Muslim street cleric claims to protect Canadian women from sexual assault

News Agencies – July 16, 2012

 

Canadian laws should be changed to require women to “cover themselves” to prevent sexual assaults, says an Islamic street preacher in Toronto. Al-Haashim Kamena Atangana, a 33-year-old Islamic convert, called for legal change in response to recent sex attacks at York University. Atangana is connected with a group called Muslim Support Network and is one of a number of street-corner clerics commonly seen at the Yonge and Dundas Sts. In an e-mail to the Toronto Sun, Atangana said “the reason … these sex attacks are continuously happening is because (of) Canadian laws, which give too much freedom to women” when it comes to how they dress.

Moderate Muslim writer Tarek Fatah says Atangana’s view is a stark example of radical Islamist misogyny. It is an example, Fatah says, of passages taken from the Qur’an, Islam’s holy book, and exaggerated to fit an antiquated, patriarchal ideology such as that of the Muslim Brotherhood. But Alia Hogben of the Canadian Council of Muslim Women sees things differently: Atangana’s opinions are not as much to do with Islam as much as they reflect a general patriarchal desire among some men to control women.