U.S. jets over pyramids
A rising leader in the radical Islamic movement in Egypt that has become a major political player since the demise of Hosni Mubarak's regime says Christian churches may need to be blown up and Christians exterminated to allow the advance of Islamic law, or Shariah.
The comments come from Sheik 'Adel Shehato, a senior leader with the Egyptian Islamic Jihad terrorist group. The sheik was jailed in 1991 because of his positions but was released earlier this year in the revolution that removed Mubarak from power.
His interview with the Egyptian daily Roz Al-Yousef was translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute.
The sheik, a senior jihadist leader, responded to a question about using violence against Christians, who make up a substantial minority in Egypt.
"Are you against blowing up churches?" the newspaper interviewer asked Shehato.
"Yes and no," he replied. "The Christian is free to worship his God in his church, but if the Christians make problems for the Muslims, I will exterminate them. I am guided by the Shariah, and it stipulates that they must pay the jizya tax while in a state of humiliation."
"These positions of yours frighten us, as Egyptians," the interviewer said.
"I will not act [in ways] that contradict my faith just in order to please the people. ... We say to the Christians, convert to Islam or pay the jizya, otherwise we will fight you. The Shariah is not based on logic but on divine law. That is why we oppose universal, manmade constitutions."
MEMRI, which was founded in 1998 to monitor Middle East media, is an independent, nonpartisan nonprofit group that has offices in Washington, London, Rome, Jerusalem, Baghdad, Shanghai and Tokyo.
Advisers include winners of Nobels, the President Medal of Freedom and the U.S. Congress Gold Medal, such as Elie Wiesel, James Woolsey, John Bolton, John Ashcroft, William Bennett, Paul Bremer, Alan Dershowitz and Edgar Bronfman.
Among the many assertions made by the senior Islamic leader was that the Egyptian pyramids need to be closed down to tourists.
"There will be tourism for purposes of [medical] treatment, but the tourism sites of the pyramids, the Sphinx, and Sharm Al-Sheikh will be shut down, because my task is to get people to serve Allah rather than people. No proud Muslim will ever be willing to live off tourism profits, because the tourists come to drink alcohol and fornicate. [If they] want to come, they must comply with the conditions and laws of Islam. We will explain to them that, according to the Shariah, the pyramids are [from] a pagan and polytheistic age."
He continued with a description of the new state of arts and culture in Egypt, should he be in power.
"In Islam, there is no such thing as art. Painting, singing, and dancing are forbidden. Therefore, in the state there will be nothing but Islamic culture, for I cannot teach the infidel culture. … We will return to the decent culture of the Muslims and the Muslim forefathers, and to Islamic history," he said.
The far-reaching interview included his plans for worldwide government.
"As Muslims, we must believe that the Quran is our constitution, and that it is impossible for us to institute a Western democratic regime," he said. "I oppose democracy because it is not the faith of the Muslims. … According to Islam, it is forbidden for people to rule and to legislate laws, as Allah alone is ruler. Allah did not hand down the term [democracy] as a form of rule, and it is completely absent from the Arab and Islamic lexicon."
He said, "Once Allah's law is instated (sic), the role of the people will end and Allah will reign supreme."
A leader like himself would have no need to know what people want, he said.
"There is no consultation [by government leaders] with commoners, such as workers and fellahin, nor is there consultation over issues that contravene the Shariah," he said.
Muslims such as Mubarak who led Islamic nations but without strict adherence to Shariah were apostate, he warned.
"They are apostate infidels, as opposed to infidels like the Jews and Christians, and anyone who doubts that they are infidels is an infidel," he said.
Especially, he warned, Muslims must be wary of Christians and cannot be friends.
"I must support the Muslim and oppose the Christian," he said. "If there is a Christian who does me no harm, I will maintain limited contact with him. Islam [discusses] certain degrees of contact with the Christian, namely: keeping promises, dealing honestly with him, treating him kindly, and befriending him. The first three are allowed, but the fourth is deemed dangerous, for it contravenes the verse that says, 'O you who believe! Do not take my enemy and your enemy for friends…"
A worldwide Islamic kingdom, he explained, is a given.
"Of course we will launch a campaign of Islamic conquest throughout the world. As soon as the Muslim and Islam control Egypt and implement the Sharia, we will turn to the neighboring regions, Libya and Sudan to the south. All the Muslims in the world who wish to see the Shariah implemented worldwide will join the Egyptian army in order to form Islamic battalions, whose task will be to bring about the victory …
He said international relations will be simple.
"There are Muslims and there are infidels. We will have ambassadors in every country. We want to call all other countries to join Islam, and that will be the task of the ambassadors. If [they] refuse, there will be war," he said.
WND previously reported jihadists are boasting of the "paradise" the region is becoming since Mubarak was removed from power.
Additionally, there have been reports of a on a growing possibly jihadi threat not only inside the United States, but inside the U.S. government.