Egypt’s Islamists have been exhibiting a relentless control over their country. First with President Morsi’s granting to himself sweeping powers, then enforcing a constitution that eliminates the opposition and isolates religious minorities and then by harassing the media with a court ruling that imposes a month-long suspension on YouTube. Their lust for power is apparently not their only vice; evidence suggests they are also obsessed with sex and controlling women’s bodies.
The Arabic website of the Russian state news channel , Russia Today, reported for example, that the Consular General of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, Khirat Al-Shatir, had married a 21-year-old Syrian model through an “unofficial marriage decree,” known in Egypt as “Orfi.”
Orfi marriage, according to the report, is a marriage documented only by a mere non-government-registered hand-written marriage decree, which in effect, gives the husband sexual privileges with his young Syrian wife while securing for her none of the rights of marriage. According to the “decree,” Al-Shatir paid the young model one million U.S. Dollars as a dowry to confirm that “any offspring resulting from this reunion will become a legitimate heir to Al-Sahtir’s wealth,” thereby excluding the wife herself from inheritance.
According to the Muslim Brotherhood’s hierarchy, Al-Shatir is president Morsi’s leader and Murshid or “Guidance-provider.”
In June 2012, a Salafist parliament member Ali Wanees was arrested along with a young woman for indecent exposure in a car. An audio recording of the incident was leaked to the Egyptian media. In the recoding, a police officer can be heard ranting “I swear to almighty God I would have thought she was his daughter.” While the young woman kept exclaiming, “He was going to marry me…he was going to marry me!”
Wanees belongs to a group which calls for the implementation of Sharia law, according to which, he should be stoned to death for committing adultery. Nonetheless, his Salafist followers in the Egyptian government have not been calling for him to be punished according to Sharia.
Furthermore, some of Egypt’s top Islamists officials have been making sexist statements to the media. In September 2012, Salah Abdul Maksoud, Egypt’s Information Minister and member of the Muslim Brotherhood, was interviewed by Palestinian-Syrian TV anchor, Zeina Yazji. As Yazji began asking questions, Maksoud commented, “I hope your questions are not as hot as you are!” Maksoud is in charge of Egypt’s state media and oversees the government’s public image.
In February of this year, Egyptian Prime Minister Hisham Kindil, also a Muslim Brotherhood member, was asked on television about the economic conditions of rural areas. He failed to address the economic woes, but did say, “I know the Egyptian rural area of Bani Sweif, women there are so ignorant that they breast-feed their babies without cleaning their breasts causing the babies to have diarrhoea,” adding, “women in Bani Sweif who go out to bathe in public ponds get raped too.” While Kindil’s off-point responses resulted in the secular opposition movement seeking to sue him for his demeaning comments, there are no signs that his boss, Morsi, is unhappy with him.
Egypt’s Islamists’ sex-obsession even extends to Egyptian men. Take the case of Bassem Youssef, dubbed Egypt’s Jon Stewart with his political comedy show “El Bernameg.” Youssef has been a fearless critic of the ruling Islamists in Egypt. As a result, Youssef has come under a ruthless defamation campaign by the Islamists. One of those is Abu Islam– a Salafist preacher and a TV anchor on Al-Omah Islamist television.
Abu Islam publically addressed Bassem Youssef in his “religious” show which is watched regularly by the average Egyptian household. Abu Islam told Youssef he was “so pretty he had to wear a Burkka,” because “you are prettier than women with your hairless face”. In Egyptian culture, these comments are a subliminal indication that Bassem Youssef was to be sexually pursed by men. As Abu Islam put it, “We [men] are not allowed to look at your pretty face according to Sharia.”
To further insult Youssef, Abu Islam even spoke about female genitalia in details and mentioned Youssef’s wife: “Do you know what a **** is Bassem? I am sure you know; it is the little thing right above your wife’s genitalia.”
If such language was used by a Christian priest on a Christian TV network, Islamists all over the world would have been flooding YouTube with it as proof of Christianity being vulgar.
Earlier this month, the same Abu Islam said on live television that it was justified to rape and molest women protesting against the Islamists in Tahrir Square, as they were “crusaders” who “have no shame, no fear and not even feminism.” According to him, they were “naked women who went to Tahrir Square…because they want to be raped.”
Indeed, several Egyptian media outlets have been reporting that Egypt’s Islamists have been sexually assaulting female opposition members.
It seems therefore, that far from being the guardians of modesty and public morality, the Islamists are the worst offenders of sexual deviance and inappropriate public behavior.
About the Author: Mudar Zahran is a Palestinian writer and academic from Jordan, who now resides in the UK as a political refugee.
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