It was a little over 10 years ago that the Taliban destroyed ancient statutes of Buddha in Afghanistan. Now that Egypt increasingly appears to be heading into adopting Sharia, the same thing may happen to the Pyramids. From the Daily Mail:
For now members of the Nour (The Light) Salafist party, which won 20 per cent of the vote in recent elections, are talking about putting an end to the 'idolatry' represented by the pyramids.The author concludes:
This means destruction - along the lines essayed by the Afghan Taliban who blew up the Banyam Buddhas - or 'concealment' by covering them with wax. Tourists would presumably see great blobs rather than the perfectly carved steps.
One of the great tragedies of what is afoot in the Middle East is the extinction of the last vestiges of a vibrant, cosmopolitan culture, as represented by another great Egyptian novelist, the Cairo dentist, Alaa Al Aswany, author of the remarkable Yacoubian Building.
It is becoming hard to recall that in the 1950s - under King Farouk - Egypt had a thriving film industry, producing 300 movies a year, and that its national chanteuse, Umm Kulthum, was worshipped throughout the Middle East.
But now the fanatics are in the saddle, so its good bye to all that. We'll have to wait for fundamentalism to fail, as Nasserite 'national socialism' did before it. For Nour and the like surely have no answers to the problems of contemporary Egypt.