A quote from the FEMEN website: “ISIS, this is not your promised heaven here, there is no Allah or any other imaginary leader. We are not 72 virgins but we are waiting for you! We will fight you!” … or what I like to call a friendly reminder from our neighborhood radical feminists. Earlier this week, FEMEN’s French chapter took to the streets of Paris to stage a formal protest against ISIS. They saw this as their response to ISIS’s vocal desire for jihad to rise up in Europe and America. FEMEN implores citizens of America, France, and anyone who feels threatened by the terror organization to take up secular protest against the Islamic State. I would be okay with their message if they stopped there. ISIS is a terrible group… a preverbial blemish on an otherwise very peaceful religion, but FEMEN continues their call to arms with these appeals: “Raid their mosques with peaceful protests. Cut off and burn their flags, tie-up their holy book and mock their prayers.”
Let me backtrack to the global ISIS problem. I’m sure you all have heard of ISIS, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. For some review though, this militant extremist Islamic organization became an unrecognized state in June 2014 and sealed their mark on the world with the summer beheading of American journalist, James Foley. They continued their terror streak with a few more beheadings, mass exterminations of groups practicing another sect of Islam or other religions, threats against the western world, and the invasion of much of Iraq and Syria. In the past month, President Obama has declared some degree of war on ISIS and has launched some drones in their direction (the conflict with ISIS and how involved the US should get is still a hot topic in the government and under debate in Congress, the news, and multiple other outlets in the United States.) The UN conference on ISIS had led other western nations of get involved, most recently France, which prompted ISIS to target the country and kill one of its citizens within 24 hours.
FEMEN, on the other hand, has been described by multiple news outlets as a militant feminist organization. On this particular occasion they used prop guns covered in flowers, their usual provocative protest, and seething rhetoric directed at not only ISIS, but the faith of Islam. Sure, FEMEN thinks they are being clever by using their own label against them, infidel, and calling ISIS true infidels. I’d agree that they are a fanatical faction and soil the image of Islam, but FEMEN uses this despicable group to jet into their ideals against religion as an institution. FEMEN is an unapologetically atheist group and tends to target Islam, which in their views degrade and oppress women. They’ve received negative criticism from the international community for disrupting Muslim events, claiming that Sharia Law is all over the Muslim community, and just being generally disrespectful toward Muslims. They’ve protested outside of mosques, called for the end of the burka, and raged against the Qur’an. They refuse to recognize that the burka, prayer, and faith is a choice many Muslim women have chosen for themselves. FEMEN is offensive in their abusive slogans and their very form of protest, sextremism, is an offense to Muslim men and women alike.
While I support the secular society that FEMEN suggests, I think these acts are downright disrespectful and this is definitely not the way to promote the separation of religion and state. I’m one of those people that will frequently utter the phrase, “everyone has a right to believe in what they want” because who am I to tell someone that their opinion, faith, or anything else is wrong, but FEMEN took a fundamentally peaceful faith and have continued to demonize it. They have spurred women who practice Islam to take up cause against their organization, there a Facebook page: MUSLIM WOMEN AGAINST FEMEN. In their blind cause, FEMEN has also turned their protest against a truly “demonic” group, ISIS, into another attack on Islam as a whole.
*There will be provocative images posted on this blog each week, in coordination with the FEMEN protests I will be covering. Any direct quotes or images in this post were from www.femen.org , the official website for FEMEN. I do not own the rights to these images.
**Additional information came from www.thelocal.fr (a French news outlet)