Cairo, 23 Rabiul Akhir 1434/5 March 2013 (MINA) – Mohamed El-Zawahiri, prominent Salafist leader and brother of Al-Qaeda leader Ayman El-Zawahiri, declared on Monday (4/3) that democratic elections violated Islamic Law since they put “sovereignty in the hands of the people and not God.”
According to Ahram reports monitored by Mi’raj News Agency (MINA), in an interview with Turkish news agency Anadolu, El-Zawahiri stressed his rejection of “the secular system and its mechanisms.” He went on to call for the implementation of “true Sharia [Islamic Law] as based on genuine religious texts.”
He added that he would not give in to current political realities or abandon his principles, which, he said, he planned to promote among the public.
“Based on past experience, and as seen in several countries, elections do not lead to the application of Islamic Law,” he asserted.
He noted, however, that Egypt’s current system of governance under President Mohamed Morsi was “much better than before,” as there was now much greater scope for preaching and expressing one’s opinion than there was under the former regime.
“But the current situation is still far from what we dream of,” El-Zawahiri added.
El-Zawahiri’s statements come ahead of Egypt’s second post-revolution parliamentary elections, slated to kick off on 22 April, with the candidacy registration period set to begin on Saturday.
The country’s first post-revolution People’s Assembly (the lower, legislative house of parliament) was dissolved last year by Egypt’s then-ruling Supreme Military Council based on a controversial court ruling.
In 1999, Mohamed El-Zawahiri was sentenced to death in absentia for an attacks in Egypt, including the 1997 killing of 62 foreign tourists in the Upper Egyptian city of Luxor.
Having been extradited from the UAE the same year, he was released in March 2011 as part of an amnesty extended to political prisoners by the ruling military council. He was re-arrested by authorities a few days later.
Last September, in an interview with American news broadcaster CNN, El-Zawahiri proposed a truce (hudna) between the West and the Islamist current, asserting that he was in a “unique position to help end the violence.” (T/P03/E1)
Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)