Egypt Today rounds up this week’s news and milestones
Ahmed Mansour and Kaylan Geiger
Week in Quotes
Friday Protest Aim to Ignite ‘Islamic Revolution’
The Salafi Front’s call for a mass protests on November 28 has picked up steam and ignited fear amongst some, as groups have given their support and also denounced the planned “Islamic revolution.”
The Salafi Front has asked for all participants to carry a Quran with them during the protest, and has ordered for all women to stay home and not participate for fear that they would be attacked.
The call for protests was formed under the banner of “imposing Egypt’s Islamic identity,” and the Salafi Front has received vague support from the Muslim Brotherhood, which said in a statement that the protests signify “a new wave of the glorious Egyptian revolution.”
Other groups, however, have condemned calls for protest, including the Salafist political party, the Nour Party. Al-Azhar has asked for followers to not carry a Quran with them on Friday and to avoid tainting Islam with politics.
The Ministry of Interior has said that it will not allow for protests to be led by any extremist groups. The ministry also encouraged people to either stay home or carry on with their usual day, while rumors of a curfew on Friday have yet to be confirmed. The government did, however, say that Al-Azhar Tunnel would be closed Friday in order to prevent acts of vandalism ahead of the planned protest.
In related news, on November 26 the Egyptian cabinet approved a new law that defines “terrorist entities.” According to Ahram Online, Article 1 of the bill defines a terrorist as “any group which disrupts public order or threatens the safety, security or interests of society, or harms or frightens individuals or threatens their lives, freedoms, rights or security or harms national unity.”
“As much as I believe that nothing is going to take place, all the authorities, such as the armed forces, police forces, fire fighting forces, and ambulances, should be ready and distributed around all of Egypt. The authorities should be able to maintain the situation before something happens, and the recent attacks on Mohamed Mahmoud street proved that the police forces are not prepared and that they should work harder to keep the streets of Egypt safe from all the people that wish harm to our beloved country.” — Azhar Montaser, political activist and member of the Constitution Party, to Egypt Today.
“People should roam the streets, our rights have been stripped away from us, people are imprisoned for no reasons but for the fact that they stood up and claimed what was theirs. I’m not a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, I’m not a member of any political party, I do not even consider myself to be a political activist, but I will join in the demonstrations with anyone who has anything to complain about. Our rights have been taken away, and it’s about time we go down and claim them back.” — Mahmoud Salah, student at the Faculty of Medicine at Cairo University, to Egypt Today.
“What those terrorists are trying to do is cause disorder in this humble and peaceful Islamic community and the fact that they are planning to raise the Holy Quran in the faces of the police forces and the armed forces assures their intentions. Based on Ahadeeth of Prophet Mohamed (PBUH), if one accused another of not being a true Muslim, then he himself has lost his religion. If only those misguided youth would understand, and use this energy to build a better Egypt other than destroying it.” — Sheikh Mohamed Zanadeer, Imam of Zayed Mosque in Sheikh Zayed, to Egypt Today.
Doctor Acquitted in Historic FGM Trial
In a historical trial that was the first of its kind, a doctor was acquitted on November 20 on charges of carrying out a female genital mutilation (FGM) operation, which resulted in the death of a 13-year-old girl, Sohair al-Bata’a.
The father of the girl, who arranged for the operation, was also cleared of all charges.
Sohair died in June 2013, allegedly after the FGM operation had taken place. The doctor, Raslan Fadl, denied that he was involved in the FGM operation on her and blamed her death on an allergic reaction.
Although the practice of FGM was banned in Egypt in 2008, it is still widely practiced. It is estimated that more than 90% of Egyptian women have experienced an FGM operation.
“FGM is very popular in areas of Egypt where illiteracy is at its peak, such as upper Egypt and all the agricultural areas. For us to fix this problem we need to be looking at the fact that most Egyptians need to be educated and put up to date with the world. FGM is a trend and has been around since the 1960s.” —Enas Hassan, a women’s rights activist, to Egypt Today.
“Female genital mutilation is forbidden by Islam and people should know that. The main reason why parents send their daughters to undergo such a procedure is that they do not want their daughters to cause a scandal such as adultery. Parents, instead of sending their daughters to perform FGM, should educate them and there should be organizations with the sole purpose of educating the parents about FGM and how negatively it can affect their daughters.” — Dr. Edrees George, a gynecologist, to Egypt Today.
“What is the point of declaring it illegal when the authorities never bother punishing the parents that do this to their daughters? I am glad that they took this matter seriously, but am sure that they only took action against the father and the doctor because Sohair passed away. There should be more attention from the authorities to this serious matter, because no man has the right to take away a God-given blessing.” — Mohamed Moustafa Mohamed, a human rights lawyer, to Egypt Today.
Sentenced, 78 children to prison for belonging to the Muslim Brotherhood and for protesting. The sentences range from two to five years.
Loss, the Pharaohs 22 points in FIFA’s world ranking after the Egyptian national football team failed to make it to the 2015 African Cup of Nations.
Discovered, a sandstone head of the 18th dynasty King Amenhotep III at Armant temple in Luxor.
Returned, 239 Ancient Egyptian artifacts to Egypt by France. The collection of artifacts, which includes antiquities from Ancient Egypt and the Ptolemaic, Byzantine and Islamic eras, were allegedly smuggled to France.