The head of Egypt’s writers union, Mohammed Selmawy, warned on Wednesday against what he called "the escalating campaign" against the freedom of artistic creativity and the artists’ right to freely express their opinions. He demanded the erasing of red lines and removal of restrictions on artistic creativity.
Selmawy also condemned the "repeated attempts" to interfere with people's right to information.
What instigated Selmawy's statements are reports that Egypt’s minister of awqaf (Islamic affairs) banned the shooting of a movie called Farsh w Ghatta (Bed and Blanket) inside the Sayeda Nafisa Mosque because they claim it breaks Sharia (Islamic law).
"As long as the artist respected the law and the values of society, no restrictions should be set to limit their work" Selmawy asserted. Banning and censoring creativity was one of the reasons behind the fall of president Hosni Mubarak’s regime, claims Selmawy. He further stressed that state media should reflect the opinions and creations of all of Egyptians, whatever their trends or differences may be.
Recently ohter artistic productions have been censored. For instance, Egyptian state television banned a new song by a band called Karaoke for their explicit language. Cairo University has also banned the screening of the Iranian movie Infisal (Break Up) under pressure from Islamic students' association.