Region | Tunisia

Tunisian activist quits 'Islamophobic' group

Activist who sparked controversy with topless photos accuses women's group of Islamophobia

  • AFP
  • Published: 15:30 August 20, 2013
  • Gulf News

  • Image Credit: AFP
  • Amina Sboui (centre), the Tunisian member of the Ukrainian feminist group Femen, leaves the M’saken court, 150 kilometres south of Tunis, on July 22, 2013.

Tunis: Amina Sboui, a Tunisian activist who was detained for nearly three months, said on Tuesday she had left the radical women’s protest group Femen, accusing it of Islamophobia.

“I do not want my name to be associated with an Islamophobic organisation,” she told the Maghreb edition of the Huffington Post.

“I did not appreciate the action taken by the girls shouting ‘Amina Akbar, Femen Akbar’ in front of the Tunisian embassy in Paris,” Amina said.

Those chants were a parody of Allahu akbar (God is greatest), a phrase frequently used by Muslims to express their allegiance to and praise of God.

Sboui also criticised the burning of the black Tawhid flag, which affirms the oneness of God, in front of a mosque in Paris.

“That offends many Muslims and many friends of mine. We must respect everyone’s religion,” she added.

The Femen protests took place as Amina was being held in pre-trial detention for painting the word “Femen” on a cemetery wall in protest at a planned meeting of radical Salafists in May in the central city of Kairouan.

She was finally released at the beginning of August pending her trial for desecrating a cemetery.

The young woman also criticised the lack of financial transparency of Femen, the movement founded in Ukraine and now based in Paris, which has become famous for its topless protests against dictatorship in support of women’s rights.

Sboui sparked both scandal and a wave of online support in socially conservative Tunisia for posting topless pictures of herself on Facebook.

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