An Australian imam was attacked and beaten with a shoe live on Egyptian television after he suggested Islamic women should not be forced to wear a veil in public.
Sydney-based Mostafa Rashid was debating the issue of female dress codes under Islam when his opponent, Egyptian lawyer Nabih al-Wahsh, took off his shoe and chased him around the studio, all the while beating him around the head with his footwear.
Mr Rashid, a moderate Muslim, is no stranger controversy, according to Middle East Eye.
The author of a book entitled I am Secular, Mr. Rashid left Egypt for Australia in February 2013, having sparked controversy for ruling that prayers carried out alongside then Muslim Brotherhood president Mohamed Morsi would be “null and void” because he had been accused of violent crimes.
He has also said that the Quran forbids drunkenness but not the drinking of alcohol, which is considered forbidden by many mainstream and observant Muslims.
It was his his comments on headscarves however that infuriated Mr. al-Wahsh, who removed his shoe and tried to assault Mr Rashid with it. Mr Rashid kicked back in an attempt to defend himself as presenter Mohammed al-Ghaiti and several members of the production team rushed in to separate the two protagonists.
After the pair were sent back to their seats, Mr. Rashid stormed from the studio.
A member of the crew was injured in the scuffle that at one stage involved nine people but both the imam and Mr. al-Wahsh are believed to be none the worse for the experience.
Mr al-Ghaiti later apologised to viewers as he replayed the clip for the benefit of those who had not seen it.
“It was a free fight in the middle of the studio,” he told viewers. “I never expected that something like this could happen on air.”
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