Monday, September 25, 2006

Egyptian Islamist fanatical "professor", `Abd As-Sabur Shahin, would have been a great addition to the staff of the kooky inquisitors of medieval times. He was behind the campaign against Nasr Hamid Abu Zayd and he is now behind the campaign against Hasan Hanafi. And Hanafi is not a secularist: he is by my standards at least a moderate Islamist; I once had a very long exchange about secularism with him at the house of Halim Barakat. He is a very modest and very knowledgeable man who does not agree with the fanatics of AlAzhar. Shahin started the campaign because Hanafi said in Alexandria that the Qur'an is like a "supermarket" (i.e. you can pick and choose). Who can disagree with that? It is also true about the Bible of course. Hanafi also said that there are contradictions in the Qur'an. Who can disagree with that? And who gave Shahin the power and the authority to declare the infidelity of others? Those fanatics were unleashed by Anwar Sadat and the House of Saud in the early 1970s after the death of Nasser, and they have been terrorizing Arab political and popular cultures ever since.