Saturday, November 24, 2007

Egyptian comedian back on "indecency" blacklist

"An Islamist electronic movement placed Egyptian superstar actor Adel Emam on a blacklist of people who promote 'indecency and nudity,' citing his steadfast opposition to political Islam.

"A spokesman for Hamasna (Our Enthusiasm), which also calls itself 'The Electronic Resistance Movement,' said that Emam, 67, was back on its blacklist one year after he was removed, as a result of his family ties to a Muslim Brotherhood leader.

"The daughter of Emam – one of the most popular comedians in Egypt and the Arab world – recently married the son of prominent Muslim Brotherhood leader Nabil Moqbel.

"The marriage stirred controversy in Egyptian society because Emam, a master of political satire who often targets religious conservatives in his movies, is known for his stance against Islamists.

"One of his 100-plus movies -- Al-Erhab we Al-Kabab (Terrorism and The Kebab) from 1993 – takes direct aim at Islamist groups and terrorists.

"Hamasna's leader, Mohamed Al-Sayed, said many expected the actor's attitude to change after the marriage: 'We were hoping he would stop mocking religious symbols in his works and start using his capabilities as an actor in works that aim to serve society.' [...]

"What made things worse was Emam's visit to Coptic Pope Shenouda III to seek permission to play a priest in his new movie.

"'We didn't see him consulting Al-Azhar before making all those movies that mocked Islam,' Al-Sayed said.

"The movement has also created a "white list" of artists it deems as "respectable". It includes Saudi singer Mohamed Abdou, Egyptian singer Amr Diab, and veiled Egyptian actresses Hanan Turk and Hala Shiha. "

Source: Al Arabiya (Saudi-owned, Dubai-based), November 23, 2007