An Egyptian minister has blamed the “colonialist Zionist force” for the rise of atheism and homosexuality in his country.
In an interview with Al-Hayat TV, Mohamed Mokhtar Gomaa, Egypt’s Minister of Religious Endowment, claimed that the “Zionists” sponsor and support atheism and homosexuality in an effort to undermine the stability of the region.
Gomaa’s comments were made during an interview that aired on September 21. The interview was just recently translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI).
Gomaa did not attribute all the ills and woes of atheism to the Zionists. He also placed some blame on the “the hijacking of religious discourse by the extremists and terrorists”. However, most of the blame for atheism’s spread in Egypt rested squarely on the “the colonialist Zionist force which sponsors and supports atheists and atheism, and finances homosexuals and homosexuality.”
Gomaa is a cabinet member in the Sissi government, which coordinates closely with Israel on security and economic issues.
“We must confront atheism, nihilism, homosexuality and moral depravity the same way we confront extremism and terrorism,” said Gomaa.
Egypt has tried to reign in anti-Israel rhetoric and has been continually criticized by the international community for targeting and persecuting homosexuals and other minorities.
The Times of Israel reported that, on Saturday, an Egyptian court imprisoned eight men for three years for “inciting debauchery” after allegedly attending a same-sex wedding party on a boat in the Nile River.