Egyptian Performers Denounce Brotherhood

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JERUSALEM, Israel -- The government of Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi continues efforts to impose Islamist ideology on all its citizenry.

Recently, Egyptian Culture Minister Alaa Abdel-Aziz fired the director of the Cairo Opera House, saying he wants to "inject new blood" into the country's culture, Egypt Daily News reported.

Immediately after the director's dismissal, the cast canceled a performance of Verdi's Aida and other upcoming concerts, operas and ballets. The cast staged a sit-in, now in its second week, at the culture minister's office, reportedly vowing not to leave until he does.

The protestors say firing the director is yet another example of the Muslim Brotherhood attempting to close down anything that doesn't embrace Islam.

The culture minister fired several other senior ministry officials without explanation.

"Since the day he was appointed, [the minister] has issued random, irrational and illegal decisions and fired successful leadership, complying with the instructions of the ruling regime and attempting to eradicate the identity of the nation," conductor Nayer Nagui said.

The report quotes an Islamist legislator, a member of the Salafist al-Nour Party, who has called for banning ballet because it is "the art of nudity" that spreads "immorality."

"This comment is not a comment," Egyptian poet Fatema Naoot responded. "Previously we would leave them. We would say this is freedom of speech. But now that these people are our lawmakers, they have the ability to deprive us from [the arts] if they want to."

Anti-Morsi protests are scheduled for June 30.

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