Egypt’s ruling Muslim Brotherhood movement has denounced a UN report aimed to end violence against women and girls worldwide, calling the report “deceptive” and aimed at undermining Islamic mores.
“The Muslim Brotherhood calls on leaders of Islamic countries, their foreign ministers and representatives in the United Nations to reject and condemn this document,” the Islamist group said in a statement, urging the UN “to rise up to the high morals and principles of family relations prescribed by Islam.”
The UN report, which was linked to the 57th session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women, which wraps up today in New York – aimed at reducing violence against women worldwide. The Muslim Brotherhood insists that the report and efforts associated with it undermine Islamic values, and will cause the “complete disintegration of society”:
The 57th session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), taking place from March 4 to 15 at UN headquarters, seeks to ratify a declaration euphemistically entitled ‘End Violence against Women’. That title, however, is misleading and deceptive. The document includes articles that contradict established principles of Islam, undermine Islamic ethics and destroy the family, the basic building block of society, according to the Egyptian Constitution. This declaration, if ratified, would lead to complete disintegration of society, and would certainly be the final step in the intellectual and cultural invasion of Muslim countries, eliminating the moral specificity that helps preserve cohesion of Islamic societies.
The Brotherhood’s English-language statement, posted to the movement’s website, represents a rare instance in which the group’s translated views track closely with views published in Arabic. The organization often crafts differing messages for differing audiences. After the September 11th, 2012 storming of the U.S. embassy in Cairo, the Muslim Brotherhood Arabic twitter feed sent celebratory tweets, which differed sharply from English-language tweets sympathetic to the embassy. The U.S. embassy called them out for it at the time.
The Muslim Brotherhood statement against the U.N. violence against women report expands on the specific policies that the group feels will cause the complete disintegration of society:
1. Granting girls full sexual freedom…
2. Providing contraceptives for adolescent girls and training them to use those…
3. Granting equal rights to adulterous wives and illegitimate sons resulting from adulterous relationships.
4. Granting equal rights to homosexuals, and providing protection and respect for prostitutes.
5. Giving wives full rights to file legal complaints against husbands accusing them of rape or sexual harassment…
6. Equal inheritance (between men and women).
7. Replacing guardianship with partnership, and full sharing of roles within the family between men and women such as: spending, child care and home chores.
8. Full equality in marriage legislation such as: allowing Muslim women to marry non-Muslim men, and abolition of polygamy, dowry, men taking charge of family spending, etc.
9. Removing the authority of divorce from husbands and placing it in the hands of judges, and sharing all property after divorce.
10. Cancelling the need for a husband’s consent in matters like: travel, work, or use of contraception.
Eric Trager – an Egypt expert at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy who has conducted interviews with Brotherhood figues – told The Tower that the statement underscores that power has hardened rather than moderated the organization’s ideology.
“Given the reported rise in attacks on women and the use of rape as a weapon against female protesters,” he said, “the Brotherhood’s defense of gender inequality is especially worrying.”
Jonathan Schanzer, vice president of research at the Washington-based Foundation for Defense of Democracies, added: “In 10 short points, the Muslim Brotherhood reveals what we have long known: that it is a dangerously ideological organization that embraces misogynist principles.”
[Photo: Mona / Wiki Commons]