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Muslim Brotherhood Poses No Threat to Arts: Omar Sharif
Muslim Brotherhood Poses No Threat to Arts: Omar Sharif  "This is a much ado about nothing. They (Muslim Brothers) are not against arts," Sharif told IOL.  By Hamdy AL Husseini, IOL Correspondent   – World renowned Egyptian movie star Omar Sharif shrugged off concerns that the Muslim Brotherhood, which is making big gains in the current legislativ
Monday, December 5,2005 00:00
by (IslamOnline.net)

Muslim Brotherhood Poses No Threat to Arts: Omar Sharif

 
"This is a much ado about nothing. They (Muslim Brothers) are not against arts," Sharif told IOL.

 
By Hamdy AL Husseini, IOL Correspondent

  – World renowned Egyptian movie star Omar Sharif shrugged off concerns that the Muslim Brotherhood, which is making big gains in the current legislative elections, would pose a threat to arts.

"This is a much ado about nothing. They (Muslim Brothers) are not against arts," Sharif told IslamOnline.net on the sidelines of the Cairo International Film Festival, currently in session.

"I have known some of them for years. I remember that back in the 1950’s the group’s leaders used to following up works of art and movies."

Concerns have been high among some Egyptian artists and writers over the Muslim Brotherhood’s strong showing in the two first rounds of the Egyptian parliamentary elections, securing 76 seats -- five times its tally in the outgoing parliament.

"The Muslim Brotherhood will pose no threat to the Egyptian arts," Sharif maintained.

He blamed the current fuss on people trying to serve the political interests of certain parties.

"Confident"

Egyptian film actor Abdul Aziz Makhyoun echoed a similar position.

"I totally disagree with arguments that the Muslim Brotherhood threatens Egyptian arts," Makhyoun, a founding member of the opposition Kefaya group, told IOL.

"On the contrary, I feel optimistic that the group will have a better chance in parliament to fight all works that torpedo the values and pillars of Egyptian society under the wrap of art," said the famous actor.

He sounded confident that the group would not stand against the works that carry a constructive message serving the interests of society.

Makhyoun mocked at claims that the Muslim Brotherhood would work to impose restrictions on the artistic and cinematic works.

"Why have not we heard the same people propagating such claims defending society against purposeless and lust-provoking works," he wondered.

Time Needed

Other Egyptian artists, however, said only time would clarify the Muslim Brotherhood’s real stance on arts.

"We should not jump to pass any judgment on the stance of the group’s representatives in parliament," actress Fardos Abdul Hamid said.

"Only the practical experience will allow us to judge the group’s stances," she added.

Mamdouh El-Leithy, the head of the Egyptian Artistic Syndicate, said the Muslim Brotherhood’s stance on arts remains "ambiguous".

"We know nothing about the group’s position but it would be dangerous if they interfered to say this work is halal (religiously permissible) or haram (religiously impermissible).

"Such a situation would only play into the hands of extremists."

Leithy agreed that time was needed before judging the group’s stance on arts.

Freedom

 
"The group supports all works of art that help build the society on principles of freedom, justice and equality," Abul Futuh said.

 
 
A senior Brotherhood leader, Dr. Abdul Moneim Abul Futuh, said the group has been a supporter of the freedom of creativity in Egypt.

"How could a group that believes in the freedom of faith oppose the freedom of creativity," he questioned.

"Those propagating these claims have poor knowledge of the group’s stances," Abul Futuh said.

"The group’s founder Hasan Al-Banna used to take his Arab and foreign guests to attend shows in the Opera House.

"He also gave a special attention to the artistic and theatrical troupes in the country before the 1952 revolution," Abul Futuh recalled.

"The group’s former leader Omar Al-Telmisany was a fan of late Um Kalthoum (the Arab world’s leading female singer)," he said, adding that he personally loves listening to her songs.

On the group’s way of dealing with works of art, Abul Futuh said the Muslim Brotherhood will try to convince other parties of its stance.

"If the group fails to do so, it will resort to the judiciary," he said, rejecting any attempt to impose the group’s ideas by force.

"The group supports all works of art that help build the society on principles of freedom, justice and equality."


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