Egyptian MP Suggests Virginity Tests For Prospective Female Students

A banner reading in Arabic, 'Freedom' is seen among scores of veiled female students of Islamic al-Azhar University in Cairo 05 March 2005. Scores of al-Azhar students demonstrated inside the compound calling for 'real and democratic' reforms, abrogation of emergency laws installed since 1981 and amendment of the constitution. AFP …

An Egyptian lawmaker has stirred up controversy after he said female students should undergo virginity tests.

Ilhami Ajina said only unmarried students should be tested, and that it is essential to put an end to the growing trend of “civilian marriages” that bypass religious matrimony.

He said that each university should perform the test in its affiliated hospitals, and that the results should be sent to the students’ parents.

In response to his suggestion, some MPs demanded that Ajina be stripped of his immunity and indicted for humiliating the Egyptian students.

Dr Jaber Nassar, the President of the University of Cairo, said he intended to file a complaint against Ajina for making bogus claims that damage the reputation of Egyptian students, including students at his university, in addition to damaging the reputation of Egyptian universities at home and abroad.

“These allegations are unacceptable, and cannot go unanswered,” he said.

Ajina’s remarks caused a stir on social media as well.

Dr Muhamad Abbas, an Islamic opposition activist, scolded Ajina’s critics. “All these pathetic voices who come out against that crazy lowlife who wants to enact virginity tests, where were you when our girls were raped in prison?”

Journalist and writer Anwar Hawari tweeted: “The demand to disclose [a woman’s] virginity is insulting to men more than it is to women.”

“Why is it that when someone asks to disclose virginity, which is a popular demand, he is attacked?” Sara tweeted. “Why aren’t they more concerned about the current situation and the disasters that take place? His demand is part of that difficult situation and it’s his right.”

She added in English: “This shit is real.”

“I demand to perform a virginity test on the wife of this moron who wanted our girls to undergo virginity tests in universities!” Khaled Saleh tweeted.

The controversy was amplified by the extensive coverage that Ajina’s remarks received in the international media.

Several weeks ago, Ajina called for a parliamentary debate on the “sexual weakness” of Egyptian men, claiming that 50 percent of them are impotent.

Responding to critics who wondered whether he is suffering from impotence, Ajina said: “I’m a man, I’m absolutely fine, call my wife and ask her.”


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