Egyptian Responses to ISIS

Sent On: 
Thu, 2014-08-07
Newsletter Number: 



AWR, Cairo, August 7, 2014


Al-Qā’idah splinter group, the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), which occupies large tracts of land in both nations, has announced on June 29, 2014, the establishment of an "Islamic caliphate" and called for Islamic factions in various parts of the world to pledge allegiance. A statement by the spokesman of ISIS, Abū Mohammed al- Adnānī, declared the name of the new state as the “Islamic State” and pronounced ISIS’ leader, Abū Bakr al-Baghdādī, as Caliph.



A member loyal to the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) waves an ISIS flag in Raqqa, Syria. Photograph: Reuters


The statement warned Muslims that upon the declaration of the Caliphate it has become a duty for all Muslims to swear allegiance and their support to Caliph Ibrahīm (Abū Bakr al-Baghdādī), and not recognize the legitimacy of any other emirates, communities, states and organizations, over which ISIS prevails.


This announcement alarmed many political groups as well as average citizens in Egypt, in addition to the rest of the Arab world. AWR produced a special report, to survey the responses of the various Islamist groups and religious institutions in Egypt to ISIS’ advance.

The prime Sunni religious establishment, the Azhar, was silent, not issuing any fatwa to delegitimize the so-called the ‘caliphate.’ Many individual Azhar scholars, however, have done so rejecting the Caliphate in principle.


The International Union of Muslim Scholars rejected the way this Caliphate was announced, ruling it null and void, but making it clear in no uncertain terms that they seek the establishment of a Caliphate sooner rather than later.


The Muslim Brotherhood, facing much internal turmoil, has failed to issue a statement reflecting consensus among the organization’s members.


The most prominent political Salafi group, al-Da’wah al- Salafiah, has clearly rejected the declaration, calling ISIS the Kharijites of this era.


Read the complete report here


Many authors in the Egyptian media are discussing how the government’s iron fisted security policies, without the dual track of dialogue, have contributed to the radicalization of some insurgent groups in Sinai, making them lean towards ISIS. The article discusses the explosions that took place at the Presidential Palace in Cairo and points to the possibility of other Islamist groups further radicalizing should these iron fisted polices continue without a political dialogue.


Read the complete report here.



Yosra El Gendi

AWR Researcher