By Raymond Ibrahim:
Tunisia, one of the most secular Arab countries in modern times—and the first country to experience the “Arab Spring”—was also recently the first Arab country to experience an Islamic assassination since the Arab Spring began. The BBC explains:
Tunisian opposition politician Chokri Belaid has been shot dead outside his home in the capital, Tunis. Relatives say Mr Belaid was shot in the neck and head on his way to work. He was a prominent secular opponent of the moderate [sic] Islamist-led government and his murder has sparked protests around the country, with police firing tear gas to disperse angry crowds.
Although the BBC report states “It is not known who is responsible for the attack on the politician,” who Belaid was—a leader of the Democratic Patriots party, which has been at the forefront of challenging the Islamist-led government of Tunisia—speaks for itself. As French President Francois Hollande put it, “This murder robs Tunisia of one of its most courageous and free voices.”
The Islamist Ennahda party naturally denies any involvement—even as it, not to mention all Tunisian Islamists, had the most to gain from the silencing of Belaid. According to the Islamist party’s president, Rashid Gannouchi, “Ennahda is completely innocent of the assassination of Belaid.”
Neither the BBC nor the Ennahda party bother mentioning the fact that, mere days before Belaid was shot to death, fatwas calling for his death were publicly proclaimed. For example, one video shows a bearded Tunisian cleric, of the Salafi brand, publicly denouncing Belaid as an “infidel” whose must be killed—“not according to me but the prophet!”—even as those around him cry “Allahu Akbar!”
Just as Arab-Spring fever came to Egypt following Tunisia—and in both countries, saw the empowerment of Islamist parties, namely the Ennahda and Muslim Brotherhood—so too have Islamic fatwas to assassinate those opposing the Islamist agenda come to Egypt following Tunisia. Aside from the fact that, during the popular protests against President Muhammad Morsi and his Sharia-heavy constitution, his Islamist allies issued any number of fatwas permitting the spilling of the blood of those opposing him, some days ago, Dr. Mahmoud Sha’ban issued a fatwa on live TV calling for the killing of Muhammad el-Baradei and Hamdin Sabhi, leaders of Egypt’s secular National Salvation Front party for being openly critical of Morsi and the Brotherhood. He unhesitatingly pronounced that the “Sharia of Allah” demands their killing, basing his fatwa on the words of Muhammad—to behead those who oppose the leader—as found in the canonical collections of Sahih Muslim.
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