CAIRO (Web Desk) – Tom and Jerry cartoons are partly responsible for rising violence across the Middle East, according to Egypt’s State Information Service.

“[The cartoon] portrays violence in a funny manner, and gives the impression that, yes, I can hit him, and I can blow him up with explosives,” Salan Abdel Sadeq, head of Egypt’s State Information Service, said during a speech Tuesday at a conference in Cairo University, according to the Middle East Eye website.

Conceived by William Hanna and Joseph Barbera, Tom and Jerry dates back to the 1940s. “The cartoons are known for some of the most violent cartoon gags ever devised in theatrical animation such as Tom using everything from axes, hammers, firearms, firecrackers, explosives, traps and poison to kill Jerry,” a Wikipedia entry on the cartoons points out.