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Execution for Harassers?

Sunday's shocking footage of a young female being sexually assaulted in Tahrir has prompted thousands to call for the harshest penalty imaginable for sex offenders.

It’s safe to say that the majority of Egyptians have seen or heard of the events that took place in Tahrir on Sunday. In the past couple of days, Facebook and Twitter have been in uproar against sexual harassment and the enforcement of an adequate punishment to those accused of committing this heinous crime.

Yesterday, a Facebook page called E3dam Lel Mota7rish (Execution for Harassers) was created in an attempt to advocate for those assaulted and seek justice. The Facebook page, already having garnered 45,000 likes, has raised the awareness of many people about this growing epidemic. Meanwhile, the very public episode of brutal sexual abuse has even prompted national newspaper Al Watan to print “Execute Them” in bold letters on their front page this morning (pictured above).

However, the page wasn’t the first to propose the death penalty for sexual assault. An abundance of status updates have been posted seeking a harsher punishment for the assailants than the 6-month to a year sentence they were charged with. People of all social backgrounds, age groups and genders have taken to the Internet to show their rage and disgust, not only with what happened, but also with the judicial procedure that followed the event. It seems, after years of silence and apathy, the people of Egypt have finally decided to take a stand against a problem they’ve been sweeping under the rug since it began.

While we admire the stand Egyptians have taken against sexual harassment, we can’t help but wonder why it took such an atrocious crime to finally awaken them? The violent footage released was one case out of many that took place that day and take place everyday on the streets of Egypt.

As Egyptians, we are known to always be optimistic despite the cynicism we face everyday. Amidst all these horrific events, the silver lining is seeing Egyptians unite once more to finally end sexual harassment.