Egyptian actor and filmmaker reject Islamists

MENA, Wednesday 7 Dec 2011

Actor Amr Waked believes Islamists have more important matters to deal with than restricting artistic freedom; filmmaker Tahany Rashed fears censorship


Egyptian actor Amr Waked has claimed the Islamist victory in the first phase of parliamentary elections was the result of a fraudulent electioral process.

He said too many restraints had been placed on the establishment of revolutionary parties, citing what he described as the “too onerous” requirement of acquiring 5000 members before a party can be officially established.

He also criticised the electoral system that gave two thirds of parliamentary seats to party electoral lists, and one third to individual candidates.

Waked said the majority voted for Islamists based on emotion not their electoral program, adding that Egyptians had been deprived of a democratic political life for so long they were now politically ignorant.

He didn’t believe Islamists would restrict cultural freedom at the present time because they had more important issues to focus on, such as the economy and social justice, upon which voters would judge them at the next election.  

Documentary filmmaker Tahany Rashed is worried that instead of trying to develop the art scene after decades of neglect under the Mubarak regime, Islamists would focus on what types of art are permitted or not under Islam.

She feared any future censorship by Salafists would be counter to the aims of the revolution, which were to liberate people’s minds.

“Freedom achieved by the revolution enabled Islamists to win power, so it is not their right to enforce repressive laws,” she said, adding she would be the first to oppose them if they did.

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