Sunday, June 10, 2012

No Arab Spring for the women of Egypt

Egyptian women protesters under the escort of male family and friends were mobbed and sexually assaulted for daring to attend a protest let alone one protesting their country's endemic public sexual harassment and assault of women.

mob attacks women in egypt anti-sexual assault rally

This is religiously motivated retribution. Retribution upon women who dare to publicly question Islam's teachings. Teachings which require women maintain public invisibility; obey and observe any requirements imposed by their male relatives or betters who according to Islam are their superiors; be content with a life of domestic servility and pro-creation; maintaining complete silence if not obliviousness in matters of public, political and societal interest.

There is no real "Arab Spring" nor any "Arab Awakening"and especially not one advancing women's rights in that region. Not at least whilst Islam gains momentum (The Muslim Brotherhood) in the wake of any resulting power vacuum.

These unchecked and worsening public assaults on women are a gross human rights abuse committed by male followers of Islam. Arguably this is a religion that would have all women content to submit to a life of ignorance, servility and obviously in Egypt at least willing to live in psychological terror awaiting the next random abusive act by any male they encounter.

Isochronos - Metamorphosis with Nicab - Oil on canvas"Enlightened"males attempting protective escort of the protesting women highlight the issue. It is necessary and in accordance with Islam anyway that women go out in public under the escort of a male relative only. Even if the male is the woman's male child. She should not be in public alone and uncovered or unescorted. The absurd defence of these strict characteristics of the religion as being merely an expression of benign religious observance is at best ignorance at worst deliberate obfuscation of the facts. This is an imposed limitation on the movement and involvement of women in the society and public life of their community and country. This in itself without the addition of threat of sexual abuse is in fact a human rights abuse.

Women escorted or not in Egypt risk their personal dignity by simply going into the street. Who knows what happens in private. Public sexual abuse is what they were protesting about and in protesting they had these claims confirmed in the most sickening and cowardly manner via a mob attack.

Islam through the Koran's teaching, from grand Imam to Mosque, normalises and contextualises female sexual assault in the conduct of daily life and it informs its female followers of their place and behaviour in the face of it.

No comments:

About Leeanneart

My photo
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
We are first and foremost human with a responsibility to the humanity within us and not to any faith, political, apolitical, social or societal group, union or faction. We are responsible for our own reputation, and for what deeds we do and what achievements or otherwise in life we enjoy. The rest is nonsense.