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The Killing of an Innocent Woman in Mansoura
The parents and a family member of murdered Mansoura University student Naira Ashraf attend the first trial session of the presumed murderer Mohamed Adel, at the Mansoura courthouse, some 145 km north of the capital Cairo, on June 26, 2022. (Khaled Desouki/AFP via Getty Images)

The Killing of an Innocent Woman in Mansoura

Al-Ahram, Egypt, June 24

The brutal killing of Naira Ashraf, a 21-year-old student at Mansoura University, has sent shockwaves across the Arab world. Ashraf was fatally stabbed in broad daylight, on her way back from school, by a man whose advances she rejected. What increases the tragedy of this treacherous murder is the fact that some voices within Egypt decided to side with the killer instead of the innocent victim. There were some sympathizers, for example, who claimed that Ashraf was “arrogant” for not giving her killer a chance and that, had she done so, she would have saved herself from her tragic fate. Similarly, others suggested that Ashraf brought her death upon herself because she wasn’t veiled. According to this theory, a woman who doesn’t practice modesty isn’t worthy of grief and sorrow. Even though we describe these opinions as fringe voices in society, they are still extremely dangerous. We must not condone violence as a means to impose others’ ideas. We must protect our society from these fanatics who seek to force their views upon us. The danger is that there are those who tolerate violence against women and find justifications for hitting girls and daughters in an effort to “educate” them. We’ve even seen cases of women being beaten by men from other households, who took it upon themselves to intervene in another family’s affairs and “tame” the women they know. All of this must come to an end. We must have a zero-tolerance policy towards these heinous acts before they become heinous crimes like the one we’ve witnessed in Mansoura. –Ahmed Abdel Tawab (translated by Asaf Zilberfarb)

 

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