Over and over, evidence emerges from Islamic nations that democracy and voting are instrumental means to an intrinsic end: the establishment of a decidedly undemocratic but draconian form of law””Islamic law, or Sharia.
Earlier, for instance, there was Dr. Talat Zahran, an Egyptian cleric who proclaimed that it is “obligatory to cheat at elections””a beautiful thing.” His logic was simple: voting is a tool, an instrument, the only value of which is to empower Sharia.
Now an Egyptian cleric has thoroughly Islamized the concept of voting.
Context: the presidential campaign of Abu Ismail””the Salafi candidate who openly declared that there is no freedom in Islam, the candidate most likely to try to implement the totality of Sharia if elected””has been compromised due to recent allegations that his mother was an American citizen.
In response, Hazim Shuman, a cleric that appears on satellite, just issued a fatwa saying, “Voting for Abu Ismail is jihad in the path of Allah [jihad fi sabil Allah], and paradise awaits whoever is martyred during Abu Ismail’s political campaign.”
Anyone familiar with Islam’s language knows that jihad fi sabil Allah is synonymous with violence or, from a non-Muslim perspective, terror. For example, the standard Islamic legal text, Umdat al-Salik (“Reliance of the Traveler”) translates fi sabil Allah as “those fighting for Allah”; next to the index entry for fi sabil Allah it simply says “see jihad.”
Incidentally, “jihad in the path of Allah” is what conquered most of what is now called the “Muslim world.”
The logic of this fatwa is as follows: one of the primary purposes of violent jihad is to establish Islamic law; because Abu Ismail is the most likely candidate to institutionalize Sharia if elected, supporting him any which way””including, apparently, through violence and death””is a form of jihad with the highest paradisiacal rewards for those who die trying.
In short, democracy, voting””even the individual candidates, including Abu Ismail””are all means to one end: the establishment of Islamic law.
Raymond Ibrahim is a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center and an Associate Fellow at the Middle East Forum.