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TV interview at European Union Office of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

I briefly discuss my career, before focusing on how Muslims can be better integrated in European countries.

Summary

Transmitted 11 October 2017. Posted 14 December 2017

As mentioned on my page “Radio Interview: My Messages for Young Muslims”, in October I was in Provo, Utah at Brigham Young University’s International Law and Religion Symposium.

One of the many interesting people I met there was Francesco Di Lillo, who is Head of Office at the European Union Office of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. When he learned that the following week I would be visiting the European Parliament with the Conservative Muslim Forum, we arranged for me to visit his office for an interview.

The interview was transmitted live on Wednesday 11 October over the LDS Church’s Facebook TV Channel, and then posted on YouTube with the following description:

“Francesco Di Lillo, Head of Office, invited Mohammed Amin MBE, one of the most influential Muslims in the UK. During the interview, Mr. Amin answered questions regarding his views on Islam, human rights, the role of the media and civil society, and the efforts to tackle anti-Muslim hatred. Mr. Amin also replied to comments and questions from viewers around the world.”

The 30-minute interview can be watched below.

The questions I am asked

The interview was conducted live. I had reviewed the questions in advance, and slightly amended one to use the term "anti-Muslim hatred" instead of "Islamophobia" for clarity, but not attempted to control what was asked.

Below are the 12 questions that Francesco had sent me, plus my transcription of three questions that came in from viewers during the programme.

Part of my answer to question 13:

“If you are a Muslim, other people will learn about Islam from you, but only if you speak to them.”

As a small media training tip, watch for the number of times I mention Mormons while giving my answers, even though the questions are focused on Muslims.

  1. Could you please share a little bit about yourself, your past experiences and current occupation?
  2. I have had the pleasure of listening to one of your lectures at the recent Law & Religion Symposium hosted by the International Center for Law and Religion Studies at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. It was a fascinating presentation on some of the most common misunderstandings about Islam. Could you please share with us some of the key points? [I have made available to website readers the PowerPoint slides I used in my presentation “Do Muslim Religious Texts Cause Religious Persecution?”]
  3. It seems like that more education about religions and understanding of historical contexts could help to better understand Islam and address some of the most common concerns. Who should take the lead in spreading this knowledge and why: individuals, institutions, religious organizations?
  4. Do you think European governments are doing enough to tackle anti-Muslim hatred? How can members of different religions and civil society work together to address this issue? 
  5. You identify yourself as very active in politics. What can people of goodwill in all political parties do to increase interfaith understanding; and to ensure that nationalism doesn’t become xenophobia?
  6. Do you feel that your political views are sometimes discounted because of your religious beliefs? How does your faith influence your political views?
  7. As an active political advocate, you are often not only a representative for your political community but also in many cases a religious representative of your Islamic community. How do you work as a conservative Muslim to defend human rights?
  8. Months ago, you wrote an article about how freedom of religion is fundamental for a free society. How, in your opinion, does religious freedom contribute to—and even form the foundation for—a free society? 
  9. How can religious diversity contribute to a more cohesive, unified community? How does freedom of religion promote a more religiously diverse community? 
  10. How does discourse concerning other human rights, like freedom of speech, contribute to the discourse concerning freedom of religion? 
  11. With the immigration crisis, many critics claim it is too difficult to properly integrate large influxes of people into already existing countries and communities. What could countries in the European Union do to better integrate incoming immigrants or refugees? What good policies or practices have you seen to better accommodate immigrants?
  12. What is the role of the media in increasing or reducing islamophobia sentiments?
  13. How does one go about becoming influential? If young Muslims want to make a difference, what should they do? [This and the following questions were sent in live during the programme by viewers.]
  14. Why did you choose a career as a tax adviser?
  15. How should young people go about entering the political world?

The interview

I recommend raising the volume level of your playback device.

 

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