Friday, June 8, 2007

Dissident voices

by Priya Abraham from WORLD Magazine

At medical school, Hamid attended mosque and joined one of Egypt's main terrorist groups: al-Gamaat al-Islamiya (GI). The first thing he learned was not to question anything. One man in GI told him, "The brain is a donkey. Once you enter [the mosque] you go walking and leave the donkey outside." Within months, Hamid said, "I became a beast." He dreamed of burning churches. Mosque teaching frightened him, with gory details of hell's torture. He learned snakes would attack one in the grave, for example. Earthly life seemed more and more insignificant; what mattered was to die a shaheed, or a martyr ... Eight months after joining GI, Hamid rejected radical Islam, which was based on Saudi Arabia's stringent and fast-spreading Wahhabi version.

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