Mass Sexual Assault of Girls in Streets of Egyptian City

by Avi Abelow

There is an Arabic word for this “Taharrush”. A mob of men just mass assault women in the streets.

Organized Sexual Assault

Taharrush refers to organized sexual assaults where a mob of men encircles a woman while outer rings of men deter rescuers. In addition to the horror of being attacked, men surrounding the assaulted women pretend to be there to help the women, adding to the confusion.

Women assaulted in this way have reportedly been groped, stripped, beaten, bitten, penetrated with fingers, and raped. Some people call these types of attacks the “circle of hell.”

Commentators say the attacks reflect an Islamic misogynist ideology that penalizes women for leaving the house, seeks to terrorize them out of public life, and views sexual violence as a source of shame for the victim, not the attacker.

The Story of Lara Logan

These mass sexual attacks only began to get noticed by Western media after the attack of CBS news correspondent Lara Logan. While she was reporting the 2011 revolution in Tahir Square in Cairo, she was assaulted by hundreds of men, in the fashion described above.

The Assault of Lara Logan on Camera

Reactions to the Recent Mass Assault

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