"All Muslims are charged with applying the teaching of Islam to remove such idols as we did in Afghanistan when we destroyed the Buddha statue," the Egypt Independent quoted Murgan Salem-al Gohary as saying in an interview on Egyptian Dream TV during the weekend.
Gohary, described as a Jihadist leader who advocates violence and has links to the Taliban, was sentenced twice under former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and fled to Afghanistan where he was injured during an American airstrike, the Egyptian daily said Monday.
In 2007, he traveled to Syria and was handed over to Egyptian authorities. An Egyptian court ordered his release from prison after Mubarak's downfall, the newspaper said.
Salafist Muslims view statues and sculptures as prohibited to Islam, Ahmed Osman, an Egyptian author on ancient history, told al-Arabiya.