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Tag: Virginity tests

On fascism and fascists

Published in Ahram Online on July 21, 2013 In focusing on the Muslim Brotherhood’s fascist tendencies do we not risk losing sight of the largest elephant in the room — the perils of army intervention in the name of protecting liberty? In March, I wrote an article here in response to an article written by Wael Abbas, author of the blog Misr Digital, in which he had warned of the threat of a spread of armed militias belonging to different groups, from the Brotherhood to the Ultras to thugs, expressing apprehension at what he viewed was the rise of militarism…

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Samira’s honor, the army’s shame

Published in Egypt Independent on March 23, 2012 On 11 March, a military court acquitted a former military doctor accused of conducting the infamous “virginity tests” on a number of women who had been detained by the military in March of last year. The case was brought by a 25-year old woman, Samira Ibrahim, who was among those on whom these degrading and humiliating tests had been conducted. Immediately after hearing the verdict, Ibrahim collapsed in tears, considering it a travesty of justice. Soon thereafter, however, she decided to take her case to the African Commission on Human and Peoples’…

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The army and the people are not one hand

Published in Egypt Independent on January 25, 2012 Of the many slogans chanted by millions of protesters during the 25 January uprising, “The army. The people. One hand.” was the only one I couldn’t bring myself to say. This partly stems from my academic study of the history of this military and finding out how much Egyptians suffered when they were dragged to serve in Mehmed Ali’s army. But one does not need a PhD to find out that the army — any army — is a conservative institution by nature, and that a revolution — any revolution — poses…

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Women, revolution, and army

Published in Egypt Independent on January 9, 2012 The human body has been front and center of this revolution since the early days of its outbreak last January.  Even though the  leading slogan of the revolution,  Bread, Freedom and Human Dignity is abstract and does not make explicit reference to the human body, it is the 30 dark years of torture, hunger and ill-health inflicted on the bodies of Egyptian men and women under Mubarak’s rule that give this slogan meaning and resonance. In the last weeks of 2011, women’s bodies have emerged as a nexus for many of the principles…

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