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Egyptian TV series causes outrage among Copts

The scenes of a thief disguising himself as a priest has caused online outrage [Twitter]

Date of publication: 24 May, 2018

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Egyptians have responded in outrage after a Ramadan series showed a man disguised as a priest committing fraud and smoking.
Egyptian TV series Khefat Yad ("Sleight of Hand") has caused outrage among Coptic Christians after showing a scene where actor Mohamed Tharwat, disguised as a priest, commits fraud and smokes, triggering accusations that the screenplay insults Christian clergy.

Egyptians took to social media platforms calling for a boycott of the Ramadan series and demanding its broadcast be stopped.

Mufid Mounir, scriptwriter and actor, responded to the claims saying that no offense was meant, and that respect towards the clergy is obligatory, reported the Egyptian al-Masry al-Youm (AMAY).

He added that, "masquerading as priests is unacceptable".

The series shows a fraudulent character donned in a priest's robe. Mounir, however, stressed that it was not meant in way to underestimate the sanctity of a religious man or his outfit.

Angry Facebook comments picked up on the scene, saying: "Did you not find another character he could have disguised himself as other than a Coptic priest?"

The anger sparked off a campaign dubbed, "Men of God are not a source of ridicule".

Translation: "Is it befitting for the show Khefat Yad to have an actor masquerading as a common thief and then show him donning a priest’s wear, wearing a cross and smoking?"

Others have criticised the campaign, saying that drama series' rarely depict good religious moderates, Salafi imams often portrayed as crazy radicals.

Translation: "Copts are angry about the scene of the priest – what can we say, there isn’t a single sheikh who hasn't been ridiculed in films, series or even secular forums."

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