(CNSNews.com) - An Egyptian jihadist leader, with purported links to the Taliban, is calling for the destruction of the Sphinx and the Great Pyramids of Giza in Egypt, according to Al-Arabiya TV.
Murgan Salem al-Gohary, comparing the famous Egyptian monuments to statues of the Buddha that the Taliban destroyed in Afghanistan, said that Islam forbids idols, in a Saturday interview in Arabic with the Middle Eastern TV network.
“All Muslims are charged with applying the teachings of Islam to remove such idols, as we did in Afghanistan when we destroyed the Buddha statues,” Gohary said.
“God ordered Prophet Mohammed to destroy idols,” he added. “When I was with the Taliban we destroyed the statue of Buddha, something the government failed to do.”
Gohary, however, has been criticized in several Islamic quarters over the call to action.
One Muslim politician in Tunisia, Sheikh Abdel Fattah Moro, reportedly called in to the live program to chastise Gohary, citing the fact that a Sixth Century Islamic military commander did not destroy the Pyramids or statues when he conquered Egypt.
“So who are you to do it?” Moro demanded. “The Prophet destroyed the idols because people worshiped them, but the Sphinx and the Pyramids are not worshipped.”
Egyptian authorities however, are taking seriously the call to destroy the Giza Pyramids and Sphinx, according to Al-Arabiya.
Gohary’s comments came after thousands of Islamists gathered in Cairo’s Tahrir Square to call for Shari’a law to be the cornerstone of the country's new constitution.