Several prominent Islamist figures in Egypt have spoken out against the country joining in the US-led coalition to combat the Islamic State (formerly ISIL) in Iraq and Syria.
Essam Derbala, a Shura Council member for the Jamaa Al-Islamiya group, told the media that joining the fight against Islamic State would be turning the Egyptian army into “a bunch of mercenaries”, and would only serve to weaken the Armed Forces.
Derbala added that the Islamic State is the result of the repressive tactics used by Iraq’s majority Shia government, whom he said were responsible for persecuting the country’s Sunni population.
A leader for the ultra-conservative Nour Party, Alaa Ramadan, although stressing the difference between his party and the Islamic State, said that the extremist group is serving as a “Trojan horse” that will allow the West to interfere in Arab affairs.
Islamists in Egypt have lost a lot of sway, as well as the confidence of many Egyptians, following the one-year rule of the Muslim Brotherhood led by Mohamed Morsi, which many in the country view as a failed experiment.
Although the Islamic State does not exist in Egypt, terrorist groups like Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis continually threaten the nation’s peace.
Many Egyptians still remember the divisive Takfiri rhetoric espoused by the Muslim Brotherhood, which serves as an ideological umbrella to jihadi groups. and their ilk during their days in power, which means that the country’s Islamists walk a thorny path when choosing to comment on groups like the Islamic State.