The presence of Tareq al-Zomor, a Jama’a al-Islamiya leader, in the official ceremony marking the 39th anniversary of the 1973 October war was sharply criticized by the family of former President Anwar Sadat, for his role in the former leader’s assassination.
Zomor received an invitation from the presidency to attend the ceremony, which was held at Cairo Stadium.
Zomor, meanwhile, frowned on the criticism and belittled the role of Sadat in the war.
Sadat’s sister Sekina told London-based Al-Hayat newspaper that “it is absolutely inappropriate to have Sadat’s killers in the celebration marking the anniversary of the victory,” and added, “The attendance of those killers is one of the things that have pained me and spoiled the celebration.”
“How can the killers be treated as heroes? It is totally inappropriate, and I will not forgive Sadat’s killers for as long as I live,” she said.
Zomor said that it was not strange for him to attend.
“This victory cannot be attributed to any single president, no matter how important he is,” he said.
He also denied news that Aboud al-Zomor, who spent 30 years in prison for participating in the killing of Sadat, was present in the celebration, though he added that there would have been nothing wrong about his attendance.
“I attended the ceremony and sat next to Safwat Abdel Ghany, the head of the political office for the Construction and Development Party, the political arm of Jama’a al-Islamiya, and party leader Alaa Abul Nasr, and representatives for the party,” he said. “We have not honored Mubarak for his airstrike because he turned into a dictator who took his people lightly, rigged the elections and stole the country’s resources.”
Aboud and Tareq al-Zomor, as well as others from Jama’a al-Islamiya and Islamic Jihad, were convicted of planning the assassination of Sadat on the anniversary of the October War in 1981 while he was watching a military parade. They were both released after the 25 January revolution.