Last week I reported deep concern for a young Tunisian Muslima who had disappeared after she posted topless photos of herself to protest the sharia oppression and subjugation she suffered as a Muslim girl. One controversial image showed the young Muslimah, Amina Tyler, smoking a cigarette, baring her breasts, with the message in Arabic written across her chest: "My body belongs to me, and is not the source of anyone’s honour.”
A Muslim cleric in moderate Tunisia called for her stoning death. Tunisian newspaper Kapitalis quoted preacher Almi Adel, who heads the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice, saying: "The young lady should be punished according to sharia, with 80 to 100 lashes, but [because of] the severity of the act she has committed, she deserves be stoned to death." And: "Her act could bring about an epidemic. It could be contagious and give ideas to other women. It is therefore necessary to isolate [the incident]. I wish her to be healed."
There were rumors that her family had her locked up in an asylum. Amina now fears for her life.
Such is the life of millions of Muslim girls who want to be free in Islamic society.
Thankfully, Amina's story went viral and gained international attention. One of the more outrageous reactions was from the Ukraine-based feminist group, Femen, who staged a Topless Jihad Day, to stand in solidarity with Amina. It's not what I would do, but I loved the moxie and in-your-face action to call worldwide attention to misogyny under Muslim rule. These feminist activists held “International Topless Jihad Day” in major European cities, including Berlin, Kiev and Paris. They painted their bodies with slogans such as “bare breasts against Islamism,” and they protested outside of mosques in various cities.
“We’re free, we’re naked, it’s our right, it’s our body, it’s our rules, and nobody can use religion, and some other holy things, to abuse women, to oppress them,” Femen member Alexandra Shevchenko said while demonstrating outside a Berlin mosque in freezing temperatures.
Finally, a well-publicized response to the crushing subjugation of women under the sharia. But what happened next was ....... unforgivable. Reminiscent of the Muslim women who hold down their daughters for FGM (clitordectomy), a group of Muslim women came out against the Amina Tyler supporters. "Muslim Women Against Femen" was formed to show that Femen "does not speak for all members of their community."
The members of Muslim Women Against Femen encouraged other self-defeating supporters to participate in Muslimah Pride Day. They are posting pictures of themselves on social media (see below), declaring that they are not oppressed. Well, bully for them. Are they really that selfish? Self-absorbed? Inhuman?
If they are not oppressed, then this campaign has nothing to do with them.
Millions of women under Muslim rule are oppressed like Amina Tyler and suffer unspeakable brutality under the honor violence code of Islam. What about them? How can these Muslimahs turn their back on their sisters?
"Muslim Women Against Femen" may very well choose to wear the niqab or burka or hijab, but that is their choice. They can wear purple hair for all we care. But what about the millions of Muslimahs who are forced to wear it? What about the millions of Muslimahs who are forced into marriage, beaten or honor-killed?
The utter disregard of these Muslimahs for the fate of their sisters in other lands is either a depraved lack of humanity or a strange Stockholm syndrome. The mission statement of these supremacists is: "Muslim women who want to expose FEMEN for the Islamophobes/Imperialists that they are. We are making our voices heard and reclaiming our agency!" This exclusive self-reference, typically encountered among adolescents, accounts for the scorched-earth policy of Islamic supremacists. These Muslim women have no interest in the fate of Muslimahs victimized by the sharia because what happens to those unfortunate Muslimahs has no impact on the daily life or goals of Islamic imperialists.
Why are these Muslim women fighting those who wish to help Muslim women? FEMEN were not demanding Muslimahs remove their cloth coffins or head pieces. They were trying to help the oppressed.
Here's the thing -- this whole "Muslim Women Against Femen" is based on a false premise. Nobody is stopping these girls/women from wearing head and body coverings. But what about women who don't have the liberty to choose? That's the point.
Muslim women organize online counterprotest to Femen's Topless Jihad Day NY Daily News
Muslim Women Against Femen mobilized in the midst of Ukraine-based group Femen's Topless Jihad Day, and they are on a mission to show that the feminist group known for its bare-breast protests does not speak for all members of their community.
Supporters posted personal photo to the "Muslim Women Against Femen" Facebook group.
A group angered by the actions of topless feminist protestors is making its presence known on social media.
The members of Muslim Women Against Femen are encouraging supporters to participate in Muslimah Pride Day to show that they do not agree with the Ukraine-based group’s actions, including Thursday’s Topless Jihad Day.
“This is an opportunity for Muslim women to get a say and show people that we have a voice too, that we come in many different shapes and sizes that we object to the way we are depicted in the west, we object to the way we are lumped in to one homogenous group without a voice of agency of our own,” the group wrote on the event’s Facebook page.
MIGUEL MEDINA/AFP/Getty Images
Femen activists participate in a topless protest near Tunisia's Embassy in Paris during Topless Jihad Day. Some Muslim women have organized an online counterprotest in response to Femen’s actions.
Muslim Women Against Femen urged those in agreement to post pictures of themselves no matter what they opt to wear.
“Muslimah pride is about connecting with your Muslim identity and reclaiming our collective voice,” organizer Sofia Ahmed wrote on the event’s Facebook page. “Whether we choose to wear hijaabs or not is (nobody’s) business but ours.”
Femen dubbed Thursday Topless Jihad Day. Members all over Europe held bare-breasted demonstrations to show their support for Tunisian activist Amina Tyler, 19, who received death-by-stoning threats for posting topless pictures online in which “F--k your morals” and “My body belongs to me is not the source of anyone's honor” were written in Arabic.
“Muslimah pride is about connecting with your Muslim identity and reclaiming our collective voice,” an event organizer wrote on Facebook.
"This day will mark the beginning of a new, genuine Arab Spring, after which true freedom, freedom without mullahs and caliphs, will come to Tunisia! Long live the topless jihad against infidels! Our tits are deadlier than your stones!" Femen wrote in a statement on its Facebook page.
In honor of in Muslimah Pride Day, women shared pictures of themselves holding signs with sayings like “Femen can’t tell me what I can and can’t wear” and “Nudity DOES NOT liberate me and I DO NOT need saving.”
“We have a brain. We don’t need your advice, Femen,” another counter-protestor wrote on her sign.