Een oproep van Nawal el Saadawi

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Klik hier voor de website van Saadawi's supporters

Onderstaande oproep van de bekende Egyptische feministe Nawal el Saadawi werd op 24 mei 2001 geplaatst op de mailinglijst Feminisme en korte tijd later aangevuld met een bericht van AFP (klik hier) dat de aanklacht tegen Saadawi niet ontvankelijk is verklaard. Het lijkt erop dat steunbetuigingen voorlopig niet meer nodig zijn, maar het is altijd goed om zo'n kwestie te blijven volgen. Als er meer informatie komt zullen we er een apart dossier van maken.

Please act NOW !!!

Dear Friends and Colleagues:

On the 6 March 2001 a weekly newspaper published an interview I had given  a few days before I left for a long lecture tour in Germany, France and  the United States. In this interview I reiterated the views I have  defended in all my writings during the last forty years and pronounced  publicly in many parts of the world including the Arab region. In these  views I link questions of sex and gender to politics, economics and culture at the local and international levels and strike at the roots  of all forms of exploitation and oppression whether class, patriarchal, racial national, or religious. Those who are in power have always tried to silence my voice. These attempts to silence me have increased steadily in the past years which have witnessed the predominance of capitalist neo-liberal forces and their allies including  religious fundamentalism.

In the interview which I gave I repeated my opposition to the veiling of women which implies that women are only bodies, to polygamy, to inequality in inheritance rights and insisted that all of these were in contradiction with the true spirit of Islam and the correct interpretation of the Qoranic text. I also mentioned that some of the practices of Islam had been inherited historically from the pre-Islamic  era and that this was a natural phenomena in all religions and gave as an  example that of the pilgrimage. The newspaper like many other newspapers  appearing all over the world depends heavily on sensationalism for its sales. My views were manipulated, quoted out of context and blown up with  provocative headlines.

The powers that be which have always been unhappy  with my views seized the occasion of a deteriorating cultural atmosphere coupled with a rebound of fundamentalist tendencies in Egypt. The Mufti of Egypt issued a declaration to the same newspaper accusing me of having  strayed out of the bounds of Islam. A few days after a lawyer raised a  case against me for separation between me and my husband on the grounds of apostasy.

The case is appearing before a personal law court (Shariat  Court) on the 18 June 2001. But since all cases must be raised by the  General Prosecutor himself according to the amendments made to the law of Hizba, the same lawyer sent a request to the General Prosecutor asking him to have me tried on the same grounds. If the General Prosecutor agrees I can be tried and sentenced to a period of imprisonment for attacking religion or separated from my husband by Hizba on grounds of apostasy. We are waitng to see what will  happen.

What you are all doing is wonderful and we are very thankful to you. Expand it more and more until it becomes an irresistible wav. You will be defending the human rights and dignity of many men and women in  our region and all over the  world.

Send your protests to

  • Farouk Seif Al Nasr, the Minister  of Justice, Lazoughly Square, Cairo, Egypt;
  • to Maher Abdel Wahab, the  General Prosecutor, The High Court, July 26 Street, Cairo, Egypt
    (Fax 202 575 7165);
  • to Hosni Mobarak President of the Arab Republic of Egypt; and to
  • the First Lady Suzanne Mobarak

with copies of everything to the Egyptian  Embassy.

Nawal el Saadawi