The Muslim Brotherhood Denounces Beyonce

October 26, 2009

Part of what is fueling conflict within the Middle East is competing visions of what a Muslim society or culture should be, and conflicting interpretations of what Islam demands. Religiously Inspired conflict over proper etiquette, dress, and entertainment is mounting.

Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood is currently challenging a planned performance by pop star Beyonce at a Red Sea resort. Beyonce’s concert has been announced for November 6th, and the Brotherhood is demanding that the Egyptian Interior Minister explain why she was given permission to perform. Organizing protests and anger against pop concerts headlined by females is a routine Islamist political maneuver.

Religious fundamentalist groups as a rule construct patriarchal systems of domination. This includes Christian, Jewish, and other fundamentalist traditions. So in this way, Islam is by no means alone in how its more conservative denominations treat and see women. Fundamentalist movements as a whole are rebelling against “secular” modernity. There are regressive campaigns within fundamentalism which overstate the traditional subservient roles of women. This is because one of the hallmarks of “secular” modernity has been women’s emancipation. Therefore, it has become a regular fundamentalist activity to criticize gains made by women under the modern feminism movement such as their right to flaunt their sexuality, to wear scant clothing, to perform in high-powered careers, and to choose their own men.

In the eyes of fundamentalist groups, the modern female pop star embodies all that is wrong with the world.

With this understanding, it should come as no surprise that the Muslim Brotherhood is denouncing Beyonce’s right to perform in Egypt. The Brotherhood’s vision of Egypt is a regressive one which would have women subservient to men in every fashion. They are no doubt afraid that Beyonce’s concert could inspire Egyptian women and girls.

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