Archive for the Egypt Category

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 .

Circle of Hell – the Rape Culture of Egypt

Circle of men raping a woman in Egypt.Since the most recent wave of protests began in Tahrir Square on June 30, there have been 186 recorded sexual assaults—including eighty the night that former President Mohamed Morsi was overthrown. Many of these attacks are mob-style sexual assaults, often involving between fifty and 100 assailants, in which a woman is surrounded, stripped, groped and in some cases beaten and gang-raped until she needs medical attention. And in some recent cases, women were attacked and penetrated with knives and other weapons.

In Egypt, they call this the “Circle of Hell.”

Since the Egyptian Revolution began more than two and a half years ago, hundreds of thousands of women have been sexually assaulted in Tahrir Square. And over the past two and a half years, not a single assailant of the thousands who participated in hundreds of attacks has been prosecuted.

“These men attack women because they know they can get away with it,” said Yasmine, an Egyptian activist who doesn’t wish to give her last name.

Many of the women surveyed agree that sexual violence has gotten worse since former President Hosni Mubarak was overthrown. Up until the most recent wave of protests, during which the Muslim Brotherhood pointed to sexual assaults in Tahrir Square in an attempt delegitimize anti-government opposition, the rampant attacks that happened under President Morsi’s leadership have gone largely ignored.

According to a recent survey from UN Women, 99.3 percent of all Egyptian women report being sexually harassed, and 91.5 percent have experienced unwelcome physical contact. The country has three laws in the penal code that address sexual harassment, assault and rape—and though the punishments range from fines to imprisonment, including life sentences and the death penalty, these laws are rarely enforced. Instead, most women are discouraged from reporting their sexual assaults to the authorities. For most, the high risk of shame and humiliation in publicly outing oneself as a sexual assault survivor—and the assumption that one is tainted or, if unmarried, now unfit for marriage—far exceeds the likelihood that the assailant will be held accountable.

Read the rest: Culture of Rape in Egypt

The Islamic civilization is based on a culture of shame and blame, and codified by religious doctrine and Sharia law.  In this culture, women are second class citizens with little or no power, chattel bought and sold and kept out of the public sphere because they are seen as deficient in intelligence and seductresses who lead men astray. Men can have little contact with women outside their family members and this makes for a sexually repressed patriarchal society that manifests in a collective rapist neurosis.

Sexual Violence in Egypt Continues

eye-of-horusOn June 30, a young woman, a British reporter, was violently assaulted near Mohamed Mahmoud Street in downtown Cairo by a gang of more than 15 men armed with knives. Two volunteers from Tahrir Bodyguard, a grassroots initiative, managed to get her to a safe house in the area, but the assailants kept trying to break down the door. Eventually, an ambulance took her to a public hospital nearby, where she required immediate surgery. She barely survived.

“I’ve never witnessed something like this in my life,” says Tarek Najara, a volunteer with Tahrir Bodyguard, which has been patrolling mass protests since November 2012. “All my clothes were full of blood and I thought it was my blood, but then I realized it was her blood. She was bleeding heavily, it was too much.”

Egypt’s latest wave of protests that ousted the Islamist president Mohamed Morsi brought increased violence against women. And it doesn’t matter if the women are young or old, foreigners or Egyptian, veiled or not. A female protester, a veiled young Egyptian woman, was surrounded by a circle of attackers on the same day as the British reporter and stripped naked before volunteers intervened and took her to a safe house near Tahrir Square. Since June 28, 186 attacks on women have been reported, according to grassroots groups patrolling Tahrir Square. The attacks include sexual harassment, violent assaults and gang rapes.

“What I am sure about is that the number [of attacks] is increasing,” Najara says with a sigh. “And I don’t know how we’re going to stop it.”

Human Rights Watch has called the latest outbreak of sexual violence “an epidemic.”

“The rampant sexual attacks during the Tahrir Square protests highlight the failure of the government and all political parties to face up to the violence that women in Egypt experience on a daily basis in public spaces,” said Joe Stork, the deputy director for Middle East at Human Rights Watch, in a statement. “These are serious crimes that are holding women back from participating fully in public life.”

Women and minorities, who have been increasingly vulnerable since the January 2011 uprising, face new risks and threats of violence, including sexual assaults by extremely large groups of men.

“There are now organized sexual attacks in the square, they use weapons, raping old women over 60 years old,” says Yasmine el-Baramawy, an activist and survivor of sexual assault. “This never happened before.”

Read the rest here.

91 Women Raped in Tahrir Square over 4 Days

Jihadist RapeEgyptian officials and political leaders across the spectrum should condemn and take immediate steps to address the horrific levels of sexual violence against women in Tahrir Square. Egyptian anti-sexual harassment groups confirmed that mobs sexually assaulted and in some cases raped at least 91 women in Tahrir Square, over four days of protests beginning on June 30, 2013, amid a climate of impunity.

“The rampant sexual attacks during the Tahrir Square protests highlight the failure of the government and all political parties to face up to the violence that women in Egypt experience on a daily basis in public spaces,” said Joe Stork, deputy Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. “These are serious crimes that are holding women back from participating fully in the public life of Egypt at a critical point in the country’s development.”

The Egyptian group Operation Anti-Sexual Harassment/Assault, which runs a hotline for victims of sexual assault and seeks to intervene to stop attacks, has received scores of reports of attacks on women in Tahrir Square over the past three days. The group confirmed 46 attacks on June 30, 17 on July 1, and 23 on July 2. The group’s volunteers intervened to protect and evacuate women in 31 cases of sexual assault. Four of the women needed medical assistance, including two who were evacuated by ambulance. The women’s rights group Nazra for Feminist Studies had confirmed another five attacks on June 28.

One woman required surgery after being raped with a “sharp object,” volunteers with the group said. In other cases, women were beaten with metal chains, sticks, and chairs, and attacked with knives. In some cases they were assaulted for as long as 45 minutes before they were able to escape.

Human Rights Watch has long documented the problem of sexual assault in Cairo’s streets and particularly at protests. A new video highlights the stories of women who have been attacked, in some cases as recently as January.

Read the rest and see the video: Epidemic Sexual Violence in Egypt

These rapes are not sanctioned by Islamic law.  But the attitudes of the men are a result of the misogynistic doctrine that treats women as chattel and inferior to men.  If you watch the video, you’ll see one young man say that the women lead them to do it [rape the women].  Because of the way women dress, the way they walk, everything they do pushes the Egyptian men to do this [rape].

Dutch Journalist Raped in Tahrir Square

protests-in-EgyptDina Zakaria, a journalist reporting for the “Facebook page Sunday: “A Dutch journalist in Tahrir [Square] was raped by men who dub themselves revolutionists. Her condition is severe and she is hospitalized.” 

Meanwhile, a state hospital issued a statement that the journalist was admitted after being raped by five men several days ago. She underwent surgery and has been released. It was also reported that Egypt’s Prosecutor General Talaat Abdallah ordered his staff to go to the hospital to hear the woman’s story and reveal the circumstances behind the violent attack. 
Read the rest: Dutch Journalist Raped in Tahrir Square

Egyptian Girl Dies from FGM Operation

FGM Victim Held Down By Her MotherSuhair al-Bata’a, a 13-year-old Egyptian girl, has died undergoing circumcision at a village in the Daqahliya governorate northeast of Cairo, Egyptian media reported on Sunday.

“We left our daughter with the doctor and the nurse. 15 minutes later, the nurse took my daughter out of the operation room to a nearby room, along with three other girls whom the doctor was circumcising,” Mohammed Ibrahim, a farmer, told 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,” he said.

The doctor who circumcised Suhair had previously circumcised her elder sister two years ago.

“I want nothing but to hold the doctor accountable and to have justice for my daughter,” Suhair’s mother, Hasanat Naeem Fawzy, told the newspaper.

The police ordered an autopsy and summoned the doctor to find the cause of the young girl’s death.

A health inspector report said the cause of the death was due to “a sharp drop in blood pressure resulting from shock trauma,” the family’s lawyer, Abdel Salam, told al-Masry al-Youm.

Egypt‘s National Council for Women condemned the deadly incident of female circumcision as a criminal act that reflects “extreme savagery,” calling on the government to investigate the issue and punish the culprits.

Read more: Egyptian Girl Dies During Female Genital Mutilation Operation

Sexual Violence Against Women in Egypt Continues To Increase

Painting of Egyptian Pharoah

Sexual violence against women in Egypt has increased in the post-revolutionary Islamist rule, according to official reports and rights activists.The United Nations Entity for Gender Equality said in a report published on May 23 that 99.3 percent of Egyptian women have experienced some form of sexual violence.

Nearly 50 percent of women reported more harassment after the revolution; 44 percent said the level of harassment remained the same before and after the revolution. Meanwhile, more than 58 percent of men surveyed said harassment increased after the revolution.

Egypt’s general directorate of moral police at the ministry of interior reported that 9,468 cases of harassment, 329 sexual assaults and 112 cases of rape took place in 2012.

Activists say the figures released by the government are smaller than the actual ones because many women do not report cases of harassment against them to the police in fear of shame.

The U.N. study found that only 19 percent of women actually report sexual violence against them to the police. It said 32.2 percent keep quiet and move away from the scene, while 26.9 choose to insult or hit back the assailant.

“What is different now [post-revolution], and why this has been brought to public and international attention, is that we’re witnessing a number of very violent assaults and rape,” Diana Eltahawy, a researcher at Amnesty International Egypt, told Al Arabiya English.

Manal Abdul Aziz Ali, a Cairo-based journalist said, “Today, neither a foreigner nor an Egyptian can enjoy a sense of safety… because of the noticeable rise in the rate of crime and harassment against women.”

Read the rest: Sexual Violence Against Egyptian Women On Rise.

Does the sexual violence increases in direct proportion to the amount of sharia law practiced?  It would seem that way looking at Afghanistan, Pakistan, etc.