Egyptian film ‘Mawlana’ provokes outcry over view of religion and state

Source: Reuters

By Mohamed Zaki | CAIRO

An Egyptian box office hit that highlights the religious establishment’s cozy relations with the state has provoked a backlash from Sunni Muslim clerics, with some calling for the film to be banned.

Adapted from a novel by prominent journalist Ibrahim Eissa, “Mawlana” (“The Preacher”) tells the story of a popular television preacher who struggles to reconcile his religious principles with demands and pressures from politicians and security agencies as well as ordinary human temptations.

Through the protagonist, a cleric from Al-Azhar, Cairo’s 1,000-year-old center of Islamic learning, the film lays bare the complex and troubling interplay between the state, religious establishment, mass media and Islamist extremism in Egypt.

The issue couldn’t be more timely.

President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, a former army chief, overthrew the Muslim Brotherhood government in 2013 and is still battling radical Islamists. The day after the film’s premiere, a suicide bomber killed 28 people in an attack claimed by Islamic State on Cairo’s main Coptic Christian cathedral.

Read more

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.