Following are excerpts from an interview with Egyptian author Galal Amin, which aired on Al-Jazeera TV on February 21, 2009.
Interviewer: You once said that you suspected that Israel was behind the attempted assassination of the author Naguib Mahfouz.
Galal Amin: You are raising very sensitive issues. It is true that I said this, and I still believe it to be true, but...
Interviewer: Even though we know who stabbed Mahfouz.
Galal Amin: Even so...
Interviewer: The extremist Islamists were accused of this at the time.
Galal Amin: Let me tell you how I view it. When I say that Israel is responsible, I can't tell you exactly how it happened. The responsibility it bears may be indirect responsibility. In my opinion, the assassination attempt on Naguib Mahfouz was part of a series of attacks. There had not been any such incidents for a while, and this also should be looked into. As I recall, around the time of this attack, a bus exploded at Al-Tahrir Square with the tourists it was carrying, and the same thing happened to another bus on Al-Haram Street. The largest, and I think, the last, attack took place in Luxor in 1997.
I cannot imagine that a group of Islamist terrorists carried out these attacks – whether the attack on Naguib Mahfouz or the blowing up of buses – for many reasons. First of all, they do not stand to gain anything from such an attack. They would not serve Islam by doing this. I am sure that any one of them, even if his brain was this small, would tell you this. Moreover, the results of the investigations were never published in detail. They said: "We arrested the man who did it." Tell us exactly what you found. I would like to remind you of the Kennedy assassination...
Interviewer: Let's stick with Naguib Mahfouz.
Galal Amin: Okay.
Interviewer: You are against [Mubarak] passing the rule to his son?
Galal Amin: Of course.
Interviewer: For what reason?
Galal Amin: It is humiliating to the Egyptians.
Galal Amin: Why should a leader be succeeded by his son?
Interviewer: What's the problem, if his son has political and economic expertise...
Galal Amin: But he doesn't. His son is no different and no better than many of my students.