Mohamed al Zawahiri, brother of al Qaeda leader Ayman al Zawahiri, wants peace. In an exclusive interview with CNN, Mohamed tells the story of his multiple imprisonments, which led him to the conclusion that there must be peace between the West and Islam. With his graying beard and wrinkled face, Mohammed is “not a physically imposing man,” cites CNN reported Nic Robertson. But he is in a unique position: as brother of the current al Qaeda leader, he feels he has the ability to talk his brother out of violence.
Mohammed himself is no stranger to violence. After being charged involvement in the 1981 assassination of President Anwas Sadat, he spent 14 years in an Egyptian jail, a charge Mohammed denies. For five years, according to Robertson, “he was in solitary confinement in a cell 6ft x 6ft.” Alone with his thoughts, he had plenty to time to develop his proposed plan for peace, which he outlined in a written proposal.
According to CNN, Mohammed “is offering to be an intermediary between Islamists and the United States and the west. ‘I don’t represent a certain group.'”
Our people like death, the same way others like life,’ he tells reporter Nic Robertson. ‘But we do not want to get into this endless cycle of violence. We like for the others and us to live peacefully.’
The UK Daily Mailreports that Mohammed claims, “The portrayal of my brother’s ideologies and mine: that it’s blood thirsty, barbaric, or terrorist, is not true at all.” Later in the interview he describes the difference between his people and the people of the West, saying, “Our people like death, the same way others like life. But we do not want to get into this endless cycle of violence.We like for the other and us to live peacefully.”
According for peace to happen, Mohammed tells Robertson, “You have to be logical, if you want to live in peace then you must make others feel that they will live in peace.” Concerning support in his peace efforts, Robertson reports: “A source with direct knowledge of Egyptian government talks with jihadists in the Sinai says Zawahiri is helping negotiations. The source says Zawahiri has the respect of the Islamists and the trust of the new government. Zawahiri says his offer puts him at risk from radical Islamists, but says he is not acting from weakness or for personal gain.”
“US and West to stop intervening in Muslim lands. US to stop interfering in Muslim education. US to end the war on Islam. US to release all Islamist prisoners.” The proposal also calls on Islamists to, “stop attacks on Western and US interests. Protect legitimate Western and US interests in Muslim lands. Stop provoking the US and the West.”
Readers: Do you think such a treaty is realistic? Do you think cooperation on all sides is possible?