A disturbing trend has been picking up steam in Metro-Detroit during the past couple of months: So-called Muslim “reformers” have been invited to speak in Ann Arbor, Detroit and West Bloomfield.

The latest weapon in the Islamophobe arsenal is Tawfik Hamid, who claims to be an ex-terrorist (which apparently makes him an expert on Islam). Hamid was recently invited to speak by the Zionist Organization of America at the Jewish Community Center.

Hamid — a medical doctor, not any sort of expert on Islam — said outlandish and inflammatory things about Islam. If the Zionist Organization of America is truly interested in building bridges with Muslims and understanding Islam, why bring someone who degrades Islam with false accusations and ridiculous claims?

For instance, he falsely stated that no top scholars in the Muslim world have issued fatwas (jurisprudential rulings) against Osama bin Laden and his terrorist cohorts. As University of Michigan Professor Juan Cole pointed out on his blog “Informed Comment” back on July 9, 2005, almost all major Shia grand ayatollahs (who represent up to 300 million Muslims) have come out with scathing fatwas condemning bin Laden and al-Qaida. The top scholar of Al-Azhar University in Egypt — Sunni Islam’s most prestigious institution — has also clearly come out against those terrorists.

Contrary to popular belief, Muslims do not have a problem with progress, but there is a problem with some of the people calling for it. When self-proclaimed “ex-terrorists” are advising Muslims on how to be Muslims, there is a problem.

These people obviously had a very warped idea of Islam. The vast majority of the world’s 1.5 billion Muslims would not look to terrorists, former or current, for advice on our faith when we have a number of scholars. The fact that they somehow “saw the light” does not in any way make them experts. (MORE)

Zeinab Chami is a representative of the Council on American-Islamic Relations of Michigan in Southfield.


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.