Home  »  Politics  »  Egyptian “Morality” Squads Begin Enforcement Of Sharia Law

Jan 8, 2012 2 Comments ›› Angelia

(JPost) — Suzie flops down on the chair and lets out a long breath. Quickly moving to her head, she unfastens her headscarf, the purple and silver head covering she wears during the day, and calmly lets her long black hair fall to her shoulders and down her back.

“I’ve had it with this double life,” she told The Media Line at her Cairo flat. “The problem is I wouldn’t have got my job if I wasn’t veiled so I put it on during the day and take it off at night before going out with friends,” she adds in perfect English, a hint of a British accent coming through. [...]

“That can scare people a lot, but we must all remain cautious before we jump to conclusions,” says Nehad Abu Komsan, the head of the Egyptian Center for Women’s Rights (ECWR). “I don’t think that many people voted for these parties because of a conviction toward them, but more because that was who was campaigning the most.”

The grassroots Committee for the Prevention of Vice and Promotion of Virtue has adopted the name of an official government body that operates in Saudi Arabia. Armed with wooden canes, the Saudi committee’s paid operatives and volunteers patrol the streets enforcing the strict separation of men and women, conservative dress codes, public prayer and other behavior it regards as commanded by Islam.

Looking nervously at the Saudi model, activists and average Egyptians worry about what the Egyptian vice committee might bring as Islamist parties sweep the elections.

Already, Egyptians are reporting members of the group have entered shops, cafes and other Egyptian locations to lecture owners on the un-Islamic nature of their businesses, often referring to places that sell body-clinging women’s clothes and alcohol as haram, or forbidden in Islam.

The group claims that the Al-Nour Party had told members of the organization that they would support their efforts if they came to power ahead of parliamentary elections, which began November 30. However, the Salafist party, in a statement on it official Facebook page, has denied any relationship with the committee and distanced themselves from the group.