During an Egyptian television show, a young man who claimed to be atheist was expelled from the set and invited to a psychiatric hospital by a presenter in a second state.
The scene is hard to believe. It took place on February 11 on the set of the Egyptian channel Alhadath Alyoum TV. The Media Research Institute of the Middle East (MEMRI) relayed this Friday, broadcasting the video of this surreal moment where a young atheist man is expelled from a debate for having had the arrogance ... not to believe in God.
In this sequence, the calm of the "disbeliever" contrasts with the bigotry hysteria of TV presenter Mahmoud Abd Al-Halim. The young man, whose name is Mohammad Hashem, states his opinion quite calmly: " I am an atheist, it means that I do not believe in the existence of God, I do not believe in Him. " An affirmation that first responds to a third man on the set, Sheikh Mahmoud Ashour, a member of the Cairo University of Al-Azhar: " What's that? " Mohammad Hashem replied politely: " I do not need religion to have moral values, or to be a productive member of society."
"I'm sorry, Mohammad but you can not stay with us on the show"
It was enough to trigger the eruptive anger of the Egyptian presenter, who addressed his guest bluntly: " Who created you, how do you exist in this world?". His interlocutor then tries to explain to him that he adheres rather to the Big Bang theory, presenting "much more evidence than creationism, to which Mahmoud Abd Al-Halim answers:" Speak Arabic! You are in Egypt, and you are talking to normal people, so do not use big words for no reason . "
Surrealist, the exchange continues with an express excommunication of the young atheist by the presenter: " You are confused, and not trustworthy.You deny the existence of God, and reject our religion and our principles ". A crime of lèse-deity for the fanatical "journalist", who concludes the debate with a peremptory tone: " You offer atheism! You offer heresy! I apologize to viewers to have an Egyptian like this "I'm sorry, Mohammad, but you can not stay with us on the show, because your ideas are inappropriate, I'm sad to say, we can not promote such destructive ideas. "
Atheism in danger in Egypt
It was then that Sheikh Mahmoud Ashour took the floor to diagnose ... the madness of the young atheist. " Listen, at Mohammad's place, you need psychiatric treatment, many young people today suffer from mental illnesses, because of material or mental circumstances ... ". Obviously, the presenter embraie, enjoining Mohammad Hashem "to leave the studio to go directly to the psychiatric hospital ". The young man will run with a sorry smile.
Ridiculous, even laughable, the sequence is no less revealing of the current atmosphere in Egypt, where moral rigorism is wreaking havoc and the freedom of conscience threatened: the Egyptian Parliament is preparing to study a bill. to criminalize the lack of belief in God.