Islam previously suggested women invited rape by protesting
Cairo – Arabstoday
A controversial Egyptian preacher has snubbed a television debate on air, after he was invited on to clarify statements seemingly condoning sexual assault.
Ultra-conservative preacher Ahmed Mahmoud
Abdullah, also known as Abu Islam, refused to debate with activist Ahmed Douma, instead making paper boats and taking off his shoe during a live broadcast on privately owned Dream TV.
As Douma criticised Islam for not engaging with questions, the preacher said: “Please get us a pot of water so those boats can sail. This is what democracy is about.”
Abu Islam continued by taking off his shoe and placing it on the table on which Doma and the other guest, Azhar professor Abdullah al-Nagar, sat.
Host Wael al-Ibrashi had to force the programme off air, later resuming the show without Abu Islam.
“I will never accept that a shoe be placed on the discussion table,” said Ibrashi after recommencing transmission.
Before the incident, Islam claimed its comments about the endemic rape of Egypt’s female protesters had been taken out of context.
“I didn’t say women should not protest. Protesting is a right that I cannot deprive them from. What I said was that they shouldn’t go to protests if they know beforehand they might be harassed or even raped.”
Abu Islam seemed to suggest that women’s attendance at demonstrations, at which they knew there was a risk of sexual harassment, meant they gave the impression they did not object to such actions.
“Certain places should be allocated for women to express their views,” Islam suggested.