“Fascism is Rooted in Islam”

Hamed Abdel-Samad is a German-Egyptian author and an apostate from Islam. He lives under the constant threat of death, and has to have 24-hour police protection. Last week we posted a translated text interview with Mr. Abdel-Samad that was originally published in Die Welt.

Below is a television interview with Hamed Abdel-Samad from the German public broadcaster ZDF. Many thanks to Oz-Rita for the translation, and to Vlad Tepes for the subtitling:


00:00   Abdel-Samad, in 2013 in Cairo you
00:04   gave a lecture on “Islamic Fascism”. You said
00:08   that Fascism started with Islam
00:12   This angered some radical Islamists who
00:16   declared you an “unbeliever” and demanded your death. This
00:20   has not stopped you from writing a book about Islamic fascism.
00:24   In your foreword you write that your mother
00:28   begged you not to publish this book. Why
00:32   have you done it anyway? Do you love danger? No, it’s not about danger.
00:36   I wanted to write a book about Islamism.
00:40   I have researched the theme for two years
00:44   My researches were ready.
00:48   I was dissatisfied with most books about Islam
00:52   because Islamism is always limited
00:56   to a “reaction to colonialism” or “economic situation”
01:00   or “social situation”. But Islamism has deep roots
01:04   in Islamic history that go back to the times of the prophet.
01:08   I wanted to bridge
01:12   the times of the prophet and the present,
01:16   and I could not fulfill the wish of my mother
01:20   because I did not want
01:25   to bow to the logic of the fanatics, because they want
01:29   to silence everyone. When they have done with me,
01:33   they go onto the next more moderate critic
01:37   until there is only the voice of radical Islam.
01:41   I did not want to give them this satisfaction, I am a free man.
01:45   I have fought a lot for freedom and am not ready to give up
01:49   just because some don’t agree with what I say.
01:53   Up until now one knew
01:57   only “political” fascism; why do we have to
02:01   add an Islamic character to the religious fascism?
02:06   Fascism is also a kind of religion, a political religion,
02:10   with all that belongs to a religion:
02:14   absolute truth, secrets, prophets, leaders,
02:18   division of the world into friend and enemy.
02:22   The first fascist movement was militantly Catholic
02:26   it was not secular. Islam has
02:30   a political element, a political ideology
02:34   with very strong fascist traits.
02:38   The division of the world,
02:42   the ideology which ends in violence,
02:46   the dehumanisation of the enemy, the feeling of chosenness
02:50   the moral superiority that’s all fascistic
02:54   and the philosophy of fighting
02:58   is the same for Islamists and fascists.
03:02   One does not fight to live, but one lives to fight.
03:06   The mystifying of the fight and the elevation
03:10   of the death cult, the martyrdom, that unites them both.
03:14   In your book you don’t refer only to
03:18   ”Islamism” but to “Islam” itself. You write
03:22   that fascism is rooted in Islam, and you connect this
03:26   to the prophet Mohammed himself. What has Mohammed
03:30   to do with Hitler or Mussolini? He too was an untouchable
03:34   leader, which it was forbidden to criticise.
03:38   One had to obey him blindly.
03:42   He had the holy mission
03:46   to unite the Arabs and to vanquish the enemies.
03:50   The modern Islamists did not invent “Jihad”;
03:55   they did not divide the world into believers and infidels.
03:59   This was done by the prophet himself, this absolute claim to “the truth”,
04:03   the claim to rule over the world,
04:07   to help Islam to victory. The first wars of conquest
04:11   were not waged by the Muslim brothers, but by the prophet and his companions.
04:15   The roots are in Islam. I have never
04:19   said that Mohammed is fascist, because the term “fascism”
04:23   is modern. But Mohammed has not
04:27   remained in the 7th century. With his commandments
04:31   and thoughts he entered the 21st century and has political power.
04:35   And that’s why I transpose a modern concept
04:39   onto Islam, even though Islam is much older than fascism.
04:43   That means that all Muslims follow a
04:47   totalitarian system? No, absolutely not.
04:51   Most Muslims are apolitical, which means
04:55   that they neutralise the legal/political side of the religion. Islam has several aspects.
04:59   It has a beautiful
05:03   spiritual aspect, beautiful social ethics.
05:07   I have nothing against this. To the contrary, I cannot
05:11   imagine the Islamic world without the religious components.
05:15   For social peace these are very important. But Islam has
05:19   a legal/political side which is very outdated,
05:23   which is not contemporary, which is in conflict
05:27   with all that the modern world created.
05:31   And that side has to be neutralised. If I
05:35   write against Islamic fascism, I don’t write against Muslims
05:39   or against Islam, but against the political side of Islam,
05:43   which is building a high wall between Muslims
05:47   and the rest of the world; it is responsible for
05:51   societal tensions, for civil wars,
05:55   and for terrorism.
06:00   In your book you describe the closeness between
06:04   Muslim Brothers and the Nazis, but these two groups
06:08   should hate each other. How did
06:12   this relationship start? The Muslim Brotherhood started nearly
06:16   at the same time as the European Fascist movements. In the rubble of WWI
06:20   were many collapsed empires,
06:24   and ideology replaced the monarchies:
06:28   The Hapsburg monarchy,
06:32   the House of [Hohenzollern], Prussia,
06:36   the Austrian K u. K [Imperial and Royal] monarchy, the Czarist monarchy in Russia
06:40   and the Ottoman empire. All collapsed
06:44   during WWI. In Germany and Italy Fascism
06:48   became the new religion. In Russia
06:52   the new religion was Communism, and in
06:56   the Islamic world, after the fall of the caliphate, Islamism arose.
07:00   All three movements were anti-modern, anti-enlightenment.
07:04   All wanted to push society back to the middle ages
07:08   and restore an empire
07:12   which had collapsed or never existed.
07:16   This is the spiritual closeness, that was
07:20   the Zeitgeist then.
07:24   In your book you interpret the story of Abraham
07:28   quite originally. You
07:33   interpret this test of Abraham by God
07:37   not as a test
07:41   which God imposes on Abraham, but
07:45   you say that Abraham submitted to God as a “Leader”
07:49   in total obedience and this was practically
07:53   adopted by Mohammed and integrated
07:57   into Islam. This interpretation disturbed me a lot.
08:01   Yes I understand, but I believe there is
08:05   a closeness between monotheism and fascism.
08:09   especially the Islamic image of god
08:13   is of someone you are not allowed to negotiate with.
08:17   You have to execute every one of his commands
08:21   immediately, and
08:25   God’s command to Abraham
08:29   to kill his son,
08:33   Abraham tried to execute it immediately without
08:37   thinking about the morality and consequences of this order
08:41   or about its humanity, or the right of his child.
08:45   And that is fascism if one sacrifices the life of a child
08:49   only because the “Leader” has decided it, without
08:53   thinking about it. The Islamic image of God prepares the way
08:57   for dictatorship. A god you cannot negotiate with,
09:01   a god who punishes apostates,
09:05   who keeps them under surveillance 24 hours a day —
09:09   that’s not the basis for a healthy society.
09:13   If one is remote-controlled and surveilled by a strange entity
09:17   24 hours a day, one is reminded of
09:22   Gestapo. What is your counter plan?
09:26   That one takes the Islamic texts
09:30   as a metaphor
09:34   and not as absolute truth and the direct
09:38   word of god, but the story of peoples, the longing
09:42   of people for truth, justice.
09:46   Because if we take this as absolute truth
09:50   then it holds an extreme power
09:54   over us which we cannot escape, and I believe the reforms in
09:58   the Islamic world always fail,
10:02   because one cannot attack the religion,
10:06   nor its texts and Laws. And I find
10:10   criticism of religion is Humanism.
10:14   If one touches this untouchable
10:18   and shakes it, it is for the people.
10:22   I don’t do that to offend people but I do it
10:26   because I’m interested in Humanism and human rights,
10:30   and I see the absolute laws of religion and the
10:34   sacrosanct nature of the Koran block our way.
10:38   But we both know many Muslims who do not think like that, who have
10:42   a loving relationship with their religion, and who don’t agree with
10:46   your interpretation of the Abraham story in your book
10:50   or your interpretation of Mohammed as a
10:54   dictator.
10:58   Can one really
11:03   understand your critique as one of Islam
11:07   or should it not rather be a critique of IslamISM?
11:11   Islamism takes its legitimacy directly
11:15   from the texts of Islam, which are unambiguous,
11:19   from the claims of Islam.
11:23   Islamism is the political wing
11:27   of Islam and all versions
11:31   have shown fascistic traits,
11:35   even the so-called “moderate” Islamists
11:39   that the West has celebrated for years. One could
11:43   make a wall of separation between the political side
11:47   and the spiritual-social side of the religion, then
11:51   Muslims benefit more from their religious energy.
11:55   I find the political side is an extreme burden,
11:59   and this effort to always
12:03   assert the compatibility of Islam and democracy, artificially,
12:07   this helps no-one.
12:11   We have Democracy, we have Humanism, this is a very good
12:15   base on which to build a political system. To wedge Religion
12:20   into that is not good for religion and not good
12:24   for the people: it creates a product
12:28   which is very weak and not viable
12:32   and not competitive, and furthermore: religion
12:36   does not like to be part of a process.
12:40   Religion wants to decide everything from above, and there the problem starts.
12:44   Your analysis in your book refers very strongly
12:48   to the Arab/Islamic world, and there
12:52   people live their lives very differently, including their religious lives.
12:56   Does what you describe in your book also concern Muslims in Germany?
13:00   Yes, in part. Unfortunately.
13:04   I had always hoped that different impulses would come
13:08   from Europe, that Muslims who grew up here
13:12   and were beneficiaries of freedom, education,
13:16   absence of civil wars, would develop
13:24   a new theology or a new attitude towards Islam.
13:28   From time to time there are positive beginnings
13:32   for example, Professor Mohammed (name?) whom I respect very much
13:36   but he too is attacked, mostly by Muslims
13:40   which I find very sad. Muslims who live here prefer to import
13:44   an ideology from Saudi Arabia, Egypt,
13:48   Turkey, instead of seeking enlightenment
13:52   and developing a new theology, a new ideology,
13:56   a new mindset. The Koran cannot be reformed,
14:00   you cannot delete the verses of the Koran, but
14:04   one can reform the thinking of Muslims, their mindset
14:08   their approach to religion,
14:13   and that is my hope. Abdel-Samad, thank you.

5 thoughts on ““Fascism is Rooted in Islam”

  1. The “beautiful” aspects in islam that Hamed Abdel-Samad observes are probably the smoke and mirrors of appropriation that give islam the veneer of a religion.

    The immersion of islam in the West overall appears not to have tempered islams political aggression but has only served to intensify the rhetoric and give the antagonism a subversive and sophisticated edge.

  2. It is EXTREMELY important to note that, according to the definition of Islam, Abdel-Samad is a hypocrite – which is defined by Islam as a Muslim who tries to re-define the scriptures of Islam relayed by Allah via Mohammed. A Muslim hypocrite is essentially saying that the hypocrite can interpret Allah better than Mohammed, but Allah told Mohammed firsthand that Mohammed was the last prophet with the final story on Islam.

    The positively glowing terms which Abdel-Samad uses to refer to ‘spiritual’ and ‘social’ Islam reveal that Abdel-Samad is categorically NOT an apostate – which is defined by Islam as a Muslim who denies Islam.

    Abdel-Samad: It [Islam] has a beautiful spiritual aspect, beautiful social ethics.

    Perhaps someone should inquire as to what those ‘beautiful social ethics’ are? Would examples of ‘beautiful social ethics’ be the FGM, enforced marriage, cousin marriage, underage marriage, permission to beat dependents, permission to participate in multiple partner marriages, permission to abuse animals, permission to rape and torture infidels, etc.? Inquiring minds want to know.

    The message that I am getting is that Abdel-Samad suggests that Muslims keep the abuse in the extended Islamic family – instead of the terrorism in the larger society.

    P.S. Abdel-Samad’s gross mischaracterization of Catholicism shows that Muslims fear Catholicism – and so it will be that Catholicism with its triune God will be the antidote to Islam.

    • Abdel-Samad is an example of the good cop/bad cop dynamic used by Islam to further the growth and goals of Islam. As Hesperado has so eloquently pointed out in a former essay on his website, the good cops rely on the bad cops to accomplish Muslim goals because, if there were only good cops, Westerners would NOT care about nor cede to Muslim goals (i.e., permitting Sharia courts, ‘token’ legal FGM, cousin marriage, underage marriage, legal polygamy, lack of freedom to criticize Islam, etc.). Ultimately, the good cops require the violence of the bad cops to move forward.

      In Islam, the good cops lull the infidel into hudna with Muslims so that Muslims can gain strength. Then, after Muslims have gained strength, the bad cops call off the truce and decimate the infidel. Both the good cops and the bad cops benefit when Muslims are superior to infidels.

      What would we have thought after WWII if a Nazi said that he was no longer a ‘political’ Nazi, but he still claimed that Nazis had beautiful spiritual and social ethics?

      • The good cops also have a secondary role in channelling and misdirecting legitimate opposition.

  3. Islam is a function of Muslims, not the other way round. Islam is an expression of the souls of Muslims – had they been Christians their Christianity would have had more a flavour of Islam than the Christianity we know.

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