Egyptian intellectual Sharif Farouk clashed with Islamist Muhammad Hamouda during a discussion about Islam and atheism. Sheikh Hamouda claimed that if Farouk had an automatic gun, he would grab it and “wipe out” all the religious people. Later, the sheikh produced several plastic animal figures to demonstrate the veracity of the Quran. Towards the end of the show, Farouk walked out of the studio, as the TV host apologized for having held such a “pointless” show. The show aired on the Egyptian Al-Seha Wal-Jamal TV on January 28.
Sharif Farouk: "Religions in general, the notion of the existence of God, and all metaphysics... I believe that there is no scientific or rational evidence for these notions. There is no rational evidence for any religion. On the emotional level however, if a Muslim or a Christian says: 'I feel that God touches my heart' or 'I feel the presence of God' - well that's a different matter."
Host: "You said that you used to be a Muslim..."
Farouk: "My ID card still says 'Muslim.'"
Muhammad Hamouda: "You do not recognize what is written on your own ID card."
Farouk: "Sir, you see only the exterior, not what's in my heart."
Hamouda: "You are sitting here with me as a secular man."
Hamouda: "I was told you are an 'athiest,' but now you tell me you are 'secular.' I can accept you if you are secular. This is what 'accepting the other' means."
Host: "The idea that God does not exist is not an atheist notion."
Hamouda: "A secular man would not attack me. A secular man would not attack a church, a mosque, or a Jewish synagogue. A secular man believes in, 'live and let live.' But if Sharif were an atheist and had an automatic gun with him, he would grab it and wipe out all religious people."
Farouk: "Why do you assume that?"
Hamouda: "It's not an assumption..."
Farouk: "Why do you assume that a non-religious person would grab a gun and kill you?"
Hamouda: "Isn't this your doctrine?"
Farouk: "Absolutely not."
Hamouda: "All the countries with a majority of people of your kind are fighting and killing all over the world. We, the Muslims, are your victims.
"Do you want me to tell you about the miracles of the prophet Muhammad? In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful. Alif. Lam. Mim. This is the book about which there is no doubt."
Farouk: "What do the Arabic letters alif, lam, mim mean?"
Hamouda: "Ahhhhh... alif, lam, mim?"
Farouk: "Yes. What do they stand for?"
Hamouda: "I was about to tell you. Don't worry I am here until morning. Our Lord says to people like you who deny the miraculous nature of the Quran... Our Lord says that this Book contains the same letters as the letters that are used in the Arabic language."
Farouk: "So if you lump together a random bunch of letters, and then write a message, this would mean that these letters would appear in the message? Does this seem right to you?"
Host: "You deny that the Quran is the word of Allah."
Farouk: "Sir, I am..."
Host: "You deny this. Let's agree on that."
Host: "Can you..."
Hamouda: "Let me give him a demonstration."
Hamouda: "What is this, sir?"
Farouk: "An elephant. "
Hamouda: "And this?"
Farouk: "A giraffe."
Hamouda: "What are they made of?"
Farouk: "Plastic, I guess."
Hamouda: "Don't say 'I guess.' Are they made of plastic or iron? Put them here so the viewers can see."
Farouk: "Okay. Plastic it is."
Hamouda: "So you admit they are made of plastic?"
Farouk: "I do."
Hamouda: "What if I told you that this elephant and that giraffe are made of the same plastic as these cubes... alif, lam, mim... The material that makes this also makes those. Why does this annoy you?"
Host: "Dear viewers, our show today was clearly pointless. I am very sorry that I had to host such a show. I apologize to the viewers for inflicting such discussion upon your ears."