Egyptian-Canadian journalist Said Shoaib said that Al-Andalus was a "colonialist occupation" and that it is very sad that the Muslims "take pride in their colonialist crimes." In a June 29 interview with the Arab-Christian channel Al-Hayat TV, Shoaib said that Muslims have no choice but to reform their religion, rather than continuing to be "a burden on civilization." Shoaib criticized Egyptian media and public for refusing to admit that the kidnapping and slaughter of Copts by jihadi terrorists is based on religion.
Said Shoaib: "The Islamists and the Muslims are held captive by history. Our conflict with Israel is mostly religious."
Said Shoaib: "Otherwise, we would be treating Iran the same way we treat Israel. Iran is occupying the Arab region of Ahwaz and oppressing the Sunnis, and it is occupying the UAE islands. Turkey is occupying the Alexandretta province. Is there one occupation that is halal and another that is haram?"
Interviewer: "In Morocco, we also have two cities that we consider to be occupied by Spain."
Said Shoaib: "But nobody cares. They only care about Israel, because the Prophet Muhammad engaged in a political armed and unarmed conflict [with the Jews] 1,400 years ago, and we act as if it happened today. There is another upsetting paradox. We consider Al-Andalus to be a source of pride for the Muslims, although it was, in fact, a colonialist occupation."
Interviewer: "Of course."
Said Shoaib: "We should wash our hands of that aspect. There was scientific and cultural progress there, but as a matter of principle [it was occupation] and we Muslims should be fair about it."
Interviewer: "You won't hear France saying today with pride: 'remember how we occupied Algeria and Morocco? Those were the days...'"
Said Shoaib: "Nobody says that except for the Muslims, and this is very sad. The Muslims are the only ones who take pride in their colonialist crimes."
Interviewer: "Because it is a religious matter. They consider this to be sacred."
Said Shoaib: "If you are so proud of the occupation of Al-Andalus, why are you angry at Israel? This is very strange. I once interviewed [former MB Supreme Guide] Mahdi Akef. It was the famous interview in which he said: 'To hell with Egypt.' I mentioned to him that the Ottomans had been occupiers [in Egypt]. 'Occupiers?' he was bewildered and hit the table. 'They were Muslims! Muslims cannot occupy Muslims.' Of course Muslims can be occupiers. The Ottomans destroyed the entire region."
Interviewer: "Sure there can be occupation. What was Iraq doing in Kuwait? Dropping in for breakfast?"
Said Shoaib: "It's insane. The Muslims are the only ones who want to restore their colonialist empire.
"The reforms in the Jewish religion improved it. The most important aspect of this was that they abandoned the textual understanding of the religion."
Interviewer: "Don't you think that it's too late [for the Muslims], because generations and generations were raised on this? People blow themselves up and kill people in Manchester and in Paris – there is nothing to be done. The cancer has spread. Isn't it too late? Even in the West, in some Western countries, perhaps the time for reforms is gone..."
Said Shoaib: "First of all, you must know the saying 'better late than never.' Second, what choice do we Muslims have? To continue being a burden on the world, on human civilization? I feel that Muslims I know personally – I'm not talking about the Islamists – are upset. They are not pleased. They are angry. My mother is upset. She's not happy."
Interviewer: "Most people just want to live in peace."
Said Shoaib: "Of course, and we must provide them with solutions."
Interviewer: "What do you think will happen in the Middle East? Will it come to an explosion? Will we go on like this?"
Said Shoaib: "The religious conflicts will continue. One of the things that saddens me in Egypt is that people refuse to admit that the kidnapping and slaughter of Copts is motivated by religion. Even now, the public mind is closed. Even my friends and colleagues, who are senior journalists and excellent people, refuse to admit it. Christians in Egypt are being killed on the basis of religion. Why is that?"