Notorious Egyptian belly dancer Sama El Masry announced this week she will run for a parliamentary seat in Egypt’s March elections. The performer, whose online videos criticizing Islamists and President Barack Obama have gone viral on social media, may not yet have an electoral platform but she’s not wasting any time getting behind the Egyptian government’s airstrike campaign against Islamic State targets in Libya.
“God curse IS,” El Masry said in an interview Wednesday with Egyptian newspaper Al Masry Al Youm. “[The airstrike campaign] was the best thing the army did. I am confident the army will eliminate IS.”
Egypt has come under fire by human rights groups for its airstrikes in Libya, which began last week after the terror group released a video purporting to show the killing of 21 abducted Egyptian Christian hostages. Amnesty International accused the government of failing to “take necessary precautions” to protect civilians after launching the campaign, according to Al Jazeera.
El Masry is known for being a staunch Egyptian nationalist and supporter of the country’s military. The belly dancer shot to fame in 2013 following her vocal criticisms of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood as well as other Islamist factions in the country, including the ultra-conservative Salafi Front. El Masry also has accused Obama of supporting these groups and meddling in Egyptian affairs. One of her most popular videos, entitled “Obama, your mother, your father,” depicts the American leader wearing a turban and accuses him of supporting terrorism.
The belly dancer’s candidacy for parliament was accepted this week, a move that El Masry called a “big surprise” in her interview with Al Masry Al Youm. El Masry, who mounted an unsuccessful parliamentary campaign in early 2014, has said that if she wins this time, she will fight for women’s rights in Egypt because women “played an important role fighting terrorism” during the June 2013 protests that led to the military’s ouster of the Muslim Brotherhood government.