Transcript: Judea Pearl, Akhbar Ahmed: Divisions between Muslims & Jews | Mar 25, 2006

Judea Pearl stands behind a lectern in front of an audience. Judea is in his fifties, with short straight black hair and a gray beard. He wears glasses, a black suit, white shirt and dotted white tie.

A caption reads "Judea Pearl. President, Daniel Pearl Foundation."

Judea says THREE YEARS AND
THREE MONTHS AGO IN A DESOLATED
DUNGEON IN KARACHI, PAKISTAN IN
THE MIDST OF THE GREAT MADNESS
THERE WAS A YOUNG MAN WHO
LOOKED STRAIGHT IN THE EYES OF
EAGLE AND PROCLAIMED HIS
IDENTITY.
MY FATHER IS JEWISH.
MY MOTHER IS JEWISH AND I AM
JEWISH HE SAID BEFORE HE WAS
SILENCED FOREVER.
AND THAT YOUNG MAN WAS MY SON
DANNY.
A WALKING SUNSHINE OF TRUTH,
HUMOUR, FRIENDSHIP AND
HUMANITY, AN EMMISARY OF GOOD
WILL.
HE WAS A BRIDGE BUILDER WHO
GAVE A VOICE TO MILLIONS OF
PEOPLE IN THE MIDDLE EAST, OF
VOICELESS PEOPLE IN THE MIDDLE
EAST AND SOUTHEAST ASIA.
HE WAS A JOURNALIST OF
INTEGRITY WHO UNVEILED TO
READERS IN THE WEST...

THE HUMAN FACE
OF THE PEOPLE BEHIND THE NEWS.

The caption changes to "Daniel Pearl Dialogue for Muslim-Jewish Understanding. Temple Har Zion. May 4, 2005."

Judea says AND AS HE STOOD THERE AND
DEMANDED SANITY IN THE FACE OF
MADNESS...
HIS WORDS
ASSUMED A UNIVERSAL DIMENSION
AND CAME TO SYMBOLIZE THE RIGHT
OF EVERY INDIVIDUAL TO ASSERT
HIS OR HER FAITH, HERITAGE AND
IDENTITY.
TOGETHER WITH THE MARVELLOUS
CAPACITY OF THE HUMAN SPIRIT TO
EMBED THE DIGNITY OF BEING
DIFFERENT WITHIN THE ONE MYTH
OF MANKIND.
HIS MURDERERS SCHEMED TO SAW
FEAR AND DIVISION AMONG US.
BUT STRANGELY WITH ALL THEIR
TECHNICAL SOPHISTICATION THEY
MADE A SERIOUS MISCALCULATION
AND THE OUTCOME TURNED AGAINST
THEM.
HOW?
THE RESPECT THAT DANNY EARNED
ON BOTH SIDES OF THE EAST, WEST
DIVIDES AND THE PRINCIPLES BY
WHICH HE LIVED AND THE SOUND OF
HIS LAST WORDS, BECAME ICONIC
PERSONAL REMINDERS TO MILLIONS
OF PRINCIPLED PEOPLE AROUND THE
WORLD THAT THE CURRENT WAVE OF
TERROR AND HATRED IS NOT AN
EXPRESSION OF AN ORDINARY
CONFLICT BETWEEN TRIBES,
COUNTRIES, OR RELIGIONS, BUT
THREATENS TO ERODE THE VERY
FABRIC OF CIVILIZED SOCIETY.
CONSEQUENTLY WHAT EMERGED FROM
DANNY'S TRAGEDY AND VIVIDLY
DISPLAYED ON THE SCREENS OF THE
WORLD'S CONSCIOUSNESS WAS AN
URGENT CALL FOR PEOPLE OF ALL
FAITH TO RECOGNIZE THE DANGER
THREATENING CIVILIZED SOCIETY
TODAY AND TO LIFT OUR COMMON
HUMANITY ABOVE THE DIFFERENCES
THAT SET US APART.
IT WAS THIS URGENT CALL THAT
COMPELLED MY FAMILY AND MYSELF
TO ESTABLISH THE DANIEL PEARL
FOUNDATIONS AND TO TAKE UPON
OURSELVES THE TASK OF
HARNESSING ALL THE ENERGY AND
GOODWILL THAT THIS TRAGEDY HAS
EVOKED INTO ONE AND ONLY ONE
CHANNEL, AND THIS IS TO FIGHT
THE HATRED THAT TOOK DANNY'S
LIFE.
OF COURSE WE DO NOT HAVE THE
RESOURCES TO MOVE ARMIES OR
CONQUER TERRITORIES.
BUT WE HAVE THE GOODWILL OF
MILLIONS OF DECENT PEOPLE
AROUND THE WORLD, CHRISTIANS,
JEWS AND MUSLIMS, PAKISTANIS,
ISRAELIS AND PALESTINIANS,
JOURNALISTS AND MUSICIANS WERE
DETERMINED TO TAKE A STAND FOR
TOLERANCE AND HUMANITY.
THE DANIEL PEARL -- PROGRAM
THAT WE HAVE THE PRIVILEGE OF
BRINGING HERE TONIGHT TO YOU
WAS INITIATED BY PROFESSOR
AHMED AND MYSELF OUT OF JOINT
CONCERN FOR THE DETERIORATING
RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN OUR TWO
COMMUNITIES, AND OUR UNSHAKEN
BELIEF THAT THIS RELATIONSHIP
COULD BE IMPROVED THROUGH A
FRANK AND RATIONAL DIALOGUE
BASED ON OUR COMMON ABRAHAMIC
TRADITIONS.
YOU SEE OUR MISSION IN THIS
DIALOGUE IS THAT OF CARVING A
PATH OF LEGITIMACY FOR ONGOING
COMMUNITY CONVERSATION, AND IN
THE BEST CASE LEADING TO
UNDERSTANDING AND COOPERATION
AND AT THE VERY LEAST THE
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF
UNFAMILIARITY WITH EACH OTHER
NARRATIVE.
WE THANK, WE THANK OUR SPONSOR
THE WIESENTHAL CENTRE HERE IN
TORONTO AND ESPECIALLY TO YOU
THE AUDIENCE FOR HOSTING THIS
PROGRAM.
AND WE HOPE THAT OUR CONTINUED
SUPPORT, YOUR CONTINUED SUPPORT
IN SEEING THIS DIALOGUE SPREAD
TO OTHER COMMUNITIES WILL TAKE
PLACE.
I BELIEVE IT'S THE GREATEST
VICTORY THAT FOR DANIEL IF THAT
GOES ON.
PLEASE CARRY ON THAT VICTORY.

The audience applauds.

Now Akbar Ahmed takes the stand. Akbar is in his late fifties, balding and clean-shaven. HE wears a black suit, pale yellow tie and burnt orange tie.

The caption changes to "Akbar Ahmed. Chair of Islamic Studies. American University."

Akbar says DISTINGUISHED
LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, I CAN SEE
FROM THE TURNOUT THAT YOU
PEOPLE OF TORONTO ARE COMMITTED
TO DIALOGUE BECAUSE I KNOW THAT
JUDEA PEARL AND I ARE COMPETING
WITH PARIS HILTON, AND SHE IS
MUCH MORE ATTRACTIVE.
[Audience laughing]
AND I THOUGHT
SO YOU REALLY ARE SHOWING SIGNS
OF COMMITMENT TO THE DIALOGUE
ITSELF.
[Audience laughing]
FOR ME TO BE
HERE IN THE SANCTUARY WITH THE
SCROLLS, THE MESSAGE OF GOD TO
MOSES AS A MUSLIM SENDS CHILLS
DOWN MY SPINE.
I THINK WE NEED
TO EMPHASIZE WHAT IS COMMON
BETWEEN US.
TO US MUSLIMS, MOSES IS ONE OF
THE MOST REVERED FIGURES LIKE
ABRAHAM.
AND JUDEA HAD POINTED OUT THE
ABRAHAMIC BASE OF OUR COMMON
ANCESTRY.
AND THAT IS SOMETHING WE NEED
TO HOLD ONTO BECAUSE WE ARE
LIVING IN A WORLD, WHICH IS
DANGEROUSLY DIVIDED, OFTEN
VIOLENT AND VERY UNCERTAIN.
I IN FACT TALK ABOUT THE SENSE
OF SIEGE THAT IS GROWING IN
SOCIETIES, AMERICAN SOCIETY,
ISRAELI SOCIETY, MUSLIM
SOCIETY, ALL OF US FEELING A
SENSE OF BEING UNDER SIEGE.
ALL OF US FEELING THAT OUR
TRADITIONS, OUR CULTURE, OUR
HONOUR, OUR DIGNITY ARE BEING
ATTACKED.
NOW IN THIS CONTEXT AND YOU
ACCEPT THAT THIS IS HAPPENING
AND I BELIEVE IT IS HAPPENING,
THEN ANY ATTEMPT AT DIALOGUE
BECOMES VERY IMPORTANT.
AND THE DEATH OF DANNY PEARL
FOR ME EFFECTED ME ON SEVERAL
LEVELS.
THERE WAS THE PERSONAL TRAGEDY.
THIS HANDSOME, YOUNG MAN CUT IN
THE BLOOM OF HIS LIFE.

A slide shows a picture of Danny. HE was a man in his thirties, clean-shaven and with short wavy brown hair.

Akbar says YOU CAN SEE THAT PHOTOGRAPH.
YOU CAN SEE THIS YOUNG MAN FULL
OF LIFE, BUBBLING WITH LIFE.
AND I KNOW WHERE HE GETS HIS
SENSE OF HUMOUR FROM, FROM MY
FRIEND JUDEA PEARL.
DON'T BE FOOLED BY THE FACT
THAT HE'S A SCIENTIST.
HE HAS A GREAT SENSE OF HUMOUR.
[Audience laughing]
SO THAT IS THE
ONE LEVEL, THE PERSONAL
TRAGEDY.
A YOUNG MAN WITH A WIFE
EXPECTING.
THERE CAN BE NO BIGGER TRAGEDY.
ON ANOTHER LEVEL FOR ME AS A
PAKISTANI, AS A MUSLIM, LOOKING
AT THE MUSLIM WORLD, CONCERNED
WITH THE MUSLIM WORLD, I FELT
THAT THIS WAS A COLLAPSE.
A COLLAPSE ON AN ADMINISTRATIVE
LEVEL, A COLLAPSE ON A MODERN
LEVEL, A COLLAPSE IN FACT OF
SOCIETY ITSELF.
HOW CAN ANY HUMAN BEING JUSTIFY
WHAT HAPPENED TO DANNY PEARL?
I DON'T SEE ANY JUSTIFICATION
EXCEPT A COLLAPSE.
AND THAT IN TURN FEEDS INTO THE
SENSE OF SIEGE, BOTH WAYS.
THE JEWISH COMMUNITY WHO WOULD
SAY LOOK, THIS IS WHAT MUSLIMS
DO.
THEY ARE TERRORISTS, THEY ARE
SAVAGE, THEY ARE VIOLENT.
HERE IS ANOTHER EXAMPLE OF
THEIR BEHAVIOUR.
AND TO THE MUSLIMS WHO WOULD
SAY WHAT IS HAPPENING IN OUR
SOCIETY?
IT DOES NOT ENCOURAGE DIALOGUE.
AND THEREFORE WHEN JUDEA RANG
ME IN WASHINGTON, I WAS IN MY
OFFICE AND WE TALKED I WAS VERY
KEEN TO CONTINUE THIS PERSONAL
FRIENDSHIP AND DIALOGUE AND
DEVELOP IT INTO SOMETHING,
WHICH COULD PERHAPS, PERHAPS
MAKE SOME CONTRIBUTION TO
DIALOGUE.
AND SINCE THAT MEETING WE HAVE
IN FACT BEEN ON A SERIES OF
DIALOGUES.
WE HAVE DEVELOPED A FRIENDSHIP
AND THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT,
DIALOGUE WITHOUT FRIENDSHIP IS
ONLY HALF, IT'S INCOMPLETE.
IT'S AN EXCHANGE OF IDEAS.
IT'S AN EXCHANGE OF POSITIONS.
VERY OFTEN YOU FALL BACK TO
YOUR OWN POSITIONS AND IT GETS
NOWHERE, HOWEVER WELL
INTENTIONED YOU MAYBE.
AND I KNOW THERE ARE MANY
ATTEMPTS IN TORONTO AND
EXCELLENT ATTEMPTS AT DIALOGUE
IN YOUR CITY THAT HAS IN FACT
PIONEERED THIS.
FOR DIALOGUE TO REALLY WORK YOU
NEED TO DEVELOP INTO A SORT OF
UNDERSTANDING OF EACH OTHER'S
POSITIONS, EACH OTHER'S
CULTURES.
NOT ALWAYS AGREE, BUT AT LEAST
UNDERSTAND, READ ABOUT EACH
OTHER, UNDERSTAND THE
LITERATURE AND WHERE YOU'RE
COMING FROM.
THAT IN TURN CAN CREATE
FRIENDSHIP.
WHEN YOU HAVE FRIENDSHIP,
EVERYTHING CHANGES.
WHEN YOU HAVE FRIENDSHIP AND
SOMETHING HAPPENS TO JUDEA
PEARL I FEEL IT BECAUSE I KNOW
HIS FAMILY.
I KNOW HIS GRANDSON.
I KNOW ABOUT HIS WIFE.
I KNOW WHAT SHE IS LIKE.
I KNOW THAT SHE RINGS HIM THREE
TIMES A DAY SO HE SUDDENLY GETS
THE PHONE FOR A FEW MINUTES,
AND VICE VERSA.
I'M GETTING SAME INSTRUCTIONS
FROM WASHINGTON ALL THE TIME.
[Audience laughing]
SO THIS IS HOW
IT WORKS OUT.
IT CHANGES THE RELATIONSHIP.
WE CANNOT THEN TALK AS TWO
STRANGERS.
WE ARE TALKING AS TWO FRIENDS.
NOW, THIS MAY WORK, THIS MAY
NOT BECAUSE THEY ARE TWO PEOPLE
WHO HAVE COME TOGETHER UNDER
CERTAIN CIRCUMSTANCES.
TRAGIC, BUT SOMEONE CONVERTED
THIS.
JUDEA PEARL CONVERTED THIS
PERSONAL TRAGEDY INTO A HEROIC
REACHING OUT.
AND IT IS A HEROIC REACHING
OUT.
I ACKNOWLEDGE THIS BECAUSE THIS
TEST WOULD TEST ANY HUMAN
BEING.
NONE OF US, ANY OF US IN THIS
AUDIENCE CANNOT GUARANTEE HOW
WE WOULD REACT TO THIS PERSONAL
TEST AND YET THIS MAN REACHED
OUT.
HE BUILT BRIDGES.
NOT ONLY TO ME BUT THROUGH ME
TO A LARGER COMMUNITY.
WE HAVE BEEN ON THE ROAD.
WE HAVE HAD MANY DIALOGUES,
MANY SUCCESSFUL DIALOGUES.
LAST NIGHT WE HAD THE PLEASURE
OF BEING IN OTTAWA WITH LEO AND
AVI WHO FLEW DOWN FROM TORONTO
AND WE HAD A COMPLETELY, FULL,
SOLD-OUT EVENT WITH VERY, VERY
DISTINGUISHED PEOPLE
PARTICIPATING AND THAT IN TURN
GIVES US HOPE.
IT UPLIFTS US, BECAUSE IT TELLS
US PEOPLE DO WANT TO HEAR AN
ALTERNATIVE MESSAGE.
THEY WOULD LIKE TO HEAR
SOMETHING ELSE APART FROM THE
GLOOM AND DOOM THAT WE HAVE
SURROUNDING THE JEWISH, MUSLIM
RELATIONSHIP, INDEED THE
ABRAHAMIC RELATIONSHIP.
I WANT TO CONCLUDE BY POINTING
OUT THAT AT THE CORE OF THE
ABRAHAMIC FAITHS WE HAVE
CERTAIN VALUES, WHICH TO ME AS
A MUSLIM ARE ABSOLUTELY
ESSENTIAL TO DEFINE ME AS A
MEMBER OF THE ABRAHAMIC
TRADITION AND FAITH.
THESE CORE VALUES ARE -- WHICH
MEANS JUSTICE, ESSAN WHICH IS
COMPASSION OR BALANCE, ILN
WHICH MEANS KNOWLEDGE.
NOW ALL THESE YOU'RE FAMILIAR
WITH AND RESPECT FOR FAMILY
LIFE.
YOU'RE FAMILIAR WITH THIS
BECAUSE THESE ARE YOUR VALUES
ALSO.
IN MANY WAYS WE ECHO AND
REFLECT AND OVERLAP WITH YOUR
VALUES, THE JUDAIC TRADITION.
IN ISLAM WE EMPHASIZE
COMPASSION AND BENEFICIALISM.
BEFORE MUSLIMS TO ANYTHING,
ANYTHING SIGNIFICANT WHEN THE
IMAM CAME UP TO TALK HERE HE
MUST HAVE SAID IN HIS HEART...
[Speaking Arabic]
WHICH MEANS IN
THE NAME OF GOD, THE
BENEFICIAL, THE MERCIFUL.
GOD HAS 99 NAMES IN THE KORAN
AND OF THOSE NAMES THE TWO MOST
REPEATED ARE RAMAN AND RAHIM,
WHICH MEAN COMPASSIONATE AND
MERCIFUL.
AND I ASK MYSELF HOW CAN A
PEOPLE WHO REPEAT ALL THE TIME,
ALL DAY, RIGHT NOW WHILE WE ARE
TALKING THERE MUST BE MILLIONS
OF MUSLIMS SAYING...
[Speaking Arabic]
THEY DO THIS
FOR WHATEVER, THEY DRIVE A CAR,
THEY'LL DO IT, BEFORE EATING
THEY'LL DO IT.
HOW CAN A PEOPLE WHO BELIEVE IN
A GOD THAT IS COMPASSIONATE AND
MERCIFUL BE RESPONSIBLE OR BE
CAPABLE OF ACTS OF SUCH
VIOLENCE?
THIS IS THE GREAT QUESTION WE
NEED TO BE ASKING OURSELVES.
AND WE CAN ONLY ANSWER IT IF WE
STEP BACK AND SEE WHAT'S
HAPPENING IN THE WORLD TODAY.
SO THEREFORE MY UNDERLYING
THESIS IN ALL THIS IS TO COME
TO THIS WE NEED TO TRY TO BUILD
THESE BRIDGES.
HOWEVER FRAIL AND SMALL THEY
MAYBE.
HOWEVER FRAIL AND SMALL THIS
DIALOGUE IS, BUT WE NEED TO
TAKE THE STEP AND HAVE YOU
JOINING US.
I'LL CONCLUDE BY POINTING OUT
THAT FOR ALL OF US ISLAM IS NO
LONGER A LUXURY OUT THERE.
IT ISN'T AN ACADEMIC SUBJECT.
IT ISN'T, IT ISN'T A
THEORETICAL EXERCISE FOR US TO
KNOW SOMETHING ABOUT ISLAM
BECAUSE OF DANNY PEARL.
WE NEED TO KNOW ISLAM BECAUSE
IT IS A WORLD CIVILIZATION, 1.3
BILLION PEOPLE, 57 STATES.
MILLIONS OF MUSLIMS LIVING IN
THE WEST AND THE USA AND IN
CANADA AND UNITED STATES,
CANADA INVOLVED IN THE MUSLIM
WORLD PHYSICALLY.
IN AFGHANISTAN, CANADA IS VERY
ACTIVELY INVOLVED IN
AFGHANISTAN AND MANY OTHER
MUSLIM COUNTRIES.
SO YOU REALLY NEED TO KNOW
ISRAEL ITSELF AS JUDEA POINTS
OUT IS SURROUNDED BY THE MUSLIM
WORLD.
IT CANNOT ESCAPE ITS
NEIGHBOURHOOD.
IT CANNOT ESCAPE THE DEMOGRAPHY
OF ITS LOCATION.
IT NEEDS TO VERY QUICKLY BUILD
BRIDGES.
SO IN A SENSE THE BRIDGES THAT
WE ARE BUILDING HOPEFULLY,
HOPEFULLY WILL HAVE A POSITIVE
IMPACT ON OUR PEOPLES OVER
THERE.
ALL WE CAN DO IS WHAT WE CAN DO
AS GRANDFATHERS, AS FRIENDS.
AND WHAT WE WILL WELCOME IS
SUPPORT AND ENCOURAGEMENT FROM
YOU HERE THIS EVENING, THANK
YOU.

The audience applauds.

Now Bob Rae takes the stand. He’s in his fifties, clean-shaven and with short straight white hair. He wears a blue suit, blue shirt and patterned red and white tie.

He says THANK YOU SO MUCH.

Abkar says THANK YOU.

Bob says WELL LET THE
DIALOGUE BEGIN.
YOU'VE, YOU'VE HAD PRACTICE AT
THIS.
YOU'VE BEEN DOING IT ELSEWHERE.
GET STARTED AND IF THE
CONVERSATION SLOWS I WILL
INTERRUPT.
[Audience laughing]

Abkar says BOB THE WAY YOU
SAID IT, IT SEEMED LIKE YOU
WERE ABOUT TO SAY LET THE
JOUSTING BEGIN.
[All laughing]

Abkar says JUDEA WARNED ME
HE DOESN'T HAVE ANY GLOVES
TODAY.
HE'S GOING TO BE VERY TOUGH.
AS YOU WERE PLEASE.

Judea says LET US START
FROM WHERE WE STOPPED LAST
NIGHT, OKAY.
PEOPLE WAITED UNTIL THE END,
CAN YOU HEAR ME?

Akbar says YES.

A slide shows a picture of two men. One is wearing Muslim attire.

Judea says TO ASK WHO ARE
THE TWO FIGURES ON THE
PICTURES?
SO LET ME, EXPLAIN AND LET ME
GIVE US A BACKGROUND FOR OUR
CONVERSATION.
ON THE LEFT YOU FIND DANIEL
PEARL AND ON THE RIGHT YOU FIND
SHIEKH YUSEF QARADAWI WHO
DANNY, WHOM DANNY INTERVIEWED
ABOUT TWO MONTHS BEFORE HE WAS
ABDUCTED.
SO THAT WAS LIKE NOVEMBER,
2001.
QARADAWI AT
THAT TIME, HE IS A VERY,
INFLUENTIAL CLERIC IN THE ARAB
WORLD.
HE GOT HIS
DEGREES AND HIS CREDENTIALS IN
EGYPT IN THE HIGHEST
UNIVERSITIES.
AND HE HAS A TALK SHOW ON
ALJAZEERA CALLED UM, CALLED UM
"SHARIA AND LIFE."
AND DANNY INTERVIEWED HIM
BECAUSE HE, HE BECAME FAMOUS
THROUGH HIS SIGNING OF A FATWA,
A POSITIVE FATWA.
THE FATWA WAS PERMISSION FOR
MUSLIM SOLDIERS IN THE U.S.
ARMY TO PARTICIPATE IN THE
STRUGGLE AGAINST OSAMA BIN
LADEN.
AT THAT TIME IT WAS NOT KNOWN
WHERE THE STRUGGLE IS GOING ON,
HOW THE STRUGGLE IS GOING TO
EVOLVE.
BUT ANYHOW THERE WERE FIVE
PEOPLE, FIVE MUSLIMS
AUTHORITIES THAT GAVE AUTHORITY
TO MUSLIM SOLDIERS TO
PARTICIPATE.
SO HE OBTAINED THE TITLE OF A
MODERATE MUSLIM, AND DANNY WENT
TO INTERVIEW HIM.
IN THAT INTERVIEW STRANGELY UM,
SHIEKH QARADAWI MADE A
STATEMENT, WHICH DANNY REPORTED
AT FACE VALUE.
AND THE STATEMENT GOES THAT
SUICIDE BOMBING IN ISRAEL IS
PERMITTED BECAUSE ESSENTIALLY
THERE AREN'T ANY INNOCENT
BYSTANDERS, BYSTANDERS IN
ISRAEL.
EVERYONE IS A SOLDIER OF A
KIND.
MALES GO EVENTUALLY AND SERVE
IN THE RESERVE FORCES.
A PREGNANT WOMEN EVENTUALLY
GAVE BIRTH TO BABIES WHO GROW,
WHO BECOME MEMBERS OF THE IDF,
AND THEREFORE SUICIDE BOMBING
AGAINST CIVILIANS OF ISRAEL IS
PERMITTED ACCORDING TO THE
ISLAMIC LAW.
THAT WAS THE FIRST UTTERANCE OF
THAT SORT THAT CAME OUT OF AN
INFLUENTIAL AND AUTHORITATIVE
SOURCE.
AND DANIEL REPORTED THAT IN THE
WALL STREET JOURNAL.
EVENTUALLY, QARADAWI BECAME
EVEN MORE EXTREME AND HE
CONDUCTED A CONFERENCE IN
EUROPE, I THINK IN SWEDEN ABOUT
THE FATWA ISSUE AND ABOUT THE
SUICIDE BOMBING, AND AGAIN HE
TRIED TO PROVE TO THE MUSLIM
WORLD THAT ACCORDING TO THE
KORAN, YOU KNOW SUICIDE BOMBING
AGAINST INNOCENT CIVILIANS IN
ISRAEL IS PERMITTED.
THIS COULD BE PERMITTED AND IF
YOU, IF YOU PUT THE LOGIC
TOGETHER YOU GET A, A PERMIT.
UM, RECENTLY QARADAWI CAME
INTO, INTO THE NEWS AGAIN
THROUGH THE MAYOR OF LONDON,
MISTER LIVINGSTON WHO INVITED HIM
WITH A RED CARPET TO LONDON,
THE CITY OF LONDON.
AND SEVERAL REPORTERS WROTE TO
US AND SAY HOW CAN YOU, HOW CAN
WE IMAGINE THAT THE CITY OF
LONDON WOULD INVITE SOMEONE
LIKE HIM TO AS A GUEST OF
HONOUR?
AT THAT TIME THE MAYOR
LIVINGSTON, APPOINTED A
COMMITTEE TO INVESTIGATE KARA-
QARADAWI'S WRITINGS AND HE CAME
UP WITH A STATEMENT THAT HE IS
NOT ENDORSING SUICIDE BOMBING
AFTER ALL.
LATELY I READ A PIECE OF NEWS
FROM QARADAWI AGAIN AND THIS
WAS CONCERNING, HIS ADVICE TO
YOUNG MUSLIMS.
ADVICE STATES TAKE FROM THE
WEST SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY,
BUT REJECT THEIR PHILOSOPHY
BECAUSE THEIR PHILOSOPHY IS
ROOTED IN THE PAGANISM OF GREEK
AND ROMAN PHILOSOPHY.
SO THAT IS ANOTHER ISSUE THAT I
WOULD LIKE TO BRING FOR
DISCUSSION.
THE FIRST ONE IS HOW DO THE
MUSLIM WORLD, VIEW AN
INFLUENTIAL FIGURE OF THAT
CALIBRE?
HOW DO YOU PERSONALLY VIEW HIM?
DO YOU, DO YOU GATHER THE
COURAGE TO STATE THAT SHIEKH
QARADAWI MISINTERPRETED THE
KORAN?
BECAUSE THAT IS AN AWFUL
STATEMENT TO SAY AGAINST A
RESPECTED MEMBER OF THE CLERGY.

Akbar says I'M GLAD JUDEA
YOU RAISE SOME OF THESE ISSUES,
THESE ARE VERY IMPORTANT
ISSUES.
I WANT TO POINT OUT THAT NUMBER
ONE THE MUSLIM WORLD, IS NOT A
MONOLITH.
IT IS AS I SAID 1.3 BILLION
ROUGHLY SPREAD OVER SEVERAL
CONTINENTS.
NOW THE SHIEKH I HAVEN'T HAD
THE PLEASURE OF MEETING HIM IS
OBVIOUSLY AN IMPORTANT SHIEKH
IN A CERTAIN PART OF THE WORLD.
HE HAS HIS OWN OPINIONS.
THERE ARE OTHER SHIEKHS WITH
OTHER OPINIONS.
I DON'T SEE WHAT PURPOSE THIS
PARTICULAR PICTURE SERVES, SO
THAT THE SHIEKH DOMINATES A
DISCUSSION ABOUT ISLAM, BECAUSE
IN NO WAY DOES HE REPRESENT THE
MAINSTREAM THINKING WITHIN
ISLAM ABOUT VIOLENCE.
WE HAVE HAD AN IMAM HERE AND HE
WILL CONFIRM THIS.
THIS SHIEKH MAY HAVE CERTAIN
OPINIONS ABOUT SUICIDE BOMBERS,
ABOUT VIOLENCE AND SO ON.
I DO NOT AGREE WITH THIS.
JUDEA YOU ASKED ME WHAT I
THINK.
YOU READ MY BOOK "ISLAM UNDER
SIEGE."
I THINK THE ANSWER IS IN THAT
AND MANY OTHER BOOKS, IN WHICH
I CATEGORICALLY TALK ABOUT IT.
THE QUESTION IS DO YOU
ACKNOWLEDGE THAT THERE ARE
OTHER OPINIONS ON ISLAM?
AND IF YOU DO WHY ARE WE
CONSTANTLY QUOTING SOME
NEGATIVE PEOPLE WHO MAY OR NOT
HAVE A CERTAIN OPINION OF
ISLAM?
WHY DO WESTERN PEOPLE
CONSTANTLY PICK UP ONE, SO-
CALLED SPOKESMAN OF ISLAM WHO
HAPPENS TO SAY SOME VIOLENT
THINGS AND ASSUME THAT THIS IS
ISLAM?
WHY DON'T I HEAR ABOUT THE
GREAT SUFI MYSTICS OF ISLAM FOR
INSTANCE?
THOSE PEOPLE WHO TALK OF
COMPASSION AND UNIVERSAL LOVE.
THOSE PEOPLE WHO TALK OF
REACHING OUT.
THOSE PEOPLE WHO TALK OF THE
COMMON TRADITIONS THAT WE HAVE.
AND THERE ARE HUNDREDS AND
THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE LIKE THIS.
THERE IS LITERATURE, THERE ARE
PEOPLE, THEY'VE GOT NAMES,
THEY'VE GOT FACES.
WE DON'T HEAR ABOUT THEM.
I BELIEVE THAT IT IS IMPORTANT
TO HAVE IDENTIFIED THIS AND
THEN MOVE ON, BECAUSE IF WE ARE
CONSTANTLY STUCK WITH QARADAWI
I DON'T KNOW HOW WE'RE GOING TO
MOVE AHEAD.
BECAUSE HE MAY HAVE HIS, I
DON'T EVEN KNOW YOU WERE SAYING
HE'S GONE MORE AND MORE
EXTREME.
LET HIM GO MORE AND MORE
EXTREME.
WE HAVE TO THAT IS I HAVE TO,
CONTINUE MY OWN WORK.
I AM ALSO SPEAKING WITHIN THE
ISLAMIC TRADITION.
I AM NOT SPEAKING OUTSIDE IT.
I'M NOT GIVING UP ISLAM.
I AM NOT SAYING I'M NOT A
MUSLIM AND THEREFORE I'LL SPEAK
LIKE THIS.
I AM SPEAKING CHAPTER AND VERSE
AND SO ARE MANY, OTHER MUSLIMS
HERE.
IF IN CHAPTER AND VERSE AND
THROUGH THE KORAN YOU CAN
CONVINCE ME THAT THE SHIEKH IS
RIGHT, THEN PERHAPS I WILL
ACKNOWLEDGE THAT.
BUT IF YOU CANNOT CONVINCE ME
HE'S RIGHT THEN I THINK IT'S
TOTALLY IRRELEVANT WHAT HE'S
SAYING OR NOT SAYING, EXCEPT
THAT SOME MUSLIMS ARE AGREEING
WITH HIM.
SOME MUSLIMS MAYBE AGREEING
WITH ME.
I'M ALSO SPEAKING TO THE
MUSLIMS.
I'M ON ALJAZEERA.
I'M ON BBC.
I'M ON AS YOUNG TANYA POINTED
OUT ON OPRAH WINFREY.
I DON'T THINK HE'S COME ON
OPRAH YET.
[Audience laughing]
SO WE ARE, WE
ARE ALSO INVOLVED IN THE
DEBATE.
LET US MOVE ON, STOP BEING
STUCK WITH QARADAWI BECAUSE YOU
ARE GIVING HIM A LIFE THAT HE
DOES NOT DESERVE.
YOU'RE GIVING HIM IMPORTANCE
THAT HE DOESN'T DESERVE IN THE
DEBATE.
SO WE NEED TO MOVE ON.

Judea says I AGREE WITH
YOU.
WE HAVE TO, WE NEED TO MOVE ON
AND YOU ANSWERED MY QUESTION.
MY QUESTION IS, WELL, MY
QUESTION WAS WELL HOW DO YOU
EXPLAIN HIS AUTHORITY, HIS
COMMANDING SUCH RESPECT IN THE
MUSLIM WORLD?
AND YOU ANSWERED IT -- IN THE
FULL LENGTH FASHION, THAT EACH
ONE HAS ITS OWN OPINION.
EVEN THE CLERGY IS SPLIT ON
INTERPRETATION OF ISLAM, SO
ESSENTIALLY I MAY INTERPRET
WHAT YOU TOLD ME THAT YOU
DIFFER WITH SHIEKH QARADAWI AS
TO THE INTERPRETATION OF...

Akbar says YES, YES.

Judea says THE KORAN?

Akbar says NO, ON THIS
ISSUE I DO NOT KNOW WHAT HIS
OPINION IS.
[Both talking at once]

Judea says ON THIS ISSUE,
ON THIS ISSUE, YES.

Akbar says I'M NOT SURE
WHAT HE'S SAYING ABOUT I MEAN
ON VIOLENCE.
IF HE SAYS KILL WOMEN WHO ARE
PREGNANT, YOU KNOW WHAT YOU
WERE SAYING.
IF HE SAID THIS TO DANNY THEN
CERTAINLY ON THIS I WOULD
DISAGREE, BECAUSE THE KORAN
SAYS AND THE IMAM CAN CONFIRM,
THIS FOR ME.
IMAM PLEASE TELL US THE EXACT
VERSE IN WHICH THE KORAN SAYS
THAT THE TAKING OF ONE INNOCENT
LIFE IS LIKE THE TAKING OF ALL
OF HUMANITY.

A man in the audience says AH, CHAPTER SIX...
THAT'S WHERE...

Akbar says SO WOULD YOU
AGREE WHEN KADOWI SAYS KILL
WOMEN AND CHILDREN AS LONG AS
THEY'RE JEWISH BECAUSE TOMORROW
THEY MAY BECOME SOLDIERS AND
KILL US?
HOW CAN HE
JUSTIFY THAT?

The man says IT'S CONTRADICTION OF THE
VERSE.

Akbar says THERE YOU ARE.

Judea says VERY
INTERESTING.

Akbar says NEXT TIME QUOTE
THIS IMAM.

[Audience laughing]
[Audience applauding]

Akbar says IMAM, PLEASE
STAND UP AND TAKE A BOW.
[Audience laughing]
[Audience applauding]

Judea says GREAT.

Akbar says NOW JUDEA I DO
WANT TO FINISH, BUT YOU RAISE
AN IMPORTANT ISSUE.
JUDEA HAS RAISED AN IMPORTANT
ISSUE INADVERTENTLY AND THE
ISSUE IS THIS.
THERE IS WITHIN THE MUSLIM
WORLD, A DIRE NEED TO BE
ANALYZING AND DISCUSSING THERE,
OWN TRADITION IN AN OBJECTIVE
AND SYMPATHETIC MANNER.
IT HAS TO BE MORE CRITICAL,
MORE SELF-CRITICAL THEN IT IS.
SO IF SOMEONE MAKES A STATEMENT
AS JUDEA'S POINTING OUT, I
DON'T KNOW THE IMPACT THAT THIS
PARTICULAR GENTLEMAN HAS, BUT
OBVIOUSLY HE HAS A FOLLOWING.
HE WILL HAVE A FOLLOWING IN A
REGION, IN A LANGUAGE, IN A
CULTURAL ENVIRONMENT AND PEOPLE
OBVIOUSLY WILL BE INFLUENCED BY
THIS.
IT IS A BATTLE OF IDEAS AND IT
ISN'T NEW.
WE MUST UNDERSTAND THIS.
THIS BATTLE OF IDEAS IN MY PART
OF THE WORLD HAS BEEN ON FOR
THE LAST 200 YEARS.
FROM THE MIDDLE OF THE 19TH
CENTURY THERE HAS BEEN A BATTLE
OF IDEAS BETWEEN THOSE MUSLIMS
WHO BELIEVE THAT ISLAM IS QUITE
CAPABLE OF LIVING WITH
MODERNITY.
IT IS A RELIGION THAT CAN
ACCOMMODATE WITH MODERNITY,
WITH CONFIDENCE, WITH HONOUR,
WITH DIGNITY.
AND THOSE MUSLIMS WHO BELIEVE
THAT ISLAM CAN ONLY SURVIVE IF
IT DRAWS RIGID BOUNDARIES
AROUND ITSELF, IF IT BECOMES
EXCLUSIVIST.
NOW YOU HAVE THIS BATTLE TAKING
PLACE AND OBVIOUSLY THIS SHIEKH
REFLECTS ONE ASPECT OF THIS
BATTLE OF IDEAS.
AND WE NEED TO UNDERSTAND THAT
THE IMPACT YOU KNOW YOU
WONDERED ABOUT THE INFLUENCE
AND IMPACT OF THE SHIEKH IN THE
MIDDLE EAST WOULD OBVIOUSLY
ALSO BE COLOURED BY THE
POLITICAL SITUATION OF THE
ISRAELIS AND THE PALESTINIANS.
SO IT FEEDS INTO AN ARGUMENT
AND THEREFORE JUSTIFYING
THAT IF YOU KILL THE JEWISH
PEOPLE THEREFORE IS JUSTIFYING
THE KORAN AND THE SUICIDE.
AND THAT OF COURSE REINFORCES
THE SENSE OF MUSLIMS UNDER
SIEGE, JEWS UNDER SIEGE AND
DOESN'T HELP THE SITUATION AT
ALL.
TO ME A MAN OR A WOMAN OF GOD
ARE PEOPLE WHO ARE OUT TO MAKE
PEACE, WHO ARE TRYING TO BUILD
BRIDGES.
THAT IS MY UNDERSTANDING.
MAYBE MY UNDERSTANDING IS
WRONG.
TO ME THE WHOLE MESSAGE OF
ABRAHAM WHOSE SITTING UP THERE,
AND WE DISCUSSED ABRAHAM.
HE'S SITTING THERE IN HIS
SETTLEMENT, LOOKING UP AT THE
STARS AND ASKING QUESTIONS.
WHAT'S IT ALL ABOUT?
HOW LONG HAVE I GOT?
WHAT, WHAT, WHAT, HOW DO I
INTERPRET THE DIVINE?
ALL THESE ARE QUESTIONS THAT
FORCE US TO REACH OUT TO
PEOPLE, NOT TO DRAW BRIDGES,
NOT TO BE EXCLUSIVE.
YOU MENTIONED THE THREE
STRANGERS WHO TURNED UP.
HE RECEIVES THEM WITH
HOSPITALITY.
SEE HOSPITALITY IN RECEIVING
STRANGERS IS PART OF THE
ABRAHAMIC TRADITION.
HE DIDN'T SAY LET'S BLOW THEM
UP BECAUSE WE DON'T KNOW, THEY
MAYBE FUTURE ISRAELIS SO JUST
BLOW THEM UP.
HE'S RESPONDING AS A HUMAN
BEING WHO NEEDS TO BUILD
BRIDGES, TO EXTEND HIS HAND.
THAT IS PART OF THE ISLAMIC
TRADITION, AND IT'S LIVE, IT'S
THERE.
IT'S WELL AND WE NEED TO FIGHT
FOR IT AND SUPPORT IT.

Judea says OKAY, I'D LIKE
TO PURSUE THAT INTO A DIFFERENT
DIRECTION.
FIRST, WE HAVE TO ADMIT THAT
THE INFLUENCE OF PEOPLE LIKE
QARADAWI IS MUCH GREATER THEN -

THE INFLUENCE
OF PEOPLE OF MODERATION THAT
YOU WILL HEAR.
FOR INSTANCE IF YOUNG MUSLIMS
TODAY WOULD LIKE TO FIND OUT
THE LATEST RULING ON SOME ISSUE

-
A SIMPLE ISSUE,
LIKE FOR INSTANCE SHOULD I
BEFRIEND A JEW?
WHERE WOULD THIS YOUNG MUSLIM
FIND THE ANSWER?
WELL THERE IS, I NOTICE THAT
THERE IS A FATWA ONLINE WEBSITE
THAT ANYONE CAN, CAN ACCESS,
CAN FIND THE LATEST OPINION.
A FATWA IS JUST A RELIGIOUS
OPINION.
IT'S NOT AN EDICT.
BUT IF YOU GO ON FATWA ONLINE
AND YOU DIAL IN, THERE WAS ONE
FELLOW ASKING SHOULD I BEFRIEND
JEWS?
AND THE ANSWER IS JEWS ARE THE
PEOPLE OF THE BOOK, ACCORDING
TO THE KORAN THEY COULD BE YOUR
FRIEND.
UNFORTUNATELY THEN IT GOES ON
AND GIVES YOU 12 REASONS WHY
YOU SHOULDN'T BE, BEFRIEND A
JEW.
THE FIRST IS THAT THEY ARE
TREACHEROUS.
THE SECOND IS THAT THEY LIKE TO
LISTEN TO LIES AND SO ON FOR 12
PAGES OR 12 ITEMS, OKAY.
AND WHO IS THE MANAGER OF THAT
FATWA ONLINE?
SHIEKH QARADAWI.

Akbar says HIMSELF?

Judea says HE, HE WASN'T
THE ONE WHO ANSWERED THIS
PARTICULAR QUESTION.
IT WAS ANOTHER SHIEKH WHO
GRADUATED FROM AL-AZHAR IN
EGYPT, OKAY.
BUT THEY ALL, FATWA ONLINE
ENTERPRISE IS BEING MANAGED BY
MISTER.
I WOULD LIKE TO SEE A COUNTER
FATWA ONLINE, YEAH, ANSWERED
AND MANAGED BY PEOPLE LIKE
YOURSELF AND LIKE YOUR FRIENDS
IN PAKISTAN, OKAY, TO COUNTER
THESE IMAGES THAT ARE BEING
BUILT, THIS DIVISION THAT ARE
BUILT AND THIS HOSTILITY TO THE
WEST.

Akbar says UM, AGAIN JUDEA
WE NEED TO PUT THIS IN CONTEXT.
THERE ARE AS I SAID, MILLIONS
OF MUSLIMS, MAINSTREAM MUSLIMS
WHO ARE VERY COMFORTABLE AND
THEY HAVE LIVED TOGETHER WITH
NON-MUSLIMS FOR CENTURIES.
OUR TRADITIONS NOT ONLY
ACCOMMODATE, BUT HISTORICALLY
THIS IS CORRECT.
AND I CAN GIVE YOU CENTURIES
AND CENTURIES.
YOU KNOW I MEAN WE TALK ON
MUSLIMS SPEND, WHEN JEWS AND
MUSLIMS AND CHRISTIANS BE ABLE
TO LIVE TOGETHER AND CREATE A
COMMON CULTURE AND SO ON AS ONE
EXAMPLE.
BUT THESE EXAMPLES ARE SPREAD
THROUGHOUT THE MUSLIM WORLD AND
THEY CARRY ON THEIR BAD PERIODS
AND GOOD PERIODS.
BUT THEY EXIST IN HISTORY.
SO AGAIN, IF YOU'RE SIMPLY
GOING TO TAKE A COUPLE OF
PEOPLE WHO MAY HAVE THEIR OWN
INTERPRETATION AND TODAY THEY
HAVE THE ADVANTAGE OF USING THE
INTERNET, THEREFORE ARE ABLE TO
SEEM AS THOUGH THEY HAVE MUCH
MORE INFLUENCE THEN IN FACT
THEY DO.
WE WILL THEN BE THROWING OFF
THE DISCUSSION AND WE WILL BE
GIVING THEM DISPROPORTIONATE
IMPORTANCE.
I WOULD SAY THE MAINSTREAM
MUSLIM COMMUNITY IS VERY
COMMITTED TO LIVING AS PEACEFUL
NEIGHBOURS AND AS GOOD CITIZENS
AND THIS IS A FACT THROUGHOUT
THE WORLD.
THEY ARE AT THIS MOMENT AS I
POINT OUT IN MY WRITING AS
THERE IS A SENSE OF BEING UNDER
SIEGE.
AND WHEN YOU ARE UNDER SIEGE
YOU'RE OBVIOUSLY ARE UNCERTAIN.
YOU'LL SOMETIMES REACT WITH
ANGER, SOMETIMES WITH VIOLENCE
AND THOSE AREN'T NORMAL
BEHAVIOUR PATTERNS BY ANY
MEANS.
IF YOU LOOK AT ISLAMIC HISTORY
AND IF YOU LOOK AT ISLAMIC
PATTERNS, YOU TAKE NAMES LIKE
RUMI.
AS YOU KNOW I KEEP REFERRING TO
RUMI AND BY THE WAY, YOU MAY
LIKE TO KNOW THAT YOUR GREAT
NEIGHBOUR, THE UNITED STATES OF
AMERICA THE NUMBER ONE POET IN
AMERICA TODAY IS RUMI.
SO JUST THE FACT THAT THIS MAN
SPOKE OF LOVE AND COMPASSION
AND MYSTIC ISLAM IS THE NUMBER
ONE SELLING POET IN THE UNITED
STATES OF AMERICA.
JEWS AND CHRISTIANS ARE ALL
BUYING THESE BOOKS SIGNIFIES
THAT THERE IS A THIRST TO REACH
OUT TO AN ALTERNATIVE PARADIGM
IF YOU LIKE TO THE ONE THAT WE
ARE TALKING ABOUT.
SO THERE IS A VERY STRONG
TRADITION.
IT IS THERE.
WE NEED TO LOOK FOR IT AND WE
NEED TO ENCOURAGE IT.
SO I'M NOT PESSIMISTIC AT ALL.
THIS IS PART OF THE MOSAIC.
THERE'S A WHOLE MOSAIC.
PEOPLE HAVE THEIR
INTERPRETATIONS.
I DON'T AGREE WITH IT.
WE CAN DEBATE IT.
WE CAN DISCUSS IT.
WE CAN TRY TO INFLUENCE THAT
PARTICULAR DEBATE.
WE CAN TRY TO AS YOU, WE DID
WITH, WITH ONE OF YOUR, YOUR
WEBSITES, THE, THE -- WHERE YOU
WROTE AND THEN I WROTE AND
PERHAPS SOME PEOPLE WERE
INFLUENCED.
THAT'S PART OF THE DISCUSSION
AND DIALOGUE, AND THAT NEEDS TO
BE PART OF THE DISCUSSION AND
DIALOGUE.
THAT IS WHAT GIVES SOME
SIGNIFICANCE TO OUR DIALOGUE.
IF THAT DIDN'T EXIST THEN WE
WOULDN'T HAVE HAD THE KIND OF,
HOPEFULLY THE KIND OF IMPACT
THAT WE WANT TO MAKE.

Judea says I ABSOLUTELY
AGREE.
AND I WOULD LIKE TO MENTION
HERE THE FACT THAT ON ALJAZEERA
THERE IS A DIRE NEED FOR THE
MODERATE MUSLIMS TO RAISE THEIR
VOICE.
THEY ACTUALLY INVITE MODERATE
MUSLIMS AND FOR SOME REASON
THEY FAIL TO SHOW UP FOR THE,
FOR THE TALK, FOR THE TALK
SHOW.
SO LET'S, LET'S PURSUE THE
SECOND ITEM THAT WAS MENTIONED
HERE AND THAT IS THE DISDAIN
FOR THE WEST.
YOU AGREE THAT THROUGH THE
HISTORY, THAT DISDAIN THE IDEA
OF ISOLATION AND MISTRUST AND,
AND ALSO THE UM, PUT DOWN
AGAINST THE WEST WAS A FORCE
IN, THROUGHOUT HISTORY.
IT'S NOT IN THE KORAN OF
COURSE, BUT IT WAS, IT WAS
DEVELOPED LATER ON.
AS I MENTIONED LAST NIGHT I, I
BELIEVE IT IS RESPONSIBLE FOR
THE MUSLIM WORLD MISSING THE
OPPORTUNITY OF COMPETING FOR
THE SCIENTIFIC REVOLUTION.
THEY SIMPLY DID NOT APPRECIATE
WHAT'S GOING ON IN THE
LABORATORY IN THE, IN THE WEST.
THEY THOUGHT NOTHING GOOD COULD
COME FROM THE WEST, WHICH IS
WORTH PURSUING AND THEY MISSED
ON A GREAT OPPORTUNITY, OKAY.
WHAT DO YOU THINK FROM YOUR
PERSPECTIVE IS THE ORIGIN OF
THIS DISDAIN?
AND IT WASN'T BY THE WAY, IT
WAS NOT THE CRUSADE BECAUSE THE
CRUSADERS YOU KNOW FROM HISTORY
WAS NOT PERCEIVED AT THE TIME
AS A FIGHT AGAINST COLONIALISM.
IT WAS SEEN AS A, AS A LOCAL
SKIRMISH.

Akbar says THE ISLAMIC
POSITION IS THAT THERE IS NO
SUCH THING AS THE WEST OR THE
EAST, BECAUSE LIKE THE
ABRAHAMIC NOTION OF GOD, GOD IS
OMNIPOTENT IN EVERY WAY.
SO YOU CANNOT DIVIDE THE EAST
AND THE WEST.
THERE IS A VERSE IN FACT IN THE
KORAN.
IMAM, WHICH IS THE VERSE WHERE
IT SAYS GOD IS TO THE EAST AND
THE WEST?
PLEASE, TELL US.

[Both talking at once]

Akbar says YES, THERE YOU
ARE.
[Audience laughing]
SO IMAM, WHAT
WOULD I DO WITHOUT YOU?
HE WOULD HAVE GOT ME.
[Audience laughing]
SO THE KORANIC
POSITION JUDEA AND WE NEED TO
BE VERY CLEAR, BECAUSE I DON'T
WANT YOU TO RAISE IT IN THE
NEXT DIALOGUE.
I WANT YOU TO UNDERSTAND THIS -
[Audience laughing]
IS THAT THERE
IS NO EAST OR WEST.
THAT IS A QUOTATION FROM THE
KORAN.
SO YOU CAN'T SAY THAT WE IMPOSE
SOMETHING, WHICH DOESN'T EXIST
IN THE KORAN.
YET, AS YOU CORRECTLY POINT OUT
THERE IS I WOULD SAY EVEN A
SENSE, I HATE TO USE THE WORDS,
BUT MANY MUSLIMS DO HAVE A
SENSE OF EITHER INFERIORITY OR
DEFENSIVENESS VISA VIE THE
WEST.
NOW, WHERE DOES THIS COME FROM?
THAT'S THE QUESTION.
THIS COMES I WOULD SAY IF WE GO
BACK IN HISTORY FROM ABOUT THE
17TH OR 18TH CENTURIES.
AND IT STARTS APPEARING WHEN
THE THREE GREAT MUSLIM EMPIRES
AND THESE ARE GREAT MUSLIM
EMPIRES.
THE OTTOMAN, WHICH SPREADS ALL
THE WAY FROM NORTH AFRICA RIGHT
INTO THE MIDDLE EAST AND INTO
CENTRAL ASIA.
IT'S THE LARGEST EMPIRE THEN IN
THE WORLD.
THE SASSANID EMPIRE, THE
PERSIAN EMPIRE, WHICH THEN
SPREADS INTO CENTRAL ASIA, AND
THE MOGUL EMPIRE, WHICH IS AT
ITS HEIGHT IN THE 16TH AND 17TH
CENTURIES.
THE MOGUL EMPIRE, JUST THINK
FOR A MOMENT IS WHAT TODAY
WOULD BE AFGHANISTAN, PAKISTAN,
INDIA AND BANGLADESH.
WE ARE TALKING OF ONE-FOURTH OR
ONE-FIFTH OF HUMANITY.
THAT IS THE MOGUL EMPIRE.
THESE THREE EMPIRES ARE AT
THEIR HEIGHT.
THEY HAVE CREATED LITERATURE,
ART, CULTURE AND SO ON, AND
THEY'VE HAD BAD PERIODS, GOOD
PERIODS.
BUT THESE ARE EXTRAORDINARY
MUSLIM EMPIRES.
17TH CENTURY THERE'S A DRAMATIC
DECLINE TAKING PLACE.
18TH, 19TH CENTURIES YOU SEE THE
MERGENCE OF THE WEST
SIMULTANEOUSLY.
AND WHAT'S HAPPENING IN THE
WEST IS THAT A CLEAR SEPARATION
IS TAKING PLACE BETWEEN CHURCH
AND STATE, AND BETWEEN WHAT WE
WOULD THEN SEE AS THE
INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION TAKE,
WHICH WOULD ABOUT, WHICH WOULD
TAKE PLACE IN THE 19TH, 20TH
CENTURIES.
AND ALSO IN THE 19TH CENTURY,
THE FORCES OF IMPERIALISM FROM
EUROPE, WHICH WOULD THEN ALLOW
EUROPE TO DOMINATE THE WORLD.
ALL THIS IS HAPPENING
SIMULTANEOUSLY.
THE MUSLIM WORLD GOING DOWN AND
EUROPE EMERGING.
WHEN WE COME OUT OF THIS 200-
YEAR PERIOD, LATE 19TH CENTURY
WHAT WE SEE IS THIS.
WE SEE THE VAST MAJORITY OF THE
MUSLIM WORLD COLONIZED BY
EUROPE.
NOW, THAT CREATES A DOUBLE
REACTION IN THE MUSLIM WORLD.
YES, ON THE ONE HAND THERE IS
THE DEFENSIVENESS.
WHAT YOU'RE POINTING OUT.
THIS IS A DIRECT LINE FROM THAT
THINKING.
I WOULD SAY THERE ARE TWO
DIRECT THINKINGS FROM THAT
PERIOD.
ONE IS THIS DEFENSIVENESS THAT
ALL, ILL, COMES FROM THE WEST.
WEST IS AS JUDEA SAID,
INTRINSICALLY EVIL AND SO ON
AND SO ON AND ALL, THE
STEREOTYPES, WHICH EXIST ON
BOTH SIDES.
THEY START THERE.
BUT THERE IS ANOTHER REACTION
JUDEA AND I WANT YOU TO
CONSTANTLY KEEP THAT IN MIND.
AND THAT IS THE MAINSTREAM
REACTION.
IT BEGINS IN 19TH CENTURY, MID
19TH CENTURY WITH SIR SYED
AHMAD KHAN WHO CREATES ALIGARH
UNIVERSITY, WHICH CREATES AN
ENTIRE MOVEMENT IN SOUTH ASIA,
WHICH GOES ON TO CREATE PEOPLE
LIKE HALI AND IQBAL, AND
EVENTUALLY JINNAH AND THE
PAKISTAN MOVEMENT.
AND HERE YOU HAVE THAT WHOLE
REGION MAKING A CHOICE.
SO YOU FOLLOW ONE LINE OF
ISLAMIC THINKING, WHICH IS
DEFENSIVE AND CLOSE YOUR MIND
OR THE OTHER ONE, WHICH ALLOWS
YOU TO OPEN YOUR MIND?
NOW HERE'S WHAT I'M GOING TO AS
IT WILL GIVE EVIDENCE FOR THIS
SECOND LINE OF THINKING, WHICH
THE MUSLIM WORLD ADOPTS.
WHEN GIVEN A CHOICE THE MUSLIMS
OF SOUTH ASIA DELIBERATELY AND
CONSCIOUSLY SUPPORT MYSTIC
JINNAH AND THE PAKISTAN
MOVEMENT.
AND WHAT DOES MYSTIC JINNAH
STAND FOR?
HE STANDS FOR A MODERN,
DEMOCRATIC NATION, WOMEN'S
RIGHTS, HUMAN RIGHTS, MINORITY
RIGHTS, CONSTITUTION, LAW AND
ORDER.
HE NEVER GOES TO JAIL ONCE IN
HIS LIFE.
HE ACHIEVES NATIONHOOD WITHOUT
EVER VIOLATING THE LAW.
NOW WHERE IS ALL THIS IN YOUR
THESIS ABOUT HATING THE WEST?
JINNAH'S OWN MODEL DEMOCRACY
COMES FROM WESTMINSTER.
HE SPEAKS IN ENGLISH ONLY.
HIS AIM IS TO BALANCE THE WEST
AND ISLAM.
HIS AIM IS TO BALANCE MODERNITY
AND TRADITION.
IT ISN'T TO REJECT ONE OR TO
ACCEPT THE OTHER.
THE OTHER LINE THAT YOU'RE
TALKING ABOUT, WHICH IS YOU
KNOW THE ONE WE ARE DISCUSSING,
THAT LINE WOULD WANT TO DRAW
BOUNDARIES AND EXCLUSIVIST.
THEY MAY REJECT JINNAH.
YOU KNOW THIS IS THE DEBATE I
KEEP POINTING OUT WITHIN ISLAM.
BUT WHO TRIUMPHS IN THE 30S AND
40S?
IT IS THE JINNAH MOVEMENT
BECAUSE HE IS ELECTED BY THE
PEOPLE.
THE PEOPLE HAVE A CHOICE AND
THEY ELECT HIM.
NOW WE COME TO OUR GENERATION
AND OUR TIME TODAY.
THERE IS A SIMILAR DEBATE IN
THE MUSLIM WORLD TODAY.
NOW, WHICH WAY IT GOES I CAN'T
PREDICT WITH ANY CONFIDENCE.
I CAN'T SAY IT WILL GO ONE WAY
OR IT WILL GO ANOTHER WAY.
IF MISTER QARADAWI IS RIGHT, IT
MAY GO IN ONE WAY.
IF THE PEOPLE WHO BELIEVE IN
THE JINNAH VISION OF A MODERN,
MUSLIM QUALITY AND SOCIETY,
THEY'RE CORRECT.
IT MAY GO IN ANOTHER WAY.
SO WE NEED TO BE AWARE THAT
IT'S A MUCH, MORE NUANCED
POSITION.
WE NEED TO BE VERY CAREFUL
ABOUT LOOKING AT THE MUSLIM
WORLD AS A MONOLITH.

Judea says YEAH.

Akbar says THEY ARE VERY,
VERY COMPLICATED.

Judea says WELL, I'M AWARE
OF THIS, THE DEBATE WITHIN THE
MUSLIM WORLD.
THAT IN ORDER TO -- ONE
SIDE, AND WE HAVE TO UNDERSTAND
WHERE THE ORIGIN OF THESE, THIS
VAIN COMES FROM.

Akbar says YES.

Judea says AND I
UNDERSTAND THAT THE DISTINCTION
BETWEEN THE WEST AND THE EAST,
OR THE -- AND THE -- ISLAM,
WHICH -- QUITE EARLY, NEAR THE
EIGHTH OR THE NINTH CENTURY,
OKAY.
SO THE ORIGIN IS QUITE DEEP
THERE, AND ALSO AS WE, AS I
MENTIONED YESTERDAY THE PUT
DOWN AGAINST THE WEST...
EXISTED IN THE
16TH CENTURY WHEN THE TELESCOPE
WAS DEVELOPED IN HOLLAND AND IT
WAS IMPORTED TO THE, TO THE
OTTOMAN EMPIRE, OKAY.
RIGHT THERE YOU
CAN SEE THAT PUT DOWN AND
DISMISSAL, OKAY.
SO IT'S MUCH EARLIER THEN THE,
THE, THE ERA THAT YOU'RE
TALKING ABOUT.
SO WE HAVE TO UNDERSTAND WHERE
THIS COMES FROM, OKAY.
SO THAT'S ONE ISSUE.
AND I WOULD LIKE TO ALSO NOT
LEAVE THE IMPRESSION THAT OUR
DIALOGUE CONSISTS OF ME COMING
WITH CLAIMS AND ACCUSATIONS
AGAINST THE MUSLIM WORLD.

Akbar says NO, NO.

Judea says AND YOU ARE ON
DEFENSE.
SO I INVITE YOU PLEASE TO TELL
US, THE JEWISH COMMUNITY –

[Both talking at once]

Akbar says PEOPLE WANT,
YES, YES, WE WANT TO HAVE THE
DIALOGUE, YES.

Judea says I WOULD LIKE
YOU TO PUT SOME CLAIMS TO THE
JEWISH COMMUNITY ABOUT WHAT IS
WRONG WITH THE, THE JEWISH
COMMUNITY.

Akbar says YES.

Judea says IS THERE
ANYTHING WRONG THAT YOU CAN
PERCEIVE SO WE CAN...
[Laughs]
[Audience laughing]

Judea says I DO NOT.
[Laughs]

Akbar says JUDEA SET A
PERFECT EXAMPLE.
I DON'T FIND ANYTHING WRONG
WITH HIM.
[All laughing]
NO, BUT JUDEA I
WANT TO MAKE ONE POINT ABOUT
THIS.
IT'S IMPORTANT.
JUDEA POINTED OUT AND THIS BY
THE WAY IS PROFESSOR BERNARD
LEWIS' THESIS BASICALLY.
A BOOK YOU NEED TO READ, "WHAT
WENT WRONG."
HE'S ANALYZING WHAT WENT WRONG
WITH THE MUSLIM WORLD.
HE'S GIVING THE EXAMPLE OF THE
OTTOMANS.
THE OTTOMANS HAD A CHOICE AND
HE GIVES THE EXAMPLE OF THE
TELESCOPE AND SO ON.
AT THE SAME TIME, AT THE SAME
TIME, ORINZABE IS EMPEROR IN
INDIA.
ORINZABE AND SHAJAHAN AND MY
FRIEND KARAMADORI, HE'S A GREAT
SCHOLAR WILL CONFIRM THIS, HAS
NO HANGUPS ABOUT THE WEST.
THIS AGAIN YOU MUST PUT IN
CONTEXT.
THE OTTOMAN EMPIRE IS IN DIRECT
CONFRONTATION AND JUXTAPOSITION
WITH EUROPE.
EVERYTHING IS RELATED TO
EUROPE.
IN SOUTH ASIA, THESE EUROPEANS
COME IN THE FORM OF TRADERS.
THEY ARE GIVEN LAND, CALCUTTA -
THE, THE CITY
THAT BECOMES CALCUTTA IS A
PIECE OF LAND THAT THE MOGUL
EMPEROR GIVES WITH GREAT FAVOUR
TO THESE BRITISH OR EUROPEAN
TRADERS WHO HAVE COME, AND THEY
HAVE IMPLORED HIM, YOUR GREAT
MAJESTY PLEASE GIVE US AND HE
WELCOMES THEM.
THEIR GREAT
GRANDFATHER AKBAR USED TO HAVE
A COURT WITH PRIESTS AND RABBIS
AND HINDU YOGIS SITTING AND
DISCUSSING RELIGION.
THEY DON'T HAVE THIS KIND OF
HANGUP ABOUT THE WEST THAT THE
OTTOMANS WOULD HAVE CONFRONTING
THIS.
NOW IN TERMS OF JUDAISM, JUDEA
YOU ASKED WHAT, WHAT IS WRONG
WITH US?
I WOULD SIMPLY, THEY'RE SMILING
OVER THERE, THE YOUNG GIRLS.
I WOULD SIMPLY WANT MY JEWISH
FRIENDS TO MAKE A DETERMINED
EFFORT TO UNDERSTAND ISLAM
BETTER.
THE JEWISH, CHRISTIAN DIALOGUE
IS WELL AND FLOURISHING.
WE NEED TO SEE MORE OF THE
JEWISH, MUSLIM DIALOGUE.
EVEN JUDEA AND MYSELF SOMETIMES
FEEL BECAUSE I KNOW IN AMERICA
IT'S HAPPENING.
IT'S HAPPENING IN CANADA, WE
WANT TO SEE IT MUCH, MUCH MORE
AND WE WANT TO SEE MUCH MORE
VIGOROUS INTERACTION.
I THINK BOTH SIDES WILL BE
PLEASANTLY SURPRISED AT THE
DIALOGUE AND WHAT IS COMMON
BETWEEN US.

The audience applauds.

Watch: Judea Pearl, Akhbar Ahmed: Divisions between Muslims & Jews