Two weeks before American superstar Beyonce Knowles is scheduled to hold her first ever concert in Egypt, an Islamist MP publically blasted the government for accepting to host the event and accused the government of violating Sharia law.
The bootylicious pop diva is set for a government-approved gig at the Red Sea resort of Port Ghalib, irking Muslim Brotherhood member Hamdi Hassan, who slammed the government for allowing a singer “who appears naked in her clips” to perform, which he said would spread vice.
“The government is trying to make people indulge in sin and licentiousness to cover up the other crimes it is committing against them,” Hassan said in a parliament session.
Hassan highlighted what he called government double standards for refusing to allow an Islamic band that sings religious songs for children to enter the country.
But for Cairo University student, Nagwa Ali, the MP's comments are uncalled for and she said she believed Egypt should "welcome" the star and not slam her.
"We have to separate between politics and the art. We have to respect everyone's tradition and welcome her. We enjoy her voice and her performance on the stage," the 17-year-old told Al Arabiya.
Ali, who is studying in the university's English department, highlighted that she was Muslim and wears the veil and would prefer if Beyonce covered up to respect Egypt's culture but added "if she refuses to cover we must accept her traditions."
This is not the first time Western pop diva's have irked Egyptian conservatives.
Last year Egypt cleric Khaled al-Gindi decried a performance by hip-shaking sensation Shakira and likened her profession to prostitution but stressed he was sure she was a "nice person."
During Shakira's performance at the Pyramids Plateau Cairo grinded to a halt but organizers sought to avoid the same logistical nightmare with Beyonce's concert and will hold it at a Red Sea resort forcing people to fork out for a five-star hotel and plane ticket.
The price for a ticket to see Beyonce has reached $400.
Hassan's public outcry comes at a time when the outlawed brotherhood is facing numerous problems with the government and is seen by analysts as a way to make a statement rather than enforce a ban on the concert, since the government does not generally bow to Muslim Brotherhood demands.
Beyonce, who will perform in the UAE capital of Abu Dhabi on Thursday, has also irked conservatives in Malaysia, where she is due to perform in November.
Malaysian conservatives were initially calling for her concert to be canceled but were satisfied when the singer vowed to wear “decent clothes” on stage.
(Translated from Arabic by Sonia Farid)