Punish men who harass women!


Al-Jazirah daily Newspaper

I once saw an interview of a well-known Christian female television presenter with Sheikh Luai Al-Zoabi from Syria. The presenter had covered her hair in respect for the sheikh but she was shocked that the sheikh did not look at her and kept looking down throughout the interview. When she asked him why, he said that religion ordered men to keep their sight away from women who do not cover their hair.

This interview came to my mind when I read the statement of another Muslim sheikh who insisted that women invite harassment. In his opinion, he believes that women cause men to harass them when they do not cover themselves. He even called upon families to insure that their daughters covered up in order to avoid harassment.

Surprisingly, he did not hold men accountable for harassment and did not say anything against men as if he was implying that men should not be blamed if they harassed women who do not cover up and dress modestly.

I would like to remind this sheikh of the fact that Allah the Almighty ordered men not to look at women before He ordered women to cover up and dress modestly.

The sheikh’s statements are illogical and unacceptable and show that he does not understand the Shariah. He just wants to scare women so that they stay at home and do not go out on the street.

When the authorities announced that an anti-harassment law would come into force soon, many people were angry. They were angry because they have the same belief that the sheikh has: women should stay at home.

Harassers should be punished severely if they practice physical or verbal abuse against women. Repeated felonies should be punished even more severely with imprisonment, fines, public naming and shaming. No one would dare to harass a woman or a girl on the street if we had an anti-harassment law.