Tuesday, September 11, 2012

An Egyptian Obama?

The crackdown on the heavy metal scene in Egypt is indicative of where the country may be headed.

By Mark LeVine


"Last week a couple of Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated activists, from a group called "We're Watching You", filed a complaint with the Interior Ministry through a lawyer working for the Freedom and Justice Party. They accused the Sawy Culture Wheel, the well-known cultural hub in Cairo's Zamalek neighbourhood, which was among the first venues to allow metal bands to perform inside Cairo in the last decade, of sponsoring a Satanic gathering - a metal show in which the attendees had t-shirts with "Satanic shapes and symbols" - and were performing "satanic rituals" - also known as "moshing" - in the centre of the crowd.

It's heartening to see Egypt's metal community, long among the most powerful in the Arab/Muslim world, refusing to be cowed and instead meeting the attacks head-on [AR]......

In this regard, if the Egyptian government ultimately launches something resembling the "Satanic metal" crackdowns of the late 1990s and early 2000s, when well over 100 metalheads were arrested and the scene was pushed underground for most of the next decade, it will be a sure sign that Morsi is morphing into a younger and bearded version of his now disgraced predecessor.

But let's be more optimistic and hope that President Morsi actually means well, and wants to build a democratic, relatively tolerant and economically developed Egypt. To the extent that this is true, the current US presidential race offers a very cautionary tale about how the new president will likely fare as he tries to reform the country without directly taking on the vested interests who have controlled the country's political economy for well over half a century - the military and economic elite......"

No comments: