Following are excerpts from an interview with Egyptian cleric Zaghloul Al-Naggar, which aired on Al-Jazeera TV on August 9, 2008.
Al-Jazeera TV, August 9, 2008
Zaghloul Al-Naggar: I absolutely believe that the ruling party in Egypt is illegal and unconstitutional. Sadat, may he rest in peace, imposed this regime on the nation by force, and [Mubarak] has inherited this regime from him. In general, political parties grow from the bottom to the top, not vice versa. This party is unconstitutional and illegal, and it rules by force. The ministers, under-secretaries, governors, and all the state officials were made members of this party against their will. I know members of this party who are not loyal to it in any way. I know many such people, not just one.
Allah, who sent down the writings of Abraham, the Torah, the Book of Psalms, the Gospel, and the Koran, did not send down a book called the Old Testament or the New Testament. These are man-made books about the old revelation, but they do not constitute the revelation itself. It has been historically proven that the Torah of Moses was completely lost. The first five books of the Old Testament, which people today refer to as the Torah, were written more than eight centuries after the time of Moses.
I say to the people of the Book: The books you have today are forgeries. They have nothing whatsoever to do with the original revelation. Seek the original revelation in order to be guided to the right path. This is the best advice I can give them, because faith is not a trivial thing in the life of a human being. This faith determines the life of eternity in the world to come – whether eternal life in Paradise or in Hell. This is not trivial.
Interviewer: It sounds as if you are accusing the other of heresy.
Zaghloul Al-Naggar: I'm not. All I'm saying is that these religions have turned into idolatry and heresy, as has been the case throughout human history. If you examine human history from Adam through the Prophet Muhammad, to this day, and until Judgment Day, what you will always find is monotheism followed by polytheism, belief followed by heresy. This has been the case throughout human history.
In the epistles of the New Testament, one of the apostles wrote a letter to his friend: "My friend Theopolis, I went to Jerusalem, I bought two kilos of oranges, I had lunch with so-and-so, I had dinner with so-and-so, I met so-and-so, who sends his regards. What's up? Give my best to your aunt, your niece, and your sister." Can this be called divine revelation?! This is folklore, not divine revelation. Divine revelation consists of divine injunctions and prohibitions, and does not include such things.
The things the Old Testament says about the creation of Man are completely wrong.
Interviewer: For example?
Zaghloul Al-Naggar: It says there that Allah said: "Let us create Man in our image." This has corrupted people's concept of God. No creature can be in the image of its Creator.