Advice from a former Muslim terrorist to the West, to Israel

This is a must-see video. Hamid Tawfik, who has his own website, and wrote a book, Inside Jihad: Understanding and Confronting Radical Jihad, is interviewed in Israel and tells some of his own story (including the nice detail that the main enemy of the Islamists is “human rights culture,” as well as offers some advice to those who would fight Islamic radicals (don’t appease!). HT: Amos Ben-Harav

I’d love a transcription of this if anyone has the chance.

11 Responses to Advice from a former Muslim terrorist to the West, to Israel

  1. Vilmos says:

    Give me about a week and I will provide you with the transcript.

    I listened to the whole video, and both the interviewer and Mr. Tawfik speaks pretty clearly, so this should be an easy job.


  2. Vilmos says:

    OK, it was a bit faster. Here is the transcript. This is fairly rough, and since I am not a native speaker, it is quite possible that I misunderstood some things. Whenever something was not clear, I denoted it with three question marks. Also, in most cases, I didn’t write twice when they repeated their own words (like stuttering). So the transcript.


    A title is gonna be … appearing now under your name and it will say “former terrorist”. Is that precise?

    And currently a reformer of Islam. I prefer the second one because this is the one that I wa… I belonged it to a radical group. Yes. But I never did an act of evil. I stopped before doing it. So I was theoretically brainwashed, but I refused to continue the process to take it to the level of violence.

    (Please) tell us that about the … your past and the terrorist events.

    My past was that ??? I was a simple child like was born in Cairo, Egypt, 1961, for a very secular family. I developed motivation toward religion and God, and because of this motivation was very high, I became a member of an Islamic group. I belonged to al-Gama’a al-Islamiyya in our medical school, where I met on a few occasions with dr. Ayman al-Zawahiri, second command of Al Qaeda, who was a great-like ??? leader for most many Islamic groups back then. And he was … graduated from the same medical school. That’s why he used to come occasionally to pray with us, and give us some lectures. So I was mentored by him, the second command of Al Queda personally. My deam was just to serve God nothing more than this. And this dream and this passion has been used in certain way to create a jihadist mind or a violent mind that accepts sort of violence. I wanted to go to Afghanistan to ??? there. I thought about doing crimes in the name of God, and thank God, in the critical moments, my conscience wake up, and I refused to continue.

    What stood behind that … the will to do these crimes to attack…

    It was basically certain disform ??? of religious teaching that made the change in my mind. It was not poverty – I was from a wealthy family. It was not lack of education – I was in a medical school. My father was an orthopedic surgeon. My mother was a French teacher. So it was not lack of education or any of this stuff – it was basically religious forms of teaching that instructs us to use violence with non-muslims or with muslims who do not conform to our value system.

    Regarding the enemy. Who was it? Was it the West? Any non-muslim? The jews?

    West, but particularly the human rights values and women’s rights were the first enemy for us. Strange, but this was the first enemy truly – women’s rights. That’s why when you see a radical group controlling any place, the first thing they do is they suppress women. First thing before anything else – they tell women not to go out, to wear the hijab, they suppress women. So the first enemy was not a political enemy – it was women’s rights. And this what we typically hated and … The West represent for us the guardian of women’s rights, and that’s why we hated it.

    So tell us about the event or the events that caused you to say ‘this is not where I should be.’

    Actually I was invited after I became radicalized to certain level – I was invited to contribute to some crime of kidnapping a police officer, killing him by burying him alive in a grave. So the whole concept of digging a grave for a human being – was alive – beside a mosque, and burying a man alive – there was for me just beyond my ability to comprehend, and it was too much for my human conscience to accept something like that. So I felt that ??? something wrong here. And since this happened, I started to take steps backward, to go backward to start to think and to develop other form of teaching or ideology or education to counterbalance this radical way of teaching Islam. So I used to speak in mosques, to other friends, I was well-known in my medical school to be a person with different views and opinions within Islam.

    For how did they react?

    The al-Gama’a al-Islamiyya initially started to discuss the issue – my views – aiming at attracting me again to them. Okay, bringing me back. But I refused. And my logic and analysis within the religion was relatively more powerful than their logic or analysis in the … ??? … So … the … my interpretations were relatively more logical. So they couldn’t win me on the ideological level here ???. So they started to threaten my life and they were ??? threatened many times but I lived with it. So it was for me part of my life, and I am still alive here.

    Now you are here visiting Israel – a country dealing with terrorism throughout … for centuries already basically. What’s your message to the Israeli people, to the jewish people.

    My message to them is: You are a great nation, and in the most difficult times in history, when the nazi was putting the jews in the ovens, you managed to get out of it, you managed to build a great country, that respects human rights, and doooon’t let your country surrender to barbarism. Fight for it, use every tactic you can use – from military, educational, ideological, psychological – to stand against terrorism. And trust that, the people who build this great nation are great people, and they will continue and will make our world better, so trust that – you can change the future.

    Really there is a … there is a … there is a big debate in Israel. Do we make concessions to calm things down, or do we fight, do we act ???

    Never do concessions to radicals. The more you do concessions, the more they attack you. For example, when the radicals attacked U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania 1998, the response was weak. This was seen as concession or weakness, and this encouraged the radicals of Al Queda to attack U.S. again on September the 11th was in three years. So you see ??? the cartoon issue of Prophet Mohammed. The radicals didn’t demonstrate for four months period. Until the magazine apologized, then they started demonstrating. So concessions means nothing for them but green light – an invitation to attack you more. So my advice to you: never do concession.

    Are you afraid?


    Why not? You mentioned that people threatened your life?

    Because I trust him – the Lord – not myself or my power. So I trust that I am doing something good and I will die one day. And if the radicals manage to kill me, they will not kill my voice. And if the radicals manage to kill me, there will be thousands of Tawfik Hamids coming to stand against the revival ???. So I am not worried.

    On historic level, do you look back at the days of Abraham, Ishmael, and the history of the jews and the muslims. How do you see that?

    I see it’s fascinating to learn from history, and I see the muslim-jewish relations can change dramatically if Islamic scholars start to adopt different ways in teaching within Islam. So I think there is possibility is now on us – the muslim world – to change. Not on you. I believe you did your best and it’s our term to do something. We all us expect concessions, and the world also expect concessions only to come from the Israelis and the jews. But it’s now our term to do some form of concessions, otherwise the problem will not be solved.

    I am also going to translate it to Hungarian. If anybody wants to translate it to their language, then I can help with it.


  3. […] the original here: Augean Stables » Advice from a former Muslim terrorist to the West … By admin | category: Object | tags: been-spotted, including-the-nice, islamic, main-enemy, […]

  4. E.G. says:

    Thanks Vilmos!
    Will go over both asap.

    Hanukka Sameach!

  5. Ray in Seattle says:

    Thanks Vilmos for you efforts. They are greatly appreciated.

  6. Vilmos says:

    > If anybody wants to translate it to
    > their language, then I can help with it.

    This sounded a bit silly. So if anybody wants to translate it to his/her language, AND subtitle the film, then this is where I can help. However, I have never done anything with languages which use something else than latin letters.


  7. E.G. says:

    Vilmos did a great job!

    Below are my few additions.
    First line is Vilmos’ transcript, second line – mine.

    From what I hear and the Hebrew subtitles, the other ??? can be dropped. But I’m not a pro.
    I wanted to go to Afghanistan to ??? there.
    Sounds like SHARE. The Hebrew subtitles say to participate [in fighting] there

    It was basically certain disform ??? of religious teaching
    It was basically a certain… this form of religious teaching

    So I felt that ??? something wrong here.
    So I felt there’s something wrong here.

    So they started to threaten my life and they were ??? threatened many times but I lived with it.
    -> no ??? (he uses life as a plural word, life=lives)

    …or do we fight, do we act ???
    determinedly (that’s what I hear and what the Hebrew subtitles say).

    there will be thousands of Tawfik Hamids coming to stand against the revival ???
    I hear something like “RIVALLAH” – but it doesn’t make sense. The Hebrew subtitles say to stand against [them].

  8. sshender says:

    I struggle to grasp how exactly his MORE MODERATE interpretations of Islam were ‘more logical’ given that any raw, not sugarcoated and no bull**** reading of the Quran is much more in tune with the more radical Wahabi / Muslim brotherhood interpretations than with say, Sufi ones. I appreciate his disillusion with radical Islam, but unfortunately his decision is not backed by his scripture.

  9. sshender says:

    He’s also factually wrong about the cartoons’ timetable, and I disagree with him that had the US response to the 1998 Kenya attacks been more determined it would have prevented 9/11.

    But he is right about one thing, alright, and that is that appeasement NEVER WORKS! It only BACKFIRES!

    Unfortunately, he does not strike me as a serious thinker, not even comparable to Shoebat. For serious ex-muslim thinkers I prefer Ibn Warraq and Walid Phares.

  10. Eliyahu says:

    Walid Phares was never a Muslim. He is a Lebanese Maronite.

  11. E.G. says:


    For serious ex-muslim thinkers

    Are you sure he’s ex?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *