An Open Letter to the Fasting Sexual Harassers

The group called the campaign ÒNefsiÓ meaning ÒI wishÓ. Distributing messages on simple paper sheets to approximately 80 participants, the activists also mobilized through a Facebook group. Women and men of all ages and backgrounds lined the sidewalks of GamÕet El Dewal Street in Mohandessin, a Cairo thoroughfare. They held their messages, ready to engage passersby. Photo Credit: UN Women/Fatma Elzahraa Yassin
(Photo Credit: UN Women/Fatma Elzahraa Yasmin)

Its common, expected even,  disgusting nonetheless but sexual harassment in the Middle East is something myself and many women in the region have unfortunately become accustomed to. We all have our own ways of dealing with it: ignoring the harasser, talking back, or a good slap to the face. The thing is we thought we’d get a break at some point, after all it is the holy month of Ramadan….HOLY month. Its a time where men, women, and older children spend the days resisting food, resisting liquids, and supposedly resisting disgusting acts.


Ramadan is a time where Muslims are meant to reflect on who they are and how they can be a better person, give to those in need, help the ones they love, and probably not cat call women in the street. It’s Ramadan for the love of God! Yet while walking down some of the most decent neighborhoods in the Middle East, you can hear men hissing at you, calling you ota, and undressing you with their eyes. Leh? You haven’t had enough the rest of the year, you can’t manage to pretend to be a ‘good Muslim’ for a few weeks?


Why are you fasting? Why are you lying? Why are you pretending that you’ve actually fasted Ramadan when you can’t restrain yourself from having perverted thoughts? Not eating all day and maybe praying a couple of times a day doesn’t change the fact that you’re a complete asshole. The purpose of Ramadan is to better yourself, instead you’re making women feel uncomfortable and violated.


Your fasting doesn’t count and your intentions are absent despite the fact that you resisted eating and drinking all day, you couldn’t manage to resist committing the sin of not only viewing a woman in a sexual manner but distracting another person during Ramadan. It’s haram now and it’ll still be haram after Ramadan.



WE SAID THIS: Do yourself a favor and stop fasting because you’re not fooling us, society and you’re especially not fooling God.