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Petition! Stop the Incarceration & Possible Death Sentence for This Muslim Woman Who Only Demanded to Be Free of Islam's Oppress

Society & Culture  (tags: Amina, Tunisia, Islam, Oppression, Women, Girls, Topless, Death, Mental Hospital, abuse, family, freedoms, law, religion, society, safety, violence, women )

- 722 days ago -
She posted a topless photo on FB & started a movement that gained many Muslim women joining in, protesting Islam's oppression of women. Now she has been put in a mental institution & a leading Muslim cleric is calling for her death. Please help save her.

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Jay S. (121)
Sunday April 7, 2013, 8:06 am
Here is more on her imprisonment and persecution than is told in the petition:

Two weeks ago, a young Tunisian woman known only by the name “Amina” posted political self portraits to Facebook to protest the continued oppression of women in the Arab world’s first democracy.

Posing topless, one photo featured Amina smoking with the Arabic declaration “my body belongs to me, and is not the source of the honor of anyone” scrawled across her chest; the other showed Amina standing defiantly, her middle fingers raised to camera, and the English words “F--- your morals” blaring out from her body.

Today, Amina is in a psychiatric hospital, admitted there against her will by family members who’ve expressed shame over her actions. Her aunt appeared in a YouTube video to declare, “Amina does not exist anymore for me. She is responsible for her acts, and we are devastated by what she did. Our family is educated and open-minded and we did everything we could for her. Her father has been crying and has been in a miserable state.” She later added, “I hope she pays for her actions. She does not represent her country or Tunisian women.”

While Amina’s aunt may deny her niece’s actions speak for or even to Tunisian women, not everyone agrees. The Wahabi Salafi preacher Almi Adel, head of the almost comically titled Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice, warned Tunisian newspaper Kapitalis, "Her act could bring about an epidemic. It could be contagious and give ideas to other women. It is therefore necessary to isolate [the incident]. I wish her to be healed."

It’s tempting to mock the preacher’s words for the crude expression of fear that they are. If women begin to think for themselves and question their environments, they might then demand their own liberation from the kinds of patriarchal societies that empower men like Adel to wield control over them. Perhaps even more terrifying is the possibility that they might succeed.

Unfortunately, the consequence of men like Adel having power is that they do wield it. And his proposed solution to ‘isolating the incident’ is to execute Amina in accordance with his misreading of sharia law. “The young lady should be punished according to sharia, with 80 to 100 lashes, but [because of] the severity of the act she has committed, she deserves be stoned to death.”

It doesn’t stop there. Even if Amina escapes such barbaric treatment (and the arrogance in determining that a woman who rejects the cultural mores of her society and demands her rights ‘deserves’ to be stoned to death is nothing short of barbaric), Tunisian secular law could still punish her with up to two years in prison and a fine between 100 - 1000 dinars (around $80 to $800).

And all of this because she defied Tunisia’s moral codes to express herself politically alongside a group all too familiar with inciting the wrath of conservative governance.

The group in question was Ukrainian born feminist protest group Femen. Amina was in the process of setting up a Tunisian offshoot of the activist organisation and had posted the photos to their Facebook page. (That page has since been hacked, with the photos removed and replaced with Quranic verses).

Since its evolution, Femen’s goal has been to challenge patriarchal codes of ownership. Its Paris based director, Inna Schevchenko, achieved global notoriety after she marched to the top of a hill overlooking Kieve, stripped down to nothing but a pair of red denim shorts and work boots and proceeded to chop down a 13ft cross with a chainsaw. The protest coincided with the handing down of judgment for the three members of Russian feminist protest group Pussy Riot; on that day in Kiev, Schevchenko had scrawled “Free Riot” across her chest. The action earned Schevchenko death threats and unwanted attention from the government. After her front door was kicked in, she escaped with only $50, a mobile phone and a passport and made her way to France where she now trains more Femen activists, or warriors as they refer to themselves as. (You can read more about Femen’s activities in this Guardian profile.)

Femen’s methods are problematic for some feminists - early on in their advent, organisers realised that it was nudity that got the attention of the media and the public. Given they protest vehemently against the sex industry, likening it to fascism and even using Nazi imagery as a comparison, their reliance on flesh to translate important messages seems counter intuitive. How can a group so decidedly against the commodification of women’s bodies fall back on that titillation to protest? Schevchenko justifies the approach as a form of reclamation. "A woman's naked body has always been the instrument of the patriarchy," she says, "they use it in the sex industry, the fashion industry, advertising, always in men's hands. We realised the key was to give the naked body back to its rightful owner, to women, and give a new interpretation of nudity ... I'm proud of the fact that today naked women are not just posing on the cover of Playboy, but can be at an action, angry, and can irritate people."

This is certainly true in the case of Amina, whose experience of life as a woman in Tunisia was evidently so suffocating that she reached out to an international feminist protest group whose central thesis was the restoration of women’s bodies to their rightful owners. As yet, no one has been allowed contact with the teenager, who remains incarcerated in a psychiatric ward (which has historically been the bleak fate for many women who challenged the notions of propriety in their communities).

So what can you do to help? You can follow Maryam Namazie on Free Thought Blogs, who is updating news about Amina where she can. You can also sign this Change petition, which is looking for 150,000 signatures. You can follow and tweet at the #Amina hashtag on Twitter to show your support for women’s autonomy over their own bodies, free from fear of government or community retribution. And you might consider participating in Namazie’s International Day To Defend Amina, called for April 4. Namazie is urging groups and individuals to post topless photos of themselves and their activism on social media sites, and to remind ‘the world that the real epidemic and disaster that must be challenged is misogyny - Islamic or otherwise.”

Whatever your view on the use of breasts as a benign western political statement, nudity can be a powerful statement of protest in countries where women’s bodies are more forcefully appropriated and governed by the law. Amina’s only crime was reclaiming her body as her own, and using it to protest the patriarchal values of a society that demanded it be covered in order to preserve the honour of others. In a rational society, breasts have no more power to hurt anyone than a gentle breeze can blow down a house made of bricks. But when a fear of naked female flesh and a woman’s right to dictate what is done with her own body pervades so deeply that the wilful display of it could result in her own execution, breasts can become bombs.


Please copy and past, then sign this important petition and then please pass on to others. This kind of barbarism and human rights violation must no longer be allowed or tolerated. Stand for human rights and freedom. Save Amina!

Carola May (20)
Sunday April 7, 2013, 8:11 am
I read about this brave young woman some time ago and was thrilled by her courage and by the number of other Muslim women who were brave enough to join her, but I thought then that it wouldn't be long before she was 'Honour' killed, imprisoned or at the least beaten to a pulp or had acid thrown in her face. She was stepping out of the only role women are allowed in Islam, despite all the protests about Islam's respect for women. (If it 'respected' them it would allow them the same freedoms and rights granted to Muslim men, wouldn't it?)

Signed and forwarded to all my friends. Thank you for posting this. We MUST help these women gain their freedom and live in the modern, advanced age. And this is in the 'New' 'democratic' Tunisia?! Another failed 'Arab spring' state.

pam w. (138)
Sunday April 7, 2013, 8:19 am
Carola, a Muslim woman I met in Egypt patiently tried to explain to me why she felt so PRIVILEGED to live life under Islam...her husband made all the decisions and protected her from the dangers of life outside their home. She believed it because she was raised to believe it. She felt LUCKY!

This is a mind-set fostered on women from birth.

I can't imagine the courage Amina has demonstrated...fighting against everything she's been taught in a world which exists to keep her under wraps, so to speak! I'm very worried about her safety!


Autumn Away S. (151)
Sunday April 7, 2013, 8:35 am
Thank you for signing the petition "Petitioning Tunisian Government : Amina must be safe"

pam w. (138)
Sunday April 7, 2013, 8:54 am
(Of course, I signed it!)

Natasha Salgado (604)
Sunday April 7, 2013, 9:04 am
I applaud her courage and bravery!!!! Signed and shared with hope,thx Rob and Jay B.

Ge M. (218)
Sunday April 7, 2013, 9:16 am
Thanks Rob/Jay, petition signed.

I have also heard of Amina and the many protests made against the opression of women. That is probably why they think she is mad, Islam is such a benevolent religion and treats women so well -- not!

A brave woman and I hope that she is released without harm although I am not hopeful considering the mindset of the men of this religion of love and peace!!

Beverly M. (90)
Sunday April 7, 2013, 9:18 am
Everyone should have the right to claim their own life and I applaud Amina for her courage. Happily noted and signed with hope that Amina will be free soon to live her life as she wishes.

Carola May (20)
Sunday April 7, 2013, 9:21 am
Pam, these women are brainwashed from birth to accept their inferior status, and never seem to question why they are demeaned in Muslim scripture (ignoring the most hateful verses of course) and their lack of freedom to make their own decisions. Just the fact that men are free to come and go as they like and have 4 'wives' to slake their lust with should be a red flag of injustice.

It is called 'The Stockholm Syndrome' where captives come to love their captors just by the few kindnesses they may be shown, but they are still captives.

Freya H. (329)
Sunday April 7, 2013, 9:56 am
Noted and signed! Incidents like this serve only to blacken the popular image of Islam. OK, maybe her picture was a little on the naughty side - but what a great way to make a point.

Michela m. (4046)
Sunday April 7, 2013, 10:13 am
& Noted!!

Past Member (0)
Sunday April 7, 2013, 10:18 am
How can one not be amazed by her courage?

Unnikrishnan Sasidharan (48)
Sunday April 7, 2013, 10:25 am
Wow.. that took a lot of courage.. You go girl! S+N

Gene Jacobson (260)
Sunday April 7, 2013, 10:37 am
In response to this act, a Tunisian cleric and the chair of the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice, allegedly said that Amina “deserves to be stoned to death” and said her act “could bring about an epidemic ... It could be contagious and give ideas to other women.”

Gee, the desire for freedom could be contagious? Who would of thunk it? These monsters masquerading as human beings are the ones who should be stoned and punished. The only thing they got right is that freedom for women IS an epidemic and it IS coming to Sharia controlled lands whether they like it or not. You cannot hold back the tide of history though that never stops men from trying. Eventually the dike breaks and freedom floods the land. I hope it washes away the stench and the presence of men who support those criminals represented in that article.

bob m. (32)
Sunday April 7, 2013, 10:55 am

The epidemic mr. immam is in YOUR heart now.. in the dead bones of your proiphet and moon god.

Rahman Qureshi (76)
Sunday April 7, 2013, 7:23 pm
I don't agree with a female demoralizing herself through wanton nudity to contrast the slavery of females under Islam. This doesn't do anything to further the value of a woman but just changes her from one form of sex object to another.

Having said that, I agree with her disdain for Islamic oppression of women. I just wished she could have started a movement of Muslim women revealing their hair in protest, which is considered nudity in Islam, instead of revealing actual nudity.

Giana Peranio-Paz (408)
Sunday April 7, 2013, 8:08 pm
She is a very brave woman. It takes a very special person to do what she had done and suffer the known consequences.

Ira Herson (13)
Sunday April 7, 2013, 11:38 pm
I agree with everyone that has posted here. Yes signed and shared.

There is no honor for anyone if the rights of people are withheld. Honor is not in clothes but in actions. These "religious" people should be shamed and punished for the unhappiness and cruelty they inflect on others with their hubris and violence toward women.

It is obvious that it is they who have no honor!

Roopak Vaidya (33)
Monday April 8, 2013, 4:53 am
Dear Rob and Jay,
The petition link seems to work only without the # sign at the end...

Ben Oscarsito (358)
Monday April 8, 2013, 6:10 am
Done. More than 112,000 signatures so far!

Past Member (0)
Monday April 8, 2013, 5:10 pm
Islam is a good shield to give power over women I only hope she does not lose her life look what ended happened to the young girl she got shot in the head for wanting schooling for girls How can anyone say these muslims are sane I cant see it I keep trying to find something good that they do but i cant come up with anything


Heidi Aubrey (16)
Monday April 8, 2013, 8:47 pm
Signed and noted.

Marie W. (67)
Monday April 8, 2013, 10:51 pm

Berny p. (24)
Tuesday April 9, 2013, 3:01 am


Birgit W. (157)
Tuesday April 9, 2013, 1:30 pm

Stuart Thomas (519)
Tuesday April 9, 2013, 2:15 pm
Noted, signed, and submitted with the following comment: "This woman has shown MUCH courage. She should be respected, not punished."

Thank you, Rob and Jay B.

Nelson Baker (0)
Tuesday April 9, 2013, 2:45 pm

Lynne Buckley (0)
Tuesday April 9, 2013, 3:20 pm

Joanne A. (42)
Tuesday April 9, 2013, 3:26 pm

Mary Donnelly (47)
Tuesday April 9, 2013, 3:32 pm
Thanks Rob and J. Signed and sent.

Madhu Pillai (22)
Tuesday April 9, 2013, 4:00 pm
Signed and shared

Jude Hand (56)
Tuesday April 9, 2013, 4:36 pm
Noted and signed. This woman is not alone in her choice and, like another commenter, I'm concerned about her. It strikes a "go for it!" sense in me, an American. Yet even our Occupiers in NYC were sprayed with pepper spray just for peaceful assembly. I can't imagine what would have happened had some ditched clothing. But she's not an American and her odds are greater than we can imagine. Her courage is amazing.

Lois Jordan (58)
Tuesday April 9, 2013, 4:54 pm
Signed & noted. Thank you, Rob and Jay.

Anne Woods (23)
Tuesday April 9, 2013, 5:33 pm
good on ya love, don't you dare hurt her

Past Member (0)
Tuesday April 9, 2013, 11:08 pm
Signed too

Rose NoFWDSPLZ (292)
Tuesday April 9, 2013, 11:25 pm

Gloria picchetti (302)
Wednesday April 10, 2013, 3:29 am
Signed for Amina.

caroline s. (80)
Wednesday April 10, 2013, 3:51 am

Vivien Green (153)
Wednesday April 10, 2013, 3:58 am
Thank you Rob & j. Signed and shared on FB

Michael Kirkby (90)
Wednesday April 10, 2013, 10:04 am

Jane H. (139)
Wednesday April 10, 2013, 10:49 am
noted and signed....TY

Henrik Thorsen (28)
Wednesday April 10, 2013, 12:13 pm
Definitely signed!

Kathleen R. (138)
Wednesday April 10, 2013, 12:35 pm
signed & noted

Olah Bessid (19)
Wednesday April 10, 2013, 12:40 pm
we did sign the petition.

Matt L. (23)
Wednesday April 10, 2013, 1:47 pm
thanks, noted and signed

BMutiny TCorporationsEvil (468)
Wednesday April 10, 2013, 2:44 pm
She didn't even strip bare on the street - only on a FOREIGN Facebook page. Gee, if this offends the men, THEY DIDN'T HAVE TO GO WAY, WAY, OUT OF THEIR WAY TO LOOK!

No privacy or room for self-expression from the Religious Police! They got to be EVERYWHERE.....
Women beware... they'll be in YOUR bedroom, next.
{Yes, the Religious Police of ALL and ANY religions...}

Rhonda Burrows (2)
Wednesday April 10, 2013, 2:50 pm
what man is really offended by a womans bare breasts? geesh

BMutiny TCorporationsEvil (468)
Wednesday April 10, 2013, 3:04 pm
Signed, of course.
Not ALL Muslim women are oppressed in exactly the same ways; not ALL Muslim women are required to cover up, wear burkhas, cover their hair, etc. Not ALL Muslim men are allowed 4 wives. There are considerable DIFFERENCES in both laws, and customs, from country to country, from culture to culture, and differences between the generations, between urban and rural, more secular areas and more religious areas, etc. etc. People here in the West, often tend to forget or ignore that. These differences ARE significant for the Women involved.
There has been a RESURGENCE of the most Fundamentalist, oppressive and Woman-hating Islam, for a variety of reasons, historic, economic, poverty, war.....
Islamic women, brave ones such s Amina, will in the end, LIBERATE THEMSELVES - "intervention" by the U.S. Army, in the form of WAR AND BOMBINGS, only makes their oppression WORSE, and will NEVER "liberate" Women... "liberating women from Islam" is a Propaganda Ploy to SELL Wars-for-Mideast-Oil to the gullible American example of the Big Lie, repeated often enough.... War is HARDEST on Women...

Charlie Rush (79)
Wednesday April 10, 2013, 3:11 pm
This whole obsession about the female breast, is about POWER & CONTROL over women.
Why is the male breast acceptable in a nude setting?
Let's not pretend the size has anything to do with it. In fact, I've seen some male breasts, in sizes larger than some females.
Let's also, not pretend it has something to do with breast-feeding. What cold possibly be disgraceful about feeding your baby?

The worst part of this whole business, is that many females are just as psychotic as their male counterparts are.
My main wish is that I could live to see the day when this deranged attitude changes; however, I greatly doubt this will happen.

Richard Zane Smith (81)
Wednesday April 10, 2013, 4:26 pm
may the action of Amina " bring about an epidemic ... contagious and give ideas to other women.”
this action IS strength...standing up , putting life on the line for the truth that women and men ARE equals.

Stan B. (122)
Wednesday April 10, 2013, 7:11 pm
Thanks Rob and J for posting this. I'm more than happy to sign it.
The very concept of equality for women is unacceptable to many Muslim countries.

Ludger W. (71)
Wednesday April 10, 2013, 11:52 pm

paul m. (93)
Thursday April 11, 2013, 3:04 am


Oh eve (43)
Thursday April 11, 2013, 3:16 am
Signed! Thank you

Marie Therese Hanulak (30)
Thursday April 11, 2013, 5:26 am
She is only the beginning. That's why muslim men are crapping their pans.
Without their control over women, they are pathetic little nothings.

gillian brown b. (83)
Thursday April 11, 2013, 11:54 am
Signed,thank you.

Melania Padilla (189)
Tuesday April 16, 2013, 10:31 am

Russell R. (2)
Monday April 22, 2013, 8:38 am
All you women draped in black sheets, cast them away and set yourself free! The problem is with your men that can't keep their hands from under their grabs and have their minds in the gutter!

Sergio Padilla (61)
Tuesday April 23, 2013, 9:32 am

Jennifer Ward (40)
Saturday April 27, 2013, 2:59 am
The obscenity is the the black bin liners Islamic women are forced to wear. Don't kid yourself that they enjoy their imprisonment in these stifling mobile coffins. Let's hope Amina's stunt causes the tyrants of Tunisia to go tits up.

Joe R. (190)
Tuesday April 30, 2013, 7:19 am
Signed and noted.
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