Prominent Islamist Sheikh Mohamed Amer has declared that Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi, supreme commander of the Egyptian armed forces, should be considered "leader of the faithful" due to his current capacity as military ruler of the country.
Amer was until recently the president of the Islamist group Ansar al-Sunna, based in the Lower Egyptian city of Damhour. However, he was sacked after making statements against the trial of Mubarak.
Amer said in statements to Al-Masry Al-Youm that rebelling against the military leader is forbidden by Islamic law, and confirmed that writings posted on the walls of Damhour concerning the inadmissibility of rebelling against the ruler were written by a member of the Islamist group. Amer said he assumed the message was referencing Tantawi, and therefore he did not prevent it from being written.
Amer asserted that he remained committed to his previous statements and fatwas, and said that he hopes to visit Mubarak in order to denounce the trial.
“A Hadith attributed to the Prophet (peace and blessings of God be upon him) records him as saying the sultan is God on earth, for God honors he who honors him and reviles he who reviles him,” said Amer, further indicating that those who rebelled against King Farouk were reviled in one way or another, in particular Mohamed Naguib and Gamal Abdel Nasser.
However, the sheikh said that Mubarak should not return to power. “Indeed, the Prophet’s words do not mean Mubarak should reclaim power, as his term in office has expired.”
Amer added that he does not recognize the existence of a revolution in Egypt from the perspective of Islamic law, and that the recent unrest is a sort of general chaos without one leadership or one idea. Regarding presidential elections, he added that he is still weighing the idea of running, in the event that no one from the ruling military council is nominated while still in service.
However, the sheikh said that Ahmed Shafiq is the one candidate who has left military service and for whom he would step aside in a presidential contest.
Amer also observed that some presidential hopefuls had made comments that would be considered atheistic under Islamic law.