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From birth, Muslim boys are excused and defended for misbehaving towards their sisters and women in general. The message is that uncovered women are to be loathed and disrespected. Muslim preachers often rush to blame women as having “asked for it” or being “uncovered meat”. Even in Australia, an Egyptian Muslim preacher, Sheik al-Hilali, used the “uncovered meat” excuse to defend Muslim men who raped Australian women wearing bikinis on the beach. These kind of religious teachings are the reason behind honor killing, female genital mutilation and abuse, all of which are designed to tame women and set an example to the rest of society.
The anti-Jewish propaganda in Muslim countries is sickening and must be seen in relation to female abuse in general and to the assault of Logan in particular. Even I who was born and raised Egyptian once had a scary experience. On the way to Alexandria, an uncle wanted to stop in a village to meet a friend but got lost. As he went to look for directions, my siblings and I, who were wearing jeans and T-shirts and speaking English, attracted a village crowd around us yelling “Jews.” My sisters and I rushed inside the car. In no time the village police came to check us out but thank God by then my uncle showed them his ID and we left after some questioning. I can only imagine how Jews feel walking the street in any Muslim country.
Egyptian paranoid propaganda against Westerners and Jews is not only manifested in streets but affects every aspect of relationships between the ordinary Egyptian and foreigners in general. Foreign women are often called “Israeli agents” who are coming to ‘seduce’ Egyptian men. As to foreign men, they are often accused of being – what else? – CIA agents.
Many Egyptians describe the behavior of men who sexually harass women as un-Islamic and they believe this is a good enough explanation to end the conversation. They refuse to look within and see the truth behind the Islamic upbringing of men, how women are viewed both culturally and religiously and how Islamic teachings views non-Muslims. Muslims need to view themselves and the reality of their religious education more critically. Living in denial about one’s religion and the consequences of its teachings is toxic.
Nonie Darwish is the author “Cruel and usual Punishment” and the President of FormerMuslimsUnited.org.
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