Showing that some of the rest of the world does not have the same freedom when it comes to satellite TV that is experienced in the United States with providers like DIRECTV, the owner of a TV station featuring 24 hours a day of belly dancing was arrested in Egypt on Thursday for inciting licentiousness and facilitating prostitution, according to the Associated Press.
This satellite TV station in Egypt, called ElTet, broadcasts videos 24 hours a day featuring scantily clad belly dancers performing their dances to live in-studio music. The station has become quite popular over the past year of availability because it presents a quintessential Egyptian art form that has become harder and harder to experience in person due to the country’s increasingly conservative atmosphere. The police raided the apartment of Baligh Hamdy, the owner and operator of the channel; many of the videos had been filmed there. Police confiscated tapes and arrested the owner.
This raid has many people scared that the Islamist political class growing in influence will push for more censorship and use vague public decency laws to clamp down on the arts and freedom of expression. Though belly dancing can be salacious, it is still an art form that many women of the older generations teach their daughters and granddaughters, and is an important part of Egyptian culture.
The raid was performed because of the complaints of viewers, said an Egyptian police official.