FORMER ISLAMIC RADICAL UNVEILS ROOT CAUSES OF ISLAMIC TERROR
A conversation with Dr. Tawfik Hamid.
Tawfik Hamid (55), an Egyptian native, is a congenial fellow with a ready smile, and from his pleasant demeanor you would never guess that he was once in the company of radical Islamists. While at Cairo University Medical School, Dr. Hamid had occasional meetings with Ayman al-Zawahiri, at the time a promising doctor who later became Al-Qaeda’s second in command. An Islamic thinker and reformer, Hamid was at one time (35 years-ago) a member of the radical Islamic organization Jamaa Islamiyah (JI) of Egypt. Ultimately, his awakened human conscience recognized the threat of radical Islam, and he subsequently started to teach modern and peaceful interpretations of classical Islamic core texts.
He has been a guest speaker at governmental forums both within the U.S. and internationally. He has spoken and testified before the U.S. Congress House Armed Services Committee; the Future Summit, at the invitation of Israel’s President Shimon Peres; U.S. Department of Defense offices at the Pentagon; Special Operations Command; the office of the Director of National Intelligence (DNI); National Security Agency (NSA); and appeared on a wide spectrum of shows, from CNN-TV to Fox News and C-SPAN, and his articles and op-ed have appeared in the Wall Street Journal, the New York Daily News, VOA, France 24, RT (Russia Today), the Jerusalem Post.
Joseph Puder (JP): Your thoughts on the US “War on Terrorism”?
Tawfik Hamid (TH): In my opinion, the US war on terrorism has been unsuccessful.
Every evidence is showing that many radical Islamic organizations have been expanding in several parts of the world since the beginning on the War on Terror. Just see the map of ISIS, Boko Haram, Libya, Iraq, Syria and you will get the answer. In fact, the Taliban now controls major areas in Afghanistan and they are coming back to power.
JP: Can you chart for our readers a winning strategy against Islamist terrorists, such as the Islamic State (IS)?
TH: To defeat radical Islam the U.S. and the West need to do the following:
1. Define Radical Islam (President Obama has refrained from connecting terrorism with Islam).
2. Fight the militants more effectively.
3. Use effective negative deterrents to deter the radicals from committing more attacks.
4. Support theological reforms within Islam that encourage peaceful co-existence.
5. Support effective educational tactics to counter the thinking traits that breeds radicalism (such as absolutism, being judgmental, literal understanding of the Islamic texts).
6. Support what I call Shaking the Foundation strategy (SFS), to make the radicals lose trust in their religious texts, and the basic tenets/foundations of Islamism.
7. Weaken the hijab phenomenon via the use of several approaches and tactics.
8. Make countries, organizations, institutions, and individuals
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