Politicians have attacked "The Yacoubian Building" since it was released two weeks ago, saying it defames Egypt by portraying corrupt politicians, police brutality, terrorism and homosexuality.

Mustafa Bakri, an independent parliamentarian who has led the campaign, said members also demanded that "profane" scenes be cut from the film.

"This film is spreading obscenity and debauchery, which is totally against Egyptian moral values," Bakri said.

"I respect freedom of expression and creativity. But this is neither."

Parliament decided to form a committee to review the movie and determine which parts should be cut, the official Middle East News Agency reported.

"Real issues"

The novel the film is based on was reprinted eight times and translated into several languages since being first published in 1998, a rare literary event in the Arab world.

Al-Aswany, the author, said he regretted parliament's action against the film.

"Why aren't Italy, France or the United States defamed by movies dealing with homosexuality," he said.

"Novels and movies are not made to promote tourism, but to deal with real issues of life."

Last month, the Egyptian authorities banned the American film "The Da Vinci Code" for insulting religion.