After each act of terror, we see President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi calling for a renewal of religious discourse. This happened several times in the past couple of years, but we did not hear that his call was appreciated by the sheikhs to whom he was directing his speech. This happened as well after the terrorist attack in Turkey and caused the deaths of more than 40 and wounded nearly 100 at the gate of Ataturk International Air Port. This time, an Islamic state was targeted proving that terror doesn’t differentiate between religions.
This time, the president repeated his call (or begging) before the same audience who disappointed him in former speeches. He also tried to convince them by saying that Islamic countries are suffering from retardation and should seek to get rid of the reason behind that.
He told them that about 60,000 hadith were deleted for being incorrect. This should lead to the examination of other religious texts that encourage terrorism and there is no justification for their existence.
The President added that extremism affects the reputation of Islam and Muslims so badly, and hinder the progress of our nation. He explained that only since and hardworking will bring progress, and not terror and killing of the innocent. Once again, he reminded the Sheikhs of their responsibility for such renewal of religious discourse.
Personally, I do not know if they got the message. They may refuse such change since they believe in such concepts that the president calls to change. They may also believe that people have no right to change what was written by God. Furthermore, they may believe that they are not responsible for such change. Therefore, the whole topic may be postponed forever.
In fact, Sheikhs of Al-Azhar will never make such move since they are not brave enough to face assassinators and people calling them infidels.
If the president believes in the importance of such change, he should lead it and order the scholars of al-Azhar to do it. The begging will bring nothing in the future just like it brought nothing the past. A committee should be formed by the presidency to renew the religious discourse in certain period. This is the only way to make some change in that topic or else we will gain nothing. It really takes a bold man to lead such project; will the president be such man?