Tue, June 30, 2015 Did the Muslim Brotherhood Kill Top Egyptian Prosecutor?

Egypt police stand guard at the site of the bomb attack which killed Attorney-General Hisham Barakat (Photo: © Reuters)

Egypt police stand guard at the site of the bomb attack which killed Attorney-General Hisham Barakat (Photo: © Reuters)

Egypt’s lead prosecutor Hisham Barakat was killed in a car bomb attack on his motorcade June 29. The 65 year old died of his wounds in hospital.

Several others were wounded in the attack.

He is the most senior official in the Egyptian government to have been killed since the popularly backed coup in 2013. As attorney general he brought to trial thousands of Islamists, dozens of senior Muslim Brotherhood members as part of the new government’s crackdown on the now outlawed Islamist group. Many of those have been sentenced to death.

A group calling itself the Popular Resistance in Giza claimed responsibility for the attack on its Facebook page, but later took the post down. That Facebook page has since disappeared from Facebook.

Egyptian media reports that the Popular Resistance in Giza is the military wing of the Muslim Brotherhood.

An unnamed local resident told CBC “We feel like we’re living in a time of war – like we can’t take our kids out. We thought everything was supposed to be safe now.”

Meanwhile, on the same day, the Islamic State released a video of an earlier attack on Egyptian judges.

The clip opens with Quranic verses being sung and images of various Egyptian judges and deposed Egyptian President Muhammed Morsi.

It then goes on to show the drive by shooting of an Egyptian judge

For more information on the Muslim Brotherhood take a look at our factsheet.

Egypt Court Hands Morsi Death Sentence in Blow To Muslim Brotherhood

Submitted by Emily on Wed, 2015-06-17 09:38

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Sun, June 14, 2015 State Dept.Will Not Meet Brotherhood Leaders - This Time

Muslim Brotherhood Judge Walid Al-Sharabi flashed the four-fingered Rabia sign at the State Department during a visit in January.

Muslim Brotherhood Judge Walid Al-Sharabi flashed the four-fingered Rabia sign at the State Department during a visit in January.

Leaders from the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood are visiting Washington for a private conference and the State Department will not be meeting with them.

A day prior to the announcement, Reuters reported the Egyptian government summoned the U.S. ambassador to express concerns about the visit, given Egypt’s status as an American ally and the Muslim Brotherhood’s designation as a terrorist group.

State Department spokesman Jeff Rathke told reporters “We've decided not to hold a meeting.”

He stressed "We engage with representatives from across the political spectrum” before adding “[I] don't have any further reasoning than we simply aren't meeting with them this time.”

The Muslim Brotherhood ruled Egypt for a year after the revolution in 2011. President Mohammed Morsi was deposed by the military in a popularly-backed coup after over 15 million people took to the streets to demand the resignation of the government.

Ideologically the Muslim Brotherhood is committed to turning Egypt into an Islamic State ruled by sharia law and eventually establishing a global Islamic caliphate.

The new government, headed by former army chief President Abelfattah el-Sisi, outlawed the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist group and arrested many of its leaders. In October 2014, the Egyptian Minister of Religious Endowments says the Islamic State is descended from the Muslim Brotherhood.

The Muslim Brotherhood refuses to recognize the legitimacy of the government.

In January a delegation from the Islamist group met with State Department officials.

One of the delegates posted a photo of himself to social media flashing the four-fingered Rabia sign, the symbol of opposition to Sisi’s government.

A statement released by the Muslim Brotherhood about the meeting concludes “the Revolution is the only strategic option to break the military coup.”

Egypt's Former President, Muslim Brotherhood Member Morsi Given Death Sentence in Jailbreak Case

Submitted by Emily on Sun, 2015-05-17 05:03

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The Harassment Was Bad But What My Father Did Was Worse

Still from a Public Service Announcement in Egypt.

Still from a Public Service Announcement in Egypt.

Elliot Friedland

At the end of April Clarion Project spoke with leading Egyptian women’s rights lawyer Reda el-Danbouki. We asked him about the situation women face in Egypt, which was ranked the worst place to be a woman in the Arab world in 2013.

He told us that women face harassment and worse on a daily basis, but are reluctant to go to the police.

By way of explanation, he shared a personal story of a close friend of his, Lamar aged 25, who was abused in the street and found the police to be on the side of her harassers rather than helping her. They dragged her father down to the station and proceeded to intimidate and insult her until she left the police station in tears.

ReadWhy Women in Egypt Don't Go to the Police When Molested here.

We got back in touch with Reda and Lamar to ask her some more questions about her life. Not only did she answer our questions, but she told us what has happened to her since.

In helping bring us Lamar's story, Reda told us that her story brought him to tears.

(Lamar’s name has been changed for her protection.)

How did it make you feel to be disbelieved by the authorities whose job it is to protect you?

Lamar: I went to the police and I imagined that they would help me, but I found that they have solidarity with harassers. They also harassed me themselves.


How often do women get harassed just walking the streets? Have many of your friends had similar experiences?

Lamar: Women are being harassed every day, every hour and every minute. I am being harassed by my co-workers and sometimes even by my manager. I am being harassed on public transportation, on the streets, while coming back home and even by my neighbors. My friends suffer the same problem.


Who do you feel in Egypt cares about these issues that you can turn to and talk with?

Lamar: The only ones who care about this subject are civil society organizations, and of course I can also talk to Reda el-Danbouki.


Why did the police bring your father to the station? 

Lamar: The police insisted that my father will come in order to humiliate me and force me to withdraw the complaint even though I am perfectly capable of filing a complaint and I have the right to do so.


Is harassment more common at certain hours of the day and in specific places?

Lamar: There is no specific time for harassment. It happens everywhere and all the time.  


How does the legal system deal with cases of harassment if they reach court?

Lamar: If a case gets to the court, most of the time molesters are found not guilty. It is like the judges encourage molestation. In very rare, rare cases you have verdicts against them.


Why do you think harassment is so widespread in Egypt?

Lamar: Harassment and molestation is widespread in Egypt because we live in a patriarchal society. They think that we women are their property, it’s like we are the food they eat or just a fruit they buy. We are merely bodies in their eyes, they see us only as breasts and behinds. They don’t see our minds and they don’t care about it.  


What do you think can bring about change in Egypt and stop this rampant harassment?

Lamar: Things can be changed in Egypt if we prepare the women and empower them. This has to come from the decision-makers. We also need to have a female police force that will deal with these issues, meet with victims of harassment and help them.

The youth civil society organizations have the ability to stop it, but most of them are working without any support. They desperately need more money and to have broader reach.


After answering our questions Lamar  told us what has happened to her since she last spoke with Reda el-Danbouki to tell him about her harassment. This is what she said:

For the last two days my father has been beating me severely, and he doesn’t allow me to leave the house. I called the police and told them that I was imprisoned, that my father beats me and also gave them the address of the house, but the police didn’t respond. One senior police officer told me “you must have done something bad and that’s why he beats you.” He didn’t help me at all and he slammed down the phone. 


Wed, April 15, 2015 Top Muslim Cleric: Don't Need Wife's Consent for Sex

A man may have sex with his wife without her consent, according to a new fatwa from Deputy Head of the Dawa Salafists Yasser Barahimi.

The senior Egyptian-based cleric made the ruling in response to a question posted on the Dawa Salafi website I Am The Salafi.

The questioner wanted to know “why is the woman always obliged to adhere to her husband’s requests at any time and under any circumstances? Doesn’t sharia take into account a woman’s mental state as a human being, regarding her desire to have sexual intercourse?”

Responding, Barahami said this does not “insult or devalue” the woman. She needs to fulfil her Sharia obligations. Her mood must not get in the way of her spouse’s desires.

“He too has needs and it’s possible that if his needs won’t be fulfilled he will be damaged,” he said. “Love is not an issue here.”

If a woman displays her love it contributes to a happy marriage and the longevity of the relationship, he added.

The fatwa was roundly condemned by Reda Eldanbouki, the lawyer who led the first female genital mutilation (FGM) trial in Egypt.

“I’m talking about a beast (Brahimi) who thinks with his nether regions. Imagine it’s your daughter being raped by her husband and he forces her to have intercourse against her will. Would you stay silent under such circumstances? Would you talk with him calmly or would you scream? “

Eldanbouki, who chairs the non-profit Women’s Center for Guidance and Legal Awareness, said Barahimi ought to take better note of the Quran. “He forgot the words of (Allah) “and He placed between you affection and mercy.”

Both Lebanese and Iraqi lawmakers advanced legislation in 2014, which legally permitted marital rape.

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