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Muslim television preacher returns to Egypt
Amr Khaled urged youth to practice peaceful coexistence and be tolerant of different cultures and ideas.
February 26th, 2011
12:57 PM ET

Muslim television preacher returns to Egypt

By Lauren E. Bohn, Special to CNN

As Egyptians returned to Tahrir Square to push for the realization of more political demands, one of the world’s most influential Muslim television preachers delivered his first address in Egypt since President Hosni Mubarak left office.

“I don’t have a stronger message than this: Kill yourself working for Egypt,” Amr Khaled told a crowd of thousands.

Khaled traveled to Sohag, a poor governorate in Upper Egypt, for the first time to deliver lectures. He announced the launch of a microfinance project and literacy and politic awareness campaigns.

Hagar Ashraf, 15, said it was the best day of her life. “It’s the first time to see him. I always saw him on television talking about hope,” she said. ‘That’s why I love him. Just hope. Nothing more.”

Heralded by many in the West as a voice of Islamic moderation, Khaled urged youth to practice peaceful coexistence and be tolerant of different cultures and ideas.

“The world is opening up for all of us,” he said.

It certainly is for Khaled who was one of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people in 2007. He has been banned from speaking in his native Egypt for the past eight years.

Khaled’s trademark brand of “faith-based development” and massive popularity among the nation’s young and restless was a thorn in the side of Mubarak’s regime. He was forced to leave Egypt several times as critics worried he was inspiring youth not only to change their lives, but also the regime. He returned to Cairo on January 28 to show his support for the revolution that wound up sweeping Mubarak from power.

“Blood has started to run in Egyptians’ veins,” he said. “I’m using all this energy and opportunity to, insha’allah, inspire youth to dedicate their lives to improving Egypt.”

Despite efforts made by Mubarak’s regime, the sharp-suited 43-year-old has turned into a celebrity over the years. Khaled was greeted with crowds, gifts and requests for autographs on his early morning flight and on Sohag’s dusty side streets.

Youth jumped on Khaled’s car as he left his lecture in the town’s square. They all wanted a piece of a man they say has inspired them not only to be better Muslims, but better people.

Earlier this month, the Washington Post reported that Facebook users from Egypt created 32,000 groups and 14,000 pages during the revolution; the page with the most fans from Egypt was Khaled’s.

With almost unparalleled popularity among youth in Egypt’s newly democratic space, many have questioned whether Khaled will run for a political position in the country’s future government.

“Why not? All the options now are open,” he said, adding that he’d only do so if it would “improve the renaissance” rather than simply ride the wave of the revolution.

Abodoma Fathy Mohammed, a 21-year-old medical student, joined Khaled’s Life Makers branch in Sohag a few years ago and says Khaled’s foray into politics would naturally extend the “amount of people he’s changed like me,” adding,  “you need government and not just NGOs for development.”

Khaled shuffled through Sohag meeting with community leaders, including priests and Sohag’s governor. According to Khaled’s team, some signs showed business might return to usual earlier this week as security forces and local government, worried about continued workers’ strikes and demonstrations in the poor governorate, told Khaled and his team they couldn’t come to Sohag.

“We simply went ahead anyway,” said Gamal Al Etribi, head of Life Makers in Egypt. “It’s still the mind of the old government, but hopefully the power (of the revolution) will change this.”

Ayman, 40, hopes so. “We have a large amount of ignorance in Sohag. It’s a village system, and we suffer a lot,” he said, making ‘asab, a sugar-cane juice in his store across the square where Khaled delivered a lecture after Friday’s prayer. “We need people like him to come here.”

A few streets down, Salafis gathered at Al Haq mosque to listen to a lecture by another formerly censored figure, the prominent Salafi Sheikh Yasser Borhamy from Alexandria. A critic of the former government, Borhamy’s website (salafvoice.com) had been shut down by Mubarak’s regime in the past.

“Look, they have different points of view, different than Khaled’s maybe,” said Life Maker Hassam Marey. “But after all, we are all Muslims. It’s just a matter of applications. We are all brothers.”

Though an accountant-turned-preacher, youth like Heba El Said, 23, say Khaled has been an inspirational spiritual leader.

“Amr Khaled advises us and speaks to our hearts. He doesn’t give us orders on what I should or shouldn’t do,” she said. “I like, no, I love Amr Khaled and his way to discuss, his way to develop, his way to change.”

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Egypt • Islam

soundoff (291 Responses)
  1. theSyrianRevolution

    http://www.facebook.com/Syrian.Revolution

    March 4, 2011 at 8:14 am |
  2. Muneef

    Al-Anbiya sura 21:
    In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful 
    Verily this community of yours is a single community, and I am your Lord; so worship Me. (92) And they cut up their affair among them: , all are unto Us returners. (93) Whosoever worketh righteous works, and he is a believer, there shall be no denial of his endeavour; and We are for him the Writers. (94).

    Al-Mumenoon sura 23:
    And lo! this your religion is one religion and I am your Lord, so keep your duty unto Me. (52) But they (mankind) have broken their religion among them into sects, each sect rejoicing in its tenets. (53) So leave them in their error till a time. (54).

    http://channel.nationalgeographic.com/episode/the-human-family-tree-3706/time-line

    March 3, 2011 at 7:23 pm |
  3. Muneef

    Guess all in any Religion or Faith have among them which are called as;
    -The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.

    Those all are there in a Chase after on thing in mind as told to be;

    -A Fistful of Dollars.

    So non is perfect as those are among all nations. 

    March 2, 2011 at 7:11 pm |
  4. sara

    all the comments i read are racist and extrem and not based on any knowledge except this from the abusive media
    i see contradiction between what you said and what you do

    March 1, 2011 at 1:58 pm |
    • Muneef

      Who did and what that was done? Kindly explain because nothing yet happened if changes do not take place to the better of mankind in general to majorities and not minorities.... Map is changing take notice of that and hunter today is the hunted...just watch when most of your fears become true because you have erupted it to become as it is happening today...there will be an big exudes coming up consist ion of bare footed people armed with stones...to change the world from the injustice that been lived under your support to such rotten leaders and systems...you were not able to solve the Somalian problem alone so how would you be able to solve all the African continent that will be marching your way starting by Europe.... Sara wake up world is changing and it is time you should change with it before it is too late...peace

      March 1, 2011 at 7:13 pm |
  5. Tarek elsayed

    A)THE SEARCH FOR TRUTH IN OUR WORLD(whats the real picture behind all whats happening today)

    B)WHY IS MOST OF OUR REGIMS ROTTON?

    C)WHY DOES OUR REGIMS BLAME IT ON THE WEST?

    D)WHY DOES THE WORLD RUN FROM RELIGIONS?

    E)WHAT IS DEMOCRACY ?

    F) WHY DOESNT DEMOCRACY OPEN PREVIOUS MENTIONED POINTS?

    G)CAN OUR GENERATION OPEN UP WHAT WAS FORBIDEN IN THE PAST?

    H)WHERE CAN WE START SEARCHING DEEP FOR SOLUTIONS ?

    I) WHATS OUR NATIONS OLDEST REFERENCES AND BOOKS?

    J)IS OUR OLDEST BOOKS OUR HOLY BOOKS?

    K) IF THE HOLY BOOKS IS OUR ORIGINS AND BELIEFS ,WHY DONT WE START THERE?

    L)ARE WE ALWAYS GOING TO BE AFRAID OF OPENING WHAT OUR ANCESTORS HAVE BEEN AFRAID OF?

    M)WHY DONT WE SOLVE OUR MATTERS BY STARTING FROM ITS ORIGIN?

    N)WHY DONT WE GATHER NATIONS BY STARTING TO UNDERSTAND THEIR
    ORIGINAL BELIEFS?

    O)IS REALLY OUR SOLUTION IS WHAT WE ARE AFRAID OF?

    LETS START CHANGING THE WORLD OURSELVES

    February 28, 2011 at 8:14 pm |
  6. peaceforall

    Why can't we all just put all our differences aside, religions or other aspects, and try to see the similarities of us? We're all humans and we all deserve the right to practice our personal beliefs, whatever that may be. I'm a Muslim, and we are taught to believe that people should be treated with fairness. If some people of a certain faith fail to represent that, don't judge everyone by their actions.

    Anyways, I think we'll never progress as a society if we do not all treat each other with kindness and equality. I hope we will all learn to set aside our differences in belief and learn to respect other people's religions and cultures.

    February 27, 2011 at 9:55 pm |
  7. maysoon qassas

    we r as arabs & muslims proud of amr khaled . and i think that humanity will be proud of him also . god bless him & bless every body try to make a happy & Successful life on a base of faith 4 all humanity .

    February 27, 2011 at 7:41 pm |
  8. Proud to be a Muslim

    a message to all of you..
    Please read more about Islam and then decide..who is Wrong ..and who is Right
    Jesus is just a great prophet
    there is many logical questions that i have..but i will ask one question to christians:
    Is the christianswho obey God will be in heaven??>>and your answer is yes
    Is the other christians who disobeyed God will be in heaven??>>the answer is also yes
    so..where is the justice of your god ???????
    please think and try to know more about Islam and our prophet muhammad..
    to contact with me : fayrouz667@gmail.com on Facebook..to know more about Islam
    Is

    February 27, 2011 at 6:29 pm |
    • Hany

      Lady, u asked a question and assumed the reply and replied to ur reply!!!!!!????? what non sense is this!!!
      Well the answer is nobody know who'll go to heavan or hell, only god knows, i cant say that neither can you
      However if u want us to know about islam, no thanks, arent u saying that the only religion for god is islam!!!!! is this the fair you are talking about!!!!!!!!!!

      February 28, 2011 at 3:34 am |
    • Muneef

      Hani.

      Think what the above mentioned was meaning to say is to go back to Abraham faith the main faith which those three came out of it....
      This move will take you back to square one monotheism towards God and no Son or 3 in 1 issues which may have leaden astray...having made people believe whether being Good or Bad still you will end to pradise because some one else paid the dues in advance??

      Al-Anaam sura 06: verse 164:
      Each soul earneth only on its own account,nor doth any laden bear another's load.

      Al-Isra sura 17: verse 15:
      No laden soul can bear another's load.

      Fatir sura 35: verse 18:
      And no burdened soul can bear another's burden.

      Az-Zumar sura 39: verse 07:
      No laden soul will bear another's load.

      An-Najm sura 53: 
      That no laden one shall bear another's load.

      February 28, 2011 at 6:43 pm |
  9. faz

    i LV him n th future is brighter

    February 27, 2011 at 6:04 pm |
  10. Muneef

     ولقد يسرنا القرءان للذكر فهل من مدكر
    "And indeed We have made easy (yassarna: we made easy, facilitated) the Qur'an for understanding and keeping in mind (al-Dhikr= to keep in mind, the recollection, that which is thought over). So is there anyone who bears this in their mind?" (54:17, 22, 32 and 40)
     
     اولئك يسرعون فى الخيرت وهم لها سبقون
    "It is those who race with one another to improve the quality of life for humanity (al-Khayrat: to surpass in goodness), and it is those who are the forerunners (of mankind)." (23:61) 
    ومن احسن قولا ممن دعا الى الله وعمل صلحا وقال اننى من المسلمين
    Who is better in saying than one who invites to God, and perform deeds that create justice and peace (3milu saliha: works that reform and restore the balance), and says: "I am one of those who gives over to peace (al-Muslimin from salama: to give over to peace and welfare)." (41:33)
     
     يايها الذين ءامنوا كونوا قومين لله شهداء بالقسط ولا يجرمنكم شنان قوم على الا تعدلوا اعدلوا هو اقرب للتقوى واتقوا الله ان الله خبير بما تعملون
    "O you who acknowledge [Truth] and create security (amanu: trust, acknowledge, peace & security). Be steadfast & stand up (qawwamin from Qama: to stand up firmly for something) for God [on earth] bearing witness with justice, equity & fairness (al-Qist: to be fair and just even with people who do not deserve it) and let not be incited by hatred (shana'an) for a people, to not act with absolute equity, impartiality & justice (ta'dilu from al-Adl). To act with absolute equity & impartial justice (adilu) is the closest (aqraba from Qaraba: to be near, close) to the duty to guard against what harms mankind (al-Taqwa from ita'qu: to be on guard/aware of what harms, to be shielded). And be aware of God (atqu Allah). Surely God is aware of all your actions." (5:8)
     
     لكل جعلنا منكم شرعة ومنهاجا ولو شاء الله لجعلكم امة وحدة ولكن ليبلوكم فى ما ءاتىكم فاستبقوا الخيرت الى الله مرجعكم جميعا فينبئكم بما كنتم فيه تختلفون
    "For each [community] among you have We have appointed a way of progress (Shir'ah: a way to a watering-place, path where everything meets/gets nourishment)  and way of life (minhaj: open road, path of life). And if God had so willed, He could surely have made you all one single community: but [He willed it otherwise] in order to test you by means of what He has vouchsafed unto, you. So, outdo one another in doing good to the society. To God you will all return, and He will then make you understand wherein you differed." (5:48)
     
     والذين استجابوا لربهم واقاموا الصلوة وامرهم شورى بينهم ومما رزقنهم ينفقون   والذين اذا اصابهم البغى هم ينتصرون  وجزوا سيئة سيئة مثلها فمن عفا واصلح فاجره على الله انه لا يحب الظلمين  ولمن انتصر بعد ظلمه فاولئك ما عليهم من سبيل  انما السبيل على الذين يظلمون الناس ويبغون فى الارض بغير الحق اولئك لهم عذاب اليم  ولمن صبر وغفر ان ذلك لمن عزم الامور
    "They respond to their Maintainer of Evolution (Rabb: to sustain the evolution towards maturity) by establishing the movement towards [Peace] (Salat: to move towards something, i.e. we are guided to the state of peace 10:25), and conduct their affairs by mutual consultation [Democracy] (Shura: consultation, debate, counsel another), and they keep open for the welfare of others what We have given them. And whenever gross injustice is inflicted upon them, they defend themselves and stand up for their rights (yantasiruna: to defend or aid themselves). But requiting evil may become an evil in itself! (sayyi: to hurt or tyrannize others) So, whoever pardons and makes peace (aslaha: to restore the balance), his reward rests with God. Surely, He does not love the violators of human rights (alThzalimeen: Those that put themselves above others, from Thzalima=to displace something). Certainly, those who stand up for their rights, when injustice befalls them, are not committing any error. The blame is on those who oppress people and cause disorder on the earth resorting to aggression, unprovoked. They are the ones for whom there is an painful retribution. And for he who is patient, perseveres (sabara: to persevere and keep one's charachter) and forgives and protects (ghafara: to protect against consequences) then that is an indication of strength." (42:38-43).

    Research link for more resources or (Gems you will find it) Insha'a Allah;

    http://www.deenresearchcenter.com/ResearchLibrary/EnglishLibrary/QuranonGodandHumanism/tabid/107/language/nl-NL/Default.aspx

    February 27, 2011 at 5:53 pm |
  11. Muneef

    @Sheikh imam Amr Khalid.
    Would like to ask if I the following link towards those seemingly Gems for free as a resource for light of my Deen increasing my knowledge,wisdom,conducts,duties and understanding history, can contents of be in line of being pure for God by free from any political motivation or calls for extremism,since I know I can trust you having followed your programs and made me know that you are your call are full of kind loving humenly feeling passion towards God Allah,books,prophets and the (humans out of mankind) since I think they can't be one word,surely have different meanings....!

    (http://www.deenresearchcenter.com/ResearchLibrary/EnglishLibrary/QuranResearchTranslationsTafsirArabic/tabid/98/language/en-US/Default.aspx)

    February 27, 2011 at 5:00 pm |
  12. asmaa

    the egyptians civilization is over than 7 thousands years .and we are in 2011 that mean there is only 2011years since the birth .so who controlled the world before the birth????????????????

    February 27, 2011 at 4:39 pm |
    • Muneef

      asmaa.

      Help me to know understand ,who's birth were you talking about?

      February 28, 2011 at 6:26 pm |
  13. Message to all Christians

    Did you know that the 13 families who are the blood lines that make up the illuminati are about to put the anti-christ in power with a new made up religion. His name is lord maiterya and he make others belive in the New Age Movement. This will happen after freemasons, skull & bones, the bilderberg group, C.I.A., C.F.R., black helicopter, bohamian grove etc... build the New World Order. They are also using celebrities like Jay-Z, Lady Gaga, Lil Wayne, Justin Bieber, Rhianna etc... to use fans at concerts to be apart of satanic occult rituals. OMG tell everybody about HAARP project, project blue beam, 9/11 was an inside job for freedoms to be taken away, FEMA concentration camps etc... The reptillians are taking over and they eat Mexican babies.

    February 27, 2011 at 3:27 pm |
  14. zach

    My god is better! His son lived the pain of human suffering!

    NO MY GOD IS BETTER!

    Oh really!? Really fool!!?

    STOP LOOKING AT ME SWAN!!!

    You all need to take a deep breath maybe say a few Woosah's and act like big kids. Ok everyone? put ur big kid pants on? is that ok?

    p.s. on first blush this khaled chap doesn't sound half bad. Interesting to see what others say of him and how he acts in he near future

    February 27, 2011 at 9:40 am |
  15. Alina77

    As long is there no Muslims "Glenn Beck", I will be respectful to people that want peas and talk about it.

    February 27, 2011 at 9:12 am |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.