Take care to wear the right shirt in Egypt

Hamed Abdel Samad wore what I would consider a fairly innocuous shirt on the street in Egypt (“God is busy. Can I help you?”). Watch what happens as a pushy, angry mob forms around him and he is blamed for “provoking” them.

You really don’t want to be anywhere near an Islamist or Christianist. They’ll use any excuse to bully you.


  1. rayceeya says

    Back when I was younger and more dickish, I used to go around in a shirt that sad “Jesus hates me” whenever I was in a particularity pissy mood. Worked pretty well for keeping the local bible thumpers at bay.

  2. slithey tove (twas brillig (stevem)) says

    I would wear that sweatshirt, and get beat up for shouting “sarcasm” the crowd of “defenders” harassing me about it. IF, IF IF
    talk is cheep [sic]

  3. Chancellor says

    Oh, Egypt, what are we going to do with you? *unnecessary smug grin*

    I used to desire wearing atheist shirts as well.

  4. says

    You are free to do whatever you want in a state ruled by fanatics and authoritarians.
    If you want to do the same things they want.

  5. numerobis says

    A guy I know was a bit tipsy in Cairo and decided to argue with his taxi driver about religion. He claimed to be hindu, that he believes there’s one god with many faces, just like the 99 faces of the muslim god (he’s of Indian ancestry so he could pull it off).

    The taxi driver to him to get out of the fucking car before he killed him.

  6. numerobis says

    (To be fair: the taxi driver asked him if he was muslim, is what sparked the discussion)

  7. Alt-X says

    I’d asked them, “you’re Egyptians, why aren’t you following the Egypt religion, instead of some silly foreign one?”.

  8. whheydt says

    Re: Alt-X @ #8….
    Much as I agree with you, please supply the name and contact information for your next of kin so we’ll know who (and how) to contact them after you do that.

  9. jimzy says

    I sold a t-shirt “Atheist – Come on out, the reality’s fine” to a woman from Kuwaiti. I asked “Isn’t that dangerous?” Her reply: They can’t read English, I’ll be fine. I hope she’s fine.

  10. jimzy says

    I wore a t-shirt with that same printing to a secular group’s volunteering at the San Diego Feeding America food bank. I then started doing significant facilities work. Probably saved them a lot of money. Nobody would talk to me. Only a thank you if I asked. Eventually quit. A bunch of fundies doing god’s work.

  11. Jessie Harban says

    If his shirt offended God, why did they feel the need to harass him over it?

    Perhaps God was busy.

  12. says

    Not that it excuses the appalling conduct of the bullying crowd, but the sweatshirt said more than “God is busy. Can I help you?” It also had a satanic face on it, making it not so much an innocuous atheist statement, and more of a mocking semi-satanic statement.