An Egyptian lawyer, Nabih al-Wahsh, has triggered an online storm with his recent call for men to rape women as a matter of “national duty”. The controversial attorney made the insolent remarks during a televised panel debate about a proposed law on prostitution.
According to the BBC, Mr. al-Wahsh argued that it is the patriotic duty of every Egyptian man to assault and rape any woman who wears revealing clothes such as ripped jeans, adding that such revealing clothes are an outright invitation for harassment.
“Are you happy when you see a girl walking down the street with half of her behind showing? I say that when a girl walks about like that, it is a patriotic duty to sexually harass her and a national duty to rape her,” al-Wahsh was quoted by the BBC.
He reiterated that in Egypt, protecting morals is more important than protecting borders.
Anger and Shock
The lawyer’s inciting remarks, which were aired on October 19 by an Egyptian television channel Al-Assema, have attracted nationwide condemnation, with the National Council for Women’s Rights terming them as a “flagrant call” for violence against women.
The council adds that the unfortunate statement by the seasoned attorney is a violation of everything stipulated in the Egyptian Constitution. It is now calling on the country’s Supreme Court for Media Regulation to take action against the lawyer and the media station that aired the remarks.
Many Egyptians have taken to the social media to castigate the lawyer and express their shock at the public outburst.
Allow me to introduce you to Nabih al-Wahsh, this animal cannot be classified as human being. #NoToRape #YesAllWomenhttps://t.co/sv2BqQFArl
— Julio Afonso (@Julio_Afonso522) November 1, 2017
How shocking! His real name is Nabih al-Wahsh. The Arabic word al-wahsh literally means “wild”, “predatory animal”, “beast”, “monster”.
— Michael Mumisa (@MichaelMumisa) November 1, 2017
Al-Wahsh’s remarks come a few weeks after Egypt’s capital Cairo was rated as the most insecure city for women in the world. Since the 2011 uprising, when rape was used as a tool to silence dissenting women, cases of rape have been on the rise in the North African nation.
It has become almost normal for women walking in the streets of Cairo to be assaulted and raped in broad daylight. Unfortunately, the government doesn’t seem to be bothered by this trend.
by Fredrick Ngugi