Hamed Abdel-Samad (2018)
حامد عبد الصمد
Abdel-Samad was born as the third of five children, the son of a Muslim Sunni Imam. Abdel-Samad came to Germany in 1995 at the age of 23. He soon married an 18 years older, "rebellious, left-wing teacher with a penchant for mysticism." Abdel-Samad studied Japanese, English and French in Cairo as well as political science in Augsburg. He worked as a scholar in Erfurt and Braunschweig. In Japan, where he was involved with eastern spirituality, he met his second wife. He taught and conducted research until the end of 2009 at the Institute for Jewish History and Culture at the University of Munich; his dissertation topic was: Bild der Juden in ägyptischen Schulbüchern ("Image of the Jews in Egyptian textbooks”). Subsequently he decided to become a full-time professional writer.
On Sunday 24 November 2013, Egyptian news websites (citing his brother Mahmoud) reported that Hamed Abdel-Samad had been kidnapped. It was then reported that he resurfaced on Wednesday 27 November 2013. His mother denied that he had been kidnapped.
Abdel-Samad became known to the German public through his book Mein Abschied vom Himmel (My Farewell from Heaven) (2009). Abdel-Samad said that the book was neither an attack on his culture, nor a call to abandon the Muslim faith. Rather, he just wanted to understand the contradictions of his own life. Following the book’s publication in Egypt, a group issued a fatwa threatening Abdel-Samad and he was put under police protection.
Abdel-Samad calls for an "Islam light" in Europe without shari'a, jihad, gender apartheid, proselytism and “entitlement mentality”. He criticized the German political establishment for appeasing Islam, while ignoring fears about Islam. According to Abdel-Samad, this behavior created resentment in the German population.
Abdel-Samad participated in the 2nd German Islam Conference 2010-2013 held at the invitation of the German Federal Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière.
In autumn 2010, Abdel-Samad took the journalist Henryk M. Broder on a 30,000 km-long road trip through Germany for a five-part TV series.
In an interview aired on the Salafi Islamist Egyptian channel Al-Hafez on June 7, 2013 (as translated by MEMRI), hardline Egyptian cleric and Al-Azhar professor Mahmoud Shaaban accused Abdel-Samad of committing "heresy" and stated that "he must be killed for being a heretic... if he refuses to recant." Shaaban also stated that "after he has been confronted with the evidence, his killing is permitted if the [Egyptian] government does not do it."
In mid-2015, he launched the show Ṣundūq al-Islām ("Box of Islam") on his official YouTube channel, Hamed.TV, which as of 16 January 2019 had more than 110,000 subscribers and more than 23 million video views. The channel is almost entirely in Arabic, containing but one German-language video.
In 2016, he was questioned by the Berlin police for alleged sedition. This was criticized as an attack on free speech by him and German-Israeli historian Michael Wolffsohn in the German newspaper Die Welt.
In English translation
- Hamed Abdel-Samad: Mohamed – Eine Abrechnung ("Muhammad – A final reckoning"), Droemer Knaur Verlag, Munich 2015, ISBN 978-3-426-27640-2
- Hamed Abdel-Samad: Krieg oder Frieden – Die arabische Revolution und die Zukunft des Westens ("War or peace – The Arab revolution and the future of the West"), Dromer Knaur Verlag, Munich 2011, ISBN 978-3-426-27558-0
- Hamed Abdel-Samad: Der Untergang der islamischen Welt – Eine Prognose ("The downfall of the Islamic world – A prognosis"), Droemer Knaur Verlag, Munich 2010, ISBN 978-3-426-27544-3
- Hamed Abdel-Samad: Mein Abschied vom Himmel – Aus dem Leben eines Muslims in Deutschland ("My farewell to heaven – From the life of a Muslim in Germany"), Droemer Knaur Verlag, Munich 2010, ISBN 978-3-426-78408-2
- Ich bin zum Wissen konvertiert (I converted to knowledge), tageszeitung, 8 september 2009, accessed on 8 January 2010.
- SWR:Der Ägypter und die erlittene Gewalt:Hamed Abdel-Samad (The Egyptian and the violence suffered:Hamed Abdel-Samad), retrieved on December 27, 2010
- Ahmed Benchemsi (23 April 2015). "Invisible Atheists". New Republic.
- "German author Abdel-Samad resurfaces in Egypt after kidnap fears". DW.COM.
- "الوطن - اختطاف الكاتب حامد عبدالصمد.. وشقيقه يتهم قيادات سلفية بعد إهدارهم دمه".
- ""الداخلية": عودة الروائي حامد عبدالصمد بعد اختطافه لمدة 3 أيام من قبل مجهولين".
- "البوابة نيوز: والدة حامد عبد الصمد: ابني لم يتعرض للاختطاف". البوابة نيوز.
- Hamed Abdel-Samad: Und es gibt ihn doch – den Islam! (And yet there is such a thing – Islam!)- Tagesspiegel of 5 Jan. 2010, retrieved on December 27, 2010.
- Hamed Abdel-Samad. Die Muslime sind zu empfindlich (The Muslims are too sensitive), Tagesspiegel, 1 December 2009.
- Security hiked for Egypt opposition, Aljazeera, February 7, 2013.
- Egypt secures liberals' homes after calls for their death by Alexander Dziadosz, Reuters, Feb 7, 2013.
- Egyptian 'death threats' sheikh released on bail, Ahram Online, Wednesday, February 13, 2013
- Egyptian Cleric Mahmoud Shaaban Issues Fatwa: Egyptian-German Scholar Should Be Killed for Heresy, MEMRI, clip 3892 (transcript), (video clip available here), June 7, 2013.
- Hamed.TV profile on SocialBlade.com
- Wolffsohn, Michael (2016-03-16). "Der Islamkritiker als Volksverhetzer?". Retrieved 2016-04-12.
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