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Today is our day to defend our Amina

aminaUpdated 5 April, 22:00 hours

April 4 was our day to defend our Amina. The 19 year old Tunisian FEMEN activist whose only “crime” was to post a topless photo of herself saying: “my body belongs to me, and is not the source of anyone’s honour” and “fuck your morals”.

Whilst she has done nothing wrong, she has been effectively detained incommunicado by her family with the help of the police, and the latest reports say she has been drugged and beaten.

Amina says though that she has no regrets.

Our beloved Amina, this day is for you…

Some of the actions taken and statements made in support of Amina have been posted below.

    • On 4 April, there were actions in Berlin, Bonn, Bremen, Brussels, Frankfurt, Gothenburg, Kiev, London, Malmo, Milan, Montreal, Paris, Rio De Janeiro, San Francisco, Stockholm, Vancouver, Warsaw and more to mark 4 April, the International Day to Defend Amina. You can see reports and photos from various events here as well as below:
    • A committee made up of Mina Ahadi, Nesan Nodinian, Gaby Schmidt, Eduard Von and Ahmad Rahmani met with the head of the Tunisian Consulate in Bonn to raise the demands of the International Day to Defend Amina.
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    • Here are some photos from the Gothenburg protest: am1am2
    • Here is a television report and photos from Stockholm protest. Also another piece on Stockholm protest and here too. There are more photos on this siteCYO4th April13 Stockholm11CYO4th April13 Stockholm6 - Copy (1)CYO4th April13 Stockholm7 - CopyCYO4th April13 Stockholm6 - Copy
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    • Here is a photo of the protest in Vancouver:IMG_20130404_163003
    • Here are photos from Frankfurt protest: 524833_10200927159326606_1549681464_n543877_10200927163366707_130962972_n

  • Here is a photo from the London protest: Amina protest0071365089198-topless-jihad-protest-comes-to-london-to-show-support-for-amina_19324411365089192-topless-jihad-protest-comes-to-london-to-show-support-for-amina_1932442
  • Here is a piece on the Malmo protest and some photos: malmo532001_10200161478252520_111315735_n555726_10200161459852060_84954825_n
  • Here is footage on the protest in Milan. Also here and here'TOPLESS JIHAD', FEMEN FOR AMINA
  • Photos from the protest in Paris: 488157_180294395455136_1518554574_n 181045_180294712121771_1102396310_n488157_180294395455136_1518554574_n28154_505526742848530_1921042861_n
  • A photo from the protest in Brussels: belgio404
  • Here’s a photo from protest in Kiev: kiev
  • Here’s a photo from Berlin: Berlin
  • Here’s a photo from another protest in Berlin: bremen
  • 109,000 people have signed the petition in support of Amina!
  • Countless individuals posted photos in support of Amina: (You can see many more on FEMEN’s Facebook pageMaryam-Namazie_Amina_Solidarity04042013A-Million_AminasCapture d’écran 2013-03-25 à 22.46.08Nadia ElfanimakFdSHgjm
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    7313_178685062282736_655789260_n582397_178115139006395_1759763564_n  

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  • Greta Christina blogged about Amina here and posted the below photo: Greta-in-support-of-Amina-1
  • A large numbers of personalities have written in to express their solidarity with Amina including: Farideh Arman, Chairman of Women’s Right Association; Djemila Benhabib, Journalist and Writer; B.A.Parikh of Satya Shodhak Sabha, a Rationalist Organisation in India; Amanda K. Metskas, Executive Director, Camp Quest; Philip Bone, executive director of the International Experimentations’ Documentation Center (Paris); blogger Rebecca Watson of Skepchick; Lloyd Newson, Director of DV8 Physical Theatre;  Writer Lila Ghobady; Maryam Jamel of the Organisation of Women’s Liberation of Iraq; Samir Noory of the Northern Iraq representative of the Iraqi coalition against death penalty; Imad Iddine Habib, founder of the Moroccan Council of Ex-Muslims;  Pierre Galand, President of the Centre d’Action Laïque (Belgium) and the European Humanist Federation; Michael Schmidt-Salomon, Philosopher, Spokesperson of the Giordano Bruno Foundation; comedian Shabana Rehman; Nazanin Boroumand of Council of Ex-Muslims of Germany; author David Maidment; Arash T. Riahi Iranian-Austrian director, golden girls film production; researcher Nicole Gabriel; and blogger Emily Dietle .
  • Taslima Nasrin has blogged in support of Amina here.
  • Scientist PZ Myers has written a blog post on Amina here as has blogger Dana Hunter here.
  • Sonya Sonja Eggerick, President of the International Humanist and Ethical Union has issued a statement in support of Amina.
  • Jaya Gopal, International Coordinator, wrote the “International Committee to Protect Freethinkers stands in support of the Tunisian Amina for her courage and act of protest against the oppressive misogynistic ethos and archaic laws across the globe. We condemn the Islamic cleric Adel Almi for his Fatwa calling for flogging and stoning Amina to death. The cleric deserves immediate prosecution.
  • Elisabeth van der Steenhoven, Director of WO=MEN Dutch Gender Platform (the largest network in Netherlands on women’rights internationally) sent  a message saying they support Amina.
  • Algerian sociologist Merieme Helie Lucas is at a conference in New Delhi today speaking on women using nudity against the Muslim Right as a new form of resistance by women and youth. She will stress the need for solidarity with Amina.
  • Swapna, Convener, writes “Let the world understand that Woman is a Human who has her own body and mind and that she should be respected and loved. The Tunisian Amina is right in posting a topless photo of herself bearing the slogan: ” MY BODY BELONGS TO ME AND IS NOT THE SOURCE OF ANYONE’S HONOR”. Her message is a human protest against a misogynistic inhuman social system. The Islamist cleric Adel Almi’s call for flogging and stoning Amina to death reflects such a system and ethos. Our Scientific Students Federation (SSF) unequivocally stands in defense of Amina.
  • Ligue du Droit International des Femmes, Association créée par Simone de Beauvoir, Regards de Femmes and Femmes Solidaires, Maison des Ensembles submitted this protest COMMUNIQUE to the Tunisian embassy today in support of Amina; Anne Marie Lizin, honorary president of Belgian senate submitted the same letter to the Tunisian embassy in Belgium.
  • Zari Asli and Lily M prepared this postcard for distribution at rallies and future events. POstcard_FRONT  POstcard_back_other_places.
  • Yesterday, Tunisian Merieme and FEMEN burnt an Islamic flag in front of a mosque in Paris to symbolise women’s fight against Islamism:

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  • Actions that took place prior to the 4th include Palestinian blogger Waleed Al-Husseini’s Facebook page Let’s Breast Them:

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  • Ex-Muslim @godlessyndicate made a banner for the day:

logoAMina

  • Kiki Brill from Norway made a Facebook badge for Amina.
  • And artist Molly Crabapple sketched Amina:

Molly_crabapple

Comments

  1. roger ivanhart says

    The subjugation of women has nothing to do with religion, except when religion is used as an excuse.
    Female subjugation is universal among most human societies, a deviation involving pathetic males who are unable to control their sexual urges and who have no power over, or the respect of, other males. These useless creatures must seek to dominate women and children quickly and furtively. They must dominate those physically weaker than themselves for a brief moment before they are sent scurrying back into the undergrowth once more.
    Religions could easily campaign for the freedom and equality of women, but they don’t. And they don’t because religions are the preserve of those smutty, weak and cowardly second-rate males.
    Alpha males become politicians or leaders of business or commerce. Only the second-raters who have to skulk in the bushes need pretend they are pious and religious.

    • Pierce R. Butler says

      roger – I think we’re on the same side, but I gotta quibble with your choice of words:

      Female subjugation is universal among most human societies, a deviation …

      Regardless of whether something is morally right or socially healthy, if it’s universal it’s not a deviation…

    • Philip Bone says

      To Roger What do you mean, “subjugation of women has nothing to do with religion, except when religion is used as an excuse” ???
      On the contrary ! ! !
      “Official”, structured religions are founded ON THE SAME BASIS as is based the subjugation of women ! That is to say : the craving-for-power exsuding from frustrated males !
      The founding of religions, as it has been demonstrated by many anthropological studies, have ALWAYS had the ambition to assert the grasp, by a category of people —called the clergy— on the rest of a given population —called the followers…
      No wonder that they pound particularly on women, whom they tagged as “impure” because (among other things) they didn’t understand the biological function of the menses…

      • roger ivanhart says

        Philip, the reasons given in the original texts are usually related to the protection of women, who, rightly or wrongly, were seen as the weaker sex, and not to ensure their subjugation. We can from hindsight see that the texts resulted in subjugation but when social attitudes at the time of writing are considered the original texts are often shown to have been positively enlightened. It is after the religions’ originators that the texts can definitely be shown to have been blatantly ‘adapted’ to emphasize subjugation, as is the case when we study the hadiths and the selection of writings of certain Christian apostles to be included in the Bible.

        • Philip Bone says

          In discussions on religions, I always encounter that everlasting argument saying : “religions, at first, have “brought progress” to the people of that time, compared with their previous situation”…
          The matter discussed here is NOT the eventual “changes” that happened in the behaviours of 7th century beduins’ communities… (by the way, I don’t see “what” progress there was in ordering women to be stoned to death for this or that…)
          And furthermore, the injunctions given inside these iron-age texts….. are taken as first degree, compulsory orders by many CONTEMPORARY crackpots ! !
          I don’t care what was the intentions of the writers back then : today, we fight their comandments FOR THE MORBID IMPACT they have HERE AND NOW on terrorized “faithful followers” (who just want to live a secure and quiet life) !

          • roger ivanhart says

            Fact is, it doesn’t matter if religion was abolished worldwide tomorrow, the problem of female inequality would still be with us because it is social in origin. What is often the progenitor of change is the perception of having greater financial stability, and, of course, education. It is rarely an immediate undermining of religion, which usually follows increased access to education.
            History shows us social change doesn’t often happen overnight; it usually takes decades, even centuries, of gradual reform. Some societies – and in some countries sections of societies – have rejected religion in government and are usually more advanced in their attitudes to women’s equality and it is in less financially stable societies where religion is still used to muddy the social consequences, where girls are still killed or left to die because boys are seen, wrongly, as being more likely to make a greater contribution to the family’s budget. Yes, religion is used to justify perceived sexual superiority and inferiority but religion exacerbates the situation, it doesn’t cause it. You ignore the social aspects at your peril.

  2. Omar says

    Hi

    I’m a strong supporter but I don’t think that Paris protest is gaining any friends. It looks like a Klan rally gone wrong.

    • alanflynn says

      I agree #Omar; burning flags is only emulating the Islamists’ modus operandi and may result in further violent opposition. Let us instead focus on the defiant but dignified nude protest which affirms the freedom to choose one’s lifestyle.

      • Philip Bone says

        Well…
        As far as I know… Islamists are AS enraged and outraged by the sight of an “islam” flag burning, AS by the sight of a bare-chest women ANYWAY ! !
        …..
        As Maryam said in her above reply, it looks a bit ill-considered to dare comparing the two movements’ ways of acting ! ! !

      • alanflynn says

        When I used the word ‘emulating’ with reference to the burning of the Islamist flag I did not intend to liken feminism with Islamism – I am a feminist atheist after all. Islamic protesters are often seen burning things: flags of western countries, effigies of their hate figures, literature which displeases them. Whilst I regard incineration as a matter of freedom of expression (though not effigies of living persons as this smacks of incitement to kill), I don’t think it’s a good idea for rationalists to mirror this most iconic form of Islamic protest. We are most compelling when we engage in intelligent and non-destructive protest such as the splendid baring of breasts to oppose the subjugation and enforced covering of women.

    • says

      Why? Radical protest often doesn’t make any friends but it gets the message across. Hands off our dissenters Islamism! Message loud and clear. If you want quiet “protest”, there is always the Women’s Institute jam making sessions…

      • Omar says

        Lets not make jam….at lest until autumn anyway.. I support the day of action just not certain actions.

        Seriously I’m thinking about how Marion Le Pen is probably rubbing her hands at this. Theres such a broad community in Western Europe from Africa, Asia, Arab countries yet we see only one non-white face. In this mix of photos? I’m thinking about the implications of the colonialists of Tunisia sneering at the natives rather than actual work being done to build women’s liberation on top of that within minority communities.

        I don’t support standing outside places of worship in this manner. The Pussy Riot case was very different there was a direct conection between that church and Putin through the Cardinal. These protests should be in public places specially at embassies. We are supposed to be protesting governments suppressing women’s rights by using religious laws they propogandise. This looks like we’re scapegoating entire communities.

        I AM with you ,my pics were posted this morning i’m just seriously disturbed that (unlike the work you do in the UK) there will be little work within migrant communities in France, Begium, Germany and Ukraine. Even ethnic division is being fostered as a by product..

        Your work on the far-right her has been fantastic Maryam but on the continent I don’t see a similar figure of resistance. I hope there are MANY who come forward but I see only one in the pictures. And then I g on the Huffington Post and see comments that might aswell have been written by the likes of Robert Spencer.

        THAT is the crux of my worry. I like a loud protest. I was imprisoned after the TUC demos in 2011 for 9 months for throwing a joke shop smoke bomb at Top Shop. I’ve fought police in Egypt and Jordan.

        I enjoy a good demo but it must be directed at the relevant authority., not the janitor of a mosque.

        • Omar says

          For example I did not march down to my local synagogue when Israel bombed Gaza.

          I marched on the Scottish Parliament to demand boycott and divestment.

          • says

            I get it but look Pussy Riot goes to the Church to protest because of the direct connection; there is a direct connection here too. Islamism is a political movement, yes, but Islam is its banner, and the mosque is a centre for organising. It is a religious cleric that has given the threat of her stoning. Islam must also be held accountable. I am not in favour of protests in front of mosques in general but I think under some circumstances it is a necessity and this is one of them. It is uncomfortable yes; but necessary.

            I know the far-Right is disgusting and will use anything it can but we cannot say silent because of them. We have to do our own thing – from a rights perspective and fight them too. Whilst we target Islamism; we cannot ignore Islam’s role in all this and the complicity of those who defend it whilst staying silent on the threats against Amina.

          • says

            Okay yes, but if you were protesting the orthodox Jewish ban on women’s images you might contemplate taking your protest to their synagogue. It all depends. Not easy to do; very controversial but we need to do things that are uncomfortable and controversial. The Islamists cannot keep threatening and killing whilst we remain polite and inoffensive. Let’s not forget who the culprits are and who we need to target.

          • Philip Bone says

            To Omar :
            When you write : “it must be directed at the relevant authority., not the janitor of a mosque”… Are you serious ?? Don’t you think you’re quite caricaturing your standpoint ??
            When you do a demonstration —whatever form it takes— in front of an embassy or a ministry, do you REALLY think it is “directed towards the janitor” of the building ???

            Then, as for the eventual “recuperation” of ANY action against islam by racist far-right thugs, this is the kind of argument which is quite efficient to PREVENT any such action to be undertaken ANYWHERE ! !
            In most countries, for example, extreme-right activists strongly support the fight against animal mistreatments… so you should tell PETA to stop their programs at once, isnt’it ??

  3. roger ivanhart says

    It is a deviation from what most religious texts would have us believe; however, it is a far more accurate description – and certainly not a deviation – of the behaviour of non-alpha males of many species in the wild. I am probably guilty of a confusion in seeing religious texts but hearing a rather descriptive Attenborough narrative in my head and not separating the two as I was constructing my post. I strongly suspect it was caused by both anger and shame when reading Maryam’s excellent post.

  4. noastronomer says

    Can anyone tell me what does the flag in the last picture actually say? Thanks.

    I wholeheartedly support this … I don’t know, it’s more than a protest … movement.

    Mike.

  5. Omar says

    @Maryam (sorry no reply button on your post)

    That is a very tenuous link equivalent to Pussy Riot going to a Catholic church to protest the Russian Orthodox church but lets leave that.

    I sincerely urge you to encourage resistance amongst migrant communities on the continent. They are severely lacking in this picture and I’ve seen some criticism elsewhere where I have defended the day of action.

    http://arabagenda.wordpress.com/2013/04/04/colonial-femen-strike-again/

    It is from migrant communities in Europe that the alliance can be forged to cause a sea change on the ground in Islamist countries and in communities.

    Stay strong.

    • says

      okay yes but if you go to a salafi mosque, the protesters will most likely not make it out alive. This is a very different and dangerous phenomenon, which is why also it is not so easy to get Muslims and Ex-Muslims on board – though many are in favour of women’s rights and equality and for Amina. Despite all this – there are still many who dare to challenge. Look at the photos of the protests I have posted. The media focuses on FEMEN women who look the part (I know I was cut out of all the photos (by the media not FEMEN) of the Paris event I took part in because I looked like sponge bob square pants…) but if you look at the photos I have posted there are many non-white faces. Nonetheless I hate this whole division by skin colour. It doesn’t matter what colour you are (I am after all very very white though I’m half Iranian/half Nepalese) what matters is where you stand and FEMEN is standing on the right side for me. I will defend them with all I have.

    • Philip Bone says

      @Omar
      It is a bit easy to tackle people who ACT to defend a woman threatened, by a fanatical dumbo, of death by stoning… tagging them sort of “neo-colonialists” ! !
      First, you seem not to remember what “true” colonialism WAS… It was devised in order to PUMP all possible resources from Southern Hemisphere’s territories ! If they had to crush the “locals”, well… let it be !
      In the present case, citizens from all kind of countries mobilize to DEFEND and PROTECT the rights of “crushed” persons !
      Don’t you think that it is the EXACT OPPOSITE of what colonialism was ??

      Second : Nobody has ever forbidden lay people from these very countries to act against injustice and fanaticism —proportionally to their possibilities, of course…

      • Omar says

        Philip, I do not seek to “tackle” those who defend women or human rights. I fully supported this day and have supported similar protests in the past.

        I made my point earlier in the thread so I won’t reiterate myself. It is vitally important to engage with migrant communities…Islamism needs to be tackled. The abuse of women, acid attacks and especially state persecution.

        As I said before I still think protesting outside a mosque is a bad move. We have to tackle the state institutions that persecute women.

  6. says

    Thank you so much for everything you’re doing for this important cause. You’re an inspiration. & So sorry to see the backlash you’ve gotten (on Twitter, etc.) Those who are responding to you in that way are 1) cruel, 2) lashing out because they feel threatened, and 3) have entirely missed the point of the protest. So incredibly frustrating & infuriating to see.

    Thank you for inspiring me to get involved, Maryam. My photo contribution is
    here

    • says

      Thanks Miranda. I will post and send to FEMEN too.

      The backlash is just the Islamists and their post-modernist lackeys trying to defend their movement; I am defending mine. It is politics and shouldn’t infuriate you. If we don’t get a response from them – we’re doing something wrong.

  7. says

    The most infuriating aspect of the whole “Islamist” situation is that you cannot even tell these people to go to hell even though this often seems to be the most appropriate response. They are already in hell, (a real hell of their own making and not an imaginary one), and that is why anyone who gets entangled with them immediately finds themselves in hell–it is because they have become entangled with someone who is absolutely and completely in hell. Since some people seem to have a problem with the word “hell,” this is how I am using it:
    http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hell Definition of HELL 2a: a place or state of misery, torment, or wickedness…b: a place or state of turmoil or destruction…e: an extremely unpleasant and often inescapable situation…–from hell: being the worst or most dreadful.

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