As we busy ourselves to search for an enemy –lying in fact inside us- we bother none to point accusing fingers to us, as we point to ourselves confessing our sin. We accuse ISIS as “terrorist, criminal, corruptor and barbarian,” though at the same time we reproduce thousand ISIS’ day by day. Moreover, we criticize those who refuse to copy ISIS and its actions. If you are not believing, look to the vigorous campaign demanding the Grand Imam Dr. Ahmed al-Tayeb to call ISIS “Disbeliever”, and his wise refusal to this falling, which if it were to happen, it would be an odd lapse of civility that we are enjoying.
The campaign tries tirelessly to push the Imam to call ISIS disbeliever, as if our world has defeated this group with its crimes and militia, and the only thing left to finish it off is to label them as disbeliever. Unfortunately, those who promote this idea are enlightened and educated figures. They are unaware that such claim takes us backward and turns Al-Azhar into the Papacy of Middle Ages. They want us to return to an age when killing in the name of religion was permissible, or rather praiseworthy. Takfir is a virus, that if allowed, it will attack all of us, and we will be throwers of flames who pay no attention to the gravity of burnings, but think only of hurting the enemies.
We want to establish a real civil state that refuses interference of religion into political affairs, and to live our life without a supreme mandate that deprives us our life; we want to open our eyes to boundless horizons. It is regrettable that the callers to openness, liberty, and democracy fall at the first hurdle, and turn into members of the Inquisition. They want the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, who never in his life called others disbelievers, to through others with the arrows of Takfir (Calling Muslims as infidels), and claims that this person if a Kafir (infidel) and that one has to repent. I wish if I could ever understand why those people insist to ask this question, if they totally consider ISIS infidel, and they think of themselves to be scholars who are more eligible for issuing Fatwas (religious verdicts)!
Those people are unaware that the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar is bound by his enlightenment and ideology to reject the norm of Takfir of anyone who testifies that there is no God but Allah, and that the grand Imam cannot, by the force of his position, call ISIS infidels in spite of their barbaric actions. All that he can do is to call them corruptors because these actions that bring them NOT out of Religion, but out of HUMANITY. Thus, the proper religious narrative for these actions is “Spreading corruption in the earth’, which is in fact a heinous sin. If the Grand Imam was to call infidels those who commit sins, then he would be following the ideology of Kharijites, who label people as infidels for committing sins and judge them as doomed to eternal abode in the Hellfire. Should we apply this view, half of the society, if not all of it, shall be labeled as infidels.
Let me now express highest regards to the Grand Imam for his illumination, awareness and firm stand before such silly quarrels coming out of angry mouths.