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The Qatari newspaper Al Raya reported on March 9 that writer Sayyed al Qimni has called for building a “kaaba” in Sinai for all religions so that people of all denominations and religions from all over the world could perform their pilgrimage any time of year. He claimed that this would bring in nearly 30 billion Egyptian Pounds for the Egyptian treasury. If this story is true then al Qimni has fallen into an abyss and has officially shifted from the list of “fools” to the list of “madmen.” The latter of course are not to be blamed for their condition but we can blame whoever publishes their comments. We should thank God that Egypt, with its religious depth, does not need al Qimni’s “kaaba” and his 30 billion pounds.

Having spent his life as a prisoner to his own tendency towards problematic religious issues, al Qimni’s condition deteriorated in the last few years during which his inner thoughts and intentions have been revealed. He considers the Islamic conquests unjust occupations that should not be celebrated by the religious bodies in Muslim countries. In one of his published interviews, he said, “Through the religious bodies, these countries still insist on celebrating annually the Arab conquest of their countries that took them out of the dark and into the light. This is the only case in the history of the world in which a country celebrates the anniversary of the occupation of its own soil with honour and esteem. This way everything Islamic is to be sanctified even if it is the occupation of a country!”

The series of al Qimni’s downfalls is long and continuous and on every occasion there is someone to support him based on the pretext of freedom of expression. The man is good at acting and at getting sympathy. A few years ago he claimed that he received death threats and that in the last threat he was given a two-week deadline to take back his comments or he would be killed. As a result, he announced that he would stop writing and retracted his previous ideas. At the time, those who were familiar with the nature of this man did not hesitate to say that al Qimni’s claim that he received death threats was just a bluff and an attempt at gaining his livelihood. They were right as it was not long before the man resumed writing after he felt that his poor acting did not convince anybody. Though most people believe that death threats made against any writer is irrational and hostile, the vast majority sensed that al Qimni’s claim that he received death threats was just part of his series of media “nonsense”.

We should remember the famous saying in dealing with al Qimni’s statements: “If the person speaking is insane then the person listening should be sane.”

Muhammad Diyab

Muhammad Diyab

Muhammad Diyab is a well-known Saudi writer and journalist.

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