Egypt preacher blames mob sexual assault on victim
An Egyptian Salafi preacher has said a teenager who was mobbed by hundreds of men was to blame for the brutal sexual assault because she was wearing "provocative clothing".
On Friday, a 19-year-old was sexually assaulted by a mob of men, who reportedly attempted to strip off her dress after she left a friend's wedding. Police had to fire shots in the air to disperse the crowd.
During a TV appearance, Sameh Abdel Hamid ludicrously claimed that the victim should not have worn a dress in the streets of the northern city of Zagazig.
"Does this girl not deserve some of the blame? She was walking in the street wearing provocative clothing and not wearing a hijab… she was also to blame," Abdel Hamid said.
"She went against the customs of a working-class area such as Zagazig, where women do not walk around like that," he argued.
|Does this girl not deserve some of the blame? She was walking in the street wearing provocative clothing and not wearing a hijab… she was also to blame|
The preacher stressed that the sexual harassers were "without a doubt criminals" that deserved to be punished.
"No matter what the girl was wearing the harassers were the primarily guilty party. Even if she was drunk or naked she does not deserve what happened," he added.
Videos of the men attacking the women and the arrival of the police at the scene have emerged on social media.
Recently released surveillance footage of the incident show the women being saved by workers at coffee shop.
The Egyptian media have rallied to the defence of the victim with many media personalities strongly condemning the mob attack.
Egypt has one of the world's highest rates of sexual harassment.
Awareness of the prevalence of mob sexual harassment against women began increasing in 2006 after bloggers posted videos of mass assaults that took place over Eid holidays.
|In 2013, a UN report said that 99.3% of women in Egypt had been subjected to one form or another of sexual harassment|
In 2013, a UN report said that 99.3 percent of women in Egypt had been subjected to one form or another of sexual harassment.
In January, a parliamentary committee approved a draft bill pushing for tougher penalties for sexual harassers.
However, the law is rarely enforced, with a lack of specialised police and an over-riding fear among survivors of the social stigma associated with sexual harassment.