The war against prevent – why the clichés persist

11.09.2016 La rédaction

It is quite rare to read an article in which almost every sentence is untrue and every claim deeply flawed, let alone one written by a supposed academic and expert in the field. Unfortunately, this is exactly what I was treated to when I read this piece by Professor Tariq Ramadhan. In fact, the piece lends credence to the notion that some political and religious activists lodge themselves in academia merely to provide a veneer of credibility to their polemics, unsubstantiated as they are.

Tariq’s piece can actually be summarised into one sentence – ‘the government says that it is all about religion, but really it is all about Western foreign policy. Thus work with and support the groups I am a part of since only we have the solution’. However, he attempts to dress this simple statement up in language that could do with closer examination.

More on Quilliam Foundation.


Tariq Ramadan the Salafist Playboy

12.01.2016 Fiammetta Venner

In an article of Marianne, Martine Gozlan draws up a portrait without concession of the preacher Tariq Ramadan.
Several web surfers in favour of the preacher made fun of the “Salafist” title asserting that a Brothercould not be Salafist.
Actually, the Muslim brothers assert Salafist reformists in opposition to the non political Salafists, the Wahhabi and the Jihadists.
Tariq Ramadan himself asserted himself Salafist, as recalled by Caroline Fourest in his book Frère Tariq.
Interviewed by Beur FM in November 2003, he clearly admits belonging to Salafist reformism:

“There are the rationalist trend reformist and the trend salafi with the direction where the salafi tries to remain faithful to the bases. I am of this tendency there, it be-have-to say that there are a certain number of principles which are for mefundamental, that I do not want to betray as a Muslim” [1].

A few months after this maintenance,as to accustomed, it will reconsider its remarks at the time of a conference of UNESCO.
[1] Quoted by Martine Nouaille, “Tariq Ramadan,influential and discussed personality”, AFP November 15th, 2003.

This post is also available in Français .


Britain’s Islamic channels are propagating a regressive narrative filled with inequality, intolerance and bigotry

22.11.2015 La rédaction

This article has been published by Anila Athar  in The Nation (Pakistan)

An English colleague at work asked me one morning what I thought about pigs. I was a bit surprised as it wasn’t one of the usual questions we generally ask each other in the office. Hmm, err… It’s an animal like other animals…Why? I asked her. Her response had us both in stitches. Thank goodness we both have a sense of humour. However, after we had a good laugh, we both spent a few minutes having a serious discussion on the importance of rationality and critical thinking and mourning the lack thereof.

It so happened, she was flicking through the TV channels when she came across Peace TV and lo behold Dr Zakir Naik was having a go at poor pigs. According to him pig is the most shameless animal on the face of the earth. It is the only animal that invites its friends to have sex with its mate. According to Dr Naik, in America most people consume pork hence wife swapping is very common in that country. “If you eat pigs you behave like pigs.”RIP logic!

There is a proliferation of faith channels on the satellite television in the UK and almost all have their own Zakir Naiks. The narrative emanating from these channels is regressive, diametrically opposed to modern humanist values that the British society holds dear. There is a constant barrage of messages promoting segregation, gender inequality, and hatred/intolerance of other faiths as well as blatantly stigmatising music and dance.

For a multi-faith, multicultural society like Britain such regressive narrative is extremely counterproductive as it hampers community cohesion and prevents integration. It encourages superstition and discourages people to think outside the box. Furthermore, it promotes hatred of other faiths, discrimination and oppression of women and reinforces moral superiority over other faiths.

Here : To read the rest of the article


Muslim Brotherhood an egyptian ‘internal issue’ for Qatar ?

01.10.2015 La rédaction

Khaled al-Attiyah Qatar’s foreign minister just declared that there is no “animosity” between Qatar
and Egypt.

In an interview published in Al Hayat on the 30 of september Khaled al-Attiyah called the Muslim Brotherhood an “internal issue”, and said Qatar does not interfere in countries’ internal affairs.

The Muslim Brotherhood are considered a terrorist group in Egypt and the Emirates.


The Muslim Brotherhood’s seven sins

04.07.2015 La rédaction

Not being able to run a country is one thing, but turning against it is something completely different. The Muslim Brotherhood could have conceivably survived the ineptness of its year in office, but what brought the group to its knees was its decision to hang on to power at any cost.

Rewind to 26 June 2013, the day Mohamed Morsi delivered a catastrophic speech at the Nasr City Conference Hall  just one week before he was removed from office. In his speech, an agitated Morsi told his supporters to rally for battle, to squash political enemies, to defend his rule against all opponents.

This was the Muslim Brotherhood’s first sin. When push came to shove, its leaders denied that they could not rule alone. Regimes fall when those in power refuse to see the writing on the wall.

Morsi had just turned down a request for early presidential elections that could have kept the Muslim Brotherhood in the game, if not in power. A national campaign had managed to collect millions of signatures calling for early presidential elections, but the Muslim Brotherhood acted as if none of this was its concern.

Its ironclad organisational discipline and immense resources would save it from the crisis, the Muslim Brotherhood thought, with disastrous consequences.

Well-informed sources say that the Muslim Brotherhood made plans to throw members of the civil opposition in prison the day after the 30 June demonstrations were held. Lists of the people to be detained were prepared even before Morsi took to the stage in Nasr City and threatened his opponents with fire and brimstone.

The opposition had made three demands: replacement of Public Prosecutor Talaat Abdallah with someone approved by the Supreme Judiciary Council; dismissal of Hesham Qandil’s government and its replacement with one led by a consensual figure; and the holding presidential elections.

In hindsight, any attempt by the Muslim Brotherhood to meet the opposition halfway could have defused the crisis, putting the country on a totally different course. But the Muslim Brotherhood was not in the mood to compromise.

Morsi, it is said, was not the one calling the shots. In fact, it is believed that he would have opted for a compromise to defuse the tensions. Or at least this is what he told army strongman Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi in a private encounter back then. But anything the two men agreed upon was forgotten on 26 June, the day Morsi delivered his last public speech.

In hindsight, this shouldn’t have come as a surprise. The decisions Morsi made were dictated to him by the Moqattam-based Muslim Brotherhood Guidance Office.

On 1 June 2013, two days before the protests that changed the country’s political course, three Arab figures visited the Guidance Office to try to talk sense into Muslim Brotherhood General Guide Mohamed Badie. One was Tunisia’s Rached Ghannouchi, the Ennahda leader. Another was Monir Shafiq, a key Palestinian intellectual figure. And the third was Khayr Al-Din Hasib, an Iraqi public figure and founder of the Arab National Conference.

The three failed in their mission, for the Muslim Brotherhood had made up its mind. Muslim Brotherhood leaders were not open to a political settlement. Their hold on the country was unshakable, and power-sharing was the last thing on their minds.

According to its allies in the Nour Party, the Muslim Brotherhood grabbed more than 10,000 government jobs within only a few months. Its lack of interest in power-sharing was shocking, more so to its friends than foes. This was the Muslim Brotherhood’s second sin.

On 30 June, the Muslim Brotherhood’s third sin surfaced. As millions marched to demand an end to its rule, the group became even more adamant. It claimed that the protests were Photoshopped. It claimed that the signatures demanding early elections were fakes. It claimed that, if it so desired, it could bring even larger numbers of protesters into the streets.

Instead of understanding the country and rallying to the middle of the political spectrum, the Muslim Brotherhood travelled a path of its own, ending up in a political wilderness  befriending only the Islamists, and edging closer to known terrorists.

The Muslim Brotherhood confused Sharia for legitimacy, forgot the goals of the revolution and played down public outrage, and thus ended with no tangible political support.

Then it went into denial, which was its fourth sin. The Muslim Brotherhood refused to admit that its failure to run the country was at the heart of its unpopularity. It refused to see that its failure to engage in serious partnership was wrecking its chances.

When public outrage led to one of history’s clearest moments of revolt, the Muslim Brotherhood lost its senses. With its fate in the balance, the Muslim Brotherhood decided that its future was better ensured by relying on US and Western support than on Egypt’s ballot boxes. This was its fifth sin.

At a time when it was clear that the Muslim Brotherhood was losing its grip on power, the group pretended  with a little help from foreign friends  that it could ride out the storm.

The Muslim Brotherhood was also convinced that the army would not interfere in the power struggle. Perhaps because of US assurances, relayed by US Ambassador Anne Patterson to Khairat Al-Shater, the Muslim Brotherhood concluded that it could afford to challenge the entire nation.

What the Muslim Brotherhood didn’t understand is that the army’s decision to intervene wasn’t the decision of one man alone, but of an institution that Morsi once praised as composed of “men made of gold.” The Muslim Brotherhood also ignored the fact that millions in this country were clearly asking the army to intervene. Indeed, some members of the opposition were at this point accusing the army leadership of dragging its feet.

Because of US promises, however, the Muslim Brotherhood hardened its position. In fact, Al-Shater threatened then Defence Minister Al-Sisi that the country would erupt in civil war in the event of army intervention. This threat was made in a meeting on 24 June. Two days later, Morsi repeated the same threat in his speech in Nasr City.

The Muslim Brotherhood’s sixth sin came right after that. When the army removed Morsi from power, the Muslim Brotherhood still had a chance to admit its errors and go for some sort of damage limitation. But it didn’t.

This was its last chance, and the Muslim Brotherhood didn’t take it. One of its leaders, former parliamentary speaker Mohamed Saad Al-Katatni, suggested a meeting with other political players to discuss the roadmap. But the rest of the Muslim Brotherhood leaders didn’t go along.

Had the Muslim Brotherhood sought a compromise solution at this point, early elections could have been arranged, even without dissolving the Muslim Brotherhood-dominated Shura Council or suspending the Muslim Brotherhood-authored constitution.

This was the Muslim Brotherhood’s last chance for damage limitation. But the group opted instead for violence, rejecting any political compromise.

This, the option of violence, was the Muslim Brotherhood’s seventh sin. It launched the Muslim Brotherhood down a path of sabotage against the state and its institutions, a path that was bloody for others but most fatal to the group itself.

These sins are of such magnitude that no presidential pardon can absolve them. These crimes are not ones that any court can ignore. Even if all the charges against criminals such as Mohamed Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood associates were dropped, these sins cannot be forgiven, for they are written in history and live in the memory of millions. And there is nothing the Muslim Brotherhood  or its American, European, Turkish or Qatari friends can do to change this.

Al-Ahram Weekly
Saturday, July 4, 2015


Egypt’s public prosecutor killed in Cairo bomb attack

29.06.2015 La rédaction

Egypt’s public prosecutor was wounded by a bomb that targeted his car on Monday, judicial and medical sources said.

This morning state news agency MENA said Hisham Barakat had “light injuries” as a result of the bomb, which exploded while his convoy was driving through the Cairo residential district of Heliopolis.

Around 3 PM, Hisham Barakat died.

Source :

This post is also available in العربية and Français .


‘Al-Ahram’ Editor: ‘Washington Post’ Waging A Vicious Campaign Against Al-Sisi Regime In Service Of Muslim Brotherhood

22.06.2015 La rédaction

In an article titled “Political Pamphlets in an American Paper,” the editor of the Egyptian government daily Al-Ahram, Muhammad ‘Abd Al-Hadi ‘Allam, slammed the U.S.’s Washington Post for its frequent attacks on the Egyptian regime since the ouster of former Egyptian president Muhammad Mursi. According to ‘Allam, the Washington Post is waging a “vicious campaign” and voicing “open incitement” against Egypt in the service of “terror organizations” such as the Muslim Brotherhood. This, while refraining from criticizing human rights violations or the absence of press freedom in countries like Turkey and Qatar.[1]

The following are excerpts from the article:[2]

Muhammad ‘Abd Al-Hadi ‘Allam (image:

“No country in the world [other than Egypt] receives so much attention in Washington Post editorials, which are full of a strange and pathetic fury over this country’s domestic affairs – to an extent that indicates the existence of a vast lobby behind these articles, whose number has broken every record in the last few months.

“The press inside and outside Egypt is entitled to write whatever it wants, and we have a right to tell [our] critics that the strength and the reputation of a great country that is undergoing a process of rehabilitation are not a ‘toy’ in the hands of interests groups that hammer the readers over the head every morning with editorials that constitute a vicious campaign. [This campaign] first of all undermines the faith in the changes that are currently happening in Egypt, and in its economic growth on the eve of the opening of the new Suez Canal in less than two months.

“The ongoing and widespread use of terms such as ‘oppressive state’ and ‘tyranny’ in this big American paper’s editorials [about Egypt] constitutes open incitement against the Egyptian state and against its judiciary, which is presented as a [mere] tool in the hands of the regime. [This criticism] is part of an ongoing attempt by some Western media to kill the rule of law [in Egypt] in favor of terrorist organizations that have become masters of deception, cheating and killing in the name of religion [namely the Muslim Brotherhood].

“During this period, we did not find in this widely-distributed American paper even one investigative article about the ideological roots of the culture that [condones] violence and opposes the nation state. [This is the culture of] the groups of political Islam, which have been the eternal allies of the U.S. and Britain since the 1920s. We never saw [in this paper] a single report about the deadly violence against Egypt’s civilians, police officers and military personnel. At the same time, there is plenty of sympathy and compassion for the Muslim Brotherhood and its leaders, who have fled to Arab and foreign countries in order to spread their endless poison. These are the same leaders against whom millions of angry [Egyptians] came out in the June 30 revolution.

“The Egyptian people left the handling of this issue to the police and the military, and let them deal with this group that is undermining the abilities of the nation states. [So far], we have not seen or heard that any of the imaginary assessments regarding the imminent collapse of the [Egyptian] state and the shattering of its foundations have come to pass. These papers’ efforts to spread [these assessments] is an open game, which most Egyptians receive with a sarcastic smile and with pity for these foreign reporters and for their Egyptian collaborators who see only what they want to see, while ignoring reality.

“The American paper displays overt hostility towards Egypt in its editorials, but it does not dare direct criticism at countries that never practiced democracy [at all]… [This,] out of concern for American interests and in order to avoid clashing with interest groups inside [the U.S.] that are close to those countries. Had the paper been fair, it would have discussed the issue of human rights and freedom of the press in Turkey, [or] the issue of the foreign laborers in Qatar, just as it addresses the situation in Egypt.

“The Egyptians practical response to this paper’s claims in recent days regarding empty promises [made by President Al-Sisi] will come when we invite papers from around the world to attend the inauguration ceremony of the new Suez Canal and the vast projects associated with it. Then we will see the promises that the president has undertaken [to fulfill] for the sake of his people – while other people justify the crimes of the terrorists between the lines [of their articles] and want the circle of bloodshed to widen and grow. The response of the [Egyptian] state and people in the coming months will expose the campaign of lies and deception that has been waged in Washington by fugitives from Egyptian justice and by agents [of various parties]. [This campaign] is waged on recruited websites and papers and in foreign papers that are more concerned with destroying the abilities of the Egyptian state than in supporting the interests of their countries.

“The ‘political pamphlet’ press will fall, even if it originates in the capitals of the very countries that gave rise to the theory of democracy and turned the Arab East into hell. And in case you have forgotten, let us remind you of the crime of your silence over the Iraq war and of what your people did in Abu Ghraib prison, or the disasters that later befell the Arab world!”


[1] In an article published in Al-Ahram on June 22, columnist Ahmad ‘Abd Al-Tawwab likewise attacked “some large newspapers around the world that lean in favor of the Muslim Brotherhood” and that have lately been harshly criticizing the Al-Sisi regime and calling it a “coup regime.” According to ‘Abd Al-Tawwab, these papers deliberately harm the reputation of the Al-Sisi regime and blame it for things that are not its fault, with the aim of evoking sympathy for the Muslim Brotherhood. He added that these papers attack Egypt because certain countries “unfriendly to Egypt” have lately purchased shares in them, and also because they are influenced by the Muslim Brotherhood’s global lobby. He accused the papers of “committing shameful crimes” and called to hold them accountable. He added that he could understand why Egypt is taking this matter so lightly, and called it to confront the “deliberate attack and the fabrications.”

[2] Al-Ahram (Egypt), June 18, 2015.

Source : Memri


Pro-Muslim Brotherhood Clerics Call To Overthrow Al-Sisi Regime In Egypt, Restore Mursi To Presidency

17.06.2015 La rédaction

On May 27, 2015, a group of 159 pro-Muslim Brotherhood (MB) clerics and 10 pro-MB religious bodies from across the Arab and Muslim world posted a document clarifying “the position of the shari’a on the [current] Egyptian regime.” The document was posted on the Nida Al-Kinana (“Egypt Call”) website, which was launched specifically for this purpose. It states that the current Egyptian regime is a “criminal and murderous” regime that has “betrayed the homeland and the faith,” and therefore Egyptians have a religious obligation to come out against it and strive for its complete elimination “using the appropriate means, such as civil disobedience.” The document also calls for the release of Muhammad Mursi, whom it calls the legitimate elected president. 

The document stresses that anyone proved to be involved in killing innocent people is guilty of murder and must be subjected to the relevant shari’a punishment (i.e., put to death), and this includes judges, media figures and politicians. Directing specific accusations against the Sheikh of Al-Azhar and the Mufti of Egypt, it states that they backed the regime’s actions against the Muslim Brotherhood, which makes them complicit in the regime’s crimes, with all that this entails in terms of the shari’a. 

Finally, the document calls on all the Arab and Muslim countries, as well as on academics and liberals, to act immediately to protect Egypt from “the crimes of this tyrannical regime,” and condemns the countries that support it. 

The document is signed by 10 MB-affiliated religious bodies from across the Muslim world, including the Sunni Scholars Association, the Council of Palestinian Scholars Abroad, the Lebanon Muslim Scholars Committee, the Mauritania Seminary for Clerics, the Mauritania Forum of Clerics and Imams, the Council of Clerics in the Arab Maghreb, the Al-Azhar International Clerics Union, the Egyptian Preachers Union, the Forum of Clerics against the Coup, and the Sudanese Clerics Council.

The signatories to the document are prominent figures affiliated with or supportive of the MB, including religious university heads and lecturers, heads of Islamic councils and bodies, preachers and former ministers. They come from a variety of Muslim countries across the world, including India, Turkey, Morocco, Yemen, Libya, Mauritania, Pakistan, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Kuwait, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain. Among them are Dr. Ahmed Al-Raissouni, deputy head of the International Union of Muslim Scholars; ‘Abd Al-Majid Al-Zindani, head of the Yemeni Clerics Council; Sheikh Salman Al-Husseini Al-Nadawi, president of Imam Ahmad University in India; Sheikh Muhammad Zahal, head of the Council of Clerics in the Arab Maghreb; former Yemeni justice minister ‘Abd Al-Wahhab Al- Dilmi; Jamal ‘Abd Al-Sattar, a da’wa lecturer at Al-Azhar and the head of the Sunni Scholars Association; and Muhammad Al-Hassan Al-Dado, head of the Mauritania Seminary for Clerics.   

Over half a million people have indicated their support of the document on the Egypt Call website. 

Responding to the document on its official website, the MB welcomed it and thanked the clerics for “coming out against the crimes” of the “coup regime.” Conversely, spokesmen for the Egyptian regime, as well as some other figures and movements in Egypt, harshly condemned the document and the calls therein, and warned the Egyptians not to heed them.   

The following are translated excerpts from the document, and from some of the responses to it. 
Some of the clerics signed to the document (source:

The Clerics’ Document: “It Is The Duty Of The Ummah… To Oppose This Regime” 

“Announcement by the religious scholars of the [Muslim] ummah regarding the crimes of the Egyptian coup and the measures to be taken regarding it:

“In light of what has been happening in Egypt for about two years, which includes [acts of] shedding forbidden [i.e., Muslim] blood, violating the honor of chaste women, killing innocents, usurping property, vandalizing private assets, destroying the land, driving peaceful people [from their homes], and showing flagrant hostility towards Islam and the Muslims, manifested in a war against the path [of Islam] and against the religious scholars, in harming the values, principles and sanctities [of Islam], and in allying with its enemies while being hostile towards its loyalists – [in light of all this], and out of a desire to publically announce the truth and renounce falsehood, and clarify [the matter] to the people, as Allah commanded, we, [the undersigned,] hereby proclaim to the ummah the position of the shari’a on this [Egyptian] regime and the measures that must be taken regarding it:

“1. The current Egyptian regime is a criminal and murderous regime that staged a coup against the will and the choice of the ummah and abducted its legitimate elected president. The commander of the coup usurped the presidency in fictitious and fake elections, and concentrated all the powers in his own hands, including the power to legislate and pass arbitrary laws that silence people and completely eliminate their source of livelihood. This regime has unlawfully killed thousands of people; arrested tens of thousands without cause; sentenced thousands of people from among the best men and women of Egypt to imprisonment and death in fake trials; deported thousands of people… and displaced thousands of families; aided the enemies of the ummah against it; arbitrarily dismissed hundreds of judges, university lecturers, teachers, imams, preachers and others…, and violated every [religious] prohibition.

“2. According to the shari’a, it is the duty of the ummah – its leaders and its people – to oppose this regime and strive for its complete elimination by all legitimate means, in order to protect the principles of the ummah and the supreme goals of Islam.

“3. Striking an alliance with the Zionist aggressors [and] protecting and defending them, while showing hostility to the Palestinian resistance, conspiring against it and besieging it by destroying Sinai and deporting its people – all these constitute treason against the faith  and the homeland and contempt for the way of the Prophet…

“4. Any leaders, judges, officers, soldiers, media figures or politicians, and anyone [else] who is definitely proved to be involved (even if only through incitement) in violating the honor of women, shedding the blood of innocents and unlawful killing – [all these] are murderers according to the shari’a, and must be punished according to the shari’a.

“5. The undersigned clerics stress that Dr. Muhammad Mursi is the legitimate president of the country, that the measures taken against him and the sentence imposed on him and on opponents of the coup lack all validity according to the shari’a and according to [civil] law. [Moreover,] according to the sharia, it is the obligation of the ummah to act to free its elected president.

“6. The ummah must also do its utmost to free all those who were arrested by this criminal regime for opposing the coup and for demanding to respect the will and the liberty of the ummah, especially the women [prisoners], using means that are legitimate according to Islam.

“7. Helping this criminal regime to survive, in any way, is forbidden according to the shari’a, and constitutes a crime according to the [civil] law, and is tantamount to blatant complicity in the crimes [of this regime]…

“8. By being present at this coup and remaining silent in the face of [its] transgressions, the Sheikh of Al-Azhar perpetrated a crime against the shari’a that divests him of his legitimacy and his status and makes him complicit in the acts of the criminals. This is a stain on the glorious history of Al-Azhar, and [also] corrupts its present and destroys its future.

“9. We hold the Mufti of Egypt religiously and legally responsible for the lives of the innocent people whose execution he has approved, and warn him of the consequences should he continue to approve such arbitrary and malicious death sentences… If he approves the killing of innocent people, no excuse will avail him in this world or the next.

“10. Protecting one’s life, honor and property by every legitimate means is a legitimate right and even a religious obligation which nobody is entitled to either grant or deny, for one who is attacked has a duty to come out against his attacker, and [moreover,] he must do so himself, and not through the mediation of another…”

“11. We charge the leaders, monarchs and presidents of the Arab and Muslim countries, as well as the academics and the liberals throughout the world, to take immediate steps to rescue Egypt from the crimes of this tyrannical regime and prevent it from killing, murdering, robbing and corrupting, and to support the will and the choice of the [Egyptian] people.

“12. The undersigned clerics condemn the position of the countries that support the coup, as well as the international position that purports to respect human rights and the choice of the peoples but in practice supports coup regimes and maintains ties with them. [We] hold [these countries and the international community] responsible for the oppressive and aggressive shedding of [innocent] blood…

“13. We charge the power brokers and the free people who oppose the coup, inside and outside Egypt, to stand as one against this criminal regime, while using suitable means, such as civil disobedience, etc., in order to purge the land of the crimes and tyranny of the perpetrators of the coup and protect the blood of the martyrs…”[1]

The MB Welcomes The Call To Topple The Egyptian Regime “By All Means”

In a response on its official website, the MB thanked the clerics for “coming out against the crimes of the army of the coup regime, the last of which was the death sentences imposed on Dr. Muhammad Mursi and hundreds of innocent Egyptians who rose up against the tyranny.” The MB expressed its gratitude to the clerics for clarifying “the religious duty to oppose the coup by all means until it is toppled and the legitimate [Mursi] regime is restored”, and stressed that it is committed to the directives of the shari’a and will follow them, “no matter how much sacrifice” this requires.[2]

MB spokesman Muhammad Muntasir likewise welcomed the cleric’s document, tweeting on his official page: “This is our religion and these are our clerics.”[3] In an article he posted on the MB website on June 8, 2015, which was the first anniversary of ‘Abd Al-Fattah Al-Sisi’s inauguration, Muntasir congratulated “Egypt’s free revolutionaries” who took to the street that day to declare “that the entire Egyptian people opposes the murderous and discriminatory military coup, and refuses to recognize the arch-murderer [Al-Sisi].” He wrote that, one year after Al-Sisi’s ascension to the presidency, Egypt is suffering economical, security and political ruin, and accused Al-Sisi of “shrinking Egypt’s status and making it a perpetual beggar.” Finally, he called on “Egypt’s revolutionaries” not to stop rebelling against the oppression and the oppressors, to fill the squares and “liberate Egypt from the murderous military [leaders].”[4]

Responses In Egypt: The Clerics’ Document Comes To Sow Chaos, Destroy Egypt

Conversely, the Egyptian establishment and several figures and movements condemned the clerics’ document.  In a May 28, 2015 statement, Dar Al-Ifta, Egypt’s supreme fatwa-issuing body, called the document “incitement against Egypt and its institutions” published by a group of pro-MB clerics “in a desperate attempt to undermine [Egypt’s] stability and security.” Dar Al-Ifta condemned the clerics for calling to eliminate the Egyptian regime and its security apparatuses, judges and media figures, and for presenting this as a “supreme religious commandment.” It added that making such calls is an act of “corrupting the land,” and that “Allah warned against [this act] and set out heavy punishments, in this world and the next, for those who engage in it.” The same goes for the call to free accused terrorists form jail, which is aimed at “sparking chaos, spreading crime and destroying the country,” said Dar Al-Ifta. It warned people not to heed the clerics’ calls to kill innocent Egyptians, noting that the Prophet forbade incitement to murder.

Egyptian Endowments Minister Dr. Muhammad Mukhtar Jum’a called the clerics “perpetrators of crimes against their religion, homeland and ummah,” and urged to place them all on the list of persona non-grata in Egypt and persons wanted for interrogation, and to “purge the state institutions of any remaining [MB supporters].” He also called to designate the International Union of Muslim Scholars, headed by Sheikh Al-Qaradhawi, a terrorist organization and treat its members accordingly.[5]

The deputy sheikh of Al-Azhar, Dr. ‘Abbas Shouman, warned the Egyptians not to heed the clerics’ calls to kill and to destroy the state institutions, but rather to “protect their state and their institutions,” and declared that the signatories to the document “are not clerics but supporters of terrorist organizations.”[6]

Egyptian journalist Wael Al-Abrashi made similar statements in a program on the private Egyptian channel Dream TV. He denounced the clerics’ call to kill all supporters of the current regime, including politicians, media figures and members of the security apparatuses, and added that those who make such calls are ignorant of the course of history, since no regime has ever been toppled by armed terrorism. On the contrary, he said, regimes only grow stronger when terrorism increases, as demonstrated by the case of the Egyptian regime, which enjoys the people’s support. He warned the Egyptians not to be deceived by these calls and to reject them.[7]

The April 6 movement, which opposes the Egyptian regime but also the MB, condemned the document as yet another example of “incitement to be violent and to destroy what remains of the peace within Egyptian society.” It opposed “any hint of [advocating] violence” against members of Egypt’s state apparatuses, and urged all Egyptians, regardless of their affiliation, “to adhere to the path of non-violence and not to be swayed by these calls.”[8]


[1], May 27, 2015.

[2], May 28, 2015.

[3], May 25, 2015.

[4], June 8, 2015.

[5], May 28, 2015.

[6], June 3, 2015.

[7], May 30, 2015.

[8], June 2, 2015.

Source : Memri


The administration should not meet with the Muslim Brotherhood in Washington

11.06.2015 La rédaction

This week, a delegation including two prominent Muslim Brotherhood members will visit Washington to advocate against the current Egyptian government, headed by President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi. While the delegation will likely draw interest from the media and think tank communities, the Obama administration should not engage with it at any level. Given the Brotherhood’s explicit embrace of violence and calls for Sisi’s death, U.S. engagement with the Brotherhood at this time will undermine the administration’s efforts to strengthen relations with Cairo. It will also undercut the administration’s attempts at encouraging the Sisi government toward greater political openness

.The delegation is being hosted by the Center for the Study of Islam and Democracy (CSID), which hosted a similar delegation in January, and the Egypt Institute for Democracy Development, an organization that has no web page or social media presence. The delegation includes Wael Haddara, a Canada-based Brotherhood figure who served as an advisor from abroad to the deposed president Mohamed Morsi, and Maha Azzam, who is not a Muslim Brother butchairs the Brotherhood-backed Egyptian Revolutionary Council, which calls from exile for Sisi’s toppling.

The delegation’s most controversial member, however, is Brotherhood leader Amr Darrag, who played a central role in one of the Brotherhood’s most power-hungry – and ultimately costly – decisions during its year in power. Darrag served as secretary-general of the Islamist-dominated Constituent Assembly, which rammed a constitution through to ratification in December 2012. The hasty constitution-writing process came only a week after then president Morsi issued a declaration giving himself unchecked executive authority, and the Brotherhood exacerbated the political crisis by rushing the draft toward a referendum in the absence of non-Islamist parties, which boycotted the assembly to protest Morsi’s blatant power grab. The exclusivist manner in which the constitution was drafted, and its narrow language pertaining to the interpretation of sharia, reinforced widespread fears that the Brotherhood was trying to impose its theocratic vision on Egypt, and contributed to the mass mobilization for Morsi’s overthrow in June 2013.

Engaging Brotherhood officials will undermine the administration’s efforts at strengthening the U.S.-Egypt strategic relationship, which in recent months have in- cluded resuming military aid to Cairo and endorsing a major investment conference in Sharm al-Sheikh. After all, Muslim Brothers frequently call for President Sisi’s execution during their demonstrations, and the Brotherhood has embraced violence openly in recent months. In this vein, the Brotherhood called for “jihad” and “martyrdom” in fighting the Sisi regime in a January 2015 statement, and its social media pages routinely publicize attacks on infrastructure such as roads, trains, and electricity towers. While the administration should work to engage broad sectors of Egyptian society, it should draw the line at dealing with an organization that seeks the outright destruction of an allied government.

Moreover, dealing with the Brotherhood will undercut the Obama administration’s efforts at encouraging the Sisi government toward greater political openness. Indeed, the administration is correct in its analysis that the Sisi government’s crackdown on opposition activists and media, as well as the restrictive environment for NGOs, may once again catalyze a destabilizing political explosion, as in January 2011 and June 2013. By meeting with the Brotherhood, however, the Obama administration will damage its credibility for influencing Egypt in this direction, since the Sisi government and its many supporters will interpret these calls for openness as enabling the Brotherhood’s return to politics – a prospect that the regime and its supporters view as suicidal.

Finally, the administration should learn from its most recent engagement with the Brotherhood, which occurred during the January visit to Washington that CSID organized.While the administration hoped to keep its meetings with Brotherhood officials under wraps, the Brotherhood publicized the meetings, using them as a propaganda tool for encouraging its supporters and challenging the Sisi government’s international legitimacy. Indeed, shortly after the Brothers met U.S. officials at Foggy Bottom, a member of their delegation posted on Facebook a photo of himself in front of the State Department’s logo, and another delegation member later told a pro-Brotherhood satellite network that a White House official had attended that meeting.This embarrassed the Obama administration domestically, and reinforced conspiracy theories within Egypt about the administration’s supposed support for the Brotherhood.The Obama administration should not allow itself to be used as a propaganda tool in the Brotherhood’s ongoing war against the Egyptian government. In short, it shouldn’t let the Brotherhood fool it twice.

Eric Trager is the Wagner Fellow at The Washington Institute.

Washington Jewish Week
Thursday, June 11, 2015