Last Update 23:17
Naguib Mahfouz's novels promoted 'prostitution and drugs': Salafist Parliament candidate
Salafist parliamentary candidate El-Shahat, set off alarms in intellectual circles when he reiterated on TV his belief that Egyptian Nobel prize author Naguib Mahfouz promoted promiscuity and atheism in his works
Ahram Online, Nada Rashwan, Friday 2 Dec 2011
Share/Bookmark
Views: 4683
shahat
Salafist preacher Abdel-Moneim El-Shahat (right) and Nobel winner Naguib Mahfouz (left) (Photo: Al-Ahram)

Salafist leader and Alexandrian parliament candidate Abdel-Moneim El-Shahat described the literature of Egyptian Nobel prize winner Naguib Mahfouz as “inciting promiscuity, prostitution and atheism.”

El-Shahat reiterated his opinion regarding Nobel prize novelist Naguib Mahfouz in a TV interview on Thursday night, elaborating that Mahfouz’s novels “are mostly set in areas involving brothels and drugs.” He went on to describe Mahfouz’s acclaimed novel Awlad Harretna (Children of our Alley), one of the books that earned him a Nobel prize in 1988, as a novel whose “symbols promote atheism."

El-Shahat’s statement propelled a reaction of alarm among Egypt’s liberals and intellectuals. Some considered the statement a reminder of the dangers that freedom of expression is likely to face in Egypt should the Islamists take power.

Novelist and critic Howeida Saleh reacted strongly to El-Shahat’s latest televised statement: “We have long stressed [during the old regime] the importance of respecting democracy and giving Islamists the opportunity to demonstrate their cultural and political approach; but we [Egyptians] have not had a revolution so that the likes of El-Shahat come to smear our cultural symbols and call us atheists as soon as they [Islamists] start rising to power.”

Contemporary novelist and literature professor Sahar El-Mougy argued that it would be useless debating with El-Shahat and other ultra-Islamist figures over matters concerning arts and culture. It would overshadow, he says, the important questions they should be asked, instead, such as their economic and social plans for the country.

Author Ibrahim Abdel-Meguid, however, believes that the intellectual community is overreacting to El-Shahat’s statement. Abdel-Meguid says dismissively that Abdel-Meguid is “tuned into a time a thousand years ago,” and that he takes El-Shahat’s statements only with pity.

Other statements by El-Shahat, the official spokesperson for the Salafist umbrella group, the Salafist Call, have sent just as many chills up the art community’s spine.

For instance, he is notorious for his statement that Pharaonic monuments should be covered up because, according to El-Shahat, they are from a “rotten” culture that does not worship God. This also caused outrage among archaeologists as well as those who work in the tourism sector, who have further accused him of sabotaging one of Egypt’s main sources of revenue.

El-Shahat also denounced those who promoted democracy, and not God's word represented by Sharia (Islamic Jurisprudence), as atheists.

El-Shahat will be facing Hosni Mohamed Taha, who is supported by the Muslim Brotherhood, in a run-off election for a single-seat in Alexandria in the first phase of Egypt's parliamentary vote on Monday 5 December.





Short link:

 

Email
 
Name
 
Comment's Title
 
Comment
Ahram Online welcomes readers' comments on all issues covered by the site, along with any criticisms and/or corrections. Readers are asked to limit their feedback to a maximum of 4000 characters (roughly 200 words). All comments/criticisms will, however, be subject to the following code
  • We will not publish comments which contain rude or abusive language, libelous statements, slander and personal attacks against any person/s.
  • We will not publish comments which contain racist remarks or any kind of racial or religious incitement against any group of people, in Egypt or outside it.
  • We welcome criticism of our reports and articles but we will not publish personal attacks, slander or fabrications directed against our reporters and contributing writers.
  • We reserve the right to correct, when at all possible, obvious errors in spelling and grammar. However, due to time and staffing constraints such corrections will not be made across the board or on a regular basis.
7



A woman
03-12-2011 07:52pm
0-
4+
Good night!
There are only two things in this world 'medicine' doesn't help at all: Stupidity and ignorance. If these two things even get combined and come to power - then "Good night Egypt!"
Email
 
Name
 
Comment's Title
 
Comment
6



Cleo
03-12-2011 12:32am
0-
7+
My Comments
Not only I am saddened, but also I am very disappointed and angry of the fact that such an Egyptian like EL-Shahat doesn't know who he really is. The reason I said this is that he takes no pride whatsoever about his history and roots and what is means to be a proud Egyptian. The true Egyptians out there were involved during the revolution, for example whose during the 25th of January protected the Egyptian museum from looting in order to preserve their own cultures for the future generation and many others that I can go on and on about who are fighting towards a democratic and civil state. Hence, these people are the Egyptians who make me so proud. Whereas EL-Shahat's thinking is backwards and stupid as his party will use religion as an authoritative tool. This really puts great concern for the future of the country as it will most likely cause extreme turmoil for Egypt's future.
Email
 
Name
 
Comment's Title
 
Comment
5



Mohamed
02-12-2011 09:49pm
0-
1+
Watch your language
This guy is so weird hes accusing all the people without any mercy instead of judging on people concentrate on your work!
Email
 
Name
 
Comment's Title
 
Comment
4



James Molay
02-12-2011 09:03pm
5-
8+
Laugh!
So this is what Egypt has come to. And it will go lower yet. Egypt is a laughing stock among nations.
Email
 
Name
 
Comment's Title
 
Comment
3



engneer m tantway
02-12-2011 07:48pm
2-
0+
why ahram thead people from islamic people
it is good to contact with engneer shaat to inquiry about that may be this about the films
Email
 
Name
 
Comment's Title
 
Comment
2



Kamel Hamza
02-12-2011 06:54pm
0-
6+
Salafists
El-Shahaat's words only serve to prove that he is uneducated,ignorant and poorly read. In fact, I am pleased that a man of such low wit continues to comment in the same manner since it will dispel any notions that he or his Salafist party are to be taken seriously.
Email
 
Name
 
Comment's Title
 
Comment
James Molay
29-07-2012 01:57am
1-
3+
Unfortunately
Unfortunately the more stupid you are the more likely you are to get elected.
1



patkar
02-12-2011 05:20pm
0-
3+
what a good joke
does this man refuses the facts of life, the egyptian past or is he making fun of you all?
Email
 
Name
 
Comment's Title
 
Comment
An Ahram Online and Jadaliyya Initiative
As part of the Egypt Elections Watch (EEW), Ahram Online and Jadaliyya will produce articles/posts/profiles on a weekly basis, covering organizations, political parties, coalitions, relevant laws and procedures, and profiles of key individuals related to the Egyptian elections. This is in addition to news updates summarizing major developments surrounding the lead-up to the election, such as emerging or shifting alliances, new political positions, and candidacy announcements.

Egypt Elections Watch Team

Editorial Committee
Hani Shukrallah | Fouad Mansour | Hesham Sallam | Dina Samak | Mohamed Waked

Project Coordinator
Mary Mourad

Researchers
Gamal Essam El-Din | Mahienour ElMasry | Mary Mourad | Osman El Sharnoubi | Salma Shukrallah | Sherif Tarek | Lilian Wagdy

Copy-Editors
Lizette Baghdadi | Rosie Bsheer | Nabiha Das | Ian Douglas | Elizabeth Guthrie | Adam Morrow | Sherene Seikaly | Nabil Shawkat

Tech Support
Ahmed Farouk | Ahmed Attress | Hassan Hammad


© 2010 Ahram Online. Advertising