A fiery exchange between an Egyptian cleric and a female TV host culminated in an on-air shouting match between the two over a number of controversial issues.
In April, cleric Yousuf Badri joined host Riham Said for an interview on the Egyptian channel Al-Nahar. The clip, which runs just over three minutes in length, initially begins with an informal conversation between the two before the actual interview takes place.
Specifically, the two discuss how Said, a woman, will have to cover her head in order to interview Badri.
“Outside this studio in your daily life you deal all the time with Muslim women who do not wear the veil,” objects Said. “Do I have to put this on just to have an interview with you?” she asks as she begins to cover her head.
“You have no problem talking to me without the hijab, and then, when the viewers can see, you make we wear it?”
“Let’s just start the show,” Badri says in response.
However, the testy mood carried over into the actual interview after Said introduced the topic of sexual harassment by clerics – a subject Badri had absolutely no interest in discussing.
“This is a provocation,” he says in a harsh tone. “Change the subject. Talk about things that interest people, about public affairs.”
But Said offers a different perspective.
“From the moment you sat down, you’ve been shouting at me and mocking me, even though we paid you 1,000 Egyptian pounds to come here,” she shouts back, removing her headscarf. “You didn’t come to answer questions. You came to pick a fight…What kind of cleric demands 1,000 pounds?”
“Change the subject and put on that hijab,” Badri states. “Or I will shut your channel down!”
Said, however, concludes the interview on her own terms, publicly denouncing both Badri’s stance and position of power.
“This is the kind of person who sues TV channels, attacks the media, and puts on a show for the viewers,” she states. “It is very unfortunate that people like this peddle our religion. I’m the one leaving, not you.”