It is no surprise that we did not, nor are we ever likely to, read about the
incident described below, in our Western media. The Egyptian media never
published anything on it. Bloggers in Egypt who witnessed it wrote it up
and circulated it, and forced one Egyptian TV news station to say something
about it. The Egyptian police ignored or down-played it (sort of a Moslem
version of “now, now; boys will be boys y’ know…and it IS Ramadan, after
Government information agencies denied that the event even happened. This
is not surprising. Sophisticated Moslem leaders know that such events bring
Shame (el-haram), not Honor (ash-Sharaf) to Islam…..and lying to protect the
honor of Islam is a divinely ordained commandment, even if the lie means
ignoring hundreds of brutally criminalized victims and excusing hundreds of
brutal criminal victimizers who ran amok attacking innocent victims in an
amazing display of unrestrained frenzied irrational destructive lawlessness.
I have included below the full text of a few Egyptian blogs that give
first-hand accounts of the events in (less than perfect) English. Below
those are some URLs to other blogs outside of Egypt and in other languages.
I encourage all readers to take a moment to read these blogs.
I am not qualified to comment on the significance of the events described
below. My credentials are in History and Archaeology, not in Psychiatry.
But several brilliant and well-credentialed commentators have discussed the
issue of the connection between some Moslem societies’ historical tolerance
for sexual abuse and Moslem totalitarian terrorist lawlessness. I offer a
brief summary of their views, and I refer interested readers to:
Breiner, Sander J., Some Interesting Child Rearing Practices in the Arab
Chesler, Phyllis, “The Brownshirts of our Time”, Front Page Magazine,
Idem, “The Psychoanalytic Roots of Islamic Terrorism”, Front Page Magazine,
DeMause, Lloyd, The Emotional Life of Nations (June, 2002)
Kobrin, Nancy H., “Political Domestic Violence in Ibrahim’s Family: A
Psychoanalytic Theory of Islamic Suicide Terrorism”, in Jihad and Sacred
Martinn-Barbero, Isaac, “The West’s Moral Weakness”, Front Page Magazine,
Piven, Jerry S., Ph.D et al (Eds.), Jihad and Sacred Vengeance:
Psychological Undercurrents of History, vol. III, NY 2002
Chesler, Kobrin and deMause advance the idea that Islamofascsit violence
comes from the degradation of women in Muslim society, and from the very
wide-spread but steadfastly denied prevelance of sexual child abuse in much
of the Moslem world. (Martín-Barbero summarizing Kobrin, and deMause chapter
3, and Chesler articles).
According to anthropological research dating back to the 1950s, much of
Moslem society, and especially Arab society, suffers from on-going but
ignored epidemics of anal rape of young boys, often by older half-brothers
and uncles, sometimes gang rape of even very young boys, and anal rape of
young girls (vaginal penetration would result in loss of virginity and
resultant reduction of bride-price), often by older brothers, half-brothers,
uncles, and even fathers.
As summarized by Breiner, the “Arab personality” that results from this
wide-spread sexual child abuse and abuse of women (which impacts adversely
not only on the women, but also upon the children of the family: imagine the
effect upon a small child of seeing his or her beloved and nurturing mother
regularly and brutally abused by a totalitarian father) can be described as
“There is a general quality of an “Arab personality” and a special
“Arab-world”. Some of the characteristics are:
1. words substitute for behavior, leading to confusion of words being equal
2. all Arabs are brothers, yet
3. there is ubiquitous hostility between (kindred) groups,
4. the non-Arab world is the enemy,
5. tribal and patriarchal attitudes are pervasive,
6. difficulty in admitting mistakes,
8. emotionally expressive and labile,
9. father is dictatorial and mother (women in general) is submissive,
females are denigrated,
10. marked corporal punishment,
11. language and behavior has a time, verb tense distortion,
12. magical thinking,
13. either/or, right/wrong, black/white attitudes,
14. exaggeration is expected,
15. a special code of honor and courage different from the West, with
vendettas and murder considered reasonable and required for non-threatening
behavior to them,
16. extensive sexual stimulation and prohibition,
17. genitals of children stimulated and attacked, with more extensive abuse
to female genitals (mutilation), and
18. extensive physical and psychological problems in giving birth and caring
for the young child. There are age inappropriate stimulations and
deprivations, general encouragement of hostility, and pervasive denigration
and abuse of females of all ages, with resultant pathology that can be seen
in medical and psychological clinics, social settings, political structures,
and individual evaluations.” (Breiner, summary)
When considering the above, note how #s 5, 9, 10, 15, 16, 17, and 18 find
exemplification in the reports of homosexual abuse of hundreds of young male
children in Pakistan by their Madrasa Imams, homosexual rape of slaves in
Sudan (especially child slaves), legally sanctioned and religiously excused
gang-rape in Pakistan of innocent female members of an offending clan by
males of a clan whose honor has been offended by the female victim’s clan,
and the epidemic of Moslem gang rapes against white European women. (I have
previously sent emails on these issues with documentation, If you were
careless enough to not save them, let me know and I’ll resend them to you).
One need not be a psychiatrist to imagine the psychological harm done to a
young boy who must somehow successfully repress his natural rage and fright
and shame and feelings of helplessness and other emotional upheaval
resulting from the on-going and unaddressed homosexual abuse that he suffers
from otherwise trusted male family members, or from witnessing his male
adults abusing his mother or siblings….for years, during his childhood.
Then add to this psychologically toxic mix the impact of castration anxiety
produced by Arab male circumcision customs upon 13-year old boys (documented
in the material quoted above, and elsewhere).
Then add the brutality of female genital mutilation, far more widespread in
the Arab world than acknowledged to or in the West.
These volcanic feelings of fear and rage and shame and pain, repressed for a
life-time, could be the root cause, or one of the major root causes, of the
phenomenon of mass rage and social explosive volatility which we call “the
They may also be at cause, perhaps at root cause, for the modern phenomenon
of Islamofascist terrorism.
We know from our own culture that child abuse is closely connected to
criminal behavior and to abuse transferred to the next generation. It is not
a far stretch from this documented correlation to the suggestion that
repressed rage in Arab males, stemming from abusive experiences in
childhood, is at cause for the Arab near-monopoly on terrorism. The
repressed rage may contribute to a proclivity toward violence, and to acting
out the repressed hatred on other ‘legitimate’ targets; especially when such
targets are legitimized, and violence against them sanctioned, by incendiary
sermons from Islamofascist Imams in Wahhabi-controlled mosques throughout
the Moslem world…..and especially when these targets are perceived to be
weak and unlikely to retaliate (women, Jews, recently-defeated Israelis, the
American “paper tiger”).
Such rage may account for Daniel Pipes’ documentation of “Sudden Jihad
It is not by accident that almost all of the world’s terrorists, for the
past 30 years, are Moslems, and most of these are Arabs. Similarly it is
not by chance that other than Moslem Arabs, no other ethno-linguistic or
national or religious group in the world has a “Street”. We speak only of
the “Arab Street”.
The behavior of the young men in downtown Cairo, documented by the bloggers
below, may also result from such repression. And, note well, the police in
Cairo admitted to one of the bloggers that this was not the first time that
such mass assaults took place, and were studiously ignored by the press, the
government and the police.
PS. It is instructive to note that both veiled and unveiled women were
attacked in the Cairo incident. This sort of undermines the typical Moslem
excuse for the epidemic of gang rape by Moslems against white women in
Europe – the unveiled woman is ‘asking for it’.
Sunday, October 29, 2006
Mass sexual assault in downtown Cairo
On the first two days of Eid in Cairo, a mob of hundreds of men swept
through downtown attacking and sexually assaulting random girls in an
animalistic display that must boggle every mind. Apparently, the utter lack
of basic decency, respect for women, or the rule of law was not confined to
Ramadan alone – in fact, Ramadan was the only thing suppressing the baser
instincts of these men. I feel sick at heart, and may never spend time
downtown again, as it seems we women are actively in danger there. Will
Cairo one day be like Mogadishu, where every woman is raped before she turns
Who to blame? I’ll go with law enforcement. I was assigned an article once
that said that a rape takes place every three minutes in North America
alone; God knows what the number is worldwide. Many rapes are not reported.
It is safe to say that is it futile to rail against dangerous male
misconceptions of sex, and women, and consent. The only thing that can
prevent sexual assault is fear of consequences, a fear that is entirely
absent in Egypt. Socially, people don’t give a shit – it’s the woman’s
fault, somehow, and apparently hormones serve as a complete defense to any
crime. Egypt’s criminal code provides for numerous avenues of protection
against assault, sexual harassment, and even unpleasant language. However,
these felonies are rarely prosecuted and even more rarely reported.
A woman must have witnesses or physical evidence to even file a charge. Same
old, I guess. It’ll be a few decades before they realize that credibility is
usually the only evidence any decision maker has in any case, and that rape
should be no different. Of course, in this case, witnesses and physical
evidence were plentiful, but nothing will happen. I’m also of the opinion,
of course, that if pre-marital sex were feasible, forget socially permitted,
there would be less pent-up frustration.
But then, who creates the laws that curtail privacy rights? Who are the
people that condemn women who have extra-marital sex? Men. Men who then turn
around and place the blame for their choices on women. People who have
religious reasons for abstention from pre-marital sex will abstain
regardless, but the law has no place in the bedrooms of the nation (Pierre
Trudeau), and a hymen is not the same as a character reference.
The Egyptian Center for Women’s Rights has been organizing a campaign for
some time against the persistent verbal and physical violence against women
in Cairo. It is possible to contain it and deter it; it has virtually
vanished from several Gulf countries as a result of increased police
vigilance, fines, and the publicizing of the pictures of perpetrators.
Something like that should be done here. Just because the men of Egypt are
sexually frustrated, poor, and oppressed does not mean they can oppress
others. Let’s do something – go volunteer, anything. I will. We women are
Egyptians too and the streets are just as much ours as theirs.
Below is an eyewitness account I translated, in a somewhat rudimentary
fashion, by Malek, a blogger who was there at the time. Find pictures at
Downtown’s Sexual Frenzy
Today I saw the same scene on the Nile Corniche (Abdel Minem Riad) that I
saw yesterday. I could not take any photographs but Radwa assured me that
she saw incidents of assault taking place in front of her before she found a
taxi and sped home.
There was no police interference despite the presence of Central Security
forces near the Arab League and near the American embassy, not more than 5
minutes away on foot from the site of the events.
While yesterday the attacks were just random, young men now formed human
trains that approached a girl quickly and surrounded her completely and
began groping parts of her body. You can find pictures of what occurred at
the end of the post.
We were sitting in a coffee shop downtown, I and Wael Abbas and Nasser Noury
(a photographer for Reuters) and Mohammed El Sharkawy and others. A
colleague joined us and told us that in front of Cinema Metro on Talaat Harb
Street sexual assaults were taking place and that the cinema’s ticket window
had been vandalized.
We made our way over there shortly, and in our minds we thought that what
our colleague had told us was merely empty talk, with no basis in truth,
especially as the streets surrounding Cinema Metro were very quiet as we
walked toward there. We stopped at the cinema after we saw that the
shattered ticket window, supposing that what the colleague had told us was
just illusion or exaggeration at the most, but then after less than five
minutes we found vast numbers of youth whistling and running towards Adly
Street. We accompanied them to see what was going on.
We were surprised to find a girl in her early twenties who had fainted on
the ground, surrounded by a large number of youth who were groping parts of
her body and taking off her clothes.
I could not understand, or rather could not absorb, what was happening…the
girl got up quickly and tried to run in any direction until she saw a Syrian
restaurant called “el Madyafa” or something, and ran into it. The young men
surrounded the restaurant and did not leave till one of them shouted,
“There’s another girl in front of Miami!”
Everyone ran towards Talaat Harb Street again. I found there a girl
encircled by hundreds of men who were trying to grope her and rip off her
clothes. This time the girl was rescued by a taxi driver who picked her up
in his taxi, but the men did not let the taxi pass and they formed a circle
around it demanding that she get out of the car until a policeman
interfered, raising his baton and beating anyone he saw in front of him.
The crowd did not disperse until the appearance of two girls wearing the
Khaliji ebaya (loose outer garment worn by women from the Gulf) walking
alone down the street. The young men surrounded them completely and a large
number of them pressed against the girls and removed the veils they were
wearing, and attempted to remove their ebayas, while 10 and 11 year old boys
slipped inside the ebayas from beneath.
Once again shop owners interfered and sprayed the men with water, and took
the girls inside their shops. After less than a second the actress Ola
Ghanem, who is starring in one of the movies opening on Eid (Abadet
Mawasem), appeared and the young men tried to get to her too, but she was
surrounded by personal body guards who tried to protect her but were unable
to block all the hungry hands that reached for Ola’s breasts.
After a short while another girl appeared who was also wearing the veil and
the ebaya. She was also surrounded and they succeeded this time is removing
the ebaya, but a security guard was able to draw her into a building and
shut the gate and prevent the young men from reaching the girl.
There was another girl who wore trousers that were a little tight and an
ordinary shirt. This time her shirt was removed and her bra ripped and no
one helped her except one of the security personnel who had a club and who
pulled her into a shop.
These were the incidents I was able to personally witness in less than an
hour I spent in that area. I left after a conflict arose between us and the
security who refused to let us take photographs, and between youth who
wanted to steal Wael’s camera, and Wael Abbas and Peter Alfred and Nasser
The photographs that were taken were out of focus and did not depict the
acts of abuse sufficiently, but it was in every case abuse. A very tight
circle would be formed and the prey would be in the centre and no one could
see what was happening very well.
We heard that one girl had her clothes ripped completely off and that she
ran naked until she entered one of the shops and another who got cornered
against a wall and surrounded and viciously violated.
There was no police presence and when I asked a lieutenant who was with the
Central Security forces he told me that there was Eid all over Egypt and
that they could not dispatch any forces to downtown!!!
I was deeply astonished and told him that Eid celebrations were focused on
downtown and downtown’s theaters, so how could there not be any forces??? He
did not answer and left.
While Wael was photographing the events one security officer pointed his
revolver at Wael, threatening to kill him if he continued to take pictures.
Wael reacted strongly and we were going to clash with the man, if he hadn’t
fled into a building.
I could not blame the young men. In my opinion, sexual repression and
depression and cowardice (I do not excuse the perpetrators for what they
did, I just cannot understand the motives of over a thousand people who
moved as one body towards a single target, I can’t understand) led them to
not even distinguish between a veiled girl and an unveiled girl, or even a
munaqaba girl (face veiled). Repression and a severe sexual frenzy made them
unable to make any distinctions. One of the chants that they repeated when
they headed towards a prey was “Yay, we get to f**k! Yay, we get to f**k!”
and another after they were done with a girl and headed towards another,
“Another one…another one!”
And the chants when they saw women in ebayat, “Beep beep beep…Saudi…beep
beep beep Saudi”.
I don’t know who to blame for what I saw. The hysterical girls in the street
in front of me? Do I blame the sexually frenzied young men, half of whom, or
a little less, will find out when they have sex that they are impotent or
ejaculate prematurely or unable to sustain an erection? Should I blame the
utter lack of police presence downtown, and allowing this to be so for more
than four hours?
Then young men did not distinguish when they undertook their assaults
between veiled and unveiled girls.
They did not distinguish on the basis of age.
They were not all of one age, some were ten and under up to men in their
There was an astounding state of chaos that persists until right now (we
went there at 8, and now it is 12:30). There was no recognition of any
authority or law or ethical values or even religion. There was chaos…but
chaos wrongly directed and for the wrong aims.
We tried to direct girls away from the area by standing at the intersection
of Abdelkhalek Tharwat Street and Taalat Harb to warn girls not to take
Talaat Harb and explaining to them what was going on, and they responded. We
managed to do this with more than one girl. Some girls stood next to us
because some of us had video cameras, to secure safety, and the youth were
unable to attack them because they realized some of us were journalists and
they were afraid to have their pictures published. Several men I
photographed tried to threaten peter and Nasser with confiscating their
cameras in protest at our photographing them. Most of the pictures we took
did not clearly show details because every girl was in a tiny circle and we
could not get to her.
We tried more than once to break up what was going on but our number did not
people, so we couldn’t do anything and every time a shop owner or taxi
driver of buildin security guard would appear and help the girl enter into
What happened was a farce on every level. Until now I cannot understand the
motives that can move more than a thousand young men in one movement towards
sexually harassing and sexually assaulting girls passing through the
streets, girls of every kind, veiled, facially veiled, unveiled, Muslim, or
Sexual repression, cowardice, weakness, an attempt to oppress those who are
weaker than you…I do not know the truth of what is written or analyzed
regarding what happened.
Wed, 1 Nov 2006 23:03:17 -0600
The Arab Street is Angry – Mass Sexual Assaults in Egypt and Mass Hatred of
Jews in the Arab World
by Hamas (hamas) @ Wed, 1 Nov 2006 23:03:17 -0600
For the first two days of Eid, crowds swarmed through the streets of Cairo
attacking and sexually assaulting hundreds of girls.Sandmonkeysums up the
story.”It was the first day of Eid, and a new film was opening downtown.
Mobs of males gathered trying to get in, but when the show was sold out,
they decided they will destroy the box office. After accomplishing that,
they went on what can only be described as a sexual frenzy: They ran around
grabbing any and every girl in sight, whether a niqabi, a Hijabi or
uncovered. Whether egyptian or foreigner. Even pregnant ones.
They grabbed them, molested them, tried to rip their cloths off and rape
them, all in front of the police.The ones who approached the police asking
them to do something were told : “what do you want us to do? It’s Eid. Happy
Eid to you too!”Thefollowingis an eyewitness account of the second day of
the assaults.”There was no police interference despite the presence of
Central Security forces near the Arab League and near the American embassy,
not more than 5 minutes away on foot from the site of the events.While
yesterday the attacks were just random, young men now formed human trains
that approached a girl quickly and surrounded her completely and began
groping parts of her body.
We stopped at the cinema after we saw that the shattered ticket window,
supposing that what the colleague had told us was just illusion or
exaggeration at the most, but then after less than five minutes we found
vast numbers of youth whistling and running towards Adly Street. We
accompanied them to see what was going on.We were surprised to find a girl
in her early twenties who had fainted on the ground, surrounded by a large
number of youth who were groping parts of her body and taking off her
clothes…the girl got up quickly and tried to run in any direction until
she saw a Syrian restaurant called “el Madyafa” or something, and ran into
The young men surrounded the restaurant and did not leave till one of them
shouted, “There’s another girl in front of Miami!”The crowd did not disperse
until the appearance of two girls wearing the Khaliji ebaya (loose outer
garment worn by women from the Gulf) walking alone down the street. The
young men surrounded them completely and a large number of them pressed
against the girls and removed the veils they were wearing, and attempted to
remove their ebayas, while 10 and 11 year old boys slipped inside the ebayas
from beneath.After a short while another girl appeared who was also wearing
the veil and the ebaya. She was also surrounded and they succeeded this time
is removing the ebaya, but a security guard was able to draw her into a
building and shut the gate and prevent the young men from reaching the
girl.Then young men did not distinguish when they undertook their assaults
between veiled and unveiled girls.
They did not distinguish on the basis of age. They were not all of one age,
some were ten and under up to men in their forties.”Now incidents like this
have happened around the world. They’ve happened during the Puerto Rican Day
parade and at one of the Woodstocks. They’re not unique to any part of the
world. What is relevant is that they represent a chance to address Sheikh
Hilaly’s comments once more. The women attacked were not remotely uncovered
meat, they were veiled, they wore loose robes done to Saudi standards. The
women were not attacked based on immodest clothing. They were attacked
because of who they were. Women.
Hilaly’s view is not unique, it’s commonplace among Muslim leaders but not
unique to Muslims. In Hilaly’s universe and the universe of religious
leaders like him, women are always the ones who provoke sexual assaults.
Tight clothing is blamed, loose mores, etc are blamed.
Incidents like this reveal the fundamental reality that it has nothing to do
with the women as individuals at all, with anything they do or don’t do,
just with the fact that they are women who happen to be in the wrong place
at the wrong time.
Let’s take a step back to Hilaly’s mentor and the founder of modern Islamic
radicalism, the godfather of Al Queda, Hamas and nearly every radical Sunni
Islamic organization that dates back to the Muslim Brotherhood; Sayyid
Qutb.Sayyid, like many radical Muslims, was well educated and had spent time
in the West.
He received his Master’s Degree in Education at the Colorado State College.
He returned full of deranged ramblings about the Jews controlling the world,
Americans being obsessed with mowing lawns and sex. His attitude neatly
captures the frustrated psychotic behavior of the mobs in Cairo as well as
its flip side, the radical Islamists because in the end they are one and the
Sayyid Qutub attended a Church sock hop at Colorado’s Greely Church and as
the pastor put on, “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” in the gramophone, Sayyid Qutb
began to literally seethe inside. He wrote of the incident later. “They
danced to the tunes of the gramophone, and the dance floor was replete with
tapping feet, enticing legs, arms wrapped around waists, lips pressed to
lips, and chests pressed to chests. The atmosphere was full of desire.
Of American women, Sayid Qutb wrote; “The American girl is well-acquainted
with her body’s seductive capacity. She knows it lies in the face and in
expressive eyes and thirsty lips. She knows seductiveness lies in the round
breasts, the full buttocks and in the shapely thighs, sleek legs, and she
shows all this and does not hide it.”
At least one reason for radical Muslims to hate Jews is for the invention of
psychiatry. One that makes it quite clear that Sayyid Qutb was not writing
about American women but himself, not about the sock hop but his physical
reaction to it. A reaction that he projected onto the objects of his desire.
In this same way Qutb and his radical students who include Al Queda’s Number
2, Ayman Al Zawahiri, project their own desires on America and Israel.
When they talk about Jews wanting to run the world or America wanting to
enslave Muslims, what they really mean is they want to run the world and
they want to enslave all Muslims under a single caliphate. That kind of
projection is at the heart of Islamic rationalization which says the man
isn’t responsible for rape because the fact that he desires the women,
proves she seduced him and the fact that he hates the West proves that the
West is out to get him.
In an inverted moral universe the victims are the perpetrators not because
of anything they did but because they have been victimized. The very fact
that they were victimized, is used as proof of their culpability. This was
the attitude taken through the 19th and 20th centuries towards the massacres
and persecution of Jews well into the Holocaust. Indeed many Anti-semitic
tracts used that and continue to use it as their argument, stating that the
very persecution of the Jews proved that Jews had done something to enrage
so many people.
Whenever liberals highlight the Arab Street argument telling us how much of
the Muslim world is upset at America, they’re playing into the same idea as
Hilaly, using Muslim anger as proof that we are guilty. If they’re angry at
us, it must mean we’re at fault for angering them. Well there are photos of
the Arab Street above and below this post. There’s frenzy and violence there
but it’s not remotely justified, though indeed it will be justified. The
Muslim religious leadership in Egypt will blame illegal substances, a
culture of irreligiosity, Lebanese TV, Western TV and so on and so forth.
They may even by some convoluted route get to the Jews.That too will make
sense because over a half century ago, Zionists and Arab Nationalists in
Egyptian were often allies against the British. The British successfully
played ‘Divide and Conquer’ inciting Arab riots and working to turn the
Mandate into a client state run by their pet kings’ warlords.
Every Arab movement since then from Arab Nationalism to Islamism seems to
have raced down the street madly yelling, threatening and screaming only to
find Israel standing there and promptly begin unleashing a torrent of abuse
and violence. The Arab-Israel conflict has nothing to do with the tiny strip
of land that Israel’s few million Jews are sitting on, a strip of land you
could drop into Saudi Arabia or Iran and spend weeks trying to find again.
It has nothing to do with the supposed oppression of the Palestinians,
considering that what’s labeled ‘oppression’ would be a day at the beach in
most of the Arab world.
(Checkpoints, checkpoints! They’re actually delaying them at checkpoints!)
Underneath it has to do with that same frustrated mix of rage, desire, envy
and misery that coats the entire region. The frenzy of men madly assaulting
women is not fundamentally different from the frenzy of the lynchers of
Israeli soldiers or the rock throwers or the suicide bombers or the car
swarmers or the mob tearing at the Ayatollah Khameni’s coffin. It is not a
condition Israel creates in its territory, but a condition endemic to the
region and one that helps explain why Iraq is tearing itself apart in an
uncontrollable frenzy of murder and mayhem the moment Saddam’s iron hand was
lifted from the populace.
Those who sexualize all contact between men and women come to see all such
contact as sexualized. Sayyid Qutb’s frustrated desire became perversity and
hatred. The flip side of his seething at the sock hop, is the mob of sexual
predators. Sooner or later frustration explodes, it’s only a question of the
target for that explosion. Women, Jews, America, England.
The Arab world has spent generations projecting its own madness on the West
and is filled with ravening hatred for that mirror image of everything the
Arab hates about himself. The West takes on a visage of secularism, sex,
greed, drunkenness and every vice the Arab sees in himself but projects onto
the Great Satan…a name well chosen because for weak corrupt men the ‘Devil
Made Do It’ becomes the excuse for his crimes, the Satan to dualistic
religions becomes the externalized projection of every evil in themselves.
The Arab Street is indeed angry and frustrated and bewildered and many other
things. Fanatics find ways to tie it to various causes whether it’s Islam or
Arab Nationalism or Sunni-Shiite factionalism, Wahhabi fanaticism or just
plain old fashioned Kill The Jews; but on that street was the plain
manifestation of it removed from any political rhetoric or causes or any
justification. Plainly to be seen.
Monday, 30 Oct 2006
The Eid sexual harassment incident
I didn’t want to write about this.
Hell, I didn’t even want to know about it.
I remember the first time I heard of it while I was in Amman. Eblis sent me
an e-mail titled “Behold the revolution in Egypt” with a link to malek’s
post on it and I stupidly clicked on it and was presented with a reality
that I didn’t want or desire to confront.
The story is as follows for the those of you who didn’t hear about it: It
was the first day of Eid, and a new film was opening downtown. Mobs of males
gatherd trying to get in, but when the show was sold out, they decided they
will destroy the box office. After accomplishing that, they went on what can
only be described as a sexual frenxy: They ran around grabbing any and every
girl in sight, whether a niqabi, a Hijabi or uncoverd. Whether egyptian or
foreigner. Even pregnant ones. They grabbed them, molested them, tried to
rip their cloths off and rape them, all in front of the police, who didn’t
do shit. The good people of downtown tried their best to protect the girls.
Shop owners would let the girls in and lock the doors, while the mobs tried
to break in. Taxi drivers put the girls in the cars while the mobs were
trying to break the glass and grab the girls out. It was a disgusting
pandamonium of sexual assaults that lasted for 5 houres from 7:30 PM to
12:30 am, and it truns my stomach just to think about it.
I called my father when I heard of that happening, and he informed me that
he didn’t hear of it at all. They watched Al Jazeerah, CNN, flipped through
opposition newspapers, and nothing. Nada. Nobody mentioned it. As if it
But it did.
The bloggers available downtown documented the whole thing, and provided
pictures of it as well. Reading their accounts I can’t help by feel my heart
being torn on what the people of the country has turned to. The one that
broke my heart the most was Sharqawi’s account (remember, he is the guy who
got sexually assaulted by the police during interrogation ) and how it
suddenly dawned at him that what happened to him wasn’t an isolated
That The Police forces didn’t came from another planet, that they were born
and raised egyptians, amongst the egyptian people, the same egyptian people
who have produced those mobs who found it in their right to attack girls in
middle of crowded downtown for 5 hours under the police’s watchful eyes. The
ones who approached the police asking them to do something were told : “what
do you want us to do? It’s Eid. Happy Eid to you too!” The same response was
given to women who went to the police stations to report the incidents. The
police refused to do their jobs and take a report, because it would probably
reflect badly on their downtown peers. Some people were surprised at the
Police’s reaction, but the majoirty of us weren’t. Those are the same police
officers who facilitated the assaults on women last year during the
referendum. This is business as usual for them.
What was unusual was the silence of the press. Nobody was mentioning it.
Nobody was bringing it up. It seemed like there was some consensus of just
not reporting it and maybe it will just go away. What at first seemed like a
conspiracy got later on confirmed by my sources in the news media. Al
Jazeera had taped the incidents but were forbidden to air it at the request
of the egyptian authorities. The editor at a leading newspaper refused to
touch it with a 6 foot pole. This was going to be one of those incidents
that only the blogosphere would talk about, while the mainstream media
Until Nawarah Negm blew the whole thing wide open on live television on the
She was brought in as a writer to be part of a fluffy segment on Mona Al
Shazly show talking about the Ramadan TV shows, and the girl’s first
response to the question was: “What Television shows do you want to discuss,
when egyptian girls are assaulted on the streets of Cairo while the police
watched and did nothing?” When Mona countered that she never heard of it
before, Nawarah told her all about it, in details and how it’s all over the
All of Egypt saw that. The cat was out of the bag. A cover-up was no longer
When I spoke to the brilliant Nawarah yesterday, she told me that she was
debating talking about it or not on television, that was until she was faced
with the camera and found herself on the air, and just couldn’t hold herself
back. She went for it, and god bless her for having the guts to do that.
The next day, Mona Al Shazly went and did a segment on the incident and
interviewed the people on the street. The video of the segment is here
(arabic, sorry). She even contacted the Ministery of Interior for a
statement. You know what their response was?
“We didn’t hear of anything. This didn’t happen. Things were just crowded in
downtown that day, but no girls were assaulted, because no police reports
were filed in that regard!”
Anyway, the TV show brought it up, and now Egypt’s leading newspaper, Al
Masry Al youm, featured two columns on the incident. More is bound to come
and this national shame will be exposed and confronted.
Now, the egyptian blogosphere has been abuzz in debate over the incident.
Some are writing posts on why it happened, possible causes, what it means,
the social and political factors that could possibly lead to this behavior,
and quite honestly, I can’t be bothered. I don’t care why it happened. Rape
is not up for debate. I just care that it happened. What we should discuss
right now isn’t what caused it, but what kind of horrible punishment that
should be enacted on any egyptian male who thinks that it is well into his
right to sexually harass a female on the street.
That’s it. Pure and simple.