2013-07-09 10:04:00

Russian Muslim scholar attacks Morsi, Islamists

Kazan, Russia, July 9, Interfax - The fall of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood government of President Mohammad Morsi proves that Islamists would lead any nation into trouble if they take power, argued a Russian scholar specializing in Islamic studies.

"Mohammad Morsi's year of rule in the land of pyramids has become stuck in everyone's memory as a time of regular riots, group rapes of women journalists right on city squares, and the mass killings and banishment of the native Christians. The army, after maintaining a neutral stance for a year, could no longer look calmly what was being done by the Islamists to what had at one time been a prosperous country. The Muslim clergy had become aware of that too: the sheikh of the Al-Azhar Islamic university in Cairo, Ahmed el-Tayeb, supported the national army in its fight against the fundamentalists who had got entrenched in government," Rais Suleimanov, head of the Volga Center for Regional, Ethnic and Religious Studies of the Russian Institute of Strategic Studies, told Interfax-Religion .

Suleimanov said that today Russian supporters of Muslim Brotherhood are trying to justify Morsi on various Russian-language websites.

"Their judgments about the need to comply with democratic standards are in direct contradiction to what they wrote when the Islamists were overthrowing the legitimate government of Hosni Mubarak two years ago. At that time they angrily condemned the 'bloody dictator.' By the way, as they accuse the Egyptian army of violations of the constitution, the same supporters of Muslim Brotherhood are advocating the armed overthrow of what is a legitimate government from the standpoint of the Syrian constitution, that of Bashar al-Assad. Mohammad Morsi and the spiritual leader of [Muslim Brotherhood], Yusuf al-Qaradawi, have also been against Assad," Suleimanov said.

Suleimanov mentioned a 2003 ruling by the Russian Supreme Court that declared Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization. The ruling "wasn't the result of any whim but was based on hard evidence that had been provided by the Office of the Prosecutor General and confirmed the terrorist character of that organization," he said.

The 2003 edict was "a completely correct decision", and any attempt to justify Muslim Brotherhood and "portray them as moderates in contrast to radical fundamentalists should be thrown aside and shouldn't be taken seriously," Suleimanov said.

"One shouldn't try to force friendship with [Muslim Brotherhood] on Russia. Their spiritual guru, Yusuf a-Qaradawi, has made it utterly clear that our country is an enemy to them. And if that is the case, why should we be friends with someone who considers us their enemies, and, moreover, make concessions to them and allow them to be propagandized among Russian Muslims. Shouldn't we purge Russia's Muslim information space from those who share the ideas of Muslim Brotherhood and sympathize with them the way the Egyptian army is doing now by shutting off their television channels?" the scholar said.