Prominent cleric calls for jihad against Egyptian army

Jihadi cleric Sheikh Abu Mundhir al-Shinqiti urges Egyptians to attack the "army of infidels" and "collection of criminals."

November 7, 2013 18:17
1 minute read.
An anti-Morsi protester waves an Egyptian flag as a military helicopter passes over Tahrir square.

Egypt flag waving with helicopter in background 370. (photo credit: REUTERS/Asmaa Waguih)

Jihadi cleric Sheikh Abu Mundhir al-Shinqiti has called on Egyptians to stop using nonviolent means such as protests, and instead to attack the regime and the “army of infidels” and “a collection of criminals.”

A prominent but somewhat shadowy jihadi thinker, the Mauritania-born Shinqiti wrote this in an article published on October 17 on the jihadi website Minbar al- Tawhid Wal-Jihad, according to a report Wednesday by MEMRI (the Middle East Media Research Institute).

He wrote that the Egyptian protests were not working despite the army’s crimes against Islam and Muslims.

Therefore, it was an individual duty for all Muslims to carry out a defensive jihad against the regime.

The nuances of Islamic doctrine on jihad are disputed by various radical Islamic groups, though it is generally understood that it is an individual duty for all Muslims if Muslims are attacked and the jihad is defensive in nature.

In his book Jihad in Classical and Modern Islam, Rudolph Peters, of the University of Amsterdam, describes how jihad is viewed by modern jihadi groups.

“Throughout Islamic history, governments and opposition movements have declared their Muslim adversaries to be heretics or unbelievers (takfir, declaring someone to be a kafir, unbeliever) in order to justify their struggle against them. It is this line of reasoning that is used by contemporary radical Islamic groups to give legitimacy to their use of arms against rulers who are to all appearances Muslims.”

David Barnett, writing in the Long War Journal website, reports about this and other jihadi statements made since the overthrow of Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi and the vicious army crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamists.

He cites some examples of jihadis declaring their solidarity with Egyptian Islamists. For example, on August 15, Abu Hafs al-Maqdisi, leader of the Gaza-based Jaish al-Ummah, called for Egyptians to wage jihad against strongman Gen.

Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. On August 30, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) called on Egyptians to wage jihad against the army. And on October 11, al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahiri released an audio message stating that Muslims needed to get rid of those who took power from Morsi.

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