To the writers and editors of the Toronto Sun:

In reply to Al-Haashim Kamena Atangana:

I have read your essay, and I use that word generously, regarding the legislation of more modest clothing (sharia) in order to reduce sex assaults at York University. I have decided to opt against discussing in detail how the Koran was written a good thirty years after the prophet died by five guys under the employment of a power hungry caliph (emperor), and will resist the urge to mock your grammar and syntax; I intend to focus on your argument. The question is, does more modest clothing reduce the likelihood of being assaulted sexually? There is an excellent study on this actually, done in Egypt of all places, by the Egyptian Centre for Women’s Rights which actually suggests that the opposite is true.

The study in question, which was released in 2008, was conducted by sending out a series of surveys to both Egyptian and foreign women. They showed men and women pictures of women, dressed from miniskirts to full niqab, and asked who would be most likely to be attacked. Most of the respondents said that the woman dressed in a more revealing manner would be more likely to be attacked. This was then compared with results, in which 83% of Egyptian women and 98% of foreign women reported being harassed; I do not read Arabic so rather then bring the original document on it I will reference a BBC article on it. It showed that observing Islamic dress did nothing to decrease the chance of being harassed and attacked by men. It also showed that over 60% of Egyptian men admitted to harassing women, and over half of Egyptian men blame the woman for “bringing it one”. As dressing in a proper Islamic fashion is shown to not decrease chances of being attacked in Egypt, a nation in which the vast majority of the populace follows the faith you so confidently assert, I find myself struggling with skepticism to your claims. One of the men who admitted to attacking a woman in a full niqab, of all dress options, offered a rather sordid rationalization for the actions in question. I encourage all who have interest in this to read this article on the study.

The fact is an environment in which women are blamed for being attacked, for whatever reason, increases the occurrence of assault as it gives many men an excuse for their poor actions. I do believe you to be a sincere man, and so I will not go into personal attacks and advocate harassing you. That said, I’m sure many feminists, rape victims, and women who escaped from the theocratic insanity from the Middle East will not be so generous. I advise you to change your phone number and email.

 A hard drinking, whore mongering, blasphemous right-wing redneck atheist whom someone thought should read your article.

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Comment by Brent Feeney on July 18, 2012 at 7:15pm

This is one of the many reasons why my brother and I took part in an anti-sexual assault and anti-rape march in St. Louis over the weekend. I cannot believe there are still those who blame everyone but themselves for things like these.

Comment by Alan Perlman on July 18, 2012 at 10:16am

This is one of religion's vilest memes, this preposterous idea that "immodest" dress provokes sexual attack.  It's just one more technique of sexual repression.  And powerful too: look at the way Muslim women conform and ascribe it to "piety."

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