Independent Egyptian MP Ilhami Agina is expected to be investigated by the parliament's ethics committee over comments he made last week about the issue of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and the sexual prowess of Egyptian men.
Agina told parliamentary reporters on 31 August that he was opposed to a new bill raising the practice of FGM from a misdemeanour to a felony.
“I rejected this law because if we stop FGM operations we will need sexually strong men," said Agina, claiming that "as we know, most of Egypt's men are sexually weak and Egypt is at the top of countries consuming drugs that enhance sexual performance.”
Informed sources say that parliament speaker Ali Abdel-Al has received hundreds of complaints from MPs and ordinary citizens demanding that Agina be referred to the ethics committee for investigation.
Many Egyptians believe that women who do not undergo FGM have uncontrollable sexual urges and are prone to promiscuity.
On 31 August, parliament passed a legislative amendment stating that anyone who performs FGM can face a penalty of five to seven years in jail, instead of the previous three months to two years.
The amendment also imposes a penalty of up to 15 years imprisonment if the procedure leads to death or permanent deformity beyond that normally caused by the practice itself.
Those who “escort” victims to the procedure can face jail sentences ranging from one to three years.
Agina, an MP from the Nile Delta governorate of Daqahliya, defended his comments on Wednesday, telling reporters that his remarks about the sexual prowess of Egypt's men “are based on scientific facts.”
"I am ready to face any investigation and give them the facts about my remarks, and I will not backtrack on these comments."
The MP also said that "those who directed complaints against me should know that the 2014 Egyptian constitution states that all citizens should respect freedom of speech and different points of view."