It is tempting to assign a hero and a villain to every story. In the case of the recent protests against Egypt’s Islamist president — who recently granted himself sweeping new powers, making him essentially immune from oversight — most Americans would be inclined to label him the villain. Does that mean, then, that those protesting him are the heroes?
Not so fast. There are certainly genuine freedom-lovers in the crowd — they may even be the majority — but it is difficult to ignore the overwhelming number of sexual assaults reported not by lone criminals, but by frantic mobs. The vicious attack on U.S. journalist Lara Logan during the advent of the so-called “Arab Spring” nearly two years ago has only been followed by a further deterioration of the rights of women and minorities under Muslim Brotherhood leadership, it seems.
Bloomberg News reported Sunday:
A mob of about 300 Egyptian youths ripped the clothes off three young women in Cairo’s Tahrir Square today, forcing them to take refuge in a government building, the state-run Ahram Gate reported.
The youths attempted to force their way into the building, known locally as the Mugamma, after assaulting the women near a downtown Cairo mosque, the website reported. [Emphasis added]
The Al-Ahram reporter who witnessed the event explained that he was unable to take photographs because the assailants threatened to destroy his camera.
The Egypt Independent adds that, after the girls were stripped and assaulted, a number of other protesters did try to help, bringing the girls back safely to their tent in Tahrir and keeping the mob back with sticks and rocks.
This is not the first attack reported in the most recent wave of protests, either.
BikyaMasr, an Egyptian paper, relates:
On Friday, as tens of thousands converged on the main Egyptian square in Cairo, more and more reports of sexual assaults against women once again came to fruition.
One incident that sparked a fervor of worries occurred near the Pizza Hut on Mohamed Mahmoud Street, with dozens of men allegedly brutally assaulting a woman on the street. According to a doctor, the woman was the victim of “mass rape.”
While the incident was reported on Twitter, a group of male protesters reportedly intervened and were able to remove the woman from the assault…but it again highlighted the fear women have of taking to Tahrir during mass protests.
Other women on the micro-blogging site and on Facebook reported being groped and harassed while they were in Tahrir, including a number of female journalists. [Emphasis added]
(H/T: Gateway Pundit)