Only nationalistic tunes “that are worth broadcasting” will be allowed on the country’s channels
London – Tom Rollins
“Romantic” songs and music videos were reportedly banned from Egyptian state-run media on Thursday in favour of “patriotic songs,” a state-run newspaper claimed.
The country’s 23 state-owned channels
will only air nationalistic Egyptian songs “that are worth broadcasting,” according to al-Ahram news website. Derisive songs and videos satirising or mocking public figures would not be allowed due to the “sensitiveness of the political situation.”
The announcement came just one day after the Head of the Egyptian President’s Office, Mohamed Refaa el-Tahtawy, criticised Egyptian media for not showing President Mohammed Morsi enough respect. Journalists’ behaviour amounted to “an insult,” he argued.
The ban precedes the long-awaited referendum on President Morsi’s controversial constitutional decree, which looks set to divide the country even further after weeks of demonstrations and violent street clashes between the opposition and Muslim Brotherhood supporters. Egypt’s opposition groups have been rallying around a “No” vote in an attempt to spoil Morsi’s draft decree.
Some even believe the media ban may be a rumour designed to distract activists and journalists before Egypt heads to the polls.
Blogger Mina Naguib told al-Arabiya English: “I am waiting for a confirmation or a denial, because this is just hilarious that such a decision could be made now.”
“These are rumours spread about to distract journalists and activists and give them something to talk about. Right now, they want to distract us from talk about the constitution,” he added.