Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Abdel-Samad: from Radicalism to Mainstream in Germany,1518,druck-646589,00.html

We have read of Hirsi Ali's escape from Somalia. And Hamad Abdel-Samad has his story of escape from Egypt. Interestingly, he was a member of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood for a while; so what he says about Islamism will come from first-hand knowledge and experience.

Abdel-Samad seems to strive to be genuine in all he says. “Abdel-Samad doesn't divide people into friends and foes, but into those who love freedom and those who allow themselves to be enslaved, whether by a religious or a secular ideology. He still knows the Koran by heart, but he hasn't been to a mosque in a long time. Still, when he orders a burger, he asks for it without bacon. ‘I am a Muslim who has converted from faith to knowledge.’ he has read Kant, Hegel, Spinoza, Kafka and Tocqueville, but he can also differentiate between various German beers -- among brands like Paulaner, Franziskaner and Erdinger hefeweizen -- which, in Bavaria, is an important sign of successful integration.

"When asked how he reconciles his current life with his past, he turns the question around and asks: 'Excuse me, am I not Muslim enough for you?'"

Indeed, Abdel-Samad does seem to be well integrated into German life. I like him. He is quite enough Muslim for me, but I doubt that he would pass muster as a Muslim in any Muslim nation -- with the possible exception of Turkey.

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