So for them sect or regional nationality is not going to make any difference as much as the capacity and the quality of leadership. To be able to provide answers, to be able to speak fluently and I meet some very smart young men and women in the Muslim community and I’m hopeful. The challenge of course is while they’re emerging, we may not have the luxury of so much time because events are moving so fast. You’re just beginning to start seeing this young generation emerging. You have the crisis on the ground, mosque and you have the patrol and you have something else and this is constantly keeping the pot on the boil which making it very difficult. A new leadership emerging normal times is difficult enough; in times of crisis it becomes even more difficult. So it is going to be a huge challenge and I think the older generation should really encourage the young. The older generation so should stop assuming the leadership. In many ways it has failed. The emphasis has been as you know on the older generation and that’s how it become that’s the nature of immigration to come to America make a lot of money some of them would send it back some of them would even go back or think of going back certainly I terms in terms of marriage maybe even burial. And emphasis law and [medicine].
How many Muslims of the older generation encourage the younger generation to become scholars or play writes or joining the media? Very few. Money was in law and money was in becoming doctors and therefore we have so many doctors. The Pakistani community has in this organization called [APNA] which is one with the most credible and established organizations in America of Pakistani doctors, something like 12,000 doctors. That’s’ a formidable force. But the primary purpose is you come here, you make lost of money and you live your very comfortable life in your own cocoon.
The young generation needs to begin to change the alignment. America is a country of ideas. Ideas and contest all the time therefore identity becomes important. And a lot of the ideas are actually being contested on campus, scholars, in the media. The writers in the media, on television. How many Muslims do you see there? Very few. There are some but very few.
Now I know Michelle you’re moderating but this is the last question I know you’re all keen to move on to the Turkish delight but I do want to take your permission.
Michelle: No go for it.
Akbar Ahmed: To just say a few words of gratitude to you for moderating this evening. To my friend Dr [Emri] and Jenner for inviting us here, for their usual warm hospitality. And this is on behalf of [Zeneth] my wife who’s sitting on the back row there. You’ve treated us with great hospitality. We have brought some vey special guests this evening Michelle. We have Dr. [Set Shar] from Pakistan. [IB] his wife there. The parents of our wonderful daughter Fatuma sitting in the back row. [Dr Shar] could you just stand up and show yourself and [Negat]. [Negat] where are you? Now [Negat] no one is going to give you dirty looks because you’re wearing the head [IB]. She said people keep looking at me and wondering… and Fatuma of course sitting next to her and then of course [Arsheb] and Zebu who’ve… Zebu has just come from Pakistan; she’s been doing heroic work, she and [Zeneth] that started a program to rehabilitate the refugees in [Swath], the victims of the Taliban and the army movement in [Swath], and she’s just come from [Swath] with incredible stories of hardship, of people having lost everything and the challenges the community faces. And she’s of course someone we not entirely jokingly called mother Teresa of the Muslim world. so we are very proud of the work she’s doing there, I believe she had some…So any checks [Emri] my friends especially from you, because you are the head of such an important institution would be welcome for the relief aid flood victims in Pakistan. So I really want to thank the [Rumi] forum for this incredible work that you do in bringing us together and giving us optimism in this very difficult time.