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Reviving Islamic Discourse.

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Aug 11, 2018

How we look at the world can be broken into power dynamics. We talk with Yassir Morsi about racism, power structures, feminism and oppression.

Yassir Morsi's main area of research is the critical analysis of contemporary racism and Islamophobia. He is a regular contributor to The Guardian. He was a lecturer at RMIT University in Melbourne and now he is currently lecturer at La Trobe University. His recent book which he released is titled 'Radical Skin, Moderate Masks'.

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[2:00] Introduction of Yassir Morsi


[2:48] Boys In The Caves’ experience with Yassir


[3:30] Muslim community adapting and having conversations


[5:00] Tanzim’s experience with Yassir Morsi’s ideas on Samarqand Facebook page and being exposed to different ideas when getting into the Deen.


[8:15] Why do you think racism is such a central issue for muslims to be aware of and understand thoroughly?


[11:45] In Yassir’s book ‘Radical Skin, Moderate Masks’ the terms ‘apollonian’ and the ‘dionysian’, the two different elements to how we see racism, are discussed.


Dionysian is the brute force of the europeans subjugating the rest of the world, and apollonian is how they present themselves as beyond racism now where all it is good, when it's dyonisian violence that created the societies we live in today.


[14:30] Racism is modernity. The condition of the world is racism.


[15:50] How does racism trickle down to Muslims? Is that what is called Islamophobia?


[17:00] Why do you think race is given such importance to uncover the oppressions of the world? E.g. people may say economic reasons may the reason for certain oppressions in the world.


[19:35] In regards to power isn’t expansionist Jihad by Muslims be the same as colonialism by the Europeans?


[22:20] Some people try to make all violence throughout history the same e.g. comparing Ottomans to the Europeans who colonised lands.


[24:25] People feeding into the identity politics.


[26:20] Dynamics of violence in a Muslim context.


[30:00] The effects of poorly run countries leading to worser conditions for people.


[31:30] Being short sighted and blaming countries current climate on themselves rather than looking at the structures that were put in place.


[36:30] Joe Rogan talking about inbreeding amongst Muslims being the reason for ISIS coming about.


[37:30] Muslims falling back on “racism not being part of the religion”


[42:00] Making statements about how Islam gave rights to women but not actually doing anything in practice to live up to that statement.


[51:10] To what extent can Muslim brothers use theories external to Islam?


[56:20] Just because concepts stem from the West does it mean we can’t use it in Islam?


[1:00:00] Double standards when it comes to policing Brothers and then the sisters in Islam


[1:03:57] Differentiating people who speak about feminism like Daniel H with people like Yassir Morsi.


[1:14:50] We hear all these terms such as conservative muslim, fundamental muslim, or moderate/good muslim used by non-muslims to frame us. What are the implications of these terms - like we know we shouldn’t use them, because that’s how they define us.


[1:16:57] If you could hang out with three people, who influenced you during your studies, in a Cave who would it be?