Egypt is again showing the world that it is regressing into medieval religious orthodoxy under the enforcement of Islamic values through criminal laws. The latest victim of religious orthodoxy is actress Rania Youssef who may go to jail for wearing a revealing dress. That’s right, she is facing criminal charges for wearing a dress at the Cairo Film Festival. Just for the record, I hate the dress. But that is a stylistic matter. The case is an attack on free speech and what is most disturbing is that it is the work of two lawyers who seem to relish being vehicles of repression and intolerance.
The charges were brought by lawyers Amro Abdelsalam and Samir Sabri, who seem to have made it their focus to monitor and seek to punish others for appearances that upset them. They represent the most insidious form of lawyers who come to the profession not to champion individual rights but to use the law to deny it to others.
Youssef is charged with “inciting debauchery” and could be jailed for up to five years if found guilty.
Sabri stated that Youssef’s appearance “did not meet societal values, traditions and morals and therefore undermined the reputation of the festival and the reputation of Egyptian women in particular.”
Egypt continues to struggle with emerging as a truly modern nation and the continued pull of orthodoxy back to intolerance and repression. In this case, two lawyers are leading the way back into history.
25 thoughts on “Egyptian Actress Faces Incarceration Over Wearing Revealing Dress To Film Festival”
All women should boycott the event next year. Once again, lawyers ruin everything.
Feed the two lawyers to the elephant.
Definitions in law cannot be stretched too far beyond common-sense, intuitive meanings. That being said, what is the content of the ‘speech’ being made by wearing a revealing dress, such that it should be protected under free-speech rights?
Normally i would examine the nature of the situation and determine objectively what is or isn’t useful. Then apply moral standards. That’s fine but it applies only to me And that’s where it should end.
You can’t damn Egypt and give Sarsour a pass. you can’t have it both ways.
That’s the way it should be. World stage we are sticking our noses into another countries internal affair. Is that justified. But is turnabout fair play? Isn’t that exactly what Sarsour is doing to us?
Examining the nature of things in this case I find it to be not useful and not moral Objectively speaking I must therefore reject most of the conclusions. .
The dress was not particularly stylish, and just showed her legs…pretty tame by most standards. Censure her if you want, but using the heavy arm of the law for this is patriarchal bs. If those lawyers show up here- debag them!
Egypt is a very nice place to visit. Yeah they have rules about naked behavior. So does America. What would cross the line at the Oscars ceremony? A naked shoulder? A naked breast? A naked vagina? High heel shoes? Too much face make up?
World wide, women try to promote themselves sexually to men (sometimes to other women).
Egypt needs a Red Light District like Amsterdamn has.
In America we need to prosecute and jail Catholic priests who sexually abuse children. Hang em high.
Stay the Course, Egypt, lest you end up like America! Which, here is an interesting tidbit from an American Church Service!
I am surprised no one tried to stop her before crossing the stage. Dress that way in Saudi Arabia and you will get your butt slapped by a camel-stick wielding mutawa, a member of the religious police, who are obligated to promote virtue and to combat vice. Western Feminism and its laissez faire attitude towards the use of a woman’s sexuality has not yet stuck its snout into the body of Sharia Law.
Egypt has a bit of a split personality. Most Egyptians have their favorite “belly dancers”, which is not what they are called there. But many will not admit it. Egyptian dance is in no way a strip tease, but it is very evocative. They have their persona – the coquette, etc.
Ms Youssef is a lovely woman whose dress would not turn a hair at the Oscars. Egypt used to be more chic and cosmopolitan, but it is sliding back into extremism, thoroughly ruining tourism. The touts are getting so desperate that they are becoming downright aggressive, especially towards female travelers. She would be well aware of the crackdown on women in her country. Several dancers have been imprisoned, although one got out in just a few days. Perhaps Youssef longs for Egypt to be more Westernized.
The fact remains that women have a very repressed life in the Middle East. The most free places for them in the MIddle East, Egypt and Dubai, would be considered extremely repressive to us Westerners. I assume she did not deliberately wear the dress in civil protest, because she immediately apologized in public. Facing jail time in Egypt as a woman would do that.
Different countries have different modesty standards. For example, topless beaches in France do not raise any eyebrows. I understand that. But the MIddle East takes it to a whole different level. Depending on the country, women are imprisoned, whipped, stoned, or beheaded while nothing often happens to men. Women and men do not have equal rights. Women aren’t even allowed to drive in Saudi Arabia, although MBS is relaxing that a fraction. They cannot travel without a male relative’s permission. If they piss off their husband, he can drown her in the family pool or sentence her to the “women’s room” of solitary confinement for the rest of her life. A great deal of time and energy is put into controlling women. That’s not conservatism. It’s treating women like things. And repressed people rebel.
I understand that. But the MIddle East takes it to a whole different level. Depending on the country, women are imprisoned, whipped, stoned, or beheaded while
Where and how often?
“The charges were brought by lawyers Amro Abdelsalam and Samir Sabri, who seem to have made it their focus to monitor and seek to punish others for appearances that upset them. They represent the most insidious form of lawyers who come to the profession not to champion individual rights but to use the law to deny it to others.”
Many American readers (with the especially colorful exception of Squeeky ;-)) will probably find that Messrs. Abdelsalam and Sabri represent easy targets.
Let’s apply the same standard in something a little closer to home. Take, for example, Colorado Solicitor General Frederick Yarger of the and David Cole of the ACLU, who appeared on behalf of the Colorado Civil Rights Commission and the gay couple Craig and Mullins seeking to deny Jack Philips (the proprietor of Masterpiece Cakeshop) the right to follow his own conscience.
I’m curious how Professor Turley might lead a Socratic classroom discussion on the topic. Are Messrs. Yarger and Cole among the “most insidious form of lawyers?” If not, why not, and how do they differ from the Egyptian lawyers? That would certainly be an interesting discussion, if not an excellent exam question.
The dress is transgressive and she was well aware of that. If you have a standard, you need to slap the envelope-pushers every once in a while.
The case isn’t an attack on ‘free speech’ at all. When you speak or you publish, you make use of words and can participate in public deliberation.
If you don’t care for how Egyptians define ‘indecent exposure’, stay out of Egypt. This isn’t that difficult.
Yeah, because nothing says CIVILIZATION like women dressing like sluts!
I am all for Egypt on this. The lower part of her dress was pretty much just a pair of black panties with see-thru fabric attached. Here, look for yourself:
The problem is, when one woman starts dressing like a harlot and a tramp, other women follow suit to compete for male attention. See this video for an example, where silly English women fall for wearing dresses up to the lower part of their butt cheeks!:
For some reason, the West looks at “freedom” as the freedom to do bad, stupid, and sinful stuff. Like for sure, we can’t be truly free until we are free to become drug addicts.
The Egyptian lady has a lot of JUNK in the TRUNK!
And Big Headlights too!
she should be exiled so she can freely make a tramp out of herself in America!
Grant her ASYLUM NOW~!
(except she shows no intention of leaving, too bad, lol)
“Sabri stated that Youssef’s appearance ‘did not meet societal values, traditions and morals and therefore undermined the reputation of the festival and the reputation of Egyptian women in particular.’ ”
I’m sure Pence, Huckabee, and all the rest of the religious wackos in the US are inspired by this.
What you call religious wackos, those earlier wackos made a pretty good country, and provided a stable society. Meanwhile, where non-religious wackos hold sway, say in The Hood, look at what you have. A near 80% illegitimate birth rate, crime, ignorance,gross stupidity, etc.
I’m sure Pence, Huckabee, and all the rest of the religious wackos in the US are inspired by this.
The only wackos are the people who want this sort of vulgarity incorporated into every day life.
We will find the same sort of restrictions attempted within the islamic enclaves in the U.S. thanks to obama enabling their creation within our borders. It will require legal decisions here that will iterate just how our constitution will confront islam and I cannot wait for these decisions to be made.
Thanks, Alma. You made it feel like 2008 again.
These two guys need to smoke a doobie and get laid.
Which two guys, and why?
My own mother, who was a very stylish woman when young, got through eight decades just fine without ensembles like this. Only gross attention whores do this sort of thing. Municipal governments have as their function regulating the use of common property resources, which include thoroughfares. When the use of common property resources is unregulated, those resources are trashed.
You want to live in Bedford Falls, not Pottersville.
It has just been announced that the lawyers will be lecturing at some US East Coast universities and maybe even U C Berkeley. The theme is yet to be invented.
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