Dec. 7, 2018
- Egyptian President Sisi’s War to Modernize Islam – Amb. Zvi Mazel
Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi called again in November for a new interpretation of the Islamic narrative to adapt Islam to present times, saying that ills plaguing Muslims today are caused by the misinterpretation of the texts that are the source of Islam. Beginning a few months after his election three years ago, he called for a “revolution” in Islam and reviewing traditional Koranic interpretations that have given birth to al-Qaeda and Islamic State, which have transformed Islam into a vector of mayhem and destruction and turned the rest of the world against it.
Al Azhar, the highest institution of learning in the Sunni world, did not respond to his call. Its scholars stressed that there was nothing to change or amend in the Sharia (Islamic law). The Egyptian population is deeply religious. In the first elections following the ouster of Mubarak, Muslim Brothers and Salafists garnered 73% of the vote. The president will have to tread carefully. The writer, a fellow of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, is a former Israeli ambassador to Egypt. (Jerusalem Post)