Protesting violations against women, Copts and minorities

06-07-2012 06:03 PM

Nader Shukry


Coptic youth movements have planned a demonstration tomorrow Saturday at 11:00am in front of the presidential palace to protest against what they term “the escalation of the intentional harassment of non-veiled women, the majority of whom are Coptic

Coptic youth movements have planned a demonstration tomorrow Saturday at 11:00am in front of the presidential palace to protest against what they term “the escalation of the intentional harassment of non-veiled women, the majority of whom are Coptic, on the Egyptian streets”. Such harassment, the movements say, represent an attempt to impose the hijab, the Islamic veil, on women—“a move which encroaches upon their freedom and heralds in a new era of tyranny.” 
The protest, organised by the Maspero Youth Union (MYU) and the Coptic youth of Maadi, calls for legislation to penalise acts that illegally curtail freedom. 
Extremist standards
Andrawus Uweida of the MYU declared that human rights activists and feminist movements will participate in the demonstration under the theme “Say no to the enemies of life”.
Uweida criticises what he describes as discrimination against the weak links in the societal chain, such as women. “It has reached the point where women no longer feel secure as they walk in the street; parents fear for their daughters as they head to school or work, because of the high risk of physical and verbal harassment on the street.” Especially worrying is the rise of extremist Islamist movements that make it their business to impose what they see as Islamic standards of behaviour or attire on anyone in the street. The recent murder of two musician brothers in Sharqiya and the killing of a young man in Suez as he stood with his fiancee is a stark example of how far extremists would go to impose their will on the public. 
Citizenship electronic monitor 
Also to combat the imposition of extreme Islamic standards and the curtailment of personal freedoms, a group of Coptic and Muslim activists have launched a website and a Facebook page under the name of the Electronic Citizenship Monitor. The aim is to track everything related to citizenship rights violations against woman, children, minorities and Copts. 
Hani Bahna, member of the Coptic coalition and founder of the website says that the monitor will depend on a network of correspondents in all Egyptian governorates who will report all relevant incidents. Reports on violations will be forwarded to Egyptian human rights organisations, and legal action will be taken against the offenders. 
WATANI International
6 July 2012
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