Answering Islam - A Christian-Muslim dialog

The Haman Hoax

Jochen Katz

Appendix 6

What Islamic Awareness really knew

[In order to fully understand the meaning and impact of the material presented in this appendix, the reader should be familiar with the discussion provided in Stage One and Stage Two of this series.]

After I was basically done with this rebuttal series, I accidentally discovered something else. Although I had seen Mithridates’ posting of mockery (*) many months ago, I had read it only casually and did not follow one particular link in it. That link was given for a different purpose but it points to a page that also includes evidence that Islamic un-Awareness was actually quite aware of several of the details that I found out during my research as well.

This evidence shows that Islamic Awareness published the false information that we discussed in Stage One and Two against their better knowledge. They deliberately covered up a number of facts which would have severely weakened or even destroyed their argument.

Ellis Karim alias Elias Karîm, the main author of the first version of this article,1 was investigating a number of questions important to the Haman issue by posting to a mailing list dedicated to discussing aspects of the Ancient Egyptian language. One of these postings (here) is highly relevant to our discussion:

From: Ellis Karim <>
To: Ancient Egyptian Language List <>
Subject: RE: AEL Help Needed to find the meaning of a Determinative
Date: Mon, 21 Jun 1999 12:17:55 +0100

Thank you for the URL concerning the Coffin Texts vocabulary. I am
sure I will find this most useful.

Concerning the name hmn-h:

1. I'm not sure whether the reference to hmn-h(?) as shown in is actually a reference
to the God Hemen. (The URL shows a page from Walter Wreszinski,
Aegyptische Inschriften)

2. I got the name from Hermann Ranke (Die =C4gyptischen Personennamen)
which lists names with the consonance "hmn".
For each name (hmn-etc) he notes "der Gott" (the God).
However, for hmn-h he does not identify it with any God, just:

25. hmn-h(?)

The source of this name is Walter Wreszinski, Aegyptische Inschriften
which is shown in the URL above.

Perhaps the translation should be:
"The Chief of the quarry workers to/for (the God) Amen"?

Thus, is this the title for hmn-h who was "The Chief of the quarry
workers to/for (the God) Amen"?
The name hmn-h appears after the name of the God Amen. But my knowledge
is not sufficient to take the translation or understanding any further.

3. I'm still puzzled whether the determinative is related to the title
"The Chief/Overseer of the stone workers" as shown

Note also the symbols for officials in the notes by Walter Wreszinski -
meaning that he groups the name under the titles of officials.

Thank you for any help.


Hermann Ranke, Die =C4gyptischen Personennamen, Verzeichnis der Namen,
Verlag Von J J Augustin in Gl=FCckstadt, Band I (1935)
Walter Wreszinski, Aegyptische Inschriften aus dem K.K. Hof Museum in Wien:
1906, J C Hinrichs' sche Buchhandlung, Leipzig

So that they could more easily ask people about the meaning of these hieroglyphs2 Elias Karim, or one of his collegues, put up the webpage twice referenced above. Here is what this page says:

1. A mention of hmn in Hermann Ranke, Die Ägyptischen Personennamen, Verzeichnis der Namen, Verlag Von J J Augustin in Glückstadt, Band I (1935) reads:

25. hmn-h(?)

2. Hermann Ranke cites a book by Walter Wreszinski (Aegyptische Inschriften aus dem K.K. Hof Museum in Wien: 1906, J C Hinrichs' sche Buchhandlung, Leipzig) where hmn is mentioned on I34, pp. 130 : Vorsteher der Steinbruch arbeiter - "The Chief of the quarries workers" as shown below:


What does the determinative associated with hmn mean?

Is the determinative short for htp? Hermann Ranke has put a question mark.


The posting on the mailing list together with the content of the above reproduced webpage are highly significant. The following points are important observations:

1. Ellis Karim had recognized that the professional title of hmn-h (Hemen-hetep) contains a reference to the god Amun and that the title of this man is therefore a quite restricted one. He is merely "the chief of the stone-masons of Amun." (See point 2 of the email.) In their published article, however, the IA-team omits any reference to Amun when discussing this title. It would have diminished the importance of this person and made him appear less likely to be a top government official closely related to the Pharaoh.

2. Although he had not really understood entry 25 in Ranke (yet), Karim had seen that Ranke's dictionary had a whole list of names of the structure hmn-etc. and they were usually translated as "(the god) Hemen is (some attribute)", i.e. the triconsonantal "hmn" stood for the god Hemen. (See points 1 and 2 in his email.)

Even more, in response to another one of Karim's questions, Serge Rosmorduc informed him on 5 July 2000 (*) that by searching the dictionary (WB probably stands for "Wörterbuch", the German word for dictionary) the only name "hmn" in the Egyptian language that he could find is the god Hemen.

Nevertheless, in their article, they still claim that it stands for the human person Haman.

In the first version, they simply cling to a repetition of Bucaille's argument and specifically to his claim that the last hieroglyphic characters are determinatives so that the name itself is "hmn". In the second version they come up with an alternative explanation to actively remove the final character.

3. Though at that time they still wrongly think that the -h is a determinative (due to Bucaille's claim), the last line on the webpage that they have put up shows that they had seen that the final "-h" was interpreted by Ranke as an abbreviation of the attribute "-htp" (meaning "merciful"), i.e. hmn-h stood for hmn-htp meaning "Hemen is merciful". In the first version of their article, they suppress this insight completely, and in the second version they actively misinterpret Ranke and attribute another meaning to his question mark than the one which is given by Ranke himself. That is active and deliberate deception of the readers.

In fact, since many things were still unclear, Ellis Karim continued to interact with the Egyptologists on the AEL mailing list.3 On 3 July 2000, Serge Rosmorduc, in response to a repeated question on this "obscure" determinative, stated (source; bold emphasis mine):

If the name is the one on the web page, your codes are a bit mistaken.

The title in manuel de codage is :


The group you are interested in is Hw:Y1 (F18, Y1) It's probably not a
determinative. This group is used in what is called "Syllabic writing"
or "group-writing", to represent the sound H
(perhaps Ha/Hi or
Hu). See for example Hannig GHA, p. LV.

This is why the name was translitterated Hmn-H.

Therefore, Islamic Awareness was well aware that these two hieroglyphic signs at the end of the name were (most probably) not determinatives and they were given the reason for the transliteration of the name as it is found in Ranke's dictionary. Nevertheless, for the publication of their article, they ignored all of that.

Not all of their questions were resolved on this mailing list, as far as can be determined from the postings in the archive. Perhaps some members responded privately to Ellis Karim's questions. Probably the authors on the Islamic Awareness team also asked around on other forums or they personally consulted some Egyptologists by visiting them at their universities or calling them up by phone (that is what we did in our research).4 So, I assume they did get more answers than can be ascertained by this particular mailing list archive, and those answers were most probably the same ones that we got. However, I do not want to speculate too much about their further actions and further answers.

Still, the available evidence is already quite clear. They got answers which they did not like and then wrote their article making claims that were contrary to what the Egyptologists said and contrary to the information in the books which they consulted.

For that they are responsible, and it will be a continual warning to the readers of their articles that they deliberately deceived the public in order to make Islam look good or even superior. They try to give the impression that their articles are the result of serious research, but they have been shown to twist and misrepresent their sources in order to adjust the truth to what seems beneficial or advantageous to Islam.

4. One final element along these lines: On 26 May 1999 (*), Ellis Karim posted (among others) this question:

1. Could some one tell me how the name Hemiunu (sometimes written as
Hemon or Hamon) would be written in Hieroglyphs.

This shows that Karim is well aware that "Hemiunu" is the usual way to write this name, though the version "Hemon" also exists. Since he would like Hemon much more than Hemiunu, as it looks much more like Haman, he repeats questions on this issue on 1 July 1999 (*):

2. Hemiunu 
sometimes written as Hemon.


Q:How does one derive the name Hemon from Hemiunu?
Q:How is Hemon written?
Q:Is it that Hemiunu has been known as "Hemon" in parts of ancient Egypt?

Apparently, he did not get much of a satisfactory answer to this on this mailing list or elsewhere, since their article gives absolutely no justification for promoting the version "Hemon" over "Hemiunu" (see Appendix 5). Again, we observe: They are well aware that this name is usually given as Hemiunu (and as far as I know it is always Hemiunu in scholarly books), but they nevertheless speak about him as if Hemon were the better or more established version of his name. This fourth point is a small matter, but an attempt of deception nevertheless.



1 See Appendix 4 for a detailed explanation of the various versions published by Islamic Awareness. At the time of writing this appendix, I was only working with two versions of their article (Version 1 and Version 2). Subsequently I re-discovered even earlier versions and what is called Version 1 in this appendix is now renamed Version 1.6, and Version 2 is now Version 2.2 in Appendix 4. Elias Karîm is the first name in the list of authors provided in Version 1.5 and 1.6, which usually indicates that he made the greatest contribution to it. On the other hand, M S M Saifullah is the first-named author in Version 2, after their major revision. The newsgroup posting of Version 1.0 does not list any authors, although that was probably different in the website version of the same article. The posting only makes clear that Saifullah was involved in this article, but it is unclear if he actually claims sole authorship for it.

2 In those days, most mailing lists were "text only" so that rich text formating was not possible and no images could be sent.

3 The full correspondence is found on these pages (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6).

4 Among the Muslim authors, at least MSM Saifullah got a PhD from Cambridge University. He would certainly have opportunity and connections to approach some professors or graduate students there.

The Haman Hoax
Answering Islam Home Page