• Arts
  • September 27, 2006
  • 13 minutes read

The Crisis of Brotherhood and Cinema

Two different stances adopted –as usual among intellectuals in Egypt, as a result of the smashing rise for Muslim Brotherhood (the oldest political and religious intellectual organization in Egypt and in the Middle East) who is always accused of spawning subordinate fundamentalist groups- while the other part are the cinematic artists who take the role of a fortuneteller who warns from future.

There is another party who represent minority call people to give the chance for Muslim Brotherhood. The first who called for this was Naguib Mahfouz and he said that five years are enough to see the Brotherhood intentions.

Between the disputing parties, there come some events to check the other part’s intentions.

 A prominent figure from brotherhood visited the council of Naguib Mahfouz, and another film-film maker invites the Supreme Guide of Muslim Brotherhood to see his film. Film maker Raafat Al-Mihi warned against the opinions of corruptors who exaggerate in describing the brotherhood, although he clashed with them in the eighties when he directed “Lil Hub Qissah Aukhra”.

 No body can predict when the real game starts between both parties and when brethrens shall take a parliamentary action against the curtailment of cinema and artistic creativity by their rules which bear religious reference.

The clash is inevitable… but no body can express pessimism. The brethren Muhammad Abd Al-Qudous avers that there is no need for any cinematic kiss; of course a film maker like Inas Al-Digeidi can not be committed with that!! Some say that Abd Al Qudous is interfering not in his business.

Khalid Youssif says, “My invitation for the Guide was a kind of testing his real intention”

The film maker Khalid Youssif is ambuscading brethrens and appeal to all civil society to reject this trend and call Muslim Brotherhood to reveal their real program on the contemporary issue. He calls brethrens to abandon their religious bases because establishing a religious party is unconstitutional.

Khalid adds, “I am not worried that our country is starting to be religious, because religion never became an obstacle in front of progress, but society must coerce this group to reveal their real intentions concerning our future since they want to rule.”
Khalid says, “I invited their Chairman to attend a special display for my film “Ouija” not because I am afraid but in order to pressure them to declare their stance, will they force me to stop presenting this cinema, I want to know their opinion in my work in cinema is it forbidden or not? Just because I know as they also know well they are not guardians on my job, I have my own relation with God!”   In a violent tone, Khalid says, “Any artist or intellectual who fears brethrens and dissuade from his stances fearing terrorism does not deserve the word artist.

All intellectuals and artists are concerned because the group did not reveal their real stances regarding many future issues. According to my own view I reject all their previous stances from A to Z. Now they are saying that they have new ideas and views, they want to intermingle with civil society, they claim they will accept the constitution and law, they must prove that. We really have true concerns because the brethrens’ history since the forties was bloody one and all extremist movements emerged from their group.”
Wahid Hamid, “I challenge any one dares saying he can understand the Brethrens.

The scenarist Wahid Hamid assured that in the recent days he has been observing closely the actions taken by brethrens and analyzing them. He believes that they endeavor to increase the number of their supporting masses through many preparations because they are long-practiced people who fulfill their goals patiently. Wahid says, “Brethrens are fierce rivals, they are a real entity that possesses many powers in preparation and organization. We have witnessed so when they won 88 parliamentary seats.

Their number would have increased, had it not for the illegitimate methods used to challenge them in the third electoral phase.” Wahid asserted that he is absolutely against the rise of Muslim Brotherhood, he said, “I refuse the religious dictatorship”, he argued that their slogan holds the words, “no god but Allah” and two swords, he agrees with the words but refuses the presence of two swords. He adds,” yes, all intellectuals and artists fear brethrens, but not because of losing their jobs, but also fear the danger of brethrens on the nation and country because there were many examples like that in Afghanistan.”

He disputes that if any brethrens ordered him to stop writing it would make nothing for him but he fears that the regime would be a backward one because they choose religion to rule although Prophet Muhammad was not a ruler or a king but he was a man of message.

“The criterion for elections is futile because the member is elected because he appears to be kind, presenting some facilities and brethrens have deluding appearance because they speak in the name of God.” Wahid abandoned elections because “He hates both nominees; the national party and brethrens.”
Ra’fat Al-mihi says, “I expect that their rule would benefit society”

The film maker, Ra’fat Al-Mihi believes that corruption in Egyptian society attained peak, he hopes that the strangulation against intellectuals would decrease.

He calls brethrens to be smarter and abandon the concept of quelling intellectuals like the poets or cinema makers because this attempt is not in their favor. Mihi says, “My opinion does not implicate that I fear brethrens, and I tell all who fear them-despite being a liberal-that all rumors against brethrens are concocted by the corruptors and despotic people who rule us.” Mihi adds  that brethrens have moderate concepts that’s why many strict Islamists attack them and we ought to give them chance to see their roles in the parliament and see if they are with the desires of people or against them.

 The rule of brethrens would reveal corruption that is hidden in society. Muslim Brotherhood must be aware that curbing freedoms is not in their favor. They must stop holding the Holy Qur’an on swords. Mihi said that he heard that some of Bretherns in the parliament uttered that their goal is to be back 1000 year, he believes that this man is not a brethren and he is an ignorant!

It is worthy mentioning that the activities of Muslim Brotherhood against arts were very limited at President Sadat’s time, but other strict groups tried to take counter actions where they used to tear up ads, stop music concerts in the university but the situation is different now as the Brethrens rised.

We are waiting to see their actions, will they stop concerts, fight cinema and theatres. Mihi says,” I am not pursuing brethrens to see their wrongs but I am waiting for the result which I expect that it would be in favor of common weal.  
Essam Al-Eryan, “I watch films at home”

The spokesmen of Muslim Brotherhood Dr. Essam Al-Eryan  said that art is the outcome of human activities through which one can distinguish between the corrupted person and the good person, the situation in cinema is grievous and this is no the brethren’s opinions but the opinion of cinema makers who always complain for the situation in cinema.

Al-Eryan denies what people are saying that brethrens do not watch cinema, he says, “this is untrue, because I follow all activities but as possible due to my responsibilities, yeas I did not go to cinema from a long time but I watch films at TV at home like “Al-Pasha Telmid “film, it was a nonsense  and does not present a message , it distorts invention. I also watched “Lord of Rings film” although it was illogic but it has high tactics. I watched “Al-Risalah” film for Mustapha Al-Aqad in English, it was a wonderful film, I wonder why they do not display it in Egypt?!”

Al-Eryan was asked if brethrens would interfere to stop the display of several movies, he said, “Brethrens have no authorities to stop a film”

Abd Al-Moneim Abu Al-Futouh : we are against confiscation and hackney as well.

Member of the guidance the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt Dr. Abd Al-Moneim Abu Al-Futouh has visited lately the novelist Naguib Mahfouz as a kind of making a new era between artists and brethrens. He believes that art, culture and invention are reflections of society where every society has its own inventions because it reflects from within. He says that there can not be an extremely free art with no measures. He argues that the problem lies in extravagance and negligence; as some people are calling for absolute freedom for art while others are exaggerating in measures because no one can be a guardian on art. He believes that Brethrens adopt moderate views in the issue of the freedom of arts. We should dialogue thought with thought and not through confiscation. He adds, “The real judge in this matter should be the society and its values and not governments who are responsible to judge. Art has goals and principles but there are many deflections; surly we are against the video clips that use the body of woman because they humiliate woman and her body. We are against what Allah has forbidden.

Our Muslim and  Coptic society refuse the abnormal values that are strange to our values, I do not see any relation between art and the women who uses her body.”

Real intellectuals and artists are those who respect values of their societies and reflect the Egyptian society. There is a vast gap between art and prostitution, art deepens apprehension and is a message  that pleases many people.

There are some fallen arts rejected by all Egyptians, if you have made a survey you would see that I am right. Brethrens don nopt wish to establish an artistic foundation because this is not our goal since we are still individuals in Egyptian society. We are against confiscation made by the government’s part. This must be the role of judiciary alone.”

He avers that he watches cinematic movies, hear songs and the last film he has watched was “Ayam Al-Sadat” for Ahmad Zaki and when he hears about a new good film he watches it. 


This Report before May 18, 2006  which Dr.Essam arrested at a pro judge’s demonstration and the prosecution ordered putting them in custody for 4 months.

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