Wednesday, January 14, 2004

Semi-disillusioned Muslim
This American convert to Islam moved to Egypt with high hopes and returned to the US more appreciative of how good we have it. Although he is still Muslim.

I set off for Egypt convinced that, unlike America, there was no corruption and hypocrisy in the Arab Muslim world and that it bore no responsibility for its own appalling condition. People told me that Egypt was, like its Muslim neighbours, a ruthless dictatorship, but until I lived there I refused to admit this to myself. I wanted only to be an expatriate novelist, a dissident, and to enjoy the celebrity of being a convert in a Muslim country.

For a week I managed to persist in the happy belief that I was not living in a brutal police state. [...]

Still, most subjects with my otherwise garrulous friends, anything of civic importance, were off limits: the president, the government, any topic except for the Jews whom my friends blamed for everything including the catastrophic state of the Egyptian economy. I wondered what my poor friends would do if the Palestinians ever got their state, and they no longer had the Jews to blame.

Mad props to: Instapundit.

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