Egyptian actress Entesar sparked controversy during a television appearance last week, when she admitted that — gasp! — she has watched porn in the past. Then she took it one step further and said that young men should also definitely watch porn.
"Many men are not instructed on sexual intercourse before marriage," the actress argued during her nightly talk show, Nafsana. "Porn movies are beneficial to them to know how to deal with a woman they do not know."
What in many countries would be a light-hearted discussion on sex and marriage has now turned into a firestorm for Entasar, who on Nov. 12 will face a Cairo judge for “inciting debauchery and blasphemy."
Entesar's controversial remarks triggered a war of words on social media. Conservatives believed that she'd encouraged debauchery and was disrespecting the mores of Egyptian society, launching the hashtag #CalmDownEntesar.
Television anchor Haitham Abu Khalil, a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, stood with those who spoke against the actress:
However, not everyone was quick to condemn Entesar:
One user took the opportunity to tweet a graph showing the number of searches generated from Egypt for porn sites.
The court case against Entesar — filed at the Nasr City Misdemeanor Court — has triggered dismay among activists.
"The state will use her case to look more ethical than the Muslim Brotherhood," Ahmed Hafez, a lawyer and activist, told BuzzFeed News. Hafez added that Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi is trying to appear as the defender of religious and moral values to shore himself up against attacks from Brotherhood members who say he is anti-Islam.
Entesar for her part seems unconcerned, telling Al-Ahram: "I am not afraid because I have not said or done anything wrong. I talked about the real situation of many people who resort to porno movies and books before marriage. It is not my problem that we are a society that enjoys to bury its head in the dirt."
Maged Atef is a journalist based in Cairo.
Contact Maged Atef at email@example.com.
Hayes Brown is a world news editor and reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
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