Hisba is the duty of each Muslim to promote good and forbid evil. “Be a community that calls for what is good, urges what is right, and forbids what is wrong: those who do this are the successful ones, ” says the Qur’an in one of its many verses exhorting believers to do the right thing. (3: 104)  By the time of the Abbasid dynasty, in the 9th century, the concept of hisba had evolved into an official office, occupied by the muhtasib, whose job was it was to supervise the moral behavior of the community (for example, making sure people turned up for prayers, and that men and women didn’t get too cozy in public) as well as keeping an eye on the marketplace to ensure that commercial dealings stayed above-board. Hisba became the responsibility of those in authority, with one particular loophole; if governments fail to take action, it is up to members of the community to take up the cause. In recent years, lawyers have filed cases against a wide range of writers, entertainers and politicians for violating public morals. Hisba cases, which were common under the Mubarak regime, are more of an irritation than a real threat, but they serve as a form of post-facto “citizen censorship” and a barometer of conservative discontent.