Egyptian Ramy Jan was scheduled to appear at a Dec. 5 event at Georgetown University until it was discovered he was the leader of the fledgling Egyptian Nazi Party and was promptly disinvited.
The event, “Egypt and the Struggle for Democracy,” was to be hosted by Georgetown’s Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding and has since been postponed until late January.
Jan is a founding member of Egypt’s Nazi Party, a small and insignificant group in Egyptian politics, The New York Times reported. However, the views he espouses are extreme. He appeared on Dream1 TV in Egypt in September 2011 and stated in remarks translated by The Middle East Media Research Institute that he does not recognize the peace treaty between Egypt and Israel and that the Egyptian Nazi party has aims to build a nuclear reactor.
“Our political goal is to make the Arab race, or Arabic speakers, the best race,” Head of the Egyptian Nazi Party Muhi Al-Din Gamal said in the video. This opinion stands in direct conflict with the ACMCU’s mission, posted on its website, which is “to improve relations between the Muslim world and the West.”
Georgetown originally invited Jan as a representative of Christians Against the Coup, which did not support the military ouster of then-president Hosni Mubarak.
Founding director of the center, professor John Esposito, declined The Hoya’s request for comment. However, in an article on The New York Times‘ website, he said that the organizers had not known about Jan’s views.
“This was new to us that he had a background like that and as soon as it came to our attention he was immediately disinvited,” Esposito said. “We had no idea that there was this issue out there.”
ACMCU Associate Director Kristine Kidwell also said that the center did not know about Jan’s position in the Egyptian Nazi Party.
“Ramy Jan is absolutely not coming to speak at Georgetown University at any point,” she wrote in an email. “No one involved in the creation of this event had any idea whatsoever about Jan’s questionable affiliations. He is no longer invited to speak at Georgetown, and we are amending our conference speakers and schedule.”
The event’s original page on ACMCU’s website has been taken down, and the new page features a bold announcement at the top.
“Due to lengthy delays with our Egyptian participants getting visas, the Dec. 5 Conference has been postponed to Jan 30, 2014, to enable their participation,” the notice on the new page read and has since been taken down altogether.
The conference will feature Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), the first Muslim member elected to Congress, who will give the keynote address, and Dr. Wael Haddara, former adviser to deposed Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi.
Other speakers include professors from American University in Cairo, The George Washington University and the University of Toronto, as well as various scholars and journalists.
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