How Some Muslim Activists Use Speech Codes to Subjugate the West and How to Respond
July 25, 2018
Robert R. Reilly:
Our speaker tonight who has just returned from a trip to the Middle East albeit on vacation this time mostly I hope, Dan. Daniel Brubaker is primarily a scholar of Quran manuscripts of the 7th to 10th centuries, the earliest period of the book’s existence. He defended his doctoral dissertation titled “Intentional changes in the Quran manuscripts” and was awarded his PhD at Rice University in Houston in 2014. Since then he’s continued his work researching corrections in early Qurans and to date Dr. Brubaker has analyzed approximately 10,000 early Quranic manuscripts or manuscript folios in institutions and libraries throughout Europe and the Middle East and elsewhere Doha, Kuwait, Tashkent. Obviously the work with manuscript research is full of theological and historical implications and I hope someday we can get Dr. Brubaker back to address that subject which is not the one tonight. He believes it’s important to understand that not all ideas are equal. All people are equal but their ideas are not equal. And that Americans as Americans we need to think carefully about the heritage we have in our system of limited government, affirmation of certain rights is given by God, the embrace of the bill of rights including freedom of speech, press, exercise of religion, how we navigate our encounters as a nation with a system of belief that sees some of these things as illegitimate is the question Dr. Brubaker will address tonight. I’ll also just point out that his Quranic manuscript research is forthcoming in print in the form of an academic monograph as well as two books designed for [a] more general audience. That would be most of us. He is- Much of it is also becoming available through Quran Gateway, an online research tool for academics. He’s a member of the Islamic Manuscript Associationm the Association for the Study of Middle East in Africa, and the International chronic studies association please join me in welcoming Dr. Brubaker in his address on “How Some Muslim Activists are Using Speech Codes to Subjugate the West and how their response.”
Thanks Bob for that kind introduction and for the invitation to be here. It’s great to be back. I’ve been here only a couple times and the last time I was here Claire Lopez was up and it was a wonderful, wonderful presentation so that’s a real honor to be here. I know that this podium sees a lot of really important people so it’s really nice to be up here and I hope it will be of some benefit to you tonight well I just want to spend a moment to go through a little bit more of background I know that let’s even though it’s not the topic for tonight I’ll tell you a little bit of what I’ve done and where I’ve been to fill in a little bit of why it is that I’m interested in this topic that I’ve chosen for the evening so I did my research for my PhD at Rice University I spent eight years there and I’m thankful for the eight-year cutoff because you know I might still be working on it if that were not the case so I- I began at Rice I learned I had a couple questions already tonight about how I learned Arabic at began learning Arabic at in Seattle at a Language Academy and then applied to work at Rice University and learned the rest under David Cook my adviser sitting one-on-one with him in his office it was wonderful to do that and along the way obviously I had a lot of basic block okay a lot of basic background in religious studies it was in the Religious Studies department and also some more focused work in Islam not specifically on the Quran and Quran manuscripts so foundations the classical texts of Islam the Arabic of course Islamic culture and history and so forth so I do have that background although it wasn’t my narrow focus when I decided to drill down along the way I was shown some pictures of manuscripts by a colleague Dr. Keith small now Dr. Keith small he was still working in his doctorate at the time and one photograph that he showed me really stood out to me and it was a photograph of a Quran manuscript that had nearly an entire line I think me actually there are two photographs one headed line one had about a line and a half year a stand over written on it and I thought wow that is really something else I didn’t expect to see something like that in an early Quran manuscript so to make a long story short when it came time to choose my actual topic for my dissertation I contacted Keith back and said do you think that there would be enough in this to do a doctoral dissertation entirely on Corrections and Qur’an manuscripts and he said he thought that there was and I made that decision and sure hoped that there were it would be enough for me to write a dissertation on as it turned out I wound up looking at about 3,000 pages of early Qur’an manuscripts traveling around and seeing them many of them in person in the next couple of years and found enough corrections to justify a dissertation so that was about a hundred Corrections there so I found it very interesting it was sort of touching on what we’re gonna be talking about this evening it was kind of a striking moment to me when I first had access to look at these manuscripts in the bibliothèque nationale de France I spent the entire day amazed that they had actually put this man you 1,300 1,400 year old manuscript in front of me and you know let me flip through it spend the entire day looking through a very important early Quran manuscript and then leaving the library that evening and going and getting on the train in Paris and and seeing these folks with the you know with the full fully covered and a couple of young Muslim eyes you know sitting across from me on the train and realizing number one they have no idea what I’ve been spending my day doing and but number two realizing that the effect of these ideas you know it’s not just a sterile pursuit the effects of these ideas that was in these documents are still being felt in the world today in individual people’s lives and and in the impact that those lives are having on others around them so so yeah that’s just by way of a little bit further introduction as about mentioned I just got back from Israel and trip to Israel and we stopped along the way because Aeroflot tickets were the cheapest ones we had we went that way and my wife thought it would be great to go into her Moscow on the way since we had a 12 hour layover so he did that so in two weeks past couple weeks have been to through Moscow Red Square the Kremlin at Jerusalem Bethlehem although all the Nazareth South to a lot and up to the Golan Heights and Golan Heights often mentioned that again in a second and Washington DC Ben Ben Ben back over here and so and so it’s been up world whirlwind a couple of weeks we’re up in the Golan Heights when he first pulled out there this so my wife asked me are you taking me to are you taking us to a safe place you’re not going to take me and the kids to to a place is this dangerous I said no Israel’s fine it’s you know it’s not that what’s in the news is worse than what’s actually there well we pull up into the Golan Heights as it winds up winds up we’re staying in a cabin on a kibbutz that’s two and a half miles from the boardrooms we’re coming up into the area we see the smoked rice rising and as you know it’s been in the news lately the IDF was gathered up there and the Syrians were making incursions you know up into the buffer zone there so it’s very strange to be introduced to be showing your room by your when you check into a hotel and have them say to you well there’s you know there’s the bathroom there’s the kitchen and if the fire the air-raid alarms go off get on the floor but we made it through and my wife was very calm on that but again I actually that also Chi emphasized that ideas have impact um you know we’re just surrounded all over the world and in our daily lives with the fact that these things that we believe have impact not only on us but people around us sometimes people have ideas that are our notions that are true sometimes they have them that are false sometimes they have them that they misinterpret sometimes they’re very old stretching back thousands of years sometimes they’re just the trend of the day and we’re dealing well all these things kind of mash together and it’s wonderful one of the wonderful things actually about our country that we can have that sort of environment where we can so freely interact with all these different things but they’re not without their their impact in the world for us and for people around us so I hope this talking to disappointing to you I’m gonna I I feel like there are a lot of really sophisticated people in the room who have read a lot of sources and widely in this area so I’m gonna try and give some broth it’s actually not going to be that difficult to you yet because I think most people from even talking to you the at the beginning these are things that you’ve thought about launched and I think that many of us as Americans have thought about a lot in in recent years as we see what’s going on around us regarding free speech and where it is where these boundaries lie with these things but the talk is concerned with basic elements of humanity that we as Americans considered to be god-given rights and heritage of all people all people not only us but the right to think and speak one’s mind freely and even if this did causes discomfort to other people we the United States is a nation that protects Liberty and sometimes we can play that with freedom they’re not exactly the same thing but Liberty as a just and moral precondition for human flourishing and the opportunity to pursue and encounter truth okay so we and we do have that idea of truth which I’m going to come back to you in a second we’re the only nation in the history of the world as far as I know and somebody correct me if I’m wrong to be founded on the principle the biblical principle by the way that all people are created equal and I say there were people there because I believe that is what is intended anybody know why I think that’s what was intended by in the Declaration of Independence all people regardless of race or gender I’ll be interactive tonight too by the way so I just want you not to fall asleep so [Music] right it was it was it used very often generically in that sense so that was one certainly one of the possible meanings at the time which I think is entirely true and it’s reasonable to read it to read it that way anything else any other ideas about you about that yeah okay so I I and I think you might be I think you might be Rand that the comment was that he there’s questionable by the American Indian sort of native peoples were considered to be included in that and I think it may have been the case with some of the people who signed that the Declaration of Independence that they would have felt that way the reason that I think that it included that I believe strongly that included all people is is where it came from so what’s the word that comes right before that created all men are created equal okay so where’s the first mention that you know what’s that referring back to you well it’s clearly referring back to Genesis 1:27 which says in the image of God he created them he graded created him male and female he created them so this is the account of creation and and when when we encounter that phrase in the Declaration of Independence I think that that’s what it means clearly because that’s the source of the creation account to which they’re referring when they meant all men are created equal and endowed by their creator it might be but I think that’s pretty solid argument idea so and we took some time to live up to that obviously as a nation okay so as I mentioned it’s very fairly simple what we’re talking about and I’ll jump into it in a second you know it’s really important that we that we reconnect with this idea of Liberty in our in our country and I think you probably feel that as well particularly with the young generation there was a poll recently that you may be aware of that 40% of Millennials believe it’s 18 to 34 is a millennial category there – a Pew Research poll that said 40% of them felt that it was appropriate for government to place limitations on certain types of offensive speech that’s a huge that’s a huge cultural shift where is this coming from well it’s coming from a number of different directions but partly I think is coming from what we’re gonna be what we’re going to be talking about here freedom of speech and the right not to be offended I think and this is what some the right not to be offended yeah they’re they’re two different things no I’m not I’m not putting them together and putting them on opposite sides here the the right not to be offended which a lot of young people feel that there is this somehow this right not to be offended and many Muslims actually not all Muslims by the way so I want to make things look clear tonight to you that there’s a right not to be offended but it I just want to make the statement that these two are mutually exclusive you cannot have you can have one or you can have the other but you cannot have them both at the st. you have to pick one or the other with freedom of speech ruth can be existing alongside a lot of untruth or other you know competing ideas but at least it can be out there in contrast a society that elevates the right not to be offended merely perpetrates a world of comfortable ignorant and feelings of victimhood and I think the former society is the better place to live now I think we’re all sympathetic to the hurts of insults I’m very in them really you know I get moved with compassion when somebody is hurt and I think most of us feel but I’ve come to realize the necessity of facing truth and possible offense in order to maintain Liberty and it’s one full benefits because liberty is a and truth are great benefits and you can miss out and miss out on them if you start to go down this road of limitation so alright so what we’re talking about now is the dynamics of a civilizational struggle which i think is a civilizational struggle involving patterns and contours in the actions and attitudes of many people who are acting rationally actually according to their own preset assumptions about the world about what’s true and about the way the world works what is it permitting inappropriate and so forth at one end of the struggle is the Western liberal tradition that lies at the base of the proposition liberty and justice for all and sorry let me get my glasses only should you need these at this age just just cross that age where I need these and at the other end of the struggle is the greatest of what I believe to be at least one of but possibly the greatest colonizing civilization in the history of the world Islam both of these traditions are rooted interestingly in the proposition of a transcendent personal reality that is both of them are rooted in the proposition of God the Western liberal tradition derives its worldview and nonnegotiable propositions from the Bible and even though a lot of our culture in society today doesn’t operate with that with that on that premise we still have that as lying sort of at the root of what we are founding the idea of unalienable rights and so forth so when we say we hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal and are endowed by the creator of certain unalienable rights that among these are life liberty and pursuit of happiness this is what we’re appealing to that we rooting that in the proposition of a transcendent reality beyond the world that exists a lawgiver islam also derives this worldview from the belief that Muhammad was that God exists but is islam arises belief from the proposition of Muhammad was a prophet of God so that’s that’s the root of Islamic beliefs the core root you can say now that the Quran and the hadith and all that stuff to you but the core proposition is that Mohammed is a prophet that is what and actually incidentally I didn’t put this in my prepared notes for tonight but that’s why the antiquated term of Mohammedanism is actually a much more appropriate description of Islam that than Islam because Islam does anybody know I know some people here know what Islam means yeah it’s a mission yeah so Muslims and Muslim means submitted Muslims believe that they are submitted and implied to their submitted to God well anybody who follows God no we would you would say that you’re submitted to God so that’s a sort of a step further but I think it’s much more accurate descriptor actually to use although Mohammedanism is actually a mouthful to say so we have to find a better solution for that at some point but my argument tonight is that Islam’s efforts to restrict speech expression and conscience via hate speech hate crime legislation use of the terms Islamophobia and incitement to religious hatred and these kind of things is not consciously on the part of all Muslims but is consciously on the part of some Muslims and certainly following the example of Muhammad is is a it’s an attempt at colonization and conquering a new culture and they these are logical weapons of convey their logical within the common the framework of Muhammad’s life which I’m going to go into in a second and tell you some of the examples from his life on which all these things rest and their weapons of conquest in the sense that this is the way that Muhammad used them rhetorically he didn’t he didn’t only fight was with weapons and horses and going into battle but he also fighted with with words and there with rhetoric and so forth there was a very key part of what he did and it’s long been something that I’ve been quite interested in actually all right so we had recently a through here was aware of the Mohammed cartoon contest we’ve all we’ve all seen that in Garland, Texas yeah so a few years back so we’ve had a number of things actually I want to just take a moment before we continue on and talk about some of the incidents involving free speech in Islam in our cultural sphere of recent years so one of them was the Mohammed cartoon draw Muhammad cartoon contest in Garland, Texas which resulted in perhaps predictably a couple Muslim guys showing up trying to kill everybody who was participating in this contest it was organized by Pam Geller and Garrett Villiers won the contest and number of other people participated they had to hire their own security and the ultimate result was the killing of the guys could come out to kill all of them what else whatever what else have we seen regarding free speech oh I’ll repeat this yeah oh I see okay how would the interactive okay got it okay so we’ve had I’ll give all the answers you can like interact in other ways okay yes yeah yeah no that’s that’s a very good question and it was indeed a question that was in my mind when I began to go down this road and and I think it’s actually really helpful to what we’re talking about as well Patricia Crone who Bob knows and a few of you know and she passed away recently but was one of the really important scholars in our field was speaking at Rice University and this question came up when I was starting to think about my going dumb and pursuing this topic and I was asked in her presence whether it would be safe to do this and I turned to her and she said it’ll be fine there’s a certain space within for academics to do this kind of work and also I think is I’m asking questions of you know of artifacts and things that are there and not coming to conclusions that are polemical in any sense other people can do that if they want to and some people are doing that but that to say coming back to our point is is it is an example of the diversity within within Islam to a lot of Muslims particularly in the West actually really do see the logic of the freedoms and the liberties that we have admire them and our you know in some cases Really Trying dr. Zuhdi Jasser who have believed has also spoken here are trying to reconcile these things with their faith in Islam so I think we need to give space to folks to to do I mean we all need to space we’re all on our individual journeys here so to give space to people to explore and to think how they how they would do that but I think we would do that as we have certain expectations within our culture which i think is the which is the main point tonight so I gert builders they’ve just recently announced another drama hamid cartoon contest and i want to come back to the logic of why why they’re doing that here in a minute but he has been contacted by a lot of Muslim no he’s the one again who won the first contest and he actually happens to be a former Muslim himself and the interesting thing about I just read you up a small part of his comment here he says the the one recurring word he gets a lot of contact for Muslims about what he’s doing the one recurring word or from the Muslims who wrote me but who didn’t threaten my life was respect and that I should respect Islam and not draw Mohammed how about respect for me as an artist and my rights to express through my art what I think I have a former Muslim and the most peaceful comment I’ve gotten from Muslims is that I will burn in hell if I don’t return to Islam okay and he says no no Muslims not even those in the West have written me to say in essence I may not like Muhammad cartoons but I support your right to draw them watch Boston yes oh I’m sorry I’m reading posh possibly yeah okay so I have to take that yeah I’m talking about posh Boston yeah he’s the cartoonist say why did I get them mixed up okay so what I just read was from from Bosh Boston thank you like he says no Muslims not even those in the West have written Jimmy just say in essence I may not like Mohammed cartoons but I support your right to drawing if there’s one issue that separates those who love freedom from everything it’s free speech okay so it’s interesting because that say that is a core value that we kind of take for granted and for many Muslims it doesn’t mean that no Muslim has been feeling that they would support him in that but no Muslim has told them that so I’m gonna tell you the results of some polls here in a few minutes to you that will underscore some of the diversity but some of the alarming issues about the sentiments that we should pay attention to I think okay so not with some populations the world over right now that’s maybe many of us and now we may have some ones in the room but are being trained by Muslims and not consciously or overtly but I believe being trained and you’ll understand what I mean by this in minute to behave according to Islam its own definition of what that means trained to behave I think that’s the core point of these threats and the blasphemy laws and so forth first let’s talk a little bit about the roots of liberty and justice for all we did a bit okay so when you’re talking about liberty and justice for all we hold these truths to be self-evident we’ve already said that I’ve already mentioned this biblical worldview what does it contain it contains the idea that truth exists right secondly it contains the idea that some truths are self-evident to those who look third it’s true that all people are created equal according to that proposition and all people have certain unalienable rights and that these come from God and that the partial list includes life liberty and the pursuit of happiness okay so and we certainly know that for the first 90 years of our nation’s history this we had the pre-existing condition by the way it was a pre-existing condition of slavery it was not something was created by the founders or endorsed by the founders it was something that was dealt with by the founders and that they created in this document the they put in the document the seeds that would surely overcome it so I think it’s really really important as we’re in the state of you know particularly with the Millennials are talked about and other folks in our culture have not really connected with our heritage as a country that we don’t throw out the baby with the bathwater that we understand that the abolition slavery civil rights all the things all the liberties that have come in this country have come you know through appeal to Abraham Lincoln appealed to what you feel to the tech boy you should have independents Martin Luther King did all these things have come as a result of that so we don’t say that medicine is bad because a doctor is a quack we don’t say that you know whatever science is bad because some scientists tamper with the evidence no youyou chastise those scientists are doing bad things and then you work toward further fulfilling the ideals that you claim to be at the root of your endeavor we don’t say the FBI is rotten because the handful of people the top hypothetically speaking happened to commit felonies using the power of the agency you know you don’t blame all the FBI by putting it I’m gonna be crazy to put them all into retraining or anything like that right you would surely prosecute those folks who did that so the same thing you know we we have worked hard as a country we’ve endured a lot to secure the freedoms that we have they fought a costly civil war which I think is still the most possibly war in their lives in our nation’s history and so we have and certainly you know look at the achievements we’ve had as a country we’ve been to the moon at least according to to most accounts we’ve been to the moon we’ve done you know prizes all the advancements in medicine and everything so forth and these are the results of the pursuit of truth so it’s something that we don’t want to throw out too quickly okay so I just want to throw this out there just to keep in your mind when you’re in contact sports you usually wear some sort of protection regard over your any areas that are more vulnerable or if you somebody goes to hit you what do you do you kind of cover that you’re your weakest places or what they’re going to hit right so I’m not going to connect the dots there but think about that as we move forward the Soviet Union when they worked in distance and it was just over there as you know as bizarre red squares actually how many people here have been to Red Square it’s a lot smaller than I thought anybody else had that experience yeah it wasn’t tiny but it was smaller than I thought but the Soviet Union didn’t- didn’t erect that the Berlin Wall because the propaganda was true or because the amazing situation in their country was just so self-evident to everybody they erected it because it was not true and it was not you know if they opened took down that wall people weren’t gonna be flocking in there gonna be flocking out so bear that in mind as well all right so no human being has an inherent right to never be insulted or offended that’s a proposition I’m making how could it how could they people all take offense at different things and so I think when you saw the title of a talk to 95 this is crazy what’s going around you know many many folks here this is crazy what’s going on around us in the world how can he have the right not to be offended yeah I could be offended by anything you know anybody could you would have you would be able to say literally nothing in this world if everybody every freedom people were protected from every offense so I think a lot of folks haven’t taken that to as a logical conclusion but what we really need to okay so what do you get when you have freedom of speech you have the possible malign ment of truth you have possible messiness but you have at least the ability to pursue it okay so in Islam it is true the penalties against speech violations are selectively applied so I want to read you one of these from the Pakistani Penal Code which is pretty much in line with with classical Islam and the sources section 295 C which is passed in 1986 so relatively recent says this in in order to I presume and says whoever by words either spoken or written or by visible representation or by any imputation innuendo or insinuation directly or indirectly defiles the sacred name of the holy prophet muhammad and they say peace be upon him shall be punished with death or imprisonment for life and shall also be liable to find so where does that come from it comes from comes from Sharia and actually Sharia is is a name that is given to something that actually doesn’t really exist in a single in a single whole it’s something it’s a word that’s given to something it means actually it comes from the same word for one of the two words for first Street or Road sure it’s the path it’s like the straight path that you’re supposed to walk in all right Sharia means a straight path and so it is formulated out of it’s a legal formulation that comes out of the Quran comes out of the example of Muhammad as a prophet comes out of the hadith which are the collections of the sayings that he things that he said and did approved of disapproved of what his followers approved up or disapproved of what he allowed – you know he done in his presence and so forth it comes from the to a certain extent the commentaries it comes from the historical texts and comes from the biography if I didn’t mention that already his of his life so Sharia is this conglomeration of stuff and there are different schools of law in Islam there are five major ones four and then a fifth one that’s and these disagree on some points but they do agree on the major points and the major points include for example the fact that you are not to malign the Prophet or malign Islam so I’m not going to go through all those things tonight but what I am gonna do is I’m gonna go back to the biography of Muhammad and read you a couple of examples from his life that these things all can be traced back to and and when you look at people like folks like given time eeeh and others who are tremendously popular in this area this is what they’re tracing they’re basing their example they’re basing their decisions upon the example of Muhammad himself so if you are interested in knowing about the actual book there are a lot of their time probably habits maybe thousands of biographies of Muhammad this is the translation in English of the earliest one that we have it’s translated by it was written by Evan Hakam it was a recension and a revision of it was made by was written by heaviness Hawkins the revision was made by M&H um and it’s a couple hundred years after Muhammad’s death but it’s the earliest source we have to his life okay so how it did Muhammad deal with insults actually number of years ago made my own handy list because I went through this with all the different topical list of the different things and I noticed how how Mohammed handled criticism and I’m not gonna read you all of them but I Q key ones a few key ones art will be served the purpose of understanding us okay so in the earlier time in Muhammad’s life he lived in Mecca according to the tradition he lived in Mecca and then he had to he was very weak he was an orphan he needed protection of his family and so forth and at one point he had to after he met the angel and realized and was told by his wife he was prophet and started to get more revelations and his community start to grow he had more power with more people behind him and so they migrated up to Medina and so the Quran is divided into sections that are Mecca or Medina in the earlier sections tend to be a little bit more peaceful and the later sections the Medina in period of his life was more violent and this is just the way the history of his life went and so the Quran reflects sent so there are examples of times in his life when he was patient in the face of criticism and they were hauling this earlier Meccan for the most part in the early Meccan period people would make insults toward him and the worst he would respond with would he would either show forbearance or he would make a veiled threat to them for example in this one case while they were discussing with him the Apostle I came towards them and kissed the black stone this is on the Kaaba then he passed them as he walked around the temple as he passed by they said some injurious things about him this I could see from his expression he went on and as he passed them a second time they attacked him similarly this I could see from his expression then he passed the third time and they did the same he stopped and said will you listen to me o Quraish by him who holds my life in his hand I bring you slaughter again at this time this is all he said is the is the threat of threat of slaughter so that was the first kind of indication of anything violent that I noticed in there well he becomes a little bit more strong later on a man of Ozlem who had a good memory told me that abu jahil passed by the apostle at stafa insulted him and behaved most defensively so with this guy hamza who is a follower of muhammad went over and to this guy who had insulted muhammad and started beating him over the head and without greeting the entire quote there the biography says that Tom says Islam was complete and he followed the apostles community of the of what he had done there there was a situation in which Gabriel himself the angel came down and actually killed five people who had insulted Mohammed that wasn’t him actually acting but one of the more well-known ones is that Mohammed was being ridiculed by man and he had two singing girls who compose poetry that were mocking of the women and Mohammed said to one of the folks who was near him Abdullah bin al make–the he said who will rid me of even a washer off this is the guy who had made fun of him and one of the guys said I’ll deal with him for you o apostle of God I will kill him he said do so if you can and the guy said well I’m gonna have to in order to get close to him I’m gonna have to tell lies and Mohammed said well okay go ahead and tell lies and so he did and again to make a long story short he goes out and it’s asked me it’s the guy and his two singing girls and there are a couple of other instances like that so without reading you all those I want you to understand that this is the it’s the insulting of Muhammad and how he dealt with insults that forms the example after which Muslims today whether they realize it or not it’s become so much a part of the culture that a lot of I’ve yet to meet any Muslim person who’s actually read this usually people will read a more modern version of the bag this is a little bit raw I mean if you read it it’s hard for anybody to go through it and not think there’s you know there’s something pretty violent and in some cases here so most Muslims will not have interacted with this but they have inherited through the schools of law and so forth the idea that the Mohammed needs to be defended and with violence and his honor needs to be definitive with violence so what’s going on here this is the meat of what we’re gonna be well we’ll be talking about this is the source where it comes from number two you have an issue of a cultural value and that cultural value is honor and shame and most Muslims have not not only Islamic culture but many Eastern cultures in deal on a paradigm of reality that operates much more on the difference this continuum of honor and shame so when something’s not right with the world you want to restore the honor of the situation rather than in our case in American culture tends to operate on this truth versus falsehood continuum so truth is the most important thing or at least at one time it was in our culture but there’s still this idea that truth should is the highest thing to be pursued above all else and that’s that’s0 a very foreign concept to many people who who are inside great insight Islam they say many because again I don’t want to generalize everybody there’s all kinds of different different people within this so you’ve got these two you’ve got the honor shame and you’ve got the you’ve got the sources and there are a couple verses in the Quran which the commentators have almost entirely interpret to mean punishment in this world that should be administered at the hands of Muslims if anyone not just a Muslim if anybody insults Muhammad or insults the Quran okay there was a survey taken a couple of years ago 2015 and this is should be interesting I was taken with in the United States of Muslims who are currently living in the United States there is a diversity of opinions on some of these things but I want to highlight some of them for you and then we’ll conclude with a couple a couple of comments about about these things first I identified that they were Muslims and they were indeed living in the United States and then they asked a serious questions and among the questions were if Sharia conflicts with the United States Constitution and the Bill of Rights which law should be considered supreme if Sharia conflicts with the US Constitution in the Bill of Rights which law should be considered supreme thankfully 43% of the respondents said the US Constitution the Bill of Rights should be secreted 33% said Sharia should be supreme if it conflicts 17% said they didn’t know and 8% didn’t answer another question said should Muslims in the US have their own courts or tribunals in America to apply Sharia law or should they be subject to American laws and courts 39% of the respondents said American courts only one law for everybody in in the country 36% said they should be free to choose either and 15% said Sharia Courts only now notice that when they said be free to choose either what is really being said there what’s really being said there if I don’t like the laws of the United States in any given situation I should be free to not be bound by them but to be judged by another so you combine those two together and you have 51% of those respondents you felt you felt that way another question was quote whether you agree or disagree with the statement I believe that violence against those that insult the Prophet Mohammed the Koran or Islamic faith is sometimes acceptable 29% totally agreed some strongly agreed in some somehow agreed and 61 percent disagreed that violence is sometimes acceptable in that situation next another question was violence against Americans here in the United States can be justified as part of the global jihad 25% agreed that it could be sometimes justified and 64% disagree do you think the use of violence in the United States is justified in order to make Sharia the law of the land of this country 19% said yes 66% said no and 11% said they don’t know all right so there were there are further questions and some of these were it would be American citizens and obviously if you’re an American citizen you have you know the there’s the diversity of opinion and you know this is the freedom of speech involves the freedom to believe and freedom of conscience to follow these different ways it ends obviously at the end of another person’s nose you have the right to lay hand on another person which is something that we seem to have lost in our nation as well but I want to bring this to a conclusion and sadly I wish I could have covered more more examples here so we actually haven’t talked about the issue of about the question of Islamophobia and all these things too so what are these one of these trying to accomplish the speech limitations and the speech codes so we know that they exist here we know they exist in Islamic culture what was what was Mohammed doing with them well think of the effect what the effect in his life was that people stopped openly questioning him and it gave the impression that he was a true prophet of God and eventually people came into Islam and he was obviously very successful in his conquest in his expansion and so forth so that was the logic of what he was doing it in his time and so consciously or not you have what you have happening when you have fear of Islamophobia what is this long a phobia it’s a word that none of us wants to be labeled with right nobody wants to be labeled with the word Islamophobia or being a being called an islamaphobe and that’s the intention of the word it’s to label you to create a label that you in fear will self censor your speech you will not say things you’ll you’ll treat with kid gloves one particular subject whereas you may speak quite openly and quite frankly and quite critically of anything else you’re going to refrain from criticism in one particular area so I don’t want to overplay the intentionality of the when I say it’s a tool of conquest right I don’t want to overplay the intentionality I know means believe that that all or even most Muslims in our country have this intention of doing this but it is the effect of it and it is the intention of some groups like care and the Muslim Brotherhood and and others I believe to create these terms and to hammer them hammer them hammer them home Islamophobia hates hate speech hate crime legislation why should a crime be any worse if it’s so motivated by one thing versus another I mean if you kill somebody it should be wrong to do that any other godless of the case well the reason that you have a lot that being used is because it takes the the guilt away from the person who’s actually doing the act and it sort of puts it on everybody who may have this sort of feeling in their heart even if they would never commit a crime or whenever it places the guilt on more broadly across society it also makes it just a generally bad thing to have a feeling in your heart of kritis and being critical of that particular group so it’s really nice for when you’re going into conquest to have the resources and the ability and the strength and the troops to be able to go and breach those walls and to get in there and today and to conquer if you don’t have those it’s actually kind of nice if you could get your somehow persuade to the people that you’re trying to conquer to dismantle their defenses with their own hands and so I would just propose for your thought this evening that that is one of the things that’s being being done here with this and so the question becomes what then should we do in this case number one I would say something that we should not do we should not treat any people as if they are not human or not fully worthy of all the rights and privileges of of what we say we believe which is why liberty and the pursuit of happiness liberty and justice for all and so forth we should also not obviously it’s horrible that I should even have to say it but we should not prejudge groups of people or you know even make assumptions about what somebody might believe because a lot of people are kind of on a way to you know they may have different assumptions from what we might think okay but the first thing I propose that we should that we should do is understand the reason for all of these for these calls for limitations on speech the use of the word Islamophobia to me when somebody uses the term Islamophobia it’s a sign either of low intelligence or of some ulterior motive that is really not good so I think you know really to this is a very informed group of people but to use language very intentionally avoid using these kind of terms that are not are not helpful and that really accomplish really are actually harmful to free discourse in our country and and then work to to preserve free speech you know people folks like like Robert Spencer your builders this time Bosch Boston Pam Geller and others who are doing these kind of things there I mean I don’t know what’s in their hearts when they’re doing the drama hobbit contest and so forth but understand what it is that they are doing it’s not really about provoking it’s that what they’re doing is they’re carving out space for for liberty and for free speech in this country that’s a really important function they’re doing it to in with the great risk to themselves but if you’ve ever been I just went out my daughter just went out in our yard in our garden if we had the space fry car go down by the stream and our property would go I would go down and study and read books all day long and stuff like that but I’m a down there in about a year and the stuff it’s all kind of overgrown she said I can’t even get in there anymore and it’s amazing what can happen you know it’s the same thing with liberty if we don’t continually zealously guard the space for free expression and free speech it will be encroached upon and it will disappear all right and then third when it comes to the president for example or elected officials I need to think before speaking if the knee-jerk had just one thing that came to my mind that happened recently is the limitation on immigration that he put from certain countries which it was a lot of people who even defended him from the accusation of having done a Muslim ban went out and said it’s not a Muslim ban which actually it wasn’t but I don’t think that was the best way of answering that question right the statute actually is some of you I’m sure know the President had plenary authority to make limitations on immigration based on anything that he thought was relevant to the national security of the country that’s one of the particular powers of the presidency that you had so hypothetically speaking if he had done a Muslim ban which he didn’t it would have been legal for him to do that so and I don’t think it would’ve been wise for him to do that but when we answer these things I think it’s important to speak speak clearly and raised the question that I think a more productive way of answering that would have been well it wasn’t a Muslim ban but since you raised the subject you know maybe we have these results of these polls here if somebody’s wanting to come into this country how about asking some of these questions do you think which that in a situation where Sharia conflicts with the United States Constitution and Bill of Rights which do you think should take precedence right some of the answers that the Sharia should take precedence you know there’s no right to immigrate to the United States so why are we in this situation right now where we’re even having to have this conversation about free speech we have a lot of people in this country we used to ask for these kind of questions about communism and the other you know Islamic communism actually I have a similar again not all the people but the but the but the political ideology has a similar totalitarian mindset so we need to start thinking again in my view about asking these kind of questions and welcoming people who want to to United States and join the melting pot and blend in and who admire and appreciate the valley the values the principles the the moral base of our culture and saying to other folks no no thanks try again when you know when you’re willing to come and be live as a good neighbor along alongside everybody else I’m going to end there thank you very much for being here tonight and I will nuts nuts is a and I’m not going to speak out of full knowledge here because I’m not a thick and expert actually NASA is a fairly well accepted it is is a universally accepted principle but I’m not sure between the schools why how it plays out and what emphasis what the particular areas are that are and somebody correct correct me if I’m wrong I think musk is the a doctor of a predation is is fairly established in linking schools a lot yeah you can that’s reading in that I believe as well yeah I’m just to flirt to make clear what the question was there is a principle so when I talked about the earlier and later stages of Muhammad’s life the reason this question is relevant is that you have to know which one of those it has Authority for law and the way you decide that the way that the Muslim jurists have come settle upon to decide that is that if the Quran disagrees with itself the Quran can cancel itself out and by the way the Quran can cancel out earlier revelation so if the Quran for example disagrees with the Bible or something like that it would cancel out anything at any point at which it disagrees in other words God can have this God has the prerogative to cancel earlier revelations is that a fair description from what from what you know as well so that was that was a nature of that that question yes [Music] well what what’s your impression of why they’re asking you that question yeah yeah right yeah so it’s it’s a certainly one of the most severe cultural disconnects there as to why anybody why any country would allow something like that happen it is very very important that we preserved the space for people to do that I mean he bought the Quran it was his Quran to do that I presume it wasn’t somebody else’s Quran but it but so many people around the world and even now even in other Western countries do not understand why there should be the Liberty to do something like that in a country like the United States and even many Americans don’t understand why there should be the Liberty to do that and again I’m not a provocative person and I wouldn’t do something like that myself but there is again the way I view that is continuing to carve out that space I don’t know if there’s a way to help some Pashtun folks in Afghanistan understand or even begin to understand that that’s maybe the rhetorical challenge of art of our time we may not be able to do that but I understand it and is that the best rhetorical strategy I don’t know but it’s something that you can do in the United States of America and that hopefully the space will remain to do things like that as well again not to be provocative any other questions anybody have a question or comment on that – feel free [Music] much in the question is have you foundany blasphemy laws that are kind of across the board experiencing kind of one side that you can’t bless ya know if I understand your question correctly it is a very good question they the laws are all focused upon Muhammad protecting Muhammad and protecting the Quran protecting God but I do know that some of the legal opinions as I’ve been preparing for tonight don’t place such a great emphasis on blasphemy against God because the view in that particular case was that God could protect himself but Muhammad was no longer able to since he’s not living so but to go beyond that the Quran insults Jesus for example I mean what bigger insult could you give and then to say that God is only a men from a Christian point of view in if we’re talking about points of view which we are so there’s a preservation of the ability to insult and that the space is all is conceptualized within Islamic law as as according to as long as via so if anybody’s ever had conversations with Muslims and I have many many many times and wonderful people and you know some great conversations and even sometimes you know folks love to talk even about these things really getting down to the heart of the matter but it will be said that oh we we to be good Muslims we have to respect Jesus we have to respect the prophets and Abraham and David and he was it’s an we can’t be good Muslims if we don’t do that but whether meaning by that is that we have to respect them according to what the Quran says about not according to what the Bible says about them or anything else so no there’s no you mean that in the trends so what you’re what you read was a translation and and I have that one on my shelf among many others and there are some others that are fairly popular in the United States as well including well some of the ones that are not so popular that there are there’s a there’s a feminist translation there are a number of other sort of mainline popular translations and so forth this one is a little bit stilted and awkward but actually I’m familiar with that translation it’s fairly faithful to as you can imagine with any translation work that you could be more literal or you can be more figurative or you can sometimes take liberties with the meanings and so forth or even for an English-speaking audience you can make smooth things out a little bit from one but I think that’s actually I don’t use that translation much but I haven’t found a particular problem with it my favorite translation is this one here it’s budget Fakhri and so there there are two actually there’s one by our third roche which is recently out was more academic and it’s pretty good too but I found this one to be very literal comparing the Arabic to the English but in answer to your question it’s no it’sit’s the stuff that’s in there that you saw is is there it’s that’s just the fact of the matter and well it’s it’s a yeah yeah if it’s the the question is if it’s if it’s revelation from God then you know then then that’s and that’s true and Muslims believe that that’s true so that’s gonna be what will be informing their worldview sometimes in Arabic but actually most Muslims in the world don’t don’t read it or understand her okay it’s part of my work at Rice I was teaching Arabic to other grant to two graduate students and one guy had won the Taj weed contest at his local mosque which is the reading the recitation with the you know intonation and so forth and he won the top honor in that and but when so we read a verse and I said okay now what does it mean he yet he didn’t know what it meant so the importance is actually for reading the marriage the that the benefit of the work is actually in the reading in the recitation and doing the prayers and so forth it isn’t really in the understanding so maybe it’s maybe it’s good in some cases that some folks don’t work that hard to understand it I don’t know but yes sure yes I have been very slow to get my monograph ouch but it has and might in the meantime my research is growing so we’ve got about Corrections now that I’m working with so trying to keep those all funneled into a book and index them appropriately and get the photographs all permissioned and all that kind of stuff is the big challenge there but that’s what that’s going to be discussion of their Corrections in their toll whole-body of them and then I have a smaller one that is going to be 20 examples of Corrections and kraan manuscripts where I pick out 20 of my favorites just as to give a feeling for people of what’s going on in these manuscripts and and the third one is just the introduction to Corrections and Grahn manuscripts is somewhere in between those two and I’m also working on a political book which should be out in the next month or so it’s pretty busy okay yes after all the while I have concluded I don’t believe your understanding okay boarded by okay [Music] but one yeah the understanding of everything peasants and First Amendment does not [Music] and the first one was on the the plural marriage kids I’m not familiar with that one but you know that that was going on in Utah but what was the nature of that okay oh I see okay [Music] yeah yeah one and I think my point I don’t disagree with you on that but I I think my point was that there was a variety of belief among the various signers of the Declaration but I think the the principle was laid down there in it in general form well maybe we can’t read can’t be too firm on that but I believe that it was a general principle that we took quite a bit of time to live up to and by the way there have been more than one Supreme Court decision that has been a far a foul of the Constitution in our history and a couple know been overturned and so forth so yes I’m sorry loved it I don’t know who was yeah Oh [Music] yes [Music] when they were pain yeah and also [Music] so the question was have I been able to discern by whom Corrections were made in my work with manuscripts when they were made and then thirdly have I spoken with can monetarists to see whether they accepted the corrections well I saw the third one first and that is that the corrections in almost every case bringing it the manuscripts closer to the way that Quran is today so that seems to be the trend that you had some manuscripts that were at variance and they were at some point in time brought toward not not entirely into conformity but toward conformity with what we have today and so I don’t think there would be any dispute with the current form of those manuscripts well there might because some of them are still out of conformity in various ways the way that that would be answered without boring everybody to death which would be that there’s there was a feeling that the Qur’an was transmitted orally primarily and that secondarily it was written down in manuscripts and so manuscripts have not been given a lot of attention for a long period of time because it’s been felt that they’re just not that important the primary means of transmissions so I think it’s not entirely correct because if if oral transmission was so dominant then why would not all the manuscripts be perfectly aligned because everybody had to memorize and they would write it down and it would be you know the same thing but at any rate there and then thirdly I don’t think there’s been the full extent of interaction with the work with the manuscripts yeah and so these questions might come up and then lastly about the who made the corrections and when yes I sometimes you can see that the nib and the writing style and dimension of the what’s been written that’s new is quite different and sometimes you can see that it looks like it was the original scribe so maybe they made a mistake as they’re going along and then they erased it after the ink it dried and wrote it over right way so those are the kind of judgments we have to make what we’re looking at these things short answer [Music] yeah [Music] I think these are questions that need to be wrestled with and I don’t know the exact way of of doing policy but I think it’s fair to at least ask the questions and perhaps a lot of people are on social media these days – not to say that you’re looking at anybody’s social media but if it comes to your attention that they somebody has made a you know some subversive comment or sympathy – oh you know radical group or I don’t know actually I’m not proposing that I’m thinking thinking out loud but I don’t think you’re gonna have a perfect system but I think you can have a better system than the one that we have which is just come on Ian as far as I understand it maybe it’s not that way [Music] yeah yeah well you would think that yeah [Music] yeah free speech but there’s adifference between common speech personal attacks and the discussion of ideas in yeah your work was a discussion of ideas yeah but if you had used your work to insult as well yeah we’re free to in said well and there’s there’s a question of should be avoided I would agree with that generally with some of my interactions on social media which Blair has been able to witness a lot of people descent into ad hominem a lot and it’s not helpful but the ability to interact with see the problem is that to win you with with sort of the things that we’re doing that you would be saying that could be factual could be taken as an insult in in relation to these subjects and so I think it’s just better to err on the side of preserving that ability obviously screen file that the the tendency is to try to blame the victim so if they if you compare insulting Mohammed or you know saying whatever it is about about him whether it’s based in the history or not to inciting to religious hatred is you’ve now blame found a way to blame the victim if somebody attacks you oh well you’re you know it’s it’s what you said that made me kill you well okay but I just said something and you killed me you know but those are disproportionally so I worked in yeah and it’s also a shaping of the moral character of our culture which is lacking so when you use language precisely and and productively not everybody’s gonna do it but if you as a single person choose to speak in ways that are helpful its it can help move things along and that’s a choice that every individual person asked night.