Matthew Kaemingk: Welcome to Zealots at the Gate, a podcast of Comment magazine. I’m Matthew Kaemingk.
Shadi Hamid: I’m Shadi Hamid.
Matthew Kaemingk: Together we research, politics, religion, and the future of democracy at Fuller Seminary’s Mouw Institute of Faith and Public Life.
Shadi Hamid: We are writing a book together. This podcast represents an informal space where we can talk about how to live with deep difference. Thanks so much for joining us.
Welcome to Zealots at the Gate. First of all, an important note. Make sure to subscribe wherever you listen. If you like what we do, please consider leaving us a review on your preferred podcast platform. And you can also join the conversation, ask us questions by using the hashtag #zealotspod on Twitter, and we do check that regularly, or feel free to email us at email@example.com. So you might know the drill, guys. Matt Kaemingk and I are good friends. That said, perhaps we shouldn’t be. We have our differences. Matt’s Christian; I’m Muslim. Matt’s conservative; I’m liberal-ish. Matt’s white; I’m apparently brown. No, I think I am. Matt is a theologian, and I’m a political scientist. Matt’s from the rural Northwest, I think somewhere around Seattle, but not in the liberal part of it. I’m from a Northeastern liberal enclave—Philadelphia, DC, and so forth. So our identity markers would suggest that maybe we wouldn’t get along, we wouldn’t be good friends, but we are.
Matthew Kaemingk: There you go. That’s our intro. So, Shadi, today we are discussing masculinity and muscularity in politics. And I think it’s only right that you and I are both donning hoodie sweatshirts.
Shadi Hamid: That’s right.
Matthew Kaemingk: This makes us strong and virile and whatnot. So we’re talking about muscularity and masculinity, and our dear listeners will find out more about this as we go on and why. One of my favorite political philosophers, and yours, I think, is William Connolly, who specifically writes a lot about these issues of pluralism and deep difference. And in his book on pluralism, he talks about something that happens to our bodies when we experience deep difference. When someone comes at us, who is politically different, economically different, racially, religiously, whatever it is, but when we experience deep difference coming at us, coming close to us and moving quickly in a way that we might not be able to fully understand or interpret, Connolly says something happens to our bodies—that they clench up, they tighten up, we tighten our fists, our shoulders come up, we might clench our teeth. And this difference causes us to respond often with a sort of fight or flight mentality.
This is taking shape today, and what we’re going to be talking about today is the way that this fight mentality can arise in Islam, in Christianity, and even in more muscular forms of secular liberalism as well. And so we’re going to be kind of diving into each one of these forms of muscular, masculine responses to deep difference and talking about the ways in which they show up in these different faith communities. And then just, how do you and I think about it? How do we feel about this? Do we want politics to be more muscular and how so? And stuff like that.
So I’m interested in jumping into this conversation, and we’re going to start by listening to a rather surprising voice, a very problematic and difficult voice—in fact, a kickboxer and provocateur online who has a very troubled past. His name is Andrew Tate, and he’s been in the news a little bit, Shadi, here, for a number of reasons over the last few months. A very troubling figure, actually. But I wonder if you might just give us a little bit of background on who this Andrew Tate guy is and what on earth does he have to do with being muscular and masculine when it comes to these differences.
Shadi Hamid: So Andrew Tate is a fascinating character, and probably most of you weren’t familiar with him until recently. Something happened over the Christmas holiday where he got in a big spat with Greta Thunberg and it kind of went viral. We’ll include a link to that Twitter exchange. But then Andrew Tate was arrested in Romania on sex trafficking charges. So that’s kind of the recent background. So there was a profile of Andrew Tate in the Economist the other day because a lot of people are confused, and it’s like, who is the misogynist Andrew Tate? And I read it this morning, and I was surprised and somewhat relieved that it didn’t mention an important fact about him. Or maybe it’s not that important—we can discuss that. But Andrew Tate also happened to convert to Islam a couple months ago, but there wasn’t a single mention of that in the profile.
And if you look at some of the Twitter conversations about Andrew Tate and more broadly online, very rarely does his supposed Muslimness even come to light. And that’s actually kind of reassuring for me as an American Muslim, that when Muslims do bad things, people don’t immediately jump to the fact that they’re part of my religion, which is very different than post-9/11 where whenever a Muslim did something bad, even if it had nothing to do with the fact that they were Muslim, it was like, “Oh boy, we’re in trouble now.” And it’s also a nice—
Matthew Kaemingk: Local Muslim does X. Local Muslim does Y, right?
Shadi Hamid: Exactly. And even recently, Dave Chappelle—a lot of people don’t know this about him, obviously one of the most famous comedians in the world—he’s also Muslim. And I like it that even when people are angry at him for being whatever, supposedly anti-trans and so forth, they don’t mention he’s Muslim. Great! But I do think in the case of Andrew Tate, there’s a lot of interesting things to kind of unpack here. Why did he convert to Islam?
And just to put a finer point on why he’s relevant, I was looking at some stats, and this is actually incredible. His videos on YouTube have garnered a total of eleven billion views, which is also a little bit crazy because I think there’s only like eight billion people, so clearly some people are watching them many times. And also there was a survey that he is the world’s single most popular influencer among teenage boys and girls. He’s a misogynist. He talks about how wives and women should be submissive and stay in the home and do these traditional things, and that men have to basically be the patriarchs, all that sort of thing. Now, he converted to Islam. Are we going to show the clip of this?
Matthew Kaemingk: Yeah, this might be a good spot to show. So we have a little clip here we want to share with you where Andrew is being asked, “Why did you convert to Islam?” And the particular reasoning behind it really brings us to our topic of being more muscular and masculine in public life and the ways in which he thinks Islam helps him do that. But also he has a number of cuts at Christianity for being too weak, too feminine. Well, anyways, let’s roll the tape and we can hear from Andrew himself and then chat a little more about it.
Mohammad Hijab: I wanted to ask you now, because this is the hot topic, especially in the Muslim community, about your conversion. So tell us the story. What happened exactly?
Andrew Tate: Well, I think a lot of people who have been following me for a while understand that I’ve been very respectful of Islam for a long time.
Mohammad Hijab: Yeah, sure.
Andrew Tate: I was born in a Christian country. I was raised as a Christian, and I’ve always been very respectful of Islam. And it’s become more and more obvious to me and more and more pertinent that Islam is the last religion on the planet. When I talk about Islam, because I’m new to it, I’m a little bit careful, right? Because I’m new to it. I’m certainly not a scholar. There’s so much I need to learn. I know I’m on a learning journey. I’m not here to sit there and talk scripture. I don’t know those things yet. I’m here to learn.
Mohammad Hijab: And we’re here at your assistance.
Andrew Tate: Thank you, brother. Thank you. Thank you. But it’s just, for me, it feels like the last religion on earth. I feel like there’s no other religion. People say to me, “Why did you convert?” And I said, “I don’t really feel it as a conversion. It’s almost like I knew God was real and now I’ve become religious.” And they say, “Oh, you were religious before.” I was like, “Religious before how? Christian?” What does Christian mean? Who’s not a Christian? You go to Christian nations and everyone says they’re a Christian. Look how they live their lives. Go into the average church. Is anyone actually fearful of God? Anybody? No. The girls are out on Saturday night drinking, and then they turn up to church because their parents made ’em. But there’s no substance to the religion. And also Islam very closely reflects my personal beliefs.
Through my personal life, I’ve learned that if you don’t have standards and you’re not a strong person who’s prepared to defend his ideas, you’ll be crushed. And we look at most religions in the world today, which are not prepared to defend their ideas, what’s happened to them? They’re just getting crushed. And now we have Christianity as an idea, which has basically said, “Well we can’t set any firm rules because everyone will just quit. So instead, let’s make it so easy to be a Christian that nobody has to put any effort in, and then accept everybody no matter what. And hopefully we can keep the church doors open.”
That’s not God to me. God to me is strong. God to me is something to be feared. God to me is someone that people are afraid to mock. God to me is someone that you have to go out of your way to prove something to. God to me has red lines. Like, God to me represents the Islamic faith. The Christian God to me, I don’t see God. I can’t explain; I don’t see anything there. So to me, it was the only logical choice in the end.
Matthew Kaemingk: So, strong words, intense words. And we’re going to share one more clip here, Shadi, in which he gets even more aggressive towards Christianity in his specific critique of Christianity for being soft and weak. And once again, as we heard in this clip, there’s underlying worldview that you have to be strong or you will be crushed. And there’s sort of a hidden third actor in here, I think, Shadi, where he is talking about being crushed. Being crushed by who? Being crushed by what? And that is a sort of liberal form of secularism, a late capitalism, a late modernity, whatever you would call it. But there’s this sense that the West is declining, and in its decline it’s crushing those who truly do believe in absolute truth. So there’s sort of this third actor that we’ll talk about. But first let’s listen to this more aggressive clip, specifically his critique of Christianity and what he at least thinks he likes about Islam.
Shadi Hamid: Prepare yourselves.
Andrew Tate: I look at the world through a very realistic understanding of force, and I understand that if you’re not prepared to defend something, it will be taken and destroyed. I understand that, like we said earlier, violence is the underpinning of all civilized societies. Even when I look at a big tree, I see violence. I understand that tree is the biggest because it destroyed all the other trees around it. If you’re not prepared to defend or fight, then you’re going to be destroyed. So when I look at Christianity in its current form, I don’t think that they can be right in terms of their interpretation of God, because if they were correct, God would give them the strength to defend themselves. And they don’t. Christianity doesn’t mean anything anymore. If the Christian interpretation of God was correct, then God would be giving them the strength to resist.
But they don’t resist anything. I don’t believe Christians have preserved a single thing in modern time. I know in America there’s this hard-line Christians who believe that they’re trying hard. They’re still failing on a daily basis. And in most of the world, especially in Europe, Christianity is absolutely and utterly a joke. The thing that actually finally converted me was about three weeks ago. I’ll send you the TikTok. It was the first drag queen Methodist preacher.
Zuby: Oh geez, man.
Andrew Tate: Yeah. But this is the point. If you’re tolerant of everything, then you stand for nothing. So once you say, “I’m a Christian, but I tolerate everything under the name of tolerance,” well, then you no longer have any beliefs. So if you have no beliefs, then all of it is garbage. The only way you can worship a God is if that God gives you instructions, and if those instructions are adhered to and respected by the followers; and also if the followers of the particular God—I’m not going to say names—stick up for and defend those beliefs and are prepared to be ridiculed or prepared to be stigmatized; and two—like I said earlier, a bottom line of society is violence—to fight to defend those beliefs. If you have a belief system that nobody will fight to defend, then you don’t have beliefs, just like feminism. If nobody fights to defend it, it goes away. Like Christianity, if nobody stands up for the rules, it goes away.
There is one religion on the planet today in which people stand up for the rules, they stick by the rules, they refuse to be mocked, and they refuse to completely throw away their values and belief systems under the guise of tolerance. Because they don’t want to be tolerant of everything. They said, “No, we’re not tolerant of everything.” Because when you’re tolerant of everything, you have no morality. That’s what we were talking about earlier. Baseline morality means there’s some things you’re intolerant of because you’re a moral person. So to be moral, you have to be intolerant to a degree. There’s one religion on the planet and that’s Islam. So if I’m going to worship God and I’m going to worship God in a way which is true to my own personal beliefs, also what I understand about the world, what I understand about strength, what I understand about defending ideals, then there’s only one religion on earth I can respect. I can’t respect Christians anymore. They—
Matthew Kaemingk: All right. Yeah. So he gets even more intense there. And we cut off when he got it intensely explicit. But, Shadi, there is a lot in those statements. And before I ask you how you feel about that, I’d love for you to pull apart and help us understand what’s happening here. What is behind all of this, because it’s not just Andrew Tate, but this is a much larger discussion about the relationship between Islam and the secular West. So kind of pull apart for us what’s going on here.
Shadi Hamid: Also. Did I hear that correctly? I mean, this is the second or third time I’ve listened to it. Did he say that what actually led him to finally convert was a drag queen? Maybe I misheard that, but it sounded like . . . Anyway. But I think that actually gets at something very important. He’s talking about converting to a faith, and he doesn’t mention anything about creed. He doesn’t mention anything about theology. God is not central in this universe, or what God wants or what God demands of his servants. There is nothing about the prophet Muhammad and following his sayings and his deeds and the Hadith. I mean, the list goes on. There’s no mention of the Koran and the principles that are discussed in the Muslim Holy Book. It’s purely what I would call a political conversion. In other words, this is someone who has preconceived political preferences and commitments and is trying to find a religion that aligns with his politics.
He looked around at the available options. Christianity wasn’t working, and then you only have so many other options. So I mean, Judaism—hard to convert to. Out of the three monotheistic faiths, Islam is the obvious alternative. So this to me is fascinating because it’s something . . . I don’t want to say it’s completely new. I think that if we look in the past, we can find maybe similar political, not to this extent, but maybe similar themes. But I think we’re also noticing it in other faiths as well. And we can get to this a little bit later when we talk about Christianity, how a growing number of especially intellectually oriented Protestants or agnostics and atheists are becoming kind of hard-line conservative Catholics, sometimes what’s called “Catholic integralists” because they see this form of Catholicism as being strong, defiant, vigorous. Also those who have converted to some of the Eastern Orthodox iterations of Christianity. Orthodoxy is stronger, it’s more vigorous, so on and so forth.
Matthew Kaemingk: Exactly that. We can see that in the conflict over Ukraine and the way in which Vladimir Putin and the Russian Orthodox Church frames their political and existential conflict, which is, it’s a conflict with a West that has been feminized. And they talk a lot about transgender and sexuality, and there’s a desire to stand up for men as the masculine nature of the Russian Orthodox Church. And as we talk about in our intro, I’m from Seattle and I’m from the Protestant tradition, and we have this in the Protestant tradition as well—a growing in the ranks of American Protestantism that wants to really raise up a masculine form of Christianity. And in Seattle, where I’m from, we had a megachurch Protestant pastor by the name of Mark Driscoll, who made central to his ministry in that city the masculinity of the faith, and was very clear that he was focused on preaching to men and about being a man.
And I think there’s something really important that Mark Driscoll, and his masculine emphasis on faith, politics, and morality, emerged out of a context like Seattle. So of course Seattle is known for its coffee and its tech. But one of the main things Seattle is known for is its godlessness. People don’t really go to church. It’s a very progressive, very secular space. And, of course, a sort of sexual permissiveness and women’s empowerment—all of these are very important cultural movements within the sort of Seattle milieu. And so being a Christian pastor, amidst this secularity and this deep difference, Mark Driscoll and others are very aware that they are up against it culturally, that they are a minority. And when you experience that level of difference, there is this temptation to drive this masculine, muscular form of religion and politics, that we are going to fight. You can either lay down and go along with secular progressivism, or you have to be very muscular in your fight against it. So we see that example within Mark Driscoll’s Protestant ministry, but we can see it in the Russian Orthodox tradition, and as you mentioned, we can see it in the Catholic integralism.
But back to Andrew Tate, he sees it in Islam, right? He sees Islam as a resource for him to be more muscular in the face of Western decline. And I think when we were talking the other day, you mentioned that there has been some conversation between Islam and folks like Andrew Peterson around—
Shadi Hamid: Oh, Jordan.
Matthew Kaemingk: Oh sorry, Jordan Peterson. So Andrew Peterson, just so you know, he’s like a celebrity in Christian circles. So our Christian listeners will know who Andrew Peterson is. Jordan Peterson. So Jordan Peterson—a number of Christians have engaged him because they like his focus on men. But could you share a little bit about what’s going on there for Jordan Peterson with Muslims?
Shadi Hamid: Yeah, yeah. Well, first of all, just a funny story that comes to mind about Jordan Peterson. I was at a conference recently, and I was sitting on a dinner table with a couple prominent American journalists and I brought up Jordan Peterson. And somewhat to my surprise, two of them literally had no idea what I was talking about. This was just two months ago. They were like, “We don’t know who Jordan Peterson is, nor have we ever heard of him.” So I had to give a primer. And I think it’s something similar with Andrew Tate. There is this whole parallel universe that people aren’t fully aware of, and they probably should be because some very important developments are happening there. Anyway, so Jordan Peterson, probably the most famous, best-selling psychologist/philosopher type in the world today. I mean, his books have sold millions of copies, and that’s not an exaggeration.
Jordan Peterson has been part of this kind of right-wing, manly approach. I don’t want to put him in the same bucket as Andrew Tate. Obviously Peterson has a more intellectually oriented approach and has not been accused of sexual trafficking and so forth. But just to say that Jordan Peterson has been able to speak effectively to millions of young men in America and more broadly across the globe by telling them basically to . . . self-reliance, pull yourself up, clean your room, that sort of thing. Clean your room is actually one of his major pieces of advice, which apparently is helpful for people.
But Jordan Peterson, because he has become such a celebrity, there’s become this sort of half joking but also kind of serious desire to bring him closer to Islam. There’s actually a whole subgenre of Muslim Jordan Peterson fanboys who think he’s awesome. And there were actually a number of pretty popular YouTube conversations and debates between Jordan Peterson and various Muslim imams and intellectuals and pundits. And there was actually a hope that I’ve heard a number of times that deep down maybe Jordan Peterson will come to the faith. Maybe the more we talk to him, he’ll actually convert to Islam—which is somewhat amusing. Anyway, I guess these are proselytizing faiths; it’s kind of normal, I guess, to want to convert people to your own.
Matthew Kaemingk: Well, I think this desire for a stronger public witness . . . I’m going to have a number of criticisms in this discussion of being more muscular and masculine in public life, but I’d like to pause for a moment to affirm something that I think is really important about what’s being said here. So as our listeners will know, Abraham Kuyper is a public theologian that I really enjoy. And, Shadi, you’ve given a number of lectures on your appreciation for Kuyper. And one of the things that Kuyper is well known as an advocate for is religious freedom, diversity, and tolerance. However, he was no softie; he was not a pushover; he was not a relativistic pluralist. He was very vigorous in his public witness, and he had some hard edges. So when he argued for a diverse public square in which diverse faiths and ideologies could come and advocate for their unique perspectives, he was not soft and squishy about this. He was not affirming of those that he disagreed with. He actually wanted a vigorous public debate. He wanted the public square to be a noisy place, to be a raucous place, to be a place where socialists would come with vigor, arguing for socialism. He wanted Catholics to come and bring their particular perspectives and to fight for it. Similarly, he wanted Protestants and liberals to do the same.
So he wanted a noisy public square. And ultimately he thought that this would be good for democracy. And I myself find that very compelling. So I like it when Muslims come forward and say, “I really feel like we need economic justice in this country for poor people because God demands this. God demands economic justice.” And one of the things within Islam is a real critique against usury or abusing the poor through charging them exorbitant interest. And we can see that in payday loan systems and credit cards and things like that.
And personally, I think that American democracy would be better off if Muslims would come forward and publicly argue against things like payday loans and say, “This is because we’re Muslims. We believe strongly in this, and we believe God demands that the poor be treated justly, and that interest is problematic.” And you yourself, Shadi, have done this. You’ve actually written a little paper when you were younger about an Islamic view of economic justice. And so while I have my real criticisms of this desire of muscular, masculine fighting for your beliefs and not being so soft, I do think it’s really important in a democracy for people to be forthright about what they believe and to fight for it.
Shadi Hamid: So for precisely this reason, I’m a little bit torn, and I want to lay this out, especially for listeners who maybe aren’t familiar with intra-Muslim debates. Sometimes there’s a temptation to engage with an apologetic approach. So part of me looks at Andrew Tate, and I don’t want to talk too much publicly about the fact that he converted. Part of me wants to offer up disclaimers, and we as American Muslims did this endlessly in the 2000s after 9/11. There was always this expectation that when there was a terrorist act committed by a Muslim that, oh, did you condemn that? Or before you say anything publicly, you’ve got to start with the condemnation disclaimer, which I think in retrospect was really not good because no one should have doubted that I, as an American Muslim, oppose terrorism. The fact that I had to go out of my way to say something that should have otherwise gone without saying . . .
And I think a lot of us played into that by engaging in this condemnation game. And this also happened, I think too, with the rise of ISIS. What do you do when people who claim to be or actually are part of your religion do evil things? I don’t want to draw moral equivalency between ISIS and Andrew Tate. That said, the charges against Andrew Tate are quite serious. I mean, sex trafficking, that’s very bad. So maybe that’s my own disclaimer before I get to some of the substance, which is: the people who talk about toughness, as you say, they do have a point, and let me talk about Muslims more broadly. A lot of Muslims do like the fact that Islam is “tough, defiant, vigorous,” that Islam has been able to effectively resist secularization, that Islam continues to play an outsized role in public life. Despite efforts to cut it down and privatize it, that hasn’t happened.
Well, I should also state my biases or my premises upfront. I mean, I actually did write a book saying that Islam was exceptional in this regard. The book is actually called Islamic Exceptionalism, where I make the argument that Islam is fundamentally different than other faiths, and specifically Christianity, because it does have a lot to say about public law. It does have a lot to say about politics and criminal punishments and how to regulate public affairs, sometimes in specific terms. I don’t want to overstate that; the vast majority of the Koran is not legal, but there are obviously legal aspects to Islam that are quite prominent, and sometimes those are controversial. And I think that even myself, I can see why people would be proud that Islam has stood apart in this way, and not just Muslims feel that way. I should actually note there’s a growing number of conservative Christians who appreciate this about Islam.
And I remember a few years back I had said or written something about a conversation I had with a friend where this friend made a reference to Islam being a “badass religion.” Then Rod Dreyer, who’s a well-known conservative Christian writer at the American Conservative, he wrote a blog post, which we can share in the show notes. I think it was something like “Islam: The Last Badass Religion?” And what was so interesting about this is he was actually celebrating the idea that Islam was a badass religion, and he was actually lamenting the fact that his fellow Christians were soft and weren’t standing up for themselves. And he said, “You know what? We Christians should be more like Muslims. We should be badass. We should fight against secularization. We shouldn’t apologize for our beliefs.” And another interesting example of this is Sohrab Ahmari, who when we had a conversation with him on the wisdom of—
Matthew Kaemingk: Sohrab Ahmari is a Roman Catholic integralist, for our listeners. Yeah.
Shadi Hamid: Yep, yep. So I had a podcast conversation with him and we can include that in the show notes as well, and he actually talked about how he had changed over time and how he’s become more sympathetic to conservative iterations of Islam, including aspects of Sharia, because he sees the primary threat today as being secularism and liberalism, and if Christians can make common cause with these strong, defiant Muslims, all the better.
Matthew Kaemingk: I got to say, this has got to be somewhat confusing for you, Shadi, because I can imagine from the years 2000 to 2016, opponents of Islam in America were largely evangelical conservative Christians. In my world of conservative Christianity, I spent a lot of time defending Muslims against those who would say, “Muslims are the problem. Muslims are the problem in America.” And now today you have these conservative Christian leaders using words of respect for Muslims because Muslims are doing a better job of resisting secular liberalism than they are. So that has to be somewhat confusing for you . . .
Shadi Hamid: Yeah, yeah, it’s been a fascinating shift. And there is something nice about the fact that people don’t care about us as much, at least in America in terms of public debates, where in the early Trump years we were kind of enemy number one with the Muslim ban, and Trump was talking about us a lot. Thank the Lord that we’ve sort of disappeared, and sometimes I feel like people have forgotten about us, which in some ways it’s nice to have people talk about you, but it’s also nice to not have people talk about you when it’s negative. So there’s that.
Matthew Kaemingk: So, Shadi, I want to push you now. I want to press you on something because it’s something that’s been bothering me personally as well, which is the use of our faith for political ends. Turning these faiths that you and I hold sacred and dear, and they mean a lot to us and to our families and to our way of life, and then to watch someone like Andrew Tate use Islam for his own—and I’m presuming here—he’s using Islam for his own political, moral, cultural agenda.
That happens within Christianity as well, of course. There are Christian political leaders who use the Christian faith as a political weapon, but it’s pretty apparent that they haven’t actually spent very much time actually reading Christian scripture or engaging in Christian spiritual practice. Of course, Donald Trump is example number one. He would wave a Bible, but it was quite apparent he had never actually really read it or wrestled with it, but he was willing to use the Bible as a political weapon. So I guess what I want to press you on is, how do you react, as a Muslim, watching your faith get used like this with Andrew Tate, when it’s clear he’s not really taking the faith terribly seriously, but sort of using it as a weapon to lash out at others? So, yeah, how does that work for you?
Shadi Hamid: It’s a really good question because, well, there’s two modes of me, Shadi. There’s me, the person who tries to keep some distance and analyze what other Muslims are doing from a sociological and political science perspective without—
Matthew Kaemingk: Yeah, this is Shadi, the social scientists sort of distantly observing. Right?
Shadi Hamid: Exactly. But, Matt, what I really like about our conversations is that you push me and you have pushed me over the last couple years to not always fall back on that mode. I don’t think it’s a cop-out, but sometimes I do feel like I’m deflecting and falling back on that analytical mode, in part because my own personal feelings about some of these things are indeterminate and I’m still working through them. But you’re right. Presumably as a “Muslim thinker” . . . although I have said in the past that I consider myself more an academic or a writer who happens to be a Muslim than a Muslim academic and writer, than a Muslim who happens to be a writer, whatever, something like that. But through our conversations, I’ve had to contend with these issues more directly.
Now, I have a sense of what I think God considers morality to look like, and then when I see someone bragging about having thirty-three cars—that’s actually how the whole tiff between Andrew Tate and Greta Thunberg on Twitter started. Andrew Tate was bragging about his thirty-three cars, literally. That’s apparently how many he has. And then I’m thinking to myself, there’s no moral universe where I can imagine a God who sees that kind of prideful behaviour and avarice and arrogance and flaunting of crazy amounts of wealth and thinks, “That is what I want of my servants.” There’s no modesty, there’s no humility, and that to me is very intuitive. And it doesn’t even require being a Muslim. I think this is actually what the monotheistic faiths share.
I think deep down most of us have a natural inclination—what Muslims sometimes call the Fitrah, which is the innate disposition with which God created us. If you believe that God created human beings, then you must believe that he made us in a particular way, and that we do have a nature. So we incline towards some things and don’t incline towards others. Of course, there is evil, there is temptation, there is the devil, and in that sense there’s a struggle. And we will probably have an episode at some point where we talk about how the Islamic and Christian conceptions of sin, and specifically original sin, differs. So Muslims don’t have this idea of original sin, at least original sin as Christians understand it.
So anyway, this is all to say, and maybe I’m doing precisely what I said I wouldn’t, which is deflecting. But yeah, I believe that there is a kind of normative Islam. I do have feelings about what is Islamic and un-Islamic. So when I see someone like Andrew Tate bragging about how he has his women and they’re under his every demand and whim and that they have to be submissive, and he’s associating that with a stereotypical view of Islam, which I very much disagree with . . . And we don’t have to get into all that, but obviously there is a sort of ultraconservative, somewhat extreme view of Islam that sees it as needing to have control over women’s lives, which I disagree with on a profound level. It’s not the mainstream view, whatever, so on and so forth.
But there is a part of me that’s also uncomfortable speaking publicly and saying, “This is the true Islam and this is the false Islam.” And maybe this gets into the bigger conversation about pluralism and how “relativist” we can or should be. I still am uncomfortable making . . . It’s not my job to issue religious edicts. It’s not my job to say what a true Muslim needs to do and should do. And maybe this is also just a reflection of the fact that I’m not a theologian by training. I’m a Muslim political scientist, and I would rather leave the fatwas to . . .
Matthew Kaemingk: I know, I understand that. But let me push you here on this. I’m not asking you to issue a fatwa against Andrew Tate. I’m just asking you to tell me: How do you feel when you watch someone use your faith and twist it like that and perpetuate stereotypes that have been difficult? Doesn’t that sort of pull up a little bit of emotion for you?
Shadi Hamid: Well, I did say that I don’t like it and that it bothers me.
Matthew Kaemingk: Okay, okay.
Shadi Hamid: No, but you’re right. Why isn’t there more of a fire, and we’ve talked about this before. But can you say a little bit more about how this religious fire animates you as a Christian? Because maybe that’ll help me think through why I don’t have as much of it.
Matthew Kaemingk: So I’ll give two examples. One is an example that I think is a pretty good analogy for what you are experiencing right now. And it’s, when I was young, people watched CNN, and one of the things that they would do is they would bring on Jerry Falwell, the old Jerry Falwell. I don’t know if you remember this, but they’d bring on Jerry Falwell and he would be the Christian cultural commentator that CNN would constantly bring forward as the evangelical voice to represent us. And Jerry Falwell would not bring a particularly humble, generous, or creative Christian voice to the table. He was more like a mallet, like a moral hammer. And he was the one who was representing me and my community in the media, and that was very frustrating for me, because I wanted CNN to choose a public voice for evangelicalism that was generous, that was faithful, that was creative and interesting.
And I felt like CNN was selecting Jerry Falwell because he was good TV, because of the hard edges that he brought. It was a bit like going to a zoo to watch a wild animal. Let’s study these crazy evangelicals, and we’ll look at Jerry Falwell. And so that would pull up some emotion in me because I wanted evangelicals and their faith and their view of public life to be well represented on CNN. So I felt strong emotion about that.
The second emotion is better seen with Donald Trump, because I think that Jerry Falwell really did believe. He truly was a believer. He just publicly expressed himself differently than how I would. Donald Trump, I think, really did use the faith. He used the symbols and the individuals and the fears and longings of the evangelical faith. He used them as political tools, as political weapons. And he manipulated a church that I love and a tradition that I love. So I would say that made me even more angry, because I believe that the church is called to be a force for good. And watching it get twisted like that was hard for me. So that’s sort of how emotion works in those two things.
But in terms of political issues, there are things that I care about, like the care for the poor, the care for God’s creation, the care for the unborn in terms of abortion. In the past, Christians cared a lot about the abolition of slavery, at least some of them did, and they brought Christian arguments into the public square that black people are our brothers and that God cries out against injustice. So they would bring religious fervor to different public policy issues. And that’s because our faith is public. And as you have argued many, many times, Islam is not simply a private spirituality; Islam is a public faith. So yeah, that’s my take. So go ahead.
Shadi Hamid: Yeah, so this raises a couple things that we can try to unspool a little bit. The first thing, when you mentioned the example of Christians and the abolition of slavery, I do wonder about the causal sequencing. So it’s possible that an individual feels intuitively, without a lot of reasoning, that slavery is morally abhorrent. Then they take the next step and say that if they’re Christians, by definition, a Christian God would not accept something that is morally abhorrent; therefore Christianity condemns slavery. This is just a thought, and I think I already believe things and then I can go to the Koran and find retroactive justifications for what I already feel in my heart and think in my mind. That’s just a little side point. But I do want to ask you, because I struggle with this and I think it relates to one of our previous episodes with the Christian theologian James Wood, on the case for political combat, and he was making that case.
There is a tension, I think, between having our views in a full-throated way in the public sphere. As you talked about earlier, a real democracy needs to have people who aren’t afraid of expressing deep conviction. No one should feel that they have to suppress who they are in the public sphere. You and I feel very strongly about that. If you’re a religious person, you shouldn’t have to pretend to be secular or pretend to be liberal when you’re making arguments in the public arena. But there is a concern that I have that, okay, people are being tough in their debating style, they’re being combative. At some point that is going to make pluralism a little bit more challenging, or maybe it won’t. Maybe that’s just an assumption. But at least certain kinds of very strongly worded, combative sorts of things are going to have a polarizing effect, and they’re going to make us feel that we’re in the right and other people are in the wrong.
You see this sometimes on Twitter when people work themselves into a frenzy. Maybe if you talk to them one-on-one in person as friends, they’re calm and comfortable and whatever. But then it can build, it can build. And I wonder, because you do it very well and not just because you’re my friend and not just because you’re the co-host of the podcast. You are one of the relatively few people I can think of who has very strong, deeply felt commitments and convictions, some of which are controversial, but I never see you crossing that line where you get into a frenzy or where you start to lose control and start to project your anger or dissatisfaction on other individuals. So I mean, just for our listeners, how do you see that tension?
Matthew Kaemingk: Yeah, well goodness, there’s many ways to go here. I mean, my mentor Richard Mouw talks a lot about what he calls “convicted civility,” being a person of deep conviction, unapologetic about those convictions and being very clear about those convictions, but also being a person of deep civility. The apostle Paul in the New Testament talks a lot about being a person of grace and a person of truth, and that those things are not in tension with one another, but actually they are embodied in the person of Jesus—that Jesus is a person who speaks truth, and sometimes truth that makes us very uncomfortable and is very demanding and is very clear, involving the kinds of red lines that Andrew Tate is longing for, red lines. But Jesus is also a person of profound grace and forgiveness and self-sacrifice and is willing to absorb the unfair blows of the other.
And so in the apostle Paul we get these two words, grace and truth, grace and truth, conviction and civility, deep principles and generous pluralism. And I think ultimately those two sides, no human being could ever perfectly put them together, other than Jesus. And so for the rest of my life, I will never be able to hold truth and grace perfectly together. But Jesus has, and Jesus demonstrates that. And I think that a Christian approach to public life needs to hold both of those things. And so when I hear these muscular Christians arguing for a muscular form of Christian nationalism or we need to fight for our Christian beliefs in public square, my natural inclination is to criticize and critique them. But I do have to affirm that they are demanding Christian truth be spoken out loud and Christian beliefs be defended. And it seems to me that that truth is an important part of what Jesus was all about, not just grace.
And so I have to be thankful for my colleagues like James Wood and my colleagues and friends and brothers and sisters who are involved in these efforts for a stronger Christian voice, even though I think that sometimes they miss that other side of the grace and radical hospitality and a willingness to be mistreated in public life sometimes, because you have to absorb that. And, Shadi, you experience that on Twitter. You have to absorb arrows, and that’s just kind of part of being a public citizen.
Shadi Hamid: Yeah, exactly. I mean, another challenge that I would just put to you is it’s something that we do hear from various Christian commentators and also some Muslim ones as well in the last ten years or so, and I think James Wood made a reference to this when we had him on the podcast, that there are normal rules of engagement when things are normal, but that we are now in an exceptional period. And here I’m referring to the US context, where because outward displays of religiosity and specifically Christian witness are demonized and constrained, marginalized even sometimes through legal means, the normal “winsomeness,” this more kind of radical graceful approach might be the ideal, but it is no longer applicable to the particular circumstances that we find ourselves in.
And there’s almost a kind of political and perhaps even moral dispensation to be more aggressive because of the circumstances, that in normal times you wouldn’t use Donald Trump as a vessel to get Christian judges on the Supreme Court. You wouldn’t actually decide to look away from Trump’s immorality. But because we are an exceptional times, we can make an allowance. Obviously the dangers of that are obvious because how long does the exceptional time last? And once you start thinking that you live in exceptional times, it sort of becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. But I’m curious how you would respond to that kind of pushback.
Matthew Kaemingk: Man, I didn’t prepare for this challenge. Yeah, I think I would . . . It’s a good one. It’s a good one. I think that what I would say is, I agree with those who would argue that in the last thirty years American public life—and with this I’m thinking our corporations, politicians, universities, newspapers—American public life has become increasingly antagonistic towards the Christian faith compared to 1990, for example. So I completely agree that an important shift has taken place in American public life and culture with regards to its hospitality towards the Christian faith and the Christian voice in the public square.
But the use of the language of emergency situation, I think, I would want to reserve for situations like Nazi Germany, apartheid South Africa, civil rights movement in America, the abolition movement. That’s when I start talking about emergency situation in which Christians need to start finding exceptional ways of speaking truth. I just think public life has gotten a lot harder for Christians who want to be speaking, and I think we should stop whining about it and take it as a challenge to strengthen our public witness, make it more persuasive, more forthright, more convincing, and double down on being engaged in public and political debate in a way that is both truthful and gracious.
I don’t think of this as an exceptional moment in the way that I think apartheid South Africa, Nazi Germany, or the slave situation in America is. And furthermore, just on a pragmatic level, I don’t actually think that muscular Christianity is terribly effective in cultural discussion. I don’t think it really does persuade, and I think of politics primarily in terms of persuasion rather than power. So back to Andrew Tate, he thinks of the world primarily as violent, and it’s about force, and it’s about taking what’s yours and defending what you think is sacred. So his primary framework for thinking about political life is combat all the way down. And I don’t feel that way about American public life. I still think persuasion is really important. It’s not just about sort of a nihilistic grasp for power.
Shadi Hamid: As he somewhat amusingly said in the clip, even trees are violent, which did make me chuckle. We would be remiss to not at least briefly mention the muscular form of liberalism, and I’d be curious how you would compare it to muscular Islam or muscular Christianity.
Matthew Kaemingk: Yeah. So let’s pivot to this, because I think this is really important. Because as you and I have talked about, secular liberalism functions in many ways like a “religion,” I think. And what has happened, particularly in Europe, is a discussion around a need for muscular liberalism. And I want to play a clip for our listeners from past prime minister from the UK David Cameron, who gave this somewhat infamous speech in Munich to European leaders in which he was criticizing European multiculturalism and European hospitality towards diverse cultures and religions that didn’t “fit in” or integrate with European society.
He was essentially saying, look, we have been too soft, too inviting to pluralistic difference. And what we need is a muscular liberalism, a muscular secularism. These Muslim immigrants are coming in with a very strong identity, a very strong sense of purpose and meaning. And Europeans, we’ve grown soft. We don’t really believe in things anymore, and we’re relativistic. And so we need to meet Muslim strength with liberal strength. We need a sort of muscular liberalism. So let’s hop in here and just listen to just a clip from his Munich speech, and you can kind of hear the resonance with a sort of Christian desire to be muscular and a Muslim desire to be muscular. And here we can hear a liberal desire to be muscular.
David Cameron: What I’m about to say is drawn from the British experience, but I believe there are general lessons for us all. In the UK, some young men find it hard to identify with the traditional Islam practiced at home by their parents, whose customs can seem staid when transplanted to modern Western countries. But these young men also find it hard to identify with Britain too, because we’ve allowed the weakening of our collective identity. Under the doctrine of state multiculturalism, we’ve encouraged different cultures to live separate lives apart from each other and apart from the mainstream. We fail to provide a vision of society to which they feel they want to belong. We’ve even tolerated these segregated communities behaving in ways that run completely counter to our values. So when a white person holds objectionable views, racist views, for instance, we rightly condemn them. But when equally unacceptable views or practices come from someone who isn’t white, we’ve been too cautious, frankly—frankly even fearful to stand up to them.
The failure, for instance, of some to confront the horrors of forced marriage, the practice where some young girls are bullied and sometimes taken abroad to marry someone when they don’t want to, is a case in point. This hands-off tolerance has only served to reinforce the sense that not enough is shared, and this all leaves some young Muslims feeling rootless. And the search for something to belong to and something to believe in can lead them to this extremist ideology. Now for sure, they don’t turn into terrorists overnight, but what we see, and what we see in so many European countries, is a process of radicalization.
Matthew Kaemingk: So yeah, so the language of weakening, the language of strength, is shot through there. And in that particular speech, Cameron uses this phrase “a muscular liberalism.” And this is echoed actually by Sarkozy at the same time. And Sarkozy gives a number of speeches on this need for French secularism to become more strong and forthright in its cultural mission towards Muslim immigrants. And at this time you have a lot of discussions in France about banning the head scarf from public schools, efforts to use European strength to liberate Muslim women, and essentially saying that if we are weak, we encourage violence and we cultivate separation, and so we need to be more muscular in our European secular belief. So, Shadi, what are some of your thoughts or reflections on what you’re hearing here from Cameron and of course from the muscular forms of liberalism that we see in France as well?
Shadi Hamid: Yeah. Well, first of all, I hadn’t really remembered that David Cameron was a prime . . . I mean, it’s been a while. I mean, it seems like really like a blast from the past. And it’s also, I think, a very different moment in the political imagination. It feels very 2011 or pre-2011, post 9/11, that era of American and British politics, and it is a relief that we’re no longer in that moment. Look, I understand where he is coming from. I do think there are intriguing echoes as you sort of alluded to Andrew, to something that—
Matthew Kaemingk: Jordan Peterson or Andrew Tate?
Shadi Hamid: Tate. Peterson. Maybe that kind of just conveys the idea that at some basic level this desire to be tough and defiant and to stand up for one’s values and maybe to go overboard—because, as we said, there’s nothing wrong with that per se—it can be taken to a point where it starts to push others out. And I think it’s actually the French model of secularism that I would be more critical of. I actually don’t think that Cameron’s comments in that particular speech were the worst thing ever. I think he makes some valid points. I wish the entire focus wasn’t just on the Muslim minority and singling them out. The way he kind of did that does make me nervous.
I think that the French secular model isn’t just saying that state multiculturalism is bad, because France never really even entertained a multicultural approach. They’ve had this aggressive French-style secularism for decades. The only debate is about whether to make it even more aggressive than it already is, and to keep on upping the ante and to keep on doubling down in a way that does single out Muslims because they are the ones who are on average more likely to be visibly religious and publicly religious. And that to me is anti-pluralist. If you’re pushing people or pressuring them, including through the law, to suppress their religious conviction, that to me is a red line. And when I think about my own approach to American politics, that should be the red line here as well.
If you are a conservative Christian, Muslim, or Jew and the state is telling you that you can’t fully be who you are, I mean, that to me is a line crossed. So if a Muslim woman, as we’ve talked about in previous episodes, can’t wear the head scarf, which she considers as a religious obligation between her and her God, and the state is telling you that you have to choose between that commitment to God and your supposed loyalty to the state, that puts people in an impossible bind. No one should have to make a decision like that.
Matthew Kaemingk: Yeah, and that’s probably a great opportunity here to turn to Latifa Abouchakra, a brief response that she put together, responding to David Cameron and specifically pushing back against muscular liberalism and arguing for her own form of Muslim pluralism. She gave this particular speech to a group of teachers unions in the UK, pushing back against David Cameron and others who want a muscular liberalism. And here she is defending her participation in the public square as a Muslim woman with the head scarf itself. So let’s listen to that.
Latifa Abouchakra: Thank you. I’m representing the Ealing division in London, and I begin my address in the name of the Most High. Assalamu alaikum. When certain politicians and the media use the term “muscular liberalism,” that’s just another word for racism and Islamophobia. This stance on Islam has led them into primary schools to ascertain why young girls wear the hijab, as it could be interpreted as a sexualization of these young girls. I say shame on Ofsted for victimizing young girls for choosing to wear religious articles of clothing. There is no such measure made for other religions or other articles of religious wear. This stance has other ramifications. It signals to the British public and emboldens groups such as EDL, BNP, and other fascists and racist groups that women are oppressed by Islam, are made insubordinate to the men that supposedly force them to wear it, and that it is the job of the British state to liberate us. We reject this imperialistic saviour thinking.
And I’m here to state for all people who choose to practice their beliefs openly, that we are not oppressed by our faith. Islam is not one homogenous block. There are Muslim women who do not wear the hijab, and that is their interpretation of their faith. The Qur’an beautifully states, “لَاۤ اِكۡرَاهَ فِى الدِّيۡنِ” which translates to “There is no compulsion in religion.” My faith has given me the right to choose 1,400 years before the Universal Declaration of Human Rights told me I could. A fun fact for your conference: my dad didn’t want me to wear the hijab. I chose to.
Those of faith . . . Thank you. Those of faith should have the right to choose to wear their articles of faiths—Sikhs wearing the turban, Jews wearing the kippah, or Christians wearing the crucifix. Practicing my right to freedom of expression through the hijab empowers me and other women like me to know that we are able to make decisions for ourselves. Through the hijab, women like me feel empowered to overcome the social expectations of sexualization that is relevant and has currently resulted in many cases of anxiety, and worse.
I can speak for myself and others like me. At school, I was able to focus more on the thoughts that that were running through my mind than how good I looked to the world. The NUT has supported a woman’s right to choose when it comes to pregnancy. I want conference to support my right to wear the hijab.
How I choose to practice my faith is clearly displayed for all to see. This makes me the target of hate crime. The level of racist attacks on Muslim women is disproportionate to any other oppressed group in British society because we are an easy target. This decision by Ofsted has ramifications beyond the school gates and must be seen in the context of increased attacks on the Muslim community and perpetuates the outdated notion that Muslim women are all victims.
Matthew Kaemingk: All right there.
Shadi Hamid: Preach. Preach. Okay. She is good. I like that. I mean, not to be the analytical, critical person, I probably would differ with her in a couple things, but in terms of speaking to a public audience in a very compelling way that speaks to a broad array . . . So if you are a liberal person, you can see something in her comments where you’re like, “Yes, the right to choose.” But she also talks about religious obligation and how that’s important to her, and so on and so forth. I don’t know what you felt. My guess is that you would maybe take slight issue with the fact that she even needs to justify the hijab using liberal language. We did talk about this before, and it’s always been something I think we’ve wondered about. But in some ways, if that’s what she believes, if she believes, if that’s important to her, the fact that she is choosing, then great. And I don’t know, take that where you will, but—
Matthew Kaemingk: Yeah. Well, so there’s many ways to pick this thing apart. On our particular topic for the day, which is being muscular, being muscular in public life, there’s a couple things I want to pull out. One is she’s criticizing muscular liberalism as having a saviour complex, that we need to save you because you don’t know what’s good for you. And it seems to me that that’s not unique to liberalism; a sort of Christian muscularity in public life has that as well. We know what is good for the rest of the world because we have God’s truth and we are here to save you.
And so it seems to me that, first and foremost, that is the downside, the dark side of any form of muscular political ideology—this belief that you need to sit still while I save you. You need to hold still while I liberate you from the things that you’re wrong with or from. And the reason I wanted to finish with that quote was because Latifa herself is strong. She is offering a very strong rebuttal. And I think she right there captures in an important sense what Abraham Kuyper is looking for, which is a noisy public square in which public consensus is being contested, and she’s refusing to go along with this sort of muscular liberalism, which at that time, from about 2004 to 2015 throughout Europe, there was this shift to the right and this desire to meet Islam with strength.
Shadi Hamid: And it’s still going on.
Matthew Kaemingk: Yeah, that’s true. It’s still going on. And so the public square needs these subcultures that contest the political norms that are there. And so I’m grateful to her for that.
Shadi Hamid: And I think your point, too, about the use of the word “save”—first of all, it’s good rhetoric for her to use that kind of language in this context. But it does get to this, that even non-faiths are, in a sense, doing something that we normally associate with religions. Everyone is trying to save people they don’t like or disagree with. And to kind of bracket liberalism or secular ideologies that are supposedly moderate and neutral, and to say that they’re not interested in saving people, is just simply false. But what religion does that I don’t know liberalism can do, at least not quite in the same way, is that religions can distinguish between two different kinds of saving. You can save someone politically, and you can try to save them religiously and spiritually. The latter doesn’t have to have political implications. It doesn’t have to require pressure or coercion, because it’s about the next life ultimately. The problem with trying to save people politically is that it requires action in the here and now.
Matthew Kaemingk: Yeah. That’s such a good point. And there’s so much there. And I think what we’re seeing in public school debates here in America is exactly that kind of a conflict, when you have a Christian agenda in America that wants to raise children in a Christian way conflicting with a secular progressive agenda that wants to raise children according to their understanding of flourishing. And so the battle over public school curriculum and what happens in libraries is exactly that.
It is two different salvation narratives. Both sides want to save the children and really pull this in, and believe that they need to be strong and muscular in their effort to fight for the souls of their children. I know we need to wrap up this conversation here, but, Shadi, just like final thoughts on this impetus to save our fellow citizens and to use the power of the state to do it, and to do it now, imminently, rather than leaving that off for a respectful understanding that it’s God’s role to save people rather than ours. Any final thoughts on that as we wrap up this discussion?
Shadi Hamid: Yeah, yeah. It’s such an important point to close on. And it’s one of the reasons I love doing this podcast, because I do think this is a thread that runs through a lot of our conversations, and it’s something that each of us as individuals can do. We can learn this skill, we can practice it, and it requires some kind of conscious decision to think differently about the saviour complex, so to speak. It requires us to kind of take a moment, when we realize we’re doing this, to say, “Okay, there doesn’t have to be an imminent solution in the here and now. I don’t have to convert this person to my political faith. I don’t need to make this Republican who insists on being Republican a Democrat. I can learn to let go and go on with my life and focus on what should ultimately matter more—family, friends, community, and faith.” But letting go is hard in the kind of environment that we find ourselves now. So you have to actually think about it in order to do it effectively.
Matthew Kaemingk: Yeah.
Shadi Hamid: On that note . . .
Matthew Kaemingk: All right, lots more to talk about, man, and I want to pull this out maybe in another episode of her specific defense of the head scarf. We need to talk more about . . .
Shadi Hamid: Yes, that’d be good.
Matthew Kaemingk: . . . the reasons she used there, because they’re fascinating. And I do have some critiques of how she defended herself there, and I’d be interested in hearing your thoughts there too.
Shadi Hamid: Yeah, for sure.
Matthew Kaemingk: Friends, thank you so much for listening to Zealots at the Gate. If you like what you’ve heard, we really ask that you check out our podcast’s intellectual seedbed, which is Comment magazine. It’s filled with just amazing, amazing articles on faith and politics and culture. You can find articles from myself in there. You can find some from Shadi. They’re just really great. Please do subscribe to the podcast, share it, review it, give us five stars, and then feel free to give us a terrible review. You can write us if you like. You can write us an email if you have thoughts that you want to share. Our email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also follow Shadi and I on Twitter at @ShadiHamid and at @MatthewKaemingk. And please do use that hashtag #zealotspod. Our thanks as well to our sponsor, Fuller Seminary’s Mouw Institute of Faith and Public Life. Shadi.
Shadi Hamid: Zealots at the Gate is hosted by Comment magazine, produced by Allie Crummy, audience Strategy by Matt Crummy, with editorial direction by Anne Snyder. I’m Shadi Hamid.
Matthew Kaemingk: And I’m Matthew Kaemingk.
Shadi Hamid: Thanks so much for joining us.
Matthew Kaemingk: We’ll see you next time.
Shadi Hamid: Bye.