Egypt Salafi leader and former member of the militant al-Gamaa al-Islamiya group Assem Abdel Maged called for punishing actors and actresses who appeared in love scenes and demanded the starting a new trend that he called “ethical art.”
“All actors and actresses who performed love scenes or talked about having illicit relations or pretended to be married in movies and all other actions that Islam prohibited,” he told the Egyptian daily state-owned newspaper al-Gomhuria.
Abdel Maged argued that if the law prohibits public display of affection when it is done in a street with a few people around then it makes more sense to apply this to scenes in movies, which are seen by millions.
Abdel Maged said he is against demands that Islamists reassure actors and actresses about their future in the film industry if they are going to continue in the same path.
“We will never reassure them at the expense of morals and religious principles.”
He also accused actors and actresses of pledging allegiance to the former regime.
“They were the former regime’s tools for distracting the people with sex and drugs so that they would not be aware of the corruption around them,” he said.
Abdel Maged called for starting a new artistic trend under the title “ethical art.”
“This trend will only produce art that does not violate Islamic principles or help in promoting vice like films used to do in the past.”
In a different vein, Abdel Maged said he disagreed with former al-Gamaa al-Islamiya members who said that killing late President Anwar Sadat was a mistake and that if they went back in time they wouldn’t do the same thing.
“You can’t judge an incident from the past with the standards of the present. At the time, using violence was the only means of facing the injustices of Sadat’s regime and its clampdown on opposition.”
According to Abdel Maged, effecting change through peaceful means was not possible owing to the balance of power in the early 1980s.
“The world was divided between the United States and the Soviet Union and it wasn’t unipolar as was the case with the January 2011 revolution.”
The presence of one superpower, he noted, made it easier for world powers to rally behind it and put pressure on Mubarak to step down.
“At the time of Sadat, only armed struggle and Jihadist operations offered a way out and we are proud of taking part in this.”
The assassination of Sadat, Abdel Maged explained, was welcomed by different political factions including liberals and Nasserists.
“They all came to the call and kissed the hand of Khaled el-Islambouli who shot Sadat. Several Muslim Brotherhood leaders even performed a gratitude prayer after hearing the news.”