A Muslim Brotherhood rally in Cairo on Friday at the Sunni world’s most
prestigious center of learning turned into a call for genocide, with protesters
pledging to “one day kill all Jews.”
Eldad Beck, Ynet’s Arab affairs
correspondent, reported from Cairo that some 5,000 people attended the rally at
al-Azhar Mosque, convened to coincide with the anniversary of the approval of
the 1947 UN Partition Plan for Palestine.
The event, organizers said, was
aimed at rallying Egyptians behind the “battle against Jerusalem’s
Speakers at the demonstration condemned “Zionist occupiers”
and “treacherous Jews,” and organizers distributed maps of the Old City
highlighting areas where “Zionists are aiming to change Jerusalem’s Muslim
Muhammad Ahmed el- Tayeb, the imam of al-Azhar Mosque, told
the crowd: “Al- Aksa Mosque is currently under an offensive by the Jews... We
shall not allow the Zionists to Judaize al-Quds [Jerusalem]. We are telling
Israel and Europe that we shall not allow even one stone to be moved
Protesters chanted, “Tel Aviv, Tel Aviv: Judgment Day has come,”
and passages from the Koran vowing that “one day we shall kill all the
Al-Azhar Mosque is part of al-Azhar University, a millennium- old
compound in central Cairo that is the world’s leading center of Arabic
literature and Sunni jurisprudence.
Beck quoted an elementary school
teacher outside the mosque telling him, “All Egyptian Muslims are willing to
embark on jihad for the sake of Palestine.”
“Why is the US losing in
Afghanistan?” he asked.
“Because the other side is willing and wants to
die. We have a different mentality than that of the Americans and
Meanwhile, late last week, Egypt’s Youm7 newsweekly reported that
the Brotherhood’s spiritual leader, Yusuf al-Qaradawi, had returned to Cairo for
the first time since his dramatic return in February from a half-century in
The immensely popular television preacher arrived at Cairo Airport
on Wednesday “to follow the incidents in Tahrir Square,” the center of
Qaradawi hosts the weekly program Shari’a and
Life on Al Jazeera. Exiled from Egypt in 1961, he has since resided in the
Persian Gulf emirate of Qatar.
Following February’s ouster of President
Hosni Mubarak, Qaradawi made a triumphant return to Tahrir, where he led at
least 200,000 Egyptians in mass prayer.
The 85-year-old is hailed by
supporters as an engaging and telegenic preacher, and vilified by critics for
his often venomous attacks on Americans, Shi’ites and Jews.
been described as the spiritual leader of Hamas, and has justified suicide
bombings against Israeli civilians and against US soldiers serving in
Marc Ginsberg – the former US ambassador to Morocco and a top
Middle East adviser during Jimmy Carter’s presidency – wrote an op-ed last week
highlighting what he sees as an “unholy alliance” between the Muslim Brotherhood
and Egypt’s ruling military council.
“The Supreme Council of Armed Forces
(SCAF) met secretly with representatives of the Muslim Brotherhood and other
Islamist-oriented political movements last April to establish local political
‘action committee’ bank accounts,” he wrote on the Huffington Post website,
citing a “reliable European military intelligence source.”
The payouts in
question could amount to millions of dollars, Ginsberg wrote.
surreptitious political maneuvering favoring Islamists over more secular
political movements is based on one simple equation,” he wrote. “The military is
determined to prevent secularists from gaining a parliamentary majority which
would likely impair its insatiable appetite for controlling Egypt’s national
budget and its own extensive business operations.
“It is determined to
prevent a civilian government from interfering with its cherished prerogatives.”