The leader of the private Egyptian television channel Alhadath Alyoum argued on the air with a guest about the existence of God. The program was released on February 11, but its fragment spread in the English-language Internet only in early March.
Atheist Mohammad Hashem was invited to the studio of the TV channel for discussion with Mahmoud Ashour, representative of the Center for Islamic Studies “Al-Azhar”.
Hashem explained that atheism means denying the belief in God, and observed that he does not need religion to have moral values and to be a useful member of society. When the guest began to talk, why he came to such views, the discussion was aggressively intervened by the presenter.
Ashur: How did you become an atheist?
Hashem: Because there is no scientific evidence for the existence of God.
Host: How can you say that? Who made you? Who made you a human being?
Ashur: Do you know how you came into the world?
Hashem: There are many theories that explain our existence on this planet.
Ashur: I asked you a question. How did you become a man?
Host: Where did you come from in this universe?
Hashem: All right, let’s explain. There are theories that explain our existence. One of them is that God created us. But there are other theories, with much more evidence, for example, the Big Bang theory [the last words are said in English] .
Moderator: Speak Arabic. You are in Egypt and you speak [through TV] with ordinary people, so do not use such words unnecessarily.
Hashem: I use these terms, as science develops in English.
The host accused the guest of being “confused” and referring to inaccurate information.
Moderator: You deny the existence of God, our religion and norms.
Hashem: Is it so bad?
Moderator: Of course. You come to talk about a specific idea, but you have nothing to offer. You offer atheism, heresy.
The host apologized to the Egyptian audience and invited the atheist guest to leave the studio. A TV channel employee explained that he can not promote such “destructive ideas” on the air.
A representative of the Center for Islamic Studies supported the presenter, assuring that today many young people suffer from mental illness. Ashur stressed that the second guest required psychiatric treatment – the presenter agreed with such a proposal and asked Hashem if he went to see a doctor.
The guest’s answer to the question about the psychiatrist is not in the record. Also there is no moment when Hashem leaves the studio.