Egyptian Cleric Says Democracy Is “Heresey”

Wagdy Ghoneim

Egyptian cleric Wagdi Ghoneim has given an interview to Al-Jazeera in which he said that Democracy is “founded on principles of heresy.” According to a MEMRI translation:

Following are excerpts from an interview with Egyptian cleric Wagdi Ghoneim, which aired on the Al-Jazeera network on August 5, 2011:

Wagdi Ghoneim: I do not acknowledge all these terms: secular, liberal, whatever… On thing I know: A Muslim loves and exalts his religion, and he wants to be ruled by Islam, because he is a Muslim. Let’s look at a simple example. Doesn’t a soccer fan love his team and want it to win the league, as well as the cup, the European Cup, the World Cup, and the African Cup? I have yet to see someone who hates his own religion.

Someone who hates his own religion is a heretic. Someone who tells you that he doesn’t want Islam is a heretic. If he tells you he doesn’t love Islam, he is a heretic. If he tells you that God does not rule us, he is a heretic. If he tells you that we do not need Islam today, he is a heretic.

Interviewer; I understand from this that you are accusing the liberal and secular movements in Egypt of heresy.

Wagdi Ghoneim: What?

Interviewer: Are you accusing the secular and liberal movements of heresy?

Wagdi Ghoneim: I’m telling you that I do not acknowledge zublublarism, secularism, or mulukhiya. All I know is that Islam rules, and a Muslim should instate the law of Allah.


Look, there should be a distinction between Truth and Falsehood, between Paradise and the Hellfire, between faith and disbelief, between a Muslim and an infidel.


There is no such thing as democracy. Democracy is founded on principles of heresy. The ten principles of democracy constitute utter heresy: the freedom of religion, the freedom of belief – we have a punishment for apostasy – the rule of the people by the people and not by Allah, the capital belongs to the people.


In Egypt, there are 80 million citizens, only five million of whom are Crusaders – if you feel like it, you can say that there are seven million. Fine, I don’t care. They are a minority. A minority in a Muslim country has a certain status. Don’t say everyone is equal. Don’t tell me that every citizen enjoys equal and complete rights. Says who?! How can you possibly draw a parallel between the majority and a minority?

Let’s say, just for the sake of argument, that there are 7 million of them – and by God, there are less… There are 70 million of us! So how can you talk to me about equal rights? Whenever I build a mosque, he deserves to build a church?! Says who? I’ve never seen a Christian pray outside his church because it’s too crowded. Look how we Muslims have to pray in the streets. I swear by God that the Christians get more rights than us.

A previous post discussed a Yemeni media report that Ghoneim had been detained at the Sana’a International Airport and was expected to be deported back to Qatar.

Wagdy Ghoneim  ((aka Wagdi Ghneim, Wagdi Ghuniem) is an Egyptian cleric known for his anti-Semitic speeches. In January 2005, Mr. Ghoneim agreed to be voluntarily deported from the U.S. based upon Department of Homeland Security concerns that his past speeches and participation in fund-raising activities could be supportive of terrorist organizations. Following deportations from Bahrain and South Africa, he appears to have settled in Qatar where MEMRI reported on remarks by Mr. Ghoneim which aired on Al-Jazeera TV and which praised violent Jihad and criticized the U.S. and Europe as “Godless” nations. Ghoneim is closely tied to the global Muslim Brotherhood and has been a frequent speaker or invited speaker at Brotherhood events including those sponsored by the Union of Islamic Organizations in Italy (UCOII), the Islamic Cultural Centre of Ireland (ICCI), and the League of Swiss Muslims. Known for his anti-semitic speeches, global media have also reported that he is closely associated with Hamas. Ghoneim was recently identified as one of sixteen individuals on a Home office list of people banned from the U.K. on the basis of ” unacceptable behaviour by seeking to foment, justify or glorify terrorist violence in furtherance of particular beliefs and to provoke others to commit terrorist acts. In July, the Egyptian newspaper Al-Masry Al-Youm reported that Mr. Ghoneim was added by Egyptian authorities to a list of 90 leaders of the “International Organization of the Muslim Brotherhood

An earlier post discussed Mr. Ghoneim’s remarks in which he called the toilet “the bathroom of Satan.”

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