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The news that 60 Minutes journalist Lara Logan had been brutally sexually assaulted and beaten in Egypt among chants of “Jew” really hit home. As a teenager and young woman in Egypt, I remember having to endure the humiliation of being pinched and groped in crowded buses and streets of Cairo. Onlookers are usually indifferent, some even laugh, leaving women in Muslim society even more ashamed of their bodies. Women who do not wear Islamic clothes, such as Christians and foreigners, are even more vulnerable. In Cairo, hearing a passing car yelling the “f” word or “whore” to a woman and then speeding up in the busy traffic is not uncommon.
In times of uprisings and revolutions, it is not uncommon for the mob mentality to take over, resulting in assaults and even killing of journalists. But what happened to journalists in Egypt, including Logan, was an outrageous violation of police duty; instead of helping the foreign victims, the police added to the abuse by hours of unnecessary and abusive interrogation of the victims themselves.
Egypt and many Muslim countries have a terrible record of sexual harassment. According to a survey conducted in 2008 by an Egyptian Women’s rights group, 83% of Egyptian women have been sexually harassed. The numbers for foreign women is a staggering 98%. Most of the men in the survey admitted they have harassed women and most of them blamed it on women for dressing provocatively. What is worse is that the majority of women in the survey believe that women who dress immodestly deserve the harassment.
Muslim culture has succeeded in turning women against each other and away from defending their human rights and dignity. The system rewards women who turn on other women who do not follow Sharia. A Muslim woman is given her much-craved respect only when she reports and condemns immodest women, turns against her sisters and agrees with a misogynist culture that blames the female victims and not the predators.
It was also reported that crowds yelled “Jew” at Logan. That does not surprise me, since a call that someone is a Jew has a meaning in Muslim countries. It means they are fair game for assault or worse; it means they are subhuman and deserve whatever happens to them. Muslim scriptures are full of commandments to kill Jews wherever they are and according to Islamic law, female captives in battle are automatically divorced from their husbands and can be sexually enslaved by their captors. Mohammed himself, who is viewed as the ideal example for men, in all his battles against non-Muslims allowed sexual enslavement of women captives. Such Islamic history lessons send the wrong message to Muslim men and influence how they view and relate to women and take away any feeling of guilt or shame.
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