‘They were Muslims’! Egyptian preacher stirs controversy over the pharaohs

32

A member of the Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs in Egypt, Khaled El-Gendy, sparked controversy and ridicule on social media after he said on TV that the Pharaohs were Muslims, and he was proud of his fathers the pharaohs. “They were loyal to Allah and were Muslims before the Prophet Muhammad; peace and blessings are upon him.”

El-Gendy launched an attack on everyone who argued about this information, describing them as ignorant people who do not read the Qur’an, do not respect knowledge, and do not understand this country’s great history. El-Gendy, who strongly supports Al-Sisi, explained that the Pharaohs, like any society, had infidels and believers among them, pointing out that false generalisations are foolish. He added that people who say, “all the Pharaohs are people of disbelief,” are ignorant and arrogant.

El-Gendy’s statements sparked widespread controversy and ridicule. Egyptians are currently debating the parade of pharaonic mummies in a huge procession containing 22 ancient Egyptian royal mummies which were transported in specially designed capsules through Cairo. He commented on the procession, saying that this event aims to honour those who built the homeland’s glory.

The disclosure of the cost of transporting the Pharaonic mummies sparked widespread anger in Egypt. The Egyptian Minister of Antiquities explained that the cost was exorbitant and was commissioned directly by Al-Sisi.

Antiquities Minister Khaled Anani confirmed that he had received EGP 20 billion from the state budget to equip the Great Museum of the Pyramid and the Museum of Civilisation in Fustat and that the mummies’ ceremony cost millions of pounds. This spending comes when Al-Sisi claims that his budget does not allow him to reach the basic needs of education and health.