By Bob Bennett
There is no question that we are headed for a world war against Islam. Before long, the savage acts we see on television will be inflicted on our homeland.
This is a war we do not want, for there are 1.6 billion Muslims on the planet. The one hope to avoid it is if Islam reforms itself, clearly rejecting terrorism.
During the 13 years since 9/11, we yearned to hear the “moderate Muslims” declare, “Not in my name!”
On New Year’s Day, we heard from one. Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, President of Egypt was reading a speech celebrating the birth of the Prophet, when he went off script—much as Reagan did, when he said “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall,” six words that transformed the world.
Speaking at Al-Azhar University, before an audience of top Imams, Sisi called passionately for a “religious revolution.” He decried “the thinking that we hold most sacred should cause the entire Islamic world to be a source of anxiety, danger, killing and destruction for the rest of the world.”
Sisi pressed for a new direction of Islamic thought and urged a “religious discourse that is in tune with the times.”
He stressed that the problem was not the religion, but in a school of thought that has [illegitimately] become sacred, and that it is not rational for that school of thought to cause the “whole Ummah [Islamic nation] to become a source of concern, danger, murder and devastation across the world.”
His idea was to declare to the world that Islam does not demand or justify terrorism; it rejects terrorism.
Al-Azhar has immense influence in the Islamic world, because of its long history of learned scholars, since its founding in 972, and its estimated 1 million students.
What was the response to this revolutionary statement? The Egypt Daily News, reported:
“A day after Al-Sisi gave his speech, Dar Al-Ifta [The Egyptian House of Religious Edicts] announced … that it is adopting Sisi’s “invitation” to renew religious discourse.
Dar-al-Ifta receives inquiries from all over the world regarding the application of the Qur’an and the sunna to everyday life, and in response authorities of Dar al-Ifta issue thousands of religious edicts (fatwas) every month.”— Islamopedia
The Egypt Daily News: “The Grand Mufti’s adviser, Ibrahim Negm, said ‘Dar Al-Ifta will make developments … with the purpose of achieving the highest levels of “effective interaction” with Muslims in Egypt, the Arab World, and the world.’” Negm discussed a detailed plan “to confront “extremist ideas” and respond to them.”
“The Minister of Religious Endowments, Mohamed Mokhtar Gomaa vowed days later to ‘renew religious discourse.’ He said the ‘problems’ society faces are due to ‘movements that propagate loyalty to groups and not to religion and its teachings’”
The terrorist movement requires a steady stream of recruits; religion is the magnet. This plan would help dry up that stream, and isolate the terrorists from the millions of Muslims who would not themselves commit a violent act, but agree with the extremists, because the Koran appears to justify their acts.
What was the response of the Leader of the Free World to Egypt’s president? On January 28th, the Washington Free Beacon wrote:
“The State Department hosted a delegation of Muslim Brotherhood-aligned leaders this week for a meeting about their ongoing efforts to oppose the current government of President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi of Egypt…” [Emphasis mine.]
Sisi’s treatment parallels the Netanyahu treatment: Obama working behind the scenes to unseat those he disagrees with. Typically, Obama chose Iran over Israel, the Brotherhood over Sisi.
The meeting brought swift results. The Beacon reported, only days later that “The Muslim Brotherhood called for ‘a long, uncompromising jihad’ in Egypt…” Two days after the call for jihad, there was a “major terror attack … in Egypt’s lawless Sinai region that killed at least 25.”
This, when Egypt under Sisi had finally begun to achieve a measure of peace, after months of bloody riots, church burnings and murders of Christians, by the MB.
Why has our president consistently aligned himself with this group?
One of the delegates to the January meeting, “Maha Azzam confirms that [the] ‘anti-coup’ delegation… had ‘fruitful’ conversations at State Dept,” tweeted Egypt expert Eric Trager.
The term “anti-coup” alludes to the Brotherhood’s claim that Sisi’s predecessor, Mohamed Morsi had been deposed by a military coup. Morsi, former Leader of the Brotherhood, was “elected” in June 2012. Judge for yourself, if his removal was a coup.
Many in our government objected to the removal of Egypt’s first “democratically elected” president, a year later. But the election wasn’t so democratic: the prominent Dr. Michael Youssef, founding pastor of the 3,000 member Church of the Apostles in Atlanta, was quoted in the Christian Post:
“In thousands of villages, during the election, they stood with guns outside the polling booths. And if a Christian wanted to go in to vote, they would say ‘You go in, and we’ll kill you.’”
“Morsi actually lost the election by more than 200,000 votes. But the American ambassador in Cairo, Anne Patterson, who was carrying the wishes of her bosses in Washington, pressured the military counsel (English Translation) to declare Morsi the winner. The reason? To avoid bloodshed.”
Upon Morsi’s “election” on June 30, 2012, he wasted no time assuming dictatorial powers. Behold the “democracy” we supported in Egypt:
“The Shura Council was voted in by 7% of the voting power in Egypt, and it was … made up of Islamists.
“It also discussed laws allowing the marrying off of little girls once they reach puberty, legalizing female genital mutilation, and depriving women from the right to file for divorce against their husbands (Khula).
—By Rana Alam, Managing Editor of the Daily News of Egypt
The Brotherhood proceeded to follow their instincts: brutal attacks against religious minorities, particularly Coptic Christians and Shiite Muslims. Yet President Obama supplied Morsi with Abrams tanks and B-16 bombers.
Morsi was incompetent, as well as dictatorial. The economy faltered, forcing many Egyptians to stand in bread lines.
The natural result was increasing unrest. 22 million Egyptians signed a petition demanding that Morsi step down. 30 million protesters took to the streets—the largest protest ever, anywhere.
Did our president urge Morsi to step down, as he had done with Mubarak? Instead, his ambassador, Anne Patterson tried to persuade the Coptic Pope to tell his flock not to join in the protests. He refused.
Patterson and Obama became widely despised by the Egyptians, who viewed them—and America—as supporting terrorism. View photos here.
In Egypt, the armed forces have traditionally been a balancing mechanism, to defend the country against total chaos. In turn, Egyptians have a deep trust in the army.
On July 1, 2013 the armed forces gave Morsi 48 hours to make a pact with his critics.
In a speech the next night, Morsi refused to step down saying: his administration was “going forward on its previously plotted path…”
Three hours later, on the Facebook page of the Armed Forces, its leader, Gen. Sisi, declared: “We swear to God that we will sacrifice even our blood for Egypt and its people, to defend them against any terrorist, radical or fool.” Morsi was all three.
On July 4, 2013—coincidently our own Independence Day—Sisi ordered Morsi’s removal.
This was followed by months of Brotherhood supporters paralyzing Egypt with violent protests and widespread burning of churches and murder of Christians.
Sisi was determined to halt the demonstrations, during which protesters were firing at police. He ordered the arrest of hundreds of Brotherhood figures and supporters, including Morsi himself.
On June 3, 2014 Al-Sisi was elected president.
The Muslim Brotherhood was declared illegal, but pockets of violence still persist. Sisi is fighting a true War on Terror—a war his people support. Maybe his methods seem “undemocratic.” But, I say it’s a form of denazification. In 1945, we didn’t hold elections in Germany, and allow Nazis to run for office.
And as far as mass imprisonments, that is precisely what we did in Gitmo; there doesn’t seem a better solution for thousands of fanatics ready to kill for their faith.
Unfortunately, our president has chosen the other side.
Bob Bennett is a New York-based writer who has written op-eds for the Wall Street Journal and the NY Post, and has appeared on Fox and Friends and America’s Newsroom. He has traveled widely and written travel pieces for the NY Post, a cover article for the Jewish Press, and an op-ed for the medical journal Cancer Biotherapy & Radioimmunotherapy. Bob was also award-winning producer of a travel radio show heard on New York stations: WMCA, WNWK and 50,000 watt WOR and the national Sky Angel Network. He now blogs on Tea Party Nation, Tea Party Community and Red State Diaries.