Murgan Salem al-Gohary, who served two jail sentences under former President Hosni Mubarak for inciting violence, called on Muslims to remove the ancient Egyptian relics in an interview.
“All Muslims are charged with applying the teachings of Islam to remove such idols, as we did in Afghanistan when we destroyed the Buddha statues”, he said.
“God ordered Prophet Mohammed to destroy idols,” he added. “When I was with the Taliban we destroyed the statue of Buddha, something the government failed to do.”
Al-Gohary’s incendiary comments come two days after a Salafist rally in Tahrir square that called for the introduction of Sharia law.
In retaliation to Gohary’s remarks, the vice president of Tunisia’s Ennahda party, Sheikh Abdel Fattah Moro, told Gohary that the famous historic military commander Amr ibn al-Aas did not destroy statues when he conquered Egypt.
“So who are you to do it?” he wondered. “The Prophet destroyed the idols because people worshiped them, but the Sphinx and the Pyramids are not worshiped.”