We’ve heard this before but now that the Salafis are Egypt’s second largest political force (behind the Muslim Brotherhood), and they’re still saying it, shows ordinary Egyptians don’t see this as all that crazy.
(Daily Mail) — The pyramids at Giza are the most stunning sight I have ever seen.
True, their lonely eminence is threatened by Cairo’s unlicensed building sprawl, with half completed houses inching their way towards them.
Surveying them at night as the calls to prayer multiplied into a thunder of sound from central Cairo already told me a few years back what was coming.
For now members of the Nour (The Light) Salafist party, which won 20 per cent of the vote in recent elections, are talking about putting an end to the ‘idolatry’ represented by the pyramids.
This means destruction — along the lines essayed by the Afghan Taliban who blew up the Banyam Buddhas — or ‘concealment’ by covering them with wax. Tourists would presumably see great blobs rather than the perfectly carved steps.
This last suggestion was made by Abdel Moneim Al-Shahat, a Nour candidate for parliament. Apart from wanting to do away with this ‘rotten culture’, this gentleman also wants to ban the Nobel prize winning novels of Naguib Mahfouz, one of many great Egyptian writers.
This is bad news for the 3million Egyptians who depend on the 14million tourists who visit Egypt each year. The people affected are not simply waiters and chambermaids, but taxi drivers, camel and horse ride touts, shop and stall owners and ordinary villagers who make a bit on the side providing tea and snacks for Nile cruises.