Reverse-Engineering the Impact of the British Establishment on Muslims (Podcast)

“We all have power, but power corrupts in making us feel like we have none.”

“We all have power, but power corrupts in making us feel like we have none.”

On this week’s TMV Podcast, Salim speaks to William Barylo on the topic of the British establishment, “whiteness”, meta-colonialism, and his own experience of being a revert to Islam.

To listen to the full conversation, click below:

William, who has worked with TMV on a number of different projects and videos, explains that as a sociologist, his duty lies in helping spread knowledge to the wider public. “My job,” explains William, “is to understand why people do certain things…as a Muslim academic, it was somewhat like a religious duty. My knowledge is not halal until it is shared.”

Sharing his own deeply personal experiences and stories in his journey to both Islam and to where he is now, William speaks on the need for the community to become more in tune with how to truly understand the hurt and pain of certain people and communities, and how to move forward as one shared and empathetic ummah.

All of us have embraced, even unknowingly, parts of this dominant society that tells us to oppress others…We need to build back confidence in our communities, and [a lot of this] comes down to tawwakul, trusting in Allah.”

Moving on to the topic of whiteness, and the damage that the harsh reality of the British establishment has had on the wider Muslim community, William explains that unless the Muslim community unites as a confident and knowledgeable community willing to step in and help other more vulnerable people in our community, we cannot hope to truly thrive and flourish in society today.

When people speak about whiteness, it’s about the system not the people. Whiteness is what fueled colonialism…it serves the purpose of a white-only civilization. The colonization of lands may have ended, but there is now the colonization of the minds. We’ve been colonized without even knowing it.”

Speaking also on the issue of how difficult it can be to stand up to the establishment in the pursuit of justice and morals, William understands that many Muslims simply do not have the means, financially or socially, to stand up to the establishment. Many will continue to work with programs like PREVENT or companies who engage in moral corruption because there is simply no other way to survive in our society today.

But the dire importance to, despite the hardship, stand up and stand firm in your morals – and to help those who need assistance – is more important than ever, according to William.

In society, we have forgotten to take care of people…today, it’s either ‘you’re with us or against us’. This type of mentality is very toxic. People are falling into their own traps.”

The need for a stronger ummah, especially in the face of growing right-wing and fascist establishments across the globe, is part of our duty as Muslims, explains William. The dangers of power, and of siding with the establishment, are real – “we all have power,” William states, “but power corrupts in making us feel like we have none. It always pays to stand your ground, the problem is that we just have not been raised with the confidence to say no”.

To listen to the rest of this fascinating conversation, click below:

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