Dr. Hamed Abdel-Samad is a German-Egyptian political scientist and author. In 2013, an Egyptian cleric called for him to be killed for heresy for his statements about Islam.[i] Dr. Abdel-Samad's online lecture series is available on his Box of Islam YouTube channel, which was established in 2015 and as of this writing has more than 47,000 subscribers and close to 11 million video views. In the two MEMRI TV clips below, which were taken from that lecture series, Dr. Abdel-Samad discusses the treatment of the Jews in the Quran and the persecution of Christians in Egypt.
Dr. Abdel-Samad discusses, in a lecture posted February 27, 2017,
In a lecture posted November 7, 2016,
The following are the transcripts of the clips:
MEMRI TV Clip No. 6112: Egyptian-German Scholar Hamed Abdel-Samad On The Persecution Of Christians In Egypt: Terrorism Is Rooted In Islamic Texts, Not In Their Interpretation – February 27, 2017
Hamed Abdel-Samad: "The [Coptic] minority is humiliated, because there is no equality. This has happened time and again. It is not the first time.
In 2013, I wrote an article in Al-Shorouk about a Christian teacher called Bishoy Kamil Kamel. His story is tragic. Somebody opened a Facebook page under his name and cursed Islam. Even though his family proved that that page did not belong to him, the man was imprisoned for six years. Why? Because of what is going on today in El-Arish and what happened in Minya.
Muslim zealots gathered outside his home, burned down his home, and wanted to kill his Christian neighbors. Along came the armed forces, cordoned off the area, and said to the Christians: 'In order to be spared the wrath [of the Muslims], leave the place, and flee.' That's what happened. They gave him a swift trial – he got six years in prison – and that was that. After I wrote my article in Al-Shorouk, they went and got fresh evidence, and after three years in prison, they found him innocent and set him free. Exactly the same story recurred with another young Christian, Gamal Massoud, who did not do a thing. A friend of his tagged him in an image in which the Prophet or Islam was vilified. A tag! It appears automatically on Facebook pages. He was caught and imprisoned for three years. That was in 2012.
These things... Five Christian children were putting on a comic play about ISIS and the way they pray... They were caught and imprisoned for I don’t know how many years. When these children fled from this cruel and unjust sentence to Switzerland, and recounted what had happened, people said: 'They are tarnishing Egypt's reputation.' That's just great. People who kill, enslave, slaughter, burn, and disrobe [women], are not tarnishing the image of Egypt, but these children who went to Switzerland and said: 'We were tried unjustly' are tarnishing its reputation.
"To be fair, in 2004 the Sheikh of Al-Azhar issued a fatwa – or rather, half a fatwa – according to which it is permitted, according to Islam, to build churches, as long as they do not harm national security. I don’t understand how a church can harm national security. What, the Sheikh of Al-Azhar is not aware of the fact that it is the mosques that are harming national security? That it is the mosques that preach hatred? Is it the Christians who pray: 'God, make orphans out of the Muslim children'? Is it the Christians in their churches who say: 'Do not take the Muslims as your allies'? Are they the ones who say: 'And kill them wherever you find them'? Do they say: 'Fight those People of the Book who do not believe in Allah... until they pay the jizya willingly in submission'? Are they the ones who say this? No! This is said in the mosques. It is the mosques that pose a danger to national security. This is why the Ministry of Religious Endowments is currently instating a unified khutbah – they are concerned that if people talk seriously about Islam, it will lead to terrorism. That is only logical. So what is it that harms national security?!
"Don't tell me that terrorism is the outcome of injustice, of oppression, and of social circumstances, because nobody is more oppressed now then the Copts of El-Arish.
Can you imagine the Copts of El-Arish becoming terrorists, wearing explosives belts, and blowing people up, because they are oppressed?
Did the Yazidis do this after they were burned and raped? No!
Terrorism is caused by an ideology that stems from the textual roots of your religion – not from the interpretation of these texts, but from the texts themselves. All we are doing is going around in circles. If we are unwilling to recognize the source [of the problem], we will never resolve it. The problems grow, the violence escalates, and the terrorists gain ground day by day."
MEMRI TV Clip No. 6104: Egyptian-German Scholar Hamed Abdel-Samad Slams The Quran's Treatment Of The Jews: Is This The Divine Logic Of God, Who Proclaimed Himself To Be Merciful? – November 7, 2016
Hamed Abdel-Samad: "The Quran says: 'Do not argue with the People of the Book except in the best manner.' The Quran set the principle for dialogue, and then failed to abide by it. The Quran determined that 'the best manner' is the principle for dialogue, but then started cursing the Jews, calling them 'apes and pigs.' It had no problem referring to the Jews as 'the worst of living creatures.' Where did the etiquette of dialogue go?
"The Jews were the role model [for the Prophet Muhammad], to the point that he was praying in the direction of Jerusalem. But when he said to them: 'I am a prophet, as is written in the Torah,' they said to him: 'We checked in the Torah, but couldn't find your name.' The same thing happened with the Christians.
"This is when conspiracy theory comes into play: 'The Christians and the Jews saw my name in their [scriptures], so they distorted the Torah and the New Testament, so that my name would not appear there.'
"A vision came upon [Muhammad] when he was talking with [the Jews] of the Nadhir tribe. He was discussing regular daily matters with them. That's when he had this vision of Gabriel, who told him that a Jew was about to throw a rock on him from a rooftop and kill him. Either he just invented this, or else he was hearing voices in his paranoid head and was hallucinating. He didn't get only the man who supposedly had intended to... The law does not hold people accountable for intentions, but only for actions. Did anyone throw a rock? No. All the Islamic sources say so. But Gabriel told him that someone had intended to throw a rock. Okay, grab that individual and hold him accountable. Kill him. Fine, whatever. But to round up the entire tribe and to cut down their palm trees, and to take over their fields and their homes... And the Quran celebrates this.
"This is what 'corruption upon the land' should mean: Cutting down the palm trees of the Jews and driving them from their homes, just because of a vision he had, just because he dreamt that one of them would throw a rock at him. Is this the divine logic of God, who proclaimed Himself to be Merciful?
"'Then because of their violation of their covenant, their disbelief in the revelations of Allah, and their wrongful slaying of the prophets...' Did any of the Jews in Medina kill a prophet? Can you tell me the name of the prophet and of the Jew who killed him?
"'So you see those in whose hearts is disease hastening into association with them, saying: 'We are afraid a misfortune may strike us.' The believers, the Muslims, might have a Jewish or a Christian friend. They say that they have joint interests, and so on... No. These ties must be severed. Terrorism begins here – when you think that our Lord tells you not to trust this one or that one... Let's say that your son is in a European country, or even in a country like Egypt, Syria, or Lebanon. He goes to school and all around him are Christians, Jews, and even atheists. How can he live with them and trust them? How can he coexist with them in a healthy environment? How can they cooperate or work together in the same company? The Quran aims to isolate [the Muslims] from the rest of humankind. It distances them from everyone else. You should be only with people who love the Prophet Muhammad, wage Jihad with him, and pay him money. Anyone else should be renounced.
"The last Jewish tribe [in Medina] were Banu Qurayza. They were the last Jewish group and the richest among them, and their fortress was impregnable.
"[The Prophet Muhammad] laid siege to them, until the children came out because they had nothing left to eat. They surrendered and gave themselves up. What did he do with them? He cut off their heads. Why? Because they did not help him and did not pay him anything. The Quran celebrates this event:
'He brought down those who supported them among the People of the Book from their fortresses, and cast terror into their hearts. Some you killed and some you made prisoners. He made you heirs of their lands, their homes, and their good, a land that you did not tread before. And Allah has power over all things.' Our Lord gives His blessing to stealing and plundering. 'He made you heirs of their lands and their homes...' Why? They did not work for it. Who built them? Was any of the Muslims a builder, who could build a house? Was any of them a farmer, who could sow a field? Why should they take their fields, their lands, and their property? It is a lie. It is theft. In the Quran, our Lord gives his blessing to theft, the holy theft upon which the entire Islamic economy was based. This is how the Quran deals with the Jews."
[i] See MEMRI TV Clip No. 3892 Egyptian Cleric Mahmoud Shaaban Issues Fatwa: Egyptian-German Scholar Should Be Killed for Heresy June 7, 2013.