LONDON: Social media users have slammed an Egyptian TV presenter who claimed that murdered university student Nayera Ashraf had been at fault for not wearing a veil.
In a video post, Mabrouk Attia, who is also a professor of Islamic Shariah at Cairo’s Al-Azhar University, suggested women should “fully cover up” if they did not want to “meet the same fate” as the Mansoura university student.
“Go ahead. Let your hair down and wear tight clothing. (Men) will hunt you down and kill you. Go on – personal freedom,” Attia, 63, said in the clip.
“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 a burlap sack,” the presenter added.
A number of women’s rights supporters, the National Council for Women, and social media users condemned Attia’s statements and filed official complaints before the prosecutor general, accusing him of several legal offences, including “inciting hate speech and violence against women.”
In a tweet, one user said: “This is how Mabrouk Attia responded to the senseless slaughter of Nayera Ashraf. This lunatic sociopath is a disgrace and has nothing to do with Islam. Blaming the victim is phony nonsense.”
Another shared the video on Twitter, and said: “This video contains hate speech, criminal incitement, justifying and promoting terrorism against every woman who dares to leave her house.”
Another social media post said: “Mabrouk Attia is disgracefully victim blaming Nayera Achraf because she wasn’t wearing the hijab. We’re always told ‘cover yourself,’ ‘don’t provoke men,’ ‘be modest.’ It’s never about teaching men how to behave and respect women. We refuse to live in fear,” said another user.
Al-Azhar University distanced itself from Attia’s comments.
Later, in a video posted on his official Facebook page, Attia said that he would be suspending his social media accounts as a result of the backlash.
Ashraf was on Monday stabbed to death in broad daylight by a man as she stepped off a bus outside the university in central Egypt.
Her father claimed his daughter had been harassed more than once by the suspect, who he allegedly was upset after she refused to marry him.