Egypt, 2012: The Year In Fatwas

February 5, 2013 1:08 am 0 comments

Mohammed Morsi. Photo: YouTube.

In previous decades in Egypt, the fatwas, or legal decrees issued by learned Muslims and based on Sharia law, revolved around questions like proper prayer, when and where women should wear the hijab, and if smoking was forbidden or permissible.

That was then.
The fatwas issued in the year 2012—the year when Islamists, spearheaded by the Muslim Brotherhood, assumed formal power—are, as one would expect, markedly different, that is, much less restrained. The popular Egyptian Arabic website El-Watan News recently compiled a list of 2012′s most “notable” (a euphemism) fatwas. I translate a summary of their findings below, augmented with additional observations:

Destruction of the Pyramids and Sphinx

In November, Sheikh Murjan Salem al-Jawhari, a Salafi leader, called for the destruction of all idols, relics, and statues in Egypt, specifically mentioning the Sphinx and the Great Pyramids. He called on Muslims to destroy such “idols” just as they destroyed the Buddha statues in Afghanistan. Of course, several months earlier, in July, I reported how several prominent Islamic clerics were calling on President Morsi to “destroy the Pyramids and accomplish what the Sahabi Amr bin al-As [the first Muslim invader of Egypt] could not.” Then and now, the MSM scoffed at the very idea, portraying it as a “hoax.” To date, reports from Egypt confirm that “some of the statues have already been destroyed by those belonging to the political Islamist parties.”

Marrying Minors (i.e., Pedophilia)

Dr. Yassir al-Burhami, Vice President of the Salafi Da’wa movement, and thus an authoritative figure among Egypt’s Salafis, who are playing a prominent role in the nation’s new parliament, opposed setting a minimum age in the new constitution concerning the marriage of minor girls, saying “they can get married at any time,” and insisting that Sharia law is clear on this matter. Indeed, earlier, another cleric and member of Saudi Arabia’s highest religious council, after saying that girls can be married “even if they are in the cradle,” explained the fundamental criterion of when they can copulate: whenever “they are capable of being placed beneath and bearing the weight of the men,” which has less to do with age and more to do with individual capacity.

Permitting Lies and Hypocrisy

Dr. Yassir al-Burhami also permitted wives to “lie to their husbands” about their whereabouts—if they were going to go and vote “yes” on the Sharia-heavy constitution in Egypt, and if their husbands would otherwise have disapproved. The ever-expedient Salafi leader also permitted Egypt to borrow money from the IMF, rationalizing the “forbidden” interest rate away as “administrative charges.” (Islam forbids Muslim participation in monetary loans that charge interest, as does the IMF.)

Scrapping Camp David Accords

Sheikh Hashem Islam, member of the Al-Azhar Fatwa Committee, said that the peace treaty with Israel contradicts the teachings of Sharia and should be annulled, quoting the Koran: “So do not weaken and call for peace while you are superior; and Allah is with you and will never deprive you of [the reward of] your deeds” (47:35). He added that “Jews cannot be trusted.” The Islamic logic he and others use is that peace treaties with infidels are legitimate only when Muslims are weak and in need, whereas now that Egypt is under proper Muslim leadership, Allah will help it to defeat Israel.

Killing Anyone Protesting Islamization of Egypt

Sheikh Hashem Islam also permitted the killing of anti-Islamization protesters, portraying them as traitors committing “high treason.” The Sheikh also exempted the murderers from having to pay the restitution required by Sharia to a Muslim victim’s family. Sheikh Wagdi Ghoneim issued a similar fatwa, proclaiming any Muslim who rejects the Sharia-heavy constitution of being an apostate who must be fought and killed.

Obeying President Morsi

Sheikh Ahmed Mahlawi, the leader of an Alexandrian mosque, denounced all Muslims opposed to President Morsi, pointing out that the Koran declares it to be forbidden to disobey those in authority: “Obey Allah and obey the Messenger [Muhammad] and those in authority among you” (4:59). He added that Morsi should be obeyed whether he was elected or not—as long as he enforces the laws of Allah. In fact, according to Sharia, the Islamic ruler must always be obeyed—except whenever he fails to enforce Sharia.

Banning Greeting Christians

The Committee for Rights and Reform issued a Fatwa against congratulating Christian Copts on their religious holidays, notably Christmas and Easter, since Muslims do not share the beliefs specific to those holidays. As for the ever-reliable Salafi Sheikh Burhami, he further forbade Muslim cab and bus drivers from transporting Christian priests to their churches, which he depicted as “more forbidden than taking someone to a liquor bar.”

Banning Saluting the Egyptian Flag

Abd al-Akhir Hamad, the mufti of the notorious Gama’a Islamiya (Islamic Group), denounced and forbade the saluting of the flag and the Egyptian national anthem, saying that doing so glorifies that which is other than Allah—not to mention music is simply “haram,” that is, forbidden. Dar Al-Ifta’ issued a counter-fatwa to allow for saluting the flag and standing up for the national anthem.

Banning TV Shows Mocking Political Islamists

A fatwa banning TV viewers from watching the very popular shows of Bassem Yusif, who routinely mocks Egypt’s Islamists and their fatwas, appeared and was originally attributed to Dar Al-Ifta’, though it later denied issuing it.

Banning Marriage to Mubarak-Regime “Remnants”

Sheik Omar Stouhi, Secretary General of the Supreme Committee for Islamic Da’wa at Al-Azhar, forbade all Muslim women from marrying any of the sons of the “remnants” of the old regimes, portraying them as non-pious Muslims.

Banning Joining the Dustor Political Party

Sheikh Muhammad Nazmi issued a ban on people from joining Egypt’s Dustor political party, headed by Dr. Muhammad al-Baradei, saying that the latter is a secularist and opposed to the implementation of Allah’s laws.

This column was originally published by Front Page Magazine. Raymond Ibrahim is a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center and an Associate Fellow at the Middle East Forum.

Leave a Reply

Please note: comments may be published in the Algemeiner print edition.


Current day month ye@r *

More...

  • Education Why We Should Invest in Jewish Children

    Why We Should Invest in Jewish Children

    JNS.org – My wife Suzy and I will never forget our wedding day. It was not just the uplifting ceremony and beautiful party that left an indelible mark. Some life-altering advice that we received from one of our guests informed and shaped our lives from that day forward. My high school teacher, Rabbi Moshe Yagid, pulled us aside just before the chuppah and challenged us to choose one mitzvah that would be the foundation of our marriage and our lives. He explained [...]

    Read more →
  • Jewish Identity Sports LeBron James’ New Coach Shaped by Summer on Kibbutz and Jewish ‘Life Lessons’

    LeBron James’ New Coach Shaped by Summer on Kibbutz and Jewish ‘Life Lessons’

    JNS.org – Influenced by his Jewish upbringing and a summer on a kibbutz, basketball coach David Blatt is embarking on his highest-profile challenge yet: coaching LeBron James, the four-time National Basketball Association (NBA) Most Valuable Player who has made waves for returning to his hometown Cleveland Cavaliers. After guiding Israel’s storied Maccabi Tel Aviv basketball franchise to its 51st Israeli league championship and 6th Euroleague title this past season, Blatt landed the Cavaliers head-coaching job in June. Just weeks later, [...]

    Read more →
  • Food Jewish Identity Young Syrian Jewish Restauranteur Continues a Family Legacy

    Young Syrian Jewish Restauranteur Continues a Family Legacy

    JNS.org – At the turn of the century, a young Jewish immigrant arrived in New York. So begins the history of many American Jewish families. It is 27-year-old Albert Allaham’s story, too, with a few unusual twists. Albert’s “century” is the 21st—he arrived almost 100 years after the massive waves of European Jewish immigration. Rather than coming from a small town along the Danube river, his shtetl was Damascus. His first American business was not a pushcart on the Lower East [...]

    Read more →
  • Book Reviews Jewish Identity A Holistic Look at the Rebbe’s Life and Career (REVIEW)

    A Holistic Look at the Rebbe’s Life and Career (REVIEW)

    Did you know that in the entire Bible, only one birthday is mentioned and it is that of Pharaoh? And did you know that according to some scientists, by accepting Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity, it is impossible to prove or disprove that the sun is the gravitational center of our solar system? In his new book, REBBE, best-selling author Joseph Telushkin reveals many surprising and sometimes shocking details as he chronicles the life and teachings of the charismatic Rabbi [...]

    Read more →
  • Food Mitzvos New Jerusalem Eatery’s Uniform Pricing Seeks to ‘Help People Make It’

    New Jerusalem Eatery’s Uniform Pricing Seeks to ‘Help People Make It’

    JNS.org – Omelet sandwich: 5 shekels. Iced coffee: 5 shekels. Tuna sandwich: 5 shekels. Fresh-squeezed orange juice: 5 shekels. Cheese bureka: 5 shekels. There’s plenty more on the Cofizz menu, but you get the idea. Dani Mizrahi and Amir Amshalm, two Israeli men in their early 30s, asked themselves: Why not launch a take-out food joint in busy neighborhoods around Jerusalem where everything—and that means everything—goes for five shekels, or about $1.50. They’d seen the concept take off in Tel Aviv, where [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Israel New Primetime Drama ‘Tyrant’ Filmed Entirely in Israel (VIDEO)

    New Primetime Drama ‘Tyrant’ Filmed Entirely in Israel (VIDEO)

    The new FX Network drama Tyrant was shot entirely in Israel, just 10 miles north of Tel Aviv, Bloomberg News reported last Tuesday. Tyrant follows the life of an Arab dictator’s second son Barry, played by Adam Rayner, who reluctantly returns home to the Middle Eastern nation of his birth to join the family business away from his suburban life in America. The elaborate set production for the primetime drama included a crew of 300 and a reported cost of over $3 million [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture US & Canada Supermodel: Jewish Mothers Are Constantly Trying to Set Me Up With Their Sons

    Supermodel: Jewish Mothers Are Constantly Trying to Set Me Up With Their Sons

    Skokie, Il-born 25-year-old Erin Heatherton (Erin Heather Bubley) is rocking the modeling world. And in a new interview accompanying a cover spread for Miami’s Ocean Drive magazine, she says Jewish moms are “constantly trying to set her up with their sons.” Imagine that – who would have thought? “The moms, they’re doing what they do. It doesn’t matter what country they live in, what city – grandmothers, too,” she admitted. “But I’m probably going to do that too one day.” Heatherton was [...]

    Read more →
  • Education Israel First Ever: Turkish Academics to Visit Israel Holocaust Museum for Seminar

    First Ever: Turkish Academics to Visit Israel Holocaust Museum for Seminar

    Some 15 Turkish university professors and lecturers will take part in a first of its kind seminar at Holocaust museum Yad Vashem’s International School for Holocaust Studies starting next week. The trip is especially significant as Holocaust denial is rampant in the Arab world. A Palestinian professor was recently forced to resign after he led a trip to the Nazi extermination camp Auschwitz. Participants in the week-long program at Yad Vashem will experience in-depth tours of the museum’s archives and [...]

    Read more →



Sign up now to receive our regular news briefs.