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Destroy the idols,’ Egyptian jihadist calls for removal of Sphinx, Pyramids
by IhartU
November 13, 2012 at 12:24 PM

 http://english.alarabiya.net/articles/2012/11/12/249092.html

Destroy the idols,’ Egyptian jihadist calls for removal of Sphinx, Pyramids

Murgan Salem al-Gohary, an Islamist leader twice-sentenced under former President Hosni Mubarak for advocating violence, called on Muslims to remove such “idols.”  (Courtesy: Dream TV)
Murgan Salem al-Gohary, an Islamist leader twice-sentenced under former President Hosni Mubarak for advocating violence, called on Muslims to remove such “idols.” (Courtesy: Dream TV)

An Egyptian jihad leader, with self-professed links to the Taliban, called for the “destruction of the Sphinx and the Giza Pyramids in Egypt,” drawing ties between the Egyptian relics and Buddha statues, local media reported this week.

Murgan Salem al-Gohary, an Islamist leader twice-sentenced under former President Hosni Mubarak for advocating violence, called on Muslims to remove such “idols.”

“All Muslims are charged with applying the teachings of Islam to remove such idols, as we did in Afghanistan when we destroyed the Buddha statues,” he said on Saturday during a television interview on an Egyptian private channel, widely watched by Egyptian and Arab audiences.

“God ordered Prophet Mohammed to destroy idols,” he added. “When I was with the Taliban we destroyed the statue of Buddha, something the government failed to do.”

His comments came a day after thousands of ultraconservative Islamists gathered in Tahrir Square to call for the strict application of Sharia law in the new constitution.

But in retaliation to Gohary’s remarks, the vice president of Tunisia’s Ennahda party, Sheikh Abdel Fattah Moro, called the live program and told Gohary that famous historic military commander Amr ibn al-Aas did not destroy statues when he conquered Egypt.

“So who are you to do it?” he wondered. “The Prophet destroyed the idols because people worshiped them, but the Sphinx and the Pyramids are not worshiped.”

Gohary, 50, is well-known in Egypt for his advocacy of violence, Egypt Independent reported.

“He was sentenced twice, one of the two sentences being life imprisonment. He subsequently fled Egypt to Afghanistan, where he was badly injured in the American invasion. In 2007, he traveled from Pakistan to Syria, which then handed him over to Egypt. After Mubarak's fall in early 2011, he was released from prison by a judicial ruling,” the newspaper added.

In recent months, fears have surfaced that the ultra-conservative Salafi political powers may soon wish to debate new guidelines over Egyptian antiquities.

Islamists have swept the recent presidential and parliamentary elections in the country’s post-revolutionary stage, with the Muslim Brotherhood and the ultra-conservative Salafi Islamists rising to political power.

“The fundamental Salafis have demanded to cover Pharaonic statues, because they regard them to be idols,” Egyptian author on ancient history Ahmed Osman told Al Arabiya English, explaining that Salafi Muslims follow conservative religious principles which view statues and sculptures as prohibited in Islam.

“But so far the government has done nothing to indicate what is the future of Egyptian antiquities,” adds Osman.

Many hope that Egypt’s new President Mohammed Mursi will help usher better preservation of Egypt’s proud cultural heritage. Egyptian officials have recently announced the country will reveal more of its ancient buried treasures.

The tomb of Queen Meresankh III, the granddaughter of Khufu, of Great Pyramid fame, is set to be opened to tourists later this year, with the last resting places of five high priests also slated to be put on show.

Officials are also believed to be reopening the underground Serapeum temple at Sakkara, to the south of Cairo.

[Related article: The Jinx of the Sphinx: How Egypt’s ‘exploited’ past came full circle: http://english.alarabiya.net/articles/2012/09/11/237360.html]

Replies

  • pvtjokerus
    November 14, 2012 at 6:54 AM

    You are right!

    Quoting Clairwil:

    Quoting mikiemom:

    Something needs to be done about these people.

    Such as?

    It is their country, their statues, they have a right to destroy them.

    Either you stand for democracy, the right of a people to self-determine their own governance (even when you don't like their choice) or you don't.

    If you only let them elect people YOU approve of, it ain't democracy.


  • romalove
    November 14, 2012 at 7:13 AM
    That is one frightening interview.

    Quoting Clairwil:

    Here's the actual interview:

    a translation of part of it:

    Al-Abrashi:
    "Am I going to wake up tomorrow to find that, just as you did with the
    statue of Buddha, that you have demolished the Sphinx and the pyramids?"


    Al-Gohary: "That is dependent upon abilities and possibility. According to our Sharia, every pagan and idol must be destroyed."


    Al-Abrashi:
    "If you are in power, will you destroy the Sphinx and the pyramids and
    all the pharoanic statues and all the pharoanic artifacts?"


    Al-Gohary:
    "Everything, if it is a pagan statue or idol, that is worshiped or
    suspected to be worshipped, or is worshipped by one person on Earth,
    must be destroyed. We, or someone else, must destroy it."


    Al-Abrashi: "So you would destroy the Sphinx and the pyramids?"


    Al-Gohary: "Yes, we will destroy them, if they were worshipped before or afterwards."

  • muslimahpj
    November 14, 2012 at 9:01 AM


    Quoting Clairwil:

    Quoting muslimahpj:

    I dont believe he is any position of authority in the govt there, is he?

    The Al-Nour Party (Arabic: حزب النور‎, Ḥizb Al-Nūr) ("Party of The Light") is one of the political parties created in Egypt after the 2011 Egyptian Revolution. It has an ultra-conservative Islamist ideology, which believes in implementing strict Sharia law.

    It has been described as the political arm of the Salafi Call Society,[3] and "by far the most prominent" of the several new Salafi parties in Egypt,[4] which it has surpassed by virtue of its "long organizational and administrative experience" and "charismatic leaders." [3]

    In the 2011–12 Egypt parliamentary elections, the Islamist Bloc led by Al-Nour party received 7,534,266 votes out of a total 27,065,135 correct votes (27.8%). The Islamist Bloc gained 127 of the 498 parliamentary seats contested,[4] second-place after the Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party. Al-Nour party itself won 111 of the 127 seats.

    (source)

    Is he in a govt position or claims to be part of that party?

  • yourspecialkid
    November 14, 2012 at 9:17 AM

     That is so sad.  Egypt has done so much to preserve their historical treasures and those treasures are a big part of their economy.

    Egypt is on my bucket list...one of the first places we plan to visit upon retirement.....I am going to be dang mad if things over there are such a mess that I can't go.

  • Clairwil
    November 14, 2012 at 9:41 AM
    Quoting muslimahpj:

    Is he in a govt position or claims to be part of that party?

    My understanding, and I've had trouble verifying this one way or the other, is that the TV station accepted his credentials/reputation as having status within Salafi Dawah.  Whether that's in the leadership, or just an accredited spokesperson, I don't know.

  • Joqui
    by Joqui
    November 14, 2012 at 9:45 AM

    I wonder if "we" could make some sort of deal... can we move any of these "idols" if the country as a whole doesn't want them, would they be willing to sell to the highest bidder. I just couldn't see destroying them.

  • mehamil1
    November 14, 2012 at 9:48 AM

    I'M SO FUCKING PISSED ABOUT THAT!!!!! 

    Quoting caito:

    I'm still pissed over the goddamn library at Alexandria. >:(

    Quoting OHgirlinCA:

     Why anyone would want to destroy such beautiful works of History is beyond me :(


  • mehamil1
    November 14, 2012 at 9:53 AM

    Here's the thing, it's not completely understood how these were built in the first place. So taking them down and moving them somewhere else would be pointless since it would be difficult to put them back together. There is also a lot of underground stuff. So moving it is probably not an option. 

    Quoting Joqui:

    I wonder if "we" could make some sort of deal... can we move any of these "idols" if the country as a whole doesn't want them, would they be willing to sell to the highest bidder. I just couldn't see destroying them.


  • mehamil1
    November 14, 2012 at 9:53 AM

    These people are assholes and I hope they don't get their way. 

  • Clairwil
    November 14, 2012 at 10:17 AM
    Quoting mehamil1:

    Here's the thing, it's not completely understood how these were built in the first place. So taking them down and moving them somewhere else would be pointless since it would be difficult to put them back together. There is also a lot of underground stuff. So moving it is probably not an option.

    Eh?

    We may not know which of several possible methods they actually used (LINK) for each particular pyramid, but that is entirely different from saying that we couldn't replicate the effect, given sufficient time and money, now we have modern cranes easily capable of lifting even the largest stones used (80 tons).

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