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New Approach of Egypt’s Gama’a Islamiya Group
New Approach of Egypt’s Gama’a Islamiya Group
After it changed its Slogan "and fight them" New Approach of Egypt’s Gama’a Islamiya Group towards War, Peace and Tribute In what has been considered a new and different attitude for Egypt’s Gama’a Islamiya group, Dr. Nageh Ibrahim, the group’s intellectual, theorist and one of its historical leaders, confirmed to its website’s editor-in-chief that there is no need for imposing tribute on Christians, and they are now participating side by side with Muslims in the army, and they are partners in homeland and responsible for it.
Wednesday, August 30,2006 00:00
by Farrag Ismail, alarabya

After it changed its Slogan "and fight them"
New Approach of Egypt’s Gama’a Islamiya Group towards War, Peace and Tribute

In what has been considered a new and different attitude for Egypt’s Gama’a Islamiya group, Dr. Nageh Ibrahim, the group’s intellectual, theorist and one of its historical leaders, confirmed to its website’s editor-in-chief that there is no need for imposing tribute on Christians, and they are now participating side by side with Muslims in the army, and they are partners in homeland and responsible for it.

He said declaring war, holding peace, applying penalties and imposing tribute, are some of the sovereign judgments in Sharia which are restricted to the ruler; other individuals and groups don’t have this right; he pointing out Islamic Sharia doesn’t allow that a sovereign state gets involved in a war, attacked and bombarded without informing the president, the Prime Minister or the Defense minister.

He added in an interview on (Al-Arabiya.Net ) commenting on his latest books which has been recently published (Applying Judgments is Allocated to Rulers... Penalties - Declaration of War - Tribute ) that the decision of making peace with any one, a Muslim or non-Muslim, is allocated to the ruler alone according to his view towards high interests, and that Islam does not prevent this peacemaking as long as it leads to interests and it does not prohibit something legally accepted and doesn’t allow something legally unacceptable.

Also, he spoke about changing the group’s slogan, confirming that Islam not only " and fight them " as jihad is just a means for an end, but there are many issues on which religion is based and they shouldn’t disregarded; he confessed that the old slogan was an abused laconism which had to be corrected, pointing out that no one forced them to change this slogan.

H discussed the reason for the strong reaction of Gama’a Islamiya group against the statement of Al-Qaeda second in command, Dr. Ayman Al-Zawahiri, confirming that the historic leaders or the second line do not know actually Mohamed Al Hakaema whom Al Zawahri said he is one the group leaders who joined Al-Qaeda, saying " we entered prison and remained there 24 years, this may be before Al Hakaema converted, I don’t mean to downgrade him".

Sovereign Judgments confined to the Ruler

Dr. Nageh Ibrahim said that the Holy Quran verses do not address all people regarding applying them; but they address them all regarding believing in and calling for them; for example the divorce verses address only the married and do not address the unmarried, and retaliation verses " In qisas, there is life for you, for men of understanding" address rulers only not individuals or groups, because they have the ability to carry them out. Also the verse "As for the thief, both male and female, cut off their hands." Addresses the rulers or those on their behalf.

He added that: Although all believers must believe in these verses and call for them, but as much as implementation is concerned, they address the rulers because they have a force which an individual or a group doesn’t possess; if someone said that he can cut the hand of the thief for example, we reply that the ability doesn’t mean only carrying out a judgment which no one can dispute with you over it; if someone carried out that penalty, the police will chase him and the victim’s family will avenge on him, while no one will object if the ruler does so.

Declaring War not Allowed without Informing President

Nageh Ibrahim said that declaring war is a sovereign judgment entrusted allocated to the ruler only; one of the horrible mistakes is that Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan declared war on America and the West under the rule of Mullah Mohammed Omar who did not declare this war, although Al-Qaeda recognized that Mullah Omar is a Muslim ruler and Commander of the Faithful, and they have pledged allegiance to him for this. Why they declared war from one side, and they carried out 9/11 operation and before that, they carried the operation of bombing US embassies in Tanzania and Kenya, and bombing gunship Cole without informing him, enraging him from Osama bin Laden  whom he boycotted for a while after bombing the two embassies and he relieving him of the post of being Amir of the Muslim communities in Afghanistan.

"What was the result after Osama bin Laden took the decision of of 11 September without consulting the ruler of the state in which he is living?" he asked " The result is occupying Afghanistan, ending Taliban and the end of Al-Qaeda network itself, and the president turned into a fugitive in mountains and the desert; only the all-knowing Allah knows when Afghanistan will be liberated and when the foreign forces leave it.

Nageh Ibrahim added that: The reason for all this is that Osama Bin Laden usurped a ruler’s right without his permission ear; it is impossible to have a state within a state; it is assumed that there is no country that fights without informing its president, its Prime Minister or its ministers, to be destroyed in the following day without notifying them or making them get prepared; how come that a country whose Defense Minister doesn’t know that his country will go through a war to be later surprised with bombarding it in the next day without any preparations.

He confirmed that the rulers are the ones responsible for the sovereign decisions like borders, declaring war and holding peace with countries and imposing tributes; if they applied them, that is something good, and if they did not carry them out or neglected them, then individuals or groups shouldn’t apply them, otherwise the legitimate purpose that Sharia wants will not materialize, thereby causing shortcomings more than interests.

Tribute Judgment has expired

Concerning tribute, he said that Islam imposed it in return for defending People of the Book or Dhimmis in the Muslim country, something good in Islam because it did not oblige Christians during the era of Islamic conquests to enlist themselves in an army fighting in defense of a creed other than their creed and to sacrifice their money, themselves and their families; if they volunteered and joining this army, it would be  ok.

Nageh Ibrahim add that: nowadays, Christians enlist themselves in the army and police, thus the cause of the tribute no longer exists, in addition to the fact that Islam gave a priority to the top interests of homelands and the top interests of Islam; nowadays, there is no Islamic state in the world that dare request from its  citizens pay tribute; if any one did it, all the world will protest vehemently, afflicting it the same as what afflicted Sudan like threatening with occupation; is it for tribute and for applying one judgment that we accept an Islamic country be occupied, economically besieged and isolated from the all the world.

He pointed out that the countries may be subjected to compulsion like individuals, this what I said in the book " Hakimiya (governance)" ; the material compulsion includes a country attacking another weaker country; but there an invisible material compulsion like the political and economic embargo and freezing their bank accounts; thus, the country becomes compelled in the sense that it can’t impose a Sharia judgment.

He pointed also that imposing tribute is allocated to the ruler and is a sovereign judgement, if he did not declare it, neither individual nor groups or people are allowed to do this, saying the Christians are partners in the homeland and are responsible for it like Muslims and they have many rights.

 He explained that Islam did not order doing only justice with Christians or People of the Book, but it ordered also doing well with them; but for the justice and benevolence of Islam, no other religion would have remained in the Islamic region. It has been fair with them and kept their churches and temples which are still there so far for thousands of years.

Muslim’s Converting to another religion not allowed

Concerning his opinion regarding a Muslim’s converting to another religion within framework of freedom of belief that Islam approves, Nageh Ibrahim said that Islam is the Religion of Truth, the seal of religions that overwrote all Messages; the one who is going to embraces, must think it over millions of times think before doing so; if he decided and embraced it, he isn’t allowed to convert to any other religion. If the one embraced Islam and knew its conditions, pillars and duties, he musn’t convert from it, as he will face punishment so that it doesn’t turn into chaos, like the one who joins the army and knows its commitments, and then refuses to fight when entering a battle, thereby facing a military punishment of being shot to death after being charged of high treason; this is applicable in armies of countries all over the world without any exception.

As they are partners in homeland, they are also partners in rule?  Nageh Ibrahim replies: this issue needs to be explained. The governance and presidency are not allowed to non-Muslims; here we wonder: Has a Muslim person ever ruled Britain throughout its history, has a Muslim ever ruled France although it has a Muslim minority exceeding six millions persons? Has a Muslim ever ruled America although it has a significant Muslim minority?

The Ruler from Majority

He added: The majority must be ruled by a ruler from the same creed; it isn’t legally or reasonably accepted to make a one from a minority accounting for 5% or 6% rule the majority, but a non Muslim can be a minister in the so called mandate ministries according to religious scholars, and not to be a sensitive or sovereign ministry like Defense and Interior ministries, which should better be given to people of majority religion.

He pointed there are several Christian minister in Egypt, explaining that some scholars consider the Ministry of Finance as a mandate ministry, that its minister executes directions of the Prime Minister or the president. It is well-known that Dr. Yousef Botros Ghaly - a Christian – holds Ministry of Finance in Egypt.

Islam Allows Making Peace with Others

Nageh Ibrahim said that Islam allows making peace with all people- Muslims or non-Muslims; here there are two criteria…First: that the peace achieves interests of Islam and Muslims, Second: that it does not legalized something illegal and vice versa. if these two criteria are met, this peacemaking is allowed and the decision of peacemaking is confined to the ruler who is the one most capable of seeing what brings in good and what brings in corruption.
No One Forced us to Change Group Slogan

Regarding changing the Gama’a Islamiya group slogan, he said that it contained a sword, the Quran and the Qur’anic verse " and ’fight them until there is no more tumult or oppression, and there prevail justice and faith in God"..asking: is Islam only "and fight them"... Islam includes worship, sharia a, Da’wa to Allah, calling for promotion of virtue and prevention of vice, showing kindness to orphans and many other concepts. We said that this slogan is not suitable and reduces religion to only one single thing and establishes the meaning of jihad for jihad’s sake, not just a means for an end. There has been an abusing diminutiveness in this slogan, I admit this; in sum, perform all pillars of religion.

We have changed the slogan out of a conviction; no one obliged us to do so. In the new slogan, we canceled the sword and put the Quran instead to make the sun shining from it and under it there is the verse: " perform religion and do not separate on it "; thereby seeking everything that leads to unity among Muslims.

Al Zawahri’s Statement did not Shake us

Concerning the group’s statement which was described as an excited reaction in response to Al Zawahri’s declaration that leaders in Gama’a Islamiya group joined Al-Qaeda including Mohamed Hakayma who is said to have been a leader in the group in Upper Egyptian city of Aswan, Nageh Ibrahim said: there was no excitement or anything of such a kind in our statement, but Al Zawahri announced his statement through a satellite channel, while we, on the other hand, do not possess any media; so we were obliged to give a severe reaction that this did not happen, because if the Gama’a Islamiya joined Al-Qaeda, many meanings will result from this. It may happen in small country, for example, that someone from Al-Qaeda says to other members of the Gama’a: you have joined Al-Qaeda, let’s make an operation and he takes them; how shall we now as contacts with the group are cut; it isn’t reasonable to phone every member in the group to tell him that this alliance doesn’t exist; thus, our statement was strong across the media, and it wasn’t out of being rocked by Al Zawahri’s statement.

We do not Control the Group with Iron Fist

In response to the viewpoint that the historical leaders no longer control many of Gama’a Islamiya cadres, Nageh said: no ,  thanks god, the group members are convinced with the reviews. The control isn’t through an iron fist, but through dominating their hearts and piety and that they are on the same understanding. The Gama’a Islamiya works for nurturing and upbringing its members, not oppressing them.

He added: thanks god, all of them were convinced of the series concept corrections or reviews; they may have a specific juristic opinion, and they are free regarding this, but there a complete conviction regarding the initiative of stopping violence and the fight and not to revolt against the ruler and not to hold an rmed coup; these issues are unanimously approved.

We Told Truth regarding Hakayma

When I asked him: Why have you denied knowing Hakayma although he was a well-known leader in Aswan?, Nageh Ibrahim answered: By Allah, we told the truth... We do not know him.. We remained in prison for a long time- for 24 years- this may be before Hakyma joins the group; I don’t here downgrade his position but I explain a fact; also, no one of the second line knew him except those only in his town.

I said to him: you have been reportedly worried about news that Ahmed Shawqi Al Islambouli will broadcast a tape in which he will declare his joining Al-Qaeda. He answered: absolutely, there will be no problem if this tape is broadcast; If someone said that he will join Al-Qaeda, what will you tell him?.. There are some people who convert from religions, and we are not stronger than religions. We are modest people, but Shawqi Al Islambouli did not say that he joined Al-Qaeda.

There is a person who insults the Gama’a Islamiya along the line. If it appears in the media, they insult it and if it did not appear, they would insult it as well. All that happens although the Gama’a is very refined and neither attacks nor speaks against any one, he added.

Nageh Ibrahim issued a statement in which he commented on Al Zawahri’s tape which he described as something closer to a media bubble more than an important issue; it is wee-known that there is a kinship relationship for a long time between sheikh Osama bin Laden and sheikh Al Islambouli, and that the latter refused the peaceful initiative of the Gama’a Islamiya, but this doesn’t mean that Al Islambouli joins Al-Qaeda; despite all this, Al Islambouli’s attitude did not affect thousands of the Gama’a Islamiya members who approved the initiative from inside and outside Egypt, expecting good for Islam and Muslims from it.

The initiative spared their blood and the blood of hundreds of others, and ended crises afflicting thousands of them and they got out of prisons and detentions with honour and dignity, safe as regards their religion and worldly affairs, after they were closer to temptation in their religion and their worldly affairs; they got out more educated and more wise and with a deeper understanding, giving a priority to the supreme interests of Islam than other narrow interests.

Nageh Ibrahim was born in Asyut’s city of Dayrut in Upper Egypt 1955 and got out of prison only seven months ago, after he spent in it 24 years sentence in the case of assassinating late president Anwar Sadat in 1981, he got medicine BA, and he is described as the Gama’a Islamiya group’s intellectual and theorist; he took part in the series of concept corrections that reached the number of twenty books and it started with four books in 2002.

Also, he participated with sheikh Osama Hafez- historical leaderin the group - in the book "river of memories" and he wrote its introduction, covering visits of the historical leaders to the Gama’a Islamiya to different Egyptian prisons to meet its members in 9-month long tours to present reviews and correct concepts.

The articles and statements that are undersigned by the Muslim Brotherhood(MB) are only the ones that express the official opinion of the group.
Those which are not only express the views of their authors

tags: War / Peace / Tribute / Sharia / Egypt / Tribute / Penalties
Posted in Interviews  
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