‘Destroy the idols’: Egyptian jihadist calls for destruction of Sphinx, Great Pyramids

An Egyptian Islamist and jihadi leader with self-professed links to the Taliban has called for the “destruction of the Sphinx and the Giza Pyramids in Egypt,” Al Arabiya reported this week.

Murgan Salem al-Gohary — sentenced twice during the leadership of former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak for advocating violence — condemned the government for allowing the ancient monuments to remain.
“All Muslims are charged with applying the teachings of Islam to remove such idols, as we did in Afghanistan when we destroyed the Buddha statues,” al-Gohary said on Saturday during a television interview on an Egyptian private channel that is widely watched by Egyptian and Arab audiences.
“God ordered [the] prophet Muhammad to destroy idols,” Gohary added. “When I was with the Taliban, we destroyed the statue of Buddha — something the government failed to do.”
The interview was broadcast after thousands of Islamists gathered in Tahrir Square to call for the strict application of Sharia law in the new constitution. (RELATED: Egypt moves to ban popular online porn websites)

The vice president of Tunisia’s Ennahda party, Sheikh Abdel Fattah Moro, called the live program and challenged Gohary’s claims, according to Al Arabiya.

Moro noted that famous historic military commander Amr ibn al-Aas did not destroy statues when he conquered Egypt.

“So who are you to do it?” Moro asked. “The prophet destroyed the idols because people worshiped them, but the Sphinx and the Pyramids are not worshiped.”

“He was sentenced twice, one of the two sentences being life imprisonment. He subsequently fled Egypt to Afghanistan, where he was badly injured in the American invasion. In 2007, he traveled from Pakistan to Syria, which then handed him over to Egypt. After Mubarak’s fall in early 2011, he was released from prison by a judicial ruling,” the newspaper added.