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Local journalist’s facebook video about women’s dress draws outrage

Women who reveal their legs and arms ‘encourage adultery and rape’, local journalist claims

By Rana Husseini - Jul 04,2017 - Last updated at Jul 04,2017

AMMAN — After describing some Jordanian women as “cows” and claiming they “encourage prostitution” in the country because of their dress choices, a local journalist on Tuesday drew outrage from activists, MPs and civil society. 

Mohammad Qadah reportedly published a 14-minute video clip on his Facebook page on Monday night that heavily criticised women who wear clothes revealing their legs and arms, saying “it encouraged adultery and rape in the country”.

In the video, Qadah also said that he was at a mall and saw “a fat woman, who looked like a milking cow, wearing an exposed night gown. What a disgusting scene...we should have religious police [mutaween] to monitor such women”, Qadah reportedly said.

He also reportedly said that “ugly women who look like my shoes resort to wearing exposed clothes to attract men”.

Qadah also described another woman who was wearing torn trousers in them by saying that “she was walking and her underwear was showing…she might as well go out in underwear”.

Qadah, who is followed by around 40,000 people on Faceboook, encouraged people to share his link to raise awareness, claiming that “what these women are doing violates the religion and the values of our conservative society”.

Qadah also criticised Jordanian men “for allowing their women to go out with exposed clothes”.

“Fathers and brothers...where is your honour and dignity? You should prevent your female relatives from wearing such clothes and go out to seduce men. The weather is hot already,” Qadah reportedly said in the video clip.

Qadah hosts a weekly show on the Josat satellite channel. One of the owners of Josat, former MP Rula Hroub, expressed “shock and outrage” about the video in a Facebook post. 

Hroub said that Qadah’s weekly programme has been suspended until further notice. 

Jordan Press Association (JPA) President Rakan Saaideh expressed his discontent with Qadah’s video clip, saying: “It is an insult to Jordanian women and contradicts the codes and ethics of the profession.  I could not finish watching the clip because it was horrible.”

Saaideh said that Qadah is not a JPA member, “therefore we cannot take any action against him”.

“Had he been a JPA member, we would have immediately referred him to the disciplinary committee,” Saaideh told The Jordan Times.

The syndicate’s president said that the JPA has formed a committee to follow up on cases of “individuals, who claim to be reporters, who are not part of the association, and who are repeatedly violating the codes of ethics “.

A senior government official said “any action taken against Qadah will be handled by the Cyber Crime Unit [CCU]”.

“The CCU is following up on the issue and studying it legally,” the government official told The Jordan Times.

Meanwhile, several MPs voiced their outrage over Qadah’s video clip.

Karak Deputy Sadah Habashneh, who at first supported Qadah, issued a statement on his Facebook page on Tuesday apologising for taking a “stand that does not fit with my beliefs and convictions”.

“I thought the video clip tackled a different topic, but when I saw it, I realised that what was said does not fit with our language, Arab morals and the balanced, journalistic dialogue which is expected from a journalist,” Habashneh said.

Habashneh added: “I am against anyone who uses aggressive language to attack people and interfere in their personal life, their individual behaviour and their freedom of choice.” 

MP Qais Zayadin (Amman, 3rd District) said in a post that Qadah should be prosecuted for the video clip.

“His video clip is an insult to all Jordanian women and is against the democratic and civil society that we aspire to have.” 

Zayadin told The Jordan Times that, on behalf of several women, he filed a lawsuit against Qadah for slander. 

Activist and feminist Zuleikha Abu Risheh described the clip as “dangerous, because Qadah is a journalist who has a large number of followers on his Facebook page and he was calling for religious police”.

“What he said was an insult to all women and he had a lot of sexist remarks that targeted veiled and unveiled women, holding them responsible for the sexual abuse that happens to them.” 

It is also “dangerous”, Abu Risheh added, “because if people support his ideas, such as having religious police, then this is a catastrophe for people who are calling for a civil and advanced society”. 

Hundreds of people commented on Qadah’s video clip protesting what he said.

Azzam Nimri wrote: “You are conveying Daesh ideologies.  You want women to be fully covered and monitored by religious police. You want to whip women... leave women alone and let people live the way they want. You are not an agent of God. Ideologies are stronger than weapons.”

Meanwhile, some of Qadah’s followers on Facebook supported him.

Alia Rakan wrote that she wished “that there were many journalists like Mohammad Qadah, because many women wear exposed clothes that I am ashamed to wear. Women should wear decent clothes in public areas.”

Samih Shamayleh also supported Qadah, saying that “people who have morals will support you all the way.  Do not apologise to anyone because you are right”.

Qusai Atharbeh added: “Your video clip is one of the most beautiful clips I have seen. You are a real man and unfortunately there are no real men who fear losing their honour.”

On Tuesday, Qadah issued a new video clip admitting that “he chose the wrong words to describe the clothing of some women”.

But he stressed that “no one with honour and dignity should allow his female relative to wear indecent and vulgar clothes”.

“I published the first video because I was outraged and shocked by what I saw... she was an old woman who was wearing these kinds of clothes,” Qadah said in his second video clip.  

He added: “Some women want to show their meat so they will get married... but you should know that men will only look for the morals of the woman, not her meat.” 

 

He also stressed that “he respects Jordanian women because they are our mothers, sisters and female relatives”.

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