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Ex-Radical Muslim Brings Message of Reform

Dr. Tawfik Hamid, one-time Islamic terror organization member now in Israel, says Jews have done their best, and it’s now Muslims who must change.
By Hillel Fendel
First Publish: 10/22/2009, 1:17 PM / Last Update: 10/22/2009, 2:21 PM

INN TV

Dr. Tawfik Hamid, a one-time Islamic terror organization member, is now in Israel taking part in the Facing Tomorrow conference in Jerusalem. He believes that the Jews have done their best, and that it’s now the Muslim world’s turn to make some changes and concessions.

Hamid, an Islamic thinker and reformer, spoke with INN-TV’s Yoni Kempinsky on Wednesday, and made some surprising statements. His friendly smile belies his background as a former student of Dr. Ayman Al-Zawaheri, who later became deputy commander of the international Al-Qaeda terrorist organization.

Hamid explained that his motivation in joining a terror group was simply because “I wanted to serve God.” He said it was not borne of “poverty or anything like that,” and that his sincere intentions were “used to create a Jihadist, violent mindset that accepts violence. I considered doing crimes in God’s name, but thank God in the critical moments my conscience woke up and I refused to continue.”

Asked what his message to the Jewish people would be, Hamid told INN TV, “You are a great nation, and in the most difficult times, such as when the Nazis were putting you in ovens, you were able to get out of it and build a great country of human rights – and so, don’t let your country surrender to barbarism; fight for it and use every tactic you can use to stand against it.”

“Never make concessions to radicals,” Hamid continued. “The more concessions you make, the more they attack you.  In the Muhammad-cartoon controversy [in Scandinavia], the radicals did not demonstrate for four months – until the magazine apologized, and then they started demonstrating. So we see that concessions mean nothing to them except for a green light to attack you more.”

Asked if he is afraid, Dr. Hamid said confidently, “No.”  A surprised Kempinsky asked, “Why not? You mentioned death threats that have been leveled against you…” Hamid responded, “Because I trust Him. I know that I am doing something good… If they manage to kill me, they won’t succeed in killing my voice; thousands more Tawfiq Hamids will arise to [continue this message].”

Asked about Jewish-Muslim relations, Hamid said, “I believe that you have done your best, and now it’s our turn… The Islamic scholars must make changes in the way they teach; it’s the Muslims who now must make some concessions, otherwise the problem will not be solved.”