Egyptian TV Host Kicks Guest Out of Studio for Expressing Controversial Ideas on Religion
Following are excerpts from an interview Egyptian TV host Riham Said held with Salafist-turned-skeptic Dr. Noha, which aired on Al-Nahar TV, on May 13, 2014:
Riham Said: You do not usually wear a hijab, right?
Dr. Noha (wearing a full face veil, with only her eyes exposed): No, I don't.
Riham Said: So why did you put one on?
Dr. Noha: I did so to conceal my identity. I fear for my life. I don't want to be killed like Farag Foda. Also, I wouldn't want to offend my family, who are very religious. I don't want to hurt their feelings. They get upset when I talk about religion.
Riham Said: Egypt in its entirety is upset now.
Dr. Noha: On the contrary. I do it for Egypt's sake.
I am not an atheist.
Riham Said: But you say that the Koran isn't for real.
Dr. Noha: I say that Muhammad wrote the Koran…
Riham Said: You don't believe that our Prophet Muhammad is Allah's messenger?
Dr. Noha :I believe that he was a genius. He was a reformer, a philosopher, a military commander, and a great man. But it was he who wrote the Koran. There is no such thing as divine revelation and there was no Gabriel. This is the most important thing I wanted to say today.
Riham Said: So you say that Muhammad was not Allah's messenger?
Dr. Noha: I'm telling you that there is no such thing as divine revelation…
Riham Said: I did not ask you about divine revelation. I wanted to know if you claim that the Prophet Muhammad is not Allah's messenger.
Dr. Noha: Of course not. How could he possibly be a messenger without divine revelation?
Riham Said: How did you come up with that?
Dr. Noha: Because there was no Gabriel. It was Gabriel who supposedly delivered Allah's word to humans. Since Gabriel himself is a myth, there can be no…
Riham Said: How did you decide he is a myth?
Dr. Noha: I have no proof he ever existed.
Riham Said: I say that the Prophet Muhammad is Allah's messenger!
Dr. Noha: Fine.
Riham Said: I believe in every single word and letter of the Koran.
Dr. Noha: OK, but how are you different [from the Islamists].
Riham Said: How am I different?
Dr. Noha: The difference between the Islamists and you, Riham, is that the Islamists strive to implement every detail…
Riham Said: I want to implement every detail of Allah's shari'a, but I am against killing people who do not wish to implement it. I hope Allah's shari'a will be implemented everywhere, alcohol banned, and the cabarets will be shut down. I am a Muslim and, therefore, I must implement Allah's shari'a.
Dr. Noha: Do you support chopping off a thief's hand?
Riham Said: Absolutely.
Dr. Noha: Really?!
Riham Said: Of course.
Dr. Noha: Honestly, this is inhumane.
Riham Said: A thief's hand should be cut off, and an adulteress should be stoned to death.
Dr. Noha: This is really inhumane.
Riham Said: If we implement Islam in everything, no [bad] things will happen.
Dr. Noha: How can you say that?! How do you defend myths?
Riham Said: You have the right to speak your mind, but you have no right to call it a myth.
Dr. Noha: A myth it is!
Riham Said: That's your opinion.
You seriously do not believe that God exists?
Dr. Noha: I do believe.
Riham Said: So why don't you pray to him?
Dr. Noha: Because He doesn't respond to prayer.
Riham Said: How can you believe in Him without praying to Him?
Dr. Noha: Because he never responds.
Riham Said: How come?
Dr. Noha: That's the way He is. I prayed a lot and He never answered.
Riham Said: Why should He respond when you talk like that?!
Dr. Noha: He didn't respond back in the day when I was a Salafi woman, wearing a niqab.
Riham Said: Obviously you were impure of heart…
Dr. Noha: No, my heart was impeccable.
Riham Said: He responds to what I ask him. What do you have to say about that?!
Dr. Noha: He does not respond. This is merely…
Riham Said: Can it be coincidence that I get exactly what I ask for.
Dr. Noha: Sometimes you get it and sometimes you don't.
Riham Said: No, he gives me whatever I ask for.
Dr. Noha: If you asked for a million pounds, I'm sure you won't get it…
Riham Said: Yes, I will.
Dr. Noha: No, you won't
Riham Said: I swear to God I will.
How can you talk about ignorance when…
Dr. Noha: It is you who are ignorant.
Riham Said: Me? Ignorant? Thank you very much.
Dr. Noha: Yes, you are.
Riham Said: I'm as ignorant as all of Egypt and the Arab world. If saying that the Prophet Muhammad was Allah's messenger constitutes ignorance, I am proud to be an ignoramus.
Dr. Noha: If you keep insulting me, I will get up and leave.
Riham Said: Get out of here.
Dr. Noha: What?!
Riham Said: Get out of here.
Dr. Noha gets up from her seat, collects her belongings and starts to remove her microphone
Riham Said: Remove the microphone outside. Remove the microphone outside.
Dr. Noha: Lower your voice when you speak to me.
Riham Said: Remove the microphone outside.
Dr. Noha: You cannot talk like that to me. I am Dr. Noha. Behave yourself.
Riham Said: Remove the microphone outside. People, take her out of here. Go ahead.
Dr. Noha: I regret coming to talk with someone like you.
Riham Said: It is I who have wasted my time talking to a crazy woman.