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Arabs Say Diana Was Murdered

  • No sooner that it was reported Princess Diana was dead, conspiracy theorists starting looking for an angle. The Islamic press thinks it found one.
By James P. Tucker, Jr.

Could Queen Elizabeth hate Princess Diana that much?

Many in the Arab world believe the palace had Diana killed because British rayalty objected to her imminent marriage to an Egyptian who would become stepfather to a future king.

The largest newspaper in Egypt, the semi-official Al Ahram, put its suspicions bluntly a day after the August 31 crash:

"British intelligence is behind the assassination of Diana and Dodi because their love affair was a shock for the British royal family, the media and public opinion in the United Kingdom."

The newspaper said the royal family saw Diana as a greater threat to its position than even the 17th century revolutionary leader Oliver Cromwell had been and the prospect of their wedding was a "nightmare."

"What if Diana had married Dodi, a Muslim-Arab-Egyptian man?" the paper asked. "What if they had a child ... the future king of Britain and head of its church would have an Arab Muslim brother or sister. Thus, the only solution was to get rid of the couple."

"The love story revealed the depth of the racist element inside the British media,' the paper said.

Journalist Mahmoud Kassas, quoted in the English-language Middle East Times, also agreed the couple had been murdered and challenged the explanation that photographers chasing the car on motorcycles caused the crash.

"Many people here in Egypt do not believe it, since proper photos cannot be taken from speeding motorcycles,' he said. "I also heard that the car had tinted windows so that no photos could be taken."

It was an assassination made to look like an accident, he said.

But in the view of much of the Arab world, the palace had Diana killed because of prejudice against her Muslim lover, Dodi al-Fayed, who was heir to billions.

"They killed Diana because she wanted to marry a Muslim, and she herself was going to be a Muslim," Ahmed Mohammed Mahmoud, a security guard on duty outside a diplomatic residence in Cairo, told the Los Angeles Times.

It was deliberate murder, taxi driver Fathi Mohammed Salem agreed.

"The man is Egyptian and a Muslim," he said. "Many westerners had in mind that, if Dodi married Diana, he would become more powerful."

Their views are reflected in the mainstream press.

The September 5 edition of the widely read Egyptian magazine Al Mussawar exhibited its doubts on the cover, which featured a composite photograph tht portrayed Diana and Dodi holding hands and dressed as a bride and groom.

"Who Killed Diana and Dodi ... the Press ... or Politics?" the headlines asked.

What the Islamic press, and other conspiracy theorists, haven't explained is what the dead, drunk driver had to gain by killing Di, or how it could have been accomplished otherwise.