No Difference Between Amr Khaled, Ayman El-Zawahry

No Difference Between Amr Khaled, Ayman El-Zawahry

 We can understand when the regime and opposition compete over philanthropic work, but for opposition to be prevented from carrying out philanthropic work, that happens nowhere but in the Arab world.  What is worse is that the unprofessional in politics be prevented so that everything remains monopolized by the regime. 


Before the case of Tal’at Hashim, an NDP leader who sent a retired state security officer to murder the singer Suzan Tamim, even calmed down and instead of being engaged with purifying the party from violent criminals, the NDP Policies Committee rather engaged itself in confronting the young evangelist Amr Khaled.


Neither Khaled’s moderateness nor his distance from politics interceded for him as El-Masry El-Youm paper mentioned in its Wednesday issue that security forces forced Amr Khaled to leave Egypt and prevented him from shooting his programs in the country due to differences and skirmishes that had begun six months ago concerning his project, “Human Being,” for combating poverty.


According to what it described as “well-informed sources,” the paper said that Amr Khaled had left for London yesterday morning on a long trip that could extend up to two to three years during which his visits to Egypt to check on his parents would be short and at long intervals provided that he not appear in the media or carry out any public activities throughout these few-day visits.


According to the paper, the new crisis between Amr Khaled and the Egyptian authorities started six months ago after Khaled announced his new project “Human Being” for combating poverty throughout the Arab world countries including Egypt.  Khaled had called on 70,000 volunteers to help 35,000 poor Egyptian families and prevent their children from dropping their education through developmental projects, a matter which clashed with the project for developing 1,000 poor villages sponsored by Gamal Mubarak, son of the Egyptian President and Secretary of the NDP Policies Committee.  Of course, there’s no meaning to “human” for the Policies Committee other than “businessman.”


Egypt is in need of a thousand Amr Khaleds to combat poverty, backwardness, injustice, and extremism, but it has become fed up with Khaled.  In fact, for Egypt, moderate models of Islam are more dangerous than violent ones since there is neither any justification nor external support to fight them.  On the one hand, Western governments seek the help of moderate evangelists like Amr Khaled to fight violent trends in Western Muslim communities.  On the other hand, in the Arab world, the young evangelist was able to capture the hearts of Arab youth yearning for religious values.  I remember a young Tunisian Muslim whom I once met in Turkey and asked him:  How did you get to know about religiosity after the Islamic movement was blown and while mosques are being besieged and religious values combated?  He replied that a whole generation in Tunis learned about Islam through Amr Khaled and compared the Islam of these youth to that of the Muslims during the days of the Soviet Union when they used to build vaults to perform prayer in the student hostels and alternate to guard group prayers out of fear from patrollers.


Today the Tunisian regime is smarter than the Egyptian, and is opening up to the individuals of the Renaissance Movement rather than the organization for the simple reason that the movement’s alternative would be the Salafi Jihadist. Egypt, in its state of economic and political collapse, is also in need of Amr Khaled, the Muslim Brotherhood, and moderate evangelists to protect society from extremism and violence.


Does the regime not realize that the voice of Ayman El-Zawahry is transmitted via electronic space, so what about Amr Khaled’s voice?  No doubt that new credit has been added to the young evangelist as much as the regime has proven the degree of its fear.