One question scholars may wish to avoid when doing field research in Egypt is: “Do you think Islam can change?” Raising such a question is like sprinkling salt on a wound. While one interviewee correlated the radicalization of Muslims with a perceived threat to religion,1 another answered with the accusatory question: “Why do you want to change Islam?”2 As an interviewee in Cairo explained: “[To Muslims] Islam is the truth. Truth does not change. Two plus two will always equal four. This is true in Cairo as in London. The idea of Euromathematics is awkward.”3 While “believers might perceive this question as an offense,”4 one can rephrase it more appropriately by asking for differences in interpretation, given that “the situation, the faces will change. But the values will stay fixed. How we can combine values and situation – that is very different – that’s why there are different interpretations of Islam.”5 This comes close to the point of Abdelaty Mohamed:

Islam as a literature can be interpreted in this way and in another way basically different. . . . Our literature is full of contradictions. . . . The important thing is what you choose, this is a choice in the end. . . . The fundamentalists can easily find political and intellectual arguments for them in our literature and the wise, moderate people can also find their arguments.6