Political and Religious Corruption
Knowing the fact that Nawal El Saadawi was a revolutionary woman in the Arab word, an Arabian reader like me or any other reader from any other part of the world won’t be so surprised of her exposing the corruption of the political and religious system in Arab’s societies.
First, from the very beginning and through her female protagonist Firdaus , Nawal tries to pave the way for us as readers to be ready for the exposition of the political scene in Egypt, especially when Firdaus first starts to develop her love for reading and state the following: “I got to know about the Persians, the Turks and the Arabs. I read about the crimes committed by kings and rulers.” And there are other hints that she ...view middle of the document...
I could see he was trying to deceive Allah in the same way as he deceived the people” as if the political corruption is extended to religious system in the society, and the instrument which carries this corruption is the head of the political system.
Second, Asserting what was mentioned above, there was this word of “Patriotism” and the shocking comment of Firdaus on it when she says “When they pronounced the word ‘Patriotism’ I could tell at once that in their heart of hearts they feared not Allah…. Patriotism meant that the poor should die to defend the land of the rich” as if Nawal is saying that the bases of the system is mainly hypocritical. This Intersecting point of corruption and hypocrisy between the political system and the religious one in the society would have its effects on the individuals, especially men because the society was of the patriarchal type; where men have the ultimate power. An example of the progeny of this religious corruption is ‘Sheikh’ Mahmoud, a sheikh is supposed to be knowledgeable of the Islamic teachings and not only that; he must be committed to them. Unfortunately, ‘Sheikh’ Mahmoud is only using his as a sheikh to fulfill his hideous desires.
Finally, it is as if Nawal is referring the fact of how degradable this Egyptian society is; it is being depicted as the western societies of the middle age, where the political system and the religious one is monopolized by the same institution just to achieve the full control over the people.