Thursday, March 17, 2016

I reported last month that an Egyptian "scholar" who is against women veiling themselves blames the custom on Jews.

Aminat Naseer, a professor of religion and philosophy at Al-Azhar University, has been an outspoken opponent of allowing female students to wear the niqab that covers their faces. So to discourage the practice she makes up fake quotes from Maimonides saying that Jewish women are not allowed to show their faces. her motivation, of course, is to associate a practice she hates with Jews.

Apparently the Arabic version of Times of Israel has reported on her recent comments about the supposed Jewish origins of the veil, and debunked it by quoting some actual exports in Judaism. She insists she is right, of course, but didn't bring any new proof.

However, another Egyptian "expert" has.

Dr. Mohammed Abu Ghadeer, former head of Israeli Studies at Al-Azhar University, says that the Hebrew Bible proves it so Jews cannot possibly deny it. He quotes Daniel, "verses 30-36," without citing any chapter number about a woman named Susanna who unveiled herself: "Susanna, very delicate and beautiful, was veiled; but those transgressors of the law ordered that she be exposed so as to sate themselves with her beauty."

There is no such mention in the Hebrew Bible. He is quoting the Protestant Apocrypha book of Susanna which was never part of the Hebrew Bible and was not discussed in any early Jewish sources. Some Catholic Bibles incorporate this story as a 13th chapter of Daniel. It is an interesting story but it misrepresents the Jewish concept of "eidim zomemim" (collusive witnesses) and under what circumstances they would be put to death. (Briefly, witnesses who falsely accuse others of a crime get the same punishment that the victim would have gotten, but the way that they are disproven is not the way young "Daniel" did it, even though it is a great story.)

The story takes place in Babylon and there were certainly Arabian tribes that veiled women at various times in history, but it was never a Jewish custom.

It is really funny that Egyptians must resort to associating any hated practice with Jews in order to delegitimize it among Muslims.

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