On June 20, in Mansoura, Egypt, a student was stabbed to death in front of her university after refusing a colleague's marriage proposal. Nayera Ashraf is yet another victim of violence against women in the country.
Nayera Ashraf was a third-year student at the University of Mansoura. The murder took place in broad daylight Monday morning, in front of the university gates. The student had stepped off a bus when a man armed with a knife stabbed her repeatedly. She died instantly after sustaining fatal injuries to her neck and torso.
According to the victim’s father, Ashraf had blocked the young man on Facebook for over a year and a half. The attacker got restless and made several attempts to contact her in every way possible. He had threatened her before more than once. Her father had informed the authorities about these threats; he feared the young man would attack his daughter.
According to the investigation carried out by the Egyptian police, the murderer is a fellow student who studies at the same university as the victim. The young man, named only "Mohammed A," is currently in police custody. According to the Egyptian prosecutor's office, he admitted to having killed the young woman because she refused to have a relationship with him. But above all, she refused to marry him. Unable to swallow this refusal, he killed her to avenge his wounded pride.
A video of the incident was released on Monday. It was widely shared on various social media sites, with Internet users claiming that it shows the young man stabbing Nayera before being apprehended.
Attia Mabrouk, a professor in the department of Islamic studies at Al-Azhar University in Cairo, advised women to wear a hijab if they did not want to "meet the same fate.". Women's rights activists and social media users condemned his statements.
Yesterday Naira Asharf was slaughtered publicly by a guy who she refused to marry. This is a famous Islamic breacher, says: "Either you wear Hijab, or you'll be slaughtered just like Naira." And then u hear some blockhead says Muslim women choose to wear Hijab. #محاكمة_مبروك_عطية pic.twitter.com/EGz1cuIUZ1
— Sherif Gaber (@SherifGaber) June 21, 2022
In Egypt, women are regularly exposed to violence and, above all else, harmed by the law itself. The spread of Islam and its conservative traditions since the 1970s have impacted the country's evolution of women's rights.
Human rights groups have criticized the Egyptian government for failing to protect women from their abusive husbands and relatives. Amnesty International addressed in a recent report that the country had failed "to adequately investigate or punish sexual and gender-based violence, and introduced legislation further undermining women's rights and autonomy."
A similar incident occurred in Jordan on Thursday after a 21-year-old female nursing student was shot dead at a university in Amman. Investigations have been started as the police are on a search to identify and apprehend the culprit.
The student was pronounced dead after being transported to the hospital in critical condition. The attacker had entered the university with a concealed weapon through the main gate. After killing the woman, he escaped while firing into the air.
The general director of the Applied Science Private University in Amman, Dr. Haitham Abu Khadija, had identified the victim as Eman Rashid. The university, expressing its condolences to the student's family and lamenting her death, had issued a statement promising to take legal measures to "prosecute everyone who caused this painful incident until they receive a just retribution for their heinous crime."
On Twitter, a hashtag urging the culprit should be executed for their crime has gone viral. A Twitter user wrote, "Who will the next victim be? My sister or your sister… It's only been two days since Naiyera Ashraf was murdered… and today, another woman was killed in Jordan,"