In the year ’53

we really wanted to compromise

with the Muslim Brotherhood

if they were willing to be reasonable

and I met the head of the Muslim Brotherhood

and he sat with me and made his requests.

What did he request?


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The first thing he asked for

was to make wearing a hijab mandatory in Egypt

and demand that every woman

walking in the street wear a tarha (scarf).


Every woman walking


Someone says:

«Let him wear it!»



and I told him:

If I make that a law

they will say that we have returned

to the days of Al-Hakim bi-Amr Allah

who forbade people from walking at day

and only allowed walking at night,


and my opinion is that every person in his own house

decides for himself the rules,

and he replied, «No, as the leader, you are responsible.»

I told him

«Sir, you have a daughter in the School of Medicine

and she is not wearing a tarha.»


«Why didn’t you make her wear a tarha?»

«If you –»

(Laughter and applause)

«if you are unable to make one wear–»

«if you are unable to make one girl–who is your daughter–wear the tarha»

«you want me to put a tarha on 10 million women?»


(Howling laughter)