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Egyptian actress in the eye of porn film storm

Actress advocates watching porn movies to gain experience as group files law suit against her

Image Credit:
A file photo of Egyptian actress Entissar.
Gulf News

Cairo: Egyptian actress Entissar, famed for comic roles in TV serials, has sparked a big controversy in the conservative country, after she encouraged young people, who cannot afford high marriage costs, to watch sex films.

“He who fears falling into a [sexual] sin prohibited by religion can cool down by watching porn films,” the 44-year-old actress said on a TV show earlier this week.

“These films are useful for men, especially those who have no pre-marriage sex experience.”

Entissar, who is a Muslim mother, admitted to have watched porn films, rejecting any bid to block sex websites or TV stations.

“Everyone should be free in watching porn films if they want,” she added on “Nafsana” (Giving Vent to Feelings”, a show she co-hosts on the private TV station Al Qahera Wal Nas.

Her remarks have brought her under fervent criticisms from ordinary people and clerics alike.

“Is it OK to talk about porn films so easily and on TV?” said Karam Abdul Alleem, a father of four children. “Do you expect then sexual harassment to disappear?” he added.

In recent years, sex crimes have increased in Egypt, prompting the government to toughen penalties against offenders.

A UN report released in 2013 found that 99.3 per cent of women in Egypt have experienced some form of sexual harassment.

“This is a call for debauchery and depravity,” said prominent Muslim cleric Khalid Al Jindi, commenting on Entissar’s argument. “I can’t believe this could happen.”

A pro-government group, calling itself “Who Loves Egypt” has lodged a legal complaint with the country’s chief prosecutor, requesting Entissar be questioned for allegedly inciting debauchery, an offence punishable by up to one year in prison.

No legal action has been taken against the actress.

Yet, some young people have raised their voices to advocate the debate on sex. One of them is Mahmoud Shawky, a 29-year-old male accountant.

“The time has come for us to stop hiding our heads in sand. We should open a healthy discussion on sex and its education,” he said. “Of course, I don’t support the call for watching sex films. However, we should no longer regard talk on sex as a bad thing because it is part of our life and existence.”

A public debate on sex has long been a taboo in Egypt, the Arab world’s most populous country. Repeated calls for introducing sex education in schools have not drawn public or official backing in this mostly Muslim country.

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