by Billy Hallowell
A startling interview with Sheikh ‘Adel Shehato that was published in Roz Al-Yousef, an Egyptian daily newspaper, raises some serious concerns about Egypt’s future. Shehato, a senior official in Egyptian Islamic Jihad (EIJ), was imprisoned back in 1991 and freed during the uprisings back in March. Now, he is speaking out and sharing his radical views about sharia law, worldwide domination and Jewish and Christian “infidels.”
In the interview, Shehato shows his disdain for democracy, claiming that “it is not the faith of the Muslims, but the faith of the Jews and Christians.” Aside from railing against democracy, he goes on to unabashedly claim that sharia is his ultimate goal. Further showcasing his view that “rule by the people” is completely unacceptable, he continues with the following:
“once Allah’s law is applied, the role of the people will end and Allah will reign supreme.”
According to Memri.org, Shehato pledged his support for Al-Qaeda’s ideologies, but he claims that sharia law will not be imposed through violence. Instead, he says it will be instilled through preaching (violence, of course, is reserved to be used against “infidel Arab rulers). Memri.orgcontinues:
Shehato said that if the mujahideen came to power in Egypt, they would launch a campaign of Islamic conquests aimed at subjecting the entire world to Islamic rule. Muslim ambassadors would be appointed to each country, charged with calling upon them to join Islam willingly, but if the countries refused, war would be waged against them.
The Islamic state he’d like to see Egypt become is an equally concerning picture — a nation that would have no trade or cultural ties with non-Muslims. And because tourists “drink alcohol and fornicate,” all of the sites that have made Egypt a popular destination for foreign vacationers. will be shut down. Art, dancing, singing and other exercises of talent and self-expression will also be prohibited. Below, take a look at just a small snippet of the Roz Al-Yousef interview:
Q: “But we Egyptians have never regarded the Christians as infidels. [In fact,] many of us have Christian friends even closer than our Muslim friends.”
Shehato: “As a Muslim, I must support the Muslim and oppose the Christian. If there is a Christian who does me no harm, I will maintain limited contact with him. Islam [discusses] certain degrees of contact with the Christian, namely: keeping promises [that were made him], dealing honestly with him, treating him kindly, and befriending him. The first three are allowed, but the fourth [i.e., befriending the Christian] is deemed dangerous, for it contravenes the verse that says, ‘O you who believe! Do not take my enemy and your enemy for friends: would you offer them love while they deny what has come to you of the truth’ [Koran 60:1]. It is inconceivable that they should serve in judiciary or executive posts, for instance in the army or the police.”
Q: “Are you against blowing up churches?”
Shehato: “Yes and no. The Christian is free to worship his god in his church, but if the Christians make problems for the Muslims, I will exterminate them. I am guided by the shari’a, and it stipulates that they must pay the jizya tax while in a state of humiliation…”
For anyone worried about the potential radicalization of Egypt, Shehato’s words will certainly be concerning. His vision of Egypt stands in radical opposition to democratic ideals. Of course, there’s no guarantee that his views will become a reality, though extremist theories like these seem to be making their rounds among Egyptian leaders.