|Occupation||Journalist and author|
|Subjects||Human Rights, Religion|
|Literary movement||Moderate Islam|
|Notable work(s)||"Inside Jihad"|
A self-described former member of the militant al-Gama'a al-Islamiyya Tawfik Hamid advocates a peaceful understanding of Islam that is compatible with universal human rights and intellectual freedom. He says that he started to preach in mosques to promote his message of and, as a result, became a target of Islamic militants, who threatened his life. Hamid then migrated to the West where he has lectured at UCLA, Stanford University, University of Miami and Georgetown University against Islamic fundamentalism. He currently serves on the Advisory Council of The Intelligence Summit, an annual conference on security. Hamid has also appeared on television programs, including Fox's Glenn Beck Show, Fox News Channel, and the BBC's Religion and Ethics.
Hamid, also known as Tarek Abdelhamid, has a medical degree in internal medicine and a master's degree in cognitive psychology and educational techniques.
Website and beliefs
Hamid owns and runs a website, IslamforPeace.org "to revive Islam, save it from anachronistic interpretations, and make it a true power to support the values of liberty and humanity."  Dr. Hamid says he believes in developing respectful and positive relationships with other nations and religions. He says that he learned that position from the Qur'an.
Hamid writes that the real message of Islam has been hijacked by many people throughout history. Those people defamed Islam and portrayed it incorrectly.
Since his goal is to understand the Quran and teach others about it, Hamid's methodology incorporate three processes to get a holistic understanding:
- A probing analysis of the subtleties and complexities of the Arabic language to develop a more precise understanding of the Quran and the message it offers.
- Knowledge of the historical circumstances which occasioned the revelation of key Quranic verses.
- Interpreting Quranic suras (chapters) and verses holistically to better appreciate their overall significance and synergistic qualities, rather than individually, which leads only to literal interpretations that do not take into account other verses and even whole segments of the Quran.
Hamid has worked towards developing respectful and positive relationships with other religions. He quotes the Quranic verse that establishes an important concept: that it is God Himself who "made us into nations and tribes" and so it is the will of God to have human diversity. We, as humans, have to look at this diversity as we look to flowers of different colors. Each one adds more beauty and complements the others.
(49:13) O mankind! We created you from a single (pair) of a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that ye may know each other (not that ye may despise (each other). Verily the most honoured of you in the sight of Allah is (he who is) the most righteous of you. And Allah has full knowledge and is well acquainted (with all things).
Views on the teachings of Muhammad
Muhammad is the mercy for all mankind. For example, a man once asked him regarding good morals and what they consist of. Muhammad said that "to care even for those who boycott you, to give to those who deprive you, and to forgive those who did evil things against you."
Views on radical Islam
In a 2009 Wall Street Journal article, Hamid said that Islam should prove its peacefulness and called Islamic scholars and clerics "to produce a Shariah book that will be accepted in the Islamic world and that teaches that Jews are not pigs and monkeys, that declaring war to spread Islam is unacceptable, and that killing apostates is a crime." 
He says that Muslim fundamentalists believe that Saudi Arabia's petroleum-based wealth is a divine gift and that Saudi influence is sanctioned by Allah. Thus, the Salafist extreme brand of Sunni Islam that spread from the Saudi Arabia to the rest of the Islamic world is regarded not merely as one interpretation of the religion but as the only genuine interpretation. The expansion of violent and regressive Islam, he continues, began in the late 1970s and can be traced precisely to the growing financial clout of Saudi Arabia.
Views on Israel
Hamid said that most Muslims correlate the word Israel to the word Azraeil that sounds like Israel but means "angel of death". This created a link in the minds of most Muslim children the need to hate the word Israel. In an article titled "Why I loved Israel based on the Qur'an", he writes that according to the Qur'an, God gave the Israelites the land of Israel as their promised land (Quran 17:104: And We said thereafter to the Children of Israel, "Dwell securely in the land of promise".
He explains the Quran went even further to consider the Promised Land as the permanent inheritance for the Israelites (26:59) "Thus it was, but we made the Children of Israel inheritors of such things (the Promised Land)"  He continued by saying, "No Muslim has the right to interfere with the gathering of the Jews in Israel, as this is the will of God himself" 
Correcting Myths about the Koran
Hamid corrects misinformation about the Koran. He corrects three commonly misunderstood topics including the following:
- Does the Koran instruct Muslims to kill non-Muslim?
Hamid explains why not. All interpretations of the Koran which concludes otherwise, he explains, ignore the article "the", or its Arabic equivalent "al-". For example, Koran uses the term "al-Kafereen" ("the infidels") to refer to those who initiated hostilities during early phase of Islam, not any "infidel" in perpetuity.
He quotes verse 2:190, which reminds good Muslims not to initiate violence under any circumstance against anyone and to restrain themselves in the event the enemy initiates hostilities.
- Does the Quran support anti-Semitism?
He shows examples of the Jews being praised and that "pigs" and "monkeys" are not to be taken literally.
- Are we allowed to judge others or condemn them as "Infidels"?
He says that only God knows everything and so humans should not judge others on necessarily incomplete information.
Hamid is the author of the self-published Inside Jihad. He has written opinion pieces for The Wall Street Journal, including Islam Needs To Prove It's A Religion Of Peace, How to End Islamophobia and The Trouble with Islam. Hamid participated in a symposium published by National Review Online, where he expressed his view on the Sudanese teddy bear blasphemy case.
- Why I love Israel (based on the Quran) by Dr. Tawfik Hamid
- When I asked my Muslim friend, "Why do you hate the Jews?" by Dr. Tawfik Hamid
- Is there a hope to reform Islam? by Dr. Tawfik Hamid
- Tawfik's biography on the website for The Intelligence Summit
- Coren, Michael (NOVEMBER 3, 2006). "Hot for martyrdom". CanWest MediaWorks Publications Inc. Retrieved 17 June 2010.
- Tawfik Hamid - Mission statement
- Islam for Peace
- Islam for Peace - Interfaith
- TAWFIK HAMID, Islam Should Prove It's a Religion of Peace, The Wall Street Journal, MARCH 9, 2009
- T. Hamid, Why I love Israel Based on the Quran, June 2004
- Islam Needs To Prove It's A Religion Of Peace
- How to End Islamophobia
- The Trouble with Islam
- Not Child's Play
- The Development of a Jihadist's Mind