Song in popular film censored for allegedly insulting Islam

The Culture Ministry confirmed Thursday that it has censored a song in the popular new film “Abdu Mouta” after Islamist groups filed lawsuits against its producer, claiming the song insulted Islam.

Censorship Director Abdel Sattar Fathy will watch the film to make sure the offending part of the song is cut out artistically, and write a report of it, said the ministry.

Saeed Tawfiq, secretary general of the Supreme Council of Culture, said film producer Ahmed al-Sobky had requested the censorship.

“Abdu Mouta,” which is playing in theaters nationwide, recorded the highest one-day revenue in the history of Egyptian cinema, making LE2.5 million on the first day of Eid al-Adha last Friday.

However, the film has sparked an uproar among the Sufi and Shia communities, as it contains a scene in which a belly dancer dances to a song mentioning the names of Prophet Mohamed’s daughter, Fatima, and his grandsons, Hassan and Hussein. All three figures are revered in the Sufi and Shia sects of Islam.

Bahaa Anwar Mohamed, a leader in the Ghad al-Thawra Party and a prominent Shia, said he would file a lawsuit demanding the movie be removed from cinemas completely.

Since the outbreak of the 25 January uprising, Islamist groups have led a broad campaign against what they deem the mockery of religious symbols in art. Liberal and leftist groups, however, insist that art is protected by the principle of freedom of expression.

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