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Egypt: Sawiris and the Niqabi Minnie Mouse

This post is part of our special coverage Egypt Revolution 2011.

Egyptian Christian business tycoon, and recent politician, Naguib Sawiris, posted a cartoon on his Twitter account showing Mickey Mouse with a beard and Minnie Mouse in Niqab, and commented on it saying: “Micky and Minnie after…”

He received lots of comments later from people who didn't accept what they see as mockery of the Islamic religion.

@shaimaahijazi: Naguib Sawiris, you don't deserve that I waste my precious holy time to reply for your non-sense!

Other users added that besides it being offending, it's not a smart move from a politician as he will loose people's respect and support.

@alan_1254: This isn't smart, and quiet offending. I don't like that. You're losing a lot of people's respect

@ircpresident: بالذمة ده سلوك واحد سياسي
@ircpresident: Is this a politician attitude!?

Some weren't really sure if it was offensive or not.

@Canuckpharaoh: Tweeps are furious about the pic that #Sawiris just shared. What do you think #Egypt, funny or offensive?

Lamia Moussa, on the other hand, saw people's reaction as some sort of double standard.

@LamiaMoussa: Don't you see the hypocrisy? Claiming you're all for freedom & tolerance (and aba7a [profanity]), while you attack MB [Muslim Brotherhood], Salafis & Sawiris?

Dina and Abou Eita added that we have to differentiate when such kind of jokes come from ordinary people, and when they come from public figures, especially when they are making fun of other people's beliefs.

@DinaNasser: You're accusing him cuz he's @NaguibSawiris bs lw kan wa7d tany el2al kda kan 3ady!!El pic di muslims 7atoha aktr mn christians

@DinaNasser: You're accusing him because he's @NaguibSawiris, but if it were someone else it would have been okey. Many Muslims already shared this picture, more than Christians.

@Abou_Eita: @nadaskandar @NaguibSawiris Dr. Nada. We all saw it before. But coming from Mr. Sawiris himself -a public figure- mas2ala Tania [different issue]

Egyptian blogger Traveller Within compared the reactions of today's Muslims to the incident, to that of Prophet Muhammad towards similar incidents centuries ago.

A non-believer would put trash on Prophet Muhammad's doorstep every morning; the Prophet would just push it aside and go on his way.
One morning, there was no trash to be found; after inquiry, the Prophet was informed that the man was gravely ill..
So he went to visit him and wish him a speedy recovery.
This is how the Salaf – the early Muslims – would behave when they were insulted. Those early Muslims would be ashamed of today's “Salafis”, who claim to be following in the early Muslims’ footsteps

Sawiris was forced later on to apologize, and he removed the cartoon:

@NaguibSawiris: I apologise for any who don't take this as a joke , I just thought it was a funny picture no disrespect meant! Assef!! (Sorry)

This post is part of our special coverage Egypt Revolution 2011.

5 comments

  • Just a side note, I am not offended by the action itself, I am pissed by his performance as a politics wannabe.

  • Mister anybody

    since the first day I told all my friends that Sawires will be targeted because being a christian, he helds a radical positions against the MB…After many churches attackeded destroyed or burned and coptic christians terrorized, the islamists want to brake any christian power in the country…

    Yes I do believe in the complot theory from the part of salafis & MB…They were the main force that excited the young and today they are winning.

    The salafis on their televisions attacked sawires personally many times in the last 3 monthes..His only reaction was a small funny caricature making a joke of them and they succeeded in convincing the stupid that it was an attack on islam !!!..

    Is islam represented by the beard & the niqab??!!!

    Those young moslems who feel offended today will be the first to cry when the MB & the salafis will rule…Sawires is on your side, you fools !

    • A part of the problem is that the Church was the Official Christian political institution, meaning that the Pope holds political power in a way or another (Medievals anyone?). So a big part of the problem is that Christians here support secular state BUT in the same time applying Christian rules on Christians? What type of secularism is that? Customized? People are so used to sectarian pressure that they are reproducing the same kind of oppression they suffer(ed).

      So indeed, it is not Islamist vs Christian, it is all about political use of religion on BOTH sides by the ex-regime in the hands of the not-practically-disabled-yet State Security. By mentioning it is an Islamic against Christianity thing really pisses me off. I’m totally anti-radical Islamists, but in the same time saying that the Egyptian Christian Orthodox Pope doesn’t hold major part of the responsibility is a serious mistake. Since Sate Security are responsible directly for attacking Churches AND detaining a lot of Radical Islamists for too long years without fair civil trial.

      Christians who defend the Pope are equally guilty as radical Islamists, full stop.

  • Lavinia

    ppl that got the Mickey Mouse & Minnie pic as an insult r way 2 sensitive & lacking sense of humor, IMO; no matter where it comes from: whether muslims, christians or politicians! its just a joke abt stereotypes!
    stereotypes r stupid & I wish they’d be killed one by one & that ppl would know more than just that, but still, jokes with’em are funny.

    The fight and anger should be with those people who know nothing more than stereotypes, that know nothing more about Islam but bears and veils …

  • Maybe I was not clear enough, but the whole Christian Church, with the Pope on the head, always acted in full cooperation with State Security.

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