The Egyptian-born Tawfik Hamid was invited by the Michigan chapters of the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) and the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) to lecture on jihad at the Jewish Community Center (JCC) in West Bloomfield, Michigan.
Among Hamidâ€™s qualifications, touted by the ZOA and the ADL, were being an ex-terrorist with the Jamah Islamiah in Egypt, and getting training with the terrorists like Ayman Zawahiri, reported by US intelligence to be the second in command at al-Qaeda.
â€œLadies and gentleman,â€ started Tawfik Hamid, â€œI was brought up as a fundamentalist even though my father – an orthopedic surgeon in Egypt was an atheist and my mother was a liberal French teacher. When in medical school, I joined Jamah Islamiah. This Jamah suppressed critical thinking. This is suppressed even today in the schools and the universities in Muslim countries. It is vital that Muslim children are introduced to critical thinking. When I went to pray Zuhr with the Jamah, the preacher asked us to line up as one solid lineâ€”a mental preparation for Jihad. I attended Dr. Aymanâ€™s (Zwahiri) speech. He was a fiery speaker on a great mission – Jihad on all non-Muslims; establish a Shariah – a system like Taliban, polygamy, and slavery – a real threat to the world. The threat is not violent acts; itâ€™s teaching the violence that threatens our freedom. Ayman was not a bad person. He was corrupted by the teaching.â€
The ZOA started the evening eventâ€™s proceedings at the JCC with a rendering of the American national anthem followed by the Israeli national anthem and prayers for the â€œabductedâ€ IDF (Israeli Defense Force) soldiers in Lebanon and Palestine and condemnation of the companies doing business in Iran–â€œThe Dirty Dozen.â€ The eveningâ€™s main speaker was introduced to a largely zionist audience as a Muslim reformer.
â€œThere are five ways jihad is described in the Quran,â€ he said.
â€œ1. Struggle and resist oppression in violent ways and is also termed as â€œUâ€™dwaanâ€ and it is not permitted.
2. War on non-Muslims until they are subjugated by Islam–as is preached and practiced by Salafis.
3. Internal struggle against evil forces inside–as is practiced by Sufis.
4. Search for God, seeking guidance
5. Preaching Qur`an
â€œThe dominant understanding of jihad among Muslims is declaring war against non-Muslims,â€ said Tawfik Hamid in his talk at the JCC.
He described the brain washing process of the group:
1. Directing the young persons with the description of hell instead and its fear instead of preaching love. He recited ayahs in Arabic from Quran and translatedâ€”â€œin hell boiling water will flow over their heads.â€
2. Use the sex-deprivation syndrome of youth–it is very difficult for young persons to get married in Egypt, unless they are rich, and extramarital sex was a punishment forever in the hereafter. This was used to prepare suicide bombers. In the paradise, they were promised women and sex 100 times a day. He said that this practice as a basis for suicide-bombing is common in Sunni Muslims only. Shiâ€™a Muslims practice Muta marriage which can be a contract from one hour to 99 years. Therefore, he said, â€œyou donâ€™t see Shiâ€™a suicide bombers.â€
3. Training to hate non-Muslims because they are not subjugated to Islam.
4. Teaching to suppress conscience when dealing with non-Muslims.
5. Preparing to use violence- killing as many as possible.
The Jamah promoted hijab (or you go to hell), polygamy (to suppress conscience) and beating women (to justify terrorism). â€œThere is a correlation between hijab and terrorism–the more hijab means more terrorism,â€ he said.
Tawfik Ahmed then described the five understandings of jihad (stated above) using Qur`anic references. â€œThe understanding of jihad–declaring war against non-Muslims, became dominant among Muslims when Saudi Arabia became rich in the seventies and started exporting the Salafi fanatic brand of Islam throughout the world. Their fanaticism promotes killing apostates, beating women, enslaving and raping women, fighting and killing Jews, and killing gays.â€ He blamed Saudi Arabia for the proliferation of a fanatical understanding of Islam. â€œThe violence in the Middle East is nothing to do with Arab-Israeli conflict–it is due to the fanatic Islam.â€
He had some encouraging words for Jews and Zionists, quoting ayahs in Arabic from the Qur`an and providing the English translation. â€œO Children of Israel! I (Allah) have given you high place over the world.â€ â€œEnter the lands that We (Allah) promised you.â€ â€œEstablish yourself in this land.â€
He had a few words of caution for the U.S. Administration. â€œYou cannot be passive against the terrorists. Your wonderful liberal values will be abused. Your freedom will be hijacked. Defeat the terrorists with the use of utmost power. Use power to bring peace. Islamic fundamentalism is like a cancer and you have to destroy it before it destroys you.â€ His insistence on violence indicated perhaps that the use of violence is ingrained in his subconscious from the days of his training days with Jamah Islamiah.
Finally, when he was done using Qur`anic ayahs out of context for validating his justification of having Zionists take over the Palestinian lands, and terrorism as a by-product of the Salafi School–the Zionists were on their feet. He had justified the ZOAâ€™s and ADLâ€™s objective of having him invited as a guest speaker in U.S.A. His distortion of Islam and Muslims goes hand-in-hand with their mission.
He also left the Muslim community wondering:
1. Whether the communityâ€™s Jewish friends involved in the inter-faith activities support the other Jewish groups active in promoting convoluted speakers spreading misinformation about Islam.
2. Whether the community itself should have its members attend such events. Does this provide some form of credibility to these events?
3. Whether the community is preparing its members, especially the young, by educating them to answer or provide response to similar malicious distorted presentations. Are there any articulate community members who can use Arabic and English eloquently to take on the microphone and discourage events like these from taking place?
4. Whether the community has any plans, short term and long term, to counter these types of tirades and attacks on Muslims and Islam. If so, is there a process of consensus among various groups?