Egypt: Mostafa Hussein shreds the Honor Legacy

Honor, honor crimes, female genital mutilation (FGM), and virginity are deeply rooted concepts in the Egyptian culture. Call them heritage, legacy, or traditions , Mostafa Hussein brilliantly feeds them into the shredder.

The headline of his post says it all:

Men are never sure who is the real father of their offspring. This created the legacy of honour.

I have written previously here about the four anti-child abuse laws and how they were aborted and here about the call to mutilate more women when

Deputy Mohamed Al Omda dragged his three little girls and his mother to the People's Assembly street where they demonstrated silently against the new children's law. MB representative Dr. Abdel Hameed Zaghloul and some other ladies joined them and they all held banners and signs warning against the new laws.

Ami Isseroff commented on both issues saying

The “moderate” Muslim Brotherhood fought the good fight, but owing to the undemocratic nature of the Egyptian government, they were unable to block laws that forbid female genital mutilation and will not register marriages to minors.

ISIS wrote about Facebook honor killings

A Saudi woman was beaten and shot by her father after being caught while chatting with a man on Facebook. This is a typical case of honor murder whereby a woman, discovered to associate with another man, is murdered by her family members as punishment for “denigrating the honor of family.” Punishable acts, once limited to offline relationships, such as having a kiss, sleeping together, and sharing a table, have now expanded to online relations.

ISIS also tackled how FGM Kills here after a little girl lost her life:

The interesting thing about this incident is that the doctor who agreed to perform the surgery is the one taking all the legal blame… The girl's family are getting tons of support from the Childhood and Motherhood Council, which is headed by Tante Moushira Khattab. The doctor who agreed to perform the operation coincidently happens to be a woman. She's taking all the blame! and after the issue of FGM got a lot of attention because of this incident the health minister issued a decree outlawing the procedure completely… The previous law allowed for the procedure for ‘cosmetic’ or ‘medical’ reasons… The new law supposedly puts a complete ban on the procedure rather than just take measures against it… The one that is liable is the one performing the surgery, be it a midwife or a physician. Excuze me!! But who took the girl to the doctor in the first place? Isn't the family considered an accomplice?

Back to Mostafa Hussein who said that he was no expert on that issue but common sense lead him to conclude that

Females have a critical advantage over males because they own the means of producing offspring. They are always sure that their kids are theirs. That their offspring carry their own genes. Both, however, are not programmed to care much about who was responsible for the other half of the genetic load carried by their child.

Fish don't care much about their offspring. A male fish will fertilize the eggs by spraying some sperm over a collection of fish eggs. A male fish will be proud of its fatherly duties for a second or so.

Then he introduces the concept of honor

Honour, that is women's virtue and chastity, is, in my opinion (I am sure this is not a new thing), an invention by men to make sure they are not raising children that are not their own.

How can they control it?

From dress codes to the acceptability of honour killings. Moral mechanisms were put forward by religious people, politicians and law makers across history.

For example

A modest dress or a dress that will not be revealing to a woman's body will, supposedly, be inviting for other males thus increasing the chances that women collectively, in a given society, have a higher risk of being impregnated by someone else. This idea is concealed in a mixture of both honour, religion and acceptance.

Mostafa also talked about FGM, virginity and honor killings describing them as

mechanisms [that] are more twisted, suppressive or bloody.


Men decided to be unmoved about men who kill their own wives while she was in an act that ‘disturbs the fabric of society’ to, indirectly, warn women of how a society ruled by men will not tolerate kids that are not their own.

But he thinks that

these futile mechanisms (they are futile because men will still not be really sure that the kids are theirs) are more common in societies that find raising a child more costly and ruled by men.

1 comment

  • Ibn Verga

    I posted a comment on your other blog covering this subject. As a man I am very distressed and physically sick, that it still can happen in 21st Century. I am not an Arab and I would like to hear from Arab men, how they can go to sleep at night, considering what is happening in their name.

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