"I am carrying out the law of Allah... My hobby was to catch a cat, to place a rope around its neck, to strangle it, and throw it into the water."
About that whole Arab Spring thing. I don't think it's going to work out. Egypt isn't America. It's not Europe. It's not 1848 here. It's a window into another age. It's a time machine into savage lands where they now have smartphones and the internet, but where nothing has really changed.
Following are excerpts from an interview with Hajj Abd Al-Nabi, the official executioner of Egypt, which was posted on the Internet on September 8, 2013.
Hajj Abd Al-Nabi: I am the executioner of the Arab Republic of Egypt. I hold the rank of chief warrant officer in the police and the prison authority. I am Egypt's executioner, responsible for carrying out the death penalty.
But don't get the idea that Al-Nabi is all business. He's just a guy who loves Allah and killing people.
I love people, and people love me, but when I am doing my job, I am carrying out the law of Allah.
Also killing cats and dogs.
When I was young – about 13 or 14 years old – the dry Ismailiya Canal in Shubra Al-Kheima still had water in it. My hobby was to catch a cat, to place a rope around its neck, to strangle it, and throw it into the water. I would get hold of any animal – even dogs. I would strangle these animals and throw them into the water – even dogs.
In America, Al-Nabi would be considered a serial killer. But in Egypt, he filled a different niche. Islamic serial killer.
Strangulation was my hobby. When I applied for the job and did well on the tests – proving that I could take the psychological pressure and so on – they said: "Congratulations. Now, grow a moustache."
In the Muslim world, having a mustache is more important than having a conscience.
The truth is that my heart is dead, because executing comes from the heart, not the moustache.
He's not just a serial killer. He's a philosopher. But mostly a serial killer.
In all honesty, I love my work. I just love it! I never say "no" when they need me at work. This is my work and my livelihood.
Who could ever imagine that this little boy would grow up to become a monster? Maybe his parents?
My parents were hard on me. They would say: "This will get you to hell!" I would say to them: "The cat bit me," "The cat bit some kid," "The dog bit a boy in the leg, and the leg got infected." I became the enemy of all things harmful to Mankind.
Like the Dexter of the animal kingdom. Al-Nabi has a real gift.
Hajj Abd Al-Nabi: It's a gift.
Interviewer: Strangling is a gift?
Hajj Abd Al-Nabi: A great gift. I love my job very much, and I can't give it up. Even when I retire, I will report for duty in emergencies. I will leave this job only when I am dead.
Where he can be haunted by all the cats and dogs he killed for all eternity.