Following are excerpts
from an interview with Egyptian cleric Sheik Muhammad Hassan, which
aired on Dream 2 TV on April 14, 2011:
are against women running for the Egyptian presidency?
That's right. There is a consensus of jurisprudents about this. It's
not merely my view. Similarly, I think that a non-Muslim should not
run for head of state in a Muslim country. In addition, the second article
of Egypt's constitution declares that Islam is the state religion, right?
Doesn't the same article state that the shari'a is the main source
for legislation? There is nothing whatsoever wrong with the country
being ruled in accordance with this constitution and this article. There
is no reason whatsoever to accuse the Muslims of extremism.
you accept a Copt as the president of Egypt?
No. I am not ashamed to say so. As I have already said, the second article
of the constitution declares that Islam is the official religion of
the state, and that the shari'a is the main source of legislation.
So I ask: Would Rome accept a Muslim as the president of Italy?
if there is democracy, and there are elections, and the people makes
its choice – what is the problem?
If that is the case, the majority should be allowed to rule. We are
talking about the principles of the shari'a. The truth is that
democracy in the Western sense is for the people to rule itself in disregard
for the law of Allah, and this I do not accept.
How would you characterize the democracy that exists abroad?
Is it conceivable for there to be a democracy, some of the laws of which
directly contradict the law of Allah? If someone commits a grave crime,
such as fornication, for example – is it conceivable that if both
parties were consenting, they should not stand trial? Is it conceivable
that for the sake of the economic interests of a country, I allocate
large vineyards for the production of wine, in order to revive the economy?
It is totally inconceivable, in light of such an article in the constitution,
and in light of the fact that this is a Muslim country, to legislate
laws that directly contradict the Koran and the Sunna. All the laws
must be within this general framework, and indeed, they are…
But we do not have a law that prohibits the sale of alcohol, for example,
in public places or in hotels.
At the next stage, we would like all our laws to be in keeping with
the law of Allah and with the Sunna of the Prophet Muhammad, so that
we will be spared more of the wrath of Allah.
the Salafis became members of parliament, for example, would their agenda
include changing laws pertaining to the sale of alcohol, fornication,
and so on?
Why not? Why shouldn't every Muslim whom Allah grants the honor of entering
parliament demand the changing of every law in our country that runs
counter to the Koran and the Sunna? Nobody should be ashamed of this,
but should declare it with pride. However, this should be done in a
polite, sensible, and humble manner.
This brings us to the subject of tourism. We started by talking about
democracy, but have reached the topic of tourism. Today, when a tourist
comes to Egypt, he wants to behave like he does in his own country.
He goes to Sharm Al-Sheik, Aswan, or Luxor, and he wants to drink alcohol
there, because that is what he is used to doing. The female tourists
wear bathing suits and go to the beach. Do you see a contradiction between
your beliefs and the flow of tourists to Egypt in the future?
We do not prohibit tourism. All we demand is for some restrictions to
be determined by experts, politicians, and religious scholars, and first
and foremost, by the Sheik of Al-Azhar, and we want them to be in keeping
with the moral values of this Islamic society. Is it appropriate for
a Muslim society to put its own people to shame, for the sake of tourism?