Monday, February 13, 2012

Egyptian Presidential hopeful says women must wear veil

No surprises here. The general drift of Islam is always toward a more stringent interpretation of the Quran. While there is a small number of Muslims who wish to harmonize and integrate with Western society, they are constantly threatened and marginalized by more pious and conservative Muslims. Which brings up a point: just how does one tell radical, murdering, Sharia imposing Salafist Muslims from "moderate" mainstream Muslims? The "moderates" keep quiet out of cultural conformance and just plain fear of the radicals and so the balance of power slowly moves toward the most pious and radical Muslims.

At any rate, it's obvious that Egypt is going the way of the Salafists rather than the moderates. I think that Egypt will become a model for other Arab states that are taken over by the radicals of the Arab Spring.


Egyptian Presidential hopeful says women must wear veil

By Katerina Nikolas

Feb 13, 2012

Cairo - Egyptian Presidential hopeful Hazem Saleh Abu Ismail has angered women in Egypt by saying he would force women to wear the hijab if he is elected as President.
The ultra conservative Ismail, long affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood but no longer a member, advocates the Salafi brand of extreme Islam that seeks to impose Sharia law.

According to Alarabiya Ismail said he would enforce the veil on women opposed to wearing it, and "if they do not want to wear, they have to change their 'creed.'" He went on to state "this is Islam. Does she want to be a Muslim and not obey Allah's rules?"
Ismail has adopted a harder line than the one he used when he first announced his plan to stand as President in May 2011. Islamopedia noted at that time Ismail was not speaking of imposing his policies with force, but rather he said the “return to Islam should be done softly...should happen gradually.”

Bikyamasr reported that Egyptian women are angered by the intention to force the niqab on them. A group of Cairo University students have taken a stand by forming a women's alliance organization to protect their freedoms. They say “this forcing of women to do this or that is not Egyptian.” One member of the alliance stressed “the veil is never forced, or it shouldn’t be, so these people who are trying to do so are going against Islam. There is no obligation in religion, Islam says.”

Ismail represents a growing worry faced by moderate Egyptians that conservative hardliners will impose changes on Egyptian society that will stifle freedoms. The case of Egyptian businessman Naguib Sawiris, on trial for blasphemy against Islam, is another example of the gradual erosion of freedom as extremists gain more ground.