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Originally published by the Investigative Project on Terrorism.
Prior to Egypt’s presidential elections, Islamists made clear that the electoral process was an obligatory form of “holy war.” Then, any number of Islamic clerics, including influential ones, declared that it was mandatory for Muslims to cheat during elections—if so doing would help Islamist candidates win; that the elections were a form of jihad, and those who die are “martyrs” who will attain the highest levels of paradise. Top Islamic institutions and influential clerics, such as Yusuf al-Qaradawi, issued fatwas decreeing that all Muslims were “obligated” to go and vote for those candidates most likely to implement Sharia law, with threats of hellfire for those failing to do so.
The point was simple: democracy, elections, voting, even the individual candidates, were all means to an end—the establishment of Sharia law. Cheat, fight, and kill during elections, as long as doing so enables Sharia; vote only for whoever will enable Sharia; avoid hell by enabling Sharia. (It is precisely for this reason that the very first demand made by Islamic leaders is that President Morsi implement the totality of Sharia law in Egypt. That is, after all, why so many voted for him.)
That many Egyptian Muslims heeded these commands to lie, cheat, steal, and kill in order to empower Sharia, there is no doubt. Story after story appeared in the Egyptian media—much of it missed in the West—demonstrating as much.
Those dealing with brutal violence speak for themselves. For example, a Muslim man “beat his pregnant wife to death upon learning that she had not voted for the Muslim Brotherhood candidate Muhammad Morsi.” According to police reports, “despite her pleas,” the husband “battered and bruised” her after discovering she had voted for the secularist candidate, Ahmed Shafiq. She died later in the hospital “from injuries sustained.”
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