Hamed Abdel Samad, a German-Egyptian political scientist and public critic of Islam, expressed in a recent interview with TelQuel his belief in the impossibility of reforming Islam.
“If it had been possible to reform Islam, it would have been done centuries ago,” Abdel Samad told the Moroccan French-language magazine. “Islam is an ultra-sacralized entity. Who would dare to reform Allah’s word? Furthermore, there is no central authority in charge of Islam as it is the case with the Catholic and Orthodox churches.”
The German-Egyptian author claimed that, as Islam goes beyond religious belief, it cannot be reformed. “Islam is basically incompatible with secularism. It is a tradition that mixes religion with economy, and politics with militarism. It complicates the relationships between Muslims and non-Muslims. I don’t believe in general salvation.”
On the other hand, Muslims’ mentality, according to Abdel Samad, can be “reformed.”
“If we were to consider Islam as a supermarket, we can’t improve the placement of its goods. What we can do is change the consumer’s behavior for the better, so that they don’t choose expired products.”
The criticizing of Islam by Arabs and ex-Muslims has grown in Europe and North America in recent years. In addition to Hamid Abdel Samad, other names have risen to prominence, such as the Moroccan Brother Rachid, the Somali Ayaan Hirsi Ali, the Bengali Taslima Nasrin, the Palestinian Walid Shoebat and the Egyptian Nonie Rashid.
Hamed Abdel Samad is the most representative of this trend in Germany. He is an author of several books such as “Islamic Fascism”. The book was criticized by some commentators. Daniel Bax, a German writer, described it as ““a scrappily pasted-together book that contains a haphazard blend of Wikipedia knowledge, personal anecdotes and commentaries by the author.”
In his lectures, interviews and TV appearances in Arabic, German and English, Hamed presents an image of Islam and the Prophet Muhammad as intolerant, extremist, supremacist, misogynist and totally incompatible with democracy and European values.
A death fatwa was issued against him live on a salafist Egyptian TV channel in 2013. In Germany, he has been living under police protection.