiceless you know I always say that If they've made them faceless they can't Make us Voiceless they have reduced our Casualties in pal

To a number the number is Hundreds a day over 30,000 people we're Averaging 10,000 people a month the fact That they've been turned into faceless Numbers with no stories with no Humanity Makes it that much more important for us To tell their stories here and to remind The world that you've lost your Humanity If you can watch this unfold and not Even have the decency to call for a Ceasefire I mean that's the that's where we've Reached that's how low it is right now Calling for a Ceasefire has now become radical uh so We have to remind the world that if You're okay with the Demolition of an Entire town or a city or whatever it is That you want to call Gaza because it Wasn't always the Gaza Strip but if You're okay with this and you're okay With this casualty count every single Day it's not just them who are being Killed it's your hearts that are dying And I think that when I look back to Dr Martin Luther King Jr and I I mentioned This he wrote about Vietnam he said that If America was to succumb to uh its Spiritual death the autopsy would read Vietnam I would say that it would read Gaza Now speaking of the people the faces the Voices one of the people you've talked About you've posted about you've written

About is while him being Hospitalized he's a Palestinian Journalist and the bureau chief of Al Jazer and Gaza City what can you tell me About this man if W wasn't Palestinian He'd be on the cover of Time Magazine Right now he would be the most Celebrated journalist in the [Music] World is from Gaza he has been in Israeli prisons he has been under Israeli air strikes he has seen the Worst of the occupation before he seen The worst of the genocide While on TV I mean and this is this is Insane when you think about it we have Over a hundred journalists now right That's more than any conflict in history That have been killed and there is Sufficient evidence by International uh Watchdogs that this is intentional that Journalists have been killed Intentionally but then their families While it was reporting on TV when an air Strike hits his Wife two kids and a Grandchild He goes to the scene and he said this You know you never expect as a Journalist to be the subject of the Story suddenly the camera is on him Mourning over his dead wife and kids and Grandkid and he's saying he even says it In Arabic he says they're taking it out

On our children they're taking it out on Our Children uh you know I've heard this From multiple people that have had Relatives targeted that I wish it was me Instead He gets back on camera the same day Because he feels a responsibility to Continue to cover the lives of the People of Gaza he understands that his Story as devastating as it is is not Unique in regards to the people of Gazza That there are many people whose Families have been killed in air strikes All two million people have been Traumatized in some way and so he gets Back on camera tells the story again and And then he is targeted Himself uh his arm struck his cameraman Sam dies in front of him he bleeds out D Watches him bleed out for hours and While any Aid workers try to reach them In the building that they were in uh Snipers would shoot all of those that Were rushing to Sam so he watches his Cameraman one of his best friends bleed Out to death while goes to the hospital Hospital his arm is wrapped up gets Treatment he's back on camera the next Day a few weeks later uh another child Is killed again with his Friend uh in a car so this was a Targeted air strike his son is Driving and his son and his best friend

Are hitting an air strike while it leads The funeral prayer is back on camera Again and speaks with such dignity with Such compassion you know one of the Things That always gets to me as as a Palestinian right and as a Muslim Too is that we are portrayed to be these Beasts and Savages tell me a man that Would be put through what wild was put Through and still stand on that on that Pulpit and in front of the world with Such dignity with such Grace continues To tell the story W has become a hero to Many of us And he would be a hero in a World that wasn't anti- Palestinian and Unfortunately has not only lost his Family he's not only lost much of his Own existence but well is part of the Greater story of eraser so even though He's telling the story of the people of Gaza and he is the story of the people Of Gaza most people will never learn about W You have posted videos and written about What is happening in Gaza since October 7th what has been happening there the Individual stories and the broader Impact on the 2 million people there Gaza has been described as the world's Largest open air prison unemployment

Blockaded from all directions no Airport um Regular added restrictions Placed even on their ability to fish So every aspect ofin life has been under Occupation I would argue that it's an Injustice to even call it an open air Prison Because inmates are not bombed in prison Routinely by the most sophisticated Weapons in the world regular bombardment Of Gazza every single person in razza Has lived through multiple rounds of Bombardment it is deeply uh Distressing you know I I remember in uh 2021 there was an Image that I will never forget of Children having to go back to school After the bombardment of 2021 And next to them they would have the Empty chairs and the posters of the Child that used to sit in that Chair I think what encapsulates it most For Me and image that I grew up with was the Image of Muhammad dur who was in his Father's lap over 20 years ago and his Father was begging for Israel to spare His child and Muhammad was murdered in His Lap and you know what happened this last Round his other kids were murdered so Muhammad's brothers were murdered and His father's been on the run every

Single person in Gaza has witnessed Multiple Wars has witnessed the the Greatest Suffocation of Occupation has even had their diets Restricted and has suffered under Israel State policy which is called mowing the Lawn and everyone should look this up This is what Israeli ministers refer to As routine bombardment of Gazza mowing The Lawn which shows you that before they Called us animals they considered us Insects and unfortunately the casualty Counts get higher and higher every time And people become more and more Desperate more and more helpless Gazza has been unfortunately the worst Manifestation of anti- Palestinian Bigotry it's already I mean 60% of the Population is a refugee population what That means and people do need to Understand this is that people move to Gazza from other parts of occupied Territory to find Refuge and we're practically living on Top of each Other there are people that that are in The gazda strip that know that they had Homes right beyond that apartheid wall And those homes were stolen from them And they can't even enter that territory Anymore and they know that on the other Side of that wall there's life on the Other side of that wall there's

Opportunity on the other side of that Wall you have a passport you have an Airport you have the ability to travel You have the ability to export and Import you can dream but behind that Wall you are are to live until the next Air strike you are to live until Israel Mows the lawn again and hope that you're Not part of the grass that's what Gazza Has been all of these years so Pragmatically and psychologically it is Very difficult to Flourish when you're just waiting for More bombardment cuz you know that it's Around the corner you always know when You live in Gazza that it's only a Matter of time before the next bombs Drop you know if you're in Gaza That you are waiting for your Death people dream about going out in The world and pursuing education people Dream about going out in the world and Pursuing Economic Opportunity in Gazza your idea of opportunity is an Opportunity to see the next year that Has been the case and so when we talk About you know this not existing in a Vacuum if people only hear about Gazza on October 7th that is that is a Major part of the problem and that is Again part of the problem of our Ignorance and our apathy right why is it That the plight of the people of Gazza

Is not brought Up until an attack happens on Israel I've gotten a chance to witness a Destroyed School in Ukraine it's something That is really difficult to see yeah Have over 100 destroyed Mosques every University in Gaza has Been demolished we're seeing Tik Tock Videos of Israeli soldiers laughing and Singing as they press a button and we See the demolition of every single University in Gaza schools have been Reduced to Rubble there's a cultural Genocide as well I want you to think About what you saw in Ukraine look Imagine coming back to school in Gaza And some destroyed building you're Missing legs you're missing arms you Have white phosphorus Burns have you Ever seen what white phosphorus does to A person there's a reason why it's a war Crime you have white phosphorus burns Your mom's dead your dad's dead all of Your uncles and aunts are dead all of Your siblings are dead somehow you got Pulled out of the Rebel you know in my own family my Father's in-laws my father remarried After my mother passed away um and They're in Gaza all all of them were killed in an Air strike except for an elderly Aunt Who somehow made it out of the Rebel a

Day later if you're a child that's been Pulled out of the Rebel what are you Going to grow up with I mean what are You supposed to feel what are you Supposed to Think and then you have you Know racist commentators that say they Could have turned that into a Singapore You know the Palestinians are the Authors of their own destruction Because if they wanted to they could Have turned this into a place of Prosperity but they keep on bringing Destruction upon themselves so at the Root of this is a bigotry and again this Idea that uh Palestinians are savages They're animals and the only way to deal With them is to continuously mow the Lawn while simultaneously expanding the Occupation and erasing anything that was Ever called Palestine and any human Being that was ever called the Palestinian So those kids growing up in Gaza now to You they have almost no choice but to Have Hatred for Israel it's Human I mean look any Child that is under that type of Oppression is going to hate their Oppressor I don't care who you are I Don't care what you are but here's my Problem with how that gets brought

Up you're talking about the future of The security of Israel even some people That speak about it uh seemingly from a Place of being well-meaning that say the Only way that Israel can have its Security is to stop killing Palestinians And so the future of Israel depends upon Palestinians not hating Israel so much And so we've got to stop tormenting These people so that they don't grow up To want to torment us you've already Decided then whose life is worth more Than the other and so instead of talking About the future Of Israeli Lives why don't you talk About the present of Palestinian lives Instead of talking about whether or not Your state will be secure in the Future talk to me about why you're Killing children now 2third of the 30,000 civilians are women and children And so uh we can't talk about what these Children are going to grow up with we Should talk about whether or not these Children are going to grow up in the First place and that should be what Dominates our conscience right now and What drives our policies and what drives Our emotions right now so when I had a Conversation with Elam musk he Suggested that what Israel should do is Conspicuous acts of Kindness so do as much Positive things in Gaza as possible on a

Basic individual human level and at a Policy level at every level what do you Think about that I mean you don't pass Out candy in a concentration camp you End the Occupation and so there has to be a Solution that is beyond merely acts of Kindness at the end of the day if you're Occupying a People you have to remove that Occupation a paride is not dealt with by Acts of kindness on the part of the Occupying power apartheid is dealt with By ending a parthe and so there has to Be a level of accountability it's not Just acts of kindness it's not just uh Treating the people with more dignity It's giving them the ability to pursue Their own dignity there's a reason why It's called Palestinian Self-determination the United States Likes to use it in all of its Inconsequential statements that we need Palestinian self-determination too but The United States also voted against 138 States in the United Nations to allow For Palestinian Self-determination uh self-determination Means I get to pursue my own course of Worth I get to pursue my own happiness I Don't have to depend on the benevolence Of my occupier and when my occupier Feels like you know throwing me a few More crumbs it has to end there has to

Be a point now where the world says this Is not sustainable it's not just about Ending the present genocide a ceasefire Is the bare minimum I think any decent Human being would be calling for a Ceasefire right now but at some point You cease occupation you cease apartheid Because what led to the ability Of Israel to carry out a genocide Without any Accountability was that the global Arena Has permitted it to do so largely due to American obstruction of Justice is violence an effective Method of resistance so the framework That I would propose is That Dr King mentioned that peace is not The absence Of violence it's the presence of Justice and so occupation and apartheid Are violence even in their most Benevolent Manifestations the default of occupation Is that it is unjustified the default of Apartheid is that it is unjustified and It must be dealt with the default of Resistance to occupation and apartheid Is that it is Justified but there can be Transgressions even resisting occupation And apartheid right and and I come to This from an Islamic perspective my Moral framework is Islam the prophet Muhammad peace be upon Him was outraged when he saw uh a woman

Or a child that was dead from the other Side the side of his Persecutors and so yes you know we have A saying as Muslims that they are not Our teachers our oppressors are not our Teachers but the concept of resistance To Occupation it is morally Justified it is Justified by international law any Occupied people have the right to defend Themselves we talk about Israel's right To defend itself Israel is the occupier Any occupied people by international law Have the right to defend Themselves uh and any occupation is Unjustified and illegal and so that's Where I start from that's the point that I come to this with I think that the Problem is is that the Palestinians are Told find better ways to resist and then They are Demonized when they try to find any Other way to resist you know if you go Back a few years ago you had the great Return March people in Gaza marched to The wall in what was one of the most Inspiring protests or Demonstrations that I had ever seen March to the wall nonviolent Protest and snipers took out their legs AP actually Documented that Israeli snipers had knee Counts where you had an Israeli soldier That would say I took out 45 knees they

Actually had a register a scroll of KNE Counts and so you have all these kids in Gaza walking around without legs now Because they were targeted by snipers When they marched to the wall we're told To find methods of nonviolent resistance But when we boycott when we Bunch you Know boycotts around the world in Response to this transgression in Response to this ongoing oppression that The world powers have shown either the Inability or the unwillingness to reign In we're told that that's anti-semitic Even though it is based on the South African method of bringing an end to the Apartheid regime there so uh don't Respond with violence don't respond Non-violently don't protest uh don't try To use people power in the face of Global impotence at the political level Instead let's just keep talking about The two-state solution and while talking About the two-state solution if you were To look at a Map under every single Israeli Regime conservative or liberal whatever It is the settlements have expanded more Palestinian land has disappeared more Palestinians have been dispossessed more Palestinians have been killed and so we Have these little pieces of land that Keep on Shrinking and Jerusalem keeps Disappearing and there's aggression

Whether Palestinians are resisting or Not but then we're told why can't you People just pursue peace why can't you Just believe in a better way all along We're hearing Israeli ministers become Far more radical and uh open about their Intentions to wipe us off the face of The Earth and that is actually their Policy it's not just slogans it's not Fringe elements actual Israeli Minister Starting from the Prime Minister himself Who has executed a policy of the removal Of all Palestinian lands and Palestinian Lives and then we're told peace peace Peace peace and it is awfully ugly when You use the language of peace to Suffocate the work of Justice you know Dr Martin Luther King Jr one of his Early sermons was something along the Lines of when peace is obnoxious when Peace is obnoxious it was in the 1950s around the m monery uh bus boycott And he talked about how this obsession With the language of peace is usually Used to try to uh keep people in status Quo and make them complacent with their Miserable situation that has been the Story of the Palestinian people that They've been told that if you do things Differently then you will find peace but Everything the Palestinians have tried Inside and outside has been met with Repression the most violent forms of it They in Gaza and Beyond and so look I I

Start from the place of wanting to see Peace I want to see a situation in which No innocent people lose their Lives but we have to analyze the Situation with some justice with some Fairness what would any group of people Do in this situation that doesn't mean That you hope for hell that means that You analyze the existing circumstances Of Hell which was life in Gaza even Before October 7th that said you did Talk about wild lak duuk and Dignity and you mentioned Transgressions so there is places where Violence can go too far absolutely so Violence again the point is is that you You ask yourself why we've been silent About the violence all of this time and You know what when people say well what About this what about that my response Is this what I would love to see is Effective International bodies of Justice being able to reign in any party That has committed an act of aggression Or committed an act of Injustice and Hold them accountable any reasonable Human being would say yeah you know what There should be effective International Bodies that can reign in parties that Can't be reigned in domestically that Could stop the violence that could Assign blame properly and then have Methods of accountability the problem is Is that Israel has been made Invincible

In the international Arena because of The United States and then we wonder why There's such a rise in global Anti-American sentiment it's not because Of American Freedom it's because America Is directly participating the United States government is directly Participating in the worst genocide that We have ever seen in our lives right Playing out on Screen you know on social media and we Can't do anything about it so I think That the point is is that we need those International bodies we need methods of Effective accountability and I would Love to see blame properly assigned and Anyone that kills any innocent human Being take into account anyone that is Guilty of a war crime Tak to account we Have to ask ourselves why is it that Israel has violated over 63 United Nations resolutions has expanded its Occupation has killed over 600 Palestinians before October 7th why is It that Israel cannot be held Accountable and so when you talk about You know words that get thrown around um You know that that are used to justify Violence against more innocent People you know when I'm asked about uh Terrorism is it only terrorism if it's a Non-state actor If someone's sitting inside a room you Know of suits and can press a button and

Terrorize thousands of people and murder Innocent people with no Consequences how is that not terrorism So if terrorism is only to be assigned To non-state actors then it's a word Without function in fact it's a word That justifies more terror that is then Rained upon innocent populations we have To have moral consistency children Should not be killed not non combatant Should not be targeted we can all agree Upon that why aren't there proper Investigative bodies and then proper International bodies of accountability Then that can execute their findings in A way that makes the world a better Place in a way that actually brings About more peace and so you know I think This is where we're at right now And this is the frustration and this is The the place that the Palestinians have Been left so to you violence becomes Terrorism when men women and children Non-combatants are killed no matter who Is doing the killing Absolutely Absolutely in America for you For other Palestinians other Muslims in Your community what has all of this been Like it feels like there's a uh a return To some of the days uh after 9/11 the Dehumanization the feeling of complete Disregard for our Humanity at the level

Of government at the level of Media feeling of an increase in Surveillance the feeling of an increase In Bigotry um people are losing their Jobs uh and people are being uh Bered on campuses and grocery stores and People are being killed You know I went to the funeral of a Six-year-old boy who was killed directly Due to anti-palestinian Propaganda and so I think that a lot of Us are feeling a return to that but we Also uh refuse to be cornered into a Position where we are told to Perpetually condemn acts of violence and Not speak about the violence that's Committed against us here Abroad can you tell the story of this Boy why Alpha He's a 6-year-old Palestinian American Boy who was stabbed 26 times in his home In planfield Township Illinois it was Found to be a hate crime motivated by Islamophobia and Um the Attacker said you Muslims must Die so before W was killed W was killed On a Saturday it was um the immediate Saturday after October 7th I remember on Friday uh media starts to reach out to Every Imam in the country every Muslim Leader in the country and say what are You going to do about this Global day of

Jihad what are you going to do about the Global day of jihad it's like what are You talking about it's like well Hamas Has called for a global day of jihad so How are you going to stop Muslims from Attacking people right so it's Friday And I'm like well this is the first I'm Hearing from you and I I remember resp Responding to a local reporter most People I just ignored I responded to a Local reporter I said I've got people in My community that have already lost 10 15 relatives at that point now it's 2030 and you haven't said a word and now You're reaching out to me about the Potential violence of Muslims in America This is great this is just like 9911 Right what are you going to do to Restrain you angry Muslims from responding to what's Happening overseas and responding to the Call of a global day of jihad Guess what that Night this man takes out a military Knife and attacks a six-year-old boy a Six-year-old Palestinian Boy by the way It gets worse the more details that you Know and and I recently had a chance to Go and speak to his mom uh cuz she was In the hospital when I was there for the Funeral so I had a chance to visit her Um not too long ago and she was attacked Also she was attacked first it was Actually their landlord so Hanan the

Mother um was at home with wadir Six-year-old Boy landlord comes in and with Absolutely no emotion just charges at Her starts with her she was able to Fight him off he stabbed her initially Seven or eight times with a military Grade Knife she fought him off um escaped to Call 911 and while she's calling 911 she Hears wer W ran up to the man calling him Uncle Joe because the land lord prior to that Had been kind to them used to give wer Toys wer had an infectious beautiful Smile every picture you see that kid Beautiful beautiful beautiful smile and So w runs up to him says Uncle Joe he Runs up to him to give him a hug even Though he's carrying a military grade Knife with blood on it cuz wer doesn't Believe that harm can come to him from That Man and um Hanan didn't think That he would do anything to her kid Even in that fit of rage the last thing That she says she heard was oh No you know W says oh no and then he Starts to stab him 26 times says you Muslims Must Die uh usually in a scene like that Police are hesitant To classify something as a hate crime it

Was classified as a hate crime the very Same Day the thing is is that who's complient In that hate crime what filled that Man's head for him to believe that he Was doing an act of Good by murdering a Six-year-old Palestinian Boy and in Reality Uncle Joe was motivated by President Joe Biden who repeated a Debunked report that there were 40 Beheaded Israeli babies and he said I Saw 40 beheaded Israeli babies the White House walked it Back afterwards in a statement that no One reads because it was factually false But Uncle Joe heard It and had been binge Watching media about these violent Palestinians and suddenly the propaganda Overcame his own humanity and what he Knew of that family and he went in and Ruined their lives and you know now you Know just like any any Mom you know she hasn't moved the thing His bike is still in the same place it Was his toys are still in the same place She's left with this great void this Great emptiness if that was the only Crime it would be Enough to wake this country up and say Oh no this is not where we need to go oh No right the last thing she heard him Say was oh no if that was it and I got

The news by the way when I was Ironically at a protest we were Protesting on Saturday Downtown Dallas And I started getting all these texts About what happened in Chicago oh no Right Like no Muslims attacked anyone the Media was in a frenzy over the global Day of jihad I got called by national News outlets and local news outlets what Are you going to do about Muslims that Are going to turn into monsters and Start killing people in the streets Next thing we know we have a dead Six-year-old Palestinian boy went to his Funeral um and that's kind of speaks to The proximity part of Things yeah it felt like stepping into Gaza right for a moment it didn't feel Like America didn't feel like America Felt like stepping into Gaza his casket Was wrapped in a Palestinian Flag um there was not just sadness at His funeral but a deep sense of anger at The funeral some of his family members Shouted out Joe Biden you did this Joe Biden you did This Um and and you know I Remember the next day it was right after The Funeral looking at the front page of CNN and the story of wer was Buried in the last in the last

Section and it it was right over all These meaningless ads and I thought to Myself that's it like if this was if This was an Arab man let's be real let's Be honest here if this was a Palestinian Landlord that stabbed a six-year-old Jewish boy to Death this would have gotten more Attention it would have been the front Page of the news and rightfully so People would have Grieved over the insanity of stabbing a Six-year-old boy 20 six times became an Afterthought the very next Day and so it's an extension of the Bigotry an extension of the racism and There's so much that happens after that There's the terrible uh stabbing of uh Detroit synagogue president Samantha Wall and it's horrible she was stabbed In her driveway immediately front page Of all the news outlets immediately it's The main news story and immediately the Implications are there go the Muslims The Palestinians have lost their minds The Muslims have they are who we thought They were right that's what it is they Are who we thought they were they went And they stabbed a synagogue president It turned out it wasn't a hate crime Although it's an awful crime it turned Out it wasn't a hate crime what de's an Afterthought had people reach out to me Afterwards expressing

Condolences and I responded to them Those who have Justified the genocide in Gaza But that we're somehow offering Condolences uh for w privately of course You know by the way if a Muslim would Have committed that crime every single Muslim leader would have had press in Front of their door to condemn that Crime we would have all been made Complicit had people reach out to me say I'm sorry about what happened with with Wer it's terrible you know I saw you at The funeral praying for you my response Was what's the difference between wadir And a boy in Gaza what's the difference Between me and wad here I'm a Palestinian child my parents made it out Of Palestine I was born in this country If I didn't have the opportunity to grow Up here and to become the person that I Became you would have been justifying my Murder right now you would have been Okay with my genocide you would have Been giving the talking points to the Press to erase me but you feel sorry Because wadir was killed and I think This is when we say that anti- Palestinian bigotry is an extension of Islamophobia if a mosque gets targeted Here people rightfully rush to protect That mosque and say this is horrible and It shouldn't happen but when you have an Israeli soldier bombing a mosque and

Laughing like a maniac on video and it's Going viral on Tik Tok and there's no Way to reain that in and you don't have A word of condemnation about it in fact You are standing in the way of a Ceasefire then you're a hypocrite There's no way around it you are a Hypocrite what's the difference between A mosque here and a mosque there what's The difference between a Palestinian Life here and and a Palestinian life There if you're okay with me being Murdered there don't say that you care About my life here and so that hypocrisy Has been laid bare we have said multiple Times masks are falling masks are Falling people that we thought were Decent people somehow have found it in Themselves to justify a Genocide there is no shortage at this Point of videos and again when you you Know I could have made the excuse for You maybe in the first few Weeks you know that you hadn't seen Enough but with all social media Suppression across all platforms there Isn't a single platform that hasn't Suppressed Palestinian voices with all That Suppression there are enough videos at This point of children whose heads have Been blown off of children walking Around without limbs of parents carrying Their their kids in bags not body bags I

Mean grocery bags cuz they don't even Have body bags and screaming out and Saying why are you doing this this to me Make it stop and you come back and you Tell that person it's hamas's Fault where is your Humanity where is Your sense of decency isn't that the Logic of the so-called terrorism that You condemn yeah you can wipe out entire Populations you should have talked to Hamas it's hamas's fault all the kids in The West Bank all Like where does this end so what's your What what are your moral boundaries here Right so if if that's the logic that You're okay with then in that case when There's a mass shooter in a school in The United States just bomb the whole School in fact bomb the whole town if You can't find the mass shooter you know Where does this end for you right and so When I say people have lost their Humanity they're killing us overseas but Their hearts are dying people have lost Their Humanity they've lost any sense of Morality and their moral boundaries and Being there and and and I mean Participating in his funeral it was it Was anger I'm not used to that I'm not Used to that you know I'm an Imam I Pastor to people I went to Christ Church And that was the worst i' ever seen Before where 50 Muslims were killed by a White

Supremacist and he murdered them with Such callousness and I remember being at Those funerals and yeah I mean there was Anger but it was just profound sadness Because at least the rest of the world Could all come out in one voice and say That's Wrong now most of the world sees what's Happening in Gaza and says this is Disgusting most of the world sees this And says this is a Genocide but we happen to live in this Bubble here where we're constantly being Told we did this to Ourselves and that's the same logic that Led to our initial expulsion 1948 what was the crime of those 700 100,000 Palestinians that were driven Out of their home in 1948 what did they Do they didn't do they did not commit The Holocaust they didn't have a mass Murder of Jews at their hands what did They do what crime were they paying For and so it's been the consistent Theme this is the story of our people Not since October 7th this is the story Of our people for the last 75 Years there is a deep geopolitical Connection between the United States and That part of the world what is the role Of us politicians in all of This you know James Baldwin uh wrote about how Israel was Created as an extension of United States

Policy to be a colonial entity at the Gates of the Middle East and to function Essentially as a military base out there And as a means of of extending its Policy um you know throughout the Middle East and it has functioned as such the United States stes is not an honest Peace broker it never has been an honest Peace broker the United States uh has Never shown any uh meaningful Inclination towards peace has guarded And protected Israel from International Accountability has made Israel Invincible the United States is not just Responsible at the governmental level For the genocide it's responsible for Letting it get to this point in the First place we have Funded that Arsenal we've given them the Most sophisticated weapons in the world To test On the most desperate population in the World we've given them the Weapons it's been Bipartisan we have issued at most Inconsequential statements of Condemnation but at the same time Stopped any International body of law From actually holding it accountable so The United States at this point um Unfortunately has rightfully lost all Credibility it should remove Itself uh from this because it is not an Honest peace broker I think Americans

Are probably sick of us paying for Wars In general I think Americans are Probably sick of our tax dollars going To funding a genocide while we have a Rise of homelessness and um income erity Here in the United States I think that Americans probably don't like that we're Making Ourselves uh so deeply unpopular in the World because of Israel's actions so in The immediate moment make this stop the United States could have had a ceasefire A long time ago the United States could Have ended this genocide right Away the reason why this is Continuing is because of US foreign Policy and in the process of Joe Biden Talking about managing this crisis and Talking about making things better there Have only been more bills that have come Out of Congress in fact he's bypassed Congress to fund the Arsenal to keep Replenishing the Arsenal stop paying for Weapons stop paying for someone else's War crimes stop protecting another Country as it commits these war crimes And if you can't be an honest peace Broker get out of the process so there's Money that you just mentioned and bills And then there's rhetoric which you also Criticized that he spoke about the Beheaded Babies and things of that nature so Where has uh Joe Biden fallen short now

We need another podcast that's going to Take a few hours to talk about where Joe Biden has failed um for one the first Time he seemed to find the word Palestinian in his vocabulary was when He accused the Palestinians of lying About the death toll uh in Gaza And then that turned out to also be False in fact the numbers that were Coming out of the Gaza Health Ministry According to multiple International Bodies have been Under reporting Palestinian casualty counts Israeli Intelligence has said that the civilian Count or the death toll is actually Higher than what's been coming out of The Gaza Health Ministry so he's failed On that front he has failed to speak to Palestinian Humanity he has spoken with Deep passion and concern as as Anthony Blinkin about you know the devastation In Israel and the way that people are Feeling in Israel and has shown nothing Of that sort towards Palestinians we Don't want the rhetoric we really don't Want the rhetoric uh you know when People say call for a ceasefire the United States has had an opportunity and Has an opportunity to to really walk Back and reflect on its entire policy Towards Israel Palestine this is a Moment of reflection this is a moment of Restoration if you want it to be right And to think about what we've enabled in

The first place he's shown absolutely no Real Empathy Um And I think that he is under great Delusion and thinking that um the Muslim Community Or people of conscience are going to Forgive this are going to forget this Come November you can't tell us that Well at least I don't have the Trum Muslim ban while also carrying out a Genocide primarily against Muslims and Think that the Muslims are still going To vote for you and so we will May him Hear us at the polls and any Politician uh for Congress or otherwise That has not called for a ceasefire that Has been a part of this Dehumanization we will make sure that we Cease support for them in any way as a Community it's only right so Biden has Lost or is losing the hearts and the Support of the Muslim Palestinian people and the uh Muslim people in America I don't know if You ever had the hearts of the Muslim Community be honest with you I mean I Personally was never a Joe Biden fan I Think a lot of people felt the same you Know this country unfortunately leads to The uh the way that our political system Is built is that you're always voting For the lesser of the two evils that's

Always the way that is it's analyzing Which evil is lesser right and when People say if you vote for Donald Trump And I'm not planning to vote for Donald Trump either but if you don't vote for Joe Biden right if you don't vote for Jo Joe Biden right then you are destroying Democracy I'm like a democracy that's Given us a choice between Donald Trump And Joe Biden is already a failed Democracy and so he he never had the Hearts and minds of the Muslim Community Uh people always saw past his rhetoric He always has had a terrible disposition Towards Palestine he's always had a Terrible disposition towards the Muslim World um you know his his segregationist Past comes out sometimes when he starts Talking about the Muslim world and and You can hear the racism in his voice and You can hear the way that he talks about Uh Palestinian life um in such devalued Fashion so he lost us uh a long time ago But he's definitely not getting us back After this in any way and I can't speak For all Muslims but I think that come November uh he and all of those Politicians especially in swing states That have turned their backs on the Muslim Community and not just the Muslim Community by the way 67% of this country Wants a ceasefire three4 of democratic Voters want a ceasefire half of

Republican voters want a ceasefire right It's not just the Muslim Community this Is not some radical opinion to call for A ceasefire and every single politician That has refused to hear us is going to Pay a price at the polls as they should That doesn't mean that we're under any Illusion that the other side promises us Anything better in fact it it s it feels Like Republicans have simply rushed to Out rist the Democrats to outpace them In terms of talking about how they're Going to be more Unapologetic in Supporting Israel unconditionally right Like it's it's been Pathetic um but something has to change And I think that Americans of Conscience have to look at how this Failed political system has hurt people Here and abroad and talk about how to Transcend that with just more Humanity Again when you have 67% of the American Public that wants a ceasefire but only a Handful of congressmen out of over 500 Can muster up the courage in the face of These super packs to say that you know Uh we should stop the genocide right and And is like what are you asking for here You're asking for the genocide to stop You're asking for Israeli hostages to be Brought home you're asking for Palestinian prisoners to be released You're asking for peace and to start Carving the path out to end this once

And for all right in the most ambiguous Way possible by the way because there Aren't many radical American politicians All right it's it's the way that the System is in the most ambiguous be way Possible and you can't even bring Yourself to do that this is already a Failed democracy then all the while Again you know it always boggles my mind If you're from the America First crew What's America First about uh funling Billions and billions and billions of Dollars to Israel while it carries out This genocide while people are starving Here and if you're part of the human Rights crew and you know Progressive Crew it's you know they have a term Called Progressive except Palestine Right P Progressive except Palestine Where are all your Notions of social Justice you talk about policing here but You don't talk about who trains our Police departments in many major cities And the type of brutality that's being Carried out there you talk about human Rights at the border here but you don't Talk about the assault on people at the Border there you talk about all of these Things here but you somehow use the Exact same framings against the people There so it's it's exposed I think the Moral Bankruptcy of both political Polar Opposites that exist in this country

Right now And Hopefully evoked a greater societal Sentiment to say this is Ridiculous you know one of the things That is happening is that more people Are getting their news outside of Legacy Media Outlets you can't hide that many dead Babies anymore you just can't more People have woken up to the Palestinian Plight now than ever before more people Are outraged that this has been been our American foreign policy all throughout You know uh Democratic and Republican Administrations this is what we've been Paying for this is what we've been Excusing and Israeli leaders literally Spit in the faces of whoever the American president is and says yeah we Don't care what they tell us to do you Know American leadership says we're Pushing Israel to minimize the the Casualties to to get less indiscriminate With its bombing to manage the crisis Get a few more humanitarian corridors in To make make sure that that Gaza is not Evacuated and not ethnically cleansed to Make sure Palestinians can come back and Netanyahu comes on TV and says from The River To The Sea how ironic is that from The River To The Sea and that is his Policy we're going to make sure that Israel controls from The River To The

Sea and we're going to push Palestinians Into sin and Muslim countries need to Take them in you have Israeli ministers National Defense ministers saying you Know things openly right like we want to Thin out the population I.E ethnic Cleansing we want to remove people and The Muslim world needs to step up and Take in these refugees right and the American Administration you know or the American president says an American Secretary of State says you know we're Talking to them and we're making sure That that's not going to happen and if One of their ministers says something Blinkin maybe tweets out something about How that's not going to happen but then It happens anyway and then we still Write them the So I think most of the American public Is probably going to get sick of this at Some point just people of decency and People of conscience are going to say Yeah this is not something we want to be A part of anymore do you think there's Something that Donald Trump can Do to help move this in the right Direction Trump's first words were about How he's going to be worse uh on this Right so he talked about how he's going To deport people uh revoke visas of uh You know students that are part of these Pro Palestinian rallies also the focus Was on the rallies versus what's going

On abroad yeah but look we had a Donald Trump presidency he moved the embassy to Jerusalem he was not better on this uh Unfortunately this is a bipartisan Problem and so again we're under No Illusion here like we're not looking to Donald Trump as a savior here but we are Going to penalize Joe Biden and that's You know I can't speak for everybody but I think that that's where a lot of our Minds are at right Now you spoke at the November 4th Demonstration in Washington called the Free Palestine March it had a lot of people several Hundred thousand people there what do You remember from that experience well The first thing I remember is that there Was no news coverage of it so 400,000 People march on DC one of the largest Marches in history it was nowhere to be Found in mainstream media coverage Whereas when the stand with Israel rally Happened between the 300,000 strong Palestine rally and the 400,000 strong Palestine rally there was a stand with Israel rally where Congress men were Were bust uh from Congress to speak at That rally uh Democrats and Republicans And high profile celebrities and it was You know live streamed uh across Multiple places I mean I have to say This the Icj if that wasn't the greatest display

Of media bias In in in the domain of United States Mainstream media then I don't know what Is they live streamed the Israeli Defense on multiple an news Outlets defending itself against the Case for genocide and completely omitted The South African presentation of the crimes of Israel the day before so what I remember First in foremost about the protests is That they were nowhere to be found on Mainstream media which was expected but What I also remember from the actual day Of and from all of the pro Palestine Rallies is that I have never seen a more Multifaith more diverse group of people Consistently coming out for Palestine Against the genocide in Gaza that I have This time around and I think that has Been the experience all around there has Been a pronounced Jewish presence Jewish Voice for peace if not now other Anti-zionist Jewish groups groups that Are against the genocide against the Occupation former Israeli soldiers even Um you know that have been showing up at These protests there has been a Pronounced presence um uh from Native American groups indigenous groups all Across the board right Christians Jews Muslims I've never seen more diversity At these rallies than I've seen this Time around which I think is a sign of

Where things are going and if you look At the under 35 opinion polls it's very Clear that there's a generational Gap Here here that the country is moving Into uh a more coherent Direction and Understanding what has been happening Over there and people from all Backgrounds are standing up to it now What do you think about the protest on Campus against Israel every protest I've Been To has had the exact same tender has had The exact same messaging but you always Have that idiot or two that shows up With a sign And no one knows who that idiot is Ironically never comes with anybody else Always shows up somehow in the middle of The protest and puts up a sign that says Something completely contrary to the Messaging of the protest and and all the Cameras shift towards that guy I see it Every single time but the Overwhelming tenor of all of these Protests has been consistent it's been Calling for Freedom it's been calling For Liberation it's been calling for an End to the to the genocide a ceasefire And end to the occupation and end to the Apartheid I will tell you what many People are not seeing Columbia University to IDF soldiers former IDF Soldiers spraying Palestinian protesters With skunk water which is what the IDF

Uses on Palestinian protesters and Sometimes on worshippers on their way to Ma AA uh which has multiple uh Health Repercussions And so I was reading about how one of The students that was sprayed on campus At Columbia Palestinian Student you know has showered at this Point of us doing this podcast 11 times Cannot get the smell out of her has Suffered all sorts of health issues as a Result of being sprayed again people are Not seeing the other side here people Are not seeing what we've had to deal With at these protests right the open Bigotry and I want you to think about This by the way people go and serve in The IDF and then come back to the United States or the United Kingdom and they're Not stigmatized for participating in Apartheid policies or participating in a Genocide how am I supposed to feel as a Palestinian knowing that this guy right Next to me participated in murdering my Relatives in Gaza right and has open Reign to say what he wants to say or do What he wants to do and so we haven't Seen the other side of that as well but I' I'd recommend to anyone that's uh Talking about you know Pro Palestine Protest to actually go see one if you go To the protests you listen to what's Being said you don't just capture I mean

You got 400,000 people uh don't just go Try to find you're going to find four Stupid people at 400 at a protest of 400,000 people right because the protest Scene is always messy but I think that This is um a sign of the Outrage and the anger and the Frustration that many students have About being silenced again in the media And academic settings um professors are Losing their jobs students are having Their faces put on trucks being doxed uh The Shady watch lists that get put out I'm on a few of them as well and I just Don't care anymore right but you got These Shady watch lists people are Losing their uh their jobs at law Firms uh they're losing all of their Future opportuni these young Palestinian Students because of something that they They tweeted that's being taken out of Context 10 years ago right when they Were 17 years old it's ridiculous and so I think that um you know we have to we Have to listen to the overwhelming Majority of voices of people that are Demonstrating for justice not Demonstrating against anyone but Demonstrating for people uh again There's a large pronounced Jewish Presence at every single Pro Palestine March in fact if you look at uh the Organizations the groups that have taken Over uh Capitol Hill and and you know

Train stations it's been if not now not Not in our name never again means for Anyone right it's been Jewish groups Many Jewish anti-occupation groups that Have been at the Forefront and I think That that's where we have to pay Attention to the beauty of how diverse This movement or free Palestine has Actually been so the average sentiment Is Anti-occupation not Anti-semitic it's incredibly lazy Incredibly lazy to say that anti-zionism Or that anti-occupation is anti-Semitic First and foremost the Palestinians are A Semitic people that's number one Number two Um look I'm proud of my community my Community has stood against Anti-Semitism in this country the Muslim Community has been at the Forefront of Condemning anti-Semitism we have stood In front of synagogues we have stood With the Jewish Community when the Jewish Community is attacked this is About occupation this is a story of a Colonial entity that has driven us out Of our homes and has done so in such a Way that has forced us to try to be the Voice of a people that are being Exterminated overseas right now this is Not an anti-Semitic movement this is a Pro Freedom Movement do you think the Protests ever go to too far the protest

Scene is a messy scene and so again You're going to have sometimes that odd Speaker or people get carried away in Their emotions and yes sometimes people Chant things or do things that are Contrary to the protests it's pretty Unfair when you judge the entire protest Movement by some of these incidents that Have happened at protests and you don't Pay attention to what they're protesting About in the first place which is a Genocide right now everything is Secondary to ending a genocide that is Ongoing in the course of this Discussion it's not an exaggeration to Say that at least 30 40 people would Have been killed just over the last few Hours because we're averaging 135 to 150 A day So everything else is secondary to that This is where we all need to be right Now as people of conscience how do we Stop this because every single day is Deeply costly do you think there has Been a rise of anti-Semitism and Anti-muslim hate in the US yeah I think That's factual look anti-Semitism is Always to be condemned it's wrong it's Uh something that as a Muslim Community And as people of conscience we have Always taken a stand against Jewish People should not be attacked for being Jewish people here or anywhere else Synagogue should be protected and if a

Person is attacked for being Jewish uh We will be the first to go and to stand With them and to reject uh that attack On them um and there has been as I said An inspiring pronounced Jewish presence In the movement to end the Occupation and so we're being morally Consistent here as far as the rise in Islamophobia it is felt it's Underreported and it is Uh you know part of the same Framing that has led to the devastation Of our people overseas so there's a rise In islamophobia there's a rise in Anti-Semitism there's a rise in hatred All of that is true but there's also an Ongoing genocide and that should be our Priority right now T I think we spoke last time about a Year Ago how is your view on um Benjamin Netanyahu evolve over time Benjamin Netanyahu has committed himself to the Eraser of Palestinian people and Palestinian symbols and Palestinian Land From the very beginning of his political Career this is who he has been we just Haven't been listening to him he Campaigned on bigotry and racism and on The promise that there would never be a Palestinian State he campaigned on the Promise that Gaza would be wiped out he Campaigned by saying the Arabs are Rushing to the polls we need to make

Sure that they don't infect our policy He has always been this person this has Always been his policy he has always Indicated that genocide and ethnic Cleansing is where he wants to go so uh He's simply manifesting what his message Has always been and anyone that ignores That is being disingenuous you can find Statements from Benjamin Netanyahu in The80s 0s 90s 2000s you can find him Talking about this prior to October 7th And after October 7th he's definitely Doing this now to save his political Career I think he wants to drive this as Long as he possibly can because he knows That his days in office are numbered but Let's also ask Ourselves why is it that Benjamin Netanyahu was able to rise to power in The first place right there is something Deeply troubling about the fact that his Messaging ever resonated And what the prospects are uh for for Peace if Benjamin Netanyahu is able to Rise with such pronounced hateful Messaging so the claim that security of Israel is the primary concern is you're Saying a um dishonest claim I think he's Trying to secure his seat in office he Knows his days are numbered this is not About Israel this isn't about the Hostages for him this isn't about Anything but Benjamin Netanyahu he is is A narcissist he's a tyrant um he is

Despised uh around the world and uh I Think even amongst Israelis uh I think There's a deatri for him I think the Hostages families know that he doesn't Care about the families uh or about the Hostages but he's driving a political Agenda that doesn't care about people um Not Palestinian people or otherwise However the problem of the occupation is Not Benjamin Netanyahu the problem of The occupation is the occupation uh y Leid was uh the progressive moderate Alternative and uh he drove just as Bigoted of an agenda against the Palestinian people as possible so to the Palestinian that's living in Gaza or the Palestinian in the West Bank whoever is Sitting in that seat has meant the exact Same thing to them but Benjamin Netanyahu is certainly I think the Loudest bigot that we have seen um you Know in that Seat do you think Israel has the right To defend its borders I think Israel has A responsibility to protect those that It occupies I think you have to ask that Question differently um you know n Arat uh wrote uh a tremendous article on This from a legal perspective you know When you talk about Israel defending Itself Um Israel is bound to occupation law This is the problem all along you know When when when John kery said of course

The US is great sometimes at issuing Inconsequential statements that Israel Has to choose whether or not it wants to Be a Jewish or a Democratic State be a Jewish or a Democratic state but it Can't be both um Israel wants to occupy And deny and at the same time not be Held to the standards of being an Occupier but be treated as if it's some Normal uh State uh those borders were Drawn across occupied land and have been Expanding into Palestinian territory and People have been thrown out of their Homes systematically and transgressed Upon even to the in the places that they Fled to which is Gaza right so when you Talk about Israel having a right to Defend itself you should be talking About Israel's duty to protect everyone Under its occupation either lift the Occupation or protect everyone under Your occupation uh where are your Borders right what what is uh your Responsibility who are you protecting And I think that it speaks to the fact That Israeli policy considers Palestinians to be animals they say as Much and they do as much I've spoken About James Baldwin um and James Baldwin Talked about this Pious silence Surrounding Israel that we're supposed To Pretend uh like it's just another state Uh you know and and ignore how it came

Into being and what it functions as and I think that Pious Silence has to be Broken you know I I remember uh John Stewart when he had the Daily Show Several years ago and he talked about This uh policy of uh you know we have to Defend ourselves and if if someone was Attacking your home what would you do And uh the response was well why are you Forcing people into a closet so you Force people into this desperate Situation you you drive them out of Their homes claim their homes and then Say that you're defending yourself Against them the default is that an Occupy people have a right to defend Themselves the occupier is obligated to Those that they Occupy can you speak to this term Occupation in Gaza because the people that say it is Not an occupation say that Israeli Troops have been pulled out from there Before October 7th for many years yeah And to you it still is a de facto Occupation Israel doesn't get to to set The terms and then Define them uh it is An occupation according to any uh legal Standard international legal standard Israel controls the movement of everyone In Gaza it controls the air and the Seas Uh it controls the ability to import or Export the people that live in Gaza and The people that live in the West Bank

The Palestinians have had their identity Stolen from them so there's the freedom Of movement there is the freedom of Thriving there is self-determination all Of that has been stolen from the people Of Gaza there's no airport in Gaza that Was destroyed by Israel as well uh it is An occupation uh at at at every level And by any meaningful legal Determination what do you think about Yemen's houti Rebels attacking Israel in Response to October 7th and then the United States and the UK um initiating bombing of multiple Targets in Yemen in response to that Yeah I think that it's clear that the United States cares more about its Shipping lanes than it does about Palestinian lives and that actually has Proved it uh look I do not support the Houthis as Houthis or their policies in general um But if you look at what has transpired And what they have said they're Attacking These ships in response to the Occupation uh or in response to the Genocide and saying that they will Continue to do so to stop business as Usual until a ceasefire is reached they Have not killed anyone right they have Seized ships they have blocked the lanes But they have said that if a ceasefire

Happens they will cease their activity So instead of the United States trying To get a ceasefire through the United States decided let's go bomb Yemen too You know let's let's spend more money on Weapons and killing innocent people Which shows you exactly where our policy Uh always leads itself to unfortunately So uh I think that most reasonable People would say that the problem is not With uh Yemen Rebels attacking ships the Problem is with Israel attacking Innocent Palestinian lives you mentioned Paying respect next to the uh Legacy of Ebj Eddie Bernice Johnson and um Remembering Palestinian child prisoners Can you Explain so congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson was one of the few co-sponsors Of a bill that has been on the floor of Congress for years uh initially Sponsored by congresswoman Betty McCullum to penalize Israel for its Detention of child prisoners thousands Of children arbitrarily detained put in Military courts solitary confinement and Yes sexual violence that's been Documented by human rights organizations Against them and there have been no Repercussions so I want you to think About this you know just the thought of Conditioning Aid to Israel you know so That it doesn't indiscriminately bomb Entire

Populations has not been able to find Any home in mainstream Amica Amer Politics for Years just trying to stop Israel from Picking up children and throwing them Into military prisons where they Disappear for decades at times has not Found any thrust in mainstream American Politics whereas any resolution that is Pro-israel will make it past both Chambers relatively Quickly when people talk about Israeli Hostages and then then talk about Palestinian prisoners there's already a Problem with that Framing first of all all 2.2 million People in Gaza are hostages every Palestinian that lives under occupation Is a hostage but all of those prisoners That have been picked up women children Innocent people with absolutely no Process of making sure that they're Treated right or given uh Fair trials or Even given a communication line with Their families or with any government to Help them is absolutely criminal all of Those prisoners are also Hostages and when you when you when you Already propose this idea that there are Israeli hostages and Palestinian Prisoners you're already implying that One group is Complicit in their own Devastation Whereas another group has had

Devastation visited upon them in Entirely out of their own doing and so It's important for people to learn about Children prisoners who are indeed Hostages to an apartheid System and even what happened during That 4-day Truce which all of us hoped would be Extended and become permanent where 150 Palestinian prisoners were released Israel just went and picked up another 135 in the West Bank and threw them in Prisons that's what I mean when I say You're not addressing the root of the Problem the root of the problem is the Occupation the root of the problem is The apartheid the root of the problem is The desperation that then drives the Creation of all sorts of Circumstances that will only further Lead to the devastation of everyone Right if you don't solve that problem And at the root of that problem is the Dehumanization of the Palestinian Because no one is Raising alarms for Those Palestinian hostages in Israeli Military prisons no one's putting up Their pictures and no one's talking About who they are and their human Stories and the violence that's been wre Against them at every level so if you Don't solve not just the root of Occupation but also the dehumanization That drives the occupation which is

Unfortunately so pervasive right now in The discourse then you're going to Continue to have this Gap and how the World sees the plight of the Palestinians And how unfortunately the American Public uh sees the problem of the Palestinians and to you big peace Agreements like uh of the like of Abraham Accords should include Palestine Abraham Accords is nothing but an Agreement in which you slap the name of Abraham on arms deals in exchange for Countries being able to undertake their Own Unholy Pursuits they use one of the Holiest names in history and continue to Erase the main victims of this atrocity And so the Abraham Accords are an insult To humanity an insult to the Palestinians and an insult to the name Of Abraham but do you think something like That agreements of that nature of that Scale could be made that include the Palestinian people and that would Actually have make progress if they're Honest to the plight of the Palestinians If they are honest to the roots of the Problem absolutely look again peace is Sought but peace cannot be used to Silence the entire peace Process has you know been been hung over The Palestinians all these years while Settlements continue to expand and their

Situation only continue to get Worse is Israel really going to remove The 700,000 800 ,000 settlers right and Uh suddenly change its tune on a Two-state solution Benjamin Netanyahu is Saying right now and he's speaking to Unfortunately what is clearly a majority Of the Israeli public that there will Never be a Palestinian state so these Peace talks cannot be used to suffocate All of the work of justice and bringing Israel to accountability the world has To act when they see apartheid the world Has to act when they see occupation if The world fails to bring Israel to a Place of ACC Accountability then a few countries that Have their own agendas cannot put forth Anything meaningful for the victims of Israel being the Palestinian people There's a lot of questions I want to ask You About the nature of resistance and what Is the proper way to resist what is the Practical pragmatic effective ways of Resisting thing so one example that is Often brought up is the difference Between MLK and Malcolm X One emphasized Nonviolent resistance the other Emphasized any means necessary Resistance um which do you side with in General and in this Particular case of what has happened Over the past 100 plus days so in

General that framing relies on on a Sanitization of Dr Martin Luther King Jr And a vilification of Malcolm X that a Lot of people do put forth and present As two Polar Opposites and how they Approach um the plight of black people In America and and resisting uh racism Here in America uh when I taught a Course at at Southern Methodist University on MLK and Malcolm X and Islam and the Civil Rights Movement what I'd often do is I'd give my Students a set of quotes and I would say Assigned this to Malcolm or Martin and They'd always get it wrong right so you Can find uh you know quotes from MLK and Breaking the silence and especially when He took a stand against the Vietnam War Uh that sounds so radical you know when You compare them to the the image of MLK And Malcolm is of course turned into This militant angry uh Muslim uh who Just wanted violence and was uh seeking Uh chaos here in the United States So let's be clear about something here That Malcolm never himself was part of any Violence Malcolm never did anything Violent Malcolm found it hypocritical to Commit the oppressed people to Nonviolence while not restraining the Oppressor from its Violence and I agree with Malcolm it is Absolutely hypocritical to focus your

Attention and your energy on the Oppressed people and committing them to Nonviolence While not directing your attention to The oppressor when you have such a Symmetry when you have a clear aggressor And aggressed upon you have a clear Colonial entity and a clear colonized People you focus your energy on Restraining the colonial power you focus Your energy on restraining the oppressor Not the oppressed and so that was Malcolm's point and it's clear in his Messaging uh throughout his religious Growth because of course Malcolm did Evolve uh as a person but Malcolm found It deeply hypocritical to commit the Oppressed to nonviolence Malcolm also Had a Deep understanding of the way that Brutality here State violence in the United States was connected to it State Violence abroad and American imperialism As a whole Malcolm was the first to Speak on Vietnam the first major African-American leader to speak on Vietnam Martin followed Malcolm also Went to Gaza in 19 64 1964 went to Khan Yunas which is now under heavy Bombardment and Malcolm Penn an essay on Zionism and connected Zionism to American imperialism and the broader Implications of America's foreign policy So Martin and

Malcolm if you look at them in the Capacity of what's happening right Now where I would say you can find Something that is deeply profound Jame Con wrote a book uh called Malcolm and Martin Dreams and Nightmares and he wrote something Profound to the effect that Martin tried To liberate white people from their own Racism whereas Malcolm tried to liberate Black people from the effects of that Racism on them and so they both played a Deeply important role Self-determination is crucial to Maintain the fuel of a movement and I Think one of the things that probably Deeply frustrates those that have sought The Eraser of Palestine is that Palestinian Consciousness has only Continued to grow after 75 years Palestinians in diaspora and Palestinians within occupied territory All are deeply rooted in their Palestinian identity and existence and They're not going away so I think that That's where the the function is Important of this whereas those that are Complicit in the oppression need to be Liberated From their own oppression you know and Liberated from what they're Participating in most Americans that I Talk To that have absolutely no idea about

What's going on when they come to hear Just a few stories of the plight of the Palestinian people and the types of Brutality that we have Encountered wake up to this and say oh My God this is what my tax dollars go to This is what I'm a part of right so we Have to liberate people across the board From being oppressors or from being Oppressed what do you think about the Seeming fact that majority of Palestinians support the October 7th Attacks you have to see the world their World through their eyes you can't try To see their world through your Eyes if you live under Occupation you're routinely Harassed at Israeli Checkpoints the occupation is expanding Into your territory you're meeting Families you know regularly that have Been thrown out of their homes and that Are looking for a new place in the Shrinking territory you deal with Routine air strikes you have no way to Get out you have no way to grow you Don't even have a passport your Education is subpar your standards of Living are lower than the rest of the World and all you hear from the other Side which do dominates the discourse And dominates every element of your Existence are Promises of eraser of Complete

Eraser 13,000 people I mentioned 2023 13,000 new settlement units being Advanced if that happened anywhere right Just think about what that means right When you clear out a village or Two and it's not that big of a territory Right when you know that that's Happening and when you have been Subjected to That anyone that claims to be supporting You or uplifting you from that state of Misery is going to have sympathy whether You agree with their mission or their Methods or not it's human it is human That if anyone says that they are going To get you out of this misery and Inflict pain on those who have given you A life of pain and promised you a future Of pain you're going to have sympathy to That group whether you agree with them Or not I think that the question also Has to be Asked what about the Israeli public Israel holds all of the power in that Region holds all of the power over that Territory is able to dominate the Expansion of its own territory and Diminish any Palestinian territory is Able to PR Place restrictions whenever At once on Palestinian movement trying To get to their holy sites or otherwise Whether it's m AA or the holy supper of The church of nativity

Right the majority of the Israeli Public before October 7th Unfortunately according to all polls Favors a non-democratic regime the end Of a two-state Solution does not care about the plight Of Palestinian people the majority of The Israeli public why is that and what Is that mean for Palestinians right Especially now after this genocide the Vast majority majority of the Israeli Public does not favor a ceasefire Right what are we supposed to do when we See mainstream media coming out of Israel pop culture uh Tik Tock videos That only speak to a greater desire to Eliminate the Palestinian people right So anyone that says that they are going To support your plight whether you agree With their mission or their methods is Going to resonate with that child that Has grown up in those desperate Circumstances you know basam YF had an Interview with Pierce Morgan and he was Talking about this I mean just he he Literally gave it a human a human story If you're a child that's grown up you've Lost limbs your parents are dead Your Friends Are Dead you have been made a Refugee two or three times Already you have no future in Sight and then someone comes to you and Says I'm going to help you and I'm gonna Fight back on your behalf of course it's

Going to resonate it's human right and So I think that it's important for us to See the world through their eyes rather Than try to see the world through our Eyes so as Malcolm X did you're calling For highlighting the asymmetry in Violence and asymmetry in moral Reasoning Absolutely it's important you're not Going to be able to solve this problem Unless you're able to do that and so When when Malcolm said uh that if you Stick a knife 9 in into my back and pull It out 6 In that's not progress progress is Healing the wound and you're not even Willing to acknowledge that the knife is There yet those that don't acknowledge What is determined Now by any uh International human rights organization Even Israel human rights Organization uh bet Islam and others to Be apartheid a state of partied in a State of occupation and now an unfolding Genocide Um you know are are not Partners For Peace it just hurts me to Think how long it takes to Heal even if the Healing Begins now with A Knife Metaphor it's just going to be Generations because people don't forget When your father and mother were

Murdered or somebody that you know in Your family was killed they don't Forget Look I think the point is is that we Have to come to terms with the fact That the trauma of the Past does not justify the murder of the Present and the fear of the future does Not justify the murder of the present The urgency of the world right now Should be entirely focused on ending This atrocity that unfortunately the World has become so complacent with Again prior to October 7th this status Quo was not acceptable and there was no Means in sight in the global Arena to re This in to make Israel more accountable To stop This I do believe In the power of healing I do believe in The power of growth I I do believe that We have seen ugly episodes of History Before that have been rectified I also Believe in the heart of my people I Believe that the Palestinian People Are People of resistance they're people of Resilience they're people of courage and They are people of benevolence and Magnam minity and there are people who Have been made to grow under the worst Of Circumstances I don't see in in the Hearts of young Palestinians that have Been tormented I don't see

Darkness I see light I see the ability To still laugh and find Joy despite Everything that's Happened and so I think that the urgency Right now just has to be towards Ensuring that they have a life that They're not being Anymore I was wondering if you can Comment on A idea and notion that comes up often in Conversations about This of why can't other nations in the Region take in uh Palestinian refugees So I think that we have to tackle what's Implied by that at multiple levels and I Actually want to walk back you know I I Was listening to Nikki Haley When she uh said in one of her Interviews you know and why is it that You think no one wants to take the Palestinians in and she had like this Deeply uh disturbing laugh to it uh or Ben Shapiro when he uh said uh Israelis Like to build and Arabs like to bomb Crap and live in their sewage uh or um You know why is it that no one wants to Govern the Palestinians suggesting that Palestinians are ungovernable and uh Not fit to bring into your countries and That's why they're being turned away you Know who else faced that bigotry Jews Trying to escape the Holocaust 1939 300,000 Germans applied for Refuge Here in the United States I think only

About 10,000 uh were allowed in and uh we also Turned away ships of Jews that were Seeking Refuge here in the United States On what B basis that they were a National security Threat and could not be trusted they Could not be taken In that's the same bigotry that's Driving this and I want you to think About it you know from that perspective How Deeply offensive that is when you Have millions of Palestinians in Diaspora where have Palestinians caused Trouble where they've gone everywhere Palestinians are they have overcome Significant hurdles to become Scientists and Doctors and to grow themselves and to Grow the places that they're in we have Palestinians that have been displaced All over the world caused issues for People right so it's both racist and Factually Incorrect that's not the right question That should be asked the question that Should be asked are why are these people Driven from their homes not why won't Other people around them open their Homes to them and so I'll I'll just Share with you that even on a personal Level you know it's it's really Interesting because uh uh sometimes on On Twitter or wherever it is it'll be

Like go back home right why don't you go Back home and I'm sitting there thinking To myself like Sure you know my parents were driven From their homes yeah sure I was born in This country as a consequence of bad Policy now I embrace my complic at Identity in that regard and I hope to be Productive as an American but I am a Palestinian and Palestinians in diaspora That have been fortunate enough to have The ability uh to build and to overcome Circumstances should not be an excuse For eliminating the Palestinians that Remain in their homes under that that Torment so uh this bigotry is not new um Unfortunately its manifestation is ugly And um you know we have to push back on It whenever it shows itself no matter Who it's being spoken About how difficult has it been for People in Gaza to Flee I mean they're blockaded from all Directions there is nowhere for people In Gaza to go they cannot get out and um You know the reality is is that they Don't want to leave they do not want to Leave the Palestinian people want to to Live in their land in their Homes and to continue to produce you Know uh an extension of the beautiful Culture and Legacy that was handed to Them they don't want to leave in fact Those that have fled for whatever reason

Or have been able to get out for medical Treatment or because they have some sort Of citizenship and other countries all They're talking about is going back and Rebuilding you can't bomb Palestine out Of our hearts you cannot starve Palestine out of our hearts I think That's a critical mistake that Israel is Making and it thinks that if it destroys Gaza enough if it wipes out all the Buildings that people will never want to Come back we don't want to go anywhere As a Palestinian people you know in a Way that would remove us from our homes The Palestinian people are proud people Yeah you've met a lot of them right when You sat with uh Muhammad Al Kor people In East Jerusalem what those people have Been subjected to you know the Harassment like think about the the the Tenacity and the character that it takes To still try to walk back into your home After an intruder has been brought in by The state that sitting in your living Room that is pushing you around and You're saying I'm not leaving my home This is literally what's been happening In East Jerusalem and we're not going anywhere I Think those of us that are in diaspora Palestine is not leaving our hearts and Those of us that are still there are not Leaving their land and the world has to Make the occupier more accountable not

Tell the occupied how to Cope do you ever imagine that if your Family did not flee and you were now Living In in say in Gaza what you would be Doing I think About what could have been all the Time you know I actually mentioned this In the first uh DC Protest that I remember getting a Notification a news Notification um just prior to October with my name in it you know so I Always get these notifications right if My name's been mentioned in article And so oh your name's mentioned in an Article and it was a 16-year-old omaran Who was murdered in the West Bank he literally had my name I held up His picture and I realized that could Have been me so I think of why God chose Me to not be There and hopefully him Choosing all of us that are not there to Be for those that are still there to be Their Voices I'm grateful and I'm also in pain I'm grateful for the Opportunity to be able to speak on their Behalf but I'm also guilty that they Have to bear the brunt of this evil Hatred that unfortunately displaced our Parents in the first

Place you mentioned that Palestinians Invoke the plight of indigenous people Like Native Americans what works and doesn't work About this analogy so I think that There's a powerful connection between The Palestinian people and the Indigenous and this land and in other Places um that have been Wronged uh we are living here in the United States on Stolen lands that is Drenched in the blood of the Natives and that was built upon uh with The Blood Sweat and labor of enslaved Africans that were brought from Overseas so Great evil that we have to reckon with Constantly and so I think that's the Power of solidarity and you know if you Look in Canada and you look in places Like Australia uh there has been a refocus on The crimes against the indigenous of Those places I think that what Makes the Palestinian plight Um deeply painful and maybe where the Analogy uh even doesn't do J Justice is that from the river to the Sea is less than 500 times what the United States is in terms of land it's Not that big of a piece of land and so The original lie Was a land without a people for a people Without a land and the problem was that

There were people on that land that were Forcibly removed so I think that the Sheer size right we're talking about a Tiny piece of land and a lot of people That were uh removed uh forcefully from Their land and uh that continue to be Brutalized under those miserable Conditions why is Palestine a special place a holy Land it's the land of prophets it is uh A land that holds deep significance Obviously to uh Jews Christians and Muslims it's the land of Abraham peace Be upon him it is the land that has such A rich history to it that connects Multiple peoples in multiple ways it's Precious I think that History while it tells the story of Tragedy and and and struggle over that Piece of land also tells a beautiful Story of Sanctity so you mentioned Abraham Prophets uh Prophet Muhammad is deeply Venerated in Islam obviously but other Prophets are as well Jesus being one of Them um what are the similarities and Differences in the teachings from These two Prophets well Islam refers to this idea Of submission to one God and attaining Peace in the process and refers to the Way of Life that prophets have all come with Which is this idea of

Monotheism and serving that one God in The way that he commands you to serve Him uh so to us uh as it says in the Quran that we do not distinguish between The prophets all the prophets came with One message One mission uh there's a Coherence in the Creed there's a beauty In the foundation of what would become The legislation of each of those Prophets and we see them all as siblings In prophethood And so we say Abraham peace be upon him We say Jesus peace be upon him we say Moses peace be upon him we say Muhammad Peace be upon him we believe that Moses Came to confirm what came from Abraham Jesus came to confirm what came from Moses Muhammad came to confirm what came From Jesus they upheld the same message God did not change over time uh nor did The centrality of his message of Monotheism change over time and so uh to Us it's one beautiful house uh uh There's a saying from the prophet Muhammad peace be upon him where he Describes the house of prophethood each Prophet being a brick and him simply Being the last brick of a beautiful House and so we love the prophets of God And we believe that they each came with The legislation that was necessary for The time but with the same Message so the messages fundamentally The same is there a difference in

Emphasis for example the emphasis on Love With Jesus yeah yeah you know this Is it's like when you talk about MLK and Malcolm to an extent ex except there was Actually some difference right between MLK and Malcolm yes uh you know I just Think that the difference is exaggerated Between them but um I I don't think that Moses didn't emphasize love but Jesus Emphasized love and then Muhammad didn't Emphasize love peace be upon them all I Think that they each Emphasized um the the same attributes And and names of God and and ways of Knowing god Uh but there were of course changes Within legislation changes within uh the Divine Law but the Divine Spirit uh Remain the same and so I don't I don't See them as being counter uh to each Other uh nor do I see that any Prophet Um betrayed the message that came before Them I think they're all part of the Same beautiful Message that we have to be at Harmony With our creator and that we turn Towards him for our guidance And that when we do so uh we establish Uh a greater uh a greater existence here On Earth and so I think that that's Something that's consistent throughout The message of all the prophets you have Been longtime friends with and had Amazing conversations with people of

Other Faiths Christian Jewish how has uh the events of October 7th and the days after affected this in The United States your ability to have Interfaith Conversations connections relationships Friendships complicated very Complicated um and it's not just Muslims And Jews it's also Christian Zionist uh Christian Zionism is at the root of the Problem in my opinion especially when we Talk about what drives uh America's Unshakable unconditional commitment to To Israel Um it's Devastating I think to Palestinian Christians in Particular when Israel can bomb some of The oldest churches of Christianity in Gaza and kill Palestinian Christians and Palestinian Christians are barred from Going to the holy supper or to their Places of worship in Bethlehem or Jerusalem and Christians here in the United States turn their back on them I Think that it is particularly outrageous So it's complic at um look I I I expect More from people in the face of a Genocide we don't have to agree on all The Particulars but we can agree that what Is happening is morally outrageous and

So I think that Um I've had a few people that have Reached out and said I want to say Something but I Can't and I've had to respond with That's not good enough so I think that We have a we have a problem and instead Of focusing on that problem I'd like to Focus on the more morally consistent Voices across Fates that have risen to The moment rather than those that have Failed so you wish more rabbis would be Able to have a conversation like we're Having Today and Also not allow it to be Seen as them turning their back on their Religion rabbis pastors um Again it's not just you know Jewish Leadership it's also Christian Leadership I think that it's important For those that have claimed to be allies In the fight against islamophobia to see That you cannot be opposed to Islamophobia while also extending Anti-palestinian Bigotry yeah one of the things since we Last spoke I got to me a lot of Palestinian Christians including in West Bank and That was fascinating and those are Beautiful people I I think people should Watch Reverend unus Hawk's uh sermon on Christmas Jesus in the

Reubel it was deeply profound you know I I had a chance to speak to Mitri rahb uh From the Lutheran Church there as Well no they're devastated you know I it Was eye opening to many people here when When Justin Amish who was a republican Congressman right Palestinian Christian Republican Congressman posted about his Own family dying in one of the church Bombings uh so it's it's strange strange Times and I think that it shows that the Philosophy of hate that Drives this terrible policy uh is Secular at its root and not Religious one of the Criticisms of Islam points to specific verses of the Quran and the criticism being that it is Not a religion of Peace can you speak to That so objectively speaking if you were To take the verses of the Quran about Violence and compare them just from a Purely percentage based comparison to The New Testament and the Old Testament You would find less verses about war in The Quran than the Old Testament or the New Testament and there are plenty of Studies to speak to that deeper than That contextualizing the birth of Islam The revelation of the Quran which was Over 23 Years in response to deep persecution of The Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him Makes it very clear that none of those

Verses are what they've been made out to Be if Muslims believed that they had to Kill people wherever they are uh mankind Would not exist there are two billion of Us right if if we believe that we were Called by the Quran to hurt people and To kill people uh simply for being Non-believers right it Would not make for a sustainable world So Islam is not violent and I think that The history of Muslims also Bears Witness to that the history of Islam is A history of contribution is a history Of building is a history of medicine and Science and Math and of course Muslims have Sometimes times fallen short of Islamic Standards in the past and in the present But if you look at the overall history Of Islam and the history of the Muslim Community that's not the case and when You look at the Present you know uh Muslim Community Around the world Muslims do not account For a greater proportion of violence Than other Faith communities and again The word terrorist uh is a functionless And meaningless word because uh to me it No less violent if it's commanded by a Head of state or by a Government uh than by a non-state actor So Muslims do not account for a greater Portion of violence now nor have they Accounted for a greater portion of

Violence in the past why do you think These narratives have taken hold in Present discourse at least in in the United States because they allow for Greater violence against the Muslim Community domestically and abroad the United States has launched Wars against Primarily Muslim countries right and has A particularly violent foreign policy Towards the Muslim world and the Muslim Community here in the United States has Dealt with unfortunately multiple Aggressive Iterations of programs of suppression And surveillance under Republican and Democratic administrations and so There's a convenience to that Islamophobia there's a convenience to That framing of the Muslim Community That also distracts from other forms of Violence that are deeply pervasive and Present including the ones that are Committed by the government Itself if it's okay you've mentioned the Alaxa mosque a couple of times I would Love it if you can describe why it is Such an important Place a holy place for Muslims in General but also for this particular Crisis that we have been speaking about Today so Muslims honor the history of All of the prophets right so all of the Prophets that have walked in that place All the prophets that have worshiped in

That place all of that makes it sacred Right so it's not separated for Muslims From uh you know post Muhammad peace be Upon Him versus prior to Muhammad peace Be upon him in terms of the sanctity of That place so we honor it and UHA in Particular is the place where the Prophet Muhammad peace be upon Him leads The other prophets in prayer in the Night of what's known as the night Journey of the Prophet peace be upon him And then he ascends to the heavens and Back and it's also the first which is The first uh place of direction of Prayer for us so before Muslims faced Mecca in prayer for the first half of Islam they actually faced towards Jerusalem in their prayer it was our Direction of prayer and it remained a Fundamental part of our faith uh Fundamental holy Sanctuary there are Three sanctuaries in Islam Mecca Medina And Jerusalem and M AA is precious to us And so you can imagine then the pain of Watching you know innocent Palestinian Worshippers being stomped on by Israeli Soldiers or skunk water being sprayed on People as they're trying to walk in or Uh you know tear gassing taking place in The nights of Ramadan uh in that place The restrictions on people that live Right next to it and that cannot pray in It uh due to the certain classification Of Palestinian that they've been given

Or the age right because uh generally Speaking if you're younger you're not Allowed to go to Mas AA uh even if you Live within the occupied territories so It's it's tough to watch such a sacred Place with such an ugly Occupation but I'll also say this that The sanctity of a human being the Sanctity of just one person is greater Than the sanctity of any place of Worship to us so the sanctity of one Individual in Gaza or one individual in Jerusalem is greater to us than the Sanctity of a place of worship but it is All certainly interconnected that's a Really powerful idea the value of a Human Being is greater than even the alox of Musque so that that's a foundational Idea for Islam the prophet Muhammad Peace be upon him uh says to to the Caba Itself that the value Of a believer's dignity and honor is Greater than the value of the structure Itself and so when I See a person in Gaza aggressed upon when I see one when I see one child that's Greater to me than even ala but Al is at The heart of who we are uh as well and It's certainly at the heart of uh the Palestinian cause it's a place of Prophets and it's a place that should be Treated Prophetically you mentioned to me that

Since October 7th a lot of young people In the United States and in general have Been showing interest in Islam first of all can you explain what You've been seeing and experiencing uh In terms of that Trend yeah we have Quran Tik Tock Trends uh where you had a Few people that went on camera and said You know I'm reading the Quran for the First time and I think that That's the beauty of the faith of the People of Gaza the beauty of their Resilience you know when you're looking At these people living what's hell on Earth but they're seeking Paradise Outside and they're able to still be Inspired towards words of of faith and Determination and certainty you're like What is their secret right what are they Reading what are they on that allows Them uh to still face this brutality With such Grace right I mean they're not Shouting profanities they're not Shouting um you know words of emptiness Or despair but rather they are pouring Out their hearts that are full of faith For the world to see and I think that a Lot of people have seen that and said What is that and so um you know we've Had multiple people come to the mosque I've never seen more people um become Muslim in my life but not just that an Appreciation for Islam like what type of An engineering is there you know that

That allows for people to have that type Of Faith uh so people are opening the Quran for the first time people are Asking questions about Islam and a way That shows that they're inspired uh even Though they're heartbroken by what They're seeing what's a good way to get Introduced to Islam the the faith the The spiritual experience of it Well I think look you go to uh you know Our websites you go to you Go to you come to yakin's website You go to multiple Islamic Websites to get those questions answered But there's nothing like going to a Mosque there's nothing like actually Going to a mosque and meeting Muslims And asking Questions and I tell people like you Have to step out of your comfort zone And go there and let your world be Complicated a bit experience it listen To the sermon meet people from different Backgrounds and ask questions Muslims Love to be asked by the way about their Faith because they're so sick of hearing Other people talk about it so Muslims Love to be asked about their faith Palestinians love to be asked about Palestine because they're so sick of Other people talking about it so uh ask Questions and uh you will have them Answered but there's nothing like a Physical connection there's nothing like

A human connection so definitely try to Reach out to your local Islamic Organizations and meet people how Difficult is it to convert to Islam Takes 20 seconds Man okay what's what's involved simple Enough you you you you you testify to The one there's no pool there's no Baptism like I I often joke with people I'm like all right we got the pool in The back we're going to do the baptism Now um you know uh it's it's literally Um testifying to the Oneness of God and Testifying that Muhammad uh is his final Messenger and so that's called the Shahada and when you testify to the Oneness of God and to uh the prophet Muhammad peace be upon him being his Final Prophet you are accepting what's Known as the six articles of Faith six Articles of Faith are belief in one God Belief in the Angels belief in The Messengers so you can't be a Muslim Without believing in Jesus or Moses or Abraham or Muhammad um to believe in the Messages that God has spoken to humanity Uh through divine revelation the Quran Being the the last uh Revelation to Believe in the day of judgment and to Believe in Divine decree and Predestination so those are six articles Of Faith so when you testify um to the Oneness of God and to the prophet Muhammad peace be upon him being the

Final messenger that's called the Shahada you embrace the package of those Articles of Faith that's the implication Then you learn the prayers you learn to Fast in Ramadan um you give what's known as zaka The mandatory charity 2.5% of your Retained earnings and uh Hajj which is The pilgrimage to Mecca if you can so That's the growth part the journey um You know once a person takes the Testimony they then grow uh it's really Interesting because we always have uh Those people that convert to Islam like A week before Ramadan or even a day Before Ramadan so uh you're Muslim and You got to fast the next day uh you know And that's always a challenging Experience for people but a fulfilling Experience for many people um when they Embrace Islam at that point and again I Mean it's It's it's it's simple and I think that The beauty of Islam to many people is in Its Simplicity one God one Humanity one Body of prophets um and uh one Community Because for You as a Palestinian American this year the Ramadan perhaps would be especially Difficult spiritually what Um what are you anticipating what do you Think is the difference this Year

I hope I hope and pray that we have a Ceasefire before Ramadan I hope that at That point we're rebuilding Gaza talking About rebuilding Gaza and helping People um that have been damaged in so Many different ways I hope that Ramadan Is turning a Corner every Ramadan Um the aggression against the Palestinian people seems to grow so We're usually dealing with you know last 10 nights of Ramadan and then the Incursions on M AA really sour it um for The entire Muslim world right because You're watching worshippers being Assaulted in one of the holiest places In the world and at the same time you're Trying to find your deep connection your Own deep Holy Connection right in Ramadan this time we're going in and if This is still Ongoing um we're dealing with A continued genocide so I think that the Mood has been somber in the community The mood has been uh different from Anything I've ever seen before so I Anticipate this Ramadan would be Different from anything we've ever seen Before I think the focus will continue To be on Gaza and on um either stopping the Aggression on Gaza or beginning the Rebuilding of

Gaza so General heaviness Permeates just your prayers and your Thoughts throughout this yeah I mean Look every sermon I've given since October 7th has had to have some Inclusion of this because it's what What's on everyone's hearts and Minds um We also have people in our communities That have lost 20 30 40 people right in Our Midst it's not the same um you know if We start to have refugees or people that Escape for medical treatment or that are Able to get out through Egypt and join Their families Um you know it's becoming more real Right it's becoming more personal for People so I think that Ramadan will Surround both in in terms of messaging As well as Community uh the uh the pain Of the moment with a prayer for Hope and Healing not to put you on the spot but In your sermons in your private life What is the passage in the Quran that is One you find yourself returning too Often you know the part of the Quran I Get asked this question that resonates With me most uh usually has to do with What is heaviest for me at the Moment um there's a verse in the chapter Of Mary um a part of the Versea your lord does not Forget your lord does not

Forget and So you know as you see what's Transpiring right Now our hope is not in creation our hope Is in our creator and our hope is not in This life our hope is in the Afterlife and so that verse deeply Resonates because I think that you know Many of us often wonder how are they Going to rebuild how are they going to Get past This and we know that God has a way of Restoring Everything God will restore everything If not in this life then in the Next so there's an Eternal flame of hope that burns there Yeah and the people of Gaza have it the People of Gaza have it you know you can Be more easily deluded by this material World if you're Hostage to it but the People of Gaza have never been duded by The material world because they never Really had it they've always been Attached to a greater idea to a greater Place and So it is part of the secret ingredient That they have right that they believe In something greater than this and so You can't survive hell on Earth unless You believe in Paradise outside of It when you look far into the future 20 30 40 years from now we're we're uh We're doing another podcast and 80s and

90 years Old uh what do you hope to see in the Middle East what do you hope to see Change in the Middle East in the United States as a people as Um as a set of Policies cultures Nations I think that the nation State model and nationalist ISM are Becoming so unsustainable just with the Growth of refugee Populations desperate Refugee Populations um the rise of unfortunately Fanaticism and fascism in different Parts of the world um climate you know And and all that that presents to us in Terms of Displacement we're going to have to Figure out how to function As a world rather than as Nations and States we're going to have to figure out How to not see everyone outside of our Borders as Threats and people that are different From us within our borders as threats We're going to have to start seeing People as people and so my hope would be That we would have made people Uncomfortable enough to Transcend some of the barriers in their Hearts and some of the barriers that we Have in the world that don't allow us to See other people as people and then that Drives uh you know horrific policies

Towards people that are so distant from Us you have been Fearless in walking Through the Fire what gives you strength Psychologically to keep going to speak Out but just also maintain an optimism And a hope for the future I don't Believe that anyone gives me succcess or Causes me failure without the permission Of God I don't seek fuel from anyone Else I don't seek Hope from anyone Else I believe in a creator that has a Greater plan and I want to be a greater Part of that plan um and I'm inspired by The resilience of the people of Gaza I'm Inspired by the resilience of my parents And and our grandparents and Palestinians around the world that have Refused to succumb to their eraser that Have refused to to give up and so we Have both the energy that we need and we Have the examples that we need the Energy is from above the examples are All around us well Omar Imam uh this is A huge honor to once again Speak with you and I just want to say Thank you not just for this but for many Private notes you have sent me of Kindness and support and love through Some of the low Points for um as silly as they are for Me personally so it's just great to be Able to call you a friend and to to be Able to uh have you in my corner it's um

I'm forever grateful to you for that I Appreciate it thank you so much man and Thank you for talking today thanks for Listening to this conversation with Omar Suan to support this podcast please Check out our sponsors in the Description and now let me leave you Some words from Dr Martin Luther King Jr We shall Overcome because the Ark of the moral Universe is long but it bends towards Justice thank you for listening and hope To see you next Time

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