Television producers in Egypt have been shooting the novel “Dhat” by Egyptian author Sonallah Ibrahim. The problem is that the novel takes place in the 1970s “when women wore short clothing.” That will not do for professors and students at Cairo’s Ain Shams University who forcibly stopped the shooting because the clothing was indecent during that period. Presumably, they could shoot the film so long the characters are dressed according to current Islamic standards — much like requiring a film on Woodstock to be filmed with women in prairie dresses.
Members of the Muslim Brotherhood at Ain Shams University were at the heart of the protest. It is distressing to see academics participating in such an attack on free expression and the literary arts.
In the wake of the “Arab Spring,” there is a cold wind blowing across countries like Egypt where Islamic parties have used their new freedom to deny the rights of others. As is often the case, artists and journalists are the first to be targeted for their free speech and art. Recently, famed Egyptian actor, Adel Imam, was sentenced to three months in jail for “defaming Islam” in several roles on stage and screen.
Citizens in Egypt can expect more of the same (and less of free speech): the Muslim Brotherhood is demanding the right to form the next government after sweeping election victories.
Source: Egypt Independent