Subscribe to Breaking News emails

You have successfully subscribed to the Breaking News email.

Subscribe today to be the first to to know about breaking news and special reports.

Egypt Religious Body Wants Belly-Dancing TV Show Axed

/ Source: Associated Press
Ferial, a belly dancer, performs at the Abdin Casino in Cairo, Egypt. Foreign belly dancers, instructors and fun-loving amateurs fly to Egypt from as far as Japan, the United States and Australia to learn more about the art and get a sense of the culture in which it originated.Uncredited / AP file

Breaking News Emails

Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.

CAIRO -- Egypt's top religious body demanded Wednesday that a new belly-dancing TV show be suspended for "corrupting morals" and serving "extremists" who could use it as a pretext to depict Egyptian society as anti-Islamic. The call by Dar al-Ifta, the top body that advises Muslims on religious and life issues, follows others criticizing the show called "Dancer." It aired only once on the Cairo and People satellite television network. A famous belly dancer known as Dina was among a three-member panel that chose the most-talented dancers, many of whom were not Egyptians.

In an advertisement, the network said the winner would receive the title "the best belly dancer in the world." The contestants also shouted at each other and fought in the advertisement in the tradition of Western-style reality shows. Belly dancing has been famed in Middle Eastern countries for centuries, though many Egyptian conservatives now believe it is immoral. Many belly dancers say Egyptian movies — in which belly dancers are often characters who only lust after men and their money — are to blame for the negative image.

Breaking News Emails

Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.
 Ferial, a belly dancer, performs at the Abdin Casino in Cairo, Egypt. Foreign belly dancers, instructors and fun-loving amateurs fly to Egypt from as far as Japan, the United States and Australia to learn more about the art and get a sense of the culture in which it originated. Uncredited / AP file

Breaking News Emails

Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.
MORE FROM news

Have feedback?

How likely are you to recommend nbcnews.com to a friend or colleague?

0 = Very unlikely
10 = Very likely
Please select answer

Is your feedback about:

Please select answer

Leave your email if you’d like us to respond. (Optional)

Please enter a valid email address

Thank you!

Your feedback has been sent out. Please enjoy more of our content.

We appreciate your help making nbcnews.com a better place.