The Voodoo of fighting terrorism while cradling Islamism 

Following every terror attack in Egypt, secularists, myself included, engage in long conversations on the necessity of combating Islamist ideologies [Islam as a religion and constitution] for the sake of our country’s national security. We also urge the state to allow Muslim reformers to speak freely without fear of getting thrown in jail and to prevent government senior officials, especially in the ministry of Islamic affairs and Al-Azhar, from promoting extremist, fundamentalist, and Islamist ideas. High on adrenaline, we tend to forget that most Muslims in Egypt actually put Islam high above the Egyptian state: they are Muslims living in Egypt not Egyptians who believe in Islam. It is one of the reasons why some Europeans are rightly concerned about the increasing numbers of Muslims in Europe alongside declining birth rates. Islam, unlike Christianity now, supersedes the state. Sharia courts and FGM in England come to mind.

Islamists in Egypt, including the ones in the government and Al-Azhar and Salafists, hold great sway over the minds of Muslims, particularly younger ones. Islamism gives these men of God the moral and executive authority to mobilize millions of youths towards a particular goal should the situation arise and the need for action is true enough. If Sisi challenges the core ideas that enables Islamists to control Egyptian Muslims without a meticulously calculated plan implemented incrementally, the outcome can be devastating for him and Egypt. Islamists will not watch helplessly as the rug is pulled from under their feet and the authority they worked years to achieve evaporates. Sisi is surely well aware of what happened when Saddam Hussein and his party tried secularizing Iraq in an economy much better than Egypt’s. Islamists have the know-how and texts to label him an enemy of Islam if they sense he is sincere about delegitimizing the authority they derive from the interpretation of Islam they promote, preach, and write literature for; they also have the capability to turn millions of youths against him and Christians, like some of them do now but on a mass scale. It is delusional, for example, to think that Salafists believe in anything but an Islamic State, they are just currently relaxed because the government allows them to freely, absolutely freely, propagate the ideas ISIS is putting into action and instill them in the minds of children.

Islam Beheiry, who had been jailed for criticizing extremist interpretations of the Quran and Hadith, says Al-Azhar University’s curricula must be updated to remove all hard-line stipulations derived from the Quran and Hadith such as the ones on fighting infidels and hating non-Muslims or discriminating against them. According to Beheiry, former head of Al-Azhar Mohamed Sayed Tantawi had actually taken this step before the current Grand Imam Ahmed Eltayeb rescinded it. Sisi, on more than one occasion, called on Al-Azhar scholars to actively combat extremist texts, not Islamism, but was met with deaf ears time and time again. And while it is true that Sisi’s authority is unchecked and he can pretty much get away with anything, when it comes to religion, if his vision of reforming and modernizing Islam, which neither denotes nor connotes rejecting the principle of Islam as a religion and state constitution, is not fully aligned with the Islamists and Salafists inside and outside his government he can find himself up against a volcano of terrorism and disobedience.

Taking small but real and effective steps, and cementing them, towards a secular Egypt is the only viable way. Sisi, however, still seems reluctant to take it. Sisi and many Egyptians seem to think terrorism can be fought without challenging Islamism, but if the statement Islam is a religion and state constitution is true, does it not follow that Men of God should rule or fight until power is in their hands?!!

Turning political tricks: Saudi Arabia does not represent Islamic sharia

I have argued before that no one exclusively represents Islam because religion is a set of ideas enacted by those who believe in them. Recently, I have been seeing Islamists in the United States and Europe making the point that Saudi Arabia is not necessarily the embodiment of Islamic sharia and that sharia can be interpreted to suit this day and age. While this is somehow true and kind of possible, it deceivingly and maliciously misses the greatest problem with Islamic sharia, which is Islamic sharia itself.

Once a moderate group who rules according to sharia is in power, it will be instantly challenged by another group with a harsher interpretation of god’s word, because guess what, extremists exist, and the more extreme they get the more intolerant of other views they become, remember how ISIS dethroned Al-Qaida and became the new kings of evil? The point is not whether sharia can be modern, the point is sharia is theocracy, plain and simple. It’s disturbing to see liberals acknowledging the rule of Islam as people’s culture that must be accepted and respected, because Islam does not rule, god’s men rule through exploiting Islam.

 

Apathy in Egypt’s Political Landscape

The prices are rising beyond the reach of an increasing number of Egyptians, jobs are a few and those who provide them exploit the crippling unemployment by paying less for more working hours, takfiri thoughts are spreading unchecked and the state is doing nothing to combat them, policemen are disrespectful towards citizens and the youth abhor them, the parliament and the government are both wrapped around the president’s finger, and critical voices are silenced. This boilerplate paragraph has been relevant for more than 15 years now. Everything is exactly the same. January 25 has achieved nothing and people know it, they don’t need a pundit telling them that, especially a pundit who earns six-figure payments for regurgitating boilerplates on T.V., they are weary, tired, and apathetic. We have been numbed by the same events played by different actors to be talked about by the same pundits using slightly different vocabulary. If you don’t work in politics and don’t make money out if it, politics becomes cigarettes: an instant fix but a massive waste of time and brainpower. Although Ibraheem Eissa had some dedicated viewers, I’m willing to bet that the talking heads making a fuss about the cancellation of his show are journalists and politicians: suits who make money or score points talking about him.

It’s unknown, however, what will the regime do with apathetic people disillusioned with a media apparatus -often used as PR for the state- who are beginning to show signs of willingness to change their moral guidelines due to rising poverty? I’m referring to Egyptians mulling eating donkeys and, but that’s a very tiny minority, even cats and dogs. We don’t know what the rulers think and we don’t care, and neither do they. But apathy is unpredictable if prone to shift towards anger. And political apathy is one thing Islamists amazingly exploit to enshrine their rancid ideology in glorious realms. The less people care about politics while living conditions are steadily deteriorating the more quickly they will forget about Morsi’s disastrous period and the rhetoric of “Islam is the answer” will be revived. Extreme communist ideas also gain popularity when the practice of democracy is on hold. When you can’t, or don’t know how to, do anything to better your life and you know your ceremonial participation in a cryptic pseudo-democratic process won’t yield anything, your mind begins entertaining and believing in romantic and dramatic solutions. And maybe ruling is not the strong suit of Islamists or communists, but fomenting dissent is. I have been observing Egyptians who would have never paid any attention to Muslim Brotherhood propaganda searching for their satellite channels, broadcasted from Turkey, and YouTube videos, because they can’t tolerate the lies spread by government and private but government-obedient media. Meaning that, in a sense, the regime is unknowingly creating the good conditions for its antithesis to grow, however, the entire synthesis is bad. We know, we have seen it before.

Islamosocialism in Egypt

The list of why leftists hated and revolted against Mubarak goes as follows:- systemized corruption, appalling education, terrible services, normalized favoritism and nepotism, and a vicious oligarchy. All of which Mubarak is guilty of, but he is also guilty of fostering the Islamosocialism ideology and lifestyle. Throughout his thirty years in power, socialists, read most Egyptians, kept circulating the rhetoric of victimhood; blaming the government for everything but never the people. On a parallel line, Islamists, with full power to preach freely, continued the work of fundamentalists to make an ideology out of Islam complete with overlords and marionettes; a mind prison.  

Can Mubarak be blamed for all of this? Yes, because when you wield absolute power you carry absolute responsibility.

Islamosocialism produces intolerant citizens who believe they have the right to organize every little thing in your life under the authority of Islam while being entitled to goodies from the government who should step into everything and regulate it. Islamosocialism puts up a great fight against human rights through true liberalism by creating an atmosphere of authoritarianism enacted by citizens on one another and by the police – who uses Islamism and the giant hand of the government to discipline people without any regard for any rights- on the people. Leftists cannot claim to be for progress as they have always worked with and supported Islamists’ right to be major political players and social influencers.  

When Sisi seized power from Morsi, he signaled what many thought was a battle cry against Islamism, and Islam Beheiry continued introducing new ways to contextualize the Quran and Hadith within modern understandings. Sadly, all hope was lost when AlAzhar’s word came louder and Beheiry was locked up.

I say we continue fighting though, not through dialogue and debate, neither will do anything with Islamists, but rather by living our lives and speaking our minds to the fullest, maybe while avoiding anything that could put us in jail.

We should let it be known that our conscience is a doctrine of god and music is one of his voices.


Army bad, Islamists cool

The Egyptian Army has a monopoly on our economy, and as a consumer I can say the economy is not doing well and services are relatively cheap but appalling. Yet, I find it impossible to understand leftists who repeat that rhetoric while deliberately ignoring or downplaying the threat of Islamists who make up a big portion of our government and administrative system. You often hear leftist activists saying “he wouldn’t have blown himself up had he been granted a well-paying job upon graduation or received unemployment aid”. So the rhetoric sounds reasonable, bad economy creates terrorists and the army is responsible for the stagnation of Egypt, completely disregarding the role of ideology; the people who suicide bomb us anticipate massive orgies in heavenly palaces. That’s why I despise the “against the army with Islamists” rhetoric and deem those who pronounce it vile enemies to me. And this enmity spreads to the army and government for not realizing the grave threat of political Islam radicalizing young minds beyond any reformation and not working full force to combat Islamists’ cultural influence.

Islamists as a counterbalance to the army is curing fever with cyanide. I have no plans or answers or solutions, I write out of spite for Islamists and leftists who see the army blocking the road to a better country but refuse to see Islamists pissing in the minds of future generations.










Beyond WWJD: Overtaking the Egyptian Muslim Critical Mind

Islamists have hijacked the Muslim critical mind. One can argue that the What Would Jesus Do motto undermines the individual’s judgment and character, Egyptian Muslims have gone beyond that. Starting in the seventies, Egyptian Islamists began, brilliantly, with extreme dexterity, convincing Muslims against even asking what would Mohamed do, but rather to ask a sheik to tell them what Mohamed would do. Their method involved:
1- Fear tactics: What if you don’t follow true Islam and keep incurring sins?
2- Employing fundamentalism and literalism: Promoting the idea that early Muslims, including those who leaned towards extremism even in their time, are the best representatives of Islam and their interpretation of it will lead to the rise of Muslims.
3- Mystifying Islam: Claiming that Islam is not simple enough to be understood by laymen and therefore they must be the ones in charge of explaining it to the public.

Islamists also managed to insert religion into all aspects of life via the rebirth of fatwas. Now, you have to ask a sheik to find out if your haircut is haram, if your shirt is haram, if working with infidels is haram, whatever you do has to be approved by a sheik.

This is by no means a very detailed or accurate description of their strategy because what Islamists did with the Muslims of Egypt is nothing short of sorcery. They have cemented Islam as a dogma in the minds of Muslims; a solid immovable rock only they can move. Yet, Muslims believe the version of Islam they currently adopt has nothing in common with the Christianity of Europe’s former Catholic Church. Sorcery.

Before Islamists taught Muslims they need to consult a sheik about the correct way to enter a bathroom, sheiks were not quite revered, now, they are walking Gods. From T.V. Shows and books to influencing politics, the sheiks are everywhere. Unlike Europe, we regressed to the shackles of men in costumes who know what God wants. The Muslim Brotherhood and Salafists have taken this to levels that border on servitude, other Muslims remain infected with the Sheik Virus, albeit less severely than the Brothers and Salafists, and Islamism remains in control of Egypt even though neither the Brotherhood nor Salafists is ruling.

If you control the mind you control everything.

However, as long as we are we have to fight. We have to challenge their ideas. Of course when we do this we risk prison, like Islam Behiery and possibly Sayed AlQemni, but hey, if you’re gonna die die with blood on your boots.

And we’re all gonna die.

And there is nothing more humiliating than submitting to Islamism.

***

Sheik: A Muslim cleric and advisor.

Salafists: Muslim fundamentalists.

Haram: Forbidden in Islam.

Islamism: Islam as a religion and constitution for a state.

 

The Adorable Narcissism of some Muslims

This post does not discuss Mohamed Abduh’s thought but the use of his following statement by Muslims.

“I went to the West and saw Islam, but no Muslims; I got back to the East and saw Muslims, but not Islam.”  Muhammad Abduh.
What is the highest level of narcissism? I imagine it’s when your education is a failure, your economy barely makes sense, your contribution to science is non-existent, your contribution to arts is generally mediocre, with some exceptions, and you, somehow, base the success of others on a set of religious principles you are not enacting for some reason. This is what a large number of Muslims think and say these days with the aforementioned statement.

They fail to see life now is more complicated than the life religion was intended for. Philosophy and science have shaped a new world that surpasses religion’s black and white morality, which is not applicable in this day and age. Muslims also misread or ignore methods of progress because they are stuck in an imaginary pursuit of a utopia where Islam rules and is acted upon, which prevents them from genuinely comprehending that science and discipline work and can make our lives better regardless of religion. When a group of people forsake this life for an imagined utopia and an afterlife, science and arts become non-essentials.

The contemporary Muslim mind is, of course, malfunctioning. It looks at the west, explains its success as the enactment of principles suspended by Muslims, and fails to understand that freedom of expression and speech, synthesis, are crucial components to the success of western nations, the freedoms Muslims abhor. Because the sought after Islamic utopia and living this life just to reach an afterlife cloud judgement, like opium.