CAIRO: A belly dancing competition program that had drawn criticism from religious scholars as “pornographic” has been cancelled, the Al Kahera Wal Nas TV channel announced Tuesday.
“The Dancer,” which has broadcast only one episode, and is hosted by well-known Egyptian performer Dina, was condemned by the Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs in a joint statement signed by several Islamic figures including Al-Azhar professors Ahmed Karima, Amna Noseer and Soad Saleh Tuesday.
Dar al-Ifta also issued a statement Wednesday demanding the immediate halt of the program because it was “corrupting morals.”
Lawyer Samir Sabry released a statement on behalf of Sheikh Kalied Al-Gendy and Sheikh Mazhar Shahien, calling the belly dancing competition “the same as any pornographic program,” and demanded that show be cancelled, Masrawy reported.
Sabry claimed that the show had been delayed once before, as it was supposed to run during the former president Mohamed Morsi regime, but the network heads were afraid to do so. “Broadcasting this show now would form a huge risk, as it would give the state and current regime opponents the chance to attack it.”
The lawyer added “that there is a huge different between freedom of creativity and rudeness,” and demanded the referral of the channel owner to the penal court, Masrawy reported.
The statement added that the signers are going to take all the legal procedures to “preserve religion and society from any moral deviation.”
“The Dancer” was given the chop by the channel without a reason other than a statement citing “inappropriate timing” given the recent deaths of 10 soldiers in the Sinai Tuesday.
“We used to share our state through its sad and happy times, and after this painful incident we will put the mourning sign on our screen and reconsider ‘The Dancer,’” the channel said.