In a January 2 interview on the Egyptian ON TV channel, author Sayyid Al-Qemany said that Al-Azhar should be placed on the list of terrorist organizations. "There are people working on this. They will file a suit in the international court, and I will provide them with documentation," he said. ِFollowing the interview, it was reported in the press that Al-Azhar was planning to file a lawsuit against Al-Qemany for defamation of the institution.
Following are excerpts:
Interviewer: It was a year and two days ago [that Al-Sisi spoke about a "religious revolutions"], and it seems that his words were received in two different ways. It was received well by reformist researchers, such as Islam [Al-Buhairi] – and that's the reason that he is in prison now – but at Al-Azhar, it is as if they did not hear a word of what Al-Sisi said. This is how I see it. How do you see it?
Sayyid Al-Qemany: Like any human being, the president is not infallible. When he delegated the mission of renewing the religious discourse to Al-Azhar, it was tantamount to asking a virus to kill itself.
When I started talking about these things a long time ago, people said that I was collecting garbage. They even nicknamed me "the garbage collector." That's actually correct. But why don't you clean that garbage?! I did not make anything up…
Interviewer: Why do they leave it like that?
Sayyid Al-Qemany: Yes, why do they keep this garbage in Islam, and say: "This is my Islam"? But when along comes Islam Al-Buhairi with a broom and starts cleaning up, we send him to prison?!
Back in the day, divine inspiration came down from Heaven to Earth. Nowadays, the inspiration comes from the sheikhs, from Earth to Heaven. They give orders to our Lord. They say, for example, that is haram for women to stop wearing the hijab. It is as if they are saying to the Lord: "You'd better watch it! We have made the hijab mandatory, and if a woman without a hijab comes before you, you'd better send her to Hell." They give orders to the Heavens. A whole bunch of sheikhs say that smoking is haram. Did people even smoke in the days of the Prophet? Why are you forbidding it? But then along comes the former Mufti, Sheikh 'Ali Gomaa, and says that hashish is a good, natural substance, created by Allah. Well, now you've got us confused! In order to use this good substance, I have to smoke it… Make up your minds so that your Lord will know who to listen to.
If you examine history, you see that many massacres were carried out, and that the blood of millions watered the soil, because of religion and faith. This happened because of disagreements between sheikhs, rabbis, priests, popes, and so on.
Interviewer: Do you think that institutions of this type become sponsors of terrorism? Correct me if I'm wrong, but I heard that you called to place Al-Azhar on the list of terrorist institutions.
Sayyid Al-Qemany: Absolutely! I still believe in this.
Sayyid Al-Qemany: There are people working on this. They will file a suit in the international court, and I will provide them with documentation.
Interviewer: People will ask how someone can say that Al-Azhar is a terrorist institution, when it is always praised for its moderation and calmness?
Sayyid Al-Qemany: Al-Azhar represents terrorism of the moderate kind. They tell you, for example, not to kill 100 people, just 10, not to use knives and daggers… Moderate! [Al-Azhar] represents reasonable terrorism…
Interviewer: But they reject what ISIS is doing…
Sayyid Al-Qemany: They believe that anyone who is not a Muslim, and anybody who does not subscribe to their Sunni-Hanbali-Wahhabi school, is an infidel.