An Egyptian actress faces up to five years in prison for the “crime” of attending a film festival in Cairo this Thursday while wearing a partial see-through dress that revealed her legs.
Following actress Rania Youssef’s otherwise noncontroversial appearance at the event, a group of lawyers in the Muslim-majority nation filed a complaint against her with the nation’s chief prosecutor, according to the Associated Press.
And given as Egypt is essentially an Islamic state that subscribes to Sharia law, the prosecutor chose to go ahead and charge the actress with public obscenity.
The allegedly indecent dress she wore may be seen below:
But it’s not just actresses who face persecution in Egypt. Anyone unfriendly to the country’s host religion has faced persecution, including Christians in particular.
“Christians in Egypt are facing unprecedented levels of persecution, with attacks on churches and the kidnap of girls by Islamist extremists intent on forcing them to marry Muslims,” The Guardian reported at the start of the year, citing a report by the charity Open Doors.”
“According to Open Doors, 128 Christians were killed in Egypt for their faith and more than 200 were driven out of their homes in 2017. It attributed the rise in persecution to ‘the overspill of Islamic terrorists driven out of Iraq and Syria.'”
“There is only a minority of violent extremists, but the culture in Egypt cherishes the perception that Christians are infidels,” an anonymous Christian from Cairo said to the paper.
Youssef has been all too aware of the rising Islamic radicalism in her country. Despite being a Muslim herself, she dreads the idea of Egypt transforming into an “Islamic caliphate.”
“I want Egypt to keep its secular identity which has been there for a while,” she said during a discussion about an election that year that featured candidates from the Muslim Brotherhood.
Grand Mufti of Egypt: “Granting women and men equal inheritance rights violates Islamic Sharia” https://t.co/HffeEyRobq
— Robert Spencer (@jihadwatchRS) November 27, 2018
While Egypt currently boasts one of the most Christian-friendly presidents in its history, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, this doesn’t mean the country isn’t riddled with Islamic extremism.
“You hear the president speaking about Christians with a lot of respect and sympathy,” Jones said. “Then you have have the local authorities in villages and towns – police, judges, business owners – and it’s evident that many of them are infected with a rejection of Christianity. You see this in daily practices – not usually violence, but discrimination.”
And on the national level too, as evidenced by Youssef being charged. Her trial starts Jan. 12.
Despite clearly being a free-thinker, the actress has reportedly apologized for her alleged indiscretion, writing in a Twitter statement that she never meant to anger anyone, and that she still respects the morals and values of her country
Since the dress incident, Rania has issued a statement on social media in which she, among other things, states that she did not intend to anger folks, in which she states that she continues to respect the morals and values that she was raised on, and in which she apologizes. pic.twitter.com/cFwTBWN5wM
— Mai El-Sadany (@maitelsadany) December 1, 2018
The reaction on social media to Egypt’s attempt to prosecute the actress have not been pleasant.
This is how #Egyptianwomen were in the #1950s. Today and about 60 years later people blame a successful actress for wearing a short dress.
She has full freedom to wear what she wants. No one has the right to criticize her because of her dress. #RaniaYoussef. pic.twitter.com/kYW4Q5bRwM
— Nour Eddin Al Bakour (@eddinalbakour) December 1, 2018
Hahahaha, how backward are these people in power in Egypt. These women haters need to go
— monkeyman ? (@theexiledsaint) December 1, 2018
Rania youssef’s butt was gorgeous in that dress and she has all the right to show it off, I admire her prettiness and confidence as well, you guys are sick!
— Nagham (@NaghamAlaa_) November 30, 2018
— banannie (@iamainie19) December 1, 2018
Meanwhile.. Egypt’s NSA kidnaps, detains, tortures and Murders academics with total impunity. pic.twitter.com/XZwhDvFeXU
— Abdullah Delancey (@brevidel) December 1, 2018
Welcome to The Dark Ages: Her “crime”? Wearing a “see-through dress that revealed the entirety of her legs.” Basically, dress was modest bathing suit w/ sheer fabric over legs. Pic https://t.co/Dc3C2v8xgt
“Youssef, who is in her 30s, faces up to 5 years in prison if convicted” https://t.co/cqri20qLFA
— Amy Alkon (@amyalkon) December 1, 2018
But stunningly enough, some people agree with the charges against her:
I AGREE SHE SHOULD OBSERVE THE LAWS OF DECENCY IN YOUR COUNTRY ELSE ALL EGYPTIAN WOMEN WILL BE DEBASED
Egyptian actress Rania Youssef could face jail after wearing revealing dress https://t.co/TTqIKG9dej pic.twitter.com/YyvVY3xIZS
— ? spirito ?? giusto ? ☮️ #GTTO #stopthewars (@lisa_alba) December 1, 2018
On Rania Youssef’s fuss, I really disagree with the whole argument of “ma homa bara byelbeso keda w ma7adesh byetkalem,” like people, talk about freedom of choice, talk about women’s rights; stop being so apologetic and influenced by how “westerners” behave. Seriously, stop.
— Merna Aboul-Ezz (@Emaboulezz) December 1, 2018
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