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?"
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.
Inna Shevchenko( Femen) publie un statut islamophobe puis l 'efface après réactions indignées.Tout est dit: Racisme et hypocrisie.— Pascal Boniface (@PascalBoniface) July 16, 2013
(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.
@kaisersam The tweet is for Amina who is obliged to follow Ramadan in jail, being not Muslim. I all it stupid!— inna shevchenko (@femeninna) July 16, 2013
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