Egypt’s first sex-slave marriage ceremony took place just a few days after the Muslim Brotherhood’s Muhammad Morsi was inaugurated as president.
The Anti-slave Last Monday, on the Egyptian TV show Al Haqiqa (“the Truth”), journalist Wael al-Ibrashi showed a video-clip of a man, Abd al-Rauf Awn, “marrying” his slave. The woman, who has a non-Egyptian accent, was made to repeat after him the Koran’s Surat al-Ikhlas; instead of saying the usual “I marry myself to you,” the woman said, “I enslave myself to you,” kissing him in front of an applauding audience.
Even though she was wearing a hijab, her owner-husband declared that she is forbidden from such trappings and commanded her to be stripped of them, so as “not to break Allah’s laws.” She took her veil and abaya off, revealing, by Muslim standards, a seductive red dress. The man claps for her.
The man, Abd al-Rauf Awn, who identified himself as an Islamic scholar who studied at Al Azhar and an expert at Islamic jurisprudence, then appeared on the show, giving several Islamic explanations to justify his marriage, from Islam’s prophet Muhammad’s “sunna,” or practice, of “marrying” enslaved captive women, to Koran 4:3, which declares: “Marry such women as seem good to you, two and three and four… or what your right hands possess.”
While this may be the first sex slave marriage to take place in Egypt’s recent history, it is certainly not the first call to revive the practice. Earlier, Egyptian Sheikh Huwaini, lamenting that the “good old days” of Islam were over, declared that, in an ideal Muslim society, “when I want a sex-slave,” he should be able to go “to the market and pick whichever female I desire and buy her.” Likewise, a Kuwaiti female politician earlier advocated for reviving the institute of sex-slavery, suggesting that Muslims should bring female captives of war—specifically Russian women from the Chechnya war—and sell them to Muslim men in the markets of Kuwait.