January 8, 2015

JONAH GOLDBERG: Call for new thinking on Islam ignored: Prior to Paris terror attack, Egyptian president warned imams of dangers of extremism.

The slaughter in Paris Wednesday shocks the conscience but hardly shocks the intellect. In other words, no one is surprised that Muslim extremists are capable of doing this sort of thing. And nearly everyone expected in the early moments of this story that the culprits would be revealed to be Islamic extremists.

It is a sad commentary that the more shocking and, arguably more significant, event came a week earlier in Cairo. Egyptian president (and strongman) Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Sisi delivered a possibly epochal speech at Al-Azhar University on New Year’s Day. More than a thousand years old, Al-Azhar is considered by many to be the epicenter of scholarly Islam.

Addressing the assemblage of imams in the room, al-Sisi called for a “religious revolution” in which Muslim clerics take the lead in rethinking the direction Islam has taken recently.

Did they listen?

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