Egyptian media mogul defends hijab comment
|Saturday, November 10,2007 09:40|
|By World News Editor|
9 Egyptian billionaire and media mogul Naguib Sawiris countered criticism he launched TV channels to oppose the wearing of traditional garb linked to Iran.
In an interview with al-Arabiya Friday, Sawiris said some took his comments out of context saying, "it was just a casual chit-chat about the changes that took place lately in the Egyptian society."
He added, "I get worried when I see more veiled women in the Egyptian street. I feel I am in Iran. I feel like a stranger." The hijab is a traditional black covering worn to reflect modesty in Islamic societies.
"I am against radicalism, whether Muslim or Christian. Now we involve religion in everything. Excess eventually leads to crises," he said alluding to the state of affairs regarding public expression in Iran.
Sawiris said his channels offered a lighter fare for younger audiences to counter the "high-dosage" of conservative and spiritual programming.
A parliamentarian with the Muslim Brotherhood countered Sawiris"s sentiments, saying, "Religiosity is what grants Egypt its stability, and countering that triggers terrorism and jeopardizes security."
Other officials expressed mixed opinions varying from reaction the hajib represents a freedom of expression similar to Christian nuns to feelings that those donning the long al-Shadour gown do not understand its moral significance.