Over at Gatestone Institute (via RaymondIbrahim.com) I discuss why it is that secular, moderate, or liberal Muslims””so long as they define themselves as Muslims“”are destined to lose the debate with their more radical brethren, in the context of ongoing events in Egypt:
In the ongoing conflict between those Egyptians who strongly oppose a Sharia-based constitution””moderates, secularists, non-Muslim minorities””and those who are strongly pushing for it, Islamists are currently evoking the one argument that has always, from the very beginnings of Islam, empowered Islamists over moderates in the Muslim world.
Examples are many. According to a December 1 report from El Fagr, Gamal Sabr, former campaign coordinator for the anti-freedom Salafi presidential candidate Abu Ismail, made the division clear during an Al Jazeera interview, where he said that “whoever disagrees with him, disagrees with Islam itself,” and that many Egyptians “are fighting Islam in the picture of President Muhammad Morsi and in the picture of the Islamists,” clearly implying that the latter are one with Islam, and to fight them is to fight Islam.
The logic is simple: Sabr, as well as those millions of Egyptians who want Sharia, only want what Allah wants””that Egypt be governed according to Sharia law. According to this position, any and all Muslims who disagree, who do not want to be governed by Sharia, whatever their arguments and rationale, are ultimately showing that they are at odds with Islam itself.
Sabr is hardly the only Egyptian Muslim making use of this age-old argument. A Dostor report, also appearing on December 1, quotes Tarek Zomar making the same point. A leader of the infamous Gam”a Islamiyya (Islamic Group), who was formerly imprisoned for his role in the assassination of President Anwar Sadat, released with the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak, and is now a member of the Shura Council of Egypt’s Parliament, Zomor asserts that whoever votes against the Sharia-based constitution that Morsi is trying to enforce “is an infidel–”an apostate enemy to be slain in the cause of Allah.
Others like Sheikh Abdullah Badr””who earlier said that anyone who opposes or rejects the Sharia will have their tongues cut out””after describing protesters as “mischief makers” said they would be “hung on trees,” a distinct allusion to Islamic crucifixion, as proclaimed in Quran 5:33: “The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and His messenger and strive to make mischief in the land is only this: that they should be murdered or crucified or their hands and their feet should be cut off”¦”