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Egyptian protestors trade 'Harlem Shake' taunts with Islamist regime

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harlem shake (youtube)
harlem shake (youtube)

The rivalry between Egypt’s ruling Islamist party and its opposition is heating up — through the medium of antagonistic Harlem Shaking. Last Thursday, 70 or so protestors and activists showed up at the Muslim Brotherhood’s Cairo headquarters, donning Islamist garb and Mickey Mouse masks before gyrating wildly to Baauer’s hit song, reports The AFP. But the move would not go unchallenged. Al Arabiya reports that online Brotherhood community member Ahmad al-Mogheer uploaded a retaliatory Harlem Shake performance on YouTube (video below), in which the dancers wore masks of the party's main opposition, the National Salvation Front. Al-Mogheer (the shirtless dancer) is thought to have pulled the video, but it has since proliferated through a number of other accounts.

The Harlem Shake meme is characterized by its nonsensical, chaotic dancing, but has become oddly politicized in the Middle East, where young activists are adopting it as a form of protest against ruling Islamist regimes. Last week, students at schools in Tunisia clashed with police and Islamist groups trying to shut down Harlem Shake events, and four students were arrested for stripping down to their underwear and Shaking in Cairo.