Egyptian President, back when he was a mere general commanding the Egyptian military, saw the peoples distress was an exceedingly and rapidly worsening situation and understood their protests where they were risking life and limb, against the crushing and oppressive governance of the Muslim Brotherhood and acted replacing the Muslim Brotherhood and returning them to their banned and criminal status so well deserved, contrary to the beliefs and hopes of United States President Barack Obama, which is the greatest verification of walking the correct track as ever existed. The overwhelming election victory was won by the General, where he risked all as he had by removing his uniform and surrendering his privileged rank and status as General of the Armies in order to run for the Presidency, where he has proven the faith placed in him by the people. He has started reforms both economic and political which will further empower the people as things progress, and there exists progress in Egypt, slow but steady progress. Perhaps the even paced progress is best as the Egyptian people have lived under dictatorial rule from the times of the pharaohs which has hopefully ended and President al-Sisi will prove with the ultimate test for any leader of a nation finally stepping out of oppressive rule, that President al-Sisi voluntarily leaves office and does not assume to be President for Life. President al-Sisi has chosen a difficult and challenging target for his life’s work moving forward, and should he succeed it will be a momentous step forward for much of mankind.
President al-Sisi has throughout his career shown a propensity to challenge the status quo when and where he has felt was required. His new and apparent life’s challenge, and by far his greatest, is to challenge the very structure of Islam and its supersessionism by which it denigrates all of humanity which does not follow the tenets of Islam, and not just Islam but each substructure in Islam, Sunni/Shiite being the best known but there are others even within these two largest such as al-Qaeda/Islamic State/Muslim Brotherhood subsets of Sunni each against the others. President al-Sisi did not take a shy road creeping forward making a hesitant statement here and another there always leaving himself an exit strategy whereby he would live to fight another day. No timidity from President al-Sisi as his coming out set of statements was punctuated with a bold red and flashing exclamation point as he took his Jihad straight to the heart of the opposition. Al-Sisi made his speech announcing his Jihad to be an inner fight within Islam to soften its outer sharp edges it uses to attack all that is not of Islam and either convert or kill all that they see as the others, those who reside in Dar al-Harb, which literally means ‘territory of war,’ and not within Dar al-Islam, which literally means ‘territory of Islam.’ President al-Sisi initially took his Jihad to al-Azhar University, Cairo, Egypt, on December 28, 2014 where he delivered a speech insisting that Islam was in need of a reformation if not a transformation in which it would be transformed into a more tolerant and accepting of other religions and those who were not Muslims which was an assault on extremist Muslims. He questioned on how it could be that 1.6 billion Muslims should murder 5.4 billion non-Muslims implying it was a ridiculous notion. This while in the first rows before him were the highest ranking Imams who teach and administrate at al-Azhar University where future Imams are instructed in that very notion and that of supremacist Islam and the requirement for Islam to be taken to the world and spread by all means even including by the sword as Muhammad had once done when he took Islamic sword to the Jews of Medina for refusing to accept him as their prophet. This was taking the fight to the heart of Islamism and to the very teachers and university where this view of a receptive form of Islam is a heresy for which al-Sisi could have been murdered on the spot for even questioning the supremacy and requirement that Islam become the one and only pure religion on Earth.
A crucial excerpt can be seen below which gives three crucial parts in his speech; he questions whether the 1.6 billion Muslims should stand against the 7 billion people of the Earth and be a threat that makes Muslims feared, that the Imams must change before Islam can be reformed, and lastly his direct challenge, which can be witnessed in his body language as he turns to look straight at the man of whom he speaks, challenging the Grand Sheik of al-Azhar University. This is one of the most influential and revered teachers, Imams, in all of Sunni Islam and held in respect for his knowledge of the Quran in its purest form by all Islam and as the one man who sets the framework by which thousands of Imams are trained and millions are influenced. When al-Sisi directly looking at the head of al-Azhar University respectfully addresses him as “Honorable Imam, you bear responsibility before Allah. The world in its entirety awaits your words, because the Islamic nation is being torn apart, destroyed, and is heading to perdition.” The words he chose were a serious accusation stating, “the Islamic nation is being torn apart, destroyed, and is heading to perdition.” President al-Sisi comes from and speaks for those Muslims who are good, obedient, fervent, religious, honorable, and believing Muslims who are members of a ‘religion of peace’ but are being instructed that they are deficient and poor excuses for Muslims because Islam demands violent Jihad, not simply being a good person. They are instead told a good Muslim is more than a respected and caring Muslim because a true follower of Islam goes in the way of Muhammad. They are told that Muslims must not emulate the Muhammad of Mecca as the Muhammad of Medina has destroyed, killed the Muhammad of Mecca and writ a new Muhammad by the acts of Medina which show the true path is one of conquest, of blood and violence. These moderate Muslims who do exist also know that when that 10%, 15% or even just 0.5% demand that they act as they are instructed, that minority has the majority vote of one holding a sword and having the willingness to use it, though today it is a rifle.
The same is true of the Muslims who would never on their own take another persons’ life but are threatened by that minority for whom such is no more difficult than praying five times a day and given equal weight in their version of Islam which originated from some Imam likely trained at al-Azhar University directly or indirectly, but through some twisted or direct trail their instruction came from the very Imams addressed by President al-Sisi.
Such a transformation had once before been attempted with initially great success but as is all too often the case, which had been done by one man becomes undone by another man. The country where Islam was disconnected from the governance of the nation was Turkey where after the fall of the Ottoman Empire a remnant of their holdings were left to form the nation of Turkey under the guidance and rule of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk who formed the Turkish Constitution leaving the military to be the guardians of liberties, freedoms, and a secular society where the State was to be protected from the ravings of religious zealots thus protecting the people from their own proclivities to fall for mesmeric religious zealots and desiring the world they weave as only accessible through transformative means which start with a national religion, this was the point that the military was to put on the brakes, remove the leader, declare new elections and make sure this person was not on the ballot ever, and even preferably, by removing their party from existence thus forcing the religious parties to reconstruct if they were unable to respect the secular nature of the government. The Turkish military had stepped in and performed admirably keeping the restraints on successive Muslim Brotherhood political parties which attempted to instill a national religion with them as the guardians of the purity of Islam and the ensuing application of Sharia as the law of the land. So, what went wrong? In one name, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the current successor of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk who has carefully since 2003 while holding the office of Prime Minister reaching the end of that position transferred most of its powers and a few more he personally required in order to cement his changes assigned to the Presidency which he then won election as the first President of Turkey, or should we just assign the term which is more applicable, Sultan of Turkey and rightfully the next Caliph. There are so many claiming that title it is becoming difficult to remember which are current and which have left this mortal coil, Saddam Hussein, Muammar Gaddafi, Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal and so many more even to include Syrian leader of an ever shrinking area Bashir al-Assad, any more takers, get your name in fast before ballots close.
As you can see from the list that there is a conspicuous name missing, other than Mahmoud Abbas who has likely given up his delusions of grandeur and instead turned to concentrate on remaining amongst the living, but Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi who might actually be the exact transformational Caliph the world could use right about now in history if human history is going to continue much further into the future. With the stealth invasion and Civilizational Jihad threatened by Islamic State, Hamas, Hezballah and Iran, and with just as likely some unannounced Jihadists being sent by the Wahabbists and al-Qaeda plus a plethora, a virtual cornucopia, of other possibilities; if we only take the energy to seek out the terrorists with human screening, the problem is too large for such a method of detection. But President Sisi is not to be dismissed as any shrinking violet as he was far from silent on matters as General of the Egyptian Army, though in that position his statements were general comments even some of which inferred his present path but always nonpolitical and never criticizing President Mubarak as he did not shy away from challenging Muslim Brotherhood President of Egypt Morsi, the man he replaced. When they held the trial for Morsi the commentaries came from virtually every direction, the Muslim Brotherhood and their fellow travelers such as Hamas, other political groups looking to pile on and get their rational reasons that they did poorly in the initial election was due to the fixing of the election by the Muslim Brotherhood, never mind if they did not do all that much better in the second election. Conspicuous in his absence from piling on Morsi was al-Sisi whose campaign mostly pictured a nation in desperate need of an improved secular education, job training for those unemployed, protection of all Egyptians, equality for all Egyptians, an end to inter-religious criminal acts, an end to terrorism and bringing quiet and lawfulness to the Sinai, the one promise most obvious in its absence though the efforts have been obvious and strong. Will al-Sisi succeed in his efforts to transform Islam? The bets and all of Islam appears to be against him but he has a secret weapon, the common people who if shown a better path, one where they are able to provide a positive and viable future for their children even if it may be too late for themselves, then things could change at least in Egypt. We must remember that as Egypt is the most populous of the Arab Muslim States in the MENA region (Middle East and North Africa) and if things turn around and Egypt become the Shanghai of the Muslim world and they combine with other more progressive Muslim nations such as Azerbaijan, then perhaps together the nations of Islam which reject the idea of Jihad as the means of conquest but rather on self-improvement in order to perfect the world, an idea which may be familiar to many of our readers, then the Islamic world may have taken the initial steps to a reformation, perhaps a Illumination Showered as Light Ascending to Mecca and Muhammad (ISLAMM), or simply put, Islam as defined in Mecca, a return to the birthplace of Muhammad and his dreams.
Beyond the Cusp