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January 2013

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Al Qaeda’s Emir Calls on Egyptian Salafi Leader to Continue Revolution
By Thomas Joscelyn, Senior Fellow, the Foundation for the Defense of Democracy.
Reviewed by Norvell DeAtkine

Despite the creeping Islamization of Egypt being implemented by president Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood supporters, a call for a more accelerated pace by the Al Qaeda Emir Ayman al Zawahiri appeared on Egyptian websites recently. In his call for continued revolution, Zawahiri implores hard-line Egyptian Islamist leader, Hazem Salah Abu Ismael, to continue the revolution to achieve the imposition of Sharia law.

Differing from his calls for violent rebellion in Iraq and Afghanistan, Zawaziri, possibly in deference to the Muslim Brotherhood supporters, limited his revolutionary appeal to the conduct of peaceful demonstrations. He did, nevertheless, indirectly criticize the present regime in Egypt, by calling it an obstacle to the imposition of Sharia.

In his appeal for continued revolution, Zawahiri ridiculed the notion of Sharia law emerging from secular constitutions, saying that was giving to the people the supreme power that rightly belongs only to God. In this declaration, without specifically designating the Muslim Brotherhood and President Morsi, Zawahiri obviously criticized the more cautious approach of the Muslim Brotherhood toward creation of an Islamic State. He extolled the virtues of the Islamist leader Abu Ismael, who was removed as a candidate for president because his mother once held U.S. citizenship.

In this statement, some will rightly see the obvious chasm between the Muslim Brotherhood and the hard-line Salafi adherents of Abu Ismael. A more ominous factor to consider, unmentioned in the brief article, is the implication that the more radical Salafis should step in if President Morsi fails to address the massive problems facing Egypt.bluestar

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