Sheikh Yousef al-Qaradawi, the top Muslim Brotherhood cleric, is again instructing Islamists on how to properly implement the strategy of “gradualism.”
In Egypt, he says, there is a “transitional phase” where there must be patience in implementing Islamic justice. In a statement so honest its almost comedic, he says that hands should not be chopped off as punishment—for about five years (see the video by clicking here). We need to work up to that, he says. For now, the Islamists need to focus on having wives and families, feeding the starving, teaching Islamist values and building schools, hospitals and homes.
Other officials are pretty honest about this waiting game. Mohammed Gouda, a member of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Economic Policy Committee, says that the Islamist group recognizes that the primary concern of Egyptians right now is the economy. Pushing Sharia-based governance would backfire.
“We can’t talk about implementing Islamic Sharia law when the country is experiencing such devastating economic problems,” he said.
This is why “moderate Islamists” don’t exist. Their moderation is only temporary and is based on an assessment of the conditions. That is why it is so dangerous to uphold governments like that of Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan. His foreign policy has become more confrontational towards Israel and the West and his domestic policy more oppressive as his hand has strengthened.
For example, Turkey dropped 10 spots in Reporters Without Borders’ rankings of countries’ press freedoms. The organization says that Erdogan’s government’s unjust arrests of dozens of journalists can only be compared to what happened under the military regime in the 1980s.
“The unprecedented extension of the range of arrests, the massive phone taps and the contempt shown for the confidentiality of journalists’ sources have helped to introduce a climate of intimidation in the media,” the organization says.