Those who are familiar with our work know that we’re not subscribers to the ‘Islam must be reformed’ crowd. That said, we can certainly appreciate what Egypt’s General Fatah al-Sisi is doing. One of those things is causing the heads of Muslim fundamentalists to explode. He’s calling for Islam to be reformed, which is the absolute last thing Muslim fundamentalists in Egypt want to hear.
Via Ryan Mauro at Clarion Project (h/t BNI):
General El-Sisi, the commander of the Egyptian Armed Forces and current head of state, is essentially calling for a reformation in Islam. His bold declaration comes as the Egyptian people approved a constitution in a vote that the Muslim Brotherhood boycotted.
The speech, which went unnoticed in the Western media, took place at the Armed Forces’ Department of Moral Affairs. In the speech, El-Sisi said:
“Religious discourse is the greatest battle and challenge facing the Egyptian people, pointing to the need for a new vision and a modern, comprehensive understanding of the religion of Islam—rather than relying on a discourse that has not changed for 800 years.”
This tactical decision by al-Sisi is far more advisable in Egypt than it is in western civilization right now. The Brotherhood in Egypt has long ago taken its mask off. Everyone knows they’re extremists. Calling for reformation there now is a huge step for progress. It’s like getting part of the Genie back in the bottle.
Perhaps the most important paragraph in Mauro’s article is this:
When he (al-Sisi) refers to the “discourse that has not changed for 800 years,” he’s referring to when the most qualified Islamic scholars of that time ruled that all questions about interpretation had been settled. The “gates” of ijtihad, the independent interpretation of Islam, ended by the year 1258. He wants the “gates” reopened, allowing for the critical examination that an Islamic reformation needs.
Pursuing such a route in Egypt at this time may be just what the doctor ordered but doing so in Europe and the U.S. is incredibly dangerous and why we’re in the mess we’re in.
The term ‘ijtihad’ essentially refers to modernizing Islam. Stealth jihadists who practice muruna in the West play the ijtihad card all the time. It’s at the heart of buzzwords like ‘interfaith dialogue’ and ‘religious tolerance’. By maintaining Muslim Brotherhood hearts while outwardly adopting cultural norms, such Muslim Brotherhood groups in America (ISNA, CAIR, MSA, etc.) put on the face of ijtihad as they work toward furthering a fundamentalist agenda.
There is perhaps no better example than Tariq Ramadan, the grandson of the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood that General al-Sisi is attempting to expunge from Egypt. Here is a man in Ramadan who embraces the Muslim Brotherhood and is very proud of his ancestry. Yet, he dons western garb and is one of the chief purveyors of doublespeak. Outwardly, Ramadan he is willing to disrespect that ancestry by calling for ijtihad. Inwardly, he knows that he is using muruna when he calls for ijtihad (we can infer this from his refusal to renounce the Brotherhood).
As an aside, one of the reasons westerners don’t like to go here is because western culture tells them not to divine one’s motives. Accepting Barack Obama’s assertion that he is a Christian simply because he says he is constitutes one example. The truth is there is absolutely no way Obama can be a Christian and hold the beliefs he does on abortion for example.
In 2010, shortly after having his ban on traveling to the U.S. lifted by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in January of 2010, Ramadan played the ijtihad card.
Tariq Ramadan, a world-renowned Muslim thinker, issued Wednesday, March 30, a call for an international moratorium in the Muslim world on the application of hudud (prescribed Islamic penalties), a call likely to stir controversy among Muslim scholars.
Muruna allows for many things, including the call for a freeze on Islamic punishments if it will cause your enemy to lower his guard and accept you as a reformer:
“These ‘freezes’ Ramadan and others discuss are not in response to changing times or conditions that call for modernizing Islam. On the contrary, such things are done to garner the interests of those… whose advocacy for Islam in the short term will help further the true cause of Islam in the long term. The intention is for these laws, while frozen in time, to eventually thaw and return to their original state when the time is right.” – The Case FOR Islamophobia, p. 18
As to those who assert it is wrong to impugn Ramadan’s motives, consider his alliance with the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and other Muslim Brotherhood groups in the U.S. He associates with and speaks to these groups constantly. Hussam Ayloush of CAIR Los Angeles (CAIR-LA) has promoted Ramadan’s speeches. Just watch how Ayloush unmasks himself when he’s asked to condemn Hamas:
If the Muslim Brotherhood groups in America were in Egypt right now, they’d probably be thrown in jail. In fact, in the case of former Bill and Hillary Clinton employee Gehad el-Haddad, he already has been.
Today, Islamic reform in Egypt and the U.S. mean two completely different things.
Unfortunately, until Americans figure this out, the genie will continue coming out of the bottle.