Syrian scholar Firas Al-Sawwah said in a November 30, 2021 interview on Al-Ikhbariya TV (Syria) that contrary to what some people say, the ideologies of Jihadists and other fundamentalists are rooted in Islam. He also said that Muslims do not need shari'a law and that shari'a law was imposed upon Muslims by jurisprudents who wanted a system that imitates Jewish law. Al-Sawwah asked why Muslims can't be like Christians, who don't have a system of religious law, and he said that society does not need religion in order to instate morality and good values. He added that Egypt's Islamic Al-Azhar University needs to accept that what it teaches is "a worthless thing of the past." For more about Firas Al-Sawwah, see MEMRITV clip no 7083.
Firas Al-Sawwah: "Some people say that Islamic ideology is not the same as Islam itself, and that Islam is not like that. But I say that the takfiris, the Jihadists, and all the fundamentalist Islamic groups base themselves on things that exist in Islam.
"All the Islamic schools of jurisprudence are wrong and unnecessary. We do not need the shari'a. the Muslims do not need the shari'a. The shari'a was forced upon us in the second and third centuries [Hijri]. Why can't we be like the Christians? There is no shari'a in Christianity.
"Beginning in the second century [Hijri], Islamic jurisprudents wanted to imitate the Jews, and they invented the Islamic shari'a as an implementation of Jewish religious law. I say to the Muslims: You do not need the shari'a."
Interviewer: "What is the connection between religion and moral values? Do societies need religion for lofty morality and values to prevail?"
Firas Al-Sawwah: "Throughout the history of Mankind, religion was not tied to moral values. Absolutely not. Before the advent of monotheistic religions, religion was not linked to moral values. Morality was one thing and religion was another thing. Morality is about people's relations among themselves, while religion has to do with people and the divine world. There was no connection, so there was no... There were moral systems in the societies of the ancient East and Greek society, but they were not linked to religion.
"Al-Azhar must finally accept that what it teaches to all the students has become a worthless thing of the past."