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Muslim preachers laude revolution, slam democracy

Warn against communist, secular parties

A group of Muslim preachers issued a statement supporting the revolutions of Tunisia and Egypt while slamming democracy and “un-Islamic” political parties.

A statement issued by 90 preachers and religious scholars from all over the Muslim world praised the revolutions that ousted the dictatorships of Tunisia and Egypt for defeating oppression and ushering in a new era of justice and freedom.

The statement, of which AlArabiya.net obtained a copy, criticized Zein El Abedin Ben Ali and Hosni Mubarak, the former presidents of Tunisia and Egypt, respectively, for humiliating and dragging them to a state of abject poverty.

The statement also pointed out the role of the two presidents in the political, administrative, and financial corruption that prevailed in their countries as well as the torture of prisoners.

The statement, however, criticized the revolution’s call for the installation of full democracies. Democracy, Muslim clerics argued, allows the people have the final say in their countries’ affairs, which leads to the prevalence of several un-Islamic practices.

“In democracies, people might vote for things that are prohibited in Islam like establishing brothels, allowing homosexuality, drinking alcohol, and usury, and prohibiting the call for prayers or the veil.”

The alternative, they argue, is to apply the concept of “shura,” or consultation, only in matters that are sanctioned in Islam while prohibited matters should be out of the question.

The statement also warned of the involvement of “un-Islamic” parties in the countries’ political scene and cited the example of political parties with communist or secular ideologies.

Signatories of the statement called upon Tunisian women to go back to Islam after the departure of Ben Ali, who promoted secularism, and start abiding by the Islamic dress code that was prohibited by the ousted president.

The statement was signed by preachers from various Muslim countries, including Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Sudan, Bahrain, Kuwait, and Lebanon.




(Translated from the Arabic by Sonia Farid)