Terror in Egypt —as jihadi bigwig recants

A bomb tore through a crowded market in Cairo Feb. 22, killing at least four people, including a French tourist. The attack, which was apparently targeted on Westerners, took place beside the 12th century al-Hussein mosque, a notable tourist attraction in the old quarter of Egypt’s capital. About 17 were wounded in the explosion, including 11 French visitors and one Austrian. (The Telegraph, Feb. 22)

Meanwhile, a founder of Egypt’s Islamist movement, Sayyid Imam “Dr. Fadl” al-Sharif, who is serving a life sentence in a Cairo prison, has released a book harshly critical of al-Qaeda and its emulators, writing that “every drop of blood that was shed or is being shed in Afghanistan and Iraq is the responsibility of bin Laden and Zawahiri and their followers.”

Sharif also called the 9-11 attacks immoral and counterproductive. “Attacking America has become the shortest road to fame and leadership among the Arabs and Muslims,” he wrote. “But what good is it if you destroy one of your enemy’s buildings, and he destroys one of your countries? What good is it if you kill one of his people, and he kills a thousand of yours? That, in short, is my evaluation of 9-11.”

Sharif had harsh words for Muslims who move to the West only to form sleeper cells for terror attacks in their adopted countries. “If they gave you permission to enter their homes and live with them, and if they gave you security for yourself and your money, and if they gave you the opportunity to work or study, or they granted you political asylum,” he wrote, then it is “not honorable” to “betray them, through killing and destruction.” (Haaretz, Feb. 22)

There have been cases before of old-school Islamists dissing al-Qaeda as ongepotchket yahoos. As we’ve said before, if you are looking for real orthodoxy, don’t turn to ultra-zealots who fly jets into buildings.

See our last posts on Egypt and al-Qaeda.

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