Blasts an affront on Islam

DUBAI — The terrorist attack on the Egyptian Red Sea resort of Sherm El Sheikh which claimed many lives was described variously by Egyptian and Arab expats as an act against the tenets of Islam, to damage the economy, and as a product of the US-led allied forces occupation of Iraq which had led to sustained and increasingly organised armed resistance.

By Salah El Deberki

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Published: Sun 24 Jul 2005, 10:00 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 7:53 PM

There was unanimity in opinion that such attacks only harm the Muslim community, and in the case of the Sherm El Sheikh blasts, the Egyptian economy would be affected since the tourism industry in the country was on a fast track with tourists from the GCC countries flocking there. Many said the attack may lead to higher unemployment rates which the country was already reeling under if the core sector of tourism is hit badly.

Describing the act as an affront on Islam and Muslims, Adil Ahmed Al Mustafa, an employee, said Islam does not preach violence.

"When the perpetrators of such crime, who are involved in an Islamic group or organisation, declare responsibility for such acts on web sites, it reflects the ugly face of the political conflict in the world," he said and expressed doubts if Al Qaeda was involved because of the strict security measures in Egypt.

Stating that the word terrorism had come to be linked with Islam now, Adil said Muslim scholars and philosophers should spread the correct image of Islam through meetings and other public fora.

Efforts should also be made to convey true Islamic ideas and concepts as revealed in the Holy Quran, he said.

Islam Shafiq, another employee, said the main objective of the blasts was to destroy tourism in Egypt, which had staged a remarkable revival. The perpetrators of the crime timed it such so as to hit the tourism flow from GCC countries during the vacation season.

"Such an act can only be carried out by Al Qaeda whose recruits are well-trained for such missions. It has also sent a signal to the Egyptian officials that they can target at will and any time, notwithstanding the strict security measures," he said.

According to Yousouf Khattab, a news reader, the blasts exposed the loopholes in the security machinery. "It has become a habit to blame Al Qaeda for everything that goes wrong, even if a clandestine body or organisation tries to deflect attention from the real culprits on to Al Qaeda," he said.

Khattab said the Taba blasts and the explosions which took place in Khan Al Khaleeli had ended with the arrest of persons who confessed to the crime.

"What I would like to underline is that the arrested persons are not the real perpetrators since they only carried out the orders," he said, adding that a manhunt should be launched to apprehend the masterminds of such acts for they are the actual culprits.

Mohammed Al Sadafi, another mediaperson, said the occupation of Iraq by UK and US had triggered a spate of violence and aggression by the armed resistance.

"In recent times, the armed resistance factions in Iraq have become well organised, and their quality of resistance had also gone up as can be gauged by the increasing number of people killed and wounded," he said, pointing out to the many high profile kidnap and murder cases of ambassadors and officials in Iraq.

Terrorist attacks have been wide-spread and the London bombings indicate that the organisation had stretched its operations to all countries and regimes which cooperated with the Americans and the British.

Al Sadafi said: "I do not rule out the hand of the Israeli Intelligence 'Mossad' in these blasts since the Jewish State has been aiming to undermine Egypt and its economy, and convince the world about disarming Hezbollah Party. Such terrorist acts cannot be carried out by ordinary people. Only an organisation or body which has intelligence about security loopholes, lethal weapons and the personnel to carry out such attacks can achieve success."

Egyptians living in Abu Dhabi condemned the bombings.

Karem Al Bulti, working for a contracting company, said he was shocked. "This is extremely tragic. It is a crime against humanity at large. It is also damaging the means of living for people who live on their work in the tourism sector. It is a crime against the Egyptian economy, too," he said.

Ahmed Abu Rizik, accountant, said it was sad that these things are happening in Egypt and in other parts of the world. He said Islam is against these criminal acts. "It is sad to any one because any body could be at the same time and place where these cowardly acts occurred", he said.

Abdullah Hassan, financial supervisor, said these criminal acts are contrary to the teachings of any religion. He said he had a UAE national friend who went to Egypt's Sherm El Shaikh recently with his family and he is worried about him.

Mustapha Khalid, reporter with Al Bayan Arabic daily, said: "It is a heinous crime. It is damaging to the tourism industry after Egypt started to overcome the problems of the past."

Inas Muheisen, a journalist, said she was against terror in all its shapes and forms. She said people could have differences among themselves, but these differences could be resolved by dialogue and political means and not by violence.

‘Terrible tragedy, cowardly act'

By a staff reporter

ABU DHABI — An event marking Egypt's July 23 revolution was marred by the terrorist attacks in Egypt, and the ambassador of the Arab world's most populous country to the UAE said the "cowardly act will strengthen's Egyptians' determination to fight terror".

"It is a terrible tragedy... a terrorist and cowardly act, and the Egyptian people are strong enough to stand against the criminals", Egypt's ambassador to the UAE, Fahmy Fayed, told Khaleej Times yesterday.

He said the terrorist bombings were acts that are rejected by all people, races and religions. "Terrorist acts could happen to any country and without any prior warnings. The Egyptian security services have been doing their best, but these things happen", said the ambassador.

He said terrorist attacks occurred recently in Turkey, Lebanon and London, and before that in the US.

Fayed said an event marking Egypt's July 23 revolution was being marked last evening. "We are using the occasion to condemn terrorism," he said.

The media advisor at the Egyptian Embassy in Abu Dhabi, Abdul Rahman Abdul Fatta, said the tragedy yesterday showed that the Egyptian government's call to convene an international conference on how to deal with the problem of terrorism was very vital for international peace and security.

He said terrorism affects all countries in the world and the United Nations should play its role in organising the conference, in which countries most affected by the phenomenon take part.

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