Friday, December 11, 2009

If the Mufti wants to moderate Islam, he should start with himself

Morris Sadek
The title of Grand Mufti refers to the highest official of religious law in a Sunni Muslim country. The Grand Mufti issues legal opinions and edicts, fatwas, on interpretations of Islamic law for private clients or to assist judges in deciding cases. The collected opinions of the Grand Mufti serve as a valuable source of information on the practical application of Islamic law as opposed to its abstract formulation. The Grand Mufti’s fataawa (plural of “fatwa”) are not binding precedents in areas of civil laws regulating marriage, divorce, and inheritance. In criminal courts, the Grand Mufti’s recommendations are generally not binding either.

In the Ottoman Empire the Grand Mufti was a state official, and the Grand Mufti of Constantinople was the highest of these. The British retained the institution in some Muslim areas under their control and accorded the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem the highest political stature.

In countries such as Australia, where the office of Grand Mufti receives no official seal of government imprimatur, clerics can be elected to the position by one segment of the Islamic community in that country, and yet not be recognized by other Muslim communities in that country.

Egypt’s Mufti is a member of its senior government, which is one of the most oppressive in the world. The Swiss voted to ban the building of new minarets (mosque towers) but, otherwise, Muslims will continue enjoying their freedom of religion and worship. By contrast, the Egyptian security forces are destroying the churches and guarding the savage mobs while they loot Christians’ properties and torch their churches. Sheikh Ali Gomaa is a big hypocrite.

Egyptian Mufti Gomaa to attend Common Word with Christian leaders: issues famous fatwa, building churches, like building barns for dogs, cats, and pigs.

This is the Mufti Gomaa’s letter to the world before he attends the Common Word between You and US / Christian / Muslim chat at Georgetown University – promises of course to moderate Islam – aplenty – and how Egyptian Islam is tolerant.

“We have upheld the right of freedom of conscience.”

The Egyptian law allows no one to leave Islam – it is bound by Shari’a – what conscience could he be talking about?

“… and of freedom of expression within the bounds of common decency.”

Could converting to Christianity be outside of the bounds of common decency?

“We are committed to human liberty within the bounds of Islamic law.”

Forget it folks – no freedom of religion there!

“Yet, just as we recommit to reinforcing the values of moderation in our faith.”

Or … while we do our token bits round the edges – although …

“we look to the United States to assume its responsibility for the sake of a better relationship between the West and Islam.”

Hmm … how far does one have to bend over backwards?

Muslims can build mosques in the US, but look what the Grand Mufti Ali Gomaa and his council of Islamic jurists – had to say about building churches in his own country.

The original text is written and sealed by the authority of the higher Fatwa Council an authority headed by the Mufti – in Cairo:

Fatwa is documented by number 1809/year 2008

Full account here:

The interpretation of the council of Islamic Fatwa of Egypt also stated in its latest fatwa, that for a Muslim’s will [on death] or donations to go towards building a Church is a sin against God, just as if he left his inheritance towards building a Casino for gambling, or building a shed for pigs, cats or dogs. The fatwa against building a church explained that Christianity deviates from Monotheism because Jesus “is a slave of Allah … and Allah is one.” We can also draw from the fatwa that if a Muslim contributes in any way to the building of a church or synagogue then he/she is committing sin and would of course be like contributing to the building of casinos and barns for dogs, cats and pigs.

This has wider implications for the Egyptian authorities – whose Constitution is subject to Sharia law – with regards to giving Copts and others permission to build and repair churches [yes they need permission to repair a church] and places of worship. This fatwa has shocked many as it classified churches with nightclub, gambling casinos, and places for rearing pigs and dogs, which are considered ‘unclean’ animals according to Islam and Muslims.

Christians were angered and considered it a clear and explicit insult to all Christians. The renowned theologian Reverend Abdelmassih Bassit, Professor at the Coptic Orthodox Clerical Institute, called it “a shocking fatwa.”

Many Christians believe that this Fatwa has exposed the true stance of the religious authorities and the government towards churches, and the reason why it refrains from passing the long awaited bill on the “unified law for building places of worship,” which would put an end to all problems related to building and restoring places of worship. It is also believed that since Islam views church building as a sin, passing this bill would therefore be in conflict with Shari’a Law — which is the main source of legislation as stipulated in the Constitution — and this would be something that the government would avoid at all costs.

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