A long overdue statement by Egypt's largest religious institution.
Al-Azhar has declared in a statement posted on their official Facebook page that sexual harassment is forbidden by Islamic jurisprudence, and is a behaviour that is absolutely condemned and unjustified.
The statement said that Al-Azhar has been following up with recent cases of sexual harassment on social media, including the woman blamed for sexual harassment because of her dress, as well as the man who was murdered by a harasser for defending his wife.
In this context, Al-Azhar emphasized that sexual harassment, be it implied, verbal or physical, is deviant and forbidden by Islam and that criminalizing it should be absolute and unconditional.
The statement continued to note that justifying harassment by the victim’s dress or demeanor is a false understanding, seeing as harassment is an assault on a woman’s privacy, freedom, and dignity, and its vehement spread has caused a loss of security and violation of sanctities.
Al-Azhar concluded its statement calling for the execution of laws against sexual harassment, and on concerned institutions to raise social awareness about the forms and dangers of the problem, as well as how to best combat it. It specified harassment against children as well.
Main Image from Cairo Scene
Al-Azhar Statement Poster from Facebook