Saturday, June 09, 2012


Just call it the Male Arab Spring in motion:
CAIRO - A mob of hundreds of men assaulted women holding a march seeking an end to sexual harassment Friday, with the attackers overwhelming the male guardians and groping and molesting several of the female marchers in Cairo’s Tahrir Square.

From the ferocity of the assault, some of the victims said it appeared to have been an organized attempt to drive women out of demonstrations and trample on the prodemocracy protest movement.

The attack follows smaller-scale assaults on women this week in Tahrir, the epicenter of an uprising that forced Hosni Mubarak to resign last year. Thousands have been gathering in the square this week in protests on a variety of issues - mainly about fears that presidential elections this month will secure the continued rule by elements of Mubarak’s regime backed by the ruling military.

Earlier in the week, a reporter witnessed about 200 men assault a woman who eventually fainted before men trying to help could reach her.

The march Friday was called to demand an end to sex assaults. About 50 women participated, surrounded by a larger group of male supporters who joined hands to form a protective ring around them. The protesters carried posters saying, “The people want to cut the hand of the sexual harasser,’’ and chanted, “The Egyptian girl says it loudly, harassment is barbaric.’’

After the marchers entered a crowded corner of the square, a group of men waded into the women, heckling them and groping them. The male supporters tried to fend them off, and it turned into a melee involving a mob of hundreds. [...]

Mariam Abdel-Shahid, a 25-year-old cinema student who took part in the march, said “sexual harassment will only take us backward.’’

“This is pressure on the woman to return home,’’ she said.
More specifically, to become prisoners based upon their gender. Another result of the fallout from sharia-based violence in Egypt.

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