Voices In The Wilderness | SoundVision.com

Voices In The Wilderness

Mujahid Talks with Imam Malik Mujahid in conversation with Kathy Kelly and Sarah Ball
Interviewed: 11 AM Central Time Monday Nov 23. only on Muslim Network TV #Afghanistan #Nonviolence #Peace

Guests: Kathy Kelly - American Peace Activist & Coordinator of Voices for Creative Nonviolence Sarah Ball - Psychiatric Home Health Nurse & Coordinator of Voices for Creative Nonviolence
Host: Imam Abdul Malik Mujahid -- President of Sound Vision and Justice for All.

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Unoffical Transcript:

Abdul Malik Mujahid  00:01

Assalamu alaikum and peace. This is Imam Malik Mujahid. And thank you for watching Muslim network TV. That's what we are doing right now. Muslim network TV, as you know is on galaxy 19 satellite covering the whole United State, east to west north to South blue state and red state and in between everything else. We also cover Canada through satellite, as well as Mexico. We also are available always on our iPhones and Android, you can download our app on just look for Muslim network TV. Either platform and you can download our app. Or you can watch us on Ott platforms like Apple TV, Amazon, Fire TV, Roku, you can also check out our website, Muslim network.tv. So one is constantly changing, but sometimes we feel it is changing more. And sometimes you just start to startled by the change. And, you know, while we're in pandemic, fear had hate and anger is not just towards the pandemic in our leaders. But it is all around and that's also is that I think Gandhi, you know, in India is just left for ceremonial purposes. Nobody cares for Gandhi there. And the people who kill Gandhi actually are in power, some of them actually worship but there are temples around worshiping the killer of Gandhi. Of course, nobody worships Gandhi is Gandhi ashram is a dusty place nobody seems to care for. So what's happening here, and in America, Dr. King's movement of nonviolent and peaceful protest had transformed into louder and a stronger form of protest, which always have element of violence, connected with it. Maybe not designed by the organizer, but other people bring that in there. So what's happening there? In the meantime, I got an email. And that email was that voices of creative non violence is wrapping is closing. And I say well, wait a minute. Because that is something which I have been familiar with have learned from and running. You know, 20 years run with radio Islam in on air in Chicago, and the am radio, their voices were all voices and what is happening here. So these are my thoughts. When I decided to Well, let's hear from them. Their beautiful experience of working with the victims standing with them, showing their solidarity, their difficult conversation, how they were perceived around the world, and why in the world, are they closing? And to have that discussion with me is Kathy Kelly. Welcome to Muslim network. Kathy.

Kathy Kelly  03:26

Thank you very much for having Malik.

Abdul Malik Mujahid  03:28

Okay. Kathy Kelly is co founder of voices in the wilderness, and the voices of creative non violence. I met her when it was voices in the wilderness. I like the poetic sense of it. When the whole iraq war was saying going around and nobody was speaking up against that. It really looked voices in the wilderness. And Radio, Islam was just beginning. So I showed up with my equiment to interview her in their offices, and she lives in solidarity along with the ordinary people. And she has visited more than 30 times Afghanistan as a guest above ground peace volunteers. So we'll be talking all about that with her and, and thank you so much for being on air while you're concerned about your health at the same time, we pray that you recover quickly and in a lasting manner. And we also have Sarah, Sarah Ball. Welcome to Muslim network Sarah

Sarah Ball  04:37

Thank you very much.

Abdul Malik Mujahid  04:38

She's a psychiatric Home Health Nurse working in Chicago, Illinois. And for the last several years, she has been co coordinator of voices of creative non violence. So well thank you so much for your work, why you're ending your work.

Kathy Kelly  05:00

Well, it doesn't really seem to me that we're ending our work that we aren't changing, I think, you know, resilience seemed like it was called for in this time of pandemic. And also, with environmental catastrophe. impending inevitable in many, many ways, we began to question can we really continue to take long international flights, in order to be next to be near to listen to friends in other countries who are trapped are quite trapped, I would say stuck in the middle of these terrible, terrible conflicts, many of which our country is so responsible for. So that that occasioned a great deal of thought we met weekly, we, we try to reconsider what our vision would be what, you know, more or less the mission might be. And we, we sadly agreed that we should close voices for creative non violence as a group that would be pledged to live alongside people trapped in war zones, and instead, try to, in a sense, drop that international travel component. But we are, we're very close to the point where you had met us, as you described years ago, I remember, if you don't mind me telling a quick story, you when we told you our name, ........... And there was a very strong resonance in Iraq, with poetry that was about a child out in the wilderness, yodeling in the mountain area, and nobody would ever hear the child. And when our Iraqi friends told us that we said, Oh, do you think we should change our name? And they said, Oh, no, that's exactly what you are, you should keep this name. So now we are trying to decide what to name ourselves as we sort of rise up out of this decision to close down the voices will, we'll be sure to disperse everything in our account. So that money that's designated for Afghanistan goes there. And we also try to help groups that are working so so hard to alleviate suffering in Yemen, and ongoing efforts like that in Afghanistan, but we are going to devise a new way to be a collective.

Abdul Malik Mujahid  07:34

So So, Sarah, you, I mean, you you joined just few years ago, this particular organization, and what were your motives? And what are your feelings that is closing down.

Sarah Ball  07:48

When we first began the conversation, six months or so ago, I I was shocked and dismayed, I suppose that's the only way to put it. But as the conversation developed, I feel like we started to feel a new sense of freedom that now we're able to do to do other things. And we had more freedom to collaborate with others. And in a sense, we kind of have the freedom to do an address whatever we wanted. So there's a kind of a breeze blowing of freshness and hope for the future that I've been feeling as well. I felt that with COVID, especially. And just my experience with COVID, in the city of Chicago, has been at a lot of peace groups, and just people in general, have looked around. And first were shocked and dismayed and said, what are we possibly going to do now. And then they started banding together and talking with one another one another and seeing what could be possible. And suddenly, it was kind of like spring, all this new vegetation spring up as people had ideas and got together and collaborated. And that was my feeling for the peace groups and the activist groups as well. And voices started to participate with those in a covid friendly way over the last few months. So that's really been quite refreshing. And I think we're all hoping to incorporate this new sense of hope, even as things have gotten worse as we move into the future.

Abdul Malik Mujahid  09:21

So so it is not necessarily retiring the peace movement, is it?

Sarah Ball  09:27


Kathy Kelly  09:27


Abdul Malik Mujahid  09:28

Okay, that does that game very quickly and spontaneously, and in sync with each other. So I like that. I like that. So, so So will you just join any existing organization or you're thinking of reformulating into another organization?

Kathy Kelly  09:50

No, I'm nervous to be the horse out of the barn because we really need to collaborate on this. But in my mind, I'm thinking of the freeze Actually, it was Wilson who said that World War One would be a war to end all wars. And, gosh, that certainly didn't turn out did it. But that idea to end all wars, it stays with me. And I wonder if we might consider ourselves in Alliance to end all wars. And there's no way that we can tackle the very treacherous and threat threatening problems we now face unless we come to grips with dismantling the United States militarism. And that's, of course, a huge, huge task, and it requires enormous education. But I don't think that the difficulty of it excuses us from trying.

Abdul Malik Mujahid  10:47

So Sarah were you  always say peace activist? Or Was a recent participation on your behalf?

Sarah Ball  10:59

It came upon me, quite suddenly looking back over my life for for a long time. For most of my life, I wasn't political at all. And to be quite frank, I just ignored all of that I thought, well, I, I like to study and I like to read books. And I like to do this, that and the other. And then there, there are all these other people waving signs on the side of the street. That's honestly how I thought of it. And I've often found in my life, that it's not argument that persuades people most of the time, it's actions and demonstrations of love. And I feel like that is what happened to me. So when I moved to Chicago, about nine years ago, I started looking into volunteering opportunities. And I looked into the Catholic Worker movement and various things. And one thing led to another and I found out about Kathy, who invited me over to dinner. And I was suddenly for the first time surrounded by all these people who are just doing these really neat things with humility, and love, and care and thoughtfulness. And I was, I was just knocked out by it. And that's what got me interested in activism. It wasn't arguments or learning about World News, per se, that came afterwards, it was about meeting people who were living the life that they thought they should live.

Abdul Malik Mujahid  12:22

So, you know, one question I have Kathy you that how many people during this period Have you trained to carry on to, to adopt the mission, which you have, and to carry on those things?

Kathy Kelly  12:40

Or that word training? Sounds a bit misleading sometimes to me, because I can certainly identify with what Sarah just said, but the idea of bringing people into some kind of formal training, I think, happened more. Perhaps I could say organically, we would put out the call saying, you know, if people would like to be part of a delegation, we are forming a group that's going to go to Iraq, for instance, to break the economic sanctions and, and the risks were quite high. And I think that, in a way, the risks were the training, because people had to really consult with themselves, am I willing to risk 12 years in prison a $1 million fine or $250,000 administrative penalty, just approval from my loved ones and friends? Why in the world? Are you going to Iraq, and getting to Iraq, and possibly finding that the circumstances might be overwhelming? There were many, many, many questions which people then had to join in interrogating themselves about in one another. And to do it in a way that built community that didn't fracture community. So the training was in the doing, I guess, 70 delegations ultimately went to Iraq with voices in the wilderness. And then we sort of morphed into the Iraq peace team, when we realized a new invasion was coming. There just was no way to deny the inevitability of a new attack against iraq by 2002. So in August of 2002, we began to ask the Iraqi authorities, how about we just stay here? Because before we would go and stay for two weeks and leave and come back, and they said, Okay, and then we began to recruit people. And we were our bar was pretty high. We didn't want people to join us unless they'd had some pretty substantial experience of either being in a warzone or we accepted having been in prison. Because we thought that people learned how they handled high stress in that situation. And so we Did this assemble quite an amazing group of people, many of them people who had already risked their lives and altered their lives because of not being willing to comply with Wars many people had lowered their salary beneath the taxable income. So they worked in very humble jobs. I remember one time, and Iraqi friend was just so puzzled after meeting dozens and dozens of voice activists, and he said, Please help me understand what is so important in your country about being a baker, or a janitor. And those are the people that we often were traveling with people who are quite well educated, sometimes dazzling in their repertoire of ideas and thoughts and capacities, but working as bakers, and janitors, and caregivers, and some of the finest people in the world really, that we met. unquestionably, again, and again, in all these various war zones, many of the finest people in the world, and I'm sad to say many of them children and teenagers, and they couldn't escape.

Abdul Malik Mujahid  16:08

So the experience is the training here was the, you know, visiting those Warzone was, say, about 80% of the work of voices.

Kathy Kelly  16:23

Oh, I think the real work was what happened upon return. Most people that I've known and kind of hit the ground running in whatever way best enables them to speak and write and reach out that people would be so aware that they carried with them the questions, the statements that people who, whose voices might otherwise not be heard, they should have been heard, they should have been able to speak for themselves, within every kind of media all across the United States. But that's not what was happening with regard to Iraq, many people felt there was only one person living in the whole country, so on the same, so people worked hard to build education. And I actually think across the United States, prior to the 2003 invasion, there was a remarkable level of education accomplished outside the mainstream media, you yourself, Malik were responsible for a great deal of it. The mainstream media wasn't giving people information about Iraqis, but people knew people knew about the economic sanctions and about the children. And that's why you swap in the United States and in Europe and all around the world, the largest demonstrations that have ever been organized to try and stop a war before it started.

Abdul Malik Mujahid  17:48

Watching Muslim network TV, and we'll be right back after these messages.

Abdul Malik Mujahid  18:18

Welcome back to Muslim network TV. This is Imam Malik Mujahid. I'm talking with Kathy Kelly and Sarah Ball of voices of creative non violence, which is going to become something else and continue work in other means. Tell me Sarah, I'm Kathy has been a veteran of visiting Afghanistan. By now she should be their foreign minister or something. How many times have you visited?

Sarah Ball  18:50

I visited twice. I visited last October, a little more than a year ago. And then I visited two years prior to that, I believe.

Abdul Malik Mujahid  19:01

So tell us about government drone attacks have been, you know, probably all the drone technology has been improved by trying to hit afghans. I don't think there is any other country to my knowledge, which has been so much subject to drone attacks. So and then I think somebody that Code Pink or I don't know, who brought a family to the US. And there were children and Father, I think mother was killed through drones and I heard what type of trauma children go through. So since you have the background of dealing with people who had mental health issues, or what did you observe, or what did you learn from them?

Sarah Ball  19:54

I'll first say that on my second visit to Kabul, I noticed that there was a Just a general feeling of tension in the air, much more so than it had been two years previously. And it's hard to say, what exactly gave me that feeling. But everybody seemed to be a little bit more on edge. There were more people who were affected in their daily lives by what was going on. So I did notice that I, but the second thing that I'll say is that going over the first thing you notice is the warmth and hospitality. And at first I was thrown a little bit and I asked several people I, you know, I said, I've found nothing here, but love and warmth and hospitality, and yet you have terrible things happen to you every day. So how does this work? And I started to notice that there did seem to be an underlying anxiety with everybody that revealed itself a little bit more and more as I spent more time with them. And I usually spend about six days there, I'm one of the things you notice right when you go over is that almost every single person that you talk to has been directly affected. So every other person you meet will be a refugee from a province. Or somebody will say, Oh, my cousin was killed in a bombing earlier this week in Kabul, and it's almost as if every single person you meet has something like that. And I found that for myself, it's helpful to do a kind of a translation exercise, I think of it. So I'll think well, what if I sitting in Chicago right now just had the library I go to every week bombed? And probably the librarians that I know very well, they might have been killed, and the books would be gone, and I would no longer be able to go and then I'll pick a distant suburb and say, Des plaines Illinois has been bombed, and I have a relative there. So how would I feel if not only if that were happening recently, but if that were happening, every single day, for decades, really, I found that it's really important to do that exercise, because it's very easy to say, Oh, they just have people over there just have horrible things happening to them every day. One of the things that I've put together, that I made a link to in my own work with people who have severe mental health issues in the inner city in Chicago, is that it's one of the most harmful things is when people don't feel like they have anything any investment in life and nothing that they can do. And I think of a term that called risk, rape, respond, sublease, I hope I pronounced that right, that I think was used by the zapatistas in Mexico, that I got at a conference last year and the race response ablaze as far as I understand it, or those who are responsible for something. So the zapatistas decided that every individual person needs to have something to care for, and something to do, so that they can be valuable as they indeed are. And I feel like Afghanistan today with its extremely high unemployment rate, and the need to stay in the house, because there might be bombings and the feeling of futility is very strong. So just as in the people with severe mental illnesses in inner city, Chicago, who just sit in their house, and are hearing voices and don't have anything, any work to claim as their own. The link for me is that they need something to be responsible for. And I believe that every single person can have something to be responsible for, and that needs to be cultivated and given and that is something that the Afghan peace volunteers that voices often stayed with, did, every single person had a province of their own that they could develop? And in terms of mental health, I really think that is one of the most important things, your back is no longer against a wall, because you have an activity of your own that is valuable.

Abdul Malik Mujahid  24:02

Kathy have you inform volunteers in Afghanistan that your organization is disbanding itself.

Kathy Kelly  24:12

These have been some very touching and difficult conversations. Yes. They were gracious to evolve. Thank just for the 10 years of our involvement, and said that they hope that friendships would not end and and that's certainly our hope as well. And what Sarah has described says, I think, very thoroughly, what is so valuable about the outcome peace volunteers that they felt purposeful, that their community was filled on teams, they have 19 different teams acting collaboratively and collectively together and I don't think that will end They're certainly affected by COVID. Also, and have had to shut down the, the kind of rollicking street kids school that was so like giving, that they are hoping to continue the rations that were given to each of 100 families that were worked out as kind of a way to help draw the families to send their children over to this school. And they have very, very creative ideas. They're working hard on distributing solar powered batteries to families and learning about permaculture on being able to bring more young people into their center. So I have a great deal of ongoing hope for them. But for instance, just over the weekend, they have an international phone call that they do every month. And as they gathered for the call, word came that in these terrible rocket attacks, there's a barrage of attacks in Kabul launched by an insurgent group, and the family home of relatives and one of the young people was hit and all I know at this point is that no one survived that attack inside the home, but a young volunteer herself. Preshta is the person with him, along with three others I was in communication, quite recently trying to explain the voices had decided to change. So it wasn't an easy conversation. But they certainly didn't make it more difficult.

Abdul Malik Mujahid  26:34

Sarah I, you know, I learned what you just described, you know, people being responsible for something, it helps them with the pressures, mental health related issues with they're dealing with, I was invited to speak in a mental health conference. I mean, Muslims have so many mental health challenges, there is now a journal of Muslim mental health, and there are annual conferences, and I told them, I'm not in this field. I'm not an expert of in by any imagination, I don't practice I haven't studied mental health issues. So the person persuading me was a professor at Harvard. He is a psychiatrist and psychologist now, both fields seems to be separate, but he is in both. And he said no, what you do is you engage people before they need professional helps. And and that is very important for this engaging people and this engagement. So you mentioned several of our programs, which we have. And I said, that's the reason I want you to come and he persuaded me and I, I did go and attend and talk to people about what we do. And there is a saying of Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him, that each person is responsible, exactly, this wording is in there, you're responsible for this and then said the other person responsible for that. So so that, that that I think, you know, connected well with me, but you gave with the experience of "sophistas" and I will try to learn that word, which you told me but it makes perfect sense. Kathy now that, you know, you're probably thinking your plans with the with the defense department Pentagone because they are withdrawing from Afghanistan, you're withdrawing from Afghanistan. And so, so, so, that is a ironical coincidence for me. But tell me, you know, when, how how will we, um, i mean you know, for peace moment, people, people like you and I and Sarah, this whole engagement with Taliban dialogue on one side, you feel comforted, it means that maybe war will be coming to an end. But at the same time, you're weary of the type of things they are known, which they have done. So, so these peacemakers and volunteers in Afghanistan, they probably have the type of feeling which Sarah noticed in the last visit last October, that there is more tense and more anxiety and more concern than in in terms of comfort. So, so in this area, what are you hearing and thinking?

Kathy Kelly  29:48

First, is this a new person in my life, his name is Dr. Zahab and he's Afghan. And he felt that he had to give back to his country after 2001. So by 2003, even though he'd spent four decades teaching at Lewis and Clark College in Oregon, he started to go back to Afghanistan once a year to help with rebuilding the Ministry of Education. And then six years ago, he and his wife moved there and he worked there full time. And he, he tried his best to stay. But he said he felt like before COVID started, he certainly understood lockdown because he couldn't go anywhere without being in an armored car with an accompanying vehicle. And he said the life in Kabul had become unlivable. So he and his spouse have moved back to the United States. And he gave a very, very compelling reflection. And he calls for demilitarization. He's not saying we need the military in Afghanistan to protect people. But he is saying that there should right now be a fund established that would channel funnel billions of dollars into Afghanistan for reconstruction, and let that equal the billions that Well, I think we actually are approaching a trillion dollars that has been spent on the United States War in Afghanistan. And he said that there should be a peacekeeping force. Now, I would prefer myself to see that be a presence that goes in multinational without armored vehicles and without weapons. But I'm well aware that when the United Nations sets up a peacekeeping force, they don't go in without weapons. But he says that force should not be comprised of NATO countries, Western countries, countries that have already in the last 20 years, reached so much havoc and really accomplished some little in Afghanistan. And then he also says that every country that's been involved in they are many, I mean, it's the United States and the UK, primarily. But, you know, it's almost as though all these different countries have their own problems. They own taliban, whether you're thinking of China, or Pakistan, or Australia, the countries like Canada and New Zealand, Jordan, what's their interest in Afghanistan, but one thing they can do is Clean up, clean up the weapons that have been strewn all across the land. And you know that when quakes and floods come, those buried weapons start to move, and they become dangerous with decades, Afghanistan has already suffered so much. So there ought to be every form of action to create reparations for the suffering caused, but we don't hear a word of that the House Armed Services Committee met last week and one after another person said, Oh, we can't leave gen. Stoltenberg, the head of NATO said, Oh, we can't leave we have to continue this militarization. Well, like I said, accomplished since the quarter and just issued staggering statistics this morning about Afghanistan, having the highest number of children maimed and killed in any conflict in the world. And since 2005, that number is 25,075 children.

Abdul Malik Mujahid  33:17

You're watching Muslim network TV, this is Imam Malik Mujahid  talking with Kathy Kelly, and Sarah Ball about war peace. And we'll be right back after these messages.

Abdul Malik Mujahid  34:00

Welcome back to Muslim network Tv. This is Imam Malik, and I'm talking with Kathy Kelly and Sarah Ball. What may be their last interview as leaders and coordinators of voices of creative non violence Kathy told me that a Pakistani took you to an American base, which was just 20 miles away from where they killed Osama bin Laden. And then he got arrested. And do you know any idea what happened to that person?

Kathy Kelly  34:37

Do you know I remember that there was a person who taught music and above that and had told us about the narrowness of that bass. Malik. I'm sorry. I didn't know that he himself was arrested or if I did, I'm so many things sometimes crowded. Could you tell us more about that?

Abdul Malik Mujahid  34:58

Yeah, well, the heat He took you there. And later on when you came back into US, you learned that he has been arrested by Pakistanis for leading you to that particular base. That basis, you know, is the place where john kerry distributed relief supplies when there was an earthquake, and that our flood was in that particular area. So, so maybe there are so many incidents, or so many human being you have dealt with. And these things come and go. Let's talk a little bit about the difficult dialogue. I'm in dialogue with Taliban with the US government, they have come to some conclusions. Has any has there been any effort on the part of the peace groups which you work in Afghanistan? So they are in dialogue with Taliban and civil society also is talking with them, especially on the issues? On a woman's right, and their previous effort to destroy girls schools? I mean, now they are in their Manifesto, they have changed, that they guarantee women education and all that, but but is there any dialogue, difficult dialogue with with those people?

Kathy Kelly  36:30

So do you want to talk about your experiences when you have conversations in the garden with hi?

Sarah Ball  36:38

I'm sorry, can be in the garden With who?

Kathy Kelly  36:41

With Mohammed Khalid?

Sarah Ball  36:44

Oh, yes. Um, yes. Our friend, is it a young man, around 20, who comes from a very, very fraught area of Afghanistan "mightonbardock", I think I'm pronouncing it correctly. And it's an area where there's simply no way to avoid the Taliban and didn't, as he told us, in your own families, sometimes different generations will, some will be a Taliban, some wants some will not, of course, causes a lot of dissension. And it's an area where there are Afghan forces around but usually they're controlled by the talibs. So there's simply no avoiding it, that talibs come into your house, they ask for certain things they leave, if you look or dress a certain way, they might suspect you being a university student, which is a very bad thing to be in, in the eyes of the Taliban. So you simply can't escape those conversations, because they're right around you all of the time. And he himself because of family obligations can't just leave the region that he we visited with him in Kabul. And he told us after telling us this long history of how the Taliban had put IEDs all along the road to "mightandBardach" and so forth, and how it's getting more and more dangerous. And everybody is armed simply because most people feel that there's no other option. He kind of mentioned almost as an afterthought that his sister was getting married, so he had to go back to "mightonbardock" on this long IED mine road in the next couple of weeks, and there was simply no way out. So for a lot of people, there's no way to avoid conversations. I know that I feel like it's popular to say, in the US recently, well, you know, we can't dialogue we're so with so and so or don't engage. But for a lot of people, that's not an option. And I've noticed that in the past couple of years here in the United States, at least, that people are starting to believe anything at all. And it's very easy to fall into patterns of belief, just as I imagine it's easy if you're surrounded by people who are in the Taliban to believe what they say. And I think we're all discovering that people are a little bit less based in rationality than we'd previously thought, which is where acting in love and treating everyone as a brother and sister comes in. And this was something that the young man that Kathy and I spoke to Khalid was really embodying and he was starting an abolish war team. In the middle of all this with everybody being armed to the teeth with having to travel this very dangerous IED mine road, he was continuing the most difficult dialogue about war, while being surrounded by war. And I think for a lot of people in the Afghan peace volunteers, they see that there's no other option, we have to talk about these things. We have to live these things. So there's no avoiding any of it. And I think that's quite true for us in the US as well. But perhaps we just haven't realized that yet that we can't avoid anything because As I think somebody said, you can be an individual and doing all be doing all right. But if the world is burning around you, you're not doing all right. So when the US we have this illusion that we can avoid things. But really, we can't. We're in it already.

Abdul Malik Mujahid  40:18

Good to you have gone to Gaza, multiple time. Was there any opportunity to have conversation with the settlers? Who internationally are considered illegal Jewish settlers to Palestinian land? Were you able to talk to some of them?

Kathy Kelly  40:38

Inside of Gaza? No. I had made one trip to the Jeanine camp. And this was a refugee camp that was populated by people who had already been bombed out of their homes and uprooted from their land. And they were then being bombed in the refugee camp. And so a number of us were on a high hill about 13 miles above the camp, and we thought we should at least try to go down there, we just have to try. So we, we asked the woman giving us hospitality, could we please have your broom and a pillowcase and really try to pillowcase to the broom pole. And we started our trek down the high hillside. We didn't talk to settlers. But we talked with one after another after another group of Israeli soldiers. And it was remarkable each time we were able to talk them into pointing us in, we had no idea which way to go even and telling us well, because of that onion patch, and then go through those two tomato fields. You'll cut pick up the road again. And how did we talk our way through these checkpoints? Well, it was by talking about I mean, we're certainly being responsible places because we talked about literature. I would do the literature, Scott Shafer Jaffe would do scripture. And Jeff guns, so would you pop music, and we started, we managed to talk our way through checkpoint, every checkpoint after checkpoint until there we were in. And the next morning, we thought well, time to go out again. And that was when we met an entirely different we, we ended up trying to help get an asthmatic woman with a serious heart condition who is in a house that had already been bombed and her family members literally met her through an opening. And we took her. And it was like, they were carrying a sack of potatoes and Jeff and our other grandson. She's too heavy. We can't manage, go get a stretcher. So So I went peeling off in the direction that I thought was toward a clinic. And I was stopped again by Israeli soldiers and the high school study teacher and they just came to the floor. And I said, Put those guns down now. And they did. And I said and tell me which entrance is open so I can enter their clinic and they told me and somebody came back with a stretcher on my head reached my friend Jeff and Andre who had the elderly woman who was absolutely terrified. She separated from her family. She knows she's very ill, she's on a rocky rope. But I noticed that Jeff was waving his blue passport above his head and trying to shelter the woman. And on the second floor of an apartment above israelie soldiers, maybe friends, maybe relatives of these very dear young men and women that let us talk our way through the checkpoints that just pointed me toward the clinic. There's throwing plates and glasses down on the old woman. This is what war does. It's so confuses people, just joins them takes them away from who they might really truly be. It is a hideous, hideous, traumatizing factor in the lives of so many people. And so when I see young Gazans, young Afghans trying their best to be responsible to find some way of living that doesn't involve picking up a gun and learning how to use a gun. And it's only out of desperation. I believe that people in war zones, who are the victims move in that direction. But then I have to ask myself what about here in the United States where people take jobs working for Lockheed Martin or Boeing or Raytheon General Dynamics, they they build the ships that are being used by the Saudis right now. For instance, in Marinette, Wisconsin, people say, Well, I have to have a job. So there is a concern. It's isn't there between what happens in the war zones? And what happens in our beleaguered economic realities here?

Abdul Malik Mujahid  45:17

What do you think as he as we're coming to the last five minutes of our show, I want us to talk a little bit about ourselves, America, and we talk about everything else. The dialogue here is becoming difficult in America, of it, between conservatives and liberals and progressive and militia, and all that. So I hope that when you have menu of choices, what we'll be doing in future, I think this this should also be a part of it, how do we develop difficult conversation within the United States? I mean, I remember and I was doing a program in Dallas. And somehow somebody started a conspiracy theory or something that I'm bringing hundreds of buses from across the country to Dallas. I didn't have a single bus, they were neighbors, 900 neighbors who were attending my program. And it, you know, so several hundred people along with guns, I mean, that was five years ago, they showed up, and we have to call inform police. And they, you know, it was a strange, but considering now, i mean, people are buying guns as they were buying toilet papers before, you know, in the beginning of pandemic. So, so conversation here is important. But here comes of a new government, you know, President Elect Biden has announced a person as Secretary of State. And that person, you know, Biden himself was the chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, when iraq war is about to begin. And he was not hidden. And this person was the democratic main staffer assisting him in that time. And they didn't let many peace voices of the experts who knew Middle East and they were part and parcel of, you know, as as the war in Iraq was beginning. So So how, how the peace movement, should enter in conversation with the democratic institutions, or do you think this is worth your effort, because you have been standing with the victims, you have not been trying to persuade people who are pushing for those type of policies, which gets sucked into war.

Kathy Kelly  48:02

I do believe education, education, education, and we we must continually uphold the dignity of every person. But this is a crucial, crucial time to insist that war is not the answer. It's been a few times and hasn't worked. It's bankrupting our country. And it's true that the new administration is showing many, many signs of an extremely hawkish position with regard to wars. And I think they are refusing to level with the US public. And we have to press President Elect Biden to to level with the US public about what he's up against, because we've got mafiosos and warlords in this country that are manipulating and exercising tremendous leverage over every single government official in this country. I'm going to name them again, Raytheon, Lockheed, Boeing, and General Dynamics, these huge huge lobbying groups have a vise like grip in the military industrial complex in the United States, and especially emphasized January 22. There should be dancing in the streets ratification of the treaty for the prohibition of nuclear weapons. That's one way that gives us a chance internationally to say we're not going to continue to be the outliers. We're not the ones breaking the law. It's the United States with this nuclear arsenal.

Abdul Malik Mujahid  49:45

January, January, what date you said

Kathy Kelly

January 22nd that will be the day when the 84 signers and 50 countries Honduras being the last one that have in endorse him ratify the treaty. That's what was required and then three months and now on January 22,

Abdul Malik Mujahid  50:06

website? Kathy?

Kathy Kelly

yes ICANW website, ICANW

Abdul Malik Mujahid  50:15

 Okay. So Sarah I mean you professionally, you know, deal with people who have difficulties, communication difficulties, and I don't know that it will be appropriate for me to say the mental health patient, nursing them as a something difficult. But here the whole country seems to be at a difficult movement. And, and Kathy thinks is education, education and education. So how will you be pursuing educating people who are difficult to talk with?

Sarah Ball  50:59

That's a that's an excellent question. I, you know, I drove to Pennsylvania a couple of weeks ago, is a 14 hour long drive. And I tried to listen to a lot of right wing talk radio on the way to see what people were saying. And I did a little psychological experiment where I tried to pretend as if I already believed all of that, and it seemed to me that it was very easy to suddenly believe and participate in everything that was being said, it's so easy to fall into a certain line of thought and stick with it, and so hard to find out what the truth is, and to educate. Um, you know, I'm reminded right now that one of the things that I most loved doing voices were with piece Fox, which of course are no longer possible with COVID. But Kathy introduced me to walking you know, it doesn't 100 miles. Or in the middle of nowhere, United States, from the most recent one was with the Kings Bay plowshares, from Savannah, to King's Bay to put us nuclear weapons. And the thing that was really wonderful about it for me was that it was completely a gala. terian and that you never know who you might end up conversing with on the way. And I think some people might think, well, you're kind of wasting your time walking along a road in the middle of nowhere, running into farmers and talking with just people who have no say in anything. And yet, I feel like in terms of education, this reaching out in a gala terian ism and saying, You like me, are somebody worth talking to. And I want to hear what you have to say. That is really the the vital part where we, where people can be reached. And I think it's showing respect for people and saying, Tell me what you have to say, because I think a lot of people in this country don't get respect for a variety of reasons. They don't have jobs. They don't have health insurance, they don't have anything, they're just left on the side of the road. So engaging with people listening to what they have to say, and beginning a dialogue i think is essential to beginning the process of education....

Abdul Malik Mujahid  53:20

Yeah, thank you. Thank you so much, Kathy Kelly, and thank you so much, Sanibel for spending good amount of your time helping our audience understand the work which you do. We wish you the best. To continue your peacemaking work. I think if America can talk to each other, I hope we can have difficult conversations around the world. Thank you so much. And thank you for watching Muslim network TV on galaxy 19 satellite, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV Roku, as well as on your own iPhone and Android. You can download Muslim network TV app and you can watch from there and our website is Muslim network.tv peace Salam

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