“Pundits and politicians are already ringing the alarm bells. The common refrain you hear in the US: The Middle East is being overrun with religious radicals bent on oppressing women and destroying Israel. That is nonsense, of course.” — Reza Aslan
Cairo – A new informal police force has been launched in Cairo, to ensure Islamic morals are adhered to. The Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice denies it is linked to Saudi’s dreaded morality police, which share the same name.
Islamic Cleric Hisham el-Ashri, founder of Egypt’s newly launched Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice, stated the morality police will only use “non-violent methods” to implement the moral principles of Islam, the IB Times reported.
El-Ashri said: “We will only offer advice to those who want to listen. We shall have no business with people who refuse to listen to us.”
In spite of el-Ashri’s declarations of non-violence the Salafist morality enforcers will carry canes to beat violaters. According to Bikya News they will be provided with electric tasers at some point in the future.
Following his recent return from the U.S. el-Ashri gave a television interview during which he declared: “It is the dream of my life to wage war against Israel.” He also stated: “There is no such thing as a Christian religion.”
Activists in Egypt have condemned the launch of the morality police as Islamic bigotry that flies in the face of the freedoms they have fought for. One activist told Bikya the Islamists will undoubtedly abuse any powers they derive from their membership of the morality police, saying “the reality is that they will abuse it and force people, especially women, to act in stupid conservative ways.”