|Safwat Higazi speaking to supporters in Cairo .(Photo by: YouTube)|
Egypt Islamist vows global caliphate in Jerusalem
By OREN KESSLER
“The capital of the United States of the Arabs will be Jerusalem," preacher tells thousands at Brotherhood rally.
Egypt’s Islamists aim to install a global Islamic caliphate with its capital in
Jerusalem, a radical Muslim preacher told thousands of Muslim Brotherhood
supporters in a clip released Monday.
“We can see how the dream of the
Islamic caliphate is being realized, God willing, by Dr. Mohamed Mursi,”
Safwat Higazi told thousands of Brotherhood supporters at a Cairo soccer stadium
as Mursi – the movement’s presidential candidate – and other Brotherhood
officials nodded in agreement.
“The capital of the caliphate – the
capital of the United States of the Arabs – will be Jerusalem, God willing,”
Higazi said. “Our capital shall not be in Cairo, Mecca or Medina,” he said,
before leading the crowd in chants of “Millions of martyrs march toward
Higazi is an unaffiliated Islamist who is barred from the
United Kingdom for making statements endorsing terror attacks against Israelis.
The clip, from Egypt’s Islamist-oriented Al-Nas television station, was aired
last week and uploaded to YouTube on Monday by the Middle East Media Research
Members of the crowd carried banners emblazoned with slogans
related to next week’s “Nakba Day,” when Palestinians and other Arabs mourn
Israel’s creation in 1948.
“Tomorrow, Mursi will liberate Gaza,” an
unidentified man cheers in the video before leading the crowd in chants of
“Banish the sleep from the eyes of all Jews,” the man
repeats, accompanied by drumming. “Come on, you lovers of martyrdom, you
are all Hamas… Forget about the whole world, forget about
conferences. Brandish your weapons, say your prayers and pray to the
Returning to the stage, Mursi vowed to pray in
Jerusalem. “Yes, Jerusalem is our goal. We shall pray in
Jerusalem, or die as martyrs on its threshold.”
Raymond Stock, an
American translator and academic who spent two decades in Egypt, said the clip
should come as a surprise to no one.
“This is what the Muslim Brotherhood
really stands for: the extermination of Israel – and Jews everywhere – as well
as the spread and control of radical Islam over the world,” he told The
“How anyone can fail to see this boggles the mind – yet
its denial is virtual dogma in the global mainstream media, US government and
Western academia today,” said Stock, who has translated a number of books by the
Nobel Prize-winning Egyptian novelist Naguib Mahfouz.
The Brotherhood won
about half of Egypt’s parliamentary seats, but its main candidate Khairat
al-Shater was disqualified last month from running for president and Mursi has
struggled to win wide support.
Hard-line Salafi Islamists were
parliamentary elections’ biggest surprise, taking around 25% of
Instead, the two front-runners are Abdel Moneim Abol Fotouh – a
former Brotherhood figure who has won the backing of a broad range of voters
from liberals to Salafis – and Amr Moussa, a former foreign minister and Arab
A presidential election, which starts on May 23-24, will
choose a replacement for Hosni Mubarak, who was toppled in February last
Poll numbers released Monday by the state-run Al-Ahram Center show
Moussa leading the field with 39%, followed by Abol Fotouh with 24%, former
Mubarak premier Ahmed Shafiq with 17% and Mursi in fourth with just
Stock said Amr Moussa has a significant chance of replacing
“Many people want Islamist values but are afraid that Islamist
control of the presidency in addition to parliament could be bad for tourism and
foreign investment. Others simply like Moussa,” he said. “He is a radical
nationalist with a pragmatic streak, and from a Western point of view is the
best we can hope for now that Omar Suleiman has been excluded.”
can’t rule out Mohamed Mursi yet – the Brotherhood machine is extremely
formidable, and nearly everyone has underestimated them before,” he said, adding
that “the Salafis remain wild cards, as ever.”