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Egypt’s Gen. al-Sisi turns Islam on the Islamists

Egypt’s Gen. al-Sisi turns Islam on the Islamists

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.”

From Reuters:

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 He has blamed outdated “religious discourse” for holding back Egypt.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.


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Juba Doobai! | May 14, 2014 at 7:23 am

This is not enough. Kemal Ataturk tried this path in Turkey, and the dogs have come howling back. If Al Sisi is serious, he must make the argument for Egyptian Arabs to reject Islam. Al Sisi must then offer them two choices: Judaism or Christianity. Since Islam cannot be reformed*, it must be rejected and cast aside. That is what Al Sisi must put before his people if he wants Egypt to have a chance in the future.

*Jihad slaughter is to Islam as Baptism and the Lord’s Supper is to Christianity. The Muslim makes jihad to enter paradise. One is not a Christian without baptism, which, as well as the Lord’s Supper, saves us. If the Bible taught we would have to kill those who refused to convert to Christianity, one would have to do it because that would be core doctrine. Jihad is core doctrine in Islam, and so Islam cannot be reformed because jihad is not extra-koranic. It is koranic command.

    Valerie in reply to Juba Doobai!. | May 14, 2014 at 10:38 am

    al-Sisi has a solid doctrinal foundation for his position. A modern rendition, in reply to the Pope’s Regensberg address can be found here:

    Real Muslim scholars from all eight schools recognize their Abrahamic heritage. That is, they know their religion comes from the Jews, and is not in essence different from that of the Jews. They explicitly recognize that the second Commandment, “Love thy Neighbor” is binding on them.

    Terrorists do not accept that second Commandment, and they even recognize that, to be Islamist is to destroy their own souls.

    “Hence our permanent state of preparedness and our readiness to sacrifice our souls and dearest [possessions] in the path of Allah.”

    Religious reform is slow, but it is happening within Islam. The eight schools combined to issue a statement that included standards for binding religious opinions (fatwas) that excluded the terrorist writings because they do not issue from persons having adequate education. The OIC (Organization of Islamic Conferences, or Cooperation) has been formed, and is engaged in educating muslims world-wide on such issues as individual rights, human rights, rights of women and vaccination. This entity is admittedly a work in progress.

    The Islamist version of their religion is as ugly as you say. And, in keeping with the terms of the Hamas Covenant, they have engaged in an advertising campaign to convince muslims that they have an individual, religious duty to kill their neighbors. That advertising campaign is active, and has been active, for decades, to terrible effect, wherever muslims have significant political power. You are not wrong to take them at their word, because if they win, they will kill anybody that disagrees with them in the slightest, if they can.

    It will take at least a generation for Islam to recover from the Islamist blasphemy. Al-Sisi is likely to have at best a partial victory in Egypt, source of the most recent incarnation of the Muslim Brotherhood, and origin of much Islamist theory and teaching.

      Juba Doobai! in reply to Valerie. | May 14, 2014 at 12:26 pm

      What you say is all well and good but unsupported by the Koran. Then you say this: “Real Muslim scholars from all eight schools recognize their Abrahamic heritage. That is, they know their religion comes from the Jews, and is not in essence different from that of the Jews. They explicitly recognize that the second Commandment, “Love thy Neighbor” is binding on them.

      Terrorists do not accept that second Commandment, and they even recognize that, to be Islamist is to destroy their own souls.”

      You mean real scholars like the ones at Al Azhar who support jihad? Like the ones in Iran who sponsor global terrorism? Like the ones who teach Jews and Christians are sons of monkeys, apes, and pigs?

      To compare Islam to Judaism is a defamation of Judaism. If rabbis teach non-Jews should be killed, that is a clear violation of their faith and the TNK. When an imam says the same, he is consistent with koranic teaching. Where is the paganism in Judaism? It is not there, just as it is not present in Christianity. Islam, on the other hand, is a syncretistic blending of Judaeo-Christianity, as found in a Pelagian prayerbook, and Arab animism. That islam uses some of the names of the OT patriarchs does not mean it is rooted in the TNK. If Islam had been, the genocide of Jews would not be included in its critical texts.

        Islam is often a matter of interpretation. Thus, prior to the rise of Saudi-style monarchy, Islam was largely what the Sultan or whoever said it was. Sisi’s pushing towards that style once more, and I can hardly blame him – it could make Islam livable for a lot of people again.

        Of course expecting this to go down quietly is foolish. Now that he’s an existential threat to fundamentalism (“as Egypt goes, so does the Middle East” was it?) he’ll outpace the Great Satan as a target.

          Juba Doobai! in reply to JBourque. | May 15, 2014 at 8:43 am

          Whethe or not it was a matter of interpretation, Jews and Christians existed as dhimmis in the Islamic state, a woman was still property, and people could still be executed for leaving Islam.

      Radegunda in reply to Valerie. | May 14, 2014 at 4:10 pm

      “They explicitly recognize that the second Commandment, ‘Love thy Neighbor’ is binding on them.” — unless their neighbor is an “infidel.”

      Islam (not merely “Islamism”) has a very long and deep and officially endorsed idea that Muslims and non-Muslims are different kinds of creatures, the latter being “unclean” and subject to different treatment. Orthodox Islam has never abandoned the goal of bringing the whole world under Islamic subjugation, nor the strategy of deceiving “infidels” as to their actual goals.

      The OIC may be “educating muslims … on human rights,” but “human rights” in Muslim-speak generally means “rights” that fully accord with sharia in all its oppressive ugliness. “Human rights” in Muslim-speak include the “right” to coerce non-Muslims to provide Muslims with special accommodations (no matter how disruptive to others), and the “right” of Muslims to be shielded from any criticism of Islam or its “prophet.”

      Thus, the OIC has been working through the UN (with help from the likes of Hillary Clinton) to criminalize any criticism of Islam worldwide. How this effort can be reconciled with anything that non-Muslims would consider a sincere reform of Islam is a mystery.

      There’s a reason why the so-called Islamists consider themselves to be the reformers: because they are attempting to purify Islam of all infidel accretions and return to the glory days of the Rightly Guided Caliphs, with all the violence, plunder, rapine, murder, jostling for power, and rapid conquest that characterized Islam from the beginning.

      Whatever Islam may have taken from Judaism and Christianity, it is fundamentally a doctrine of plunder and conquest developed by illiterate, nomadic caravan raiders. It has always honored violence to extend its reach, and it has always drawn a sharp divide between those inside the cult and those outside.

      The ugly parts of “Islamism” are not “blasphemy.” They are the core of Islam, as is evident through many centuries of history.

Tourism and Trade with Israel are Egypt’s two largest sources of foreign currency. Because they import half of what they eat they need foreign currency or they will starve. Radical Islam was leading on a direct road to starvation. Hopefully, they can now avoid that path.

Midwest Rhino | May 14, 2014 at 8:50 am

So Obama and his support for his Muslim Brotherhood (MB) pals did not work out so well in Africa or the Middle East. The MB seems rather directly connected still, to al Qaeda and various “radical” groups.

Sisi’s strong opposition to the Brotherhood has earned him the support of Egypt’s biggest religious minority, the Coptic Christians.”

Islam could certainly use a reformation. But indeed forced conversion seems to be the heart of their doctrine, as evidenced by Muhammad himself. Jesus is said to be returning in power and judgement one day, but Islam seems to rule that way now. Only Judeo-Christian civilization and modernity keeps them at bay.

smalltownoklahoman | May 14, 2014 at 8:51 am

I don’t know if Islam can be successfully reformed but I wish General Sisi the best in that regard. Frankly I’ll just be happy if he can make Egypt safe and stable again while keeping Islamists the likes of Morsi from even seriously considering trying to make another attempt at seizing power.

tarheelkate | May 14, 2014 at 9:06 am

Internal to Islam, this is a battle for the soul of Islam. The question is whether a modified Islam, able to exist within the modern world, can be established. It is very encouraging to hear al Sisi overtly calling for this approach. I know many Muslims in Egypt who will agree with this and support it.

This approach does indeed call for new abrogations of Islamic teachings which have held sway for more than a thousand years. If Muslims worldwide were to adopt this approach we and they would all be a lot safer. I don’t know if it can be done, but we can hope.

    Uncle Samuel in reply to tarheelkate. | May 14, 2014 at 9:23 am

    Sorry! I did not mean to down vote your comment – hit the down button rather than the Reply button and there is no correcting it.

    My reply:

    In Islamic countries, there is a great Christian revival going on under the radar. Islam creates a hell on earth, full of hate, lies, death, oppression, war, suffering, injustice, misery, etc. and people are desperate for love, truth and life, freedom, righteousness, peace and joy which G-D has brought back to earth through Jesus Christ.

    Islam’s fruit is the polar opposite of the Fruit of the Holy Spirit.

      tarheelkate in reply to Uncle Samuel. | May 14, 2014 at 9:37 am

      You’re right, Uncle Samuel. I am also in touch with Christians in Egypt. There are “undercover” converts throughout the Islamic countries. It should be no surprise that Egyptian Christians support al Sisi.

    Juba Doobai! in reply to tarheelkate. | May 14, 2014 at 12:45 pm

    The question is: can Islam reform the koran and still assert its divine source? The answer is no. That’s why I posit that Islam cannot be reformed. If the problem was misinterpretation of the text or false teachings, then islam could undergo reformation just like Judaism and Christianity did in their own time. The problem with islam is the koran, which muslims claim is the word of allah. Change the Koran and there’s no more islam.

Uncle Samuel | May 14, 2014 at 9:17 am

Yeah, but with the Obama administration siding with the devil (MoBro/AlQueda) Sisi is turning to another devil, Putin for help, arms and friendship.

That is not good. Obama has given Egypt a Hobson’s choice.

    platypus in reply to Uncle Samuel. | May 14, 2014 at 11:10 am

    Putin loves his country, unlike our current pResident. The condemnation that he is a devil conveniently uses blinders to control the conclusion.

    Even if Putin is as bad as everyone says, I am not convinced he would be as aggressive towards us were it not for our current crop of fools giving him all sorts of justifications. Remember, chess is one of their favorite games in Russia.

    When you make a negative comment about Putin helping Sisi, remember three incidents where Russia showed which side it is on: the Boston Bombing; the Moscow theater terror attack; and Breslan elementary school.

      Uncle Samuel in reply to platypus. | May 14, 2014 at 1:06 pm

      Agreed….Russia at times seems to want to let bygones be bygones….but Putin is a wily old fox and communism never ceases to try to dominate.

      I have to say, Putin probably hates Islam as much as we do.

Uncle Samuel | May 14, 2014 at 9:32 am

“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.”

So true.

Currently, from Islamists actions, Islam looks like a pathological condition, or even a psycho-pathological condition.

Islam looks like an institutionally or ideologically-conditioned state of rabid racism, racial hatred, misogyny, brutal, murderous INHUMANITY.

Perhaps it always has been, since the roots of these behaviors are all written in the Koran and other core writings.

    Maybe it is just a coincidence, but your excellent comment about islam could be made just as accurately regarding obama.

      Uncle Samuel in reply to Rick. | May 14, 2014 at 1:07 pm

      Absolutely! Obama was profiled by professional psychiatrist/psychologists as a Narcissist/subtype Dictator long before his ‘election.’

Henry Hawkins | May 14, 2014 at 12:54 pm

Egypt appears to be moving towards stabilization. Better send in Secretary of State John Kerry (who served in Viet Nam, btw) before it’s too late.

Hey, Sisi’s outwardly pious stance is why he was in the position he was to take the Brotherhood down. His predecessor was ejected and Sisi was chosen precisely because he was presumed to be more pliant to the Brotherhood’s Islamic dictates.

Turned out they let a tiger in thinking he was a mule. But mistakes do happen.

I’m just saying, it’s only news because people decided his coup against the Brotherhood meant he’s some sort of apostate. Maybe the media thinks that, but no, the man’s literally fighting for the soul of his religion, a lonely fight he can expect no American support for whatsoever.

Let us not diminish the essential problem with “modernizing” Islam: There are several BILLION Muslims that would have to be brought out of the seventh century and into modern times. There are several BILLION Muslims who will have to brought out of abject illiteracy so that the WORD will reach them.

The Persians (Iranians)under the despot Mohammad Rezâ Šâh Pahlavi (Shah of Iran), benefited from half of the right idea: he modernized Iron’s economy, took the shackles from the women, educated everyone who was not on his “kill list”, yet kept the Islamist despotism. Iran prospered, sort of, until the US pulled the rug out from under him and his people accepted the Shia despots in his place. Human nature…on both sides.

Islam needs “benevolent despots”, i.e., benevolent slave owners who eschew (heh!) their own benefits in favor of the benefits of the slaves. When the slaves become humans with rights is another story.

Democracy will never work in the Islamic world. Benevolent dictators will work, but the downsides must be corrected to bring Islam into the modern world. You know, the modern lie, cheat, and steal, without death world.

In all honesty, I wish him luck and success.

The “Animals of Islam” can only be tamed or defeated from within Islam. As long as they continue to use their religion for so many brutal and insane acts without a leader willing to say enough, the middle east will remain a septic pool of hate and destruction.

Unfortunately, I believe the “Animals” will have him murdered to keep their power and money and influence over the weak leadership of Islam.