An Egyptian government official has blamed the animated Tom and Jerry series for allegedly spreading a culture of violence, the AP reports. The accusations by Salah Abdel-Sadek, head of State Information Service, which is affiliated with the presidency, came at a forum held in Cairo this week. Abdel-Sadek told academics, media specialists, and public figures who had gathered to discuss violence that video games and cartoons are to blame. He said children see Tom Cat and Jerry Mouse "beat and blow up with explosives" one another and "in their minds, they see this as normal."
The remarks are starkly at odds with the political reality of Egypt. The Mideast country is struggling with a home-grown Islamic insurgency and regularly sees heavy-handed security measures used against protesters. Thousands of political dissidents are imprisoned. (Read more cartoons stories.)