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Monday, June 13, 2005

Must Read: Egyptian Reformer Sayyid Al-Qimni (MEMRI)

In the wake of the recent wave of terrorist bombings in Egypt, the reformist Egyptian writer Sayyid Al-Qimni published an essay in the weekly Roz Al-Yousuf in which he argues that the responsibility for terrorism in Egypt lies not just with the terrorists themselves but also with those who create a cultural atmosphere conducive to terrorism. Thus, in Al-Qimni’s opinion, the fight against terrorism requires combating extremist trends among Muslim clerics and in the Arab media.

...[I could not agree more -- Ed]...


"The generator of hatred, revulsion, and cruelty is like a generator of energy; it explodes if internal pressure rises. That is what happens to the poor Muslim when he is exposed to the enormous pressure of the religious people in our country, which is far greater than that to which people of other religions in the world are exposed. While for the Christian it is enough to make the sign of the cross, which only takes one second, the Muslim is required to be a mechanical instrument, performing the same action every day. He is required to go to the mosque five times a day, and is required to constantly read the Koran, and to force himself to weep if he cannot weep, and to spend an entire work day in the mosque. No one can make him work so long as he is reading the Koran and reciting endless supplications and devotions. [Such recitations] accompany his every motion and position, from the moment he gets up at dawn to the moment he retires to the conjugal bed...

"There is a barrier separating the [Muslim's] mind from the real world around him, so that he falls into a state of constant hallucination and, as a result, loses the capacity to distinguish between good and evil. He only recognizes the value of halal and haram [i.e., permissible vs. prohibited] according to the Islamic point of view. Muslims are burdened with many repressive restrictions... Freedom of thought and expression are fenced in by Islamic restrictions ..."


Qaradhawi and His Followers Have Appointed Themselves the Deputies of Allah

"When we ask ourselves who is the [real] criminal murderer in the [terrorist]
incident at Al-Azhar, and in those that occurred before it and after it, we are at a loss.(3)

"Is it Sheikh Al-Qaradhawi, the [religious] authority for the Muslim Brotherhood and for their brethren of various sorts? It is he who took a stand against tourism, which is the most secure source of financial income for Egypt...?

"[Al-Qaradhawi] said in a television broadcast on Al-Jazeera: 'They [the reformists] claim that it is in the people's interest to permit prostitution and to permit [the selling of] alcohol so as to encourage tourism.' First of all, this - prostitution and alcohol - is his pretext for declaring tourism to be contrary to Islam.

[Al-Qaradhawi continued,] 'Mecca was also like this [i.e., with prostitution and alcohol], but the Prophet forbade this kind of income and replaced it with another kind of income - jihad for the sake of Allah, in order to gain an income which is greater and better by conquering other countries. And Allah said: 'If you fear poverty, then know that Allah will enrich you from his bounty, [Koran 9:28]' meaning that if you are afraid of suffering dire [financial] straits, the Lord will deliver you from these straits- and in fact Allah enriched them through conquest and spoils.'

"Consider [how Al-Qaradhawi] brazenly attempts to deceive the Muslims and Allah. The substitute, then, [for income from tourism according to Al-Qaradhawi,] jihad in order to conquer the entire world, after tourism is banned from our country...

"Al-Qaradhawi’s position against Egypt is certainly not [merely] his own personal position ... because he is part of a whole band, mostly in Egypt, that constantly repeats the same message. Qaradhawi opines: 'There are [people] who strive to break Islam into pieces. They want it to be an Islam without jihad ... principles of faith without shari'a... and the Koran without the sword. [Islam, however,] is a calling that encompasses all aspects of life, from toilet etiquette to the structure of the state. It provides laws [to govern] man's [life] from birth to death.'

"Naturally, Al-Qaradhawi does not tell us that there is no legal Islamic statement on political matters or on the nature of the regime... However, Al-Qaradhawi and his followers say that political affairs should be under Allah's rule and not under human rule, and since Allah does not rule in person, they have appointed themselves to rule as His deputies.

You should read the whole thing. There's much more.

Al-Qimni takes on Ikhwan (Muslim Brotherhood), ridiculous rules, Muslim groupthink, the unaccountability of Islamic governance, and the absurdity of replacing tourism with jihad, among other subjects.

Other than providing trenchant analysis, Al-Qimni must be a brave man.

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