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Speaking in Arabic in what sounded like Mr. bin Laden's usual level voice, his comments interspersed with pious expressions, the man said recent attacks were "merely a reciprocal reaction to what Bush, the modern-day pharaoh, did by murdering our children in Iraq and what Israel, the ally of America, did in bombing houses of the elderly, women and children in Palestine, using American planes."
The use of the word pharaoh is a heavily freighted term drawn from Koranic texts, where the lesson of the fall of the pharaoh is deemed an example of the fate of arrogant leaders who think their own power equals God's.
The word "pharoah" is a Hellenization of the ancient Egyptian word per-a'a, which literally means "great house." Originally applied to the king's palace, eventually through metonymy it came to designate the king himself.
The White House denies any connection.