Egypt upholds verdict dismissing academic for belly dancing

The judge said that “freedom of expression was guaranteed as long as the person kept it inside and did not express it”.

The judge said that “freedom of expression was guaranteed as long as the person kept it inside and did not express it”. [Getty]

In another blow to freedom of expression in Egypt, a high court this week upheld an earlier verdict that expelled a university professor from her job on charges of belly dancing in public and issue of Islamic precepts, said Al-Masry Al-Youm newspaper. reported.

The Supreme Administrative Court on Monday dismissed an appeal filed by author and former professor of English literature Mona Prince, who worked for Suez University, against a verdict handed down by a lower court that dismissed her from her post, the report added.

Earlier in 2017, Prince restless a controversy when job a video of herself on her facebook belly dancing.

The judge said the university’s decision to sack Prince had “credible legal justifications”.

The court added that “the videos degraded the prestige of the university professor whose mission was to disseminate and promote values”.

“A university professor should not take dancing as a slogan, it tarnishes his image in the eyes of his students and influences the pride of his colleagues,” said the judge, quoted by Al-Masry Al-Youm.

Other incidents that were included in the reasons for Prince’s dismissal were that she defended Satan in front of her students, describing him as being treated unfairly, which led to her being condemned for spreading “destructive ideas who violate celestial beliefs and public order”.

The judge said that “freedom of expression was guaranteed as long as the person kept it inside and did not express it”.

According to the court, freedom of belief is guaranteed as long as it remains confined to the soul without publicly declaring which contradicts the heavenly religions and indoctrinates them to students.

In response to the verdict, Prince reposted a video from 2017 on his Facebook showing her belly dancing on the roof of her house, with a caption reading: “Dancing is life, whatever the decision. of the court”.

The verdict, meanwhile, sparked heated reactions on social media with many of Prince’s supporters.

Award-winning journalist and former deputy director of Nile TV international wrote on his Facebook page: “Has dancing become a crime? It’s a way to express yourself and spread joy… belly dancing is part of our customs and traditions… And it [Prince] posted a video of her wearing a jalabiya on her personal page.”

Egyptian-British international commentator Nervana Mahmoudwho was among the BBC’s 100 Women of the Year in 2013, asked on Twitter why Egyptian cinema had been full of belly dancers like legendary dancers Naima Akef and Samia Gamal until dancing was allowed.

“Be frank and admit that you have become [like] Taliban,” Mahmoud wrote.

Controversy is nothing new for Prince. She ran for president in 2012 and 2018. In 2018, she sparked debate in appearing in a photo with the Israeli ambassador.

Even though Egypt is in a technical state of normalization with Israel at the government level, many Egyptians still hate the Zionist entity.

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