A very strange story has been winging its way around cyberspace over the last four days: The Muslim Brotherhood said on its official website that Egypt’s interim president, Adly Mansour, is considered to be a Seventh Day Adventist (sic), and therefore is of Jewish descent.
The article went on to connect Mansour’s appointment as president to a global conspiracy involving the US and Israel.
The report said it was quoting a senior Arab journalist. The journalist has said he did not make the claims attributed to him. The article has since been removed from the Brotherhood’s website.
The story is obviously ridiculous, but it has still spread from blog to forum and even to the Washington Post’s blog, with posters using it to show how the Muslim Brotherhood is promulgating conspiracy theories after its close ally Mohamed Morsi was ousted from power.
The story appeared on Thursday – the same day that Mansour, who was the supreme justice of Egypt’s Supreme Constitutional Court, was sworn in.
The report shows that while accusing someone of being a Jew is the oldest smear in the book in certain parts of the world, it is a tactic still in use.
How the report’s author came up with the Seventh-day Adventist link is not clear. Is it that Adventists sound like a cult, making Mansour look even more crazy? Or was it just the worshipping on Saturday connection with Jews? Clearly the fact that Seventh-day Adventists are Protestant Christians was left by the wayside.
The whole thing is reminiscent of an episode of the new inside-the-Beltway political drama House of Cards; it’s like one of the machinations Kevin Spacey’s character might dream up. When you smear someone’s character, even with a blatant falsehood, it hardly matters whether people believe it or not – what they remember is that person is somehow tainted.
UPDATE JULY 10, 2013: Spectrum has been doing some further checking on this report that Adly Mansour is somehow both Christian and Jewish, and we are more convinced than ever of its preposterousness. In order to be a judge in Egypt (and Mansour was the country’s top judge before being tapped to take over the presidency), one is required to be Muslim, as Egyptian law is based on the Koran and Islamic law. And according to an Adventist living in Cairo, Mansour has never been to the Adventist church there. Since even the purported source of this story denies it, and as Adventists we know that the assertions are not logical, it is hard to make a case for even the possibility of some accuracy in the story.
Image: Adly Mansour