The Egyptian Islamic scholar, Sheikh Muhammad Hassan, called upon all Egypt's scientists and representatives to support an initiative he has proposed which aims at doing away with American aid. The initiative follows revelations about foreign funding, specifically American aid, whose aim is to influence the January 25 revolution. This plea has had especial significance following Washington's threat to cut aid to Egypt.
Hassan confirmed that on Wednesday, February 15, he is due to meet al-Azhar Sheikh, Dr. Ahmed Al-Tayeb, to put the finishing touches to the initiative which will be entitled "The Egyptian Aid Initiative". The initiative is due for launch from the Al-Azhar Mosque with the blessing of its Sheikh, the Mufti of Egypt and the General Guide of the Muslim Brotherhood.
Sheikh Muhammad added that the initiative will form a supreme body to oversee it. The nominees for this body include al-Azhar Sheikh; Egypt's Mufti; the Minister of Endowments; the Muslim Brotherhood leader, Dr. Mohamed Badee'; the renowned consultant, Mr. Ahmed Alzanad; Dr. Ahmed Zewail; Farouk El-Baz; President of the Islamic Research Academy and Shari'ah Association, Dr. Mohamed Mokhtar Mahdi; Head of the al-Sunna group of supporters, Sheikh Abdullah Shaker; as well representatives of the Egyptian Church.
In a television statement, Sheikh Hassan said "firstly, thanks to God and then thanks to Egyptians at home and abroad, Egypt can do without American aid which has become a cause of humiliation to Egypt", adding that "the people of Egypt are capable of collecting double the amount of American aid so as to be a substitute for the U.S., European and even the Gulf aid, because Egyptians are proud people who can't accept humiliation."
Sheikh Muhammad pointed out that his initiative followed the official statements made by the U.S. State Department concerning its intention to cut off aid to Egypt and the continuing threat of cutting aid off, "a threat that is not acceptable for the Egyptians as this impacts their dignity which was the first demand of their glorious revolution." He stressed that his "initiative wouldn't have met with this amount of reconciliation without America's fiery statements."