Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Springtime in Egypt - for Islamists

From Bikya Masr:
One of Egypt’s best known actors, Adel Imam, has been handed a three-month hard labor sentence and a fine of about $170 for insulting Islam in roles he portrayed in film and on the stage.

The films include “The Terrorist,” “Terrorism and the Kabab,” among others.

Egyptian author Alaa al-Aswany, whose international best-seller “The Yacoubian Building,” was turned into a film co-starring Imam, said the court ruling sets Egypt back to the “darkness of the Middle Ages,” according to a report in Al Ahram.

“[The court's ruling] is an unimaginable crime of principle in developed nations,” he tweeted on his Twitter account.

The impetus behind this, and another case featuring the founder of Mobinil telecom, Naguib Sawiris (who tweeted an image of Mickey Mouse with a beard, and his lovely consort Minnie Mouse, wearing a face veil), are indicative of the growing draconian influence of the ultra-conservative Salafists in Egypt.
Egyptian freedom of expression advocates are in an uproar over the banning of a play over its alleged use of “foul language.”

24 rights movements issued a joint statement condemning al-Sawy Cultural Center in Cairo for banning the play “Mono-drama Auto bus” from showing at the center’s 7th Mono-drama theater festival taking place this month.

According to the Sawy judging committee, the play featured a sentence that contains “foul language against religion.”

The play in question, directed by John Milad and acted by Mina Ezzat, was supposed to start with the actor throwing a fit and threatening to ruin the play, saying the disputed line, “I will ruin the damn show” or loosely translated from the Arabic, which uses a common swear word that many religious persons forbid, arguing it is “insulting religions.”

The rehearsal immediately came to a halt when the actor uttered the line. The play was removed from the program and all attempts to bring it back failed.
Egypt’s liberal satellite channel ON TV received a threatening letter from an unknown group calling itself “The Jihadist Group to Cleanse the Country” warning they would kidnap some of the news presenters and inflict harm on companies that advertise with channel, if the channel “does not change its media policies.”
See? There was an Arab Spring in Egypt - for people who want Egyptians to have less freedom.