Tawfik Hamid, an expert on Islamic terrorism, joined the Islamic group Muslim GI (al-Gama’a al-Islamiyya) in Egypt, while in medical school. His colleagues in the terror movement included Al Zawaherri, then a friend with whom Tawfik used to pray, and now the number 2 person of Al Qaeda. Eventually Dr. Hamid questioned the feelings of hatred and impulses to violence that his participation in extremist Islam was fomenting within him. He became a physician, and also a scholar of Islamic texts. When he began to preach in Mosques to promote a message of peace instead of violence and hatred, he himself became a target of the Islamic extremists who had previously been his friends. They threatened his life, forcing him and his family to flee Egypt , and then Saudi Arabia . His appearance on Fox TV in early 2006 and his testimony at the first major Intelligence Summit in Washington have further established him as a leading authority on global terror movements. He explains why extremist Islam is far more prevalent and poses a far more serious threat than most Americans appreciate to our economy, ecology, and national security.
In this discussion with D.J. Grothe, Tawfik Hamid discusses his experiences with extremist Islam and the Al Quada affiliated organization he joined, the question of moderate Islam and moderate Muslim organizations such as the Council on Islamic American Relations. He also explores the dire need for Islam to be reformed, and the recent CFI-sponsored Secular Islam Summit in St. Petersburg, Florida.
Also in this episode, Ibn Warraq reads the Declaration from the Secular Islam Summit, which has received worldwide press and grassroots attention.