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Tag: Free speech

Mr Minister, what are you talking about?

Published in Ahram Online on June 23, 2013 Culture ministers should promote freedom of thought, speech and academic research, not censorship, closure and ignorance. But then in Egypt, avarice and ineptitude reigns from the top One is at a loss as to how to make sense of the most recent policies of the president, the government, and the Muslim Brotherhood. In the latest gubernatorial reshuffle, I can understand that President Morsi would prefer to adopt the policies of the toppled president in designating border governorates to officials from the police and the army, given that the Brotherhood’s constitution had failed…

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Court suspension of ‘offensive’ TV show is dangerous

Published in Ahram Online on January 21, 2013 The Administrative Court’s decision that ‘In the Balance’ will be suspended for a month shows a worrying disregard for freedom of opinion, and a dangerous paternalism on the part of judges Last week, the Administrative Court issued a verdict suspending for one month the programme “In the Balance” which airs on Al-Hafez channel, and banning media figures Atef Abdel-Rashid and Sheikh Abdallah Badr from appearing in the media for a month. While the court ruling in its reasoning said that the aforementioned programme often broadcasts scenes and discusses issues that are indecent…

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The tragedy of books in Egypt

Published in Ahram Online on August 29, 2012 It was republished in Free Speech Debate on September 10, 2012 Looking at Egypt, historian Khaled Fahmy affords a harrowing insight into the status of that most indispensable of commodities: the book In recent weeks I encountered two incidents that made me feel extremely sorrowful about the situation of books, reading, and indeed culture, in Egypt. The first happened in New York City, and requires a brief background For the past few years, I have been working on a book that tackles the social and cultural history of Egypt during the 19th century.…

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