Egyptian singer Laila Amer sentenced over 'disgraceful' song ‘look at your mum’

Egyptian singer Laila Amer sentenced over 'disgraceful' song ‘look at your mum’
Egyptian singer Laila Amer has been sentenced for two years in prison for a sexually suggestive music video.
2 min read
Laila Amer was sentenced to two years behind bars [Twitter]
A singer has been sentenced to two years in prison by an Egyptian court over a song that was deemed immoral and a “disgrace to public modesty”.

Singer Laila Amer was sentenced to two years in prison earlier this week over a song she released called Bos Ommak, meaning “look at your mother” late last year.

The name of the song rhymes with a commonly used insult that many have found offensive.

The song was deemed to be "inciting debauchery and immorality" and the music video to Bos Ommak was deemed to have "sexual overtones”.

The director of the video was sentenced to six months in prison and an actor who had featured in the video was sentenced to three months on similar charges.

The sentencing sparked a debate on social media.

Some endorsed the sentencing:

Translation: So what? She deserves what is coming to her.

While others were more critical of the Egyptian government's morality policing:

Some pundits hailed Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi for being a more "secular" alternative after he orchestrated a coup against Mohammed Morsi. However, they did not anticipate that Sisi was creating the very totalitarian dystopia they thought the blooded military coup would avoid.

In December, shortly after the video's release, the director of the Cairo Centre for Legal Studies also reportedly filed a legal claim against the singer with the country's head prosecutor.

He accused Amer's music video of being a "moral disaster", due to her "sexual gesturing" movements. He also filed a complaint against the video's director, Samir al-Maraghi, and the production company, Media Art.

"In light of suffering from a decline in the morals of society […] such works contributed significantly to the level our society has reached, including the spread of sexual harassment and inappropriate words, especially as we are a religious community where the constitution emphasises commitment to the principles of the Islamic religion," said Mahran.

This is not the first time an Egyptian singer has been sentenced over a video deemed too sexual for the public eye.

In December, singer Shyma was sentenced to two years in prison over appearing in a suggestive music video.

The 25-year-old was fined 10,000 pounds (about $560) and sentenced to prison after dancing in her underwear while suggestively eating an apple and a banana before a classroom of young men in a music video.