Will Egyptian schools strip religion from curriculum?

Students pray at Nile Garden School before the upcoming Eid al-Adha festival in Cairo, Nov. 11, 2010. (photo by REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany)

Students pray at Nile Garden School before the upcoming Eid al-Adha festival in Cairo, Nov. 11, 2010. (photo by REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany)

Al-Monitor, by 

A call made by Nadia Henry, deputy head of the Free Egyptians Party’s parliamentary bloc, to replace the religion course — which is mandatory for students in public schools — with an alternate course on “values” has raised considerable debate within the parliament, accompanied by an attack launched by the Salafist Nour Party and Al-Azhar.

Egyptian schools teach religion from elementary school through high school, and Christian students are separated from their fellow Muslims during religion courses. However, despite the importance of this course in Egyptian education, the students’ grades in religion are not included in their final grades because religion exams taken by Christians differ from those taken by Muslims, and this way everyone can be graded equally. Meanwhile, the Orthodox Church and Al-Azhar contribute to developing the curricula for the religion courses for both Christian and Muslim students.

In an interview with Al-Monitor, Henry emphasized that she did not call for eliminating the religion course, but rather wanted to replace it with a course on values that would combine verses from both the Quran and the Bible that underline values and ideals. “The values course should be taught by educators who have knowledge in the science of counseling and psychology, in order to plant the idea of citizenship in students’ hearts and teach them how to love one another,” she said.

Henry refused the idea of teaching the values course along with religion, stressing that the religion course and its results over the past years must be evaluated.

Henry pointed out that the religion course did not produce clear results in changing the concepts of ethics and values in society. She also criticized the way religion is taught in schools by separating young Muslim students from Christians, which increases sectarianism. “The values course would teach students the principles of citizenship, without discrimination and without separating between minority and majority. All institutions must work hand-in-hand; the religious institution establishes doctrine, and the educational institution applies it through educational and behavioral rules.”

She called on all those opposing her proposal to join her at the dialogue table to develop the proposal, stressing that she does not aim at eliminating religion from schools but to establish a more advanced way to teach it.

Henry responded to attacks on her proposal by saying that changes to long-standing methods are always accompanied by societal shock, but it is necessary to reconsider the method of teaching religion in schools. According to her, the results of the religion course are negative because students are separated based on their religion and have teachers who are not specialized in teaching religion. She also argued that it would not lead to a decline in religion, claiming, “The values course would hamper any inclinations toward atheism among students, because they would [be taught] to understand and tolerate one another.”

“I will continue to defend the proposal after the Free Egyptians Party’s educational committee finishes preparing it in order to submit it to the parliament,” she asserted.

The veteran member of parliament revealed that she is preparing to hold a workshop for educators, clerics, experts in humanities, as well as media and cultural figures in order to establish regulations and standards for a new educational course under the name of “values.” Henry noted that she will not be affected by the attacks against her. She welcomes all opinions, and she will continue to implement her proposal. Henry expressed her hope that some religious leaders would be welcoming, noting, “The new religious leadership within the Evangelical Church shows how committed it is to teaching religion to the new generation.”

Henry explained that the values course would “emphasize the concepts ofmoderate Islam for Muslim and Christian students alike. Christian students will learn Quranic verses about tolerance and love, while Muslim students will learn Bible verses about being loving and giving. Thus, citizenship is truly achieved without any [sectarian] slogans.”

Al-Azhar’s committee of senior scholars issued a statement March 10 describing calls to remove religion from state curricula as “harmful to Al-Azhar’s status and the Islamic identity of our country.”

Al-Azhar’s statement was welcomed by Salafist Nour Party’s members of parliament, with parliamentarian Ahmed Sharif applauding Al-Azhar’s stance and stressing that the proposal to remove the religion course was not appropriate.

Meanwhile, Abdel Moneim El-Shahat, a spokesman for the Salafist Call — the Nour Party’s political wing — warned about responding to those calling for eliminating religious education from schools. In press statements published March 15 he said, “All societal classes are in desperate need of an increase in religion in schools, universities and the media.”

For his part, Mohamed El Shahat al-Gundi, a member of the Islamic Research Academy, told Egyptian daily Al-Youm Al-Sabeh in early March that replacing religion for values in school curricula would open the gate to the breakdown of key provisions in the Muslim and Christian religions, and that it was an attempt to resemble the West, which is not the right thing to do.

Henry’s proposal was met with various reactions within parliament. For one, member of parliament Amina Naseer supported the proposal, saying, “Islam and Christianity emphasize the need for ethics and an upright behavior in dealing with others. The values material should include the values contained in Christian and Muslim texts agreed upon by everyone.”

However, independent member of parliament Mohammed Ismail announced that he would make an urgent statement to the Minister of Education to demand including the grades students get in religious course in their final grades, in response to calls to replace the religion course with values. Ismail expressed the need to do away with the current pass/fail grading system for religion, which in his view would eliminate religious illiteracy and prevent the infiltration of extremist ideas into society.

Islamic University of Minnesota a Hotbed of Extremism

radical Imamby John Rossomando
IPT News
April 8, 2016

The Minneapolis-based Islamic University of Minnesota (IUM) has an extremism problem.

It is run by a man who used a recent sermon to invoke a Hadith commonly espoused by Muslim terrorists to kill Jews for causing “corruption in the land.” Waleed Idris al-Meneesey also has written that Muslims should place sharia law above “man-made” law.

During a November sermon, al-Meneesy referred to the Hadith, a saying from Islam’s prophet Muhammad, describing how Jews had been punished by God repeatedly for “corruption.”

“When the Children of Israel returned to cause corruption in the time of our Prophet Muhammad,” al-Meneesy said in a translation by the Investigative Project on Terrorism, “and they disbelieved him, God destroyed him at his hand. In any case, God Almighty has promised them destruction whenever they cause corruption.”

History will repeat itself, he said.

“The Prophet related that in the Last Days his Umma [people] would fight the Jews, the Muslims East of the Jordan River, and they [the Jews] west of [the Jordan River] … Even trees and stones will say: O Muslim, this is a Jew behind me, kill him, except for Gharqad trees, the trees of the Jews. Because of this they plant many of them…”

Jerusalem “remained in the hands of the Muslims until it fell into the hands of the Jews in 1387 AH [1967 AD], and has been a prisoner in their hands for 34 years [sic], but the victory of God is coming inevitably.”

Al-Meneesy, the IUM’s president and chancellor, also serves as an imam at a Bloomington, Minn. mosque where at least five young men left the United States to fight with terrorist groups al-Shabaab and ISIS.

IUM opened in 2007, claiming 160 students registered for classes, which cost $150 each. Current enrollment figures could not be found. IUM’s website describes programs ranging from two year associates degrees to full doctorates. A bachelor’s program helps students “acquire all essential Islamic knowledge.” The Ph.D. program costs $3,000, including thesis review, and is structured “along the lines of Universities in the Middle East and Africa.”

The university’s website cites recognition by Holy Quran University in the Sudan,founded in 1990 by the regime of Sudanese war criminal and President Omar al-Bashir. Holy Quran University’s leaders signed a 2002 declaration saying it was forbidden for Muslims to buy American and Israeli goods.

IUM also professes to serve as the official representative of Sunni Islam’s most important institution – Al-Azhar University, which has grown increasingly radical – in the U.S. and Canada. Al-Azhar officials have refused to condemn the Islamic State (ISIS) as apostates and heretics. According to Egypt’s Youm 7, IUM’s curriculum, offered to American students, endorses many practices used by ISIS. These include: “[K]illing a Muslim who does not pray, one who leaves Islam, prisoners and infidels within Islam [those who do not have a clearly specified creed or sect]. [It also allows] gouging their eyes and chopping off their hands and feet, as well as banning the construction of churches and discriminating between Muslims and Ahl al-Kitab [Christians and Jews], and insulting them at times.”

1478Al-Meneesy’s extremism goes further back than his anti-Semitic sermon. In 2007, he authored a paper for the Assembly of Muslim Jurists Association of America (AMJA), where he sits on the fatwa committee. Muslims should refrain from participating in non-Islamic courts that do not follow Islamic shariah law, particularly those in the West guided by “man-made” law, al-Meneesey wrote.

“The authority to legislate rests with Allah alone,” al-Meneesey wrote.

Anyone who uses law other than shariah, such as civil law, is a “corrupt tyrant,” the paper said. Judging by something other than shariah equals disbelief in Allah, injustice and sinfulness, he wrote.

Muslims should be forbidden from serving as judges in non-Muslim countries, except if they are able to rule “according to the judgments of Allah,” al-Meneesey wrote. Muslims who adhere to secular law and refuse to follow the shariah are infidels. Classical interpretations of the shariah say that apostates should be killed.

In 2008, the AMJA issued a declaration telling Muslims not to cooperate with law enforcement “in countries which do not rule by Allah’s dictates.” That includes the FBI. The declaration invoked many of the same arguments as al-Meneesey’s 2007 paper.

Meanwhile, al-Meneesey’s own Dar al-Farooq Islamic Center and Al-Farooq Youth & Family Center have produced at least five young members who left to fight for ISIS or al-Shabaab in Somalia. They include:

It does not appear that al-Meneesy has addressed these cases publicly.

His radical views are not aberrations at IUM.

Instructor Sheikh Jamel Ben Ameur refused to denounce ISIS in the fall of 2014 amid stories about its brutality because news reports were “confusing” and “complicated,” the website MinnPost reported.

“We don’t need to accuse people of something we don’t know about. We don’t have to jump into judgment,” Ben Ameur told about 100 congregants at his Masjid al-Tawba in Eden Prairie, Minn.

Ben Ameur disputed the authenticity of the ISIS propaganda videos showing the beheadings of American journalists Steven Sotloff and James Foley, suggesting he didn’t know whether ISIS was responsible or not.

Another IUM instructor, Hasan Ali Mohamud, offered condolences after Israel killed Hamas founder Sheikh Ahmed Yassin in 2004.

Writing under the name Sheikh Xasan Jaamici on the Minneapolis Somali community news website SomaliTalk, Mohamud said that Yassin had achieved martyrdom and that the “Hamas mujahideen” were fighting for the liberation of the Al-Aqsa mosque from Israeli control. His Facebook page suggests that Jaamici is his middle name.

Jews will face Muhammad’s wrath. Muslims who adhere to civil law over Islamic sharia are infidels. These are ideas supported by Waleed Idris al-Meneesey, who is responsible for a “university” teaching Muslims about their faith. Where will Islamic University of Minnesota students get a more modern and accepting education?

Nonie Darwish: Egypt At A Crossroads

El-SISI-660-800x450

Atlas Shrugs, by Nonie Darwish, Jan. 4, 2016:

The cards are stacked against Islamic reformers in 2016. Even the Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who is encouraging a reformation in Islamic education and preaching, is currently facing a strong movement of discontent from Al Azhar’s Islamic leadership.

It is against the grain of Islam for Muslims to self-criticize, and those who do must constantly apologize and emphasize that they are not speaking about Islam the religion, but are speaking about the interpretation. This is because those who call for any reformation are automatically accused of apostasy by Muslim leadership. Islam resists and refuses to focus on self-criticism or internal analysis in its preaching to its followers. Only one form of criticism is allowed in Islam, and that is the one directed against the non-Muslim outside world. That has always been the common form of preaching in Islam.

Not only Muslim preachers, but also Muslim political leaders, are expected to give fiery speeches against the outside world, but never against internal causes of trouble, especially if they’re related to Islam or Sharia.

Al-Sisi is the first Muslim leader in recent history who openly speaks of the need for a reformation in Islamic education. That makes him a new kind of Muslim leader, and unquestionably an exceptional and courageous one.

A year ago, Al-Sisi spoke before the leadership of the highest Islamic Sunni institution of learning, Al-Azhar University, and challenged the clerics to take the lead in an effort to examine their own teachings and source materials for interpreting Islam. He emphasized he was not critiquing the religion (of Islam) but the need for a “religious revolution” in the thinking that is “antagonizing the entire world.” Again, just a couple of weeks ago on December 22, al-Sisi reiterated his appeal to Islamic leaders to modernize and promote “changes in approach” for the sake of peaceful coexistence with all races and religions.

Even though Al-Sisi is widely popular among the majority of Egyptians who are fed up with the impact of political Islam on Egyptian society, there are forces of insurgency coming from Al-Azhar and the Muslim Brotherhood, which is far from being a dead movement in Egypt.

Egypt is at a crossroads, and the efforts to keep Egypt moderate are being constantly challenged from all directions: radical Muslim groups from inside Egypt, the impact of ISIS in the Sinai, the instability and terror on the border with Hamas in Gaza and the terror challenge on Egypt’s Western border with Libya. Even the Southern border of Egypt is not free of turmoil coming from the Islamic State of The Sudan.

Even though the West and the so-called “moderate” Muslims are hopeful for an Islamic reformation movement coming out of the Middle East, the prospects are grim. Reformists are being strangled from all directions, and the Muslim Brotherhood, which was condemned as an illegal terrorist organization by the Egyptian government, is getting stronger globally with global headquarters, not in Saudi Arabia, but in London and Istanbul.

Worst of all is the Obama administration’s refusal to designate the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization, have given it acceptance and even respectability at the international level and also inside the Middle East.

The weak state of Egypt’s economy and its shrinking income from tourism after several terror attacks on tourists in the Sinai are additional factors making it difficult for Al-Sisi’s reformation plans to succeed.

The stunning and rapid success of ISIS, its successful terrorism on the West, the sleeper cells in Europe and the US, Obama’s withdrawal from the Middle East, and his reluctance to fight ISIS, all are additional factors in favor of ISIS winning the Middle East. The same factors are working against the political stability of Egypt, Jordan and even Saudi Arabia, which just recently beheaded a Shiite cleric, together with a total of 47 Shiite protesters.

The year 2016 is the last year for the Obama administration, and Islam jihadists know that their golden opportunity to run wild and form a lasting Islamic State in Egypt and elsewhere in the Middle East will probably end with Obama’s term in office. We are looking at a very rocky 2016.

AFDI Geller Fellow Nonie Darwish is the author “The Devil We Don’t Know” and president of “Former Muslims United,” a program of the American Freedom Defense Initiative.

The ISIS-Al Azhar-Murfreesboro Imam Connection

Daily Roll Call, by Cathy Hinners, Nov. 29, 2015:

In troubling times such as these, where violence and lawlessness are rampant, a lot of people turn to their faith and sometimes the faith of others to console them.  Despite so much of the turmoil  being created by Muslims across the globe, Christians and Jews turn to Imams for answers .

It is during these interfaith forums, Muslims get their chance to plant a seed of doubt that Islam in its truest form is violent. Christians and Jews then come away thinking Islam is in fact just like the Imam said it was. Peaceful.

One Imam in particular is a pro at interfaith fraudulence, Imam Ossama Bahloul of the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro. Bahloul, not only has been a host to Muslim Brotherhood /Hamas members as speakers in his mosque, but is a graduate of Al-Azhar University in Cairo Egypt. Bahloul even graduated 4th in a class of over 200 with honors in his field of study, Dawa. ( the proselytizing of Islam). Pretty prestigious right? Not quite.

In an article published on Nov 25, in the Middle East Forum online magazine,  (http://www.meforum.org/blog/2015/11/isis-byproduct) Islamic scholar and himself a graduate of Al-Azhar,  Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah Nasr revealed ISIS is a by product of Al-Azhar programs. Asked why Al Azhar, which is in the habit of denouncing secular thinkers as un-Islamic, refuses to denounce the Islamic State as un-Islamic, he stated: It can’t [condemn the Islamic State as un-Islamic]. The Islamic State is a byproduct of Al Azhar’s programs. So can Al Azhar denounce itself as un-Islamic? Al Azhar says there must be a caliphate and that it is an obligation for the Muslim world [to establish it]. Al Azhar teaches the law of apostasy and killing the apostate. Al Azhar is hostile towards religious minorities, and teaches things like not building churches, etc. Al Azhar upholds the institution of jizya [extracting tribute from religious minorities]. Al Azhar teaches stoning people. So can Al Azhar denounce itself as un-Islamic?

Nasr further stated: The Islamic State is only doing what Al Azhar teaches…

Imam Ossama Bahloul from the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro is  a graduate of a University that espouses the return of the global caliphate, killing apostates, upholding jizya,and teaches stoning people is acceptable. Bahloul recently participated in a forum in Nashville on  the truths and myths of Sharia Law. So which face did the Imam wear that night?

bahloul

Bahloul isn’t the only “religious” figure  in Tennessee that graduated from ISIS University, oops, Al-Azhar University. Former Imam Mohammed Ahmed from the Islamic Center of Nashville also hails from there. Ahmed, now Mohammed Al Sherif, was the same Imam that escorted high school students from Hendersonville on a tour of the Nashville Mosque. He also is the same Imam that during a Religious Communicators Council convention explained how acceptable it was for female protesters to be forcefully tested for their virginity during the Arab spring protests.

(click to see video)

Perhaps those that seek comfort in attending interfaith forums should know the University their favorite Imam attended was exposed for handing out books filled with Anti Christian sentiment, including calling Christianity a “failed religion” and the Bible sows “seeds of weakness”.

What will it take for the interfaith believers to understand they are victims of fraud? As the old saying goes, “fool me once shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me”.

Dailyrollcall.com was founded by Cathy Hinners,  a retired police officer with experience within the Middle Eastern/Muslim community.

Al Azhar and ISIS: Cause and Effect

al-azharBy Raymond Ibrahim, Nov. 18, 2015:

After being asked why Al Azhar, which is in the habit of denouncing secular thinkers as un-Islamic, refuses to denounce the Islamic State as un-Islamic, Sheikh Nasr said:

It can’t [condemn the Islamic State as un-Islamic].  The Islamic State is a byproduct of Al Azhar’s programs.  So can Al Azhar denounce itself as un-Islamic?  Al Azhar says there must be a caliphate and that it is an obligation for the Muslim world [to establish it].  Al Azhar teaches the law of apostasy and killing the apostate.  Al Azhar is hostile towards religious minorities, and teaches things like not building churches, etc.  Al Azhar upholds the institution of jizya [extracting tribute from religious minorities].  Al Azhar teaches stoning people.  So can Al Azhar denounce itself as un-Islamic?

Nasr joins a growing chorus of critics of Al Azhar.  Last September, while discussing how the Islamic State burns some of its victims alive—most notoriously, a Jordanian pilot—Egyptian journalist Yusuf al-Husayni remarked on his satellite program that “The Islamic State is only doing what Al Azhar teaches… and the simplest example is Ibn Kathir’s Beginning and End.”

Ibn Kathir is one of Sunni Islam’s most renowned scholars; his Beginning and End is a magisterial history of Islam and a staple at Al Azhar.  It is also full of Muslims, beginning with Muhammad, committing the sorts of atrocities that the Islamic State and other Islamic organizations and persons commit.

In February, Egyptian political writer Dr. Khalid al-Montaser revealed that Al Azhar wasencouraging enmity for non-Muslims, specifically Coptic Christians, and even inciting for their murder.  Marveled Montaser:

Is it possible at this sensitive time — when murderous terrorists rest on texts and understandings of takfir [accusing Muslims of apostasy], murder, slaughter, and beheading — that Al Azhar magazine is offering free of charge a book whose latter half and every page — indeed every few lines — ends with “whoever disbelieves [non-Muslims] strike off his head”?

The prestigious Islamic university—which co-hosted U.S. President Obama’s 2009 “A New Beginning” speech—has even issued a free booklet dedicated to proving that Christianity is a “failed religion.”

In short, the phenomenon known as “ISIS” is not a temporal aberration within Islam but rather a byproduct of what is considered normative thinking for Al Azhar—the Islamic world’s most authoritative university.

Also see:

Sisi’s religious revolution gets underway

 

By Michele Antaki:

Last week, the news spread across the web that Egypt’s President Al-Sisi had “cancelled Islamic education” in all of Egypt. Was it in fulfillment of his New Year call for a religious revolution?  Was that dramatic announcement for real or a just a wild rumor?

Bonjour Egypte, a French-language online publication, announced on February 20th that Al-Sisi’s Ministry of Education had “published a manual of values and ethics, for all levels of education, after canceling the program of Islamic education.” It added: “The decision is explained by the lack of moral values in the Egyptian street. Sissi, a champion of secularism and an enemy of the Muslim Brotherhood, has canceled the teaching of Islam in the schools of Egypt.”

The same word-for-word announcement had already been made by a different publication on 26 June 2014, only to be denied as a fake in an online forum one day later.

On February 22, in the Saudi holy city of Mecca where a counter-terrorism conference was held in the aftermath of the slaughter of 21 Copts by the Islamic State, Grand Imam Ahmed Tayyeb called for a radical reform of religious education to prevent the misinterpretation of the Quran by extremists. “The only hope for Muslim nations to restore their unity is to deal with this Takfiri trend [accusing other Muslims of being unbelievers] in our schools and universities.” He offered no indication whether this reform had been effected in Egypt and to what extent.

When Sisi called for a religious revolution on January 1st, 2015 before an assembly of ulema and clerics at prestigious Al-Azhar University, the world caught its breath. Could it be that the leader of a great Muslim nation, seat of the foremost Sunni Islamic learning center, was truly intent on carrying out such a historic and unprecedented reform?

Sisi knew that in requesting the revisiting of the “corpus of texts and ideas” that had been “sacralized over the years” and were “antagonizing the entire world,” he was taking enormous risks and not endearing himself to the radical fringes of his people. And indeed, voices calling out for his death were quickly heard on programs broadcast by Turkey-based Muslim Brotherhood channels: “Anyone who kills Egyptian President Abdel Al-Fattah Al-Sisi and the journalists who support him would be doing a good deed,” said Salama Abdel Al-Qawi on Rabea TV.  On Misr Alaan TV, Wagdi Ghoneim clamored that “whoever can bring us the head of one of these dogs and Hell-dwellers” would be “rewarded by Allah.”

In calling for a ‘religious revolution,’ Sisi also knew that he was up against tremendous odds, owing to Al-Azhar’s educational curricula that had been promoting a radical Salafist and Wahhabist brand of Islam for quite some time.

On Jan 4, the popular satellite TV host Ibrahim Issa showed, with book in hand, that what Al-Azhar taught in its curricula was exactly what Daesh [ISIS] practiced. To wit, that “all adult, free and able men” were to “kill infidels,” and do so “without so much as a prior notice or even an invitation to embrace Islam.” Issa, in his characteristically refreshing and funny style, chided his audience for being so deeply in denial. “So you find Daesh horrible, don’t you? Oh dear, oh dear! But why, when Daesh does exactly what Al-Azhar teaches?” He added that there was “no hope that Al-Azhar would ever lead the “religious revolution’” requested by Sisi, unless Al-Azhar was first willing to “reform itself.”  For how could an entity that was “part of the problem be also part of the solution?”

As Sisi had done, Issa made the distinction between religion/doctrine/belief (deen/ akida) on the one hand, and the thinking/ideology (fikr) on the other. He further explained that what was meant by the latter was the body of interpretative and non-core texts — such as Bukhari’s Hadith, for example, which narrated violent episodes taken from the lives of the Prophet’s companions. Those were amenable to re-interpretation in terms of contextual relevance.

In an earlier, Dec.14 program, Al-Azhar refused to consider the Islamic State as an apostate. On Dec.11, Al-Azhar had called the Islamic State criminal while insisting that “No believer can be declared an apostate, regardless of his sins.”  Nonsense, opined Issa. Apostasy had been declared many times against believers. The real reason for the reluctance was simply that ISIS’s practices were based on Al-Azhar’s teachings,[i] which had been allowed to stand for decades with the regrettable connivance and complicity of the State. Consequently, if ISIS was now declared an apostate, so should Al-Azhar.

Issa’s views echoed those of Sheikh Mohammed Abdallah Nasr, a former Al-Azhar student and a leading figure of the “Azhariyyun” Civil State Front, which is opposed to political Islam. “Although many consider Al-Azhar a representative of moderate Islam, its curricula incite hatred, discrimination and intolerance, and are a doctrinal reference for the Islamic State,” he said to MCN direct.

Read more at American Thinker

Michele Antaki was raised in Egypt and France. LLM of Law – France. PG Diploma of Conference Interpretation – UK. She was a UN interpreter in NY for 27 years in 4 languages – Arabic, English, French, Spanish.

Also see:

Coalition of Concerned Citizens Seeks Response to El Sisi’s Call for “Religious Revolution”

 

January 7, 2015

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Today letters were issued to several Islamic organizations in the United States by a Coalition of concerned citizens to get their official response to recent comments by Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.

The organizations contacted for their response included the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), the Islamic Society of North America, the Muslim American Society (MAS), and the North American Islamic Trust.

The Coalition sought responses for the following questions:

  • Is it the position of your organization that the imams of Al Azhar have a responsibility to renounce the “mindset” of jihad, conquest, and, as suggested by President Sisi, genocide of the world’s non-Muslims?
  • Is it the position of your organization that the time is right for a “religious revolution,” as President Sisi stated?
  • Is it the position of your organization that jihad is a holy obligation for all Muslims?

On New Year’s Day, President Sisi addressed the famous Egyptian University, Al Azhar. Occasionally called the “Vatican” of Islam, Al Azhar is a major center of Sunni Islamic thought, one of the most important scholarly institutions in the Islamic world.

President Sisi urged the imams (religious leaders) at Al Azhar to denounce the violence and revolution that has defined the Middle East since the Arab Spring. He urged the venerable institution to condemn the idea that “1.6 billion people [Muslims] should want to kill the rest of the world’s inhabitants—that is 7 billion—so that they themselves may live? Impossible!”

Since the Arab Spring, the moderate and stable regimes have been under sustained assault by terrorist groups, including the Muslim Brotherhood, Al Qaeda, the Islamic State, and other affiliated networks. President Sisi came to power in Egypt following the ouster of President Mohamed Morsi, who is himself a member of the Muslim Brotherhood.

President Sisi’s speech is seen as a direct challenge to the Muslim Brotherhood and the idea that jihad, or war against non-Muslims, must define Islam. According to the Muslim Brotherhood, jihad is the duty of all Muslims, and the highest honor for Muslims is actual death fighting jihad. (The motto of the organization states, “God is our objective; the Qur’an is the Constitution; the Prophet is our leader; jihad is our way; death for the sake of God is our wish.”)

In November, CAIR and MAS were designated as terrorist organizations by the United Arab Emirates. Egypt and the United Arab Emirates have also designated the Muslim Brotherhood, an Islamic umbrella organization operating around the world, including in the United States, as a terrorist organization.

The Coalition, which includes retired military leaders, journalists, and citizen activists, will publicly release any and all responses from these organizations.

Below is a copy of the letter sent to the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA). Identical letters were sent to the Council on American Islamic Relations, the Muslim American Society, the North American Islamic Trust, and various chapters of the Muslim Students Association.

LETTER TO THE ISLAMIC SOCIETY OF NORTH AMERICA

January 7, 2015

Mr. Azhar Azeez
Islamic Society of North America (ISNA)
P.O. Box 38
Plainfield, IN 46168

Dear Mr. Azeez:

This is a request for your organization’s official response to the speech given by Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.

On New Year’s Day, President Sisi stated (in part) before an audience at Al Azhar University in Cairo:

“I am referring here to the religious clerics. We have to think hard about what we are facing—and I have, in fact, addressed this topic a couple of times before. It’s inconceivable that the thinking that we hold most sacred should cause the entire umma [Islamic world] to be a source of anxiety, danger, killing and destruction for the rest of the world. Impossible!

That thinking—I am not saying “religion” but “thinking”—that corpus of texts and ideas that we have sacralized over the years, to the point that departing from them has become almost impossible, is antagonizing the entire world. It’s antagonizing the entire world!

Is it possible that 1.6 billion people [Muslims] should want to kill the rest of the world’s inhabitants—that is 7 billion—so that they themselves may live? Impossible!

I am saying these words here at Al Azhar, before this assembly of scholars and ulema—Allah Almighty be witness to your truth on Judgment Day concerning that which I’m talking about now.

All this that I am telling you, you cannot feel it if you remain trapped within this mindset. You need to step outside of yourselves to be able to observe it and reflect on it from a more enlightened perspective.

I say and repeat again that we are in need of a religious revolution. You, imams, are responsible before Allah. The entire world, I say it again, the entire world is waiting for your next move… because this umma is being torn, it is being destroyed, it is being lost—and it is being lost by our own hands.”

In light of President Sisi’s comments, we ask for public clarification on the following points:

  • Is it the position of ISNA that the imams of Al Azhar have a responsibility to renounce the “mindset” of jihad, conquest, and, as suggested by President Sisi, genocide of the world’s non-Muslims?
  • Is it the position of ISNA that the time is right for a “religious revolution,” as President Sisi stated?
  • Is it the position of ISNA that jihad is a holy obligation for all Muslims?

Please note that this letter will be made public and published. We look forward to your prompt response.

Sincerely,

Wallace Bruschweiler
Data Security Holdings

Leslie Burt
The Counter Jihad Report

Mark Kohan
Conservative Party USA

Trevor Loudon
New Zeal Blog

Gary Kubiak & Dick Manasseri
S.E. Michigan 9.12 Tea Party

Terresa Monroe-Hamilton
NoisyRoom.net

Charles Ortel
Washington Times Columnist

William Palumbo
Qatar Awareness Campaign

Brent Parrish
The Right Planet

Thomas E. Snodgrass, Colonel, USAF (Ret)
Right Side News

Hannah Szenes
Journalist

Paul E. Vallely, Major General, US Army (Ret)
Stand Up America

The Significance of Sisi’s Speech

Raymond Ibrahim, Jan. 7, 2015:

On New Year’s Day, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sissi—the hero of Egypt’s 2013 anti-Muslim Brotherhood revolution—made some remarkable comments concerning the need for a “religious revolution.”

Watch the video below or click here to read the excerpt:

 

Sisi made his remarks during a speech celebrating the birth of Islam’s Prophet Muhammad—which was ironically held on January 1, 2015 (a day not acknowledged or celebrated in the Muslim world as it is based on a Christian calendar)—and he was addressing the nation’s top Islamic authorities from among the Awqaf Ministry (religious endowments) and Al Azhar University.

Although Sisi’s words were directed to Islam’s guardians and articulators, they indirectly lead to several important lessons for Western observers.

First, in just a few words, Sisi delivered a dose of truth and hard-hitting reality concerning the Islamic world’s relationship to the rest of the world—a dose of reality very few Western leaders dare think let alone proclaim.

“It’s inconceivable,” he said, “that the thinking that we hold most sacred should cause the entire umma [Islamic world] to be a source of anxiety, danger, killing and destruction for the rest of the world.  Impossible!”

What a refreshingly honest statement to come from not only a political leader but a Muslim political leader who has much to lose, not least his life!  Contrast his very true words with the habitual reassurances of the Western establishment that Islamic world violence and intolerance is a product of anything and everything but Islam.

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Even after the appearance of the head-chopping, infidel-crucifying Islamic State, politicians like U.S. President Obama and U.K. Prime Minister Cameron insisted that the “caliphate” is not Islamic, despite all the evidence otherwise. Yet here is Sisi, the pious Muslim, saying that the majority of the terrorism plaguing the world today is related to the holy texts of Islam themselves:

That thinking [that is responsible for producing “anxiety, danger, killing and destruction” around the world]—I am not saying “religion” but “thinking”—that corpus of texts and ideas that we have sacralized over the centuries, to the point that departing from them has become almost impossible, is antagonizing the entire world.  It’s antagonizing the entire world!

As a Muslim, Sisi will not say that Islam, the “religion,” is responsible for “antagonizing the entire world,” but he certainly goes much further than his Western counterparts when he says that this “thinking” is rooted in an Islamic “corpus of texts and ideas” which have become so “sacralized.”

Recall that here in the West, Islamic terrorists are seen as mere “criminals” and their terrorism as “crimes” without mention of any Islamic text or ideology driving them.

The Egyptian president further invoked the classical Islamic teaching—the “thinking”—that divides the world into two warring halves: the Muslim world (or in Islamic/Arabic parlance, Dar al-Islam) which must forever be in a struggle with the rest of the world (or Dar al-Harb, the “abode of war”) till, in the Koran’s words, “all religion belongs to Allah” (Koran 8:39).

“Is it possible,” asked Sisi, “that 1.6 billion people should want to kill the rest of the world’s inhabitants—that is 7 billion—so that they themselves may live?”

Sisi made another important point that Western leaders and media habitually lie about: after affirming that Islamic “thinking” is “antagonizing the entire world,” he said that “this umma is being torn, it is being destroyed, it is being lost—and it is being lost by our own hands.”

In other words, Islamic terrorism and chaos is not a product of grievance, territorial disputes, colonialism, Israel, offensive cartoons, or anything else the West points to.  It’s a product of their “own hands.”

Again, one must appreciate how refreshing it is for a top political leader in the heart of the Islamic world to make such candid admissions that his Western counterparts dare not even think let alone speak. And bear in mind, Sisi has much to lose as opposed to Western politicians.  Calls by the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamists that he is an apostate are sure to grow more aggressive now.

The critic may ask, “All well and good, but words aside, what has Sisi actually done to help bring about this “religious revolution”?  In fact, one popular journalist, Ibrahim Eissa, recently said just this on live television in Egypt:

Five months have passed since he [Sisi] became president, after his amazing showing at elections.  Okay: the president has, more than once, indicated the need for a renewal of religious discourse….  But he has not done a single thing, President Sisi, to renew religious discourse.  Nothing at all.

Yet it seems that Sisi has an answer for this, too: it is not his job as president of Egypt to reform the thinking of the Islamic world; rather, that role belongs to the ulema—which is precisely why he addressed them with such candid words.  Indeed, he repeatedly stressed that it is the ulema’s job to lead this “religious revolution.”

Thus, “I say and repeat again that we are in need of a religious revolution. You, imams, are responsible before Allah. The entire world, I say it again, the entire world is waiting for your next move…. I am saying these words here at Al Azhar, before this assembly of scholars and ulema—Allah Almighty be witness to your truth on Judgment Day concerning that which I’m talking about now.”

Meanwhile, while Sisi was making these groundbreaking if not historic statements, the Western mainstream media, true to form, ignored them and instead offered puerile and redundant headlines, most critical of Sisi, like:

  • “Egypt President Sisi urged to free al-Jazeera reporter” (BBC, Jan 1; to which I respond, “Why, so Al Jazeera can continue lying and misleading the West about Sisi and Egypt’s anti-Muslim Brotherhood revolution?”)
  •  “Egyptian gays living in fear under Sisi regime” (USA Today, Jan. 2; to which I respond, “Homosexuals live in fear in all Islamic nations, regardless of Sisi.”)
  •  “George Clooney’s wife Amal risks arrest in Egypt” (Fox News, Jan. 3; to which I respond, “Who cares?  Only her innocence or guilt matter, not her husband’s fame”—which is the only reason Fox News chose the story in the first place.)

Whether concerning the true nature of Islam or the true nature of Sisi, here is the latest example of how unfathomably ignorant all those millions of people who exclusively follow the so-called “mainstream media” must surely be.

Also see:

In light of President Sisi’s comments, we ask for public clarification on the following points:

  • Is it the position of ISNA that the imams of Al Azhar have a responsibility to renounce the “mindset” of jihad, conquest, and, as suggested by President Sisi, genocide of the world’s non-Muslims?
  • Is it the position of ISNA that the time is right for a “religious revolution,” as President Sisi stated?
  • Is it the position of ISNA that jihad is a holy obligation for all Muslims?

Brotherhood Ideologue Qaradawi Expelled From Islamic Council

Sheikh Yousef al-Qaradawi, Muslim Brotherhood ideologue.

Sheikh Yousef al-Qaradawi, Muslim Brotherhood ideologue.

Clarion Project:

Groups led by Muslim Brotherhood ideologue Sheikh Yousef al-Qaradawi have been expelled from the International Islamic Council for Da’wah and Relief. The Cairo based council, which performs Islamic proselytizing and charity work, expelled Qaradawi’s International Union of Muslim Scholars on the grounds they mixed religion and politics and supported terrorism. The council has over 80 organizations in its ranks and performs work all over the world.

The council made the ruling in a session on Tuesday, alongside senior figures from Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.  The council is headed by the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, the most respected authority in the Sunni Islamic world and one of the world’s oldest universities.

Qaraqawi’s group was expelled alongside ten other organizations. These included the London based Islamic Relief Worldwide. Last month Islamic Relief was listed as a terrorist organization by the United Arab Emirates, along with the Muslim Brotherhood and affiliated organizations such as the U.S. based Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) and the Muslim American Society (MAS).

Sheikh Yousef al-Qaradawi is the leading ideologue of the Muslim Brotherhood. He guides members on religious matters and his interpretation of Islam is followed by the group. He has spoken out in the past in favor of female genital mutilation, on which subject he later claimed to have changed his mind, and wife beating. He has been filmed calling for the next holocaust against Jews to be perpetrated by Muslims and has personally expressed his desire to take part in such an event.

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The Ideology Problem in Timbuktu Is Not al-Qaeda’s Making — It Is Classical Islam

National Review, by Andrew C. McCarthy:

Andrew’s post describing the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Mali is essential, if excruciating, reading. Beyond the monstrously cruel but all too usual punishments being imposed, I’m struck by two things, which really show how willful blindness leads inexorably to spring fever: The Guardian attributes the atrocious penalties to the “menace of al-Qaida”; it also notes, however, that the “ban [on music] comes in the context of a horrifically literal and gratuitous application of Sharia law in all aspects of daily life.”

Much as I hate to be the bearer of bad news, al Qaeda did not make up sharia law. Islam did. And in the West, it is a key tenet of due process that law is imposed literally — ambiguous laws violate the principle that people of ordinary intelligence must be on fair notice of what is prohibited. There’s nothing “gratuitous” about applying as it is written.

16044762We can keep our heads tucked snug in the sand, or we can recognize the source of the problem. As I detail in Spring Fever: The Illusion of Islamic Democracy, the literalist construction of sharia that al Qaeda’s local franchise is enforcing in Mali is “literal” because it comes from Islamic scripture, not from some purportedly “extremist” fabrication of Islam. Moreover, while it seems only militant jihadists proudly urge this construction in practice, it is enthusiastically endorsed in principle by two of the most influential institutions in the Islamic Middle East: al Azhar University and the Muslim Brotherhood.

 

Don’t just take my word for it. Reliance of the Traveller: A Classic Manual of Islamic Sacred Law is not some al Qaeda pamphlet. It is a renowned explication of sharia’s reliance (1)provisions and their undeniable roots in Muslim scripture. In the English translation, before you get to chapter and verse, there are formal endorsements from the International Institute of Islamic Thought — a U.S.-based Muslim Brotherhood think-tank begun in the early eighties (and to which American administrations of both parties have resorted as an exemplar of “moderation”) — and from the Islamic Research Academy at al Azhar University, the ancient seat of Sunni learning to which President Obama famously turned to co-sponsor his cloyingly deceptive 2009 speech on relations between Islam and the West (“We certify,” the famed scholars wrote, that the “translation corresponds to the Arabic original and conforms to the practice and faith of the orthodox Sunni Community…. There is no objection to printing it and circulating it…. May Allah give you success in serving Sacred Knowledge and the religion.” There could be no more coveted stamp of scholarly approval in Islam.).

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Reliance is also endorsed by Islamic authorities in Jordan (leading influences on a largely Palestinian population that may well overthrow the pro-Western monarchy) and Syria (leading influences on the “rebels” on whose side interventionists — including both presidential candidates — would have us jump to abet the Muslim Brotherhood’s ongoing campaign to oust the minority Alawite Assad regime).

Here, as I summarize in Spring Fever – quoted verbatim and supported by citations — is what Reliance has to say about the arts:

It is forbidden to make pictures of “animate life,” for doing so “imitates the creative act of Allah Most High”; “Whoever makes a picture, Allah shall torture him with it on the Day of Judgment until he can breathe life into it, and he will never be able to.” (Reliance w50.0 & ff.)

“Musical instruments of all types are unlawful.” Singing is generally prohibited (for “song makes hypocrisy grow in the heart as water does herbage), and “[o]n the Day of Resurrection Allah will pour molten lead into the ears of whoever sits listening to a songstress.” However, if unaccompanied by musical instruments, song and poetry drawn from Islamic scripture and encouraging obedience to Allah are permissible. Ironically, although music is generally forbidden, dancing is permissible “unless it is languid, like the movements of the effeminate.” (Reliance r40.0 &ff.)

Those sharia provisions are complemented by these — again, endorsed by al-Azhar, the Muslim Brotherhood, and our “moderate” “allies” in the region:

Apostasy from Islam is “the ugliest form of unbelief” for which the penalty is death (“When a person who has reached puberty and is sane voluntarily apostatizes from Islam, he deserves to be killed”). (Reliance o8.0 & ff.)

Apostasy occurs not only when a Muslim renounces Islam but also, among other things, when a Muslim appears to worship an idol, when he is heard “to speak words that imply unbelief,” when he makes statements that appear to deny or revile Allah or the prophet Mohammed, when he is heard “to deny the obligatory character of something which by consensus of Muslims is part of Islam,” and when he is heard “to be sarcastic about any ruling of the Sacred Law.” (Reliance o8.7; see also p9.0 & ff.)

[Note: These latter prohibitions against denying or reviling any aspect of Islam, Allah or the prophet are the basis for imposing death for blasphemy. The call to kill apostates for such offenses obviously applies with equal or greater force to non-Muslims, who are pervasively treated worse than Muslims by sharia (see, e.g., Sura 9:29: “Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold forbidden which had been forbidden by Allah and his Messenger, nor acknowledge the Religion of Truth, from among the people of the book [i.e., Christians and Jews], until they pay the jizya [the poll tax imposed on non-believers for the privilege of living in the Islamic state] and feel themselves subdued.”)]

“Jihad means to war against non-Muslims.” (Reliance o9.0.)

It is an annual requirement to donate a portion of one’s income to the betterment of the ummah (an obligation called zakat, which is usually, and inaccurately, translated as “charity” –zakat can only be given to Muslims and is designed strictly to fortify the Muslim community, not benefit the less fortunate generally); of this annual donation, one-eighth must be given to “those fighting for Allah, meaning people engaged in Islamic military operations for whom no salary has been allotted in the army roster…. They are given enough to suffice them for the operation even if they are affluent; of weapons, mounts, clothing and expenses.” (Reliance, h8.1-17.)

Non-Muslims are permitted to live in an Islamic state only if they follow the rules of Islam, pay the non-Muslim poll tax, and comply with various adhesive conditions designed to remind them that they have been subdued, such as wearing distinctive clothing, keeping to one side of the street, not being greeted with “Peace be with you” (“as-Salamu alaykum”), not being permitted to build as high as or higher than Muslims, and being forbidden to build new churches, recite prayers aloud, “or make public displays of their funerals or feast-days.” (Reliance o11.0 & ff.)

Offenses committed against Muslims, including murder, are more serious than offenses committed against non-Muslims. (Reliance o1.0 & ff; p2.0-1.)

The penalty for spying against Muslims is death. (Reliancep50.0 & ff; p.74.0& ff.)

The penalty for fornication is to be stoned to death, unless one is without the “capacity to remain chaste,” in which case the penalty is “being scourged one hundred stripes and banished to a distance of at least 81 km./50mi. for one year.” (Relianceo12.0 & ff.)

The penalty for homosexual activity (“sodomy and lesbianism”) is death. (Reliance p17.0 & ff.)

A Muslim woman may only marry a Muslim man; a Muslim man may marry up to four women, who may be Muslim, Christian, or Jewish (but no apostates from Islam). (Reliance m6.0 & ff. – Marriage.)

A woman is required to be obedient to her husband and is prohibited from leaving the marital home without permission; if permitted to go out, she must conceal her figure or alter it “to a form unlikely to draw looks from men or attract them.” (Reliancep42.0 & ff.)

A non-Muslim may not be awarded custody of a Muslim child. (Reliance m13.2-3.)

A woman has no right of custody of her child from a previous marriage when she remarries “because married life will occupy her with fulfilling the rights of her husband and prevent her from tending to the child.” (Reliance m13.4.)

The penalty for theft is amputation of the right hand. (Relianceo14.0.)

The penalty for drinking alcohol is “to be scourged forty stripes.” (Reliance o16.3; p.14.2.)

The penalty for accepting interest (“usurious gain”) is death (i.e., to be considered in a state of war against Allah). (Reliancep7.0 & ff.)

The testimony of a woman is worth half that of a man. (Relianceo24.7.)

If a case involves an allegation of fornication (including rape), “then it requires four male witnesses.” (Reliance o24.9.)

The establishment of a caliphate is obligatory, and the caliph must be Muslim and male. “The Prophet … said, “Men are already destroyed when they obey women.” (Reliance o25.0 & ff; see also p28.0, on Mohammed’s condemnation of “masculine women and effeminate men.”)

This is not al Qaeda doctrine. This is sharia, authoritatively explained and endorsed. It is not the construction of Islam that many Muslims in the West wish to live under. But it is the mainstream supremacist Islam of the Middle East, which Islamic leaders — including those who come to the West to preach it — would not dream of discrediting, even if they are not as enthusiastic as al Qaeda where imposing it is concerned.

The State Department and the leading foreign policy voices of both major American political parties say sharia is perfectly compatible with “democracy” and the Western conception of human rights — of liberty and equality. Sure it is. And then you wonder why the Obama administration opens a consulate in Benghazi, one of the most perilous places in the world for Americans, refuses to safeguard it despite multiple pleas for beefed up security, and then fraudulently claims a pluperfectly predictable atrocity was caused by a video no one ever saw. If you’re going to live in a dreamworld, better get used to nightmare consequences.

Sunni Muslim Pope Sanctions Islamic Jew-Hatred Based Upon Koran 5:82

al azhur ImamBy Andrew G. Bostom:

Since its founding in 973 C.E., 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, institutional Islam.

Al Azhar’s contemporary espousal of sacralized Islamic animosity has been directed, unsurprisingly, against Jews and Israel,dating back to the 20th century origins, and ultimate creation, of the modern Jewish State. Despite nearly universal willful blindness by media, academic, and policymaking elites, this critical issue of sacralized incitement of Muslim Jew-hatred by Islam’s Sunni Muslim Vatican, remains center stage.

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Ahmad Al-Tayeb, as current Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, is the Sunni Muslim Papal equivalent. During an interview with Al-Tayeb, which recently aired on Channel 1, Egyptian TV, October 25, 2013, the Al-Azhar Grand Imam gave a brief explanation of the ongoing relevance of the Koranic verse 5:82 (sura, or chapter 5, verse 82) has been invoked—“successfully”—to inspire Muslim hatred of Jews since the advent of Islam:

A verse in the Koran explains the Muslims’ relations with the Jews and the polytheists. The second part of the verse describes the Muslims’ relations with the Christians, and the third part of the verse explains why the Christians are the closest and most friendly to the Muslims. This is an historical perspective, which has not changed to this day. See how we suffer today from global Zionism and Judaism, whereas our peaceful coexistence with the Christians has withstood the test of history. Since the inception of Islam 1,400 years ago, we have been suffering from Jewish and Zionist interference in Muslim affairs. This is a cause of great distress for the Muslims. The Koran said it and history has proven it: “You shall find the strongest among men in enmity to the believers to be the Jews and the polytheists.” This is the first part. The second part is: “You shall find the closest in love to the believers to be those who say: ‘We are Christians’.” The third part explains why the Christians are “the closest in love to the believers,” while the Jews and the polytheists are the exact opposite.

Grand Imam Al-Tayaeb’s assessment is upheld by a continuum of authoritative Koranic exegeses that span over a thousand years, till now. The classical Koranic commentaries on Koran 5:82 by al-Tabari (d. 923), Zamakashari (d. 1143), Baydawi (d. 1316), and Ibn Kathir demonstrate a uniformity of opinion regarding the animus of the Jews toward the Muslims, which is repeatedly linked to the curse of Koran 2:61 (i.e., for killing prophets, and transgressing against the will of Allah, repeated at verses including 2:90-91, 3:112, 3:181, and 4:155):

[Tabari]: In my (Tabari’s) opinion, (the Christians) are not like the Jews who always scheme in order to murder the emissaries and the prophets, and who oppose Allah in his positive and negative commandments, and who corrupt His scripture which He revealed in His books.

[Zamakshari]: Here Allah portrays the Jews as being unyielding and as acknowledging the truth only grudgingly. . . . On account of their vehement enmity against the believers, Allah places the Jews together with the idolaters; indeed, going even further, he shows them to be at the head, since they are mentioned before the idolaters. Allah does the same in his words: “And thou shalt find them (the Jews) the eagerest of men for life—even more so than the idolaters. Each of them wishes he could be given a life of a thousand years; but the grant of life would not save him from chastisement—for God sees well all that they do!” (sura 2:96/90). The Jews are surely like this, and even worse! From the Prophet (the following is related): “If a Muslim is alone with two Jews, they will try to kill him.”. . . The Jews focused their hostility to the Muslims in the most overt and intense manner . . .

[Baydawi]: [B]ecause of [the Jews’] intense obstinacy, multifaceted disbelief, and their addiction to following their whims, their adherence to the blind following of their tradition, their distancing themselves from the truth, and their unrelenting denial of, and hostility toward, the prophets . . . [the Christians] . . . easiness to deal with, the softness of their hearts, their dismissal of gain in this world, and their serious concern with learning and good deeds . . .their acceptance of the truth as soon as they understand it; or, because of their humility as opposed to the arrogance of the Jews.

[Ibn Kathir]: Allah said, “Verily you will find the strongest among men in enmity to the believers the Jews and those who commit Shirk [i.e., the polytheists, or idolaters].” This describes the Jews, since their disbelief is that of rebellion, defiance, opposing the truth, belittling other people, and degrading the scholars. This is why the Jews—may Allah’s continued curses descend on them until the Day of Resurrection—killed many of their Prophets and tried to kill the Messenger of Allah several times, as well as performing magic spells against him and poisoning him. They also incited their likes among the polytheists against the Prophet.

Read more at PJ Media

 

Obama’s Favorite Islamic University Goes Zombie, Tells High School Students They Can Kill and Eat Apostates, As Long As They Don’t Cook Them

Al-Azhar University

Al-Azhar University

By

Everyone has standards. Even Islamist cannibals.

In 2009, Obama visited Cairo and in his famous speech praised Al Azhar University as “a beacon of Islamic learning; and for over a century.”

“It was Islam, at places like Al-Azhar,” Obama said, “that carried the light of learning through so many centuries, paving the way for Europe’s Renaissance and Enlightenment.”

And nothing says light of civilization… like cannibalism.

“Listen also to what they teach to kids… It says, “We allowed the eating of the flesh of dead humans… under necessary conditions.”

It [Dead human flesh] must not be cooked or grilled to avoid Haram [wrongdoing].”

So he’s allowed to eat him without cooking or grilling.

“…and he can kill a murtadd (apostate) and eat him.”…

That’s right!

You mean… the killing of a human being and then grilling him/her and eating him/her?

Yes, because he’s hungry!!!

No, no, no…

Not only that…

This is being taught here at al-Azhar (religious university)?

Listen, sir!… “Al-Azhar al-Sharif (honorable al-Azhar) Azhari Colleges Section, Central Administration for Books, Libraries & Teaching Aide…”

“… for 3rd year high-school”.

This sentence was taken from page 256, from this year’s edition.

Also listen to this… “he can kill the married adulterer, the fighter, whoever gave up praying, and whoever has a punishment on him… even if the Imam did not give his permission for the killing.”

Take note… those are allowing people to go kill other people.

Despite some of the rhetoric in this video, this is probably not an invitation for Cannibal Islamist mobs to begin roaming the streets devouring the flesh of apostates. It would make for a hell of a zombie movie though.

Read the rest

Quenching “Sharia Thirst” on the Nile

Sharia-Supporters-in-Egypt

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.

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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

Egypt’s Highest Islamic Authority Throws Morsi Under the Bus

anti-morsi-protestBy Daniel Greenfield

This is significant because it means the chief Islamic authority in Egypt is no longer all that confident of a Thousand Year Caliphate under the Muslim Brotherhood or that Morsi will even stay in power. If Al Azhar really thought Morsi was a sure bet, they wouldn’t be hedging their bets now for fear that Morsi will be overthrown.

Morsi’s Islamist constitution turns Al Azhar into a virtual supreme court, but Al Azhar is now no longer certain that it will ever reap those spoils.

Egypt’s top Islamic body on Thursday called on President Mohammed Mursi to suspend a decree in which he claimed sweeping powers and demanded an unconditional dialogue between the president and his opponents.

The Al-Azhar institution said Mursi should “suspend the latest decree and stop using it,” in a statement a day after deadly protests between Mursi supporters and opponents, AFP reported.

That comes as Morsi has been forced to call in the Egyptian army to protect the presidential palace. Being forced to use the army is a sign of weakness and reverses some of the Muslim Brotherhood’s victories over the military. It reminds Morsi that his activists are not enough to stay in power. He needs the military and that gives the military power over him and over Egypt.

Egypt’s draft constitution gives Shariah-law role to Islamic center Obama praised in 2009

1351c6217a2747f584a05fd9b6e6a6e4-e1354513805224By Neil Munro

Egypt’s new draft constitution gives a critical government role to the fundamentalist al-Azhar University, an Islamic center that was lavishly praised by President Barack Obama in his June 2009 “New Beginning” speech in Cairo.

Al-Azhar’s Islamic leadership will get to decide whether Egypt’s laws comply with Islam’s far-reaching “Shariah” laws about conduct, speech, lifestyle and religion, according to the draft constitution, which was hurriedly completed last week by a panel dominated by Islamists.

Back in 2009, Obama declared that Americans owe a debt to al-Azhar.

“It was Islam at places like al-Azhar that carried the light of learning through so many centuries, paving the way for Europe’s Renaissance and Enlightenment,” he claimed.

“For over a thousand years, al-Azhar has stood as a beacon of Islamic learning,” Obama said in the second sentence of his much-lauded 2009 speech.

Now, however, al-Azhar’s “role in the government of Egypt and its administration of Shariah spells the end of any remaining freedom in Egyptian society,” said Robert Spencer, an expert on Islam who predicted in 2009 that Egypt’s voters would elect Islamic fundamentalists.

“Al-Azhar is not ‘moderate’ or ‘extremist’ … [but] is the foremost exponent of Sunni orthodoxy,” throughout the Arab world, he told The Daily Caller.

That orthodoxy ensures that it can and will use its constitutional power to push for Islamic-style laws that mandate “second-class ‘dhimmi’ status for non-Muslims, institutionalized discrimination against women, and sharp restrictions on the freedom of speech, particularly in regard to Islam,” Spencer said.

Since 973, al-Azhar has trained Sunni imams, and its top leaders have issued so-called “fatwas.” They’re rules for behavior and speech, and are based on the Koran and the sayings of Islam’s primary prophet, Mohammad, who died nearly 1,400 years ago.

Fatwas are not laws, but Islam’s Shariah law assumes that civil law complies with the fatwas.

Al-Azhar’s role is established in several articles of the draft constitution.

Article 2 says that “Islam is the religion of the state… [and] the principles of Shariah are the main source of legislation.”

That far-reaching claim is elaborated in article 219, which says “the principles of Shariah include general evidence and foundations, rules and jurisprudence as well as sources accepted by doctrines of Sunni Islam and the majority of Muslim scholars.”

Though the old constitution also declared the principles of Shariah as the basis of law, the new constitution establishes al-Azhar as the effective courthouse for judging legislation’s compliance with Shariah.

“Al-Azhar … takes the task of preaching [Sunni-style] Islam in Egypt and in the whole world [and] scholars of al-Azhar should be consulted in all matters related to Shariah,” says the draft.

One area where al-Azhar will likely play a role is in deciding the extent of free speech.

“Insulting prophets and messengers is forbidden,” according to article 44 of the constitution, ensuring the government will have to decide if criticism of laws that implement Islam’s Shariah — all of which is based on Islamic texts — should be treated as an insult of Islam’s primary prophet, Muhammad.

Al-Azhar’s role is not spelled out in detail, so its Islamic judgments can be ignored by a hostile legislature or judiciary.

But Egypt’s politics are now dominated by Islamists who regard al-Azhar as the leading source of Islamic law, or Shariah. Also, Islamic theocracies — such as Saudi Arabia’s — thoroughly blend Islam and government, giving religious figures great influence over how laws are drafted and implemented.

The draft constitution is expected to win quick national approval in a referendum unless it is stopped by Egypt’s largely secular Supreme Court. However, the court’s work was paralyzed Dec. 2 by a large mob of Islamists who blocked access to courthouse.

The aggressiveness of the Islamists’ mob seems to echo some of the aggressiveness of the Islamic doctrine taught at al-Azhar, say critics.

In April 2002, for example, al-Azhar’s chief imam endorsed the murder of Israeli civilians by suicide-killers, Andrew Bostom, author of the 2012 book, “The Legacy of Islamic Antisemitism: From Sacred Texts to Solemn History,” told TheDC.

Obama spent several childhood years in Indonesia, home to a less aggressive brand of Islam, and may not have known of al-Azhar’s history when he praised it in his 2009 speech.

“I have come here to Cairo to seek a new beginning between the United States and Muslims around the world,” he said. “America and Islam are not exclusive… they overlap, and share common principles — principles of justice and progress, tolerance, and the dignity of all human beings,” he said.

Obama chose to have his speech jointly hosted by al-Azhar and Cairo University. He praised Cairo’s lecturers and students, and al-Azhar’s leadership and trainee imams, telling them that “together you represent the harmony between tradition and progress.”

He gave Islam the credit for developing algebra and the compass, and early medical breakthroughs, while saying “I consider it part of my responsibility as President of the United States to fight against negative stereotypes of Islam wherever they appear.”

His audience included a few invited members of the now-dominant Muslim Brotherhood movement. In 2009, the movement was largely suppressed by the Hosni Mubarak, the country’s secular dictator, who Obama urged to resign in 2011.

But Obama’s statements also reflect the failure of the White House to appreciate the popularity of Egypt’s Islamists, including Muslim Brotherhood. “They don’t have majority support in Egypt,” he told Fox’s Bill O’Reilly in February 2011.

“Here’s the thing that we have to understand, there are a whole bunch of secular folks in Egypt, there are a whole bunch of educators and civil society in Egypt that wants to come to the fore as well,” he told O’Reilly.

“It’s important for us not to say that our own only two options are either the Muslim Brotherhood or a suppressed people,” he said.

Islamists, including the brotherhood and the more fundamentalists “salafis,” now dominate Egypt’s democratic politics. Together, they won roughly 75 percent of parliamentary seats in elections held in 2011 and 2012, and held 75 percent of the seats on the panel that drafted the new constitution.

They also won a narrow 52 percent victory in the presidential election for Mohammed Morsi, a top leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, in June 2012.

Read more at Daily Caller