As Egyptians go to the polls to vote for a new president, the BBC News website asked Egyptians of contrasting political persuasions to write about their hopes and fears for the country’s future. Ibrahim Hassan is a member of the political bureau of the Salafi Front.
The presidential elections represent a vital development in the post-revolutionary period. In the near future, we aspire to have a full democracy and stable political situation with an elected president and a new constitution.
However, there are some real threats to our progress.
Our main concerns now are for the new constitution. This must meet the aspirations of the revolution and address the shortcomings in the current constitutional document.
The constitution should ensure the president does not have absolute powers to guarantee that we do not have another dictator.
The articles related to public freedoms should stress political rights for all and the right to freedom of expression and faith.
However, these freedoms should not clash with the divine Islamic sharia and its constants, which define society’s values and morals.
We do not see any reason for disagreement with non-Islamic political forces in this regard except those who are antagonistic to religious values.
Most Egyptians showed their confidence in the Islamic project in the parliamentary elections. Over 70% of parliamentary seats went to Islamists.
We, as Salafis, share one vision with all Islamists: to maintain Egypt’s Islamic and national identity by putting into force the second article of the constitution which states that, “Islam is the religion of the state… and the principal source of legislation is Islamic jurisprudence [sharia]”.
We want to add the necessary wording to make it more than just theoretical, so that it has more enforcement and influence in law.
We believe that the phrasing should be changed to show that rulings are determined by Sharia. This will achieve the demands of the Islamic majority.
We also agree with other political forces that the rights of citizenship and prevention of discrimination should be stipulated in the new constitution.
This means minorities should have the right to put their own religious laws in place, but not in a way that undermines the majority’s rights.
In contrast to the true kingdom of God, the Islamic khilafa is identified as a visible, political and geographical state.
Radical Muslims have an agenda to introduce the khilafa in Egypt. Any territory that has once belonged to Islam must be regained and returned to Islam and, as parts of Europe have in the past come under the influence and rulership of Islam, this determines the Islamist agenda for Europe as well. In fact, the ultimate goal is for world domination for the sake of Islam.
But the kingdom of Christ is not identified as a visible kingdom. It is a relationship with God through Jesus Christ. It extends through the preaching of the gospel, not through bombs and bullets. It has everything to do with life in the Spirit and nothing with following earthly kings or rulers, though the Bible teaches that earthly rulers are to be respected. We need to receive the kingdom afresh and to surrender our life daily to the Spirit of God. That is the nature of the kingdom of God that we have.
In contrast, the Islamic khilafa merges the sacred with the secular – there is no distinction. “Our religion is for all of life”, Muslims proudly assert. The Christian faith is also for all of life, but our faith cannot be propagated through force, coercion or political might. We call people to repent and to surrender to Christ, whereas Islamists wish to impose and establish by political power and force it upon the willing and unwilling alike.