An Egyptian pop singer has been sentenced to two years in prison for “inciting debauchery” after a music video showing her suggestively eating a banana was ruled to be too sexually explicit.
Shyma, 25, appeared in court on Tuesday wearing a niqab covering her face. She was seen reading the Quran while waiting for the sentence to be issued.
Shyma was arrested shortly after releasing I have Issues, in which she is seen dancing in underwear before appearing in front of a classroom of adult men and pouring milk over a banana before eating it, licking an apple and tasting the icing of a slice of chocolate cake.
Apparently, under Islamic law that is too explicit and encourages immorality.
Sigma whose real name is Shaimaa Ahmed and who was relatively unknown in Egypt until the video controversy, was also fined 10,000 Egyptian pounds (£420) by a court in Cairo, according to local media. She was found guilty of inciting debauchery and publishing an indecent film.
The director of the video, Mohamed Gamal, received the same sentence, and both can appeal against the ruling.
The video attracted more than one million viewers in a few days, but also sparked controversy among conservatives for the strong sexual gesturing.
In real sense they are just “Bunch of Hypocrites” in Egypt. I have experienced how their mens response to foreign women in the country, The men are so much into pornography. According to Google, Egypt is ranked second for internet searches for pornography.
The campaign against her started shortly after she released the video on her Facebook page in November. An influential blogger and presenter, Marwan Younis, posted a video on Facebook calling on his followers to report Shyma’s page to the social network for its sexually explicit content. The campaign succeeded and Facebook shut down the page.
The singer apologised in the face of an avalanche of criticism from MPs and newspapers, but it was not enough to stop police from arresting her.