In a thought-provoking discussion on Amr Adeeb's talk show last night, Egyptian scholar and author Youssef Zidan harshly criticised Ahmed Urabi, the leader of the popular 1879 revolt against British and French dominance over the Egyptian state and the then-ruler Khedive Tewfik Pasha - something he was slammed for doing before. "I want one of them [his critics] to tell me what 'the Leader' Ahmed Urabi did to Alexandria when he was withdrawing his forces from the city," Zidan says, referring to the violent clashes of 1882 in Alexandria, which left 300 dead. "He burned down the city, and in Manshiya Square, he ordered his soldiers to assault Alexandria[ns]."

The extended discussion touched down on the novelist's controversial opinion on drinking wine in Islam, which he believes is permitted by the Hanafi school of fiqh (Islamic jurisprudence). "Drinking wine, is it halal or haram?" exclaims Zidan. "If you belong to the Hanafis, then it's halal. If you belong to the Shafeis, it would be haram," adds Zidan, further detailing that Egypt officially follows the Hanafi School of Fiqh, however Egyptians have come to adhere to the more conservative Shafei jurisprudence in practice.

Shortly after the airing of the episode, Youssef Zidan's name became a trending hashtag in Egypt, with many users shunning him as a 'delusional infidel', while others expressed their support and admiration of his views.


 Even if we listen to a 100 Youssef Zidans everyday, we'll remain true to our historic and religious values. Let him make his money.

 


I disagree with him on many issues, but I still respect him.


Youssef Zidan shocked people even though everything he said is well documented and factual. People don't want to read or learn.


Where is the Nour Salafi Party? Youssef Zidan is destroying the fundamentals of Islam.


What is this bullshit? 


I disagree with many of Youssef Zidan's opinions except for the historical facts because that's his area of expertise. Those who criticise him should produce documents to support their opinions like he does.


Only a secular, a Zionist, or an idiot respects Youssef Zidan's bullshit.