25 February 2013 4:32 pm | | 10

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A screenshot from the video posted by Hasan al-Husaini

Bahraini Islamist scholar Hasan al-Husaini has launched an online campaign calling on”believers” and Muslims throughout the world to “save” the women of Tunisia from prostitution.

In a Youtube video posted on his personal channel, al-Husaini documented his visit to a legal brothel in the coastal city Sousse, in which he confronted women who worked there and asked them to quit their professions and “end their sins.” Entitled “Hasan al-Husaini breaks into a prostitution den in Tunisia. … And a surprise follows,” the video showed an emotional conversation, during which both al-Husaini and the women he was preaching to burst into tears.

Well-known for his prosthelytizing activities in the Arab world, al-Husaini is a part of an Islamist charity association called the “Islamist Association of Good Deeds.”

Even though the faces of the women who appeared in the YouTube video were hidden, they responded emotionally to al-Husaini’s questions.

“Only God can judge us, not you,” shouted one of the women. “You come from the Gulf, where you walk on oil. … Tunisia is ravished.”

“Get us jobs and houses and we’ll quit this,” added another woman.

Al-Husaini blamed the women for committing sins and argued that starving to death would be more honorable than going against God’s will. After the video went viral online with over 2 million views, a campaign started on Twitter under the names #استروا_حرائر_تونس (Arabic for “cover the free women of Tunisia”) and #حملة_اعفاف_بنات_تونس  (Arabic for “campaign to restore chastity of Tunisian girls”), calling on businessmen and investors from the Gulf area and other regions to either donate money or launch projects to help improve the conditions of the women in the videos.

Lawyer and feminist activist Bochra Bel Haj Hmida told Tunisia Live that legal prostitution in Tunisia is organized under an old law that has existed since the French colonial period in the 1940s.

“These foreign parties are interfering in our internal matters, in an attempt to violate the state of law,” Bel Haj Hmida said. “A civil state is not compatible with Umah or Khilafa preachers like al-Husaini call for.”

The Tunisian Association for Democratic Women (ATFD) member explained that the government is responsible for such interference. She expressed surprise over the absence of any reaction from official authorities to such acts that represent “a threat to law and order.”

The Tunisian penal code bans illegal prostitution, in which prostitutes do not have licenses from the Ministry of the Interior. This is the only arm of the state that supervises legal prostitution activities, including regular sanitary care and the paying of taxes to the state.

When asked about the issue, the media office at the Ministry of the Interior denied knowledge of al-Husaini’s campaign and refused to comment on the matter.

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Comments (10)

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  1. Mohmed benamor says:

    these individuals from Bahrain, Quatar, Saudi Arabia calling themselves moslems, at the same time they have sex with young boys from Europe and Asia, plus you find them in Las Vegas spending millions of dollars on Russians prostitutes , and drinking wisky all day. these are hypocrites.
    We have young unemployed Tunisians being used by these individuals.

  2. Sarah Springham says:

    They have plenty of prostitutes in Bahrain – that’s why the Saudi army went in to preserve the playground of its rich masters.

  3. mark says:

    So dont they have prostitutes in his own country. Prostitution is one one the oldest professions and every country has them. However every one also knows that even if these women went and lived normal lives they would never be wanted for a wife etc., and they would never really be able to fit into Tunisian society or at least not easily….why does this crusty old man go talk to the men….sometimes married and tell them to stay home and give their money to their wives.

    Why pretend that these women dont exist and put the focus on the men who go without using condoms etc., then go home to their wives and families to play the happy husband/father who in turn pretends these women dont play any role in their life.

    Prostitutes enter the profession for many reasons but mostly economical, it rises in poor areas or where countries such as Tunisia are going through strife. I cant think why this crusty old man is even there and suggest they escort him out the country on the nearest plane back to where he comes from….i am sure he can find some lost women there. Probably only a way to raise money that would never be spent on the women anyway.

  4. v says:

    He comes from such a great society, multiple marriage, marriage to sme as young as 9, get back to your own country and sort it out, leave Tunsisia alone, the government is eithr encouraging these dangerous people or turning a blind eye

  5. Skander says:

    I started reading this article with an open mind. I was expecting this imam to talk to the prositutes, show them compassion and offer a better way or job or something. He does nothing but goes and judges and insults them. It’s easy to be holy when you got idiots giving you money to tell them fairy tales, however I doubt he would rather starve than be dishonorable. Muslims are the worst hypocrites. I am not a Christian, but these liars could learn from how Jesus talked with prostitutes.

    • Hiba Hammami says:

      He did show them compassion and he asked for people to donate money to offer them jobs and better living accomodations. Seriously, it seems like we watched completly different video’s. His intention was to help them not to judge them and he certainly did not insult them. You’re right it is easy to say “that you would rather starve than be dishonorable”, nobody knows what one is capable off in such hard conditions. I wholeheartedly believe that if these women were given an opportunity to a decent job, they would definitly take it, as the women confirmed in the video. You’re right a lot of Muslims are hypocrites but it is no different than other believers like the christians. You’re generalizing and it is wrong for you to say that muslims are the worst.I would like to say shame on us for not adressing this problem OURSELVES, then there would be no need for someone to adress this isseu.
      Finally, prostitution is a product of poverty and in any poverty stricken country you will find them.

      • Skander says:

        I didn’t see the video, I just read the article and it made him seem just as someone going around telling them what sinners they are. If he did find them jobs and provided actual help to get them out of the situation, then he is doing a good thing. As for Muslims being hypocrites, all religious people are hypocrites to some degree. You can’t be believe in such unlikely things such as devils,angels, Noah’s ark, slavery being allowed by God, pedophilia being a none problem for God, a God who throws people in Hell because they believed in the wrong prophets etc. and still be a rational person. If you’re a Muslim or Christian, but do not think that it is moral for someone to make you a slave, then you are a hypocrite.

        • Latifa says:

          or possibly you are just not very intelligent and say a lot of things that actually are not true such as the statements you make above. A half truth clothed in lies is a very dangerous thing.

          • mark says:

            every body is entitled to their own opinion. why are you always so nasty…half truth clothed in lies what does that mean…..

  6. nationalist says:

    Why are we as a country continuing to allow foreign forces to intervene in our country. I want to know who allowed these nut jobs to come here and think that they can play little old judge?

    I am not saying i am for prostitution or anything but these are internal problems. I am thankful that this news website posted it online. The Tunisian society needs to be more informed of what these foreigners are doing in our country. NO to all intervention from outside whether it is from the arrogant colonial French or the one eyebrowed nut jobs from Desertstan.

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