Fri, 30 Oct 2020 - 09:43 GMT
CAIRO – 30 October 2020: Egypt’s president Abdel Fatah al Sisi denounced insulting prophets and messengers under the pretext of 'freedom of expression', demanding stopping all acts that hurts the feelings of a million and half Muslims all over the world, and not to blame them for others actions.
During a speech, Wednesday to mark Prophet Muhammad's birthday celebrated every year by some Muslims in the Hijri month of Rabi’ Al-Awwal, Sisi said that we as Muslims are obliged by our faith to believe in all other religions.
“A Muslim cannot be a true one unless he believes in his heart with all prophets .. this is the essence of our religion to believe and respect all prophets because they are the ones chosen by God. If God chooses a messenger, then we have to bow for it and respect it.” Sisi added
He said that “we [as Muslims] consider offending prophets and messengers is undermining high religious values that many people believe in. If you don’t believe then, this is your business, but hurting the feelings of Millions?!”
He explained that the image that everyone is talking about that it is to counter extremism. “But really amongst all Muslims, how many extremists you think there is? if the percentage is 1 per cent then the real number of extremists are 15 Million out of 1500.” Sisi said.
He wondered, “If there are 25 million terrorists in the world; what would they do to us.” “This is cannot be the real number” he said.
Sisi added that “All Muslims around the world can not be blamed for those terrorists’ actions!”
“I hope these words reaches those who have awareness and understanding and care for other people’s rights, we also have rights not to get hurt or be punished for our values. We are entitled to our rights” Sisi said.
He explained that “If people have the right to express their minds, then I believe that this should stop when it hurts the feelings of more than a billion and half people.”
“I’m not directing any word of offence or blame to any one, but I’m saying that we need to re-evaluate it. All of us, not just in Egypt, but in the rest of the whole world, please stop hurting us.”
Sisi also addressed Muslims all around the world saying: “if you love prophet Mohamed, be in his politeness and manners.”
He added that we [in Egypt] have applied the same discourse we are calling for. He added “When we respected our partners who are with us in the same country, and still seeking even more respect for them, we only had one goal in mind; to assure them that we respect all values, love and respect all other. We accepted and respected all religions knowing that people will never agree on one religion” Sisi said in his speech.
He demanded everyone who chooses to live in a society, to respect its values and principles.
However, he added that some people keep blaming his for asking them to respects others, while they don’t respect their values in return.
“But I believe that good manners, will have sovereignty always at the end.” Sisi added
He said that “I also believe, -and don’t think that I would be wrong- that when I see antagonism by practicing the values of freedom is nothing but of form of extremism when those practices affect the rights of others.”
Sisi’s remarks come while French President Emmanuel Macron had said France would not renounce cartoons, after a French teacher was killed for showing pupils cartoons distorting the image of Prophet Muhammad.
Macron’s remarks have triggered Muslim nations’ anger. Also, campaigns to boycott French products have been circulated and encouraged on social media.
During his speech, the president said the message of Islam supports freedom, including the freedom of faith, choice, belief and thought. He warned, however, that these freedoms do not come absolute.
“Freedoms are not absolute in order for the whims of the human soul not to turn them [freedoms] into chaos that condone sabotage and destruction,” the president said, adding that these freedoms “must stop at the rights of others”.
“What may be perceived as a restriction on freedoms protects, in exchange, the rights of others. Justifying extremism under the premise of religion could not be farther from religion,” the president added.