This man,Dr. Al-Sissy, as a urologist is presumably educated. And he’s described, too, as an Egyptologist — an Egyptologist not of the Western sort, but of the conspiracy-minded, exaggerated-claims Egyptian variety. He’s alsoÂ a representative type, exhibiting features common to those who live in Islam-dominated societies. I’m not sure he is even a Muslim himself, for clearly what he is trying to do, in his own tellingly crazed way, is to make exaggerated claims for the country, Egypt, claims that predate the advent of Islam. The alternative to Islam, the other identity that can serve to dilute the tug and the self-inflicted torment of Islam, is that of nationalism, and Egypt and Iran are the two Muslim states whose peoples, thanks to that long pre-Islamic period of their national existence, and the oomnipresence of difficult-to-deny monuments (from Pyramids to Persepolis) which to a true-blue Muslim are to be dismissed, but to a nationallist (Egyptian, Iranian) are to be celebrated as a source of pride.
This doctor — possibly a Copt? — refers scathingly to the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood, Hasan Al-Banna (grandfather ofÂ Tariq Ramadan), but can’t do so without claiming he was a child of others, in this case of British imperialist creation, deliberately brought to Egypt “to split the country in two” — meaning, to set Muslim against Copt. That’s why I wonder if he may be a Copt.
It doesn’t matter. Craziness in Muslim-ruled societies is not limited to Muslims, but affects those who, as non-Muslims, are trying to survive in those societies.