The physical abuse in the video was not shocking for AUW alumni and students. Many of them said this is a normal practice which they accept and survive in many occasions. Many argued that Gasim whom they call Baba Gasim, is their second father and he is allowed to physically punish and discipline them.
Two days later Gasim Badri spoke to local newspapers saying that he will not apologize and there is nothing wrong with beating up his students. He justified his action and referred to Quran versus that says a husband can beat his wife to discipline her. He also affirmed that he will slap them again.
In spite of the evidence of brutality in the video and Badri’s acknowledgement of his acts, many stood by his side. Among the crowd who defended Gasim Badri are opposition and civil society figures who miss no chance to speak about human rights and condemn violence against women, specially when the perpetrator is pro government. Most of them they started their speech by saying we are not defending Gasim Badri and followed it with but which means they accept it in certain instances. Below is an initial list of Gasim Badri supporters:
1. Yasir Arman: Deputy of Sudan People'sLiberation Movement /North Agar
The leader in the oldest rebel group in Sudan issued a press release saying that Gasim Badri is one of us not them ( probably he is referring to the ruling regime). He described the act as old school in education and upbringing. He went further on defending the professor by saying the latter is able to be up to date in upbringing and education styles, in an attempt to emphasize on the professor's enlightenment. Moreover he claimed that security could be beyond the release of those videos to distract the public attention from the prices hike, which means violence against women in this instance is not a priority for him.
2. Nabil Adib Abdalla: prominent human rights lawyer and the winner of EU human rights prize.
Adib rolled himself in shame on 13 January. He came out to tell us that we need to look at the bigger picture, and Gasim was forced to act this way in order to protect the students from the state violence that they will face if the stepped out of the university campus in protest. He ignored the fact that physical abuse of student is a pattern for Badri and not isolated incident. In his defense/ justification of Badri's abusive attitude, he normalized guardianship concept, and the notion that women are unaware of the consequences of their actions therefore it is ok to restrict their freedom of expression. Even worse he used the quote “sometimes love kills”, which is a romanticization of partner violence and femicide. It worth noting that Adib publish a weekly article on issues of law and human rights in Sudan and he wrote several times on violence against women, physical abuse and freedom of expression.
She told Sky News Arabia that the video (which clearly shows her brother running to grab the student and beating her up) doesn’t reflect the truth. She explained that Gasim was kicked by the student and he immediately apologized and kissed her forehead after attacking her. However the video neither show that he was being attacked nor his apology. Her commentary ignored the testimonies of Ahfad affiliates that this physical abuse is normal and stemming from Gasim paternal authority in the university. The same paternal authority that feeds patriarchy which professor Balgis teach students to dismantle. The attitude of apologizing after violence is a stage in the cycle of violence that she teaches in her course.
4. Zeinab Alsadig Almahadi, Member of No To Women Oppression and the daughter of Alsadig Almahadi, National Umma Party leader
She wrote 6 out of seven paragraphs praising Ahfad and Gasim Badri. She dedicated one of the paragraphs to describe how handsome and good looking is he and only one sentence vaguely rejecting violence.
5. Tayseer Alfatih: university staff at gender institute of AUW. She spared no effort in defending Gasim Badri and called out the students for being undisciplined.
In defense of Gasim Badri she said Ahfad was founded on care, guardianship and paternal authority.
She also mentioned that Gasim Badri cannot be harasser (in response to the photo below) because he is handsome and a graduate of American University in Beirut.
She posted on Ahfad students and alumni Facebook group shaming and cursing the anonymous student who recorded the video.
7. Sawsan Alshowaya: politician, women rights advocate
She clearly defended the professor without addressing the incident itself. She defended him and condemned violence generally in two sentences out of six paragraphs of praising him.
|Source: anti dams youth committee,FB page|