Friday, February 23, 2007
Nawal el Saadawi: Most Hated Woman in Egypt?
A news item reports that Nawal el Saadawi, the Egyptian feminist writer, has left Egypt because she feels her life is threatened after being accused of apostasy for campaigning that children carry the mother's as well as the father's name and for speaking up against the Islamists.
Whether she's leaving for good or not, Saadawi, at 77, is perhaps the most hated woman in Egypt. Not only is she accused of attacking Islam, but she's old, female, and ugly. I'm basing this on readers' responses to any news item about her, which make you think that she's responsible for Egyptian jail, torture, poverty , inflation, and overcrowding. The hatred towards her is palpable.
In other words, not all opposition to the regime is created equal. People like Saadawi and Kareem Soleiman are the most vulnerable because they get it from all sides: the government, the Islamists, and ordinary "good" people who don't want to rock the boat. And when Amnesty International or Human Rights Watch defend them, that defense seals their fate and confirm that they are enemies of state, nation, and god.
Got to stop reading the news!!