What Dr Morsi learned from Dr Zaius

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Some out there on the internets are confused about Mohammed Morsi's Planet of the Apes reference. Here's the scene he was referring to — just before Charlton Heston rides away on the beach to make a startling discovery, Dr Zaius tells him about what the humans will bring, as revealed in the twenty-third scroll of the apes, ninth verse:

'Beware the beast man, for he is the 
devil's pawn. Alone among God's primates, 
he kills for sport, or lust or greed. 
Yes, he will murder his brother to possess 
his brother's land. Let him not breed 
in great numbers, for he will make a desert 
of his home and yours. Shun him. Drive him 
back into his jungle lair: For he is the 
harbinger of death'.

In the TIME interview, Morsi says:

But at the end, I still remember, this is the conclusion: When the big monkey, he was head of the supreme court I think — in the movie! — and there was a big scientist working for him,  cleaning things, has been chained there. And it was the planet of the apes after the destructive act of a big war,  and atomic bombs and whatever in the movie. And the scientists was asking him to do something, this was 30 years ago: “Don’t forget you are a monkey.”  He tells him, “don’t ask me about this dirty work,.”  What did the big ape, the monkey say? He said, “you’re human, you did it [to] yourself. “That’s the conclusion. Can we do something better for ourselves?

So I think he actually remembers the gist of it pretty well. The man knows his ape scripture.

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Issandr El Amrani

Issandr El Amrani is a Cairo-based writer and consultant. His reporting and commentary on the Middle East and North Africa has appeared in The Economist, London Review of Books, Financial Times, The National, The Guardian, Time and other publications. He also publishes one of the longest-running blog in the region, www.arabist.net.