Conservatives who ask where the international outrage is over human rights abuses in Islamic countries are about to get their answer. In a grand display, feminist activists from the Ukrainian women’s group Femen held “International Topless Jihad Day” in major European cities including Berlin, Kiev and Paris.
With their bodies painted with slogans such as, “bare breasts against Islamism,” the activists protested outside of mosques in each of their host 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.
“And we’ll fight against them. And our boobs will be stronger than their stones.”
One activist in particular can be seen in a photo donning a black hijad, or Islamic ritual head covering for women, in protest as a man, apparently offended by the display, attempts to kick her.
AFP reports that the feminist rallies are in support of a Tunisian activist dubbed “Amina Tyler,” who posted pictures of herself online last month with a slogan across her breasts that read, “my body belongs to me” and “f**ck your morals.”
As Tyler could potentially face criminal charges, some two dozen topless feminists attempted to breach the Tunisian embassy in Paris while brandishing the slogans “no Islamists” and “no sharia” across their bodies. They were deterred by police as they exited the subway, an AFP photographer said.
Meanwhile, police in Kiev detained two protesters bearing the phrase, “free Amina” on their bare chests directly after they arrived at the city’s only mosque. In Brussels a smilar scene unfolded as a group of women removed their tops outside of the Grand Mosque and began chanting “f**ck your morals” and “free Amina.” According to AFP, three others demonstrated outside the Tunisian consulate in Milan.
In the aftermath of the Arab Spring, and with the rise of the Islamist party Ennahda, Tunisia has become fertile breeding ground for the implementation of sharia law and subsequently, the subjugation of women. The party seeks to make such laws official via a new constitution to be implemented next year, AFP reports.
According to the Guardian, Femen’s Tunisian Facebook page was recently hacked, the attackers installing pictures featuring Quranic verses and calls from a cleric that Tyler should be stoned. Femen launched its “topless jihad” campaign directly thereafter.