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Anonymous Egyptian Author, Freethinker, and Translator on Religious Restrictions of Men and Women

2022-04-27

Author(s): Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Publication (Outlet/Website): The Good Men Project

Publication Date (yyyy/mm/dd): 2019/07/22

Scott Douglas Jacobsen: When considering the restrictions on Muslim men and Muslim women in Egypt, what are the similarities and differences?

Anonymous Egyptian Author, Freethinker, and Translator: Surely, there are some difference, in childhood there are more restrictions on playing of girls, most of the families don’t allow the girls to go outside of the home. In the adulthood there are many restrictions on women in their dressing, their manner of speak, and their moves outside home and everything. Cities got little civilization and modernity in the clothes of women by the standard of backward fundamentalism, but beneath the external appearances most of the people have religious fundamental middle-aged minds and values.

Lives of men are no that good also, society does not give them also a real freedom in most of their choices in life, their ways of life, values and morals. It’s a country which you cannot easily live in it with a different manner than traditional backward way.

Jacobsen: Are they better or worse, within the religious system, for men or women regarding restrictions and moral injunctions?

Anonymous Egyptian Author, Freethinker, and Translator: It’s worse for women. Judges still adopt some sharia laws informally, so if a man kills his wife with claiming bad morals like cheating him, he will go with light sentence, on the other hand if a woman makes the same for the same claim, she would be executed. This is from Muhammad laws in hadiths. Also, if a father kills his son meanwhile he was hitting him, in the most cases he would get some years in jail, because Islam says there no punishment on a father kills his son!

The modern Egyptian laws consider the violence of husband against wife a cause for verdict of divorcing her from him. But the written law is one thing, and what happens in reality is another thing. Islam considers it as a right of men to hit their wives, sisters, and daughters. Although of that many modern civilized families would make trouble and real hell to a husband who hit their daughter.

In the principle, they consider woman follower and inferior to men.

If you are a man you can dress shorts in street, if you are a woman you would get harassments, violence (if the situation takes a very religious tendency), or even rape in some areas.

Jacobsen: How do women play an important role in the liberation of the atheist community in Egypt?

Anonymous Egyptian Author, Freethinker, and Translator: Atheist community? In Egypt we are individuals here and there, but thy don’t form a society, that would be a great comfortable thing. Most of atheist or skeptic half or primitive atheist women adopt or pretend the eastern religious values, manners, and ways of dressing. This is the case for 99% of the I think. So, these women need to free themselves first. The economic matter has a role, rarely when I saw a real liberal secular woman in Egypt. Because many on women here depend on religious traditional men, father, uncle, brother, or husband.

Jacobsen: You may have seen the news article about the Saudi women’s rights activists creating an online radio platform. What can Egyptians do to foster this form of non-violence dissent utilizing the right to freedom of expression?

Anonymous Egyptian Author, Freethinker, and Translator: Yeah, that becomes a real thing in Saudia, because they faced extremism for long time and the education in Saudia get some improvement.

Here in Egypt I don’t see any real feminist movements that cares of the public and can won their attention, may be there are some movements for the elites. But what they need to reach to the people of Egypt, our poor ignorant fundamental real people. There is no value of freedom or good education and culture, no good jobs and salaries for most people, so they adopt the legends and dark ages values and ideas.

Jacobsen: Are there Egyptian ones in existence now? If so, what are they?

Anonymous Egyptian Author, Freethinker, and Translator: As I said above, these organizations have very little or no influence on the Egyptian society.

Jacobsen: The nature of religion builds into the political system in Egypt. What is the relationship between politics and religion in Egypt?

Anonymous Egyptian Author, Freethinker, and Translator: The government uses religious and national claims to hide its failures in economic. The political leaders care to appear as a religious people who attend prays and religious feasts, and give prizes for people and young person who memorize Quran verses.

Jacobsen: How does this relationship between politics and religion in Egypt change the political and legal system? 

Anonymous Egyptian Author, Freethinker, and Translator: Sure, it has bad influences. If we have a civil law, there would be freedom of expression against Islam, martial government, the traditions and legends. We would have equal right for men and women, including the inheritance laws. The men wouldn’t enslave women by the ideas and values of Islam and Christendom.

Jacobsen: In turn, how does this impact the laws and political restrictions on the civic and public lives of atheists?

Anonymous Egyptian Author, Freethinker, and Translator: In Egypt, you wouldn’t get executed for being a freethinker of an apostate, but If you declare that or express your self in public, there is a real good chance to be hit badly by public lay people, or going to jail in the silly accusation of insulting and offending of religions, it’s the same accusation of blasphemy of the middle ages. In one case Mrs. Sara Harqan get here embryo killed by violence, when she went with her husband to police station, the policemen arrest the victims!

So, atheists aren’t allowed to share in public life, culture, media and teaching.

Jacobsen: What is the social and legal punishment for blasphemy and apostasy in Egypt, if any?

Anonymous Egyptian Author, Freethinker, and Translator: Being an openly atheist in the most cases would mean losing your relations with almost all your relatives, because of the religiousness and fundamentalism of this ignorant society.

If you express your beliefs and opinions as an atheist in public, if someone report you, you would 3 to 5 or more years in jail, just for expressing ideas that doesn’t kill! And they may inflict forfeit on you to complete destroying your life. They do that to prevent anyone from thinking, talking or writing,

Jacobsen: How does this compare to other Middle East nations?

As I know this resembles the situation in countries like Morocco, Algeria, Civil Syria, and Tunisia, and less violent than the execution sentence in Saudia and Jordon.

Jacobsen: Also, how can the international non-religious community work together to foster the translation of freethinker books through financing organizations or individuals, or contributing personal translation expertise?

Anonymous Egyptian Author, Freethinker, and Translator: They can adopt secretly the real translators and thinkers, after making sure that they are making great important big efforts. They must have committee or committees to avoid the crook deceitful frauds, and monitor on weekly and monthly basics the products of the translators to stop finance any unserious ones. The translator must have previous important works with good translation valuing to his motherland language.

Jacobsen: In terms of the Egyptian atheist community, how does one’s family tend to treat them?

Anonymous Egyptian Author, Freethinker, and Translator: They tend to threat or hit them, and if you have the strong character of body or the strong will enough, they will just consider you non-existent person, and their relations with you, this has its ups and downs actually. In a country like this you need all your relations with relatives to get decent job, or you need the to go to marry in this traditional country, for example

Jacobsen: How does the public treat them?

Anonymous Egyptian Author, Freethinker, and Translator: The public think atheist infidel heathens is a good piety for Allah, no problem in doing it, but the civil laws would prevent them, so at least when they get a chance they would think at least destroy and steal their property, hitting them badly, or harass or rape liberal women, etc. this is surly the manner of the rubble lay people. The more civilized educated of them would just treat you as a Zionist in a mosque who tried to gather money for Israel from Moslem prayers (Just kidding), I mean they would deal with you in tough cold manner.

Jacobsen: How does the media marginalize and defame them?

Anonymous Egyptian Author, Freethinker, and Translator: Egyptian Atheists appear rarely in Egyptian and Arabian media, in most cases the rubble interviewer dealt badly with them, one of them “Shaima’a sae’d expel an atheist lady, so I don’t understand why she had invited her from first, this is not the good Arabian manners of hospitality. Others mad good shows and try to be more neutral and in the same spirit to appear in the side of Islamic clergy, in view of their fearing for their jobs, publicity, and lives. Some of those more decent interviewers might be skeptics, atheists, or secular moderate Muslims.

How do the government and legal system deal with the atheist and freethinker population in Egypt?

Anonymous Egyptian Author, Freethinker, and Translator: They fight to prevent them from writing, publishing, or talking in public and media. Many went to jail. If the education and economic systems still its ways in Egypt, with the politics and horrible idiot media (most of it), there is no hope for advancement and liberalism for this country. So, the no real threat form freethought to ignorance and terrorism middle-aged thoughts in such conditions. Imagine you try to make middle-aged people in Europe to be the nowadays European people! It doesn’t work, they need good economics, good ruling systems, good improved education, culture…etc.

What can other non-religious groups, including humanists – though most humanists are atheists, do to help support and bolster the efforts of the atheist and freethinker community in Egypt, or of its diaspora?

Anonymous Egyptian Author, Freethinker, and Translator: They should care first for the real original thinkers who hold secular liberal (western) values.

and for the atheists of lay public average persons. I think they must contain them carefully, and try to influence them with the more enlightened real liberal values, because some of them may still with many fundamental ignorant middle-aged values or religions to deal with women and other nationalities for example.

They would find many ignorant silly fraud persons who search for living or money, so they must have committees to choose the persons who want and can make good scientific, atheist or criticism videos, write, translate, or paint in some cases. They should focus in thinkers who make criticism of Islam, or write or translate books on secularism, atheism, evolution science and cosmology.

Jacobsen: Thank you for the opportunity and your time.

License

In-Sight Publishing by Scott Douglas Jacobsen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. Based on a work at www.in-sightpublishing.com.

Copyright

© Scott Douglas Jacobsen and In-Sight Publishing 2012-Present. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Scott Douglas Jacobsen and In-Sight Publishing with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. All interviewees and authors co-copyright their material and may disseminate for their independent purposes.

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