In a major positive development, Egypt's President Al Sisi has made an impassioned plea for a "religious revolution" in Islam. Speaking at Al Azhar University in Cairo, Sisi spoke directly to the religious establishment of Egypt:
Is it possible that 1.6 billion people [Muslims] should want to kill the rest of the world's inhabitants – that is 7 billion – so that they themselves may live? Impossible!I am saying these words here at Al Azhar, before this assembly of scholars and ulema – Allah Almighty be witness to your truth on Judgment Day concerning that which I'm talking about now.All this that I am telling you, you cannot feel it if you remain trapped within this mindset. You need to step outside of yourselves to be able to observe it and reflect on it it from a more enlightened perspective.I say and repeat again that we are in need of a religious revolution. You, imams, are responsible before Allah. The entire world, I say it again, the entire world is waiting for your next move... because this umma is being torn, it is being destroyed, it is being lost – and it is being lost by our own hands.
Egypt has long been considered a leading nation in the Arab world, and for its president to call for a "religious revolution" is a historic event. Al Sisi may represent a powerful undercurrent that has been growing in the Arab world that Islam needs a reformation to come to terms with the modern world. As with the Soviet Union, many people have been thinking that and quietly talking about it, but they have been afraid to speak up. Al Sisi's declaration to the religious authorities in Egypt is likely to start a much-needed open debate among Muslims around the world.
WHILE IT IS CERTAINLY NICE THAT AL SISI IS SPEAKING OUT AGAINST ISLAMISM, IT IS HARDLY SURPRISING OR A HARBINGER IN MY OPINION.THE EGYPTIAN ARMY HAS LONG BEEN ANTI-ISLAMIST.
SADAT WAS ASSASSINATED BY THEM.
SADAT'S SUCCESSOR - MUBURAK - WHO HAD BRUTALLY KEPT THEM IN CHECK AS A RESULT - WAS OVERTHROWN BY THEM.
EVEN NASSER OPPOSED THEM WHOLEHEARTEDLY.
AND WITH RIDICULE AND DERISION. HERE'S A VIDEO;
I THINK THE FACT THAT THE AUDIENCE IN THE NASSER VIDEO ARE LAUGHING AND THE ONE ON THE AL SISI VIDEO ARE AUSTERE IS VERY TELLING.TRUE: AL SISI IS ADDRESSING THE CLERICS, AND NASSER WAS ADDRESSING HIS PARTY MEMBERS.
BUT STILL, NASSER'S ATTACK SEEMS MORE COMPLETE.
THE DISDAIN... TOTAL.
AL SISI SEEMS TO BE CHALLENGING AN ALMOST EQUAL POWER, WHEREAS NASSER WAS RIDICULING A GROUP HE HELD IN CONTEMPT.
THIS MAY BE A RESULT OF A SIMPLE FACT: THE ISLAMISTS ARE FAR MORE POWERFUL NOW, THAN THEY WERE IN 1952.
TO DEFEAT THEM IN EGYPT, THEY WILL HAVE TO BE DEFEATED IN AFGHANISTAN AND IRAQ AND SYRIA AND TURKEY.
IT WILL TAKE MORE THAN WORDS TO DO THAT.