Sexual harassment, the plague of Egypt

Sexual harassment, the plague of Egypt

Posted in the Islam Forum

Since: Apr 12

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#1 Jun 16, 2013
For some reason the original thread from years ago which was recently re-activated - has been removed (that happened when Sarah was in the middle of a test to prove her Arabic capability). Well, there is no shortage of articles about what happens in Egypt (videos too). Here's one:

Sexual harassment, an Egyptian disease

On June 8th, FRANCE 24 brought you a special programme on sexual harassment in Egypt. FRANCE 24’s Sonia Dridi interviewed one of the few women brave enough to come forward after being raped in Tahrir Square, the epicentre of the Egyptian revolution.

It happens almost every time they stroll along the banks of the Nile, meander through downtown Cairo, go grocery shopping or simply ride the bus: Egyptian women must endure indecent remarks and groping.

Whether they wear the Muslim veil or not, whether they are high-school students or housewives, sexual harassment is an everyday blight on the lives of Egyptian women.

According to a study published by a UN group in April of this year, 99.3% of women surveyed say they have experienced some form of sexual harassment in the past, with the vast majority of them saying it came in the form of touching..

Trapped in Tahrir Square

I was struck by this problem on my first trip to Egypt in 2008.

When I returned to the country in February 2011, as a correspondent for FRANCE 24, I realized that the worrying situation had not gone away.

In fact, it had reached alarming proportions, especially in Tahrir Square, the epicentre and one of the battlegrounds of the revolution that overthrew the authoritarian government of Hosni Mubarak.
Since the beginning of the 2011 uprising, hundreds of thousands of women joined the protests in Tahrir, but they became easy prey for attackers who took full advantage of the lack of security.

Tahrir became the scene of many sexual assaults. Some – directed at journalists and foreigners – were reported in the international press, but the vast majority targeted anonymous Egyptian women and have gone mostly unnoticed.

I myself was assaulted after a live report to FRANCE 24 from Tahrir in 2012, but escaped a far worse fate thanks to my colleague Ashraf Khalil who stepped in and led me to safety.

Unfortunately, the situation I experienced is commonplace in Egypt and many women do not escape their attackers.

Sexual assaults peaked on January 25, 2013, the second anniversary of the revolution, with at least 20 women attacked in Tahrir Square.

Some activists even say the assaults are part of an orchestrated campaign to keep women from participating in protests.

A woman speaks up

The depressing figures spurred Yasmine El Baramawy to come forward.

Baramawy was raped on November 23, 2012, on the sidelines of a protest against a draft constitution drafted mainly by Islamists. Her ordeal lasted more than one hour.

Her case would have also gone unreported, but earlier this year she bravely shattered taboos by telling her story on a popular Egyptian talk show.

Since then she has embarked on a daily struggle to raise awareness of sexual harassment in Egypt – a disease that rather than being treated is too often accepted, and even encouraged. Like many other activists, Baramawy blames the government for ignoring the issue.

I met her in February 2012 during an anti-sexual harassment march in Cairo. I asked her to once more recount the nightmare she lived through and explain her new crusade. I have also sought out other leaders, academics and activists to help understand the source of the problem.



Since: Apr 12

Location hidden

#2 Jun 17, 2013
Egypt public gang-rape of christian woman caught in video. Them men shouting “Allahu Akbar”. "None of the many passersby intervene in any way" - can you imagine such thing happening in America?

Earlier this week a video began circulating on Arabic-language websites purportedly showing a crowd of Muslims in Egypt assaulting and raping two Christian women—on a crowded street and in broad daylight. The video opens with Muslim men repeatedly shouting the word “Nasara”—the Koran’s derogatory appellation for “Christians”—as they identify two Coptic women who proceed to scream and run, only to be knocked to the ground by several Muslim men who savagely attack them, strip their clothing, and try to gang rape them. Throughout, the women scream in terror while the men shout “Allahu Akbar,” that is,“Allah is Great,” as well as chant the shehada, or Islamic profession of faith:“There is no god but Allah and Muhammad is the prophet of Allah.” None of the many passersby intervene in any way.

Little other information about the video accompanies the Arabic sites posting it. So I did some searching; apparently the events recorded in the video occurred in 2009. As for the context, I found a pro-Muslim article titled (in translation)“The truth about the video of Coptic girls raped in the street.” Here I expected to encounter denial and dissemble, claims that the video was a “hoax,” that these are not even Egyptians, etc., etc. Surprisingly, the article confirmed the authenticity of the video and what it depicts. The main quibble it offered was that the video was in fact made in 2009 and that the Coptic activists who recently uploaded it are troublemakers trying to create “sectarian strife.”

Much more interesting are the arguments the article makes to justify the rape of Christians: it claims that Muslim rage (for this particular incident) was prompted by accusations that a Coptic man had raped a Muslim girl. Accordingly, Muslims were merely retaliating in like manner (along with raping Christian girls, Muslims also rioted, burned, and destroyed Christian shops and homes, as is customary).

Of course, even if all this is true—if Muslims were merely exercising “an eye for an eye” logic—the ultimate significance of the video is this: If a Coptic man raped a Muslim woman, he certainly did not do so in accordance to any Christian teaching. He did it as a base man exercising base instincts—instincts which have nothing to do with race or religion.

On the other hand, what are we to make of Muslims screaming Islam’s two most distinct slogans—“Allahu Akbar” or “God is Great” and Islam’s very profession of faith,“there is no god but Allah”—while raping Christian women? What does that say about Islam, or at least how Muslims—from the videotaped rapists to the Muslim clerics who issue fatwas permitting rape—understand Islam?

The brief video follows. No English subtitles are necessary, for all the sounds made are universally intelligible—cries and screams from Christian women and “Allahu Akbars” from Muslim men—the universal sounds of suffering on the one hand, and supremacism on the other.

Since: Apr 12

Location hidden

#3 Jun 17, 2013
How Egypt's radical rulers crush the lives and hopes of women

One angry woman with a bleeding mouth and eyes streaming from the tear gas pulled off her headscarf and stood yelling at the other side, the supporters of the ruling Muslim Brotherhood: "You are not Islam! You are not Egypt! Where is my freedom?"


Women who stood shoulder to shoulder with men during the 2011 Tahrir Square protests that brought down Hosni Mubarak found their position in society undermined almost immediately. The parliamentary quota for women was removed without debate and a promised female vice-president failed to materialise, amid what political commentator Moushira Khattab called "a radical anti-feminist sentiment". Morsi threatened but stopped short of decriminalising Egypt's practice of female genital mutilation, carried out on almost three-quarters of Egyptian girls, making it clear he would not tackle an issue he called "a family matter".

The new constitution has swept away recognition of women's rights and left the door open to the legalisation of perhaps Egypt's most crippling social issue – underage marriage. Draft legislation that would allow the legal age of marriage to be lowered from 18 to 13 has been drawn up while clerics within the Muslim Brotherhood have indicated that marriage at the age of nine for girls is acceptable.

"They see women as, number one, objects of sex and, number two, to clean their floors. This is what the Egyptian 'brotherhood' is all about," said Fatma, 24, an engineering graduate marching with her friends, some in burqas, some in headscarves. The women keep close together, arms linked and eyes alert for the men flying down the side of the demonstration on motorcycles grabbing and screaming at females. "They want to marry us at nine years old. Are these really the kind of men we want to run our country? Paedophiles?"


"They are like a pack of dogs, tearing out the weakest first, raping and harassing the women and the girls, getting rid of them, and then fighting among themselves to be pack leader," said Aya Kadry, 62.


"Three girls in our street stay indoors now for ever because their husbands divorced them. If they cannot prove they were married and they are not virgins then they cannot get married again so they are shunned. Many are divorced because of course these girls are too young to understand what marriage means, she is still a child. In our community, though, a girl should be married before she is 16, maximum."

Since: Apr 12

Location hidden

#4 Jun 17, 2013
Rusty Tin Can wrote:
"They want to marry us at nine years old. Are these really the kind of men we want to run our country? Paedophiles?"
"They want to marry us at nine years old. Are these really the kind of men we want to run our country? Paedophiles?"

"Paedophiles"! Do these women know what they are implying?

Since: Oct 06

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#5 Jun 17, 2013
Wonder why they deleted this subject?

Since: Apr 12

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#6 Jun 17, 2013
Trisha wrote:
Wonder why they deleted this subject?
Probably because I turned it into an Arabic-Test and people whined?

Since: Apr 12

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#7 Aug 16, 2013
people need to know...

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