Muslims Resist Religious Tolerance Within Islam
The liberal American media revels in preaching that Islam above all other religions must be “tolerated” and “respected.” Any critical discussion of Islam brings cries of Islamophobia (fear of Islam?). The irony of being told to tolerate all aspects of Islam is that Muslims themselves do not tolerate the numerous strands of Islam:
CAIRO — On the occasion of the Prophet Muhammad’s birthday, President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi on Jan. 1 gave a speech in which he called for a religious revolution against extremism. He said there are ideas and texts in Islam that have been sanctified over hundreds of years and cannot be ignored. These erroneous ideas, however, have painted a bad picture of the Muslim nation as one characterized by killing and destruction, he said. It has been almost five months since Sisi’s speech, in which he also blamed Al-Azhar [University] for rekindling such religious rhetoric. Although the goal of Sisi’s speech was to encourage tolerance and eliminate sectarian polarization, each Islamic current interpreted his words to suit its own ideas and beliefs.
The Salafists, among them Sheikh Mohammed al-Abasiri, demanded the cancellation of Sufi holidays because of their alleged unethical and un-Islamic practices. Meanwhile, Sufi sheikhs, including Mohammed al-Shabrawi, called for the rejection of Salafism, because, he claimed, the Wahhabi ideology is the main reason behind the spread of terrorism in Egypt.
Secularists meanwhile launched fierce verbal attacks against Al-Azhar, blaming its sheikhs for the country’s problematic religious discourse. The Al-Azhar sheikhs retorted that the secularists were trying to strip Egypt of its Islamic identity. The Muslim Brotherhood rejected Sisi’s call, which it said was directed against Islam, accusing Sisi of being unjust to Muslims and asking Muslims to disregard their holy texts.