Saturday, March 11, 2017

Raymond Ibrahim, Coptic Solidarity: All Art Is “Immoral,” Says Egypt’s Top—and “Moderate”—Cleric

A bit about foremost expert Raymond Ibrahim:

About

RAYMOND IBRAHIM is a widely published author, public speaker, and Middle East and Islam specialist.  His books include Crucified Again: Exposing Islam’s New War on Christians (2013) and The Al Qaeda Reader (2007). His writings, translations, and observations have appeared in a variety of publications, including the New York Times, CNN, LA Times, Fox News, Financial Times, Jerusalem Post, New York Times Syndicate, United Press International, USA Today, Washington Post, Washington Times, and Weekly Standard; scholarly journals, including the Almanac of Islamism, Chronicle of Higher Education, Hoover Institution’s Strategika, Jane’s Islamic Affairs Analyst, Middle East Quarterly, and Middle East Review of International Affairs; and popular websites, such as American Thinker, the Blaze, Bloomberg, Breitbart, Christian Post, Daily Caller, FrontPage Magazine, Gatestone Institute, the Inquisitr, Jihad Watch, NewsMax, National Review Online, PJ Media, the UK’s Commentator, and World Magazine. He has contributed chapters to several anthologies and been translated into dozens of languages.
Ibrahim guest lectures at universities, including the National Defense Intelligence College, briefs governmental agencies, such as U.S. Strategic Command and the Defense Intelligence Agency, provides expert testimony for Islam-related lawsuits, and has testified before Congress regarding the conceptual failures that dominate American discourse concerning Islam and the worsening plight of Egypt’s Christian Copts. Among other media, he has appeared on MSNBC, Fox News, C-SPAN, PBS, Reuters, Al-Jazeera, Blaze TV, CBN, and NPR; he has done hundreds of radio interviews and instructed two courses for Prager University.
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Raymond received his B.A. and M.A. (both in History, focusing on the ancient and medieval Near East, with dual-minors in Philosophy and Literature) from California State University, Fresno. There he studied closely with noted military-historian Victor Davis Hanson. He also took graduate courses at Georgetown University’s Center for Contemporary Arab Studies—including classes on the history, politics, and economics of the Arab world—and studied Medieval Islam and Semitic languages at Catholic University of America. His M.A. thesis examined an early military encounter between Islam and Byzantium based on arcane Arabic and Greek texts.

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All Art Is “Immoral,” Says Egypt’s Top—and “Moderate”—Cleric

Art has a largely negative impact on human morality.  So says Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayeb, the grand imam of Egypt’s Al Azhar madrassa and arguably the “most influential Muslim in the world.”
In a recent televised interview, Tayeb was asked “To what degree does art influence the morals of the youth.”  The sheikh responded that art—presumably all forms and expressions of art, as no particular form was specified—has a 90 percent influence rate on the morality of the youth; and all of it is bad.
hat is of note here is that, once again, Tayeb responds in a way that one is hard pressed to differentiate from the “radical” response.  For we are constantly hearing that it is the “radical Muslims”—the ISIS types—who condemn all forms of art.  Yet here is the “moderate” making essentially the same claims.
But of course, this is nothing new.  As documented here, Tayeb agrees with any number of “radical” views: he believes that Islam is not just a religion to be practiced privately but rather is a totalitarian system designed to govern the whole of society through the implementation of its (otherwise human rights abusing) Sharia; he supports one of the most inhumane laws, punishment of the Muslim who wishes to leave Islam, the “apostate”; he downplays the plight of Egypt’s persecuted Christians, that is, when he’s not inciting against them by classifying them as “infidels”—the worst category in Islam’s lexicon—even as he refuses to denounce the genocidal Islamic State likewise.