Looks like the evangelical Arab haters have another Muslim convert they’re displaying on their wall like those animal heads you see in hunters’ trophy rooms. He’s Tawfiq Hamid. The reason I know about this is that after exposing another such former Muslim turned Islam-hater, Walid Shoebat, I seem to have gotten on his mailing list. I’m only too happy to receive their mailings and let my readers know about the numbskull antics of such pro-Israel evangelicals. Their latest prize is Dr. Hamid who they’re parading before the American public for the first time in an appearance at Georgetown University next month (don’t really want to publicize this ‘wonder’ so I won’t give any more particulars, though if you wish to see Greystoke in DC e mail me and I can give you further information).
Here’s what Shoebat’s website tells you about Hamid:
Born in Egypt to a secular Muslim family. At the age of 16 young Hamid started to search for answers to the universal questions about creation and life’s meaning.
Later on, Tawfik started to read the bible as an attempt to criticise it in the ongoing religious debates between Muslims and Christians, but ended up studying the Bible with increased vigour and genuine interest.
If you compare that last paragraph to Shoebat’s own biography at the same site you have to wonder whether a single person is writing their ad copy:
Walid studied the Tanach (Jewish Bible) in a challenge to convert his wife to Islam. Six months later, after intense study, Walid realized that everything he had been taught about Jews was a lie. Convinced he was on the side of evil, he became an advocate for his former enemy.
Hamid’s story continues:
Tawfik Hamid joined the Islamic Group GI in Egypt in Medical School. It was the same group that produced Alzawaherri ( the number 2 person of Al Qaeda) and Tawfik used to pray regularly with him.
In just a few months Tawfik as he puts it “discovered the evil of these groups” and developed his own Islamic sect that was peaceful and promoted love to every human being irrespective of his or her religion. He started to preach in Mosques to promote his message of peace and as a result became a target of many Islamic fanatics who threatened his life.
Tawfik says “The powers of darkness were overwhelming and I was forced to emigrate with my family to the West seeking freedom.”
“I am willing to speak out against Islamic Fundamentalism that prevails in the world today.”
Chuck Johnson, Roger Simon and the Pajamas Media crowd are going to be wetting their pants over this guy if he isn’t plastered all over their blogs already. And Aussie Dave can’t be far behind.
To that last statement we should add that he’s willing to “speak out” to the tune of $13,500 a pop (or so says Shoebat’s website). It appears they’re looking for universities with a rich speaker budget who’ll spring for such a “novelty.” If any student activities director is reading this post, you should know that if you invite this dude you’re inviting a poster boy for evangelical Christianity and indirectly promoting anti-Arab propaganda. It looks like Georgetown has ponied up some serious dough for this guy.
Here are some of the stellar media outlets Hamid and the other Arab quislings have used to promote their agenda: Frontpagemagazine.com (can’t bring myself to provide a link to this shmatteh), O’Reilly Factor (video), Dennis Prager (audio), Jerusalem Post, Irish Post, Irish Radio. I get the first four as they’re known right-wingers but what about the Irish media. Don’t those folks get about in the world enough to see through these charlatans?
And since we’re on the subject of Irish media, let’s provide some passages from a Hamid interview on the Orla Barry radio show (audio stream courtesy Shoebat.com). One question you should keep in mind as you read this is–how can a man who grew up secular with little or no experience of spirituality until he was 16 (note he doesn’t even say that he practiced Islam after age 16) and who later rejected Islam in medical school claim to know so much about Islam? What did he learn and when did he learn it?
Hamid: When I joined the medical school, I met with some people from the Jemmah Islamiya or the Islamic Group who talked to me about religion and how Islam should dominate the world. But it just takes you gradually via a brainwashing mechanism that made me at the end really a very bad person in my soul. And I then started to be against all of this. During this period I was with Dr. Al-Zawahiri in the same Islamic group in the medical school, Jemmah Islamiya. Then I thought I am becoming a very bad person and my soul is becoming very evil. So I started to change my thoughts and create a new sect or new way of thinking in Islam. But unfortunately, the vast majority of Muslims were against any peaceful understanding. And they prefer this violent traditional teaching of Islam.
Barry: In what way were you being brainwashed, what were you being told?
Hamid: For example, if you are an ordinary Muslim in the traditional Islamic teaching in the books and in the mosques, they teach you that you have to beat your son to force him to pray when he is 7. And if you are a husband you have to beat your wife to discipline her according to the traditional Islamic teaching. So these are some factors that create elements of violence…and also it teaches you to hate non-Muslims, Christians and Jews. Traditionally, Muslims invaded other people’s land to force them on Islam [sic] either to become Muslims or pay money for them or to be killed. These were the three options for non-Muslims.
Barry: What were you actually told about Christians and Jews and other religions?
Hamid: What they teach in the mosque, for example, is that Jews are the sons of pigs and monkeys. This is traditional teaching in most of the mosques and the classical teachings in most of the books. And about the Christians, this is what they taught us–they are infidels who will go to Hell and will be tortured forever. And they describe to you the way of torturing these Christians. This just makes you as a Muslim feel bad. These people have no soul. They are not human beings. And it’s part of the process of justifying killing them [Jews and Christians]. If God Himself is against them to this degree and they are infidels who will be tortured, why should Muslims care about them and care for their lives?
…There are different degrees of evil [within Islam]. Jemaah Islamiya represents the active evil or active terrorists let us call them who are ready to commit violent acts and all such atrocities. But the majority of Muslim are all passive terrorists. They believe in this evil. They support it either by money or emotionally they are not against it. You can see the number of demonstrations against bin Laden was nearly none in the whole Islamic world.
What is especially pernicious about Hamid’s characterization of Islam as all evil and other religions as all good is the ahistoricity of this notion. While Islam has produced some of the most noxious religious radicals of the recent past, history is replete with butchers from a variety of religions who killed for their God. During the Crusades thousands of Jews were killed by as the Crusaders made their way to Jerusalem and a warrior’s salvation. Think of the auto da fe torturing resisting Jews during the Spanish Inquisition. To bring us up to modern times, think of Meir Kahane’s race hatred which inspired a number of his followers in the U.S. and Israel to murder Arabs and even a prime minister. In northern Ireland, the Rev. Ian Paisley thundered against Catholics while his co-religionists murdered them. We’ve got more than enough religious fanatics and blame for them to go around, thank you. Speaking as if Islam is the only or worst representative of such hatred and killing is a historical fallacy.
Barry: Tawfiq, even over the past seven days [the interview was recorded shortly after the July London terror attacks] there have been plenty of comments coming out both here [in Ireland] and particularly in London and particularly in the UK. And they’re absolutely condemning what happened in London last week.
Hamid: Because Muslims are under pressure now and they are in a weak position they have a system to protect themselves and they are ready to do anything. So they just say to you, “we condemn this.” But they’re [in] their private talks–I personally haven’t seen any practicing Muslim who was against the attacks on September 11th or against bin Laden. I have seen them praying for bin Laden.
Barry: I’m sure we’re going to get plenty of calls from Muslims that do not agree with you. [Here she returns to Jemaah Islamiya] At what point did violence come into play. Were you being encouraged to take action against other religions?
Hamid: There was some attempt by others to drag me into this active form of evil or terrorism–not just to be passive. But I resisted this and this is when I rejected their teaching and I started to separate. Some people tried to drag me to Afghanistan. I was invited to go there but I didn’t. But some people went like Dr. Al-Zawahiri and he continues there.
Barry: Talk to me about Dr. Al-Zawahiri. Did you know him? Did you have any dealing with him?
Hamid: I met with him because he was older than me in the medical school. He used to come to the mosques to give some talks and we used to pray together because the mosque was inside the medical school itself.
He was a very intelligent man. A very sharp mind. He was one of the top in the medical school. If he put his mind in good things, in create things he would’ve been a great person in the world. Unfortunately, the teaching of Islamism itself directs people into a very evil direction.
I need to comment for a second on the denouncement of terror. When the Muslim leaders denounced Salman Rushdie–the author of the book Satanic Verses–or anyone who criticizes Islam from within the Muslim world…that by itself is very powerful. They say he is infidel. He is apostate. If he dies, he should not be buried with Muslims. And this is very frightening for Muslims. And he should not be washed as Muslim before his death and he will be in Hell forever.
But the way of denouncement of attacks on London, you will see them saying that “Islam is against this. We don’t agree with this.” But I want to hear them saying that those who did this are apostates or infidels; or bin Laden is an infidel, as they say about Salman Rushdie or others. They will never say this.
There’s a willful fallacy in Hamid’s argument. Notice he says that no Muslim demonstrated against bin Laden after 9/11. Yet when Barry points out to him Muslims who have done so after the London terror attack, he switches tactics accusing them of being two-faced and not to be trusted. And Hamid is wrong when he claims Muslims will never say bin Laden is an infidel. AmericanMuslim.org lists over 100 separate links to Muslim religious and communal statements denouncing bin Laden and Muslim terror. There are also numerous links to fatwas issued by individual imams. So if you can’t believe him about this what else can’t you believe him about?
Barry: Dennis is asking the question–“why is suicide [bombing] such a feature of Islam?”
Hamid: There could be some ways to understand Islam in a peaceful manner, but unfortunately the current dominant teachings in Islam either in the Middle East or in the western world within the Muslim communities cannot produce anything but such violent creatures. The current classical teaching of Islam which has to change in order to avoid this problem from happening again and again and again.
When you are a child in the Muslim world, the concept of fear of Hell works very well in your mind and makes you fear that if you didn’t obey Allah or the Koran or the prophet Muhammed, you will be tortured in a terrible manner in Hell. They describe exactly what will happen to you in the grave and in Hell and how the fire will burn your skin and your skin will be renewed to be burned again. So this creates a fear for us not to obey the orders of the religion. This is step one of brainwashing. Second step, they tell you to hate. Third step, they tell you to kill and even die for God. If you didn’t do this you will be in Hell forever according to the God they believe.
The issue of torture and hellfire in the mind of the child makes him later on a real susceptible to any order coming from Allah.
Barry: Do your beliefs put you in danger?
Hamid: Yes, I used to speak in mosques to try to change people and make them good people. Humanity should be above every other thing. I read in the Bible and books of philosophy and humanity. And I tried to convey to the Muslim this message. But unfortunately the wave of fundamentalist Islam was supported by countries, by money. Our life was in danger, certainly yes. That is why we couldn’t sustain much more living in the Middle East because it was pretty dangerous.
Actually, if he went around mosques saying the things he says here about Islam why would he be surprised at his reception?
Barry: Are you religious now?
Hamid: Not much. I believe in God, the Creator. If I am asked what is my religion I say I am Muslim by birth, Christian by spirit, Jew by heart and above all I am a human being.
If Hamid is to be believed (and I see no reason why he should be) he has no religion, yet he’s willing to be trotted around the country like a show pony by Christian Zionist groups. You’d have to say something mighty strange is going on. Either the guy converted to evangelical Christianity and is lying; or he likes the money he’s being offered by them.
Barry: Why are you hear to talk to us now?
Hamid: I feel a responsibility to explain this phenomenon of violent Islam to force westerners to understand it and to young Muslim generation so they understand this big game that is happening that is changing the minds of young people and making them just hate life.
Barry then asks him what is the likelihood of further violence in Europe to which he replies that it depends on how the west addresses the problem. If they focus on Islam as the root of the problem then they will be able to stop it. Which begs the question–how should the non-Muslim west “solve the problem” of radical Islam? By extirpating the religion?
Here is one of the cruxes of his right-wing political message:
But if they focus on other causes than the current teachings of Islam like some people try to say it is the Middle East it is the Israel-Palestinian conflict, it is the Iraqi war, but this is not for me logical. Because no one can explain that burning the face of a young girl in Algeria by Islamists, and gang-raping in Pakistan by Islamists, and killing tourist in Egypt has anything to do with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict or the war in Iraq.
I would say that perhaps 10% of what this guy says is valid criticism of Islam. There is no doubt that many of the incidents he mentions did happen. There is no doubt that certain elements within the religion do embrace such hatred of non-Muslims. But the fatal flaw of his argument is that he makes the astounding and preposterous claim that the entire religion embraces these views. Any reasonable person will see through such distortion and overstatement. Anyone who resorts to such exaggeration is not seriously credible.
By the way, expect a ton of nasty comments from Shoebat-Hamid supporters in this post’s thread once word gets out that I’ve “slandered” these good Christian souls. No doubt, Shoebat’s publicist, “100% Jewish” Keith Davies Kalman David Ben Yisrael will be first in line as he was last time I took on Shoebat.
Silverstein has published Tikun Olam since 2003, It exposes the secrets of the Israeli national security state. He lives in Seattle, but his heart is in the east. He publishes regularly at Middle East Eye, the New Arab, and Jacobin Magazine. His work has also appeared in Al Jazeera English, The Nation, Truthout and other outlets.