Category Archives: Egypt

FGM – Illegal in Egypt?

fgm08-640 copyA Health Ministry inspector testified Thursday in Egypt’s first-ever female genital mutilation (FGM) trial, saying a 13-year-old girl died after undergoing the procedure despite her doctor’s claims otherwise. FGM has been illegal in Egypt for six years, but activists say most Egyptian girls are still being circumcised, mostly in private clinics.

On an Egyptian talk show, women discussed female circumcision, also known as FGM. One woman said parents fear that if they don’t circumcise their girls for “purity” no one will marry them, or if they do, the new husband may force his bride to be circumcised on their wedding night.

But Suad Abu-Dayyeh, a Middle East and North Africa consultant for Equality Now says if a girl is circumcised she will never enjoy her sexual relationship with her husband, among other things.

“They might have infections, bleeding, pains, and also they will suffer all their lives,” she said.

Read the rest here.

Video: Street Harassment of Women in Cairo

586345-5f423bbe-33d7-11e4-b925-f4810cf84ea5 copyTwo female filmmakers have released a video documenting what it’s like for a woman to walk by herself down a bustling street in Cairo, Egypt. The blatant stares from many of the men encountered along the way highlight the country’s problem of rampant street harassment.

Titled “Creepers on the Bridge,” the footage was uploaded to Vimeo on Aug. 30 and had attracted nearly 250,000 views by Wednesday evening. It is part of a documentary project, “The People’s Girls,” which Ghunim is working on with her co-director, Tinne Van Loon.

“This video shows what it’s like for a girl to walk alone in Cairo, no matter what time of day. Though the video only includes stares, it gives an idea of just how intimidating it can be in the street,” Van Loon, who is Belgian-American, wrote on Vimeo. “As a woman, Egyptian or foreign, comments and stares are the norm every time we step out the door, no matter what we’re wearing.”

A 2013 study from the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women found that 99.3 percent of Egyptian women and girls surveyed had experienced some kind of sexual harassment in their lifetime.

Read the rest here.

Rape in Egypt – the Muslim Brotherhood Gets Even

Men carry woman in Tahrir Squareby Raymond Ibrahim,  FrontPage Magazine:

Muslim Brotherhood sympathizers recently went on a sexual assault and rape spree in Egypt as a way of “getting even” with those women who dared to celebrate the presidential victory of Abdel Fatteh al-Sisi—the former army chief who overthrew Muslim Brotherhood rule in Egypt.

On June 8, when tens of thousands of Egyptians congregated in Tahrir Square to celebrate Sisi’s inauguration, dozens of women were sexually assaulted and many more harassed.  According to a statement later released by the Ministry of Interior, seven men between the ages of 15 and 49 were arrested for sexually assaulting “a number of women.”

One 19-year-old female student was especially brutalized—and videotaped as she was stripped naked and sexually assaulted by a throng of men.  (I saw the graphic video on YouTube, though it has since been removed; a much less graphic clip of the initial assault appears here.)  A gun-waving police officer eventually managed to rescue the woman from her ordeal, though after sustaining injuries himself.

Sexually harassing or raping those supportive of Sisi by way of “retribution” is not uncommon in Egypt.  Earlier, a six-year-old boy was raped by a Muslim Brotherhood member who was “angered” at the child for singing praises to Sisi. He lured the boy into a shed, locked the doors, and proceeded to rape him, while saying, “You’re always holding pictures of this Sisi and singing his praises.  Come, I’ll humiliate and break you—and your Sisi.”

Read the rest: Revenge Rape by Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt

Sexual Assaults on Egyptian Women a National Epidemic

Egyptian art of man and woman seatedA video of a woman being sexually assaulted at inaugural celebrations for Egypt’s new president has spotlighted a national epidemic, but activists believe that stopping such attacks will be difficult.

Graphic footage, apparently filmed on Sunday using a mobile phone, shows a mob of men surrounding the young woman, who was stripped of her clothes and badly bruised in the assault in Cairo’s iconic Tahrir Square.

The video, shared widely on websites including YouTube, Facebook and Twitter, triggered outrage in Egypt and abroad.

“Execute them!” said Tuesday’s front-page headline in pro-government Al-Watan newspaper.

“Sexual assaults and rapes by mobs are now part of reality. How far will things go? This is sexual terrorism,” said Zeinab Sabet, a prominent activist with “Dignity Without Borders”, a group battling sexual violence.

“This has been happening since 2012… The fact that it happened again (on Sunday) shows that the authorities aren’t even bothered about us,” she told AFP.

Read the rest: Sexual Assaults Epidemic in Egypt 

Egyptian Doctor on Trial for FGM Operation

female-genital-mutilationIn June of last year, a father and daughter arrived at a doctor’s office two hours north of Cairo. The father left his daughter, a cherub-faced girl of 13, in the custody of a doctor and a nurse.

 “The nurse took my daughter out of the operation room to a nearby room, along with three other girls whom the doctor was circumcising,” the father, a farmer, told the Egyptian daily Al-Masry Al-Youm. “I waited half an hour, hoping that my daughter would wake up, but, unfortunately, unlike the rest of the girls, she did not.”

The doctor, Raslan Fadl, who also circumcised another girl in the family, allegedly offered the family 20,000 Egyptian pounds – about $2,800 — to keep quiet about her death. But they wouldn’t. And a health inspector’s report appeared to confirm their suspicions: 13-year-old Suhair al-Bata’a had died of “a sharp drop in blood pressure resulting from shock trauma.”

“I want nothing but to hold the doctor accountable and to have justice for my daughter,” Suhair’s mother said at the time. Today, nearly one year after her daughter’s death, that may finally happen. In what outside observers are calling a landmark case, the doctor will stand trial today on charges of violating a 2008 ban on female genital mutilation, an entrenched practice that removes the clitoris.

Read the rest: Egyptian Doctor on Trial for FGM  
Here is Islamic doctrine about FGM:

Abu Hurayrah said: I heard the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) say: “The fitrah is five things – or five things are part of the fitrah – circumcision, shaving the pubes, trimming the moustache, cutting the nails and plucking the armpit hairs.” Bukhari 5891; Muslim 527
Narrated Umm Atiyyah al-Ansariyyah: A woman used to perform circumcision in Medina. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said to her: Do not cut severely as that is better for a woman and more desirable for a husband.  Abu Dawud 41:5251

And from the definitive Islamic sharia law manual:  e4.3 Circumcision is obligatory (for every male and female) by cutting off the piece of skin on the glans of the penis of the male, but circumcision of the female is by cutting out the clitoris (this is called Hufaad) Reliance of the Traveller: A Classic Manual of Islamic Sacred Law

Egyptian Doctor Being Tried for FGM

egypt_fgm_unicef_spotA doctor in Egypt is set to stand trial on Thursday in relation to the female genital mutilation (FGM) of a child who died of complications. It is the first attempt to prosecute over a procedure banned in Egypt since 2008.

Thirteen-year-old Soheir al-Batea, from the small northern village of Diyarb Buqtaris, succumbed to an allergic reaction to penicillin on June 6, 2013, allegedly after being cut by Dr. Raslan Fadl, according to forensic reports seen by Equality Now, an international rights NGO that has pushed for the prosecution.

The teenager’s death has formed what is being seen as a test case on the issue in a country where four in five young women reportedly undergo the procedure, despite the ban.

Read the rest: Egyptian Doctor on Trial for Female Genital Mutilation Death.

Muslim Brotherhood and Gender Equality in Islam

women swimming in burkas

“When a woman goes swimming, as the word for sea is masculine, when “the water touches the woman’s private parts, she becomes an ‘adulteress’ and should be punished.”

 – Summary of a report titled “The misguided Fatwas of the Muslim Brotherhood and Salafis”, as published in the Al Masry Al Youm.

A report by a committee set up by Al Azhar, one of the oldest and most prestigious Islamic universities in Cairo, to study the fatwas issued by the Muslim Brotherhood and Salafis reveals how Islamists view women.

According to the report, “the fatwas issued by both groups (the Muslim Brotherhood and Salafis) regard women as strange creatures who are created solely for sex. They considered the voices of women, their looks and presence outside the walls of their homes an ‘offence’. Some even went as far as to consider women as a whole offensive.”

Another fatwa prohibited women from “eating certain vegetables or even touching cucumbers or bananas”, due to their phallic imagery which could lead women down the wrong path.

Another fatwa directed women to “turn off the air conditioners at home in the absence of their husbands as this could indicate to a neighbour that the woman is at home alone and any of them could commit adultery with her”.

Another fatwa orders that girls as young as 10-years-old be married “to prevent them from deviating from the right path”.

Another prohibited girls from going to school more than 25km away from their homes.

A strange one said that a couple’s marriage would be annulled if they copulate with no clothes on.

Read more:  Strange fatwas on women from Muslim Brotherhood http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/fatwa-al-azhar-university-cairo-women-swimming-in-sea-adultresses/1/326883.html

 

Stats on Gender Oppression in Islamic Countries

Drawing of Muslim womenEgypt is the worst country for women in the Arab world, closely followed by Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Syria and Yemen, according to gender experts surveyed in a Thomson Reuters Foundation poll released on Tuesday.

Comoros, Oman, Kuwait, Jordan and Qatar came top of the survey, which assessed 22 Arab states on violence against women, reproductive rights, treatment of women within the family, their integration into society and attitudes towards a woman’s role in politics and the economy.

The results were drawn from answers from 336 gender experts invited to participate in an online survey by the foundation, the philanthropic arm of the news and information company Thomson Reuters, in August and September.

Questions were based on key provisions of the U.N. Convention to Eliminate All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), which 19 Arab states have signed or ratified.

The poll assessed violence against women, reproductive rights, treatment of women within the family, their integration into society and attitudes towards a woman’s role in politics and the economy.

Experts were asked to respond to statements and rate the importance of factors affecting women’s rights across the six categories. Their responses were converted into scores, which were averaged to create a ranking.

Read the stats on gender oppression in Islamic countries. 

Shame on Progressives for Backing Gender Oppression

Muslim cleric praising wife beating as will of GodIn 2013 we have seen how Western elites increasingly sympathise with the various components of the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood to the detriment of the Liberal Islamic Reform Movement.

In Afghanistan senior Western elite figures are openly talking about negotiating with the Taliban, the group who were regarded as so dangerous that invasion of that country was regarded as an urgent necessity. Furthermore, Western Governments’ approach to the Syrian conflict is to empower the Islamists rather than more secular elements, just as they did previously in places like Egypt.

With regard to Egypt during the so-called ‘Arab Spring’, commentators following the principles of political realism who warned that it would bring the Muslim Brotherhood to power were openly condemned and mocked.

Of course, the Muslim Brotherhood came to power as just predicted and religious minorities were persecuted just as predicted. Such persecution was largely ignored by the Western press! When the Muslim Brotherhood was removed from power following their period of misrule, Western commentators openly showed their profound disappointment at this turn of events.

Actual Western policy suggests that Western policy makers, many of them self-described as progressives, appear to sympathise with the Muslim Brotherhood and act to help its cause, perversely in the name of democracy and tolerance.

The views of the Muslim Brotherhood on the subject of women’s rights should alarm such progressives, but probably will not because they are progressive in name only. They will continue to undermine secular elements in both Syria, and Egypt, and will continue to encourage Islamism at home.

Read the rest and find out how exactly the Muslim Brotherhood is opposed to gender equality.

Wake up liberals and progressives!

Christian Women Sexually Harassed and Abused in Egypt

Christian-child-in-fear-in-EgyptAfter torching a Franciscan school, Islamists paraded three nuns on the streets like “prisoners of war” before a Muslim woman offered them refuge. 

Two other women working at the school were sexually harassed and abused as they fought their way through a mob.

In the four days since security forces cleared two sit-in camps by supporters of Egypt’s ousted president, Islamists have attacked dozens of Coptic churches along with homes and businesses owned by the Christian minority.

The campaign of intimidation appears to be a warning to Christians outside Cairo to stand down from political activism.

 

Read the rest: Egyptian Nuns Abused and Harassed in Egypt .