Egypt's Muslim President Sisi-'Islam needs religious revolution'
Egyptian Muslim President Gen. Abdul Fateh al-Sisi’s address to Egypt’s religious leaders at Al-Azhar University on Jan. 1, 2015, called for Muslim religious officials to lead a “religious revolution” to stop Muslims throughout the world from killing and causing destruction. This starkly contrasts with President Obama’s angry tirade on June 14, 2016, condemning those who criticize the president and his administration for refusing to use the term “radical Islam.”
Pres. al-Sisi courageously and properly urged Muslim religious leaders that they need to advance an enlightened religious revolution to end the violence based on entrenched Islamic thinking that has antagonized and endangered the entire world. President Sisi stated that wrong thinking (fikr) about Islam’s sacred texts, that has remained unchanged for 800 years has “cause[d] the entire umma (Islamic nation) to be a source of anxiety, danger, killing and destruction for the rest of the world.
“I say and repeat again that we are in need of a religious revolution,” al-Sisi stated. “You imams are responsible before Allah. The entire world, I say it again, the entire world is waiting for your next move...because this umma is being torn, it is being destroyed, it is being lost—and it is being lost by our own hands.”
Yet, while Egypt’s President al-Sisi demanded that radical Islam must change and that Muslim Imams are responsible and must lead the way in reforming Islam, President Obama refuses to demand the same. For our wonderful country, President Obama promoted ‘hope and change,” why doesn’t he promote “hope and change” for the problematic issues within Islam? Surprisingly, President Obama won’t even meet with al-Sisi.
Instead of acknowledging the real root of the problem and insisting that it change (as President al-Sisi did), President Obama complained Tuesday that the term “radical Islam” is “loose talk and sloppiness about who exactly we’re fighting” and stated “our mission is to destroy ISIL.” Throughout his administration, President Obama initially limited the enemy to al Qaeda and its affiliates, and finally added ISIL (after dismissing these radical Muslims as the “JV team”). For instance, the Obama administration’s 2015 National Security Strategy only speaks of ISIL, al Qaeda and their affiliates—and avoids mentioning the Muslim Brotherhood and other radical Islamist groups.
President Obama’s refusal to even use terms such as “radical Islam,” “radical Islamist terrorism” and “Islamist” ignores the common thread that marks and propels an array of enemies of our nation, our allies and Western civilization. Avoiding the proper terms helps enable Pres. Obama to ignore or even side with, enrich and/or arm other radical Islamist enemies—including the Islamic Republic of Iran (the world’s major state sponsor of terrorism, that the Obama administration enriched by $150 billion via the Iran deal); the former Muslim Brotherhood government in Egypt led by Mohammed Morsi (to which the Obama administration gave $1 billion in loan forgiveness and advanced tanks and fighter jets).
Avoiding the proper terms also takes the focus off anti-Israel, anti-American radical Islamist countries like Iran, and Islamist murderous groups such as Hamas (whose charter quotes the Koran’s call to murder of every Jew); Hezbollah (which Iran has armed with 200,000 missiles); Palestinian Islamic Jihad (another Iran-financed terrorist group); the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP); Fatah and the PLO. Avoiding the proper terms makes it appear that these radical Islamists are somehow different from the others—when in fact radical Islamist terrorists are murdering Christians, Hindus, Buddhists, gays, and other Muslims—as well as Jews. The world needs to understand that radical Islamists are coming after all of us... not just Jews and Israel. The radical Muslims murdering people in San Bernardino, Orlando, Paris, Brussels, Spain, England, Africa, Phillipines, and areas of the Arab Mideast are the same radical Muslims murdering Jews in Israel.
Obama also stated yesterday “There has not been a moment in my seven and a half years as president where we have not been able to pursue a strategy because we didn’t use the label “radical Islam.” In fact, the absence of the “radical Islam” label reflects the Obama administration’s pursuit of a lopsided strategy—a strategy that limited the fight to making limited efforts against specific organizations, while rewarding other radical Islamist enemies such as Iran’s mullahs and the Muslim Brotherhood. If we adopted the label “radical Islamist terrorism,” it would be more difficult for the Obama administration to act as if regimes such as Iran and Hamas are somehow better or different or less deserving of opposition than the Islamic State and al Qaeda.
If our president would use the term “radical Islamic terrorism,” it would also put much-needed pressure on imams, mosques, Muslim Arab groups and other Muslim leaders here and abroad to speak out against radical Islamic terrorism, and to begin to work to reform Islam.
It’s time for our President to speak out against radical Islamist terrorism.
Morton Klein is the president of the Zionist Organization of America.