Egypt’s Al-Azhar Institute: The key to ending terror or the reason for it?

By: Dr. Ashraf Ramelah
Voice of the Copts



Just one month before the Paris massacre of Charlie Hebdo and his staff, the prestigious Sunni Muslim Al-Azhar Institute organized and held a conference at its headquarters in Cairo to address worldwide terrorism. It was entitled, “Al-Azhar in the face of extremism and terrorism.” After two full days of discourse focused on the ISIS (Islamic State Iraq Syria) terror group, Al-Azhar concluded with a statement aligned with an earlier one made by President Obama. ISIS is not Islamic. The President saw fit to omit this opinion from his subsequent speech at the UN, but Al-Ahzar is sticking to it.

Al-Azhar religious scholars (an autonomous body separate from the state but financed by taxpayers) form the center for Koranic interpretation and spiritual guidance to the largest Muslim sect in the world, the Sunnis, estimated at one billion believers — eighty percent of the worldwide Muslim community. If the religion of Islam were governed by a hierarchy of leadership, Al-Azhar would surely be its head.

Renowned for its doctrinal instruction to imams and its slightest pronouncement (fatwa) obeyed by Muslim followers, Al-Azhar wields a subtle but powerful authority over Muslim believers. Its influence over the West’s perception of Islam is as great. In this capacity, Al-Ahzar has the power to significantly contribute to the eradication of Muslim violence around the world. But instead, what has its impact been as spiritual head with a state role?

Unlike the American president, Al-Azhar would not condemn ISIS when put to the test. Surely, if Al-Ahzar posited that ISIS terror is Islamic then a denunciation of ISIS’ actions would be a condemnation of its own doctrine. But, if ISIS terror is not Islam as Al-Ahzar proclaims what is the harm done with condemning it? This contradiction alone clues us in on a leadership that is allowing if not fostering crimes against humanity.

This ambiguity coming from the reverential summit of Islamic scholarship transmits confusion and inauthenticity to the West which seeks to find a benign Islam to tolerate. Al-Ahzar’s unwillingness to clarify Islam in relation to current realities and the relative terms sought to define them  – Islam, Islamist, Islamic terror, terror, Islamic extremism, extremism, etc. – is suspicious at best. Anselm Choudary, an outlier, does a better job at being concise and consistent on the Hannity show.

No matter how many millions march for “freedom and tolerance” in Paris and the anti-terror cause in the days following the Hebdo attacks little will change without  Al-Azhar Institute — the preeminent Islamic authority — making clear, concise statements to properly identify and condemn violence by Muslims. It could begin by reversing a silence dating back to its 880 AD origins regarding Muslim attacks on the Coptic Christians. This Cairo institute has never condemned the violence or the propaganda of Muslims against Christians within its own state. Tragically, this lack of responsibility has advanced jihad throughout the state and the world.

Al-Ahar excluded Jews from this worldwide summit on terrorism. Its failure to invite synagogues and Jewish leaders was not disguised by its otherwise inclusiveness. Joining the Egyptian Mufti, Dr. Shawki Allam, Al-Azhar University chairman and deputy, and six hundred Muslim scholars (including those of minor sects) from 120 countries were heads of the Eastern Orthodox churches, including Egyptian Copts, and Vatican representatives. Protestant denominations from the West were present, and speakers from communities persecuted by terror groups (Pakistan, Syria, and others) attended.

Did this important conference at the heart of Sunni-Muslim religious learning hold the least promise for genuine examination of worldwide terror? Not really. We’ve seen Al-Ahzar fail to denounce Muslim Brotherhood members as terrorists when the pro-democracy presidency of Al Sisi banned the organization from Egypt last year. Also, the Grand Mufti of Al-Ahzar, who is required by law to confirm or deny death sentences issued by the Egyptian courts, reversed the death penalty of Badeh and others — all convicted murderers from the Muslim Brotherhood. So far, the Sunni authority of Al-Ahzar has placed itself at odds with Muslims in the Egyptian streets and the rest of the modern world presumably in order to remain true to Islamic doctrine.

At the conference, a Mufti from Nigeria gave a speech in which he recognized ISIS as a terror organization. Generally, any recognition or instruction stated by a Muslim cleric anywhere is considered a fatwa duly acknowledged and followed by all Muslims around the world. In a panic, Al-Ahzar countered the Mufti by issuing a statement negating the Mufti’s point — overriding it and declaring that ISIS is not a terror organization. The Al-Ahzar statement went on to say that members of ISIS are not Muslim and their actions are not that of Muslims. Then, for good measure, Al-Ahzar emphasized another Koranic verse in order to warn the Nigerian Mufti that it is not his place to condemn ISIS. In short, the reminder stated that any action taken by one Muslim (ISIS members) cannot be judged by another Muslim (Nigerian Mufti). It didn’t matter that Al-Ahzar just declared ISIS a non-Muslim group.

In reaction to Al-Azhar statement, the Egyptian media, attempting to protect the image of Islam, demanded that Al-Azhar label, identify and condemn ISIS as explicitly “Kafir” (non-Muslim) in order to further the deception that terror groups in operation could readily be regarded as being from non-Muslim sources. In response, Dr. Abbas Shoman of Al-Ahzar claimed that the institute had never condemned any believer by disavowing his Muslim identity (assigning him “Kafir”) – a flat out lie. The well-known Egyptian, Farag Fuda, a secular Muslim scholar and human rights advocate critical of Islam and Al-Ahzar, was accused of blasphemy by Al-Ahzar clerics and condemned. The “fatwa” dutifully led to Fuda’s murder, the intended consequence.

Traced to lies and murder, Al-Ahzar Institute is solely responsible in its actions and teachings for setting the common ethical underpinning of Islamic society. The world would be mistaken to rely upon the leadership of this esteemed Islamic institution for a solution to the world’s crisis.


Our Weasel Of The Week Nominees! – 01/20/15

Watcher of Weasels


It’s time once again for the Watcher’s Council’s ‘Weasel Of The Week’ nominations, where we pick our choices to compete for the award of the famed Golden Weasel to a public figure who particularly deserves to be slimed and mocked for his or her dastardly deeds during the week. Every Tuesday morning, tune in for the Weasel of the Week nominations!

Here are this weeks’ Nominees!

 Has Been ’70′s Relic Singer And Renowned Drug Addict James Taylor!!

The Noisy Room: My nomination this week is James Taylor for being a willing tool of John Kerry and the Obama Administration; sent forth to serenade France as an Apology Tour for Obama not showing up after the Charlie Hebdo massacre:

The guest Secretary of State John Kerry brought with him to Paris isgarnering more attention than Mr. Kerry himself. Singer James Taylor accompanied the diplomat at Paris’s city hall, where he sang a version of “You’ve Got a Friend” on stage.

According to the Deputy Mayor of Paris Patrick Klugman’s Twitter account, Mr. Kerry told the audience that he “wanted to come here to share a hug.”

Mr. Kerry watched Mr. Taylor on stage, standing next to Mayor of Paris Ann Hidalgo — who at one point during the song held a microphone for Mr. Taylor.

The performance is grabbing attention online, with many suggesting that the singer’s performance is an awkward way to show solidarity with the French after last week’s deadly terrorist attack. The U.S. had faced criticism that it didn’t send a high-level official to last Sunday’s massive march in Paris, which many world leaders attended.

It’s official… the US has gone from a superpower to a joke on the world stage. James Taylor went from a musical legend to a prop in one appearance and he became a weasel to boot.

Virginia Right!: This week I would like to nominate Secretary of State John Kerry who along with James Taylor, an equally far left mental lightweight, formed the duo called the Taylor-Kerry Band and hit the Euro circuit on the latest Apology Tour. The pair sang “You’ve Got a Friend” over and over again to the French in a pathetic attempt to cover up the lack of participation in the event to protest terrorism.

The tour highlighted the failure of Barack Obama to condemn the Muslim Terrorists – or even call them terrorists.

Mercifully taking a cue from Obama’s “Lead from Behind” strategy, Kerry sang from behind a brick wall.

And the good news is, the French and the rest of the world were so dazzled by Kerry’s sing-bling man-pal Taylor hanging on his arm that they forgot the reason Kerry came in the first place.

Reports say, however, that French Prime Minister Manuel Valls was obviously confused believing Kerry had brought along Taylor Swift and he kept shouting out (in French of course) PLAY ‘Why You Gotta Be So Mean” in honor of the Islamic Terrorists. Even more embarrassing, he kept calling Sweet Baby James sexy.

When told of the mix up, Taylor Swift immediately began writing her latest song “Manuel Go To Hell (And Take John Kerry With You)” which will feature Mike Huckabee on bass.

To which John Kerry replied “She can kiss our be-Heinz!”

Israel Basher And Islamist Director of Duke University’s Islamic Studies Center, Omad Safi!

The Independent Sentinel: Omad Safi, the Director of Duke Islamic Studies, attempted to have the deeply religious Muslim’s Call to Prayer ring out over the loudspeakers at Duke University every Friday, mixing up church and state in a most unacceptable, but PC way. Pluralism was the reason, but our society is supposed to be a unified society, not a divided, multicultural society.

The Call to Prayer is meant to “make available to everyone an easily intelligible summary of Islamic belief. It is intended to bring to the mind of every believer and non-believer the substance of Islamic beliefs,” according to Wiki.

In the prayer are the words, Allahu Akbar.

It’s clearly religious and inappropriate. Where are the Freedom From Religion people on this one?

To make matters worse, Mr. Safi responded to Rev. Franklin Graham’s rebuke of Duke University with bigotry:

“Spare me,” Safi’s Facebook post says, “Spare me the paranoia of a wealthy white male Christian who talks about being marginalized in America.”

He followed up by saying, “We’re better than this.”

First he tries to shove his religion down peoples’ throats and then he makes bigoted statements about the Reverend who objected. He should be better than that.

Unity, not diversity!

Obama Confidant, Tax Cheat And Race Pimp Al Sharpton!!!

Ask Marion: My nomination for weasel of the week is Al Sharpton.

In an industry and town that slants left and often omits films made by conservatives or that are about so-called right leaning subjects involving positive views on Christians, Jews, religion or patriotism… like Unbroken or Lone Survivor, the insanity of last week was when White House supported race baiter and ‘racial grievance profiteer’ Al Sharpton who called a special diversity meeting to complain that the movie Selma didn’t get enough nominations and that no African Americans were nominated this year, implying that the academy was too white, too male and too old. (Selma received two nominations including Best Picture) Hello? Silly me, I thought that the Oscars and the arts were about best performances not quotas and I guess a Best Picture nomination was insulting? And what about recent nominations for movies like and actors in 12 Years a Slave, Django UnChained and The Help, to name just a few? Sharpton should get the Oscar for being the greatest opportunist. His move and approach this week would be exactly opposite of what MLK would have wanted or done! Martin Luther King was a uniter, not a divider.


Redistribute Meryl Streep’s Oscars to Black Actresses!

Liberals want everything else redistributed, so why not this?

Major, major controversy in Hollywood. No black nominees. Al Sharpton on the protest prowl. I have a solution. Meryl Streep has a bunch of ‘em, probably some she doesn’t even deserve to have won. Maybe she could give some of hers away to some black actresses.

Well, why not? It’s what liberalism does. It takes from the people that don’t deserve and gives it to everybody else who does. Whether you earn it or not is irrelevant. Redistribute the Oscars. If we’re gonna redistribute income, if we’re gonna redistribute health care, why not redistribute the Academy Awards?

Al Sharpton, an emergency meeting to discuss the appalling all white Oscar nominees. And the media is all behind this. What has happened to us? Here we have a literal buffoon of a human being, Al Sharpton, a hoaxer, a fraud, a tax cheat, a tax evader, a man who has inspired riots in Harlem. And this man holds positions of prominence in our culture today.

What’s wrong with this picture? Al Sharpton? Talk about a nation of wusses and cowards. I mean, the Sony hack happens and the first thing they do is bend over, grab the ankles, call Al Sharpton. And now Sharpton is raising holy hell about Academy Awards nominees, and they’re listening?

Al Sharpton? I mean, despicable human — forget, you know, making jokes and stuff of usual political commentary, just Al Sharpton, Tawana Brawley hoax, the Freddie’s Fashion Mart deaths and riots, the tax cheats stuff, this buffoonery, and yet he has a position of prominence because he sits at the right hand of Barack Hussein O. He sits at the right hand of Obama, not an accident there, either… Read more HERE

Racialist Grievance Monger, Anti-Semite and Huffington Post Columnist Ferrari Sheppard!!

Nice Deb: I imagine Michael Moore will be a frontrunner in the Weasel Follies, this week, but I’d like to nominate a lesser known weasel who I feel also distinguished himself in a repulsive fashion.

Ferrari Sheppard writes for the Huffington Post and unlike say – Christian Nigerians – this black man knows the real pains of war.

Need I say more?

Hack Actor And Political Theorist Seth Rogen!

Bookworm Room: I’m going to go with Seth Rogen as the Weasel of the Week. It’s not just that he implied either that Chris Kyle was a Nazi or that American Sniper is no better than Nazi propaganda, it’s that he’s proven to be such a huge disappointment.

Seth Rogen’s leap to fame happened when, in 2007, he starred in Judd Apatow’s Knocked Up. The movie saw Rogen’s character get Katherine Heigl’s character pregnant after a drunken one night stand. Not only did Heigl’s character keep the baby, rather than aborting, Rogen’s character starting growing up to take on fatherhood. Conservatives rejoiced that this was a subtle film, wrapping a pro-Life message into some adolescent crudity.

With each passing film, though, Rogen worked harder to find his true metier: gross comedy, centering around drugs, fecal matter, vomit, and cheap sex. He’s a talented guy who wasted his talent and has now sunk so low that he tries to square off against Chris Kyle’s memory, the Navy SEALs, the American Military and, last but not least, Clint Eastwood.

So it’s not just that Rogen said something stupid and deeply offensive. It’s that he’s somehow symbolic of an entire lost generation that, given the opportunity to take the high road, invariably turns its back on that opportunity and heads for the cultural and political cesspool.

The St. Anne, Missouri Police Force!!

The Glittering Eye: There were a lot to choose from this week: John Kerry (for stupidity) and Jamie Dimon for sheer arrogance.

In the end I’m going to have to go with members of the St. Ann police force:

ST. ANN, Mo. (KMOV.com) – St. Ann Police apologized to a college student after they admitted to causing severe injuries to his face after accusing him of a crime he didn’t commit on Thursday.

Police were in pursuit of Anton Simmons, who had 17 warrants our for his name, when 22-year-old Joseph Swink crashed his car trying to avoid the police pursuit on Interstate 70.

“They ended up grabbing him [Swink], tossing him to the ground, and were trying to handcuff him,” said St. Ann Police Chief Aaron Jimenez. “All the sirens and lights were going off. It was very loud and they couldn’t hear anything the citizen was saying.”

Swink is an accounting student at UMSL with no criminal record and was on his way home from an internship when he was accidentally involved in the pursuit.

Police say they were able to get him into custody using the least amount of force necessary, but when they finally had him in handcuffs on the ground, they heard on their radios that the real suspect was in custody at a different location.

Swink suffered severe damage to his ear and his vehicle was totaled.

“I never really had 100 percent trust in police before,” Swink said. “But I really don’t now.”

St. Ann is about two miles due west of Ferguson. You would think they would be more circumspect under the circumstances. Not only have they added fuel to the “cops are hunting black men” narrative, this incident will undoubtedly cost St. Ann time, money, and energy that could be better spent in any number of other ways.

Well, there it is! Are these worthy weasels or what? Check back Thursday to see which Weasel walks off with the statuette of shame!

Make sure to tune in every Monday for the Watcher’s Forum.

And remember, every Wednesday, the Council has its weekly contest with the members nominating two posts each, one written by themselves and one written by someone from outside the group for consideration by the whole Council. The votes are cast by the Council and the results are posted on Friday morning.

It’s a weekly magazine of some of the best stuff written in the blogosphere and you won’t want to miss it… or any of the other fantabulous Watcher’s Council content.

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$2,500 KeyWiki Appeal – Please Help

By: Trevor Loudon
New Zeal

US_NZ_FlagIf you haven’t contributed to our sister site KeyWiki in awhile, please consider doing so.

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