Egyptian police have arrested a pastry chef who supplied cupcakes topped with genitalia-formed icing as decorations for a private birthday party at a sporting club in a wealthy Cairo neighbourhood.
After photos of the cake went viral on social media, the woman baker was arrested and later released on US$319 (£234) bail. There are reports that the partygoers may face legal action too.
The Islamic advisory body Dar al-Ifta, which issues fatwa in Egypt, wrote on its Facebook page that products featuring sexual representations were “an assault on the value system and a crude abuse of society”.
The case also attracted the attention of the ministry for youth and sports who oversee the sports clubs where the party is held. The ministry said would form a committee to investigate the incident and punish alleged perpetrators.
Meanwhile, human rights lawyer Negad El Borai tweeted that the incident confirmed “there is a segment of society, with support of the state that wants to eliminate any space for personal freedom in Egypt under the pretext of safeguarding Egyptian family values”.
Borai compared the Egyptian authorities reaction to the pastry with the cases of several young Egyptian women accused of morality-related offences in connection with videos posted on TikTok and other social media platforms.
Last Tuesday, an appeals court overturned the two-year prison sentences handed to two influencers – Haneen Hossam, 20, and Mawada al-Adham, 22 – who were convicted in July of “undermining family values and principles” and publishing “indecent” photos and videos.
But days later it emerged that the public prosecutor had ordered the women’s continued detention pending an investigation on human trafficking charges.
The prosecutor alleged that they had exploited teenage girls by encouraging them to post similar videos to theirs.
A lawyer for the women said they would appeal against the move. (Source: BBC)