Several Egyptian newspapers like Masr Al-Jadeeda, Al-Istiklal and Medan have published the story of a secret meeting in Pakistan between Ayman Zawahiri, the main man of al-Qaeda, and Muhammad Morsi of Egypt. According to the reports, in this meeting Morsi promised to smuggle Zawahiri back to Egypt.
The leak came from an investigative report by Bloch Pakistan Newspaper. The paper stated that since Zawahiri had to travel between Pakistan and Afghanistan to remain in hiding, an agreement was reached in secret meetings with high-level officials in the Pakistani Intelligence (ISI) to minimize the burden of security needed between the two nations. It was allegedly affirmed that Pakistan was glad to allow Zawahiri to travel to Egypt with the aid of Morsi, who negotiated the terms of the agreement.
The Pakistani source, which Elgdida quoted, adds that:
The meeting lasted 45 minutes, during which Egyptian president Muhammad Morsi promised to make preparations for Ayman Zawahiri to return soon to Egypt, indicating that some Muslim Brotherhood members would handle the operation, by first smuggling the al-Qaeda leader to a Gulf nation, likely Qatar, and then easily transferring him to Egypt—on condition that Zawahiri disappear lest he embarrass Egypt’s ruling Muslim Brotherhood with its American ally, whose security and intelligence agencies consider Zawahiri most wanted. 1
Morsi is not the only Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood figurehead to meet Zawahiri. Daniel Pipes chronicled multiple instances in which Tariq Ramadan, the grandson of the Muslim Brotherhood’s founder, Hassan al-Bana, interacted with al-Qaeda operatives—like when Morsi coordinated a meeting with al-Qaeda’s number two at the time, Ayman al-Zawahiri.
In 2004, Tariq Ramadan had applied for a visa and was days away from starting a job with the University of Notre Dame when he was informed by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) under the George W. Bush administration that his visa would be suspended and that he would be banned from entering the United States. At the time, Ramadan was subsequently banned from entry into the US. This, of course, this changed in 2010 when Secretary of State Hillary Clinton signed Tariq Ramadan’s release papers. 3
All this sheds light on the Muslim Brotherhood’s true intentions, which the current U.S. administration had hoped to moderate via billions of American dollars in aid.
But what got us here, to a situation in which the U.S. began to accept the Muslim Brotherhood as a viable entity for peace while it placated al-Qaeda’s interests?
The answer to this question is one Arabic word—Ijtihad.
Allow me to expound.
Many in the West were hopeful that we could deal with the Muslim Brotherhood looked to none other than purported moderate Tariq Ramadan, who for years pushed the idea of Islamic Ijtihad (Islamic innovation).
Ijtihad became a tool for Muslim scholars and Brotherhood affiliates who found a way to adapt Islam to a modern world. Pretty soon you had Muslim “reformists,” including a certain Irshad Manji, advancing Ijtihad 4 as a means to resolve all of our differences with Sharia.
Islamic Moderation and Ijtihad, for over a decade’s worth of articles and discussion groups, went hand-in-hand, and liberals were ready to receive it with open arms, as it was the “sacred pill” that would cure all ailments we had with Muslim traditionalists.
Ijtihad refers to realities that are not addressed by existent Islamic rulings for a changing world. Islamists have learned to use it to their advantage, and Ijtihad appeared in the lecture circuits in an attempt to portray Islam’s openness to modernity and reform. Advocates claimed this concept was a tried medicine, which emanates from the best of Islamic springs and fountains of theology; the Muslim classical period.
And while the naïve swallow this pill to only be hit with amnesia—Ijtihad remained “as is” in Islam. While the side effects were felt in the Arab Spring, they were hardly if ever discussed, since the discussion was contrary to the prevailing spirit of dialogue.
Many Westerners refused to examine the real meaning of Ijtihad and the fact that it cannot contradict the holy writ from the “absolute” Holy Qur’an and Sunnah, which restrict the use of these sources from becoming permanent within the Sharia law framework.
But instead of seeing the Muslim undercover dogmatic hardliners, the Left accused us (and still does) of being inflexible, while the Islamists were seen as very flexible. Indeed, Ijtihad is used, as Sheikh Yousef Qaradawi — the Brotherhood’s spiritual guide — elaborated on in his volume Al-Si’a Wal-Muruna, for the vehicle of “Inclusion and Flexibility.” We were the first to translate several excerpts, one of which states:
Sharia rulings have two types; the first is firm; that does not change in accordance to place, time or even by Ijtihad, such as duties, prohibitions and criminal law. Ijtihad cannot be used to change what was made firm. The other types of Sharia rulings are those that can be changed while keeping Islam’s interests in mind. 5
Tariq Ramadan is a perfect case-in-point for the West’s choice of a lousy doctor. Islamophobia Online proudly featured this Muslim apologist in Europe, who in English called for a “freeze to Islamic capital punishment,” by of course citing Ijtihad. 6
Yet, a “freeze” is not permanent since Islamic laws—according to Ramadan and Muslims in general—are an absolute truth and not malleable to changing times or conditions.
These “freezes” Ramadan and others discuss are not in response to “changing times” or even “conditions that call for modernizing Islam.” On the contrary, such things are done to garner long-term interests.
The intention of these laws, while frozen in time, is for them to eventually thaw and return to their original state when the time is ripe. In essence, the liberals are nothing more than useful pawns destined to fall victim to the Trojan horse of Ijtihad, which is simply intended to put in a wedge to pry open the gate.
The evidence for this is clear—Ramadan only calls for this freeze in the West; never in the Middle East where he supports continuing the implementation of Sharia. How can anyone redefine through Ijtihad the clearest definitions of Islam: “Al-Islamu Deen Wa Dawla”—“Islam is a religion and a state”? This “and” is a combination of the two, infusing state with religion. That very basic definition strictly prohibits any Muslim from losing focus of the ultimate goal—to spread Islam globally.
If aiding and abetting Zawahiri and providing him shelter does not constitute an enemy, shouldn’t we then provide Zawahiri (like we did for Ramadan) an entry visa into the United States?
I rest my case.
Some excerpts in this article are taken from Walid’s new book The Case For Islamophobia.
2. Discover The Networks.org, Tariq Ramadan.
4. Matthew Kalman, “A Muslim calls for reform – and she’s a lesbian,” San Francisco Chronicle, January 19, 2004.
5. Al-Si ’a wa-Al-Muruna, by Yousuf Qaradawi, translation by Walid Shoebat, italics mine. Also see http://pjmedia.com/blog/muruna-violating-sharia-to-fool-the-west/
6. “Tariq Ramadan Calls for a Freeze on Hudud Punishments,” (Islamopedia online, March 24, 2010).
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