Supporting Nawal Saadawi Al Hayat On

Supporting Nawal Saadawi

Al-Hayat on Saturday ran an attack from a Muslim fundamentalist point of view on Egyptian novelist Nawal Saadawi. She recently argued that children should all receive hyphenated last names, from both the mother’s and the father’s side, instead of only the last name of the father. She said that this method would allow families to acknowledge the equal contribution of each parent to the child.

The Al-Hayat article ridiculed and attacked Saadawi. It quoted Shaikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi at length on how here suggestion is contrary to Islamic law (though al-Qaradawi did not actually demonstrate this allegation, and most of his points were just the ramblings of a male chauvinist. Al-Qaradawi is an elderly, old-time Muslim Brotherhood activist now settled in Qatar. He can sometimes be unconventional, but not on issues like this.

The the article quoted Camillia Hilmi, a woman Muslim fundamentalist who is Phyllis Schlafly’s Arab twin. She went on at length about how there is a wicked feminist cabal in the West that hates men and wants to exterminate them so that women can rule the world. She also accused them of tampering with the New Testament, so as to make God a woman in their text. She said that unfortunately, this feminist cabal dominated the committees of the United Nations. She then complained that Saadawi has fallen under their malevolent influence.

Saadawi has long been a target of Egyptian Muslim fundamentalists, and even made the secular government of Anwar El Sadat nervous enough to arrest her. She wrote a novel about Sadat, The Fall of the Imam. It enraged the religious right in Egypt. The Al-Azhar Seminary has recently started a campaign to have it formally banned by the Egyptian government. Please sign the letter of solidarity for Nawal Saadawi on the Web.

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