Journey into Europe - Islam, Immigration, and Identity

August 07, 2019

It is my distinct pleasure to welcome you all here to the Berkeley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs. My name is Melody Fox Ahmed, I'm the associate director for programs here and we have a very special event today. Journey into Europe with Ambassador Akbar Ahmed. This event is the culmination of a four series quartet which began with journey into Islam way back in 2007. Journey into America was next where the team had traveled to over 100 mosques to understand the situation of Islam in America. The Thistle and the Drone was next which looked at the relationship between the center and the periphery, the state and tribal Islam across the world, and then after a four year exhaustive study with lots of travel, hundreds of interviews with people from refugees to world leaders, Journey into Europe was completed so if I may say it's truly ambassador Ahmed's magnum opus. It took a great deal of work. I was privileged to see the process, developing, to be part of the work and I am so honored that we get to launch it here today at Georgetown University where we've also had the privilege of launching ambassador Ahmed's other works. So I will tell you a bit about the order of the event. We're going to start off by seeing about 15 minutes of the film. Ambassador Ahmed has also made a film with each of these books, not just written a book, which is incredible, so we'll see a little bit of the film, then we'll have a conversation with professor Ahmed and also with professor Jocelyn Cesari who is here at the Berkeley Center. She is an expert on Islam and Europe, so we're very excited to have her comments, thank you very much to professor Cesari. Also thank you very much to Patrick Bernet, Frankie Martin,  the incredible team that put this event together.  Thank you to Reverend Book Chase for coming from New York who's been a supporter of the project. And with that, I'm going to turn it over to our center director, Shaun Casey, who is going to speak a little bit more about the book and introduce professor Ahmed, so thank you very much for joining us and look forward to hearing from professor Casey, thank you. (applause) - Welcome, everyone. It's my distinct pleasure to welcome all of you to this gathering, this really momentous occasion. Even though ambassador Ahmed is not a stranger to you, he's really a person with deep friendship and deep ties to this university and to this center so I feel like we're having a conversation with a dear friend and not only a respected colleague who's done this amazing project. So I'm gonna read his formal biography, but I just want to convey to everyone here that this remarkable capstone to the literary series that Melody talked about is really a single achievement and even back in my days when I was your next door neighbor at Wesley Theological Seminary, I think your work post 9/11 has been absolutely incredible and remarkable and the country and the world has profited not only from your research and from your teaching, but I can't think of anybody else in the United States who's been as vigilant as you, had been in trying to understand, try to explain global Islam to the American public in such a way so we owe you a huge debt of gratitude for your career and it's a remarkable honor for us to be here today to celebrate this magnificent opus. Now I have to say, currently this book is on my guilt to be read shelf, so I'm happy to have a copy of this tome. I have not read it in its entirety, but it will, because it is actually on my guilt list and I measure my intellectual projects by how short I can get that list, particulary by the end of summer so anyway thank you, it holds an esteemed place on my bookshelf and I will keep it there until I've had the opportunity to digest it. But welcome, you're an honored friend here, we are in debt to your gratitude. There also are familiar relationships here which I do not need to explain to everyone but you're part of the family and it's a deep pleasure to be able to welcome you yet again back to the Berkeley Center. Let me read ambassador Ahmed's official biography and then I will sit down and you please come up and make introductory remarks. Ambassador Akbar Ahmed is the (mumbles) of Islamic Studies in American University School of International Service. And he's also a trustee for the World Faiths Development Dialogue which Kathryn Marshall, who's also a senior fellow here at the Berkeley Center heads. He's been a visiting professor at the US naval academy, a non resident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and held several positions at the University of Cambridge.  Ahmed belonged to Pakistan Senior Civil Service and was the Pakistan high commissioner to the United Kingdom in Ireland. His numerous publications, which Melody alluded to, include Journey Into Europe: Islam Immigration and Identity, which is the book we're celebrating today. The Thistle and the Drone: How America's War on Terror Became a Global War on Tribal Islam. Journey Into America: the Challenge of Islam and Journey into Islam: The Crisis of Globalization. He holds a PHD from the University of London School of Oriental and African studies. Please join me in welcoming ambassador Ahmed. (applause) Thank you (mumbles). - Thank you, Dr. Casey for that very warm welcome and thank you Melody. It really is an honor to be back at Georgetown at the Berkeley Center. Melody had pointed out that I have very deep links here and in fact all these projects have been supported by colleagues and friends at the center. And that has encouraged us a great deal and I'm speaking really on behalf of my self and my wonderful team here with me. Dr. Casey pointed out the overlap in our interests and there is a great deal of overlap. Professor Cesari, thank you so much for flying in from Boston, I know that you're a professor on separate continents in different countries, so I really am grateful that we caught you and requested you to alight here with us for this particular session and I of course was very keen because you're not only quoted in the book and you give us a great interview but we always look up to you for your work, especially on Muslims in Europe. It is of great significance. Melody, you have always inspired us and your family. Omar is here, your husband. Barbara is here, your bother-in-law who's taking time off from his institution, the IMF to join us for a short while, and of course Zenut. This book is dedicated to Zenut, Gabriel, my grandson who's  somewhere here but he can't join us because he broke his hand last night so if you see Melody, you'll see the quintessential expression of a stiff upper lip. She's carrying on in spite of the mother's hard actually in turmoil because of her son. And Frankie Martin. Frankie Martin has been the senior researcher. He's the closest person I can describe in my team working with me on this project and this project has a certain characteristic which I want you on campus at Georgetown to be aware of. We have some great scholars here, anthropologists, other scholars, diplomats, senior diplomats. A project like this, to my mind, had to be different. It had to have the perspective of me as a Muslim scholar. Of non-Muslims and my team is non-Muslim, Patrick is a Catholic, Frankie's Episcopalian. Although I know that several denominations are struggling to attract him to their part of Christianity. At the same time, we have Jewish, we have Hindu, we have (mumbles), (mumbles), where are you? There's my Hindu Student, stand up, show them. Evidence there is India Pakistan friendship here. So we have this approach which I wanted to reflect in the study because we're looking at a subject which the subject being Islam and the west and Melody pointed out the quartet, this is the fourth, the final part of the quartet of studies. And in some sense, it began for me on 9/11. In a very profound sense, I felt, I'd just joined the university literally a few days earlier. And I felt that I've come to this point in my life, this is a very personal response and I'm sharing this with you. What do I do now for the rest of my life? As a chair of Islamic studies, I've got my books behind me, I've done everything, what else can I do in my own very limited way? And like all of us ask, in my retirement I'm gonna be writing the odd book, maybe the memoirs and spend my time learning how to play golf badly or well but I will make an attempt. It's the fashion I know these days in this particular sport. Now, when 9/11 happened, I realized because I had been an administrator, I have been in the roughest areas of Pakistan. I have been a commissioner in Balochistan. I was in charge of Waziristan which is probably the most turbulent and difficult region in the world to administer. If you don't believe me, ask this very senior diplomat, Tim (mumbles) who's here with us who has experience working in the Muslim world. So I asked myself, what can I do with my background and my experience to improve relations between the west and the world of Islam? What bridges can I help build and how can I do it? Now, I can't answer this question on my own, that is why I needed a full team, and this team brought their insights, their enthusiasm and their research to this project and made all the difference. Of course, I would have my own opinion and finally I would have my say, but their stance, their coloring, their understanding helped me a lot to see things from their perspective, so I was constantly looking at the project and the subject through the eyes of younger fresher participants of this project. Another aspect was the long periods of field work. Now at my stage, I'm often advised, go there, do two days, one day, stand up, (mumbles), talk to some distinguished (mumbles) and fly back. I'm an anthropologist so for me, the field becomes very important. I have to stay in the field, to talk to the actual people I wanted to talk to, spend time with them, see how they live, how they rise in the morning, what meal do they have, their families, take the rituals of the day, what we call the (mumbles). So once again, we were applying a certain method to this project. We also had a certain philosophic base to this project. And here, I must confess my own personal preference in terms of looking at subjects. I was very committed, just after 911 I realized the importance of something that we now very broadly call interfaith dialogue, interfaith understanding, and here at the Berkeley Center I know how critical that is for your work and your research in terms of building bridges. Understanding through scholarship, through friendship. And I'm delighted that Bob Chase is here again. He's one of the pioneers of interfaith and he in fact has an outreach back in Pakistan. So I was aware that if we have a philosophy at the heart of this project, it is a philosophy which well help Americans to heal, understanding, that they are the people who may not be like them, but who are quite prepared to talk to them and be friends with them. Similarly, that there are people outside the Muslim world, this is for the Muslims, who are not your enemies by nature, they're not just because their religion is different and they are prepared to talk to you and extend the hands of friendship. And to me, as a former administrator in Pakistan, today there could be nothing more important in the world that we live in, in the post 911 world. And we haven't quite got it yet. We haven't quite solved the problem. I take a look at the condition of the world. It is, to be very frank, fractured. And here I refer to the great Jewish saying, (foreign language), to heal a fractured world, an expression which I got from my friend, the former chief rabbi of the UK, Lord Jonathon Sacks. How do you heal this fractured world? So there was a philosophy behind it and we saw in the field how people responded to us and our ideas. With unqualified enthusiasm, so just imagine a project like this with a very determined focus in terms of field work where we were able to say "Okay, we would like to "this (mumbles) in DC before we went to Europe. "We would like to talk to an archbishop of Canterbury." This is the hit list and I should be careful with the word hit list but (mumbles) Muslim scholar but people would absolutely love to talk to an archbishop, a chief rabbi, a grand Mufti, top people in the business.  A right wing (mumbles) extremist leader of a party that is attacking Islam. A student, a woman, a man, the whole range of categories that you can think of, and we actually achieved it. So we actually have in this book, and I hope Dr. Casey when he's lying on a beach somewhere very comfortable in summer he'll select this book out of the long pile he has. I promise you'll enjoy it, Dr. Casey. You will see that it is very rich in ethnography. So you will not hear my voice constantly in this book. I'm not gonna be instructing you, interpreting, guiding, I'm going to let you read it, absorb the knowledge, and then come to your own conclusions. It's a very, very rich work. In chapter nine at the end, I will give my opinion, but that's the privilege of the author. What you will learn, and I'll just sum this up and then be delighted to talk to professor Cesari. What you will learn is two or three things that I learned. Number one, there is a problem in Europe. That's not a startling conclusion, there's a problem, there's a problem here in the United States. There's a problem in Pakistan, problem in India. In Europe it's a serious problem for several reasons. One reason being, you're familiar with European history. In the last century and when a lot of Europeans begin to talk of the other and begin to identity the other and there's talk of concentration camps, of making soap factories, of identifying communities. They talk of the external enemy and by the external enemy they mean Muslims and the internal enemy, and by the internal enemy, they mean the Jewish community. That kind of talk makes me very, very nervous. We've had to live through this in South Asia where I come from, we've had this mad frenzy of Muslims and Hindus and Sikhs in 1947 an orgy of mad killing when almost two million people died. Now, who do you blame there? Who's right, who's wrong, it's complete madness. So with the European history in mind, I tend to be very nervous when I hear this kind of talk. We said never again after the second world war and we of course went to Dachau, one of the concentration camps, and we are seeing that not only is it never never again, we are seeing it being repeated and people actually quite openly now talking about a very vehement kind of anti-Semitism and parallel to that, Islamophobia. The irony is, problem as a Muslim, the irony is that this time around, Muslims are involved in the anti-semitism in a place like France. So you have Muslims stabbing a Jewish individual or attacking a museum and so on, this is the irony. Because both of them in a sense are the targets of hatred, ethnic hatred and religious hatred. So here we have a problem which we must acknowledge and pretend it doesn't exist, and here's another irony and Tim, this is for you and your colleagues at the State Department. Throughout the Balkans, again and again, people there would say with a kind of simple minded beauty almost, a supreme confidence in Uncle Sam. They would say there's a huge problem coming, the dark cloud's coming, but America will save us, America will come again. America is the land that believes in liberty and freedom and human rights and they will never allow anything to happen, because to them, America literally is like John Wayne or Gary Cooper who came in in the last century and saved them, saved the local people, so America is a very high standing. So please don't inform your colleagues, I don't want them to back off and say "Okay, let the world go in the direction "it's going." It's a huge responsbility for America and they must not abandon that. So we saw this, we also saw that where there is a majority suppressing a minority in one place of the globe, you flip it around and in another place, it is the suppressed. This is the global nature of how we live. That is why we have to be aware of the world we're living in and help people understand this world. Take an example. Pakistan, a Muslim country where the minorities will complain. Christians, Hindus, minorities. Egypt, Muslim country, minorities will be complaining. Now flip it around, in India, you have again, minority, but this time, Muslims minorities, Christian minorities in trouble. (mumbles), Sri Lanka, Buddhist. Persecuting minorities. Now when you put this together, you suddenly begin to realize "What a minute, we are constantly singling out "Islam as if Islam is somehow genetically predisposed to "be unjust and violent," but this is happening across the board. It really is involving all the major world religions. There has to be some solution, there's something wrong with this. This is one great realization that dawned on us. Secondly, we realized that if Europe has a problem, Europe also has a European solution which we don't have here in the United States. We have a solution, but of a very different kind and that rests on the image and vision of the founding fathers who created this great land and who can help us through the fog that we are presently struggling through. So we have Europe, with a history of (mumbles) and I know it's debated and people have both sides to the argument, all of that is in the book. I've been very, very fair. So if I've given the reasons for (mumbles), I've given the reasons against (mumbles), citing the scholars. Then we flip it around and we see in Sicily, in South Italy, we have Christian kings, like Roger the Second and these are huge figures in history. These are giants. Roger the Second, the emperor Fredrick the Second, the holy Roman emperor. Fredrick the second, most people don't know his name, they just don't know his name, he is one of the heroes of Europe the continent. On his mantle, the royal imperial mantle, he had Quranic versus. His bodyguard consisted of also Muslims, spoke Arabic, and in history, pulled off with what probably to my mind is the greatest diplomatic coup of all time.  And again, I know many of you are distinguished diplomats, think of what he did. He was actually given, handed over Jerusalem by the ruler of Egypt as a gesture of friendship. They had developed a great friendship, he expressed his constant admiration for Muslim culture, Muslim scholars, and in that friendship, they said "Why do we fight? "What do you want from Jerusalem, you want access to our "holy lands, here you go, you've got access." So the king of Egypt said "Here's Jerusalem, you look after "it, it's a headache, you look after it." That's not happened in history. Think of it, think of where we are today in the world for where every little step with diplomats and state department and officials are constantly involved in trying to solve problems which seem unsolvable, and yet Fredrick the great actually achieves, in the middle of the Crusades, he's living in the middle of the height of the Crusades. You have examples like Bosnia today in the middle of the genocide, the middle of the killing, Bosnia. (mumbles) ambassador Finchy, the head of the Jewish community. When ambassador Finchy told us that there is no anti-semitism in Bosnia. We've lived here for centuries, we live here as part of the culture, I'm quoting the ambassador.  There's a (mumbles), which was the second golden age of the Jewish community. We went there and we talked to the Jewish community and it was absolutely eye opening for all of us. Here in Europe you've got these examples. So Europe has a solution, I'm not saying repeat that time, you cannot bring back time that has gone,  but you are at least inspired by the time that people were able to live together even if for short periods. Very often the king of the emperor died and then things would change, so we have examples that you can move ahead, because Europe does not have the founding fathers. It does not have Jefferson or Washington or Franklin. That is what we have. And my lecture is on Europe and not America, that was the previous project, which was called Journey into America. In Europe, what you do have are many, many examples that should be able to give us some sense of hope and some sense of direction. I'll end by quoting what I learned from some of these great religious scholars in Europe. We were very privileged to meet Bent Melchior. He was the Chief Rabbi of Denmark. Now, he's a legendary name. For those of you who are not familiar with Europe, remember this name, Chief Rabbi Bent Melchior.  Highly respected figure in Europe and his son, I think two of his sons ended up as Chief Rabbis. It's a very learned family. And we were privileged, he gave us an interview in his flat so we spent a couple of hours alone with him and he said three things that struck me, and this is for all of you who try to promote better understanding between different religions. I asked him, I said what is your advice for Muslims who are now under pressure and in trouble? He said "Number one, let me tell you our experiences as "Jews in Belgium. "We came here a few centuries ago, complete strangers. "Complete strangers. "It's a northern land, a Teutonic land, we are coming "from a different part of Europe, escaping persecution. "First thing we did, we opened a school. "And the school was not for Jews to learn Judaism. "It was for Jews to understand and learn about danish "culture and literature and history." So they familiarized themselves with local culture. Now, here's the challenge for the Muslims, how many Muslims are scholars of America? Not Islam, but America. I would suggest very, very few and they need to remember this. Number two, he said, "Minorities constantly demand their "rights and they say we are being persecuted, we are "under pressure, but minorities have to understand that "while minorities have rights, so does the majority. "The majority also has rights and you need to respect "that fact, not ignore it." And I was again struck by this point of his. Third, he said, "Every time one Jewish person did something "wrong, some individual, the community will blame the entire "Jewish nation, they'll say all the Jews are like this." He said "That is what's happening to you," so two Muslims commit some acts of terror, "All of you will be blamed. "They'll say Muslims are basically terrorists and that is "again happening," so these are some of the things that we learned as a great deal of wisdom and when you have lined up back to back in one cover some of the wisdom really of Europe and of our common humanity, it's just both really inspiring but also you are aware of the challenges ahead and the biggest challenge in the end is how do you get this message out there? How do you simply say "Look, share this with me? "Just share this knowledge." It's like a feast and we are like the cooks, we worked very hard to prepare this feast, we brought it to you, share it with us, and I hope that you'll share it and I'm very encouraged that Dr. Casey and his colleagues, Melody and the other friends of ours have organized this function because all we can request you is to share the feast now. Before I stop, I will request Patrick to read a small dedication that I wrote for Frankie Martin and you will appreciate how a professor in the field can appreciate his own student because Frankie was my student so it's a tribute to Frankie and the book is, as I said, dedicated to him. Patrick, please. - Thank you, ambassador Ahmed, and thank you again to Dr. Shaun Casey, Melody Fox, and the rest of the Berkeley Center for today's program. "Frankie joined me as a student in my class of 2003 and soon "became central to my tetrology of studies. "I can only conjecture with amusement what the students "thought of our (mumbles) around the campus as "deep in discussion, I expounded on the topic de jour "and Frankie, cell phone in hand, typed notes to discuss, "debate, and research, a practice we continued even in "the gym, whether I was on the treadmill or lifting weights. "I had the consolation of knowing that we were following "the classic pedagogical model of paraplectic ponderings "provided to us by none other than the Greeks, Socrates, "Plato, and Aristotle. "I look forward to the fashion catching on in the academy. "With his affection, loyalty, respect, humor, integrity, "and above all, passion for the pursuit of knowledge "displayed over the years, "Frankie became like a favorite son. "No father could be prouder of his offspring than I am "of Frankie. "I owe him far more than he will ever know." (applause) - [Man] Thank you Dr. (mumbles). - When should we start? - Do you want to say anything about the film? - Oh yes, we are going to show you a bit of the film, just 10 minutes. This is the film that accompanied the book, so a lot of people in the film, they won't introduce themselves at this stage, it's the opening of the film, but you will get a glimpse of the Archbishop of Canterbury, Angela Merkel, some under the deputy leader of the Danish People's Party. He will be in the film, and some very strong statements. All of them in the book in great detail and after that, professor Cesari and I can then chat and have a conversation on some of these issues. Yes, Patrick, when you're ready. - Frankie, the lights, oh, never mind. - Indications that an attack near a military barracks in southeast London was a terrorist incident. A man believed to be a British solider was hacked to death by two attackers who were later shot and wounded by police. - We must fight them as they fight us, an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. Your people will never be safe! - This British man has to pay the price for your promise (mumbles). (gunfire ringing out) - [Announcer] By the time they'd stopped, at least 12 people were dead. (shouting) - 129 Europe were killed in Friday night's terror attacks in Paris. Authorities say three teams of attackers launched gun and bomb attacks at several locations in the French capital. (foreign language) - Islam is incompatible with all western civilization. - The war has started, people just need to wake up and (mumbles). - They feel that they are more civilized than. - Xenophobic (mumbles) actually Europe. - In Saddam's Iraq, they would put you in front of a wall and shoot you. In Denmark, they strangle you slowly, slowly. - I think it's reached a stage where it's a bit intolerable. Every single part of our community's under scrutiny. - And as rabbi, as a Jew, as a human being, I'm trapped. I've never seen it as open, as virulent, as hateful as it is right now. - Anybody who isn't a Muslim, has never been to a mosque, they're not places that other people would go to. - The Imams, their elder are really the problem. - [Ahmed] Are we seeing a clash of civilizations? Many are saying Islam and European identity are incompatible and that Islam has contributed nothing to western civilization. Others disagree. (foreign language) - Being Muslim's a part of Europe through all of history. - [Ahmed] As a Muslim scholar living in the west, I set out to seek the answers with my trusty team. (dramatic music) - When you realize you're really not close to your neighbors, you either panic or you say to them, "Listen." (dramatic music) - [Ahmed] Our journey is in three phases. We first explore the past in Andalusia and Sicily, when different religions could live together. The next phase is of Ottoman expansion into Europe and resistance to it. And the final phase, closer to our times, is of European colonization and immigration. - To penetrate that code and become a member inside, in Danish society. (tense music) - [Ahmed] A new situation has developed from Muslims after 9/11. Some, like the young Muslim living in Belgium, whose father is the Imam of this small mosque on the Moroccan-Spanish border, have been caught up in the war on terror. - Took advantage of him visiting his father here in (mumbles). This close to the border of Morocco to be taken from here  to Morocco, and that's it, we never knew anything else from him. Even if you're friends with someone that is involved, even if you don't know what he's doing, just becoming a friend of him or going to the mosque together, then you're supposed to be somewhat involved on the business. - [Ahmed] I want to ask him a question. - [Translator] Okay. - [Ahmed] As a father, what has he felt in his heart, the son (mumbles). (foreign language) - [Translator] Says he hasn't (mumbles). (foreign language) It's very hard. (foreign language) The wife of him and the little daughter. - He should, as a Muslim, as a believer in Muslim, have faith in God and inshallah, he will see his son, they will be reunited. Tell him he has many years, inshallah, to live with Islam. (foreign language) - He says that "Before I die, the only thing I want is just "to see my son, when I see my son, then I can die. "See my son again, inshallah." (foreign language) - You see all these tubes? - Yes, yes. - [Male Voice] This is pepper spray, so when they touch it, it is activated. - [Ahmed] Other Muslim immigrants in the hundreds of thousands have been escaping the poverty and political chaos at home. - Imagine Pakistani families, Syrian families, I'm talking families, people, I mean pregnant woman, little children, babies, they came across, they're not gonna jump the border. They just use fake passports or they are hidden in cars or trucks or even in (mumbles). But it's expensive. - [Ahmed] In Sicily, we met Amadu, a 16 year old from Gambia whose harrowing journey across the Sahara and the Mediterranean took him over one year. (foreign language) - Can we talk to him? How did you find this mosque? - This mosque? It's one generous man. - This is where the refugees are put when they arrive here from north Africa, middle Eastern (mumbles), and (mumbles) and the mosque, support, shelter, we give them a place to sleep, food to eat. - [Ahmed] Who hit you? - He poke me two times. - [Ahmed] With his head? - We feel there's a sense of hospitality, in our spirits, in our blood I would say, but it's very frustrating when you see these people coming with their life in a little plastic bag and you would do everything for them, but there's no other way to help because it cannot be work or job opportunities for everyone of them, so it's like surviving in a jungle, the strongest survive, the weakest won't survive. - [Ahmed] The road ahead is fraught with real dangers. The challenge for European Muslims is to rediscover the passion for knowledge and (mumbles) that once defined Andalusia. I am astonished at the magnificent contribution of Muslims to European civilization, and am sorrowful at their predicament today. But Muslims have to vigorously challenge those who promote violence in the name of Islam. Europe's challenge is to rediscover the links between the Greeks, the Muslims, in places like Andalusia, the Renaissance, and the Enlightenment. All of them share the idea of universal humanism and treating the other with dignity and justice. They must reject all forms of racial or religious intolerance. If it can overcome these challenges, Europe will once again become a beacon of civilization for the world. - Let's pray them to their (mumbles) with the people who are traveling, may he protect you and defend you against all evils and that he might grant you success in your task. - That was so important that you would devote your live, that you would put yourself into this hardship of traveling around and I know what it means. I cannot think of more warm feelings than I have towards your work (mumbles). I think it's wonderful that you have another generation following up, so you have really my most (mumbles) feelings to succeed. (bagpipe music) - I notice my friend, professor, that you are wearing a tartan tie. I love this, this tartan, that tartan, and all tartans. Because tartan is a very special cloth which is woven in a very particular way of many different colors and shapes and designs and it comes together each tartan distinctive in itself from a combination of all these colors and threads and your project I think, I would describe as the tartan project, because your project is going to explain to people in the world (mumbles) of the particular contribution of those (mumbles) from history. I regard your project as the future tartan of Islam.  - I will never forget you guys. I mean that, I will never forget you. - (mumbles) child. - (mumbles). (dramatic music) - I want to see you smiling now. - Yes, yes, (mumbles), I smile, the very much. (mumbles), come there to me, smile together, smile together! - [Man] Yeah, he's with the pope. - Have a duty from John Paul the Second, said "Every time "you meet a Muslim, please, give him a hug, and just say "this hug is from the Pope." - Thank you, (mumbles), thank you. - It's a pleasure. - And I'm delighted you're giving me this hug in a mosque. Thank you, brother. (triumphant music) - Okay, thank you, so with that I'd love to invite professor Ahmed and professor Cesari to the front to share some remarks and have a conversation and Shaun, if we can get the mics, please, thank you. (murmuring) - Thank you very much for this book. I don't know if you can hear me. - Testing, testing. Testing, testing, yeah, just hold it close. - Thank you for this book. I would like to say a few words before engaging in a more, I would say, detailed conversation with you. There are very important aspects of this new book, Muslims in Europe. The first one is the multiple views or lenses of the research team. I think this is very important. It is not done, even when you do anthropology or ethnographic work, most of the time, you end up with (mumbles) being alone or even with a small team, but it's your eye on a particular group or situation. What is very interesting in this research is the diversity of the research team and the fact that it worked as a team, not as you only, and I would say that this is quite interesting because it defies or challenges the usual academy quirk where you end up being the scholar alone and I can appreciate this collective, diverse approach because I think it does give more depth and it catches more of the different part of the elephant if I... If I can talk like that. So this is something that is unusual and I would hope that it will open a new trend in doing investigation and ethnographic investigation. The other important aspect of this book is the diversity of not only the Muslim voices, which you would expect, but also, you brought in the partners or counterparts of Muslims in different situations, which also is very rare. Usually you have books on Muslims in Europe and even if you have ethnographics on let's say Muslims in a neighborhood in Amsterdam, but you do not automatically provide the broader landscape in which these particular communities live in. And this is also very important to do. This is the most challenging aspect and I emphasize because that's also, I think that's why we come together. I think you cannot understand the situation if you do not look at it through a processual approach which means an interaction, a situation is never the result of a (mumbles) internal, reducing (mumbles) change. It is also the outcome of an interaction, and by interviewing and opening up also the different points of views of people who have to deal with Muslims, from mayors to religious authorities to civil servants, we are also having a broader vision of what it is to be a Muslim in Europe today. Something that came very strongly in the beginning is this idea that Europe is going through the clash of civilizations. And interestingly, while Huntington is not (mumbles)  in the US, although we can argue that some would find it also very relevant, it has become the slogan or the buzzword through which to read the current situation about Muslims in Europe. And it is worrisome politically because it's not so much a class of civilization, that's what I have called elsewhere a clash of essentialities. It is Islam with the west which completely negates the reality on both sides and it does feed each other and I will say a few words about that, but what it does, (mumbles) is the multiple layers of the anxiety of westerners or Europeans, these are the Muslim population, because it's not only and I want to stop here and that's why I appreciate the book and the documentary. It's not that Europeans are bad, racist people. It would be too easy to read the current situation in this way. What we are witnessing is an accumulation of anxieties and concerns where Muslims are central. The first one and it comes very strongly in the book and in the little piece of the documentary is the immigration situation. Unlike Muslims in Europe, the majority of immigrants, unlike the Muslims in the US, sorry, Muslims in Europe are immigrants, so the debate that we have here about Latinos or people from Mexico, in Europe are about Muslims. And it didn't start now with the refugee crisis. It started first when Europe was as a former colony attracting and sometime forcing people in France. It was complete contract work between the French and the colonial employees in Nigeria and Morocco (mumbles) to bring people in. So there is deep down not only in the psyche of (mumbles) and cities but also in policy makers, this idea that immigration and Islam are two proxy terms. And you see clearly also in the discussion for example in Italy, so the Italians, Spanish, (mumbles) addressing in the documentary and the book are more recent. The first country that really welcomed a lot of these Muslims from former colony were France, Germany, and the UK and it happened that these are the country with the most Muslims but what we have witnesses recently is not only a flux in illegal immigration but the fact that the refugee flux are also hitting hard the south of Europe. So there is, deep down, this idea that Muslims are a problem because they are immigrant and because they are challenging an already fragile socio-economic situation. To this layer, you add the other layer that most of this Muslim immigration, unlike the Us and it's another major difference is not a highly educated, highly skilled immigration, so while Muslim immigrants in America are well positioned on the socioeconomic ladder, this is not the case in Europe. So there is a gap to bridge between the condition of first generations and the new generation and I have to say that this gap have been bridged slowly but surely. For example, in France, you have four generation of immigrants in the first one when it comes to Algerian immigrants, but still, you see that there are struggle in the fact that they are perceived as immigrants so not so much accepted or legitimate when it comes to job search or even housing search because this socio-economic issue goes hand in hand with residential issues. So in other words, if you want a comparison with the discussion or perception of Muslims in Europe, look at what people are saying on African-American. The ghettoizations, the lack of education, that's why you can make comparisons, and this is another layer that makes the situation for Muslims in Europe very challenging because everywhere they go, talk about immigration, socioeconomic issue, urban development, this is about Islam. And the third I mentioned that doesn't show much in the documentary is the question of secularism, which is the one that is the most recent. Actually, you can trace it back to the first (mumbles) affair in France in 1989 before 9/11 but because of the international environment, the rise of radical Islam, you have now the deep conviction that religious practices of all Muslims are not motivated by faith but are motivated by some kind of terrorist ideology, which is a feeling that is shared also by some segment of the American population here. And this is where all of this together comes to say "You know, this is why Islam (mumbles)". The flip side of that is that this is also reinforced by an essentialist of Muslim activities with a radical agenda, like westerners and Europeans have an essentialist vision of Islam. The leaders of Al-Qaeda or ISIS have an essentialist vision of the west that completely deny the rich history that you are taking about. They are not interested in that at all. In this sense, they are as modern, post-modern than the westerners. They are not buying into history or memory or legacy, they are presenting the west as the enemy of Islam and this is very modern actually. This is a discourse that you can find also in lots of the post-colonial Muslim countries, even when they are secular. This is something that has an origin in very recent history that is never questioned, that is shared and I can't say this strongly because I've been in lots of Muslim countries in different circumstances that is also shared by some secular so-called liberal elite. So what do you do against that? And that's why I think the beauty of the whole project is also to bring something that is very important, which is to rebuild narratives. How do you re-humanize your Muslim classmate? How do you avoid the young white men, sorry to talk this way but in the UK for example, that's a terminology that still (mumbles) threatened by the Muslim neighbor than the upper class or elite, because what we are seeing also is the tensions between groups that are now essentializing through religion and culture, conflict that could be solved by a different vision of civility and then indeed religion becomes a major tool for alienating, not only physically but also spiritually the other and that's what the Jewish Muslim tension is about over there. For me it's a part of the Islam and the west because Muslims aren't seeing the Jews as part of the west and so what are you seeing is beautiful, it is what, how do we  re-inject in European history all the legacies-- - [Man] (mumbles). - Yes, how do we do that? This is the way to change national narratives. This is what I call symbolic integration. When you are not threatening me anymore because you are part of my history and I think this is the most important thing to do in Europe. I hope that project like yours can have because it's very  hard when you see also intellectuals in Europe siding on this essentialism, and you need lots of political courage, let's put it this way, to do what you are suggesting in the book and in the documentary, so I would like to start here, how do you see this happening in Europe because you are right, this is an asset of European history, but everybody is staying away from it. How do we do that, professor? - Well, thank you so much professor Cesari for not only your insightful comments and questions but for really understanding the core of the study and my purpose for conducting it. I really appreciate that from you, a person I have such a great respect for. In fact, I would have been happy to continue to hear you rather than have a dialogue with you. So very quickly, I've made some notes very quickly. First point, professor spoke of the diversity of the team and the paradigm, the method with which I'm proposing. This hasn't come out of the blue. Over the last several decades, I've realized that there is much wisdom, especially in the young. Very often, we professors assume we know everything, and in that, I must confess I was greatly helped by re-reading the Greeks. Socrates, if you remember, constantly emphasized that he began from a position where he knew nothing. So the only thing he knew, he said, was that he knows nothing. So you really have to assume, without sounding immodest, that you are going to the field with a knowledge of zero. Because if you start with that assumption, you will then learn something, but if you go in and say "I'm the expert, "I know everything, I've written my books," you're not going to open your mind to knowledge. That's number one, number two, you've also got to locate a very dedicated team and I've been very, very lucky here. I've been eclectic, so I have my team from the campus, American University students, are very bright, extraordinary. Frankie was an honor student, Patrick was one of my most gifted students, but also all of those members of my own family who I could literally request, beg, borrow, and get them into the project because this served a purpose and the purpose was in a project like this, you'll appreciate this, commitment to a project. To take someone away from their life for four or five years is not easy. You know, the toll it takes on the professor, even if you go as an individual, and I was literally taking them away for years and years. Zena, my wife, for example, just suspended the work she was doing here and accompanied me for years going back and forth to Europe. Similarly, Melody who worked with me on this project and Omar, Omar came and joined me and he's a lawyer so he gave his assistance and great advice and again, you know, professor how expensive lawyers are, so we got him free and then (mumbles), my son is a professional filmmaker so you'll see him helping with the film project. So we were able to get especially the gender balance because of these girls. So in Muslim homes, very often there'd be a kind of... This is Europe, so they're open, at the same time, I was conscious as a Muslim that I could go that far and not much further, but with Zena, (mumbles), my daughter who's a PHD from Cambridge and the subject who then took off months and months to be with me in the field, we could literally say "Alright, girls, this is what we want." Which is very interesting. While I'm talking to the men in the drawing room and talking to them about Muslims and politics and so on, the girls are talking to the women in the kitchen and believe me, the conversation is very, very different, so the men are saying "Oh yes, we are very well integrated "and we're happy and everything's fine, we have no "problem" and the women are saying "Our life is hell here, "we can't go out, every time we go out, we're abused" and so on, so suddenly, we're getting two pictures. And when you meet up as we did and we talk after dinner or at breakfast, we'd then be able to put it together, so that's number one. Dedication and luck. Number two, you said that it's important to talk to people who don't think like you. Absolutely crucial. In this project, you'll see that there is a detail in to, for example, of the editor of the Danish newspaper who published the cartoons of the holy prophet of Islam. Now just to talk to him would mean many Muslims would say "I myself become guilty of association" and it's a dangerous business as you know, just like you mentioned some people  on the far right having very extremist views. A lot of Muslims have exactly the same kind of opinions and both of them tend to then become very violent in their expression. So to track him down and give him full marks, he was very courteous, he met me, he gave a couple of (mumbles) to me and answered my questions and we had a very frank exchange. I gave my point of view, explained things to him, he responded and he seemed to understand and he was very sympathetic to what he heard, so it was critical to track down these people. Your third point about Europe and its complexity and its very different history to America. Now that again, because we're living in a world where everything is so simplified and so reduced, we don't understand how complex the relationship of Europe is to the Muslim world. We often simply see us in America as an extension of Europe or vice versa, so we say it is the west. And there's no such thing. You talk of dialogue, of civilizations, and this idea is a fairly recent idea coming from Bernard Lewis and Huntington and I've been privileged to talk to and discuss and debate with both of them one to one. Europe has a history that goes back to the eighth century, so you have centuries of Arabs. Then later on you have centuries of the Ottomans and now you have decades of the immigrants. And when you say immigrants, you are taking about the complexities, the Islamophobia and so on, you sudden realize how different they are. There's no monotheism, very, very different in terms of groups and how different their responses are to Europe. So the Algerians are coming to France because for a century and a half, they're physically, politically part of France. They're an extension of France. So they're coming back to their "mother country." The south Asians are coming to Britain because they're part of the British empire, so they're coming to their "mother country." The Germans are different because they're contracting guest (mumbles) to come to Germany, so again, you see the difference, and that has an impact on the community. You mentioned the third generation, yes, the third generation is growing in Europe but that is where you have the problem because many of these youngsters who go off and join the violence against the opinion of their parents, the elders of the community, very often they defy them and go off and join the violence, something like five to six thousand Europeans are going to the Middle East, to ISIS, to join the fight against European countries so they are fighting against their own European countries, and no one would advise them to do that, no would would advise them, but they are getting instructions on some people who were suddenly the experts on Islam. When you put that together, you understand the sense of crisis I'm talking about, as a Muslim, as a father, as someone very concerned about the problem between the west and Islam, because these kids are not understanding the cultures they come from. They're not fully integrated because they say "Look, I was "born in Paris or Bradford or London, I belong to this "country" and yet they're not being fully accepted. There may be racism, there may be a lack of employment. There's a consistent prejudice against Muslims getting jobs. In Europe, in Germany, we were told by the commissioner for employment, a German lady and very sympathetic, she said "I deal with the Turks and 40 percent chance "of you not getting a job if you're Turkish, "just your name." So how frustrated would a young man feel who grows up in that country and he's got a passport and yet he's being constantly treated as an outsider? Again, this is a problem, and as you said, we have to do something about it, you mentioned the immigrants, the terrorism. Now, the terrorism again is seen as a failure of the community, which it is, but also a failure of us to  understand what is forming this terrorism and motivating it. For example, in Europe, unlike here in the United States, I identified something called tribal Islam in France and Belgium for example, which I'm sorry to say, professor Cesari, your (mumbles) they have not been doing. For them, it's Muslim. Now, you know yourself because you're such a great expert on Islam that a tribal Muslim will be very different in terms of how they behave, in terms of the action, in their codes, and their priorities in terms of defining the identity. Very often, they'll say "I belong to this tribe" over saying "I'm a Muslim." So how do you then deal with them? They're very different in terms of their thinking and they may be more inclined to respond with a very robust and militant response because of their code of revenge, so all these things, I as a scholar have simply raised because these are matters of great concern, and I'm delighted that you've picked this up as a serious scholar of Islam in Europe and I hope that some of this you will convey to your colleagues because they really in some senses are sincere, they want to find solutions in the administration, on campus, in academia, but they're not really getting it because they're still responding in terms of security, in terms of security analyses, in terms of (mumbles) "Send in more police, send in more "interrogation, get all the usual suspects," and the cycle of violence is continuing because you got to go back and try to understand the paradigm that I'm trying to create here, but it takes effort, as it did with us. We could have given up. I could have done a simple study, just did a quick tour. I was advised by some of my colleagues, "You're going to "London, talk to these experts, you're going to Paris, "talk to these experts," but we didn't. We talked to you but then we went in to (mumbles) and we spent time there talking to ordinary people. We went to the mosques there, we talked to the mosques, the Imams and got a sense of what do they feel? Then you understand because then you are able to solve the problems. So it is a challenge for us, for you, for me and for our colleagues and we need to be thinking of these issues. No one has the perfect answers. I don't pretend I have the answers, I don't pretend this is a mechanical study, I'm very subjective, my team is very subjective. They have their own opinions which I've tried to reflect, but this is my wish as a grandfather and the book is dedicated also to Gabriel, Omar's son and (mumbles) son who's right now in some pain because last night he fell and broke his hand and I'm very concerned. How is he feeling, well? - [Melody] He's okay. - My emotions as a grandfather must take over. The impartiality of my being a scholar. So in spite of that, professor, we have to be very concerned about the state of the world. So with that, yeah? - [Woman] (mumbles) have a question? - [Melody] Yeah, exactly, thank you so much professor Cesari, professor Ahmed. We'd like to open it up for a Q&A for 15 minutes. The rules of this are please identify yourself, say who you're affiliated with, say your name and please ask a question. We don't have very much time so we want to keep it only to questions rather than speeches. Thank you so much, I will pass you the mic when you raise your hand. Who wants to start? (mumbles). - Good afternoon, thank you for both your words and of course your new book, congratulations Akbar. Now, in light of this fourth book and what you've learned and gained, are there lessons coming back to one of your first books, Journey to America? What have you learned that you can tell Muslim-Americans in terms of getting something two or three books on, particulary from your European experience? - Thank you, Dr. Emery, that's a great question and I know it concerns you because you're an activist. I've learned many things and I've really, really learned in some sense to simply reflect and share the wisdom I gained in the field. And that is in the book, you'll see that in the book and you'll see a lot of those quotations and sentiments in the book. In short, Emery, I'm saying go and buy a copy of the book. (laughing) - [Melody] And you can buy copies which maybe professor Ahmed can sign back here in the corner, we have our book seller here.  - Emery, get your wallet and move out. (laughing) - Just want to add something to that because it's really important. Muslims in Europe are really struggling with different issues and what Americans could do is to take better advantage of the freedom of thinking. I mean, there is a need other think about Islam independently of political institution, both in Muslim countries, but also in Europe because they are now caught into this binary opposition, Islam versus the west. The American-Muslims have the intellectual, symbolic capital to do that and there are a few doing it, but there is lots of opportunity to open up major institution of teaching, as you said, this is what should be done. Not teaching the (mumbles) or the one on one, but really reviving all this and this is a missed opportunity today in the US. - And you know, professor, when you look at the media, you'll have discussions nonstop in Islam and experts giving their opinions about Islam. I never see professor Cesari or professor (mumbles), the great scholar on this campus. I'll see experts who have very little idea of Islam and very often air their opinion on the subject. It's their political opinion, so the American public is not being informed. Half the time, they come away with some very garbled ideas. You and I are not saying that Islam is perfect, no religion is perfect, there are many, many problems which have to be solved and we have pointed that out and I think in a very rational and academic way. But people have to be informed of this. - But I'm sorry to (mumbles), but this is a problem that is to Europe and in the US too, which means the politically correct and being a woman, non-Muslim, I am really experiencing that, who am I to talk about Islam?  So it's better to have a Muslim (mumbles) that has less probably understanding of the history and it does also effect campuses and you are saying who are the Muslim scholars about America? You're absolutely right! If you're Muslim, you can end up in a position on Islamic studies. Why is that? Why, if I am a non-Muslim woman, I am challenged right off the bat. - Do you see the problem? - Yes, yes, yes. - This is a real problem. - It's a real problem and it has to be highlighted. - But I don't think it's only Muslim, it's also the expectation from the (mumbles) media, academia, political circle. - Thanks. Thank you, thank you, professors. I wanted to ask as a lapsed Catholic from Ireland who saw religion as not a very positive force what you would say to non-Muslims in Europe about the view of Islam and secularism? You said yourself in your speech referred to how you  might be treated by taking, just talking to somebody who produced a cartoon about the holy prophet. You spoke about how you were differentially treated in talking to women and to men. So if people are worried about this, what do you say? - I simply say that if they are Muslims, are you talking Muslims or non-Muslims? - [Melody] Non religious people. - Non-Muslims? - [Questioner] (mumbles). - No, say it to who? - [Questioner] To anybody? - About Islam? - [Questioner] Yes. - Yes, I simply say on two levels, one is I remind them of Islamic theology and the importance of knowledge and understanding and without that you cannot have any research or any scholarship. I emphasize that a thousand years ago, we are talking (mumbles) some of the greatest scholars were Muslims. Scientists, astronomers, historians, because they were pursuing knowledge. And then I remind them that today you have a crisis where the Muslim world is now in a sense being watched by the rest of the world and a lot of the opinion of the Muslim world is quite negative, and it is up to Muslims then to rise to the challenge and show the world that that negative impression is not correct. They are to show the world that they are capable of living as citizens, integrating as citizens, and contributing to that society, and I will also point out quickly that in a place like England that some of the most prominent citizens are Muslim. Over a dozen members of the house of lords and house of commons, dozens of hosts on the BBC, lords, the mayor of London, so many examples where Muslims are contributing to that society. Even the cricket captain of England and you know how sensitive the English are to cricket was a Pakistani, Pakistani background. And presently one of the most popular players on the cricket team has a beard two feet long and he's very much a Muslim from Pakistani background. So there is an attempt and we have to encourage that attempt, because without that, we have a problem and this problem is not just going to go away. Now, I know Ireland, I've traveled there, I've had the privilege of being brought up in, I'm sorry you left Catholicism because I was brought up in a school in north Pakistan run by the Catholics and my impression of the Catholic church was again, a church which emphasized knowledge. People were really brought up by these priests. My wife was at a convent run by the nuns and we are grateful for the education they gave us and the confidence that Pakistani Muslim country, 98 percent Muslim, had in the priests and the nuns was incredible. Without them, I wouldn't have had this education. So maybe my faulty analysis and interpretation of history can be attributed to the Catholic priests and not to any failing on my part because they really educated us. So we have to be more philosophic in dealing with each other and not get caught up in Muslim, non-Muslim because I'm not concerned if you in your conscience have left the church or not. We are able to talk as human beings, it's as simple as that. Now, Patrick is a devout Catholic and Frank, his attempts to get him to the Episcopalian side have failed so far but at the same time, I expect him to live up to his own high standards of Catholicism. In that way, he's able to live up to his own ideal and we have no clash, no clash at all. I treat him like a son of mine, without any problems. So I have to remind Muslims of this and I have to remind non-Muslims of this. See, it's as professor Cesari said, use the word, rehumanize, humanize each other. We have to humanize you, you have to humanize us, otherwise we all have a problem. - If I may, because your question seems to me was also about this secular approach. Yeah, and what you were pointing out is some behaviors in community that seem to challenge secular culture, like... - [Questioner] No, as I understand it, it's very much an influence of the state. It doesn't have to do with a separation of church and state that other religions might have. - I must jump in here because I know this is a very common misperception, I want you to please Google the name of Mr. Jinnah, the founder of then, in 1947, the largest Muslim nation in the world, Pakistan. And read his speeches, the first ever speeches in the constituent assembly gathering in Karachi. When he said in August, August seventh I think or 11th and then August 14th or 15th, two speeches, in which he said "You may be Christian, go to your churches, you may be "Hindu, go to your temple, whatever you want. "The business of your religion has nothing to do "with the state." His actions were that he had seven members of the cabinet, one of them was a Hindu. One belonged to a minority group. So I know that this is the perception you have. The Muslim world equally has a perception of the west as Christian. Now, we know that there's so much secular thinking that the idea of the west being Christian is just laughable and yet if you talk to the Muslims, they'll think that the Muslim, don't you agree, professor Cesari? A lot of Muslims simply, they're Europeans, they're all Christian. So the idea that Muslims are somehow not capable of understanding the concept, it just doesn't exist in real life. Now, you may point out countries like Saudi Arabia and Iran and you'd be right, but remember who they're being ruled by. Who are the rulers of those countries? But take any democracy, even though I know that these democracies are not like our democracies in the west, they're struggling on the path to democracy. If you take Turkey, for example, Pakistan, Bangladesh, all these countries have a very vigorous, not successful, not final attempt at creating a state which balances what you call secularism and tradition. Perhaps not succeeding, but they're aiming for that and go back to Jinnah and read his speeches and you'll be amazed at how what you would call "secular" he is in his thinking. - To add one more thing on the Muslims in Europe because there have been lots of surveys done, most of Muslims in Europe do not want an Islamic state. When they talk about Sharia, this is a big, big misunderstanding. They are talking about laws about regulating their marriage, their custody of children, divorce, which are laws that can be regulated in Europe in any secular democracy also by religious prescription. This is what it's about when they talk about Sharia, so in this case, they're not very different for Jewish families who also want Jewish law to regulate this particular thing but nobody talks about (mumbles) versus Sharia or the Catholics, Mary (mumbles), you know? So there is kind of tension here with secular law. So this is a big misunderstanding. - [Ahmed] As I was saying, yes. - Because actually, this is something that all religious communities in secular democracy are going through. But I understand that when you hear Sharia from ISIS or Iran or Saudi Arabia, you think it's state law that regulate criminal aspect and civil aspect and everything, but it is very far from the reality of people in Europe. There is not even Islamic parties. If they really wanted a Muslim, Islamic state in Europe, they would create parties. Most Muslims that go through politics in Europe go through the mainstream channel, that's what you would say. So we have really, this is as I said, we have to look at what the reality on the ground, what are the demands on the ground? I'm not saying that these demands on marriage, family, are liberal, but I don't know any monotheistic religion that is completely liberal when it comes to this question of family, gender, and sexuality. And that's why I look at (mumbles). - (mumbles), we have a colleague of ours from the Pakistan Embassy, administrator from the embassy. (mumbles), can you tell us very quickly something about Mr. Jinnah and his idea of minorities? Although I must point out right now there are problems, minorities are complaining, but he'll talk about Jinnah (mumbles) and what he said about minorities. - Good afternoon. I've been put on the spot by Dr. Ahmed, but it's a privilege to contribute to this event. As some of you know, Muhammad Ali Jinnah is the founding father of Pakistan. He was a (mumbles) profession, educated at Lincoln's Inn in England, and he led the movement for a creation of Pakistan, and I will not take much time, but I will  only refer to a speech that he made on the 11th,  August, 1948 at Pakistan's first constituent assembly. So he addressed Pakistan's lawmakers and he laid out his vision of the country and he said that "I'm looking at a "country where Muslims will cease to be Muslims and Hindus "will cease to be Hindus, and they will be able to live "according to their own religion and their own wishes." So this is the founding father of Pakistan and this is the vision with which we try to live with and he's the man that we look up to.  - Thank you, (mumbles), thank you. You have upheld the honor of Pakistan, thank you. - Thank you. Well, we're right at two o'clock and I want to respect everyone's time commitment. Thank you all for coming out here. If you have further questions, maybe our speakers can answer them briefly afterwards. I would like to encourage you all to buy a book, perhaps you can get it signed. Excellent, excellent. Beach reading or any time reading, it's wonderful. I just want to thank you all for coming, audience, thank you to the team for putting this together and thank you so much to our scholars, professor Cesari and professor Ahmed, thank you. 

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