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Egypt's High Media Council Bans Referring to Coptic Pope and Al Azhar's Imam Without Honorary Titles

The new directive from the High Media Council comes on the back of controversy stirred by Ramadan comedy, 'Khefet Yad'.

Following an outcry by Egypt’s Coptic Christian community over Ramadan comedy Khefet Yad’s unscrupulous portrayal of Coptic priests, Egypt’s High Council of Media Regulation has put its proverbial foot down with a new directive concerning mentions of not only Pope Tawadros, but also of Al Azhar's Grand Imam Ahmed El Tayeb.

Said directive bans mentions of both religious leaders without their full titles. According to Al Masry Al Youm, that means that from henceforth they have to be mentioned on all television and print media as His Holiness the Pope of Alexandria and Patriarchate of St. Mark Tawadros II and His Excellence the Honourable Grand Imam of Al Azhar Ahmed El Tayeb.

BAM. There it is, folks. Signed, sealed, delivered. (Image: Al Masry Al Youm)

While president of the council, Makram Mohamed Ahmed, hasn’t directly linked the ban to Khefet Yad, the timing would suggest that it was all but triggered by the series, which shows a man played by Mohamed Tharwat disguising himself as a Coptic priest in order to commit fraud, while also engaging in behaviour 'unbefitting of the uniform'.

The show, which also stars Ayten Amer and Bayoumi Fouad, has been condemned by Egypt’s Coptic community, many of whom have called for it to be boycotted and banned. The show’s writer, Mufid Mounir, quickly apologised, insisting that the show “meant no offence and that respect towards the clergy is obligatory, even in a comedy series aiming for fun," while also agreeing with critics that "masquerading as priests is unacceptable." However, he also insists that the offending character does not "underestimate the sanctity of a religious man." So make what you will of that.

Main Image: F3 News


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