Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Famous islamist lawyer runs for Parliament

Montassar az Zayyat, once the informal spokesperson for al Gaáma al Islamiyya, now one of 5414 hopefulls for a seat in maglis ash Shaáb.

Az Zayyat, belonging to the trend one of two militant islamist groups who waged a low intensity insurgency upon the Egyptian government between 1992-97, killing approximately 1100 the bulk of them being military, police and militants, but also Copts, intelectuals and tourists where targeted.

Montassar Az Zayyat of today seems a somewhat changed man, while condoning resistance against ocupation in Chechnya, Iraq and Palestine, he takes a clear stand against 9/11 and the recent incidents in Taba, Sharm al Sheikh and Cairo.

Having spent several years in prison in the 80´s and six months in detention in 1994 after protesting the death of fellow laywer and Muslim Brother who died in custody, Abdel Harith Madani.

The prefered lawyer for every militant, choses to run in an area of greater Cairo,Bulaq Daqrour, once known to be a recruiting ground for the militants. He is runing as an independent, facing among others, the Muslim Brotherhood candidate. This is a place where no one in their right state of mind would vote for NDP.

His election program centers around fighting government corruption, ending the emergency laws and establishing an islamic state, he has no problem in working with seculars, and points out that one of his campaign suporters happens to be a copt, on the other hand he states"But Copts should stop asking for minority rights and to build more churches than they need. They are full-fledged partners in the state,"

The former militants called for a unilateral cease fire in the summer of 1997, since then, they have been trying to enter the political arena, one atempt at creating a party, ended before it came to anything. The latest push for political recognition was Aboud al Zoumr´s presidential candidacy.

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