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Jul 09, 2010
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Liberal Egyptian Journalist Nabil Sharaf Al-Din Criticizes Muslim Brotherhood Participation in Political Process: You Cannot Play Soccer with the Rules of Boxing

#2552 | 02:30
Source: Al-Arabiya Network (Dubai/Saudi Arabia)

Following are excerpts from an interview with Egyptian journalist Nabil Sharaf Al-Din, which aired on Al-Arabiya TV on July 9, 2010.

Nabil Sharaf Al-Din: I am not against Islam. I am a Muslim, who bears witness that there is no god but Allah and the Muhammad is His Messenger. By no means am I against Islam. I am against Islamism, against the peddling of the Islamic religion. This is what I mean.

TV host: Who do you mean by Islamists?

Nabil Sharaf Al-Din: The Muslim Brotherhood and its offshoots, the Jihad group and its offshoots, or the Arabs returning from Afghanistan, who later established Al-Qaeda.

TV host: Why do you have reservations about the Muslim Brotherhood? You always say that you have a problem with people who "leave the door ajar," but the Muslim Brotherhood operate out in the open, they have offices, and they try to participate in the political process. As a liberal, shouldn't you respect the choices of others?

Nabil Sharaf Al-Din: Can you play soccer according to the rules of boxing? No, you cannot. Democracy is not merely the ballot box. Democracy is a package deal – take it or leave it. I can run against you, or any other human being, in the elections, but I cannot run against Allah.

They call themselves the Muslim Brotherhood, and they consider all others to be neither brothers nor Muslims. In this case, religion must be completely severed from politics, because politics is a game of interests while religion is a game of the sacred.


TV host: Do you support the [French] legal ban on wearing the niqab?

Nabil Sharaf Al-Din: Absolutely. The conditions in the world today... The preventing of harm takes precedence over the achieving of benefit.

TV host: But doesn't a woman have the right to wear whatever she wants?

Nabil Sharaf Al-Din: She is free to do so in her own society, but you cannot impose your culture upon the societies of others.

TV host: So you support banning the niqab in France, but not in Egypt.

Nabil Sharaf Al-Din: Exactly.

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