You know, given that Egypt has only 866 atheists in the country, I’m amazed that Alhadath Alyoum TV managed to find one willing to be public about it.
Mohammad Hashem appeared on the channel last month, and his open atheism didn’t sit well with the host Mahmoud Abd Al-Halim or the former Deputy Sheikh of Al-Azhar Mahmoud Ashour. The two hosts urged the atheist to see a psychiatrist for his obvious mental illness before he corrupted even more Egyptian youth.
Egyptian TV Host Kicks Atheist Out of Studio, Recommending Psychiatric Treatment pic.twitter.com/tXFyj9GF85
— MEMRI (@MEMRIReports) March 2, 2018
HASHEM: I’m an atheist, which means I don’t believe in the existence of God. I don’t believe in Him.
ASHOUR: What? What was that?
HASHEM: I’m an atheist, which means I don’t believe in the existence of God. I don’t believe in Him. That’s what atheism means. I don’t need religion to have moral values or to be a productive member of society.
AL-HALIM: How come you exist in this universe?
HASHEM: Okay, let me explain. There are theories that try to explain our existence. One theory is that God created us. Okay? But there are other theories, with much more evidence, like the Big Bang theory…
AL-HALIM: Speak Arabic! You are in Egypt and you are addressing simple people so don’t use big words for no reason.
HASHEM: I’m using these terms because science is conducted in English.
AL-HALIM: What science are you talking about?
AL-HALIM: You are confused and unreliable. You deny the existence of God and reject our religion and principles…
HASHEM: Is this so bad?
AL-HALIM: Of course! You come here to talk about a certain idea but have nothing to offer! You offer atheism! You offer heresy! I apologize to the viewers for having an Egyptian of this kind on our show. I’m sorry, Mohammad, but you cannot stay with us on the show because your ideas are inappropriate, I’m sad to say. We cannot promote such destructive ideas. You have not uttered a single convincing word.
ASHOUR: Look, dear Mohammad, you need psychiatric treatment. Many young people today suffer from mental illnesses due to material or mental circumstances.
AL-HALIM: It’s like Sheikh Mahmoud says. Have you see a psychiatrist?
AL-HALIM: I advise you to leave the studio and go straight to a psychiatric hospital. You shouldn’t be here. Unfortunately, I cannot let you be here anymore. Please get up and leave, and I will continue the show with Dr. Mahmoud. Unfortunately, your ideas are destructive and bad for Egyptian youth. You set a very bad example for Egyptian youth.
I hope it’s not lost on anyone that an atheist offering a scientific explanation of our origins, using language you’d find in a grade school textbook, was told to dumb things down for the “simple people” who can’t handle that sort of thing. Those are the same people, I presume, who can’t be told about science because it might hurt their simple brains.
I hope it’s also not lost on anyone that they told the guy talking about science to see someone trained in science.
Give some credit to Hashem, though, for taking part in that farce of an interview. It’s dangerous to be an open atheist in the Islamic world, and it takes courage to talk about it on TV when the backlash could be fierce.
(via MEMRI TV. Thanks to Melissa for the link)