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Egypt Bans Da Vinci Code; MP Cites “Zionist” Origins

Ever wondered where the ideas in the Da Vinci Code come from? Egyptian MP Georgette Sobhi gives one view:

Georgette Sobhi, a Coptic member [of Parliament], held up a copy of the book and the Arabic translation and said it contained material which was seriously offensive.

“It’s based on Zionist myths, and it contains insults towards Christ, and it insults the Christian religion and Islam,” she said.

Sobhi was speaking in a parliamentary debate about the book and the film, during which the government declared that both would be banned:

To applause from members of parliament, minister [of culture] Farouk Hosni said: “We ban any book that insults any religion … We will confiscate this book.”

That would be the same Egypt which recently ran an epic TV mini-series based on the Protocols of the Elders of Zion (I noted the same hypocrisy in the case of Lebanon a while ago), and the same Farouk Hosni who in 1998 brought Roger Garaudy to the Cairo Book Fair:

…And Garaudy did not disappoint his hosts. “Under France’s freedom of speech, you can attack President Jacques Chirac or even the Pope. But when you criticize Israel you are lost,” Garaudy told a seminar organised by Egypt’s Ministry of Culture. “This is because media in the West is 95 percent controlled by the Zionists.”

But while Hosni likes to make a stand against French Holocaust denial laws, in his own country he appears zealous enough in his role of censor. In 2000, after being put under pressure by Islamists, he banned a Syrian novel entitled A Banquet of Seaweed on the grounds that it was “disparaging religion”, and in 2001 Al-Ahram reported that

Last week the secular-Islamist debate reached a new pinnacle when Minister of Culture Farouq Hosni appeared on television to confirm and justify the banning of three recent publications of the General Organisation for Cultural Palaces (GOCP) said to contain explicitly pornographic passages.

The GOCP is a state-owned publishing house. Hosni defended the state suppressions in terms strongly reminiscent of Mervyn Griffith-Jones at the Lady Chatterley trial:

…The question, to him, concerned neither religion nor politics but simply common decency. “I dare any of the editors,” Hosni challenged, “who support the publication of these novels to give them to their wives.”

But what of Sobhi’s theory of “Zionists” being behind the Da Vinci Code? The novel features a secret “Order” named the “Priory of Sion”, and (as Mark Sanborne points out at World War 4 Report) Brown’s source The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail suggests that the Protocols was actually the secret blueprint for this (non-Jewish) group. Possibly some garbled version of all this has reached Sobhi; in 2003 Matrix Reloaded was accused by local Islamists of “promoting Zionism” – one assumes because it features a city called Zion (the film was eventually banned for being “violent” and containing “religious themes”). On the other hand, though, she may just simply be a conspiracy-minded anti-Semite. Either way, one is not impressed.

Meanwhile, Russian theologian Andrey Kurayev has an alternative theory about the story’s origins and current promotion:

The development around the novel can be described as nothing else than another volley fired in ages-old cold war between the Masons and the Catholic Church. It was a real Masonic structure acting in our world that revealed itself in the advertising campaign around Mr. Brown’s book.

I am not one of those who maintain that all that happens around us is linked with the Masons, but I believe it idiotism to ignore the presence of these closed elite structures in the fabric of society beginning from the 18th century to this day. There are open Masonic editions in which they commend themselves and there are openly existing recruit club such as Rotary Club and Lyons Club.

And now we see the ways in which one of the Masonic main goals is realized, and they do not conceal it.

(Hat tip: Paleojudaica)