Moumni implied that Egyptian women are not attractive enough to be harassed by Saad Lamjarred, an accused rapist.
Rabat – “Miss Morocco” Ibtissam Moumni has apologized for making insulting comments against Egyptian women as she attempted to defend controversial Moroccan singer Saad Lamjarred.
Two women in France and one in the US have accused Lamjarred of rape. France detained him for almost a year over one of the cases, but prosecutors eventually dropped the charges. Lamjarred fled the US in 2010 while on bail, under investigation for sexual assault, and has not returned to the country.
Lamjarred had a concert planned in Egypt for December. However, the concert’s venue, the Cairo Show Theatre, decided to cancel his performance amid a storm of “#Saad_Lamjarred_Rapist” and “#We_don’t_want_Lamjarred_in_Egypt” hashtags on social media.
Egypt Independent reported that an official source in the ETbelArabi entertainment company said Cairo Show officially canceled Lamjarred’s concert out of respect for the Egyptian public. The move came amid Egypt’s growing #MeToo movement against sexual assault.
Scores of Moroccan and Egyptian fans rushed to the singer’s defense, arguing that a French court dropped rape charges against him. Among the supporters was none other than “Miss Morocco” Ibtissam Moumni, a singer and pageant queen.
Ibtissam Moumni, however, twisted her defense of Lamjarred into an attack on Egyptian women.
“So you think Saad Lamjarred will show up to the concert and harass your daughters who look like men?” she wrote on social media after news broke of the canceled event.
Facing intense backlash on social media, Moumni apologized for the insulting comment with posts on her Instagram story.
“Egypt is a brotherly country. It’s dear to our hearts, along with its women and people, and I respect it. It is the country of culture and civilization,” she wrote, according to Egypt Independent.
Referring to the women she suggested are too ugly for Lamjarred to harass, Ibtissam Moumni said she only meant the insult to apply to “the small number who attacked Morocco and its women. I certainly did not mean to generalize because generalization is the language of the ignorant.”
She continued by insisting the rape case against Saad Lamjarred “is just an accusation, as nothing has been proven against him. Those who took the decision to cancel [the concert] mixed art and personal matters.”
Lamjarred has claimed innocence on all sexual assault charges.
“I, being a Moroccan artist who appreciates his art, stood with the truth because they attacked him without any reason,” Moumni stated.
Lamjarred is one of the biggest stars in Morocco and the Arab World, so he deserves respect, she argued.
Moumni concluded by saying she did not want to create a rift on social media between Egyptians and Moroccans.
In an attempt to promote unity, she posted a video on her Instagram story on Sunday using a filter that gave her a face mask with the Egyptian and Moroccan flags. In the video, she talks about the “brotherly” ties between the two countries.
Ibtissam Moumni is Miss Morocco 2019 and Miss North Africa 2020, according to her biography on Instagram, where she has over 236,000 followers.