Republication. Done to correct the linked title. Please forgive….
Unless you follow the Arabs and world press you are not going to see the answers to this mystery. NY Times got in a one-sentence mention after the Charlie Hebdo attacks. Nothing you'd call substance. You will see no extended media reports except among the Arabs and in Iran.
What is it? A quote from Terry Jones, the crazy Quran burning pastor in Florida? Louie Gohmert? Pat Robertson? How's about Ayaan Hirsi Ali? She has her wild moments.
Got an anti-Arab favorite? Hey, Steve King or Bill Maher or Bachmann?
Try Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, the president of Egypt. And the title elements are the least of it.
At the great Al-Azhar university he questions telling the difference between right and wrong. What constitutes a holy work, a legitimate part of Islam. Then it's getting a grip on morals.
How Islam terrifies the whole world.
It is inconceivable that the ideology we sanctify should make our entire nation [the Umma, all Muslims, heavily the Arabs] a source of concern, danger, killing, and destruction all over the world. It is inconceivable that this ideology… has reached the point that [our body of non-Quran writings] is hostile to the entire world? … Is it conceivable that 1.6 billion [Muslims] would kill the world's population of seven billion [to have things their way?]
Please, contrast this intelligent, self-questioning approach with our teabagger proponents of American Exceptionalism.
[Here's the misquote that forces republication: “We are unable to produce one single manufactured product that competes successfully on world markets.” A statement close to that sentence appeared as a question in an interview of el-Sisi. Then a blog entry from Mark Silverberg, a professional Likudnik, presented it as a quoted extension of an actual el-Sisi quote. That is not el-Sisi. No way. No shape. No form.]
Defining incompetence — Egypt does not have a Common Core standard — is just the start of his political party's effort to modernize the Egyptian education system.
Corporate media here in America will have nothing to do with it. Arab intelligence does not belong in their universe. They're up to their ears selling us a bamboozle about the Arabs. Self-awareness at this level has no place in the bamboozle.
El-Sisi challenges the top religious academics at Al-Azhar University to carry out “a religious revolution.”
A Reformation, if you will allow a rough analogy.
When he says “ideology” in his speech this is a subtle echo of arguments within Islam that object to elevation of the Sunni Haddiths from the first seven caliphs. Politics invaded religion. And stayed through the centuries. (What could go wrong?)
Transcript/translation below the fold.
The next day Washington Post ran a piece “Why don’t more moderate Muslims denounce extremism?” The piece says that they do denounce extremism. Gives a number of examples. The timing was an accident.
WaPo failed to report on the blockbuster in Cairo, so we do have an answer to that question. And WaPo has never caught up, other than a blog entry from Eugene Volokh of UCLA Law. Their experts don't know what to make of it.
Guess this is not news. el-Sisi pretty much declares war on the Islamists and it's not news.
Charlie Rose talked with el-Sisi. Here's a PBS hour (53:14) of follow up:
What? Does that match your ideas about Arabs? He takes the worst of what happens head on. Instead of noting that Egypt has generated a 5% growth rate with his regime, he addresses competition for his Arab world as a worldwide problem.
And how does el-Sisi's speaking voice compare with the likes of Hillary Clinton or Jeb Bush or the GOPer dwarfs? el-Sisi has done the hard work. Seems to me that he has developed a tone quality and delivery that reach in to the emotional “Why?” of his listeners' decision making processes.
Whatever you do, don't tell Republicans about el-Sisi. He's an Arab, after all. They don't do Arab unless there's bribes involved.
They also don't know that Egypt is in Africa. Really, they don't. They find out about that, they'll start calling the Muslim Brotherhood “Free Egyptian Army.” Want to start killing people asap.
Worst case for PR: they send McCain over there. Make all of us look like fools.
Text/translation below the fold.