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Sunday, March 21, 2010

Pakistani Christian burned alive, wife raped by police for refusing to convert to Islam

"News Alert: Pakistan Christian "Burned", Wife "Raped", For Refusing Islam," from BosNewsLife, March 20 (thanks to DJM):

RAWALPINDI, PAKISTAN (BosNewsLife)-- A Christian man was fighting for his life in Pakistan's Punjab province Saturday, March 20, after Muslim leaders backed by police burned him alive for refusing to convert to Islam, while his wife was raped by police officers, Christian and hospital sources familiar with the case told BosNewsLife.

Arshed Masih was burned Friday, March 19, in front of a police station in the city of Rawalpindi near Pakistan's capital Islamabad, following apparent death threats from his Muslim employer Sheikh Mohammad Sultan, an influential businessman, and religious leaders, said the Rawalpindi Holy Family Hospital.

His wife, Martha Arshed, was allegedly raped by police officers. Their three children -- ranging in age from 7 to 12-- were reportedly forced to witness the attacks against their parents.

"Both [Masih] and wife were rushed to the Holy Family Hospital and are under treatment," the hospital said.

He was listed in serious condition with about 80 percent of his body burned.

Local police officials said they were "aware" of the attacks carried out by Muslim leaders and apparently at least some officers and added that an investigation was underway. No arrests were reported yet late Saturday, March 19.

Sheikh Mohammad Sultan could not immediately be reached for comment and it was not clear whether he had been in contact with police Saturday, March 20.

Before tensions emerged about their Christian faith, Masih worked as a driver and his wife as a maid for the Muslim businessman since 2005, Christians said.

The couple apparently lived with their children in the servant quarters of Sultan's estate in Rawalpindi, a key trade and tourist destination. In January, religious leaders and Sultan allegedly asked Arshed to convert to Islam with his whole family. After he refused, the group reportedly threatened him with "dire consequences"

Arshed offered to quit his job, but the businessman allegedly said he would "kill" him if he were to leave.

He apparently also told Christian mediators that he would never allow the Christian family to live somewhere else.

This week tensions raised after Sultan reported a theft of 500,000 Pakistani Rupees (5,952$), according to a document seen by BosNewsLife.

The Christian family members were not named as suspects in the so-called 'First Information Report' from police.

Sources familiar with the situation, who asked not to be identified for security reasons, told BosNewsLife that the businessman had offered the couple to drop the case if they convert to Islam or "else that both would not see their children again."

However, "Arshed refused to convert and stood firm in his faith. Arshed`s wife was raped by the police and he was burned alive," Friday, March 19, local Christians said, speaking on condition of anonimity.

The case comes at a time when church groups have complained about growing attacks against minority Christians by Muslim militants, often with the alleged support by local law enforcement officials and other authorities.

Posted by Marisol on March 21, 2010 7:26 AM

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Yemen - Child Brides

CHILD BRIDES: Divorced at 10?
Incredible story of a Yemeni 8-year old who was married off against her will to a 30-year-old man. And yes, the husband DID HAVE SEX with her.

Women's Rights in Islam: Divorced at 10 - More bloopers are a click away
Nujoud Ali, now 10 years old, describes the horrors of being pulled out of school and forced into marriage. This courageous little girl ran away after just 12 days, went to the court, and demanded to be given a divorce so she could go back to school. And she got it.

This 12-year-old doesn’t know if she will be able to get a divorce from the 26-year-old cousin whom her father forced her to marry. If she can’t, she says she will commit suicide.

She says she was happy at first, happy about the pretty wedding gown. After 11 days, she could stand it no longer and ran away.

March 13, 2010
Categories: Children . . Author: barenakedislam .

Diane Sawyer in Afghanistan

Diane Sawyer reports on the abject abuse of women in Afghanistan

This secret shelter for women is run by a Jewish American woman, Esther Hyneman, along with an Afghan woman, Manizha) H/T Debbie Schlussel


March 13, 2010
Categories: Women . . Author: barenakedislam .

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


Young Christian girls in Iraq are being terrorized and savagely mutilated
“I have seen little Christian girls, aged 9 – 16, who had their intestines ripped out and their vulvas cut off.”

Here is a most heartbreaking testimony by Sister Hatune, of the Syrian-Orthodox monastery in Warburg, Germany. She makes an amazing effort to help and protect the ruthlessly persecuted Christians in Iraq. In recent years a horrifying number of kidnappings, rapes and mutilations of Iraqi Christian girls has been perpetrated by Muslim gangs. Some 700,000 Christians are fleeing this terror, but often find themselves exposed to similar dangers when they arrive in neighboring Muslim countries. With no rights and no help from authorities, they are surely in the most desperate of situations. FRONTPAGE

VISIT: Sister Hatune Foundation

H/T blogspotKitmanTV
March 10, 2010
Categories: Persecution of Christians . . Author: barenakedislam

Monday, March 8, 2010

Honor Killing - 16 yr old Girl Buried Alive

ANOTHER HONOR KILLING in Turkey: 16-year-old girl BURIED ALIVE
A 16-year-old Muslim girl buried alive by relatives in southeastern Turkey in a gruesome honor killing carried out because she reportedly befriended boys.

Acting on a tip, police discovered the body of the girl, identified only as M.M., in a sitting position with her hands tied, in a 2-meter-deep hole dug under a chicken pen outside her house in Kahta, a town in the southeastern province of Adıyaman, the news agency reported.

The body was found in December, around 40 days after M.M. went missing. She is being identified by her initials because she was under the age of 18. Her father and grandfather are suspected in the murder.

A subsequent postmortem examination revealed that M.M. had a significant amount of soil in her lungs and stomach, indicating that she was buried alive and conscious, forensic experts told the news agency. “The autopsy result is blood-curdling. According to our findings, the girl – who had no bruises on her body and no sign of narcotics or poison in her blood – was alive and fully conscious when she was buried,” one anonymous expert said.

The girl’s father and grandfather have been formally arrested and jailed pending trial over her killing, according to the agency. The father is reported to have said in his testimony that the family was unhappy that M.M. had male friends. HURRIYET NEWS H/T TROP

February 4, 2010
Categories: Women . . Author: barenakedislam


“Don’t kill me.” “Don’t kill me,” cries 13 year old Somali girl before she is stoned to death for being a rape victim
An innocent little girl, Aisha Ibrahim Duhulow, was forced into a hole, buried up to her neck then pelted with stones by more than 50 MUSLIM men until she died in front of 1,000 jeering spectators.

The girl had been accused of adultery in breach of Islamic law, but sources told Amnesty International that she had in fact been raped by three men, and had attempted to report this rape. None of men she accused of rape were arrested.

She was detained by militia of the Kismayo authorities, a coalition of Al-shabab and clan militias. Initial reports said she confessed to adultery before a Sharia court. Amnesty said it had learned she was only 13 and that her father had said she was gang raped by three men. Yes, that was her crime, she was raped by three savage men! When the family tried to report the rape, the girl was accused of adultery and detained.

A human rights activist in the town told the BBC on condition of anonymity that he had received death threats from the Islamic militia, who accuse him of spreading false information about the incident. He denies having anything to with Amnesty’s report. Cameras were banned from the stoning in Kismayo, but print and radio journalists who were allowed to attend.

Court authorities have said the woman came to them admitting her guilt. She was asked several times to review her confession but she stressed that she wanted Sharia law and the deserved punishment to apply. However, a witness who spoke to the BBC’s ‘Today’ programme said she had been crying and had to be forced into a hole before the stoning.

STONING is a widely used punishment in Islam

A few minutes later more than 50 men threw rocks at her and stoned the poor girl to death. The witness said people crowding round to see the execution said it was “awful.” However, no-one tried to stop the Islamist officials, who were armed, the witness said. He said one boy was shot in the confusion.

According to Amnesty International, nurses were sent to check during the stoning whether the victim was still alive. They removed her from the ground and declared that she was’nt dead yet. So, she was replaced in the hole so the stoning could continue.

This story is a gruesome and horrific reminder of Islamic law! The killing of Aisha Ibrahim Duhulow demonstrates the cruelty and the inherent discrimination against women in Islam. H/T Ali

January 18, 2010
Categories: Women . . Author: barenakedislam

Rape Victim Gets Punished

BANGLADESH: Rape victim gets 101 lashes for becoming pregnant from the rape
16-year-old Muslim girl who was raped has been given 101 lashes for conceiving during the assault.

The girl’s father was also fined and warned the family would be branded outcasts from their village if he did not pay.

According to human rights activists, the girl, who was quickly married after the attack, was divorced weeks later after medical tests revealed she was pregnant. The girl was raped by a 20-year-old villager in Brahmanbaria district in April last year.

Bangladesh’s Daily Star newspaper reported that she was so ashamed following the attack that she did not lodge a complaint.

Her rape emerged after her pregnancy test and Muslim elders in the village issued a fatwa insisting that the girl be kept in isolation until her family agreed to corporal punishment.

Her rapist was pardoned by the elders. She told the newspaper the rapist had “spoiled” her life. ”I want justice,” she said. UK TELEGRAPH


February 7, 2010
Categories: Women . . Author: barenakedislam

SHACKLED WOMEN: Pakistan’s thriving slave trade in young girls

Islamic law is making the lives of countless women Hell. Up to 3,000 young girls are for sale on any day in Karachi streets, some as young as 10 years old.

Often seen as the legal or sexual property of men, many Muslim women are confined to a life of almost incessant childbirth, especially until they bear a son. In Pakistan, more than 200,000 girls have been sold over the past decade and the government doesn’t want to do anything about it because everyone profits. Under Pakistan’s Islamic zina law, a woman can be imprisoned for being raped or for running away from a forced marriage. Others are put away forever in insane asylums.

H/T blogspotKitmanTV


March 6, 2010
Categories: Women . . Author: barenakedislam

Tuesday, March 2, 2010


Afghanistan: Women beaten by husbands, then flogged for running away

Qur'an 4:34 has, in letter and in spirit, set a far-reaching precedent for using violence as a recourse against "disobedient" women. These are the consequences. "Runaway wives sentenced to public flogging by warlord," from France 24, March 2:

The footage, posted online by Afghani women's rights organisation RAWA, based in Pakistan, was originally aired by the Afghan TV channel "Tolo TV" on Feb. 18.

When contacted by FRANCE 24, the Afghan channel told us that the scene had taken place in December 2009 in the Dolina district (Ghor province, central), and that the footage was filmed by one of its sources there.

According to Ghor governor Abdul Hai Khatibi, the two women flogged that day -- only one is seen on the video -- had been forced to marry against their will. Beaten by their husbands, they ran away from their respective homes disguised in men's clothing. After a month on the run they were caught by police in Chasht (Herat province, west), arrested, and sent back to their husbands.

Both women were sentenced to 45 lashes in public. In a statement made on Pajhowk Afghan News, the deputy chief of police of Dolina district, Jahan Shah, explained that the case had been handed over to the local warlord, Fazl Ahad. He decided to have the women punished for running away, but also demanded that the husbands, whom he deemed guilty as well, divorce their wives.

Posted by Marisol on March 2, 2010 5:56 PM | 8 Comments
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Female Genital Mutilation

Today, an estimated 130 million women have undergone sexual mutilation.

It is performed in many African countries, including Sudan, Somalia, Ethiopia, Kenya, and Chad. It is also a tradition among Muslims in Malaysia and Indonesia, and in a number of countries in the Middle East, including Egypt, the UAE, and parts of rural Saudi Arabia. Lately, it is happening to Muslim girls in Western countries.

Ayaan Hirsi Ali explains that many Muslim clerics endorse female circumision to repress sexuality in young girls, depriving their right to pleasure and causing extreme pain, and even death. Many girls die from hemorrhaging and use of non-sterile instruments.
It appears to be driven originally by men’s desire to have power over womens’ sexualityto remove fear of paternity uncertainty by keeping women chaste and uninterested in love affairs, but the practice has become so old and rooted that it is now perpetuated by womenupon women in many places.
There is no mention of it in the Koran, and only a brief mention in the authentic hadiths, which states: “A woman used to perform circumcision in Medina. The Prophet said to her: ‘Do not cut severely, as that is better for a woman and more desirable for a husband.’ But because of this still debated hadith, some scholars of the Shari school of Islam, found mostly in East Africa, consider female circumcision obligatory. The Hanafi and most other schools maintain it is merely recommended, not essential.The small girl’s torn genitalia are stitched with thorns and her legs tied together to reduce blood loss. Many die.

Primitive tools often used in FGM

The majority of rural Egyptian women are still circumcised. Here they remove only the clitoris; they do not do the much more extensive procedure, but even so, there are many problems. Infection, bleeding, urinary tract damage, sepsis, even death.
More than 90 percent of Sudanese women undergo the most severe form of circumcision, known as “pharaonic,” or infibulation, at the age of seven or eight, which removes all of the clitoris, the labia minora, and the labia majora. The sides are then sutured together, often with thorns, and only a small matchstick-diameter opening is left for urine and menstrual flow. The girl’s legs are tied together and liquids are heavily rationed until the incision is healed.

During this primitive yet major surgery, it is not uncommon for girls, who are held down by female relatives, to die from shock or hemorrhage of the vagina, urethra, bladder, and rectal area may also be damaged, and massive keloid scarring can obstruct walking for life.
After marriage, women who have been infibulated must be forcibly penetrated. This may take up to forty days, and when men are impatient, a knife is used. Special honeymoon centers are built outside communities so that the screams of the brides will not be heard. Sometimes the husband traditionally runs through the streets with a blood-stained dagger.
Female genital mutilation is carried out for cultural and religious reasons. Women across the world are affected by the practice which is widely recognised as a violation of human rights.

“I heard the sound of the dug blade sawing back and forth through my skin,” The woman used thorns from an acacia tree to puncture holes in her skin and sew her up, leaving a tiny hole the diameter of a matchstick, through which urine and menstrual blood could dribble.

“My legs were completely numb, but the pain between them was so intense that I wished I would die.” Five-year-old Waris was left in a hut to recuperate her infibulation.

Uncircumcised girls are seen as unclean and treated as outcasts. For more than 20 years Dirie suffered health problems from her radical circumcision. Menstruation was a long, agonizing process each month, as the menstrual blood backed up in her body.

Egyptian Muslims Explain Why They Circumcise Their Daughters.

5/17/08 “Conservatives in the Egyptian parliament have made female genital mutilation (circumcision) legal again in Egypt.” Following are excerpts from a television program about female circumcision in Egypt, which aired on Al-Mihwar TV on May 10, 2007. Female Circumcision of Egyptian Muslim women has been adopted and promoted by various groups within Islam.The practice of circumcision in Islam comes from the Hadith, Shariah law, and the consensus of Islamic communities.

“I was unable to see, and somehow my breathing seemed also to have stopped. Yet I imagined the thing that was making the rasping sound coming closer and closer to me. … At that very moment I realized that my thighs had been pulled wide apart, and that each of my lower limbs was being held as far away from the other as possible, gripped by-steel fingers that never relinquished their pressure.

I felt that the rasping knife or blade was heading straight down towards my throat. Then suddenly the sharp metallic edge seemed to drop between my thighs and there cut off a piece of flesh from my body.
I screamed with pain despite the tight hand held over my mouth, for the pain was not just a pain, it was like a searing flame that went through my whole body. After a few moments, I saw a red pool of blood around my hips. I did not know what they had cut off from my body, and I did not try to find out. I just wept, and called out to my mother for help.

But the worst shock of all was when I looked around and found standing by my side. Yes, it was her, I could not be mistaken, in flesh and blood, right in the midst of these strangers, talking to them and smiling at them, as though they had not participated in slaughtering her daughter just a few moments ago.” FGM

Related Videos: children

July 12, 2009
Categories: Children . . Author: barenakedislam

‘AFGHAN IDOL’ – The most hated woman in Afghanistan

Why? Because she dared to sing and dance in the TV final of her country’s version of American Idol. During her sedate routine, her headscarf slipped, showing her hair and outraging the war-torn country’s religious fundamentalists.

SETARA HUSSAINZADA is a shining beacon of hope for the peace-starved young people of Afghanistan. Yet the Muslim woman, 25, is now in hiding and too terrified to show her face.

She received death threats for her “blasphemy” on the Afghan Star show two years ago, was evicted from her home and now will not venture into the street without armed bodyguards. Setara admits that she was devastated when her fellow countrymen called her “loose” and said she “deserves to die” for dancing and showing her hair. She says: “I felt like a bird in a cage.

“Any artist who lives in Afghanistan and gets to some sort of popularity, especially females, they face a lot of problems from the people, especially the religious people.” The scarf moment was captured on a documentary made by British director Havana Marking. The docu, also called Afghan Star, is out on DVD on Monday and is the UK’s Oscar submission for Best Foreign Film.

Setara in headscarf pre-slipping

Setara says: “When I watched the film I had a very tragic feeling, it broke my heart. ”What kind of ground is Afghanistan made from? I’m still wondering, what is this country like, that the young people of this country cannot make their voices heard? I can’t bear it any more.

“Maybe hundreds like me have had their dreams killed because of these religious narrow-minded people.”

Headscarf going, going...

But her fellow talent show wannabe Tahir Shaqi says of Setara: “She has a nice voice but her actions on stage aren’t favoured by the Afghan people.”Setara did a very bad thing. Even if she wanted first place, she should not do that. Her life is in danger. She will pay a very big price.”

But Setara is unrepentant. She says: “It’s like they’ve never seen a person before. ”The feelings I had on stage made me act in this way. I always act according to my emotions. ”I wanted to lift the heaviness from my heart and music is the language of emotion. ”To be honest I didn’t feel my heart or blood or anything. ”Even if all my clothes had fallen off I would not even have felt it and so that’s why I didn’t care about the scarf.


“My heart couldn’t believe that I was voted out. When they said my name I felt like I had died. ”After the Afghan Star programme, those who were against me dancing, they didn’t like me and since then my life has been at risk.” Setara had been one of just three females among the 2,000 entrants to the show back in 2007. Adored by youngsters nationwide, she got as far as the last four before her dream turned to dust.

Desperate to become a world famous pop star, she has instead become a wanted woman.

She had the word “whore” daubed on her parents’ door in Hetar and was forced to move to capital Kabul, but is still afraid to walk the streets. She was initially evicted from one house and her new home is regularly spied on by suspicious neighbours.

Setara lives in hiding in fear for her life everyday

Under the Taliban it was made a crime to dance, listen to music or watch TV. But in 2001 the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan was formed and in 2004, the restrictions on music and dancing were lifted. Afghan Star hit TV screens for the first time in 2005 and soon became a huge hit – watched by 11million Afghans, a third of the population.

Setara decided to enter even though women were heavily frowned upon. She says: “We had a lot of hardships during the time of the Taliban, every second was dangerous. We thought that if the Taliban caught us we would not be left alive.

For many Afghans the idea of democracy – even if only to choose the winner of a singing competition – was totally new. Thousands had rushed to buy television sets and mobile phones so they could vote in the show.

Despite a Taliban attempt to bring down the mobile phone network to prevent voting on Afghan Star, and pressure from conservatives in the government to axe the programme, it still continues.UK SUN

And this is the same Taliban with whom Obama wants to make a deal and pay off with hundreds of millions of US taxpayer dollars, while offering them a say in the Afghan government. Maybe he should ask Setara what she thinks about this?



The same laws that subject a woman to being whipped for wearing pants…

…give a man who rapes a little boy or girl only one month in prison.

Sudanese jouranlist tells the story of how tens of thousands of women are arrested and flogged for wearing “indecent” attire, indecent in this case being loose-fitting pants, a long shirt and a veil that covers the hair.


PUBLIC FLOGGINGS, STONINGS and other punishments for Women








H/T STOPShariaLAWnow


In Egypt, Some Women Say That Veils Increase Harassment

By Ellen Knickmeyer
Washington Post Foreign Service
Sunday, August 17, 2008

CAIRO -- In a Muslim country where the numbers of women wearing the veil are rising, and so -- by most accounts -- are incidents of groping and catcalls in the streets, the message in ads circulating anonymously in e-mails here in Egypt is clear:

"A veil to protect, or eyes will molest," one warns.

The words sit over two illustrations, one comparing a veiled woman, her hair and neck covered in the manner known to Muslims as hijab, to a wrapped candy, untouched and pure.

The other picture shows an unveiled woman, hair flying wildly and hip jutting, next to a candy that has had its wrapper stripped off -- and is now covered in flies.

"You can't stop them, but you can protect yourself," warns another ad likening men to flies and women to sweets. Bloggers in Egypt have taken to calling such messages the "veil your lollipop" campaign.

No group has asserted responsibility for the online ads, which so far have drawn little attention outside Egyptian blogs. But the campaign comes at a time of converging debate on two keenly felt issues in Egypt: the growing social pressure on Muslim women to veil themselves; and the rising incidence of sexual harassment of women by strangers.

Surprisingly, some Egyptian women say that their veils don't protect against harassment, as the lollipop ads argue, but fuel it. A survey released this summer supports the view.

"These guys are animals. If they saw a female dog, they would harass it," Hind Sayed, a 20-year-old sidewalk vendor in Cairo's Mohandisseen district, said, staring coldly at a knot of male vendors who stood grinning a few feet from her.

In accord with her interpretation of Islamic law, which says women should dress modestly, Sayed wore a flowing black robe and black veil. Together, they covered all but her hands and her pale face with its drawn-on, expressive eyebrows. Despite her attire, Sayed said, she daily endures suggestive comments from male customers and fellow vendors.

"I think a woman who wears hijab can be more provocative to them," Sayed said. "The more covered up you are, the more interesting you are to them."

Zuhair Mohammed, a 60-year-old shopper on the same street, said she long ago stopped wearing the traditional Islamic covering, in part for that reason.

"I feel like with the hijab, it makes them wonder, 'What are you hiding underneath?' " Mohammed said.

Mona Eltahawy, a 41-year-old Egyptian social commentator who now lives, unveiled, in the United States, said that as a Muslim woman who wore hijab for nine years and was harassed "countless times" in Egypt, she has concluded that the increase in veiling has somehow contributed to the increase in harassment.

"The more women veil the less men learn to behave as decent and civilized members of society," Eltahawy wrote in an interview via Facebook. "And the more women are harassed, the more they veil thinking it will 'protect' them."

Female travelers consider Egypt one of the worst countries in the world for harassment on the streets -- second only to Afghanistan, where the Taliban forced all women behind the veil and into seclusion in their homes.

And it's not just women's perceptions. The United States and Britain both warn female visitors in travel advisories that they may face unwanted attention, or sexual attacks, in Egypt.

When Egyptian lawmakers objected to Britain's advisory this summer, calling it a slur, Britain responded that more female British tourists were harassed and assaulted, even raped, while in Egypt than in any other country.

A new survey by the Egyptian Center for Women's Rights makes harassment on the streets appear not a risk, but a virtual certainty. According to the center, 98 percent of the foreign women and 83 percent of the Egyptian women surveyed said they had been sexually harassed in the country.

About half of the women, Egyptian and non-Egyptian, said they were harassed every day as they went about the streets. The survey polled 2,020 Egyptian men and women and 109 non-Egyptian women.

Foreign women identified Egyptian policemen and other security officials as the most frequent harassers.

Two-thirds of the Egyptian men surveyed admitted to harassing women, in actions ranging from staring openly at their bodies, shouting explicit comments, touching the women or exposing themselves.

"It makes a woman happy when I call to her. It makes her know she's attractive," 20-year-old Alla Aldin Salem said on the sidewalk in Mohandisseen, after going out of earshot of the glaring fellow vendor in hijab.

"The woman herself is the one who makes men harass her," said Fawzi Tahbet, a 50-year-old man selling kitchenware on another stretch of the sidewalk, under the shade of a tree. "If she's walking, swinging as she goes, of course it will happen."

In fact, the survey's results challenged a stereotype, according to Nehad Komsan, chairwoman of the women's rights center.

While both men and women surveyed said that short skirts and tight clothes triggered harassment, the survey found that women in hijab were the most frequent targets of unwanted comments and touching on the street.

Among Egyptian women, 72 percent of those who described incidents of harassment said they were veiled at the time.

"It surprised me," said Komsan, who wears hijab. "It doesn't matter what you wear."

Egypt's most notorious case of harassment occurred last year when two fully veiled Gulf Arab women were surrounded by dozens of men on a street and molested.

Bystanders filmed the episode and posted it on YouTube. It became an embarrassment to Egypt's government and a spark for the first public debate on sexual harassment in Egypt. A female lawmaker now is pushing legislation that would allow jail sentences for some forms of sexual harassment and discrimination.

Anecdotes told by the women who were surveyed portrayed women choosing to give up jobs and education because of harassment, Komsan said. She presented Egyptian news media with the case of a 14-year-old girl who stopped going to school because of the harassment she suffered on a public bus during the daily trips to school and back. The girl's father had come to the women's rights center, seeking help in getting his daughter back to class.

An estimated 80 percent of Egyptian women now wear hijab. Pressure on the remainder to cover up grows every year, as fundamentalism gains influence in Muslim societies worldwide.

"Bravo, you've taken the veil," a popular Egyptian singer croons in one music video, which shows a previously neglectful boyfriend beaming and offering a wedding ring when his formerly uncovered girlfriend dons a head scarf.

Veiling parties laud girls who've covered up. Egyptian women who don't wear hijab say that, more and more, they encounter strangers urging them in the streets, "Sister, you'd be more beautiful if you veiled."

At the women's rights center, Komsan recounted a few of the many reasons, in addition to religion, that prompt women to veil: rebellion against a less openly devout older generation; a desire to demonstrate Islamic solidarity; a desire to show oneself a good girl who would make a good wife.

Asked how many women also wore the veil in hopes of protecting against harassment, Komsan smiled. "Most," she said.