On Obama’s Speech by Sh. Ali Guma Grand Mufti of Egypt


Dr. Ali Jum'aa- 2

By Dr. `Ali Gom`a | Translated by Sr. Marwa

I listened to the well-prepared speech of the US President Barack Obama in Cairo University last Thursday.  In fact, it is a good start of the mutual relationships between the Muslim World and the United States.  In his speech, President Obama referred to civilization’s debt to Islam, which carried the light of knowledge and learning throughout centuries.

In his speech, he reminds us of the speech Prince Charles delivered in Oxford in 1992, as it had the same spirit.

Now, as everyone is anticipating, it is time for the beginning of real work, I would like to suggest some practical plans for this cooperation, in which the Muslim World along with the US and the whole world would begin the establishment of the human civilization in a better way and based on justice.

1-     After President Obama has confirmed the removal of US troops from Iraq and the closing of the US military prison at Guantanamo Bay by the beginning of next year, I think a plan should be set forward regarding Afghanistan too, although growing complexity of the situation over there.  After all, colonization would not bring anyone any good.

2-     We do not want the relationships between the United States and Israel to break.   Yet we want the establishment of peace upon justice in order to protect the Palestinian people from the woes they have been going through during the last sixty years.  Muslims are quite ready to turn a new leaf in order to overcome the past, especially if we find true efforts exerted in reality, efforts that have positive effects on the daily life of the Palestinians who have been denied the essentials of decent life.  First and for most, a Palestinian state must be established, in which the three religions could be practiced.  Moreover, expatriates should also return to their homeland.  All these issues are possible to attain, only if the Israeli administration would respond to the wish of the whole world that just peace should prevail in order to reach a settlement for the world and seek a new beginning.

3-     A group of Muslims undertook the revision of some of the Western curricula that portrayed Muslims badly.  The bad image those curricula had created, affected whole generations, resulting in this vicious circle of exchanged hatred.  These revisions showed explicitly in the efforts exerted by professor Abdul-Jawad Flatori, who published his work in an eight-volume study in the University of Kuln in Germany.  The study, which was published in German language, started in 1985 until 1996.  According to such respectful scientific work that is produced by one of the most remarkable universities in Western Europe, we should call upon the United States and the West to rectify education curricula.  It should return to the image that has been proved with the scientific evidence by professor Flatori, his wife, and his team.  The distorted image is widely spread and prevailed in the Western and American education curricula as well.  We are quite sure that the West has no objections regarding such rectification, as long as it is a scientific one, aiming to remove the hateful fanaticism adopted by some extremists.  In early 1990s, some research centers in the United States undertook this task, though only partially, especially in history textbooks.

4-     Ahead of us is also the issue of the international Muslim authority, which is a very significant issue.  The Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) can undertake such task.  Especially when it has an organ such as the Islamic Fiqh (Jurisprudence) Academy in Jeddah, which in itself is a remarkable international Islamic institution that represents the whole Muslim world.  With the scientific cooperation of some international institutions such as al-Azhar and the Islamic Research Academy, the OIC could undertake such a role very well.  President Obama has even referred to the OIC and its cooperative role in the eradication of polio.

The international Muslim authority, unanimously, agreed on the renunciation of violence, taking the road of moderation, respecting difference of madhhab (juristic schools of thought), acknowledging dialogue, peaceful coexistence and developmental issues.

5-     I call all Muslims to embark on a course of action to discard nuclear weapons all over the world.  It is unacceptable for a nation to have a whole arsenal, by which it could destroy the whole Earth, while there is no deterrent power to prevent using such mass destruction weapons, which are prohibited by all religions and denounced by the reasonable.  From now on, we should focus on putting an end to the possession of nuclear weapons.  We all should work cooperatively to make this wish come true, especially after President Obama has expressed it plainly.  By this, we can change the face of Earth.

6-     President Obama indicated that Muslim communities, since ancient times, have proved they are capable of being at the forefront of innovation and education.  Accordingly, I wish we could activate research even more.  He has pointed out that there has been no developmental strategy that could depend solely on wealth.  Rather, innovation and education are more important.  Here I, once again, affirm the importance of the scientific scholarships.  We need to resuscitate scientific scholarships back as they were in days of yore, making them more frequent and prevalent than their case today.  It has to be both ways; from the Muslim world to the West and vice versa. In fact, we have things that humanity urgently needs.  Putting this point in details might need larger space, yet, from my point of view I can bit on it.

7-     The US aid, that has been allocated for development in Africa, Middle East, and Southeast Asia, has been a good idea.  We even think that it has been lagged for a while.  Therefore, we should encourage it and work perseveringly on sustaining it.  Here in Egypt, we started to push forth and encourage civil work, not only for the sake of doing good, but also for the developmental purposes in the fields of health, education, scientific research, social interdependence, and different aspects of life, such as art, literature, and sports.  This is because our religion believes in construction and prohibits destruction. So all praises and thanks belong to Allah, who has ordained us to be Muslims.

Originally posted by al-Ahram Newspaper

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2 Comments

  1. Dawud Israel says:

    This is very impressive and really shows some paradigm shifting among the ulema. Masha Allah, may Allah bless them.

  2. Farida says:

    Very useful article mash'Allah.
    it's very motivating all the solutions that the Mufti and President Obama are presenting.
    But I have to remind myself that these things take time, and effort.
    We must be patient and take things step by step and not expect a change overnight…

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