Few Americans would want to live under the rule of General Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, Egypt’s authoritarian president. But on the other hand, neither would any jihadist.
An Egyptian administrative court recently upheld the nation’s Ministry of Religious Endowment’s decision to shutter 27,000 mosques deemed most supportive of jihadism.
This marks the latest in a series of steps taken by the Sisi regime to cripple terrorists.
Such actions evince an attitude and approach toward countering the threat of Islamic supremacism entirely counter to that espoused by the Obama administration.
Consider four critical areas in which Presidents Sisi and Obama have taken opposing sides:
Defining the Threat
President Sisi has very publicly criticized Islam — linking it to jihadist destruction and backwardness in the Arab world. President Barack Obama has made every effort to de-link Islam from Islamic terror, arguing that Islam itself, not its reformation, is essential to combatting jihadism.
During a December 2014 speech at the seat of Sunni Islamic learning, Al-Azhar University in Cairo, President Sisi stated:
It is inconceivable that the ideology we sanctify should make our entire nation a source of concern, danger, killing, and destruction all over the world. It is inconceivable that this ideology… I am referring not to “religion,” but to “ideology” – the body of ideas and texts that we have sanctified in the course of centuries, to the point that challenging them has become very difficult.
It has reached the point that [this ideology] is hostile to the entire world. Is it conceivable that 1.6 billion [Muslims] would kill the world’s population of seven billion, so that they could live [on their own]? This is inconceivable…You cannot see things clearly when you are locked [in this ideology]. You must emerge from it and look from outside, in order to get closer to a truly enlightened ideology. You must oppose it with resolve. Let me say it again: We need to revolutionize our religion.
In a less-noticed interview with Der Spiegel in February of this year, President Sisi stated: