Brotherhood blasts U.N. women's document

By Sarah El Deeb

Associated Press

Published: Wednesday, March 13 2013 10:53 p.m. MDT

CAIRO — Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood sharply criticized an anticipated U.N. document on combatting violence against women, saying on Wednesday that it was "deceitful," clashed with Islamic principles and undermined family values.

The text of the document has not been published because negotiations are continuing, regarding how to address sexual violence and rights of women to control their sexuality as well as sexual and reproductive health and rights.

Diplomats and observers tracking the debate are optimistic of agreement before the two-week meeting of the U.N. Commission on the Status of Women wraps up Friday in New York. One participant said Egypt is seeking to introduce an opt-out clause to allow each country to implement the document according to its own traditions.

According to the Brotherhood, which has emerged as the most powerful political faction in Egypt since the 2011 uprising, the draft under discussion advocates sexual freedoms for women and the right to abortion "under the guise of sexual and reproductive rights."

In its strongly worded statement, the Brotherhood also decried the document's defense of homosexual rights, which are not recognized in Islam, and the equating between children born in and out of wedlock.

"It contains articles that clash with Islamic principles and its basics mentioned in the Quran (Islam's holy book) and in Islamic traditions," the Brotherhood statement said. "It eliminates Islamic values, and seeks to destroy the family ... which would lead to social disintegration."

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