Tunisia: Islamists unleashed against a young Femen
A high school girl posted a photo on Facebook where she poses topless. The Islamist counter-attack is virulent.
Where’s Amina? This 19-year-old high school student is the first Tunisian to have posed in Femen sauce, topless, two weeks ago. “My body belongs to me, it is no one’s honor”, she had painted, in Arabic, on her chest. “Fuck your morals,” she wrote in another photo.
No happening in public space, but simple snapshots posted on Facebook. Amina had sent them to activists from the Ukrainian NGO, who relayed them on several of their page. The schoolgirl herself launched a “Femen Tunisian fanpage” on March 1. “With her photos, she wanted to support Femen, as do many women around the world,” explains Inna Shevchenko, the founder of the movement. We had been in contact for two weeks, she wanted to launch the Femen in Tunisia.”
Photo of Amina published on the Femen France page.
But for a few days, Amina has been unreachable, alerted the NGO, Thursday morning. “His phone has been turned off for three days, his Facebook account is inactive, as is his Skype account. We have received messages that she is with her family, that she is fine, but we do not know the people who sent them to us, ”explains Inna Shevchenko. Did Amina choose to go green, while the controversy sparked by the public display of her chest subsides?
The photos have indeed provoked virulent criticism, and even death threats. Many Islamist pages have relayed the clichés, well blurred this time, to denounce the infamy. The comments are acerbic: “Get dressed, you’re ugly”, “You shame your family”, “For us you are just one more scum, to hell with women’s freedom”, get carried away of users on the Tunisialeaks page. Less categorical, however, many criticize the form. “Does Tunisia really need topless now?” “, Questions the Tekiano site. Others express their support for Amina. A second young woman, Meriam, posed topless, blurred nipples. Internet users clash with Facebook pages, sometimes pro, sometimes anti-Femen. Example: “No Femen- Tunisian i’m just muslim”.
Wednesday evening, the Islamist hacker el-3angour took control of Femen Tunisia, another Facebook page of support for Femen created a long time ago. “Thank God we hacked this immoral page and the best is yet to come,” he wrote, amid suras from the Koran, religious images, while a bearded man squat the profile photo. “God willing, this dirt will disappear from Tunisia,” promises the pirate again. The page is now inaccessible.
Adel Almi, the highly publicized president of the “Center Association for Awareness and Reform”, called for punishing the young woman. “Amina must be flogged a hundred times knowing that, given the extent of her sin, the girl deserves stoning to death”, he would have declared according to the site Assabah news, while Almi denies having called to go as far -the. The man is customary of the Islamist provocation: last September, he considered polygamy as a good means to fight against uterine cancer, seeing that it would need “one hundred and thirty days of abstinence sexual ”to be“ purified ”.
Likewise, a woman who presents herself as the girl’s aunt posted a long video on Facebook. She explains that Amina is “unbalanced”, “psychopathic”, that she “rejoices” in the hype around her, that she “runs away” and has “bad relationships”. The aunt “forever denies” her niece and says that her sick father “cries every day”, “diminished in his pride as a man”. “Let her not tarnish the image of God, the image of her family which is pious,” continues the aunt. If you see her, report her, call the police, but don’t hurt her. I hope she will pay dearly for her actions, the harm she has done. Help us find it. ”
Before her eclipse, Amina explained her gesture. “We do not take off our tops for sexual reasons, we Femen, we have the courage to shout our demands to free the woman,” she said on the set of the Labes program.
The debate over Femen is not new. Tunis has been buzzing with the creation of a section for a few months and some young women have been active on Facebook, without passing the course of the naked breast. In early March, the rumor had spread again. The Minister of Women Sihem Badi, from President Marzouki’s party, had then promised to throw all her strength against the arrival of these “practices foreign to Tunisian traditions”. “The rights of our women are preserved. We don’t need this kind of group, ”argued the controversial minister.
In Tunis, Femen tags have appeared in recent months. Here, on a theater door, on avenue Bourguiba. (photo EA)
“If we can challenge the form of action, we do not have to react with violence, either in words or in acts,” said Meriem Zeghidi, of the Tunisian association of women democrats, who denounces ” pure and hard extremism, a rejection of the other ”. “The Femen are a test for a country, they bring out the reality of violence against women and political behavior,” said Inna Shevchenko. Refraining from being “suicide bombers”, it nevertheless defends the “possibility of carrying out [their] actions everywhere”. “The fact that there are Arab women, she adds, like Amina or Aliaa Elmahdy [this young Egyptian woman who posed naked on her blog and who has since joined the Femen, editor’s note] is a sign that it must happen now.”
How did Tunisia get there? A video to see, we now have the necessary perspective.