"More than twenty years ago, Tawfik Hamid was recruited by Jamaa Islamiya - an Islamic terrorist group led by Dr. Aiman Al Zawahiri, currently the second-in-command of Al Qaeda. After adopting the ideology of violent jihad for a period of time, Dr. Hamid recognized the threat of radical Islam and rejected Islamist distortions of the religion. He then pursued a path of reformation within Islam, writing new interpretations of key religous texts and sharing his message in mosques." Dust jacket of 'Inside Jihad.'
In the first clip, Dr. Hamid and Bruce Heitler discuss the differences and similarities between Judaism and Islam. The exchange provides fascinating insight into some subtleties of the "Abrahamic religions." The Doctor talks about the Islamic Heaven and Hell, and how fear and anger are used to suppress critical thinking. Subjects include: Food, modesty, charity, fasting, martyrdom, two worlds, respect for authority, attachment to territory, prophecy and revealed texts, prayer, monotheism and idolatry, capital crimes and punishment, treatment of women, tolerance, etc. [Note: The Kaaba is the cube shaped box [origin of the word 'cube'] in Mecca that is circled 7 times in the Hajj.] [Thanks to Ed Davidson for this excellent recording]
In the second, Dr. Hamid clarifies the problem of Islamic terrorism and proposes workable solutions to neutralize it. He explains "Sexual Deprivation Syndrome" that pervades the young men who become terrorists, and quotes Quranic verses that describe the Islamic hell, and shows how it is used to create radicals by suppression of critical thinking and conscience. He explains that Islam teaches that the only sure way to Heaven is to die in the cause of jihad.
The third clip urges decisive action, and is more passionate. The Doctor talks about the urgency of preventing the radicals from getting nuclear weapons. He finishes with a poem he wrote about Daniel Pearl.
Dr. Hamid frequently quotes verses from the Koran or Hadith in Arabic and translates them to illustrate his points, letting the beautiful sounds deepen the meanings. His poem about Daniel Pearl is especially moving.
He often mentions his test for radicalism - seven Islamic tenets that a true moderate must vocally and publicly reject and denounce.
In all three clips, audience questions are taken at the end. If you are one of the organizers and would like to be credited, let me know and I can post it here.
Apologies for the sound quality ~ one of life's little imperfections.... When / if better versions surface I will post them here. The second clip has static for the first ten minutes until they found a working microphone. If the embedded player gives error messages, try the links on the left side of the page.
Here is Dr. Hamid's appearance on KDVR Denver: KDVR