Omnipotence Needs No Defense and Other Obvious Theological Truths
Egypt is at the crossroads. Its emerging constitution, however, betrays the brightest hopes of the so-called Arab Spring. A draft approved by Egypt’s Constituent Assembly includes blasphemy laws and ignores the rights of women; it even permits child labor. Pray it’s just a rough draft. Citizens have taken to the streets in protest. We can only hope that Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi remembers his courageous early promises of basic human rights and religious freedom and reasserts his independence from the Muslim Brotherhood.
Morsi would do well to heed the words of Abdurrahman Wahid, the first democratically elected president of Indonesia, the country with the largest Muslim population in the world. Wahid wrote “Omnipotence needs no defense” as the title of his essay in the book, “Abraham’s Children.” While the title alone should be enough, he goes on to explain: “Omnipotent, and existing as absolute and eternal truth, nothing could possibly threaten God. And as ar-Rahman (the Merciful) and ar-Rahim (the Compassionate), God has no enemies. Those who claim to defend God, Islam, or the prophet are thus either deluding themselves or manipulating religion for their own mundane and political purposes.”