Historical eras are difficult to recognize before they end. The Renaissance became the Renaissance only in retrospect; the same can be said for the Dark Ages that preceded it and any number of other eras. The reason is simple: It is impossible to know if some promising or troubling development stands alone or represents the start of a lasting trend.
Egypt’s former defense minister and current president, Abdul Fattah al-Sisi, is not yet a well-known personality outside of Egypt. In addition to his bilateral meeting with President Obama in late September, the Egyptian government took advantage of Sisi’s attendance at the United Nations General Assembly to arrange a series of meetings with American analysts, pundits, business leaders, and interest groups to formally introduce the country’s new president to American audiences perceived as having an influence on U.S.-Egypt relations.
For the first time since 1978, Frank Wolf’s name will not appear on the November ballot in Virginia’s Tenth Congressional District. The republic will be the poorer for that.
His Holiness Pope Tawadros II, 118th Pope of Alexandria and Patriarch of the See of Saint Mark, accompanied by a papal delegation, was received by His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia at the Russian Patriarchate on 29 October 2014.
The visit, that included a formal meeting of delegations, followed by lunch, marks 26 years since the most recent visit of the last Pope of Alexandria, His Holiness, the late Pope Shenouda III.
By Salah Laban
“Nobody denies that the Salafi current has the greatest share in initiating the revolution, as it exposed to the people the loyalty of the Arab regimes to the West, their squandering of the resources of the Umma [Islamic Nation], and their failing to preserve its holy sites." This is what a leader of the Jihadi-Salafi current, Muhammad Mustafa, also known as "Abu Shadi", said, stressing that the Salafis never stayed away from politics, but rather applied it in accordance to their understanding of Sharia, and that they also played the role of "enlightening before revolutionizing," recognizing that popular revolts are the greatest means for change. Abu Shadi also confirms that he was one of Tahrir Square’s preachers during the revolution, and that Jihadi Salafism is present in Egypt, and in large numbers, in the millions, according to him.
In Abu Shadi's view, the street [i.e., the average Muslim Egyptian] is in complete agreement with Salafism, and the attack on the Salafis comes from the "enemies of Islam," or, in his opinion, "the forces of infidels and crusaders.” Moreover, he confirms, with confidence, that the Egyptian Islamic movements have the "mechanism to deal with the infidels".. Abu Shadi sees that it was only fear, and perhaps error [of judgment], which led some Salafi preachers to call against going out [to protest] against Mubarak. He pointed out that Mubarak fought Islamists, and harmed Islam, because he helped the crusaders occupy Iraq and Afghanistan, adding that "there is no obedience to whoever does not govern according to Sharia." For him, the conditions to be a ruler of a Muslim state are to be Muslim, masculine, and possess [religious] knowledge—even to the degree of being an exegete.
He called upon the Islamic movements to carefully distinguish between believers and infidels. The leading Salafi explains: "We do not transgress against the Nassara [or “Nazarenes,” the Quranic appellation for Christians], but they must either pay jizya [tribute, and assume inferior status], convert to Islam, or war. He adds: [Samuel] Huntington said the truth even though he was a liar, for the coming struggle is the clash of civilizations, and Islam will be victorious and rule the world with an "Islamic caliphate"... Abu Shady belittles the symbols of secularism in the "lands of Muslims," describing them as few [in number], and points out that there is confusion among the people regarding "the fact that they are infidels.” He threatened that a statement will be shortly published by the Salafis, revealing the truth about them [the secularists], which "will make the masses beat them with shoes, for we must fight them because they are in the trench of infidelity,” according to the Salafi leader.
Al-Qaeda has a sacred status to Abu Shadi, as its members are "the companions after the [Prophet's] Companions” [i.e., the most faithful of Muslims] adding that it gave the Umma an unprecedented boost, by leading it towards a legitimate goal. He said that the masses rose against the Arab rulers thanks to al-Qaeda and what it presented by way of statements and facts, in sound and image. In a tone full of aspirational gladness, he stressed that the idea of jihad is still alive in Egypt, and that "the struggle will continue until the Umma stands up to the two camps, namely, [for] faith and [against] infidelity."
The leading Salafi then goes back in memory to a dark corner, when he published an article entitled "A Vision for Change" in an Islamic blog, which caused his arrest on charges of incitement to revolt against the regime. He says “In prison, electricity was used all over my body.”
For him, Sufi and Shiite thoughts are quite similar, and are both the main reason for the occupation of the lands of Islam. "Sufism is a malignant disease, a dagger in the body of the Umma; we must get rid of it in order for the Umma to recover—and a strong wind will come to wipe out the enemies of Allah."
Translated by CS from :
Coptic Solidarity 2014 Conference
The Annual Conference was held in Washington, D.C. on June 26-28, 2014.