A heavily-bandaged Anwar Al-Bulkimy claimed he was beaten and robbed but his doctor revealed he was just recovering from plastic surgery
When an Islamist MP reported that he had been badly beaten by masked gunmen who left him unconscious and robbed him of $16,000 (£10,000), the news was seen as worrying proof that post-revolutionary Egypt was falling into lawlessness. Photos emerged showing a heavily bandaged Anwar Al-Bulkimy recovering in hospital, but the politician has now been dumped by the ultra-conservative Nour party after it emerged that he was actually recovering from a nose job.
The case has deeply embarrassed the second biggest party in Egypt’s parliament – which had been outraged over the alleged attack, demanding an explanation from the interior minister.
Speaking from his hospital bed, Al-Bulkimy had regaled journalists and a parade of visiting politicians with details of the imaginary attack which came weeks after two other prominent Islamist figures had been (genuinely) assaulted .
But on Monday plastic surgeon Hamdy Abdel-Khalek Farag called into a television show on satellite channel Al-Hayat to contradict Al-Bulkimy’s story, saying that on the day of the alleged attack, the MP had been on the operating table. Initially, the Nour party stood by their MP, but an internal investigation concluded that he had been lying and promptly expelled him.
Al-Bulkimy has submitted his resignation from parliament, but it is yet to be accepted by house speaker Saad El-Katatny of the Muslim Brotherhood, who was one of the many luminaries to visit the MP in his hospital bed.The Prosecutors have made an official request to the justice ministry to investigate Al-Bulkimy for filing a false police report. He could be charged with a criminal offence once his parliamentary immunity is lifted. An election will have to be held to fill the seat vacated by the MP.
Al-Bulkimy’s story also casts a pall on overtly religious parties and their engagement in politics. “These religious movements use Islam in a dangerous manner when it comes to politics,” said Bassel Adel, a liberal MP from the Free Egyptians party. “Because they claim to represent religion, now a connection can be made between what he did and Islam, and that is not right. Politics always taints religion.”
from Abdel-Rahman Hussein