Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Former Jemaah Islamiya Member On Salafism, Islam

Tawfik Hamid is an Egyptian scholar, author and dissident intellectual opposed to Islamic Fundamentalism. A former member of al-Gama'a al-Islamiyya, a terrorist organization led then by Ayman al Zawahiri, Tawfik Hamid splintered off and began advocating a peaceful understanding of Islam that is compatible with Universal human rights and intellectual freedom. 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. Hamid then migrated to the West where he has lectured at UCLA, Stanford University and Georgetown University against Jihadism and Islamic Fundamentalism. (Wiki)

Thanks to the Jawa Report for this:
Tawfik Hamid in the Wall Street Journal: "…there is much that is clearly wrong with the Islamic world. Women are stoned to death and undergo clitorectomies. Gays hang from the gallows under the approving eyes of the proponents of Shariah, the legal code of Islam. Sunni and Shia massacre each other daily in Iraq. Palestinian mothers teach 3-year-old boys and girls the ideal of martyrdom. One would expect the orthodox Islamic establishment to evade or dismiss these complaints, but less happily, the non-Muslim priests of enlightenment in the West have come, actively and passively, to the Islamists’ defense.

"These 'progressives' frequently cite the need to examine 'root causes.' In this they are correct: Terrorism is only the manifestation of a disease and not the disease itself. But the root-causes are quite different from what they think. As a former member of Jemaah Islamiya, a group led by al Qaeda’s second in command, Ayman al-Zawahiri, I know firsthand that the inhumane teaching in Islamist ideology can transform a young, benevolent mind into that of a terrorist. Without confronting the ideological roots of radical Islam it will be impossible to combat it. While there are many ideological “rootlets” of Islamism, the main tap root has a name—Salafism, or Salafi Islam, a violent, ultra-conservative version of the religion.
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"It is vital to grasp that traditional and even mainstream Islamic teaching accepts and promotes violence. Shariah, for example, allows apostates to be killed, permits beating women to discipline them, seeks to subjugate non-Muslims to Islam as dhimmis and justifies declaring war to do so. It exhorts good Muslims to exterminate the Jews before the “end of days.” The near deafening silence of the Muslim majority against these barbaric practices is evidence enough that there is something fundamentally wrong….

"…Worst of all, perhaps, is the anti-Americanism among many Westerners. It is a resentment so strong, so deep-seated, so rooted in personal identity, that it has led many, consciously or unconsciously, to morally support America’s enemies. Progressives need to realize that radical Islam is based on an antiliberal system. They need to awaken to the inhumane policies and practices of Islamists around the world. They need to realize that Islamism spells the death of liberal values."

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