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August 4, 2015 / 19 Av, 5775
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Posts Tagged ‘imam’

Egypt’s Top Islamic Cleric Warns ‘Charlie Hebdo’

Wednesday, January 14th, 2015

The office of one of the most influential Islamic clerics in the Middle East warned the remaining staff of the French satiric weekly magazine Charlie Hebdo to pull its intended cover cartoon for the January 14 edition.

The caricature, released earlier this week in previews to media, shows a depiction of the prophet Muhammed, founder of Islam, with a tear trickling down his face, holding a sign that reads, “Je Suis Charlie” (I Am Charlie) under the words, “Tout est pardonne” (All is forgiven.)

The work stands as a clear and obvious reference to last week’s murderous rampage by radical Islamist terrorists who targeted the magazine and its editorial staff, and the outcry by protesters that followed. The terrorists slaughtered only those on a list believed by Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) to be responsible for past depictions of the prophet, ignoring ancillary staff at the site. A maintenance worker and another person who became caught in the crossfire also were killed, as were two police officers, one of whom was assigned to protect the magazine’s editor-in-chief, Stephan Charbonnier. He was the first of the staff to be murdered.

“Je Suis Charlie” was the rallying cry taken up by some four million demonstrators in Paris and even more in a show of solidarity around the world who stood in silence with candles, pens, pencils and protest signs to signal their determination that freedom of expression continue despite the threat of Islamic extremism.

During the three-day killing spree by two terror cells from Al Qaeda and the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) that began with the Charlie Hebdo attack, 17 people lost their lives, including four Jews at a kosher grocery story on Friday just a few hours before the Sabbath. In addition, one of the magazine’s targeted top cartoonists was Jewish.

Egypt’s Grand Mufti Shawqi Allam warned in a statement that this week’s upcoming cover would be an “unwarranted provocation against the feelings of … Muslims around the world.”

The danger could in fact be magnified exponentially: the magazine’s usual run of 60,000 is allegedly to be expanded this week to as many as 3 million copies. Hoping to head off a worldwide radical Islamist wildfire, Allam called on the French government to reject the “racist act” by Charlie Hebdo, which he said was trying to provoke “religious strife” and “deepen hatred.”

Allam had previously called the attack on the magazine a “terrorist” act. Likewise, officials at the 1,000-year-old Egyptian Al Azhar Islamic Center, known to be the oldest center of Islamic studies in the world, referred to the attack as a criminal act.

Moreover, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi called on Muslim clerics in an address at Al Azhar to “revolutionize” the Islamic faith and strive to combat extremist ideology – just two weeks before the radical Islamists carried out their reign of terror.

In Egypt, at least, moderate Muslims are beginning to step up and speak out, but that does not necessarily make them pro-Israel, as Dr. Zuhdi Jasser of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy (AIFD) pointed out. Jassser, a Syrian-American internist and nuclear cardiologist, has emerged as a major voice in countering Islamist extremism. He noted that in Egypt, there has been a change in attitude towards Islamist extremism — but not necessarily towards democracy or Israel.

One example, said Jasser, is that of Grand Sheikh Ahmed Muhammad Ahmed el-Tayeb, the leader of Al Azhar University and its mosque, appointed by former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. El-Tayeb supported el-Sisi’s ouster of former Muslim Brotherhood-backed President Mohammed Morsi in Egypt. He has also condemned Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the former Islamic cleric who now heads ISIS – but he has condemned Israel as a force for evil.

‘Honorable Imam, You Bear Responsibility Before Allah’

Friday, January 9th, 2015

A bare two weeks before radical Islamist terrorists calmly emptied the clips of their AK-47 assault rifles into the bodies of 12 journalists at the Paris-based Charlie Hebdo satirical weekly magazine, Egypt’s president warned clerics at the Al Azhar Islamic Center of the urgent need to combat extremist ideology.

In his speech delivered at the centuries-old worldwide center for Islamic studies, President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi called on the imams to “revolutionize” Islam.

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Excerpts of the president’s address were translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) in Washington, DC.

“I would like to reiterate that we are not doing enough with regard to true religious discourse,” the president stated. “The problem has never been with our faith. Perhaps the problem lies in ideology, and this ideology is sanctified among us. I am talking about religious discourse that is in keeping with its times.

“… I am addressing the religious scholars and clerics. We must take a long, hard look at the current situation. I have talked about this several times in the past. We must take a long, hard look at the situation we are in. It is inconceivable that the ideology we sanctify should make our entire nation a source of concern, danger, killing, and destruction all over the world. It is inconceivable that this ideology…

“I am referring not to “religion,” but to “ideology” – the body of ideas and texts that we have sanctified in the course of centuries, to the point that challenging them has become very difficult. “It has reached the point that [this ideology] is hostile to the entire world. Is it conceivable that 1.6 billion [Muslims] would kill the world’s population of seven billion, so that they could live [on their own]? This is inconceivable.

“I say these things here, at Al-Azhar, before religious clerics and scholars. May Allah bear witness on Judgment Day to the truth of your intentions, regarding what I say to you today.

“You cannot see things clearly when you are locked [in this ideology]. You must emerge from it and look from outside, in order to get closer to a truly enlightened ideology. You must oppose it with resolve. Let me say it again: We need to revolutionize our religion. “Honorable Imam [the Grand Sheik of Al-Azhar], you bear responsibility before Allah. The world in its entirety awaits your words, because the Islamic nation is being torn apart, destroyed, and is heading to perdition. We ourselves are bringing it to perdition.”

For the first time ever, Coptic Christians were honored with a visit from the nation’s leader at Christmas mass, as President el-Sisi visited Cairo’s Abbasiya Cathedral on the holy day. El-Sisi congratulated the small Coptic community on the occasion of the holiday earlier this week, and said in a brief address that all Egyptians are as “one hand.”

 

Spanish Imam Prays for ‘Destruction of Jews’ Near Madrid

Thursday, August 28th, 2014

Spain’s Sheikh Shaleheoldine al-Moussaoui, imam of the municipality of Azuqueca De Henares near Madrid, longs to see God “destroy the plundering Jews.”

In a Friday sermon posted to the Internet this week, translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), the imam prayed, “Do not spare a single one of them.”

The anti-Semitic sheikh called the Jewish People ‘treacherous, war-mongering killers.’

“What is being done to the Muslims in Palestine, in Gaza, as well as in the other Muslim countries – we would have been surprised if it were done by anyone other than the Jews,” he declared.

Spain’s New ‘Fornicators’

Tuesday, August 20th, 2013

Originally published at the Gatestone Institute.

Public prosecutors in Spain have dropped charges of “advocating gender violence” against a Muslim cleric who, on April 2013, preached a two-hour sermon in Spanish, entitled “The Queens of Islam,” during which he made a number of pronouncements about the role of women in Spanish society, including: “Any woman who wears perfume and leaves the house and walks past men who can smell her perfume is a fornicator, and every glance she gets is a fornication.”

The case involves Malik Ibn Benaisa, a Muslim imam based in Ceuta, a Spanish exclave in North Africa where Muslims constitute about 50% of the total population.

Benaisa also said that women should be banned from wearing blue jeans and high heels and from leaving the house unless their hands and face are completely covered.

The comments, which were aired on Spanish public television, enraged women’s rights activists and triggered a nationwide debate over when religious speech becomes abusive and crosses the line into “sexual discrimination” and “gender violence.”

After Benaisa’s sermon was re-broadcast on Spanish public television for a second time during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan in July, the Secretary for Gender Equality for the Spanish Socialist Party in Ceuta, Sandra López Cantero, accused Benaisa of being an “advocate for gender violence” and called on public prosecutors to investigate the imam for violating the Spanish Penal Code.

During a press conference on July 23, Cantero recited quotes from Benaisa’s sermon: “A women cannot show her face or bare hands, she cannot wear high heeled shoes, she cannot wear blue jeans, she must wear a scarf to cover her chest, she cannot pluck her eyebrows and she cannot wear perfume because if she uses it she becomes a fornicator. A woman must keep her head down because a jealous husband can cause problems with other men. A woman should be in total submission to her husband. She has an obligation to wear the veil.”

Cantero added: “We will not allow anyone to hide behind any religion or any culture in order to advocate violence. The Socialist Party will not allow any attack on the dignity of women, wherever it may come from. We will not allow the advocacy of violence, especially in a public medium.”

For his part, the President of the center-right Government of Ceuta, Juan Jesús Vivas, said in a statement that he “manifests his defense of the unequivocal values ​​enshrined in the Spanish Constitution, and in particular, those relating to non-discrimination and equality between men and women.”

Vivas added: “The Government of Ceuta believes that all should endeavor, each within the scope of their responsibilities, to reconcile respect for all faiths with the supremacy of democratic values ​​that are the pillars of our social order and of coexistence.”

Amid considerable media controversy across Spain, Benaisa organized a press conference at the Ibn Rochd Benzúa mosque in Ceuta to defend himself. Surrounded by some 150 Muslim female supporters, Benaisa said he lamented the “de-contextualization” of his statements, which he said were aimed exclusively at “Muslim women” in accordance with “the teachings of the Prophet and the Koran.”

According to Benaisa, “My message has always been to advise and not to impose, as this is not part of Islam, because in the Koran Allah makes it clear that there is no compulsion in religion.”

Benaisa also said that the term “fornicating” was not offensive in tone and that its essence was applicable to both men and women, “who when preening themselves excessively before going out are seeking to be unfaithful to their partners and to Allah.”

Spanish public prosecutors have decided to give Benaisa the benefit of the doubt. After analyzing Benaisa’s sermon, the district attorney concluded that the imam had not broken any laws.

In a statement dated August 7, the Ceuta District Attorney said that labelling women as fornicators is not a crime: “In relation to domestic violence, the law refers to concrete action in the form of threats, injuries, coercion or abuse, while the sexual or religious discrimination section of Article 510 of the Penal Code refers to encouraging discrimination, hatred or violence. This did not occur at the conference in question.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/spains-new-fornicators/2013/08/20/

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