babble-intro-img
babble is rabble.ca's discussion board but it's much more than that: it's an online community for folks who just won't shut up. It's a place to tell each other — and the world — what's up with our work and campaigns.

Muslim Brotherhood -- what will it mean for Egyptian women?

MegB
Offline
Joined: Nov 28 2001

Muslim Brotherhood elected to Egyptian gov't.  Good or bad for Egyptian women?


Comments

Mr.Tea
Offline
Joined: Jul 9 2011

Anyone NOT think it will be utterly disastrous for Egyptian women? Not to mention Egyptian gays, Egyptian Christians (the Jews were already driven out), and pretty much any Egyptian who isn't an Islamist?


Esther Pinder
Offline
Joined: Jun 24 2012

I think the name "brotherhood" says it all.


Unionist
Online
Joined: Dec 11 2005

How about a thread on what withdrawal of NATO forces will mean for Afghan women?

Oh, those Muslims, and those "brothers", bad, bad. What should "we" do?

 


autoworker
Offline
Joined: Dec 21 2008

It means that Egyptian women will now have to cope with a society that is decidedly less secular, but somewhat more democratic. The Arab Spring has morphed into a Winter of discontent, it seems.


Ghislaine
Offline
Joined: Feb 15 2008

Unionist, we can discuss issues of oppression against women without thinking "we" have to do something. other than offer our solidarity with Egyptian women. 

But, the fact remains that this is the democratic will of the country (and women did vote as well - not sure on what the stats are on women voting for the MB are?). It is up to women in that country to affect change. 

Although, judging from the results of the recent march against sexual assault where women were sexually asaulted during the march...that is going to be a struggle. 


kropotkin1951
Offline
Joined: Jun 6 2002

The Muslim Brotherhood is not in charge of Egypt.  The junta controls it and does not look like it is about to relinquish that control anytime soon. The question is what does it mean for Egyptian women to live in a country that is run by a military that is deeply integrated with the US, NATO and Israel.  The Muslim Brotherhood appears to be far more similar to the Christian Democrats in Europe than the  fanatical Taliban or the in your face Israeli settlers.  Like Hamas they seem to have an emphasis on providing social services but really what can any government do when the military and security apparatus is not controlled by the elected politicians.

I think the women of the region from Libya to Egypt to Syria have far more to fear from the men carrying guns including the ones in uniform.  The Egyptian resistance last year succeeded when the women joined in the demonstrations en mass.  Since that energy has dissipated the "boys" are back in control and calling the shots. It does not bode well for the people of Egypt unless they once again rise up and demand real change.

Quote:

 

Egypt’s justice ministry on Wednesday issued a decree authorising military-intelligence officers and military-police officers to arrest civilians, a right previously reserved for police officers alone.

Crimes to which the law will apply include "crimes and misdemeanours harmful to the government," "possession/use of explosives," "resisting orders issued by those in power or assaulting them," "destruction of public property or historic monuments," "obstructing traffic," "strikes at institutions that serve the public interest or assaulting the right to work," and "intimidation and thuggery.”

The decree, drafted earlier this month and announced in the official state newspaper on Wednesday, is reportedly based on Military Judiciary Law 25 of 1966. According to the ministry, the law will remain in effect until a new constitution is drafted.

Egypt's new national charter, and the mechanisms employed for selecting members of the Constituent Assembly tasked with drafting it, remains an issue of enormous controversy. On Monday, liberal and leftist figures walked out of the assembly – for the second time – after accusing Egypt’s Islamist parties of attempting to monopolise the constitution-drafting process.

http://english.ahram.org.eg/News/44786.aspx

Quote:

 

Many political figures including former presidential candidate Abol Fotouh called SCAF’s blatant acts “a soft military coup d’état.” Here are a few examples of the power grab measures taken by SCAF in a matter of days:

1)    On June 14, SCAF sent the army to occupy the parliamentary building in anticipation of the dissolution of parliament by the High Court. Within days it issued its own decree to dissolve the parliament and reclaimed all legislative powers to itself. Typically when the parliament is dissolved, the president would be granted temporary legislative powers, to be reviewed later by the parliament when it is reconstituted.

2)    On the same day the Justice Minister made a mockery of the repealed martial laws by effectively restoring the emergency laws and empowering the military and security agencies to arrest and detain anyone indefinitely, as well as to try in military courts any person deemed a threat to public order.

3)    Within two hours of the closing of the polls on June 17, SCAF unilaterally issued a sweeping amended constitutional declaration that effectively transferred much of the presidential powers to itself. For example, it stripped the president of his role as commander-in-chief of the armed forces and gave it to SCAF’s top general, Field Marshall Hussein Tantawi. It prevented the president from promoting or dismissing any military personnel. It also granted itself veto power over any decision by the president related to any military matter including the declaration of war or any domestic use of the armed forces.

Now instead of the military working under the country’s president, the new declaration places the democratically elected president under the thumb of the military. It must be noted that such incredible measures are not dissimilar to the infamous and disastrous 1997 Turkish military coup d’état against the late Prime Minister Necmttin Erbakan.

4)    SCAF stripped the president and the executive branch from any matters related to the state budget. It even declared its own budget secret and not subject to any accountability while providing itself total immunity.

5)    Further, SCAF imposed its will on the new president by effectively retaining for itself the appointment of the most senior cabinet positions such as defense, foreign, and interior ministries, police, finance, justice, and intelligence.

6)    SCAF also started the process of dissolving the one-hundred member constitution-writing committee, appointed delicately by the parliament last week from across all the spectrum of Egyptian political and civil society. In the new constitutional declaration, SCAF gave itself the right to reappoint the one-hundred committee members in a direct violation of the constitutional amendments passed by the people in the March 2011 referendum.

Moreover, if that committee refused to give the military its coveted special status in the new constitution, SCAF claimed a veto power over any articles written in the draft. If the committee then overrides SCAF’s veto, the declaration empowers Mubarak’s appointed judges in the High Court to decide the dispute between the two parties, in an incredible attempt to impose the military’s dictates on the country.

7)    One day after the elections, as it became apparent that SCAF’s candidate was defeated, SCAF issued another decree that revived the National Defense Council (NDC), a body that has been dormant since the late 1980s.  The function of this council is to make decisions on all strategic, defense, and national security matters. In another affront to the first-ever civilian (not to mention democratically elected) president, the NDC’s members comprise eleven generals (all from SCAF) and only five civilians, including the president. It decides all matters by a majority vote, thus tying the hands of the president regardless of where he stands on a particular issue.

8)    Not content with its sweeping power grab, SCAF’s head, Tantawi, then issued another decree appointing one of his assistants, another military general, as the chief of staff of the new elected president to act as the eyes and ears of SCAF over the new president before he even took office. In the eyes of the military the new (read puppet) president would not even be allowed to appoint his own chief of staff.

As expected this wholesale usurpation of power by the military was universally condemned not only by the new elected president, the MB, and the rest of the revolutionary groups, but also by most civil society groups and public figures. Meanwhile, counting on a business as usual with the MB, SCAF has quietly started another tactic to pressure the MB into submission. It revived a court case seeking the dissolution of the MB, declaring it an illegal group and confiscating its assets. A decision on the matter is expected soon.

http://www.counterpunch.org/2012/06/19/the-future-direction-of-egypts-re...

 

 

Quote:

 

The West is haunted by medieval ideas about the horrible Saracens. The Muslim Brotherhood inspires terror. It is conceived as a fearsome, murderous, secret sect, out to destroy Israel and the West. Of course, practically no one has taken the trouble to study the history of this movement in Egypt and elsewhere. Actually, it could not be further removed from this parody.

The Brotherhood has always been a moderate party, though they almost always had a more extreme wing. Whenever possible, they tried to accommodate the successive Egyptian dictators – Abd-al-Nasser, Sadat and Mubarak – though all of these tried to eradicate them.

The Brotherhood is first and foremost an Arab and Egyptian party, deeply embedded in Egyptian history. Though they would probably deny it, I would say – judging from their history – that they are more Arab and more Egyptian than fundamentalist. They certainly have never been fanatical.

During their 84 years, they have seen many ups and downs. But mostly, their outstanding quality has been pragmatism, coupled with adherence to the principles of their religion. It is this pragmatism that also characterizes their behavior during the last year and a half, which – so its seems – caused quite a number of voters who are not particularly religious to prefer them to the secular candidate who is tainted by his connection with the corrupt and repressive former regime.

This also determines their attitude towards Israel. Palestine is constantly on their mind – but that is true of all Egyptians. Their conscience is troubled by the feeling that at Camp David, Anwar Sadat betrayed the Palestinians. Or, worse, that the devious Jew, Menachem Begin, tricked Sadat into signing a document that did not say what Sadat thought it said. It is not the Brothers that caused the Egyptians who greeted us enthusiastically, the first Israelis to visit their country, to turn against us.

Throughout the heated election campaigns – four in a year – the Brotherhood has not demanded the abrogation of the peace agreement with Israel. Their attitude seems to be as pragmatic as ever.

http://www.counterpunch.org/2012/06/22/our-muslim-brothers/

 

 


kropotkin1951
Offline
Joined: Jun 6 2002

X


Unionist
Online
Joined: Dec 11 2005

kropotkin1951 wrote:

 

Do you know anything about Egyptian politics because this sure sounds like an intolerant rant against people who practice Islam by someone who proudly proclaims their Jewish heritage.

That's pretty much what it sounds like to me, except for one small point. People who truly proudly proclaim their Jewish heritage will perhaps recall how Jewish civil society and religious freedom historically thrived under Muslim rule throughout the centuries, while the Inquisition wreaked its havoc. Of course, Israel's purposes are now served by forgetting such history, so let's get back to the frenzy about the Muslim Brotherhood and how all will be enslaved and slaughtered, shall we? In the feminism forum, no less.

[Edited to remove reference to "paranoid hysteria".]


Fidel
Offline
Joined: Apr 29 2004

Rebecca West wrote:
Muslim Brotherhood elected to Egyptian gov't. Good or bad for Egyptian women?

Investigative news jouranlist Seymour Hersh wrote in The Redirection that the Brotherhood's resurgence in 2007 was due to support from the U.S. and Israel. The CIA and Brits supported the Brotherhood as far back as the overthrow of Pan-Arab nationalism in Nasser's Egypt.

Eric Margolis wrote:
The Sunni Muslim Brotherhood has once again risen against the Alawi-dominated regime in Damascus. In 1982, this writer was outside the Syrian city of Hama when government forces crushed a Brotherhood uprising, killing an estimated 10,000 people and razing part of the city with heavy artillery.

Enter the jihadis. Recently, small numbers of al- Qaida veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan have entered Syria and are using car bombs to try to destabilize the government. Current al-Qaida leader, Dr Ayman al- Zawahiri, has called for all-out war against the Asad regime.

Interestingly, the US, France and Britain now find themselves in bed with the very jihadist forces they profess to abhor - but, of course, whom they used in Afghanistan in the 1980's and, lately, in Libya.

How are women faring in Afghanistan, Iraq, and now Libya? Not very well.  Violent misogyny and women's rights are not generally associated with one another.

The pattern of incredibly bad luck for women is repeated in Central America over the last several decades. Rape, torture and murder are methods used to subdue females, or about one-half of the potential voting population in what are still very machismo Latin American societies where dominance over females is expected and encouraged. As elections go in US clients states in the Middle East and Central Asia, U.S.backed regimes in Central America also typically hold elections that are marred by violence for good measure. And in the Middle East and Central Asia, militant Islam has been an excellent ally in the overall war on democracy.


quizzical
Offline
Joined: Dec 8 2011

Unionist wrote:
so let's get back to paranoid hysteria about the Muslim Brotherhood and how all will be enslaved and slaughtered, shall we? In the feminism forum, no less.

i  know my 'hysteria' is tingin and maybe  twinging on paranoid 'bout all this in "the feminist forum, no less". how 'bout any other sisters out there?


Ghislaine
Offline
Joined: Feb 15 2008

Us women really do tend to get rather "hysterical" about our rights being violated. Awful, really.


quizzical
Offline
Joined: Dec 8 2011

yep no doubt about it. we need saviours. saviours from our paranoid hysteria driven selves too!


Ghislaine
Offline
Joined: Feb 15 2008

Interview with Mona Eltahawy , an Egyptian activist, who was recently

sexually assaulted and beaten in Tahrir Square:

Quote:
Writing against the regime has been a focus of so much of my work, so I consider myself a part of this revolution from the start," she says.

Ms Eltahawy was hailed as a hero after her assault, but condemned as an Uncle Tom after she blamed misogyny, not just state oppression, for her attack. Ironically, the public is more comfortable with Mona Eltahawy the brave, dignified victim of state sexual violence than Mona Eltahawy the loud, pissed-off survivor, using 10 newly-healed fingers to "poke the painful places" of what she calls "the misogynistic structure of our society".

"A lot of people have looked at my essay and said, well, you've just made Arab women seem like helpless victims. I haven't done that," she says, "To say that there is patriarchy in Arab culture is not denying women agency." Nor is it justification for Western wars of intervention - although many neoliberals have used women's rights as a modesty veil for that precise agenda. Indeed, the same issue of Foreign Policy that ran Ms Eltahawy's latest article features a call for the United States to use "advocating for women" as a weapon in its "smart-power arsenal" - which includes the use of military force."Where in my article did I say, come and save us?" Ms Eltahawy asks, her voice rising so that people on nearby tables turn to look. "What I was saying to the outside world was: okay, outside world, here's what I want you to do now. When they tell you that this is our culture, stay out of it, listen instead to the voices of the women in the region who are fighting. The region is going through an incredibly exciting time, and if we don't have this conversation as the revolutions are happening, then once again women will lose."

Perhaps the biggest criticism of Ms Eltahawy's article has been her choice to focus exclusively on Arab misogyny, in a world where the sun never sets on patriarchal brutality.

When I put this to her, Ms Eltahawy gets angry, again.

"Of course there is patriarchy everywhere else," she says. "But, for once, can I focus on my part of the world without having to deal with everyone else's problems first?"

 


NDPP
Offline
Joined: Dec 28 2008

The Egyptian Feminist's Dilemma: Mona Eltahawy

http://www.thecairohouse.com/blog/index.php?m=201204#284

"...By wielding her weapon so bluntly and indiscriminately, by making the same mistake Western feminists have historically made in trying to disassociate the 'Oriental' woman from her context, Eltahawy risks alienating the support of the women she may sincerely be trying to champion. A women does not exist in a vacuum; she is a mother, daughter, wife, sister, she is a Muslim or an Arab. There are claims to her loyalty other than gender.

At a time in history when her sons and brothers are indiscriminately branded as potential terrorists for being Arab or Muslim, she will shrink from confronting these dangerous stereotypes by subscribing to an equally reductionist diatribe against them as misogynists; at a time when wars are being waged; or threatened, against Arab and Muslim countries partly with the jusitification of 'saving women', there are some women who fear the consequences of such reasoning.

But perhaps the most misguided aspect of Eltahawy's indiscriminate attack in 'Why Do They Hate Us?' is that it leaves the women's rights movement in these countries with nowhere to go. If feminists  in Arab and Muslim-majority countries are to gain the full measure of rights and liberties for women, they will need to enlist the support of a sizeable segment of the male population, not antagonize it wholesale. Women's rights cannot be imposed from outside, by marshalling public opinion in the West. Eltahawy's courage and sincerity must be tested by the same measure as any feminist facing the same dilemma: by her efforts to change facts on the ground in Egypt, not by success in creating a media uproar in America.."


Fidel
Offline
Joined: Apr 29 2004

Anne-Marie Quillet wrote:
Hasn't anyone noticed how the arab spring just turned into a Muslim brotherhood four seasons !!!!!!

Yes. The Brotherhood was supportive of the Sadat through the U.S.-backed Mubarak regime and have co-existed fairly well with Egypt's military and oppressive secret police force. Meanwhile Egypt's other political opposition, the ones advocating for higher wages for the poor and secular government are silenced by comparison. Strange that. It seems as though the luck of the devil is with violent misogynists buying poor Egyptian's votes with a bottle of cooking oil and a kilo of sugar per household.


Sineed
Offline
Joined: Dec 4 2005

From the Muslim Brotherhood's own website:

Quote:
He maintained that the Freedom and Justice Party will not differentiate between males and females however it rejects the candidacy of women or Copts for Egypt's presidency.

In a more recent entry - the above is from May 2011 - there's this:

Quote:
Dr. Omaima Kamel, Women Affairs spokesperson at Morsi Campaign, affirmed that women are positively represented in Dr. Morsi’s program, noting that it calls for a ‘presidential institution’ in which women would be represented.


Dr. Kamel mentioned that Dr. Morsi pledged to appoint a Copt and a woman as Vice Presidents, assigning to each important dossiers, tasks and powers; because the weight of responsibility is very heavy and their presence is not honorary but to carry forth the interests of the homeland.

If you peruse the Muslim Brotherhood's "Women" page, http://www.ikhwanweb.com/articles.php?pid=10116 they take great pains to make conciliatory statements about the role of women in government, the empowerment and education of women, and suchlike.

So it's too soon to say IMV. Certainly, a fundamentalist Muslim government would be horrible for women, but they don't seem to be so fundamentalist as their name implies.


Sineed
Offline
Joined: Dec 4 2005

From Samia Serageldin's blog:

Quote:
Secular-minded women, as well, are alarmed at the specter of an Islamist victory resulting not only in a more restrictive social climate but to the actual revocation of certain gains for women’s rights in Muslim family law; these legal rights were acquired, or rather imposed by presidential decree, under Sadat and Mubarak, but remain controversial with a large sector of public opinion and are unlikely to withstand an open vote in Parliament.


Unionist
Online
Joined: Dec 11 2005

Ghislaine wrote:

Us women really do tend to get rather "hysterical" about our rights being violated. Awful, really.

Um, for you and quizzical's sake, I was referring to MR.TEA's Islamophobic pro-Zionist frenzy about gays, Jews, Christians, women... Kindly read the context of my response to kropotkin1951. We were both commenting on Mr.Tea. Hope that clears up the confusion and I apologize for any misunderstanding.

[Edited to remove reference to "paranoid hysteria".]


Fidel
Offline
Joined: Apr 29 2004

Syria's Muslim Brotherhood rise from the ashes "Moderate" Sunni Brotherhood funding Free Syrian Army rebels in Turkey

They are U.S. proxies and apparently on the same side as "Al-Qaeda" the invisible army of darkness against Assad's secularist regime in Damascus.

Doesn't look good for women in Syria. Observe how Afghan and Iraqi women are faring after decades worth of U.S. meddling in those countries.


Mr.Tea
Offline
Joined: Jul 9 2011

Unionist wrote:

Um, for you and quizzical's sake, I was referring to MR.TEA's Islamophobic pro-Zionist paranoid hysteria about gays, Jews, Christians, women... Kindly read the context of my response to kropotkin1951. We were both commenting on Mr.Tea. Hope that clears up the confusion and I apologize for any misunderstanding.

Oh, for fuck's sake. I guess the vast number of Muslim women expressing grave concern are also "Islamaphobic". And, as per usual, you must drag "zionism" into things as some sort of epithet because I (entirely accurately) pointed out that Jews have been driven out of Egypt. Which is a historic occurence and not really relevant to the current state of affairs there. But your reflexive tendency seems to be to always defend the most egregious behaviours or policies, so long as they're carried out by Muslims, while attacking much less significant transgressions by Jews and Americans. It's entirely predictable.


Unionist
Online
Joined: Dec 11 2005

Mr.Tea wrote:
But your reflexive tendency seems to be to always defend the most egregious behaviours or policies, so long as they're carried out by Muslims, while attacking much less significant transgressions by Jews and Americans. It's entirely predictable.

I've flagged as "offensive", again, your paranoid Islamophobic hysteria.

FYI.

 


Mr.Tea
Offline
Joined: Jul 9 2011

I'll assume it's cause I'm Jewish.


Unionist
Online
Joined: Dec 11 2005

Mr.Tea wrote:

I'll assume it's cause I'm Jewish.

No. It's because there are two main streams of Jewish tradition - one of enlightenment, social progress, and solidarity with the struggles of all oppressed people - and another of reaction, ignorance, conquest, smug ethnic superiority, separation from the nations and people into which we are born, and alliance with every dark imperialist racist misogynist force that history throws up - from British colonialism to U.S. imperialism to Harper's Thugs to Saudi princes to the unlamented South African apartheid regime. That's why.

 


Mr.Tea
Offline
Joined: Jul 9 2011

Interesting interpretation. Seems the one you're championing is of people who don't really want to be Jewish anymore and would rather join with the nations of the world and don't really care if our people survive. And through rampant intermarriage, assimilation and abandonment of our traditions and embracing of our enemies are making it less likely that we will survive. But we've survived worse and will survive those attitudes as well.


sanizadeh
Offline
Joined: Dec 3 2007

kropotkin1951 wrote:

Like Hamas they seem to have an emphasis on providing social services but really what can any government do when the military and security apparatus is not controlled by the elected politicians.

 

Beware the day they control the military and security aparatus too. We had the same experience in Iran.


Mr.Tea
Offline
Joined: Jul 9 2011

sanizadeh wrote:

Beware the day they control the military and security aparatus too. We had the same experience in Iran.

Yes, we did. Within days of the Islamic revolution there, my family got the hell out as fast as we could, with one bag each, and never looked back.


kropotkin1951
Offline
Joined: Jun 6 2002

X


onlinediscountanvils
Offline
Joined: Jun 7 2012

Unionist wrote:

Um, for you and quizzical's sake, I was referring to MR.TEA's Islamophobic pro-Zionist paranoid hysteria

 

Be that as it may, I think the point was that the word "hysteria" has negative gendered connotations, regardless of who you're applying it to.

 

http://publishing.cdlib.org/ucpressebooks/view?docId=ft0p3003d3&chunk.id...

Quote:

Throughout its history, of course, hysteria has always been constructed as a "woman's disease," a feminine disorder, or a disturbance of femininity, but this construction has usually been hostile. Hysteria has been linked with women in a number of unflattering ways. Its vast, shifting repertoire of symptoms reminded some doctors of the lability and capriciousness they associated with female nature. "Mutability is characteristic of hysteria because it is characteristic of women," wrote the Victorian physician Edward Tilt. "'La donna è mobile .'" Doctors have tended to favor arguments from biology that link hysteria with femaleness: "Women are prone to hysteria because of something fundamental in their nature, something innate, fixed or given that obviously requires interaction with environmental forces to become manifest but is still a primary and irremediable fate for the human female." "As a general rule," wrote the French physician Auguste Fabre in 1883, "all women are hysterical and . . . every woman carries with her the seeds of hysteria."

 

I'm sure you can appreciate why the use of the word is understood by many as offensive. Even when it's being used to describe a male. And perhaps even moreso when tossed around by a male in the Feminism forum.


Fidel
Offline
Joined: Apr 29 2004

Hysteria would describe more the anti-communist red scares of the 1950s and the new colder war bogeyman created by the Atlantic Alliance countries, "Al-Qa'eda" led by the former Elvis bin Laden. Our modern day crusaders continue demonizing Islam and all the while aiding and abetting the king of the madrassas in America and U.S. funding for anti-American insurgency continues to fill Taliban coffers in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Farcical to say the least, and Ottawa just follows Warshington's instruction like the obedient lap dogs they are. They heart militant Islam. Our right-rightists in North America prefer dealing with other right wing extremists because they understand each other. Democratic forces are to be ignored in favour of fundamentalists on the right always.


onlinediscountanvils
Offline
Joined: Jun 7 2012

Fidel wrote:

Hysteria would describe more the anti-communist red scares of the 1950s and the new colder war bogeyman created by the Atlantic Alliance countries

Fidel wrote:

Farcical

...is one of the nicer words I would use to describe your insistence on using that word after two women had objected to its use upthread, in this, the Feminism forum.


Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
Login or register to post comments