The Strange — and Tragic — Case of Nagla Imam
The Muslim woman who reportedly said Arabs can sexually harass Israeli women converts to Christianity, is abused by the Egyptian government and persecuted by the mob — and insists she never made those remarks.
July 15, 2010 - 8:34 am
Uncovering the truth is always a convoluted affair when it comes to the Middle East. Consider the case of the Egyptian Nagla Iman. Is she a Muslim woman who advocates the sexual harassment of Jewish women, or a Christian woman who advocates human rights — especially for fellow women of all faiths?
The story begins last June 24, when I was a guest on I Was a Prisoner, which airs weekly on the Arabic satellite station Tarek TV (“Way TV”). Named after its host, Mr. Nabil Bissada, who was imprisoned and tortured in Egypt for facilitating the way for Muslims to convert to Christianity, I Was a Prisoner explores the lack of human rights in Muslim countries.
Prior to the show, I was told a famous Egyptian lawyer was scheduled to call in and discuss how the Egyptian government was harassing her for converting. Nagla called in and expressed her situation as follows:
After being a prominent lawyer for years, she was fired for converting to Christianity; nor would the government, as usual, allow her formally to change her religion from Muslim to Christian on her ID card. As a result, she tried to organize a public demonstration against the government, with other Muslim converts to Christianity. The demonstration was quickly disbursed by the police, the demonstrators beaten and threatened; and the Muslim mob got in on the action. The young daughter of one Christian convert who broke her arm was denied medical attention.
After the show, I decided to google Nagla Imam’s name, and it was then that I discovered the strange remarks attributed to her. The contradiction was stunning: I contacted Nabil, who said he would investigate the matter.