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Egypt: The Egyptian Apostate

Dr. Sayed-El-Qemeny Egyptian progressive thinker, Dr. Sayed El Qemany was granted the State Award for Social Sciences. Egyptian liberals and seculars hailed the award while Wahabis and conservatives declared war on the “Egyptian Apostate”.

On Egyptian talks the following question was thrown on the table:

هل يصح ان تمنح جائزة الدولة التقديرية لمن يهزأ بكل معتقداتنا؟
Is it right to grant the State Award to those who mock all our beliefs?

Salafi Selections wrote a post titled What next adressing Farouk Hosni, the Egyptian Minister of Culture denying Dr. El Qemany his award and calling him

وهو الذى تهجم على الإسلام وأنكر النبوة ووصف الرسول الكريم بأنه مزور وأن الدين الإسلامي ما هو إلا اختراع من أبى طالب !
The guy who attacked Islam, denied the Prophet his prophecy, described him as an imposter, and claimed that the Islamic religion was made up by Abi Taleb!

Lawsuits have been filed in opposition of granting Dr. El Qemany the award:

صب الدكتور نصر فريد واصل مفتي مصر الأسبق، جام غضبه على وزير الثقافة فاروق حسني والمسئولين عن منح جوائز الدولة التقديرية، على ما اعتبرها “جريمة ضد هوية مصر الإسلامية”، من خلال منح الكاتب سيد القمني جائزة الدولة التقديرية في العلوم الاجتماعية، معتبرًا أن ما حدث دليل على سيطرة ما وصفها بـ “العلمانية القذرة على مؤسستنا الثقافية، وسيادة فكرة الفصل بين الدين والدولة على المسئولين بوزارة الثقافة”.
Dr. Nasr Farid Wasel, Egypt's previous grand Mufti, raged against the Egyptian Minister of Culture and those who are in charge of granting the State Awards for granting Sayed El Qemany the State Award for Social Sciences is a crime against Egypt's Islamic identity and a proof of the firm grip “filthy secularism” has on our cultural institution and that the officials at the Ministry of Culture have succumbed to the notion of separating religion from the state.

Sheikh Youssef Al Badri, known for his Hisbah lawsuits, addressed Egypt's Attorney General and Al Azhar to withdraw the award. He was also hosted on TV in a debate against Dr. El Qemany. The debate was posted in 8 parts with a transcript in Arabic.

Youssef Al Badri accused Dr. El Qemany saying:

القمني يهدم الإسلام ويهاجمه بلباقة وذوق ولذلك هو أشد وطأة من سلمان رشدي
El Qemany is deconstructing Islam using eloquent sugar-coated attacks; thus, he is more fatal than Salman Roshdy

El Qemany responded:

الشيخ البدري يتهمني بالكفر!!
العلماء المسلمين لا يريدون المسلم استخدام عقله ولكنهم يريدونه مطيع ويستفتيهم في أتفه الأمور
Sheikh Badri is accusing me of atheism! Islamic scholars do not want the Muslim to use his God-given brain! They want a submissive and obedient Muslim who refers to them in the slightest details of his life.

A Facebook group (30 members) was created attacking El Qemany and his award and another group (173 members) was created in his defense.

Dr. Sayed El Qemany responded to those who denied him his award saying:

إن جائزة الدولة ليست جائزة في درجة التقوى ولا في مساحة الإسلام عند الإنسان، و نحن في مصر و لسنا في السعودية.
أي أن جائزة الدولة تعطيها عقول مصرية، لقامات، و شروطهم مدى تحقق منهج البحث العلمي و الوصول إلى النتائج و المقدمات، و صدق المراجع، و عدم تزوير النصوص، إلى أخرى
جائزة الدولة لا تُعطى للتقي
The State Award is not given to anyone based on the degree of his piety or his following of Islam – we are in Egypt not in Saudi Arabia. The award is granted to Egyptian icons who have avidly applied the ethics and basics of scientific research reaching conclusions and facts based on true references without tampering or twisting. Once again, the State Award is not a religious award.

Supportive bloggers hailed the award as a victory of the enlightened mind.

Tarek Heggy wrote addressing Dr. El Qemany:

ان قرار منحكم جائزة الدولة التقديرية (التى كان طه حسين هو اول الحاصلين عليها منذ نصف قرن) هو تكريم رائع ومستحق بجدارة ، تكريم ثلاثي الابعاد : تكريم للباحث والمفكر الذى اصدر عشرات المؤلفات التى يستحق كل منها اعلي وارقي الجوائز وهى المؤلفات الرائدة فى ثلاثة مجالات : اولا دراسات الاديان المقارنة وثانيا دراسات التاريخ الاسلامي وتاريخ الفكر الاسلامي وثالثا دراسات المعاصرة والحداثة
Granting you this award – last given to Taha Hussein half a century ago – is a well deserved honor; it is a celebration of the scholar and thinker whose publications are each worthy of the most prestigious of awards. Your publications assumed leadership in three fields; comparative religions, the study of the history of Islam and Islamic dogma, and modernism, post modernism, and contemporary studies
كذلك فان فى تكريم الدكتور سيد القمني تكريم لانصار الحرية والعلم والحداثة والتقدم والتنوير. ولعل روح فرج فودة اليوم تكون فى سرور وحبور معنا ومع الدكتور سيد القمني . واخيرا فان تكريم الدكتور سيد القمني يعطي الامل لكل من هو خائف على مصر ومصيرها
Dr. El Qemany's award is a celebration of the victory of freedom, science, modernism, progression, and enlightenment. Maybe now the spirit of Farag Fouda will be appeased. This victory is the light at the end of the tunnel for everyone who has Egypt and it's future at heart.

Hassan El Helali issued a statement on behalf of Egypt's free enlightened front addressed to:

إلى المتأسلمين أصحاب الأجندة الوهابية في مصر
إلى مرتزقة البتروريال في كل عصر
إلى مشايخ الفضائيات وتجار الدين بلا حصر
The would be Islamists with a Wahabi agenda …. the mercenaries of the Petro-Riyals … the Sheikhs of Satellite channels and the numerous merchants of religion

and

وبلاغ إلى أمتنا البائسة المغيبة بفعل المذكورين أعلاه
A communiqué to our miserable pitiful nation whose misery can be traced back to the above-mentioned mercenaries.

In this open letter he says:

متخلف وعنيف ولا إنساني على أياديكم الطاهرة… وبسبب أفعالكم وأقوالكم وفتاويكم العاهرة… التى جعلت منا أمة يتندر بدينها وبقيمها الأمم الساخرة
في الوقت الذي حولتم فيه الإسلام لمصدر رزق وتربح وثروة وسلطة وهيلمان… وسكتم عن الظلم والقهر والطغيان… وتفرغتم لفقه الحجاب والنسوان والغلمان… وتاجرتم بكل شئ فلم يتبقى إلا أن تصدرو صكوك الغفران
At a time when Islam has become in the eyes of the peoples of the world synonymous with everything that is backward, inhumane, and violent on your immaculate hands … Because of your deeds, sayings and your disreputable Fatwas… Which have rendered our nations, religion, and values the laughing stock and sarcasm of the world.
At a time when you made Islam a source of livelihood, profit, and wealth …. giving you authority and power over the weak … Yet you have never uttered a word about injustice, oppression, and tyranny … You dedicated your religious jurisprudence to the issue of the hijab. You concentrated on preaching to the women and eunuchs … You traded with everything religious in the name of God, Heaven and absolve and forgiveness.
في زمان جاهليتكم هذا ظهر من أخذوا بيدنا… ورفعوا الغشاوة عن عيننا… وكشفوا عن خداعكم لنا… وانتشاركم السرطاني بيننا… واستغلالكم لجهل البسطاء مننا
خرجتوا عن شرف الحوار المتحضر، فأنتم لا تعرفون له سبيلا يا جبهة المتنطعين… قتلتوا فرج فوده وطعنتوا نجيب محفوظ وقهرتوا خليل عبد الكريم وهددتم سعيد العشماوي وكفرتوا نصر حامد أبو زيد ولاحقتوا سيد القمني بلا كلل، ظانين أنكم منتصرين… ولكن هيهات يا جبهة المنتفعين… لن تنتصروا أبداً يا جماعة الأفاقين
لم يكتب أحداً منكم مفنداً أفكار أي من مفكرينا المحترمين حرفاً… لم تقارعوهم بالحجة وهم الذين لم يسألنا أحداً منهم أجرا… ولم يتربح منا منهم أحدا… ولم يفرضوا علينا أبدا اتباعهم فرضا… ولم يجبرونا على الإيمان بادعاءاتهم قهرا
In this era of your ignorance there appeared to us those who took us by the hand and opened our eyes, and exposed your deception and your cancerous spread among us.. And the advantage you take of the ignorant simpletons among us.
You abandoned the honorable civilized dialogue; you never knew it’s meaning instead you chose your murderous ways. You killed Farag Fouda and stabbed Naguib Mahfouz, you destroyed Khalil Abdul-Karim and threatened Said Ashmawi and turned Nasr Hamed Abu Zeid into a heretic … and Dr. Sayyid al-Qimni you have tirelessly chased, thinking that you are the victorious … But you, the users are crying to the moon … You will never win you hoodlums.
None of you not one could argue the ideas of our distinguished thinkers or characters … None of you dared to discuss or debate our thinkers. Unlike you … our thinkers whom we have not paid, who did not ask us to pay them and have not benefited monetarily from us … those who have not imposed on us to follow them…They have not forced us to believe in their words of wisdom.
لم يمنح أحد القمني جائزة الدولة متفضلاً… فموقفه وموقفنا من القائمين على الثقافة في بلادنا معروف واضحاً جالياً… لقد منحنا القمني قلوبنا وفتحنا له عقولنا هادياً… كشفكم أمامنا وأمام العالمين فنعتوه مرتداً كافراً… والله لولا يقيننا بخاتم المرسلين لظنناه نبيّنا
فلتحرموه من جائزته لو استطعتم، فرادي وجماعه… فقد منحناه نحن ما يستحيل على القضاء انتزاعه… منحناه حبنا واحترامنا عن كل قناعه… ولن يتبقي لكم الا الحسرة وأمل إبليس في الشفاعه
No one gave Dr Sayyid al-Qimni the state award, as a favour; his attitude and position based on the culture in our country is known and clear and honoured by all… Sayyid al-Qimni have given us back our hearts and opened our minds and guided us. He exposed you to us and to the world to see what you really are. So you declared him an apostate and infidel … God, if we did not believe that the messenger of God was the last messenger we would have thought al-Qimni a Prophet.
So try to deprive him of his award individually and collectively … For what we have bestowed on him is impossible to destroy or extract or take away … We gave and will carry on giving him our love and our respect out of conviction …but anguish and hope of the devil in the intercession would be left for you.

[Translation of the above statement is courtesy of blogger Mark Nader Behelak]

Female blogger Ghawayesh wrote a sarcastic post about the fear of questioning religion.

In her opinion, all the fuss Youssef El Badri created is because:

The snow-ball effect is going beyond all expectations. Logic is winning the battle and that is scaring the bile out of the bang gang!!

They want him dead. Elqemany is being sought after and his life is in danger. Why?

Because he is bad influence on the ideology of the Muslim youth. :)

  • محمد زكريا توفيق

    إعصار الإرهاب الفكرى بدأ يطغى على المنطقة دون رحمة أو هوادة. وعاجلا أم آجلا, سوف نصل إلى ما وصلت إليه أوروبا فى العصور المظلمة. والفرق بين بيننا وبين أوروبا هو أن أوروبا إستطاعت أن تنجو من هذا الوباء. وفهمت الدين كما يجب. وفصلته عن العلم. أما نحن, فلا نزال نخلط بين العلم والإيمان. ونحن لا نعرف مفهوم العلم أو معنى الإيمان. نستخدم العلم مكان الإيمان, والإيمان مكان العلم. التقدم له أسبابه. والتخلف لا يأتى من فراغ. وإذا لم نراجع أنفسنا ونعيد حساباتنا, سوف نضيع. وقد ضاعت أمم قبلنا كثيرة حين إختلط عليها الأمر, وحجبت الرأى, وحاربت العقل. فلم تعد تفرق بين الخطأ والصواب. أو الظلم والعدل.

  • syed ali shahid rizvi

    Well its nothing new. What surprised me is that it happened in the Egypt and the person was awarded.
    If this would have happened in some other country the Muslims would have demonstrated. But in Egypt a Muslim country every thing goes well if the state does not mind. Arab countries need democracy

  • Pingback: Egypt: Progressive Thinker Dr. Sayed El Qemany Challenged as “Apostate” for Receiving Egyptian Award for Social Sciences :: Responsible for Equality And Liberty (R.E.A.L.)

  • Pingback: Egyptian scientist called an apostate by islamists, for receiving science award

  • http://meedan.net George

    Thanks Marwa for this really excellent summary. We are also working to report the blogging coverage of this story here:

    http://beta.meedan.net/index.php?page=events&post_id=279844

    Keep up the great work!

  • redouane

    Islam is a totalitarian political ideology. The problem is that it iis a religion for which millions of people beleive in without question to the benefits of the backwards looking immams and foot soldiers. Unless people get educated about Islam’s factual and dubious origins and change their outlook on life, none will change in the Islamic nations, there will still be these severely brain damaged masses who will be only content with destruction of their own societies….by mean of linching anyone who dare to challenge the status quo and Sayed El Qemany is only a pretextual scapegoat of Wahabist’s own self-hatred and destruction of anything other than islamically defined….

  • Amgad Saber

    We need 10 more of Dr. Qimni to defeat those masked, hidden in religion false prophets,

    we should all give him our voice, heart and effort

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