Cairo’s Lawsuit King Sues Actors, Belly Dancers, Even Puppet Shows

A tireless vigilante who wields the law like a cudgel to enforce his prickly, often paranoid, brand of Egyptian nationalism, Mr. Sabry claims to have filed more than 2,700 such public interest lawsuits in the past 40 years, often firing off several in a day. His legal darts have targeted actors, clerics, politicians and even belly dancers, and may play a decisive role in the next presidential election.

Many cases fizzle out. This was his third suit against the puppet show, which he previously sued for a skit on the novel “Fifty Shades of Grey.” A judge threw out that case.

When Mr. Sabry succeeds, however, the consequences can be far-reaching.

A clerical televangelist known as Sheikh Mizo, who irked Mr. Sabry with his teachings, was jailed for five years in February. Ahmed Naji, a writer, was thrown in jail for nine months in 2016 based on a complaint that Mr. Sabry supported. (The chief litigant, another lawyer, claimed that racy material in Mr. Naji’s novel had…

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