An Egyptian actress accused of “inciting debauchery” by wearing a revealing dress to a film festival will not face jail time after a group of the country’s muftis — Islamic legal scholars — reportedly conferred to watch video of the offending dress and concluded that they could forego legal action in exchange for a public apology.
“The artist Rania Youssef presented an apology to the Egyptian family and society for this incident and its affirmation that it was not intentional, that it was placed in circumstances beyond its control and that the behavior was wrong and unintentional,” read a statement from lawyers Wahid al-Kilani, Hamido Jameel al-Prince and Amr Abdel Salam.
Video of the 44-year-old actress wearing the offending garment — which was tame by Western standards — went viral last week. A widespread outcry from conservative critics ensued as did legal charges that could have landed her in prison for up to five years. Youssef had issued an apology on Twitter in response to the outcry over her wardrobe.
“I wanted to state that I did not mean to appear in a manner that would anger a lot of those who found the dress to be inappropriate,” she wrote. “I might have miscalculated because I wore that dress for the first time and I never expected that it would cause so much anger … I reaffirm my commitment to the values upon which we were raised in Egyptian society.” But that apparently wasn’t enough to quell the uproar.
Youssef also made an appearance on Egyptian talk show El Hakaya, where presenter Amr Adeeb reportedly demanded that she “look at the camera & apologize to the Egyptian people” for her immodesty. After she did so, Adeeb allegedly followed up by saying that the actress should pledge to never again wear “a dress without a petticoat.”
Wow! Egyptian anchor Amr Adib asks actress Rania Youssef to look at the camera & apologize to the Egyptian people for wearing the dress. She obliges: I’m only a human; please forgive me.. He then insists she vows to never wear “a dress without a petticoat” https://t.co/sn4rfpb7pw
— Hassan Hassan (@hxhassan) December 4, 2018
Read the full story at Egyptian Streets.