The Muslim Brotherhood is advocating "modesty police"
Officials of the Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt's leading Islamic group, have called for the establishment of a Saudi-style modesty police to combat "immoral" behavior in public areas in what observers say in another sign of a growing Islamic self-confidence in the post-Mubarak era.
In the political sphere, the Brotherhood led a successful drive to get voters to approve a package of constitutional amendments. On the street level, at least 20 attacks were perpetrated against the tombs of Muslim mystics (suffis), who are the subject of popular veneration but disparaged by Islamic fundamentalists, or salafis. After some initial hesitation, Islamic leaders have publicly praised the revolution.
"This is incredibly worrying to many Egyptians," Maye Kassem, a political scientist at the American University in Cairo (AUC), told The Media Line. "The salafis were always undercover in Egypt and now they are emerging as a political force. They are getting too vocal."
Newly freed from the political strictures of the Mubarak era, Egypt has turned into a battleground between those who envision a liberal, secular state and those who advocate various shades if Islam. The conflict mirrors those taking place elsewhere in the region. In Bahrain, unrest has evolved into a conflict between Sunni- and Shiite Muslims and the US has pulled back from supporting Libyan rebels over concerns they are dominated by Islamists.
Well thank goodness for that - even in Libya, Islamists supporting severe sharia law are a problem, and if those "rebels" are Islamic, they don't need support from the west.
Issam Durbala, a member of the Brotherhood's Shura council, told the Egyptian daily Al-Masri Al-Youm on Sunday, that he supported the establishment of a virtue police, or Hisbah, which had existed in medieval Islamic societies to oversee public virtue and modesty, mostly in the marketplace and other public gathering spaces.
But he seemed to stop short of advocating a force along then lines of that which operates in Saudi Arabia today under the auspices of the Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice. It enforces a dress code, separation of sexes and the observances of prayer times.
"The new police must have a department with limited authorities to arrest those who commit immoral acts,” Durbala told the newspaper.
That doesn't sound so limited to me. In fact, it sounds quite dreadful. He's only talking out of both sides of his mouth, most ambiguously. And this is exactly why all concerns Egypt will sink into the darkness of sharia are fully valid. Sadly, if a majority of Gazan Muslims could support Hamas, there's every chance the same will emerge in Egypt, and they could even rig the elections to ensure the Muslim Brotherhood will reign victorious. Then, we could witness the forcing of the chador/abaya/niqab upon the land once inhabited by the ancient Egyptians.
Labels: Egypt, House of Saud, islam, libya, misogyny