Friday, August 22, 2003

Utter Lunacy

According to the MEMRI report linked above,

The August 9, 2003 edition of the Egyptian weekly Al-Ahram Al-Arabi featured an interview with Dr. Nabil Hilmi, Dean of the Faculty of Law at the University of Al-Zaqaziq who, together with a group of Egyptian expatriates in Switzerland, is preparing an enormous lawsuit against "all the Jews of the world."

Further on, we have the following:

Question: "Did they leave individually or as a group?"

Hilmi: "They left in a convoy of 600,000, that is, about 120,000 families. There were a few wagons in the convoy, and a long line of donkeys loaded with the stolen goods… They crossed the desert in the heart of Sinai, in an attempt to confuse Pharaoh's army, which was on their trail… Later they rested and began to count the stolen gold, and discovered that it reached 300,000 kg of gold."

[............]

Question: "So what arguments can be made in support of getting back our stolen gold?"

Hilmi: "There are two types of claims, one religious and the other legal. From a religious standpoint, all monotheistic religions have called not to steal… It is also in the Ten Commandments, which the Jews were ordered [to observe]. Therefore, they have a basic religious obligation to return what was stolen, if it exists.

"From a legal standpoint, fleeing with the Egyptians' goods could be for the purpose of borrowing or for the purpose of stealing. If it is for the purpose of borrowing, legally it has a temporary dimension, not a permanent dimension, and therefore they must return [the gold], with interest, to its owners.

"On the other hand, if the Jews took the goods from the Egyptians not for the purpose of borrowing it but to keep them for themselves, by legal norms this is theft, and therefore they must return the stolen goods to their owners, in addition to the interest for its use over the entire period of the theft."

Question: "What do you think is the value of the gold, silver, and clothing that was stolen, and how do you calculate their value today?"

Hilmi: "If we assume that the weight of what was stolen was one ton, [its worth] doubled every 20 years, even if the annual interest is only 5%. In one ton of gold is 700 kg of pure gold – and we must remember that what was stolen was jewelry, that is, alloyed with copper. Hence, after 1,000 years, it would be worth 1,125,898,240 million tons, which equals 1,125,898 billion tons for 1,000 years. In other words, 1,125 trillion tons of gold, that is, a million multiplied by a million tons of gold. This is for one stolen ton. The stolen gold is estimated at 300 tons, and it was not stolen for 1,000 years, but for 5,758 years, by the Jewish reckoning. Therefore, the debt is very large…

"The value must be calculated precisely in accordance with the information collected, and afterward a lawsuit must be filed against all the Jews of the world, and against the Jews of Israel in particular, so they will repay the Egyptians the debt that appears in the Torah."

Is it any wonder that the Arabs find so little sympathy in much of the Western world, when insane nonsense like this makes it into the pages of supposedly reputable Arab broadsheets? There are only two interpretations I can make of this rubbish; either Al-Ahram has some brilliant satirists on its' staff, and is engaging in a send-up of the crazier aspects of Egyptian intellectual life, or the whole society is in the throes of a mass psychosis of the severest sort.