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Former Al-Azhar Dean Condemned for Victim-Blaming Murdered Mansoura Student

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Former Al-Azhar Dean Condemned for Victim-Blaming Murdered Mansoura Student

الشيخ مبروك عطية، من هو وما هي مؤلفاته وأزماته - فهرس
Mabrouk Attia | Photo credit: Faharas

Former Dean of the Faculty of Islamic Studies at Al-Azhar University, Mabrouk Attia, is facing strong condemnation for comments made about a recent murder victim, Nayera Ashraf.

Following the release of a Facebook video on 20 June, where Attia proceeds to lay blame on Ashraf for her own killing, the National Council for Women announced its intent to submit a report to the Attorney General on Wednesday, 22 June, for the incitement of violence and murder against women.

“Go ahead. Let your hair down and wear tight clothing,” Attia comments in the public video. “[Men] will hunt you down and kill you. Go on – personal freedom.”

The video has gone viral on different social media platforms, accruing over 1.2 million views on the original live stream. A trending hashtag has risen around the subject, calling for the persecution of Attia: ‏⁧‫#محاكمة_مبروك_عطية

He added: “A woman should be veiled, in order to live. She should wear loose clothing so as not to provoke […] you are amid monsters. If your life is precious to you, leave your house looking like an offa [burlap sack].”

Nayera Ashraf was violently knifed to death by a man she refused to marry.
NCW participates in Egypt's Permanent Mission to UN's virtual session on national efforts to combat violence against women - EgyptToday
Maya Morsi | Photo credit: Egypt Today

To the shock of many, Ashraf was violently murdered by a fellow student on 20 June, after refusing his advances.

Her death sparked a wave of anger, sympathy, and debate over women’s rights in the country. Maya Morsi, President of the National Council for Women, expressed deep sadness over Ashraf’s death and offered condolences to the family and loved ones impacted by the tragedy. Additionally, she openly criticized Attia, stressing that “such sentiments [should not] be issued by a cleric,” and are “punishable by law.”

Attia has responded to Morsi directly, stating: “Will you quarrel with our Lord? What will you say to our Lord, that one of the scholars of Al-Azhar calls for an understanding of the environment in which we live while being careful, in an attempt to reduce crime?”

Al-Azhar and polygamy: Its official newspaper responds to Ahmed Karima's statements, amid anger on the communication sites - Archyde
Ahmed Karima on BBC News

“[Ashraf] is a martyr of murder,” declared Ahmed Karima, Professor of Comparative Jurisprudence at Al-Azhar University, in an interview by Masrawy. He follows up by emphasizing that Attia specialized in the Arabic language and Islamic law, and thus, his rhetoric is not empirically informed or accurate.

Karima cited several excerpts from the Prophet Muhammed that illustrate his point. “Anyone who is killed [despite their own will], is a martyr.”

Additionally, he has urged individuals not to pass judgment or false justifications that may harm an individual no longer present to defend themselves.

This is a developing story.

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With a heart for radio and an appetite for culture, Mona is a writer and illustrator based in Cairo. At the Erasmus University Rotterdam, she obtained a BSc and MA in Media, Culture, and Society, while actively writing for the faculty magazine. After graduating, Mona was an academic advisor at the American University in Cairo, as well as Managing Director of a small, campus-based advertising firm. Gears shifting, her knack for cultural research took over - enter: Egyptian Streets. Mona’s focus is tapered to issues of identity politics, culture, and social architecture.

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