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Egypt cabinet criminalises insulting the flag

Egypt cabinet approves interim-President Adli Mansour's draft law criminalising ridiculing the national flag and anthem

Ahram Online, Wednesday 2 Oct 2013
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An Egyptian protester waves a flag in Tahrir square (Photo: AP)
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The Egyptian cabinet approved interim-President Adli Mansour's draft law Wednesday regarding the national flag and anthem, Ahram's Arabic website reports.  

The draft law states that "ridiculing the Egyptian flag and not standing in respect when the national anthem is played in public is a crime punishable by a maximum of six months imprisonment and/or five thousand pounds fine."

Muslim Brotherhood supporters in schools have clashed with opponents in the last few days over which songs to start the academic day with.

Supporters of the Egyptian military have played pro-army tunes in a number of schools prompting Brotherhood teachers and students to cry foul.

Earlier this week, the Minister of Education issued a decree banning all songs but the national anthem from public schools.

Meanwhile, pro-army forces charge that Brotherhood administrators in some schools often skip playing the national anthem in favour of Brotherhood tunes.

Salafist MPs in the 2011 parliament refused to stand during the national anthem, which they said contradicts the teachings of Islam. 

Tensions between pro and anti-army forces since the ouster of the Islamist president Mohamed Morsi on 3 July have spread to schools and universities.

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