August 4, 2007
James G. Zumwalt
Provided to Peace and Freedom by the author
Tawfik Hamid remembers two watershed moments in his life — when he accepted terrorism and when he rejected it. As a doctor, his story is of special interest in light of the recently failed terrorist attacks in the United Kingdom that involved eight Muslim medical professionals. Born in Egypt, as a Muslim Dr. Hamid adhered to Islam in his early years without really practicing it.
Only at medical school was he first exposed to Islamic extremism. Allowed to come into schools and seduce young scholars, the Islamofascist group Jamma’a Islameia (JI) spoke to them daily. The brainwashing had begun. Why do you think Allah blessed Saudi Arabia with such vast oil wealth,” JI handlers asked. “To encourage the revival of Islam,” came the response. Dr. Hamid remembers attending prayers with his handler at a nearby mosque.
In a statement he now realizes goes to the crux of extremist indoctrination, his handler warned, “If you start to think for yourself, you will become an infidel.” Other students attended. Dr. Hamid noticed the imam’s focus on positioning them tightly together in their prayer positions, ensuring close contact.
The imam announced, “God loves those who fight for Him as a solid wall.” The imam preached that those who failed to be true believers would suffer tremendous torment in the afterlife. Boiling water would be poured over them, consuming their skin. It would grow back, but only so the nonbeliever could suffer through the process again. Conceding it is difficult for Westerners to comprehend such an ability to instill fear in listeners, Dr. Hamid says it works well within an Islamic culture.
Having instilled fear, the imam then holds out hope for believers, preaching about a paradise where 72 virgins await each man. This theme resonates well, empowering them to make great sacrifices in this life, including sexual abstinence, to guarantee their rewards in the afterlife, where every sexual fantasy will be realized. At a discussion sponsored by the Committee on the Present Danger last month, Dr. Hamid explained the significant role sexual suppression plays in becoming a suicide bomber.
As between the minority Shia sect of believers and the majority Sunnis, there are, pro rata, far fewer Shia suicide bombers than Sunni. The reason — despite the focus on sexual abstinence under Islam — is that Shias also accept the concept of “temporary marriages,” lasting but an hour. In this way, Shias are able to gain sexual relief in this life, not having to await it in the next — a driving motivation for suicide bombers.
While this might sound outlandish, it may explain why some of the terrorists involved in the September 11, 2001, attack visited a strip club just prior to their attack — perhaps indulging the delusional expectation that their sexual fantasies would soon be fulfilled. A colleague in medical school of Ayman al-Zawahri, al Qaeda’s No. 2, Dr. Hamid dreamed of dying for Allah and participating in terrorist acts. But, unlike al-Zawahri, Dr. Hamid experienced an epiphany.
As imam extremists preached intolerance towards nonbelievers, then hatred, and, finally, violence, a light went on for Dr. Hamid within the darkness of the Islamofascist teachings. His exposure to other ideas, reading of other books — even the Bible — prior to submitting to this extremist indoctrination perhaps instilled within him something other Islamofascist practitioners lacked — a conscience.
Wracked with guilt for the evil thoughts consuming him and his intense focus on doing violence to nonbelievers, Dr. Hamid turned his back on extremism. This he did by regaining his ability to do what his extremist handler had first warned him not to do — think for himself. As he became a courageous Martin Luther-esque reformer of his religion, Dr. Hamid’s life was threatened, and he eventually fled to the United States. But he would not be silent.
Today, he speaks out about the cancer of militant Islam infecting our world body. He speaks out about the treatment necessary — including a commitment to fight long-term wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to destroy it. He speaks out about the increased militancy that will follow a premature U.S. withdrawal from these battlefields. He speaks out about his concern that the West has yet to understand the serious risk this cancer poses to our very existence. By speaking out about a dangerous mindset focused on our annihilation and risking his life in doing so, Tawfik Hamid may well be a “dead man talking.”
When will we listen to what he has to say?
James G. Zumwalt, a Marine veteran of the Persian Gulf and Vietnam wars, is a contributor to The Washington Times.
Read more about Dr. Hamid:
Committee on the Present Danger: