By: Alexandra Kinias
As a screenplay and fiction writer, I often find it challenging, as many writers do, to come up with original ideas to engage the reader. And while we, writers, spice the ideas to become ready to be told, we forget that human life tragedies can bring us all to shame. As I often follow the news for inspiration, not in my wildest creative imagination was I ever prepared to read about the father who let a poisonous snake bite his three daughters while they were asleep.
According to ‘Al Youm Al Sabea’a’ newspaper, the three kids were found dead in their bed in Bani Mazar town of Al Minya governorate of upper Egypt. Forensic reports confirm the kids died due to snake poison. The man allegedly bought two cobras and let them bite the children while they were asleep so as not to be caught. He was divorced from their mother because he doubted her. He alleged that the chidlren’s mother was in a relationship before marrying him and, therefore, denied that he fathered the kids. But she insisted he support the three daughters. However, when his second wife gave birth to a boy, he decided to do away with the children, he confessed to police under arrest.
Incidents as such raise the question about the sanity of people, but the father was not insane, he had been plotting for this crime for sometimes. Contrary to what was reported in the newspaper, testimonials of eyewitnesses and relatives of the victims on the Egyptian television show, Al Haqiqa(“the Truth”), which devoted an episode to this crime, that the father killed his daughters in cold blood because they were girls.
According to the girls’ maternal grandmother, who was interviewed on the show, the father was not pleased that his wife gave birth to their first baby girl, and admitted to her after she returned from the hospital that he hate girls.
The hostility against his wife and daughters escalated over the years, and with her pregnancy with the third daughter he attempted to kill her. He added poison to her juice, but the amount wasn’t enough to accomplish his satanic mission. She vomited and passed away, but eventually she recovered her consciousness. According to his ex-mother in law’s testimony on TV, he left to work after giving her the drink assuming that she would die while he was gone and when he saw her alive when he came back from work he asked her, “You didn’t die?” returned.
After he remarried and his second wife gave birth to a son, he plotted to kill the girls. He thought that he probably would not get caught if he used a snake.
He attempted few times to kill them, but the snakes he used weren’t poisonous and the girls survived. To end his girl’s lives he bought a cobra snake and tucked it under their bed cover while they were asleep. What sick mind would use a snake to kill his daughters in such a slow painful agonizing death?
The horrific infanticide of the three girls confirms that misogyny is still deeply embedded and still thrives in the Egyptian society. This pre-Islamic pagan ritual of Arabs burying their newborn infants alive, if they were daughters, was banned by Islam. Fueled by misogyny, it had not just survived, but is also being practiced in the 21st century.
Certainly Islam does not promote the killing of women because they are women, and in theory misogyny contradicts the teachings of Islam, yet this message of hatred is the one that the average Moslem hears when he seeks his sheikh’s guidance. Religious scholars save no effort to promote violence against women, in mosques, airwaves and televisions. Obsessed with female gentiles, sexual desires and pervert visions of the 72 virgins in heaven, they religious scholars humiliate and dehumanize women. They permit men to beat their wives. They consider women to be deficient in intelligence. She inherits half of what a man inherits, and her testimonial in court is worth half of a man’s.
Who should be blamed for the loss of the three innocent lives? The heartless father who committed the crime or the religious scholars whose venomous and degrading opinion of women had shaped his low opinion of women to the extent that he easily killed his daughters in cold blood.