« Making Sense with Sam Harris

#59 — Friend & Foe

2017-01-05 | 🔗

In this episode of the Making Sense podcast, Sam Harris speaks with Maajid Nawaz about the Southern Poverty Law Center, Robert Spencer, Keith Ellison, moderate Muslims, Shadi Hamid’s notion of “Islamic exceptionalism," the migrant crisis in Europe, foreign interventions, Trump, Putin, Obama’s legacy, and other topics.

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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
Today's guest is Maajid, Nawaz it is well known to many of you. We wrote Islam in the future of tolerance together he is a friend and now regular collaborator. There's a film coming out by the same title based on that book, an it's based on a lecture tour we did together in Australia at the beginning of twenty. Sixteen in any case module to someone who I am proud to call a friend whose work I deeply support an once he gets talking, you will understand why so without either. Do I bring you much at Noahs, I I'm here with marginal was majin thanks for coming on the podcast pleasure, thanks for having me again bringing listeners to speed. Most will know this, but You and I have collaborated in now- a variety of ways. We wrote a book together, Islam in the future of tolerance and then
will be a movie based on that book coming out next year. I believe it's also called Islam in the future of tolerance. So I here we'll see how that goes, but it's really been an immense source of ratification for me to collaborate with you, given how fraught our initial meeting was- and this is something we described in the book and have described on a previous podcast. Relevant to our conversation today will be talking about some of the people who despise us. We both have people who despise us, but a subset of each of those groups are the people who despise each of us for collaborating with the other, that's a weird thing to keep running into, but in any case, there's a lot to talk, about here and in no particular order. I'll, just I'll read you the topics I have gathered, since I knew we were going to meet in this way, and then we can take it as we see fit sure it was the southern Poverty law center tobacco, where they group you and ion, along with uh
here's as anti muslim extremists. We will want to hit that there is a and the rather obvious failure, Obama's foreign policy there's the related migrant crisis and the knock on effect, Brexit being one Trump being arguably another. There is put in there is the phenomenon of fake news and the hacking of the election. There is ISIS there's the assassination of the turkish ambassador There's the atrocity in Germany at the Christmas market last week, yeah my exchanges with Robert Spencer and Shadi Hamid. That I know you'll want to comment on a bunch of other things on this list. Actually, so, let's get into it, I guess the first place to start for Maine, let's deal with the southern Poverty LAW center issue, because it really was just a crime against reason and common decency that we need to get into. Actually. This is a similar problem here. There's this general problem of people
not being able to figure out who anyone is right, just basic moral can vision about who the good guys and who the bad guys are and if they're bad guys, how bad are they? How bad are they compared to the next batch guy and there's a lot of confusion. That we should try to clear up so yeah, the prophet Mohammed would tell you that's a sign of the day of judgment, not for a variety of reasons, a messy preamble, but once again, welcome Majid and say ever you want, but let's zero in on what the southern Poverty LAW center did to you? First, yes! Well, you know that that was a a debacle is the word you used. I think, but it was certainly deeply deeply disappointing to respond to to receive that news and and look you know at the end of the day it does
affect my reputation in so far as my name and work is relatively well known, and so, if it did affect, my reputation is a bit like you know: it's gonna, it's it's gonna deflect! You you have. The Wall Street Journal. Writing an editorial decrying this decision to list myself and I aren't by name in particular as anti muslim extremists, but then you had a whole of other UK based outlets internet line based outlets and and people at the, U N, the the the carrying of a duty as the head of the? U N's cultural rights, special representative for cultural and religious rights at the? U N, basically tweeting against the southern Poverty LAW center and declaring their decision as against my cultural rights to be to to be self, critical of my own culture, and so I don't,
think, in the long run, it's going to affect my reputation. Here's what I really worry about with this decision, two things. First of all, it is a clear and present target on our heads. That's number one! So, even if my reputation isn't affected among the middle of the line, Muslims, who are still, you know trying to work out where they stand. On the question of Islamism, buses, conservative Islam, buses, liberal reforming Muslims, you know that even if it doesn't affect my reputation among them, those hardened extremists don't need any excuses. Relish opportunities to target those who are critical of them in here is another opportunity. What I wrote in my immediate response on the daily beast to this decision is that lists are, for fascists, lists
are the only people that lose use lists in this climate. All, for example, you and I- and I think I've spoken before about these lists that were produced- ought to target atheists in Bangladesh, where they were then picked off one by one. That was a list our. And so many of them have been killed by extremist since that list was published against atheist. The list that was put into the body of tear Van naming ion as the next person that they were going to target. That's what lists do in this day and age on the left, criticizes Mccarthyism, and I just thought find it astonishing that as critical as the left right knee is all of Mccarthyism not that it finds it sought somehow justifiable for it to adopt the same tactics against what it deems as its enemies. So that's reason number one. I think lists lead to killing people off of of lifts once they are compiled. The second reason is our long term reason,
and it's not my reputation, it's the reputation of those who are the next. I, on her sally the next Ali read to be at the next people who who are coming up. You want to be critical of their own culture. The heritage under the a bit more introspective about these challenges that we face and the danger is this puts them off. The danger is that the route that they come to the conclusion that the opportunity cost associated with this work is too high and so those next voices don't come to the four one of the reasons it's so important for me to stay alive. Apart from the fact that I want to stay alive is that I buy staying alive and
remaining a highly visible figure. Speaking out in this way, I'm able to show up by my mere existence practically to the up and coming generation that you can do this and that in doing so you can be successful. You can attract supporters around you are added. You can define these people who would rather torturing be head. Those who disagree with them not merely by existing out, but if, if that next generation comes to the conclusion that the opportunity costs associated with that is too high, then it can be off putting and let's keep in mind this
no hyperbole, I'm talking about the climate in which Malala Yousafzai was shot in the head. Speaking this way, I I'm talking into about the climate in which those atheist bloggers in Bangladesh have been picked off a list. You know by, but eighty four atheist bloggers in twenty thirteen one named on a list by the end of twenty. Sixteen ten of them had been assassinated by jihadist terrorists. This is the climate with talking about so when hope, not hate in the United Kingdom, which preceded the southern Poverty law center. Is there a quibble into the? U K when they compiled a similar list that included a danish author journalist in Islam? Critical loss had a guard, he was later subjected to assassination attempt near near right, and so so the ball. The.
In law center and hope not hate that they should be ashamed of themselves, and I hope- and I believe that history will judge them as shamefully. Is it judges, Senator Mccarthy, yeah well just remind people what the southern Poverty LAW center is because it's name really is kind of opaque. It's a civil rights legal firm. Essentially that is specialized since the early 70s ensuing white, racist, aryan nationalist group in the United States, so they're, the ones who sued the cake, Okay and other groups, nearly out of existence and Quite a painful irony given the Rise of white racism, identity politics and nationalism during the most recent presidential election in the states that the law center has just torched its moral come and reputation here. With this judgment on you and I on, and
others on that list, as Anti Muslim. Extremist of it is completely insane. Obviously, with respect to you and I on a specially with respect to you, because I on you know for all her obvious virtues in the world, you could at least argue that she is Anti Islam in some basic sense, because she's, an apostate and she's spoken out very clearly against Islam into in the way that I have. But you are still Muslim, talking to the muslim community as a Muslim and to paint you as a anti muslim extremists. Someone is guilty of being at best utterly confused over there, but what's amazing is that when that, when their attention has been called to this problem, they've just double down as this
word of the time now, when someone points out an error that you've made. However grievous you tell them to go fuck themselves and double down, and that's what that's what this person Mark Potok at the southern Poverty LAW center, the author of this list has done apparently, according to an Atlantic article yeah yeah. It's shame because we need an organization like this to keep watch on the real racist. And militia nut cases in the? U and they for decades now have been a resource for journal to go to and say is this person crazy and dangerous, and they say yes, that person is crazy and dangerous and the story gets published and it's really astonishing that they did this in the first place and that they have not.
It should appropriate. Mea culpa, well, SAM. I I'll tell your listeners, I'm very, very tempted to set up a crowd sourced funding to sue them to do exactly to them what they did to the KKK. It is inexcusable to put people on the hit list. In this way, we just were counted the number of people that are being killed through such hitlist, because they've been deemed Anti Muslim and they've included. Atheists I on is no different to those are ten or so roughly, could be more than ten. By now atheist, who were killed in Bangladesh for exact the same reason I, after being designated in exactly the same way So I'm I'm really tempted to sue them and do to tell them exactly what they did to the K K K. I don't see this talk to cause any different to Mccarthyism. It is as fascist is as disgusting and I genuinely believe his ' We will look back at these people and see that they became the very monster, the very beast that they sought to defeat
In the way that I became an Islamist when I faced NEO nazi racism growing up- and I you know- I don't think they're going to back down that they've had ample time to do it and the only thing that's stopping me, is that, unlike in the UK, where libel laws are a lot stricter here, it's very expensive, very costly and very difficult. So, but I'm really seriously tempted to, do it just to teach them a lesson, they can't get away with this. But anyway, let's see what happens with that, you need to say: you'll have the support of many people. If you decide to do that, but again that that is talk about opportunity, cost costs. That's a cost. Forget the money aside. It's a cost in time and attention on your side, and it's all the more galling in that respect. But let's, let's move from that list, to a person on it, Robert Spencer, not to be confused with Richard Spencer who's. Now perhaps the most famous white supremacist in the states Robert is a quite a valuable critic of mom, he runs a website called Jihad. Watch
and he and I have never met or spoken publicly, but we've managed to figure out how to skirmish a little bit. None the less and this speaks to the larger problem of not being able to figure. Who anyone is or how so did anyone should be by association, and this is a problem that you and I we'll have ourselves. We wound up on that list, as did Robert and Robert, I'm sure it feels it's no more justified in his. A Senate is in. Yours are ions he's associated with people like PAM, Geller, and I don't know how daylight. There is between Robert Ann PAMELA, and I spoke about this in the podcast before I don't know how much anyone deserves their reputation for islamophobia or bigotry or anything else. That's unsavory in this area, yeah at one point in my podcast I spoke about this problem quite trans
currently in And- and I spoke about with respect to robert- I said- listen, you know- I I and I see that Robert has been stigmatized in this way. I have been stigmatized in this way I know I don't deserve it. I don't presume to know whether Robert deserves it in his case, but I see the cost in this. I see the reputational cost for for someone like Rob, because I have to think long and hard whether I want to have anything to do with him, and I know or doing that to me, based on what's happened to my reputation at the hands of like Glenn, Greenwald and all the usual suspects, it is like toxic waste, it spreads around and and it's very difficult to clean up, and no one has enough time or attention to figure out what the hell is going on, and you just have to pick your battles, and so I said this. This really pissed Robert off and he's attacked me
for you know, for not having him on the podcast for not engaging. Him is attacked me for my collaboration with you. He doesn't trust, you no surprise there. So it's a mess, and I am reasonably convinced that there's a fair amount of can operating. Even here locally with Robert Ann yourself, so, for instance, before you answer I would, I would guess that you think there's probably signific. Daylight between me and Robert, and you think Robert probably is a bigot, or at least you know deserves some of his reputation for being a bigot, I'm guessing that, and he thinks your if not ace, a stealth, islamist someone who I really shouldn't trust as much as I do, and that's where we are, I am prepared, believe that both of you are significantly confused
about the other. I know Robert is confused about you. I suspect you're returning the favor in this case, and I say that just based on what I've heard Roberts a publicly and never having engaged in certainly so I guess I I t that up for you what what what's your view of of the Robert Spencer situation? Let me make this absolutely clear from the outset. I I don't think well but PAM, Geller or anyone belongs on that list, because in principle I oppose lists. So, to begin with, it's not that I think that Aon and myself shouldn't be on the list and the others deserve it. I oppose lists in principle and in fact, a good few months before the southern poverty law. Center's list wrote an article in my regular daily, beast column, decrying the hope, not hate list and I did so even though I wasn't named on that list. Where is DJ said who is an american republican muslim reformer? Was, on the list. As a few other Muslims and many non Muslims UK version of the Splc, the southern Poverty LAW center did put out
I wasn't on it and I I wrote an entire column against it, because I oppose lists in principle, and so for that reason I don't think Robert nor PAM Jenner deserve to be on the list. I also don't think but Spencer is a racist. I want to make that very clear. There is a huge confusion in this conference, around the sun, isn't a race and Muslims are not a race. It's it's easy when your listeners think of Christianity to understand that, just as Christianity is not a race and Christians on a race to be critical of Christianity, isn't racism even to be critical of Christians isn't racism. It may verge sometimes on to bigotry. If somebody were to, for example, what to creates exceptional models of treatment just for Christians out, but certainly isn't racism, it may be RT christian bigotry, but it isn't racism and so let's park racism out,
this conversation, because it really doesn't belong here and it's incredibly on helpful when racism gets confused with a conversation around the slough and all Muslims except the the obvious problem, though, is that there our actual racists who say negative things about Islam and one can at least imagine that they're in part motivated by their racism. If Richard Spencer said something about Muslims yeah, I would rightly suspect his motivation behind saying it is racism. Even if what he's not saying is racist and that's the difference between Robert Spencer and Richard,
that's right, Richard Spencer, being the founder of the alt right blog, who is a white Supremacists, Robert Spencer, sharing very little with him apart from his name his family name? So I think if Richard Spencer said something like Islam is the mother load of bad ideas. To quote a famous Neuro scientist right, I would suspect the motivation for why Richard Spencer is saying it is racism and he's using an argument that doesn't sound racist because he wants to present himself in a former a sterilized formed when really his motivation is racism, whereas if the famous Neuro scientist said that I have no
doubt in my mind or heart is motivation, is not racism right and so so that's the difference and in fact Muslims will understand. There's any Muslim. Listening knows this, it's entrenched within our history, but you can say the right thing for the wrong reasons. When the hawaiian age, which was the first terrorist set that emerged in Islam and they killed some of the companions of the prophet Mohammed, when they went up to one of the companions whose name was given our bus and they said to me exactly what I see says today. They said let any co e learning that there is no law but consul. It is the ISIS slogan right and they will kill killing the disciples of the prophet Muhammad, using the very same slogan that ISIS uses today and the companion of the profit said to them in response. He said Kelly Model hot, with the help
the word of truth. Obviously, he'd say that 'cause he's a companion of the prophet. So I'm not saying here that it is true that God's law must rain right, I'm just giving you a historical example here. He said Kelly Matter who quarried available to the word of truth: used for unjust ends right, and so it's very important to be able to isolate peoples, racist motivations from something they may be saying, which isn't racist, but that that isolation isn't done by speculation and what I'm not saying is: let's open up the doors- and that's also Kenai on SAM Harris is, you know, in quotation marks racist motivations for saying Islam is the mother load of bad ideas, because actually stunned by evidence, so Richard Spencer, we know it because he's on camera, giving a nazi salute. We've got his writings when he tells us he wants the White Ethno state. So we know the guy is a white supremacist, so we have every reason, based on evidence, not to trust that his reasons for disliking Muslims are divorced from his reason:
for not liking anyone, who's, not white, and that's that's clear, but with Robert Spencer, not related apart from the the last name eight. Likewise, therefore, we mustn't confused when he says things that sound like what somebody else that is racist, maybe saying that doesn't the role of Spence's, racist and- and, as I said at the outset, nor does it mean anyone deserves to be named on the hit list. If we don't like people either we name the organization or we should write columns about their opinions, not compile lists so that those are the two points I wanted to just put out there to start with. As for the man himself, you know- the way I look at these things is here I'm here and I will like with many people, probably disagree in lots of things. I mean I disagree with him when he says that also agents in the Congress should be allowed on any book, including at the already book, except for the Koran. You know like that. I think that's, that's a it's. It's an anti discriminatory practice and it's actually unconstitutional
and therefore I wouldn't agree with him on that- I I certainly wouldn't agree with him on his view that the Bosnia it should not be classified as a genocide, despite the killings that other classifications arm in his you shouldn't, be it shouldn't, be designated as a genocide. I disagree with that. I don't think those disagreements, though they are vehement. I don't think those disagreements. I mean that I classify him. I some tell a racist and certainly wouldn't put him on a list. As for how that would mean, I go forward and treat somebody like this. I'm always somebody who leaves open the door for change. I engaged with Tommy Robinson and though it didn't lead
to tell me necessarily changing. Is individual views on a never claimed it did? It did lead the told me leaving the Edl, which was Europe's largest populist, anti muslim or Anti Islam Street protest movement, and so that was a it was a limited success. The Edl is not the same as it used to be as it once was with Tommy at its head, and so I you know I'd I'd, which one is always. There is an option, but timing and time uh and how much someones forcefields are diminished by a previous collaboration, are all relevant factors to how and when and who you engage with at this moment in time. If you ask me my opinion whether I'd be happy to engage and take on even more than what I've taken on by having this conversation with you- and you know the backlash of both sides that created, I just don't- have the energy or the or the inner space. At the moment, I don't have the bandwidth. I don't have the my let's say my force fields need
sometimes replenish before I engage in any other form of you know. I did tell me Robinson the lead to him, leaving the deal that I spoke with you, I'm not a I'm, not averse to speaking to people, and I think Bob's you've assumed that I'm more critical of somebody like Robert then I may well be I'm perfectly. You know, let's just say my. My understanding of the importance of dialogue outweighs my vehement disagree. Then on exactly you know. Those two areas, for example, that I mentioned with one night I I would speak to reservists who hold views far worse than Robert. Does I, with a view to hoping that that that did not die log in in that sense, leads them to a more centrist, liberal gray. And I I think the purpose of dialogue for me would always be to try and bring people to classical the classical liberal center. This one last thing I'd say I'd like to say here and that's to my fellow liberals and my fellow Muslims listening to this, and that is that we have to be proportionate in our condemnation. I vehemently as I've said, would disagree,
Rub it on this notion that that any book can be used as that for an oath of allegiance when sway bring somebody in on any official capacity in Congress or the Senate or anywhere except the hold on. I vehemently disagree with that view, but it's not the same as saying that gay people to be executed in an ideal, islamic state right, it's not the same as a belief that dot somehow Jews are like pigs and monkeys. It's not the same as the belief that the adulteress is a result for his should be stoned to death. Well, that limbs should be chopped off of various crimes of the apostate should be killed and by the way these beliefs are just fairy stories,
they all believe that I'm backed up by force in states, not just ISIS. Let's keep that in mind, but IRAN and Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, where apostate and glass me and and homosexuality are punished. So it's not the same as being a fellow traveler for regimes that actually kill people for these things, and so it's really important to for my fellow liberals and Muslims to put our disagreements with somebody like Robert Spencer, proportion to the real bad world out there and what's actually going on the people that are attempting really to destroy our civil liberties, are those people that support those sorts of regimes, like IRAN and Saudi Arabia and and other islamist organisations that are non governmental and definitely jihadist terrorist organizations that make it there is to hunt people like me down and kill me. I got no doubt Robert Spencer is engaged in any of anything similar to
so I want to seize on this issue of the swearing in on the Bible or the Koran, because it connects to Keith Ellison. I believe Yahoo Robert has been quite exercised about, but I want to clean up a mess that I may have made by now, echoing, in my ear, my own use of the word Islamophobia from several minutes ago, and I don't know the scare quotes of a revision were conveyed by my tone there, because I I I don't want to be one of these people who uses this term as though it were a legitimate one. I I think this term is has been caught, certainly engineered to prevent us from talking honestly about Islam, Islamism, jihadism, etc. I just want our listeners to know that I have not caught the virus or if I did, I've only had it for about five seconds, and I also don't- to have caricatured Roberts. In my effort to untangle my previous mentionings of him on the podcast
so I have no reasonably believe Robert is a bigot and someone. I couldn't have a perfectly reasonable conversation with ice. We don't know and given how which I talk about this issue and how low Thiam to keep talking about it. I like feel as a matter of priority. A public engagement with Robert is probably not on the calendar anytime soon, but I I I don't to stigmatizing the way we're talking about him, but the issue is again. It comes back to points of confuse about who anyone is, and Robert is impressively confused about you, it seems and one reason why he's confused is your recent endorsement of Keith Ellison to head the Dnc, you might just say who Keith Ellison and why you endorsed him. The only things I've ever said about Ellison or from five years ago, where I saw he did on real time Bill Maher, where he was obscurantist about the link between
Islam and jihadism in a way that I've come to expect of obscurantist, and he said he didn't seem to anything reasonable in that context. So I criticized him for that. But beyond that I haven't paid much attention to who Keith Ellison is, but the fact that you endorsed him recently is one reason why Roberts and his minions think I am insane frankly for having collaborated with because you are now propping up a straight up: Islamist in Alliston, perfect segue, actually sound to move on to Keith be cause. I've just said that I don't think Robertson Bigot, but there are things the end of the disagreement. Disagree with him on, but also that in principle, let's not boycott, you know if I had the emotional and intellectual bandwidth and space on my force. Fields were strong enough and, as I said, they're taking a bit of a battering recently what with the Splc rolling and then having before that spoken to you and being battered for that and before that, having dialogue with Tommy Robinson
spell that out a little bit more you're for you what you mean by force field, I I assume is your reputation as a Muslim among Muslims who you are, you are trying to reach as a reformer. Yes, yet the resilience right, so the ability to do things that are out of the our with echo chamber that are out of the box that take a conversation to areas where previously, this hadn't been comfortable, taking them and then take the flak for that absorb it. Allow the dino to move on to the to allow the conversation to enter new territories and then take it to the stage. I I don't think we're anywhere near where we need to be at the moment, but that does take it takes it. What a one takes a hit to the reputation for doing things that on press painted- and you know I when I spoke to Tommy Robinson that was the founder of the leader of the English Defense League, which was an anti Islam Populist ST protest movement. When I spoke to him to help him leave the dl, my reputation took a bit of a damage.
People, like the british version of Reza Aslan Mehdi Hasan, I've, never forgiven me since then, and oh, my objective was very clear: it wasn't to change Tommy Robinson and we never claimed Tommy's views had changed it was to have him- leave the dl and the dismantling the subsequent dismantling. That organization is a good thing that we must bank. Whether told me as an individual changes, his views as a secondary thing, which would also have been a good thing, but we didn't even get a chance to do because the attack was so strong. I'm off to the first thing was achieved, and then, of course I spoke to you and you know. I was called your porch monkey. I was called a native informant and the attacks were. Your listeners will be I went well aware of what happened after my collaboration with you and then, of course, the southern Poverty LAW center listed me as an anti muslim extremist. So my when I say forcefields might he is my ability to continue having these dialogues is conditional upon my reputation surviving within muslim commune.
He's an within the left, in particular as an honest interlocutor. If you want to change your community or communities as I want to do, then your reputation among them needs to at least You know on a scale of one to ten, be around four hundred or five. Otherwise, there's no point right, I'm not interested in winning philosophical or intellectual arguments, as though I am as much as I am interested in change to where I believe, a large part of not all of that a large part of the problem resides in where I think I can be most useful, and so in that sense it's just not possible or plausible at the moment for me to engage in any form of rapprochement with somebody like Robert and also sometimes sometimes person, He gets involved as well. I don't think that Roberts in the state of mind at the moment that you and I were when we spoke. I don't think that he's in the frame of mind where the principle of charity will be employed in a conversation, but I think he's more like where you and I were when we first met,
and I don't mean to sound patronising when I say that I genuinely from what I hear and read that he's saying about me: he's going to take him awhile to really So what I'm about to say next about Keith Ellison is met, is meant in the with the best of intents and their honest, the most honest of intentions and that's good. I can, I think, awhile just to see me, continue the work I'm doing before he's up to apply such a principle of charity to me, but please allow me to move on to Keith Ellison. So, as I said, I'm not averse to actually engaging with anyone, and as I engaged with Tommy Robinson Anas, I in principle wouldn't be averse to engage in Somebody like Robert Spencer, likewise I'm not averse to engaging with somebody like Keith Ellison and for me, no difference whether somebody disagrees with me and I green with them vehemently on the Anti Islam spectrum of things or on the too much Islam kind of islamist spectrum of things. I see them as one in the same that it's a spectrum of engagement.
Will be to bring everybody. So what I believe is a classically liberal human rights grounded critical and skeptical center. That is also muscular the liberal vote. The only thing we mustn't be skeptical about is our commitment to provide is in human rights and liberal values. It's the only thing that we also some of them, that that is that nothing is certain and the people making truth claims are not true, and so it might my reasons for actually of extending an olive branch to somebody like Keith, Ellison, all multi faceted and I'm the first one I think is clear. It's what I just everything. I just said that actually, because I think gauged with the anti islam- let's say: Anti Islam speakers and activists are, now for a while. I think it's probably about time to balance it out and to engage on these limits side again and on the muslim side again, and so that's a pragmatic reason, reason number one and it it's that balance that deters the future splc from listing me
again. So that's reason number one. I say reason: number two is a bit more political, I'll, give you an analogy with the mayor of London, Sadiq Khan. He very much like Keith Ellison was a politician. Now, let's be fair to politician and so I'm gonna caveat what I'm about to say. It's not that they are. Human beings, but all politicians are opportunistic. It's the nature of the game and, as I say it's not to say that bad human beings, the nature of politics, is it forces you that's the job description. You have to seek out an opportunity that you can
Abbas allies and exploit for political gain, and that's how you maneuver, like a chess game. Politicians lives a like a chess game, so by definition, whether they want to be or not, they have to be opportunistic. Otherwise, by definition they would be politicians and so, like Keith Ellison. The now mayor of London City, Con wasn't opportunistic politician before being that he was a a low ranking local member of parliament in an area code to sing in London and most of the support base, because he has a british pakistani muslim background. Opportunistic Lee much of the support base to get elected came from the most and can. But if you didn't get elected for Millicent unity in this day and age, you off of Judaism is going to reflect where Muslims are when they are surveyed. And you know I have spoken about missing all booked and I'll collaboration, when Muslims all when they are surveyed, isn't exactly liberal right arm in the in in everything right in a hundred percent of things they may be when it comes to things like whatever
he immigration and racism, but they may not be when it comes to things like gay rights, and so that's just the nature of being uh position. Who's relied up until now on that vote bank to build up a bit of a support base now Sadiq Khan did that and Keith Ellison did that and what we're lacking. On the muslim liberal and an even left site these days around the conversation around this limits in Islam is strong leadership like Keith Ellison, the mayor of London, used to be pretty much involved in sectarian was in politics before he became mad, but he transformed Incredibly, so by all accounts, both both his enemies are and his supporters, but and by the way I was somebody who was critical of him, the mayor of London,
when he was a Tuesday Mp In- and he was critical of me- he's called me on television. These call Quilliam the Quilliam people quote unquote, homes for which you have to later apologize while running for office. As mayor of London, you have to make a public apology for using that racial, racial slur, and so it's it when I now speak of him in the terms of about two, it's a somebody who was on the wrong side of the fence of this map, but by all accounts, including London's jewish community. The mayor of London now is doing a stellar. Job is performing better than then everyone expected, as as they have London. There are some reasons for that and that's what it is is when you take an opportunistic, pragmatic politician, who is not an Islamist but happens to be a Muslim who happens to be religious and you- and I have spoken in our collaboration about the difference between traditional Muslims, who are perhaps conservative in their social values, even if they are
drop politically and and yet and who are not Islamists. When you take a politician like that, a religious Muslim who is politically liberal and but by being religious, it means that they are probably socially a bit conservative and you thrust them into the mainstream. Their opportunism remains consistent. What changes is the vote bank they begin appealing to, and so cynical had to suddenly appeal to are far broader range. All the potential electoral spend, just the muslim sectarian backing. He used to sit there enjoy. As a member of parliament for to take- and I predicted that the same would happen with Keith Keith ellison- that that that suddenly, when he realizes he's, got to appeal to a far larger vote back at that is at that is opportunistic muslim politicking would give way the opportunism would remain and again caveat that this isn't I'm not using the word opportunistic here in as a pejorative
and and and that he would have to appeal to fall broad of a bag, and I think the same thing that happened to city con, what happens to Keith Ellison? Why is that important that that happens? I think that's important because, as I said, what we are severely lacking on the left hand among Muslims and are among a genuine nipples is leadership, and I that the source of people that can lead other sorts of people that need to be able to carry people with them, so we need to be
so identify somebody who is an opportunist not in the pejorative sense who who is able to say to people. I came from where you came from and then drag them to the classically liberal center that I want them to drag them too. Now, like city con, there were a few signs that Keith Ellison is able to do that. One of them is that both Sadiq Khan who's. Now the mayor of London and Keith Ellison when faced with a choice on gay marriage, equality laws, despite their conservative muslim backgrounds, telling them that they should vote against this, both voted for it and what a nice list can't bring themselves to do. That and Islamised believes that that would that would that's the cardinal sin, that's known as shook. That's changing God's law for man's law. That's the very thing that makes an Islamist is their fight that they're prepared to
For that God's law? Is it takes primacy and the minute you switch God's law for man's law? That's the difference between an Islamist, an effectively the rest of the world. That's the very thing they've defined as gone wrong with the world, and this limits would never vote for gay marriage equality because, as we elaborated upon in our collaboration too and Islamists, mind legislation and religious law are one and the same thing. Where is to other Muslims? Who are the vast majority? Legislation can be separated from God's law, so you at once believe as a normal, a conservative muslim which I'm not. You can once believe that homosexuality would be a sin for you, while still voting for others. To choose whether they believe it's a sin for them and therefore giving them the freedom to choose that that would be a somebody, who's, religiously conservative, yet politically liberal, that that is a consistent stance for non islamist Muslims to take and so virtual gay marriage.
Is, are kind of litmus test and, as would be things like your normal, consensual, consensual, sexual relationships outside of marriage voting on the legalization of that would be a litmus test for uh whether somebody is an Islamist or a Muslim who's engaged in politics. So it wouldn't it be rational to worry that a stealth islamist would be able to pass those litmus test in the interests of remaining essentially hidden there's. This concern. There is limits who are trying to get into power and are willing to sacrifice their apparent Islamism, that they're willing to make their Islamism, so not a parent to do that that they might be able to vote for gay marriage, for instance. Let's understand another thing here that jihadists believe in going deep on the cover.
'cause they're at war. So what matters for a jihadist? Isn't the proselytization isn't convincing somebody of their ideological position? What matters except obviously, where they're in muslim majority countries with trying to recruit people in the west. What matters for jihad is pretending, for more liberal than me. It's pretending that in fact, they divorced so that nobody suspects them and yet, when the time comes, they engage in attack and that people are attacked from where they never expected it from the guy that owns the Strip Club, for example, right, and so that's what matters for the jihadist so that they are completely undetected for the Islamist. It's the opposite and isn't it. Believe that they are actively engaged in in a physical war with the west. They believe they're engaged in an ideological war. Those two things are very different. I believe you engage in an ideological war. There are some principles that are non negotiable, otherwise you've you've given up in the ideological war, so just just to drill down on this, so you believe there there's no third alternative, which is an Islamist who,
I stealth will get into a position of power along with obviously a sufficient number of other Islamists and then turn the tables politically essentially non finalized, so they're, not jihadis they're, not just waiting for the moment to strike they're waiting for a moment to strike politically an organization. Organizationally care, for instance, strikes me, This way at least some of the time where they're they're often tip in their hand, they're saying semi islamist thing and so that's why I see in them at less than liberal organization. But I also at least imagine that I detect a fair amount dissembling there, where they're not actually being candid about what their actual views are. They're, not trying to win a war, a war of ideas early on the merits of their Islamism, they're, trying to they're playing a double game that they have. A certain verbiage designed for export on CNN and then they have the way they presumably talk behind closed doors. That's what worries me
I'm sure that's what worries Robert Spencer about a person like Keith Ellison that he's actually. More doctrinaire than you might be, allowing for based on his in this case supporting gay marriage. Well, so there is that third option and they do exist as well. We have whether it's organizations in the? U K like the and may be the most Association of Britain they're all Brotherhood founded and backed organizations that seek what we call entry ism. In fact, my decree might might my critique of entries in the british context, is one of the reasons the splc when they doubled down listed me as an anti Muslim stream because we've actually witnessed entire institutions such as schools in Birmingham being taken over by these entryists, and the in the in in the end of the national body that monitors education, known as all state the office for standards in education. How to intervene and sacked the entire board of governors of the school,
and bar them from ever standing as a school governor's ever again, because this whole entries it was major front page news in the UK that carried by the times, and in that british context I was talking about it and the southern Poverty LAW center decided. That must mean I'm an anti muslim extremist, even though by death by by the implication the office for standards in education, in the? U K's also adds the Muslim doesn't make sense, but that there is that category it we have it the the barracks, how habits that was taken over back buy them by the Ifp Islamic from Europe and another islamist groups based in town. And it's in the that. The matter of that Barbara has to be struck down by a judge in court and bought from understanding from office again using a law that had been originally devised in an ancient law. That was that that was devised to raise list Catholicism during the times of the reformation, it was a law called.
Undo spiritual influence, and the judge had to resurrect this law to kick out an elected mayor in the bar of tower hamlets so that he didn't because he was a he said he was coming under the on you, spiritual influence of Muslims and muslim groups. So that's it. You know, and I've written about these things in my columns. I do not think either This is one of those, and I know the man and I know in his list I can smell in here and it's from a mile away. I used to be one myself and I went to prison for being one I can I can. I can show you that Keith Ellison is not an Islamist. There may be in this. In fact, I could just strongly. I can assure you, the probably certainly is a blind spot that he has towards people like that. Everyone has cultural blindspots. I'd suggest that somebody like Robert Spencer, has a cultural blind spot to people who are convincing him not to classify Bosnia as a genocide,
everyone has these blind spots because they're more worried about some things in the other, so they don't dedicate as much soul to those on the thing I'm and what I'm hoping is City Khan had those blood spots. What I'm hoping is that somebody like Keith Ellison can become somebody like city con, When you get somebody like that in position, they become the best line of defense against those entryists, because they're able to then see them and spot coming from a mile away. Keith Ellison knows he knows that there are limits not community. I've seen him speak about this in the past, because they sometimes called him. They decried him into liberal because of some of the responses is taken in in Congress and the fact that he pulled out of the most american society's annual conference where he was scheduled to deliver the keynote address in the muslim American society has ties with some business back to when I was a has hosted some anti semitic. Speakers, like Muhammad Ratib, noble, see who is said, I'm going to quote to you.
He said, homosexuality leads to the destruction of the homosexual. That's why brothers, homosexuality carries the death penalty. Now. This is a speaker that was scheduled to speak at a conference that Keith Ellison was scheduled to speak at an he pulled out. So he knows the political cost of being associated with these people, and what I'm hoping is that an option to opportunistic politician He is when he sees that his vote base is significantly broadened, that he realizes that there are more votes in the liberal side of this debate and there are in appealing to extremists and their backers, like this sort sort of speaker that we've just quoted, and then he acts as the front line of defense against these people as city car now is
let me just say that city com who, prior to becoming the mayor of London, called Quilliam an uncle Tom, has now been called an uncle Tom by the very types of people that were his audience. When calling Quilliam Uncle Tom's. You know the tables have turned on him and when that happens, these people, not just for politically opera, mystic reasons they also their emotions, get invested in realizing hold on a minute. You know when you put on the line like that and called an uncle Tom or native informant. You start using how ridiculous these sorts of slurs are, and it puts a distance between, and the ignoramus is who are using this type of language, and I think that's what's going to happen to Keith. Listen if I'm wrong out, I'm somebody who follows his conscious and really does yeah right. I I if he starts pandering to homophobes if Keith starts pandering to Islamists and
define their views. I'll call him out on it and it will hurt him a lot more if I called him out on it, because I've just endorsed him right. So that's you know, that's where I started this. I don't think he's in his limits, but I'm hopeful, and if I'm not engaged in changing members of my own communities and other fellow liberals and those on the left, if nine, loading gauged in changing them and bring them to the to the the the classically liberal center. I'm not sure, not sure what I should be doing and that's what I set out to do. This is my job. It's my job to engage people like you that isn't your honor yeah and as as I said before, I believe on this podcast one of the most depressing things that has come my way by of collaborating with you is to see the evidence of just how hard your job is this goes to the reason why you wouldn't be so eager to share a stage with Robert Spencer, however, unjustly he might be stigmatized in the Muslim. Community or any other community. You have a certain amount of cap,
to my eye, not nearly enough in the eyes of your fellow Muslims and perhaps speak to that. I think we can table Ellison. For the moment I would put your islamist detector against anyone's and so Confidence in him gives me confidence that, but I'm also confident that if he proves otherwise, you will disavow him, and I think someone like Spencer should be confident in that fax. So, unless, unless it was hello, he's a he's, a religious muslim at which I no right and clearly you know, I'm engaging reform the reform of Islam today, so we here and I will disagree on some things, but you and I, through our collaboration. I think I've come to recognize the difference between a religious, conservative, Muslim and and Islam So that's important also to remember that he may say some religiously conservative things, but I'd still want to engage with him. My red line would be if he starts saying he's with his things or starts opening back in his limits again and every indication so far like he's putting out of this conference. Is that he's actually backing away from them?
I should just say before we move on that, I think the political wisdom backing him to head, the Dnc certainly could be questioned. I you know, I would say I had in the aftermath of Trump. Probably the last thing the left needs by way of regrouping is to fall deeper into any form of identity, politics, and so for or as Ellison is likely to engineer that which he certainly seems to my eye to be that strikes me is the wrong way to go, I mean what we need is a new center. I think the left is more or less destroyed, pose Trump and what we need is a a center, which is, in and liberal in the true sense and committed to the principles of free speech, and people who should no longer be paid attention to the source of people on the left. I would call you and Uncle Tom. You know whether they're muslim or not, for collaborating with me or the source of geniuses who wrote that list at the Splc. These are people who don't know
be empowered at this point in in so far as Ellis, and fits into a predictable slot in in that machinery. Who is my aside that, maybe the wrong direction to go But this is where I I don't disagree, then, if you just said- and this is where I had to weigh out the advantages of winning over a Muslim for liberal politics and having him dishes, is let me start backers and the need for a a liberal leader and the to here clearly no one is more likely than the other is more like to Keith Ellison backs away from Islamists as a result of his bed that he does ditch identity. Politics are noting he does both, and I would certainly encourage him to do both because I've agree with everything you just said there about what we do need going forward, but I had to make a choice because I also want to help reach out. Like I reached out to Tom Robinson on the Anti Islam side, I need to be able to reach out to people like Keith and help the move to the cloud. You know
I say, help me right, but you know do whatever I can to help them move to the to the classically, mostly away from isn't as in in this context. So so I hope both happen, and if they don't, you know it's yeah. I I I kind of reassured my self that, even if he doesn't the number two which is move away from identity politics, which, in my dolls Mcconnell, I made very clear- and I hope he does you know. I said that the future is in an identical. Six, even if he doesn't do that. I reassured myself and and I'll just kind of a swage myself in this way that I don't think that the Chair of Dnc will be the next president of United States anyway, yeah back to that original point, which is and you know I don't- I don't look over your shoulder on a day to day basis, but from what I see you have what I've often. There's the hardest job in the world and it's the fault of what is the
status quo in the muslim community. In terms of honest discourse on these topics, the level of identity, politics, you are expected to endorse and the unselfconscious use of this term Islamophobia. As a almost like a magic spell, uttered to ward off any intelligent criticism of doctrine, an it's linked to violence in the world. It's an incredibly difficult job and again someone like Robert Spencer, doesn't appreciate all of the balls you have to keep in the air in order to even be able to have a conversation with the quote muslim community. What is success or pro wrestle, look like on your side and are you? Are you seeing any progress? Take a five year snapshot of your. Career and tell me how things look to you so five years ago,
five years ago you and I went on talking to in talk on talking terms in this way and therefore I think I hope you agree. This is a huge milestone in the kind future that we have both envisaged hope for moving away from identity politics moving towards rationalism skepticism, I know an empowered to liberal human rights grounded center but is a milestone for us. I would agree. I love this, but if any thing I would imagine it hasn't helped your standing among generic muslims- and it probably has harmed it in my right and it's going to show up in the short term. Not in the long term and the reason. I say not in the long term, is that the signs are already there that there are people that around me that wouldn't be gathered around me five years ago, some of whom the final straw for them was reading our collaboration,
I'm deciding that they wanted to throw their weight in behind me. So let's take the current director of the Quilliam. U K, I didn't dean, who used to be a member of Omaha Jerome on my drone is a band and now banned terrorist organization, the leader, the UK, if I may June, is in prison in the UK under terrorism. Related charges for swearing allegiance to ISIS are larger and just to be very careful listeners is the group that morphed into the ISIS recruitment machine in the UK and sent anywhere between five hundred to two thousand british Muslims to join ISIS Adam before ISIS was ever conceived and therefore he is completely of that chapter in our history. I before ISIS was ever conceived. He was a member of our margin, one and I left them, but was still on a journey. I was in fact like you and me I lost or Adam over dinner, which didn't end well, he was very good,
the goal of May and queen, and what we were doing. He spent the entire did argue with me and and and effectively without saying it calling in Oklahoma Self, and he didn't say it, but that that was that was the tone and the implication throughout the conversation, and I left that conversation so disheartened. This was roughly five years ago. Actually I left so disheartened right. I never reached out to him again. It was so hostile, armed and Adam said to me only we had an office Christmas lunch I need Let's me this is about two weeks ago now. He said you know, if only had reached out to me again, because you left me with more to think about in that conversation, then you realized, and then he gave me some example, where, where I left him to think, but then he read our collaboration and over the course of the five years that I hadn't reached out to him again. He'd been on
so Johnny and the final thing was: he read all collaboration, not convinced it. Actually, this was the way forward, and now he's leading column in the UK is the head of Korean. U K are eight and his somebody used rooted in the community he's got his own network in the muslim community, he's got his own presence, is of turkish origin. British citizen born and raised, and- and you know that's just one example- there are four main mosque in the Uk- is the known as the top most school golden dome outside. We just barking London, it's the main central mosque. In the U K the former imam of the mosque is now engaged in reform reform work. There are a few examples like that. With five years ago I wouldn't of had such
from within the heart of the community like the imam of the main mosque of the UK. Who is an egyptian? I must add here, graduates of some nice labs heist school of learning. The university of laws are in Egypt is born and raised Egyptian, and he currently leads the Friday sermons and prayers at the Egyptian Cultural Center next door to the egyptian embassy in London. He still a prayer leader and the guy works full time mcwilliam, and so these are the seeds of change. Will go on to bear the fruits of change in the future and I'm able to think in in long terms in this way and remain optimistic, because I remember, as a sixteen year old when I first joined the islamist group is with that is I did going around trying to convince Muslims that we must resurrect to Cali and nobody had heard of what this califate was. No Muslim knew what a caliphate was. It was like we were We were speaking with his was speaking to a brick wall. No one understood and we we continue to and continued to proselytize and preach
It's kind of fate to a point now, where even most of them, including non Muslims, know exactly what a caliphate is. 'cause of ISIS, I've been punched outside of mosques at the age of one thousand, six hundred and seventeen by Muslims telling me how dare you try to politicize our religion? I've been physically assaulted by religious Muslims, with big beards who have been, who have found it objectionable that I've been standing outside of convincing them that you must work with us to, That should count effect, but over the course of fifteen years of me being inside his material, I've seen how we were able to change a shift muslim public opinion and what that does with that hindsight that benefit of wisdom and putting the skills, the transferable skills of activism at the disposal. Now of this, book that I'm engaged in I'm unable, I believe, I'm able to recognize the early signs of change, even though you know it's we're talking in generational terms here, so I don't want anyone to So I didn't think tomorrow, there's going to be a great change right, but I I see those early seeds of change
and I I I remain optimistic so as a counterpoint to that optimism. Or even a counterpoint to that aspiration of change. I want to remind you of my conversation with Shadi Hamid on the podcast, because this is written this very interesting and influential book around the concept of islamic exceptionalism? He he has just hitting the bullet here and owned that Islam is different and we shouldn't expect the same kinds of reform that we have witnessed in the Christian W yeah of course of centuries. He and I spoke in the podcast. Those who haven't heard that can hear us talk
at least two hours about this, and you know what we didn't agree about. Everything I found him a quite the congenial guest and he's someone who I think you could have a very good conversation with in the future. But as a surrogate for that at the moment, tell me what you think of this concept of islamic exceptionalism as he describes it as our eyes. The chat is a lovely guys. If that's one of the nicest guys who I don't agree, is a lovely guide and you'll go risk, but, but it's not true. I mean again that this theory is frankly you know, I'm not all serious scholar of of Islamic choose. My words carefully x, shot is a serious scholar, but all of of islamic jurisprudence.
Who are studied Islam at that level of, say the US hurry him and that we just spoke of shakes Alot HUN. Sorry who is the Egyptian is with US aquarium, would argue this in fact, they're all aghast the scholars Aquilea more aghast when they hear shoddy speaking these times to be fairly shoddy, shoddy as a political scientist at Brookings and he's not, he doesn't build himself as a a theologian exact making this argument, which is why I was choosing my words carefully. Don't insult the man he's a lovely guy, and he knows I disagree with him on this and he said so the same on your show went when speaking of me, he knows we disagree, but we both we both get on and I'd love to have the opportunities he's. Somebody who I would certainly sit with in the near future to help get through this, and just before I get to his views and his theory. Just to give you an anecdote, I bumped into him before his book was published. I've had the book as a review copy before it was published, and I handed him our collaboration, Islam in the future of tolerance, and I said for the life of me. Please Shadi, read this before you go and publish this theory of yours.
And he he, I think he only read it before coming on the podcast with you right now. The first thing I want to say is his reaction on the part cost with you when asked about the book was so tender. I think you learn stuff in that book. It all collaboration that touched him and spoke to him as the kind of Islam he posed nude his tooth it, because if you, if the list is: go back to your phone calls with Chadian he's, like I was reading this book of yours with vaginal thinking ha yeah. Well, that's the tree. How we spoke of the book if you read this and have the opportunity, if I had at the options to engage with shoddy before you publish this theory, a I hope things will be different and I hope things will be different in the future, because this theory is just doesn't stand up to scrutiny. Let me get to the some of the points I mean it. The first thing I'd say: is it's in its internally contradictory on what he said to you?
on the part. Cost is internally contradictory and he doesn't. It hits with himself at one hour, six into your part cost with him. When you ask him a question about Islam, at which puts him in a busy what what position where he has to defend Islam. He he uses the word. Islam is pragmatic arm which which, in a sense, if you, if the minute you say SAM, is pragmatic, you're, arguing against exceptionalism right, I'm and then to to go beyond that. The song he had his to himself and not see when he was reflecting on my collaboration,
You if he practically said these long here. Here's to is the kind of Islam, while speaking of the my collaboration with you again, if it's good enough for shoddy is good enough for anyone right, so even the fact that he doesn't and here's when exceptional version of Islam himself, in the case philosophically in principle when you're talking in philosophical terms, if something's possible, for you it's possible for anyone in principle- and I think that's the important thing that it's not that it might take longer for the average Egyptian to get to where the American Muslim like shoddy is but there's no I think impossible in metaphysical terms for that average Egyptian to get there as well, because if Shadi can get there with his own Islam than anyone else can get there too. I think the hill concern was that he felt he had no real basis to say that someone should get there. He doesn't feel his version is right, kind of moral relativism working at the bottom of his self criticism
here. What he felt like you know. This is how I want to live. I don't hate gay people, I don't want to hate gay people. I don't want to oppose gay marriage, therefore, but I feel no basis upon which to argue that you should be in favor of gay marriage as a Muslim that was kind of a disempowerment too. His morality, his values, grounded in anything. He can truly defend the one thing he was need to go to the mat for which I pointed out that this seems to be a contradiction is that he thinks there's some true primacy to democracy and the democratic process. So you must respect the outcome of of a valid democratic process, almost a truth that is as true as as anything you find in human affairs. So if, if, if people voted to end human life or we would have to live with the consequences of that vote, it supplies sewn reductio ad absurdum, but in
he didn't want to argue as you do, that there place to stand where liberalism can be shown to be better than its rivals in the end and respect for free speech and freedom of thought is simply better than any dogmatic or doctrinaire or religious alternative data for him, though, isn't it yeah, but he but again there's something tissue thin about his attachment to it there because he doesn't. He feels like he can't defend it. Yeah so so he's argued that he He is the way he is. When I say it's better for him, it actually isn't just a jibe. It relates to his theory. He's argued that he is the way he is because a set of specific circumstances that contingent to his his and growing up as an american Muslim, and that there is nothing inevitable
for the indonesian or Egyptian about his starting with him to go through that same historical experience, to arrive at the same place that he's at, but actually that in itself is an admission that doctrine an islamic doctrine is, can the historical circumstances and therefore again, there's nothing exceptional in the doctrine. It is simply an all doctrine. I think you and I will meet collaborated. I spoke about the Council of Nicaea decision to adopt Stanity is the official religion of the holy Roman empire, but if not for that historical desicion christian
I would not be what we know is today old doctrine and and the evolution of each and every religion has been contingent to a set of specific historical circumstances, and so what it tells us is that it it's not. The doctor is an exceptional at school. What what what it tells us actually is. We gonna look to those historic circumstances to see how those come about and whether whether they will lead to liberalism and that she, therefore, ultimately it comes down to the age old argument between people, like Professor John Gray, at the odyssey are and and progressives with. Does history have a generally progressive trajectory? That's the real conversation not easy slam exceptional. If we accept that islamic doctrine is contingent to a set of historical circumstances than the real question is, does history move generally in a progressive direction? Now, Professor John create, the LSE would argue it doesn't. He argues, there's nothing inherent to history, that it moves
generally towards a more enlightened and liberal direction. I'd accept I'm using those two terms interchangeably there, I don't agree, I think it does. I think the exceptions that that Professor John Gray brings about a talks about world war. Two, for example, they about blips in the long history of of the human being they are not the norm are in fact there's been bloodshed. There's been a lot of bloodshed, but actually, if you look at the relative bloodshed today compared to what our history has been full of armed and if you look, that kind of the direction of travel, it's hard, not to argue that we're moving in a more civilized and enlightened, an liberal direction and uh those three interchangeably, because I would because I deem them one in the same thing yeah. I would just add a third ternative here, which is conversion with your position, but slightly different, which is whether or not history in fact does move in the direction of Libre as a man and intellectual honesty and reason and enlightenment, in every sense, weather
does or is seeming to at the moment it should I mean this is it is right to want that it move in this direction, and we can argue strongly for all the good that will come if it does all that the harm that will be prevented if it does and the date and that's the and therefore the case activism as well. I'm- and I suppose the final comment on making chinese theory is the idea that it that a m it that it hasn't happened, and the fact is that we we already seeing signs. You know people like the Brotherhood equivalent in Tunisia, Russia she's has a lot of movement, which was a franchise of the brotherhood. They have done what Tony Blair did with the UK
labour party it's another allergy I give because of how how relevant it is to the future of the Party Tony Blair ditched claws for in the Labor Party's manifesto, which was the clause committing the Labour party to socialism. Of course, Jeremy Corbyn is brought it back in, but Kannushi in Tunisia with his Banada ditch the clause that said Shaharyar had to be a basis for law, so that's their very own claws for moment and, as I know, she is probably the most let's say, least it'll mist of these lists out there, oh and an I would classify her know she as Post Islamist, I wouldn't say his liberal I'd say his post is limits which is a stage in between and the fact that you've got initialization is like this doing that. The fact that you got the majority of the Gyptian people not voting for the brotherhood in the first round of elections in the presidential race, but actually voting against the islamist candidate. It indicates to me, even though the brotherhood, one due to the peculiarities of
different system. A bit like you know here in the USA, with electoral college, you don't have to get the majority of the votes to win the electoral college. I think that these things indicate that actually can happen. It's not even that it hasn't happened. Yet it's we're in the thick of it and that's one of the reasons we can't see it. So I just encourage Shadi to do two things. One speak to those theologians who happen to share the slam. That's good enough for him, but happened to be theologians instead of political scientists. Those like shakes La Jolla on saudi Aquarium, who is an egyptian who I'm sure, would speak to Shadi and say no there's nothing exceptional about the doctrine itself and the other thing say to Shadi is: is that you know let's, let's, let's, we can strike a middle line between neoconservative military aggression. And and and isolationism when it comes to speaking of liberal values, and actually, I think that isolationism shouldn't be a liberal trait. It's actually
yeah yeah, very parochial right wing tray and actually liberals understand that one of the things that makes us enlightened liberals who see people through the lens of humanism, first and foremost as human beings, is that, therefore it means that they deserve the very same treatment that we expect for us because they are human beings. First and foremost, so I don't see how one can be a liberal and not want for other human beings to. And enjoy the same liberal benefits that we enjoy in terms of rights and in terms of freedoms. So I think that it's it's, I think, that's inseparable from a humanistic outlook to lie I certainly agree with all that the one caveat I would play Sarah said there is something to the claim of islamic exceptionalism just insofar as that, the doctrine of Islam is different in some particular
then the doctrine of any other religion and those particulars, as the you know, have spoken about before at great length and in our book. Those particulars pose some special challenges, which We have to figure out how to navigate, but I would like to just as a counterpoint to all of the full noises you just made. I would like to just offer this. This is kind of a gut react. And to that I know millions upon millions of people are having two things like what we just saw in Germany, that the recent atrocity the Christmas market so. We have a tunisian immigrant who murders a truck driver and runs his truck into a crowd of people, and I think it's was at twelve. Who are who died in the end, I don't know if any about fifty injured, yeah. Ok, roughly roughly so you see something like this, and This is happening in the context of this way of immigration coming into Europe, by virtue of largely by virtue of of the
war in Syria, although there are other reasons and there's just a brute fact that one hundred percent of jihadists, muslim right. These are not the amish and not the scientologist they're, not the Anglicans. If you take a commune the of Muslims from Syria or Iraq or any other country on earth and place them in the house, the heart of Europe, you are importing by definition, some percentage. However small of radical on as people or people who will be prone to radicalism at some future date, where they just decide to start watching. Too many on where Awlaki videos you know it's just this only happens to Muslims or people who are likely to become muslim right. So you see this this massacre in the in the Christmas market, and I think many people will feel What is the fucking point of having more Muslims in your society? It seems perfectly rational to say
we don't want anymore. We have enough right and certainly increasing the percentage is not help to anyone who loves freedom of speech and anything else that any any of the other liberal values that you and I just spoke about maximizing. It's not worth the trouble if we can figure out some way to keep the number of Muslims down in any society, whether we're honest about this whether we do this covertly clearly is rational we want to do this, and this is this is where someone like Robert Spencer would say amen. I would I would presume, can you speak to that despair, and I mean again. This is not. This is not an expression of xenophobia. This is an expression of the implication of statistics and the fact that it's only rational, not to want to live in a world that
more and more like Jerusalem at the height of the intifada right. So, yes, a few points. First of all, it's not irrational. It's not even in human for people to react. That way. I think that the very political left, the very people that their defending against the rising anti immigrant sentiment so that immigrants are, if in their own countries, also react that way when, when others come to their countries, it's a very human response. People like familiarity people like uh, a sense of predictability around their environment and the culture that they expect others to adhere to, because it provides that familiarity and predictability in engagements. That's very it's a very human trait and there's a danger that Ideologues on the left our deal in denial about what is essentially a very human trait. Now that doesn't mean because it's a human trait in a week, by the way, I believe genuinely
that we evolved as human animals. By being scared of that which we didn't know or or as somebody I think I suppose, the populist Anti slum lobby would say actually was scared of something we do know, and can we understand perfectly Islam and what it is and that's why I was scared of it, but either way it's point being it's it's it's perfectly. Soon and in harmony with all human evolution to be scared of that which is an US whether we know it to not be so always scared of it, because we're ignorant of it it's perfectly normal and natural, now ideologues. But but let me just say that true- and I think the left is too find to that variable. But that's not at all what I'm expressing I mean so, for instance, I am deeply multi. Troll in my my affinity's. You know if you tell me that there's a a family from India, that's going to move into my neighborhood tomorrow and open a great indian restaurant within walking distance of my house. I will be extatic that difference is all to the good
What I worry about is bad believes that opposite right right, that's right, and so that's that's the return to the specific point something out you is concerned. All of this debate happened in the: U K, awhile back among the left, and there were people such as the author, David good hot. Perhaps you should have on your show by the way on your podcast, who was a leading thinker of the left, was in fact at one stage, head of demos who, which was Tony Blair's, think tank, um, and he has written a book on this very subject, a liberal critique of multiculturalism and where it went wrong, and now he works for the policy exchange. Think tank, which is a center right thing, tank though he maintains his imagine, he maintains his center left views except on this question that you're raising, and one of the one of the intellectual changes changes that happened in in those years among some of the left thinkers in the
Ok was around this point, this very point about the distinguishing between values and people who happen to be browned from a different country, and actually it's the values were interested in, and I think there is a there is a credible case to be made for not rushing into the speed of immigration so that society has time to absorb and that those people who are new arrivals have time to absorb the values of the country that they've come to live in, and that needs to happen organically and at a pace that is comfortable for everyone and Angela Merkel, and what she did with the open door policy. Now the infamous open door policy was the biggest mistake she could have made an in. This is how those on the political left are their own worst enemies. Not only is it cost her politically, it's led to the very thing that she,
as for all her life, probably- and that is now the rise of of of the far right to in Germany out, because that's the easiest way to handle victory GEO political opponents, it's by doing in excess. The very thing that is going to fuel that rise by providing them with things to point to to say see, we told you so and that's why liberals can be their own worst enemies. I think there's a case to be made for a controlled and paste immigration, and not at the speed that Angela Merkel and those who would support that kind of policy would argue, it's self defeating, and the third thing it does is destroy the European Union. If people who on the political left remain as we call them in the UK, those who wanted to remain in the European Union before the brexit vote happened genuinely care about the European Union, then the best way to destroy it
by continuing along the lines of Angela Merkel. That's the best and the quick, I can assure you it just as I predicted Trump winning in the United States, the easiest way to encourage France to leave the European Union and then not going to affect ITALY. Another country Austria is in this way, where we keep doing what I'm Jim Uncle did without integration policy from Syria is the quickest way to destroy all it takes is one oh to each of these countries are Berlin attackers, you know, and people start voting, follow right and in the Europe case, by the way, genuinely is far right parties I'm it's not, but I don't think Trump's far right and I really don't like it when people call him a nazi or fascist, and I was vehemently against him. I've been on CNN, calling him a presidential troll before he won, but it's unfair to call him an artsy, but there are genuine white supremacists out there. That will Seek to capitalize on this electorally in Europe. Has a history of that? That's something we should all
keep an eye out for an endnote actually on the rest of it, and so is easiest way to have them. Come to power is by the left to talk single source again and policies that Angela Merkel adopted. I I believe in a paste controlled, measured uh and uh and long policy. I think all countries need immigrants, need immigrants economically, survive on migration, but I think that there's a cost to culture that is associated just for cheap labor and that cost a culture if the brexit vote in the So it was anything. Is it something I've been saying for a long time? We cannot continue to ignore the cost to culture that it has, and if we do, there will be a backlash: yeah to reaction to that on either side, one that there's the concern that controlling the pace. It sounds like a nice thing to do, certainly given the actual math, but the reality is. That means keeping some considerable number of people out
and in limbo, in refugee camps or elsewhere, and that get paid for in the lives of women and children and non combatants lean civil war, so there's death on that side of the balance or at least misery. So it's easy to see how compassionate people who are not aware of the cost of bringing in too many people from a foreign culture who can't assimilate they will recoil from. That is just that. You can't you, can't do this on the backs of children. Any left wing a listing if they haven't learned the lesson by now that by adopting an Angela Merkel Policy, the right we will come to power, I don't know what to say to them. Look a brexit look at Trump pleas for for the sake of everything in all the principles you care of, take stock, stop being so dogmatically ideological and realize that what you are
Let's take this to the right way. Those right wing you rail against, to go out on the streets in protest against, even when Trump wins by the rules of this democracy. You start writing you all the instruments of his victory. Bye bye, continue in this way. You doing nothing but allowing the right wing to come to power and actually, care genuinely about liberal center left politics, then the only option is to be measured in the way we behave so that we don't we don't become the tools of the right wing, come into power. Bi the way this cannot be done in the way Obama. Did it right. This touches directly on your, if you're going to do what I'm saying then it needs to be coupled with a policy of solving the problem in those countries right, and that means Syria, for example, if you're going to take the view that we can't cater for all of the world. Problems, which is a statement of the obvious in America. America can't absorb the problems of every single country in the world. Domestically then you've got to have a policy that helps fix
problems in the countries where they occur, otherwise, you will see these migration then you will see war on your borders, and that means a bit more of an interventionist approach. It doesn't mean going all full on neoconservative most the Iraq war, as I believe you did two SAM. Actually, I was not quite so virtuous, but I simply confessed ignorance about it. I didn't know what to think about it at the time all right. Well, I host it, but then I have the excuse of being an Islamist. I would've so, but you know it doesn't mean going full on. The in seventy. That means it means taking you know not every intervention is bad it to it. Taking that kind of line that actually you know Rwanda and cost of a you know, it wasn't a bad thing to be involved in in those things and and actually lack of action could also mean a human death toll, to the scale that we currently see in Syria and if that means taking a legal proportional, I'm humanitarian, grounded approach to foreign policy as well RON. That's where Obama went wrong. I was so disappointed with his truck
get in the Middle EAST. To take the other side of that, and this would echo the kinds of things that our mutual friend Douglas Murray would say. Yes, in Europe, need immigration, the aging populations and there's obvious labor shortages. But the reality is that Germany can take currents from Spain and Portugal, where there's high level of youth unemployment. So that's right and obviously the assimilation problems there are miniscule compared to a country Syria, Iraq and there's just this fundamental concern which, ironically, perhaps someone like shadow him, it would probably agree with. Is that once you get a sufficient percentage of Muslims in any society, the character of that community? By virtue of of the religious doctrine at the foundation, the character of that community begins to change,
which is to say that the identity, politics that you can predict being activated in that community, which will become more and more powerful as you move from one percent to five percent to ten percent, once you get to something like twenty percent. Well, then, you will have a call Islamism that will be irresistible because they'll be enough people who want it, it's just a a formula for religious oppression. Getting enough slums in your society, however, they got there originally and that I think that's something that somebody like Robert Spencer, obviously, but unlike Douglas Murray, would be concerned about just generically that you just you, can't have too many Muslims in your in your culture, if you wanted to remain in light and well, I think that you could of. Obviously this comes back to our conversation. Our collaboration you've got to look at Islam today versus Islam yesterday in Islam tomorrow. So at the moment
there is a serious problem with integrating those Muslims who were even born and raised in Britain yeah, let alone bringing others in right, and this is what I mean by Payson measuring if we are failing- and when I say failing I speak here is some. This is a liberal critique of what happened in ninety zero well trick. Multiculturalism, the first people we are fading, all those very communities we claim or seeking to help up. When you talk about on every metric of the definition of failure in a society Muslims over performing in the U K, look a prison populations are. Muslims are roughly three to five percent of the: U K General population and they're around triple that in prisons, right education, falling behind they all folding fall behind on education or employment. Our own language skills, english language skills, and so when
look at that, and you know we talk often about post, truth and post fact, and we imagine those things to be synonymous with the alt right. Unfortunately, those on the ideological left can be as post truth and as post factors as they claim the outright are. Let's let the facts guide us facts. Are that I'm very familiar with the UK context that on every metric most limbs are underperforming. And so we are, we haven't even been able to get integration right with those born and raised in the UK at the moment. That's why it's so important to step back, take stock, be a bit more measured in our approach to immigration and, let's first fix the domestic situation for the sake of those Muslims themselves. Well, let's first fix it for them they deserve social mobility. They deserve jobs, they deserve speaking the english language. They deserve not being imprisoned, they deserve high levels. Education, why does everyone else deserve that and not them, and so we actually owe them a duty to say you know. Let's first fix this problem
and actually, frankly, if we continue at the pace, we're going at the moment- and we continue kind of with the Angela Merkel style policy and being blind to this problem, and there is a problem. The facts tell us there's a problem. As I said, we will be the instruments that bring about the destruct The European Union, as we know it, and will actually bring about the rise of the right, in each country and that's something which you know. If you talk about collaborators, we talk about out in the sun and kind of language that left wing uses they're the ones actually ironically, are engaged in that very process. I'm bringing the file rights of power with well some policies where they're blind to the dangers of that approach- yeah. Yeah. Well, I've long been worried about the left being essentially the midwife to fascism. Here, because of is blindness, I think that is being born Paradoxically, I think you're, you are less worried about Trump than
people are at least most people on the left are yeah yeah. So I'm you know everything we just spoken about is why I think truck came to power right. It's why I think bricks it happened. It's why I think the referendum was lost in ITALY. Are the searches candidate lost the referendum? It's why I think the party that was founded by the Nazis, nearly one in austria- and you know I don't say this- is hyperbole a party that was founded by those who survived. This is some who are members of the Nazis, found it a party it nearly one here in Austria, and you know it's why what's going on is going on right so we've got? We've got to take stock of that. It's all. To the way the left has been blind to some of the consequences of their own behavior, the identity, politics, the name calling calling everyone a racist or no. Put on more native informant just because they don't see eye to eye compiling lists. You know
a it's, a political horseshoe theory? If you go far left enough, you end up just like the very fascist and the and the that ukrainian fighting against now Trump comes in I'm slightly. So it where I have a trump is a gift yeah didn't support him, but I don't like Hillary Clinton either I mean if I were an american citizen, I would have voted for the Democrat Party and not for Hillary Clinton's as a candidate, but just because it happened to be somebody who shares the values of the Democrat Party. I would have been forced to vote Democrat for the party and to empower the party in Congress. Set it, but but I I'm less worried than liberals and the left are about Trump and I'm less jubilant than Trump supporters are somewhere between them. When it comes to the Trump presidency, I'm less jubilant, then the Trump supporters are because clearly I would have voted for Trump You know some of the things that he is he stands for. I would agree with abortion rights being a prime
example of it or environmental climate change being another, but I'm less worried and the reason I'm less worried than those, especially on the left off Is that you know you have here in the USA Constitution you have the separation of powers enshrined in that constitution and and you have the people from surround himself by, but let's talk with the constitution, it's not constitutional to compile a registry, but at that singles out one denomination. One point: two donation: I don't think that's going to happen I think it's all, it's just all rhetoric that Trump isn't going to be able to do anything. You wanted to do that deals with some of what he said. The separation of powers means that, though I've clearly the Senate and the House are currently republican. You've still got the Supreme Court as well. There are certain things that have to happen for trump to fulfill some of his most outlandish promises, and I think that actually even half of the Republicans are you know, as demonstrated by the fact they didn't back him
the president. All you know a bit cautious about some of what he said, and so you know you got people like Lindsay, Graham and others who and Senator Mccain, who are quite promising prominent within the Republican Party, who won't fully on board with everything, Trump promises and and some of these outlandish statements, so I think the separation of powers also will kick in and then it's the people he surrounded himself by you know some of them are visible. But if you look above all accounts people like General Mattis Year, you know he they are met. The trade journal to trace on a couple of occasions in not his co, authored the book with portrayers on how to defeat Al Qaeda in Iraq and the counterinsurgency. Here's Genuinely strategic scholarly mind are despite what his name's since name sake. Mad dog implies is actually are here, that's just military bravado, but yet she is a thinker he's a military strategist, and somebody like that heading up defense. You know I. I just think that Trump as a businessman understands one,
thing to succeed. You have to surround yourself by people who know what they're doing better than you may know in that portfolio and that's what Sony when I try to do it quickly, and you know my co. I was with the is somebody who's older than me. I'm has a lot more life. This is Jenny when he was so good at what he does and actually you've got to have that ability, as someone who wants to succeed in a in a kind of a private entity to to allow, We have the ability to delegate allow people who are better than you at doing what they do get on with it, and I think that that's what one things Trump's probably picked up from business. Some of his appointments may not be the best, but I think he's surrounded by enough good people that I think this
will steadily sale forward a nothing too much to nothing too significant will change. I don't think he's gonna ban abortion though he says he will. I I don't think he's going to create a registry. I don't think that's constitutional arm, and you know, I think, also by the way I think is going to be in the two times which isn't good for someone like me. But I think that's just what's gonna happen he's that being for two times, and it will take that long for the Democrats to get their act together and if they continue playing the identity, politics game. That will make it easy for him to stay in two terms: yeah, no doubt that's where I am in trouble. You know, I I think those reasons all they put they kind of you know make me sit, sit But I I'm clearly not somebody who supported him, but I don't think it will be as bad as those people out. Writing on the street seemed to think- and I just think that's particularly petulant and childish behavior, and so it with respect to foreign policy. Do you see the likely changes be
good or bad or there's just not enough information. Yeah, let's see what happens, I think he I would prefer he see. Him, what he's doing to Putin to do China? Instead, I don't think it's wise to antagonize China and I don't think it's wise to appease put him. I think he's should be doing the opposite. He should be trying to bring the Chinese into the world order and uh, and get them on board with capitalism and with market forces and went democracy. And I think that Putin, who has frankly the truth, is upon the city as an economy smaller than in a some european countries. It to me, for example, on the he puts in just needs to be shown that the the way he's carrying on card with rewards, that's not the sort of behavior you reward. Really it's too yeah yeah. I just had Garry Kasparov on the podcast, and we spoke almost entirely by the scary thing there is that Trump who is willing to talk
on both sides of almost any issue has said only positive things about Putin and put. This is someone who it's very difficult. To only say, positive things about I mean the man is clearly a thug who jails and almost certainly kills some of his political opponents and journalists he doesn't like. He is someone who has managed to pretend to be a statesman. An has been enabled both by high oil prices and the collaboration of western Democrats in a multiple american administrations and european administrations have treated him like a Democrat himself and he's clearly not one though they they hold elections there. So it's it's a little scary to just not know how deep Trump's ties with Russia run, and he didn't release his tax.
Turns. We have no idea how the whole than he is to russian banks or or to any of the oligarchs in his business dealings, and then he is quite strangely appointed a bunch of people who have explicit ties to Russia and in his Secretary of state. Idk. Who is perhaps someone who is more tide to Russia than almost anyone who can be named in the private sector? And so it's a bit of a history what's going on there, because we just simply don't have the information, but Cassara was felt that it's a it's an ominous missed trial by the doing of it of a son her as much as there was a slap in the future of tolerance. Dino city might be appropriate for some form of inner that cp to the other end of this I come out as a liberal or something but no I'm as as miffed by all this
you are SAM. I don't know what Trump's playing out with Putin. I have every respect for Garry Kasparov. The man hosted me for his Oslo Freedom Forum, where I spoke, and since then I've been we've been following each other social media, and I and I see him uh speak to in it very similar way to you and I, on this stuff, you know he's somebody who strikes a very good balance between being a foreign policy. Hawk being somebody's burying the head in the sand of pretending that the big bad world out that doesn't exist and he's a liberal who's consistent on his human rights dances, and I would really encourage you listeners to take a man like that. What he says about Russia very, very seriously, because whenever on my Lbc radio show I open up this subject or Putin, I am astounded at the number of Pro Putin Corner
from within the U K who consider themselves, patriots, patriots and right wing and practices who put Britain's interests first, and yet they call up and they defend to team, and I say to them: you guys call yourselves patriots. Well, Winston Church would be ashamed of you because all security services and why cool and all government has just this month released for the first time that they believe that they are engaged in a propaganda war. It's now official, an official. U K, government wide hole as a view that they're engaged in a propaganda war against Putin who has been attempting to sway. The election are in favor of scottish independence, to break up the United Kingdom and to sway in the favor brings it to break up the European Union are and to continue through his state sponsored media platforms. I would even call them news, like Russia today and spa
click where he set up and they broadcast specifically for the purpose of bringing about political change in western countries to the point where our security services are now saying that they are really going to have to consider reallocating resources to fight Putin's propaganda war, and yet people that consider themselves, patriots are defending a foreign power. Interfering in our national debate here and it's it's happening among Republicans now in the US. I cited this Paul with Gary, but it used to be a few short years ago, two thousand fourteen that only ten percent of Republicans had a favorable view of Putin. That's that's up to thirty seven percent now, and you have to trump and many Republicans just disavowing our intelligence services, because they they make the claim that you just made that Putin it has been engaged in a in both cyber espionage
asian and propaganda war trying to sway the election. It would've been so easy for Trump to have taken. The obvious nickel and honest line here and just say, listen any involvement, foreign power in our election is to be condemned, and I don't want Putin's the man is not a democrat functioning by principles that I recognize and I'll have to deal with him. If I become president but an attempted hack of the election and fail news and all the rest is unacceptable, and I want no part of it. He could you could say that without losing anyone right, but he's not only not said that he has disavowed the say the FBI and ignore the reports from the rest of the world where, where this is also happening, is not just the UK, it's other countries in Europe have had their elections meddled with by Russia, yeah yeah
I mean what cannot be denied and that that's what makes it seem fairly, sinister so hacking scandal. You know it makes no sense. Well, he could have said and really just absolved himself of appearing complicit is to say. Ok, there should be an investigation, because you can pass two things here. You can separate the idea that Putin attempted to influence the presidential election from the other idea that he actually succeeded in doing so right and so Trump could have said. Look have an investigation because he may have attempted to, but I don't believe you know that my win is down to Putin alone, but if he did attempt to then that's a breach of our national security that we need to know about, and it's it's no brainer I will write for that position and yet he hasn't he's just denied the whole thing and refused to look into it as a matter of priority, for investigation and run the considerable risk alienating our intelligence services in the process and he's just defamed
CIA and the FBI by doing this, and it's it's amazing that he would split the baby that way. Right in an answer that suggests some weird connection to put in that is kind of an UN moveable object in his world yeah, it's strange, isn't it but then again people aren't thinking rationally is like you know. You got your campaign slogan make America you can take our country back, which is the same with breaks in the U K, we want a british sovereignty back and yet you've got clear evidence of a of a person. That's attempting to influence us over and see an influence taking our country back, but taking it for themselves and suddenly you page some goes out the window and and and then the disputing this clear evidence, but I for the life of me Khan, understand since when did self about right wing patriots suddenly decide that
that military and the military intelligence isn't to be supported. Do not fire here. Are I'm used to hear animal this reception incredible? I'm used to hearing that from the you know that great green road left yeah right, which these guys will be critical for those very reasons you know, and and yet you don't suddenly so snowed in and all that will happen suddenly. Suddenly it's it's forgiven and forgotten when the same people that were considered believed him to be a traitor for sure for national secrets with Russia are now defending Putin, and the only thing I can think of is that they've lost their rational abilities to think through this in a logical way and they're thinking emotionally because they hate Hillary Clinton, and I can understand how that happens on a human level, people often and all time in daily life. Stop thinking rationally about things in families. It happens all the time because emotions get in the way. But let you know we've got to be able to understand it for what it is. This is this. Not normal. This is not rational,
Rational behavior yeah, not that it matters at this point. But I think it might be interesting to as a final topic here to Do a brief post mortem on Clinton's candidacy? Would respect to this Google variable of Islam and terrorism, because I I'm very in touch with this- the single issue, voter, who was absolutely aghast that I would support Clinton over Trump, given the degree to which then was compromised by a seeming fondness or at least blindness to Islamism. The evidence there is there for the asking, so the donations to the Clinton Foundation from the Saudi, another islamist regimes Aberdeen being her right hand, woman and who his mother being a clear islamist. The fact that She could never utter an honest word about the link between doctrine and jihadism
so in the immediate aftermath of the Orlando shooting all she spoke about, was gun, roll and the threat of Islamophobia. The fear that people would become more bigoted against innocent Muslims in the aftermath of this. So there are people who I've lost a fair number of fans. I think over my criticism of Trump and my my tepid endorsement of Clinton as the lesser of two evils because of this issue. She was so bad on this issue. Now, in my view, I felt that she always where to fly her drones right. She was, if anything, more hawkish than many liberals would be comfortable with, and perhaps even more hawkish than Trump would be, or will be because of things she said like no fly zone in Syria, much it was made over the fact that Trump claimed to have opposed the Iraq war where she didn't write. So there is a kind of isolationist side to the the alt right.
Clinton was cutting again, so you really can't have it both ways as she she too eager to kill Islamists or Muslims in general, or is she too in bed with them? But in any case I felt that she, she was just lying about her views about the link between Islam is and Islam as a set of doctrines for political reasons. But I was never worried that she herself was a especially useful idiot for Islamists and just want you to say what you think in that regard yeah. I I think, a lot of where she was on this subject and where Could you carry may even be it was held back by Obama himself and I think actually the problem began that it began with Obama and his not only his lack of action when it came to Syria all these missed and jihadist extremism problem, but even he's an inability to name it, and I think that's where the problem began and it continued
through Hillary Clinton's tenure as Secretary of state and it continued through to sexual state, carry where he by many accounts, wanted to do more and will stop by Obama. So I tend to agree with. You that she certainly wouldn't have been in the way that Obama was a disaster for the rise of jihadists and and and the fact that they were able to rise under his watch. I think he would have been slightly more hawkish in that regard in Syria. I think also she probably wouldn't have allowed ourselves to be used as much as he allowed himself in the end to be used by islamist lobbies. I think, probably, if it wasn't for Obama as a sitting president, she probably would have said radical Islam or something there are
about you know, like I say, he's missed extremism in the islamist ideology, but she probably would- and she actually in reality did say it once I, but it was almost like a kind of a squeezed in between a sentence in policy and said she said radical jihadism yeah that oxymoron right now, but in the sense that I stayed there for I think she just didn't want to undermine her own president, because she needed him to back her in the in the presidential race, knowing that he was more popular than she was among Democrats, and so I think that was the thing there that if it wasn't for Obama in office, she probably would have been a bit more clearer on some of this stuff. My concerns were other than that. I just found her on a personal level to be off putting you know, optically body language, that kind of fake smile that always seems to be plastered on her face, which other Asians seem to be able to get away with a bit more naturally than she seemed to,
able to, and then, if you start, looking up the on the superficial to some of what she did and some of the unit, whether it's the donations to her foundation that you mentioned, which back to me, let of being in these limits pockets, but more just that she had absolutely no morals when it came to when she took her money from and and therefore greet when you look at the email scandal and the way in which he disregarded national security, I'm for for her emails. When you look at all so I think perhaps the substance and the way she campaigned she spent most of the time attacking trump. Then actually, speaking for what she stood for, and I think for these and many many other reasons. She was a very bad candidate and I see that with evidence that, if you can't defeat, probably the worst suited candidate that the Republican Party is ever put forward for president in a landslide, it's not enough that you win the popular vote. If you can't defeat that type of candidate, somebody
once described as an orange buffoon. If you can't defeat that candidate in a landslide that says more about you than it does about anyone else, it would be a disaster for the Democrats to reselect her. I think she should now retire and step away and keep out of politics, and I think the Democrat Party needs an interim period where, as we've discussed, I've I've said somebody like Keith Ellison could be the kind of Ariel Sharon you know it, took the Ariel Sharon so withdraw from Gaza and keep his hawkish military right wing elements on board with him. I think uh, the left is no less hawkish when it comes to their own dogma and it takes, I think, somebody who's come. From them to try and rein them in, but that's that's an interim period. I think the Democrat Party needs to find a new leader which can't be Keith Ellison, and it can't be Hillary Clinton. It needs to be, and you presidential candidate, who who who understands liberalism truly in its universal sense and and begins to
you know in the left behind behind universal liberalism, actually one final topic I'd like to touch because you just raise, but I just want to hear a little bit more of your thinking here, just how oh bad, has Obama been, in your view, with respect to foreign policy in the Middle EAST and the rise of ISIS, the red in Syria, I'm just how consequential has all of that been. Let's start with this, I'm not aware of any Middle EAST pundit weather on the left or the right who specializes in follows: Middle eastern affairs proud of on his record that unless you've drunk with that state Department too late thanks so much shoddy how it will have meat on. Forgive me I buy because in both names and Marshall, which one is on the take shoddy eight eight. He is at Brookings the archetype full you know, Democrats supporting guy and he's on. Your podcast has been very critical of Obama
and then, of course, the right wing has anyway, but it's been an utter disaster. His foreign policy in the Middle EAST is been a total mess and if we want to blame Bush for that for for the mess that was the Iraq war and say that that was his legacy and was Tony Blair's legacy, and rightly so, We say that was their legacy and it was a it was a mess. Then we cannot escape the fact that Obama was president for eight years and into that in that eight years came ISIS came the terrible civil war that was in in Syria, the humanitarian disaster that it calls with the refugee flows and the breakup. Therefore, as a direct consequence of the European Union and that is Obama's legacy in foreign policy terms. Domestically, I'm not an expert on US domestic policies. What I would say is that, certainly, if, under the first black president, racism and and racial tensions under these last eight years have.
Into what nobody could deny? it's an uncomfortable high. Then that also has to be associated with this legacy cannot escape that. So you know Maybe history will look kindly upon him as it does with all presidents, but right now I can tell you is somebody who follows Islamism, jihadists terrorism and follows the Middle EAST very Actually I'm unaware of any independent, pundit who's happy with Obama's record. There is really is tragic, because when you look at the man himself- and I don't know if you're a similar fan of who he is or who he seems to be, but he seems like exactly the sort of person who could have done a good job here on both fronts. He is an intelligent thought full. Why is this? lendman by all signs? I don't know. I've never met him, but it seems like he is that his antithesis of of who trump seems to be And yet his failures, especially with respect to foreign policy, have been so agree Geass.
It seems a kind of new Vietnam Syndrome with respect to foreign intervention, I just think I think his prime commitment was to get out of what he considered. Unnecessary or fruitless wars, and so we have to get out of Afghanistan. We have to get out of Iraq and under no circumstance Was he going to go on any other misadventure in the Middle EAST, and so the red line in Syria was just a bluff and then We had all the knock on effects that you mentioned. It's terrible, it's an unjustifiable that anyone who still defend bonus track record in the Middle EAST. I'm going to save it. I said that the drug, the state department- later I mean they, they they have just. I ate it's just sheer dogma at this point. If we were gonna as a state judge Bush wide by the legacy, what he left in Iraq with that disastrous invasion, then it's inescapable. Obama's legacy is crisis in the Middle EAST, that is in a state,
and domestically, I just want to say you know what a mention races and it's something. I've been engaged with most of my life, and so it's important to me, but is it is a fantastic article in the NASH review by one Thomas, so well, yeah, it's July, the ninth two thousand and thirteen- and it's interesting to me because it cites a pole and it talks about domestic race relations, a Rasmussen poll that found that thirty, one percent of blacks think that most blacks in America are racist compared to only twenty four percent of blacks. Who think that most whites are racist right, so they think more blacks are racist than whites these days and there this is in twenty thirteen this or is it two thousand and thirteen? And then, if you compare that same poll and engaged white opinion, the same poll found that thirty eight
sent of why it's considered most blacks, racist. While they only considered ten percent of their fellow white people, racist and so you're, telling both on the on the black and the white side. They both think more blacks are racist than whites, and then you look at the racial tensions in the risen and the nature of identity. Politics, as you and I have talking about anything again domestically Obama cannot escape that legacy, that what he should have done is what you and I are trying to do in Islamism debate, show better leadership, take a bit of criticism from your own right and go out there and just show the way. As the most powerful man, not only in the everybody in the world and happening today. An african American. You could have gone in there when, at the peak of the racial tensions and showing a bit of leadership, to say
people look. You know. Aid is a moral way forward, a bit of a multi Luther king moment that that that, but, but actually what we were met with instead was a bit of a cold silence towards a lot of that tension and almost as if he just didn't want anything to do with that debate and the rest, what was the cause. He got worse and worse and worse, and that's where I will say: I'm not an expert in domestic policy, but I have been engaged with racism and racist used for most of my life, and I think that in particular that aspect of his domestic legacy, it does trouble me, but I will say with a level of confidence that his track record in the Middle EAST is been just terrible. Well we've got to the two hour mark here: module I'm going to let it stay there, but no doubt it will be an interesting for years. Hopefully not too Houston but they'll, be allowed to comment on going forward and your work is has we've mentioned not close to done so your voice will be on the podcast again, I'm I'm convinced looking forward to it. I know
I should say before we sign off that you have a radio show now that you're doing. Are you doing this once a week? Is that it twice a week? So we listen as I encourage them to listen in actually, if you're interested in the state of affairs when it comes to his limit. Stream, this, and to get the latest of my views on that identity, politics on the control left in the all right. I know everything that sort of things we've been talking about. Just U K domestic politics which that makes a lot of people because of the brexit climate that women at the moment then chew need it's every Saturday and every Sunday in the UK, from midday to three p dot m, which is seven a dot M East Coast and you can listen from wherever you are, because there's an app that you can get on your mobile phone from Lbc but you can on your Iphone and Android, which you just download and it just as long as you got a 3g signal. You can listen to it from wherever you are it's a it's. A call in shows that people can call in and stuff I kind of set this. You know I wax lyrical for fifteen minutes on the topic of the day,
Where is Putin or whether it's you know, uh the control left or islamist extremism? I kind of set the topic and give my view layout my stall and then for forty five minutes of that hour People called him, give their opinions, and then we switched topics for the second and third hours respectively. Are you doing three hours both days yeah three hours, Saturday or Sunday, yeah well, yeah. Seven hundred am time and is it all archived? Can people listen to it after the factors that only live yep, there's a separate app for the podcast that you can download. So there's two apps one you can listen, live and there's a separate podcast app where you subscribe and you can hear the shows back from you know the backdated show. And I'd love to have you on SAM. You gotta come and join me on the radio, sure sure and Follow you on Twitter, you're, often tweeting out excerpts, and rather provocative excerpt from those shows. So remind me: what's your twitter address, yeah, it's magic know was at magic M double eight J, I d N a w a set as Facebook as well as I want
most modules, are always a pleasure. You are not only a collaborator who I greatly admire. You are a friend and it is always gone, and to see you this merged. But it is a a pleasure to get a chance to defend you once again. Whenever that happens. So I have your back in so far as I see people taking shots at your son to get collaboration. Forget friendship. You are more brother to me than any Islamist and certainly any jihadist out there. So thank you very much for giving me the opportunity to engage in a dialogue with It's been highly rewarding and I hope to continue to be in touch for the rest of our lives, you're here, brother next time, if you find this podcast Bible. There are many ways you can support it. You can review it Itunes or Stitcher, or wherever you happen to listen to it. You can share on social media. With your friends, you can blog about it discuss it on your own podcast or you can support it directly and you can do this.
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Transcript generated on 2019-10-31.