Son of Imam Blames Islam for Backwardness of Muslim World; Receives Death Threats

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Translations of Arabic/Islamic Media
FatwāsPressMisc

Translated from the original Arabic by Al Mutarjim


A Muslim author living in Germany, the son of an Egyptian Imam, criticizes Islam, then receives death threats from fellow Muslims. This on the heels of the governor of Punjab being killed for denouncing Pakistan's blasphemy law, the same law that would probably be used against this author if he were to live in Pakistan.

What would the world lose if the Islamic nations disappeared from the map? Almost nothing, says Hamad 'Abd-al-Samad, and he adds that the Islamic world has stopped innovating, and become a burden on the civilized nations. Indeed it has become a breeding ground for intolerance and violence. The researcher at the University of Munich says in his book, which was published in German and Arabic under the title "The Fall of the Islamic World," that the Muslims are fixed on the past, and are unable to answer the difficult questions of the future. Therefore they flee to the successes of a glorious past."

The book has caused serious controversy since its release in Germany, between those who accuse 'Abd-al-Samad of disseminating and establishing stereotypes, and those who consider him a "brave writer" who has placed his finger on the problem for many people, calling on Muslims to take charge of the reform of their own societies. In this book, 'Abd-al-Samad considers Islam a part of the problem in the Islamic world, and he looks at the Qur'an as a stumbling block in the way of Muslim development, due to the enormous influence the text of the Qur'an has over Muslims. The author has received a number of death threats, and also received accusations that he--the son of an imam of a mosque in the Egyptian countryside--is swimming in the current of hostility to Islam and Muslims. [...]