The Egyptian newspaper, Al-Masri al-Youm, announced last week that Sayyid Imam will publish a rebuttal of Zawahiri’s Tabri’a (Exoneration), which itself was a rebuttal of Sayyid Imam’s Tarshid–a text that caused a great stir last year because the author criticized his former colleague, Zawahiri, for being an unrealistic revolutionary. Since Rob at Media Shack is probably going to cover the book’s serial publication (the release begins this Tuesday), I’ll focus on Jihadi reaction to the text as it is released. (Incidentally, Imam’s new book is entitled, Denudation of the Exoneration.)
Today we have a prebuttal of the work posted to the Shumukh forum, followed by comments. The author of the prebuttal, Ayman, employs several lines of attack:
- Sayyid Imam’s earlier books were too extreme in their formulation of laws for jihad.
- He is a flip-flopper. Why should we trust what a flip-flopper says?
- If he really understands Islam, why does he need to write “revisions?”
Another Shumukh member, Abu `Abd al-`Aziz al-Yamani, does not like Ayman’s reasoning because it means that Sayyid Imam is sincere in his revisions and is not being coerced, the latter being the standard line of attack on Imam’s book. Others agree, prompting Ayman to shoot back: “Dr. Hani al-Siba`i communicated with the son of Sayyid Imam, who said, ‘We visited my father in prison and everything that he wrote regarding these revisions he did of his own free will.”
Trying for a little nuance, Muslim lil-Abad quotes Abu Muhammad al-Maqdisi’s thoughts on Imam’s Tarshid. Part of it, Maqdisi says, is commensurate with things he had said in his earlier works; part of it was obviously inserted by the Egyptian government because no student of Islam would ever say such things; and part of it represents his true hostility toward al-Qaeda.
Document (Arabic): 11-17-08-shamikh-debate-over-status-of-sayyid-imam-revisions