As the Egyptian run-off presidential elections draw near, many citizens have no idea whether their country will soon be governed by a new constitution, or Islamic Sharia law. The Muslim Brotherhood's candidate, Mohammed Mursi, is expected to face former Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq in a run-off vote with dire implications.
But Egyptian cleric Sheik Muhammad Sallah is already making a case for Sharia law that may be hard to argue against – if it were true. Appearing on Al-Hekma TV in Egypt on May 4, he said that if Egypt would simply force its citizens to live by the "Shari'a of Allah," it would become the "mightiest nation in the world" and even more wealthy than Sweden.
First though, he cleared up some misconceptions about Sharia law in an attempt to sexy the concept up a bit.
"You are wrong in your assessment that if Islam comes to power people's hands would be chopped off. This would mean that we are thieves. Are we really thieves? They say that Islam will stone people. This would mean that we are fornicators. Are we really fornicators? They say that people's hands and feet on alternate sides will be chopped off. This would mean that we have committed hiraba. But we are not like that," Sallah said. "This people rejects sin and rebels against tyranny."
"Hiraba" is the crime of waging "war against Allah and His messenger" and spreading disorder across the land, according to the Koran.
The irony of his statements is he essentially admits that if you do so happen to be a thief, fornicator or commit hiraba, you are in big trouble under Sharia law. His premise was based on the flawed logic that no one in Egypt would ever commit these crimes. This was apparently lost on Sallah.
Translation services were provided by MEMRI TV. Listen to the Egyptian cleric's entire Sharia law pitch here:
Sallah went on to say that success for Egypt would mean triumph for all of Islam and Muslim countries. But at the same time, the collapse of Egypt would also "spell the collapse of the Islamic world."
"If it implemented the law of Allah. By Allah (Egypt) would become the mightiest nation in the world. It would be richer than Sweden and its per capita income would be higher than any European nation," he continued. "Hence, our enemies do not want us to have stability, prosperity or security and they are constantly instigating civil strife which afflicts the people like wildfire."
Further, all the instances of victory over the "oppressors and infidels" in modern times were achieved under Egyptian commanders, according to Sallah. Therefore, he explained, it is their duty to come to the aid of places like Syria, where the "West" is trying to instigate civil strife.
"The (West) does not want this courageous people to enjoy stability or security," he said, in a thinly veiled criticism of U.S. foreign policy. "Therefore, you must be vigilant. Be vigilant."