The Arabist

The Arabist

By Issandr El Amrani and friends.

Al Zayat calls for Jill Carroll's release

There have been a lot of calls for Jill Carroll's release from religious authorities across the Islamic world as well as some Islamist movements. This one, by former Gamaa Islamiya member Montasser Al Zayat -- who shared a cell with Ayman Zawahri after the assassination of Sadat -- just arrived in my inbox:

An Appeal from Montasser al-Zayat to the kidnappers of the American Journalist Jill Carroll

I followed with grave concern the kidnapping of the American journalist Jill Carroll on Saturday, January 7, west of Baghdad.
I'm concerned to what extent are the resistance factions—who are kidnapping journalists and media workers—following the guidelines of religion. The resistance, which has the right to fight the occupation and target its symbols and spies, must also be sure of the facts on the ground.
I learned from media reports and from friends who knew the kidnapped reporter that she was well known for her sympathy towards the Iraqi people since the start of the terrible occupation. She observed the Arab and Islamic traditions, and dressed modestly out of respect to the Iraqi customs derived from Islam. Also her published reports show clearly her sympathetic approach towards the Iraqi cause.
If the reporter has been in the hands of the Iraqi resistance for nearly two weeks now, then this means she has been interrogated carefully, and the truth should have been revealed by now to the kidnappers.
I’m asking the kidnappers to release her so that it would be a clear message to the whole world—a message of a just cause and the ability to achieve justice even under the most difficult circumstances, where the Iraqi people and the resistance movements are facing the tyranny of the occupier.
I’m sending my regards to the honorable resistance men, who are fighting the occupation, and I’m reminding everyone with our prisoners in the occupation prisons in Iraq and Palestine. May Allah help secure their release.

Montasser al-Zayat
Head of the Liberties Committee, Lawyers’ Syndicate
23 January 2006
Al Zayat is now Egypt's most famous Islamist lawyer, often taking up the cases against Islamist groups, as well as the author of "The Road To Al-Qaeda : The Story of Bin Laden's Right-Hand Man, and something of a civil liberties activist. It seems even the most convinced Islamists see the insanity of not releasing Jill.