Cairo (Oct. 27)
The Egyptian Arabs have no desire to participate in the All-Moslem Congress which the Moslem Supreme Council is calling in Jerusalem for December, the greater part of the Egyptian press writes. Egyptians are not interested in Moslem affairs outside Egypt, the papers declare, and very few of the Egyptian Mosloms who have been invited are likely to go to Jerusalem for the Congress.
“Al Ahram”, one of the biggest dailies here, publishes an appeal by Selim Ibn Seoud, a leading Arabic scholar, urging the Egyptian Moslems not to take part in the Congress.
The Opposition to the Congress is growing in Jerusalem itself, it is learned, and many prominent Arab leaders there, notably the powerful Nashashibi family, are organising a definite opposition to the Congress project fathered by the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, so that the experience of the last Nablus Congress of Palestine Arabs, to which only a few of the Palestine Arab notables invited came, is likely to be repeated this time on a still bigger scale.
That the Egyptian political leaders, regardless of their party affiliations do not care to have their country mixed up with the Pan-Arabic movement sponsored by the Syrio-Palestine Committee and the Moslem Supreme Council in Palestine, was the impression gathered by M. van Paasen, when he was in Egypt on behalf of the J.T.A. soon after the Palestine outbreak of 1929, when there was much talk about the Egyptian and other Moslems joining the Palestine Arabs in a concerted Pan-Islamic Government against Zionism.
The Egyptian Arabs look upon themselves not as Arabs, though racially they have Arab affinities, but as Egyptians with definitely and distinctly Egyptian interests, was the way the President of the powerful wafd National Party in Egypt, Nahas Pasha, an ex-Premier, put the situation to him. We have no Arabic problem but solely an Egyptian problem, he declared. For us to interfere in outside affairs means to burden ourselves with additional tasks. The aspirations of other people are dear to us, but we regard our task to be to work with all our strength for Egyptian greatness and prosperity, which is our paramount concern.