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While Ghoneim engaged in the usual lies and projections—saying the Pope wanted to create a Coptic state and “set Egypt ablaze”—there is no denying that Ghoneim’s position on condemning dead infidels is grounded in Islam: the remainder of the cleric’s “eulogy” is riddled with quotes from Islam’s core texts, the Koran, Hadith, and scholarly [ulema] consensus.
For instance, he quoted Caliph Omar’s famous ejaculation upon learning that a Muslim had hired a Christian scribe: “What is wrong with you—may Allah curse you?! Have you not heard Allah’s words: ‘O you who believe: do not take the Jews and the Christians as friends and allies; they are friends and allies of each other’ [Koran 5:51]? Why did you not employ a hanif [a Muslim]? The man replied, “I profit from his [the Christian’s] writing, and his religion is his own affair,” to which the pious Omar rebounded, “I will not honor them, when Allah has humiliated them, nor will I be close to them, when Allah has cast them away.”
Incidentally, Omar is the same “righteous caliph” who gave the contradictory commandment to “Humiliate them [Christians] but do not wrong them”—as if humiliating people does not also “wrong” them. (For more Islamic quotes, see this fatwa.)
All this hate is in keeping with doctrines that command Muslims to have enmity for infidels; Koran 60:4 has the famous Muslim position concerning non-Muslims: “Enmity and hate shall forever reign between us—till you believe in Allah alone.” Indeed, according to other fatwas, even cursing dead infidels, as Ghoneim the Pope, is legitimate—with the caveat that the curse should only be made public if not detrimental to Muslims (in increasingly Islamist Egypt, Ghoneim must have concluded his maledictions for the beloved leader of some 15 million Copts would have no negative repercussions for Muslims).
When it comes to how Muslims should feel about Pope Shenouda’s death, the question is, who is right—the Muslim clerics, learned in Sharia, or the many nominal Muslims? As Wahid of Al Dalil concluded, “Inasmuch as many Egyptian Muslims were kind and sympathetic to us Christians, there is no doubt that the clerics, like Ghoneim, have Islam’s teachings on their side.”
Which leads to the great irony of Islam: while it boasts that it is the religion of fitra, of “nature,” which is why all humans are supposedly born Muslims, its teachings—from “adult breastfeeding” to “death-sex”—often contradict the most natural human impulses. Worse, while many religions try to ennoble humanity, by making them strive to a higher level, here is yet another example of Islam forcing people downwards, to tribalism and egoism, to rancor and hatred.
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