Jan 10 2012

Women cane morality police

Islamists have been harassing shop owners and female customers in rural towns around Egypt for ‘indecent behaviour’ and enforcing Sharia law. Shop owners have been told they can no longer sell ‘indecent’ clothing, barbers can no longer shave men’s beards, and customers ordered to veil and threatened with severe punishment if they did not abide by ‘God’s law on earth’.

Okay yes, I know business as usual… But when they burst into a beauty salon in the Nile delta town of Benha and ordered the women to stop what they were doing or face physical punishment, the women struck back, whipping them with their own canes before kicking them out to the street.

Now the ‘moderates’ will tell you that these are the acts of mere vigilantes. But that is how it always starts. The ‘vigilantes’ are at least more honest. They point to the al Nour party’s win of nearly 30% of parliamentary seats as giving them a mandate to enforce Sharia. And they say they have the moral and financial backing of that party.

On hearing the news of the women’s fight back, someone has suggested that ‘the women should be deputized to protect the revolution’s democratic values’.

Can I second that please?


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  1. 1
    Justin Caruthers

    This beautiful in a lot of ways, particularly since too many Islamists, including females, like to defend the laws that suppress women by saying it’s a choice for these women, and that we only view them as suppressed through Western eyes. Of course, when violent being enacted against them if they don’t follow these laws, what choice do they actually have? It’s fantastic to see brave women standing up and saying, “No. This is not what we want, and this is not ok,” and then proceed to give them a taste of their own medicine.

  2. 2
    Shplane, Spess Alium

    Ahahahaha. Fuck yes.

    Wait, were these little old ladies, or does everybody just carry a cane in that part of the world?

    1. 2.1
      Maryam Namazie

      No they took the canes off the Islamists and beat them with their own weapons! LOL

      1. BinJabreel

        That’s the most beautiful thing I’ve read in days.

        1. ash


        2. sambarge

          The only thing that would make my pleasure more complete would be video footage of the event. Can you imagine? It would go so viral.

      2. HappiestSadist, Repellent Little Martyr

        That has made my week. Those women are badass and amazing.

      3. F [i'm not here, i'm gone]

        That is terrifically awesome! More power to these women. And I hope they stay safe.

        ‘the women should be deputized to protect the revolution’s democratic values’

        I’d donate badges and canes to this Revolutionary Democratic Values Protection Force.

  3. 3
    Daniel Fincke

    Well this was the feel good story of the day.

    But I worry—will these thugs be prone to come back and retaliate brutally against such women?

  4. 4
    Tsu Dho Nimh

    You know … in a beauty salon, I would be tempted to tie them up and dye their beards bright colors or bleach it and turn them loose.

    1. 4.1
      Daniel Fincke

      Why not just shave them?

      1. sqlrob

        Don’t shave them.

        Make them shave themselves. I vote for the bright pink or the bleach. Maybe stripes.

  5. 5

    Seems like the ‘morality police’ are looking to upgrade. From the linked article:

    …Volunteers would wear white cloaks and hold bamboo canes to beat violators and later would be provided with electric tasers.

  6. 6
    Graham Martin-Royle

    Good for those ladies.

  7. 7
    RW Ahrens

    I’d like to see more of that! Hooray for the ladies!

  8. 8

    I read this and instantly the song “Sisters doing it for themselves” came into my head. Wonderful story of bravery, love it! :D

  9. 9

    Sort of warms the heart to hear that women can and do fight back. :) Women need to fight back more often.

  10. 10

    Good for them.

    The “morality” police seem like the type that would go for vengeance. I hope they watch their backs.

  11. 11

    Right on! I hope to see more of this in the future. Go sisters, go.

  12. 12

    Hi Maryam, this is unrelated, but might be of interest to you.
    A convert from Islam to a pretty wacky version of Christianity (redundant?) is reported to have been kidnapped for trying to convert other muslims. Not sure of the story, as these xtians have been known to lie before.

  13. 13
    The Ys

    That is beyond amazing, and it’s equally hilarious. Nicely done!

  14. 14

    that “Fears held for Christian convert” story was quite something.
    urgent prayer?

  15. 15
    Rohan P


    I’m not sure if its within your power to do this, but perhaps you could encourage the women concerned to set up some sort of paypal account that members of the public could donate to. Your blog must reach several thousand people and many of us would like to encourage and support these women in whatever way we can. I’m sure they could use funding for legal fees, private security or whatever else they might need to (legally and safely) take on the morality mafia. I imagine that if I, in distant Australia, feel the urge to donate then there must be thousands more closer to the incident.

  16. 16
    iain carstairs

    How wonderful that these women have stood up for their rights, as have some women in Saudi Arabia by driving in spite of the ridiculous ban. These repressions are the result of men who know that once women are their equal, their soft and priviledged life will be over. Each one is an Assad.

    Repression relies on fear, and once fear is gone, the repression just vanishes. Technology must have helped, enabling people to evaluate a wider sentiment and understand they are not alone.

  17. 17
    Sheila Crosby

    Woohoo! Now we know where Superman’s big sisters live.

    But note the Islamic mathematics. 30% of seats means that 70% of people do not support you. This is not a mandate. In fact it’s “Everyone supports us” like, “Everyone else gets more pocket money.”

  18. 18

    Wooooo! Warms my heart!
    What a wonderful and inspiring story!

  19. 19
    Ex-Muslim Lady

    Love it! I am so glad they are fighting back. As a woman who lived in the Middle East for 15 years, I wish I had the opportunity to do that. It’s so sad to see so much oppression in this day and age. This is just one of the many harms of religion.

  1. 20
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