Friday, April 15, 2011

Egypt, Al-Azhar reaffirms opposition to dialogue with Vatican ~ holds out for Pope's apology over statement that Christians should be protected from attack in the region

"The Vatican – continues the source - must be firm on its positions and ask the imam of Al-Azhar the reasons for an apology and where the error of the Holy Father lies. Al-Azhar should instead explain why there continues to be violence against Christians in Egypt before it demands excuses".

The Egyptian Muslim world - he says - is currently very divided...

" The source says that these divisions could clarify the positions and currents within Islam, the result of contradictions within the Koran and the absence of final authority in the Muslim world.

There was the time before Muhammad picked up the sword ~ when he was in the 'non-compulsion' mode and then after where he killed to convert fellow citizens to his brand of the Mecca Kaaba religion [there were other Kaabas /religious stones of worship in the region]. In Muslim writings, when Muhammad sent out one of his generals to convert a local tribe ~ he told, if they accept him don't fight them. After this, the leader of this tribe ['who were brought to Islam by force'] was brought to Muhammad ~ asked him what would have happened if they had not converted ~ Muhammad told him point-blank ~ he would have put his head by his feet.


When Muslims step out for dialogue ~ or wish to entice people to join Islam ~ they pull out the few attractive verses ~ which Muhammad made before he pulled out the sword in support of his religious ideology. Of which, the use of the sword irreparable changed his message ~ as the message was based on his example ~ flinging his following into separate camps ~ those who want to get along with others out of respect for one's common humanity, and those who require conditions for this respect ~ such as the non-Muslim should be subjugated or the requirement that some level of dhimmitude be displayed [as is no doubt expected of the Catholic church] ~ and then respect can be extended. But ultimately, because of Muhammad's militarist actions, the subsequent ferocity with which Islam was brought to neighboring countries and by which it is still maintained ~ Muslims are tipped towards a war footing. Which puts them in a adversarial position to all others ~ but as a child they would not want this ~ so they have been instructed to be so.


The 'absence of final authority' ~ means that you have the Al-Azhar here and the Saudi or other authority there ~ so that the Catholic Church could only be dealing with factions.


What is common among Muslim nations is that Christians are given less rights, extended less freedoms and on top of this face attacks, with fewer protections under the law. This is often not based on the average Muslim making a personal decision against the Christians / other non-Muslims - this is written into these countries' constitutions ~ a Christian can't be president, religious restrictions and so on... And the common thread is the Shari'a.


That the Christians are dhimmified in Egypt ~ Al Azhar produced a statement last year, reminding the Christians of their dhimmi status ~ for Al Azhar is a religious requirement ~ and in their dealings with the Pope ~ the criteria used for respect for Islam would be the Catholic Church's acceptance of the subordinate status of Christians in the region. To understand that the humiliating/less favorable treatment is a function of Islam ~ although they may not agree with the killing of Christians ~ they take exception to criticism of the degraded treatment of Christian fellow citizens ~ who they believe they are the protectors of. Protection in the mafia sense. Christians are supposed to pay a tax for this protection ~ which they no longer do ~ since the event of western colonization.

I suppose it is difficult for the Muslim authority to deal with people who are not afraid of them and can't be cowered ~ it is obvious that its greatness is not all that is imagined.



Cairo (AsiaNews) - Al-Azhar will only resume talks with the Holy See after an apology from the Pope, who was accused of criticizing Islam following an attack against the Coptic Cathedral in Alexandria last January 3. As much was revealed in an informal meeting between Ahmed El-Tayeb, Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, and Michael Fitzgerald, Vatican ambassador to Cairo. In the meeting, which took place yesterday in Cairo, the Muslim leader said that relations between the two religions are normal, but demands an official apology from the Pope, as a condition to restarting any dialogue between Al-Azhar and the Vatican.

"It's not fair to ask the Pope for an apology - says a source, anonymous for safety reasons - because he never insulted Islam, he just asked for the protection of Christians wherever they are, as is his duty." The source points out the dual position held by the authorities of Al-Azhar, which on one hand demand an apology from the Pope, but still want to be seen as the moderate face of Islam. "The Vatican – continues the source - must be firm on its positions and ask the imam of Al-Azhar the reasons for an apology and where the error of the Holy Father lies. Al-Azhar should instead explain why there continues to be violence against Christians in Egypt before it demands excuses".

According to the source, the relationship, viewed as courteous in the past, were in fact ambiguous. "Islamic leaders - he says - have always imposed a dialogue of superficial courtesy with the Church, in this way avoiding discussing or addressing contentious issues and problems encountered between Christianity and Islam. Now the Vatican is aware of the situation and is not afraid to adopt a more firm and rigid stance. "

The Jasmine Revolution and the fall of Mubarak has highlighted the confusion and instability within Egyptian Muslim society, teetering between secular and democratic movements, radical Islam and the risk of a new military regime. According to the source this would in part explain the contradictory attitude of Al-Azhar.

"The Egyptian Muslim world - he says - is currently very divided. At Al-Azhar, there are contrasts between the positions of Ahmed El-Tayeb and other imams with scholars of the university. In turn, Al-Azhar is at odds with members of the Muslim Brotherhood, internally divided between the hard line of the older members and the young reformers. The contrast also exists between the Muslim Brotherhood and Salafist movement, who clash on many topics. " The source says that these divisions could clarify the positions and currents within Islam, the result of contradictions within the Koran and the absence of final authority in the Muslim world.

The military government, currently guarantors of stability, is an expression of this confusion. The source says the arrest of Mubarak and his sons, which took place today, is a device used by the army to regain the popular consensus, lost after the violent repression of demonstrations on April 8. "The military - he says - want to show they are still part of the population, attacking Mubarak and dispelling the doubts of collusion with the old regime." (Sc)

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