Must read interview with a former Muslim Fundamentalist.

Go read the National Post’s Michael Coren interview with Dr. Tawfik Hamid, a former Sunni Muslim Fundamentalist. Here’s a small snippet:

He’s a disarmingly gentle and courteous man. But he’s determined to tell a complacent North America what he knows about fundamentalist Muslim imperialism.

“Yes, ‘imperialism,’ ” he tells me. “The deliberate and determined expansion of militant Islam and its attempt to triumph not only in the Islamic world but in Europe and North America. Pure ideology. Muslim terrorists kill and slaughter not because of what they experience but because of what they believe.”
….
He is now 45 years old, and has had many years to reflect on why he was willing to die and kill for his religion. “The first thing you have to understand is that it has nothing, absolutely nothing, to do with poverty or lack of education,” he says. “I was from a middle-class family and my parents were not religious. Hardly anyone in the movement at university came from a background that was different from mine.

“I’ve heard this poverty nonsense time and time again from Western apologists for Islam, most of them not Muslim by the way. There are millions of passive supporters of terror who may be poor and needy but most of those who do the killing are wealthy, privileged, educated and free. If it were about poverty, ask yourself why it is middle-class Muslims—and never poor Christians—who become suicide bombers in Palestine.”

The good doctor puts a lie to a lot of the common claims about the causes and cures of Muslim Fundamentalism and paints a pretty bleak picture in the process. It just reinforces my viewpoint that there will be an open religious war with the fanatics at some point in the future. Hell, they already believe that war has already started.

Found via the Advice Goddess Blog.

21 thoughts on “Must read interview with a former Muslim Fundamentalist.

  1. Hey Les don’t worry about the National Post, or Coren for that matter.  The National Post is a hard-line rightwing paper here in Canada.  It’s pretty well the Canadian Fox News.  Coren himself is a born again Christian and writes only opinion columns, never any news.  He’s like Bill O’Reily, albeit a Canadian version; although a little more polite, still wrong all the time.  He spends his career writing Christian apologetics and broadcasting a talk show that only the Christian Television Station will air.  He’s basically trying to slander Islam with that article.  It’s not hard to find ex-members of any religion that will go public to paint their former beliefs in the worst possible of light.  Since the Christian Right here in Canada would like nothing more then go brothers in arms with the U.S. all over the Arab World, this type of propaganda isn’t uncommon.  The National Post is merely a front to make the ideas from the Christian Right look legitimate.  For example, check out who has Coren on the payroll:

    http://www.crossroads.ca/index.html

  2. He’s exasperated now, visibly angry at what he sees as a willful Western foolishness. “Stop asking what you have done wrong. Stop it! They’re slaughtering you like sheep and you still look within. You criticize your history, your institutions, your churches. Why can’t you realize that it has nothing to do with what you have done but with what they want.”

    Right, don’t criticize ‘[our] history’… Because of ‘[our] history’ the salafis were able to gain power because the West thought it was a damn good idea to destroy/have their dictator puppets destory all the secular left wing organizations in Muslim countries cause they ‘were commies.’ I think I’ll keep criticizing both the salafis and the western governments who thought they could dick around in the middle east and asia in order to shape the world in the way they wanted. They couldn’t and now we pay for their stupidity by having hardcore islamist groups being the only counterpoint to American backed tinpot dictators.

  3. I’m still not seeing what makes them preferable to (or even different from) fundamentalist Christians.  Pretty sure they wouldn’t use suicide bombs if they had access to regular bombs and bombers to drop them with.

  4. Hate to double dip but I’d like to recommend that everyone read the writings of Nawal Saadawi, Egyptian feminist and secularist. Unlike many of the clown shoes that get interviewed in the western press, she doesn’t play the ‘the islamists hate me so I’m going to write under an alias’ game (like all the ‘former muslims’ who are published by the Grand Rapids, MI based evangelical Christian publishing houses do).

    http://www.nawalsaadawi.net/index.html

  5. Jack, thanks for the background on Coren. Though I must say that my own readings of the Muslim Fundamentalists tends to jibe pretty well with some of the claims made in that article.

    Granted, that doesn’t mean all Muslims are bad and I don’t mean to suggest they are, but I had a bad feeling about the growing Fundamentalist threat.

  6. Chris,

    From the article:

    Muslim fundamentalists believe, he insists, that Saudi Arabia’s petroleum-based wealth is a divine gift, and that Saudi influence is sanctioned by Allah.

    From John Pusinsky (here at SEB):

    GOD has blessed our country because we bless Israel.

    From the article:

    “Yes, ‘imperialism,’ ” he tells me. “The deliberate and determined expansion of militant Islam and its attempt to triumph not only in the Islamic world but in Europe and North America.

    From John Pusinsky:

    Our nation could go forth and destroy the islamic filth that infects our world.

    There is no difference! They even want to kill the same people! From John Pusinsky:

    I pray that a terrorist attack happens before Nov. Elections and it takes out San Francisco…

  7. Here is an interesting article with a different viewpoint.
    I don’t claim the writings as gospel, but it is interesting to see the other side of things none the less.

    But this is the bit I enjoyed the most from Dr. Tawfik Hamid:

    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.

    Notice that last line.  This is how you can tell he is full of shit.  He says “them”, which refers to no one in particular giving the impressions that all Muslims pray to Osama.  There is no one single person that has gotten more flak for his positions in the Islamic world, as of recent, then Osama.  He is banned from his home country.  Muslim clerics have spoken out against his actions and have condemned him.  Which in the Muslim religion is a huge deal.  But don’t take my word for it.

    I will never sit here and claim that anyone that speaks out against Islam is wrong and such, but it’s important when you hear such things to not only think critically of it, but look at the motivations.  Obviously this man has a bias.

    Regardless, religious scholars that study the Quran and other religious works claim that neither teaches hate more so than the other.  What actually breeds hate and violence is fundamentalism or individuals.  While I think there is a correlation between religion and fundamentalism I also think it is possible to have a belief and not be a fundamentalist, or breed violence and killing.

  8. Brilliant post, Webs. I graduated with degree in Middle Eastern history right around the time 9/11 happened, and I have been extremely frustrated by how ‘the west’ handles learning about the middle east. This particular article was not too bad, but there are others where I have to doubt the interviewee’s or author’s claim that they were ever Muslim (they would make claims that would be like a ‘former christian’ claiming that Christians worship the Easter Bunny and Santa Claus)! Often these are the articles/books published by Christian papers/publishers. Granted, when readership of “Middle Eastern” literature in the west beings and ends with Kite Runner (which was originally written in English by an Afghani immigrant to the US) it doesn’t surprise me that real understanding remains as elusive now as it did pre-9/11.

  9. For me, to believe that Islam itself is solely to blame in this cultural divide is every bit as absurd and indicative of wishful thinking as believing that George W. Bush was capable of orchestrating the September 11 attacks.

  10. What was that “Wah wah wah” sound that came out of that last comment? Sounded kind of like the adults in the old Peanuts holiday specials.

  11. WW2, was suppose to be that war, so we can count that prophecy fulfilled,…

    WW2 was neither supposed to be nor was it actually

    a major show down, as war, between the Christian west and the Muslim east

    It was full of racial bigotry as well as many east and west divisions, yes… but It wasn’t an Islam vs Christianity conflict.

  12. Yes Coren might be a right-wing Christian but that still doesn’t explain why Muslims blow themselves up and Christians don’t.

    Maybe there is something to the sexual frustration thing. After all, I have said time and again that any guy gets so bent out of shape that he would fuck a chicken will almost certainly blow himself up for release.

  13. Christians are winning the culture wars, there’s no real reason to blow yourself up to make a point if you can invade indiscriminately and set up McDonald’s all over the globe while MTV streams down signals to satellite dishes for anyone with television sets able to receive.

    The proper question is why aren’t atheists blowing themselves up alongside the Muslims I think, because western religion is perhaps even more dangerous to western atheists than it is to Middle Eastern religious values. You know, because we’re closer.

  14. It just reinforces my viewpoint that there will be an open religious war with the fanatics at some point in the future.

    Hopefully this will be one where the non-religious can conscientously object due to lack of God.

    And Don? Are you on drugs or just retarded?

  15. Akusai: Are you on drugs or just retarded?

    I don’t reckon he’s retarded; his synapses just don’t fire off in the right sequence or they misfire and create our confusion – I say our confusion because I bet he’s not confused in the least.
    I also reckon the fact that Don takes no medication is a large part of his problem.
    He’s probably one of the 40 million in The Land of the Free without health care and therefore has to go straight … which is bent.  wink

  16. Hey, I don’t take any medication, and I generally don’t cause people any confusion. Of course, I don’t have any mental problems in the first place, so that might have something to do with that. But seriously, what does

    You idiot, mental concepts do not have geological space.

    Every human child born is born to doubt, prove me wrong! As a child that never learns to doubt, will never learn to walk, or try to walk threw walls.

    By this fact alone, Christianity is DEAD, and the Muslims with them, all heaped in one grave of the STUPID!

    mean? Anybody? I once wrote a paper on fucking Kierkegaard, and I don’t understand this.

  17. I believe I have said this before, I know I have on my blog, but this is the point.
    I have spent a lot of time around and even working for Arabs. I’m not talking about Islam here, I mean Arabs and believ me when I tell you that they DO NOT think the same way we do.

    Their values, morals and sense of what’s important (such as their “honour”) are completely differnt than ours (North American-European)

    I am not going to get into who is right or wrong and racist stuff but only say that what’s important to them is different than what’s important to us and people should realize that.

  18. Oh greath the National post, rag-o-rama.

    He lost me at the their killing you like sheep bit.

    Their are 30,000 death from suicide a year (U.S.A), if their killing us like sheep what are we doing to ourselves?

    I constantly hear about how thers no such thing as a moderate muslim despite the fact that hang out with them, I would point to a girl in low V-neck with short skirt “she’s a muslim” only to hear them say that she cant be, she dosent look like a “Real” muslim. If you reduce the definition of something to only include the bad parts, then yes it is terrible. Much the same way if Pat Robertson was the only true Christian then that too would be a terrible religion.

    I keep hearing about a terrible war and all I see is a bunch of malcontents and politicians using them to get re-elected.

  19. Pascal Leduc: I keep hearing about a terrible war and all I see is a bunch of malcontents and politicians using them to get re-elected.

    Pascal – while I agree with your sentiment, let me make 2 observations:

    1. War is, by definition, terrible.
    2. At least there were fewer malcontents that succeeded in getting re-elected this time around.

    Webs point about fundamentalism is pretty close to where I stand – though I don’t accept the premise that we’re really talking about fundamentalism. 

    I know plenty of devout, fundamentalist Christians who drink, dance, and love their gay brothers/sisters/children.  I suspect that, for those who hate, religion is more of an excuse to continue act as they would otherwise – as well as a convenient vehicle to snare new recruits into their cause.  That this occurs under the auspices of some perverted variants of Islam shouldn’t surprise anyone since it’s been alive and well under the auspices of perverted variants of Christianity right here at home for quite some time.

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