Amina Sboui, the young Tunisian woman who was arrested and imprisonned for two months after publishing a topless photo of herself with the words ‘Fuck your morals’ written across her chest, has announced that she is quitting FEMEN, the Ukraine based group of feminist activists who demonstrate topless.
FEMEN’s actions, when they were protesting against Amina’s arrest last May raised much controversy. In particular, their protest gave rise to a movement of muslim women who accused FEMEN of Islamophobia and imperialism. One claim this group makes is that one does not have to show one’s breasts, on indeed one’s hair, to be a feminist, and that women are not oppressed just because they chose to cover their heads.
Interestingly, one of the reasons Amina gave for leaving FEMEN is their Islamophobia. But far from joining the group who believes that even feminists should cover up, she posted a topless photo of herself two weeks after her release from prison.
May this serve as a reminder that there are many ways of interpreting Islam (as indeed there are for any other religion), and that just as FEMEN do not own the copyright of what it is to be a feminist activist, not all Muslims think that women should cover up.