Why is this not surprising news? With the “Arab Spring” fading into the long hot summer, the Islamic militants in Egypt are focusing on their favorite targets (besides Coptic Christians): women, eroticism, and Paganism.
Some slight changes will be made in public beaches, to make the situation better than it was before,” Ali Khafagy, youth director of Freedom and Justice [part of the Muslim Brotherhood] in Giza, told The Media Line. “Bathing suits and mixing on the beach are things that go against our tradition. It’s not just a matter of religion. When I go to the beach I don’t want to see nudity.”
Right. “Slight changes.” There speaks the voice of incipient dictatorship.
And then there is Egypt’s big money-maker: tourism. A lot more people come to see the ruins of Pagan Egypt than to see any mosque in Cairo, but do the radical beardies care about that?
But bathing suits are not the only worry of Egypt’s Islamists. Abd Al-Munim A-Shahhat, a spokesman for the Salafi group Dawa, has said that Egypt’s world-renowned pharaonic archeology – its pyramids, Sphinx and other monuments covered with un-Islamic imagery – should also be hidden from the public eye.
“The pharaonic culture is a rotten culture,” A-Shahhat told the London-based Arabic daily A-Sharq Al-Awsat on Wednesday, saying the faces of ancient statues “should be covered with wax, since they are religiously forbidden.” . . . .
The Islamist challenges to the tourism industry in post-revolutionary Egypt have led to the establishment of the Coalition to Support Tourism, whose members also met with [Muslim Brotherhood official] Al-Katatny on Monday. The coalition, which includes a broad array of travel industry organizations and figures, argued that the real problem isn’t modesty but the absence of any strategy on the part of Egypt’s new parties to protect the country’s faltering tourism industry.
Would you book a cruise up the Nile right now? I doubt that many people are.