Quenching “Sharia Thirst” on the Nile


Will their “Sharia thirst” indeed be fully quenched?

by Andrew Bostom:

Three days before the first round of voting began for Egypt’s constitutional referendum on December 15, 2012, Hesham Darwish, from Cairo’s Hadayeq al-Qobba district, summarized the views of those who planned to vote “yes,” and affirm the charter:

People are thirsty for Sharia. [emphasis added] We do not support the president for who he is, but rather for the Islamic project he promises.

Yesterday (12/22/12), during the second round of voting, Hesham Darwish’s mindset held sway overwhelmingly in two Upper Egypt governorates on both sides of the Nile. Eighty-three percent (83.2%; 763,729/918,034) voted “yes” in Minya approximately 150 miles south of Cairo on the western bank of the Nile River, which flows north through the city), while in Qena, situated on the east bank of the Nile, some 300 miles south of Cairo, 84.7% (307,839/363,518 ) affirmed the charter, according to unofficial final tallies published by Al-Ahram. (See full results tabulated below)

When pooled with the first round of voting, a total of 64.0% (10,543,893/16,472,241), including 67.5% (162,231/240,224) of Egyptian expatriates, approved Egypt’s recently drafted, more Sharia-compliant constitution.

The referendum’s final results validate remarkably consistent polling data of Egyptian attitudes towards the Sharia chronicled since at least early 2007, through an Egyptian Vote Compass self-administered survey whose results were revealed just a week prior to voting began on 12/15/12.

Within a few days of their publication in April, 2007, I highlighted data from Egypt indicating that 74% of Egyptians favored “strict” application of the Sharia in general. As recently as December 2010, Pew polling data revealed that 84% of Egyptian Muslims rejected freedom of conscience in the most ugly terms claiming apostates should be killed (i.e., that percentage would likely be well over 90% if less draconian punishments, such as imprisonment and beating till recantation were queried), 82% favor stoning adulterers to death, and 77% approved of mutilating punishments for theft. Summarizing these findings, and other overall survey trends, pollster Douglas Schoen in an essay published February 10, 2011, cited additional composite data indicating that at least 60% of Egyptians held “fundamentalist” Islamic views, while only 20% could be classified as “secular” in their orientation. Finally, Dutch Political Scientist André Krouwel, working with an academic team of Egyptian political scientists at Vote Compass Egypt, who applied an interactive electoral literacy application, predicted in an interview published 12/8/12,

About 70 per cent of the population will vote in favor of the constitution

It is also apparent that Egyptians have voted en masse for a charter, which, relative to the 1971 constitution, more openly advances Sharia supremacism in its revised language, and by assigning an oversight role to the bastion of mainstream obscurantist Sunni Islamic religious education, Al-Azhar University.

Comparing the suspended 1971 Constitution, with the current draft charter, several features, consistent with the more pronounced influence of Sharia, are immediately apparent:

  • Egypt is now identified “as part of the Arabic and Islamic nations (Umma)”
  • Article 2 from 1971, remains intact, stating, “Islam is the religion of the state and Arabic is its official language. The principles of Sharia are the main source of legislation.”; however, the complementary Article 219, adds the specific statement, “The principles of Sharia include general evidence and foundations, rules and jurisprudence as well as sources accepted by doctrines of Sunni Islam and the majority of Muslim scholars.” Moreover, whereas no mention of al-Azhar University or its Muslim legists was included in the 1971 constitution, the current draft states plainly, “Al-Azhar is an independent and a comprehensive entity. It takes the task of preaching Islam in Egypt and in the whole world. Scholars of al-Azhar should be consulted in all matters related to Sharia.” [emphasis added]
  • Article 44—consistent with Sharia blasphemy law—warns: “Insulting prophets and messengers is forbidden.”

Accordingly, the constitution was praised by Muslim Brotherhood “Spiritual Adviser”, and renowned Sharia supremacist, Yusuf al-Qaradawi, who noted it contained, “principles and values needed by Egyptians.” Qaradawi added, “Even if it contains shortcomings, they could be addressed later,”—perhaps alluding to his avowed stratagem of applying the more draconian aspects of Sharia, such as hadd punishments, gradually, during a “transitional” accommodation period.

Qaradawi’s stratagem for applying Sharia in all its liberty-crushing, totalitarian manifestations—a sine qua non of the Muslim Brotherhood first articulated by its founder, Hassan al-Banna, and reiterated (on May 15, 2012) by recently elected Muslim Brotherhood President Muhammad Morsi—could be facilitated by the “Scholars of al-Azhar,” whom the constitution declares, “should be consulted in all matters related to Sharia.”

Since its founding in 973 A.D., Al Azhar University (and its mosque) have represented a pinnacle of Islamic religious education, which evolved into the de facto Vatican of Sunni Islam. Unfortunately, during that same millennium, through the present era, Al Azhar and its leading clerics have represented and espoused the unreformed, unrepentant jihad bellicosity and infidel hatred at the core of mainstream Islam. The irrefragable truth of Al Azhar’s persistent Medieval obscurantism (i.e., from any rational non-Muslim, if not Islamic perspective), can be readily gleaned from a sampling of fatwas (Islamic religious rulings) and statements issued during 1739, till now. Moreover, the late (d. March, 2010) Al-Azhar Grand Imam Sheikh Tantawi’s own virulently Jew-hating writings, statements, and career trajectory—being rewarded for this public, “scholarly,” legacy of hatred—represents the apotheosis of these ugly realities.

Read more

Andrew G.  Bostom is the author of The  Legacy of Jihad (Prometheus, 2005) and The  Legacy of Islamic Antisemitism ”  (Prometheus, November, 2008)

You can contact Dr. Bostom at info[@]andrewbostom.org

3 thoughts on “Quenching “Sharia Thirst” on the Nile

  1. Pingback: Egypt: Sharia Now Law of the Land « American Infidels

  2. comment from an anonymous viewer:

    Please check the news again. The turnout for the vote on the egyptian constitution was 30%.
    The 57% who voted for the constitution are 63% of 30% of the total voters.
    The 37% who voted against the constitution, are 37% of 30% of the total voters.
    That means 18% of the total voters have voted yes. 11% of the total voters have voted no. And 70% of voters have not voted at all.

    That means only 18% of egyptians have voted for the constitution. 82% of egyptians did not vote for the constitution.

    Please update your blogs. And start supporting the opposition, instead of making it seem that all egyptians are islamist.

    The people who do not support the constitution are 82% of the country.

    The people who didn’t vote for the president are 83.5% of the country (the same reason, because the turnout of the vote was so low, it works out that only 26.46% of total voters voted for the president).

    The people who didn’t vote for the parliament are between 60.8% and 62% (the turnout was so low, only 37.33% voted for the parliament).

    In both cases, it is likely that all the muslim brotherhood and islamist supporters did vote. So they would not have any more votes if turnout was higher.
    While it was mostly opposition and secular and non islamists, who didn’t vote.

    So the islamist support in the country is maximum 37.3% (equal to the total voters who voted for the parliament)

    And the president’s support, is maximum 26% of the total voters.

    And the constitution support, is 18%.

    It is getting lower. And the islamists, and their president, and constitution are the minority in the country. And that is even with rigging of the votes for parliament, and that there were only two choices for the second run off of president (and some didn’t vote for the other just because he was from the old regime) so the president would have even lower support today.

    The opposition are the majority, and are the only chance the country has to get better, and not to fall into an islamic state.
    The muslim brotherhood and islamists are the minority, but the muslim brotherhood is very organised, and uses a lot of propaganda and manipulation, and twisting things to their way. And saying things, then going back on them, and use any way they can in order to win and to undermine the opposition.
    If the opposition lose hope, or if the muslim brotherhood manages to manipulate some of them and to make them think the majority are islamists, and that the opposition are a minority and are trying to rule the majority (the muslim brotherhood makes out it is the reverse of the reality) then egypt will be a disaster. They need everyones support.

    And if you make out that egypt is majority islamist, and supports the muslim brotherhood and president and constitution, as you are making out. Then you are matching exactly the false reality that the muslim brotherhood is trying to make people believe. And you are helping them to erode the opposition power.

    The opposition can only succeed as long as they can get enough people out on the streets to protest long term. That is happening, but if you help to affect the mind of the protesters, and make them think they are the minority and losers, and that they are fighting a majority and are troublemakers. Then you will make them give up hope and go home, and the muslim brotherhood can win against the silent majority, as mubarak could have, only if they go home and don’t protest.

    But as long as people keep their mind firmly against the muslim brotherhood and islamists and president. Then egypt can succeed in cancelling this constitution, and then hopefully also get rid of the parliament and have a parliament based on all the voters next time, so hopefully a 60% or more secular parliament.
    And hopefully they can eventually also force the president to resign. Because the 75% majority are against him personally.

    So please update your blogs relating to egypt, and check the voter numbers after taking voter turnout into account, for all the votes (constitution, president, parliament) and then realise the egyptian people may be muslim but most of them are not islamist, and even if some support sharia in islam when asked (because they dont want to say god’s law in their religion is wrong) the majority dont want it in their law. So get on the side of the revolution and the opposition, who still need outside supporters today, to not have outsiders supporting morsi which if he is supported and accepted by outside countries, it makes it harder for the opposition. As he presents them as the minority troublemakers, when actually he is the minority and troublemaker.

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