June 7, 2011 Special Dispatch No. 3896

Egyptian Islamist: The Egyptian People Want an Islamic State

June 7, 2011
Egypt | Special Dispatch No. 3896

On May 28, 2011, the Egyptian daily Al-Yawm Al-Sabi' published an article by Mamdouh Isma'il, an attorney for Egyptian Islamists and former jihad activist, titled "The People Want an Islamic Egypt." In the article, Isma'il called on Egyptians to turn out en masse for demonstrations demanding the establishment of an Islamic state in Egypt, and exhorted them not to settle for a secular state with an Islamic source of authority.

Following are excerpts from his article:[1]

"Why Must We Muslims Be on the Defensive?"

"I sat and pondered, and looked at Islamists like myself [appearing] in the media. Then, I looked at all those who often disagreed with one another, but came together to fight Islam. I asked myself, why must we Muslims be on the defensive? Is there some [negative] thing in our religion that we are obliged [to justify]?

"And I answered, no. I said to myself: By Allah, it shames us that some of us are weak in the face of the aggressive anti-Islam and anti-Muslim campaigns, while [others] try to defend and justify [Islam] – and these [same] people sometimes stammer or speak unpersuasively...

"Why is it that [most] of us say 'a secular state with a religious source of authority,' and some of us, who gather a little courage, say ['a secular state] with an Islamic source of authority?' I shouted to myself: Why are we ashamed to say that we want Egypt to be a state that is Islamic in identity, affiliation, reality, and culture, in its rule and in its constitution? Is this [something] to be embarrassed over? By Allah, no..."

Islam Is Not on Trial

"Everyone knows that we want Egypt to be an Islamic state, and they fight us because of this. They all declare, in all honesty, we want 'a secular Egypt, and do not want the rule of Islamic law.' Others say, 'We want an Egypt according to the Western model, and we want a capitalist Egypt,' and yet others add, 'We want a Coptic Egypt.' That is, they want Egypt to be anything but Islamic...

"If this is the case, then why should we Muslims be ashamed to speak the truth and say, 'Yes, we want an Islamic [Egypt].' Here, I recall the words of the martyr Sayyid Qutb: '...There is nothing in our Islam for us to be ashamed for, or that we should be forced to defend; there is nothing in it [that should be] hidden from the public, or anything the truth of which should cause us to stammer when disseminating it.'

"If anyone needs protection, excuses, and justifications, it is not the one who brings Islam to the people. It is the one who lives in that debased jahiliyya [pre-Islamic state of ignorance and paganism], full of contradictions, shortcomings, and flaws. It is the one who wants to justify this jahiliyya. These are the same people who attack Islam, and force some of those who love it but are not familiar with its truths into defending it – as though [Islam] were in the dock.

"By Allah, we are not the accused, and our Islam never was or will be in the dock... [The accused] are those hostile to their leader, the beloved Muhammad, peace be upon him – they who are not ashamed to follow Lenin, Obama, and their ilk, who are not worth the ground that the beloved, mighty Prophet Muhammad tread, peace be upon him...

"I will say with utmost clarity: Oh you in politics, the media, and everywhere; you, the haters of Muhammad and of the religion of Muhammad – you are hypocrites who are not what you declare yourselves to be. This becomes clear when we debate you on politics. When you speak of democracy and the rule of the people, we ask you what you think of a people that largely chooses Islamic shari'a. And you answer that you will never recognize this...

"These gangs have congregated against the will of the Egyptian people, deprived the people of its right to be ruled by Islam, held meetings funded by the West aimed at drafting a new secular constitution, and planned to threaten anarchy in Al-Tahrir Square by way of flexing their muscles against the regime, in order to pressure and provoke it."

"It Is Time for Egypt to Be Ruled by God's Shari'a"

"The choice is now not only [in the hands] of Islamic groups. It is in the hands of every Muslim man and woman, on every street and in every neighborhood, village and center, all across Egypt.

"The plot against Islam is dangerous and malicious. Islam is your mighty religion, and it calls on you to defend it. We've had enough of the decades of keeping Islamic shari'a away, and of rule by laws and ideas that are all secular, French, communist, and socialist. It is time for Egypt to be ruled by God's shari'a.

"We will never be ashamed, hesitant, or afraid. Politics will not transform us into lab rats, to be controlled by anyone who acts tyrannically. We will not let the non-Muslims frighten you.

"It is mighty Islam that laid down the strong, stable Koranic foundation of 'There is no compulsion in religion' [Koran 2:256] – you have your religion and I have mine – centuries before humanity recognized it. [This foundation] protected the rights [of the non-Muslims], while the Muslims themselves were destroyed in their own land.

"Every Egyptian Muslim citizen [is entitled] to strive to realize his right to an Islamic constitution, instead of a secular, Western constitution. We want the constitution of Muhammad, the Muslim and Arab, and not an [American or French] constitution. Any attempt to change this is an attempt at anarchy. We will never accept this threat to Egypt's identity and affiliation, no matter the price. The years of oppression and distance from the justice of Islam have been enough for us.

"I say to the silent majority: Enough of your passivity! Awaken and pay attention! This plot is against Islam, and you must turn out for millions-strong demonstrations, nonviolent and civilized, in every province [in Egypt], every Friday – in order not to interfere with work and public services – and call: 'The people want an Islamic Egypt!'"


[1] Al-Yawm Al-Sabi' (Egypt), May 28, 2011.

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