what s wrong with america This is a topic that many people are looking for. bluevelvetrestaurant.com is a channel providing useful information about learning, life, digital marketing and online courses …. it will help you have an overview and solid multi-faceted knowledge . Today, bluevelvetrestaurant.com would like to introduce to you What went wrong in America? – Hamza Yusuf. Following along are instructions in the video below:
“Tend to forget that it wasn t that long ago when jewish people couldn tn t go on to the beaches of the east coast. There used to be signs jews and no negroes allowed so things have changed and that should give us hope that there is possibility of change. There s a lot of talk about change going on lately in the air. But the truth is that things do change things change for the worse.
And things change for the better. And that s part of the nature of just being in the world. Even as you grow older. I think you find certain things change for the worse like your body.
But your your mind actually reaches its peak at 49. According to aristotle so for the young people in the audience you have something to look forward to if the lessons aren t making any sense right now you might want to review those notes in about 25 years. I think today we re living at a time in which ideas that were the ideas of philosophers a thousand or 2000. Years ago are actually becoming a currency amongst common people.
Which is quite stunning. The idea of racialism. Today is anathema in the united states in public discourse. It s it s very difficult for anybody your career is pretty much ended.
If you display public racism. Now there are a lot of racists in the united states of america and there are a lot of people that are not even aware of their racism. We ve had sociological studies. Where they ll have a black person with a harvard degree come in and the person interviewing the white person interviewing them will change their syntax because there s an assumption that they just have to speak in a different way and those people might consider themselves completely free of any racism.
But there are embedded assumptions in worldviews and in the way. We look at things so they say that what happens on the east coast. Today happened about 15 years ago on the west coast. I don t know if that s true but we re all driving hybrid cars.
I don t know if they ve gotten out here yet that that s one area that has really changed. We the people during the civil war. There were people in this country that justified racism biblically as well as rationally. They used arguments from aristotle of natural slaves that there are natural slaves in the world.
Many of those people were actually religious people christian and jewish leaders that argued that it was biblical that there was a biblical basis. The south was a very christian part of the country in fact. The the confederacy could have been seen really as almost a fundamentalist army. I mean these were really devout christians and they thought that slavery was a perfectly acceptable biblically sanctioned way to engage with other people.
But that is no longer the case despite the fact that there s still racism in the south people do not accept that idea of one person owning another person. So i think we have to be aware of that that s quite extraordinary now in terms of the misreading of history. I think first of all you have to read history before you can miss read it and i think unfortunately a lot of people do not know anything about the past the past for many people is taken from hollywood films. They know more about i think british history from films like braveheart than they do from anything they heard in in a history class and braveheart is has nothing to do with british history for people that know anything about william wallace.
Or what actually have another that there was a guy named william wallace. Who did fight somebody named edward you know the second in in in british history. But this is something that many people in this country are not aware of not only our own history and a good example of that is something like ron paul..
Who s seen as a kind of wacko candidate and yet much of what he are particulate is very consonant with founding fathers early beliefs. So it shows you how far the country has come in terms of the founding fathers and for instance foreign policies. No foreign entanglements that was definitely part of american foreign policy for a long time americans did not want to get involved in other places. There was massive resistance to even getting into world war one and world war.
Two there was actually a very strong america first movement in this country one of the spokespersons for that movement was charles lindbergh. Who flew across the atlantic. So there was an isolationist attitude in the united states americans did not like to get involved in foreign entanglements. Despite the fact that there is a history especially after during the mckinley and after that there is a history of imperialistic interventions in places like the philippines.
But generally there was resistance to that certainly mark twain. If anybody s ever read his article about the philippines and the massacre of the filipinos. He was part of the anti imperialist movement in this country and very well respected as people know one of his statements about which i think related to the philippines is that naked people have no rights in this world meaning aboriginal. People.
And he has his own racist remarks and things like that in his statements. But he was acting as an american he s quintessentially american in his anti imperialist attitudes. So the problem with this country and the way that we miss read history. I think is that we do have this master narrative.
The americans tend to see themselves as wearing white hats in in many ways. We are the manicheans. We are the people that really see things in terms of black and white it s very difficult for us to perceive ourselves as the bad guy because it just doesn t go with the narrative that we were raised with that that was a view of that americans had manifest destiny god is with after the the the cavalry charge and the indians all fell the cavalry and the indians all died. But the country was young then with god on our side.
And this is a view that has been carried into the middle east. This is a view that has been carried into afghanistan and many other places. So it s hard for us to see that we have good intentions and this is an argument. You will hear well we have good intentions.
So we re not really there about the oil. We re there to bring them democracy well there s a lot of other countries in the world that don t have democracy that would have been a lot easier to bring democracy to as just sample case studies just to show that we could do it like for instance miley miley would give you no resistance at all i ve been to mali. I guarantee you the malians would love for the americans to invade the country and build their infrastructure. Drill wells for them.
So that they d actually have potable water and their children didn t die from dysentery because i was just in west africa. And i was in a village. There where the children are urinating blood. Because of the grit in the water and so i d like to see us bring just wells to mauritania just wells not democracy just well so that they can drink pure water that that s all because we spend billions watering our lawns and that water is potable billions watering lawns.
But we ve got people dying from a lack of potable water all over the world so these are the realities of our time. We we like to see ourselves both in the past and in the present as sometimes very different from how we re viewed by others and so it s very it becomes very important to listen to the others. So that perhaps you can hear something because one of the imam shafi. One of the great scholars of islam.
Who was noted for his impeccable character was once asked how he got such good character. He said. I listened to my critics and i took their criticism seriously it can be very very therapeutic to listen to what people who don t like you have to say it can actually help see yourself one of the extraordinary things about the greeks and the trojan war was mentioned if you look at homer homer s anything but manichaean because..
Although he s a greek writing this sacred history of the trojan war i tend to side with the view that he actually really has a soft spot for the trojans. I think he really sees them as actually having more virtue than a lot of these greek keon leaders in that war and yet he was a greek and that s why the iliad is anything. But melodramatic. Because the greeks were not melodramatic.
Great literature and great poetry is never melodramatic. It can t be or it wouldn t be great literature or great poetry. So when you read poetry and and this is one of the beauties for me of the tradition of islam is that it demands of you before you can actually interpret the quran you have to master jaggedy poetry. Because it s poetry that gives us the nuances of life.
It s only through the poet s vision of the world that we can actually get a sense of the ambiguities of the world. And this is something that s often very difficult for people to recognize that the world is an ambiguous place. It is often very easy to miss read the world it s very often easy to see ourselves as we are not rather than as we are and it s always easy to see ourselves in the best light. Always that s the easiest way to go down so in in reading history.
I think the first and the first and most important aspect is is obviously to get the right books. Because often if it s mis written. We fall into great error. And and these these lies and distortions of history have been repeated so often that they do become like truths for instance that the alexandrian library was burnt by the muslims iii.
Even had a even though i proved to him that it was not and this was a professor of religious studies. I proved to him that it was not the case he still told me well i like my version better okay. I mean quite literally. And this is like galileo makes fun of a group of church men.
Where he shows them that the this the central nervous system was was located in the brain and not the heart and he shows them and and he and they remark that it s very interesting what you ve demonstrated and had not aristotle said that it was centered in the heart. We d have to agree with you so this is one of the tragedies that we have authorities that become like moses bringing tablets in stone. If bernard lewis said it it must be true because he is the doyen of middle eastern studies. Nobody knows middle eastern studies better than he s fluent in turkish and arabic and persian and and and what do you say oh great master.
Oh wise. One grand poobah of all who know of the middle east tell us what you see with your vast wisdom islam something s gone wrong we have to rectify it the question that that i would have as an american living in this country. Not even as a muslim american as an american is what went wrong here what went wrong here because when i grew up in this country. I had to get under a wooden desk out of fear of being bombed by the russians with nuclear bombs.
But long before osama bin. Ladin seriously. And this was not an axis of evil that was living in caves. That didn t even have email because there there s there s no seriously there s there s no you know ossama you ve got mail you know he s not he s not up there in that cave you know this this was this was the russian war machine.
This was a real threat and and we were told quick get under your desks. When i was in third grade. I didn t realize that the little wooden desk would not protect me from a nuclear explosion so why were they doing that to us. What was the purpose of that exercise create fear i inherited from my great grandmother lillian cummings.
Who studied rhetoric in high school in wichita falls and in that book which she studied in 1882 by alexander bein. Called rhetoric. There s a section called the emotions..
She was 16 years old when she studied this section and in that section. It had a couple of paragraphs on fear. And it said politicians will often use fear to deprive citizens of their civil liberties. This is why in a democracy citizens must be vigilant and always be on guard against the use of fear.
Because once a person enters into a state of fear. He s willing to surrender his common sense. Now why aren t those books taught in our schools. Anymore.
Really why aren t they taught instead. You know roosevelt said. All we have to fear is fear itself. And and we had a president that started orange alerts and red alerts.
And are you afraid yet that was actually a cover of time magazine. It had the question are you afraid yet question mark. But when i was growing up we had the russian threat and yet. I never heard anybody talking about should we torture russian spies.
If we capture them to find out what they were doing should we have a guantanamo bay for russian spies. I never heard that just wasn t part of america at that time and that s why for me to be in this country and hear people talking about the torture question when did it become a question. Because i thought that was a medieval concept that that we we ve thrown off. I thought we transcended that i thought human dignity.
No matter. What a person did they were entitled to be protected in their body. That s what i thought this country was about so what went wrong here. That s that s a that s a question that i think bernard loos.
Needs to ask also if he s going to ask what went wrong over there. Which is a valid question. Because things aren t so good over there. But are things really that good over here because we ve got we re rebuilding apparently iraq and afghanistan and and we haven t rebuilt new orleans.
Yet we haven t rebuilt new orleans. Yet really so we have to be able to perceive the world through the lens of nuance. We have to recognize that we re not living in a black and white world. There s not pure evil in this world and pure good human beings are an admixture of good and evil.
It s our nature all of us whether you re muslim. This is one of the extraordinary things about the world is it s so evenly distributed good and evil really. It s it s quite extraordinary and intelligence as well the idea of superiority of races intelligence is very evenly distributed across the the world you can take people from the poorest countries in the world and take them as little children and put them in the most developed countries in the world. They learn very quick they adapt they learn all the same sciences.
Everything that people here are learning they can do it in fact you can take a bedouin where i lived in mauritania. You can take a bedouin and bring him here and within two weeks. He ll know how to turn the switches on flush..
The toilet put the toast into the toaster pop it out he opened the refrigerator pour the milk out do the whole thing that all we do. But if you go over to where he lives you ll die in two weeks. Seriously you ll die in two weeks you ll be dead so they can survive here. But we can t survive over there we ve got a lot to learn from the aboriginal peoples.
Because we might end up going back to no electricity and it you know it looks like it s all headed that eventually right the polar ice caps are melting. It s gonna all the water levels will go up and all this electricity that you ll have water in the house get up to the level of the sockets and that s it right florida. They won t have electricity there i ll be on those stilted houses like they have in some of the south asian countries. We re in a crises and i think everybody s aware of that and the crises are very deep.
And there are no simple answers to this crises. But we need to go deeper and and i want to use one example. We had a police acquittal. I think was an acquittal did they it was acquittal three police officers shot somebody quite horribly 50 times.
I mean i madiha know it was similar situation. But we also have to recognize and this is something that the buddhists are probably more adept at doing than most other traditions. We have to be able to get in to the skin of the other and until we can really do that in some real deep way we ll never get to any serious solutions. We re going to remain in that black and white us versus them police versus civilians.
This type of attitude. We re living in a very violent country we have police officers that are incredibly stressed out they they graduate from these police academies probably with a lot of ideas about what it is to become a policeman and become very jaded especially those that are working in these inner cities and things like this and until we start realizing that we ve got people out there with post traumatic stress syndrome. We have people out there with high levels of depression in my state one of the highest rates of suicide is in the highway patrol and this is this is our social sciences. You know people are having a hard time out there and until we start seeing that collectively we need to work together and to really start looking at these things at a much deeper level.
We re not going anywhere in the muslim world. We have serious problems we have failed states we have people that do not have basic rights. We have countries that basically there are no legal systems they re simply not working you cannot go to a judge and get recourse to justice in many many countries in the world. Today.
It creates an immense amount of resentment an immense amount of instability. But these are the realities of our time. And then we have a system that rewards greed and venality. We have a system of economic injustice.
That is extraordinarily harmful to the human condition it not only harms the people at the very bottom of the pyramid. It also harms the pharoah and the poor on calls the pharoah as well as the slave. The quran commands moses to go to pharaoh and speak to him gently that perhaps he might wake up and we tend to forget that the oppressor needs help as much as the oppressed. Does socrates said.
I would much rather be the one being oppressed than the one oppressing because the oppressed his body is being harmed. But the oppressor is destroying his soul. ” ..
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