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Egypt’s leading authorities have reinstated a notoriously “radical” cleric and hate preacher to the pulpit (minbar), despite strong opposition.

According to Arab Weekly, “The Egyptian Ministry of Religious Endowments, which controls the mosques, gave Yasser Burhami, the deputy head of the Salafist Call, the umbrella organisation of Salafi movements, approval to deliver sermons before Friday prayers at the Wise Caliphs Mosque in Alexandria.”

“Everybody is shocked at the decision to allow this man to preach at the mosques,” said Saad al-Zunt, the head of the Strategic Studies Centre, a local think-tank.

“Salafists adhere to a strict version of Islam,” the report explains.  “They do not believe in women’s rights and call for women to be clothed from head to toe. The Salafists adopt a hostile stance towards non-Muslims, saying they are not full citizens.”

Indeed, Sheikh Yasser al-Burhami has authored numerous fatwas—edicts based on Islamic scriptures—that demand hate and hostility for non-Muslims, most specifically the nation’s largest and most visible minority, the Christian Copts, whom Burhami has referred to as “a criminal and infidel minority,” one that he regularly  invokes “Allah’s curse” on.

For example and in keeping with the doctrine of al-wala’ w’al bara’ (“Loyalty and Enmity”), Burhami has called on all Muslims to hate all non-Muslims—going as far as to say that, although a Muslim man is permitted to marry Christian or Jewish women (ahl al-kitab), he must make sure he still hates them in his heart—and show them this hate—because they are infidels; otherwise he risks compromising his Islam.

Burhami has stated that churches—which he refers to as “places of polytheism (shirk) and houses of infidelity (kufr)”—must never be built in Egypt.  He issued a separate fatwaforbidding Muslim taxi and bus drivers from transporting Christian clergymen to their churches, an act he depicted as being “more forbidden than taking someone to a liquor bar.”

Burhami has also stated that Egypt’s Christians must pay jizya—“protection” money in exchange for a measure of tolerance, a la Koran 9:29—or be fought to death.

Even so, the wily sheikh insists that circumstance is the ultimate deciding factor.   In a 2013 video, Burhami said that “Destroying churches is permissible—as long as the destruction does not bring harm to Muslims, such as false claims that Muslims are persecuting Christians leading to [foreign] occupations.”

He further added that “the reason we agree to their being built … and the reason we do not collect the jizya from the Christians, is because the condition of Muslims in the current era is well known to the nations of the world—they are weak and deteriorating among the people.”

Burhami went on to explain that, when the Muslims first conquered Egypt in the seventh century, and because Christians still far outnumbered their Muslim overlords, churches were allowed to remain—“just as the prophet allowed the Jews to remain in Khaibar after he opened [conquered] it, but once Muslims grew in strength and number, [second caliph] Omar al-Khattab drove them out according to the prophet’s command, ‘Drive out the Jews and Christians from the Peninsula.’”

Read more at RaymondIbrahim. 

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