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
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”.