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Cablegate: Grand Mufti Seeks Increased Media Attention On

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PP RUEHBC RUEHDE RUEHKUK
DE RUEHEG #5529 2490353
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 060353Z SEP 06
FM AMEMBASSY CAIRO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 1098
INFO RUEHXK/ARAB ISRAELI COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHEE/ARAB LEAGUE COLLECTIVE PRIORITY

UNCLAS CAIRO 005529

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

NSC FOR RICK WATERS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL KISL PHUM EG
SUBJECT: GRAND MUFTI SEEKS INCREASED MEDIA ATTENTION ON
ISLAMIC CONFERENCES CONDEMNING TERROR


1. (SBU) In a September 4 meeting with Grand Mufti of the
Republic Ali Goma'a, Charge registered USG concern regarding
the Mufti's August 7 Al Ahram op-ed titled "The Crime of the
Qana Massacre." The article centered on criticizing Israeli
"crimes" in Lebanon, but also cited the notorious alleged
practice of Jews using human blood to make Passover matzah.
The Mufti did not respond directly to Charge's concern about
the blood libel reference, instead stressing that the primary
point of his article was to protest Israel's use of excessive
force, and the killing of innocent civilians. Charge urged
him to avoid spreading false myths that demonized the
Israelis and the Jewish faith.

2. (SBU) Charge thanked Goma'a for his public comments
disallowing a recent fatwa from self-proclaimed imam Dr.
Safwat Hegazy, in which Hegazy stated that in light of
Israeli aggression against Lebanon, it is obligatory to kill
Jews who come to Egypt or any other Islamic country. As
reported widely by the Egyptian press, Goma'a refused
Hegazy's fatwa, and stated that if a Jew or any other
foreigner receives an entry visa to a Muslim country, he has
been given an official "safety contract," meaning he must not
be attacked, even if his country is at war with the Muslim
country. Goma'a noted his appreciation of Charge's remarks
on this point, stressing that Hegazy is not a "true imam,"
and that his inflammatory statements were completely
illegitimate.

3. (SBU) Following a lengthy critique of U.S. policy in the
Middle East, the Mufti underscored his interest in
"increasing cooperation and further developing relations"
between his office ("Dar al Iftah") and the U.S. Embassy. He
noted in particular that international conferences held by
Islamic scholars condemning terrorism have "not received any
attention in the Western media." Charge offered USG
assistance, and the Mufti promised to alert the Embassy in
advance of future conferences in order to achieve greater
media coverage of his anti-terror message.
JONES

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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