An Egyptian cleric, speaking on local television following the Paris terrorist attacks, expressed condolences over the attacks but also said that the West should not be surprised by them nor connect them to Islam.
The reason, according to Sheikh Khaled Elgendy, is that the Islamic State (ISIS), the jihadist group which claimed the attacks, was created by the West itself.
Elgendy’s comments were made on the Egyptian Al-Hayat TV and were translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI).
"The worst thing about all this is that some people try to link Islam to this terrorist conduct. We pray that Allah give them some reason and perspective, and that they realize the extent of the danger about which reasonable people in our country have warned. The president has also warned of this," said Elgendy in the clip translated by MEMRI.
"The problem is that some people believe that terrorism can be contained through niceties. This is a very harsh lesson. Anyone who keeps a snake is bound to be bitten by it," he continued before adding, "ISIS was created by the West. By no means was it created by Islam."
Elgendy went on to claim that the "complex professionalism" with which the terrorists carried out the attack proves they were well-trained and, as such, "This proves that the [West] trained these people in dangerous training camps, but then, they turned against it."
The remarks are not the first time that Muslim clerics have claimed that ISIS is a Western creation or that the West caused the group to arise.
The grand imam of Al-Azhar in Cairo claimed several months ago that the West has an interest in the "fragmentation" of the Islamic world and is partly to blame for the rise of ISIS.
Similarly, Iran's Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, claimed last year that the United States, Israel and the "wicked" British government were behind ISIS and had created the group "in order to create divisions and use them to fight against the Islamic Republic".