Nov.02, 2014 | INTERNATIONAL

Justice in Egypt: A Race to the Conservative Bottom

Lest anybody thinks that a military-backed government is not as concerned with the nation's moral fiber as an Islamist one would be, authorities in Egypt have arrested and now sentenced eight men to three years in prison for filming a gay wedding video while cruising the Nile. And yes, probably the "cruising" part of the story didn't help.

 

This should not come as a surprise to anyone who has come across Egyptian justice in action.  Egyptian prosecutors for starters are well known for their loose definition of the words "evidence" and "proof". Take for example the trial of the three Al-Jazeera journalists that concluded back in June, where the evidence for the prosecution included  among other things videos of trotting horses from Sky News Arabia and a song by the Australian singer Gotye, which somehow managed to substantiate the charges of aiding terrorists and endangering national security. That's the power of music for you.

 

So on this latest trial, besides the actual wedding video, the corroborating evidence behind the guilty verdict may have been for all we know Beyonce's latest album, a PBS documentary about dolphin sexuality and Tim Cook's coming out. The later also has practically made any Egyptian in possession of an Apple product  a suspect of deviant sexual preferences. Granted, most people cannot afford any of them, but for those that can, associating  themselves with someone blasphemous enough to have declared that his gayness is a gift from God, is madness.