Wednesday, April 03, 2019

Our weekly column from the humor site PreOccupied Territory

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octopus undersideCairo, April 3 - An academic at Cairo University has sparked a tumult in national media and political circles this week following a televised interview in which he made the brazen argument that not all negative phenomena have origins in Zionist conspiracy.

Public and governmental figures from across Egyptian society called for the firing of Dr. Ziabad Bakri, whose appearance on a prime-time talk show on state-run media Monday featured his repeated claims that some unfortunate events and developments come from sources other than Jews. His incredulous host challenged Dr. Bakri to substantiate his contentions, but the producers felt compelled to cut the program short before the doctor could answer, fearing public and official backlash for airing such controversial assertions.

"Not all of society's ills, even Islamic society's ills, come from the Jews," stated Dr. Bakri, to gasps and shouts from studio personnel. "What if I told you there are some problems that predate the Jews?" The bemused host sat in stunned silence for a moment before asking his guest to repeat the statement.

"War has been with us since long before the Jews were even an idea," elaborated Dr. Bakri. "So has famine. Disease. Even greed, that most Jewish of traits, is attested to in sources that date from hundreds, even thousands, of years before anyone heard of a Jew. Argue all you want about the extent to which Jews exacerbate or exploit these and other phenomena to sow discord, but we must not fool ourselves into thinking that without the Jew we wouldn't have problems."

Calls to sack the professor came from figures in and out of the government. "Such irresponsible rhetoric has no place in Egyptian society," fumed a Ministry of Cultural Affairs official. "No one who espouses such radical views, which have the potential to spark no violence toward minorities, can be permitted to spew his unacceptable filth on our airwaves. At the very least the network must ban this so-called scholar from ever appearing on its shows again, and I understand the Minister of Education will demand that the university revoke his academic degrees."

"I've never heard anything that ridiculous," stated commentator Subhi Nasser. "Only a fool would accept that Jews aren't behind every evil. to believe otherwise would undermine one of the political, not to mention theological, axioms of our society. You can't just disregard the danger that undermining those axioms poses for Egyptian society, and for the Middle East at large. Which should already tell you who must behind any attempt to undermine them."

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