Editor: Maryam Namazie
Design: Kiran Opal
PDF Version of Publication: Fitnah-Unveiled-March-2014
In This Issue
– This is my body; I will do whatever I want with it, Interview with Amina Sboui and Aliaa Magda Elmahdy
– News Flash: February 2014
* Iran: Save Rayhaneh Jabbari from execution by hanging
* The Law Society must withdraw its guidance on Sharia-succession rules
– Art Corner: Victoria Guggenheim
* I will be nude, I will protest, and I will challenge you to your core! Maryam Namazie
* Women’s breasts: a serious threat, Patty Debonitas
This is my body; I will do whatever I want with it
Interview with Amina Sboui and Aliaa Magda Elmahdy
Maryam Namazie: Why did you do the nude action in Egypt?
Aliaa Magda Elmahdy: In Egypt, a woman is like a lifeless body, a corpse. This body is owned by other people. They think if she doesn’t follow the rules, it is okay to beat her, to harass her; it is okay to kill her. So the best way to say no to all of that is to say “This is my body and I will do whatever I want with it.”
Maryam Namazie; Is that how you felt too Amina?
Amina Sboui: It’s mostly not just in Egypt, not just in Tunisia. It’s in the Arab world that women are treated like that. I guess we have the same reasons why we did it. Actually we did it to show the world how we are treated and mostly to try to change things. Hopefully we will be able to change things – at least a little.
Maryam Namazie: Your action has hit a cord with a lot of people. Do you think there is an universality to what you say? It’s not just the Arab world (though it is very important for the Arab world) but it hits a cord for everyone?
Aliaa Magda Elmahdy: Yes practices may differ but sexism is the same everywhere. Maybe the practices differ, the degree differs.
Maryam Namazie: Some people will say that what you are doing is not culturally appropriate; it is offensive and you’re not respecting people’s culture.
Amina Sboui: I think that what the old feminists did in their time was not culturally appropriate like when they asked for women’s vote or women to go to school. Times change and people change. We can’t use the same methods that they use. When we go back in time their methods were considered inappropriate or something coming from the western countries. People will always insult the feminists because most of the people do not believe in equality between men and women.
Maryam Namazie: So you wouldn’t agree that the demand for the right over your own body or for equality is a western demand as that is what some have said.
Aliaa Magda Elmahdy: It’s like they are stripping us from the will to be free. You’re very angry and you want to fight for your rights and then they tell you: “No, shut up, that’s not for you.”
Maryam Namazie: Obviously what you did, especially because you did it in Egypt and Tunisia, there is a great deal of risk involved. Do you regret the risk and the fact that it has changed your lives considerably? [Read more…]