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Egyptian Islamist Compares Al Qaeda''s &#34Courts&#34 to the Inquisition of the Middle Ages - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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London, ASHARQ AL-AWSAT -Egyptian fundamentalist leader Osama Rushdi has called the murder of the two Algerian diplomats in Iraq, and before them the Egyptian Charge d”Affaires Ihab al-Sharif, a disgraceful and reckless act, which demonstrates the extensive confusion of ”Al Qaeda in Iraq”. The group headed by Abu-Mus”ab al-Zarqawi, who is wanted by the United States in Iraq, claimed responsibility for the murders.

Islamist Rushdi, the former spokesman of the outlawed Egyptian organization, ”Gamaa Islamiya” (Islamic Group), said &#34Al-Qaeda”s Sharia courts that are trying people, deciding that they are infidels, and sentencing them to death are absurd and remind me of the &#34Armed Islamic Group&#34 (GIA) in Algeria that also held such trials. I saw some of them on videotape in 1995 and their proceedings were disgraceful for humanity and Islam, and were closer to the Catholic inquisitions of the middle Ages than too anything else.

In a telephone conversation with Asharq al-Awsat, Rushdi said, &#34I watched the videotape of one of these trials of a young Algerian doctor. Those who knew him told me that he was polite, full of knowledge, and a representative of Islamic activity. He was tried before this &#34sharia&#34 court because he was from another group called ”Al-Jaz”arah”, which is a group of Algerian intellectuals who are followers of Malik Bin-Nabi and carry out Islamic activities in Algerian universities and the ”Islamic Salvation Front” (FIS). One of the charges that his ignorant judges made against him was that he was a non-believer even though we have never understood that the sentence for an atheist is death apart from in these sick people”s understanding. The odd thing is that whenever this young man sneezed and thanked God, the so-called sharia judge would say, &#34God bless you!&#34 He then sentenced him to be butchered like a lamb.&#34

He added that the GIA”s sharia courts have previously sanctioned the killings of Shaykh Mohamed Said, ”FIS” spokesman Shaykh Abderrazak Radjem, as well as a large group of Muslim youths and propagators who opposed their extremism. He described Al Qaeda”s sharia courts as &#34absurd&#34, that judge people to be dissidents and then sentence them to death in such a reckless way. He said, &#34What do the Algerian and Egyptian regimes have to do with this group in Iraq and what connection do they have with its resistance to their occupiers? Does one who possesses two rifles truly believe he can fight the whole world?&#34 He explained that these daily violent acts demonstrate how far removed the perpetrators are from sharia law and are harming the honest Iraqi resistance that require the determination and not increasing enmity and hostility from international arena, especially with neighboring countries with whom they are supposed to improve relations.

Rushdi went on to say that all those inciting violence, and drowning Iraq in seas of forbidden blood are not only opening the doors for a civil war between the Sunnis and Shiites, but also amongst the Sunnis themselves. This is because several other resistance factions that do not accept these reckless operations may find themselves in an imposed confrontation to rectify this defect. The countries whose diplomats and interests were attacked have been dragged into the conflict and hostility from such acts may seek to exploit this.

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

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