FEMEN Egyptian Activist Defaces ISIS Flag in Protest.
In collaboration with controversial radical feminist organization FEMEN, Aliaa Magda Elmahdy, an Egyptian blogger, internet activist and women’s rights advocate, has released a photo of herself menstruating on the official Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) flag.
In the photo, Elmahdy squats nude facing the camera as she defaces the ISIS flag and another woman in a similar position, who is partially clothed and seems to be wearing a hijab, defecates on it. Both women have the letters “IS-IS” painted on their bodies, as well as the official FEMEN logo is painted on the back of the woman throwing her middle finger up. The photo was said to have been posted on Elmahdy’s Facebook account last week Saturday.
Elmahdy has not specified her intentions surrounding this photo but a FEMEN founder Inna Shevchenko has confirmed that the image was made in a response to the alleged murder of US journalist James Foley. A video was recently released that shows the beheading of Foley by a member of ISIS, although the authenticity of it has been questioned. In an interview with VICE, Shevchenko said:
We did this action in the format of photo message as a reply to latest Islamic State video message showing the execution of the journalist [James Foley]. With our photo message we propose our own “way of execution” of Islamic State ideas. Our caption to the photo reads: “Animals, our execution of your ideas looks like that! Watch it well! We don’t demand ransoms, we don’t threaten you with new killings, we just SHIT ON YOU, ISIS!”
Shevchenko also claimed that 23-year-old Elmahdy, who is no stranger to controversial and what some deem provocative forms of activism, has been involve with FEMEN since 2012. The year before, Elmahdy posted a nude photograph of herself on her blog in protest and opposition of Egypt’s conservative Muslim culture. Aside from the outrage she sparked, Elmahdy began to receive a string of rape and death threats after following this, some of which she made available on her blog. In March this year, Elmahdy joined women from Tunisia and Iran to protest outside the Louvre in Paris on International Women’s Day.
Her blog also contains posts such as this photograph of her white boyfriend as ‘Buddha’, kissing the same person in show of her Arab neighbours as a form of protest because he is “non-Arab and non-Muslim”, and this topless protest she participated in at a Mosque in Sweden where she now resides after seeking asylum.
Formed in Ukraine in 2008, FEMEN have been no strangers to controversy with their fiery brand of protest that usually involves nudity, and the occasional sacrilegious antic. But it seems like these very anti-religious actions are not simply about addressing systems that oppress women. Fellow African activist Amina Sboui, a Tunisian who made headlines after posting topless photos of her self online, quit the organization citing Islamaphobia. Elmahdy posted a video of Sboui on her blog earlier this year.
View the NSFW image.
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