Last Thursday Yosri Fouda opened a very important file , a recent taboo I believe the Egyptian media has avoided to discuss as it should. Yosri Fouda spoke about Egyptian Jihadists in Syria hosting two of them on air.
One of the guests is Salaist preacher and the other one hiding his face was a fighter. Fouda also spoke on the phone with a Sheikh from Al Azhar who could not say whether he was with Jihad in Syria or not considering how much it is complicated there now.
Fouda used the story of late Mohamed Mehrez as a lead for his segment.
During the episode people went mad on twitter accusing Yosri Fouda of glorifying these Jihadists and some even went far and linked between Fouda’s past reports about Al Qaeda and those Jihadists in Al Jazeera forgetting that he is now working in the liberal ONTV channel attacked day and night by Islamists and Jihadists. Fouda was attacked that he did not condemn the Jihadists and people feared that episode would encourage Egyptian youth to go and fight in Syria. Well the majority of those youth do not watch ONTV at all.
The only mistake I believe Yosri Fouda and his crew did was not to show the views of Syrians against foreign fighters. Some Syrians including Pro-revolutionary Syrians I know are totally against having foreign fighters in the first place in their own country. Friends from Syria once told me already that these Jihadists are preferred in the suicidal missions only !! I wish that Fouda asked his guests about their views regarding the diverse nature of Syrian society and what they think about other sects and why they believe Syria should be Islamist.
Anyhow people did not realize that when Yosri Fouda let his guests speak freely , he gave a glimpse on how they think and want. The Jihadist Sheikh stated how he became a judge in so-called Shar’ia courts ruling the regions under the Jihadist rule according to their perception and radical interpretation and how the West is fighting the Islamists because they do not want an Islamist state. Fouda and his crew rang the bell yet no one wants to pay attention.
I believe there should be consideration for the national security fears as well the public should be fears. I will not speak about the government or the Presidency because the Muslim brotherhood does not care about the national security of this country in the same way others do including me.
People are worried that we have a new generation of Jihadists just like the Egyptian Jihadists in Afghanistan whom some made Egypt suffer and some other actually suffered from the State security in 1990s. The people have to fear them with the increase of radicalism as well arms in Egypt.
I do not know the exact number of Egyptian fighters in Syria but in the past two years not less dozens of Egyptians have been killed in Syria while fighting either with the FSA or other rebel groups. The most famous one of them was late activist Mohamed Mehrez. Most of these fighters except very few like Mehrez “independent Islamist” are Salafists in Egypt.
Many of these Islamists are related to Hazemoon movement , the infamous support group of Hazem Salah Abu Ismail. If you trace the Egyptian Jihadists in Syria and its history , you will find it goes to Back Hazemoon’s call to youth in Egypt to go and fight in Syria since summer 2012.
Already its spiritual leader and godfather Hazem Salah Abu Ismail blessed and praised those fighters from Hazemoon according to Tahrir newspaper demanding more to join them in last September. Ironically in October 2012 Khaled Harby, the official coordinator of Hazemoon movement claimed that those Hazemoon Jihadists are not members in Hazemoon but rather they believe in the same concept and associated it through adopting the same way of thinking.
Anyhow Here is a Facebook Page called Hazemoon in Sham.
Of course now it is beyond Hazemoon as Assem Abdel Maged of Al Gama’a Al Islamiyaa who got a long history in off shore Jihad claimed that his group sent tens of fighters to Syria.It is amazing to see Abdel Maged bragging with this when Essam Darballa who is also a leading member in Al Gama’a claiming that the famous Islamist group has not sent anyone to Syria !!
The Muslim brotherhood youth have not jumped on the wagon as they do not have orders yet.
It is unclear how those Egyptian Jihadists travel to Syria but without doubt it is by the knowledge of the regime just like in the 1980s. Al Masryoon newspaper which is close to Islamists and Jihadists claimed that there is a famous mosque in Nasr City helps Egyptian Jihadists to travel and that those Jihadists entered Syria from Turkey. The report also claimed that other couple of Mosques in Heliopolis following the Jihadists “in Heliopolis !!” and as well a mosque in Alexandria and Matrouh. “Strong Salafist presence”.
Of course I am not speaking about Egyptian doctors who are helping the Syrians inside the country , I am speaking about a specific sector.
I believe Mehrez’s death in Syria will inspire some youth to follow his path and unfortunately they will get killed because they are not trained properly and they are fighting in a land they know nothing about it.
The lucky ones that will survive from the war will be unwelcomed in Syria when things stabilize and the state of law regains power through a regime that suits Syria unique diverse nature even after couple of years and they will be unwelcomed in Egypt just like their grandparents who returned back from Afghanistan.Some of them will believe in implementing the dream of Islamist State in Egypt using arms and will consider the Egyptian army just like El Assad army and we know the rest as we have seen it before.
It is just sad because I believe these young men got good intentions of helping the weak but unfortunately they are exploited by radical groups that are actually puppets in the hands of international powers fighting each other.
Needless to say what is happening in Syria now is no longer a revolution but a war of interests . The country is being destroyed just like Iraq literality while the international community is watching.
Back to Egypt I wish someone discuss seriously this file before we will have another debate about the Egyptian Jihadists returning from Syria in a realistic logic way.