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The sitcom with no female roles

The sitcom with no female roles

It's 'cleaner' says Egyptian TV channel

A new Egyptian sitcom will feature only male actors – in a move apparently designed to make their comedy ‘cleaner’ than other shows.

The Islamist channel planning to broadcast Coffee Shop says their programme is an antidote to the portrayal of ‘unIslamic’ activities such as love scenes and dancing on TV.

Taqieddin Abdel Rashid, the deputy head of Al-Hafez television, told the Wall Street Journal: ‘Everything is about supply and demand and currently there is a demand for this type of cleaner art in our society.

‘We are not discriminating [against] women. Our policy in the channel is that we don’t show women at all, as an honorary gesture to them, as Islam dictates.

‘Women have been disrespected in art and shown as a commodity everyone can look at.’

To avoid writing around female characters, the 15 episodes are all set in a Cairo cafe, which Rashid says ‘is not a very common place for women’.

Al-Hafez television is aimed at Salafi Muslims, a minority Sunni movement that seeks to stay true to the lifestyle of the earliest Muslims.

The WSJ also reports that one of the Al Hafez channel’s radical preachers recently called on Egyptian television to use only animation to show women, not real people.

Posted: 16 Jun 2013

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