April 6, 2018 Special Dispatch No. 7415

In Atheism Debate On Egyptian TV Following MEMRI Translation Of Previous Debate, Host Says, Referring To MEMRI, 'Western TV Channels... Were Up In Arms, The Story Reached Millions Via Social Media'; Al-Azhar Scholar Calls Denying God An Affront

April 6, 2018
Egypt | Special Dispatch No. 7415

Following a debate on the Egyptian Alhadath Alyoum TV channel in which the moderator had kicked one of his guests, an atheist, out of the studio, the channel held a follow-up discussion. TV host Mahmoud Abd Al-Halim asked why the Western media was so interested in the atheists and homosexuals in Egypt. Al-Azhar scholar Sheikh Ibrahim Amin protested that "it is an affront to a hundred million Muslims in Egypt when [an atheist] keeps saying: There is no God, there is no God." "This might cause me agitation and psychological stress," he protested. In the previous debate, which aired on February 11 and was translated by MEMRI (see MEMRI TV clip no. 6455 Egyptian TV Host Kicks Atheist Out Of Studio, Recommending Psychiatric Treatment, February 11, 2018), atheist Mohammad Hashem was kicked out of the studio with a recommendation to seek psychiatric help after he said that there is no scientific evidence for the existence of God.

To view the clip of Sheikh Ibrahim Amin on MEMRI TV, click here or below.

Mahmoud Abd Al-Halim: "The subject of our show today is: Why is the Western media so interested in the issue of the atheists and homosexuals in the Arab world?


"The issue of atheism has generated a lot of commotion. A short while ago, we did a show on this subject, and we hosted a young Egyptian atheist along with Sheikh Mahmoud Ashour. However, [the atheist] did not present any ideology, so we had to apologize to him and to the viewers, and we did not let him complete the show with us. The Western TV channels and newspapers were up in arms, and the story reached millions through social media.


"As you know, Sheikh, the atheists do not believe in the Quran, or in the existence of our Lord."

Sheikh Ibrahim Amin: "I know that they do not believe, but the young man said – may Allah guide him and his type – that there is not a single scientific proof [for the existence of God]. That is patently wrong. The Quran contains millions of scientific proofs.


"I am against this altogether. I am against inviting some atheist and talking to him about atheism. It is an affront to a hundred million Muslims in Egypt, when he keeps saying: There is no God, there is no God... Brother, do I not have feelings? This might cause me agitation and psychological stress, to the point that I might say something problematic. Why do this to me? Does the European media ever host anyone who explains about Islam? Do the official European or American media – or even the satellite channels – host a Muslim to talk about Islam and to explain the ideas of the Muslims?"

To view the MEMRI TV clip from the previous atheism debate on Egyptian television featuring Egyptian atheist Mohammad Hashem, click here or below.

"I Don't Need Religion To Have Moral Values Or To Be A Productive Member Of Society"

Mohammad Hashem: "I'm an atheist, which means I don't believe in the existence of God. I don't believe in Him."

Mahmoud Ashour: "What? What was that?"

Mohammad Hashem: "I'm an atheist, which means I don't believe in the existence of God. I don't believe in Him. That's what atheism means. I don't need religion to have moral values or to be a productive member of society."


Mahmoud Ashour: "Why did you become an atheist?"

Mohammad Hashem: "Because there is no scientific evidence for the existence of God."

Mahmoud Abd Al-Halim: "How can you say that? Who created you? Who made you exist as a human being?"

Mahmoud Ashour: "Do you know how you were created?"

Mohammad Hashem: "There are many theories explaining our existence on this planet..."

Mahmoud Ashour: "I'm asking you a question. How did you become a human being?"

Mahmoud Abd Al-Halim: "How come you exist in this universe?"

"You Offer Atheism! You Offer Heresy! I Apologize To The Viewers For Having An Egyptian Of This Kind On Our Show"

Mohammad Hashem: "Okay, let me explain. There are theories that try to explain our existence. One theory is that God created us. Okay? But there are other theories, with much more evidence, like the Big Bang theory..."

Mahmoud Abd Al-Halim: "Speak Arabic! You are in Egypt, and you are addressing simple people, so don't use big words for no reason."

Mohammad Hashem: "I'm using these terms because science is conducted in English..."

Mahmoud Abd Al-Halim: "What science are you talking about?


"You are confused and unreliable. You deny the existence of God and reject our religion and principles..."

Mohammad Hashem: "Is this so bad?"

Mahmoud Abd Al-Halim: "Of course. You come here to talk about a certain idea, but have nothing to offer. You offer atheism! You offer heresy! I apologize to the viewers for having an Egyptian of this kind on our show. I'm sorry, Mohammad, but you cannot stay with us on the show, because your ideas are inappropriate, I'm sad to say. We cannot promote such destructive ideas. You have not uttered a single convincing word."


"He Sets A Bad Example To Egyptian Youth – Mohammad, You Can't Stay Here, I Advise You To Go Straight To A Psychiatric Hospital"

Mahmoud Ashour: "Look, dear Mohammad, you need psychiatric treatment. Many young people today suffer from mental illnesses, due to material or mental circumstances..."

Mahmoud Abd Al-Halim: "It's like Sheikh Mahmoud says. Have you seen a psychiatrist?"


Mahmoud Abd Al-Halim: "I advise you to leave the studio and go straight to a psychiatric hospital. You shouldn't be here. Unfortunately, I cannot let you be here anymore. Please get up and leave, and I will continue the show with Dr. Mahmoud... Unfortunately, your ideas are destructive and bad for Egyptian youth. You set a very bad example for Egyptian youth. Let's take a break, our guest will leave the studio, and we will continue with Dr. Mahmoud..."

Mohammad Hashem: "I'm not being allowed to present my ideas..."

Mahmoud Abd Al-Halim: "No. Again, let me apologize to my viewers for having such a person on the show. I invited him to talk about ideas, but unfortunately, he has nothing convincing, nothing substantial, to offer. He sets a bad example to Egyptian youth. Mohammad, you can't stay here. I advise you to go straight to a psychiatric hospital."

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