Egyptian TV host boots Islam skeptic
In Bad Faith

Egyptian TV host boots Islam skeptic

Riham Said calls former Salafist 'a crazy person' after she expresses doubt in the divine origin of the Koran

An Egyptian TV host kicked a guest out of the studio during an interview after the latter expressed doubts about Islamic faith, a video released by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) shows.

Host Riham Said was interviewing a woman identifying herself as “Dr. Noha,” a former Salafist (a strict Islamic sect) who wore a niqab to conceal her identity because, she said, she feared her opinions could put her life in danger.

The talk began amiably enough, with Said seemingly interested in what Noha had to say, but she appeared shocked when Noha explained that she did not believe Muhammad was a prophet of Allah (God).

“You say that Muhammad was not Allah’s messenger?” Said asked several times incredulously. Noha explained that while she believed Muhammad was a genius and a great reformer, she did not believe God played any part in his actions, and it was he, Muhammad, who wrote the Koran, without divine intervention.

Said became more and more confrontational as the interview wore on, telling Noha she believed “in every single word and letter of the Koran” and even supported cutting off thieves’ hands and stoning adulteresses.

“If we implement Islam in everything, no [bad] things will happen,” Said claimed at one point.

A surprised Noha called the traditional punishments “inhumane” and criticized Said’s belief in “myths.”

Noha explained that she did believe God existed, but not as defined in the Koran. She said she saw no point in praying to God since he never answered, even at a time when her belief in him had been “impeccable.”

“Obviously you were impure of heart,” Said responded. “Can it be coincidence that I get exactly what I ask for?” she asked.

“Sometimes you get it and sometimes you don’t,” Noha retorted.

“No, he gives me whatever I ask for,” Said insisted.

The two women spoke in increasingly raised tones, leading to Noha calling Said ignorant. This seemed to be the last straw for the hostess, who promptly ordered her guest to “get out of here.”

As an offended Noha rose to her feet and began fumbling with her microphone, a fuming Said told her to remove it outside and instructed studio staff to escort her out of the room, calling after Noha as she left: “[I’ve] wasted my time talking to a crazy person.”

Only last year Said was hailed as a hero by many women and proponents of religious freedom after she refused to wear a veil during an interview with a Muslim cleric and removed it – to his great anger – mid-interview.

In footage released by MEMRI this week, Said was seen ahead of the interview talking to the cleric sans-veil, which did not seem to bother him too much, but when she took it off during the session the cleric refused to look at her and threatened to “shut your channel down.”

An enraged Said then said directly to the camera “It is very unfortunate that people like this peddle our religion” and stormed out.

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