Egypt Salafists Punish Man for 'Cursing' Islam
The “Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice Authority”, a Salafist group in Egypt, has attacked a man for not allowing its member to use his private toilet and ordered to cut his brother's tongue for “cursing” Islam, Al Arabiya reported on Thursday.
The report quoted Ahmed Gharib, a resident of Egypt’s eastern city of Suez, as having told the online newspaper al-Mowjaz that the problem started as he was in his shop when a “bearded man” rushed inside to use the bathroom.
“I told him that he needs to ask for permission to use the toilet,” said Gharib, “but he just responded with ‘we do not ask for permission.’”
A few minutes later, Gharib recalled, a group of 30 “bearded” men came to his shop and said they wanted to “discipline him for insulting a religious figure.”
“They tied me down and assaulted me,” he said. “They tried to cut off my hand for reaching for one of them,” he added.
They were unable to cut off his hand as passersby intervened to stop the fight. Gharib sustained deep cuts.
It did not end there, however. Gharib’s brother, who had reached the shop later, angered with what had happened to his brother, insulted the men. In response, Gharib said, the “Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice” group ordered the cutting of his brother’s tongue, claiming he cursed Islam.
“They tried to catch him to carry out the order but he managed to escape with the help of neighbors,” said Gharib.
The father of the two men had to report the incident to police after the group refused to leave and waited for the brother outside his home’s doorstep, said the report.
A political activist, Fawazi Abdul al-Fatah, also confirmed the incident and said that the group remained in search of the young man and members of the neighborhood had to guard the man’s house.
Al Arabiya reported that the incident is the latest in a series of events where extremist groups, mainly Salafis, have carried out attacks against Egyptian citizens.
In July this year the same group stabbed to death university student Ahmed Hussein Eid for walking alone with his fiancée, the report said.
“We see groups of them [Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice commission] roaming the streets of Suez but authorities insist on denying their existence,” said Fatah.
Salafists, extreme Islamists who call for the implementation of Muslim Sharia law, are linked to the Global Jihad movement. They view even the Muslim Brotherhood government of Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi as too moderate.
Egyptian Salafist Muhammad Al-Zawahiri, brother of Al-Qaeda leader Ayman Al-Zawahiri, recently said in a television interview that he does not recognize the elections that were held in the country does he recognize Morsi's legitimacy.
He said that Egypt’s elections were “illegitimate”, adding that they violated sharia and saying, “Allah and the Prophet Muhammad said so. I am willing to sit down and discuss this with anyone who can prove otherwise.”
“I did not recognize the previous president, and I do not recognize this one. I recognize the rule of Islamic religious law,” concluded Al-Zawahiri, who also called for jihad against Jews in the same interview.
Salafists have also challenged the ruling Hamas terrorist organization in Gaza. The organization has found itself increasingly struggling with these groups for control over the region after having ousted its PA rival, the Fatah faction, from Gaza in June 2007.
Although Hamas, like its parent group the Muslim Brotherhood, is more observant of Islam than the secular Fatah faction, Salafi groups hold the ruling faction in contempt and hope to instead wrest control of Gaza from Hamas and install a Sharia-bound regime instead.
Gaza-based Salafi groups have several times in recent months claimed responsibility for rocket attacks on southern Israel. The Salafi terror organization Majlis Shura Al-Mujahidin has characterized jihad against Jews as “a duty”.