According to the popular Egyptian website, El Bashayer, Muhammad Morsi, the Muslim Brotherhood presidential candidate, just declared that he will “achieve the Islamic conquest (fath) of Egypt for the second time, and make all Christians convert to Islam, or else pay the jizya,” the traditional Islamic tax, or financial tribute, required of non-Muslim “dhimmis.”
In a brief report written by Samuel al-Ashay and published by El Bashayer on May 27, Morsi allegedly made these comments while speaking with a journalist at the headquarters of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party, adding “We will not allow Ahmed Shafiq [his contending presidential candidate] or anyone else to impede our second Islamic conquest of Egypt.”
After his interviewer pointed out that the first Muslim conquest of Egypt was “carried out at the hands of Amr bin al-As [in 641],” he asked Morsi, “Who will the second Islamic conqueror be?” The presidential candidate replied, “The second Muslim conqueror will be Muhammad Morsi,” referring to himself, “and history will record it.”
When asked what he thought about many Christian Copts coming out to vote for his secular opponent, Ahmed Shafiq, Morsi reportedly said, “They need to know that conquest is coming, and Egypt will be Islamic, and that they must pay jizya or emigrate.”
If this interview is accurate, certainly Morsi would not be the first political Islamist in Egypt to say he wants to see the nation’s Christians subjugated and made to pay jizya (see here for more examples).
However, considering that English language media are currently reporting that Morsi is trying to woo Egypt’s Christians and women, to win more votes, it is difficult to imagine that he actually made these comments: one does not doubt that he favors the idea of a “second Islamic conquest” and the subjugation of Christians; one doubts that he would be so foolish as to reveal his mind now, publicly, and thereby jeopardize his chances of winning the presidency.
Then again, his remarks are reported in the context of a private meeting at the headquarters of the Brotherhood’s political party. Perhaps a relaxed Morsi thought he was speaking to a fellow Islamist who would not expose him? Perhaps he was annoyed at having to win Christian Copts over and was “venting” for a moment? Stay tuned.
Saudis Demand Punishment for McDonald’s Toy that ‘Insults Muhammad’
Saudi Arabians are angry at a McDonald’s toy which they say mocks their prophet Muhammad. According to a report appearing May 27th on the Arabic news website, Kermalkom.com, the McDonald’s fast food restaurant “abused the Prophet Muhammad by placing his name at the base of a toy that is being distributed as part of the Happy Meal, a toy which steps on the name ‘Muhammad.'”
The toy consists of a blue superhero figurine (apparently a Power Ranger Samurai). It stands on one leg, and, when the lever is pressed, it pounds on the base with the other leg. According to the Saudis, the designs that appear all around the base, where the figurine stomps its foot, is really the name “Muhammad” written several times in circles (click here for pictures).
The toy had been distributed a few days before Saudi children and their parents began to take note of the name. Soon thereafter, Saudi Muslims launched several campaigns against McDonald’s in “response to the savage attacks on the noble Prophet,” under banners like “Help your Prophet!” and “Together in support of the Prophet.”
Saudis, “demanding the strongest possible punishment for the restaurant” and insisting that “they will not be silent until this is realized,” further complained how such an obvious insult could pass the supervision of the management at McDonald’s.
In response, “Saudi McDonald’s” has withdrawn the toy from all its restaurants, “in order to safeguard against any accusations or misunderstandings.”
Last month, Sheikh Yassir al-Burhami, a prominent figure in Egypt’s Salafi movement—who also hates Christian Copts, hates Mother’s Day, and is an advocate of taqiyya—appeared on the Egyptian show Al Hayat Al Youm (“Life Today”), giving his views on the presidential candidates. At one point, the host asked Burhami which of the policies of Abu al-Futuh—the “liberal” Islamist candidate who lost out to the more “conservative” Muslim Brotherhood candidate—he especially rejected.
Burhami started vaguely, saying, “There were some things we were concerned about,” adding that they met and discussed these matters with Abu al-Futuh, and how the latter had clarified his position, finally agreeing that he might need to revise his opinion.