Many Egyptian viewers were horrified when preacher Hisham el-Ashry recently popped up on primetime television to say women must cover up for their own protection and advocated the introduction of religious police.
That an obscure preacher could get publicity for such views was seen as another example of the confused political scene inEgypt since the revolt that toppled Hosni Mubarak gave birth to a cacophony of feuding voices
Introducing a Saudi-style anti-vice police force to enforce Islamic law was "not a bad thing", he said, and added: "In order forEgyptto become fully Islamic, alcohol must be banned and all women must be covered."
Few take Ashry, who admits he flew to theUnited Statesdreaming of a Western lifestyle and romance but instead found truth in preaching, seriously. But his views have stirred emotions.
Egypt's Grand Mufti, the country's most senior Islamic legal official, has dismissed the self-styled preacher's views.