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Italy's MP Nirenstein: Egyptian Women Voted Against Themselves

MP Nirentstein tells Egypt's women what is in store. A7 featured veiled women taking part in the anti-Mubarak riots. Back to the same.
By Rachel Sylvetsky
First Publish: 12/2/2011, 8:18 AM

Italian MP Fiamma Nirenstein, writing this week in ll Giornale on the Egyptian election results, found herself apalled at the spectacle of Egypt's women lining up and voting to send themselves back to the dark days of Sharia law under Islamic fundamentalism.

"Western televisions showed Egyptian women queuing to vote, with their heads covered or uncovered, wearing jeans or skirts, joyful, and hopeful about the wonderfully powerful  instrument of elections.

"And all the media voiced their usual, naive enthusiasm: the Arab spring will lead to democracy, as fortunately shown by these women who are able to vote".

It would have been far more realistic, she contended, for the media and the rest of the Western world to feel a spine chilling sensation upon seeing those suffering and exploited women  rejoicing, for "indeed, their lot tomorrow may be far worse".

The MP wondered how the women did not see the clear signs that the Muslim Brothers – leaders among all Islamist groups and the most organized among Egyptian movements – were going to win the elections, as apparently, they have. Perhaps this is what they wanted.

"So, Egyptian women" continues the intrepid parliamentarian, "you know what this means. Of course, you laugh when the Muslim Brotherhood promises to manage their loyalty to Islam with a soft hand.

"You know that their coercive force will soon be clear: right now, three people out of ten are illiterate and four live on less than two dollars per day in Egypt. It’s the ideal turf for fanaticism.

"Some months ago, a Pew poll showed that 60 per cent of Egyptians choose to strictly comply with the Sharia law, 84 per cent want the death penalty for those who leave Islam, 77 per cent say that thieves should have their hand cut off and, please listen carefully, 82 per cent want adulterous women to be stoned to death.

"This is the turf that the Muslim Brothers know how to till and sow".

"Women, prepare your scarves. I mean, your face and head scarves",  she concludes.