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Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Obama's choice of venue in Egypt

It has been reported that Barack Obama will make his much anticipated speech to the Muslim world from Cairo University.

Here are a couple of tidbits from Cairo University's recent history.

In April 2000, some Israeli Embassy officials in Cairo went to Cairo University to attend a lecture on "Jews, Judaism and Zionism." They were banned from attending the lecture, because even then, 21 years after Camp David and before the Intifada broke out, Cairo University did not want to make it appear that they were supporting "normalization" with Israel. Egyptian intellectuals applauded the move.

More recently, an Egyptian movie included a lesbian scene. A professor at Cairo University decried the movie:
Preacher and Islamic Studies professor at Cairo University, Dr. Abdel-Sabour Shahin accused the new movie, Heena Maysara (Until Further Notice), of spreading homosexuality and promoting debauchery.

He called on authorities to prosecute the director of the movie and the two actresses, Ghada Abdel-Razeq and Sumaya Al-Khashab, who enacted the lesbian encounter on the big screen.

Shahin claimed the movie is part of "a Zionist and American conspiracy" which uses this sort of movie to destroy the moral fabric of society.
Even with these stories, Cairo University is probably still the least inappropriate place for an American president to speak in Egypt. Which is not saying much.