International News • Not even after death do we part
Not even after death do we part
The Arab Spring in Egypt is over. The revolution managed to oust President Hosni Mubarak and transform the Muslim Brotherhood into a political force so strong they control nearly "half the seats in Egypt’s newly elected parliament."
Although the Brotherhood is attempting to attain political credibility, according to the Jewish Virtual Library, the radical Islamic group gaining political power in Egypt "opposes secular tendencies of Islamic nations and wants a return to the precepts of the Qur’an, and rejection of Western influences." The slogan of the Muslim Brotherhood is is: "Allah is our objective. The Prophet is our leader. Qur’an is our law. Jihad is our way. Dying in the way of Allah is our highest hope."
In light of that level of religious zealotry, concerns extend to "Egypt’s secularists as well as U.S. officials." The fear? The "Islamist group could remake the country, threatening the rights of women and religious minorities. Such fears were only exacerbated by the Brotherhood’s recent decision to field a candidate in upcoming presidential elections, despite previous pledges that it would not do so."
Therefore, in an effort to " broaden engagement with new and emerging political parties" following Egypt’s revolution last year, U.S. officials recently met at the White House with "Brotherhood representatives [who depicted] the organization as a moderate and socially conscious movement pursuing power in the interest of Egyptians at large."
Sondos Asem, a member of the [FJP] Egyptian delegation, reassured think tank attendees and relatively gullible American reporters in New York City that they "represent a moderate, centrist Muslim viewpoint. The priorities for us are mainly economic, political – preserving the revolution ideals of social justice, education, security for the people."
Marina Ottaway, a Middle East expert at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace who arranged the delegation’s [April 5th] visit to Washington DC, said that "People will be looking to see how much they are really beginning to act like a political party in power, whether they are thinking in concrete policy terms. Do they have any answers to question to economic problems? How much do they understand the world as it exists today and the concerns of other countries?"
Well, Marina Ottaway and the ‘people looking’ may have gotten their answer as the civilized world gasps in horror: With half of the seats presently occupied by members of the Muslim Brotherhood the Egyptian parliament has introduced a new bill called the "Farewell Intercourse Law," which proposes allowing grieving Egyptian men, up to six hours after their wives die, the legal right to marital necrophilia.
The idea for measure may have come from Moroccan cleric Zamzami Abdul Bari’s statements in 2011, which maintained that marriage remains valid even after death. He also said that, despite the fact that perfumed dead husbands would probably rather be frolicking in paradise with 72 virgins, "permission for posthumous sex also included widows of freshly deceased men."
If Egypt’s secularists were concerned before, and this new law is what Sondos Asem meant by a "moderate, centrist Muslim viewpoint," then Egypt is in store for some very interesting changes as the Brotherhood assumes more and more power and rallies to get one of their own elected president.
Nevertheless, besides sanctioning sex with deceased women, other "moderate and socially conscious" measures being proposed by the Islamist-stacked Egyptian Parliament is to have "the minimum age of marriage lowered [from 18] to 14," and to repeal an Egyptian woman’s right to "education and employment."
So, it appears the breath of fresh Arab spring air that blew over Egypt — the one that swept the Muslim Brotherhood into high positions of power — brought with it also "the parliamentary attacks on women’s rights." It is attacks such as those that have "drawn great criticism from women’s organizations, who … accuse the [Brotherhood] MPs of wishing to destroy the little gains Egyptian women attained after long years of organized struggle."
One women’s group voicing objection to the changes proposed by parliament is Egypt’s National Council for Women. The NCW maintains that besides sanctioning sex with the dead, "marginalizing and undermining the status of women would negatively affect the country’s human development." In a recent column, Egyptian journalist Amro Abdul Samea reported that the head of the National Council of Women, Dr. Mervat al-Talawi, has complained about the legislation, which she claims has been introduced under "alleged religious interpretations."
Silly, silly Mervat. This is the Muslim Brotherhood we’re talking about here, and ‘religious interpretations’ are what they’re all about. Therefore, word to the wise women of Egypt, married or single al-Talawi and The National Council for Women had better beware, lest they find themselves subjected to the "Farewell Intercourse" law sooner rather than later.
And so, congratulations! Besides the Arab Spring ejecting Hosni Mubarak’s corruption from Egypt, when he left he took with him his wife Suzanne who, during her husband’s tenure, did work on behalf of issues that granted the Egyptian women many of the rights now in jeopardy. ??
Still, based on his constant effort to "offer a hand of friendship to the Muslim world," besides meeting with supporters of necrophilia at the White House, America’s Arab Spring-supportive president has not yet reneged on his plan to bestow $800 million in economic aid to Muslim countries. Nor has he withdrawn plans to maintain military aid to Egypt, the nation whose Islamist parliament is presently proposing bills denying women the right to the innocence of childhood, education, employment, and now has added to that list, denial of a dignified death.
With that in mind, regardless of what goes down in the Islamist-dominated Egyptian parliament, the larger issue resides here at home. Americans should be aware that although Barack Obama likes to promote himself as a champion of defending the weaker sex, especially in the so-called "war on women," his 2012 budget has allotted monetary support to a nation whose parliament is proposing a bill that will not only continue to allow and encourage the abuse of women throughout their lives, but now wants to extend it past their death.
Statistics: Posted by yoda — Sat Apr 28, 2012 8:58 am
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