Farag Fouda (1946 – 1992)

THE LAST WORDS OF DR. FARAG FOUDA

Terrorism has developed its own culture, for there are the journalists who defend it and the philosophers who justify it, and there are those who finance it.

There are those from the clergy who meet it halfway and those senior figures in the press who hesitate before embracing it.

Which can only make the heart grieve at their duplicity.

The murders continue and the thefts continue and sectarian strife continues.

No citizen is safe.

But there is something new: the police are now being killed. Now the state itself is faced with a threat; now it sees there is no room left for compromise or dialogue. There is nothing as cruel as the words of the supporters of extremism when they write, without shame or embarrassment, that the terrorists is simply a plain honest youth whose aims are just but whose means are wrong.

It is this tune we heard when terrorists murdered the manager of an Islamic bank with his little daughter and a friend who was with them. Once again, we saw the cavalcade of lawyers and opposition papers drumming out their messages of support. Compounding their own sins by supporting the sins of others.

It happened when President Sadat was murdered. His killers had already murdered and robbed Christian traders. Such lawyers and press men have made themselves partners in the sins of these criminals.

Let us take them at their word: these are innocent boys who never meant to steal and pious men who never meant to murder. These undefiled youth never meant to set off the sparks of sectarian violence.

Who then is guilty of making them believe that to steal is to be a hero and to murder is to be a crusader?

Could it be those who spilled so much ink in defense of religious extremism?

Or could it be the clergy who honors terrorists as champions of the faith?

Or the lawyers who convince the guilty of their righteousness?

It is all these who carry the beacons that lead down the path of death and theft and bigotry.

Now tell me: should the heart not grieve?

Dr. Farag Fouda was murdered on 8 June, 1992 by Islamic militants after being denounced by an ad-hoc committee of clerics from Al-Azhar. These are among the last words he wrote.

Index on Censorship ½ 1994

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