Egyptian actress Shireen Reda has come under fire for comments deemed "insulting" to the Muslim call to prayer (adhan).
In a recent interview on ON TV, Reda was asked about a tweet she'd previously posted, calling on Egyptian authorities to implement a decision to unify the call to prayer across Cairo, because some reciters' voices are "repulsive".
In her response to the question, Reda reiterated her opinion, going on to criticize the way reciters often call to prayer through megaphones in the country.
"Yes, I did post that and it's something that we're all criticizing. Some people's children wake up terrified because of these loud calls to prayer. Is this the only way to call on people to pray? By scaring them into it?" she said.
"Some muezzin's sound like they're screeching when they call for prayer, do they not hear their voices? Why all the screaming? Why do you they raise the volume of their megaphones? This has nothing to do with religion," she added.
Soon after Reda's interview started to make the rounds online, it sparked a heated debate among social media users. While some deemed her statement insulting to Islam, others defended her and found her points relevant.
Here's how the controversy is playing out online:
It all started when this statement went viral
Sparking fury among many on social media
"Some people have reached this level of regression."
"We respect all opinions except those that insult religion"
"We aren't bullying Reda but it's every believer's duty to defend their religion."
Some even called on authorities to take action against Reda
"We ask that Reda is tried over this, do you agree?"
Others were having none of it though
"My regards to the beautiful Shereen Reda. You're an honest and brave person and your words are all true. Even the late Sheikh Al Sha'arawi spoke out on the same matter. We're all with you on this."
Many hailed Reda for raising the point
Some defended her
"I read some of the things people are writing, trying to defend the adhan and religion... but what they wrote has nothing to do with religion. Religion is all about manners and your words completely lack them."
Egypt's Awqaf respond to the controversy
In their statement on the matter, Egypt's Ministry of ِEndowments and Islamic affairs defended Reda, saying there was nothing wrong with her comments.
Speaking to Masrawy, Sheikh Jaber Taye'e, the Head of Religious Affairs at the ministry, said:
"Reda didn't attack the adhan (Muslim call to player) nor the idea behind it, she only criticized the way some reciters perform it."
"Maybe she heard a muezzin who's voice isn't up to the standard, but we can't generalize because not all reciters are like that," he added.
"She didn't commit a sin, she just said her opinion and it isn't forbidden to criticize reciters," he explained.