Tuesday, January 29, 2013
Egyptian Salafist Jihadist group founder The Other Zawahiri: "Political situation in Egypt contradicts God, we reject democracy."
Egyptian Salafist Jihadist group founder The Other Zawahiri: "Political situation in Egypt contradicts God, we reject democracy."(IMRA). By Waleed Abdul Rahman.
Cairo, Asharq Al-Awsat—Mohamed al-Zawahri is the brother of Al-Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri and a founding member of the Salafist Jihadist group in Egypt. He was arrested against the backdrop of the assassination of former Egyptian President Anwar Sadat, spending a total of 14 years in prison. After his release, he left the country, living abroad in numerous countries across the Arab world including Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Sudan and the United Arab Emirates. He was convicted and sentenced to death in absentia in 1998 in the “Returnees from Albania” case. Zawahiri returned to Egypt following the ouster of the Hosni Mubarak regime on 11 February 2011. He was arrested on his return, but acquitted of all charges against him by military tribunal last March. Since his return to Egypt, the other Zawahiri has offered to mediate talks between the Egyptian military and Sinai-based jihadist organization, as well as between the Islamists and the United States, claiming that if anybody can talk his brother—Al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri—out of violence, it’s him.
The following is part of the interview:
[Asharq Al-Awsat] What’s your view of the situation in Egypt on the second anniversary of the Egyptian revolution?
[Al-Zawahiri] Thankfully the situation is improving in terms of lifting the oppression from the Muslims and in terms of our freedoms and this includes promoting what we view as being the True Religion. However we are still very far from the primary objective of implementing Islamic Sharia law.
[Asharq Al-Awsat] What about the political situation?
[Al-Zawahiri] In our view, the political situation in Egypt is contrary to the laws of God, therefore we are calling for correct and legitimate means, which requires discipline, to be used to implement Islamic Sharia law. From our view, the best way to achieve national reconciliation is via the full implementation of Islamic Sharia law. This is because society has fallen prey to partisanship . . . and this is something that cannot lead to stability. History is full of examples of this, while in eras when Islamic law was implemented non-Muslims lived in harmony under the law of God and history does not recall any cases of non-Muslims becoming fed up with Islamic Sharia law.
[Asharq Al-Awsat] How do you view the security situation? How can we resolve this to return security and stability to the Egyptian street?
[Al-Zawahiri] We can assess the security situation from two points. First, in terms of the repressive practices and the injustices carried out against the Muslim people. These have stopped, and this is because such practices were a tool to protect the interests of the regime, not the interests of the people. Since the security apparatus was not utilized for its original function—to protect the people’s interests—it deteriorated. Second, in terms of protecting the interests of the people, the least that can be said about this is that this situation is very bad and may continue for some time. This is because the roots of the former regime remain in place to a certain degree and continue to pursue their own interests. Therefore it is natural for them to attempts to harm the people that toppled their leader and removed the bulk of their interests. This anger is expressed in these remnants being behind the chaos and unrest that is happening on the Egyptian street now. Many of their members have committed crimes, so they do not want to see any stability. Therefore the proposed solution to return stability to the Egyptian street once more is via the full implementation of Islamic Sharia law. Here I would like to stress that my intention is to restore security, not tyranny, which the people may view as being comfortable. Therefore the only way to restore security is to implement Islamic Sharia law. These unequivocal texts (of law), which deter all those who contravene them and does not favor one party over another, are the only solution.
[Asharq Al-Awsat] Why didn’t you join a political party in the post-revolution period?
[Al-Zawahiri] We are of the view that democracy contravenes the True Religion of Islam, as this places sovereignty outside of God’s hands, and so we reject democracy and all its mechanisms and tools.Read the full interview here.