Mohamed Farid Fouad Khamis, Chairman of the Board of Trustees at the British University in Egypt (BUE) and one of its principal donors, has promoted the antisemitic Protocols of the Elders of Zion.
Mr Khamis’ conspiracy-laden speech at a Cairo conference is particularly disturbing because there is close cooperation between the BUE, the British Government and universities in the UK.
The comments were made in a speech at the second annual conference on “Sustainable Media and Development for Arab Societies, Real Challenges and Future Prospects” which was organised by the El Shorouk Media Academy under the patronage of Dr Khaled Abdel Ghaffar, the Minister for Higher Education and Scientific Research in the Egyptian Government and the Head of the Egyptian National Committee to UNESCO.
The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, sometimes shortened to “Protocols”, is one of the most offensive and common antisemitic conspiracy myths about Jews. It is an antisemitic document that was forged at the start of the twentieth century by the secret police of Tsar Nicholas II of Russia and used to incite mob violence against Jews. It purports to be the minutes of a meeting of Jewish leaders, at which they discussed their subversive plot for global domination.
Campaign Against Antisemitism has translated a video from 27th March of the speech in which Mr Khamis said in Arabic: “The Protocols of Zion: one hundred of the most important Zionist leaders of the world assembled, got together, so that they agree on how to control the world. This event is definitely true and documented.” Mr Khamis continued: “The hundred got together for a week behind closed doors, nobody can enter in their midst. So they discussed: how can we control the world? And they reached agreement on the protocols that are here [Mr Khamis holds documents aloft]. Some say there are 14 protocols and some say 24. And in both versions, it is written: ‘we will control the world with the media, then with money.’ The hundred got together and agreed to the protocols. Protocol means an agreement on a plan of action. And they were scared that it might leak out!”
Mr Khamis then went into great detail, claiming: “A funny story really: so they made 100 copies and wrote ‘copy number one’ to this person, this Rabbi, ‘copy number two’ for that Rabbi, and they gave it to him, and so on. The important thing is that the copies were given by the names. One of them lived in Paris, he had an apartment there and he had a French girlfriend, he went to meet her, then he got busy and went to the bathroom. She searched his pockets for money or other valuables, she found the document, she took it, hid it and smuggled it, then sold it. And from then the Protocols of Zion were publicly known.”
Mr Khamis added that “The protocols talk in a very clear way on how to carry out control of the media and whoever consumes it, will discover a very strange thing. He will understand the meaning of the ‘Arab Spring’ or the ‘Arab Autumn.’ Is it a black day [Egyptian colloquialism meaning a disastrous time]? Yes it is! He will understand [former US Secretary of State] Condoleezza Rice when she described ‘creative [destruction and] chaos [in the Middle East].’”
The Minister was seated next to Mr Khamis throughout, and accepted an award from him, but he later repudiated Mr Khamis’ speech in comments to Al Bawada News: “The Minister confirmed in reply to Al Bawaba News on the importance of the media in all its forms, insisting very strongly on his refusal on what came out of the mouth of Mohamed Farid Khamis regarding the Protocols of the Elders of Zion and other matters that relate to that subject, as Egypt respects all religions and is no enemy to any particular one. On the contrary, all countries must and their various media outlets have to work in order to bring their peoples together and helping dialogue between their respective cultures.”
According to the BUE’s website, “The formation of a British University in Egypt arose from a 1998 Memorandum of Cooperation between the UK and the Egyptian Governments.” It continues: “Planning for the new institution was put in train and financial support was provided by a group of prominent Egyptian business and public figures, principal amongst whom was Mr Farid Khamis, Chairman of Oriental Weavers, a major international carpet manufacturing company. In 2004, with strong support from the British Embassy and the British Council, a Presidential decree was issued establishing the British University in Egypt.” The website further states: “The University has been supported by a high profile and influential Board of Trustees compromising [sic] individuals drawn from UK and Egyptian business, public life and educational sectors. A group of British universities, led by Loughborough University provided the academic direction, teaching and quality management processes thereby ensuring the ‘British’ quality of the education.”
BUE and Mr Khamis’ company did not respond to our request for comments.
Campaign Against Antisemitism is writing to the Minister of State for Universities, the Chief Executive of Universities UK and the Chief Executive of the Higher Education Funding Council for England about Mr Khamis’ antisemitic speech. It is unconscionable that British taxpayers’ money should go to supporting an institution whose Chairman of the Board of Trustees would espouse and endorse such repulsive and discredited views.