Also, contextualizing his superficial message of “brotherhood” toward Egypt’s Coptic Christians in the Tahrir Square speech, he issued a fatwa prohibiting Southern Sudanese Muslims from joining the Christian Southern Sudanese majority in voting to peacefully secede from the brutally discriminatory sharia-state government of the Arab Muslim Khartoum regime.
QARADAWI’S INSPIRATION Ignaz Goldziher
Qaradawi’s triumphant February 18 khutbah to the adoring Muslim throngs was reminiscent of an Islamic revival begun by Egypt’s so-called “al-Manar modernists” — most prominently Jamal al-Din Afghani, Muhammad Abduh, and Muhammad Rashid Rida — more than a century before he took the stage. These figures directly influenced the founding of the Muslim Brotherhood — in fact, the Brotherhood’s founder, Hassan al-Banna, succeded Rida as the publisher of Al-Manar — and their views reveal much about the Brotherhood’s ideology.
is still regarded as the preeminent Orientalist scholar of Islam — he was a giant among giants in the era prior to cultural relativism — and he is a highly sympathetic, albeit honest, observer of the creed. Goldziher analyzed the doctrines of the al-Manar reformers in his 1920 study on Koranic exegesis, “Schools of Koranic Commentators
Afghani, for example, in his “Refutation of the Materialists,” taught the “perfection” of Islam, based upon its supposed adherence to “reason,” as well as the contrasting “imperfection” of all inferior belief systems and even “impure” Islamic practices. Paradoxically, this inherent reasonableness and superiority of Islam — “the only religion by which the happiness of nations can be attained” — must be made plain to the masses in each nation by
a special class whose function would be the education of the rest of the people, and another class whose function would be the training of the people in morals. One class would combat natural ignorance and the need of instruction, the other would combat the natural passions and the need of discipline. These two provisions, the teacher to perform the work of instruction, and the disciplinarian to command that which is good, and to prohibit that which should be avoided, are among the most important provisions of Islam.
Afghani’s devoted pupil Muhammad Abduh, another “modernist,” was a sharia supremacist — i.e., jihadist, by any objective standard. Here are his own words from the last decade of the 19th century:
[Islam’s] Divine Law (Sharia) regulates in detail the rights and duties of all, both ruler and subjects. . . . It is a duty incumbent upon all Muslims to aid in maintaining the authority of Islam and Islamic rule over all lands that have once been Muslim; and they are not permitted under any circumstances to be peaceable and conciliatory towards any who contend the mastery with them, until they obtain complete authority without sharing it with anyone else. . . . The only cure for these [Muslim] nations is to return to the rules of their religion [Islam] and the practice of its requirements according to what it was in the beginning, in the days of the early Caliphs.