General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, the former Egyptian army chief who deposed the Muslim Brotherhood’s Mohamed Mursi, is likely to win in the upcoming presidential election at the end of this month.
His popularity has increased enormously during his successful battle against Egypt’s religious extremists who threatened to enact a wide array of “reforms” while they were in power, everything from enacting laws repressing religious freedom to calling for the destruction of the Great Pyramid and the Sphinx.
Now, he offers an intriguing new plank on his presidential platform by “casting himself as a defender of religion and taking aim at the doctrinal foundations of Islamist groups the state is seeking to crush.”
Striking a pious tone that sets him apart from former president Hosni Mubarak, Sisi also appears to be taking on the mantle of a religious reformer. He has blamed outdated “religious discourse” for holding back Egypt.
“I see that the religious discourse in the entire Islamic world has cost Islam its humanity,” Sisi said in an interview televised on May 5. “This requires us, and for that matter all leaders, to review their positions.”
With references to God and morality, Sisi may turn out to be the most outwardly pious of any of the military men to have governed Egypt since the republic was founded in 1953.
This video from WoChit General News summarizes his stance:
Meanwhile, Sisi’s secular approach also is reaping results. Egypt has just seized the funds of 30 Brotherhood leaders as well as those of 12 NGOs and six companies allegedly affiliated to the outlawed group. Additionally, Egyptian security forces have uncovered at least 44 alleged terror cells with Muslim Brotherhood links and apprehended 225 cells members for targeting the private police positions.
It will be interesting to see if the “Sisi Doctrine” of blending religious reformation with a full frontal assault on terrorist groups is effective and exportable.