Opinion

Mini Daesh: Prank Show Depicting ISIS Hostage Situation a New Low for Egyptian Television

Mini Daesh: Prank Show Depicting ISIS Hostage Situation a New Low for Egyptian Television

Screen Shot 2016-06-14 at 3.53.27 PM

A few short days after a video popularized by the Daily Mail showed an Islamic State fighter threatening to destroy the Pyramids of Giza, social media was abuzz once more with news related to the terrorist group. Although the former incident threatened the crown jewel of Egypt’s tourism and ancient history, the latter – namely the circulation of an episode of a show entitled Mini Daesh – was far more disturbing.

Yes, you read that right – the show is called Mini Daesh (Mini ISIS).

Aside from its horribly evident cheap production (using firecrackers hardly measures up to a “suicide belt”), this show makes a mockery of a threat that has torn up the region, displaced hundreds of thousands and claimed scores of innocent lives – and that Egypt has repeatedly pointed to as a reason for its clampdown on freedoms.

This is a show that was created in Egypt, the country whose officials have time and time again pointed to terrorism as the reason behind the security crackdown that has seen hundreds of innocent youths rounded up and thrown into prisons. The same country that is spending millions of precious dollars to buy weaponry in the name of warding off the terrorism that is threatening its citizens. The same country that has been almost pathologically obsessed with controlling the contents of books, television shows and even Facebook statuses to avoid “harming public morals.”

I don’t care much for peddling the usual route of asking, “What will foreigners think of us?” because I think Egyptian public opinion is of far greater significance. Why is our ability to differentiate between right and wrong inextricably connected to how we want outsiders to perceive us, rather than being based on intrinsic values? Are our priorities that warped?

The only thing worse is the idea that this kind of “humor” is what it takes to crack up Egyptian viewers, and I unfortunately see that this is currently the case. Upon visiting the Facebook page of Mini Daesh‘s “star,” the plethora of comments hailing the videos as “hilarious” and “legendary” made me sick to my stomach.

Ramez Galal – arguably the forefather of Mini Daesh – and his idiotic pranks have elicited a large number of groans and a substantial outcry amongst Egyptians, yet Galal and his pranks make an annual return to the small screen each Ramadan, with each year’s prank more disgusting and unhumorous than the year before.

The fact that Galal’s show has returned this many times means that enough people continue to watch it for sponsors to continue funneling money into the show, and it seems that being armed with enough money can help anyone get whatever they want on air. I believe we learned that lesson from the likes of Ahmed Moussa and Tawfik Okasha. As awful as Moussa and Okasha are and as much as I would like to erase the memory of their existence from our collective consciousness, their on-air antics don’t nearly measure up to the horridness of Ramez Galal’s show, and truly seem like good television in comparison to Mini Daesh. 

Shame on the makers of Mini Daesh for ever coming up with and pitching this idea. Shame on the owners of what seems to be the sole television channel that airs this show for being facilitators and for believing that this is the kind of television content that is appropriate for the holy month of Ramadan – or any other point in time. Shame on the regulatory agencies that seem to otherwise be very skilled at cutting inappropriate content (read: kissing and gambling) before it makes it to Egyptian screens but then shrugging at an entire show dedicated to turning a very real threat into a show for entertainment purposes.

Most of all, shame on each and every person who continues to watch this disgusting excuse for entertainment, whether because they believe it’s morally correct to laugh at something that has caused so many people such deep misery, or simply because they do not realize how much power they have as viewers. All it really takes is shrugging off the feeling of morbid curiosity and refraining from watching these shows – a show is nothing without viewers.

How Fine Dining Can Save Egyptian Cuisine
An Open Letter from an Egyptian with an Eating Disorder

Subscribe to our newsletter


Opinion

Writer/editor/aspiring columnist. Graduated from the American University in Cairo with a degree in journalism but also has a passion for psychology.

More in Opinion

What Egypt’s New Capital City Can Learn from Singapore

Mirna Khaled AbdulaalFebruary 26, 2017

What Devaluing the Egyptian Pound Really Means for Many of Us

Muhammad HazemFebruary 20, 2017

Cairo Confessions: Girls and the Hell of Premarital Physical Intimacy in Egypt

Toqa EzzidinFebruary 18, 2017

The New York Times and the Muslim Brotherhood

Nervana MahmoudFebruary 14, 2017

How Did Trump’s Muslim Ban Affect Egyptians

Mohanad ElsangaryFebruary 8, 2017

Chasing Dreams on the Desert Road: Moving From Alexandria to Cairo

Farah TawfeekFebruary 2, 2017

Trump’s Immigration Ban Will Not Stop Terrorism

Musood DarwishFebruary 2, 2017

‘We Are Poor’: 7 Costly Things Egypt Could Have Done Without

Aya NaderJanuary 31, 2017
Egyptian Streets is an independent, young, and grass roots news media organization aimed at providing readers with an alternate depiction of events that occur on Egyptian and Middle Eastern streets, and to establish an engaging social platform for readers to discover and discuss the various issues that impact the region.

© 2017 ES Media UG. All Rights Reserved.