Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi says a three-month state of emergency will be imposed after two bomb blasts killed dozens of worshippers in Coptic Christian churches.
The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) armed group claimed responsibility for Sunday’s suicide bombings in the Nile Delta cities of Alexandria and Tanta, in which more than 40 people were killed.
“A series of steps will be taken, most importantly, the announcement of a state of emergency for three months after legal and constitution steps are taken,” Sisi said in a speech aired on state television.
ISIS affiliate i Egypt’s Sinai Province, called Saturday on the Muslim Brotherhood to relinquish their adherence to “peaceful resistance” to the regime of Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, and take up arms against the government in order to oust it.
In a video released on Saturday, an ISIS fighter urges the Muslim Brothers in Egypt to “use the experience they gained from ousting the previous apostate regime of Hosni Mubarak to topple the current apostate regime of President al-Sisi.”
An Egyptian court has reduced the jail term for a Muslim scholar convicted of “insulting Islam” on his television show from five years to one, judicial officials and his lawyer said Tuesday.
Islam al-Behairy faced an uproar in April after remarks he made on his program “With Islam,” in which he called for reforms in “traditional Islamic discourse.”
On his show on private satellite channel Al-Kahera Wel Nas, Behairy often questioned ancient Islamic preachings and centuries-old interpretations of the faith.
That came as President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has repeatedly urged reforms in interpretation of the faith.
But Behairy’s views outraged the influential Cairo-based Sunni Islamic learning center Al-Azhar, which claimed the program did not advocate “reforms” but rather “were insults to Islamic heritage.”
New York City residents were treated to a glimpse of their (and our!) future recently when Egyptian journalists in town to cover the visit of Egyptian president Al-Sisi to the U.N. were assaulted by Muslim Brotherhood agents — in full view of New York City police.
The journalists were assaulted verbally and physically while New York’s finest looked on, deigning to intervene in much the same way a schoolteacher does with a recalcitrant student – tut-tutting and tsk-tsking – rather than apprehending and jailing the violent assaulters as one would expect on the streets of an American city.
Egyptian President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi has approved stringent new counter-terrorism laws to fight a growing jihadist insurgency.
The laws establish special courts and offer additional protection from legal consequences for military and police officers who have used force.
They also impose the death penalty for anyone found guilty of setting up or leading a terrorist group.
Rights groups say the legislation will be used by Mr Sisi to crush dissent.
ISTANBUL, TURKEY— New anti-terrorism legislation in Egypt is targeting the media and making it a criminal offense to publish news contradicting the government’s version of events in terrorism-related cases.
Local journalists say the move is a further major setback for their profession and argue authorities are intent on having a media of “one opinion and one narrative.”
The draft anti-terrorism legislation, which was passed by the Cabinet last week and is waiting the approval President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi, imposes a minimum two-year jail term for reporting “false news or data about any terrorist operations that contradicts the official statements released by the relevant authorities.”
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi’s uncompromising war on terrorism, especially along the border with the Gaza Strip, seems to be bearing fruit. It is a war that is being waged away from the spotlight and with almost no reaction from the international community.
This situation is a perfect example of how the international community and the United Nations do not care about the “plight” of the Palestinians as long as Israel is not involved. Sisi’s war on terrorism has thus far failed to spark the same uproar, if any, that is often triggered by Israeli military operations against Hamas and its smuggling tunnels.
As a result of this war — which began in 2013, shortly after Sisi came to power, with the destruction of hundreds of smuggling tunnels along the border between Egypt and the Gaza Strip — Hamas and other armed groups are now more isolated than ever.
But it is not only the isolation that worries Hamas, Islamic Jihad and other armed groups in the Gaza Strip.
Rather, it is that Egypt’s tough security measures –which include the destruction of more than 1700 tunnels and the creation of a security zone along its border with the Gaza Strip — have brought the smuggling of weapons to a near halt.
In a particularly pointed interview conducted with Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi by German journalists, Sisi called for a “reformation” of Islam, said that ISIS and all other Islamic extremists descended from the Muslim Brotherhood, and agreed that true Muslims must take action against the extremists who are hurting other Muslims as well as insulting Allah.