Arab world gripped by conspiracy theories on 'Islamic martyr Diana'

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The Independent Online
Did Diana die a Muslim? is the title of just one of six paperbacks selling on the streets of Cairo. Probably, is author Magdi Kamel's answer, and if the Princess of Wales hadn't already converted to Islam, she was intending to - a "fact" which sent a "shockwave of fear" through the Royal Family. As for her death, Mr Kamel says the British authorities decided "to ask the British secret police to find a final solution to the problem of Diana".

However sensitive other nations may have been towards Diana's death, Egypt - the country of Diana's lover, Dodi Fayed - has shown no hesitation in turning the tragedy into farce. The sub-title of another book, Who Killed Diana? is "On the orders of the Palace - the death of Imad [Dodi] Fayed". A painting of a plump-faced, slightly ghostly Diana graces the cover.

Two Egyptian film producers are also vying to put Diana on screen, one of them suggesting Yousra, a popular and rather busty soap actress, as the star. Dodi, goes the rumour-mill in Cairo, will be played by the 65-year-old Egyptian actor Omar Sharif.

Several books suggest Diana's friendship with Jemima Goldsmith introduced her to Islam. One claims that she told a Pakistani Muslim cleric that she was "moving towards his religion". All Egyptian accounts of her death focus on Britain's supposed anxiety that Diana would persuade her sons to become Muslims and thus "Islamicise" the Royal Family.

"She was looking for a man of the East who would pump the blood of femininity back into her veins and set alight inside her the fire of love," writes Kamel, who concludes she died an Islamic "martyr". Charles had "psychological problems" and sought the company of "an old, divorced, ugly woman called Camilla Barker" (sic).

If the British have anything equal to the curse of Tutankhamen, it should be heading right now for Kamel and his chums.

Diana rumours, page 16

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