- Associated Press - Thursday, February 7, 2013

CAIRO — One hardline Muslim cleric on an Egyptian TV station justified sexual assaults on women protesters. Others issued religious edicts saying opposition leaders must be killed. Television screeds by ultraconservative sheiks are raising fears of assassinations here a day after a top anti-Islamist politician was gunned down in Tunisia.

Egyptian security officials on Thursday beefed up security around the homes of Egypt’s main opposition politicians, citing the possibility of a Tunisia-type killing after the edicts, or fatwas. The office of Islamist President Mohammed Morsi and his prime minister denounced the edicts and the top prosecutor began an investigation into one of the clerics.

Two well-known ultraconservative clerics sparked an uproar with their edicts several days ago saying Shariah, or Islamic law, required the killing of opposition figures. A third fanned the flames by justifying a string of mob sexual assaults on women protesters in Cairo’s Tahrir Square.

“They are going there to get raped,” cleric Ahmed Mohammed Abdullah said, depicting them as loose women. He spoke of their curly hair, saying “these are devils named women … They speak with no femininity, no morals, no fear … Learn from Muslim women, be Muslims.”

On his TV show on the private Al-Umma station Wednesday, Abdullah, also known as Abu Islam, derided opposition statements that attacking women was “a red line” that must not be crossed.

“Does that apply to these naked women?” he said. “Nine out of 10 of them are Crusaders (Christians) and the rest are … widows with no one to rein them in” to ensure they remain modest.

Sexual assaults on women protesters have spiked in Egypt’s wave of unrest since late January, with at least 19 reported on Jan. 25 alone. In many cases, mobs stripped women, penetrating them with knives and other objects, according to rights groups.

 

Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times is switching its third-party commenting system from Disqus to Spot.IM. You will need to either create an account with Spot.im or if you wish to use your Disqus account look under the Conversation for the link "Have a Disqus Account?". Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.

 

Click to Read More

Click to Hide