Important Egypt's Mosques Fight Sexual Harassment

Discussion in 'Global Affairs' started by Abu'Aaminah, Jul 14, 2009.

  1. Abu'Aaminah

    Abu'Aaminah Well-Known Member

    Egypt's Mosques Fight Sexual Harassment

    CAIRO -- Egypt has finally decided to fight the rising phenomenon of sexual harassment on its streets, choosing mosques as the launching pad of its war against stalkers.

    "There must be some serious action to curb it and our ministry has decided to take this action."

    The Ministry, which is responsible for mosques and places of prayer, has distributed a booklet about sexual harassment in what appears to be a new bid to curb sexual harassment which continues to claim new victims on the crowded streets of Egypt.

    How Youth Can Avoid Temptations

    The 35-page booklet contains important definitions about harassment and an analysis of the reasons why this phenomenon has risen in the largely conservative Egyptian society.
    Among many other things, the authors blame unemployment and provoking clothes worn by some women for the increase in the number of harassment cases.

    "Clothes are important for man in general, but they are more important for women because they protect them against molestation," it says.

    The booklet urges women to wear the headscarf and be fully covered so that stalkers would not be tempted to approach them.

    In 2005, officials at the Egyptian Centre for Women’s Rights - a local organization that gives legal aid to women - were showered by complaints from women who experienced harassment on the streets.

    In one of the studies the center conducted, 83 percent of female interviewees said they undergo harassment every now and then.

    Nearly 62 percent of the male respondents said they harassed women more than once.

    Center officials say 69 percent of harassment cases happen on the streets, 42 percent on public transport, 22 percent on the beach, while only 6 percent in work places.

    A recent crackdown by the government resulted in the arrest of a big number of men who were harassing women on the street.

    Mosques Lead

    Mosque imams would start to read out the contents of the new booklet before and after prayers with the aim of warning worshippers against the dangers of harassment.

    Some of the imams said they would specify whole sermons for harassment and its consequences, especially before the Friday prayer.

    Others said they would discuss the issue on a daily basis so that men stop harassing women.

    "Mosques are the most appropriate places for fighting this phenomenon," believes Sheikh Ahmed Hashim, the imam of a small mosque in the crowded residential district of Shubra, west of Cairo.

    "Mosque imams have credibility and I’m sure they’ll help a lot to make men stop harassing women."

    Acer Yasser, a social researcher and a specialist on sexual harassment, believes mosques will be effective in fighting harassment, but not to a very big extent.

    "The problem is that people always draw a strong line of demarcation between religion and their day-to-day dealings," she told IOL.

    "I mean those males who pray may sometimes harass females and this is the problem."

    Law Needed

    Yasser, the social researcher, is yet critical of the booklet's linkage between harassment to how women are dressed.

    "The book gives meaningless excuses for harassers," she argues.

    "The fact that some women wear un-Islamic attire shouldn’t be excuse that people make her life hard."

    Acer had conducted several researches on sexual harassment on the streets of Egypt.

    She says that most of the women she met wore the hijab but were sexually harassed none the less.

    Wafaa Nabil, a 27-year-old bank accountant, is one of those who is never out on the street without being catcalled at by men.

    "It’s becoming so horrible," she laments.

    "Men bother me all the time although I cover my hair and my body."

    Egypt does not have a law to criminalize sexual harassment.

    The Egyptian Centre for Women’s Rights has presented a draft bill to the Parliament so that harassment would be criminalized.

    Although centre officials expect the law to take a long time to be approved by Parliament, they are hopeful harassment would disappear one day.

    "We need to join hands to bring this ugly practice to an end," says Rasha Hassan, the lead researcher in the center.

    "Harassment has very negative consequences. Some of the women who undergo the experience feel afraid to go out."

    Egypt's Mosques Fight Sexual Harassment - - News
  2. DhulQarNain

    DhulQarNain براهيم الامزيغي

    Women shouldn't be outside their homes in the first place, expect in necessacity and when accompanied by a Mahram.
    And women "covering" themselves these days doesn't mean jack !?%$.
    Many of them imitate the Kuffaar in their fashion-culture, with the scarf around the head, and wearing "clothes" as if it was painted on their bodies!
    It's really sickening!
  3. AbdulMatin

    AbdulMatin New Member

    ^^ ?


    Brother, you have missed the whole problem of what is going on there, and put the blame back onto the sisters. Even if lets assume some of them are dressed incorrectly, it does not justify what happens,

    And anyhow it happens to sisters who cover correctly as well.

    SubhanAllah akhi wallahi i found your message strange....
  4. Layth

    Layth Abu Shawarma

    Yeah, according to what I heard all women get harassed in Egypt whether they are covered or not.
  5. shahid.fais

    shahid.fais <A HREF="showthread.php?t=70991"></A>

    your partially right that women shouldnt be where it isnt required of them..... but still its a public harassment of women(like asking for mobile numbers,staring,folowwing them etc etc and not the serious kind which happens in west) is wide spread and rampant in arab world... blame it on high mahr which prevents men from marrying early....
  6. AbuSulaiman

    AbuSulaiman New Member

    assalaamu alaikum

    When i was in Egypt a few years ago, i just thought the social situation was just like a time bomb waiting to explode. Vast numbers of unemployed men who were unable to afford to marry, yet at the same time, any sheesha cafe that you would pass, or any grocery store, would constantly be showing music videos of Lebanese female singers, dancing just like they do on BET. So on the one hand you have the TV provokng all the desires, and on the other, no outlet for it.

    On a number of occasions i would see exactly what this article describes, women being watched, followed, phone numbers being requested. Its a sad situation and i pray that Allah makes things easy for the men and women in that part of the world.
  7. DhulQarNain

    DhulQarNain براهيم الامزيغي

    I admit, that there are men who have nothing better to do than harassing, staring and whistling at women whether they are covered or not, but many of the women harrased are NOT the women who cover themselves correctly, and obviously NOT the women who stay in their homes!
  8. Fajr

    Fajr ذكرى للعابدين

    Brother, it happens to almost all women (of all ages too) - even sisters correctly covered. So there is more to this issue than many think.

    But I admit, things in Cairo are getting worse... not just when it comes to harassment (and stalkers!) but also with regards to the womens' sense of dress - it has deteriorated a lot in the last few years (... and I'd like to know the sad individual who decided to introduce skinny jeans here).
  9. WM

    WM <A HREF="showthread.php?t=70991"></A>

    That's interesting...I'd heard more than once that things were improving....
  10. Fajr

    Fajr ذكرى للعابدين

    Depends on the areas I guess. Some are really good, while others are going downhill (e.g. college areas, high streets etc - they didn't used to be this bad).
  11. Wild Wild West

    Wild Wild West لا تعتذر اليوم

    Really, the middle east is just a ticking timebomb..

    We have fast growing populations, the majority of whom are very young.

    Ridiculous customs and traditions which mean that people cannot 'afford' to get married.

    Satellite TV channels (some of which are owned by Salafi princes) showing skimpily dressed Lebanase women.

    Lack of exercise and boredom

    Polygamy becoming increasingly rare

    It looks really bad. May Allah have mercy upon us all.
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2009

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