While the last two weeks have been packed to the brim with sexual harassment incidents that had occurred in our country, along with all social media platforms buzzing with news videos, debates all circulating around the sexual assaults.
Al-Azhar remained quiet about the whole matter, but yesterday, Al-Azhar has finally broken their silence and issued a statement.
In their statement, Al-Azhar announced: “The criminalization of harassment must be absolute and impartial of any condition or context. The justification of any assault by condemning the harassed’s clothing or behavior is a wrong belief. The harassment, regardless of any circumstances, is a violation of a woman’s privacy, freedom and dignity.”
They also added that the level of respect that women receive in any society determines the civilization of this society.
Al-Azhar also urged the concerned institutions to activate laws against this kind of crimes. “They must raise awareness regarding this kind of assault, and intensify media programs to inform citizens of how to act in the event of an incident of harassment, in order to deter the harasser and protect the harassed woman or girl. We must prevent these crime and its destructive effects on morality.”
In a country where the voice of religion is supposdly louder than anything, our hats are off to Al-Azhar for issuing this statement (even though this should be an obvious matter).
Even though sexual harassment is one of the most vicious crimes, people still manage to shame the victim, to give justification for the harasser, to muffle the voice of any victim who shout for help, so putting an end to all these justifications through a language our nation claims to understand very well is a crucial thing.