The attack on the Egyptian Coptic woman

Last week’s incident in Egypt, in which a Muslim mob stripped an elderly Coptic Christian woman and paraded her naked on the streets, sparked the Twitter hashtag “Egypt stripped naked.”

An angry Egyptian woman tweeted: “They did not attack a Coptic woman but an Egyptian woman.” Another Twitter user responded: “What happened to her happened because she’s a Christian and not because she’s Egyptian.”

Dozens of people assaulted the Coptic woman due to an alleged affair between her son and a Muslim woman. Such attacks on women have happened before, but this cowardly attack has touched on a very sensitive topic considering its humanitarian and sectarian dimensions.

Media and politicians attempted to explain what happened by simplifying it, saying it was a mere family or personal dispute.

If the perpetrators of previous crimes have not been punished, why do we think such attacks will not be repeated?

Diana Moukalled


This repugnant approach, which included statements by sheikhs and clergymen, complemented a policy of denial that solidifies the inability to address these violations.

This incident reminds us of similar ones, such as the attack a few years ago on a female journalist who was stripped, and the attack on a female activist who was stripped and dragged in Cairo’s Tahrir Square.

The incident of the Coptic woman is not isolated, yet the media does not confront society’s deep defects, which are no longer a secret. The concern should be about the rights of all citizens, and punishing whoever spreads hatred.

If the perpetrators of previous crimes have not been punished, why do we think such attacks will not be repeated?

This article was first published in Asharq al-Awsat on May. 30, 2016.
Diana Moukalled is the Web Editor at the Lebanon-based Future Television and was the Production & Programming Manager with at the channel. Previously, she worked there as Editor in Chief, Producer and Presenter of “Bilayan al Mujaradah,” a documentary that covers hot zones in the Arab world and elsewhere, News and war correspondent and Local news correspondent. She currently writes a regular column in AlSharq AlAwsat. She also wrote for Al-Hayat Newspaper and Al-Wasat Magazine, besides producing news bulletins and documentaries for Reuters TV. She can be found on Twitter: @dianamoukalled.

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