Brotherhood secretary’s remarks on women spark controversy

A prominent Muslim Brotherhood activist's remarks, in which she slammed the December women's march condemning military brutality against female protestors, have caused public uproar within the feminist movement. The activist's name is Manal Abul Hassan and she is the women's secretary of the Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party (FJP).

Speaking to the London based Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper Saturday, Abul Hassan argued that "the [FJP women] refused to participate in the march because participants were funded and had a particular agenda.” She went on to say that "when a woman marches to defend her rights, this affronts her dignity."

In December, Egypt witnessed the largest women's march in its history, as 10,000 women marched through central Cairo to protest against soldiers who dragged women by the hair, stomped on them, and stripped one half-naked in the street during a fierce crackdown.

Azza Kamel, a feminist activist, dubbed the remarks as anti-revolutionary, adding that if it was not for the blood of the revolution’s martyrs, the Brotherhood would never have surfaced in Egyptian political life.

 “Where was the women's secretary of FJP and all the Muslim Brotherhood at the time of the revolution?” Kamel asked. “They weren’t participating. So how could you judge the people as not revolutionary while you didn’t participate in the revolution?”

“Sisters of the Revolution,” an independent feminist movement, also slammed Abul Hassan’s remarks. In a statement, it said that the December march gathered all classes of Egyptian society to condemn military brutality against female protesters.

On Saturday, the FJP said on Twitter that Abul  Hasan’s remarks are “fabricated & misrepresented statements to manipulate public opinion.” No further explanation was made by the party.

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