Apparently the “religious revolution” that Egyptian President Sisi called for on New Year’s Day is taking root — at least by emboldening more moderate Muslims to speak out publicly, as Sisi did.
I am currently watching the latest episode of Cairo Today, hosted by ‘Amru Adib, a very popular Egyptian show. Like Sisi’s speech before Al Azhar, it too is hard hitting.
Among other things, Adib is “connecting the dots.” He started with the Charlie Hebdo attack, saying lots of Muslims will say, “Well, they had it coming for mocking the prophet!” But then he asked “What about all the other terrorist attacks around the Islamic world?!” By way of example, he referred to the killing of two Muslim policemen guarding a Coptic church during Christmas celebrations.
Adib pointed out that, if the French killed were “infidels” attacking Islam, the same “thinking” — recall Sisi’s wording — is prompting Muslims to kill other Muslims all around the world, so that there is not “a single Muslim country where this sort of thinking does not exist.”
He asked pious Muslims who cannot tolerate a word against Islam, “So why are you, of your own free will, moving to these godless nations[the West] in the first place” (reminding me of this article I wrote nearly a decade ago).
Adib asked his viewers, “Are you, as Muslims, content with the fact that today we are all seen as terrorists by the world?.. We [Egyptians] used to bring civilization to the world, today what? — we are barbarians! Barbarians I tell you!”
Other telling quotes in just the first few minutes of the program follow:
I’m not afraid about how many Muslims kill Christians, I’m afraid of how many Muslims kills Muslims. In 2014, more Muslims were killed by other Muslims than all throughout history… In every Muslim country, we are killing each other — this has nothing to do with non-Muslims mocking Islam!”
Who put this hate in us?You’re going to tell me that [Muslim] terrorism exists because of Israel, because of the West, because of this and that, but the truth is, we are no longer tolerant Muslims…. If we can’t live with each other, are we going to be able to live with the Christians?
He even criticized Al Azhar, because their head, after condemning the Charlie Hebdo attack, added, “but we equally condemn the mockery” — which Adib equated with exonerating the attack.
As for Sisi, he pointed out that to many Muslims, the fact that the Egyptian president entered a Christian church, as he did on the eve of January 7, the Coptic Christmas, must be an infidel. The Salafi party immediately said, “We will never congratulate the Christians on their festivals. What’re you crazy?!
To this, Adib said:
Okay, I get it, you hate Christians. But can you please be consistent? Why do you cooperate with them in other regards? Why do you go to their nations [reference to the West]? Why do you go to their doctors? Please, let your hate be consistent.”
I have no doubt that 3/4 of those hearing me are cursing me now — saying “he’s an infidel, an apostate!”…