Miss Mabrouk of Egypt

Check the archives too - a lot of good stuff to enjoy. Me myself? Off to new adventures in the blogosphere, if time permits.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Gamal Al-Banna in the NYT

I didn´t expect to find an article about an Egyptian free thinker on the NYT frontpage this morning, but I did. It is of course Michael Slackman who is providing the fine reporting. I am glad he haven´t given up on Egypt yet.
GAMAL AL-BANNA is 85, and for much of his life he has been overshadowed by his famous brother, Sheik Hassan al-Banna, the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood, the Islamist political party and antecedent of a host of militant Islamist organizations, from Al Qaeda to Hamas.
He is a liberal thinker, a man who would like to see Islamic values and practices interpreted in the context of modern times. Egypt’s gatekeepers of religious values, the government-appointed and self-appointed arbiters of God’s word, condemn, dismiss and dispute what he says.
“If religion was correctly understood, it would be a power of liberation,” Mr. Banna said. “But it is misunderstood, and so it is driving us backward.” The views alleged to fall outside religion include those on women: They are not required to wear a veil, as most do in Egypt, Mr. Banna believes; they should not be forced to undergo genital cutting, as most do now in Egypt; and they should be allowed to lead men in prayer, which is forbidden in Egypt.

The New York Times: A Liberal Brother at Odds With the Muslim Brotherhood

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