The Egyptian pharaoh, General Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi’s criminally cynical remarks have crossed all limits.
Amid rising food prices, especially of bread, and people facing starvation, the potato-faced thug has the gall to tell people to eat tree leaves if they can't afford.
His nearly one decade-long military dictatorship has seen rampant corruption and gross mismanagement of the economy.
Al-Sisi and the coterie of generals around him have siphoned off billions out of the country leaving the already poor people further impoverished.
With his hands drenched in the blood of innocent people when he staged a coup in July/August 2003, he has the gall to mention the name of the noble Messenger (peace be upon him [pbuh]).
He told the Egyptian people that they should eat tree leaves just as the Prophet (pbuh) did when he, his companions and their families were besieged in Sh‘ab Abi Talib for three years.
In a tweet “Sisi says that he is not worried that someone will say that a kilo of okra costs 100 Egyptian pounds because Egyptians are aware that ‘the Companions of the Prophet [pbuh] were trapped with the Messenger in the outskirts of Makkah for 3 years until they ate leaves. They did not ask the Messenger for food or for the earth to explode from beneath them [with riches]’.”
Sisi’s remarks are appalling and show how cynical he has become.
He is trying to compare himself to the Prophet (pbuh), nastaghfirullah, when he should be repenting for his many grievous sins, not least the brutal murder of thousands of innocent people.
Further, during the three-year siege in Sh‘ab Abi Talib, the Prophet (pbuh) also suffered hunger with his companions.
Would Sisi like to follow his own advice and eat tree leaves just for a week, as he is suggesting the Egyptian people do?
He and the criminal gang around him have brought Egypt to this sorry state.
True, the war in Ukraine has disrupted grain delivery to many parts of the world but if he cares for the well-being of the people—which he doesn’t—he would not be making such cynical statements.
Instead, he should cut down on the rapacious lifestyle of his family and cohorts and make amends for the many crimes they have committed.
It is true that the companions of the Prophet (pbuh) did not complain while besieged in the ravine outside Makkah.
The reason was that the Prophet (pbuh) was with them and suffered just as much as they did.
Al-Sisi is “languishing” in the presidential palace guarded by a phalanx of bodyguards.
Who is he afraid of? The Prophet (pbuh) did not have a guard detail.
Further, the Muslims in early Islamic history suffered because of their commitment to Islam.
The Egyptian people are suffering because of the greed and incompetence of Sisi and his coterie of generals that have become billionaires.
Sisi’s net worth is estimated to be $2.5 billion. Where did he get this money on an annual salary of $72,000?
In March Sisi turned to the IMF for the third time in six years begging for another loan.
The situation is not dissimilar to what is happening in Pakistan.
Corruption is rampant and traditional donors like Saudi Arabia and the UAE are no longer willing to cough up money to shore up a bottom-less pit like Egypt.
At least one-third of Egypt’s 102 million people live below the poverty line.
Many people are forced to live in graveyards because of lack of housing.
Yet Sisi has the gall to tell the people to lose weight to save money following price hikes of essential commodities.
IMF loans come with conditions: to end food and fuel subsidies.
This mostly affects the poor people.
Amid a growing economic crisis making life miserable for ordinary people, there is not even a hint that he would cut down on his grandiose projects like building a new capital city at a cost of $45 billion.
The generals are neck deep in corruption siphoning off billions out of the new capital city project.
There is a simple solution to Egypt’s problems: Hang Sisi and his generals from the cranes erected to build the new capital city!