Ansar Jerusalem calls for continued protests at Egyptian universities

In a statement released to jihadist forums yesterday, the Sinai-based Salafi jihadist group Ansar Jerusalem (Ansar Bayt al Maqdis) called on Egyptian students to continue holding protests at their respective universities. Student supporters of former president Mohammed Morsi, who was ousted in early July, “have been staging daily protests for months inside and outside their universities,” Reuters recently noted.

In its statement, translated by the SITE Intelligence Group, Ansar Jerusalem claimed that the activities of the students at the universities “amazes the whole world and foretells of a new dawn and a prosperous future for this Ummah.” The jihadist group went on the say that it is watching the events at the universities and seeing what the protesters “are exposed to at the hands of the governmental guards of hell from among the army and police.”

Ansar Jerusalem specifically denounced assaults on female protesters, an issue noted in previous statements from the group. For example, Ansar Jerusalem said its Nov. 17 killing of Lieutenant Colonel Mohammed Mabrouk, a senior national security officer, was in response to the arrest and interrogation of Muslim women by Egyptian security forces.

According to Ansar Jerusalem, the attacks on those at the universities are not surprising as the authorities “know that the youth have been the fuel for revolutions and the poles of change over the ages and times.”

The group further called for additional protests and for those protesting to make their goal the empowerment of Islamic sharia. The statement concluded with the Salafi jihadist group telling the protesters that “your blood is our blood, your honor is our honor, and we will support even after a while.”

On Dec. 7, Muhammad bin Mahmoud Rabie al Bahtiyti, an al Qaeda official, called on Egyptian Muslims to work towards the implementation of sharia-based governance. Egyptian Muslims must “stand in the face of this fierce campaign led by the people of falsehood and the forces of delusion,” al Bahtiyti urged. They must “educate people about their obligation to support the religion and empower the Shariah,” he continued.

According to al Bahtiyti, force is necessary to ensure that sharia-based governance is brought about. “The reality about which there is no doubt, is that falsehood will not be removed and will not go away except with force and with power,” al Bahtiyti’s message said.

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