US embassy cable - 87ALEXANDRIA291

ISLAMIC TRILOGY, PART II: LEADERS AND MOSQUES OF THE ISLAMIC RIGHT IN ALEXANDRIA

Identifier: 87ALEXANDRIA291
Wikileaks: View 87ALEXANDRIA291 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Consulate Alexandria
Created: 1987-02-25 15:25:00
Classification: CONFIDENTIAL
Tags: KPRP PINS PGOV PHUM ECON PINR SOCI EG
Redacted: This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.
R 251525Z FEB 87
FM AMCONSUL ALEXANDRIA
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 6520
INFO AMEMBASSY CAIRO
AMEMBASSY AMMAN
AMEMBASSY TEL AVIV
AMCONSUL JERUSALEM
AMEMBASSY RIYADH
USCINCCENT MACDILL AFB FL
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 06 ALEXANDRIA 00291 
 
USCINCCENT FOR POLAD HOWELL 
 
E.O. 12356: DECL: OADR 
TAGS: KPRP, PINS, PGOV, PHUM, ECON, PINR, SOCI, EG 
SUBJECT:  ISLAMIC TRILOGY, PART II:  LEADERS AND 
          MOSQUES OF THE ISLAMIC RIGHT IN ALEXANDRIA 
 
REF:  (A)  ALEXANDRIA 00289 
      (B)  ALEXANDRIA 00290 
 
 
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1.  (CONFIDENTIAL - ENTIRE TEXT.) 
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2.  SUMMARY AND COMMENT:  THIS TELEGRAM TRANSMITS 
PART II OF OUR REPORT ON THE ISLAMIC RIGHT IN 
ALEXANDRIA AND IDENTIFIES SOME OF THE PRINCIPAL 
SPIRITUAL AND (POTENTIALLY) POLITICAL LEADERS IN 
THIS CITY AND THE MAIN "RADICAL" MOSQUES.  WHILE 
THERE ARE DOUBTLESS MANY DIVISIONS BETWEEN VARIOUS 
FACTIONS, THERE ARE ALSO SUGGESTIONS THAT THE 
ISLAMIC RIGHT IS BETTER ORGANIZED THAN SOME 
OBSERVERS SUGGEST.  THIS MAY ACCOUNT, FOR EXAMPLE, 
FOR THE "ISLAMIC GAMAAT'S" RECURRING SUCCESSES 
IN ALEXANDRIA UNIVERSITY'S STUDENT UNION ELECTIONS. 
MOREOVER, THE ORGANIZATION, DISCIPLINE, AND WELL- 
FINANCED MASS PUBLIC PRAYER MEETINGS HELD AT THE 
END OF RAMADAN AND THE BEGINNING OF THE 'ID AL-IDHA 
SUGGEST THERE MUST BE MORE LINKAGES BETWEEN 
PRINCIPAL LEADERS AND VARIOUS ORGANIZATIONS THAN 
MEETS THE EYE.  ANOTHER INTERESTING POINT IS THE 
CONTINUED ACTIVISM IN ALEXANDRIA OF MANY OF THE 
ISLAMIC STUDENT LEADERS OF THE 1970'S, EVEN THOUGH 
THEY HAVE NOW LEFT SCHOOL, ENTERED THE WORK PLACE, 
AND MAINTAIN A LOW PROFILE.  THEY MAY NO LONGER 
BE DEMONSTRATING IN THE STREETS, BUT THEIR 
COMMITMENT TO AN ISLAMIC EGYPT APPEARS, IN MANY 
CASES AT LEAST, UNABATED.  FUTURE POST REPORTING 
WILL ATTEMPT TO EXPLORE THEIR ACTIVITIES AND 
THEIR IMPACT ON ALEXANDRIA'S SOCIAL AND POLITICAL 
ENVIRONMENT IN GREATER DETAIL.  END SUMMARY AND 
COMMENT. 
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THE SPIRITUAL AND (POTENTIALLY) POLITICAL LEADERS 
--------------------------------------------- ---- 
3.  WITH PERIODIC EXCEPTIONS, LEADERS OF THE 
ISLAMIC RIGHT IN ALEXANDRIA NO LONGER CAPTURE 
THE NATIONAL NEWSPAPER HEADLINES AS THEY DID IN 
THE LATE 1970'S AND EARLY 1980'S, WHEN TWO 
ALEXANDRIAN CLERICS, AHMAD AL-MAHALLAWI AND 
MAHMUD EID, WERE AMONG  THE BEST KNOWN OF EGYPT'S 
"RADICAL" SHAYKHS.  NEVERTHELESS, THE ISLAMIC 
RIGHT'S SPIRITUAL AND (POTENTIALLY) POLITICAL 
RANKS ARE FAR FROM EMPTY.  SEVERAL INDIVIDUALS, 
SOME IDENTIFIED OPENLY WITH THE MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD, 
HAVE FOLLOWINGS IN ALEXANDRIA AND CAN BE CONSIDERED 
THE ISLAMIC RIGHT'S LEADING SPIRITUAL AND (POTENTIALLY) 
POLITICAL LEADERS.  THEY ARE BUTTRESSED BY THE 
LEADERS OF THE NUMEROUS "ISLAMIC GAMAAT" OR 
GROUPS.  THE LATTER ARE FOCUSED LARGELY, BUT 
NOT EXCLUSIVELY, ON THE ALEXANDRIA UNIVERSITY 
CAMPUS.  INCREASINGLY, WE HAVE DETECTED "GAMAAT" 
ACTIVITY AMONG YOUNG PROFESSIONALS, AND MANY OF 
THE "GAMAAT" LEADERS WE HAVE BEEN ABLE TO IDENTIFY 
ARE DRAWN FROM THIS LATTER CATEGORY.  FINALLY, 
THERE ARE OTHER ISLAMIC RIGHT LEADERS WHO ARE MEMBERS 
OF SECULAR POLITICAL PARTIES.  THESE MEN ARE NOT 
ALL NECESSARILY "RADICAL" IN THEIR RELIGIOUS 
VIEWPOINTS, AND SOME ARE CONSIDERED POLITICAL 
OPPORTUNISTS WHO HAVE SIMPLY "ADOPTED" THE ISLAMIC 
TREND IN ORDER TO FURTHER THEIR OWN POLITICAL 
AMBITIONS.  WHETHER THEY WILL SURVIVE THE ELECTORAL 
LIST VETTING NOW UNDERWAY IN PREPARATION FOR 
THE APRIL 6 PARLIAMENTARY ELECTION REMAINS TO BE SEEN. 
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4.  JUST AS INDIVIDUAL LEADERS ARE NO LONGER AS 
VISIBLE AS THEY WERE, SO TOO IS IT DIFFICULT TO 
PINPOINT INDIVIDUAL MOSQUES AS PARTICULAR "HOTBEDS" 
OF THE ISLAMIC RIGHT.  IN THIS MESSAGE, WE HAVE 
DENOTED SEVERAL OF THE MOSQUES WITH ACTIVE IMAMS 
AND CONGREGATIONS, BUT NONE OF THEM APPROACHES, 
EITHER SYMBOLICALLY OR POLITICALLY, THE IMPORTANCE 
WHICH SHAYKH AL-MAHALLAWI'S "QA'ID IBRAHIM" 
MOSQUE HAD BEFORE 1981. 
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5.  WHAT THIS ALL MEANS IS OPEN TO DEBATE.  SOME 
INSIST, UNCONVINCINGLY, THAT THE ISLAMIC LEADERSHIP 
IN ALEXANDRIA, AS ELSEWHERE IN EGYPT, HAS NO 
CENTRAL ORGANIZATION.  THEY DEPICT THE ISLAMIC 
RIGHT HERE AS BEING LITTLE MORE THAN NUMEROUS, 
HIGHLY INDIVIDUALISTIC, RELIGIOUS GROUPS WITH NO 
COMMON AGENDA AND LITTLE CONTACT AMONG ONE 
ANOTHER WHICH EXPLAINS WHY THEIR SUCCESS IN 
LOCAL ELECTIONS HAS BEEN MODEST. 
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6.  OTHER INFORMED OBSERVERS (INCLUDING A GOOD 
SOURCE IN STATE SECURITY) ARE CONVINCED THAT THE 
LEADERS OF THE ISLAMIC RIGHT CONSCIOUSLY ADOPTED 
A "LOWER PROFILE" IN ORDER TO AVOID RENEWED GOE 
RETRIBUTION ON THE SCALE OF SADAT'S 1981 CRACKDOWN 
WHILE DEVELOPING ROOTS AMONG THEIR LOCAL COMMUNITIES 
AND FOLLOWERS.  WHILE CONCEDING THAT THERE IS 
COMPETITION AMONG VARIOUS ELEMENTS COMPRISING THE 
ISLAMIC RIGHT, THEY POINT BOTH TO PRESIDENT SADAT'S 
1981 ASSERTION THAT THE "ISLAMIC GAMAAT" ARE 
ESSENTIALLY AN MB-SPONSORED UNDERGROUND AND TO THE 
ISLAMIC RIGHT'S WELL-COORDINATED ORCHESTRATION OF 
UNIVERSITY STUDENT UNION ELECTIONS AND THE MASS 
PUBLIC PRAYER MEETINGS AT THE ALEXANDRIA STADIUM 
WHICH MOBILIZE OVER 100,000 WORSHIPPERS TWICE YEARLY. 
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7.  WE HAVE DIVIDED THE ISLMAIC RIGHT'S SPIRITUAL 
LEADERSHIP IN ALEXANDRIA INTO THREE SEPARATE 
CATEGORIES.  AS NONE OF THESE MEN CURRENTLY HOLDS 
AN IMPORTANT POSITION (ASIDE FROM POSSIBLE 
MEMBERSHIP) WITHIN A POLITICAL PARTY, THE SEMI-LEGAL 
MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD OR ANY OTHER RELIGIOUS GROUPING, 
THEIR POLITICAL INFLUENCE IS STILL MORE POTENTIAL 
THAN REAL.  ON THE ONE HAND, THERE IS NO WAY OF 
KNOWING AS YET THE EXTENT TO WHICH THEY HARBOR 
PERSONAL POLITICAL AMBITIONS.  ON THE OTHER, 
CIRCUMSTANCES ARE NOT PROPITIOUS FOR THEM TO ENTER 
THE POLITICAL ARENA EVEN IF THEY SHOULD WANT TO. 
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8.  PRINCIPAL INFLUENCES: 
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(A)  AHMAD AL-MAHALLAWI, IMAM OF AL-QA'ID IBRAHIM 
MOSQUE:  SINCE HIS RELEASE FROM PRISON IN 1982, 
AL-MAHALLAWI HAS TAKEN A LOWER PROFILE IN 
ISLAMIC AFFAIRS.  USUALLY HIS FRIDAY SERMONS 
FOCUS ON RELIGIOUS MATTERS, NOT POLITICS (ONE 
EXCEPTION WAS HIS ANTI-ISRAEL BLAST FOLLOWING 
THE SEPTEMBER 1986 ALEXANDRIA SUMMIT).  AN 
ASCETIC TYPE WHO LIVES HUMBLY, AL-MAHALLAWI IS 
QUITE ALOOF AND DOES NOT IMPRESS A WESTERNER AS 
A PERSONALITY WITH MUCH CHARISMA.  NEVERTHELESS, 
HE RETAINS CONSIDERABLE STATURE IN ALEXANDRIA 
AND HAS A DEVOTED FOLLOWING.  ACCORDING TO 
OPPOSIION PRESS REPORTS, IT WAS AL-MAHALLAWI'S 
ATTEMPT TO ADDRESS A MOSQUE IN ASYUT LAST YEAR 
WHICH SPARKED A SERIOUS CLASH BETWEEN ISLAMIC 
RADICALS AND SECURITY POLICE.  IN GENERAL, AL- 
MAHALLAWI'S RHETORIC HAS MELLOWED IN RECENT 
YEARS, ALTHOUGH HE REMAINS A PASSIONATE ADVOCATE 
OF AN ISLAMIC STATE.  SINCE THE SURPRISE ANNOUNCEMENT 
OF NEW PARLIAMENTARY ELECTIONS, RUMORS HAVE 
CIRCULATED THAT AL-MAHALLAWI WILL BE A CANDIDATE 
FOR ONE OF THE INDEPENDENT SEATS.  IF HE RUNS (AND 
IF THE ELECTIONS ARE FAIR), OBSERVERS BELIEVE HE WILL 
BE DIFFICULT TO BEAT. 
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(B)  MAHMOUD EID (AKA MAHMUD 'ID):  ALONG WITH 
AL-MAHALLAWI, EID WAS VERY ACTIVE IN THE LATE 1970'S. 
HE HAS SPENT MOST OF THE PAST SEVERAL YEARS IN THE 
GULF, ALTHOUGH HE IS SAID TO RETAIN A DEVOTED 
FOLLOWING IN ALEXANDRIA.  HE IS ALSO ALLEGED TO 
RETAIN SEVERAL OF THE RADICAL ISLAMIC VIEWS 
WHICH GOT HIM INTO TROUBLE WITH THE LATE PRESIDENT 
SADAT. 
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(C)  MUHAMMAD AL-MARAGHI:  A WAFDIST MEMBER OF THE 
PEOPLE'S ASSEMBLY, AL-MARAGHI IS KNOWN LOCALLY AS 
A LEADING MEMBER OF THE MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD 
AND SPIRITUAL LEADER TO SOME OF THE "ISLAMIC 
GAMAAT" (GROUPS) IN THE CITY.  IN HIS LATE FORTIES 
OR EARLY FIFTIES, HE IS KNOWN AS A FORCEFUL 
SPEAKER WHO IS TOTALLY COMMITTED TO AN ISLAMIC 
STATE IN EGYPT.  HOSTILE TO THE U.S. AND ITS 
POLICIES.  AL-MARAGHI SEEMS TO HAVE ALMOST AS 
MANY DETRACTORS AS HE HAS ADMIRERS, AND HIS 
REELECTION TO THE PEOPLES ASSEMBLY IN THE FORTHCOMING 
ELECTIONS IS IN DOUBT. 
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(D)  ADEL EID (AKA ADIL 'ID):  AN ARTICULATE AND 
RADICAL ALEXANDRIAN LAWYER, EID IS ALLEGED TO 
HAVE CONSIDERABLE INFLUENCE IN RADICAL ISLAMIC 
CIRCLES AND, LIKE AL-MARAGHI, TO BE THE SPIRITUAL 
LEADER OF SOME LOCAL "ISLAMIC GAMAAT."  ARDENTLY 
ANTI-U.S. AND ANTI-ISRAEL, HE ONCE INDICATED HE 
WOULD ONLY COME TO CG'S RESIDENCE IF HE COULD BE 
CONVINCED "NO ISRAELIS WERE PRESENT."  HE WASN'T, 
AND HE DIDN'T COME.  EID IS ALSO MENTIONED AS A 
POSSIBLE CANDIDATE FOR THE PEOPLES ASSEMBLY. 
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(E)  YASSIN RUSHDI:  RUSHDI WAS ALLEGEDLY A 
MUSLIM BROTHER AT ONE TIME.  HE IS A FORMER NAVAL 
OFFICER WHO WAS BOOTED OUT OF THE MILITARY BY 
NASSER FOR HIS ISLAMIC ACTIVISM.  NOT RESPECTED 
AS A SCHOLAR (HE HAS NO SUCH CREDENTIALS), 
RUSHDI IS NEVERTHELESS KNOWN AS A CHARISMATIC 
AND ARTICULATE LEADER WHO HAS A LARGE AND DEVOTED 
FOLLOWING DRAWN FROM THE MIDDLE AND UPPER MIDDLE 
CLASSES.  HIS SERMONS AND LECTURES ARE AVAILABLE 
ON WIDELY-SOLD TAPES.  RUSHDI'S LARGE AND TASTEFUL 
MOSQUE ("AL-MOWASSAT") IS JAMMED AT PRAYER TIMES 
AND FOR HIS EVENING LECTURES.  HE IS KNOWN GENERALLY 
TO SHY AWAY FROM POLITICAL SUBJECTS AND EMPHASIZE 
PERSONAL PIETY.  ABOUT FIFTY, HE WELL OFF OWING 
TO A CONSTRUCTION BUSINESS HE OPERATES ON THE 
SIDE.  BECAUSE OF HIS ALLEGED MAGNETIC HOLD ON 
UPPER CLASS WOMEN, HE HAS BEEN TERMED BY SOME HERE 
AS "THE RASPUTIN OF ALEXANDRIA." 
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9.  LEADERS OF ALEXANDRIA'S "ISLAMIC GAMAAT": 
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(A)  AHMAD MAHMUD NAFIS HAMDI:  A LEADER OF THE 
"ISLAMIC GAMAAT" AT ALEXANDRIA UNIVERSITY'S 
ENGINEERING FACULTY, HAMDI WAS ELECTED PRESIDENT 
OF THE STUDENT UNION IN EARLY DECEMBER 1986. 
VERY RELIGIOUS, HE IS SAID TO BE NON-CONFRONTATIONAL 
AND VERY PERSONABLE. 
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(B)  WAGIH MUHAMMAD ABU HALIMA:  CURRENTLY VICE 
PRESIDENT OF THE ALEXANDRIA STUDENT UNION, ABU 
HALIMA IS ONE OF THE "GAMAAT" LEADERS IN THE 
MEDICAL SCHOOL, THE FACULTY WHICH PERHAPS SHOWS 
MORE ISLAMIC MANIFESTATIONS THAN ANY OF THE 
OTHERS.  HE IS SAID TO BE MORE VOCAL AND AMBITIOUS 
THAN HAMDI. 
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(C)  KHALID ABD AL-RAHMAN AL-ZAFARANI:  HEAD OF 
THE PHYSICIANS SYNDICATE IN ALEXANDRIA, 
AL-ZAFARANI ACCORDING TO ONE SOURCE IS FRIENDLY 
WITH (AND ONCE THE EMPLOYEE OF) DR. ALI MEHELBA, 
CHAIRMAN OF THE ANDALUS ACID COMPANY (SEE PART III). 
AL-ZAFARANI IS VERY ACTIVE IN THE "GAMAAT" 
MOVEMENT.  IN HIS MID-30'S, HE HAS FLIRTED WITH 
VARIOUS FACTIONS OVER THE PAST DECADE, INCLUDING 
"AL-TAKFIR W'AL-HIJRA" IN ITS FORMATIVE YEARS. 
CURRENT ORGANIZATIONAL AFFILIATIONS ARE UNKNOWN. 
AL-ZAFARANI IS SAID TO BE CHARISMATIC.  HE AVOIDS 
WESTERNERS AND STAYS OUT OF THE LIMELIGHT.  STATE 
SECURITY TELLS US HE WAS A LEADER OF THE "GAMAAT" 
MOVEMENT EARLY IN THE DECADE AND WAS IMPRISONED 
FOR HIS ACTIVITIES IN 1981.  HE CONTINUES TO BE 
UNDER SURVEILLANCE.  MANY SOURCES IN ISLAMIC CIRCLES 
HERE BELIEVE AL-ZAFARANI MAY BE CONSIDERING A HIGHER 
PROFILE.  THEY HAVE SUGGESTED TO US HE MAY BECOME 
A CANDIDATE FOR THE APRIL 6 PEOPLES ASSEMBLY ELECTIONS. 
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(D)  SAMIH SAID HASAN AL-SABA:  CURRENTLY 27 YEARS 
OLD AND THE FORMER HEAD OF THE "GAMAAT" IN THE 
ALEXANDRIA MEDICAL FACULTY, AL-SABA WAS IMPRISONED 
IN 1981 AND SUBSEQUENTLY RELEASED.  HE IS 
ALLEGEDLY A FOLLOWER OF AL-ZAFARANI, AND STATE 
SECURITY ALLEGES SOMETIMES ENGAGES IN ANTI-REGIME 
AND ANTI-AMERICAN PAMPHLETERRING (THE LAST TIME 
APPARENTLY DURING THE "ACHILLE LAURO" EPISODE). 
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(E)  SABRI NUR:  IN HIS FIFTIES, NUR IS AN OLDER, 
BUT CHARISMATIC AND ARTICULATE, LEADER OF ONE 
OF THE ISLAMIC GROUPS IN ALEXANDRIA WHICH IS 
BELIEVED TO SUPPORT SHAYKH SALAH ABU ISMAIL. 
NUR VOICES AN EXTREMIST POLITICAL AGENDA AND 
CLAIMS TO HAVE A LARGE AND YOUTHFUL  FOLLOWING. 
HE IS PERIODICALLY THE SUBJECT OF PRESS INTERVIEWS 
AND COMMENTARY IN THE LIBERALS' WEEKLY NEWSPAPER, 
"AL-AHRAR." 
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(F)  AHMAD AL-SAYYID HATAYBA:  TWENTY-NINE YEARS 
OF AGE, HATAYBA WAS THE HEAD OF THE ISLAMIC 
GROUP IN THE ALEXANDRIA FACULTY OF DENTISTRY 
UNTIL HIS 1981 ARREST.  HE IS CONSIDERED MORE 
POLITICIZED THAN SOME OF HIS FELLOW "GAMAAT" 
LEADERS AND IS SAID TO FREQUENTLY CRITICIZE GOE 
POLICIES. 
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(G)  FAHMI MUHAMMAD AMER:  ANOTHER OF AL-ZAFARANI'S 
ALLEGED PROTEGES, AMER IN THE PAST HAS BEEN 
ACTIVE IN THE "FAJR AL-ISLAM" MOVEMENT (SEE 
PART III).  HE WAS A LEADER OF THE "GAMAAT" 
MOVEMENT IN THE FACULTY OF ARTS DURING HIS 
STUDENT YEARS. 
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(H)  MAJDI MUHAMMAD HASAN RAJAB WARDA (AKA 
MAGDI WARDA):  WE HAVE NOT BEEN ABLE TO PINPOINT 
THE MOSQUE WHERE WARDA IS CURRENTLY ACTIVE. 
HOWEVER, WE UNDERSTAND THAT IN HIS ACTIVE YEARS 
AT ALEXANDRIA'S LAW FACULTY HE WAS A VOCAL AND 
HARSH CRITIC OF THE COPTS AND STILL DELIVERS 
ANTI-CHRISTIAN  AND ANTI-JEWISH POLEMICS PERIODICALLY 
FROM ANY ONE OF THE DOZENS OF PRIVATE MOSQUES 
IN THE CITY. 
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10.  ISLAMIC VOICES IN THE ALEX BRANCHES OF THE 
SECULAR PARTIES: 
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(A)  HAMMAD AL-KHAYYAL:  A NDP MEMBER OF THE 
PEOPLES ASSEMBLY, AL-KHAYYAL IS BEARDED AND 
ESPOUSES RELIGIOUS CAUSES.  ALEXANDRIANS ARE 
SUSPICIOUS OF HIS MOTIVES.  AL-KHAYYAL IS 
ALLEGED BY THESE SOURCES TO BE A LEFTIST WHO 
IS USING HIS NEW ISLAMIC GUISE TO FURTHER HIS 
OWN POLITICAL AIMS.  SOME IN THE NDP ARE TRYING TO 
REMOVE HIM FROM THE PARTY LIST FOR THE FORTHCOMING 
ELECTIONS. 
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(B)  AHMAD AL-SHARNOUBI (AKA AL-SHARNUBI):  LIKE 
AL-KHAYYAL, AL-SHARNOUBI IS BEARDED AND STRONGLY 
SUPPORTS ISLAMIC ISSUES (E.G., HE FAVORS 
PROHIBITION AND ADOPTION OF THE "SHARIA").  HE 
IS ALSO CONSIDERED BY SOME HERE AS A CLOSET LEFTIST. 
HE IS AN NDP MEMBER OF THE PEOPLES ASSEMBLY.  SOME 
LOCAL PARTY OFFICIALS WOULD LIKE TO SEE HIM REMOVED 
FROM THE FORTHCOMING PARTY LIST. 
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(C)  MUSTAFA EL GUEINDY (AKA MUSTAFA AL-GUINDI): 
CHAIRMAN OF THE RELIGIOUS COMMITTEE OF THE PEOPLES 
ASSEMBLY, AL-GUINDI IS ALSO A SECONDARY SCHOOL 
ARABIC TEACHER AND THE IMAM OF KABARI MOSQUE IN 
WEST ALEXANDRIA.  HE IS VERY RELIGIOUS BUT 
REGARDED AS A MODERATE. 
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(D)  DR. AHMAD SAYYID DARWISH:  ACTIVE AS WELL IN 
THE LOCAL BRANCH OF THE LIBERALS ("AL-AHRAR") PARTY. 
DARWISH IS THE HEAD OF THE PARTY'S YOUTH ORGANIZATION 
IN ALBANJNDRIA.  O NIS BEING PROMOTED AS A CANDIDATE 
FOR THE NEW PEOPLES ASSEMBLY ELECTIONS.  HE IS IN 
HIS LATE FIFTIES OR EARLY SIXTIES AND IS SUSPICIOUS 
OF WESTERNERS. 
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RADICAL MOSQUES 
--------------- 
11.  IN THE DAYS WHEN THE POLITICAL ACTIVITIES 
OF THE ISLAMIC RIGHT HAD A HIGH PROFILE IN 
ALEXANDRIA, TWO MOSQUES WERE THE PRINCIPAL 
FOCAL POINTS FOR ALMOST WEEKLY DEMONSTRATIONS: 
MAHALLAWI'S "AL-QA'ID IBRAHIM" MOSQUE AND "AL-SALLAM" 
MOSQUE IN THE BULKLI DISTRICT WHERE SHAYKH MAHMUD 
EID HELD FORTH.  INFLUENCE IS NOW MORE DISPERSED, 
IN PART AS A CONSEQUENCE OF THE GOE'S EFFORTS TO 
BRING MORE OF EGYPT'S ESTIMATED 40,000 PRIVATE 
OR "UNOFFICIAL" MOSQUES UNDER THE CONTROL OF 
THE MINISTRY OF AWQAF.  THIS EFFORT HAS ONLY 
PARTIALLY SUCCEEDED IN ALEXANDRIA WHERE PRIVATELY 
BUILT AND FUNDED MOSQUES CONTINUE TO PROLIFERATE. 
MEMBERS OF THE "GAMAAT" FREQUENTLY COMPRISE THE 
BULK OF THE CONGREGATIONS AT THESE MOSQUES, 
WHERE VERY CONSERVATIVE (BUT NOT NECESSARILY 
POLITICAL) MESSAGES ARE PREACHED EACH FRIDAY AND 
DURING VARIOUS WEEKLY STUDY SESSIONS AND PRAYER 
MEETINGS. 
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12.  FOLLOWING IS AN ANNOTATED LISTING OF SOME 
OF THE MORE PROMINENT MOSQUES IN ALEXANDRIA WHERE 
THE MORE ACTIVE PROPONENTS OF THE ISLAMIC RIGHT 
GATHER: 
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(A)  "AL-QA'ID IBRAHIM" MOSQUE:  AL-MAHALLAWI 
HAS BEEN ALLOWED TO RETURN TO THIS MOSQUE, AND 
PERIODICALLY HE WILL ATTRACT LOCAL ATTENTION WITH 
PROVOCATIVE REMARKS IN HIS FRIDAY SERMONS.  AT 
PRESENT, IT IS NOT THE CENTER FOR ISLAMIC ACTIVISM 
THAT IT WAS IN 1980. 
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(B)  "AL-SALAM MOSQUE":  WITH MUHAMMAD EID OUT OF 
THE COUNTRY, THIS MOSQUE IS NO LONGER AS IMPORTANT 
A GATHERING POINT FOR THE ISLAMIC RIGHT AS IT 
ONCE WAS.  HOWEVER, IT IS STILL FREQUENTED BY 
WORSHIPPERS IN VERY CONSERVATIVE ISLAMIC ATTIRE. 
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(C)  "ASR AL-ISLAM" MOSQUE:  LOCATED ON A MAIN 
STREET IN THE SIDI GABR DISTRICT, THIS MOSQUE 
ATTRACTS FULLY VEILED WOMEN AND BEARDED MEN. 
IT HAS NO SPECIFIC IMAM, BUT MUHAMMAD MARAGHI 
IS SAID TO FREQUENT IT, AND UMAR AL-TALMASANI, 
THE LATE MB LEADER, PREACHED THERE IN 1986. 
ONE SERMON RECENTLY OVERHEARD BY A CONGEN EMPLOYEE 
ATTACKED THE WEALTHY HARSHLY FOR NOT HELPING THE 
POOR.  ANTI-CHRISTIAN AND ANTI-JEWISH SERMONS ARE 
REGULARLY PREACHED, AS WELL.  DURING THE SEPTEMBER 1986 
ALEXANDRIA SUMMIT, THEN-PRIME MINISTER PERES WAS 
SCORNED IN VERY INSULTING TERMS.  A MEDICAL CLINIC 
OF THE SAME NAME, FOR WOMEN ONLY, IS ASSOCIATED 
WITH THIS MOSQUE AND IS USUALLY CROWDED.  TREATMENT 
IS SAID TO BE GOOD, AND PRICES ARE AFFORDABLE BY 
MIDDLE CLASS EGYPTIANS. 
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(D)  "FAJR AL-ISLAM" MOSQUE:  THIS MOSQUE IS 
ALLEGEDLY RUN BY A GROUP CALLING THEMSELVES, 
"SUPPORTERS OF KHOMEINI"--A STRANGE APPELATION 
AS MOST DEVOUT SUNNIS DO NOT CONSIDER SHIA TO BE 
MUSLIMS.  SERMONS ARE SAID TO BE FREQUENTLY ANTI- 
CHRISTIAN, ALLEGING FOR EXAMPLE, THAT CHRISTIANS 
ARE ATHEISTS WHO WILL SURELY GO TO HELL. 
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(E)  "FATIH AL-ISLAM" MOSQUE:  LOCATED IN THE 
EXCLUSIVE RUSHDI DISTRICT WHERE MANY DIPLOMATS 
AND WESTERNERS LIVE, THIS MOSQUE WAS BUILT IN 
WHAT WAS INTENDED TO BE A GARAGE.  MOST OF THE 
CONGREGANTS ARE YOUNG, BEARDED, AND WEAR WHITE 
GALIBIYAS.  FROM WHAT WE CAN TELL, SERMONS TEND 
TO BE APOLITICAL, FOCUSING ON INTERPRETATIONS OF 
KORANIC PASSAGES.  THICK GLOVES AND OTHER 
EXTREMIST ACCOUTREMENTS FOR WOMEN ARE SOLD OUTSIDE 
THE MOSQUE ON FRIDAYS. 
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(F)  "AL-MOAWASSAT" MOSQUE:  THIS IS THE MOSQUE 
OF YASSIN RUSHDI, THE SO-CALLED "RASPUTIN" OF 
THE ISLAMIC MOVEMENT IN ALEXANDRIA.  RUSHDI IS 
NOT CONSIDERED A POLITICAL RADICAL, BUT HIS 
MOSQUE IS INCLUDED IN THIS LIST BECAUSE OF THE 
NUMBER OF ADHERENTS WHO GATHER HERE EACH WEEK TO 
LISTEN TO HIS SERMONS AND TEACHINGS. 
 
 
HAMBLEY 

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