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

Al Arabiya reports that another Muslim extremist leader in Egypt is calling for the destruction of Egyptian antiquities.

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.”

“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.

What will happen? Under the current administration, which is preparing to open additional tombs to tourists, probably not much. But if the extremists gain further power in Egypt, who knows?

If you’re interested, and able to get to Seattle before January 6, 2013, now would be a good time to check out the Tutankhamun exhibit at the Pacific Science Center. The touring show is to be packed up and returned to Egypt after this final exhibition.

One Response to ‘Destroy the idols,’ Egyptian jihadist calls for removal of Sphinx, Pyramids

  1. If Murgan Salem al-Gohary is really hell bent on getting rid of idol worship, let him first start by obliterating the Kaaba in Mecca for it was the pre-Islamic house for idols and currently is effectively treated as an idol. And then let him decree an end to the “praise be unto him” blurt after every mention of Muhammad, for this surely sets their prophet up on a pedestal like an idol.

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