CAIRO Jan 24 Egypt's national airline said on
Thursday it will analyse its onboard movies to make sure they
respect "Egyptian values and customs", following a complaint by
a Muslim Brotherhood member who took offence at a film screened
during one of its flights.
EgyptAir said the film had been turned off at the request of
Ahmed Fahmy, the speaker of Egypt's upper house of parliament
and a leading member of the Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and
Justice Party. In a statement, EgyptAir said he had "expressed
reservations about one of the scenes" in the movie.
The statement did not name the film, but local media
identified it as "Arees Mama", or "Mother's Suitor", a
decades-old movie starring the Egyptian actress Nelly. Al-Masry
Al-Youm, a newspaper, said Fahmy had taken offence at scenes of
Fahmy could not immediately be reached for comment.
The case is likely to fuel concerns about the extent to
which the Muslim Brotherhood, which propelled President Mohamed
Mursi to power in an election last year, could use its new
position of power to curb freedom of expression.
Critics of a new, Islamist-tinged constitution approved by a
popular referendum in December worry it gives wide scope for
conservatives to limit forms of expression deemed harmful to
Responding to media reports of a confrontation between Fahmy
and the EgyptAir crew aboard Wednesday's flight from Khartoum to
Cairo, the EgyptAir statement said Fahmy had asked for the film
to be switched off "politely and without a row".
"The film screening was halted in business class and there
was no annoyance or objection from the passengers," it said.
In a separate statement, EgyptAir said it would form a
committee to review all films shown on its flights.
Roshdy Zakaria, chief executive of the state-run company,
said the committee would pull films it deemed "depart from
Egyptian values and customs".
(Writing by Tom Perry; Editing by Sophie Hares)