Transcript: Tariq Ramadan on The Ethics of Citizenship | Mar 26, 2005

Tariq stands in behind a white podium in a lecture hall.

Tariq is in his forties and has black hair and a light black beard and
moustache. He is slightly balding and wears a white button up shirt and a black jacket.

Tariq says IT'S A NEW
REALITY.
IT'S A NEW REALITY THAT WE ARE
FACING AND I'M SPEAKING ABOUT
AND THIS IS A VERY IMPORTANT
POINT I START WITH.
I'M SPEAKING ABOUT WESTERN
MUSLIMS, I'M NOT SPEAKING ABOUT
MUSLIMS IN THE WEST.
IT MEANS THAT IMPLICITLY, WHAT
I'M SAYING, IS THAT THE WEST IS
OUR HOME.
THAT THE WESTERN CULTURE AND
THERE IS NO ONE WESTERN CULTURE
RIGHT AWAY, THERE ARE MANY
WESTERN CULTURES, BUT THE GLOBAL
PICTURE IS THE WEST AND THE
CULTURES, THE WESTERN CULTURES
ARE OURS AND WE ACCEPT IT AND
NOT ONLY WE ACCEPT IT, BUT WE
CLAIM TO BE EUROPEAN, AMERICAN,
CANADIAN, AUSTRALIAN MUSLIMS.
IT'S HOME, IT'S OUR CULTURE AND
AT THE SAME TIME, WE ARE SAYING,
WE CAN BE, AT THE SAME TIME,
MUSLIMS AND WESTERNERS.
WE SAY AND THIS IS WHAT ALL THE
MUSLIMS BELIEVE, THAT ISLAM IS A
UNIVERSAL MESSAGE.
IT FITS EVERY PLACE AND FOR
EVERY PLACE AND EVERY TIME, THAT
IT MEANS THAT I CAN BE,
ACCORDING TO THE ISLAMIC MESSAGE
AND IF IT'S A UNIVERSAL MESSAGE,
I CAN BE A MUSLIM EVERYWHERE AT
ANYTIME.

The caption reads "Tariq Ramadan. Author, ‘Western Muslims and the Future of
Islam’ The Ethics of Citizenship, Democracy and the Future of Islam. University
of Ottawa February 25, 2005."

A view of the audience shows men sitting in chairs listening attentively.

Tariq says SO THIS IS THE
MEANING OF A UNIVERSAL MESSAGE.
THE POINT IS THAT FROM THE
BEGINNING, WE HAD
HADITH, WHICH IS A PROPHETIC TRADITION,
TELLING US SOMETHING WHICH IS
REALLY IMPORTANT.
YES, WE HAVE THE LAST PROPHET,
PEACE BE UPON HIM, THE LAST
PROPHET.
AFTER HIM, THE
PROPHET SAID SOMETHING WHICH IS
REALLY IMPORTANT.
THAT GOD, ALLAH, IS GOING TO
SEND TO THIS COMMUNITY EVERY
CENTURY SOMEONE OR A GROUP OF
PEOPLE HELPING THIS COMMUNITY TO
REVIVE ITS RELIGION, IT’S WAY OF
LIFE.
(Speaking in foreign language)
IT MEANS THAT THE MESSAGE IS,
AND THIS IS AN AUTHENTIC
HADITH, PROPHETIC
TRADITION TELLING US THAT AFTER
THE LAST PROPHET, WE WILL HAVE
PEOPLE HELPING US TO DO WHAT?
TO CHANGE THE QUR'AN?
NO. TO CHANGE THE PROPHETIC
TRADITION?
NO. BUT TO RENEW OUR READING.
HOW ARE WE RENEWING THIS
READING?
JUST LIKE THIS, OKAY, I AM
RENEWING? NO.
THERE'S SOMETHING WHICH IS AN
EXPERIENCE DONE DURING THE
PROPHET, PROPHET'S LIFE, WHICH IS
REALLY IMPORTANT.
HE TRAVELLED FROM MECCA TO
MEDINA.
THIS TRAVEL, THIS EXINE, CHANGED
THE WAY HE PERCEIVED THE WORLD,
BECAUSE THE MECCAN ENVIRONMENT
WAS NOT THE MEDINIAN
ENVIRONMENT.
THIS EXPERIENCE BETWEEN TWO
DIFFERENT CULTURES HELPED HIM TO
UNDERSTAND THE REVELATION AND
THE, THE TEACHING IN A NEW WAY.
THIS IS OUR EXPERIENCE.
SO WE CAME, OR OUR PARENTS CAME,
FROM SPECIFIC ENVIRONMENTS.
AND WE ARE NOW IN NEW
ENVIRONMENTS, THESE NEW
ENVIRONMENTS ARE HELPING US OR
SHOULD HELP US OR MUST LEAD US
TO RENEW OUR READING, WITH NEW
EYES, OUT OF A NEW ENVIRONMENT.
SO THIS IS THE VERY, THE
STARTING POINT OF SAYING AND BY
THE WAY, WHEN I'M SAYING THIS, I
HAVE SOME MUSLIM SAYING, OH, YOU
ARE WESTERNISING ISLAM, NO, WHAT
I AM SAYING HERE IS AS OLD AS
THE ISLAMIC TEACHINGS AND
TRADITION, IT'S NOT NEW.
THIS WAS, BUT IT'S NEW FOR US
NOW BECAUSE WE ARE NOT
CONFIDENT.
IT WAS NATURAL FOR THE FIRST
MUSLIMS TO DO THAT, TO SAY,
OKAY, WE ARE CONFIDENT, WE KNEW
OUR TEXT, WE KNEW OUR
ENVIRONMENT, JUST LET US BE
CREATIVE IN THE WAY WE IMPLEMENT
THE TEXT.
BUT WHEN YOU ARE NOT SELF-
CONFIDENT, IT'S AS IF YOU ARE
BETRAYING THE LITERAL MEANING OF
THE SOURCE WHEN YOU TRY TO READ
IN THE LIGHT OF A NEW
ENVIRONMENT.
IT SAYS MUCH ABOUT OUR LACK OF
CONFIDENCE THAN ABOUT THE
ISLAMIC TRADITION.
THINK ABOUT IT.
VERY OFTEN THE REACTION I COULD
HAVE COMING FROM THE MUSLIM
COMMUNITY IS MUCH MORE ABOUT
THERE IS HERE SOMETHING WHICH IS
NOT, NOT, THERE IS NO CONFIDENCE
IN THE WAY WE ARE TREATING THE
TEXT.
BUT THIS IS REALLY IMPORTANT AND
BY THE WAY, IT SHOULD BE DONE BY
THE PEOPLE KNOWING THE TEXT.
OKAY?KNOWING THE
ENVIRONMENT, BUT ALSO KNOWING
THE TEXT AND VERY OFTEN WE HAVE
PEOPLE, AFTER TWO WEEKS OF
READING THE QUR'AN SAY, OKAY, I
AM ISHTIHAD
NOW, I HAVE MY
CRITICAL MIND, I CAN JUST -- NO.
WE ARE SPEAKING ABOUT SCIENCE
HERE AND IT MEANS,
ISHTIHAD, THE CRITICAL READING OF THE
SOURCE WHEN THE SOURCE IS NOT
CLEAR OR OPEN TO INTERPRETATION
OR SILENT, MEANS THAT SOMEONE
WHO HAS TO INTERPRET THE TEXT
SHOULD KNOW THE GLOBAL MESSAGE
AND SHOULD HAVE THIS TEACHING
AND THIS COMPETENCE AND SKILLS.
SO THIS IS
SOMETHING, WHICH IS NOT DOWN TO
EVERYONE TO PROMOTE OR TO DO OR
TO, TO, TO, UH, TO PROPOSE.
SO A UNIVERSAL MESSAGE, TO READ
OUR SOURCES AND THIS WAS A
MESSAGE, WHICH IS AS OLD AS
ISLAM.
WE HAVE HERE TOOLS COMING FROM
THE ISLAMIC TRADITION.
THE FIRST ONE IS, OF COURSE,
WHAT WE CALL ISHTIHAD.
ISHTIHAD IS THIS CRITICAL
MIND, HELPING THE MUSLIMS TO GO
FROM THE TEXT TO THE CONTEXT,
UNDERSTANDING BOTH AND TO
UNDERSTAND IN WHICH WAY WE HAVE
TO READ THE SOURCE IN THE LIGHT
OF THE CONTEXT AND CHANGE,
REFORM THE CONTEXT IN THE LIGHT
OF THE TEXT.
SO THIS IS THE CRITICAL -- AND
SOMETIMES THE QUR'AN, AND BY THE
WAY, THE GREAT MAJORITY OF THE
VERSES ARE NOT CLEAR-CUT IN THE
MEANING, THERE IS ROOM FOR
INTERPRETATION.
SO THIS ISHTIHAD
ON THE TEXT IS PERMITTED, IT'S OPEN AND
THEN THE WAY WE IMPLEMENT, THIS
IS ONE TOOL WHICH IS IMPORTANT,
IT'S ONCE AGAIN, AS OLD AS
ISLAM.
THE SECOND IS WHAT WE CALL
MUSLAHA, SOMETIME YOU
HAVE PUBLIC INTEREST, SO IN A
SPECIFIC WAY, WE HAVE TO ASSESS
WHAT ARE THE PUBLIC INTERESTS IN
ORDER TO KNOW WHY WE ARE GOING
TO IMPLEMENT THE SOURCE, IT'S
NOT EASY AND BY THE WAY, IF AT
THE END OF THIS LECTURE, YOU
FEEL THAT IT'S VERY COMPLEX, I
HAVE SUCCEEDED.
[Laughter]

Tariq says YES, BECAUSE
YOU HAVE TO UNDERSTAND THAT IT'S
NOT AN EASY WAY, WHEN WE SPEAK
ABOUT THE THEORY.
THE LAST IS
FATWA AND VERY
OFTEN THE PEOPLE SPEAK ABOUT
FATWA AND THEY KNOW ABOUT
FATWA, FATWA,
THE, THE, THE RUSHDIE
FATWA, WHICH,
UH, THE LEGAL DECISION.
IT'S NOT THAT,
FATWA COULD
BE THAT, BUT MAINLY A
FATWA IS A SPECIFIC ANSWER IN A
SPECIFIC SITUATION TO A SPECIFIC
MAN OR WOMAN OR A GROUP OF MEN
AND WOMEN.
OR A COLLECTIVITY OR COMMUNITY.
SO IT MEANS THAT IN A SPECIFIC
SITUATION, YOU COME WITH A LEGAL
DECISION HELPING THIS COMMUNITY,
HELPING THIS PEOPLE, HELPING
THIS MAN OR THIS WOMAN TO FIND A
NEW ANSWER FOR A SPECIFIC
SITUATION.
AND SOMETIME, HERE IN OTTAWA,
YOU WILL SAY YES TO SOMEONE AND
NO TO THE OTHER.
IN THE SAME PLACE, AT THE SAME
MOMENT, BUT THEY ARE NOT THE
SAME PEOPLE.
NOT EASY.
WHO IS GOING TO SAY THAT, THE
PEOPLE WHO CAN KNOW THE SOURCES
AND THEY CAN KNOW THE
ENVIRONMENT, SO IT'S SOMETHING
WHICH IS, AND BY THE WAY, THE
PEOPLE AROUND US THINK ABOUT
ISLAM AS STATUS QUO, THE PEOPLE
ARE NOT THINKING, THEY ARE NOT
MOVING, THE VERY UNDERSTANDING
OF WHAT IS A FATWA
LEADS
US TO UNDERSTAND THAT THIS IS
ALWAYS IN MOTION, THAT WE HAVE
TO COME WITH NEW ANSWERS,
BECAUSE YOU ARE FEELING OR
FACING NEW REALITIES.
THIS IS THE MEANING OF A LEGAL
DECISION, THE
FATWA, VERY
SPECIFIC, AND THIS IS AN ANSWER
TO A SPECIFIC SITUATION OR FOR A
SPECIFIC SITUATION OR FOR A
SPECIFIC MAN AND WOMAN.
SO THESE ARE THE THREE MAIN
TOOLS WE HAVE COMING FROM OUR
TRADITION, SO ISLAM IS
UNIVERSAL.
WE HAVE TO THINK ABOUT THE
ENVIRONMENT, WE HAVE TO KNOW HOW
TO READ OUR SOURCES AND WE HAVE
TO USE THE THREE MAIN TOOLS WE
HAVE IN ORDER TO PROPOSE
SOMETHING, WHICH IS NEW.
SO WE HAVE NOW THE GLOBAL
FRAMEWORK.
OUT OF THAT, WHAT DO WE HAVE TO
DO WHEN WE, WE SPEAK AND WE WORK
ON THE THEORETICAL FIELD?
THE FIRST IS SOMETHING WHICH IS
REALLY IMPORTANT.
WHEN YOU’RE READ THE CLASSICAL
BOOKS, WHEN YOU HAVE TO, TO DEAL
WITH WHAT WE CALL THE ISLAMIC
SOURCES, VERY OFTEN WE HAVE
FOUR.
EL QUR'AN, WHICH IS THE REVEALED
BOOK, EL SUNNAH, THE PROPHETIC
TRADITION, WHICH IS WHAT THE
PROPHET, PEACE BE UPON HIM,
SAID, HAVE -- DID OR APPROVED,
AND THEN YOU HAVE WHAT WE CALL
IJMA, CONSENSUS, OR QIYAS,
REASONING BY ANALOGY.
OKAY, THIS ARE THE MAIN SOURCES.
BUT THERE IS SOMETHING MISSING
AND THIS IS WHY WE HAVE TO
PRESENT IT IN A NEW WAY.
IMPLICITLY, IN OLD CLASSICAL
WORKS, YOU WILL FIND THAT OLD
SCHOLARS... WERE IMPLICITLY
REFERRING TO SOMETHING WHICH IS,
PER SE, A SOURCE, WHICH, WHAT,
WHAT, WHICH IS WHAT WE CAN CALL
EL LUAQA, THE
ENVIRONMENT.IT'S REALLY
IMPORTANT TO UNDERSTAND THAT
PART OF THE ISLAMIC SOURCES,
WHEN WE DEAL WITH THE SOURCE,
THERE IS ALWAYS SOMETHING WHICH
IS THE ENVIRONMENT, YOU HAVE TO
TAKE IT INTO ACCOUNT.
SO THIS IS REALLY IMPORTANT,
WHEN WE SPEAK ABOUT THE ISLAMIC
SOURCES, THEY ARE SCRIPTURAL
SOURCES AND ENVIRONMENTAL
SOURCES.
AND WE HAVE TO DEAL BETWEEN
THESE TWO.BECAUSE WHEN
WE DEAL AND THEN IN THESE
SOURCES, WE HAVE DIFFERENT
LEVELS.
LOOK, IT BECOMES MORE COMPLEX
NOW.
WE HAVE THINGS WHICH ARE CLEAR-
CUT, THERE IS NO ROOM FOR
INTERPRETATION, FOR EXAMPLE, YOU
WILL NEVER FIND A MUSLIM SAYING
THAT WE CAN PRAY OR WE HAVE TO
PRAY SIX TIMES A DAY.
NO, FIVE.
THIS IS CLEAR-CUT, NO DISCUSSION
ABOUT THIS AND WE PRAY HERE IN
OTTAWA AS WE PRAY IN MALI, AS WE
PRAY IN INDONESIA, IT'S THE SAME
FOR EVERY ONE OF US, THIS IS
CLEAR-CUT, THERE IS NO
DISCUSSION ON THE ESSENTIAL, THE
FUNDAMENTALS.
NO DISCUSSION ON THAT, THIS IS
WHAT WE CALL
QATI, NO
DISCUSSION ON THIS.
WHICH IS NOT THE SAME IN THE
SOURCE WITH WHAT WE HAVE THE
ZOMNI, OPEN TO
INTERPRETATION, HERE WE HAVE
ZOMNI.
BUT LOOK, WHEN NOW YOU DEAL WITH
THE ENVIRONMENT, YOU WILL FIND
EXACTLY THE SAME.
WHEN YOU DEAL WITH THE
ENVIRONMENT, YOU HAVE THINGS
THAT ARE QATI, YOU CANNOT
CHANGE THEM, YOU HAVE TO DEAL
WITH THEM AS FUNDAMENTALS, FOR
EXAMPLE, WHAT WE CALL IN
ARABIC... THE RULES OF THE, THE,
THE NATURAL RULES, YOU HAVE TO,
YOU CANNOT CHANGE THE WAY YOU
ARE DEALING WITH PEOPLE, FOR
EXAMPLE, IF I WANT TO REFORM THE
MENTALITIES OF THE MUSLIM IN
OTTAWA.
THIS IS, THERE IS SOMETHING
WHICH IS A NATURAL RULES, IT
CANNOT BE DONE IN ONE NIGHT.
WE NEED TIME, THIS IS THE
NATURAL LAW OF CHANGING THE
MENTALITY, SO THIS IS
QATI,
WHEN YOU DEAL WITH PEOPLE, YOU
HAVE TO TAKE THIS INTO ACCOUNT,
IF YOU WANT TO CHANGE
MENTALITIES, SOMEONE WHO IS
TELLING YOU, I WANT TO CHANGE IT
TOMORROW, OKAY, OKAY, FORGET
ABOUT IT, YOU ARE, YOU ARE NOT
IN OUR WORLD.
SO WHEN YOU DEAL WITH
EL LUAQA, THE ENVIRONMENT,
YOU HAVE ALSO TO KNOW THAT THERE
ARE QATIET, THINGS THAT
YOU CANNOT CHANGE AND THINGS
THAT YOU CAN CHANGE OUT OF
SOMETHING, WHICH IS A STRATEGY
WHEN YOU HAVE TO, FOR EXAMPLE,
BE INVOLVED IN POLITICS OR BE
INVOLVED IN SOCIAL REFORMS, FOR
EXAMPLE.
SO YOU HAVE ALSO DIFFERENT
LEVELS.
SO WHEN WE SPEAK ABOUT BEING A
WESTERN MUSLIM, WE THINK ABOUT
THESE TWO THINGS, SCRIPTURAL
SOURCES AND WE HAVE TO KNOW WHAT
IS ESSENTIAL AND WHAT IS
SECONDARY AND WE ARE DEALING
WITH A SPECIFIC ENVIRONMENT,
WHAT IS FUNDAMENTAL AND WHAT IS
SECONDARY?
AND ISHTIHAD IS IN THREE
FIELDS, ISHTIHAD, CRITICAL
MIND.ON THE TEXT, ISHTIHAD
ON THE TEXT, ISHTIHAD
ON THE LUAQA. WHICH IS THE
ENVIRONMENT AND ISHTIHAD
IN-BETWEEN.
OKAY? HOW I AM CONNECTED, SO IT'S NOT
EASY. AND WHAT IS NEEDED WHEN WE DEAL
WITH THAT IS TWO KINDS OF
SCHOLARS.
SCHOLARS OF THE TEXT, PEOPLE
KNOWING THE TEXT... SCHOLARS OF
THE TEXT, BUT SCHOLARS OF THE
ENVIRONMENT.... ARE THE PEOPLE WHO KNOW THE
ENVIRONMENT.
AND WITH THESE PEOPLE TOGETHER,
WE CAN FIND A WAY TO COME WITH
THE RIGHT DECISION, THE RIGHT
SOLUTION IN THE NEW ENVIRONMENT.
SCHOLARS OF THE TEXT... THEY
HAVE, THEY ARE SPECIALISED
PEOPLE.
THEY HAVE STUDIED AND THIS IS A
SCIENCE.... PEOPLE KNOWING THE
ENVIRONMENT, IT'S EVERY ONE OF
YOU.
PEOPLE LIVING HERE, KNOWING THE
COUNTRY, KNOWING THE CULTURE AND
ABLE TO STUDY THE ENVIRONMENT
AND TO COME WITH THE RIGHT
QUESTIONS WHEN WE TRY TO COME
WITH THE RIGHT SOLUTIONS.
AND THIS IS WHAT WE ARE NOT
DOING.
VERY OFTEN THE PEOPLE WHO ARE...
THE PEOPLE WHO KNOW THE
ENVIRONMENT ARE SILENT.
IT'S AS IF EVERYTHING WOULD COME
FROM...
THE PEOPLE WHO KNOW THE TEXT
WILL GIVE US THE SOLUTION, IT'S
WRONG.
TO GIVE US FROM THE TEXT THE
RIGHT SOLUTIONS, THEY NEED TO
RELY ON PEOPLE KNOWING THE
CONTEXT.
SO THE PEOPLE WHO ARE GOING TO
GIVE THE OPPORTUNITY FOR THE
SCHOLARS TO COME WITH THE RIGHT
ANSWER IN OTTAWA ARE THE PEOPLE
LIVING IN OTTAWA.
IN CANADA.
SO THIS IS WHAT WE HAVE TO TELL
MUSLIMS.
AT THIS THEORETICAL LEVEL, WHERE
ARE YOU?
AND THE LEVEL OF OUR QUESTIONS,
IT'S REALLY A CATASTROPHE TODAY.
IF YOU LISTEN TO MUSLIMS, THE
QUESTIONS THEY ASK, THE
SCHOLARS, IT'S VERY SUPERFICIAL.
FIRST MY RIGHT HAND OR MY LEFT
HAND? MY -- THIS IS
THE KIND OF QUESTIONS WE HAVE IS
NOT GOING TO HELP THE SCHOLARS
FROM THE... TO COME WITH THE
DEEP ANSWER ABOUT OUR
ENVIRONMENT, BECAUSE WE HAVE A
SUPERFICIAL UNDERSTANDING OF OUR
ENVIRONMENT, WE ARE ASKING THEM
TO COME, AND THEY WILL NEVER DO,
COME WITH DEEP ANSWER ABOUT THIS
ENVIRONMENT, IT'S IMPOSSIBLE.
SO NOW, AT THE THEORETICAL
LEVEL, WE NEED SCHOLARS OF THE
SOURCES AND SCHOLARS OF THE
ENVIRONMENT.
AND THESE ARE THE TWO MAIN
SOURCES OF THE ISLAMIC
TRADITION. NOW WHICH ARE
THE FIELDS WHERE WE NEED TO COME
WITH NEW ANSWERS TODAY IN ORDER
TO ACHIEVE WHAT WE WANT, WHICH
IS WESTERN MUSLIMS, TO BE
WESTERN MUSLIMS.
THERE IS ONE ESSENTIAL FIELD,
THIS IS THE STARTING POINT OF
BEING A MUSLIM.
THE SPIRITUALITY.
SPIRITUALITY IS REALLY
IMPORTANT, WE LIVE IN SOCIETIES
WHERE OF COURSE, YOU KNOW, WE
HAVE PEOPLE SAYING, OH, IT'S
DECADENT SOCIETY, THERE IS NO
VALUES AND YOU KNOW THAT THIS IS
WRONG, YOU KNOW, WHEN I WAS IN
EGYPT STUDYING, I WENT ONCE,
ONCE I WENT TO A MOSQUE AND I,
I, I SAT DOWN AND I WAS
LISTENING TO A SHIA
SAYING, OH, THESE PEOPLE IN THE
WEST, THEY LIVE LIKE DOGS, THEY
HAVE NO VALUES AND NO MORALITY
AND I WENT AT THE END, I SAID,
NO. I'M COMING FROM THERE, THIS IS
WRONG.IF YOU ARE SPREADING THE MESSAGE
THAT THESE PEOPLE THERE, MY
FELLOW CITIZENS, ARE THIS, YOU
ARE LYING, THIS IS NOT RIGHT.
YOU CAN DISAGREE, YOU CAN, YOU
CAN THINK THAT VALUES ARE NOT AS
YOU WANTED THEM TO BE, BUT YOU
CANNOT SAY THAT THEY ARE LIVING
WITHOUT VALUES AND WITHOUT
ETHICS.
TO RESPECT THE OTHER, TO RESPECT
A CIVILISATION, TO RESPECT THE
WESTERN CIVILISATION AND BY THE
WAY, THIS IS YOUR CIVILISATION
NOW, THIS IS YOURS.
SO THE POINT FOR US IS TO HAVE A
DEEP UNDERSTANDING, BUT WE LIVE
IN CONSUMERIST SOCIETY.
WE LIVE WITHIN SOCIETY WHERE
ENTERTAINMENT, T.V., TECHNOLOGY,
EVERYTHING IS SPREAD ON ALL THE
PEOPLE, SO HOW CAN WE PROTECT
AND PROMOTE A SPIRITUAL LIFE IN
THIS SOCIETY?
AND BY THE WAY, WE ARE NOW
SPEAKING ABOUT SOMETHING WHICH
IS ESSENTIAL AND I VERY OFTEN
REPEAT AND REPEAT TO THE PEOPLE
AROUND ME, MUSLIMS AND NON-
MUSLIMS, DON'T CONFUSE BETWEEN
EMOTIONS AND SPIRITUALITY.
EMOTIONS ARE THE SUPERFICIAL
UNDERSTANDING OF WHAT YOU FEEL,
OKAY, IT'S AN EMOTION, IT'S COME
WITHOUT EFFORT.
SPIRITUALITY IS EXACTLY THE
OPPOSITE.
YOU HAVE TO GO DEEP DOWN IN OUR,
IN YOUR HEART TO FIND THE
SPIRIT, THE MEANING, BECAUSE
SPIRITUALITY IS ALL ABOUT QUEST
FOR MEANING.
ETHICS, EFFORT.
IT'S TO TRY TO FIND THE ESSENCE
OF THE, OF BEING HERE.
EMOTION IS JUST A NATURAL
REACTION TO SOMETHING WHICH
COULD HAPPEN, BUT SPIRITUALITY,
IT'S A PERSONAL EFFORT TO TRY TO
FIND A WAY WITHIN YOUR OWN
HEART, TO TRY TO FIND THE ANSWER
YOU GIVE TO YOUR LIFE, THE
ANSWER YOU GIVE TO YOUR ACTS,
THE ANSWER YOU GIVE TO YOUR
HOPES.
SO THERE IS AN IMPORTANT FEEL,
AND BY SAYING THAT, AS A WESTERN
MUSLIM, I'M SAYING EXACTLY THE
SAME, YOU KNOW, WE HAVE DEALING
WITH THE SAME CHALLENGES.
CHRISTIAN WESTERNERS, JEWISH
WESTERNERS, EVEN NOW, YOU KNOW,
I WAS IN THE TEACHING LEAGUE IN
FRANCE.
PEOPLE SAY I'M A SECULAR, I'M AN
AGNOSTIC, I'M AN ATHEIST.
THEY ARE SPEAKING ALSO ABOUT AN
ATHEISTIC SPIRITUALITY.
YES!
IT'S REALLY IMPORTANT, WHAT DOES
IT MEAN?
IT MEANS THAT THERE IS A QUEST
FOR MEANING, THAT THEY ARE
PROMOTING SOMETHING WHICH IS
REALLY IMPORTANT, SO IN THAT
FIELD, WE HAVE COMMON
CHALLENGES.
AND AS MUSLIMS, TO BE ABLE TO
EXPLAIN THAT, IT'S REALLY
IMPORTANT, IS A CHALLENGE, PER
SE.
HOW COULD I TRANSMIT TO MY
DAUGHTER, TO MY SON, TO THE
YOUNG GENERATIONS, THIS MEANING
OF A SPIRITUAL TEACHING?
QUEST FOR MEANING, QUEST FOR THE
TRUTH, FOR THE ESSENCE OF YOUR
LIFE.
DON'T BE LUST WITH CONSUMERISM,
DON'T BE LUST WITH
ENTERTAINMENT, ASK YOURSELF WHY.
AN ESSENTIAL QUESTION.
IN THE MIDDLE OF CANADA, TO COME
WITH THIS PHILOSOPHICAL QUESTION
WHICH, AT THE SAME TIME, IS A
RELIGIOUS QUESTION, WHY?
WHY?
SO IT'S IMPORTANT, IS A
CHALLENGE, SO WE HAVE TO THINK
ABOUT IT.
AND BY THINKING ABOUT THAT, WE
UNDERSTAND WHAT WE CANNOT NOW
TEACH OUR RELIGION ONLY AS A
FORMAL THING, YOU KNOW, YOU HAVE
TO PRAY, WHY, BECAUSE YOU HAVE
TO!
[Laughter]

Tariq says FIVE TIMES A
DAY, THAT'S IT, FORMALLY, YOU
KNOW, THIS IS A FORMAL
FAITHFULNESS.
WE NEED A DEEP FAITHFULNESS TO
THIS TEACHING.
HOW?
BY ASKING WHY.AND LOOK, OUR
TEACHING AS MUSLIMS, VERY OFTEN,
WHEN WE, WHEN YOU, FOR EXAMPLE,
TEACH THE FIVE PILLARS OF ISLAM,
WE START WITH HOW TO PRAY.
HOW MUCH TIME DO WE ALLOCATE TO
WHY DO WE PRAY?
AND WHY DO WE
PRAY TO THE FIRST TEACHING,
WHICH IS SHAHADAH,
THERE IS NO GOD BUT GOD AND THE
PROPHET IS HIS MESSENGER.
TO DEEPLY UNDERSTAND THE MEANING
OF THAT, NOT ONLY THE FORMAL
UNDERSTANDING, TO BE A MUSLIM,
SAY IT.
WHY?
SAY IT!
[Laughter]

Tariq continues AND THEN YOU
ARE A MUSLIM, NO, THE DEEP
UNDERSTANDING, WHY, WHAT DOES IT
MEAN EXACTLY?
SO THIS IS A VERY IMPORTANT
FIELD, WHERE, TO TELL YOU THE
TRUTH, WE NEED LESS FORMAL
TEACHING AND MORE TEACHING OF
HOW TO LOVE HIM, HOW TO LOVE THE
PEOPLE.
WE HAVE AND, ONCE AGAIN, VERY,
VERY OFTEN THE MUSLIMS ARE NOT
HAPPY WITH IT, BUT THIS IS MY
PERSONAL EXPERIENCE.
IT'S OUT OF INTERFAITH DIALOGUE
WITH SOME CHRISTIANS IN AFRICA
AND IN SOUTH AMERICA.
THEY WERE OBSESSED BY A LOVE.
I GOT THIS FROM MY FATHER, PEACE
BE UPON HIM, BUT I GOT IT FROM
CHRISTIANS SAYING, LOOK, THE
ESSENTIAL QUESTION IS HOW TO
LOVE.
AND IT'S RIGHT.
AND WHEN YOU DEAL WITH ISLAMIC
COMMUNITIES IN THE WEST, YOU CAN
FEEL THAT THERE IS A LACK OF
LOVE AND TENDERNESS AND
AFFECTION.
WE SAY THAT WE -- YOU ARE MY
BROTHER. SALAAM ALAYKUM,
MY BROTHER, SALAAM ALAYKUM,
MY SISTER, YES, BUT WORDS.
BROTHER IS BROTHER.
SISTER IS SISTER.
AND IT'S LOVE.
IT'S MUCH MORE ABOUT THIS, SO
HOW DO WE SPREAD THAT?
HOW DO WE SPREAD THIS LOVE?
HOW DO WE SPREAD THIS, YOU KNOW,
FOND FOR YOUR BROTHERS AND
SISTERS, 70 EXCUSE.
DON'T BE A JUDGE, BE A BROTHER.
HUH.
YES, THIS IS THE MEANING.
THIS IS THE, THIS IS THE
ESSENTIAL FIELD ON WHICH WE HAVE
TO COME BACK, THIS IS ESSENTIAL
ISLAMIC TEACHING AND VERY OFTEN,
WE ARE FORGETTING ABOUT IT,
BECAUSE WE COME TO FORMAL
TEACHINGS, FORGETTING ABOUT THE
SPIRITUAL TEACHING.
THE SECOND FIELD, IT'S COMING
FROM THE FIRST ONE, WHICH IS
EDUCATION.
AND EDUCATION IS A FIELD WHERE
WE ARE HERE AND WE ARE SPEAKING
ABOUT BEING WESTERNERS.
AND WE HAVE OUR KIDS NOW, YOU
KNOW, I WAS EDUCATED IN A
MAINSTREAM SCHOOL IN THE
MAINSTREAM SCHOOL SYSTEM.
AND IT'S IN THIS SYSTEM THAT I
WAS CONNECTED TO NON-MUSLIMS,
THAT I WAS WITH PEOPLE, WAS
LISTENING TO THEM, UNDERSTANDING
WHO THEY ARE, UNDERSTANDING WHO
I AM.
AND VERY OFTEN, OF COURSE NOW
THE, THE EDUCATIONAL SYSTEM,
THE, THE MAINSTREAM SCHOOL
SYSTEM VERY OFTEN IN THE WEST IS
GOING THROUGH A CRISIS, BECAUSE
WE, WE HAVE DIFFICULTIES AND WE
DON'T HAVE THE RIGHT ANSWER, HOW
DO WE EDUCATE FUTURE CITIZENS?
HOW DO WE PROMOTE VALUES?
ETHICS?
MORALITY?
AND UNDERSTANDING NOT ONLY THE
KNOW-HOW, BUT WHY.
DON'T ONLY BE THE FIRST, BUT
DON'T FORGET THE OTHER.
BE THE FIRST AND TRY TO BE --
DON'T BE OBSESSED WITH
SELECTION, DON'T BE SOMEONE WHO
IS JUST WORSHIPPING THE
KNOWLEDGE, BUT HAVING A USEFUL
KNOWLEDGE AND A USEFUL KNOWLEDGE
IS THIS KNOWLEDGE HELPING YOU TO
SERVE THE PEOPLE AROUND YOU, NOT
TO USE THEM.
SO THIS, IN THE MAINSTREAM
SCHOOL SYSTEM, WE HAVE THAT AND
VERY OFTEN, THE MUSLIM ANSWER
IS, OH, THEY ARE NOT TEACHING
MORALITY, THEY ARE NOT TEACHING,
YOU KNOW, VALUES, LET US HAVE
OUR SYSTEM, SO GATHER ALL THE
MUSLIM AND HAVE YOUR ISLAMIC
SCHOOLS.
THIS IS THE PANACEA AND THIS IS
THE SOLUTION.
AND AS I'M ALWAYS SAYING, I'M
NOT AGAINST THE PRINCIPLE OF
HAVING PRIVATE ISLAMIC SCHOOLS,
BUT IS IT THE RIGHT ANSWER?
WHERE ARE WE, IF WE REALLY ARE
SERIOUS ABOUT BEING PART OF THIS
SOCIETY, WE HAVE TO BE INVOLVED
IN THE MAINSTREAM SCHOOL SYSTEM.
WE HAVE TO BE PART OF THIS,
WHERE ARE THE PARENTS?
WHERE ARE THE TEACHERS?
WHERE ARE THE PEOPLE WHO RUN THE
SCHOOLS?
THIS IS OUR SOCIETY, 99 PERCENT OF OUR
KIDS ARE GOING IN THE MAINSTREAM
SCHOOL SYSTEM AND YOU ARE
DREAMING OF EDUCATING OUR KIDS
IN SOMETHING WHICH IS A PARALLEL
SYSTEM.
WE DON'T NEED A PARALLEL SYSTEM,
WE NEED A COMPLEMENTARY SYSTEM.
TAKE WHAT YOU CAN FROM THE
MAINSTREAM SCHOOL SYSTEM AND ADD
THE ETHICS, ADD THE MORALITY,
BUT DON'T DUPLICATE WHAT IS
ALREADY HERE!
YOU ARE
PUTTING SO MUCH MONEY IN, YOU
KNOW, THE SYSTEM, THE PARALLEL
SYSTEM AND FORGETTING ABOUT HOW
TO BE INVOLVED AND BY THE WAY,
WE ARE PROMOTING SOMETHING WHICH
IS KIND OF SCHIZOPHRENIC
PERSONALITY.BECAUSE IT'S
PROTECTED FROM THE SURROUNDING
SOCIETY, BUT NOT CONNECTED TO
THE SOCIETY AND WE DON'T KNOW
EXACTLY WHO WE ARE.
WHEN WE SPEAK ABOUT SOCIAL
PROBLEMS, THERE IS SOMETHING
THAT THESE PARTIES ARE TRYING,
OR THIS DISCOURSE IS TRYING TO
CONVEY.
WHICH IS WE HAVE SOCIAL
PROBLEMS, VIOLENCE,
MARGINALISATION, UNEMPLOYMENT,
YOU KNOW WHY?
BECAUSE THEY ARE MUSLIMS.
IT'S COMING FROM ISLAM.
THEY ARE ESSENTIALISING THE
PROBLEM AND VERY OFTEN THE
PROBLEM IS THAT MUSLIMS
THEMSELVES ACCEPT THAT.
WE HAVE THESE PROBLEMS BECAUSE
WE ARE MUSLIMS, WE HAVE THESE
PROBLEMS BECAUSE THEY DON'T LIKE
US.
AND MY WAY TO RESPOND TO THAT IS
TO SAY TO THE MUSLIMS AND TO OUR
FELLOW CITIZENS, SOCIAL PROBLEMS
HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH ISLAM.
WE HAVE TO DE-ISLAMISE THESE
PROBLEMS.
WHEN WE SPEAK ABOUT
UNEMPLOYMENT, WHEN WE SPEAK
ABOUT VIOLENCE, LET US SPEAK AS
CITIZENS AND ASK OUR GOVERNMENT,
WHAT IS YOUR POLICY TOWARDS
UNEMPLOYMENT?
WHAT IS YOUR POLICY AGAINST
GHETTOS?
WHAT IS YOUR POLICY AGAINST THIS
PATCHWORK OF, PATCH, PATCHWORK
OF COMMUNITIES, NEVER CONNECTED?
YOU WANT A MULTICULTURAL SOCIETY
AND YOU PUT THE PEOPLE IN SOME
PLACE ELSE AND YOU WANT THEM TO
CONNECT, IT WILL NEVER HAPPEN!
THIS IS A VERY IMPORTANT POINT,
LET US SPEAK ABOUT SOCIAL
PROBLEMS AS CITIZENS AND NOT AS
MUSLIMS SAYING THAT WE HAVE TO
APOLOGISE BECAUSE WE ARE MUSLIMS
AND THAT WE ACCEPT THAT YOU ARE
SAYING THAT THE PROBLEM IS
BECAUSE WE ARE MUSLIMS.
WE ARE FALLING IN THE TRAP,
WHICH IS WRONG, THIS HAS NOTHING
TO DO WITH RELIGION.
OF COURSE RACIST DISCRIMINATION
COULD BE BASED ON THAT, YES,
THERE IS SOMETHING WHICH IS
CALLED ISLAMOPHOBIA.
YES, THERE IS RACIST AGAINST
ARABS, OF COURSE, AFTER
SEPTEMBER 11th, IT'S A REALITY,
BUT LET US FOCUS, WHEN WE SPEAK
ABOUT RACISM, WE SPEAK ABOUT
RACISM, BUT WHEN WE SPEAK ABOUT
UNEMPLOYMENT, WHEN WE SPEAK
ABOUT SOCIAL POLICIES, LET US
ASSESS THESE POLICIES ON THE
RIGHT SCALE AND NOT ON THIS
PERCEPTION THAT THE PROBLEM IS
COMING FROM RELIGION OR
RELIGIOUS BELONGINGS.
THIS IS THE ROLE OF THIS NEW
MUSLIM CITIZENS, TO BE PART OF
THE PROCESS AND NOT ONLY TO COME
AND TO SPEAK AND TO STAND UP
WHEN WE ARE DEALING OR WHEN THE
PROBLEMS ARE ISLAMIC.
WHERE ARE WE?
AS TO SPEAK ABOUT
DISCRIMINATIONS.

A view of the audience appears, women wearing headscarves sit and listen.

Tariq continues WHERE ARE WE WHEN WE HAVE TO
SPEAK ABOUT UNEMPLOYMENT?
ARE WE REALLY INVOLVED?
IT'S AS IF WE LISTEN AND WE HARE
THE MUSLIM COMMUNITIES ONLY WHEN
WE ARE SPEAKING ABOUT ISLAM OR
WE ARE FACING ISLAMIC PROBLEMS.
IT'S AS IF THERE IS ONLY THIS
WHICH INTERESTS US.
IT'S WRONG.
SO TO BE WESTERN MUSLIM MEANS
THAT YOU --- WE UNDERSTAND THAT
WE ARE CITIZEN AND THAT WE HAVE
TO BE INVOLVED.
AND NOT ONLY INVOLVED IN ISLAMIC
ORGANISATIONS.
ONCE AGAIN, WE HAVE N.G.O., WE
HAVE ANY KIND OF ORGANISATION
DEALING WITH THAT, ACTING
AGAINST DISCRIMINATION, ACTING
AGAINST UNEMPLOYMENT, OR
POLITICAL PARTIES, WE CAN BE
INVOLVED IN THAT IN ORDER TO
PROMOTE MORE JUSTICE AND TO
PROMOTE OUR VALUES AND OUR
PRINCIPLES AS CANADIAN CITIZEN.
AND THIS IS A VERY IMPORTANT
FIELD.
AS POLITICAL FIELD IS ANOTHER
ONE.
AND HERE, WE HAVE TO COME WITH A
BETTER UNDERSTANDING.
VERY OFTEN WHEN WE SPEAK AND
ONCE AGAIN, IT'S VERY IMPORTANT
THAT, WHEN WE SPEAK ABOUT
POLITICAL PARTICIPATION, VERY
OFTEN THE MUSLIMS SAY, OKAY, WHO
IS GOING TO REPRESENT US?
SO IT'S AS IF MUSLIM, OR
CANADIAN MUSLIM INVOLVED IN
POLITICS IS REPRESENTING THE
MUSLIMS.
WHO TOLD YOU THAT?
WHY ARE YOU REPRESENTING ME?
YOU ARE A POLITICIANS, YOU WANT
TO AMEND IT, YOU WANT TO BE
ELECTED, OKAY, BUT YOU ARE NOT
SPEAKING IN MY NAME, NOT ALWAYS!
AND THIS IS A TRAP, BECAUSE VERY
OFTEN WE ARE PUSHED IN THAT
DIRECTION.
OKAY, ORGANISE YOURSELF AND
ELECT SOMEONE COMING FROM THE
MUSLIM COMMUNITY TO REPRESENT
THE MUSLIMS.
NO.
WE WANT POLITICIANS ACTING IN
THE NAME OF JUSTICE AND IN THE
NAME OF A SHARED ETHICS, WHICH
IS ETHICS OF CITIZENSHIP.
SO WHEN YOU COME TO ME AS A
POLITICIAN, I HAVE THREE
QUESTION.
THREE QUESTIONS, THE FIRST ONE,
IT'S NOT ARE YOU A MUSLIM, YES
OR NO?
NO, IT'S NOT, THERE IS NO
DISCUSSION ABOUT THAT.
YOU ARE A POLITICIAN, YOU WANT
MY VOTE, I HAVE THREE QUESTIONS.
ARE YOU COMPETENT?
WHICH SOMETIMES WE HAVE TO ASK.
[Laughter]

Tariq continues ARE YOU
COMPETENT, SECOND, YOUR
INTEGRITY.
YOUR INTEGRITY, ARE YOU DOING
WHAT YOU ARE SAYING?
SOMETHING, WHICH IS REALLY, YOU
KNOW... THAT THE WAY THAT YOU
ARE HONEST.
THIRD, ACCOUNTABILITY.
DON'T COME NOW AND I WILL NOT
SEE YOU FOR FIVE YEARS AND YOU
WILL COME IN FIVE YEARS ASKING
ME FOR MY VOTES AGAIN.

Tariq says ACCOUNTABILITY, I WANT TO CHECK,
I WANT TO KNOW WHAT YOU ARE
DOING.
YOU CAN BE A MUSLIM AND
INCOMPETENT.
YOU CAN BE A MUSLIM AND YOU HAVE
NO INTEGRITY, YOU ARE JUST
BUYING THE VOTES AND THEN YOU
WILL SELL THEM AT THE FIRST
OCCASION.
AND YOU CAN BE A MUSLIM WITHOUT
COMING BACK TO ACCOUNTABILITY.
AND YOU CAN BE A NON-MUSLIM
POLITICIAN AND ON SOME POINT,
YOU ARE COMPETENT.
YOU ARE SHOWING INTEGRITY AND
YOU ARE ACCOUNTABLE.
THIS IS WHAT WE HAVE TO CALL
ETHICS OF CITIZENSHIP AND NOT
FALL IN THE TRAP OF THIS ISLAMIC
COMMUNITY LOOKING FOR POLITICAL
LEADERS REPRESENTING THEM.
THERE IS ANOTHER FIELD WHICH IS
REALLY IMPORTANT WHEN WE SPEAK
ABOUT BEING WESTERN MUSLIMS.
THE CULTURAL FIELD.
YOU KNOW, WE ARE OBSESSED VERY
OFTEN, AS WE COME WITH THIS
FORMAL TEACHING OF ISLAM, MANY
PEOPLE AROUND CAN JUST LISTEN TO
US SPEAKING ALWAYS ABOUT
HALAL AND HARAM
AND MUCH MORE ABOUT
HARAM THAN
HALAL.
[Laughter]

Tariq continues HARAM
IS
UNLAWFUL, NO, YOU CAN'T DO IT.
COULD I DO THAT?
NO, YOU CAN'T.
MUSIC,
HARAM.
EVERYTHING -- AND THIS MENTALITY
IS JUST PUSHING SOME MUSLIMS TO,
TO UNDERSTAND THAT EVERYTHING
WHICH IS COMING FROM THE WEST,
IT'S AGAINST OUR RELIGION, SO
EVERYTHING IS HARAM
AND WE HAVE THIS OBSESSION OF DOING
WRONG ALWAYS.
IT'S WRONG, THIS IS WRONG, THIS
IS WRONG, YOU EAT WRONG, WRONG,
WRONG, OKAY, IF YOU CAN START BY
TELLING ME WHAT IS RIGHT, MAYBE
I CAN JUST START MOVING.
[Laughter]

Tariq says AND YOU KNOW
THAT THIS IS OUR MENTALITY.
AND YOU KNOW WHAT IS THE
CONSEQUENCE OF THAT, LACK OF
CREATIVITY.
WE ARE, WE DON'T HAVE THIS
CRITICAL MIND, THIS, IN ART, FOR
EXAMPLE, IN CULTURE, TO PROPOSE
SOMETHING AND AS WE HAVE A WORD
WHICH IS VERY, YOU KNOW, IN THE
TIME MAGAZINE, WE HAD
THIS WORD INNOVATORS.
AND THE... CAME, SAID, HUH, I
KNEW THAT.
INNOVATORS.
[Laughter]

Tariq says (Speaking in
Foreign language)
[Laughter]

Tariq continues I TOLD YOU
THIS HAPPENED IN FRANCE...
INNOVATOR THAT YOU ARE CHANGING
OUR RELIGION, I KNEW THAT YOU
ARE DANGEROUS.
[Laughter]

Tariq continues HE DID NOT
UNDERSTAND THAT INNOVATOR IN
THAT WAS NOT TO CHANGE A
RELIGION, BUT TO COME WITH A
CREATIVE MIND, WHICH IS NEEDED,
THERE IS A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A
CREATIVE MIND AND PEOPLE WHO ARE
CHANGING THE RELIGION!
WE DON'T WANT TO CHANGE OUR
RELIGION, WE WANT TO REMAIN
FAITHFUL TO OUR RELIGION AND TO
DO AND TO -- AND TO COME WITH
THE REFORMS, WHICH ARE NEEDED
FROM WITHIN, THIS IS WHAT WE
NEED!
BUT CREATIVITY, THAT WHAT WE
NEED IN THIS SOCIETY NOW IS
MUSLIMS, WESTERN MUSLIMS,
PROMOTING SOMETHING WHICH IS AN
ISLAMIC WESTERN CULTURE.
OUT OF NOVELS, LITERATURE, EVEN
MUSIC, NOT ALL THE MUSIC, MUSIC
IS NOT HARAM.
HUH?
IT'S NOT.
[Laughter]

Tariq continues AND ON THAT,
I'M GOING INTO TRAVEL NOW, NOW,
NO, IT'S NOT.
WE HAVE MUSIC WHICH -- WE HAVE
DIFFERENT OPINIONS.
AND IF SOMEONE IS COMING TO ME
AND TELLING ME, I DON'T LISTEN
TO MUSIC AND THIS IS HIS OR HER
PERSONAL CHOICE, IT'S YOUR
CHOICE, IT'S UP TO YOU.
BUT DON'T TELL ME THAT ALL THE
SCHOLARS ON ISLAM, EVERYTHING IS

- NO, MUSIC IS NOT.
SO THIS CREATIVITY IS NEEDED, SO
WE HAVE TO COME WITH SOMETHING
AND WE HAVE TO PUSH THIS NEW
GENERATIONS, OKAY, WRITE.
READ.
DRAW, DO SOMETHING, BE CREATIVE,
COME WITH NEW IDEAS, THIS IS
YOUR CULTURE, BE INNOVATIVE!
INNOVATORS.
AND DON'T BE SCARED OF THE
PEOPLE SAY, OKAY... NO, IT'S
NOT.
IT'S JUST SOMETHING THAT -- IT'S
REALLY IMPORTANT, SO WE HAVE TO
PUSH THIS NEW GENERATION AND
THESE YOUNG PEOPLE TO, TO
UNDERSTAND THAT THIS IS NEEDED.
THE PROBLEM IS
THAT THERE IS A LACK OF
CREATIVITY IN OUR COMMUNITY,
BECAUSE WE ARE NOT CONFIDENT.
AND IN THAT FIELD, THE CULTURAL
FIELD, IS REALLY IMPORTANT, THE
LAST, THE LAST FIELD AND I WILL
GO VERY QUICKLY ON THAT, IS
SOMETHING, WHICH IS NEEDED,
INTERFAITH DIALOGUE.
YOU KNOW, WE ARE IN THIS COUNTRY
AND AS I TOLD YOU, WHEN WE SPEAK
LIKE THIS, CHRISTIANS, JEWS,
BUDDHISTS, WILL FEEL AND SEE
THAT WE HAVE THE SAME CHALLENGES
AND THE SAME QUESTIONS AND THE
SAME HOPES.
LET US COME TO THE COMMON
GROUND, NOT ALWAYS SPEAKING
ABOUT THE DIFFERENT, THE
DIFFERENCES BETWEEN US.
BUT WE HAVE COMMON CHALLENGES
AND WE HAVE HOPES!
AND WE HAVE VALUES AND WE HAVE
PRINCIPLES WHICH ARE COMMON.
THIS IS THE INTERSECTION BETWEEN
OUR RESPECTIVE UNIVERSAL VALUES.
BUT INTERFAITH DIALOGUE DOESN'T
MEAN A SUPERFICIAL ENCOUNTERS OF
PEOPLE OF GOODWILL, OKAY, I LIKE
YOU, MY BROTHER, I LIKE YOU, MY
CHRISTIAN BROTHER, MY JEWISH
BROTHER, MY BUDDHIST BROTHER AND
SOMETIMES THERE IS A MUSLIM IN
THE WHOLE SAYING, OKAY, BROTHER?
YOU CANNOT SAY THAT, IT'S NOT
YOUR BROTHER.
YOU HAVE TO SAY, YES, THERE IS
SOMETHING, WHICH IS HUMAN
BROTHERHOOD IN ISLAM.
AND IT'S NOT NEW, THIS WAS SAID
BY, UM, NOW ARE WE IN THE 14th
CENTURY, IT'S NOT NEW, WE HAVE
HUMAN, HUMAN BROTHERHOOD.
SO THE PROBLEM IS THAT WE HAVE
ALSO TO COME TO A DEEP
UNDERSTANDING OF OUR RESPECTIVE
MESSAGE.
AND IN THAT FIELD, ALL THE
QUESTIONS ARE WELCOME.
WE, WE SHOULD BE ABLE TO ASK ALL
THE QUESTIONS AND WE HAVE TO
LISTEN TO THAT.
MUSLIMS SHOULD UNDERSTAND THAT
THE CRITICAL MIND IS NOT SOMEONE
WHO IS INSULTING YOU, IT'S JUST
ASKING THE RIGHT QUESTION
BECAUSE HE OR SHE WANTS TO
UNDERSTAND.
AND IT'S LEGITIMATE TODAY TO
WANT TO, TO BE WILLING TO
UNDERSTAND, WHAT ABOUT VIOLENCE,
WHAT ABOUT WOMAN, WHAT ABOUT --
YES, IT'S -- AND WE DON'T HAVE
TO RESPOND OUT OF JUSTIFICATION,
TO JUSTIFY OURSELF OR TO BE ON
THE DEFENSIVE, BUT TO BE
CONFIDENT AND TO RESPOND AND
SOMETIMES WE DON'T HAVE THE
ANSWER.
SOMETIME IT'S A VERY GOOD AND
DEEP QUESTION AND WE HAVE TO, TO
ANSWER IN A DEEP, VERY DEEP WAY,
SO THE DISCUSSION ABOUT OUR
TEACHINGS, RESPECTIVE TEACHINGS,
ALL THE QUESTIONS ARE WELCOME.
AND WE NEED ANSWERS AND WE NEED
TO GO FAR AND NOT TO BE OR TO,
TO REMAIN AT THE SURFACE OR AT
THE SUPERFICIAL LEVEL.
THIS DISCUSSION TODAY, IT'S
REALLY IMPORTANT, BECAUSE IT'S
OUT OF THIS DISCUSSION THAT WE
CAN CONTRIBUTE.
RELIGIOUS PEOPLE COMING WITH A
CONTRIBUTION ON THAT, ON THE
FIELD OF SPIRITUALITY, ON THE
FIELD OF ETHICS, VALUES, ON, YOU
KNOW, APPLIED, ENFORCED ETHICS
IN DIFFERENT FIELDS, THIS IS
REALLY IMPORTANT.
SO THESE ARE THE MAIN FIELDS AND
NOT ALL THE FIELDS, BUT THE MAIN
FIELDS ON WHICH WE HAVE TO WORK.
AND TO END, IT MEANS FOR US,
WESTERN MUSLIMS, TO UNDERSTAND
THAT IF OUR MESSAGE IS REALLY
UNIVERSAL, THE ONLY WAY TO MAKE
IT UNIVERSAL IS TO UNDERSTAND
THAT WE HAVE TO WORK AT THE
LOCAL LEVEL.
EVERY ONE OF US.
THIS IS OUR PERSONAL
RESPONSIBILITY, IF WE DON'T HAVE
A -- THE ANSWER IN OTTAWA, DON'T
SAY THAT, OR DON'T PUT THE BLAME
ON MUSLIMS ELSEWHERE, SAYING,
OH, YOU KNOW, THIS IS THE PEOPLE
FROM SAUDI ARABIA, THEY DON'T
UNDERSTAND ISLAM.
YOU ARE NOT FACING UP TO YOUR
RESPONSIBILITY HERE.
SO BECAUSE THERE IS NOT, OR WE
ARE NOT, WE DON'T HAVE THE RIGHT
QUESTIONS, WE DO NOT HAVE THE
RIGHT ANSWERS AND THE RIGHT
QUESTIONS ARE COMING FROM THE
ISLAMIC COMMUNITY IN OTTAWA TO
RESPOND TO THE CHALLENGES OF
MUSLIMS LIVING IN OTTAWA.
THIS IS THE MEANING OF A
UNIVERSAL MESSAGE.
WE HAVE TO GET RID OF THIS
MINORITY OBSESSION, WE ARE NOT A
MINORITY AS TO THE VALUES, YOU
KNOW, IF YOU -- SO MANY NON-
MUSLIMS HERE.
IF THEY'RE LISTENING TO THE
VALUES I WAS SPEAKING, JUSTICE,
AGAINST DISCRIMINATION, TO ACT,
WE -- THESE ARE MAJORITY VALUES.
IF ONLY WE KNOW HOW TO SPEAK
ABOUT THEM, HOW TO CONVEY THE
MESSAGE THAT THESE VALUES ARE
THE SAME AS THE VALUES OF THE
OTHER PEOPLE AROUND US, OUR
FELLOW CITIZENS, BUT WE ARE
OBSESSED OF BEING A MINORITY.
SO WE SPEAK AS
A MINORITY AND WE THINK THAT
WHAT WE ARE SAYING EXACTLY, IT'S
TOTALLY DIFFERENT FROM THE
VALUES OF THE PEOPLE AROUND US,
WHICH IS WRONG, SO WE GET RID OF
THIS, FROM THIS MINORITY
OBSESSION TO STOP THIS VICTIM
MENTALITY, TO BE VICTIM, WE HAVE
TO GET RID OF THAT, DON'T BE ON
THE DEFENSIVE, WHAT I WAS SAYING
TODAY IS NOT JUST TO JUST -- I
DON'T HAVE TO JUSTIFY MYSELF.
BECAUSE I'M NOT SUSPECTED.
BY THE WAY, YOU KNOW WHAT, I'M
INNOCENT.
[Laughter]

Tariq continues AND THIS IS
REALLY IMPORTANT, SPEAK TO ME AS
A FELLOW CITIZEN, I'M INNOCENT.
NOT TO BE SUSPECTED, I'M NOT ON
THE DEFENSIVE, I'M JUST
STANDING, STANDING UP AND I AM
STRUGGLING FOR MY RIGHTS BECAUSE
I KNOW MY DUTIES AND THIS IS
WHAT I'M HERE AND THIS IS WHY
I'M HERE AND THIS IS WHAT I WANT
TO, TO GIVE. SO TO BE
CREATIVE, TO BE ACTIVE AND TO
UNDERSTAND THAT EVERY ONE OF US,
AT HIS OR HER LEVEL, SHOULD
CONTRIBUTE.
WE SHOULD DO SOMETHING, SO WHEN
YOU COME TO A LECTURE LIKE THIS,
YOU CAN LISTEN TO IT, OKAY, IT'S
GOOD.
FINE, IT WAS A THEORY, IT WAS --
BUT AT THE END OF THE DAY, EVERY
ONE OF US COULD CONTRIBUTE AT
HIS OR HER LEVEL BY BEING
INVOLVED, ASKING THE RIGHT
QUESTIONS, TO CONTRIBUTE AND THE
ONLY RIGHT ANSWER TO OUR FELLOW
CITIZENS IN CANADA OR IN THE
WEST, IT'S NOT BY JUSTIFYING
OURSELF.
IT'S NOT BY SAYING WHO I AM, BUT
AT ONE POINT IS A VERY SIMPLE
QUES -- RESPONSE.
WHAT DO I GIVE?
WHAT DO I GIVE?
WHAT IS MY CONTRIBUTION?
WHAT DO YOU GIVE TO BE ABLE TO
TELL YOUR FELLOW CITIZENS, LOOK,
I'M NOT A PROBLEM.
I'M A RICHNESS.
DON'T YOU SEE IT?
AND SOME ARE SAYING, NO, I DON'T
SEE IT.
SO IT SHOULD BE SEEN, IT SHOULD
BE SHOWN, IT SHOULD BE
PRESENTED, IT SHOULD BE VISIBLE.
BE VISIBLE OUT OF YOUR
QUALITIES, BUT ONLY OUT OF YOUR
REACTIVE RESPONSE TO THE
PROBLEMS YOU ARE FACING.

(Speaking in foreign language)

[Applause]

Watch: Tariq Ramadan on The Ethics of Citizenship