As the votes are being tallied in Egypt’s elections (with the Muslim Brotherhood appearing initially in the lead), two television appearances recorded before the elections offering a new glimpse into the personalities at play have come to light, thanks to the translators by MEMRI.
On October 31st, Egyptian Presidential Candidate Tawfiq Okasha made the supposedly authoritative determination that only 60% of Jews are evil. In his appearance on Al-Faraeen TV (“Pharaohs”-TV), the station he owns, Okasha began by offering his take on the U.S. dollar, Jews and “global Freemasonry” by which they “monitor the state of the world.” Reminiscent of classic anti-Semitic texts suggesting the goal of world domination, Okasha said the Jews “maintain their grip upon nations” via the dollar. But he assured his viewers:
“Not all the Jews in the world are evil. You may ask: Tawfiq, what is the ratio? The ratio is 60-40. 60% are evil to varying degrees, all the way to a level that words cannot describe while 40% are not evil.”
According to Okasha, the non-evil 40% of Jews can be categorized by level of evilness:
“They however are divided into three categories: one group consists of the non-evil, another group consists of the non-evil to a lesser degree, and the third group consists of the non-evil to an even lesser degree. Might there be anyone who stands out among them? It’s very rare. Maybe one in a million.”
Here is the clip courtesy of MEMRI:
Okasha is no stranger to MEMRI’s translators, who have previously captured some of his bigoted and megalomanic words. Quoting Hitler, in 2009 he said: "Give me the weapons and brains of Germany, along with the soldiers of Egypt, and I will completely rule the world." In July this year, he said, “The Jews plan to rule the world through schemes, intrigues, and civil strife, like they are doing in Egypt.”
Okasha targeted Jews in his statements. The speaker in the next clip had Christians in mind. In an interview on Al-Hayat TV on October 30th, Egyptian cleric Mahmoud Amer said a Muslim is not allowed to vote for a non-Muslim:
Mahmoud Amer: What I said was that a Muslim is not allowed to vote for someone who objects to the implementation of the shari'a, who is not passionate about the shari'a, and who does not include it in his political platform. […] He must not vote for someone who is known not to pray the five daily prayers.[…] People, I'd like to understand something. Is the minority going to rule Egypt, or what?
After an argument between interviewer and the cleric, Amer gave his take on Christian culture, suggesting why Muslims should prevent minority rule in Egypt and make sure not vote for Christians:
Mahmoud Amer: Egypt has been ruled by Christian culture for a century…What's the proof of that? The saying "Render unto Caesar what belongs to Caesar, and unto God what belongs to God" is a Christian saying […] Secularism means separating religion and daily life, and that has been Christian law since the Middle Ages…secularism is atheism. It means there is no religion in daily life. That is the law of the Christians. Get it?
Interviewer: That's your opinion.
Mahmoud Amer: It's not just my opinion. It's reality.
Last Friday, the Muslim Brotherhood’s hatred of Jews was on full display in Cairo. As for the Christians: facing violence and threats, more than 90,000 Copts have fled Egypt since the fall of President Hosni Mubarak.
If voters heeded the cleric’s call, negating the Christians’ right to represent their peers and be represented, it’s unclear what kind of future they face in a country that’s becoming less and less welcoming to any non-Muslim minority.