Following are excerpts from an interview with Egyptian cleric Mahmoud Amer, which aired on Al-Hayat TV on October 30, 2011:
Mahmoud Amer: What I said was that a Muslim is not allowed to vote for someone who objects to the implementation of the shari'a, who is not passionate about the Shari'a, and who does not include it in his political platform.
Interviewer: What you said in the beginning was that a Muslim is not allowed to vote for someone who objects to the implementation of the shari'a, is not passionate about it, or does not include it in his platform…
Mahmoud Amer: Let me add something to that: He must not vote for someone who is known not to pray the five daily prayers.
People, I'd like to understand something. Is the minority going to rule Egypt, or what? Mr. Sharif, can we talk in a light and reasonable manner?
Interviewer: I haven't heard an answer to my question yet.
Mahmoud Amer: I will answer you, but listen to something more important. If we're opening the discussion…
Interviewer: We're not. I asked a simple question. Excuse me. Egypt has been ruled by Christian culture for a century, since before the days of Ahmad Lutfi Al-Sayyed and to this day. What's the proof of that? The saying "Render unto Caesar what belongs to Caesar, and unto God what belongs to God" is a Christian saying.
Secularism means separating religion and daily life, and that has been Christian law since the Middle Ages.
Interviewer: Dr. Muhammad, do you agree with this…
Mahmoud Amer: I won't allow you to cut me off and move on before I'm done. I'm sorry, but I will leave the discussion. I must say something important.
Interviewer: This is impossible…
Mahmoud Amer: Let me finish so my colleague can respond. Don't cut me off and give the viewers a distorted picture.
Interviewer: Fine, go ahead.
Mahmoud Amer: I said that secularism is atheism. It means there is no religion in daily life. That is the law of the Christians. Get it?
Interviewer: That's your opinion.
Mahmoud Amer: It's not just my opinion. It's reality.