Head of Egyptian Information Service (SIS) points finger at video games, violent movies and our favorite Hanna-Barbera rascals.
According to Ambassador Salah Abdel Sadek, the head of Egypt’s Information Service (SIS), the rise of extremism in the Middle East falls squarely on the shoulders of video games, ‘violent’ movies and ‘Tom and Jerry’ kid’s cartoons. Not necessarily in that order. Addressing an audience at Cairo University, Salah Abdel Sadek said that ‘Tom and Jerry’ reinforces the idea that violence is funny:
“[Tom and Jerry] portrays the violence in a funny manner and sends the message that, yes, I can hit him…and I can blow him up with explosives. It becomes set in [the viewer’s] mind that this is natural.”
As reported in English on the Egyptian Streets media company website, The Ambassador went on to say that young men are happy spending hours playing video games, ‘killing and spilling blood,’ and when they are pushed towards violence by social pressure, they consider it normal and understandable.
The privately owned Arabic language website Youm7 subsequently posted a piece entitled “Five Accusations Tom and Jerry Face in Egypt,” which the Egyptian Streets piece reports claims the Hanna-Barbera series ‘teaches children about negative habits, such as drinking alcohol, and stealing.’
Though much continues to be written and fiercely debated about how violent in games, TV shows and films impacts children and young adults, it’s hard to imagine anyone mistaking a stick of cartoon dynamite for an explosive vest.
Source: Senior Egypt Official Blames ‘Tom and Jerry’, Video Games for Violence Across Middle East
[Mohamed Khairat, founder and editor in chief / Egyptian Streets, a media company aimed at providing readers with an alternate depiction of events happening on Egyptian and Middle Eastern streets.]
Dan Sarto is Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Animation World Network.