In what Egypt’s Christians fear is a sign of things to come, radical Islamic cleric, Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, leading Friday prayers in Tahrir Square, asked Christians to bow down in Muslim prayer in an act of submission to Allah.
WND —On Friday, famed Egyptian theologian Yusuf al-Qaradawi, a spiritual leader to the Muslim Brotherhood who hosts a popular Islam-themed television show on Al Jazeera, led the Islamic prayer services in Cairo’s Tahrir Square, the epicenter of Egypt’s uprising.
While he repeatedly offered nods to Egypt’s Coptic Christians, unmentioned in most news media accounts of the ceremony was that Qaradawi asked all in attendance, specifically singling out Christians, to bow in Islamic prayer.
A Coptic Christian at the event told WND the request was intimidating. “Whether he meant to or not, this was asking Christian to bow in an act of submission to Islam and Allah,” said the Christian, who asked that he named be withheld.
“There were maybe 250,000 people at the rally. Almost all were Muslims. So when we (Christians) are askedto bow, and we are in the extreme minority in the crowd, it is intimidating.”The Christian witness said thousands of Christians in attendance at the rally did not bow.
A Coptic Christian leader told WND he believes Qaradawi’s request may reflect a larger emerging Islamic role in Egypt. Qaradawi’s speech was, in part, focused on political Islam, replete with his quoting verses of the Quran.
He praised Muslims and Christians for standing together in Egypt’s revolution and even hailed what he called the Coptic Christian “martyrs” who once fought the Romans and Byzantines. Then he asked the Christians to bow in Muslim prayer. “I invite you to bow down in prayer together,” he said.
Egyptian Christians fear implementation of Islamic law. Qaradawi had been a vocal opponent of deposed Egyptian rule Hosni Mubarak. He has lived in exile in Qatar for decades. His return to Egypt is seen as evidence of a change in favor of the Muslim Brotherhood.
He is banned from entering the United States and Britain for his support of violence against Israel and American forces in Iraq.
Last week,WND reported members of the Coptic Christian community in Egypt quietly met with U.S. officials to object to the inclusion of the Muslim Brotherhood in a committee that is forming a new Egyptian constitution.
Egypt’s ruling military council last week appointed a committee to amend the Egyptian constitution. The new committee consists of eight members, including Sobhi Saleh, a lawyer and a senior member of the Muslim Brotherhood. The Brotherhood seeks to establishIslamiclaw in Egypt. Both Hamas and al-Qaida are violent offshoots of theMuslimBrotherhood.
A top source in Egypt’s Coptic Christian community told WND he and other Coptic Christians held a meeting last Monday with officials at the U.S. Embassy in Cairo to raise objections about the inclusion of theBrotherhoodin the constitutional committee. (Don’t waste your time, Obama loves the Muzlim Brotherhood. that’s why he helped organize the overthrow of Mubarak)
The source said the Christian community pointed out that the official Muslim Brotherhood charter, amended in 2007, calls for the imposition of Islamic law in Egypt. Among other things, the charter, obtained by WND, states that non-Muslims cannot hold government positions and must pay to the state the jizya, or specialIslamicprotection tax.
The constitutional committee held its first meeting on Tuesday with the president of Egypt’s military council. It is mandated to complete its work within 10 days, with a referendum on the amended constitution to take place within two months.
What’s more, the Egyptian Islamist terrorist organization founded by the Muslim Brotherhoodis re-establishing itself amid the political upheaval in Cairo. Both Egyptian and Israeli security officials said the group, Al-Gama’a al-Islamiyya, is being reconstituted at the direction of the Muslim Brotherhood. The officials affirmed Al-Gama’a al-Islamiyya serves as the de facto “military” wing of the Brotherhood, which originally founded the group.