The following are excerpts from a TV debate with Azzam Tamimi, director of the Institute of Islamic Political Thought, and with Swiss MP Oskar Freysinger, on the Swiss ban on building minarets. The debate aired on Al-Jazeera TV on December 8, 2009.
From 1980 to 1985, Dr. Al-Tamimi worked as a media monitor and news analyst at the U.S. government’s Foreign Broadcast Information Service, and from 1990 to 1991, he directed the Parliamentary Office of the Islamic Movement in Jordan.
Al-Tamimi headed the Liberty for the Muslim World Institute in London, from 1992-1999 and was also a researcher for The Center for the Study of Democracy at Westminster University. Since 1999, Dr. Al-Tamimi has headed The Institute of Islamic Political Thought in London. He is the author of several books, including Hamas: A History From Within.
Al-Tamimi describes himself as a “sympathizer and supporter” of Hamas. “I know some of the senior figures in Hamas,” he said. “Some were my friends, my classmates…” According to The Guardian, he has advised Hamas on media strategy. Palestinian political scientist Muhammad Muslih defines Al-Tamimi, in a study on Hamas’s foreign policy, as “a Hamas member.”
According to a Times Online blog, he has said in a BBC interview that he was prepared to go to Israel and carry out a suicide bombing, and has praised suicide bombers as martyrs.
Al-Tamimi is frequently invited to lecture by Muslim communities in South Africa, the U.S., and Britain, where he resides. He also writes opinion pieces in The Guardian.
To view this clip on MEMRI TV, visit http://www.memritv.org/clip/en/2297.htm
“The Swiss People Are Drowning in Ignorance”
Azzam Tamimi: “This referendum exposed the huge chasm between the Swiss people and the Swiss political, ideological, and religious elites. The Swiss people are drowning in ignorance. This ignorance was exploited by the neo-Nazis…”
Interviewer: “Neo-Nazis like whom? Like our guest?”
Azzam Tamimi: “Yes, just like Oskar.”
Interviewer: “Our guest is a neo-Nazi, you mean?”
Azzam Tamimi: “Oskar is the new Hitler of Europe. I was talking today with a friend in Switzerland, and he told me that Oskar’s origins are in Austria, just like Hitler’s. He presents a threat to the future of Switzerland and Europe. The Swiss people should be wary of the likes of him. The Nazis of the past led Europe into a destructive war – World War II – causing its complete destruction, and these people too will bring about complete destruction.” Continue reading