Since the beginning of the revolution, Egypt has been subjected to virginity tests on a daily basis. The way Mubarak’s trial has been going is a virginity test … the crushing of revolutionaries is a virginity test … the dragging of girls through the streets is a virginity test … the talk about a commission for the propagation of virtue and the prohibition is like is a virginity test … invading the privacy of people and questioning their honor is a virginity test.
The case of such tests is not at all different from all those above-mentioned examples, for the honor of the revolution is inspired by the honor of Egypt and vice versa. The administrative court ruled that army officers are not to perform virginity tests on female protestors and youths led a march to Tahrir to celebrate the verdict and the courage of Samira Ibrahim, the victim of virginity tests.
Today in Mubarak’s trial, Egypt is going through a virginity test again. An entire year has not been enough to try an ousted president who was a symbol of corruption? True, his imprisonment is no good if we take into consideration his health condition, yet the verdict will be a restoration of Egypt’s and the revolution’s dignity, exactly like the verdict in Samira’s case restored dignity to her and other girls who went through the same experience. Egypt had been going through a virginity test for 30 years, and for a whole year no verdict was issued to vindicate it!
Some might ask, “Doesn’t the revolution want justice to take its course?” And I answer, “Of course we want justice, but we don’t want to be fooled into allowing the culprits to rearrange their files and come up with evidence that acquit them.” Courts only deal with documents and not with what they know. Therefore, we are now facing a serious problem: What if the ousted president is proven innocent?
Will the ousted president and his men be released? Is there no penalty for violating Egypt’s honor? Will the crime of virginity tests go unpunished? Was slandering Mubarak enough? Is there a wish to see Mubarak acquitted? Did the military council pledge not to punish Mubarak? Is he going to spend the rest of his life in the medical center? Are some Gulf nations sponsoring the trial financially and morally?
A more provocative question: Did the Muslim Brotherhood vow not to bring up the issue of the trial? Is there a deal that involves the trial, the parliament, and the next government? Did Arab parties make a deal with internal parties like the military council to end this trial issue? Will the whole thing be postponed till after the new parliament?
I do not want my words to seem as if they mean I believe that the judiciary is still infiltrated and politicized or that the judiciary is making sure not to upset public opinion. The first means the judiciary is getting orders from above and the second means it is fawning toward the revolutionaries. I mean neither of the two. What I mean is that somebody arranged the files and handed them to the court in the right time. This was not done by an Egyptian lawyer, but by an Arab one, specifically Kuwaiti.
I don’t know how the trial will end. I do not want to be deceived. Will whoever trampled on Samira’s honor do that same with Egypt’s honor through Mubarak’s trial? The honor of the revolution requires a fair trial, not a fake one. Mubarak’s crime requires no documents and no volunteer lawyers, and if we are trying Mubarak to get the money back, let me tell you that the money is not coming back!
First published in al-Masry al-Youm on December 28, 2011 and translated from Arabic by Sonia Farid