I often compare the Muslim Brotherhood and their platform to the Christian fundamentalists in the U.S. who love to tout moral values. It’s very easy to tout moral values, to be against abortion, to be against same-sex marriage here. And in Egypt and in the Middle East, it’s very easy to say I’m going to ban alcohol and I’m going to make sure that all girls can or should wear head scarves. That is too easy and that is a violation of people’s rights.This revolution is ours, as well. It might not have been a revolution for women’s rights, but now that we started the political revolution, if we don’t have a social sexual revolution that works on the ground, that political revolution will fail. It’s not about replacing one misogynistic patriarch with another.
Well, it’s a fantastic documentary that paired women writers with girls from their countries. So I was paired with a wonderful 13-year-old girl in Egypt who was a survivor of rape. And I myself was sexually assaulted close to Tahrir Square in November of 2011. So when the two of us met, we had a lot to share. But, you know, there I was at the time, you know, 44 years-old, 43 years-old. And she was 13. And the spirit of this girl, who had never had any kind of formal education, the way that she fought back, the way she and her mother went to the police to demand justice for the rape that she survived and her enthusiasm for education and her mother’s agreement to, you know, to have her daughter be paired with me and have her story told was just wonderful. And, you know, I urge everyone to watch the film, because it really goes to the heart of this, that when girls are educated, everybody benefits. So I’m glad CNN is showing it and I was glad to be a part of it.
So, you know, be as Muslims as you want, be as religious as you want. But I think that the goal of the revolution was never about banning alcohol. The goal of the revolution was never about head scarves. The goal of the revolution was bread, liberty and social justice. And in that spirit, I think that we should be aiming for rights that encompasses everybody and their way of life. So I think when it comes to women especially, we’re unfortunately very cheap bargaining chips. But what helps us is that women were side by side with men on the street.