He dissects the godfather of "Islamophobia":
Thus, he tells Egyptian television that the destruction of the
Israeli state is for the moment "impossible" and in Mantua described
the idea of stoning adulterous women as "unimplementable." This is
something less than a full condemnation, but he is quick to say that
simple condemnation of such things would reduce his own "credibility"
in the eyes of a Muslim audience that, or so he claims, he wants to
modernize by stealth.
His day-to-day politics have the same surreptitious air to them. The donations he made to Hamas (donations that led to difficulties receiving a visa
to teach at the University of Notre Dame, a position he eventually
resigned) were small gifts directed to Hamas' "humanitarian" and
"relief" wing. He did not actually say that there was no proof of Osama
Bin Laden's involvement in the atrocities of Sept. 11, 2001; he only
warned against a rush to judgment. He often criticizes the existing
sharia regimes, such as that of Saudi Arabia, especially for their
corruption, but such criticism is as often the symptom of a more
decided Islamist alignment as it is a counterindication of it.
In Mantua, he was trying to deal with the question of dual loyalty, as
between allegiance to Islam and allegiance to the democratic secular
European governments under which Muslim immigrants now choose to live.
He redirected the question to South Africa, where, he said, under the
apartheid system there was a moral duty not to obey the law. After
sitting through this and much else, I rose to ask him a few questions.
Wasn't it true that the Muslim leadership in South Africa had actually
endorsed the apartheid regime? Wasn't it evasive of him to discuss the
headscarf in France rather than the more pressing question of the veil
or niqab in Britain? Wasn't it true that imams in Denmark had
solicited the intervention of foreign embassies to call for censorship
of cartoons in Copenhagen? And was it not the case that he owed his
position as an informal cultural negotiator to the fact that his
grandfather, Hassan al-Banna, had been the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood, an extremist organization of which his father had also been a leader in Egypt?
I want a debate between those two. I demand one. And it should be televised all over the world. The Hitch vs. the MB's Edward Saeed. Tell me that wouldn't rock!
Ok, so maybe I am a dork who gets excited over such things, but come on. It would be soo awesome!
Fine, fine, I will shut up!