Fadel Soliman is an electronics engineer, an international orator of Islam, and a member of the International Union of Muslim Scholars. He is a former member of the Muslim Brotherhood. He received his Master's degree in Sharia in 2008.
He trotted the globe presenting Islam and debating other religions; in churches, universities and governmental departments, such as the American Department of Defense, as well as in international events, such as the Frankfurt International Book Fair. His main focus is on training Muslim youth on how to present Islam and refute misconceptions about it.
He wrote Muslim Copts Before Muhammad, a book tracing the history of Arianism.
In this piece, we resume the interview conducted with Fadel Soliman about his contribution to the Islamic da`wah field. You can read the first part of the interview by clicking this link.
Editor: Why did you leave the US and return to Egypt?
Soliman: In the US, I presented a weekly show on Channel 30 called “The Islamic Show” for a couple of years. I also presented a radio program every Friday at the peak time called “Let the Qur’an Speak”. I was always condemning terrorism, but the US government didn’t like it because I also condemned their terrorism in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. They wanted me to denounce the Muslim’s terrorism only. My Green Card was delayed and I was sent an intermediary [to tell me to stop it].
They harassed me much. My office was molested. I had to leave the US and get back to my country [for my safety].
But back then, I was addicted to da`wah to non-Muslims. I met Dr. Morad Hoffman in the Frankfurt International book fair in 2004, and he advised me to do all of the preparation for the da`wah in Egypt and to work globally. And that’s what I did. I almost did no work in Egypt at all.
Dr. Hoffman, Dr. Jamal Badawy, Yvonne Ridley, and I founded Bridges Foundation. Right after the founding, the notorious Danish cartoons issue was out broken and this was our biggest activity. We travelled to Denmark and worked on Dane journalists.
Among our activities over here in Egypt was training Egyptian tour guides, and anyone who meets non-Muslim foreigners.
Editor: Do you agree that Islamophobia nowadays is much worse than that right after the 9/11 attacks?
Soliman: Definitely! Islam is now undergoing a series of attacks just like the matadors agitate and attack a poor calm Bull in Bullfighting. Satanic Verses, desecrating the Qur’an in Guantánamo, publishing the notorious Danish Cartoons about the Prophet, republishing them over and over, burning the Qur’an, banning hijab in France, banning niqab in France, banning hijab in the Belgian schools, Fitna documentary, and so on.
Editor: Tell us about your membership in the Muslim Brotherhood (MB)
Soliman: I’m a former MB member. My story with the MB started when I went to Hajj after I graduated from University with the Engineers’ syndicate. There was a very humble old man who carried with us our luggage and helped us generally while travelling. I thought he was sent with us to serve the whole regiment. After we reached Makkah we were told that if we had any questions about the rituals we would ask him. I was surprised! I went to Hajj the year before, so back then I knew well about the rituals. I listened to the way he answered the questions to see if he’s good for it or not. And I was surprised again, he was very deep! I then found out that he was Sheikh Mohamed Badawy; a member of the Executive Office of the Muslim Brotherhood. I loved him so much.
And because our Hajj was cheap, we stayed there for 24 days. And I enjoyed his company so much. I actually stuck around him. When I was back to Egypt I decided to join the MB.
The MB in Mubarak’s era had the slogan of “Islam Is The Answer”, and they practically enforced it through their activities. One of the reasons that attracted me to the MB when I saw [their effect] when they administered the Engineers’ syndicate; they took it with a debt of a million and a half [Egyptian Pounds] and it was taken from them six years later with a cash of 98 million pounds, and 48 estate headquarters! The point is that the syndicate gets a lot of money that was stolen.
In their era, the poor engineer could get married; buy an apartment, furniture, and even clothes all on installments. But Mubarak’s regime closed the syndicate [because of this success]. And this was repeated in different syndicates.
When the MB showed people practically that Islam is the answer they were loved, even with Christians.
I stayed with the MB for a long time and left them after I was back to Egypt. This was because of the tight security that hindered the expansion in the Bridges’ activities.
Editor: Tell us about your participation in the Egyptian revolution.
Soliman: The revolt started by an initiative on Facebook, so I was not sure if it was serious or not.
Joining it from the beginning was quite a big risk to jeopardize the achievements and the future of Bridges Foundation. So, I sent some of the Bridges members to go and see what was going on out there, and they found out that it was really serious.
I held a meeting with all of the members and I issued a fatwa that joining the revolution is mandatory for men, sunnah for women.
You know who killed Osama Bin Laden? The revolutions of the Arab Spring!
Muslims wanted to make a change; some of them do so peacefully, others see peacefulness won’t pay off, so they go violent. But when the Arab spring came, it proved to the world that change can be done peacefully. Here in Egypt, the Jihadists, Ayman Al-Zawahiry’s friends, renounced violence and founded political parties.That’s why America wanted to push Islamists back to the violence square, by killing Bin Laden and throwing his body in the ocean.