Another atheist has a run-in with hosts on Egyptian TV
Last year we reported that Egyptian atheist and human rights activist Ahmed Harqan had stormed out of Rania Mahmoud Yassin’s Al -Assema TV show after the presenter asserted that Egypt ‘unfortunately’ had 866 atheists, and that atheism was spreading ‘like wildfire’ in her country.
We now learn that a second atheist, Mohammad Hashem, above, was summarily booted off another programme by its host last month, with both the anchor and a second guest – a cleric – suggesting that the young man should see a psychiatrist.
Hashem, according to this report, was invited to appear on the privately owned TV network Alhadath Alyoum to present his ideas – but was barely allowed to explain his views.
In the segment, translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute, Hashem managed to say that:
There is no scientific evidence for the existence of God.
Also that he did not:
Need religion to have moral values or to be a productive member of society.
He was immediately attacked by host Mahmoud Abd Al-Halim, who asked:
How can you say that? Who created you? Who made you exist as a human being? … How come you exist in this universe?
Hashem then tried to raise the Big Bang theory as one possible origin of existence, but was once again cut off by the host, who dismissed him as:
Confused and unreliable.
Abd Al-Halim then turned to his audience and apologised “for having an Egyptian of this kind on our show.” He claimed – while preventing Hashem from speaking – that:
You have not uttered a single convincing word.
Abd Al-Halim called Hashem’s ideas “heresy,” “inappropriate” and “destructive,” claiming he set:
A very bad example for Egyptian youth.
A second guest, former Deputy Sheikh of Al-Azhar Mahmoud Ashour, suggested Hashem needed “psychiatric treatment”, a notion host Abd Al-Halim seized upon:
Have you seen a psychiatrist? … I advise you to leave the studio and go straight to a psychiatric hospital.
The host then ended the segment, once again apologising to his viewers as a bewildered Hashem seemed lost for words.