Western women have too much freedom in their dress code and that is why they are sexually assaulted, an Islamic street preacher in Toronto said recently, adding Canadian laws should be changed so women “cover themselves” to prevent these attacks.
An article in Sunnews.com reported Al-Haashim Kamana Atangana, 33, a recent convert to Islam, is connected to a group called Muslim Support Network and can be seen at Yonge and Dundas Streets preaching his cause.
In an email to QMI Agency, the article states, Atangana said, “ the reason…these sex attacks are continuously happening is because (of) Canadian laws, which give too much freedom to women” in their styles of dress.
“You should take your example from the way Muslim women dress,” he wrote. “Why does (sic) Muslim women who wear long dress and covers her head aren’t targeted for sex attacks?”
However, Tarak Fatah, a Muslim writer, said Atangana’s opinion is the epitome of radical Islamist misogyny.
Fatah said it was a perfect example of certain passages from the Qur-an, Islam’s holy book, exaggerated to fit “an antiquated, patriarchal ideology such as that of the Muslim Brotherhood.”
."This is not about what women wear," Fatah said in the article. "This is about ... some Muslim men believing that any woman whose head is uncovered is fair game because she is lustful ... and doesn't belong to the pious (Islamic) sisterhood."
Fatah said it is "hogwash" to think a woman wearing traditional Islamic dress will not be sexually assaulted and points to an ongoing problem of sexual harassment in Egypt, where Muslim faith dominates, regardless of how the women dress, traditional or otherwise.
According to a 2008 report from the Egyptian Center for Women's Rights, 83% of Egyptian women experienced some form of sexual harassment at some point, and approximately 70% wore veils of some kind.
Alla Hogben, member of the Canadian Council of Muslim Women said Atangana’s statements reflect a general patriarchal desire among some men to control women.
She said, “There is absolutely no connection between how women dress and being sexually assaulted,” and she said if he thinks good, pious Muslim women are not sexually assaulted, he is wrong."