Egypt's Rising Islamists Want to Bikini Wax the Sphinx. Wait, What?
No, no, relax -- the Islamists who are a step away from taking power in post-Mubarak Egypt just want to ban bikinis, segregate Egypt's beaches and encase all un-Islamic imagery in wax.
Egypt's tourism industry has suffered a severe blow since the outburst of anti-regime demonstrations in January. But that did not stop the Freedom and Justice Party, the political wing of the Muslim Brotherhood, from demanding stricter regulations over what tourists can do and wear while visiting the country. The party is urging officials to ban skimpy swimwear and the consumption of alcohol on Egyptian streets.
"Beach tourism must take the values and norms of our society into account," Muhammad Saad Al-Katatny, secretary-general of Freedom and Justice, told Egyptian tourism officials on Monday. "We must place regulations on tourists wishing to visit Egypt, which we will announce in advance."
Well, that's big of them.
Al-Katatny told Al-Masry Al-Youm daily that his party had already set up a subcommittee to investigate the issue of incoming tourism to Egypt and planned to amend legislation following the upcoming parliamentary elections.
"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 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."
Then...don't go to the beach. Your delicate little eyes won't be bothered, and sane people can still soak up the sun.
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 Arab daily A-Sharq Al-Awsat on Wednesday, saying the faces of ancient statues "should be covered with wax, since they are religiously forbidden." He likened the Egyptian relics to the idols which circled the walls of Mecca in pre-Islamic times.
The new and fresh like Arab Spring Egypt may desecrate the Sphinx, ban the booze and sub the burkhini for the bikini even doing so will destroy the country's $13 billion a year tourism industry while robbing the world of precious, priceless historical artifacts and landmarks. Welcome to Iran 2.0.