The sheer number of women sexually abused and gang raped in a single
public square had become too big to ignore. Conservative Islamists in Egypt’s new political elite were outraged — at the women.
“Sometimes,” said Adel Abdel Maqsoud Afifi, a police general, lawmaker
and ultraconservative Islamist, “a girl contributes 100 percent to her
own raping when she puts herself in these conditions.”
The increase in sexual assaults over the last two years has set off a
new battle over who is to blame, and the debate has become a stark and
painful illustration of the convulsions racking Egypt as it tries to
Under President Hosni Mubarak, the omnipresent police kept sexual
assault out of the public squares and the public eye. But since Mr.
Mubarak’s exit in 2011, the withdrawal of the security forces has
allowed sexual assault to explode into the open, terrorizing Egyptian
Women, though, have also taken advantage of another aspect of the
breakdown in authority — by speaking out through the newly aggressive
news media, defying social taboos to demand attention for a problem the
old government often denied. At the same time, some Islamist elected
officials have used their new positions to vent some of the most
patriarchal impulses in Egypt’s traditional culture and a deep hostility
to women’s participation in politics.
Written By: Mayy el Sheikh and David D. Kirkpatrickcontinue to source article at nytimes.com