Reports of Islamic Emirate in Sinai 'Misleading Public'

Brother of al-Qaeda leader says reports suggesting that Islamic Jihad is planning to establish Islamic emirate are inaccurate.

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Rachel Hirshfeld,

Islamic Jihad
Islamic Jihad
Israel news photo: Flash 90

Muhammad al-Zawahiri, the younger brother of al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri, said that news reports suggesting that his Egyptian Islamic Jihad terrorist organization is planning to establish an Islamic emirate in Sinai were inaccurate and were misleading the public.

In statements to Al Arabiya, Zawahiri denied that his group was “Takfiri,” meaning that it accuses people with opinions different from its own of apostasy.

He also denied reports that his group was planning to carry out terrorist bombings in Cairo, describing such reports as part of a media campaign against his group.

He said media and security entities in Egypt should be cleansed of former regime figures. “The seditions that some parties are trying to ignite will destroy the nation as a whole and those parties need to put national interests at the top of their concerns,” he said, according to the report.

He claimed that his group, the Egyptian Islamic Jihad terrorist organization, is trying to spread its message of Islam with lectures, conferences and books and not with weapons.

Zawahiri also noted that his group has no plans to take part in forming a political party or taking part in the elections because it does not believe in “the concept of democracy.”

“We reject the current democracy that gives sovereignty to people, because sovereignty is to God only, and this is what we demand,” he said. “But we recognize the democracy that seeks to establish justice, equality and human dignity because it is compatible with the teachings of the Islamic religion.”

“Our only demand is that sovereignty be to God and that everything that is against God's law is illegitimate,” he added, according to Al-Arabiya.

Al-Zawahiri has previously called for Jihad against the Jews, as is customary among those belonging to the Egyptian Islamic Jihad terrorist organization.

In a television interview, which aired on Egypt’s CBC TV on October 4, Zawahiri said, “Fighting Israel, fighting the Jews is a religious duty incumbent upon all.”

“The Egyptian government should have been fighting the Jewish enemy. Perhaps due to circumstances – its weakness, its interests – the Egyptian government ignored a religious duty incumbent upon it. Not just the Egyptian government – the Jordanian one as well. This is a religious duty incumbent upon all Muslims,” he added.