Note also how fervently the unhijabbed host expresses her desire that the fullness of Sharia be implemented, “alcohol banned, and the cabarets..shut down. I am a Muslim and, therefore, I must implement Allah’s shari’a.” Will Muslim leaders in the West jet over to Cairo and explain to Riham Said that there is a multiplicity of understandings of Sharia, and that she can be a pious Muslim without wanting alcohol banned and caberets shut down? Or is that kind of claim only for Western consumption?
“Egyptian TV Host Kicks Guest out of Studio for Expressing Controversial Ideas on Religion,” MEMRI, May 13, 2014:
Following are excerpts from an interview Egyptian TV host Riham Said held with Salafist-turned-skeptic Dr. Noha, which aired on Al-Nahar TV, on May 13, 2014:
Riham Said: You do not usually wear a hijab, right?
Dr. Noha (wearing a full face veil, with only her eyes exposed): No, I don’t.
Riham Said: So why did you put one on?
Dr. Noha: I did so to conceal my identity. I fear for my life. I don’t want to be killed like Farag Foda. Also, I wouldn’t want to offend my family, who are very religious. I don’t want to hurt their feelings. They get upset when I talk about religion.
Riham Said: Egypt in its entirety is upset now.
Dr. Noha: On the contrary. I do it for Egypt’s sake.
I am not an atheist.
Riham Said: But you say that the Koran isn’t for real.
Dr. Noha: I say that Muhammad wrote the Koran…
Riham Said: You don’t believe that our Prophet Muhammad is Allah’s messenger?
Dr. Noha :I believe that he was a genius. He was a reformer, a philosopher, a military commander, and a great man. But it was he who wrote the Koran. There is no such thing as divine revelation and there was no Gabriel. This is the most important thing I wanted to say today.
Riham Said: So you say that Muhammad was not Allah’s messenger?
Dr. Noha: I’m telling you that there is no such thing as divine revelation…
Riham Said: I did not ask you about divine revelation. I wanted to know if you claim that the Prophet Muhammad is not Allah’s messenger.
Dr. Noha: Of course not. How could he possibly be a messenger without divine revelation?
Riham Said: How did you come up with that?
Dr. Noha: Because there was no Gabriel. It was Gabriel who supposedly delivered Allah’s word to humans. Since Gabriel himself is a myth, there can be no…
Riham Said: How did you decide he is a myth?
Dr. Noha: I have no proof he ever existed.
Riham Said: I say that the Prophet Muhammad is Allah’s messenger!
Dr. Noha: Fine.
Riham Said: I believe in every single word and letter of the Koran.
Dr. Noha: OK, but how are you different [from the Islamists].
Riham Said: How am I different?
Dr. Noha: The difference between the Islamists and you, Riham, is that the Islamists strive to implement every detail…
Riham Said: I want to implement every detail of Allah’s shari’a, but I am against killing people who do not wish to implement it. I hope Allah’s shari’a will be implemented everywhere, alcohol banned, and the cabarets will be shut down. I am a Muslim and, therefore, I must implement Allah’s shari’a.
Dr. Noha: Do you support chopping off a thief’s hand?
Riham Said: Absolutely.
Dr. Noha: Really?!
Riham Said: Of course.
Dr. Noha: Honestly, this is inhumane.
Riham Said: A thief’s hand should be cut off, and an adulteress should be stoned to death.
Dr. Noha: This is really inhumane.
Riham Said: If we implement Islam in everything, no [bad] things will happen.
Dr. Noha: How can you say that?! How do you defend myths?
Riham Said: You have the right to speak your mind, but you have no right to call it a myth.
Dr. Noha: A myth it is!
Riham Said: That’s your opinion.
You seriously do not believe that God exists?
Dr. Noha: I do believe.
Riham Said: So why don’t you pray to him?
Dr. Noha: Because He doesn’t respond to prayer.
Riham Said: How can you believe in Him without praying to Him?
Dr. Noha: Because he never responds.
Riham Said: How come?
Dr. Noha: That’s the way He is. I prayed a lot and He never answered.
Riham Said: Why should He respond when you talk like that?!
Dr. Noha: He didn’t respond back in the day when I was a Salafi woman, wearing a niqab.
Riham Said: Obviously you were impure of heart…
Dr. Noha: No, my heart was impeccable.
Riham Said: He responds to what I ask him. What do you have to say about that?!
Dr. Noha: He does not respond. This is merely…
Riham Said: Can it be coincidence that I get exactly what I ask for.
Dr. Noha: Sometimes you get it and sometimes you don’t.
Riham Said: No, he gives me whatever I ask for.
Dr. Noha: If you asked for a million pounds, I’m sure you won’t get it…
Riham Said: Yes, I will.
Dr. Noha: No, you won’t
Riham Said: I swear to God I will.
How can you talk about ignorance when…
Dr. Noha: It is you who are ignorant.
Riham Said: Me? Ignorant? Thank you very much.
Dr. Noha: Yes, you are.
Riham Said: I’m as ignorant as all of Egypt and the Arab world. If saying that the Prophet Muhammad was Allah’s messenger constitutes ignorance, I am proud to be an ignoramus.
Dr. Noha: If you keep insulting me, I will get up and leave.
Riham Said: Get out of here.
Dr. Noha: What?!
Riham Said: Get out of here.
Dr. Noha gets up from her seat, collects her belongings and starts to remove her microphone
Riham Said: Remove the microphone outside. Remove the microphone outside.
Dr. Noha: Lower your voice when you speak to me.
Riham Said: Remove the microphone outside.
Dr. Noha: You cannot talk like that to me. I am Dr. Noha. Behave yourself.
Riham Said: Remove the microphone outside. People, take her out of here. Go ahead.
Dr. Noha: I regret coming to talk with someone like you.
Riham Said: It is I who have wasted my time talking to a crazy woman.