Qaradawi’s position was restated yesterday, Monday May 21, when, according to Al Ahram, the Sharia Body for Rights and Reforms—one of the most powerful Islamic organizations, with members from the Muslim Brotherhood, the Salafis, and Al Azhar—issued a fatwa asserting that it is “impermissible to vote for anyone not intending to apply Islamic Sharia, and it is obligatory to vote for those who do seek to implement it,” adding that the “presidential election is a modern way of directing the state, and therefore it behooves Muslims to use it as a way to enforce Sharia.”
If Qaradawi and many others are stressing the obligation to vote for those Islamists most likely to enforce Sharia, Sheikh Osama Qassim, a member of Egypt’s notorious Islamic Jihad, which also seeks to enforce Islamic law, recently attacked the non-Islamist candidates—specifically naming Ahmed Shafiq and Amr Mussa—saying that if they win the presidential elections, it will only be “by cheating,” at which point “the Islamist organizations” will resort to “armed action” (code for Jihad), adding that such presidents will suffer the same fate of Anwar Sadat (assassination), but that this time, the struggle will see “the Islamists achieve complete domination” in Egypt.
Finally, beyond threats and commands are the sheer bribes—in this case, a form of Islamic “bread and circuses.” As they were accused earlier, the Muslim Brotherhood was just caught bribing Egypt’s poor with packets of food. Yesterday an Egyptian activist posted a video on YouTube about “the Brotherhood’s scandal: they buy the votes of the poor through food and drink.” The video shows several poor women sitting with bags of food from the Muslim Brotherhood’s “Freedom and Justice” party. The Egyptian activist keeps asking them, “Really, is that how they bought your vote?” even as the women hide their faces and leave.
Bribery is a form of deceit, and these presidential elections are something of a war for Egypt’s future; so, considering that Islam’s prophet Muhammad famously declared that “war is deceit,” all of the aforementioned approaches—threats of hellfire, threats of jihad, and food bribes—are legitimate.
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