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Sexual harassment and the Hijab in Egypt

Reader comment on item: Glamorous Muslim Political Women
in response to reader comment: Hijab and women in the Muslim world

Submitted by dhimmi no more (United States), Aug 14, 2009 at 07:14

I just watched a recent episode on el-Mihawar TV channel that broadcasts from Egypt (I urge anyone who knows Egyptian Arabic and studies the Middle East and Egypt to watch el-Mihawar) and the tilte of the episode is: ana mesh hat hagib wa inta hattet 'adib which I would translate as: I will not wear the Hijab and you will behave (yourself)

Now a bit of background here: In 1919 Huda Sha3rawi stood in the biggest square in Cairo and she got rid on al-niqab that all women (Muslim, Copts and Jews) in Egypt had to wear at that time and there was no more hijab or niqab or khimar until the rise of islamists in the 1970's and now Cairo (that used to be the most secular city in the Middle East) and in the words of Sawiras: "Cairo now looks more like Tehran than Cairo that I knew."

Enter a new phenomenon and it is called tahreesh which I would translate as sexual harassment of women. This new phenomenon is attributed to sexual frustration by young men that cannot afford to marry. But what is most amazing is that tahreesh is directed towards both el-muhaggabat (those that wear the hijab) and those that do not

Now islamists blame el-tahreesh on the fact that many young Muslim women in Egypt refuse to wear the hijab. And the above group (and they have a web page on Facebook) make it very clear that:

1. Wearing or not wearing the hijab has nothing to do with this new phenomenon of tahreesh as it seems that men that are involved in tahreesh harass booth groups

2. They refuse to wear the Hijab and they except their choice to be respected

I think that it took a woman in 1919 to get rid of a Turkish/Hijazi Arabian symbol that is alien to Egypt (notice that what women used to cover their heads before the rise of islamists with el-tarha, and some still do, which is very Egyptian) then it will take other women to assert their rights to choose

Submitting....

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