In Egypt, belly dancer “Safinaz,” whose real name is Sofinar Gourian, was fined and sentenced to six months in prison for wearing a dress with the colors of the national flag during a performance. But how did this belly dancer break an Egyptian law?
In a related report by the Inquisitr, male belly dancers are becoming increasingly popular in certain countries nowadays.
According to the court system in Egypt, belly dancer Safinaz desecrated the Egyptian flag since she wore a tight dress which used a color scheme with red, white, and black as the primary hue. After the case was initiated by a private complaint, the court in Agouza, west of Cairo, said the popular Armenian belly dancer was effectively “insulting the Egyptian flag” based on this fashion statement.
The act of insulting the flag became illegal under former Egyptian President Adly Mansour, whose Islamist regime was overthrown by the Egyptian military after being in power for only one year. Although Mansour is no longer in power, the law is still on the books; it is now a criminal act to desecrate the Egyptian flag or to refuse to stand up during the national anthem. Egypt’s law requires a maximum sentence of one year in prison and a fine of up to 30,000 Egyptian pounds (almost $4,000 U.S. dollars).
According to the Associated Press, Sofinar Gourian had argued that she did not intentionally desecrate the Egyptian flag since she is a foreigner who is simply living in Egypt. She says she was not aware of the Egyptian law and did not mean any offense to the country. Although Safinaz wore this dress during a performance in 2013, the Egyptian court condemned her now to six months in prison in addition to paying 15,000 Egyptian pounds (about $1,900 USD). Officials for the court authorized the belly dancer to pay a deposit in order to remain free while she awaits an appeal verdict.
Egypt’s belly dancer case may seem like an odd one, but arguments over the American flag have also led to controversy in modern times. A female U.S. Air Force veteran named Michelle Manhart was arrested for trying to take the American flag from protesters who were desecrating it by stamping upon the flag. But some say her actions were hypocritical since Manhart once posed nude in a photo for Playboy while the American flag was dragging on the ground.
[Image via Google Images]