Egypt’s Supreme Council for Media Regulation is reportedly investigating popular Egyptian TV presenter Radwa El Sherbiny amid accusations of hate speech against non-veiled women, according to Al Ahram Online.
The investigation, described as “urgent,” is being conducted by the agency’s complaints committee, which received reports that Sherbiny stated on her show that veiled women are “100,000 times better” than non-hijabis, according to Egypt Independent.
Sherbiny’s comments came in response to a question from a viewer about the pressures hijabi women face. “To every [woman] who is the only veiled one among her group of friends, or [in her] family, or street, or work, never take off the hijab. You are 100,000 times better than me and [other] non-hijabi women,” Sherbiny reportedly said, adding that there is a “devil” inside non-veiled women and that it is more powerful than their faith.
The TV presenter later apologized for her remarks, which came during an episode that aired last week. “I meant to say that hijabi women have done their [religious] duty better than me and [other] non-hijabi women,” she said, adding that she doesn’t believe non-hijabi women to be bad people and that she didn’t intend to offend them.
Sherbiny’s comments drew widespread criticism on social media, most notably from women’s rights advocate and lawyer Nehad Abo El Komsan who accused the TV presenter of instigating violence against non-veiled women in Egypt.
Sherbiny is one of the most successful women in Egyptian television thanks to her popular show, Heya wi Bas (Only Her), which airs on the CBC network, her expansive presence on social media, as well as her empowering messages to Egyptian woman. Over the past few months, the TV presenter garnered high praise from women’s rights groups for publicly calling for the arrest of the Fairmont rapists and using her platform to advocate for victims of sexual violence in Egypt.