Thursday, September 07, 2006

Jamestown foundation paper on Hizbullah support in Egypt

Jamestown foundation has published a paper on how support for Hizbullah in Egypt Threathens Mubarak´s Stability Apart from the fact that i don´t think this threatens the regime, more than any other issue in the long run, it´s a good roundup of the events relating to the war, and the massive, and for the President and the two kings, unexpected public support for Lebanon, Hizbullah and indeed it´s leader Hassan Nasrallah.

The most interesting part in my view, is the war of fatwas between the leading members of establishment Islam, and some less prestigous, but more popular clerics from within the establishment of al Azhar.

¨Popular Cairo imam Safwat al-Higazi took to satellite network al-Nas to issue a fatwa calling on Muslims to kill all Jewish Israelis with firearms, knives and poison. Al-Azhar responded by suspending al-Higazi from preaching at Friday prayers and issuing its own fatwa that visa-holding Israelis in Egypt could not be killed. As Egypt's government-appointed grand mufti 'Ali Guma'a explained, the visa amounted to an inviolable "safe-conduct" pass (al-Masri al-Yom, August 22). 'Ali Guma'a denounced descriptions of Hezbollah "terrorism," describing their role as simple defense of their country (MENA, July 28). The mufti praised Hezbollah for teaching the Arabs "how to fight honorably and fairly," but also aired the old canard that Jews make matzo (unleavened bread) with human blood, describing the Israelis as "bloodsuckers" (al-Ahram, August 7).¨

I can´t help but notice that al Higazi is denounced and suspended for what he said, but the mufti could air other words, that are antisemitic, while creating a special category of wisa-holding Israelis, which are not permissable to kill, when being in Egypt as a tourist. Ubelivable, does that mean that an Israeli is permissable to kill
after leaving Egypt.. Very pragmatic indeed.

Thank God for shaikh al Azhar al Tantawi , considering what he said, only yesterday

¨Tantawi: Jihad is Purely Defensive
Freedom of Religious Belief Intrinsic to Islam

Al-Sharq al-Awsat(Arabic) reports that the Grand Sheikh of al-Azhar Seminary in Cairo, perhaps the foremost Sunni Arab authority, has issued a statement that jihad or "holy war" was legislated in Islam for the defense of the persons and honor of Muslims, and is not to be used as a threat or a form of aggression against the innocent.

Dr. Muhammad Sayyid Tantawi called for the correction of false Western ideas concerning Islam, especially the notion of "jihad."

The remarks came in a closing session of a joint Muslim-Christian Dialogue Committee between al-Azhar and the Anglican Church in the UK.

Grand Sheikh Tantawi denied that there is any clash of civilizations or religions, affirmed that members of the religions cooperate with one another, and mere difference in religion does not prevent that.

He quoted the Quran verse, "There is no compulsion in religion," saying that it demonstrates that freedom of belief is delegated (to human beings), and any practices that contradict that principle are considered departures from true Islam.¨

It still seems that he is battling it out with Ali Goma, in much the same way as he did with the late Shaikh al Azhar, Gad al Haq in the nineties during the UN Population conference in Cairo, and on the issue of female genital mutilation.

I also can´t help to think about the fact that Sheikh Yousef Qardawi and the President seem to share the same view on shiítes in general.

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