No reconciliation before defeating terrorism  


As a man who has spent his life promoting interfaith and intercultural dialogue, I understand that when conflict dominates the public scene and clashes rage, there are those who wish to begin a period of reconciliation. However, when it comes to strategies to ensure stability, my experience has taught me that we are not in a position to begin reconciliation as long as our national security is at stake.

First: When we examine the situation in Egypt, we find a sharp difference between the MB after the collapse of their system, and the rest of the Egyptian people.

The June 30 rebellion to oust Morsi was led by the bold youth of Tamarod, an Egyptian movement that rallied against the MB for overstepping their authority, as well as for their intolerance and exclusion of others. The MB not only failed to hold onto authority, they antagonized every state institution, from the army and police, to the judiciary and the media, besieging them with their hubris and deceitfulness.

After the fall of their regime, the MB did not have the presence of mind to recognize and deal with their loss. Instead they armed themselves in Rabaa El Adawiya Square and terrorized citizens and security men with crimes ranging from kidnapping and torture (including amputation) to murder. In spite of their rhetoric, there is not a single reference in the Quran or Sunnah that permits them to carry out such heinous acts.

In Alexandria, Ahmed Thabet, one of the founders of the April 6 movement, was held with 15 others for 19 hours inside Al-Qaed Ibrahim Mosque. Thabet said he was present as the mosque’s imam, Sheikh Ahmed Al Mahlawi, incited Morsi supporters to violence. Thabet was shot in the knee in the gunfire that ensued. He lost consciousness and later reported that the Morsi supporters denied him clothes, food, and water through the night.

Ironically, Thabet had voted for Morsi in the presidential election.

The patriotic General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, aware and able, took the side of the 30 million or so Egyptian citizens, to save the country from destruction. He chose to defend the rights of the Egyptian people and ensure national security.

The overwhelmingly positive response of the 30 million reflects the fact that the people, the army, the police and the State recognized the threat to the country and acted. In the coming weeks, we will witness investigations into the crimes committed by the MB and the deposed president. At the top of the list of charges is collaboration with Hamas, including espionage and the prison break in Wadi Natrun. Investigations will also be made into the role of the MB in the deaths at Rabaa El Adawiya, where dead bodies of members of Hamas were retained so as to hide their identities. Another key investigation will shed light on the role of the MB in the terrorist attacks in Sinai by jihadist groups that have already taken the lives of many innocent Egyptians.

From now on, Muslim clergymen must refuse to mix religion and politics in defense of the true image of Islam, the one known for tolerance and justice. And all of us as Egyptians, Muslims and Christians must come together in consensus that our first enemy is terrorism and we must defeat it first and foremost.

translated from Al Youm 7

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