Khidhir Hamza was a nuclear scientist in Iraq. He later escaped Iraq to another western country. In his book, Saddam’s Bombmaker, he described a meeting he had with Saddam Hussain. His lab acquired a large new computer and was installed. One day, Saddam, unannounced, came to his lab.
He was not showing interest in the new computer. He was looking at the pictures that Hamza has tacked to the wall. They were all famous scientists, from Copernicus to Einstein. Hamza tore their pictures from magazines and tape them in the wall.
Saddam asked “who are those?”
Hamza replied: “They are the greatest scientists in history”.
Saddam became angry. "What an insult this is! All these great men, these great scientists! You don't have enough respect for these great men to frame their pictures? You can't honor them better than this?"
End of Story.
Hamza’s explanation: Saddam had kinship he felt with the great men of history, with history itself. Lack of reverence for an image of Copernicus might suggest a lack of reverence for Saddam.