Sofia Ahmed of “Muslimah Pride” does not like Femen. She has reasons.
What Femen are doing is highly counterproductive and detrimental to Muslim women across the world. For me and hundreds of other women who have got in touch with me over the past few days, their tactics are a part of the ideological war that is going on between neo-colonial elements in the West and Islamic societies. Their aim is not to emancipate us from our presumed slavery, but instead reinforce Western imperialism and generate consent for the ongoing wars against Muslim countries.
That “for me and hundreds of other women” is interesting, since it’s followed by a factual claim as opposed to an interpretation. “For me,” she says, the aim of Femen is to reinforce Western imperialism and generate consent for the ongoing wars against Muslim countries.”
You know what? I don’t believe a word of that. I don’t believe that is Femen’s aim.
It seemed that many other Muslim women across the world agreed with my stance and what followed was a defiant and vocal rejection of Femen’s invitation. Instead of ‘getting naked’ Muslim women from across the world tweeted and uploaded pictures of themselves to Facebook in their hijabs, niqabs, and western attire. They held up signs telling the world why they were proud of their identities and did not need racist Islamophobic women to dictate to them on how they should dress.
Instead they needed a made-up god and a long-dead “prophet” and a bunch of male clerics to dictate to them on how they should dress. Is that it?
Oh, is that racist Islamophobic of me? No, it fucking isn’t. I don’t despise all these bullying rules about women and veils and bags and tents, haram and halal and go back inside, because they’re racial, I despise them because they’re bad in themselves.
In our open letter to Femen we referred to them as ‘colonial feminists’ to describe Femen’s activities. I believe it is the most apt term to describe their particular brand of feminism. From Helen of Troy, the face that launched a thousand ships, to the pretext of female liberation surrounding the invasion of Afghanistan, women have always been used as pawns by men as an excuse to wage war. Femen are just the latest chapter in the long history of gender imperialists that manufacture consent and provide ideological foregrounding to justify going to war. By dismissing the role of western countries in the oppression of Muslim women and focusing solely on Muslim men they are only working to demonise Islam, not liberate Muslim women.
That’s pathetic. She would have at least a semblance of a case if she said Femen are playing into the hands of people who want to justify going to war (but who the hell is keen to go to war right now?), but to say they’re doing that themselves? Please.
She’s swallowed a keg of jargon and that’s all she’s got – the familiar phrases come out one after the other.
Femen’s reliance on the overused media tropes of the modern western values versus traditional Muslim values is creating a dichotomous representation of the ‘self’ (West) and ‘other’ (Muslims)…Frantz Fanon…The hyper-sexualisation of Femen’s campaign and the insistence on Muslim women to strip naked as a gesture of emancipation is a tell-tale symptom of Orientalist fantasies…Femen’s universal imposition of the neocolonial agenda… Femen have continued to display a flagrant disregard for our agency and have consistently tried to downplay the legitimacy of our collective voices. Femen have tried to dismiss our campaign using conspiracy and conjecture…
Conspiracy and conjecture! Look again at your first paragraph before you accuse other people of that.
The Ex-Muslims forum on Twitter are arguing with Muslimah Pride a good deal.