- (Photo: Reuters/Shrief Abd El Moneam/Egyptian Presidency/Handout)
With the new president of Egypt backed by the Muslim Brotherhood, calls for the destruction of all pagan idols have once again been renewed, and the target in this particular instance are the Pyramids and the Sphinx.
The need for these worldly treasures to be destroyed was insisted upon by Morgan Al-Gohary, a jihadi sheikh with a history of radicalism and connections with the Taliban, during an appearance on the private Egyptian TV channel Dream TV2.
The comments during the show aired Saturday evening. He revealed that if he or anyone holding his same beliefs were ever to come to power, they would immediately set out to bring the one of the Seven Wonders of the World to no more than a pile of rubble.
Al-Gohary has a history of defacing and destroying ancient artifacts. He exclaimed during the broadcast that while he was in Afghanistan he joined members of the Taliban as they proceeded to blow up the Bamyan Buddhas in Afghanistan back in March 2001.
Al-Gohary explained that "all Muslims are charged with applying the teachings of Islam to remove such idols" including the "destruction of the Sphinx and the Giza Pyramids in Egypt."
The show's host, Wael Al-Abrashi, tried to gain clarification of the sheikh's comments and asked him again if he would truly destroy one of Egypt's most prized possessions.
"Everything, if it is a pagan statue or idol, that is worshiped or suspected to be worshipped, or is worshipped by one person on Earth, must be destroyed. We, or someone else, must destroy it," Al-Gohary said.
"Yes, we will destroy them, if they were worshipped before or afterwards," he added.
With the rise of Islamic fundamentalists throughout the region, there are worries that more historical artifacts will be destroyed not only in Egypt, but in other countries with rich histories. Although there is strong opposition to these feelings within Egypt, uncertainty still remains.
The most recent example of such actions occurred earlier in 2012, when Mali Islamists destroyed centuries-old mausoleums of "Sufi-Muslim saints in the city of Timbuktu." That promoted local demonstrations and international calls for intervention.