About that “wear a veil or be raped story”
by Sheila Musaji
Pamela Geller posted another of her articles distorting reality beyond reason. In the article #MyJihad: Egyptian Cleric Warns Christian Women: If You Don’t Wear a Veil You’ll Be Raped she links to an article titled Egyptian Cleric Warns Christian Women: If You Don’t Wear a Veil You’ll Be Raped by Sharona Schwartz on Glenn Beck’s The Blaze. Geller also tweeted a link to her article using the hashtag #MyJihad in her ongoing effort to undermine that campaign by Muslims to take back the term jihad from both Muslim extremists and Islamophobes.
Both Schwartz and Geller come up with their alarmist titles and conclusions from their misreading of a Reuter’s article which is compounded by their hatred of Muslims. They both link to this article, but obviously didn’t understand it.
What is the actual story?
The Reuters article says that Hisham el-Ashry, that they describe as an “obscure preacher”, and a very unsavory character, said in a television interview that “I was once asked: If I came to power, would I let Christian women remain unveiled? And I said: If they want to get raped on the streets, then they can.”
The Reuters article goes on to note the negative response to this man’s statements from ordinary Egyptians, and then says:
... Egypt’s top Islamic institutions, such as al-Azhar, the highest authority in Sunni Islam, and Dar al Ifta, the central authority for issuing religious rulings, have long said religious practices should not be imposed on people.
Egypt’s Grand Mufti, the country’s most senior Islamic legal official, has dismissed the self-styled preacher’s views. “This sort of idiotic thinking is one that seeks to further destabilise what is already a tense situation,” Grand Mufti Ali Gomaa said in a statement to Reuters. “Egypt’s religious scholars have long guided the people to act in ways that conform to their religious commitments, but have never thought this required any type of invasive policing.”
So an obscure member of the Muslim lunatic fringe made a misogynistic statement and was immediately condemned by Egypt’s Grand Mufti and other mainstream Islamic scholars. He is obviously an extremist, and deserves to be condemned. However, he didn’t threaten anyone with rape. He expressed his stupid opinion that somehow “inappropriately dressed” women are responsible for men’s criminal actions towards them. A despicable opinion, but not a threat or “warning”.
Before either Geller or Schwartz get so self-righteous about focusing attention on such a marginal figure spouting hateful, misogynistic nonsense, I would remind them that they are certainly aware that he is not alone in holding such hateful views. You can find such lunatic fringe figures in any community. Here are just a few examples found in a very short search:
In the Satmar Orthodox Jewish village in Williamsburg, NY there is a group called the Va’ad Hatznius (modesty patrol). According to the Jewish Forward: “... most of their energies are directed towards ensuring that women and girls dress and behave modestly. Their reasoning is clear: When a female wears revealing clothing or chats with the opposite sex, it could entice the men, and lead to dire consequences. In other words, the goal of their injunctions is to inhibit the sexual impulses of the male population.”
A Catholic priest in Italy said that women were partly to blame for encouraging domestic violence by failing to clean their houses and cook properly and for wearing tight and provocative clothing.
An immodestly dressed woman was stoned by Haredi Jews in Beit Shemash, Israel.
An 8-year-old girl was called a ‘whore’ and spat on as she walked to school through an ultra-orthodox settlement in Israel because she was “improperly dressed”.
A modesty patrol in Jerusalem was indicted for cruelly beating and threatening a woman with death after taking it upon themselves to interrogate her about her relationships with men.
A 14-year-old girl was hospitalized in Jerusalem after a “modesty guard” spilled acid on her for wearing pants. The attack occurred in Beitar Illit, a Jerusalem suburb where tensions between religious and secular residents are on the rise. Paramedic Dror Eini said the girl told them that “the modesty guards have been threatening her for quite some time.”
Unless they are going to become just as incensed over all such displays of misogyny the they are only proving once again that their motivation is not concern for protecting women, but only a pathological need to denigrate Muslims and Islam.