Asharq Alawsat runs an interview with Egyptian Islamist Osama Ayyub to talk about revision in the concept of jihad now being undertaken by members of Islamic Jihad, now jailed in Egypt. What is discussed, primarily materials from a new book, pulls back considerably from the behavior demonstrated by Muslim extremists, from Afghanistan to the US. Ayyub expects Al-Qaeda to respond favorably to this pulling-back from total war. Definitely worth reading the full interview.

Jailed Islamists Revise Jihad Concept
Mohammed Al Shafey

London, Asharq Al-Awsat- Egyptian Islamist Osama Ayyub, a political refugee in Germany and head of the Islamic Center in Munster, which advocates the Islamic Jihad ideology, has revealed to Asharq Al-Awsat that there have been a number of attempts to carry out [ideological] revisions by Islamic Jihad leaders in Egyptian prisons.

He said that these attempts preceded the release of “The Rationalization of Jihad in Egypt and the World Today,” which is a book written by Dr Fadl, who is also known as Sayyid Imam Abdulaziz al-Sharif.

Dr Fadl is the founder of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad group and is Ayman al-Zawahiri’s first mentor.

Ayyub was born in 1966. He belongs to the Bani-Suwayf group and is the former religious head of Bayt al-Ansar in Peshawar. He described Islamic Jihad revision as “a turning point on the road toward ideological revision, which the Islamic movement is pursuing today.” The revision document, which Al-Misri Al-Yawm is publishing, and of which Asharq Al-Awsat received a copy of its first part, stresses that “the performance of jihad for the sake of God has included several Islamic Shariaa violations, foremost among which is the killing of people on the basis of nationality, color of skin and hair, and sect.” The document says that “these violations lead to nothing but God’s resentment and indignation.” It adds that “when a Muslim sets a goal for himself that exceeds his ability or that does not suit his situation then it is impermissible in Islam to use any illicit means to achieve this goal even if the goal itself is legitimate.”

The following is the text of the interview with Osama Ayyub over the Internet:

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