On The Egyptian Tragedy 2013-08-16

 

Title: There is still time to side with those committed to democracy in Egypt; by Maha Azzam
[2013-12-17: Time for this is gone, it was the author’s wishful thinking!]

”Those calling for a return to the days that preceded the 25 January revolution in 2011, which brought about the fall of Hosni Mubarak, were not only the military high command, the interior ministry, the security services and the police, but critically the judiciary and the state media. These coteries of power actively worked together to block the smooth functioning of the state.

This went hand-in-hand with a vicious campaign to vilify and demonise the party in power, namely the Muslim Brotherhood. … the secular and liberal opposition, having failed to win enough votes themselves, played spoilers rather than engage in the political process, accept the results and campaign for the next elections.

And so the military and this opposition to Mohamed Morsi were to come together in an alliance of convenience with at least a nod from the US and UK to bring down the elected government through unconstitutional means.”

”Egypt’s state institutions, as in most dictatorships, are corrupt and fearful of change. The security apparatus is taking revenge for the last two years when it felt threatened by the possibility of any new order that would eventually hold it accountable.”

”There is still a window of opportunity to side with those committed to democracy in Egypt, and to put pressure on the military by cutting off aid from the United States and by ensuring that it has to be held accountable for any crimes against humanity.”

theguardian.com

.-.

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A Present-Day Account Of Sufism In Egypt

 

(For mahiyya-blog; on that bloody day in Egypt.
We regret the violent events of 20130814, orchestrated by the Egyptian army and deep state.)

What follows was written and edited before those violent, uncompromising events of this day. Nothing will be the same any more in Egypt. The old gangs of the Mubarak era and the deep state have taken back the Egyptian revolution for the time being, relying on the power of the gun. But the only way out is reasoning together, working together for the better life in a battered country.

Here are some highlights concerning Sufism in Egypt before July, August 2013 and about their shuyukh’s and some followers ‘ analysis of the events. The increasing degree of fitna in the country for the last couple of years have influenced and engaged everyone in the political affairs of Egyptian society. But there has not been enough ground for agreeing on the basics and to come to a consensus.

1.)
Salafi intolerance threatens Sufis in Egypt, Baher Ibrahim; 10 May 2010

Whenever religious freedom is discussed in Egypt, the topic inevitably turns to the status of the Christian Copts. Thousands of articles have been written about Egypt’s Copts and how they are denied their religious freedoms, but it almost never occurs to anyone that even Sunni Muslims are being deprived of their basic rights to religious freedom and worship.

That is exactly what happened at the end of last month when the ministry of awqaf (religious endowments) decided to ban Egypt’s Sufi orders from holding gatherings for the performance of dhikr – rituals devoted to the remembrance of God. Sufis have been performing these rituals for centuries, so a ban at this particular time is absurd.

The ministry’s excuse is that the ban is intended to pre-empt undesirable behaviour at Sufi gatherings, such as the shouting of invocations and late-night loitering in mosques. In a city such as Cairo where the noise of traffic is a constant background, it just doesn’t make sense.

theguardian.com

2.)
Sufi Islam in Egypt, Sarah El Masry, October 21, 2012

Lately, Sufis …being supportive of the “civil state” camp and against political Islam added more to the long list of misconceptions about Sufis…

Someone said, “today people decide for us what to wear, buy, eat and drink; we no longer feel spirituality. Even religion is now measured with material rewards. Do this and you will get a reward from Allah. How about doing this because you love it or because it’s right?”

He thinks that true followers of Islam should control themselves because the Prophet, peace be upon him (saws), was not afraid of Muslims being infidels, he was afraid of them being tempted by ’al dunyah’ (worldly desires).

Conforming to the five [rules] of the order disciplines the person; eating less to purify the body, speaking only to say good, limiting sleeping, refraining from vicious company and keeping dhikr.

Sheikh Mazhar of the Borhameya order explained what Sufism is, “Sufism is the rúh [soul] of Islam. It seeks to help people reaching ihsán (a level of perfection and certainty in worshiping Allah) because it is based on the principle of purifying the baser self.”

“The ruling principles of any order are to abide by the Quran and the Sunnah [actions and sayings] of the Prophet (saws) in our manners, talks, and actions. The order is really about istiqama, incorruptibility,” he said.

Sheikh Alaa Aboul Azayem of the Al Azmeya order in Cairo agrees with Sheikh Mazhar. He said, “all the orders are spiritual paths to reach Allah.”

On the other hand, Sheikh Mazhar agreed with some of the criticisms by Salafis and disagreed with others. He agreed that some [who try to become] Sufis are not good disciples of Sufism. Those disciples sometimes commit mistakes against Shari’a and in that case Salafis are right to criticise Sufism.

He said, “Ibn Taymiyya (the grand Sheikh who influenced Abdel Wahhab) distinguished between the early pure forms of Sufism and the later forms. The former he praised and the latter he criticised. However, he was criticising with knowledge of the ruling principles. Some critics of Sufism slam it so hard and generalise the wrong practices they see without having knowledge of the principle.”

Sheikh Mazhar explained that having awliya’a and virtuous men is important in Islamic societies.

“If the awliya’a are not highlighted, then people will think that Islamic virtues like loyalty, asceticism, honesty are just theoretical manners restricted to prophets only. Showing them that in our time there were awliya’a who practiced these virtues strengthens their belief in religion.”

Due to its overt involvement in politics, Al Azmeya order, in particular, has been criticised by different media outlets. The media capitalised on the membership of Sheikh Aboul Azayem in the Iranian-based organization known as the International Academy for the Approximation between Islamic Sects (IAAIS) and some Islamist fronts insinuated that Sufis are being infiltrated by Shi’a groups to be used to spread Shi’a Islam in Egypt.

Sheikh Aboul Azayem commented on the accusations of spreading Shi’a Islam saying, “Iran is an Islamic power, calling it an infidel only helps Israel and divide the Islamic nation further.”

He believes that Al-Azhar should play a stronger role in reforming what Islamists ruin. He said, “Egypt is Al-Azhar. If Al-Azhar is virtuous, so is Egypt, if Al-Azhar goes off track, so does Egypt,” referring to the autonomy of Al-Azhar from the state and its impartiality.

Unlike Sheikh Aboul Azayem, both Sheikh Mazhar and Stelzer think that Sufis should be out of the political realm and if they are to play a role in it, it should be to guide those in power towards the true principles of Islam.

Sheikh Mazhar said, “politics has its own balance of power, is governed by interests and needs compromises that can endanger some religious values.”

dailynewsegypt.com

3.)
Sufis In Egypt Thrive With More Than 15 Million Despite Attacks By Islamist Hardliners, By Hassan Ammar 06/14/2013

Egypt’s Sufi Muslims say their places of worship are under threat by rising radicalism, as shrines sacred to them are coming under attack by Islamist hard-liners who deem them heretical.

The Secretary-General of the Union of Sufis in Egypt, Abdullah al-Nasser Helmy, says more than 100 attacks against shrines have taken place across the country in several Nile Delta provinces, the Mediterranean coastal city of Alexandria and northern Sinai Peninsula where radical extremists are active.

In the northern Sinai town of Sheikh Zuweyid, for example, extremists bombed the shrine of the saint who gives the town its name. The tomb was not totally destroyed, so a few months later, they bombed it again. In other places, shrines have been defaced or damaged…

Salafis are now the second largest bloc in the interim parliament, after the Muslim Brotherhood… Helmy says Sufis are concerned that the new government and Salafis are slowly trying to encroach on mosques and force out moderate scholars.

Still, he says it is not in the nature of Sufis to be politicized or be consumed by worldly problems. “Sufis only tremble from God’s majesty, though they are being fought by the current government,” Helmy said.

huffingtonpost.com

4.)
Egypt’s Sufis to form popular committees for self-defence, Ahram Online , 1 Apr 2013

Sufi orders in Egypt are to form popular committees to protect their shrines and mosques from “radical Salafists,” a Sufi leader Alaaeddin Abul-Azayem, founder of the Azamiyya Sufi order, one of the largest Sufi orders in Egypt, has said. He  accused “radical Salafists” of attacking Sufi shrines and festivals. “If any Sufi shrine is demolished, all of Egypt will not be silenced whether Sufi or not,” he added.

A fire ripped through the Sheikh Fouad shrine and mosque in Tala, to the north of Cairo, for almost two hours on Sunday, destroying the contents of the mosque but leaving the structure of the shrine intact.

In April 2011 fire erupted at Sidi Ezzeddin mosque and shrine in the same city. Nobody was charged over the incident, but locals blamed radical Islamist groups.

Salafists condemn Sufism and consider Sufi shrines a form of idolatry. There are estimated to be at least six million Sufis in Egypt.

ahram.org.eg

5.)
Contested Sufi Electoral Parties: The Voice of Freedom Party and The Liberation of Egypt Party, ca. 2012

Egyptian Muslims are frequently devotees of Sufism, a mystical interpretation of Islam generally catering to shrine veneration, popular cultic rituals, and close ties between a Sufi master (shaykh) and disciple (murid) There is some 77 Sufi orders (tarikas) throughout the country, involving some 10 million followers. These trends are similar in terms of the requirements to join and to become a Sheikh of a tarika.

Sufist [tariqas] in Egypt are governed by Law 118/1976… Given their commitment to non-interference in politics, Sufi orders enjoyed freedom during the Mubarak regime, and they regularly expressed their support of Mubarak…

The egalitarian, charitable, peaceful, and friendly ethos of Sufism encouraged some in the U.S. foreign policy establishment to think about encouraging Sufism as a counterweight to the violent ethos of such radical and Salafi groups as Al-Qaeda which adopt varying forms of Takfiri and Jihadi interpretations of Islam. A 2007 report by the Rand Corporation advised Western governments to “harness” Sufism, saying its adherents were “natural allies of the West”.

[This is of course the greatest danger: the West influencing or manipulating different spiritual groups, on top of what they are already doing with political parties. This cannot be accepted!]

Sheikh Kassaby mentioned two reasons for (his) rejection [of participating in the political process]. First, establishing a Sufi political party is currently illegal. Second, Sufis should not be political leaders, but rather should be leaders of religious thought. He also warned that involvement in party politics by religious groups could lead to contestations that in turn could lead to major societal problems.

He argued that if there is a role for Sufi orders in political activism, it should be focused on awakening the consciousness of the people to work hard and excel in moments of crisis through promoting the ethical codes and the application of Quran and Shari’ah. At the same time, Al-Kassaby noted that the general coalition of Sufi orders would not object to individual members of Sufi orders running for offices. However, Sufi orders should remain religious bodies that have no role in political parties.

islamopediaonline.org

6.)
The Sufis’ Choice: Egypt’s Political Wild Card, Kristin Deasy, September/October 2012

(Azayem) launched a vitriolic attack on the powerful Muslim Brotherhood…
After shrine violence last March, Azayem recalled, he thought to himself, “we need some kind of protection against the stupid ones who have taken control of the country,” referring to the Muslim Brotherhood.

“We do not mind if people involve themselves in political parties or political experiences, as long as they do so privately and do not attribute it to Sufism,” Sheikh Abdel Hady el-Kassaby told me from his more formal downtown office, from which he issues directives as the head of the Supreme Council of Egyptian Sufi Orders.

“The Egyptian state is secular,” Kassaby said sternly. Azayem, by contrast, believes Shari’ah, or Islamic law, has a place in Egypt’s yet-to-be-defined political life. “It’s not as scary as people think,” he said, comparing its tenets to those of the Ten Commandments and taking care to distance himself from extreme interpretations such as those of supporters of the radical Wahhabi movement, for example, whom he called “idiots in their translations of the Koran, requiring a woman to cover everything but her eyes.”

worldaffairsjournal.org

May Allah’s peace and blessings be upon Sayyiduna Muhammad,
his family and his companions.
.-.

Om att homosexuellt beteende är skadligt

Vi tror att homosexuellt beteende är skadligt för individen (dvs. för den som utför det) och för samhället, det får aldrig bli bekräftat. Från början och genom definitionen är det onaturligt och det är relaterat till negativa fysiska och fysiologiska hälsoeffekter.

Å ena sidan kan det finnas många olika orsaker till att någon bli homosexuellt attraherat, men å andra sidan finns inga övertygande bevis för att en homosexuell identitet är något genetiskt rotat eller medfödd.

Vi motsätter oss de rigurösa ansträngningarna av homosex aktivister som kräver att homosexualitet ska bli accepterat som jämlik heterosexualitet i lagstiftningen, i media och i skolan.

Dessa försök att sammanföra två män eller två kvinnor i en så kallad äktenskap innebär en grundläggande nydefinition och förfalskning av institutionen äktenskap och vi stödjer lagtillägg som förhindrar en sådan redefinition i samhället.

Man måste hjälpa de som kämpar med att bli oavsiktlig homosexuellt attraherad och varje ansträngning ska göras att hjälpa dessa personer att övervinna dessa begär. Så som många har redan kunnat göra.

Från Family Research Counsil

Där finns en lång lista av välskrivna texter, till exempel:

New Study On Homosexual Parents Tops All Previous Research

”In a historic study of children raised by homosexual parents, sociologist Mark Regnerus* of the University of Texas at Austin has overturned the conventional academic wisdom that such children suffer no disadvantages when compared to children raised by their married mother and father. Just published in the journal Social Science Research,[1] the most careful, rigorous, and methodologically sound study ever conducted on this issue found numerous and significant differences between these groups–with the outcomes for children of homosexuals rated “suboptimal” (Regnerus’ word) in almost every category.”

*A quote from Mark Regnerus’ research article:

”But (this study) also clearly reveals that children appear most apt to succeed well as adults—on multiple counts and across a variety of domains—when they spend their entire childhood with their married mother and father, and especially when the parents remain married to the present day.”
How different are the adult children of parents who have same-sex relationships?

Documentary “Inside Job”: Responsibility Of The Financial System

The documentary “Inside Job,” by Charles Ferguson got an Oscar 2011.

Dealing with the financial crisis of 2008/9 (ongoing).
Its a closer look at what brought about the financial meltdown.

– Wall Street’s responsibility for the crisis.inside-job-poster

– Chief economists being paid by Wall St;
— Economists have very strong ties with Wall St. and are most intense for more deregulation.
-⇒ Academia is corrupted, no independent research.

– Obama went back on his promise of “change” to include the financial system.

Filmmaker Charles Ferguson of the documentary called for the criminal prosecution of top financial executives. Interview with him:

See the interview at democracynow.org
(from at least 38:30′)

⇒ There is (now) ”overwhelming evidence of massive criminal behaviour,
but there hasn’t been a single criminal investigation.” Charles Ferguson

An example of a former Leeman Br. employee witnessing: ”We have unjustified assets on our balance sheets.”

Lehman whistleblower lost his job weeks after raising alarm.

”Public sector and public interest have been outspent by very specific interests from the private sector.”