Creative Commons License
Marwa Rakha's Articles, Shows, Books, and Free Books by Marwa Rakha is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at www.marwarakha.com.

Egypt: Court bans Porn Sites

Date posted: May 15, 2009


 

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.

Moftasa wrote:

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 boySarah 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?

Zeinobia is not against banning obscene sites but she has another concern:

I just fear that the regime will use this rule and twist it in order to hunt down the political websites and blogs.This is my only concern. I am not against the rule in general but if you think about it very carefully ,you will see that it is too general and vague. I am 100% with the ban of the pornographic websites but how can you control vast virtual world online like the web ?? What is the mechanism the communication ministry and NRTA are going to use in banning porn websites ?? What are the criteria used ?? Shall the ministry declare the specifications ?

Kim wonders:

How they are going to implement it. . . . . . . . . . . . . is something I would love to see.

And she fears the day the Galabeya (long dress worn by women to cover the entire body) becomes the national dress in Egypt:

Egyptian MP Mustapha al-Gindy wants the Galabeya to be recognised as Egypt's National Dress. "In Egypt, if you wear a galabeyya, you might find yourself barred from 70% of public places. This is both unconstitutional and inhuman."

It will be interesting to see how he plans to go about getting the Galabeyya its National Status and even more interesting to see what happens once it gets national status.

I know of restaurants that have a No-Galabeyya policy and deny entry to those males dressed in this ankle length gown. (Most of the restaurants that have this policy also serve alcohol and also try to restrict entry to veiled women – purportedly to not offend the religious sentiments of those who are seen as being more religious – simply by virtue of their clothing)

Would they be able to deny entry to those clad in galabeyyas, once it is declared the national dress?

Meanwhile, Magi wrote:

على اساس ان الشعب دول اطفال وفى الحضانه وماما الحكومه لازم تجرى ورا كل واحد وتعمل الى فى مصلحته انا مش مع المواقع الاباحيه بس الفكره ان اول الغيث قطره النهارده المواقع الاباحيه بكره مواقع ارهابيه من نظرهم واحنا طبعا نقول الحكومه عداها العيب خايفه على مصلحتنا بعده مواقع غير لاثقه من وجهه نظر الرقيب بعده اى موقع يتنافى مع سياسه الحكومه انتهاء بالمدونات
Yeah! Right! As though Egyptians are a bunch of kindergarten children and the government has to play Big Mama and look after the best interest of every single one of them. I am not pro porn sites but I am worried that one thing would lead to the other; today they block porn sites and tomorrow they will turn to blogs – being the heart and soul of terrorism. Of course, we will excuse the government and say that it is concerned about our interests. After that, the censor will block inappropriate sites and then sites which are oppose the government policies and it will be the end of blogging.

Cartoonist/Dentist Ashraf Hamdi asked three questionsunder his illustration:

 

Egypt bans porn sites
Egypt bans porn sites

 

أولا
أتسائل عن الفئة المستهدفة ، لصالح من هذا القرار ؟ للأطفال ؟ للشباب ؟ للشعب بأكمله ؟ في الواقع أنا لا أفهم ، المواقع الإباحية مثلها مثل أي شيء في الدنيا ، مثل الخمر ، مثل شقق الدعارة ،… مثل أي شيء مرفوض دينيا أو أخلاقيا أو مجتمعيا ، هذه الأشياء لا يمكن بأي حال من الاحوال منعها ، ولكنها تقبل التوجيه من خلال حملات التوعية … ببساطة شديدة هذا القرار يعتبر سبة للشعب بأكمله.
I wonder who is that decision targeting? Whose best interest does it have in mind? Children? Youth? The whole nation? I really do not get it; porn sites are just like alcohol or brothels .. like anything rejected religiously, morally, and socially. Such things cannot be prohibited but they could be combated using awareness campaigns … simply speaking, this ruling is an insult to the whole nation.

His second question is:

لم نعرف لصالح من هذا القرار ، وأيضا لم نعرف لماذا كان القرار ؟
القرار ببساطة شديدة يشجع على رواج الإباحية وبشكل غير مسبوق بالمرة ، حاول أن تمنع الخمور من مصر وستجد من لا يشرب يبحث عنها لمجرد المعرفة ! ، الممنوع مرغوب … وأقول بأن حجب المواقع الإباحية سيفجر قنبلة جنسية موقوتة وحالة من الهيستيريا لم تشهد لها إلا بلاد تعرفونها جميعا ، كل من لديه أفلام جنسية سيصبح في خلال ليلة واحدة ملكا متوجا على عرش سوق الجنس الذي سيفتح أبوابه على مصراعيها لكل شاب وفتاة ورجل وأمرأة وطفل أيضا .
We never got to know the reason behind such a decision. Simply put, this decision will promote pornography in an unprecedented manner. Try to ban alcohol in Egypt and you will find that even those who do not drink will start looking for it out of curiousity! Everything that is banned is more desirable. Banning porn sites will have an equally forceful reaction in the opposite direction; it will promote pornography in an unprecedented way and he who has porn movies will become a crowned king overnight in the sex market.

His last question is:

هل الحجب سيحجب فعلا ؟
سيناريو الاكتفاء الذاتي
لن نحتاج هنا إلى مواقع أجنبية ولدينا شباب حلو وعسل وزي الورد ، سيتم تصوير عشرات الآلاف من الصور الإباحية من داخل مصر نفسها وتبادلها من خلال الموبايل وعناوين البريد الإلكتروني وهذا السيناريو يحدث بالفعل ولكن على نطاق ضيق.
سيناريو العبقرية التقنية الفذة
الشاب المصري العبقري ، سيكسر الحجب ، وسينشيء مواقع ومنتديات إباحية لا حصر لها يعصب حجبها ، وسيستخدم كل ما يملك من مهارة في ارسال واستقبال الصور والأفلام بألف ألف طريقة لا تمر على كيبورد السيد الحاجب الرقيب المسكين ، أمل هما اخترعوا البروكسي ليه ؟ .
سيناريو الصاحي بدلا من المجمد
الصاحي صاحي ، ولا يمكن مقارنته بأي شيء آخر ، أوعى بقى للصاحي ، اللي بيلعب ، لا حاجة للمواقع الإباحية طالما هناك دعارة ، بل سيمتد الأمر من الدعارة إلى نطاق الأصدقاء والأصحاب والحبايب والجيران والنادي والكافيه وكله بالإكتفاء الذاتي ، والصاحي يكسب ، قال صور وأفلام قال بلا خيبة .
سيناريو الكبت الوهمي
المواقع الإباحية ليست وسيلة للتنفيث ، ولكن منعها سيولد شعورا بالكبت ، حد فاهم حاجة ؟؟؟ أقصد بأن منع المواقع سيولد شعورا لدى الشاب أنه مكبوت أكثر مما هو عليه من كبت أساسا
سيناريو الهوس الجنسي
إذا كان الجنس تابو فإن غلق المواقع الجنسية سيجعله ألف ألف تابو ، سنصبح مثل الشعوب التي أصابها الهوس الجنسي فأصبحم لواطا وسحاق ولا حديث لهم إلا عن الجنس ، ستزازد أهمية الجنس كمتعة في غير إطارها المشروع ، ستتضخم المكتبات الجنسية على الهاردات والفلاشات والاسطوانات يوما بعد يوم لانها أصبحت عملة نادرة ، ولها ثمن .
سيناريو آخر مهم
بالطبع سيتم غلق مئات المواقع المدونات الجادة بحجة أنها تحوي صورا إباحية ، في الواقع هي مواقع معارضة ببساطة شديدة ، يسهل تلفيق هذه التهمة لحجب أي شيء.
Will this blocking actually block anything? Here are the expected scenarios:
SELF SUFFICIENCY SCENARIO
Who needs porn sites when young men and women can shoot their own homemade movies and exchange them via emails and phones?

 

 

TECHNOLOGICAL PRODIGY SCENARIO
Tech-savvy geeks will find a breach in the ban … what are proxy servers made for?

THE REAL DEAL SCENARIO
Who wants porn when they can get real prostitutes?

OBSESSIVE COMPULSIVE OPPRESSION SCENARIO
Just banning the sites will give people a false sense of oppression – another blow at freedom of choice.

SEXUAL OBSESSION SCENARIO
If sex is a taboo, banning these sights will make it a much bigger taboo and taboos lead to perversion.

ANOTHER SCENARIO WORTH CONSIDERING
I am positive that hundreds of blogs will be banned under the assumption that they contain obscene pictures.

 

Bookmark and Share

Facebook comments: