“The sheikh of al-Azhar should thank God profusely that the shari‘a is not in force in Egypt, for it it were he would certainly be in for a good flogging in punishment for smearing virtuous people,” wrote Farag Fawda in March 1988 — thus contributing to a debate that had been raging since the beginning of that year.

The sheikh of al-Azhar should thank God that nobody opposes him and nobody asks what his position has to do with a sound understanding of religion — of that splendid religion that doesn’t know priesthood, doesn’t place anybody between God and his servants and doesn’t leave space for men of religion…. O sheikh of al-Azhar, thank God profusely for the backwardness of Muslims, for it alone preserves your job for you! But don’t imagine for a moment that anybody will allow you to preside over inquisition courts, to accuse and to oppress, to threaten and to forbid! [1]

What was the controversy all about? In 1987, Muhammad Sa‘id al-‘Ashmawi published Political Islam, in which he insists that Islam was from the beginning an apolitical religion concerned solely with spiritual and ethical guidance. The form Islam has subsequently taken — as “religion and state” — for him is a deviation from and a perversion of that true conception. Fahmi Huwaydi, in a pair of critical articles, countered that the political and legislative character of Islam are its main distinctive feature. [2] Both al-‘Ashmawi and Huwaydi support their arguments with selective readings of the “basic” texts (Qur’an and sunna) and of early Islamic history. In its juxtaposition of two mutually exclusive views of Islam, the controversy remained unresolved. [3] In this, it was typical of quite a number of exchanges taking place in Egypt around the mid-1980s.

Basic Question

Those debates, which tackled a variety of questions from many different points of view, revolved around one key question: Can secularism be reconciled with Islam? Does Islam necessarily prescribe all actions and thoughts, even in worldly matters? Does it call for the institutional enforcement of such conduct and thought? Or does it leave to Muslims the freedom to regulate these things at their own discretion? The integralist position traditionally taken toward this problem says that all aspects of human life should be ruled by God’s will enshrined in the shari‘a, the law developed by the Islamic scholars out of God-given foundations. Yet this position was theoretical: It could not prevent a considerable amount of autonomy for certain realms — most notably politics — vis-a-vis that hegemony of religion. This autonomy characterizes most periods of Islamic history, especially in modern times. On the level of mass consciousness, though, most Muslims continued to believe in the ideal of religious hegemony over everyday life and politics. This integralist stand still reflects the position of the vast majority of Egyptian Muslims.

Today, the “hard core” of the integralist camp are the proponents of political Islam. They note the widening cleavage between ideal and reality, and reassert the claim of religious hegemony. Political Islam poses as a continuation of the traditional position, although in many ways it constitutes a departure from it. The basic difference lies in the role ascribed to the state: In the traditional conception, the shari‘a is a means of orientation which the believer follows (or does not follow) out of his or her own free will and which the state enforces only selectively. The Islamists want to see the shari’a codified as a set of state-enforced laws in the Western sense.

The view opposed to the integralist one calls for the autonomy of large domains of human life from any institutionalized hegemony of religion. This position is manifestly secularist, although many of its proponents shun the term. The Islamist “hard core” gives the integralist position a sharp political edge, but there is also a position that subscribes to the hegemony of Islam in principle and at the same time rejects many of the Islamist demands. Regarding concrete problems of law and politics, proponents of this latter position may very well side with the secularists against the Islamists or their extremist wing. The border lines between these positions are by no means clear-cut.

Two of the fundamental questions of the debate are whether secularism is necessary in Islamic societies and whether it is admissible. The integralists answer both of these questions in the negative. Secularism, they argue, was born in pre-modern Christian Europe out of the necessity to fight the crippling dominance of the Church over the political realm and over intellectual life. Islam, they say, has no ecclesiastical institution that could possibly claim similar dominance over the state, and has a much more positive relation to intellectual freedom and reason than Christianity. Secularism is not admissible in Islam because the separation of religion and politics runs counter to Islam’s claim to regulate all aspects of human life. “Under the auspices of Islamic civilization,” writes Muhammad ‘Amara:

the call for the reign of secularism is far more strange and abnormal than just being an imitation of the West…and borrowing from it a solution for a problem we don’t in reality have!… This call becomes an assault against the Islamic religion about which the scholars, Muslims and non-Muslims alike, say that it is creed and shari‘a, religion and state at the same time, and that it is not just a spiritual mission.

And if the European Renaissance was linked to secularism, after its decline had been tied to the hegemony of religion and church over state and society…then the march of our Arab-Islamic civilization was exactly the opposite. For the Arab-Islamic renaissance was intimately linked to the hegemony of the Islamic shari‘a over a state that was civilian and Islamic at the same time, while the deviation from the Islamic character of the law was the beginning of the path of our nation into inertia and decline. [4]

The secularists reject the claim of the specificity of the European experience. Islam, says Fu’ad Zakariyya, never lacked ecclesiastical authority, obscurantism and the limitation of intellectual freedom:

The thesis that Islam does not and did not know a religious institution at all is greatly exaggerated…. That religious authority existed throughout Islamic history. Sometimes it used its position and influence for the defense of the true principles of religion, and that led to intense clashes with rulers, be they caliphs, sultans or princes. At other times, they put themselves at the disposal of the ruler and issued statements and fatwas for him, giving legal support for his behavior even if it was unjust or reckless.

The conditions of medieval Christianity were not fundamentally different from the conditions prevailing in Islam. Of course, there are many details in which the two beliefs differ…but they shared the general feature of comprehensiveness, and thus one of the reasons justifying the emergence of secularism in Europe can also be advanced under the conditions prevailing in the Islamic world.

The Middle Ages are not only a period in time but they are also a state of mind, capable of reemerging in many societies and at different times…. Many characteristics of this state of mind are present in our contemporary Islamic societies…. This means that the reasons that pushed Europe in the direction of secularism are cropping up in our present Islamic world, and it means too that the widespread idea that secularism is the result of specifically European conditions in a certain stage of its development is baseless. [5]

The other question — whether a secularist position is tenable in Islam — has been less often discussed. Zakariyya gave one possible answer, quite in line with traditional Islamic reasoning although probably not very acceptable to integralists. Islam as such, he wrote, does not exist: “Islam is what the Muslims make of it.” [6]

Most of the debates took the form of newspaper articles and books, but there also were some widely noted public debates between proponents and opponents of secularism, like the one in the Cairo headquarters of the Doctors’ Union in July 1986 between Fu’ad Zakariyya (secularist) and Yusuf al-Qaradawi and Muhammad al-Ghazali (integralist). [7] Another debate (in this case, before an audience of allegedly 30,000 people!) took place at the Cairo Book Fair in January 1992. Here, Farag Fawda and one of the “sheikhs” of the left nationalist Tagammu‘ Party, Muhammad Ahmad Khalafallah, represented secularism; Muhammad al-Ghazali, Muslim Brother spokesman Ma‘mun al-Hudaiybi and the “neo-fundamentalist” Muhammad ‘Amara stood against them. [8]

The Campaign for Shari‘a

Since the early 1970s, the demand to reintroduce the shari‘a has been the common denominator of Egypt’s Islamists. Most non-Islamist political figures and commentators have consented, mostly because it was quite unpopular not to do so. The government never took its own consent very seriously. Even as recently as the late 1970s, only a few intellectuals dared to call for caution.

As the debate continued in the 1980s, the opponents argued their position in a much more consistent and systematic way. The shari‘a may well be based on God’s word, the opponents concede, but everything to do with its development, codification and application is done by men and therefore subject to the same reservations as all manmade laws. The legal force of the shari’a was quite limited throughout Islamic history, and great parts of prevailing laws are compatible with it. Traditional fiqh (Islamic jurisprudence) is not applicable under present circumstances and cannot easily be adapted. The hudud (the core of Islamic criminal law) contradicts the contemporary conception of human rights. The rash introduction of the shari‘a would facilitate dictatorial tendencies of rulers and might give the Islamists a grip on political power. Finally, it would reduce the status and the rights of non-Muslims, which in turn would harm national unity. [9]

The most prominent of these authors are Muhammad Sa‘id al-‘Ashmawi, Husayn Ahmad Amin and Muhammad Nur Farhat. [10] Their initiatives compelled the partisans of the shari‘a to refine and restate their arguments. These included hard-core Islamists, but also more moderate and flexible authors like the renowned historian Tariq al-Bishri and the influential journalist Fahmi Huwaydi. [11] “Insofar as our system relies upon Islamic legitimacy,” wrote al-Bishri,

and insofar as the shari‘a is considered the source of that legitimacy and the basis of legal judgment, we follow a rule that is prescribed to us by religion…. The application of the shari‘a is an undeniable part of our belief. Furthermore, the roots of the shari‘a provide a secure basis for the erection of a civilized, independent, dynamic and just social system, a system that sticks to ijtihad [independent reasoning in Islamic jurisprudence] and renewal in order to strive for the common interest and to prevent evil under changing social circumstances.

This system is superior to positivist legal systems, even from the purely earthly and pragmatic angle, for it combines the dimensions of belief and of moral conduct with the social values of justice, integrity and charity, and it heals the rift between law and ethics, between the values governing social relations and the ones that steer individual conduct, between our past and our future. And in all this it gives us the feeling of belonging to the community, to the motherland, the faith and the system. [12]

For Muhammad Nur Farhat, though, this call for the application of the shari‘a

rests upon a simplistic view of thought and history…. It starts from the assumption that there is a single, stable and immutable conception and content of what is conventionally called the shari‘a, and that just because we are disobedient servants (in the best and most merciful of assumptions) we refuse to take hold of that clear conception and content and apply it to our crisis-ridden reality. [But] the matter is not that simple. The principles and rules of the shari‘a are not instruments in themselves ready for governing any society at any time. They become so once the instruments of our reason come into play…. The shari‘a consists of goals: the preservation of religion, of the mind, of honor, of property and of the person. It consists of indubitable texts in the Qur’an and sunna. It consists of an ijtihad that treats these texts in detail. And finally the shari‘a consists of the practical application of all this.

While the shari‘a was officially the law of the land, the matter was not so clear on the practical level. Public order was solely governed by the law of oppression, tyranny, might and force. Private law — that is, the relations of lesser importance between the common people — was governed by principles of Islamic jurisprudence administered by Islamic judges, and even here the application of the shari‘a was not quite generalized, and the competence of the Islamic judge to cover them was not comprehensive….

Consequently — and this is the important thing — the era that preceded the introduction of national laws with French roots was not a golden era of Egyptian society ruled by the shari‘a. Not only was the era not golden, but the shari‘a was not reigning either. [13]

Many authors warn against the immediate application of the hudud (e.g., the cutting off of a thief’s hand) regardless of whether they are for or against the introduction of the shari‘a. Some argue that, in light of the greatly changed circumstances, the hudud no longer fit into present society; others argue that the hudud should only be applied once the basic needs of all people are secured. “Those who call for the execution of the hudud now and immediately aim to preserve their riches that they have amassed by well-known methods,” wrote Khalil ‘Abd al-Karim.

They are afraid that the hands of the hungry and miserable stretch out for them…. They feign respect for the shari‘a, but the shari‘a itself obliges them to secure a decent life for everybody before the hudud are executed, and if they don’t do so they violate text and spirit of the shari‘a. [14]

The argument over the shari‘a is not purely legal. It has become more a symbol than anything else: For lack of any other acceptable shibboleth, its enforcement is considered the distinctive feature of an Islamic state. For its proponents, the struggle for shari‘a may be more important than the goal itself, for it gives them an opportunity to clamor against the existing conditions and to load the public discourse with notions that change the terms of political struggle. This struggle brings them closer to power than would implementation of the shari‘a. Their main point is the principle of the introduction of the shari‘a, not the introduction as such. Opponents see that clearly, and thus some warn not only against the legal application of the shari‘a but against the very principle of its introduction. In the final analysis, this is a political struggle, not a legal one.

Islamism, Secularism and Politics

Around 1980, the Egyptian state moved to interrupt the march of the Islamists, who had been gaining considerable ground thanks to encouragement from the regime itself and to an intensification of the “Islamic atmosphere.” Clashes between the radical Islamists and Copts or representatives of the state became more frequent, including the assassination of Anwar al-Sadat. The state took (and still takes) a two-pronged approach. On the one hand, it suppresses violent outbreaks, initiates periodic waves of arrests and defers introduction of the shari‘a. On the other hand, the government tries to reduce the Islamists’ public appeal through widely publicized theological refutations of their basic tenets, and takes on itself an “Islamic” coloring in order to remove any pretext for an opposition from that angle. [15]

The swift progress of the Islamist movement did slow down, yet the movement did not retreat. It dug in and prepared for a war of position. It remained quite present and retained a large audience. Its different components have improved their coordination and cooperation, and are striving to strengthen their control over large segments of society and key mechanisms of influence. They managed to penetrate parliament in 1984, and broadened their presence there in 1987. They also control a considerable part of the media and have some influence in the government-controlled press.

Quite a few intellectuals have been alarmed by the headway the Islamist movement has made. The government, to counterbalance the Islamists’ influence in the media, also provided these intellectuals with greater opportunities to voice their fears and their criticism. Characteristically, the debate seldom limited itself to political questions, expanding into the more general argument against any kind of institutionalized hegemony of religion — in other words, against integralism in general.

A good example is the debate on shura and democracy triggered by novelist Yusuf Idris in June 1985. One prominent proponent of reintroducing shari‘a was the “secularist renegade” Khalid Muhammad Khalid. Idris, in an article in al-Ahram, asked why Khalid busied himself with a relatively marginal issue like the shari‘a while the Muslim world was suffering from so many bigger problems. [16] He then asked which kind of an Islamic state Khalid wanted to see established, and which shari‘a applied. Khalid responded that the Islamic creed necessarily entails an Islamic state and Islamic legislation. As for the form of government, he said it should be the shura (counsel), which he in turn defined as being equivalent to the modern conception of democracy. Khalid went on to insist that parliamentary opposition, a multi-party system and a free press were essential to “the system of rule in Islam without distortion or defect.” [17]

Farag Fawda enthusiastically hailed Khalid’s liberal and tolerant conception and his defense of democracy, but warned against calling it an Islamic conception and making it legally binding as part of the shari‘a. One should acknowledge, Fawda argued, that this form of government was conceived outside the realm of Islam but endorse it nevertheless as compatible with the Islamic spirit. Making it an obligatory feature of Islamic law and an Islamic state validates the principle of an Islamic state and thus gives a platform to less tolerant proponents of such a state.

Fu’ad Zakariyya pointed out that Khalid would never have been able to arrive at his conclusions from the basic Islamic texts alone:

Would he have been able to define the shura as division of powers, free parliamentary representation, existence of an opposition capable of toppling the government, multiplicity of parties and freedom of the press had he not been influenced by the thoughts of some weak mortals like John Locke, Montesquieu, Rousseau and Thomas Jefferson, and had the experiences of the modern states that preceded us in the field of democracy not come to support the thoughts of those philosophers by way of practice? Would Khalid Muhammad Khalid have been able to explain the shura in this way if he were not himself a man who acquired democratic leanings through his readings, his culture and his acquaintance with the experiences of the modern peoples? And if it were said that he was able to arrive at such a definition by the study of the heritage alone, how was it that these principles were never discovered, nor applied, throughout the history of that heritage? [18]

Opportunism and Accommodation

Many have said that all Egyptian parties — the ruling party as well as the opposition parties — take an opportunist stand on this question, siding with the Islamist camp because they think it is popular, forming alliances with it or at least adapting to an atmosphere saturated with Islamist slogans. This is definitely true for the Socialist Labor Party and the Socialist Liberals, who formed an alliance with the Muslim Brothers for the parliamentary elections in 1987. To a certain extent, it is — or at least was — also true for the ruling National Democratic Party, which tries to assume a certain Islamic coloring, and for the Wafd which, although rather secularist until then, formed an alliance with the Muslim Brothers for the elections of 1984, though relations have cooled subsequently. [19]

The same charges have been leveled against the leftist Tagammu‘ Party. [20] Its traditional line is mainly directed against the regime, which it sees as representing the parasitic bourgeoisie and allied with the US and Israel. [21] The influence of the left inside the universities suffered considerably from the upsurge of the Gama‘at Islamiyya during the 1970s. Later, parts of the left expressed sympathy for the radical Islamist groups fighting, as they were, against the regime. In the framework of the Committee for the Defense of Democracy, the left defended Islamist prisoners who were tortured in jail. Yet the left stands to lose at least as much from the destruction of a civil political structure in Egypt as any other secularist force. Torn between two options, the Tagammu‘ has not taken a clear and consistent stand.

When Husayn Ahmad Amin late in 1984 criticized the left (as well as other parties) for retreating before the Islamists, the Tagammu‘ was not interested in discussing the problem openly. [22] When Amin tackled the problem of the veil, the reaction was negative. One author described the impact of Amin’s articles inside the Tagammu‘ as an “uproar.” [23]

The next occasion for the left to ponder the problem of political Islam was when the novelist and journalist ‘Abd al-Rahman al-Sharqawi called for a national front — an alliance of all important forces of society, including the ruling party, against an enemy he portrayed as externally sponsored, clearly referring to the radical Islamist groups. [24] It appears that his call had the backing of the government, perhaps even of the president himself. Al-Sharqawi repeated his call in several consecutive articles, and asked for an answer from the left. Husayn ‘Abd al-Raziq, the editor of the Tagammu‘ weekly, al-Ahali, answered that a national salvation front should be directed against the “alliance of America, Israel and the government of the parasites.” [25] Compared with that set of enemies, Islamic extremism was a secondary danger that could only be dealt with by curing the main ills of Egyptian society. The Tagammu‘ leadership as well as that of the other opposition parties at this point clearly refused to side with the government’s attacks against the Islamist groups.

The question arose again, before and after the elections of 1987. Some suggested an alliance of the left, the Wafd and the ruling party against the “Islamic alliance” (Muslim Brothers, Socialist Labor and Liberals), but this was rejected by a leading Tagammu‘ member, Muhammad Sayyid Ahmad. [26] Fu’ad Zakariyya wrote that to pose it in either/or terms, “fight against the government and its alliances versus fight against the Islamist danger,” was dangerously artificial. An Islamist takeover would only mean a different form of the same dependence upon and alliance with US imperialism and Israel. The difference would be that the Islamist variety of rule would destroy the conditions for any free political and intellectual struggle. Zakariyya presented the government and the Islamist groups as two evils, but for him the prospect of an Islamist takeover allows only one conclusion: the fight against that possibility has absolute priority.

The participation of the left in the effort to demystify the political campaign that takes its slogans from Islam doesn’t mean at all that it forsakes its main fight against exploitation internally and imperialism externally.

Any struggle between political parties and tendencies in Egypt…remains a struggle between two human positions, whereas the Islamic tendency, if successful, would move this struggle to a completely different level. It would become a struggle between heaven and earth, between the party of God and the party of the devil…. Once the governing body comes to speak in the name of the shari‘a, opposition turns to unbelief, any difference becomes an insolence in the face of God’s law or an apostasy that has to be punished applying the appropriate hard [Qur’anic punishment — in this case, death]. The conditions of political and social struggle will become much worse and much more difficult. I am not exaggerating if I say that the idea of the struggle itself will then be thoroughly uprooted.

Therefore the interest of the left, and with it all nationalist forces, in maintaining the proper conditions for a legitimate political struggle imposes on all the duty to close ranks and stand against a tendency threatening to eradicate the principle of struggle itself. [27]

Of the 11 articles in al-Ahali commenting on Zakariyya’s position, six rejected his conclusion and five supported him. Only one, though, explicitly called for an inclusion of the ruling party in a possible alliance. For one author, the biggest part of the Islamist movement, the Muslim Brothers, represented the interests of the big bourgeoisie and consequently should be fought. Others saw the radical wing of the movement as a potential ally. One author argued that the struggle against Islamism should be left to the forces of enlightened Islam — the tendency that was originally envisaged as a basic component of the Tagammu‘ but never came into being.

The administrative and police treatment of political Islam — by arrests, torture, blockade and defamation — has transformed that tendency from a wide to a narrow horizon…. The removal of the artificial factors standing in the way of a real intellectual, social and political struggle in Egyptian society will give each tendency its real scope. The majority vote for the ruling party is no less artificial than the influence of the Islamist groups — rather, they are two sides of the same coin. The factors guaranteeing this majority — arresting the real political struggle, obscuring the opinions of the other parties and tendencies, especially those on the left, limiting their influence, defaming their positions and outlawing them — also benefit the groups of political Islam. They also benefit from the chaotic economy protected by the ruling party. The fight for real democracy will create a strong public opinion able to distinguish between the tendencies and to choose from among them according to its interest….

Confronting this [Islamist] tendency from a non-Islamic standpoint gives [the Islamists] a wonderful opportunity to win any battle over the correctness of its interpretation of Islam and its social slogans…. The ideological struggle against [the Islamists] must essentially be left to that non-existing tendency that was originally stipulated by the conception of the Tagammu‘ as one of its constituent parts, namely the enlightened religious tendency. The continued ideological and organizational absence of that tendency is the most serious mistake of the left, and it is high time to correct it. [28]

One author drew a parallel between the present anti-Islamist struggle and that against fascism in pre-World War Europe. In both cases, he says, there was more determining the priority of that fight than class considerations, and in both cases it took the left much time to realize that and act accordingly. [29]

The debate showed that the priority of the fight against the government still dominated the conceptions of the Tagamm‘. Yet the issue now had been taken up in a much more controversial way than in 1985 or 1984. In the summer of 1990 it was again raised by a panel of leading leftists, in a quite controversial manner. [30] Clearly political Islam was a much more persistent and a much less secondary phenomenon than the left had originally assumed.

Limits of the Debate

Contemporary Egyptian secularists justify their position by advancing arguments that boil down to the view that any institutionalized dominance of religion over human life poses problems and holds dangers. They try to prove the dangers of an integralist conception of Islam either by logic or by adducing practical experiences. The integralists counter that those problems and dangers are the result of an inconsistent or faulty application of Islam, and that they can be avoided by its “proper” enforcement.

Many questions could not be decided according to criteria accepted by both sides. Agreement on questions of principle was precluded by the vast gap between the respective intellectual frameworks. Both parties of the debate then tried to shift it onto the level that best suited them: the Islamists to that of reverential silence before a discourse perceived as religious; the secularists to that of a clearly political struggle fought in purely political terms. They argued, for example, that the Islamists were concerned more with power, influence and money in this life than with salvation in the hereafter. [31]

This debate was most intense from 1984 to 1988. The arguments seem to have been elaborated and repeated to the point where they have lost their impact. The incompatibility of the positions has been demonstrated beyond reasonable doubt. To be sure, publications and public exchanges have continued, but essentially the contest has left the lofty arena of intellectual debate and become a struggle for power and influence, most notably concerning the state. In July 1990, the al-Azhar authorities successfully demanded that a book by Farag Fawda, one which reprinted his attack on the sheikh of al-Azhar cited at the beginning of this essay, be withdrawn from circulation. Early in 1992, emissaries from al-Azhar’s Islamic Studies Academy confiscated five books by al-‘Ashmawi from a stand at the Cairo Book Fair, though their attempt to enforce a banning of these books was thwarted by presidential decree.

On June 8, 1992, two emissaries of a different sort struck. They, too, had obviously run out of intellectual arguments against secularism. But they knew their target. They shot down and killed Farag Fawda, the most daring and in many ways the most eloquent opponent of political Islam in Egypt in this era.


[1] Al-Ahali, March 23, 1988.
[2] Al-Ahram, January 19 and 26, 1988.
[3] Many other writers contributed to the debate. For an account see David Sagiv, “Judge Ashmawi and Militant Islam in Egypt,” Middle Eastern Studies 28/3 (July 1992).
[4] Al-‘Ilmaniyya wa nahdatuna al-haditha (Cairo and Beirut, 1986), pp. 28f.
[5] Fu’ad Zakariyya, al-Sahwa al-islamiyya fi mizan al-‘aql (Cairo, 1989), pp. 63-66, 71f.
[6] Ibid., p. 9.
[7] For a rather sketchy account, see Nancy Gallagher, “Islam vs. Secularism in Cairo: An Account of the Dar al-Hikma Debate,” Middle Eastern Studies 25/2 (April 1989).
[8] For the proceedings, see Misr bayna al-dawla al-diniyya wa al-madaniyya (Nicosia, 1992).
[9] A good summary of the debate is given by Rudolph Peters, “Divine Law or Manmade Law? Egypt and the Application of the Shari‘a,” Arab Law Quarterly 3/3 (August 1988), pp. 231-253.
[10] Muhammad Sa‘id al-‘Ashmawi, Usul al-shari‘a (Cairo, n.d.); and Hawla al-da‘awa ila tatbiq al-shari‘a al-islamiyya wa dirasat islamiyya ukhra (Beirut, 1985); Muhammad Nur Farhat, al-Mujtama‘ wa al-shari‘a wa al-qanun (Cairo, 1986).
[11] See, for example, Tawfiq al-Shawi, Siyadat al-shari‘a al-islamiyya fi Misr (Cairo, 1987); and Mustafa Farghali al-Shuqayri, Fi wajh al-mu’amara ‘ala tatbiq al-shari‘a al-islamiyya (Mansoura, 1986).
[12] Al-Sha‘b, July 7, 1987.
[13] Al-Mujtama‘ wa al-shari‘a wa al-qanun, p. 95.
[14] Li-tatbiq al-shari‘a…la lil-hukm! (Cairo, 1987), p. 47.
[15] For a criticism of the regime tactics from a secularist point of view, see Farag Fawda, al-Nadhir (Cairo, 1989).
[16] Al-Ahram, June 17, 1985.
[17] Al-Ahram, June 24, 1985.
[18] Al-Ahram, August 8, 1985.
[19] That was the main reason for Farag Fawda and some other prominent members to leave the Wafd. See my article “Egypt: A New Secularism?,” Middle East Report 153 (July-August 1988).
[20] For example, by Fawda, Hiwar hawla al-‘ilmaniyya (Cairo, n.d.); Husayn Ahmad Amin, “‘An al-Intihaziyya wa al-Ahzab al-Siyasiyya,” al-Ahali, November 7, 1984; Salah Hafiz, “Fi jayb Iran!,” Akhbar al-Yawm, October 18, 1986.
[21] See the proceedings of the second party congress, al-Tariq li-Inqadh Misr min al-Fasad wa al-Tufayliyya wa al-Taba‘iyya (Cairo, 1985).
[22] Amin, “‘An al-Intihaziyya.”
[23] See Revue de la Presse Egyptienne 15 (March 1985).
[24] ‘Abd al-Rahman al-Sharqawi, “La Budd min al-Jabha!,” al-Ahram, July 6, 1985.
[25] Al-Ahali, August 28, 1985.
[26] Al-Ahali, April 5, 1987.
[27] “Al-Yasar wa al-Tayyar al-Islami,” al-Ahali, April 29, 1987.
[28] Salah ‘Isa, in al-Ahali, May 13, 1987.
[29] Yunan Labib Rizq in al-Ahali, May 27, 1987.
[30] “Ru‘yat al-Yasar li-Mawqi‘ al-Usuliyyin al-Islamiyyin ‘ala al-Kharita al-Tabaqiyya wa al-Siyasiyya,” al-Yasar 8 (August 1990) and 9 (November 1990).
[31] This was a recurring theme in the writings of Farag Fawda. See, for instance, his booklet al-Mal‘ub (Cairo, 1988), in which he exposes the “Islamic” investment societies.

How to cite this article:

Alexander Flores "Secularism, Integralism and Political Islam," Middle East Report 183 (July/August 1993).

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