- ActivitesMB in International pressPolitical Islam Studies
- October 10, 2009
- 5 minutes read
Ali Gomaa Egyptian mufti talks about Islam at the John Hopkins university.
“Moderation in Islam” was the topic in which Ali Gomaa, the grand mufti of Egypt, gave a talk in Washington about where he later took a few questions from the audience. The topic “moderation in Islam,” was a subject he also wrote about in the Washington Post.
When asked about Islam Gomaa described Islam “as a merciful religion”; explaining that most of the 6,000 verses in the Qur’an encourage people to develop a better character. Gomaa emphasized that the Quran to give the full force of its meaning had to be read thoroughly without the distorting of verses which shouldn’t be taken out of context. Each verse was written for a specific situation therefore it is important not to regard the Quran as individual verses but more as a whole.
Questions ranged from his views to the Muslim Brotherhood movement to Islamic governorance. A question by Radwan Masoudi from the centre of study of Islam and democracy where he added he wanted an answer which was honest rather than diplomatic was the reason for the increased violation of freedom of speech, rigged elections, lack of democracy and accountability of authorities along with the continued arrests and imprisoning of moderates in the Arab world and in particular Egypt which has led the younger generation to despair and hopelessness forcing them into the embrace of extremism and violence. Radwan argued that the solution to avoid violence and to address it was by granting more freedom of speech and democracy by allowing the people to speak their mind even if there were differences through mature dialogue and debate asking why they didn’t allow the moderate Muslim Brotherhood to establish a political party. He questioned the banning of moderate Islamic movements such as the Muslim Brotherhod Gomaa’s response was ” The Egyptian constitution says no political party can be based on religion… what is troubling is the Brotherhood is that they claim they are the only Muslims and no one else is worthy of the title using no references where he claimed that the thinker Mohamed Alghazaly had written a book called “Men Henna Naalam’ (From this we learn). where he claimed that there were questions raised whether they are “the brotherhood of all Muslims” or just “a brotherhood of Muslims.”
This statement was argued by the MB where the idea of the Muslim Brotherhood referring to themselves as the only Muslims and any person who does not adhere to their ideology is not a Muslim is unacceptable where the founder Imam Hassan Albana has explicitly revealed in his writings. The Movement has never referred to anyone as a non-believer as it is against all that they stand by to judge people and their beliefs. History has proven time and time again that the Muslim Brotherhood have peacefully and successfully co-existed and intertwined with other movements both Islamic and secular for the progress and successful reform of their nation and the successful raising of their banner to promote Islam.
Gomaa concluded that “the group has to make a choice about its future role in Egypt. They can become either a political party or a charitable organization. Political parties have certain requirements which are at odds with those of NGOs. If they insist on being neither… then there’s a problem with that internally”.
When questioned about democracy in the Muslim world his answer was readily and rhetorically delivered “You can place democracy ahead of liberalism, in which case you set back liberalism for a few years… or you can place liberalism ahead of democracy, in which case you have a civil war.
To Hear the Presentation: