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.
JP: Your thoughts on groups/organizations such as CAIR?
TH: A group/organization such as CAIR is not constructive. CAIR is an obstacle to inter-religious understanding and cooperation because it does not have a clear stand against the above ABC‘s. So they simply try to do sugar coating on the current understanding of Islam, and Sharia Laws. Organizations like CAIR are simply waiting until the number of Muslims becomes big enough to impose their vision of Islam, and to control western societies, or at least influence their political policies.