Tunisian gender reforms countered in Egypt by female Coptic MP

canadafreepress.com | 9/11/2017 | Dr. Ashraf Ramelah
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Under the Al-Sisi government, Copts expect the religious scholars of Al-Ahzar Institute to reform Islam. A good beginning would look like this: removal of violence-oriented content from school textbooks, moderate preaching from imams who are Al-Ahzar-certified, and the advancement of women’s rights under Sharia-Islamic law (indirectly affecting Copts who are pressured to follow it.) Are these expectations warranted? No, not likely. Recently, a campaign was launched inside Egypt by Al-Ahzar Institute’s leaders against the civilizing reforms announced by President Al-Sibsi of Tunisia last month on the occasion of Tunisia’s Women’s Day.

Broadcasting through Egyptian TV, “fatwa” kiosks in subway platforms, and mosque assemblies, Al-Ahzar reacted quickly to refute every provision of President Al-Sibsi’s daring proposals in order to prohibit any influence of Tunisia’s enlightenment from seeping into the eager minds of Egyptian citizens. Al-Ahzar scholars flatly denounced the call by the Tunisian president for equality in inheritance for Tunisians, proving Al-Ahzar’s convictions are calcified and committed to the 7th century. While the Tunisian Mufti endorsed Al-Sibsi’s discourse and suggestions, Al-Ahzar’s vehement condemnation in a statement issued on Sunday, August 20, said this: “The provisions of inheritance” in Islam are “categorical and meaningful.”

August - Women - Tunisia - President - Al-Sibsi

On August 13, the women of Tunisia were addressed by Tunisian President Al-Sibsi who invited all citizens to support the rights of women and spoke of advancing their status in society. He gave a green light to activate total equality between men and women in all fields. In particular, Al-Sibsi promoted equality of inheritance – to dissolve the Sharia stronghold in which a female inherits only half the portion of a male sibling—and that Muslim women should be allowed to marry non-Muslim men (another stickler in the Quran and the Sharia which only gives permission for Muslim men to marry non-Muslim women.)

While the apoplectic reaction by Al-Ahzar was...
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