Egyptian writer Adel Noman said in a February 12, 2020 interview on Ten TV (Egypt) that when clerics have a monopoly on theology, it is an insult to people's intelligence, because the Prophet Muhammad's message had been to conveyed to the people and not the clerics. In a February 19, 2020 debate about religion, Noman criticized religious rulings such as those that enable one to marry pre-teen girls and he said that the Islamic heritage clashes with human nature and contradicts medical, social, and political sciences. He said that the solution to this problem is the total separation of religion from the state and political rule and he argued that Europe, the United States, Japan, and other countries had advanced by adopting secular and reason-based alternatives to their religious heritage. He added that this is the only way for the Islamic nation to advance and that straying from the path of Allah cannot be the only explanation for poverty in society.
February 12, 2020
Adel Noman: "When clerics have a monopoly on theology, it is an insult to the intelligence of us all."
Adel Noman: "Because Muhammad's message was not conveyed to clerics. Rather, it was conveyed to very simple people who understood it very easily."
February 19, 2020
Moderator: "What damage have some books of heritage – we don't want to generalize – caused society?"
Adel Noman: "My colleague talked about 'hypothetical' jurisprudence, but this jurisprudence imposes itself. The issue of breastfeeding adult men imposed itself and was discussed by the media and by sheikhs from Al-Azhar. So this is not 'hypothetical' jurisprudence. Rubbing one's penis against a baby's thigh is not 'hypothetical' jurisprudence..."
Debate Opponent: "This is something that is done only among the Shi'ites."
Adel Noman: "One may derive sexual pleasure from a little girl..."
Debate Opponent: "Only among the Shi'ites."
Adel Noman: "One may marry a girl when she is six and she is given to him when she is nine, and he can have sex with her if her body is full of flesh and fat. This is what you people say. It's in your books. You teach this. So there is nothing 'hypothetical' about this jurisprudence. As for your question... The reality is that this heritage clashes with human nature.
"The Muslim rituals of worship are not the problem. The problem lies with the rest of our heritage that creates lack of understanding amongst ourselves and with the world. This is why I am saying that the problem with our heritage is that it clashes with human nature."
Moderator: "So what is the solution?"
Adel Noman: "In addition, this heritage contradicts and clashes with science, and it pits people who follow your doctrine against believers of other religions. This heritage clashes with civilization and with humanity. There is one solution: Completely separating religion from the state and political rule. Religion should continue to exist in the mosque and in the church.
"Medical discourse should determine what death is. In medicine, there is no such thing as the ascension of the soul. Death happens when a person stops moving and his brainstem dies. Organ transplants should be determined by medical rather than religious discourse. Social discourse should determine what is the appropriate minimum age for girls to get married and religion should not play a role in this issue.
"Religious discourse has nothing whatsoever to do with human, medical, social or political sciences."
Moderator: "Some people attack what is written in the books of heritage, but is this accompanied by a modern alternative that can replace the books of heritage?"
Adel Noman: "Yes. It is the international and secular alternative that uses reason and science as the means for progress. There is absolutely no way for the Islamic nation to move forward unless it adopts this modern approach that relies on reason and science.
"Europe did not progress because of the industrial revolution, but because it separated religion from politics and political rule and adhered to modern science. This is the new and modern logic. As for the claim that maintaining out identity depends on our return to the caves of the past..."
Moderator: "Who said it depends on this?"
Adel Noman: "Just a second, please. [As for the claim] that out straying from the path of Allah is the only reason for our deterioration, poverty, and deprivation... Well, Europe did not follow this path, nor did Japan, China, or America. The only path that brought success to these nations is the one that strayed away from the heritage and followed the path of objective science and of a civil and secular state, rather than the path suggested by my colleagues."