Following are excerpts from a TV show featuring several Arab women professionals commenting on post-Arab spring Islamization. The program aired on Al-Aan TV on September 19 and 26, 2012.
TV host: Slogans like "Jihad, oh Obama, Tahrir Square belongs to Osama" have been heard recently in Cairo. Are you worried about this?
Egyptian teacher of Medicine Dr. Nadia Madani: Of course. The Egyptian revolution, whose goals were freedom, social justice, and a better life for the people, should not be turned into a religious or sectarian conflict for whatever reason. Merely hearing such slogans makes you worry that we are heading towards an Afghanistan-like scenario, common in places suffering from religious conflicts, extremism, and restrictions on the lifestyle of the people.
TV host: When you heard that Muhammad Al-Zawahiri, brother of Al-Qaeda leader Ayman Al-Zawahiri, went down to Tahrir Square, what was the first thought that came to your mind?
Dr. Nadia Madani: I immediately imagined a Taliban scenario, and an attempt to undermine the stability of the younger generation, dragging them to violence.
Tunisian politician 'Aisha Al-Majri: We labored to bring about the Arab Spring, but there are people with foreign and domestic agendas who are trying to gain a foothold anywhere they can. The Salafis, or the extremists, are among those who are seeking such a foothold. We will do what we can to stop this.
TV host: In your opinion, will they succeed?
'Aisha Al-Majri: They are trying, and they are financed and supported by superpowers, pushing them to establish a foothold. We will minimize this in any way we can. We have paid a price with our blood, and if necessary, we will pay with more blood to stop them. Tunisia will be the first to stop this [Salafi] wave.
Libyan social activist Ambaraka Muhammad Adala: We do not have Al-Qaeda in Libya, but if you follow the news, you hear about Muslim Brotherhood, Salafis, and so on and so forth. But I believe they will find no place in Libya.
I hope that Libya is not afflicted with the problems we hear about in other countries like Afghanistan. We do not want to become another Kandahar.
Women participated in the struggle for our freedom, but all of a sudden, you hear people saying that a woman's voice is 'awrah. What happened in the days of the Prophet Muhammad? Didn't women speak? Were their voices not 'awrah back then?