EU Scream

Being Muslim

June 30, 2019 Season 1 Episode 26
EU Scream
Being Muslim
Chapters
EU Scream
Being Muslim
Jun 30, 2019 Season 1 Episode 26
EU Scream
Muslim millennials Nas Daily and Financial Times correspondent Mehreen Khan on discrimination and religious misconceptions.
Show Notes Transcript

We speak with two Muslim millennials raising their voices against discrimination and religious misconceptions. Nas is a celebrity video blogger with 13 million followers. He's also a Palestinian-Israeli educated at Harvard who defies the far-right’s stereotypes about young Arab men. He says governments should force integration — otherwise the kinds of Islamophobia and anti-Semitism that plague parts of Europe are inevitable. Mehreen Khan is a correspondent for the Financial Times in Brussels. Not only is she a rare Brexiteer among the EU press corps, she’s also a British Muslim of Pakistani descent who wears a headscarf. That makes her an unusual sight at European Union headquarters where the lack of diversity is at odds with the multicultural reality of many parts of the continent. We get her observations on the ways stereotypes about the East persist and about the ways Europe is failing to protect, and connect with, its 25 million Muslim inhabitants. I first asked why her avatar — that’s the picture she uses to identify herself on Twitter — looks a lot like a burka with a maniacal grin. Visit our website for episode art and transcripts, and for more on EU Scream. “Beethoven Symphony No. 9 in D minor, Op. 125” by Papalin is licensed under CC by 3.0. “Airside No. 9” is played by Lara Natale.

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Speaker 1:
0:03
The European Union has not treated us well. Stupid European elites jumping off the cliff once again. Ah, yes, you are the guilty, beatable and you refused to accept it.
Speaker 2:
0:21
[inaudible]
Speaker 3:
0:21
this is you scream the progressive politics podcast from Brussels and James' at journalist whose criss crossed Europe for 15 years now covering politics and the economy. In this episode we speak with two Muslim millennials who raised their voices against discrimination and religious misconceptions. Nus is a celebrity among video bloggers, 13 million followers. He's also a Palestinian Israeli educated at Harvard who defies the far right stereotypes about young Arabs. He says government should force integration. Otherwise the kinds of Islamophobia and antisemitism that played parts of Europe are inevitable. We begin the show with Maryann Khan, a correspondent for the Financial Times in Brussels. Not only is she a rare, brings a tear among the EU press corps. She's also a British Muslim of Pakistani descent, wears a headscarf that makes her an unusual site at European Union headquarters where the lack of diversity is at odds with the multicultural reality of many parts at the continent. We get her observations on the waste stereotypes. About the east persist and about the ways Europe is failing to protect and connect with its 25 million Muslim inhabitants. I first asked why her Avatar, that's the picture she uses to identify herself on Twitter. It looks a lot like a burka with a maniacal grin.
Speaker 4:
1:57
The avatar is a picture of a Norwegian boss which went viral after, I think it was outright Facebook group mistook the seats for Berger cloud women because at a certain angle the empty seats look like women in [inaudible]. So the black veil with small slit at the eye and it's the kind of the trick of light and the image went viral. Teen noise being um, overrun by Muslims who are not Muslim and who are not integrating and forced to wear the burqa. And it was then poison is just a boss guys. So actually we see what we want to see. So I thought it was quite funny. So I put a smiley face on mine. I did a bit of editing and as a reminder of how farcical some of the hysteria around the Burka has become, did become maybe a couple of years ago in Europe for sure. And the headscarf, you always have a head covering. No. Yeah. Yeah. So you've just been to Japan where I guess you had the experience of flying well Muslim flying while Muslim. Yeah. Yeah. Pretty easy actually lifeline like everyone else.
Speaker 5:
3:01
Look, I picked up this term in some book of Islamophobia that I was reading. Really it's the idea that you're getting more hassle in the airport.
Speaker 4:
3:09
I think that must have been a thing very immediately post nine 11 because Muslims would have noticed the difference of how they were being treated before nine 11 at airports and after nine 11 I was 11 years old. I never really had the luxury of really knowing what it was like to be treated as a Muslim before nine 11 so they kind of standard level of security is something that I've always had and I've lucky lucky enough never to have been pulled aside or had some experiences that some of my friends have had. But you had a good time there. Yeah, Japan, very Muslim friendly in really weird ways. Mainly the toilets. How? Because they have huge on institutionalizing the BD, so if you sit on a Japanese toilet, there's a lot of buttons sitting next to you and there's like sort of hierarchies of what type of water washing system you'd like and Muslims when we go to the toilet have to do ablation using water. So like my mom has never felt more Muslim than when I'm in Japan. That is fantastic. Why can't we all have [inaudible] yeah, your needs to get on that.
Speaker 5:
4:08
I'm acutely aware of when we're having this conversation about bomb washing and other aspects of life that I'm exoticizing you in a way that Edwards say you'd my former seminar professor might disapprove of. Do you think I have this right?
Speaker 4:
4:24
Better to talk. I always enjoy talking about the kind of peculiarities, particularly of hygiene and things like that because when you get to Japan, you realize it's not something that just Muslims do.
Speaker 5:
4:33
Right? So it's actually demystifying it. Yeah, yeah, yeah. And he was all about how Western scholars of the eastern world were inextricably tied to their societies and to imperialism and everything that they produced with tainted by that. And so every bit of scholarship pre-seed is kind of open to question. That's what he called orientalism.
Speaker 6:
4:59
Well, my interest in orientalism began, um, for, for two reasons. One was an immediate thing that is to say the w, the Arab Israeli war of 1973, which had been preceded by a lot of images and discussions in the media and the popular press about how the arbs are cowardly and they don't know how to fight in there, you know, always going to be beaten because they're not modern. And the second one, which is has a much longer history in my own life was was the constant um, sort of disparity I felt between what my experience of being an Arab was and the representations of that that one saw in art and you know, the fact that those representations of the Orient had very little to do with what I knew about my own background in life.
Speaker 5:
5:48
That's a big part of how you see the world or are you part of the school where Oh, site just Kinda overdid it.
Speaker 4:
5:54
When I read him I was about 18 and my eyes were, I was like, there's this whole, I adopted a lens having read the book and I, and you see all these tropes and then you understand it subsequently. And I think a lot of scholars have done this. I think sometimes he throws the baby out with the bath water because a lot of the scholars, a lot of the names that he picks up, I would consider to be affectionate critics or at least intellectually interested observers of the Muslim world. And it's very easy to write them off because they are, have they have English or European or northern European antecedents to say that they were adopting affectations of Islamic culture. You know Churchill famously like dressing up as an automation because you know nearly flirted with conversion and all these types of things. It's very difficult to say people like that or scholars interested in Islam.
Speaker 4:
6:48
We're carrying a lot of the intellectual packages they wouldn't have really known about. And you think why is it still relevant? Everyone go and watch Guy Richie's version of a lot in the movie. They've really adopted a lot of Disney, a lot in which if you saw it as Charlie thought and then you watched another way, this is the most racist movie ever. So the movie was a chance to have the book version of Aladdin. So they find people of color to take all the main roles. Yet somehow they managed to make it work because they decided the Middle East was also Indian. So we have a lot of Bollywood dancing and all of a sudden you have a kind of exotic east. The struggle. Israel side is still, he lived to fight another day
Speaker 7:
7:37
[inaudible] so
Speaker 4:
7:38
Islamophobia do we need to define us is being defined. I think there is a kind of broad consensus which I think is uncontroversial, that Islamophobia is anti-muslim racism and it is racism which is directed at people who exhibit outsides of Muslimness and also the ratio characteristics which people have come to identify with Muslims. So seeks can be the victims of anti-muslim racism because they, somebody might assume that they look a bit like Muslims, they have peds and turbans and the rest of it. It will also explain why Muslim women who if they wear the hijab or otherwise or disproportionate victims or of Islamophobic attacks because they look Muslim. There's something else going on as well. There's an additional level of sexism. Chauvinism usually comes from men about the trope of the suppressed woman or the non woman who uses cloth as a barrier towards you know, becoming truly European or English or French.
Speaker 4:
8:38
And I'm thinking of people on the outright, people like Sam Harris, a ban and types in ordinary sort of, you know, middle of the road populists in Europe who use the cloth as a sign of uh, all just indicative of Islam's inherent sexism, which demotes women. It forces them to cover themselves up. These are the liberal Islamophobes. Yeah, they would see the reformation as Europe's, you know, foundational moment where there was obviously schism in the religion, but that the, the same historical trope is imposed on Islam. Islam never had a reformation and that all Muslims need to do now. They need to get their house in order and they need to modernize and get with the 21st century. And in the 21st century, we are happy with women not having to cover up birth. Johnson wrote a column comparing women wearing the Niqab to letter boxes and it was a column which defended the right of women to wear the Burker.
Speaker 4:
9:33
So he was not in favor of a burka ban because bars would consider himself to be sort of classical liberal. I think the wording was something like even though we think they look ridiculous and they look, these women look like letterboxes, I'm not in favor of Britain banning the Burger. I mean this is such backhanded stuff. That's really, he did two things. He did two things in in that I think in one sense he probably exemplifies mainstream burst political debate, which doesn't seem to be moving towards a burka ban and in the same hand by using this term letterboxes which you know is offensive to anyone. He also exhibited the way in which Muslim women's bodies and their clothing is just fair game. How many countries in Europe have a burger pattern? We had a sort of wave of new backup ban laws. I think the most recent was Denmark.
Speaker 4:
10:25
We have one in Belgium here. We have one in France, in the Netherlands also and he just kept word in public. Yes, you can wear in public spaces in France we have a headscarf ban public spaces as sort of, if you're a school teacher you cannot wear the headscarf, which is categorically is a very different level. I think it's a, it's a far more extreme position because the headscarf is far more prominent among practicing Muslim women than the bouquets, which was still very sort of niche clothing, garment. It's not the mainstream. So one of the things that I recall from maybe it was when you first got here there, somebody said something about Muhammad and mobs. Yes, it was bizarre. It was a comment made in the press room. Just explain the press room from the press room is where we all hung out as journalists in the Brussels press corps and it was set at the midday briefing, which is the day noon, a briefing at the European Commission where you can fire questions at suppose people on a variety of topics.
Speaker 4:
11:26
Do you ever get an answer? No comment, no comment to. It's not the place to go for answers, but it's quite interesting. Anthropologically as I noticed when I rocked up and I had somebody in the press room fire question that I think it was Margaritas with the chief spokesperson for you incur about something that would have happened in London. The context was so strange and also I think when the word was said, I was so like blinded out by the context. I knew you remember it, but he asked the asked phrase about what the European Commission would do about the Mohammad and mobs that were running around London and Margarita to be fair, like we'll come back to you bilaterally. But that kind of phrase, I just, I looked around, I was like, you says that, you know, it's not the equivalent of hearing the n word, but something that you just, it's such a throwback and he said so casually by someone you're thinking it's a, and then, and there was a fact that nobody else really picked up on it or needs to see. That was perhaps the most shocking thing. I'm calling someone a Mohammedan is pretty, it's pretty old. It's pretty old school. Even so, I mean the, those are the people that I side was talking about and the mobs maybe use illustrative fate, but the, the, the journalist in question clearly had no problem with the phrase who, anything. And I remember, I think I sort of called them out on Twitter off two words because I was just, you know, it was not cool.
Speaker 7:
12:51
[inaudible]
Speaker 5:
12:51
I've had a chance to kind of spend some time with you and it seems to me that there's this tension between celebrating this new democratic moment that is Brexit and upstart anti EU parties. And at the same time you can reflect, I mean, you've agreed with me from time to time that there should be acute concerns about the racism and the nativism of some of these new parties that have sprung up. Yep.
Speaker 4:
13:18
It's real. This, this fact that you can now say things which people would never really said in public maybe 10 or 20 years ago. One main thing has changed in that if you, a person of color or a Muslim, a living in, as I was in England, in the UK for most of my adult life before I came here a couple of years ago, racism was always there. Uh, anti-muslim prejudice was definitely always them. I basically grew up in the sort of post nine 11 age where most of our Tablo newspapers would either rally against refugees, asylum seekers, Muslim terrorist benefit, scroungers, Asian rape gangs, Muslim rape gangs. It was always there and I saw it all the time and you try and call it out, but it was never really accepted and Britain was kind of under this uh, complacency blanket of racism isn't something that happens here anymore after Brexit.
Speaker 4:
14:12
I remember the one thing that changed was, and also working at the FT which considers itself to be a very liberal, progressive buster newspaper, is that suddenly these people realize that, oh, this is our country. Actually these people do exist. And they went into a moral panic about it. And the moral panic was definitely of this kind of, I don't recognize the country that I live in anymore. And that was also because of the anti EU sentiment, but also the fact that new types of a more virulent strains of xenophobia were going to be unleashed. And if you've always kind of experienced it where you would like a phone, these people always around anyway. And then do anything now is that yes, they are emboldened so in one sense I'm happy that people are taking this very seriously. I still think that Brexit in and of itself is far too complicated to distill as just a xenophobic moment in the UK.
Speaker 4:
15:02
I can agree with all of that, but what happened was that so much of the discourse about the EU was just plainly racist or it was driven by false fears about Turkey and you know whether Syrians were headed to the UK to to use a somewhat orientalist image, you are letting the genie out of the bottle and it's very hard to put it back inside. I would say there was never a bottle. The genie was always out is whether you saw it or not. If you're a black teenager living in the U K we will have seen a lot more of it growing up. You probably just couldn't get anyone else to take it seriously. I remember as a child thinking the word ethnic was bad because it was only ever used in bad context, ethnicity or ethnic. And actually ironically thinking the ethnic cleansing in the context of Kosovo when it was on the news and I was a child, I thought, oh, that sounds like a good thing because ethnic is bad and to clean it is clearly a good thing. So I think for a lot of people they woke up on Brexit day for the rest of us know that much changed.
Speaker 7:
16:10
[inaudible]
Speaker 4:
16:11
you've met a few of these politicians who are espousing Islamophobic views and in fact you sort of became the story in some ways. In the case of Estonia where I think you interviewed Martin Helma, who is the finance minister and who we dealt with in a previous episode of EU scream, uh, who is kind of an out and out racist Islamophobe homophobe. They have almost a white supremacist agenda there. So you interview the guy where, where did you interview him? Here in Brussels. In Brussels. Because my day job involves covering the university finance ministers, the Eurogroup, they called alone, mostly a man, depending on whatever country they come from, you know, automatically what they believe in. So when Mr Helmet and up, it's quite a good opportunity to have someone, I mean I'm going to use the term more colorful than your average finance minister. Infamous for saying the phrase blacks go back it a fairly standard interview and then I send it into, we talked about, we did talk about what he wants to do as a finance ministers also talked by his comments about blacks go back.
Speaker 4:
17:14
He stood by them. It was in the ft the next day. I didn't hear anything back from his people, him, which made me assume that they were, it was correct. So then a few days later, something comes out of Estonia. They fire back Stephanie as main newspaper, [inaudible] biggest broadsheet mainstream newspapers, political columnist said that the FT had laid a trap for Mr Helmer by conniving Lee wickedly sending, finding the only Muslim female brown correspondent to interview Mr Helma as a sort of tactic. Not If only they knew the fts. Not that good at planning, but it was, it was quite a bit. It was a strange comment to make. I think this journalistic question would have seen my exotic sounding name. I sort of put two and two together and assumed that actually I was in there to sort of provoke Mr Hellman to saying something that he shouldn't say. It was strange. It's the first time it's ever happened. I think it was an attempt to be woke that really backfired on him, but it did get picked up. It also shows a sensitivity about race and about people not really having European sounding names in positions of, you know, in the media, et Cetera, which I imagine is stony is not hugely common.
Speaker 5:
18:31
Let's go more and toward what's going on in the Brussels mix. There is a bit of a debate about whether Islamophobia should be put on the same level as antisemitism and Anti Gypsy Ism. Does that sound right to you? Does it sound like the sort of thing that the institutions should be looking at?
Speaker 4:
18:50
Personally, I think it makes a lot of sense because we already have established ways of thinking about antisemitism and anti Gypsies and which are quite sort of inbred forms of discrimination that Europe has seen. And in that sense, if you think about the new forms that are coming, Islam is definitely one of them. I think they're important political statements. I think in practice will it really change the way the EU, various European governments really think about their Muslim communities? I don't think it would make a difference. So what did you make of that
Speaker 5:
19:20
European Court of Justice ruling from March, 2017 it was allowing companies in Europe to essentially prevent women on the job.
Speaker 4:
19:29
Yeah, there was a case that came up with a g four s security guard. She wore a headscarf and the employer said that, you know, it's not part of our uniform. Actually your black has coffin or part of the g four s uniform and it was taken, it was referred up to the ECG. It was a very important ruling. I think it was the opinion of the advocate general. And it said something so bizarre that I've never forgotten. It equated a Muslim woman at work wearing the headscarf to a Christian going to work wearing an I love Jesus t-shirt. They made an equivalence between those two garments saying that these are so obvious signs of somebody's religious affiliation that the I love Jesus tee shirt is never going to part of a g4s or any security companies uniform. And therefore the employer was well within their rights of asking the said Christian to take the tissue.
Speaker 4:
20:21
I mean I laughed out loud because the idea that the headscarf, which actually is so fundamental to a Muslim's conception, the, the nature of hijab, which means covering that, you know, making an overstatement like an eyelove Jesus Teesha and equating it to their job made me take a, have these judges ever met any Muslims have ever met any evangelical to, to all Jesus teachers to work, you know, have they ever spoken to anyone who might wear a headscarf? We even know someone where whether it's gone. So now since there was the ludicrous element and then I think there was the more important thing, which was this judgment was based around a concept of citizen neutrality and the judges in the final judgment, which was about allowing the employer to tell them Muslim employed, they have to dress. The way that they say they them to is that when a Muslim woman in this case adopts the headscarf, she is no longer considered to be a neutral citizen in the eyes of the law.
Speaker 4:
21:25
And this is like we're going back to Saudi territory about what does neutral really mean and if neutral means your average, you know, shirt, jeans, blouse, European looking, white person citizen. Then of course the Muslim lady or the man with the beard is not going to be neutral. And it also did a thing where it almost legalize the fact that that a headscarf is a political garment. And to most people who wear it, it just isn't, it's just a reflection of how they want to live their life. So in some senses the judgment was completely fastcall in others. I think it was a lot more profound in sort of putting out in legal terms what it means to be a citizen in Europe and what those citizens are supposed to look like. This just leads me to this idea that we talk a lot about Brussels, so white because there's a lack of ethnic diversity in the institutions but Brussels the which is codeword for the European Union writ large, I mean Brussels so Christian.
Speaker 4:
22:29
Yeah or Brussels, so secular actually because the cross would probably be, would consider you to be a non neutral or the caper would continue to be non neutral in our legal definition and it also formerly seems to have and a way of thinking about citizens. You, you can I be Christian and French? Can I be Muslim and French? Can I still be a European Muslim? Really if Islam is a sign of non neutrality, it also brings up lots of ideas and well if I'm not loyal to Europe, then the headscarf is a sign that I have lead agencies outside of Europe to some other rival legal power. It was a quite remarkable judgment and ironically in the UK came maybe 10 days before the Brexit referendum and it actually became an issue, a subject for British Muslims during that referendum about what is a, what is this called B, how could they think about Muslims in this way? But the truth is actually when you speak to a lot of people in, you know, in and around the bubble about diversity or Muslims or people of color, it doesn't really come up on their radar. They take it for granted that as a minority you would want to be part of the EU because the EU protects you against nationalism. It protects you against majority Arianism which you're likely to suffer against. Is that always true? Question Mark Chin, stroke and stroke questioning Emoji phase
Speaker 7:
23:58
[inaudible]
Speaker 4:
23:58
there's this new group in the European Parliament after these elections, identity and democracy. It's made up of legislators from parties that are really hostile to migrants, but also to Islam. It's Italy's Lega. Germany's FD Francis Nulook Lappin party. Should Muslims be worried? I think one of the most frustrating things about covering European politics is that you see a lot of the Salvia knees of this world go completely unchallenged when they will get up on the stage in Milan and talk about displacement theories. It's not even dog whistling. Is this like a dog move Zeller? I mean there's no [inaudible] dog movers alien. Yeah, it's like a whole jazz band of the Eden winded is that it goes completely in challenged and there's no real institutional response at the European level. And in Italy's case probably I think at the national level to really come back at this stuff. And it's hugely frustrating and I understand why it happens because Muslims institutionally around Europe don't really have organization forms that can, you know, try and propose a counter narrative.
Speaker 4:
25:07
And the truth is the mainstream politicians are not going to challenge Salvini on things like this because it's just not in their interests to really call him up. And also the Brussels institutions aren't going to do it because they see a future Italian prime minister. Yeah, and they will give you the, you know, very obvious. It's a national matter. And you know, we, I think I remember when we were having the real bikini discussion in France where it was being outlawed by certain French towns and there was a legal case you did. The average he response is, we will not get info involved in the juridical affairs of member states, which is the competency of those members to it. And that is true by the letter of the law, but it just looks remiss standing up and saying that every day. And it's a glaring vacuum and the vacuum comes from dimensioning politicians.
Speaker 4:
25:54
It comes from the complete options of having Muslim institutions to do it at the European level, which is very, very difficult because we're such a disparate and coherent communities everywhere. And not really in any way despite the, the, you know, the theories that conspiracy theories on organized political force anywhere in Europe. I think there was the Dank party, which technically represents the Tux community in the Netherlands, which has two seats. There's very, very bespoke to the Netherlands where you know the barriers. French, we had political parties are really low that you can have a small niche party like that. There's not even like a sleeping fifth call. We haven't even infiltrated. We haven't even done step one. I mean my, my, my like classic response to people who think that the Muslims are organized enough to take over the world. This, that we have two religious festivals, main ones of the year, like the Christmas is, we can't even decide when to celebrate them on the same day. It's like either Wednesday, some people, all I'm doing on Saturday this year there was some particular confusion. You see, I went over a whole week. You know, the house is not in order. Yeah. So we've got a long way to go to overcome our own internal sectarianism before we start taking over the EU or Europe generally say if you think we're coming for you, I mean it goes a long way to go.
Speaker 8:
27:16
[inaudible]
Speaker 3:
27:17
next up, Nassir. Yes. Seen. He's the founder of Nass daily, a Facebook page where you can find a thousand of his short videos shot around the world. He garnered 13 million followers by making them and he's now using his skills to help companies promote their brands. We met on a sweltering June morning in Brussels where he was one of the star participants at a giant annual forum on development. He's a passionate guy who throws his arms around a lot. So at first I was struggling to secure his microphone.
Speaker 9:
27:53
Okay, I'm going to set like this. Let me try getting it on your tee shirt in a different way. Do you mind if I pinch it a bit? Sure.
Speaker 10:
28:02
See, this is the problem with millennials, man. They don't wear shirts. Yeah, you do wear a jacket. Where's your Lapel Nass? I don't own the bell. What you need to know about NASA's t shirt is that he always wears the same design black with a drawing of a progress bar. It's meant to show the percentage of his life that has already lapsed. The bar might be based on some science, but what it really shows is NASA's mastery of personal branding in this brave new digital world. You're just going to have to try and not just stipulate. I'm really, really sorry. Just stipulate. That's a cool word. Okay. They don't teach that word in Harvard anymore. They did. Right. It went over my head too. I went over my head and I just stimulated.
Speaker 9:
28:56
Is it Nas or Nass? Nus Nus. It means people in Arabic. Any people actually, cause I don't have people, I don't care about only Arabs. That's that. That's the trick. So I'm full Arab living in a Jewish country. So your parents both Palestinian, but you grew up in which town next to Jesus. Nazareth next to Nazareth. Okay. Nass from next to Nazareth? Yes, from [inaudible].
Speaker 8:
29:25
[inaudible]
Speaker 9:
29:27
I'll tell you why it was popular because I think it's time for Brown. It's name for Brown. It's same for Asian because people saw me and they were like, who the hell is this average looking brown? Hairy kid that's from like a village like me. Right. And I'm not from Connecticut. I'm not white. I'm not blonde, I'm not a model. And so, so I think when people see a person that really can speak on their behalf, when it comes to social issues, when it comes to like, okay, it's our time guys. Now Europe in us has had a lot of time. It's our time for the next a hundred years. Uh, when I show their countries and pay attention to them, like instead of going to New York, I go to New Delhi instead of Los Angeles, I go to Legos. And, uh, when I make these videos, they're, they feel like they're finally noticed.
Speaker 9:
30:15
And I think that's why millions and millions of people sort of rally behind these videos because they think that it's their time through these videos. And I think growing up for 20 years and seeing segregation and seeing war and seeing the lack of peace really instills in your brain the need for it. And that's why a lot of my videos have been centered around that idea of let's, for God's sake, you know, and let's finish this shit and like let's, let's have a more practical view of the solution rather than an ideological view. And one thing I realized Israel and Palestine is not unique. It's a universal issue. You see it in Kashmir, India, Pakistan, you see it in as our vision and Armenia. You see it in the u s Mexico sometimes. So you see these conflicts all the time. And my general belief is that if we're able to fix Israel and Palestine, we are going to be fixing the whole world.
Speaker 9:
31:10
And so what's your method for peacebuilding when it comes to you, your camera and your microphone? So that's when I have to rely on the Israeli Chutzpah. Chutzpah is a word that many people know what it means, but it's really about just like just some extent being rude and being assertive and being loud and being like angry. Right. And I think that was my method. I was very loud, I was very angry and I was very ostentatious. And I just stipulate a lot. And when people see so much passion in some person when they're speaking about a topic that's usually spoken about in a very like, you know, nonchalant way, then these are paying attention. Trump does the same thing, but in the opposite side, he's like crazy and angry about the bad things. I want to be crazy and angry about the good things and to my surprise it worked.
Speaker 9:
32:00
Okay, so that's you telling the Israelis and the Palestinians to get their act together. Have you done that in other parts of the world? In almost, yeah. In places where I feel like I have authority to speak, so I've done that in Armenia. I've done that in Philippines and Marawi with Isis, so I try to, wherever there is a concentration of negative, I try to go there and try to focus on the small concentration of positive and hopefully try to amplify that. And what's the secret sauce of talking directly to people through a digital medium? The fact that I can be sleeping with people before they go to sleep, they open their phone and I'm talking to them. You're talking to the settlement guys, you're talking to the Jewish Orthodox people, you're talking to those soldiers of Israel as an Arab Muslim and you reach them in the bathroom and in the bed in their most private lives. That's how you can foster an amazing connection that is unparalleled.
Speaker 10:
32:56
So you said it's time for Brown. Let's talk about that through the lens of what we know about Europe. We have this rise of far right nationalism. Yeah. We have people who are overtly criticizing Muslims as being unwelcome in Europe. How does that make you feel?
Speaker 9:
33:14
Well, two folds. I think, one, it makes me feel like this negative side of social media needs to be checked. Like the fake news that can exist in these scenarios. It needs to be put under control in any possible cause. It can not go on for long. It cannot go on one person lying about Muslims, killing someone and then reaching a million people with that lie. So that's one. Two, it makes me think that, uh, it is the responsibility of governments, not minorities, that majority is a responsible government to make sure humans integrate. Because if you take a bunch of humans and you leave them for a hundred days, they are going to be gravitating to their people. Muslims will only hang out with Muslims. Whites will only hung out with whites and blacks are only hanging out with blacks. I see it everywhere. I see it at Harvard campus.
Speaker 9:
34:04
It's quote unquote, the brightest minds also gravitate towards their people and so you see it in Europe, Muslim neighborhoods, white neighborhoods, you see it in London, however diverse it is, it's actually segregated. And so I think governments need to take a more active role in making sure these communities integrated with each other somehow. Some way. This is a strong problem and it requires a strong solution and whatever that solution is, it might have to be forced. What have you talked about that on your blogs and have you, that's the last video I made about. Yes, segregation.
Speaker 11:
34:39
When Muslims live and grew up in a separate neighborhood in London, they are surrounded only by their culture. They don't need to integrate with other cultures. They don't need to mix with other people. And that's how you get our country within a country. The government will underfund you and ignore you. Society will break apart and this integrate and racism will grow Christian country.
Speaker 9:
35:12
So I actually decided to live in one country after visiting 60 countries and the one country I decided to live in a Singapore and there's a lot to hate in Singapore, but the way that they've engineered I cohesive society by forcing people to live together in apartment buildings has been nothing short of amazing. And for someone that's spent 20 years segregated self segregation, I call it Arabs, live with themselves. Jews live with themselves and we don't want to live each other. Uh, it is the responsibility of the government to make sure we mix it's human nature, not to mix the natural workings of society. We need to work against it. After Trump showed the dark side of the United States, I escaped ago, I think now Asia is a future, not America, unfortunately. And that's why I love Singapore because they don't have exactly the opposite, call them a dictatorship, but it's the opposite of everything the US does. And it's fucking working. Yeah, I know it's very controversial and I'm saying some dictatorial things, but it works. It's practical and that's why I called it home. I wish there was more Singapore's.
Speaker 10:
36:15
And how do you think about Islamophobia in dairy now?
Speaker 9:
36:20
Sure. It's very natural. It's very expected. It's very, I can see why it would happen. I don't think it's that coming out of the blue, like I'm Muslim myself and I see why people might not be fans of me and my religion. And I think it's my responsibility to show, I think you sort of stopped being racist once you have one example, that's, that negates your theory, right? So if you don't know any Muslims in London, because you live in the white area for you, Muslims are all terrorists or they're all poor or they don't want to integrate. But when you see someone like let's say Nass daily on the Internet, that is Muslim, that that is, you know, quote unquote modern, then you start changing your mind. And this is why I find great satisfaction in mass daily because it introduces a Muslim to many people's lives that have feelings that are in a way valid because they're self segregated and a lot of
Speaker 10:
37:15
that Islamophobia that we're seeing. You said that you sort of understand where it's coming from. I'm not sure I do.
Speaker 9:
37:24
Yeah. Because I also lived the opposite of it. Right. I see racism on the other side. I see us hating Jews. I see that on my Uber to this conference, my Uber Drivers from Tunis, Tunisia, he told me how Jews Control Belgium. And I was like, I see this racism from my people and I need to be open about it as much as I need to. Bobo, you know, open about white people's racism.
Speaker 10:
37:47
Okay. Pretend I'm the cabdriver and I have just said that thing about the Jews.
Speaker 9:
37:53
I told him called like a vote, which means, uh, all respect to them. They manage the way to do it and we are still driving Uber's and good, good for them. And he was like, yeah, good for them, good for them probably. But it's true, right? In a way we need to like really give credit where credit is due. If the Jews have a lot of money, good for them. We need to do that too.
Speaker 12:
38:22
[inaudible]
Speaker 13:
38:27
[inaudible]
Speaker 10:
38:28
that's you screen for this week. You can check our website at [inaudible] dot com for links to topics discussed the show and for more episodes, please rate us on iTunes. Tweet about us at EU screams and like us on Facebook. EU. Sqream is that it did in mixed by me. James Canter, Tom Brooks, and I produced the show. Lauren [inaudible]. Holly plays our piano. Thanks for listening.
Speaker 8:
38:55
Eh.
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