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Egypt fights Islamists with TV drama

Television drama has become the latest weapon used by Egypt’s authorities in their confrontation with the Muslim Brotherhood, the banned group that represents the largest opposition force in the country.

Independent candidates affiliated to the Brotherhood won 20 per cent of the seats in parliament in the last election in 2005. The government has made clear that it intends to prevent a repeat of these gains.

Three months before the next parliamentary elections, Egyptian television has been running a nightly series called Al-Gama’a – or “The Group” – tracing the history of the Brotherhood as founded in 1928 by a young cleric, Sheikh Hassan al-Banna. He is depicted as a dour political opportunist, prepared to use violence in his quest to establish an Islamist state.


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