From the Middle East Media Research Institute comes a recent video of Egyptian presidential candidate Bassem Khafagi on Al-Nas TV promising to “complete the implementation of Islamic law in Egypt” (HT: Zip).
From the MEMRI transcript:
Bassem Khafaji: Let me tell you, in all honesty, that as a Muslim Egyptian, I am convinced of [the need to] complete the implementation of Islamic law in Egypt. I do not hide this truth in any way, because it is in keeping with the inclination of the Egyptian people.
We Egyptians – both Muslims and non-Muslims – refer to the shari’a in many things. I often ask people: How did you get married? Wasn’t it according to the shari’a, regardless of whether you are Muslim or not? Weren’t you married in accordance with your religion? When somebody in our family dies, how we inherit him? Not in accordance with the shari’a?
No [candidate] should say that he is coming to implement the shari’a, because part of it has already been implemented. What the Egyptian people want is to complete this implementation. As president, I will personally assist in the completion of the correct implementation of the shari’a, by consulting the experts [in Islamic law].
It bears worth mentioning that Khafagi was deported from the US in 2003 after pleading guilty to immigration and bank fraud charges. At the time, he was community affairs director for the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), as the Washington Times noted following his guilty plea:
In September, Bassem Khafagi pled guilty to charges of making false statements on his visa application and bank fraud. He had been charged with funneling money to promote terrorist activities through the Islamic Assembly of North America (IANA), of which he was a founding member. The Washington Post reported in October that federal prosecutors described IANA’s objective as the “dissemination of radical Islamic ideology, the purpose of which was indoctrination, recruitment of members and the instigation of acts of violence and terrorism.” In January, the Syracuse Post-Standard revealed that Khafagi also had business ties to Rafil Dhafir, who has been accused of illegally sending money to Iraq. Dhafir is also a former vice president of IANA. Khafagi was sentenced to 10 months in prison and deported to Egypt. At the time of his arrest, Khafagi was a community affairs director of CAIR.