Taqiyya Theater? General al-Sisi’s August 2013 Wash Post Interview vs. His 2006 US Army War College Thesis

The Washington Post report of Lally Weymouth’s August, 2013 interview of Egyptian General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, opened with these comments by al-Sisi, rationalizing the military putsch he helped orchestrate to depose Egypt’s President Morsi, a Muslim Brotherhood ideologue:

The dilemma between the former president [Muhammad Morsi] and the people originated from [the Muslim Brotherhood’s] concept of the state, the ideology that they adopted for building a country, which is based on restoring the Islamic religious empire. That’s what made [Mohamed Morsi] not a president for all Egyptians but a president representing his followers and supporters

However, Al-Sisi made these 180-degree, diametrically opposed statements, in his 2006 mini-thesis produced at the U.S. Army War College in Carlisle, PA, as rendered, verbatim, by Robert Springborg, a Professor at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California, long recognized for his published expertise on the Egyptian military:

But Sisi’s thesis goes beyond simply rejecting the idea of a secular state; it embraces a more radical view of the proper place of religion in an Islamic democracy. He writes: “Democracy cannot be understood in the Middle East without an understanding of the concept of El Kalafa,” or the caliphate, which Sisi defines as the 70-year period when Muslims were led by Muhammad and his immediate successors. Re-establishing this kind of leadership “is widely recognized as the goal for any new form of government” in the Middle East, he asserts. The central political mechanisms in such a system, he believes, are al-bi’ah (fealty to a ruler) and shura (a ruler’s consultation with his subjects).

These utterly contradictory statements provide an urgent rationale for immediate release of al-Sisi’s now “classified” 2006 thesis, produced by a non-US individual at a US military academic institution, financed by US taxpayers. Prompt release of the thesis and confirmation of Professor Springborg’s straightforward assessment of its contents, in turn will require a detailed explanation from al-Sisi about how he reconciles—if even possible—these entirely conflicting views.

One logical, if (Western cultural relativist) taboo explanation for this seemingly irreconcilable contradiction, would be the respected Islamic doctrine of taqiyya—religiously sanctioned Islamic dissimulation to “protect the faith,”, directed at non-Muslims, in particular.

 

Andrew G. Bostom is the author of The Legacy of Jihad (Prometheus, 2005) and The Legacy of Islamic Antisemitism " (Prometheus, November, 2008) You can contact Dr. Bostom at @andrewbostom.org

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