The post-Hosni Mubarak Egypt is one that is characterized by increasing uncertainty. With a new government on the horizon, questions remain regarding how much influence Islamic law will have in the land. And a recent video featuring Hazem Salah Abu Ismail, an Egyptian candidate for president, simply adds to the concern.
The clip, which has been analyzed and subtitled in English by Translating Jihad, shows Abu Ismail, a man the Weekly Standard says, "may well follow Mubarak as Egypt's first Islamist president," making some eyebrow-raising comments.
The original, untranslated video was posted to YouTube back on August 4 showcases a man who may very well be unfriendly to the United States' anti-terror policies. In the clip, Abu Ismail expresses support for the now-deceased terror leader Osama bin Laden. In addition to asking Allah to "accept him with the righteous and the martyrs," he says that bin Laden was able to "speak the word of truth with power."
Below, watch these comments, complete with translated subtitles:
And here's the full transcript:
And Usama bin Laden—may Allah be pleased with him—may Allah take great mercy upon him. I ask Allah to accept him with the righteous and the martyrs, O Lord. Do not imagine that a martyr is only someone with whom you've always agreed throughout your life. If you had a different point of view from him, and then he was killed, this would not negate his martyrdom. Now this man (i.e. bin Laden) had religion wealth, and he was able to spend millions in the path of Allah, and speak the word of truth with power. However, he preferred to sacrifice his flesh, his offspring, his family, and his wealth, and go to the front lines to work in the path of Allah. The most glorious among us are always the martyrs. May Allah have mercy on him. The testimony which he obtained was a great fortune. I suppose that he—and Allah is his judge now—is among those of whom it is said, “If only my people knew,” Allah-willing. May Allah take great mercy upon him, and I ask Almighty Allah that the Muslims may soon be able to avenge him, as well as all of the martyrs of Islam, such as ‘Abdallah ‘Azam, Ahmad Yasin, and others, O Lord.
The Standard sheds some light on the candidate:
This 50-year-old lawyer is no stranger to large crowds and acclaim. He’s a TV star whose weekly broadcasts on various religious channels over the last few years have covered a wide range of issues, from Islamic history and jurisprudence to politics and economics. Abu Ismail promotes Islamic finance, wants more sharia in the Egyptian constitution, and thinks the peace treaty with Israel should be trashed—all are controversial positions.
In addition to the notion that this individual could very well assume the Egyptian presidency, violence against Coptic Christians in recent months has also caused some to wonder what the future holds for religious freedom in the Middle Eastern nation. Earlier this month, the Blaze reported on the political situation in Egypt:
U.S. officials have watched warily in recent months amid souring Egyptian-Israeli relations, violence against minority Copts and renewed popular frustration with a military leadership determined to maintain its grip on the future of the country, if not its governance. Since Mubarak’s February ouster, [Hillary] Clinton has gone out of her way to describe Egypt’s ruling military council as “an institution of stability and continuity,” even as the U.S. has been frustrated by the council’s slow pace of democratic reforms and continuation of the emergency laws that were a mainstay of abuse during the Mubarak era.
She took a tougher approach Monday, saying real power needed to be transferred in Egypt. “If, over time, the most powerful political force in Egypt remains a roomful of unelected officials, they will have planted the seeds for future unrest,” Clinton said. “Egyptians will have missed a historic opportunity.”
Parliamentary elections are scheduled for later this month. It is then that the character and beliefs of the chosen officials will begin to officially shape the nation's future.
(H/T: Translating Jihad)