Hey good humans! Welcome to
another episode of Spectrum. This is Michael.
– Hello. – I’m Ien, and stick around at the end. We’re gonna talk a little bit with you guys. Believing men and believing women.
Same level. – No, no disagree. I have–
– Same level. – in the court of law…
– No. No. – …the Quran explicitly states… – I’m sorry.
– …two female witnesses… – I’m sorry.
– …carry the weight of one male… – I’m sorry.
– …and that’s why I stood over there. [INTRO MUSIC] I pray 5 times a day 3 2 1 – I wish I was there with you guys.
[laughs] Like it’s– honestly it just gets really hard. Like it’s just five times a day and
it’s like spread throughout the day. We all live like young professional lives
and it gets kind of in the way. – If I could quantify it, I’m averaging
about three out of five prayers. I think I will find myself in prayer
more when I’m in desperation. It’s not something that’s subjective— I know we should be all
praying as a requirement. – I just want to say it takes a lot
of guts to be honest and say that. I honestly believe that if you
feel it in your heart, that you have a strong
relationship with God, God will have mercy on you with
whatever you’re dealing with, so… – Being on this line doesn’t mean it’s like [snaps] a piece of cake to do the five daily prayers.
– Exactly. – It is a struggle. It’s a challenge. I was working in a corporate
environment where I could not comfortably find a space so I’d have to
go pray in the car or in the parking lot. So it is a challenge, but yeah. Islam promotes violence 3 2 1 – We’re not allowed to
cut down trees during war. We’re not allowed to
hurt children and mothers. We’re not allowed to
hurt our own prisoners. And when people associate terrorism—
something so disgusting—with Islam, it hurts me because ISIS targets Muslims
more than they target anybody else. – And, in the age of Google,
there is no excuse. Like, if you don’t know that
Islam means peace, Islam means surrender, being a Muslim
is one who submits their will to God… How is that violent? – At the end of the day, I feel like media is
the one that has that hand and that stronghold, causing folks to be that way or think that way. – I guess I literally listen to the prompt, “Does Islam promote violence?” And I’m only speaking, not from my
personal perspective, but just… from trying to understand how discussions about this religion
can be used to defame it, to justify terrorism, per se. When somebody says, you know,
for the record, “Kill a non-believer,” Let’s acknowledge that sentence and if we’re gonna reach a
conclusion and a solution with somebody who does think this way
of us and our faith, we need to understand their argument thoroughly. – I disagree with what you just said. I really do, because I read
the Quran every day as a practice and not once in 2019 have I yet
gotten to a verse about violence. All of them about mercy of God,
turned to God, God is with you, to me that’s an emotional connection…
– Are you denying the verses— Okay I understand.
– …that is an emotional connection to my Creator, and I’m not gonna allow
anybody to take that away. – I’ll take the sentence–the statement
that “you can kill the non-believers.” At the time of the Holy Prophet,
the Muslims were in danger. They were the minority, right?
– Correct, that’s what I’m saying. – So, but it doesn’t necessarily mean
that because we are in danger, that whenever there’s
a non-believer, we kill them. What “non-believer” refers to are, like, the Meccans or like the people that
were actively going against Muslims and trying to harm us and stuff. – And I wanted this healthy discourse… – Yes, and I agree with you.
– …because I dwell upon that other perspective. I didn’t grow up proud of those verses
because I didn’t understand them. – Yeah, and several times–
– But now that I do have full understanding, I know that it’s important to keep, not a one-dimensional perspective, but—not even
accept the others but thoroughly understand it. Hijab should be mandatory 3 2 1 – I have strong feelings. [laughs] I just feel like it’s a woman’s right
to cover if she wants to. and to tell a woman what to do
with her body is totally against our Islamic principles, so… – You know being a guy here,
I just made a really conscious decision to be like “somewhat agree” because
people don’t understand that hijab is like a concept as far as like,
it’s not just like the actual headscarf. Islam really promotes the idea of modesty,
and that’s how you get closer to God. And if you feel like having a headscarf
is a way for you to get closer to God, then so be it. – A hundred percent agree with that ’cause it’s not just a headscarf;
it’s your behavior, it’s a personality, it’s how you treat your friends and your neighbors, yeah. For a lot of people, the process is build my courage, my bravery,
and my confidence, and then wear the scarf. For me, it was kind of reversed. I started with the scarf because I knew that I was not
gonna build that bravery unless I started wearing it. ‘Cause when you put it on,
you start acting different. You start acting nicer, you’re kinder because now
you’re representing your religion, your faith. – You make me think really deep about that
because I’ve been struggling, I wore it when I was about 15,
I tried it out. But it’s been a struggle because internally
I want to be a better Muslimah that I’m going to represent to society
before my outer side represents Islam. I have faced discrimination for my religion 3 2 1 Though I’m not a traditional Muslim female,
I don’t wear the scarf, when I was younger, I’d be walking home
from the masjid with my mom. She wears the hijab. This was before September 11th
even happening. She would get teenagers and cars driving by,
spitting on us, cursing at us. She would always say, just brush it off. – When you show that you’re
a Muslim in any way, people kind of, like you get those glances every so often. But what happened was that, after like all this, like,
election things happened, it’s funny, people who you grew up with,
people who you knew your entire lives are kind of looking at you a little differently. You know, so that kind of
threw me off a little bit. I was like, wait a second,
like you know me. I didn’t think this would be
an issue, you know. – I personally have not
experienced explicit discrimination. I conveniently can shave my beard
and try to compensate almost and it’s sad to admit, but I know it’s not my job to create
a comfort space for another person. However, I would say that, if you
do, guys, confront it explicitly, try to think of it as an opportunity to teach as opposed to reacting with emotion. – I think it also depends on
what the encounter is. Like, I had a beer bottle
thrown at me after 9/11. I’m not gonna go confront that person
and be like, “Hey, let’s build bridges—” – Right.
– Like it’s not—no… But if there’s someone who’s got a little bit of an attitude
or, you know, misconception, I’ll work on that. Women are equal to men 3 2 1 – I’m gonna somewhat change mine. – Wow.
– I had to think about it. – So the reason I stood on “agree”
and not “strongly agree” is that my understanding of
human beings is that that women and men in general have different roles. You know, men cannot
bear children, women do. In Islam, there’s
no discriminatory thing. There’s nothing that a man can do
that a woman cannot. – And I don’t have to prove otherwise except to cite in the Quran
when Allah addresses us, believing men and believing women.
Same level. – No, no disagree. I have a…
– Same level. I read the Quran, so you can’t tell me…
– …verbatim. – In the court of law, the Quran explicitly states…
– No. No. – I’m sorry.
– …two female witnesses… – I’m sorry.
– …carry the weight of one male… I’m sorry.
– …and that’s why I stood over there. I personally feel, and if it were
up to me, it would be 50/50. There is no discrimination
on my personal bias, but… – But why are you standing there? I’m acknowledging that the Quran
prescribes something here. Right? – No. In Islam, we do get
equal opportunities. Scientifically, no,
we’re not equal, because men can…
– May I ask a question to the room? – …do things physically
that we can’t do. – May I ask a question to the room? – Women can do things
that men can’t do. So my question would be: what aspect are we discussing? – Sure. Personal belief versus
Islamic belief versus societal belief… that’s three different things. If I’m saying personally, I believe women can be
greater than men. I believe women have– – Islam says that. – Thank you! Thank you!
– Islam promotes that… [crosstalk]
…completely, yeah. You can be a Muslim and a part of the LGBT community 3 2 1 – It’s such a broad question that
I’m gonna stand here just to be on the safe side. – I’m a contradictory human being. I pray with one hand and
commit sin with the other. So I’m not in a position
to be able to, uh, tell somebody that they’re
excluded from a whole faith if perhaps their faith
in God is stronger than mine. Okay, so you… you can be anything and be a Muslim. But I guess, I guess the reason
I’m standing here is because… Islam is a lot about the progression
of the human race, and about… about what is natural and what is not. Islam doesn’t necessarily support like
the lifestyle of the LGBT community, however, they do support
them as human beings and that is something, like, you know, something that
I’ve struggled with because… They have my hundred percent love and support.
I’d take a bullet for anybody. I don’t care what their sexual orientation is. My best friend he’s… he’s gay and we’ve had
these conversations before and… he’s told me that, you know what Husna? I love you for you. I love you for everything that
we’ve been through together. I don’t care what it is that you stand for and that’s, you know, it’s… It’s really comforting to know that you don’t have to support a lifestyle
to support a human being, to love a human being, and
to love people unconditionally. – I love what you said. And that’s that’s why I’m here because the prompt was:
“Can you be LGBTQ and Muslim?” And yes, you can be
anything and Muslim. If we’re gonna get into the logistics of
lifestyle practices and the core of scripture, yes, there are different lifestyles. There are things that are
asked for in scripture. But there’s nothing that says
they are not welcome in the faith, they are not welcome in
our houses of worship, they cannot pray, they cannot
stand beside us, they don’t fast. They are people. – It’s very hard, I would say,
to be a Muslim and… you know, part of the community. – I agree with you.
Beautiful statement. I am American 3 2 1 – I swear I’m not trying
to make this controversial, but… [Laughter] I somewhat disagree because
I’m first Afghan. Then I would say I’m American. – So I do identify as Syrian first, And so what is America?
So for me, that identity– ’cause I grew up
not feeling like a minority. And I was also a proud American,
I didn’t talk about my Syrian heritage, I wasn’t familiar with it. And then in the last decade,
it was like, “Whoa. I kind of whitewashed my history to be the proud American, to fit in.” And everyone was like, “if you took off your scarf,
you’d be just another white girl.” It’s just– there’s a battle. Like, I’m a proud American but, it’s like,
what does American mean right now… – Yeah.
– …with everything that’s happening? – As a Muslim, who just
happens to be black, in America, I’ve never not known this
to be my country because that’s what
this country was founded on. Being able to be who you are. Having the freedom to be that
and not feel persecuted. And so yeah, that’s how I live my life,
and I’m not going to let anybody… force me or talk me into thinking differently. [Applause] – So who wants to have coffee
and continue this conversation? – Oh yeah, let’s go to Starbucks! – I love how you always bring up another side to it. That’s great. It’s great. [Crosstalk] – So I have a question for you, that you’ve directed every single
episode of Spectrum, how do you go about finding out… like what prompts to ask? Yeah, how do you do that justice? – A lot of research goes into these episodes We try to meet with people from the group to help us come up with the prompts. We also ask you for some prompts. – The way to do that is
you follow us on Instagram… – That’s the way. – …and when we ask you
for prompts for certain groups, then you can contribute. Thanks for watching, you guys. We’ll see you around and Enjoy all the rest of the the Spectrum episodes to come forever and ever, and ever. – Foreve-e-e-er! See ya!