A sign of hope in Egypt? We’ll see if Al-Qimni is arrested or otherwise persecuted. From MEMRI, with thanks to Sr Soph:
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.
At the end of his essay, Al-Qimni presents a famous episode in early Muslim history to support his argument. When ‘Ali Ibn Abi Talib became caliph in 656 A.D., he was opposed by a number of the Prophet Muhammad’s closest companions, including Muhammad’s wife “˜Aisha. In the first intra-Muslim fighting (fitna) in history, these opponents met “˜Ali at what is known as the Battle of the Camel, in December 656 A.D. Although killing animals in war is generally forbidden in Muslim law, and despite the aura of sanctity attached to ‘Aisha, Muslim tradition relates that “˜Ali ordered his followers to bring down the camel on which “˜Aisha rode, as he considered this necessary in order to win the battle for the caliphate. Al-Qimni uses this episode to urge Egyptians to oppose those who threaten society, even if they speak in the name of religion: (1)
A Barrier Separates the Muslim’s Mind from the Real World, Making Him Lose the Capacity to Distinguish Good from Evil
“This suicide bomber was not a lone drop-out from society. He was certainly part of a cell… Nonetheless, it is now possible that an isolated individual can carry out a bombing, as indeed occurred when an [Egyptian] citizen stabbed a tourist who was kissing his [own] wife one week prior to the recent explosion. It is taught in the schools, on television, in the mosques, and within the family that this secene [of a husband kissing his wife], which touches the hearts of people all over the world, and makes them overflow with feelings and humanity – is ugly, promiscuous, and immodest. Thus, the terrorist act of that citizen was merely a result of what we planted in him. He was unable to resist the generator of hate and repugnance within him, so he stabbed the couple with a switchblade…
“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 …”
Oh, Sayyid, you Islamophobe.
Read it all.