‘Political religious groups have no solutions’

  • 3 January 2016

Despite promises of bringing change and reform, political groups that use religion are often found to have no practical development plans once in power, as demonstrated by the failure of the Muslim Brotherhood, said a prominent Qatari scholar during a lecture at the Emirates Centre for Strategic Studies and Research held on Wednesday.

Dr Abdul Hamid Al Ansari, a professor of Islamic politics, and the former dean of Islamic Law at Qatar University, delivered the talk to an audience of scholars and members of the media, and explained that it was important to challenge political religious groups and their ideology.

“These movements including the Muslim Brotherhood have their books in the hundreds, but are any of their theories and plans applicable? The Arab Spring has disclosed the truth about their assumptions, and the public has discovered their lies. The reality is that these groups only have ideas and theories but [show] no tangible results,” he said.

“When the Muslim Brotherhood reached power they had something called the renaissance project, the Egyptian public however soon found out that there was nothing real about this project, and it was mainly based on theories than actual applicability,” he added.

Al Ansari also explained that political religious groups are opportunistic, taking advantage of societies’ discontent. “Their programmes and slogans are all reactionary, with the aim of convincing people that they are the alternative and the better solution. Therefore they take advantage of societal problems,” he explained.

The professor went on to highlight how such groups merely use religion as a means of monopolising their power base.

“When their ideas and speeches are challenged, they presume and claim their opponents are against Islam, and this is because they want to impose their own hegemony,” he said.

“The umbrella of Islam includes everyone, so political religious groups should not behave like they are the only ones who properly represent Islam. They cannot pretend that their understanding of Islam is the only correct one,” he added.