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Aug 2, 2011

They Started United and Ended Divided

Friday July 29, 2011, the “United Front” protest movement, which attracted nearly two million participants, ended up being a total failure.

Prior to the protest movement, representatives of all political and religious groups met to agree on a designated name, which was the “United Front”. Also, they agreed that no signs connected with any political or religious groups will be carried to Tahrir Square.’’

After the noon prayer, many signs began to appear with different religious connotations and Tahrir Square appeared as if it was controlled by various Islamic groups. Some of the signs read, “Join us and do not be a part of the atheists”. Other signs said “Islamiah, Islamiah”. Furthermore, it was reported that some Islamic Salafi groups and others attacked the platforms of the 6th of April and the Kifaya movements and threw empty water bottles at them in addition to preventing them from using their loudspeakers.

Other Islamic groups were shouting through the loudspeakers demanding the application of Sharia law and stating that those who are not in agreement should leave Egypt. Other Islamic slogans used were directed at the Egyptian Higher Military council, warning them not to use the proposed document of basic principles that will be above the constitution, which is supposed to include, among other things, that the Egyptian government will be a secular one. The principle proposed to prevent any religious group in parliament in the future from declaring the Islamization of the government.

Nevertheless, what the various Islamic groups have done in Tahrir Square was in total violation of the agreement that they supported to stress a united front prior to the day of protests. The intention of these Islamic groups, led by the Muslim Brotherhood, is to get a message across that they are in control of the January 25th Revolution, which was reflected in the signs their followers carried stating “Islamiah, Islamiah”.

The history of the Muslim Brotherhood, since the movement began more than 80 years ago, assumes government control at any cost to convert it into an Islamic regime. Furthermore, the various other Islamic Salafi groups who shared a common interpretation of the Saudi Wahabi Islamic group’s interpretation of Islam goes even further in terms of their views on how Egyptian society should be managed. These groups, in my judgment, are a discredit to Islam. As some enlightened Muslim writers put it, they are trying to created “Al-Deen al-Badeel” or the new Islamic interpretation. Such personal behavior is reflected throughout history and especially in the three basic monotheistic religions: Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Many of those who classified themselves as the logical, knowledgeable religious experts tried to interpret the content of their religious books such as the old Torah, the Old and New Testaments and the Quran, interjecting their personal views on religion. Such actions throughout history have created divisions and confusion among believers in all three monotheistic religions. Such conflicts are reflected among the followers of Judaism, Christianity and Islam.

The Muslim Brotherhood, other various salafi Islamic movements and religious groups reflect on the personal interpretation of Islam by those who call themselves religious experts. It was reported that some of the protestors were carrying the Saudi Arabian flag as an indication of the influence of the Wahabi religious group on the Islamic Salafist groups. The Wahabi religious group is a discredit to Islam in terms of their interpretation of the Quran.

Nevertheless, the basic principle document proposed by the Egyptian Higher Military Council is an important guideline that will be above the constitution to protect it from the possibility of it being manipulated by some political groups in the future parliament.

Religious beliefs and practices are between the believers and their Creator, but the country is the homeland for all.

What happened in Tahrir Square July 29th was unfortunate and might weaken the outcome of the January 25 Revolution.

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