Man who told Mubarak to ‘fear God’ speaks out after serving 15 years in jail

May 24, 2012 9:32 am 8 comments Views: 13064

When Sheikh Ali al-Qattan told former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to “fear God,” he was jailed for 15 years under tormenting circumstances.

An Egyptian man who had once told former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to “fear God” after meeting with him in a mosque has spoken out about being subject to harsh treatment while serving 15 years in prison for saying those two words.

In 1993, Sheikh Ali al-Qattan was praying at the Prophet’s mosque in Saudi Arabia, the second holiest site in Islam, when he was surprised to find Mubarak entering the prayer hall.

“It was a spontaneous incident, I didn’t plan for this,” Qattan told Egyptian television talk show “Al Haqiqa” (The Truth) this week.

“After we finished prayer I turned and I saw the president; it was strange because they had emptied a large section of the prayer hall for him to enter. He had bodyguards around him that were heavily armed; it all looked very hostile and made the atmosphere in mosque uncomfortable.”

Qattan then stood up and walked closer to the former president and told him to “fear God, ” in a display of his anger at how Mubarak was leading the country.

At the time, Qattan explains, Egypt was embroiled in deadly clashes with Islamist insurgents. The year 1993 was a particularly severe year for terrorist attacks in Egypt, resulting in at least 1100 people being killed or wounded, while several senior police officials and their bodyguards were shot dead in daylight ambushes.

“Security forces would roam the country’s streets and randomly firing at Egyptians,” Qattan explains.

After saying his remark, Qattan said Mubarak “immediately looked uneasy.”

“He spun left and right to look around him to call his bodyguards. The guards immediately seized me violently and surrounded Mubarak, pushing him quickly outside of the prayer hall. I then understood that he was probably scared that some sort of violent attack on him would follow.

“The guards then put their hands over my mouth, as if to stop me from saying anything more, but I hadn’t planned to. They took me out of the hall, not even giving him a chance to wear my shoes.

“They carried out a body search to look for a bomb or a weapon. When they couldn’t find anything on me, one officer told me: ‘You’ve embarrassed us. You should have told [Mubarak] that in Egypt.’”

To that, Qattan then responded: “We’re in a mosque; it’s for all of the international Muslim community and it felt right to say such a [religious] comment in a mosque.”

Sheikh Qattan was taken from Medina to a Jeddah province to be interrogated. He recalls being dragged down by a “10-kilogram chain and ball” whilst walking in the airport to the plane.

After he was questioned in Saudi Arabia, a group from Egypt’s National Security came to take him back to Egypt.

“It was as if I was a terrorist. They tied me up with several chains and handcuffs. They even wanted to sedate me, pressuring me to drink the sedative, but I told them I was fasting and would not drink anything,” he said,

When Qattan arrived in Egypt, the investigators found that Qattan had no affiliation to Islamic militant or terrorist groups.

The former prison officer at the jail Qattan was detained in, Major-General Ibrahim Abd al-Ghaffar, described how Qattan was treated during his imprisonment.

“For years he was locked up in solitary confinement and not allowed to have visitors by an order from the interior minister. I decided to take him out of the room he was locked in and every day I would tell him to come to my office, where he could sit with me and drink tea. I knew he was being tyrannized.”

Ghaffar then asked another Major-General to write a request for Qattan to be released. But the request was rejected by former presidential chief of staff, Zakariya Azmy, who said that Mubarak was still “disturbed” by Qattan’s case and to not mention the topic again, Ghaffar said. The request was then appealed several times before the authorities eventually agreed to free Qattan by 2007.

During the television interview, Qattan mentioned that in Islamic history, the term “Fear God” was said to the caliphs (successors) of Islam.

“Caliphs used to urge people to advise them to fear God. When they heard it, they would not be infuriated [like Mubarak was], but they would welcome it as advice.

“There is no higher example of democracy than this,” Qattan added.

Despite this religious delineation, Mubarak had still ordered his detainment for 15 years without being tried and under tormenting circumstances.

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  • Manfrom Modesto

    The people of violence and abuse. Nothing new. Yes, we should all “fear God.” That term really means to hold God in high reverence, to respect, admire, and obey God. God sent Jesus. God said Jesus “is my Son, in whom I am well pleased.” Jesus said that whoever rejects him as the Son of God does not know him (Jesus) and also “has never known God.”

    Whoever wants to know God, to know God’s love, and to be a Son or Daughter of God must accept forgiveness in Jesus. There is no other way.

    There is one condemnation: rejection of Jesus. There is one exoneration: acceptance of Jesus.

    • Reminisce6

      Violence and abuse is prevalent in both Christian and Muslim communities and that does not in itself mean that those religions condone it.Your comment smack of racial and religion bigotry.

  • yasir

    this is such a fake story i mean srsly u people cant even get your your locations set right , u started from egypt and confused it with iran and then took saudi arabia to it …. srsly!! fakeeee

    • Yahya Amer

      im Egyptian citizen and this is a true story about this man> Mubarak was grubby and nasty like SISI

      • Ram

        Sisi is not nasty, give him a only one year the guy made an extension for the suez canal which will generate alot of income to the country, just wait and see..sisi will clean Egypt and hopefully with time he will make us all even more proud

    • Picachu1

      You’re a troll! Meant to take away from the story and try to denounce it. You’re also a liar. The story says it took place in Saudi arabia. The provinces mentioned in the story are in Saudi arabia. It doesn’t mention anything about Iran. Obviously, he was taken to Egypt to be incarcerated. The locations were not incorrect. Either geography isn’t your thing or you are a deceitful liar!!

  • BoogieMan

    Hey YASIR … Who gives a CRAP WHAT YOU THINK.

  • edgar

    not just fear of god, but lessons of history for hosni mubarak