A group of Muslim women have joined forces to protest against the work of Femen, branding them “white colonial feminists”.
Muslim Women Against Femen launched an online response Femen’s “topless jihad day”, which urged activists to bare their breasts in support of Tunisian activist Amina Tyler.
The group, which claims Femen are Islamophobes and imperialists, have began a Facebook page named Muslim Women Against Femen, which features images of women (the majority of which are wearing the hijab) holding up slogans including “Nudity DOES NOT liberate me and I DO NOT need saving” and “Shame on you Femen, hijab is my right”.
13 members have penned an open letter to Femen outlining their objections to the group, which was founded in Ukraine in 2008.
"We understand that it’s really hard for a lot of you white colonial “feminists” to believe, but- SHOCKER! – Muslim women and women of colour can come with their own autonomy, and fight back as well! And speak out for themselves! Who knew?
"We are proud Muslimahs, and we’re sick of your colonial, racist rubbish disguised as 'women’s liberation!'
The letter continues, accusing Femen of having “messed priorities” and advising the group to “take aim at male supremacy, not Islam.”
It adds: “You don’t really care about violence and harm being inflicted upon women, you only care about that when it is perpetrated by brown men with long beards who pray five times a day.”
The Huffington Post UK contacted Femen leader Inna Shevchenko for a response and this is what she had to say:
"So what can i say about the reaction of those Muslim women? They say they are against Femen, but we still say we are here for them.
"They write on their posters that they don't need liberation but in their eyes it's written 'help me'.
"You know, through all history of humanity, all slaves deny that they are slaves being scared to fight for freedom.
"We are proud to share progressive ideas for all over the world, all ideologies have the place where they were born but ideology of freedom doesn't have nationality or specific location, it's a universal idea that is shared by Arab women too!
"Why do they have to cover their bodies? This is beginning if the process."
Thursday’s topless jihad day saw thousands of women across the globe protesting outside Tunisian embassies and mosques in support of Tyler, who was threatened with death by stoning for baring her breasts online.
In a statement posted on Facebook, the group called for solidarity against the “lethal hatred of Islamists – inhuman beasts for whom killing a woman is more natural than recognising her right to do as she pleases with her own body.”
Heralding the event as the beginning of a new Arab Spring, the message urges: “Come to the embassy of the Republic of Tunisia and protest topless, with ‘My Body Against Islamism!’ written on your body.”
It added: “Long live the topless jihad against infidels! Our tits are deadlier than your stones!”
Images of protests underway in Berlin, Milan, Kiev, Paris, Brussels and Melbourne were posted on the Femen Facebook website as the movement gained pace.
Additionally, more than 110,000 activists, signed a petition calling for those who threatened Amina’s life with prosecution.