Gamal al-Banna’s impression, shared by an unhappy French public: “most Muslims today are Salafis”
Yesterday (1/24/13), Le Monde (hat tip Religion of Peace) published IPSOS survey results of French public attitudes towards Islam under the self-explanatory headline, “La religion musulmane fait l’objet d’un profond rejet de la part des Français” [“The Muslim religion is the subject of a profound rejection by the French”].
The key findings, expressed in Le Monde’s characterization, with “unusual clarity” by the French populace, reveal:
- 74% of those surveyed believe Islam is an intolerant religion
- 80% maintain Islam attempts to impose its dictates upon others
- 54% also claim that individual Muslims are fundamentalist, predominantly (10%), or at least partly (44%), in their attitudes.
This latter claim comports with a remarkably candid observation by Gamal al-Banna.
The eccentric, secular-leaning nonagenarian Egyptian gadfly, whose older sibling and jihadist “martyr” Hasan al-Banna founded the Muslim Brotherhood, remarked during a 2011 interview, “most Muslims today are Salafis.” Gamal al-Banna attributed this mass Muslim phenomenon to the 10th century onset “closure of the gates of ijtihad ” (ijtihad being the process whereby the most select, learned Muslim legists were allowed narrow interpretive “flexibility” regarding Sharia mandates), leaving the preponderance of Muslims, ever since, to blindly follow mainstream, traditionalist, i.e., “Salafi,” interpretations of Islam.