Egyptian Women’s Day was marked with an assault on a female demonstrator by a Muslim Brotherhood member, reports the Egyptian Center for Women’s Rights. It reported that the attacker slapped the woman so violently that she was knocked to the ground. According to the report, the attacker belonged to “one of [the] irregulars’ militia” of the Brotherhood and that nearby reporters were also assaulted.
The organization said that it is a “continuation of the systematic violence against women in general and the male and female activists and media professionals in particular.”
The news comes as the White House publicly condemned the “sexual violence including gang rape” directed towards anti-Islamist demonstrators and called on the Egyptian government to do more to protect them.
“The idea that some Egyptians are blaming the victims for being raped and assaulted is abhorrent,” said White House deputy press secretary Josh Earnest.
The statement was made in response to a New York Times article that stated, “The sheer number of women sexually abused and gang raped in a single public square had become too big to ignore.” The newspaper reported that human rights groups confirmed 18 sexual attacks in one day, with six of the victims requiring hospitalization.
A high-ranking law enforcement official named Abdel Abdel Maqsoud Afifi blamed the attire of the women, saying “Sometimes, a girl contributes 100 percent to her own raping when she puts herself in these conditions.”
The Brotherhood may or may not be directly involved in the sexual violence, but the irregular militias the Brotherhood is forming with other Islamists will undoubtedly contribute to it, as this incident shows. We previously reported on how a Christian activist was tortured in a seized mosque by Islamist irregulars.
[ad]Even if the Brotherhood leadership tries to deny any connection to the rapes, this does not make them a “moderate” voice on the issue of women’s rights. Consider the preaching of Brotherhood spiritual leader Sheikh Yousef al-Qaradawi, whose weekly show on Al-Jazeera is watched by an estimated 60 million people:
“To be absolved from guilt, the raped woman must have shown some sort of good conduct…Islam addresses women to maintain their modesty, as not to open the door for evil,” he said.
[signup]Qaradawi's justification of violence against women in the name of Islam provides the ideological basis for the rampant sexual attacks taking place on the streets in Egypt, particularly those carried out by the members of the Muslim Brotherhood who revere Qaradawi as their spiritual leader.
Ryan Mauro is ClarionProject.org's National Security Analyst and a fellow with the Clarion Fund. He is the founder of WorldThreats.com and is frequently interviewed on Fox News.
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