Muslim Women Outraged After FEMEN's 'Topless Jihad' Protests
A group of Muslim women angry at Ukrainian feminist group FEMEN for calling April 4 "International Topless Jihad Day" have taken to Facebook declaring “Nudity DOES NOT liberate me and I DO NOT need saving.”
FEMEN organized topless protests in several different countries on Thursday against what the Kiev-based group claims is Islam’s oppression of women.
A 19-year-old Tunisian member of the group, Amina Tyler, recently caused controversy when she posted photographs of herself on Facebook, one of which showed Amina’s face covered in a headscarf and the words “F**k your morals” written on her bare chest.
The Facebook page Muslim Women Against Femen, which has over 2,000 likes, claims FEMEN is Islamophobic and is in no way advancing the plight of Muslim females. The group’s hashtag #MuslimahPride was trending on Friday. Members posted images of themselves on Twitter and Facebook holding signs denouncing FEMEN and its message. "I never knew I was oppressed until a so called feminist group thought they'd pigeon hole me and talk/protest on behalf of me #MuslimahPride,” Sheila Sarfaraz wrote.
Many men have also shown their support to the group. One took a picture of himself in a headscarf and held up a sign that read, “FEMEN will see.”
Inna Shevchenko, a key activist at FEMEN, referred to the women as “slaves.” She responded to the Muslim Women Against Femen by saying that “through all history of humanity, all slaves deny that they are slaves.”
"They say they are against FEMEN, but we still say we are here for them," Shevchenko told HuffPost UK. "They write on their posters that they don't need liberation but in their eyes it's written 'help me.'"
Muslim activist Ilana Allazeh of D.C. told HuffPost Live she finds “International Topless Jihad Day” racist and criticized FEMEN’s use of stereotypes like turbans and beards to get their message across. One picture, which showed a happy image of Muslim woman in burkas riding a skateboard, was captioned: “Oops I forget to be oppressed, too busy being awesome.”