Thank you, President Obama. We have come full circle. The assassin of a pioneer for peace, Anwar Sadat, is now part of the election process. Instead of being executed for the assassination of Anwar Sadat, Aboud al-Zumour was released after the overthrow of Mubarak, and now insists that he is ready to share power in the wake of the overwhelming Islamic win in the Egyptian elections.
Notice when the West has to acknowledge Islamic political parties and influences, it's "islamist." That is nonsense, a western construct for fantasists. The language of the delusional and the absurd. It's an artificial distinction and an intellecutal waste of time.
Aboud al-Zumour, Islamic Jihad mastermind of Sadat's murder, comes in from the cold after Egypt election The Telegraph (hat tip Daryl)
The young protesters who toppled President Mubarak wanted freedom, but instead they are getting Islamic radicals who want to introduce a strict new moral regime.Aboud al-Zumour, leader of the Islamic Jihad Party in Egypt Photo: JULIAN SIMMONDS
Aboud al-Zumour is one Egyptian prisoner over whose long incarceration by the Mubarak regime few human rights groups or American diplomats shed a tear.
Convicted of masterminding the assassination of the late President Anwar Sadat, he was a close friend of Ayman Zawahiri, the man now leading al-Qaeda. He still speaks with admiration of his former cell-mate, who he says is a "very kind and nice man".
He backs "resistance" against the "occupiers" in the Middle East - America and Israel. In his ideal Egypt, the sale of alcohol would be banned, beaches would be segregated and thieves would have their hands cut off - though, he says "it would not happen because no-one would steal".
Until last week Islamists like him were at the radical fringe, but the first results from last week's election have shown a staggering success for Islamist parties like Mr Zumour's.
Anxious liberal candidates are so worried the hardliners are now heading for a landslide that they are now making desperate appeals to Egyptians to support them in the next two rounds of voting.
The cause of their fear is men like Mr Zumour, no longer just another militant but one of a string of Islamist radicals once banned and jailed who have thrown themselves into electoral politics.
The radicals' success showed they can no longer be deemed marginal figures. They now seem certain to play a role for good or ill in the new, hopefully democratic Egypt - and they are becoming deeply divisive figures, although Mr Zumour insists he is ready to share power.
"We want to join a coalition," he told The Sunday Telegraph in an interview at his modest apartment not far from the pyramids of Giza.
"People must learn to trust and be comfortable with our Islamic vision, and know that we value peace and mercy and justice and development."
Mr Zumour spent 30 years in prison for the Sadat killing before being released after the revolution that toppled Mr Sadat's successor, Hosni Mubarak. He is now on the council of Gamaa Islamiya, another militant group previously responsible for numerous murderous attacks on tourists and civilian targets that has, like him, "gone straight".
He estimates it will win seven per cent of the seats in the parliament for which elections began this week. In results declared late on Friday from the first third of seats, the Freedom and Justice Party, created and backed by the Muslim Brotherhood, won more than 30 per cent of the vote in two regions, beating even their expectations.
The brothers were banned and persecuted for decades, yet even when they were underground they became part of the mainstream, winning massive popular support with social programmes.
Gamaa Islamiya's allied party Nour, representing Salafis who follow the puritan Saudi-style version of Sunni Islam, won more than 20 per cent of the vote. It was not clear how much of the vote Gamaa Islamiya had won last night but it appeared to be on course to win several seats.
Together the hardline parties beat the liberal Egyptian Bloc into third place, a result profoundly depressing to secular and Christian Egyptians.
Depressing?? More like fatal. Read the rest.