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  • » 11/15/2012, 00.00

    EGYPT

    Young Egyptians against Salafists, warn "Visit the Pyramids before it is too late"



    Salafist al-Gohary's call for the destruction of the Pyramids generates huge internet response. Attacking the pyramids is tantamount to attacking the Egyptian people. Critics slam President Morsi's embarrassing silence, accuse him of defending Muslim extremists for electoral reasons.

    Cairo (AsiaNews/Agencies) - "Visit the Pyramids before it is too late" is the ironic comment posted one of the more 100,000 Egyptians who reacted online to a statement by a Salafist leader Salem al-Gohary, who recently urged Egyptians to destroy the Pyramids and the Sphinx because they symbolise idolatry. "All the statues worshipped in the past or that could be worshipped should be torn down. This is our duty," he told Dream TV.

    Seen around the country, the video of the interview has had a negative impact on Islamists, who are accused of sharing al-Gohary's views and of planning to impose their will on all Egyptians through the constitution.

    Available on the TV show's webpage, the video was viewed by more than 100,000 people, eliciting thousands of comments.

    A young blogger, Sheikh Ahmad Raef, slammed the Salafist leader, noting that "whoever wants to destroy the Pyramids actually wants to destroy the Egyptian people. [. . .] We shall not allow anyone to wipe out our history. Egypt was once a civilisation ruled by pharaohs. We shall continue our ancestors' struggle against the Salafists' oppression and ignorance."

    Another commentator, Ahmad, challenged Sheikh Gohary's logic. "If the sheikh wants to destroy the Pyramids because he fears people might worship them, he should do the same with fire, which primitive men worshipped once, and with cows because they are a great threats to national peace."

    With more than a touch of irony, Ahmad also urged the Salafist leader "not to forget those people who like male and female genitals, which means that it is our duty to take precautions and mutilate our bodies."

    A blogger called Zeinobia urged the international community to act before it is too late. In his or her view, Gohary's position is not an isolated one. Many people connected with the Salafist movement would have no scruples to act. "It is necessary to intervene to protect the sites of Giza, Luxor and Aswan," the posting said, "where attempts to disfigure and destroy statues have already been made."

    Twitter has also seen an avalanche of comments against Gohary's statement, some using sarcasm to describe the Salafist leader and his fellow Jihadists as repressed, relying on violence as an outlet.

    One commentator, Ennoz, came up with a great idea, namely "put a big beard on the Sphinx, and a huge black burqa on each Pyramid, thus preserving the monuments by changing them to fit Qur'anic precepts."

    In reality, what has really shocked moderate Egyptians is President Morsi's silence.

    In response to such criticism, the Freedom and Justice Party said on its Twitter account that they would be the first to defend the Pyramids and all Egyptian monuments because it is a matter of national security.

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    See also

    13/11/2012 EGYPT
    Egyptian Salafist scholar calls for the destruction of "Pyramids and Sphinx"
    For Murgan Salem al-Gohary, pro-Taliban Salafist leader, they must go the way of the Buddhas of Bamyan (Afghanistan), which were blown up in March 2001. Egypt's tourist operators slam President Morsi and the authorities for doing nothing against the extremists. On Egypt Air, 250 stewardesses will wear the veil.

    24/11/2010 EGYPT
    Islamists lay siege to Coptic church near pyramids
    The Egyptian Union of Human Rights calls for local government chief to be dismissed for fuelling interreligious tensions. Police forces surround church under construction, seizing four concrete mixing vehicles. Thousands of Copts surround the building to protect it.

    06/11/2012 EGYPT
    New Coptic Orthodox patriarch says no to Sharia-inspired constitution
    In his first press release, Anba Tawadros II speaks out against Islamism's growing stranglehold on Egyptian society. For the head of the Coptic Church, Egypt is a great country because it is home to Christians and Muslims. Pope Benedict XVI and President Morsi send their greetings. Salafists reject any relations with Christians and occupy an area of the diocese of Shobra el-Khema (Cairo).

    04/01/2013 EGYPT
    Al-Azhar rejects Salafist threats, extends Christmas greetings to Orthodox Copts
    Ahmed al-Tayeb, grand imam al-Azhar, makes the announcement during a meeting with Coptic Patriarch Tawadros II. Coptic community prepares for Orthodox Christmas on 7 January.

    09/11/2012 EGYPT
    Islamists seize Tahrir Square to impose Sharia on Egypt
    Thousands of Muslim extremists bussed in from around the country occupy the place that came to symbolise the January 2011 pro-democracy demonstrations. Muslim Brotherhood and Salafist al-Nour Party leaders stay away from the rally, but many of their rank and files are present. Pro-democracy parties and Egypt's Christians are running out of time to stop Egypt from becoming an Islamic republic.



    Editor's choices

    VATICAN
    Pope: together with the faithful in China on 24 May to celebrate Our Lady of Sheshan



    During the Regina Caeli, Pope Francis speaks about the World Day of Prayer for the Church in China, instituted by Benedict XVI. Chinese Catholics must make a “personal contribution to communion among believers and to harmony in the whole society." AsiaNews Symposium on the Church in China is set for this week. Francis appeals for peace in the Central African Republic, and for loving “one another following the example of the Lord”. For him, “Sometimes conflicts, pride, envy, and divisions leave a blotch on the beautiful face of the Church.” Five new cardinals will be named, including a bishop from Laos.


    VATICAN-CHINA
    May 24, 2017: 'China, the Cross is Red', AsiaNews Symposium

    Bernardo Cervellera

    The event will be held to mark the World Day of Prayer for the Church in China. A title with many meanings: the Cross is red from the blood of the martyrs; From attempts to suffocate the faith with state control; Bceause of the contribution of hope that Christianity gives to a population tired of materialism and consumerism that is seeking new moral criteria. The theme is also about the great and unexpected religious rebirth in the country. Guests to include: Card. Pietro Parolin, Msgr. Savio Hon, the sociologist of religions Richard Madsen, the testimonies of Chinese priests and laity.


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