Egypt’s President Sisi: ‘Extremists Offend The Image Of God’; Congress Should Invite President Sisi To Address A Joint Session Of Congress — As He Makes a Clarion Call…For An Islamic Reformation
The despicable and hedous act of burning a Jordanian pilot alive; and, Jordan’s subsequent — aggressive military operations against the Islamic State, the situation in Ukraine, and the Iranian nuclear issue have sucked a lot of the oxygen out of the room so to speak; and, overshadowed what may turn out to be a much more important event in ‘the Islamic Church,’ than anything to date. Egypt’s President Sisi, in a February 9, 2015 interview with the German news magazine, Der Spiegel International, “discusses his country’s struggles, the forceful overthrow of his predecessor, Mohammed Morsi; and the threat posed to Egypt by the Islamic State and the Muslim Brotherhood.”
I refer you to Der Spiegel for the full article. With respect to President Sisi’s recent call for a reformation in the ‘Islamic Church,’ President Sisi told Der Spiegel that, “the religious discourse will take a lot of time. It must enumerate from the recognition…that we have a problem. We are talking here about the most precious thing for Arab and Muslim countries, because religion is ingrained in the hearts and minds of the people.”
When asked by Der Spiegel, if this means a reinterpretation of the Koran, or the Islamic legal and moral code known as Sharia?, President Sisi said “for 1,400 years, the Koran represented the absolute truth. But, interpretations differ. I propose removing wrong and distorted ideas from the religious discourse. Two days ago, I took part in a conference attended not only by Azhar’s highest authorities; but, also the Coptic Pope, intellectuals, and politicians. The subject was “freedom of choice,” and the great gift this freedom represents. The right to choose a particular faith, whether Christian, Jewish, or Muslim — is an inherent part of our religion.”
“Does this mean that Muslims should take action against those who falsely interpret their religion?” Der Spiegel asks? President Sisi responded, “Of course, because these extremists not only insult Islam, but , they also insult the image of God. the almighty. Their false beliefs lead many people to ask themselves, ‘What kind of religion is this Islam?” What a powerful statement.
Regarding the fight against the Islamic State, President Sisi warned, “if we fail in this fight against terrorism, the entire region will be embroiled in turmoil for the next 50yrs. Europe will also be threatened with attacks by extremists. I already told my European friends this one-and-a-half years ago.” And, how did they react,” to this observation?,”” Der Spiegel asks. “They didn’t want to believe me. They thought I was trying to justify what happened here (Tahirir Square and the forceful removal of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Morsi). Sounds like these European leaders are drinking the same Kool-Aid as the White House, urging “strategic patience,” failing to clearly identify the threat; and, more worried about “Polar bears,” as one Fox News commentator put it — “than be-headings.”
Regarding the recent terrorist attacks in the Sinai, President Sisi said “about 600K people live on the whole of the Sinai; and, the terrorists are only a fraction of that. They cannot threaten the unity of Egypt. They are only attracting attention…because their actions are so diabolical. We are determined to fight the terrorists.”
“What is the greater threat — the Islamic State, or the Muslim Brotherhood?,” Der Spiegel asks. “They both share the same ideology,” President Sisi responded; but, “the Muslim Brotherhood is the origin of all of it. All these other extremists emanated from them.” For a great book that provides the foundation for this assertion, I recommend Lawrence Wright’s masterpiece — which I read twice — “The Looming Tower: Al Qaeda And The Road To 9/11.”
I am agnostic on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s upcoming address to a joint session of Congress next month — if it isn’t canceled — but, here we have an Arab leader at the very center of the Arab world, issuing a clarion call for a reformation in the Islamic Church. Here is a President; and, Arab leader that should be invited to address a joint session of Congress. Between President Sisi and Jordan’s King Abdullah, we are witnessing strong leadership and an exercise in courage and leadership — something that has been sorely lacking in Washington D.C., under POTUS Obama’s reign. POTUS Obama and his national security team are more worried “about polar bears, than be-headings,” as a Fox News commentator said. President Sisi needs more support and our encouragement for taking a courageous stand — and, laying down a marker.
As someone once wrote, “We cannot chose our battlefields, God does that for us; but, we can plant a standard…where a standard never flew.” Both men, in their own way, are planting a standard — where a standard never flew; and maybe, just maybe, will both prove to be pivotal in the fight against this global jihad. Where would we be right now, without Jordan, and Egypt? Good luck President Sisi. V/R, RCP