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Cairo metal concert mistaken for 'Satanist' gathering Open in fullscreen

The New Arab

Cairo metal concert mistaken for 'Satanist' gathering

Debates surrounding devil worship and heavy metal in Egypt date back to the 90s [Getty]

Date of publication: 23 February, 2016

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The head of Egypt's musicians syndicate ordered the shut down of two heavy metal concerts in Cairo over the weekend for their "Satanist" connections, attracting ridicule from Egypt's richest man.
The head of Egypt's musicians syndicate Hani Shaker said over the weekend that he had demanded the shut down of two heavy metal concerts in downtown Cairo, due to their connection with Satanism.

"The syndicate foiled an attempt to hold a Satanist concert in downtown Cairo," Tariq Murtada, a spokesman for the syndicate told Al Arabiya TV.

"The head of the syndicate Hani Shaker advised syndicate officials to observe the concert and alert authorities to the existence of an international devil worshiping network in order for their concert to be shut down immediately," added Murtada.

Murtada said that the demeanor of the bands, the "rituals they preformed" and types of clothes they were wearing were tell-tale signs of their devil worship.

Egyptian businessman Naguib Sawiris criticised the misguided crack down on Twitter.

"Someone tell Hani Shaker that black metal has nothing to do with Satan or anything like that and youths don't need any more hassle," tweeted Sawiris, the richest man in Egypt.

Shaker told TV host Sayed Ali that the "Satanists" were part of a Western conspiracy aiming to spread "chaos and immorality" among young Egyptians.

The incident has attracted uncharacteristic criticism and bemusement of the authorities' actions, with TV show hosts Yusef al-Husseini and Yasmin Khatib also deriding the syndicate's comments.

Following the criticism, Shaker tweeted in response to Sawiris saying: "Someone tell Sawiris that the ban was because the necessary permits were not obtained and not due to the type of music presented and everyone needs to respect the law."

There were heated debates in Egypt during the 90s concerning the alleged linkage between heavy metal groups and Satanists, which have resurfaced following some resurgence of the genre in Cairo after 2011.

In December a cafe in Downtown Cairo was closed down for being connected to devil worship and atheism.

"It was popularly known as a place for Satan worship, rituals and dances," said a local policeman at the time.

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