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tv   Politics and Public Policy Today  CSPAN  October 22, 2016 2:00am-4:01am EDT

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dict talks about the 1866 supreme court case ex parte milligan. >> the milligan trial was part of this debate. designed to prove to the public that the danger was real and that, therefore, the military trials were justified.
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and, as we know, it worked. lincoln won the election of 1864. >> and at 8:00, george washington university president chad heat on the origins of the gay rights movement. >> the gay liberations front is playing on and building on all of the lessons that the whole other ray of social and cultural movements from this period are developing. the anti-war movement, the civil rights and black power movement, women's liberation movement. they are taking the best aspects of those and building upon them. >> sunday evening at 6:00 on american artifacts, we take a tour of the woodrow wilson house in washington, d.c., with his executive director robert enholme where the president retired and died 23 years later. >> he responded to that crisis by sending food aid to armenia. they were very grateful and a group of armenian women touring the united states raising money
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for armenian charities were here in 1917 just after we declared war. and presented this painting to president wilson. >> and at 8:00 -- ♪ you like ike i like ike everybody likes ike for president ♪ >> neil oxman, president of the campaign group incorporated. talks about the history of presidential campaign ads, beginning with dwight eisenhower's tv jingles. for our complete american history tv schedule go to next week here on c-span3, american history tv in prime time. monday, the history of congress. first, former senators bob dole and nancy cassenbaum and conversations on african-americans serving in congress. the national historic preservation act and the thomas edison statue in the u.s.
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capitol's statuary hall. american history tv next week on c-span3, starts monday at 8:00 p.m. eastern. in the 1947 case mendez versus westminster, a federal court in california found segreigating mexicans into separate schools was unconstitutional. silvia mendez, whose parents brought the lawsuit, spoke before the u.s. commission on civil rights about the case and her career as a civil rights activist. >> well, thank you all for being here today. not only for those of you who sat in on our actual business
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meeting, but more importantly here for what is really an important function that's the commission has, and we don't often take advantage of it is we're mandated to educate the community about civil rights issues. and that always doesn't mean just issuing a report or sending out a letter. i think there are historic instances in our nation which maybe a lot of folks don't know about. and i think using the historic bully pulpit of this commission, we can help educate individuals in our country about some of the history, particularly civil rights history of our country, which is not widely known. about four years ago, president obama was visiting in chicago and some of us had the opportunity to visit with him and talk about a number of issues. and i recall asking him what he would view as his civil rights legacy once you look back on his term of office. and he said to me that education would be his civil rights legacy
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because education is the great equalizer. education levels the playing field for all of us. so he viewed education as a civil right. and he can view education as many of us do as a civil right because of the person sitting before us who is pictured in this picture when she was younger, and her parents, because they had the courage to bring forward an extremely important case. it's because of mendez versus westminster which was the blueprint for brown versus board of education that ms. silvia mendez and her parents opened up the doors of opportunity for so many children in america, especially children of color and especially in california in the desegregation of those schools of latino children. without silvia mendez and her parents bringing that case, sitting before you, there would not likely be a chairman castro or a staff director morales. and countless other folks, mr.
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castro here with the senate republicans. and education is a nonpartisan issue. it's a bipartisan issue. it's an american issue. and an american civil rights icon sits before us today, silvia mendez. ms. mendez was born in orange county, california. she attended orange coast community college where she earned her associates of arts degree in nursing. she witness ent on to californi university, los angeles, earning a bachelors degree in science, nursing and certificate in public health. in 2012, ms. mendez received an honorary degree of doctor of humane letters from the brooklyn college of the city of new york. ms. mendez worked for 33 years as a nurse at the los angeles university of southern california medical center. and in her final five years of public service she was head nursing director. she has adopted two daughters
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and has four grandchildren. she spends her time talking about this important case. she has visited seven continents and enjoys spending time with her family and educating the community on mendez versus westminster. the first mendez school was dedicated in anaheim, california. her story was told during the hispanic celebration in the east room of the white house. and ms. mendez was inducted in the hall of fame in santa ana college. she was awarded by president obama with the presidential medal of freedom. but in 1947, when she was just a girl, ms. mendez and her parents brought that lawsuit that was groundbreaking. as i indicated, it truly was the blueprint for brown versus board of education and resulted in challenging the racial segregation of california public schools at that time. ms. mendez today is going to discuss with us her experiences at the center of that federal case. and how that lawsuit ended up
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leveling the playing field because of the arguments that were being made by the school that there were language barriers that legitimately prevented hispanic students from attending school with white students. the nineth circuit court of appeals ruling in favor of ms. mendez and her family ended the discrimination in california. mendez versus westminster school district helped develop the legal arguments we all benefit from today in opportunity for education. i think it's important for us to hear ms. mendez's story as we see many of our schools are now in essence resegregating. and her words and her experience, i think, are very important to us now. as i indicated for us to have a civil rights icon, such as you here today, is a privilege. ms. mendez, thank you for joining us. >> thank you. i'm so honored to be here at the united states congress of civil rights. i never thought i'd be here. thank you so much. this wonderful opportunity. thank you, brian, for all the
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work you did to bring me here. thank you for inviting me here. my dream has finally come true. mendez versus westminster is being recognized for the historical impact it had on all of us. our goal is to have it taught in all the schools in the united states. i must tell you, i am not a teacher. i'm not a professional. i'm just someone that goes around talking about education. i call myself an advocate for education. as a daughter of -- i am so proud of what they accomplished. i remember my mother saying, no one knows about this case. mendez versus west minister, how five families fought to end segregation in california. and we decided to fight for you, she said, we didn't do it just for you. we did it for all the children. it was that day i promised my mother that i would make sure that everyone knew -- everybody
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knew about mendez versus westminster. and it became my legacy. i have been going around the country for over 20 years talking about this case. the important part, the latinos have played in history. it was not easy, and at first, no one believed me. this court case is all about the struggle for equal education and for basic human rights. and it led to the desegregation of public schools in california. and it set the stage for brown versus the board of education where the supreme court justice early warren would lead the court with the same legal team that fought in mendez versus westminister. thurgood marshall and carter. the mendez case was a case that was sought not by one family, not by one group. my hundreds of people of difference ethnic backgrounds and nationalities that all came together to end segregation.
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and i was one of those students for which the suit was filed along with 5,000 other latinos. imagine my surprise when i started going around speaking and find out we were more segregated now than we were in 1947. now they call it defective segregati segregation. the dictionary describes it as being an actual fact through not legal establishment, official establishment, official recogniti recognition -- it is a fact of life. and it does exist in all the big cities and where the majority of the population resides.
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in the two schools he mentioned that were names after my mother and father, are 100% latino. what does that tell you? that we're more segregated. as long as we have poverty, poor economics, no jobs, it will continue. i know for a fact that people are working and hard to get rid of it. until then, the important thing is to make sure our students in those de facto segregated schools get equal and quality education. my story started in 1943 when my father who owned a cafe decided to move to westminster to take care of a farm. another injustice that happened at that time. with the family, a japanese family that lived in westminster, they were told they had to go to an internment camp and all they could take was their clothes, whatever they could carry. everything else they had to leave there in the farm. my father who had grown up in
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westminster and had gone to school, loved school, but he always remembered when my grandmother -- my grandmother told him, you have to go out there and start working in the fields. we have no money. you cannot stay in school. and he remembered how he loved school. and when he went out there and started working in the fields, he said, one day i want to own a farm, and i'm going to be the -- when mr. monroe came and said to my father, gonzalo, you can take care of the minamiso family and take care of a farm like he always wanted to. my father was a businessman and had a cafe making a lot of money in a cantina. but he seld the cafe and we moved to westminster to take re minamiso who had already been snts to arizona. i remember going with him when we'd go to arizona to take him the money because we were leasing the ranch from them.
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when we got to the farm, it was during school season, and my father said to my aunt sally, take them to school. and she did. she gathered us all up. gathered my brothers, myself and my two cousins, alice and virginia. my aunt took us to that school, and when we got there, they said you can leave your children here but your brother's kids will have to go to mexican school. my aunt had a last name vidare because her husband was mexican from mexico, but he had a french name because at one time, mexico was occupied by the french. so when they saw my cousins were very light skinned and had light eyes, light brown eyes, light hair, they said, just say you're belgium and we'll keep your children here.
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i always say -- the first time, rosa parks said. she took a stand. she said i'm not leaving my children here. if you won't take my brother's children, i will not leave my children here. she gathered us all up. what was i doing? i was playing. i didn't even realize what's was happening. i was playing in that room with my brothers and cousins. it wasn't until we got home that my aunt says you can't believe what happened. they wouldn't allow your children. my dad says, be calm. tomorrow, go talk to the principal. there's been a mistake. we live right next to the school. why would they say we don't belong there. when we went the next day, they told him, mr. mendez, i'm sorry, but we have two schools in westminster. one for the mexicans and one for the whites. your children have to go to the mexican school. my dad got so upset. he went to the superintendent of schools in westminster and he
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said, i'm sorry, mr. mendez, but they'll have to go to the mexican school. he went to the sprnuperintendenf schools in orange county. that's when he was informed. in orange county, we have five cities, santa ana, garden grove, orange -- four. in westminster, they've decided they're going to segregate the children and have two schools. i'm sorry, i can't do anything about it. my father was so upset. he witneent and was talking to everybody. i just heard about this lawyer. his name is marcus. and he just fought a case in riverside where they wouldn't allow the latinos to go into the public parks or the swimming pools. and he fought that case and the "time" newspaper just wrote about it. why don't you go hire him. my dad goes home and tells my father, i just heard about this lawyer. we have the money right now. let's go hire him.
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so they witness aent and hired marcus. he was very intelligent. he said, mr. mendez, let's not make this about your children. let's make it a class action suit for all 5,000 latinos here in california. and he didn't. they decided to. and in order to get the other people involved, my father had to go from house to house trying to convince the other families that it was an injustice what was going on there in westminster where we were segregated. the people were so happy the schools were placed right next in the barrios, right next to their homes where they could just go into those schools, those segregated schools. but my father kept -- made a committee and they all went around talking and met other people in other cities. and they met ms. william guzman. she was fighting to get her child in a white school in santa ana. that was mr. and ms. guzguzman. then they went to orange.
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and talked to mr. frank palomino. and he was trying to get his children into a white school. and the two schools in orange were side by side, the mexican school and the white school. and then they talked to mr. estrada and mr. lorenzo ramirez, and they all joined in in the suit. in 1945, they all went to court. and for the first time in history, somebody had said separate is not equal, is not right. and he said -- and we won the first case. but the school board appealed it. just because judge mccormick says separate is not equal, we're not going to go with that. separate but not equal is the law of the land. so they went to the ninth circuit court of appeal. in 1947, the court of appeal unanimously upheld the ninth
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circuit court decision. and i, along with thousands of other minorities throughout orange county started going into integrated schools. i remember, i have to tell you, i remember going to court every day while they were fighting the case. never realizing what they were fighting. all this time, i thought they just wanted me to go into a beautiful school with a playground because the mexican school was a horrible school with no playground, and it was right next to a cow pasture. i remember that there was a fence around the cows. it had a little bit of electricity on it. and that was the fence between the schoolchildren and the farm. and one day, a girl threw the ball, playing with the ball, and she went to get the ball. she went to grab the ball, she got a hold of the wire, the fence. and the wire was not enough to kill the cows. it was just to shock them so
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they wouldn't get close. but when that student, my friend, got ahold of that wire, it would not let go of her. she just kept shaking. i remember the teacher going all the way around to where the dairy was and telling that man, you have to turn off that electricity. one of our students is caught there and she can't let go. and that was a school -- the school books were all handed out from the white school. the furniture was all handed down. what were they teaching us? they were teaching us how to crochet, how to embroider. and the boys were taught vocational. we were not taught academic. we were not taught how to read and write or how to -- so we could become secretaries or work in an office. they wanted us to become maids when we finished the grammars, the school. so that was a terrible injustice in that school.
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i remember going there just for a little while. just while the court was going on. so i just have to tell you that -- i must tell you that my dream has finally come true. that it's been recognized. but you know what it has taken. we have been wanting to get this into the standards to be taught in california for over 20 years. we went to the curriculum committee and we said, this is an important case. this is part of history, california. it should be taught in schools. and the curriculum committee said one of the ladies said, i don't think it's that important. she vetoed it. it wasn't taught. so we witness ent to silvia. find me a politician. she introduced it to the senate and the is sassembly in califor. and it passed. the lights all went green and it passed. and then we had a governor at that time. and it went to his desk.
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and when it went to the desk, he vetoed it. the teachers asked, why did you veto that? he said i don't want to get involved in education. that was our governor at the time. so he vetoed it. after all that work, it was taken away. so then we went back to the curriculum committee and they said, okay, ms. mendez. we'll put it in the framework this time but we don't have any money so it can't be published. if a teacher knows about it, they can teach it. all these years, the teachers didn't know about it. how can they teach it? so finally, two months ago, the educational committee sent out a memo that they're going to teach mendez versus westminster in california. aside from just the latino history, they're also going to teach the muslim in the united states, the filipino and the other minorities. they're going to start teaching
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that in our history books in california. so it's been a long, hard struggle. but it finally is going to be taug taught. so it wasn't just latinos that were fighting. i tell the students when i go and speak to them and go and speak about this case because it's so important to latinos. we're such a high drop-out from schools. not an incentive to go on to college. it's important to know they have unsung heroes they've never heard of. and i let them know that so many people came in and helped the civil liberty came in and helped. the national lawyers guild. the japanese american that had just been interred. they came in and sent in briefs. and the acp, jewish congress, everybody will join you, i tell the student photocopies you as. if you are fighting for
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something, they will come and join you. this is what happened at that time. and i go and i tell them, it is so important that you get an education because that is going to give you the american dream. it has been hard. you have to persevere and work very hard. there will be obstacles, and, yes, there will be people that are still prejudiced, and yes, you will be discriminated, but i always remind them what roosevelt said. the only thing you have to fear is fear itself. if you want your children not to go into a segregated school, you have to get that education. here in the united states, you can move to wherever you want to and be in a wonderful area where your children will have quality education. but our struggle right now is to make sure the students are in those desegregated, those
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desegregated schools are getting the same quality of education. they may not have the same buildings. they may not have the same furniture or books, but we want the teachers to be there teaching them and inspiring them and make sure they have a.p. classes. we want to make sure they have concerts. we want to make insure that they are inspired to go on to -- and then we talked about the students that sometimes used to call it the railroad to the prisons. now they call it the pipeline to the prison. we are in los angeles trying to make sure that students are not taken out of school for minor infractsions in california. that they are given a time in school to study instead of letting them go out and be out for four or five days because they've done something bad. keep them there and make them study instead because some of the latino students thought that
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was fun. oh, boy, i'm expelled. i don't have to go to school for five days so they didn't see that as a punishment. we're working very hard with that. so i'll get back to, yes, it's a very important case, and it was our governor at that time who desegregated california in 1947. seven years before brown versus the board of education. and later desegregated all the united states when he -- when brown versus the board of education with thurgood marshall and went before the supreme court to fight brown versus the board of education. they used so many arguments. carter, who is still alive, we have him in video saying, yes, finally he said, yes, we used everything from mendez. i had been in his class at usc talking about mendez. he said accide, ms. mendez, tha true. it was not a preceptor to brown.
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but now we have carter speaking in this video, but he's there saying, yes, we used everything from mendez to fight brown versus the board of education. for latinos with a high dropout in school, low percentage in college, it's so important to know they have latino legacies in education. guzman, ramirez, estrada, palominos, the mendez. that all fought for equal education. according to edward padron, over 46 million latinos have earned less than $20,000 a year and 30% have grandchildren under 18 live in poverty. only 27% are -- have a high school diploma and just like 12% have a college degree. and i know for a fact that only 1% of the millions of latinos in the united states, only 1%, have a ph.d.
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how sad is that? that is very sad. so latino students need role models that are not portrayed in the movies as prostitutes and criminals. and they have to know we have role models that they need to learn about. some see latinos as supplements. not as decisionmakers. not as consumers. not as producers as law breakers. they see us as tax expend tours, not tax contributors. i say we have to change that stereotyping. if i can inspire students in the united states to stay in school by describing the mendez case, i will go to any school and talk about it. i know i have fulfilled my legacy to my parents. so i emphasize to them, we live in this great, wonderful nation of ours where everything is
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possible. the greatest country in the world, and there's no reason why we have to not be the number one in education right now. my parents were intelligent, hardworking and had courage. they didn't even finish high scho school, but they demanded equality and demand bravery and fought for basic human rights. and they recognized the importance of education, the same as all of us involved in the court. same as everyone involved in the court case mendez versus westminster. our students must relate to them and know they have the same capacity and the same opportunities here in this country. this month, as we celebrate latino heritage month, i am so proud to be a latina, born in the united states, where i continue living my american dream without giving up my language or any part of my culture. i will continue with my legacy
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to tell the story, a part of american history where ordinary people were able to change the course of history. my sole intent is to show that any time we make up our minds, anything we want to, do we can achieve, and to convey the importance of obtaining an education. by encouraging students to stay in school and go on to college. thank you so much. >> thank you. [ applause ] >> thank you ms. mendez. that was amazing recitation. sit for a second. we'll see if some of our commissioners might want to ask you some questions. but it was amazing history that you shared with us. it's important that we continue to share that history with others. thank you for doing that with us today. commissioners, if anyone has any questions, this is not a briefing, so the type of questions we ask would be different. but i want to give our
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commissioners an opportunity to say something or ask ms. mendez anything while we have her with us. yes? >> i so much appreciate your passion about education. our commission actually this year had a hearing on the resegregation of k through 12 schools and the disparities in public school financing. so we share your concern about the state of education and it's fabulous to know we have an advocate out there who are helping people to understand why this is such an important issue. i also think it's an important story because i think a lot of americans think that racial discrimination was just in the south. and was just targeting african-americans. and they don't understand that places like california, in fact, were deeply discriminatory. california, i think, had the largest mass lynching, and it was of chinese. and my own parents, i'm from --
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i was born in seattle. we faced segregation because there were covenants on a lot of the properties where we couldn't buy homes in most parts of seattle. that's why you saw japanese americans or asian americans in only certain parts of the city. so i think your story is important on so many levels and i want to thank you for telling it. i did want to ask you, as a little girl, were you scared at all about the focus of attention? did you have a sense of -- was there much hostility about the fact that your families were challenging the school districts? >> no, my parents were very protective of me. my mother and father were very protective. i didn't even realize what was happening. i thought they were fighting to get me into this beautiful school to have a playground. never realizing exactly what they were fighting for. it wasn't until i got into an integrated school in santa ana when my father said to them that
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i'm bringing my children here. and the teacher knew about it, and everybody said, hi, silvia. i thought, oh, my gosh. another integrated school like the one in westminster. and the school bell rings and we go out to play and this little white boy says, what are you doing here? don't you know mexicans aren't supposed to be here? what are you doing here? mexicans aren't allowed. i started to cry. i started crying. i go home and i says, mother, they don't want me in that school. i'm not going back to that school. she goes, don't you know what we were fighting for? yes, so we could go to that beautiful school with the playground and the beautiful school and she says, no, silvia. we were fighting because under god, we're all equal and we all deserve the same equality, same education and, yes, you're going to school, and, yes, i went to school. and, yes, i found out that everybody is not born with
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bigotry and hatred in their heart. before you know it, i continued and went on into diverse schools all my life. >> thank you. >> any other commissioners? commissioner harry? >> i don't so much have a question as i want to thank ms. mendez for coming out here and talking to us about your case. it's fascinating piece of history, and i am inspired to want to learn more about it. so i'll be looking into it some more. >> thank you. >> thanks so much for coming. >> any other commissioners? >> commissioner? or is that the vice chair? >> no, it's commissioner actenberg. i just wanted to say that it is an honor to be in your presence. thank you very much, mr. chairman. >> thank you. any other commissioners? >> mr. chair? >> yes, madam vice chair. >> yes, ms. mendez, i, too, want
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to add my thanks for you coming in and providing such a fascinating and passionate story about your experience. it took me back to 1965 when my siblings and i integrated to public schools of florida, south carolina. i would like for you to describe for us, you know, children are children. you mentioned one of the young folks that said some ugly things to you, but i'm wondering about any one experience while you provided that desegregation that stands out in your mind and that you'd like to share. >> the integration in california went very smoothly. nothing like what happened in the south. the only thing was they were
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calling my father a communist, and he was very upset. he said to my mother, can you believe they're calling me a communist because i'm trying to fight this case? and that was the only thing. nothing else. just name calling. >> interesting. >> thank you. >> any other commissioners? mr. staff director? >> thank you, mr. chairman. ms. mendez, of course, thank you for coming. i've known you for many years. >> yes. >> really appreciate the historical significance of this case. of course, as a lawyer. but i wanted to ask you a quick question about, how did your family finance the case? it sounds like, i mean, obviously, lawyers don't work for free. and so how did your family come about this? >> at the time, marcus was very inexpensive. at first it was the $500 at that time in 1945, and they had the
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money at the time. they had just sold the cantina and had gone to work at the ranch at the time. later during the appeal, other people came in and joined in. other organizations came in and joined in to help with the appeal, the money for it. and then another fact about the mendez case is that my dad had spent everything that they were making. sometimes they would like like $1,000 a day in the ranch. they had 40 acres of asparagus and tomatoes and everything. and he was going around trying to recruit and paying people to go to court and everything. so when we -- when the japanese family came back, my dad didn't have any money left. and they were so nice, the japanese family let us live there for three months after they came back, and they helped us with the crop that was growing and gave my father that money to go back and buy another
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cafe in santa ana. so we go back to santa ana. it's during the appeal. and that's when other people came in and joined in with money, and they had all kinds of fund-raisers for the appeal. >> well, thank you, ms. mendez, again, for sharing your story, for sharing our history with us. and [ speak iing spanish ] without you, we wouldn't have these opportunities. thank you. >> great parents. >> and your parents. and the other families as well. >> and the other families. >> it was a group effort. thank you for that. >> thank you. >> and we will now be adjourning the meeting, but i want to invite all those who are present here with us to join us for light refreshments and meet ms. mendez. and those refreshments are not paid for by taxpayers but by the generous contribution ever our staff director and the chair.
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i want to now officially adjourn the meeting at 11:39 eastern time. >> thank you. [ applause ] monday a look at the history of congress. bob dole and nancy kassenbaum, and conversations on african-americans serving in congress. the national historic preservation act and the thomas edison statue in the u.s. capitol's statuary hall. american history tv, next week on c-span3 starts monday at
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8:00 p.m. eastern. c-span's "washington journal," live every day with news and policy issues that impact you. coming up saturday morning, the hill staff writer katie beau williams on the substance of the wikileaks revelations of the past few weeks and what some describe as its weaponization in campaign 2016. and the chair of fair, chris novaselek on the role of fair vote which advocates for electoral reforms. he is a founding member of the band nirvana and the book "of grunge and government." c-span's "washington journal" live at 7:00 a.m. eastern saturday morning. join the discussion. the atlantic council in washington recently hosted a discussion on perceptions of muslims. the term islamophobia and
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rhetoric from presidential candidates about islam. this is 19 minutes. welcome, everyone, and thank you for joining us. i'm fred kemp, president and ceo of the atlantic council. i'm delighted to have a packed house today of great turnout for today's discussion on the widespread implication of islamophobia. what we want to do today is debunk myths and encourage a
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good conversation. much healthier conversation on this topic than we think is actually occurring at the time. it's a topic of crucial importance that's gathered significant attention in the united states and europe, and around the world. enormous thanks to our partner in today's event. the vice president of the aden foundation. i'll invite her to join me on stage in just a moment, but this is characteristic of the sort of cutting edge work and thinking you've done throughout your career. we have panelists comprised of leading experts in the subject. thank you all for lending your time and expertise to today's discussion. i'll introduce them later as we start the panel. since social media plays an important part in buttressing and dismantling racial and
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religious bias, i encourage you all to take this discussion to twitter under the hashtag, #beyondislamophobia. but let me start by introducing vuslat. and it's important to note that this discussion takes place just before the opening on saturday of the art of koran exhibit at the smithsonian. last night there was a gala to open this. a special showing. the dohan group is also sponsoring that exhibit which fits into this whole effort to debunk the myths of islamophobia. vuslat is publisher of turkey's leading newspaper. throughout her impressive career, she's advocated for societal change on a range of issues. from ending domestic violence, an issue on which she led a
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campaign that led to important legal reforms, to gender equality. a cause for which she championed a platform that nearly doubled the number of women in the turkish parliament in 2007. one of the greatest testaments to the respected and trusted position that vuslat holds in turkey is that through snen turk, one of the entities in the independent media conglomerate she sees that president erdogan delivered his facetime message to the public during the military coup earlier this year spreading awareness and rallying the turkish public at a moment of severe threat to his democracy. you've been instrumental in carving out a space for issues that have gone under the radar and shifting the public perception and debate. it's been an honor to work with you so closely on this event, and i hope this is just the beginning of an effort to take on this important subject. vuslat, the floor is yours.
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>> good morning, ladies and gentlemen. president obama in his latest speech at the united nations said, until basic questions are answered about how communities co-exist, the embers of extremism will continue to person, countless human beings will suffer and the world is too small for us to build a wall and prevent it from affecting our own societies. yes, he is correct. the world is too small. and the people's destinies are more interrelated to each other than it has ever been before. a threat here at this place in the world is not only affecting these people, this play, but the entire globe. and we've seen this in global finance. we've seen this in public health. we've seen this also in many
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other cases. but we are rooecently experiencg it in refugee crisis and terrorism. the wall that obama is referring to has appeared in our lives recently when the european countries started talking about build up a wall to keep the threat of refugees away from them. this is going to take its play in the history as the most disgraceful human act. unfortunately, terrorist organizations like isis, al qaeda and so forth are attacking to the world with terrorism, invoking the name of islam. this is a very big phenomena, and it's a very tragic issue for both muslims and non-muslims. just to make it clear, unfortunately, the muslims that are -- that have been targeted
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to isis terrorism is much many more than the combination of christians and jews. so it's a global problem, not only the problem of the western world. i want to emphasize this. well, what is this doing? this is, of course, promoting the islamo phobic sentiments within the western world. and it also unfortunately in return is fueling the anti-western sentiments within the muslim countries. it is really feeding each other -- both diseases are feeding each other and causing a bigger and bigger problem for the world. it is also giving -- islamophobia is also giving a good propaganda tool to the hands of the terrorists who are trying to recruit the muslim youth that are oppressed, that are isolated and that are not able to be recognized.
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so this is another education of isl islamophob islamophobia. it's unfortunately alienating the muslims, the people with the muslim faith, and they are not being -- i shouldn't say they are not, but there's a possibility they would not be so engaged with being a good ally in acting against terrorism. so these are all possible outcomes of islamophobia, but how do we deal with it? what is islamophobia? it stems from phobia, which is a fear of the unknown, right? if we put it so simply, then the answer is very simple. let's get rid of the phobia. so, which is let's get to know each other. let's try to find ways where we can engage in good conversations so that we can build a world where we can co-exist together.
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better conversations is important. i think it's crucial into getting to know each other because unfortunately, we forgot having good conversations. when i say good conversations, i first mean good listening, which is actively listening, which is listening with the intention of understanding the other side. acknowledging and recognizing the other side. and it's also good talking. talking not only to get your word across and to start a monologue but also to invite in a conversation and a dialogue where you can search for answers for solutions of the problem. i think media can be a big a bi facilitator in this, and i think media has a huge role in creating a language where the world can start talking to each
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other rather than everybody engaging in a monologue. freedom of thought and freedom of speech are fundamental human rights. they are enlightenment and progress, and freedom of speech is the backbone of democracy. but it should not be exercised at the cost of attacking one's dignity. it should not be exercised at the cost of attacking one's faith either, because you know what? dignity is also a human right. i think, for example, when we talk about especially in the term of how do we cover islam and what do we say and don't say, we most all the time find ourselves in the conversation of so muslims don't -- christians don't get offended with this, and how come the muslims do?
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because they are did, they are different faiths. why don't we ask questions like, so what does it make you feel? what is it that you really get offended so we can move beyond the conversation and take the topic forward to find a conclusion. another very important freedom is the freedom to ask questions. as a publisher, i truly very much appreciate this, and it's a treasure and we should vigorously defend it. but when we ask questions, do we always have to ask a question to verify the other side -- our own presumptio presumptions. do we have to ask to get our own beliefs and judgments predefined, and i think no, i
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think we in journalism, we can ask questions so the other side is heard and can express themselves better, and so that the other side is -- can talk fearlessly in the field of respect and grace. we also in that the media defend freedom of speech for all costs. i think we should also start defending the right to be heard for everybody. because if one is not heard, anger starts building up in there, and that anger very -- a lot of the time can turn into radicalization and extremes. this is also an important -- an important aspect, and we should watch out when we are creating a new language. while these might seem theoretical, because we know that the practical life, media
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stuff, we are facing a very tough competition. we run after best ratings, best page views and good circulation, every minute, every day, every day, and we know the best ratings go to extreme rhetorics, and we know that the loud voices and the radical voices get the best attention, so what do we do? i propose that we put these onsite and we remember our moral obligation of our profession to society. we could choose to be as media, to be a catalogue of hatred and fear and in a polarized world it's also pushing media to act in such a way, but we can also choose to be a channel of wisdom, of reason, and of respect, and i think depending on which one we choose is going
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to have big consequences on the global peace and harmony. this morning, here on the stage, i invite all of my media colleagues to stop for one minute and think, are we really going to follow this madness of constant stimulation of fear? or are we going to promise our children for a life that is safer, because this fear is threatening all of our safety. i think we can do this if we join forces for a better conversation for around different points like islamophobia, and islamophobia is a very difficult topic and today i hope this panel is going to be the first panel that is going to kick off the good conversation about islamophobia.
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there's a beautiful, and it goes -- it goes listen closely to all voices, and choose the best of it. thank you very much for listening, and contributing.
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this gives me more of a view of everyone. so vuslat, thank you for those observations and thank you for helping to make this happen. let me now welcome our panel. joining us today, and i will start here at the end is my good friend, the dean of the paul knit sau school of advanced international studies, and he has experience in the public sector and a special adviser to the president in back stan, and he's a great intrapreneurs in this town. and the host of the zainab
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salbi, and i have got karen armstrong next on my list and i will go to you and come back to you, minister, and she is well known for her exceptional work, writing, is that right? >> i have very few good words to say for the british empire, so it's rather an embarrassment. >> a reluctant office of the british empire. [ laughter ] >> well known for her work, and she has been a driver of international action against extremism through forging international enter cultural and
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enter religious dialogue. she was instrumental in the creation for a charter of compassion, a document in which urges the peoples and religions of the world to embrace the core value of compassion. finally, and by no means least, the minister is a former minister of state in the turkish council of ministers, and the grand national assembly of turkey, and also a well known scholar on philosophy and religion, so thank you all for being here. so this is a crucial topic with fast implications for domestic as well as foreign policy, divides countries, and it divides societies, and divides communities, but it also has the power to bring them together, so i want to delve into the discussion. in the past years, particularly in the past months we watched europe struggle under the weight of refugees, and politicians of
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both sides of the atlantic caps on the number of refugees, and in the u.s., our election is by and large provided more hate than light on the subject, so we want to provide light today. against this back drop, i would like our experts to talk about how we can walk the line between security concerns and racism that may, in fact, create a spirit of exclusion, and subsequent homegrown radicalization. there's a lot at stake here. i'm looking to my aides here, because i think we have got a quick film that we are going to show, if it's not -- okay, it's going to come a little later then. what we are going to try and do is frame the subject, what is
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islamophobia, and what are the sources of it and where is it taking place and what way is it taking place, and then talk a little bit about the stakes and finally try to outline -- outline some solutions. i think we particularly want to focus in this conversation on the solutions. this is also interactive in the sense that you have our twitter hash tag, and you can give us your ideas and responses to what we have said, and we will srl a q & a period as well and what you don't get in and can send in in terms of ideas when it comes to the potential solutions. karen is the reluctant office of the british empire and maybe you can lay the ground work for us to understand the extend of the islamophobia and its implications. you said in the past, before 1700, and this is a quote, taking religion out of politics would be like extracting gin
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from gin and tonic, and even though some of us think we may want to go on a 12-step program against islamophobia, you have written on the religious persecution, so give us an idea of where we are now. >> it seems we have moved. didn't seem long about the berlin wall being torn down and we were cheering, and now there's talk of a wall being built and people are cheering. islamophobia, what is it? it's a phobia, and it's an irrational fear and not on reason and a based on a gut feeling and it's one of those indications of people who are struggling in all kinds of fields of life, with
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globalization, the fact we cannot live with one another, and we are profoundly connected to one another, and when markets fall in one part of the world they drop all over the world, and the more global we are and the more people in both religious and political terms are retreating into denominational or national ghett ghettos. throughout history -- i'm a historian, and i often try to understand things by seeing how they have been in the past, and there have been these explosions of hatred of certain groups, and just think of the crusade, for example, and what is interesting is that these phobias often project on to a so-called enemy
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buried worries about one's own position. the crusade solute slaughtered muslims with great joy and brought the christian violence on to the other side, on to their enemies, and i think that there was quite a lot of that today. i know we will talk about foreign policy, and that's a hugely important issue. i would just like to mention some of the british foreign policy, and i mentioned the british empire, and we bear a lot of the responsibility for a lot of the problems today, and we go back to paris in january, and all the leaders marching together, shoulder to shoulder and linking arms for freedom of
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expression, when very many of those leaders, including my own prime minister, david cameron, headed countries that had four decades, and in the case of britain for over a century, aggressively supported regimes and muslim majority countries that denied their people any freedom of expression, and a sort of denial of that. i think we have got to look at this kind of denial, this kind of unhealthy irrational fear because it's not something we can just sort out by telling people to pull themselves together and look at the facts. >> since you mentioned the foreign policy, maybe you can step in here because obviously this -- this is enter woven with 9/11, inner woven with various policies that have been made, and it's a little surprising
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islamophobia is as high as it is, and it was 40% after 9/11 in terms of the feelings around muslims in the united states, and 60% or more now, and you would think under a president that has been much more communetive, that wouldn't it be that way, and i wonder if you could give us a feeling of your perspective as a foreign policy practitioner, how do you look at the phenomena of islamophobia. >> well, building on also what karen was saying, islamophobia, even the term itself bursts on the stage right after 9/11, and i think at that point we could say it was largely an issue external to the united states, and what is different now is islamophobia in a way was a policy deliberately pushed from
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the top of the u.s. administration, and it was an idea that was part and parcel of the united states administration's managing the middle east relations, and the term fascism was coined and used by george bush until he was dissuaded from doing it, and 9/11 could have been construed as a challenge to u.s. policy in the middle east as a way of sidestepping, quit examining the u.s. policy, and islamophobia was a way of passing the blame back to muslims, and promoting terrorism rather than put u.s. foreign policy on trial for creating some of the problems, and in fact, the big disconnect was in the muslim world, the understand was it was about u.s. policy and the idea in the usa
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was it was about islam. and i would say top town in making islamophobia as the center of focus of understanding what happened after 9/11 very quickly found traction in the ae van kul community in the united states, and i say that deliberately, because the evangelical community has clear perceptions within its own understanding of faith and the end of times they directly valve islam as a competitor, and in various parts of the world, islam is the main competitor so they have a sense that islam is the enemy and even among the evangelicals, islam was not a problem inside the united states, it was a problem that was outside the united states and was in the form of terrorism or competition was threatening the united states. i would say if you looked at
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president obama's cairo speech, arabs and muslims criticized that on many levels but with great success, he officially in cairo, without saying so abandoned islamophobia as official american policy. >> that's a powerful statement. >> that's the significance of the cairo speech. he said, this is about u.s. policy and i will put one u.s. policy on the table which is the peace process, and i am not going to do much about it but i will acknowledge that the problem has to do with u.s. foreign policy, and as president of the united states, as the head of the u.s. government i will no longer follow this track. throughout we can see -- this is an administration in which the president doesn't want to use the term islamic terrorism, and the second of state -- it has engaged the muslim world in
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varieties of ways, and yet, as you say, we were back to where we were, and that's because it's no longer a foreign policy issue, and this is now about other things that are happening in europe and the united states, so it's about the rise of p populism, and immigration is about two things, numbers and assimilation, and muslims are a problem on both fronts. their numbers are growing particularly in europe so that puts them on the radar, and they do not assimilate, or it appears they don't assimilate or are slow to assimilate, so the debate of the summer is really about assimilation. so you know, there's a shift here, and this is not going to go away if isis is defeated. it's not going to go away with u.s. foreign policy. this is not morphed into the
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whole dynamic of what is happening to american society itself to populists and to anger at outsiders, and it has to do with what is happening in europe. of course, you know, refugees in syria, and beheadings in iraq, those things, bombs going off in paris, brussels, and merely add fuel to the fire, but i think the challenge for muslims is now much, much bigger, because this is not about defending activities that are happening over there, and it's about really defending their place in american society or the european society going forward. >> the thing that is interesting, there has been a poll that showed roughly half of u.s. muslims, so 48%, said their own religious leaders have not done -- these are u.s. muslims have not done enough to speak
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out against extremists, and is this part of it? >> i think this idea that muslim leaders have to speak about -- i find that actually offensive, and the one point of having heard everything else that donald trump has said all along that i found particularly offensive is what he said in the last debate that the burden of finding out who is planting a bomb rests on muslims. this is essentially collective guilt, all muslims are guilty unless proven innocent and the burden is on them to prove themselves innocent, and the fact that somehow if a preacher somewhere says something, it sort of -- you count how many preachers have said something, and it doesn't count how many have give n tpabg was.
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there's one important problem, and muslims are unique in migrant communities is that we are not in control of those that interpret our faith. they are sitting in cairo and they have different world views and priorities. >> but what a lot of muslims say is why can't you see us in the diverse people we are, and we are 9.6 billion people, and you are denying us the diversity of our identities beyond the nationalities and regions and beyond the professions, and whether i am a mother or activist or mother or religious or not, and it's complete generalization. the first thing we need to individualize the process and not generalize all phus hrumusl it's bad as if i generalize all
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christians as one, and are we talking about the issue in america and in america they are also different kinds of muslims. as a immigrant my point of identity is different than an american born and raised, and their point of identity is american, and the decision-making reference, and whether to wear a headscarf or not is radically different and all the pillars in the foundation of my point of identity is somebody who was born and raised in iraq, a muslim dominated country. so the points of identities is different also. second, i did just a story on radicalization in france. number one reason actually how these radicalized groups are being recruited is not the mosques. as a matter of fact, the imams are speaking the formal speech, do good and be well, and it's all the other religion do goods,
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and it's 90% of the internet, and informal gatherings. many muslims are feeling in america and in europe and in the middle east it's different and how they are feeling, and in the middle east i was in iraq three weeks ago and they see isis and all of that as they -- all they care about is this is against islam, because they are introducing a new terminology and description of islam, and that's alien to muslims themselves, you know. it's like me saying the kkk is defining all of christians, and that's incorrect. in the middle east, they don't know what is happening in america, but they know isis is against us, muslims. muslims here and in france, my findings, and i did shows on all of these issues, they are hurt and they are scared. the ones who are sort of holding
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that tension is women and women wearing a headscarf. people -- this is for me not even policy or theoretical discussions, this is normal people on a day-to-day level, you encounter and i am encountering who keep on presuming negativity about your aspect of your basic identity. it's like, you know, i feel as a muslim woman, no matter how much i talk about how i grew up, my up bringing and philosophy, i am skill asked what i perceived as hurtful and insulting and prejudice, and questions about my background. no matter how much i say what i have done in my life, i am minimized so were you oppressed as a muslim woman? >> this, to me, is a really important point for the audience and for us, which is who is suffering from islamophobia.
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and what you are bringing out here is -- if i am reading you correctly, women, in particularly women who wear headscarfs, so the victims of islamophobia are first and foremost this group, and again, as you look at the 1.6 billion muslims in the world, only 300 million of whom are in the middle east, by the way, and 220 million in indonesia, and so is that what you are saying, this is -- who are those who suffer most from islamophobia? >> in the western world the ones suffering the most are the women wearing headscarfs, because they are symbolic and physically different, and the assumption of islamophobia, people are afraid, and if you ask people what they are afraid of, and they are afraid islamophobia will impose sharia in america or france, and
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you say, no, we came to this country because we like the constitution. why do you assume? not a lot of people know what sharia is? it's not something you grow up thinking about it. and what is also assumed, muslim women are oppressed, and so the muslim women who are wearing the scarves, it's a physical difference, and they are oppressing these women of acts of violence, social media violence, harassing and throwing beer on them, and violence is happening in states like minnesota and other places. so what is happening is sort of a reaction, and the muslim women are going to do it to prove i am not an oppressed woman, i am
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doing this, and they are also afraid, and they are saying we are afraid, and muslims are afraid to say i pray, and they are afraid to say i don't eat pork because if they say that they will be assumed they are radicalized. >> they have a right to be afraid, because, again, if you look at history, when these phobias blow up, they have often been succeeded by appalling actions, and i didn't get into all of this because i am filled with peace and love and compassion, and i got into it because i felt a sense of dread, and it began with the salmon russian crisis. i was appalled by the way british even tspwepb t intellec.
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we have learned nothing in europe since the 1930s. it was precisely this kind of talk where you siphon off one person, and miniaturize their identity in the way you described, and it made it possible for hitler to do what he did. it was at the end of that decade, there were concentration camps again on the out skirts of europe with muslims in them, and if these kind of catastrophes can happen in places like germany, which was the most enlightened and civilized country in europe, and a leading player in the enlightenment, and yugoslavia, as we used to call it, we had muslims and jews and christians co-existsed amicably for decades, and we should all
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be afraid unless we lose our western soul by giving into these, all the things we value and are celebrated in this city with all your shrines, and it's like a holy city of great presidents and their scriptures and words behind them speaking about equality, toleration, pluralism. none of us have held to those. the british empire certainly did not hold to any of those, and america has had its problems, too. but nevertheless, that vision is precious and never been more important now, and i fear, too, that we are in danger of losing ourselves our western selves. >> minister, you sort of wear a couple hats coming to this issue, and one of them is having explored the interactions of
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politics as a theoretical professor, but also a turkish minister of state, and give us your thoughts what you heard thus far and perhaps also talk about whether this theme plays a role in any way in turkey's role in europe and interactions with its european neighbors. >> i think you have to start with the concept itself. today it requires a kind of analysis, and so it is a modern concept to begin with, and the term is new, perhaps, islamophobia, and it has been here since the beginning of the 20th century, and a frenchman wrote a book, and it was -- it was the view in light of the west, and it became fairly well known after the publication of
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the report on the foundation or trust which, had the title islamophobia:a challenge for us all, and now it has become more challenging, as a matter of fact. so it has a psychological d dimension, and it grows -- it deepens in social life, so it has a social dimension, and it also has a visible political dimension, and so we are face-to-face with the politics of islamophobia, and it's not just one form or one simple thing, it's a complicated predicate, and it's before us and it requires addressing and it requires to do something, so to begin, of course, the term
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phobia was problematic, and some people didn't want to use the word phobia because a friend of mine says that islamophobia was there long before the term was invented, so the idea, the thought, is as long as the christian and muslim relationships and it goes back to the early days of islam, and islam was challenging and so on, but it grew in the middle ages when you had christian, and the basic roots go back to those days, so it is a powerful stream coming from history to our days. about ten years ago, for example, i had the chance to
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listen to the politicians, and the old european countries, and the politics was a kind of weak idea rather than a strong political attitude or political idea, but now it has become a very serious political activity, and it really is a good benefit in a way for politicians, and even for example, the united states are a little bit quiet in terms of islamophobia, and it's starting to become an important topic in the politics as well, and in a way the islamophobia requires immediate addressing, immediate struggle in order to
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make it not academic, and it was an tkeplic in the european area, and it's epidemic, and it's affecting all of us, every part of the world, and what can we do? first we have to have a good education. some of the islamophobiaic is done, and some comes out of ignorance. they talk about islamophobia, for example, and they say, a nasty thing about islam itself, and so in a way, education is extremely important, in the short line and in the long line as well. secondly, of course, we have to be very careful when we try to criticize religions, because religion may not be important in one country, for example, saying
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nasty things about a prophet may not be very important in this part of the world, and i don't mean in this part, this part n. america, but in any part of the world, but if it's important in some other parts, you have to be careful, and as humans you have to respect the values of other civilizations. and secondly, culture is very strong in the west, and this culturism is the mother and the father of islamophobia as well, because if you say the worst of civilization is the culture and civilization, you are really saying quite a lot apart from the description, and you are not using a descriptive statement you are using it dogmatic in a
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way, and a normative statement as well. and it was said, a an important thing, this western idea of authority is not scientific, and it's not moral and it's dangerous, and one important civilization in the world, this is against our scientific outlook, so you know, he says, you know, we have an exception, and i am almost quoting, we have an assumption, and we think everybody is like us and if they are not like us they want to be like us, and if they don't want to be like us, then they have to be either persecuted to be like us or forced to be like us, and this is not just an assumption, this is something that we do quite a lot of things in the whole world, and it's not just
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an idea, it's an idea where they do quite a lot of things. this is, a, not scientific, b, not moral, and c, not -- the third one -- dangerous. dangerous. scientifically, as i said, because plurality is with us. >> minister, you have helped us turn the corner to solutions, and so -- and provocatively turned the corner to solutions, and cultural education, and questioning the western idea or the western projection of spear -- superiority. and let's show out ideas for specific solutions? how does one address the
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phenomena? >> i think i really do passionately care about the language, and how we talk about it, because it really affects our belief system as well, and so what we were talking about, the belief system, and it starts from a belief system, that we are superior, but if we put that on the side, we have other belief systems in the language, which we take it for granted. i think changing the language is extremely important, and how do we really sincerely without fear talk about islam? not with a prejudgment, not to confirm or verify our assumptions, our preassumptions, but because any guards how do we
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open up the subject? >> i think you said something very important in your opening speech about the nature of dialogue, really. >> yes. >> dialogue is a buzzword, if we can engage in dialogue peace will break out but as we have seen in recent presidential debates, there's very litt. when they came to talk to sock raw tease, they actually knew what they were talking about, but after his relentless questioning they found they did not know the first thing about the crucial matters about goodness or justice, and then at that point they said we have to go back to school and we know nothing, and he said at that point you have become a philosopher, and you know when you know nothing at all, and from that we are a very aupl
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initialant society. everybody has suddenly become an expert of the koran. they read it, an article or something, and they know. we have got to dismantle, because sometimes the things they say are really embarrassing to listen to, and the ignorance that is involved, to dismantle us, as you said, minister, of superi spe superiori superiority, and let them shake our certaintiecertainties. >> first of all, i think that we have to have patience. this is not something one or two things or one or two clarifications is going to go away, because i think muslims are woven into larger political dynamics that is going on in europe and the u.s.
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an education, i think, has to be much broader, and it's not just education about islam itself and what the koran says and it's an education about muslims, and i think zainab's point is important, and there's diversity in the u.s. ethnically, and after 9/11, when i lived in california, the largest thing was to be counted as muslims, and they didn't want to be put in that box, and their ethnicity mattered to them more than islamic familiarity. showing the diversity of muslim culture, and the art of the koran exists, and a foundation group sponsored that, and it's important to show muslims are
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not unity dimensional. and islam is not just an opinion about what the koran says or what these people believe, but it's actually, i think, a great deal of problems exist on a daily basis, where all the young islams are moving up into the businesses and government and different sectors and every day prejudices they feel or face is not just about what is in the holy book or what is not, it's about them as people, where they come from and what their everyday aspirations are, and i think that's not something that you necessarily can address in books, and it requires a lot more engagement that has to happen. i think the solution actually, really, in my opinion, rests in the young muslim population, and it's not in universities.
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we can't paontificate about thi. the burden that really falls on those going to class with people and they are the ones feeling this most. i'm not very optimistic in the short run. i think we're in a dark period. >> because? >> because we -- it's no longer about terrorism or 9/11 or foreign policy, and we have become entangled into nasty big forces that are going through american politics and society, and we are the other part of the immigration problem, and we are embedded in the culture war, and muslims will have it much more difficult than mexicans and catholics as the part of the western culture, and i don't know how they diseu disintangle
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themselves, and it's very important that we are thinking about this, but i also don't think there's an easy solution. i think one of the most depressing things, you know, having a president that was sympathetic to this issue and his own middle name, you know, had connotations actually provoked worse reactions in the end. >> i think this causes the changing of the discourse. the islamophobia discourse destroys everything. it's not possible to have a reasonable dialogue of cultures, and it's not possible to really have that rational cultural diplomacy. why? because the discourse itself is very dirty, and it has enormous problems, and i think we should
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start with correcting our language and terminology, because that really goes directly from my mouth to the heart of other people. >> i think these are important points. i no zainab comes in, and you have the politics, and then the interesting notion that it could be muslim phobia instead of islamophobia, and it could go on for a while before it gets better which is why we are doing this today. >> i just interviewed families in france whose sons have been recruited by isis, french muslims, and when the family was talking over skype with their sons in isis territory, and they were saying come back to france, and they are four generations, and the grandfather fought in world war ii against the nazis,
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and the son says, all the time he was bullied and all the things he has gone through, which is expressions of islamophobia, and he says, what is the point? no matter what i do, and how much i try to prove that i am french, they are never accepting me for who i am. so these actions from me and as everybody on the panel said it, they have a reaction, and they -- we are all part of it. this is not some extreme group of people doing the discrimination, this is all of us actually that are doing it in subtle ways. there are groups who are trying to do something about it, and they are, for example, the methodist church are hosting in churches and pastors -- i interviewed a pastor and he said i am part of the problem because i assumed things about islam and
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i may have contributed to islamophobia, not willingly with my ignorance and assumptions, so we need to know that we are all part of this, and there are some actions of having this dialogue to demystify and have a safe place to ask questions. third, there are also muslim communities that are opening and demystifying the mosque, because also people are afraid of it, and the highest wave of attacks against mosques in this country than ever before, or city councils refusing to let small mosques being built in the community, and they need to open up the moss skpbg see, and there's nothing happening in here and this is what is going on, and muslims at large, and i am generalizing all muslims in this moment need to also co-own this issue, and this is not about us and them, and we are stuck in this dynamic of us and them. and we need to own it, whether whatever kind of muslim one may
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be, because some muslims are religious and some are practicing and some are secular and some are not and at the end it's seen as a collective and all of us need to co-own the issue, and some say i am a s secular and have nothing to do with it, but, no, we need to co-own it and that means us taking more actions in defining what are we seeing of islam, so these are some suggestions. >> and we will go to the audience after this. >> i agree, but i don't see any quick selection to this and there's a dark period but we still have to do what we can against the approaching darkness. all these initiatives are going on, and i think we have got to start joining up some of these initiatives, and so good work being done here and everywhere, and in dark old europe, too,
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where things are all happening. let's join up so it becomes more of a movement, and i think, too, we need to step outside the box and try to think of more imaginative ways of dealing with this. i write these books but it's a bit old-fashioned, really, aand, and here i think the young, you mention, i never thought i would hear myself say the following words, but i really like what the pope is doing at the moment. >> do you want to share your former profession? >> yes, i can say that when i was a nun, nobody ever told me to take off my veil, it was far more cumbersome than anything i have seen, and he does make a
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gesture, and this is a world of pictures and images, and everybody taking photographs, and the young can do this, and you take a picture, an image, and it goes around social media immediately and it can shift, you know, things, attitudes much more basically than a learned article, for example, and i think here the young can help us, because this is very much their culture, and we need somehow to think of new ways of attacking this, becauseor dealing with this and attacking is the wrong word, of dealing with the problem before we are overwhelmed with sorrow. >> if you could identify yourself and to whom you would like to address the question. >> wonderful conversation.
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i would like to address my question to valley. muslim societies themselves in the sense that we all need to question ourselves and we all need to question our system of practices, practicing our own religions, and we are a little behind in the muslim majority countries, and what kind of an impact does this phobia have on muslim majority societies rethinking and moving forward with our own practices? could you please also relate that to the backward progress of secularism, because freedom of religion basically everywhere and in the more and more diverse society really can only be, you
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know, comfortably practiced and people can comfortably lived together, and religion is one part and governance, and we should be secular, not atheist, but secular if we want to have the diversity and live with it. >> good questions. not all muslim societies are engaged in this conversation, or are reacting to it in the same way. the disconnect in the muslim world the perception is the problem is not with islam oracle khur but with foreign policy, and they don't encounter in a main way in what was powerfully described every day challenges to an identity, and average muslims in cairo, they are not
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confronted with the kind of prejudices or challenges to their religion. i don't think the debate is impacting on the ground the way it impacts muslims in the west and as a result, also, i think the larger intellectual voices in the muslim world could be trend setting, whether it's intellectual voices not quite as engaged in this conversation as they should be, and that's one of the reasons why this is not moving as quickly as we think, and it's easy to have a war against the terrorism, and i don't see the clerics trying to resolve the problems of fasting in the middle of summer in minnesota or are you allowed to do certain things to accommodate workplace pressures going on. secondly, in the muslim world, you know, there's a dominant
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view that the west is the colonial power and colonialism has not ended and the way you get something outside of the united states is if you direct them to do it, and that's the mistake the bush administration made, if you have people modernize, and that encourages resistance, and many youth are opting out and the problem with seccerism, a lot of times we have this debate in a vacuum, and the main problem of secularism, it has failed in economic development and social development and failed in the one thing that matters to muslims which is to give them dignity and power on the world stage, so the seculars in state was in 1967, it was beaten to a
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pullp. some people convert to extremism after they decide they want to join terrorism. the promise of isis was ep empowerment, and this was the first force defeating governments on the ground, capturing cities, and it's defeating the u.s., and beheadings are not so much a scriptural but it's of power, and the young man who is humiliated day in and day out, and until the secular can come up to an answer with that, a
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concession meaningful to muslims, and there is no reason to become secular, and that would be a major movement in a vacuum. >> i think you provoked a couple responses here. >> i want to add one more point. in france, and i am talking about french secularism, and many people believe the extremism of secularism in france is leading to this crisis, and when you ask french muslims and they said, we do want to be accepted as we are, and in secularism, it's a ridgidity, and how do we develop exceptions, and this is a french issue, and i think they are being forced to re-examine the
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meaning of secularism in their society, and on both sides, how do we -- these are maybe two paradigms that are too extreme, and what we are moving towards in a painful time now throughout the region is more fluidity, and acceptance on all sides, that i can be all of that and it's okay. >> we have a lot of questions in the audience. i see one here. you had your hand up from the beginning, and then my colleague there in the back in the left, please. >> my name is azan feci, i am a writer. thank you for a thought-provo thought-provoking and intriguing conversation. one of the things i came across when i came back to the u.s. in '97, i left it in 1979, was that
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all the countries that had their unique names, like on turkey, saudi arabia, and we now reduced to one aspect which is one religion, and we would call them the nonmuslim world and that religion that had so many different interpretations was also reduced to one aspect, which was extremism. i am very glad that you brought up the point that there are as many interpretations of islam as there are muslims in this world. don't you think it's about time we really --
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>> feels the same way as a mother in america. and so that is -- do we not want life. >> who would you like to comment on that? >> pardon me?
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>> who you would like to answer that question. >> would you like to take a shot at that? >> i take you point. i think it's a very strong and valid comment, that, yes, it's just being put into one definition and, where as, it's completely very different within muslim and with nationalities, very very different identities. it's important. i mean, i take your point and i agree. >> i want to make -- >> please. >> i'm sorry. >> go ahead. >> i'm going to change and ask a question, so i -- >> i will just say very quickly, there's a sense of belonging to a community. but i do think you're right in a sense that particularly west westiners looking have lost the balance in terms of how you look at this. there has to be a balance in the middle between understanding that there's something in terms
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of the book, you know, prayers, practice that connect somebody who is in do knee sha to somebody who is in turkey or nigeria. these differences are actually -- actually, this sense belong to one community has hurt the muslim world and, you know, many practices, the diversity, say, in practice between many regions has begun to erode in favor of a single orthodox. but you're right, i think everything in moderation and in balance and that's a balance that not only the muslim world itself has to discover, but also there's a balance in looking at the muslim world we have to observe. >> europe is the same, for example, what is europe in. what is europe? and scientific, that is christian euro, it's lost his
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soul because it -- so i don't think we can get rid of the -- but we have to be conscience about diversity. and we also have to do something in pluralism. it's like -- it's social phenomena, but you have to do something about -- >> so we're running out of time, let me pick up two questions in the back here and to the side here, i'm sorry i know there are so many people that wanted to ask questions beyond and then we'll come back to the panel for a quick one minute of each to close. please. >> thank you. this is really thought provoking. as someone who has a very jaundice view of all religions, including islam. people are complaining that -- every religion sees itself
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superior to islam. the greeks have the greeks and barbarians, the chinese and the rest, and the indians and the unpure. and the muslims, we are the best nation that came into being, there's, you know, this is as islamic as everything else. that's one. the other thing is we cannot talk about it, or western hostility to islam, in terms of the sacred religious text. that's significant because the same is susceptible to all sorts of interpretations. specifically true about the old testament and the koran, articles and certain periods of time what is in the old testament and the koran and susceptible to all sorts of interpretation, i can justify anything by according to the old
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testimony. >> i apologize because of shortness of time to answer your question. >> we have to talk about it and the context of the historic legacies of the conflict between the near east and the west. invasions of spain. one final thing, for the adults, i think what we have here is a problem more than a muslim problem. all of the radical islamic groups and the 20th century, they were not from indonesia or malaysia or nigeria. all right. from -- say you could -- to. >> sam: bin laden, to one of these things. as long as you have a broken, you're going to have this problem. the problem of radicalism and terrorism, you don't find too many turks, one involved in this.
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>> so my words are that toxic. >> may i say something? >> all right. >> please. let's take the last -- >> thank you. >> last question here. >> well, let's have one question and we'll come back to the final round. >> okay. my name is -- i'm a chair process of economics at the university of maryland in college park. great panel. i would like to say something, which will show my, you know, very agreement and then to answer your question to all the panel members. again, i'm a economist, so bear in mind. i don't think this is something we can call secularism. i'm from turkey. i came to this country 20 years ago. i grew up in a secular country, i never felt oppressed or anything. i'm 0 pressed in this country. america is very different than europe in in that sense.
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i kept being educated and then i, you know, came to high point in this country because of the way i think this country the united states of america works which has a secular education. so the fair is the competition's failure to respond to globalization. ms. armstrong said that at the beginning. this is about globalization, globalization of capital markets, and the losers are of that. for politician it's so easy to use, so easy to use, many of these things, this is about the failing of the politicians and the policies toward that phenomena that we went through the last 10, 20 years. in that sense, it's not, i believe, the fair of the secular anything, in fact, this country, the public education system, the very secular one in the united states of america, and we all know the ones who are educating their children in this country, it is very multicultural, and i
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believe, you know, this panel is about the solution, but none of you really said about the solution. what type of education, not only multi culture, but also about secular education, the definition is about, you know, not having religion and politicians in education, i feel like they're saying, you know, you cannot interfere with how people dress and how people worship and how people pray. it shouldn't definitely be the case that religion has no place in politics and education. if you do that, i think this problem can be easily solved. again, this has to be taught in the context of the politicians and policies favor as a response to accommodate. so my question to you is, how your views in terms of how can you separate the failure to respond to globalization of what you easily call. again secular define, but about religion not being in politics.
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>> i just want to go down for my left, one minute or less for any final ogs vags you would like to ask. >> i'm not just saying, wrote a book about violence and he talked about miniaturization of identity. and i think that's what's been coming up -- it's possible to e attack it. we're dealing with complexity here. and religion, as you've pointed out that i've said earlier in my
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books, religion permeated all activities. it wasn't something -- as soon as we got the french got rid of religion as they thought after the revolution, in which the first secular state they beheaded 17,000 men, women, and children in public. and so it didn't seem as though it was going to benign. but as soon as they created a new religion, the nation. and the nation pointed out, here we come to miniaturization, in the late 19th century, i hit british historian. said that the new nation state the culture -- the emphasis on culture, ethnicity and language in the nation state will make it very difficult for people who did not fit the national profile and with accuracy, h


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