August 3rd, 2011
05:48 PM ET

The feminine face of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood

By Shahira Amin, for CNN

Editor's note: Shahira Amin was deputy head of Egyptian state-run Nile TV - and one of its senior anchors. After 22 years with the network, angered by its censorship of the Egyptian revolution, she quit on February 3 2011.

Cairo, Egypt (CNN) - When Iman Abdella steps out of a black-and-white Cairo taxi in Haggana, residents of the impoverished quarter rush to greet her with jubilant cries and trilling zaghareet.

"Alf marhaba (welcome a thousand times)," cries Soad Bekheit, a shabbily dressed mother of four, opening her arms to embrace the familiar visitor. "It's as if the Prophet himself has visited us today."

For the families in this desolate ghetto, one of Cairo's poorest, a visit from this chubby woman in a traditional Islamic head scarf means they will not have to go to sleep on an empty stomach - at least, not tonight.

Abdella is on one of her charity missions - part of her work as a devoted member of the Muslim Sisterhood, the female division of the Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt's oldest and largest opposition group.

Read the full story here
- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Africa • Egypt • Muslim

soundoff (19 Responses)

    REAL SHOOTING IN UTOYA or NORWEGIAN "AFTERLIFE" $$ FLASH MOB !!? stateofterror.blogspot.com/ or stateofterror.wordpress.com/ REAL TEARS OR TEAR GAS AND PURE THEATER ON FACES OF MANIACS !!? OSLO POLICE or COMMUNIST/LIBERAL CRIMINALS WHO WERE PREPARING FOR ACT OF TERROR AGAINST NORWAY AND EUROPE ALMOST HALF DECADE(collecting proofs and photos) AHEAD !!? WILL THERE BE APOCALYPSE NOW(Abomination) OR TOTAL RESISTANCE(civil war) !!? No doubt about bombing in Oslo, but what about shooting in Utoya !!!?

    ARIZONA = UTOYA and STOLTENBERG = BREIVIK (90 minutes vs 30 and for government vehicles or police even 20 minutes the most) !!!

    August 6, 2011 at 10:35 am |
  2. TruthMatters

    Christians who studied Islam encourage Muslims all the more to read the Bible and trust in Jesus alone. Those who are ignorant on Islam are only the secular Americans.

    August 5, 2011 at 12:09 pm |
  3. Tahrir Lives

    It always amazes me to find the bible wavers and the Islamophobes commenting on anything Muslim and Arab on the web. You would think if they have the time to read and become knowledgeable about Islam and the Middle East that their views would moderate and be more informed but their comments shows their hatred and ignorance as usual. Who is paying you to spew this non-ending stream of your wonderful values of hatred and demeaning of anything not Jesus centered?

    August 5, 2011 at 11:18 am |
    • The Lionly Lamb of God Does Roar

      @ tahrir Lives,

      Your post was well thought out and written with the penmanship of a true writer! 🙂

      August 5, 2011 at 11:22 am |
  4. TruthMatters

    The Muslim Brotherhood needs to read the Bible. The only way to be right and nobler and wiser than all other villains.

    August 5, 2011 at 5:24 am |
  5. Reality

    Her actions will not change the following:

    Islam gives women almost no rights and treats them like fodder for the male species as so bluntly noted by Aya-an Hi-rsi Ali in her autobiography, In-fidel.

    "Thus begins the extraordinary story of a woman born into a family of desert nomads, circu-mcised as a child, educated by radical imams in Kenya and Saudi Arabia, taught to believe that if she uncovered her hair, terrible tragedies would ensue. It's a story that, with a few different twists, really could have led to a wretched life and a lonely death, as her grandmother warned. But instead, Hi-rsi Ali escaped – and transformed herself into an internationally renowned spokeswoman for the rights of Muslim women."

    ref: Washington Post book review.

    some excerpts:

    "Some of the Saudi women in our neighborhood were regularly be-aten by their husbands. You could hear them at night. Their scre-ams resounded across the courtyards. "No! Please! By Allah!"

    "The Pakistanis were Muslims but they too had cas-tes. The Untou-chable girls, both Indian and Pakistani were darker skin. The others would not play with them because they were unt-ouchable. We thought that was funny because of course they were tou-chable: we to-uched them see? but also hor-rifying to think of yourself as un-touchable, des-picable to the human race."

    "Between October 2004 and May 2005, eleven Muslim girls were ki-lled by their families in just two regions (there are 20 regions in Holland). After that, people stopped telling me I was exa-ggerating."

    "The kind on thinking I saw in Saudi Arabia and among the Brotherhood of Kenya and Som-alia, is incompatible with human rights and liberal values. It preserves the feu-dal mind-set based on tr-ibal concepts of honor and shame. It rests on self-deception, hypro-cricy, and double standards. It relies on the technologial advances of the West while pretending to ignore their origin in Western thinking. This mind-set makes the transition to modernity very painful for all who practice Islam".

    August 4, 2011 at 6:42 pm |
    • Lost

      Men are disgraceful demons. They respect nothing but war, aggression, and death. They've placed themselves above everything, to shield themselves from their own ignorance to the fact that they aren't equipped to govern alone. They need the assistance, guidance, and most importantly leadership from the women among them, but their pride would not allow it. They would rather see their children starve for truth and enlightenment, and have their woman subjugated and betrayed than admit to their wrong-doing and ignorance. How many men teach their sons absolute respect for others, and self-control and restraint? Every society has failed to do this, and all of humanity suffer within a seemingly inescapable cycle. This is a universal fact.

      August 6, 2011 at 9:39 am |
  6. Frogist

    I'm sorry but I don't know if I really buy this. Sounds like campaign promises. Everyone pretends to be a moderate when they campaign. And I doubt the Muslim Brotherhood want the people to be reminded of their links to violent extremism. What I wonder is will these women who say they are for equality and civil rights be ready to stand up for that should the time come when they are betrayed by the party they are trying to put in power? Can they be denied now? I hope not. My best of luck to them.

    August 4, 2011 at 4:05 pm |
  7. GSA

    @Peace2All – They are definitely an extremist group, although they are receiving praises it seems for being less "extreme" than other groups, which is a recipe for disaster.
    Funny thing is that this is the way most democracies work, instead of voting in the best person for the job, we tend to get stuck with voting in the lesser of all evils.
    @Rainer @Summary – Christianity/Jesus/Bible will not fix a thing, just saying.

    August 4, 2011 at 2:49 pm |
    • Tariq

      @GSA, you can keep repeating that as long as you wish. But fact of the matter is, that your prejudice is taking you nowhere. The only extemist I see around are people like you, who even when they see the highest standards of goodness, look at it from behind their distored glasses of prejudice and twisted stereotypes. Peace.

      August 4, 2011 at 3:51 pm |
  8. Rainer Braendlein

    I am not an adherent of the Arabic spring, although I really would wish that all Arabic countries become democratic.

    I fear, the Arabic spring will cause a long lasting instability of the countries and finally the Islamists will become prevalent and seize rule.

    Christian missonaries should be allowed to enter the Arabic world and to preach the gospel. Assumed, the current governers would allow that, they would show that they are real democrats.

    It is a nonsense to favour democracy and at the same time to say, we will accept only one religion: The Islam. Democracy means that different opinions can exist side by side in peace.

    I am convinced Islam and democracy cannot be united.

    The fertile soil for democracy is a population comprising many Christians.

    August 4, 2011 at 12:55 pm |
  9. Rainer Braendlein

    This women adore an insane warlord, liar and murderer, called Muhammad.

    May a pious emperor shut the wicked Imams up, which tell the people tall stories.

    Egypt has experienced a spring, but winter approaches again.

    August 4, 2011 at 11:51 am |
  10. Summary

    For those who need surgeries, bandaids are only momentary comfort, never real cure. Muslims need to trust in the Divine Savior Jesus alone for salvation who died for them and rose again from the dead. One's good works NEVER exceeds his sins. Everyone needs the atonement of Jesus received by faith.

    August 4, 2011 at 2:39 am |
  11. Summary

    That's never enough. Muslims need to read the Bible in order to identify what are their problems and who are their real enemies and to fight back the evils and man-made injustices from its foundations. Pagans have nice little charity but no fairness or deliverance. Salvation and the liberation of human spirits and the lasting effective charity are only possible with Christianity, nothing else.

    August 4, 2011 at 2:35 am |
  12. Reality

    "The kind on thinking I saw in Saudi Arabia and among the Brotherhood of Kenya and Som-alia, is incompatible with human rights and liberal values. It preserves the feu-dal mind-set based on tr-ibal concepts of honor and shame. It rests on self-deception, hypro-cricy, and double standards. It relies on the technologial advances of the West while pretending to ignore their origin in Western thinking. This mind-set makes the transition to modernity very painful for all who practice Islam".- Ayaan Hirsi Ali

    August 3, 2011 at 11:04 pm |
  13. Peace2All

    I certainly respect the charitable works that the 'sisterhood' is allegedly doing, however... gotta' say, not a big fan of the Muslim Brotherhood. This group has proven over time to be an extremist group, prone to radical violence.

    I guess it remains to be seen if these are truly making any changes in their ideologies and actions.


    August 3, 2011 at 10:05 pm |
    • Peace2All

      *...if (they) are truly making changes, etc...

      August 3, 2011 at 10:27 pm |
    • wow

      Wow, really? What proof is this? This group has stood time and time again AGAINST extremism and terrorism! At one point Mubarak's intelligence agency even tried infiltrating the group and pushing it to terrorism so that he could justify disbanding the whole group and executing all of them. The Muslim Brotherhood expelled that violent people and kicked them out because it terrorism was contrary to their teachings. The MB is one of the moderate movements there. Grouping the MB with other "scary Islamic" groups is lazy and reactionary at least and at worst extreamly prejudiced and racist. "They are different from us, which means they cant be trusted".

      And to those of you advocating missionaries going into the Arab world. I'd like to tell you the world saw all they needed to see from missionary work during the colonial eras. From Spanish Conquistadors massacring the poor Indigenous tribes in South America to the British Italian, and French massacres in the Arab world. And even back during the crusades where the Muslims would Spare the Christians and Jews in cities they captured while the crusaders would kill all of the Muslims an Jews in the cities they captured.

      You can keep your evangelism by the sword. Just because it was your grandparents and great grandparents and beyond, and just because you have forgot doesn't mean they have. Just read the article on CNN about Air Force chaplains telling their men that the Bible advocated war.

      August 4, 2011 at 2:59 pm |
About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.