Distributor:  Icarus Films
Length:  28 minutes
Date:  2012
Genre:  Interview
Language:  English
Closed captioning available
Interactive transcript available
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Islam Unknown (episode 2): Nasr Hamed Abu Zayd

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Nasr Hamed Abu Zayd has always seen Islam as a religion rooted in social justice. After decades of exile from his home in Egypt, he remains a devout Muslim committed to a diversity of interpretations of scripture.

Islam Unknown (episode 2): Nasr Hamed Abu Zayd

Nasr Hamed Abu Zayd was born and raised in Egypt, but was forced into exile by a charge of apostasy in the 1980s. He had always seen Islam as a religion rooted in social justice, and began to raise questions about inequality as Egypt liberalized its economy, creating greater wealth but also greater poverty.

In this conversation, Abu Zayd embraces the importance of ambiguity and outlines how colonial attitudes towards Islam have served as a kind of trap, binding both Christians and Muslims into false perceptions of each other. Those false perceptions, he says, have been renewed and reinforced through the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

After decades of exile, he remains a devout Muslim committed to a diversity of interpretations of scripture.'If you adhere to the rational interpretation, you are looking into the Qur'an with one eye. If you adhere to the literal interpretation, you are looking with the other eye. You should open both eyes,' he says. 'The real faith is the faith that believes in uncertainty. In ambiguity.'

This episode of ISLAM UNKNOWN was filmed in the Netherlands - the country to which Abu Zayd fled - shortly before his death in 2010.

No reviews available.


Main credits

Elders, Fons (interviewer)

Other credits

Camera-sound, Rob Smits; editing, Theo Raben; music, David Parsons.

Distributor credits

Docuseek2 subjects

Religion and Spirituality
Philosophy, Critical Thinking and Ethics
History of Religion
Netherlands, The

Distributor subjects

Middle East


; "Islam Unknown (episode 2): Nasr Hamed Ab"; Icarus Films;

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