Saudi-owned Asharq Alawsat runs a piece about a young Egyptian who rejected Salafism for secularism, extremism for moderation. In his transition, he discovered that Salafist organization prey upon youth and their dissatisfactions, but rather than offering a solution, they seek only power. The surprising part is that he found his new wisdom while studying in Saudi Arabia. It’s an interesting read.

Osama Othman: From Salafi to secularist
Mary Wajdi

Cairo, Asharq Al-Awsat – “All I want is to ensure that no young person is deceived, as I was, in the name of religion; I wasted the most precious years of my life on a misguided ideology”. This is how Osama Othman, a young Egyptian who has transformed from being a Salafi jihadist to a secularist, describes what he went through during his time as a member of an extremist Salafi jihadist organization.

Osama Othman, aged 38, lives in the El Matareya district of Cairo. Speaking exclusively to Asharq Al-Awsat, Othman recalled the various stages of transformation in his life, from the Muslim Brotherhood to Salafi jihadism, and finally to secularism.

He revealed that “I joined the Muslim Brotherhood when I was in the penultimate year of secondary school, through my school friends. They convinced me of their ideology, and I was just 16 at the time. Also during this period, my brother got to know some members of al-Gama’a al-Islamiyya in one of El Matareya’s mosques, where they were conducting a meeting after the state security services had killed Dr. Alaa Mohieddin, the group’s leader at the time”.


November:26:2012 - 09:08 | Comments & Trackbacks (6) | Permalink
6 Responses to “Walking back from the Brink”
  1. 1
    Sparky Said:
    November:26:2012 - 09:35 

    Not surprising that a trip to the Magic Kingdom would have such an effect upon one’s beliefs. Many more have become polytheists, atheists or even devil worshippers. What to expect as a result of an artifially manufactured culture?

    Not surprising in the other story that women are being tracked. Who wouldn’t want to escape from oppression?!!!

    It is all bound to blow up at some point.

  2. 2
    G Jeff Said:
    November:26:2012 - 13:29 

    Good article and a slightly fresh perspective (at least for me) on this topic. It’s long been known that gangs like to recruit young for reasons including the ability to influence the minds of the members. Neo-Nazi’s have done it for years as have Street Gangs, but I’ve never heard it mentioned with Jihadi’s before.

    It’s a shame that it will keep happening though, young impressionable minds will always be susceptible to a good scapegoat mentality for all that ails them.

  3. 3
    Solomon2 Said:
    November:26:2012 - 20:55 

    I’m not sure “walking” is the right way to phrase Othman’s journey; it sounds more like “wrestled away and pinned to the mat” to me.

  4. 4
    News-2012-11-27 | SUSRIS Pinged With:
    November:27:2012 - 10:08 

    [...] Walking back from the Brink [...]

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    November:27:2012 - 10:11 

    [...] Walking back from the Brink [...]

  6. 6
    News – 2012.11.27 | ArabiaLink Pinged With:
    November:27:2012 - 10:13 

    [...] Walking back from the Brink [...]

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