Compulsory haircuts

Via Tarek Fatah…

Life on the metro in Cairo.

Two niqab-wearing women assaulted and forcefully cut the hair of a Christian woman on the metro Sunday, the third such reported incident in two months, raising fears of a growing vigilante movement to punish Egyptian women for not wearing the veil in public.

The Egyptian Organization for Human Rights said in a statement that the assaulters called the Christian woman, who is 28 years old, an “infidel” and pushed her off the train, breaking her arm.

Well isn’t that pleasant. You’re on the train, minding your own business, and a couple of women in bags chop your hair off, call you an infidel, and break your arm in the process of throwing you off the train. All because you have the audacity not to be of their religion and not to be in a bag.

EOHR Director Naguib Gabriel urged the interior minister to address the recurring attacks on unveiled women before it becomes a common practice.

Last week, a woman wearing the niqab cut the hair of a 13-year-old Christian girl, Maggie Milad Fayez, in the metro. That same week, an Egyptian court gave a female teacher in Luxor a six-month suspended prison sentence for cutting the hair of two 12-year-old girls after they refused to cover their heads.

It’s all cut cut cut, isn’t it. Hair, genitals, hands, feet – just have to cut something off, for the greater glory of gudd.

Mainstream religious scholars say wearing the veil is compulsory for Muslims, but that no one can be forced to wear it.

Then don’t say it’s “compulsory,” you fools. If it’s compulsory that means that people can and should be forced; that’s what the word means. You can’t have it both ways. You can’t insist that things are compulsory in your religion but then pretend that no one can be compelled to comply.



  1. Hamilton Jacobi says

    But apparently it’s not compulsory. You have the freedom to choose being either (a) a woman with hair in a bag or (b) a bald bagless woman with broken limbs. It’s like choosing your latte with or without cinnamon sprinkled on top; both choices are equally blessed by Allah. I’m sure it’s in the Quran somewhere.

  2. Crip Dyke, MQ, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    To be fair, this is undoubtedly a translation – perhaps the words used don’t line up perfectly with english concepts of compulsory?

    Not defendign any of the actions, of course, just commenting that the controlling, abusive jerks aren’t necessarily misunderstanding the proper use of language.

  3. iknklast says

    I was given a compulsory hair cut once – when I was nine. Children aren’t allowed to make their own decisions; grown people are. But when you think women are just children, you treat them like children, and take away their right to make their own decisions.

    Besides, men can’t control themselves, so women have to cover themselves from head to foot. The inability of men to control themselves is obviously the fault of women, right? Basically, the men aren’t grown ups, either, and can’t be trusted around the cookie jar. So the cookies have to be locked up in a bag where you can’t see them at all…then, of course, they’re really tempting (as forbidden stuff often is), and it’s the fault of the cookies for showing just a trace of chocolate chip…or the woman for having a single eyeball showing.

  4. gworroll says

    Crip Dyke @4 has a good point. Translation is a tricky thing, especially when one of the language pair lacks a direct translation. Irish, for instance, lacks direct translations for “yes” and “no”, and has no indefinite article. Infinitive forms of verbs don’t exist either. There are ways of expressing the same concepts, of course, but a rushed or inexperienced translator could screw it up and potentially change the meaning of what was said.

  5. 'dirigible says

    “a growing vigilante movement to punish Egyptian women for not wearing the veil in public”

    But it’s liberating and part of someone’s identity so opposing this is profoundly illiberal.

  6. eric says

    And to top it all off, they attacked 12 and 13 year olds. I’m sure they’d love to do the same with grown women but are afraid such ‘marks’ would retaliate, so they pick on children. Disgusting.

    Things have changed in the last decade or two; in the ’90s a woman relation of mine had some acid thrown on her (pants) in a Cairo market, while she was there on a visit. Immedidiately, one of the woman shopowners let her in the back of her store, apologized for what happened, and gave her new pants for free (and no, it was not a scam to get her jeans; my relation kept all her clothes. It was just a kind gesture).

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