CAIRO: The Muslim Brotherhood (MB) filed a complaint against a journalist at Al-Fagr newspaper and its editor accusing them of publishing false news, with the intent of libel and slander.
Mohamed El-Baz had written an article published in tabloid Al-Fagr on Dec.29 under the title "Women for pleasure…The political and sexual exploitation of the Brotherhood women," featuring the picture of a woman, wearing a full-face veil and holding a banner with the slogan of MB’s political arm, the Freedom and Justice Party.
"Investigations regarding our complaint will start next Sunday, after which [chief-editor Adel] Hammouda and El-Baz will be summoned for interrogations," the group’s lawyer Abdel Moneim Abdel Maqsoud told Daily News Egypt, Sunday.
The article cited quotes from former MB member Intissar Abdel Moneim’s memoires titled "Memoires of a former sister…My story with the Brotherhood," where she slams the group and accuses them of sidelining women and violating their rights.
"In any case, a sister must submit to the way they [the MB] interpret Islamic jurisprudence without any argument, that’s how marital relations are reduced to one negative concept, which is the woman’s obedience to her husband, whether he is good or bad," El-Baz wrote quoting Abdel Moneim.
The group didn’t file a complaint against Abdel Moneim, but sufficed with accusing Al-Fagr of exploiting freedom of the press to libel and slander the group using unprofessional methods that defy the ethics of journalism.
"[El-Baz] wrote a lot of false information that had nothing to do with Abdel Moneim’s quotes, in addition to the picture that included an FJP slogan, although Intissar left the group long before the party was established," Abdel Maqsoud said.
Hammouda couldn’t be reached for comment until press time.
The FJP swept the polls in the parliamentary elections which kicked off on Nov.28, winning 46 percent in the staggered elections. Many MB members perceive this article as an attempt to slander the FJP and tarnish its sweeping victory.
El-Baz extracts conclusions from Abdel Moneim’s quotes saying that MB’s women are only used for "pleasure" which is considered a "higher purpose" for their male spouses. He added that while their men are allowed to marry more than one woman, their women are forced to obey their husbands, be patient and endure injustice.
In the complaint filed by the MB, they stressed the importance of women’s role in the "revolution," including the MB women who set a perfect example of sacrifice and participated in Tahrir Square during the 18-day revolt which toppled ousted President Hosni Mubarak.
However El-Baz described all the Brotherhood’s statements hailing the role of women as "lies."
El-Baz also tapped on the Brotherhood’s "shameful stance" towards the veiled female protester who was beaten and stripped to her bra during the deadly crackdown on the cabinet sit-in last month.
Mahmoud Ghozlan, MB spokesperson, denied in a statement that the woman in question was a member of the Brotherhood, "as if the Brotherhood women are above other Egyptian women…as if they are Muslim women while [the rest of Egyptian women] aren’t," El-Baz in wrote.
Manal Aboul Hassan, leading member of the Muslim Brotherhood, had previously told Egypt 25 channel in December that the issue of the woman who was dragged and stripped was blown out of proportion by the media to serve foreign agendas.
"This is an irregular tendency. Men were dragged several times as well as women and in the end a woman won’t be defended by another woman, but the whole community will defend her," she reportedly said on the program, according to an article published by FJP’s official newspaper.
Aboul Hassan also said on Sunday that the pan-Arab daily Asharq Al-Awsat misquoted her while reporting that she said the Muslim Sisters refused to participate in the female protest held last month incriminating the military council’s violations against women.
She said that this was part of a campaign to libel and slander the Sisterhood, which started with Al-Fagr’s article against them. Her statement, which was published on the Brotherhood’s official online portal in the morning could not be found in the afternoon.