Top Gamaa Islamiya leader resigns to 'fight counter-revolution'
Ahram Online, Saturday 27 Apr 2013
Assem Abdel Maged prefers to spare the Islamist group he is a leading member of any responsibility for his increasingly bolder stances - like his controversial call to protest at judges' homes

A leading member of the well-known Islamist group Al-Gamaa Al-Islamiya, Assem Abdel Maged, announces his resignation on Friday.

Abdel Maged sees that the restrictions and standards imposed on the members of Al-Gamaa Al-Islamiya has made it similar to any other party or group and have made the group incapable of facing the counter-revolution.

In exclusive statements to Ahram Arabic news site Abdel Maged reveals that he will start taking a bolder stance against who he calls "former regime remnants" and their attempts to regain leadership of Egypt's political scene and doesn't want Al-Gamaa Al-Islamiya to be held responsible for his statements.

To answer the uproar against his call for peaceful protests not only in front of the High Court but also in front of the houses of some judges during a recent governmental move to purge the judiciary (who some believe are corrupt) he tells Ahram that he believes Islamists should be in constant revolution on the street and among the public.

Assem Abdel Maged was among those convicted in the assassination of President Sadat in 1981. In the same year he led an armed group following the Jihad Islamist group to attack and occupy the Assiut security directorate, killing no less than 97 policemen and civilians in one of the worst terrorism clashes in the Upper Egyptian city. He was injured and arrested in that operation. In 1984 he was sentenced 25 years in jail.

In 1997, however, as a member of the Shura council of Al-Gamaa Al-Islamiya, he took part in the initiative to stop violence between Islamist groups and security forces and to reject violence.