Meme Against The Regime

Andrew Sullivan —  Mar 8 2013 @ 5:13pm

A “Harlem Shake” video, filmed in “front of the headquarters of the Muslim Brotherhood”:

Amar Toor notes the proliferation of Harlem Shake protests in the Middle East:

The transformation from meme to message began late last month, when Egyptian police arrested four pharmaceutical students for publicly recording a “Harlem Shake” video in their underwear — an act that officials from Egypt’s conservative ruling party described as “scandalous.” A similar controversy erupted in Tunisia just days later, when education minister Abdeltif Abid promised to launch a vigorous investigation into a “Harlem Shake” video filmed at a high school in Tunis. Threatening swift punishment for those responsible, Abid condemned the act as an “insult to the educational message.”

As is so often the case, though, these crackdowns have only fanned the flames of discontent, emboldening progressive-minded youths to produce even more “Shake” videos, while underscoring the profound social divides that threaten to derail two of the region’s most fragile democracies.

In Egypt, some members of the Muslim Brotherhood released their own “Harlem Shake” video to insult opposition leaders, though they then subsequently tried to scrub it from the Internet.