Translated by Amin Refaat:
Gratitude for the loved ones of the People of the Book

آحمد صبحي منصور Ýí 2023-05-06

Ahmed SubhyMansour On 3-03-023


Gratitude for the loved ones of the People of the Book


Translated by Amin Refaat




With the first of last March, I entered my seventy-fourth year, and with me for years a sick heart and a wonderful bundle of diseases, with which I expect death at any moment. I must now hasten to extend gratitude to the beloved nobles of the People of the Book.


I mention a glimpse of them by name and some common history, praying to God Almighty to reward them on my behalf.


First: Favors from the Copts


I was the only Azharite who showed the persecution of the Copts in my doctoral dissertation, and this was part of my suffering at the time, then in 1984 I detailed their suffering in the book (The Personality of Egypt after the Islamic Conquest), which I decided on the students of the History Department at Al-Azhar University. Until 1990, I had not known any Coptic Egyptian. The opportunity to get to know each other came through my late friend, Dr. Farag Fouda. Then the connection with those beloved Copts became closer after the assassination of Farah Fouda, and we transferred his office to the (Egyptian Society for Enlightenment). I made the persecution of the Copts one of my priorities as a writer in Egypt and then in America. I have loved ones among the Copts, I am more acquainted with those to whom I am grateful and thankful:


1. Dr.Marilyn Tadros:


An Egyptian lady from an ancient family in Upper Egypt, with magnanimity, generosity and high morals. We worked together in the Egyptian Society for Enlightenment, and one of its interests was human rights and Coptic rights. At the time, I was going through a difficult period through which I was working on correcting some bulletins. She stood beside me, and my son Houssam used to call her (Aunt Marilyn) in his childhood. Marilyn immigrated to America, and then, years later, I fled with my life to America in 2001. In 2003, they nominated me as a visiting professor on a one-year scholarship in the human rights program at Harvard Law School in Boston. It happened that my wife and my youngest son, Mounir, had the right to join me. It was necessary to travel to Boston and rent accommodation before my wife and son came. I called Marilyn and she was connected to Harvard University and those in charge of its human rights program, and she lived in the small state of Rhode Island near Massachusetts (Boston). I traveled to Boston, and she was waiting for me, and helped me find accommodation, and I returned the same day to receive my wife and son the next day in Washington, and we traveled by train to Boston. And we met Marilyn, and my wife helped buy the supplies for our new house, and she bought us a lot. Before the end of the scholarship year, I tried to get a job in the Arabic and (Islamic) departments at Harvard University but it turned out that they live on the grants from the Gulf countries who have delegates aware of my views and they blocked my attempts to work there so I returned to Virginia.


2. The late Wagih Khair. May God (may He be glorified and exalted) have mercy on him.


He was a prominent member of the Egyptian Society for Enlightenment, and a political activist with a wide horizon. He bore the cost of printing my book (The Impact of Sufism on Religious Life in Mamluk Egypt) in its three parts, and he stood by me a lot in times of trouble.


3. The late Kamal Boulos


He was a friend of Wagih Kair, and like him he was a dear friend to me. He published Farag Fouda's works, after I reviewed them, and continued his struggle with my children after I immigrated to America. My son Muhammed told me that after his pension came out of his work in the Dar al-Kutub, they gave him a huge reward. He offered it to my son Muhammed, but he refused to take it, thankfully. It is a situation in my absence that I do not forget. May God's mercy be upon him.


4. The late Philip Gallab


  Lotfi Waked was one of the leaders of the Tagammu' party, and one of the influential people in the newspaper Al-Ahali. He was originally from a town close to ours, and we knew each other closely, yet he was embarrassed to make me write in the newspaper. The one who allowed me to write was the late Philip Gallab, when he took over its editorship, and it was an opportunity for friendship with him, may God have mercy on him.


5. Dr . Younan Labib Rizk


We met in the Egyptian Society for Enlightenment. He did me a favor by recommending me to do research on “The Smoke” for a big company in London. And I traveled there to present the research to them, and I got an amount that I had not dreamed of, and it came at a difficult time, when I was broke, and poverty was a companion and friend to me in Egypt, the country of thieves!.


6. Magdy Khalil


I got to know him in Egypt, and the friendship became stronger after my asylum in America, and we participated in political work at the end of Mubarak's era. I owe him for his help bringing my son Muhammad to America.


7. Dr . Adly Wilson


I knew him in America through Magdy Khalil. He is a famous dentist, a broad-minded intellectual, and an enlightened Christian. We visited each other on a family level. He treated me for free, resolutely refusing to give him a fee.


8. Kameel Haleem


A generous Egyptian millionaire. I got to know him when I was politically active in America at the end of the Mubarak era. I needed $40,000 as a down payment to buy the house I live in now from 2006. I asked him for this amount, so he sent a check for it. I paid him later, and I still carry this favor for him in times of distress. He was Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors of the International Quranic Center for a period of time.


Second: favors from the Jews


This was the surprise that hit the culture of hatred for all the Jews that we were brought up in Egypt. The Jews in America and Canada are the greatest and most wonderful people I knew. Here are some of the creditors:


1. The late Alexander Epstein, may God have mercy on him


He is a Canadian lawyer and human rights activist. He heard about me, and we met at a conference on confronting terrorism in London. I returned to Egypt to find the usual thing, which is the reservation at the airport and the interrogation with me.

After the closure of the Ibn KhaldunCenter, I lived for about a year waiting for my arrest. I received an invitation to attend a conference in New York on peace in the Middle East, with which I obtained a visa to America. Alexander Epstein called me and told me that he spoke to the Canadian ambassador in Cairo to give me a visa to Canada. I did not find a reason for it. I lived for more than a year in extreme hardship, waiting for asylum and a work permit to be approved. I lived in a miserable house, and determined to myself that I should not exceed seven dollars a week in food. At that time, he called me to offer me to work as an imam of a mosque in the capital of one of the American states. My work there will facilitate the asylum procedures and bring my children, in addition to housing in the mosque and a decent salary. The former imam of the mosque was arrested on charges of promoting terrorism, and those interested wanted to find an enlightened Muslim imam, so Alexander Epstein recommended me to them. It was a wonderful opportunity, but I said that the people in charge of the mosque must know who I am first. I sent them a translation of my book (The Punishment for Apostasy) asking them to read it, and if they agreed to it, I would come to them. They were afraid of the book and the attack on Bukhari, and they rejected me as an imam, so I apologized to my friend Alexander Epstein. Then I got asylum and a work permit, and when Alexander Epstein learned that he came to visit me and took me to the head of the American Endowment for Democracy, and made him give me an exceptional grant (three months) to present a research on democracy in Islam. May God ( may He be glorified and exalted) have mercy on him.


2. Dr . Irving and his wife Virginia


He is the lawyer who handled my asylum case. And with him his wonderful wife, Virginia. It is rare that there are equal to them in kindness and doing good for all. He became the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the International Quaranic Center, and we visit whenever circumstances permit, and their favors are many to us, and we consider ourselves one family.


3. My young Israeli classmate at Harvard


Unfortunately, I forgot his name. His office was next to mine there. His father is from Damascus and then immigrated to Israel. In our first week in our new residence in Boston, my wife and son were living without furniture, and I was looking for two beds and other accessories. I asked him if he knew of shops that sell at a reasonable price, so he asked me for the address of residence, saying that he would visit me. I was surprised at night by him knocking on my door with a colleague of his (also a Jew) while they were carrying parts of the furniture, struggling to carry them because of the narrow, winding staircase. They carried all the furniture, refusing my help.

 After installing and organizing everything, he refused to even drink tea or coffee. And they left quietly, leaving astonishment still alive in the heart. He returned to Israel, but the memory of him and his colleague did not leave the heart. May Allah swt reward them with all the best..!




It is an Israeli-American center in Washington DC, specialized in exposing terrorism and its sheikhs. They called me when I was looking for a job after I got back from Boston. They offered me work for them and I accepted. I worked with them for more than a year. It is true that I did not work, they kept giving me a salary of two thousand dollars a month, without working. I realized it was a noble way to help without embarrassment. I left them embarrassed and thankful.


5. Dr. Daniel Pipes


The American Mohammedans and their organizations hate him, the most important of which is (CARE), because he confronts them armed with his Arab culture and his specialized center in the Middle East. He wrote praises about me, and I was attacked harshly, even in Egypt, including Fahmy Howeidi's article in Al-Ahram. A debate took place between Dr. Pipes and a Palestinian American, so the Palestinian rushed to accuse him of financing the evil of the Sunnah denier Ahmed Sobhy Mansou. Dr. Pipes left his place in anger, as there was no personal relationship between us, and it did not happen at that time that he provided funding to the International Quranic Center. I was surprised when he donated five thousand dollars to the center, in response I sent him a letter of thanks.  I am still grateful to him.


6. Dr. Charles Jacob


With the influence of Al-Qaradawi and Gulf funds, the Mohammedans in Boston began building the largest mosque in America. The identity of those in charge of building the mosque was exposed. Their president went to prison because he conspired with Gaddafi to kill King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia. This coincided with Al-Qaradawi's fatwa to kill any American civilian in Iraq. I was in Virginia, and an association was formed in Boston to stand against these people and their harmful mosque. They needed a Muslim partner, so Daniel Pipes showed them to me. An association was formed (Citizens for Peace and Tolerance) that included a Jew, Charles Jacob, a Christian, an American university professor, and myself. This was the beginning of my acquaintance with the political activist, Professor Charles Jacob. We worked together in Boston (the cultural capital of America) in television interviews and press interviews, which made those in charge of that mosque file a defamation case against us, accusing me of being paid. The lawyer on our behalf proved that I did not receive any money from anyone, and he presented them with all the documents and asked to see their documents, so they felt the danger and gave up the case. It was a resounding victory. To celebrate this victory, a huge meeting was held in a large hall in Boston, attended by thousands of American Jews, and I was invited to speak there. I began by saying, "I feel safe among you." They gave me a standing ovation for minutes, making my tears flow. In Egypt, I felt nothing but fear, oppression, humiliation, and poverty, and here I am greeted with all this welcome. I completed my sermon, went down, and they surrounded me with a welcome, and I was the star of the conference. Then Charles Jacob blamed me for not seizing the opportunity and asking for funding for the International Quranic Center. I told him: “ I am not used to this." Then I received an invitation from the same organization to its conference on peace in New York, this time in Hawaii, as usual the trip and accommodation in a luxurious hotel were paid by them. But Charles Jacob called me, inviting me to meet in Boston with someone who wanted to get to know me. I preferred Charles Jacob invitation. It was to meet a Jewish donor who donated twenty thousand dollars to the center, which revived the center at the time.

My warm greetings to my friend Charles Jacob, and it is unfortunate that communication between us was interrupted after we entered old age.




The value of these nobles emerges when I compare them to the bottom reached by some of those whom I have done well to. I raised him as a child with his father present, and I took responsibility for him at times of hardship and prosperity. I considered him my son, then after my marriage he lived with us, and when I came to America, I brought him, his wife and two children to live with us for years. In all these years in America (13 years), he refuses to help with the website and the publishing of the videos on the Ahl Al-Quran YouTube channel although he could. I asked him to work on the website in preparation to be my successor, but he refused insolently. He lived his life with me (50 years), considering it an acquired right to live on me and then on my sons, keeping all this ingratitude. I wrote to him: This is a separation between you and me. Do not attend my death, my funeral, or my wake. I canceled him from my life, or from what is left of it. It was the shock of my life, I live with it till its end.
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