Egypt: "The Law of the Salafis challenges the Law of the State and terrifies women in Egypt"

Egyptian Center for Women's Rights

 (Cairo, March 28, 2011) The Egyptian Center for Women's Rights received the news on incidents in Minufiya governorate, for it witnessed a dangerous incident for the first time: 350 Salafis confronted the state law and surrounded a house of a woman in Sadat city, forced her out of her house, threw her house's furniture on the street, burned the house and threatened to kill her if she returned to her home. They did so claiming that her conduct was immoral and dishonorable. When they broke into the house, she was alone; they terrified her and took her out of the house by force. This is considered a dangerous incident, especially as it is not the first time something like this happened.

It is worth mentioning that before this, tens of Salafis had committed a violent act against one of the Copts in Quena: they burned his car and the flat which he rented to a Muslim man, cut his ear and caused a cut at the back of his neck. They claimed that he had turned his flat into a brothel.

The Egyptian Center for Women's Rights received a number of complaints from several women on receiving threats on Facebook that they will be "punished" if they do not wear the legitimate clothes. The threats mentioned a time limit of Tuesday, March 29, 2011. This matter raised panic among a large number of women in Egypt. They are asking whether it will be safe to go to schools, universities and work or whether they will be attacked.  This is considered a breach of law, an application of punishments without charges or judicial decision, and an imposition of a state of terror in the name of religion as well as a dangerous threat to democracy and the state of law.

The Egyptian Center for Women's Rights calls for:

  • The decisive interference of the Military Council to confront such a terrifying development in Egypt.
  • The immediate investigation of such incidents
  • The stopping of such dangerous crimes as they terrify the society
  • We call all  the organizations of the civil society to confront such violations
  • The backing of the police forces and their provision with the power  necessary to apply laws within the framework of legitimacy and human rights.