Islam is Being Hijacked – Critical Commentary

Posted on May 15, 2013 by


Karl Palmquist – Critical Review 5/15




Bassem Youssef: Islam is Being Hijacked By Those Who Have Power

4/24/2013 – Hunter Stuart

Huffington Post


In this video interview of Bassem Youssef, Bassem addresses the question “Is Islam being hijacked?” He touches on points that relate to Islamic extremists who are severely criticizing any Muslims who are not as devout to Islam as they should be. Bassem responds to the question saying “Islam is being hijacked by people in power who were trying to strip it of its spirituality.” In the video, a radio host from Saudi Arabia tells Youssef that Muslim extremists will call him an “infidel” just because he is speaking english. An infidel is a negative term that refers to a “non-believer.”  However, Youssef does not focus primarily on Islam. He mentions Christianity and Judaism and the extremists that are prevalent in those religions as well. He relates this to what has happened with the Westboro Baptist Church and the extreme measures they have taken to display their views of what Christianity is.

Upon watching this interview for the first time, I got the strong notion that Islam is being lost to people who are trying to control others by stripping them of their practices and traditions. Bassem Youssef seemed like a Islamic scholar who knew this material like the back of his hand and was a proud supporter of Islam. After I finished the video, I found out that Bassem Youssef is the host of a comedic Egyptian TV show that started from YouTube. In this show, he himself playfully criticizes politics, religions, cultures and many other somewhat controversial topics. Also, upon further investigation of this interesting man, I found out that on March 30, 2013, a warrant for the arrest of Youssef was issued because he supposedly insulted Islam on television. This made me think about his credibility. Maybe it is possible that Bassem is opposed to Islam. This interview could be biased and less objective due to his negative view towards Islam. This negative view could be influencing him to say that Islam is being “lost” and that it is being “taken over.”

There is another interesting aspect to this interview. This question is being asked on the Huffington Post, an American news website, suggests that these reporters are trying to give Islam a bad reputation and frighten those who are watching the interview. The first question asked by Hunter Stuart is “Is Islam being Hijacked?” The fact that he uses the word “hijacked” is thought provoking. As we know, people of the Islamic faith were the ones who hijacked planes and flew them into the twin towers on 9/11. When I heard this question being asked, I immediately thought of September 11, as I’m sure many people did. With this thought already in my head, I related everything in the short video to that horrible time in our history. Youssef stressed the point that once you have become “more right” or more extreme then there is no stopping. He says “Once you go into this dogmatic path, you really can’t stop it.” This line is frightening because with this notion that terrorism is being mentioned, it suggests that we might be in store for more terrorist attacks.

In conclusion, this interview is short but I think it holds some important and interesting information. This man, Bassem Youssef seems to just be speaking about the facts of Islam but once I researched who he is, I questioned whether these “facts” were just opinions of his. Also, the wording choice in the questions were troublesome because they suggested impending terrorism and a group of people who “can’t be stopped.”


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