Radical Islamists Hate Beauty and Art

 Islamists clash with artists’ protest outside Ministry of Culture

ahram online


egyptian islamists fighting artists

Artists’ protest at the culture ministry faced opposition from members of Islamist groups who chanted in support of the minister

A protest by artists outside the culture ministry in Cairo’s Zamalek district was met by angry opposition from groups of Islamists on Tuesday.

On Tuesday morning, members of Islamist parties announced they would be going to a protest currently being held by disgruntled artists and intellectuals at the culture ministry, to force the protesters to leave.

The protesting artists called for supporters to join them, and police forces at the protest increased in number in anticipation of possible clashes.

The artists gathered outside the ministry, which they broke into to “occupy” on Wednesday, chanting against the Muslim Brotherhood and singing songs by Egyptian revolutionary icons such as Sheikh Imam.

They were opposed by angry demonstrators from the Freedom and Justice Party and the Building and Development Party, the political arm of the ultra-conservative Al-Gamaa Al-Islamiya group, who chanted: “Clean up [the ministry], clean up, minister.”

Minor scuffles occurred between the two sides, resulting in the injury of a policeman. However, the situation was contained and the Islamists left the scene without further incident.