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Re: Egyptian Antiquities and Academic Exchanges

Reader comment on item: Destroy Egypt's Antiquities?

Submitted by Raymond Stock (Egypt), Apr 14, 2006 at 10:49

Dear DP:

If memory serves, the targeting of tourists that featured in the Islamist uprising in Egypt over the last two decades began with a (luckily) small explosion in Luxor Temple in 1991. At that time, Islamist groups in Egypt spoke openly of destroying all Egypt's pre-Islamic antiquities as remnants of the old Jahiliyah and as symbols of the purported new one, as well. When I have pointed this out to friends over the years, they have downplayed this aspect of the Islamists' program. Yet I am convinced that even the Muslim Brotherhood--so often portrayed as the only "democractic" opposition to the government--would possibly try to pull down even the pyramids of Giza if they actually took power. Qaradawi, after all, is one of their own.

As for the value of foreign exchange programs in combating Islamism, it is said traditionally that one third of foreign students in the U.S. enthusiastically adopt the local culture, another third completely reject it, and a third selectively adopt that which is most compatible with their original culture and leave the rest. Sayyid Qutb belonged to the second category. It is not clear if the present, highly polarized climate has increased the percentage who fall in that group or not, or if the formula still holds at all. (I speak as the former Middle East committee chairman of the National Association for Foreign Student Affairs, 1988-90.) Yet even those in the other two are not necessarily free of radical political influence--as the case of the recent North Carolingian vicitim of "Sudden Jihad Syndrome" attests. He seemed outwardly to be very westernized, as do most of the foreign students on American campuses who view the United States as evil even for her 2001 war against al-Qa'ida in Afghanistan. Foreign exchange programs have many values, as it is vital for people of different cultures to know each other, even if a percentage of them learn the wrong things in the process. But they are not, and probably could not be, set up to combat extremism very efficiently.


All best,

Raymond

Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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Reader comments (24) on this item

Title Commenter Date Thread
3In Memory of Taha Hussein [278 words]dhimmi no moreMar 3, 2013 08:19203986
3Egypt: Combining Iran and Haiti [77 words]DaveFeb 24, 2013 17:29203829
3Humanity gone crazy [200 words]PrashantDec 24, 2012 06:00201822
5Ancient Egypt and modern day Terrorists [107 words]Lujack SkylarkDec 15, 2012 05:02201468
2OK by me [19 words]Sigmund DermanNov 16, 2012 17:08200704
1001 Nights [43 words]MalcolmNov 14, 2012 20:40200622
9Go and see the pyramids before they are destroyed by the salafists! [437 words]dhimmi no moreNov 13, 2012 17:47200538
Islam is good [97 words]MadeleineDec 11, 2012 13:20200538
4Delusions [272 words]dhimmi no moreDec 18, 2012 09:51200538
2I am not surprised [248 words]AlexandrosNov 13, 2012 07:07200511
Impending danger [181 words]aktNov 14, 2012 09:54200511
6the statues and art works are history, hence knowledge, ...islamists don't much care for knowledge [113 words]Phil GreendMay 9, 2010 14:37172470
this is not the only face of Egypt [226 words]HendMay 20, 2009 05:18155836
10Egyptians and their history [1152 words]dhimmi no moreDec 11, 2009 16:52155836
respect to egyptian history [143 words]ahmedSep 26, 2006 17:3757731
4Eternal Egypt [73 words]dhimmi no moreDec 19, 2012 10:3557731
2In Respose to article Destroy Egypt's Antiquities [124 words]LisaJun 23, 2006 09:1148087
International safe harbor for antiquities [155 words]Farid H.Apr 16, 2006 10:1643296
Pure manipulation [16 words]E.BeskaApr 16, 2006 05:2243282
2For: F. Beska and the Muslim brotherhood [4 words]dhimmi no moreJun 21, 2006 10:4243282
Egyptian ancient history [50 words]Rafik ElhamyApr 15, 2006 06:2843233
2Egypt and its history [48 words]dhimmi no moreDec 18, 2012 09:5643233
6Who control the Islamic world [132 words]F. ShakkiApr 14, 2006 22:5143212
1Re: Egyptian Antiquities and Academic Exchanges [341 words]Raymond StockApr 14, 2006 10:4943174

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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