Avec la « Révolution de juillet » en 1952, pour la première fois depuis des millénaires, les Égyptiens ont pu se vanter qu’un leader de souche égyptienne, Gamal Abdel Nasser, dirigerait leur pays : depuis le renversement du dernier pharaon près de 2 500 ans auparavant, l’Égypte avait été gouvernée par une foule d’envahisseurs étrangers – Perses, Grecs, Romains, Arabes, Turcs, et les Britanniques, pour n’en nommer que quelques-uns. Après 1952, on croyait que l’Égypte serait enfin égyptienne.
That democracy equates freedom is axiomatic in the West. Say the word “democracy” and images of a free, pluralistic, and secular society come to mind. Recently commenting on the turmoil in Egypt, President Obama made this association when he said that “the United States will continue to stand up for democracyand the universal rights that all human beings deserve”—as if the two are inseparable.
With Egypt’s “July Revolution” of 1952, for the first time in millennia, Egyptians were able to boast that a native-born Egyptian, Gamal Abdel Nasser, would govern their nation: Ever since the overthrow of its last native pharaoh nearly 2,500 years ago, Egypt had been ruled by a host of foreign invaders—Persians, Greeks, Romans, Arabs, Turks, and Brits, to name a few. After 1952, however, Egypt, it was believed, would finally be Egyptian.
Recent comments by U.S. officials on the threat posed by “radicalized” American Muslims are troubling, both for their domestic and international implications. Attorney General Eric Holder states that “the threat has changed … to worrying about people in the United States, American citizens — raised here, born here, and who for whatever reason, have decided that they are going to become radicalized and take up arms against the nation in which they were born.”
It is clear that the media and its host of analysts are split in two camps on the Egyptian revolution: one that sees it as a wonderful expression of “people-power” that, left alone, will naturally culminate into some sort of pluralistic democracy, and another that sees only the Muslim Brotherhood, in other words, that sees only bad coming from the revolution. These extremist views need balancing.
One of the most widely circulated newspapers in the world, Egypt’s Al Ahram, recently ran a fake picturedepicting Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak walking in front of U.S. President Barack Obama and a pack of other Mideast leaders. In fact, based on the original photo, Mubarak, the octogenarian, appeared trailing last.
In een recente aflevering van de populaire Arabische show al-Sharia wa al-Haya (gedragscode en leven), die elke week wordt uitgezonden door Al Jazeera en waarin de vermaarde moslimgeleerde sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi optreedt, werd het belangrijke maar toch weinig bekende moslim begrip taysir behandeld.
Dans un article récent, j’ai fait valoir que la mosquée «Ground Zero» est contre-productive pour l’islam. Le lendemain (le 5 août), le journal égyptien Al Masry Al Youm rapportait qu’Al Azhar – l’une des plus hautes autorités de l’islam sunnite – est du même avis.
The thrust of Smith’s argument is that sharia is a “hopelessly abstract concept” and “a highly idealized version of reality that has little basis in fact”; that sharia is “a catchall phrase for legal principles that have rarely, if ever, existed in actual Muslim societies”; and that “the notion that something called ‘sharia’ was widely imposed throughout the lands of Islam is an Orientalist fantasy.”
In a recent article, I argued that the Ground Zero mosque is counterproductive to Islam. The following day, on August 5th, the Egyptian newspaper Al Masry Al Youm reported that none other than Al Azhar — one of Sunni Islam’s most authoritative institutions — agrees.