‘Anti-Islamist’ singer faces the music in Egypt

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Top Egyptian singer Ali al-Hajar has been accused of inciting hatred in his most recently released song.

Hajar is well-known for his anti-Islamist narrative but critics say that this time he has gone too far, according to Gulf News on Saturday.

The song has recently hit local TV stations and is becoming notorious for lambasting the Muslim Brotherhood.

The song, “We Are One People and You Are Another,” criticizes Islamists over their attitude towards women, freedom and religion.

“We are one people and you are another. What has shaken our heart has left you untouched. Although there is one God, we have our own God and you have yours.”

“We see our religion as a call for enlightenment and civilization. You reduce it to a short dress or a separating curtain. We see Avicenna while you see Bin Laden,” reads another part of the lyrics this time referring to a Muslim philosopher scientist, and the late Osama bin Laden.

Criticism for the song has come from hardline and liberal corners of Egypt.

“Even art is being manipulated for inciting hatred, sowing disunity and damaging social peace,” said Hatem Azzam, an Islamist politician.

“After this song, it is not unlikely we’ll hear about demands for self-determination [by Islamists] in Egypt,” tweeted Alaa Abdel Fattah, a liberal activist known for anti-military posturing.

Hajar fought back at the wide-ranging criticism, defending his newest release.

“I have a strong conviction that the Brothers themselves are the reason for splitting up Egyptians although we were for long one people,” Gulf News quoted him as telling Egyptian newspaper al-Masry al-Youm.

During former Egyptian President Mohammad Mursi's tenure, opponents accused him of acting at the Brotherhood’s behest, for promoting religious intolerance in an already fractured society and failing to manage the country’s daily problems.