An Egyptian lawyer is under fire after he suggested during a panel discussion on live television that it’s a “national duty to rape” women who wear ripped jeans.
Nabih al-Wahsh is a prominent conservative lawyer in the country. He was part of a panel at a TV show called “Infrad.” The panel was discussing a draft law on prostitution and “inciting debauchery,” when the lawyer went on a completely different tangent and made the horrific comments.
The conservative lawyer got aggressive at a point during the discussion and said women who wear ripped jeans deserved to be sexually harassed and raped. He added that these women “invite men to harass them.”
“Are you happy when you see a girl walking down the street with half of her behind showing? I say that when a girl walks about like that, it is a patriotic duty to sexually harass her and a national duty to rape her,” he said.
Al-Wahsh further added, “Girls must respect themselves so others respect them. Protecting morals is more important than protecting borders.”
That is when women in the panel started protesting and asked him to not make such insensitive comments. Not only women present at the time of the discussion criticized Al-Wahsh and his controversial remarks but women across the country slammed him.
Egypt’s National Council for Women said they plan to file a complaint against the lawyer and the television channel that hosted the show. The council further added they urge media outlets not to invite such controversial figures in TV shows as they undermine women’s rights.
After intense backlash, Al-Wahsh backtracked from his earlier comments and said he meant to call for stricter punishments for sexual abuse. How he meant to do that while advocating rape remains a mystery.
This is not first time the lawyer has made headlines for comments. Last year, Al-Wahsh was on live television along with a Sydney imam where they were discussing whether Muslim women are supposed to wear headscarves.
Things escalated quickly when the imam claimed the headscarf is a cultural tradition rather than a religious duty. Apparently, his comments infuriated Al-Wahsh, and the pair started hurling personal insults at one another. At one point, the Egyptian lawyer promptly took off his shoe and launched himself at the imam.
This man is a clear and present danger to women! pic.twitter.com/3M1sVF1mGv— LaVerdaKavaliro (@Troyus23) November 2, 2017
Sick man!— Suzan Khouri (@khouri_19) November 2, 2017
This very mentality propagates the oppression of women in eastern societies. It must be flushed out of the culture https://t.co/yUTrh4FJYf— Adelle Nazarian (@AdelleNaz) November 1, 2017
Cairo named most dangerous megacity for women in the world and lawyer incites rape as ‘national duty’. Devastating https://t.co/mjUbGYvffr— Sabrina Mahfouz (@SabrinaMahfouz) November 1, 2017
Banner: Reuters, Asmaa Waguih