Egypt Court Bans Porn Sites
Marwa Rakha, Global Voices
Lawyer Nizar Ghorab (Ghorab translates to Crow in Arabic) filed a lawsuit calling for banning porn sites because they destroy the core values of the Egyptian society. The Administrative Court in Cairo ruled in his favor. Between anger and sarcasm, Egyptian bloggers react to the ruling.
There are ways to circumvent censorship and if people want to watch porn, and they do, they will resurrect VHS.
Not very thrilled with the decision Moftasa continues saying:
This ruling is like legalizing the monitoring of people's thoughts and controlling what they want to see. Perhaps tomorrow they will want to control what you think of too.
I understand that a court can make the production of pornographic material in Egypt illegal, which is currently the case, because of the possibility of abuse of minors and women through trafficking, etc..
Another problem is the blurry definition of "obscene sites" that is described in the ruling as sites that "destroy the values of the family and society that injects its poisons and spreads vice." I am sure that inclusion of political thought considered by the government as astray is next. Didn't this already happen?
In a post titled This page cannot be displayed, you naughty boy, Sarah Carr wrote:
The case was brought by a lawyer who clearly does not use Facebook and therefore has too much time on his hands. He is also clearly too concerned with what other people do with their time, and their hands. He raised a case demanding that the ministry of telecommunications ban 'obscene' websites, and the court found in his favour, goddamit.
Carr quoted an extract from the court's "pompous and stupid reasoning":
Rights and freedoms are not absolute, but rather limited by the [need to] protect the pure essence of the family which in its turn is the basis of society, and whose constituent elements are religion, morals and patriotism. The state and society are obligated to safeguard the nation's high level of religious upbringing, moral and patriotic values ... as well as public morals.
She then invites the reader to "Observe":
Porn – spreading depravity. Ban.
Pigs – spreading sausages. Destroy.
Hezbollah cell in Egypt – sending aid. Prosecute.
Caritas – spreading love. Stop.*
Emos – spreading black eyeliner. Arrest.
She concludes by saying:
I'm stating the obvious, but I'll say it anyway: a paranoid regime which exerts the majority of its energies on rabble rousing against an external threat(s) is trying to conceal its own inadequacies. Which is not to say that suspicion of the other does not exist in Egyptian society. It does. Ask an Egyptian Bahai. But as with xenophobia against immigrants in Western Europe, how much of this antipathy is attributable to deliberate misinformation, and poor education, and media which loves a sensation? Does what is ostensibly over zealous nationalism mask a deep insecurity, even a loss of identity?