By Walid Shoebat
Several Egyptian newspapers like Masr Al-Jadeeda, Al-Istiklal and Medan had published the story of a secret meeting between Ayman Zawahiri, the main man in Al-Qaeda and Muhammad Morsi of Egypt in Pakistan. Morsi – according to the reports – had secretly met with Ayman Zawahiri, the leader of the terrorist organization al-Qaeda and had promised to smuggle him back to Egypt.
The leak came from an investigative report by Bloch Pakistan Newspaper which stated that since Zawahiri had to travel to remain in hiding between Pakistan and Afghanistan, an agreement was reached in secret meetings that were leaked between high level officials in the Pakistani Intelligence (ISI). This was done to minimize the burden of security needed between the two nations; Pakistan was glad to allow Zawahiri to travel to Egypt with the aid of Morsi, who negotiated the terms.
“…the meeting lasted 45 minutes, during which Egyptian president Muhammad Morsi promised to make preparations for Ayman Zawahiri to return soon to Egypt, indicating that some Muslim Brotherhood members would handle the operation, by first smuggling the al-Qaeda leader to a Gulf nation, likely Qatar, and then easily transferring him to Egypt—on condition that Zawahiri disappear lest he embarrass Egypt’s ruling Muslim Brotherhood with its American ally, whose security and intelligence agencies consider Zawahiri most wanted.”
Morsi is not the only Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood figurehead to meet Zawahiri. Daniel Pipes chronicled multiple instances of Tareq Ramadan, the grandson of the Muslim Brotherhood’s founder Hassan Al-Bana, in which Ramadan interacted with al-Qaeda operatives—including and like Morsi coordinated a meeting with al-Qaeda’s number two at the time, Ayman al-Zawahiri.
In 2004, Tariq Ramadan had applied for a visa and was days away from starting a job with the University of Notre Dame when he was informed by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) under the George W. Bush administration that his visa would be suspended and that he would be banned from entering the United States. At the time, Ramadan was subsequently banned from entry into the US. This of course changed in 2010 when Secretary of State Hillary Clinton signed Tariq Ramadan’s release papers.
This all sheds light on the Muslim Brotherhood’s true intentions which the current U.S. Administration had hoped to moderate via billions of American dollars in aid.
But what got us here, to the situation in which the U.S. began to accept the Muslim Brotherhood as a viable entity for peace while they placated Al-Qaeda’s interests?
The answer to this question is one Arabic word—Ijtihad.
Allow me expound.
One out of an arena of advocates for moderation used by hopefuls in the West justifying us dealing with the Muslim Brotherhood was none other than Tareq Ramadan who for years pushed the idea of Islamic Ijtihad (Islamic innovation).
It became the tool for reason with Muslim scholars and Brotherhood affiliates who found a way to adapt Islam in a modern world. Pretty soon you had Muslim ‘reformists’ and even one lesbian named Irshad Manji advance Ijtihad as the means to resolve all of our differences with Sharia.
Islamic Moderation and Ijtihad – for over a decades worth of articles and discussion groups – went hand-in-hand and liberals were ready to receive it with open arms, as it was the ‘sacred pill’ that would surely cure all ailments we had with Muslim traditionalists.
Ijtihad is a tactic that the Muslim scholar would apply regularly; it refers to realities that are not addressed by existent Islamic rulings for a changing world. Islamists have learned to use it to their advantage and Ijtihad was incorporated into the lecture circuits in their attempts to portray Islam’s openness to modernity and reform, which as they claimed was a tried medicine, one that emanates from the best of Islamic springs and fountains of theology, the Muslim classical period.
While the naïve swallows the pill only to be hit with Amnesia—Ijtihad remained ‘as is’ in Islam. While the side effects were felt in the Arab Spring, they were hardly if ever discussed since the discussion was contrary to the prevailing spirit of dialogue.
Dialoguers refused to examine the real meaning of Ijtihad, that it cannot contradict the holy writ from the ‘absolute’ Holy Qur’an and Sunnah, which restricts the use of these sources from becoming permanent within the Sharia law framework.
Instead of seeing the Muslim undercover dogmatic hardliners, the left accused us (and still does) of being inflexible, while the Islamist was very flexible. Indeed, Ijtihad is used, but not to conform to liberal utopia, as Sheikh Yousef Qaradawi, the Brotherhood’s spiritual guide suggested in his volume Al-Si’a Wal-Muruna “Inclusion and Flexibility”. We were the first to translate several excerpts, one of which states:
“Sharia rulings have two types; the first is firm; that does not change in accordance to place, time or even by Ijtihad, such as duties, prohibitions and criminal law. Ijtihad cannot be used to change what was made firm. The other types of Sharia rulings are those that can be changed while keeping Islam’s interests in mind.”
Tariq Ramadan is a perfect case-in-point for the West’s choice of a lousy doctor. Islamophobia Online proudly articulated this Muslim apologist in Europe who in English called for a “freeze to Islamic capital punishment,” by of course citing Ijtihad.
Yet, a ‘freeze’ is not permanent since Islamic laws—according to Ramadan and Muslims in general—are an absolute truth and not malleable to changing times or conditions.
These “freezes” Ramadan and others discuss are not in response to ‘changing times’ or even ‘conditions that call for modernizing Islam’. On the contrary, such things are done to garner long-term interests.
The intention is for these laws, while frozen in time, to eventually thaw and return to their original state when the time is ripe. In essence, the liberals are nothing more than useful pawns destined to fall victim to the Trojan horse who, with Ijtihad, simply act as a wedge to pry open the gate.
The evidence for this is clear—Ramadan only calls for this freeze in the West; never in the Middle East where he supports continuing the implementation of Sharia. How can anyone redefine through Ijtihad, the clearest definitions of Islam: “Al-Islamu Deen Wa Dawla”—“Islam is a religion and a state.” This “and” is a combination of the two, infusing state with religion. That very basic definition strictly prohibits any Muslim from losing focus of the ultimate goal—to spread Islam globally.
If aiding and abetting Zawahiri and providing him shelter does not constitute an enemy, shouldn’t we then provide Zawahiri with an entry visa into the United States (like we did for Ramadan)?
I rest my case.
Excerpts in this post taken from Shoebat’s new book, The Case FOR Islamophobia.