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No Stamp Of Approval: Femen Icon Sparks Twitter Outrage

Femen leader Inna Shevchenko from Ukraine was controversially chosen as the inspiration for a new French postage stamp.
Femen leader Inna Shevchenko from Ukraine was controversially chosen as the inspiration for a new French postage stamp.
Only two days after Femen movement leader Inna Shevchenko was chosen as one of the inspirations for France's new official stamp, the controversial Ukrainian activist, known for her topless protests has sparked an outcry on Twitter for a July 9 tweet where she slams the holy month of Ramadan and Islam.

The tweet in question was discovered on July 16, a day after Shevchenko was chosen as the first foreign woman to represent the incarnation of Marianne, one of France's national emblems.

On July 9, Shevchenko tweeted: "What can be more stupid than Ramadan? What can be more uglier then [sic] this religion?"
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On July 16, as Shevchenko was being subjected to an onslaught of criticism from the Twitter community, the inflammatory tweet was deleted -- "by Mohamed or by mistake, that is the same," she joked on her Twitter account. 

Pascal Boniface, director of the Institute of International Relations and Strategies, a French Think Tank, called the Femen's tweet racist and hypocritical.

(Full translation of the tweet: "Inna Shevchenko (Femen) posts an Islamophobic status which she then erases after outraged reactions. That says it all: Racism and hypocrisy") 

The Femen activist has since explained that her tweet was written for Amina Tyler, a Tunisian feminist and member of Femen, who was arrested in May for writing "Femen" on a wall near Kairouan's main mosque.



ALSO READ: Ukrainian Femen Leader Becomes French National Symbol

In a July 16 interview with the French daily, "Liberation," Shevchenko argued that she is not an Islamophobe but antireligion -- describing her organization as an atheist movement against all religions.

This is not the first time Femen has been caused controversy in the Muslim world. In April, the movement organized a "Topless Jihad Day." Soon after, a group of Muslim women pushed back with their own campaign called "Muslim Women Against Femen."

-- Deana Kjuka
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Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Hamaliya from: Washington
July 17, 2013 22:01
Undoubtedly the PC crowd will be revolted by this comment but agree or disagree, this is basically a freedom of speech issue. If one can put a crucifix in a jar of urine and call it art, then why can one not express an opinion about an intolerant religion? Freedom of speech is the cornerstone of Western Civilization, if we lose that we pave the way to the Gulag, the intellectual gulag that is.
In Response

by: Dellsun from: Toronto
July 18, 2013 19:35
What you're not considering is that Femen's stated goal is to fight for women's rights in Muslim-majority countries.

Femen can't do this without the help of the Muslim women who live there, and they're not going to be able to get that help if they keep saying that Islam as a whole is stupid and that anyone who follows it is an idiot.

And to be clear - I'm not talking about the rights of women in many Muslim countries - that's fair game to criticize, what I'm talking about is criticizing the very basis of these women's religion, which is the core of their identity.

It would be like if the artist who made "Piss Christ" wasn't an artist, but an activist who was trying to "promote gay rights" in the Christian community, and his idea of how to do that was to pee on on a crucifix. How successful would he have been at getting Christians on-board by going out of his way to offend their most basic beliefs? I mean, gay-rights and piss-christ aren't even related.

After all - what does insulting Ramadan have to do with women's rights anyways? Not fasting doesn't translate into women being freer.

It appears Femen doesn't really care to much about their stated goals if they're going to be so blasse about offending the people they need to help them achieve their goals.
In Response

by: PaulineT from: Paris
July 30, 2013 13:29
Unfortunatly, one of the basis of religion is the domination of women by men. Religion and women's rights are incompatible. Concerning islam, references to man's so-called superiority over woman are multiple. Therefore, it is difficult to fight for equality of rights between men and women without fighting against religion, unless you rule off a big part of the religious texts.

by: Jack from: US
July 18, 2013 12:14
President Putin said the Islam is a retarded and despicable cult. President Bush said the Islam is a "religion of peace".

by: Bill Webb from: Phoenix Arizona USA
July 18, 2013 19:41
Femen is the perfect counter to islam and sharia law. It shows the muslim men how paranoid and hateful they are. The only country that sends them to prison is a muslim country, Tunisia.

by: malc01m from: France
July 20, 2013 03:31
There is no such thing as "Islamaphobia".. It suggests a psychiatric condition, which it is not. It suggests racism, which it is not since Muslims are the followers of Islam. Arabs and Asians are are races and separate from the religion. "Islamaphobia" is rampant PC correctness gone mad. Muslims love the word, because it gives them a new tool to support their strategy of islamisation...

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