Aliaa Elmahdy and a Swedish friend show ISIL what they really think of their world-domination plans. Story from EMMA:
For this symbolic protest, they risk their lives: An Egyptian and a Swede menstruate and shit on the flag of the IS-terrorists. The key player is Aliaa Magda Elmahdy, who joined FEMEN in 2012 and outraged the Arab world with her nude photos. Today, she lives in exile in Sweden.
The provocation could not be greater. Or the courage. Aliaa knows her brothers. She knows that nothing could humiliate them more than to stage something like this, which she did with the help of her fellow FEMEN in the network. She (apparently) menstruates with legs apart on the Islamist flag — because nothing is uncleaner to them than menstrual blood.
And the half-veiled woman beside her shits, literally and figuratively, on the flag. And she also holds the stink-finger up (just for that, a woman practically deserves the death penalty, in the eyes of these Islamists). On her naked backside she has drawn the FEMEN symbol: two breasts. Right and left, Kalashnikovs lie at the ready.
The provocation is making the rounds of the western virtual world. In the Arab world, no one dares to distribute the photo of the demonstration. It could, so it’s said, “injure religious feelings”. But even in the west, the demonstration is often only published in censored form: with vagina covered and a black bar over the breasts. Or cropped, as in the otherwise unscrupulous magazine, VICE. Pre-emptive obedience.
Aliaa herself is not available to journalists at the moment; the danger is too great for her. But Inna Shevchenko, one of the leading FEMEN members from Ukraine, now in exile in Paris, gladly gave Paris Match an explanation. She finds the “religious feelings” argument “hypocritical”. “The IS terrorizes the whole world with its photos and videos of executions,” says Inna. “We, however, don’t really kill [anyone]. We only kill through ridicule. We show [them]: ‘We shit on your ideas!'”
Aliaa Elmahdy has long been in danger, but she would surely not survive this demonstration in an Islamically-ruled land. She has been living since 2012 in exile in Sweden. Until now, she has only been able to survive in hiding. Asked if she regrets her actions, she once said: “I won’t change my opinion in the face of death threats. On the contrary!” Today, she would surely say the same.
Yes, I realize there might be some danger for me in republishing this uncensored photo. Which even VICE, funnily enough, didn’t have the nerve to do; corporatism makes cowards of us all. And in translating the story from German to English, so it can easily be read by anyone anywhere in the world. Well, so what? I’m in a lot less danger than Aliaa, who has already been in mortal peril for two years and counting. I’m just some little blogger. I’m under the radar. I guess I can afford to do this, and to share my thoughts about it.
Whether you agree with the general tactics of FEMEN or not (and I myself am ambivalent; I think their strip-down demos work best when they are protesting prostitution, not religion), a fragmentary or censored message is as bad as none at all. A pulled punch has no impact. I think it’s more important that people be able to see this and consider it for themselves.
Looking at this, I began to wonder if this was even real. It could be, certainly. Then again, that could just as easily be fake blood dribbling in artistic filigree between Aliaa’s thighs. And that turd, so small and neat and perfectly round — does it even stink? Or is it a shellacked prop? Are the guns real AK-47s, or plastic replicas?
At least there is no doubt about the authenticity of the fuck-finger, and no ambiguity about its message.
And whether the image is real or not, the danger Aliaa faces is always the same. Hanged for a sheep or for a lamb, either way you hang. She’s in exile already. She’s been in hiding for two years. And who knows how many fatwas have been issued against her for the rather mild act of being photographed nude?
Inna Shevchenko makes the very good point that beheading-porn ought to be considered far more obscene, by any sensible person, than merely stripping off, shedding a few drops of blood, and pooping on a flag. And it is. I would be far more reluctant to republish that; hell, I’m reluctant to even look at it. And I am not a squeamish little thing. Even worse than all that gore-porn is what lies behind the beheading — of James Foley, and of anyone else ISIL has gotten its grubby hooks into.
And worst of all, it’s all for nought, because the Muslim world itself doesn’t want an “Islamic State”, much less one ruled by some jumped-up schmuck with a fancy watch. ISIL is not Islam, and that dude at the helm is not the Prophet Mohammed. However devout, most Muslims prefer democracy, and have no problem abiding by secular law; as long as they are not asked to renounce their religion, or violate their own values, they are content and at peace with modernity. And more than capable of fitting comfortably into society wherever they are. Muslim women don’t need to have their veils torn off any more than they need to be forced to wear them in the first place. More important to them than re-establishing some mythical caliphate of the distant past are the priorities of the present: food, water, health, education, social welfare, and infrastructure. You know, the same basic things that we westerners also consider non-negotiable. Surprise, we all need the same things! And woe betide any leader, elected or not, who can’t give us those things — or the means to obtain them for ourselves.
ISIL is bound to come to a bad end; it’s only a question of where, when and how. One doesn’t have to be a FEMEN member to see that the ISIL goons, and everything they are trying to establish, are shit already.
It behooves us all to consider what these women have to say. And it behooves us all to remember that half the world menstruates. And everybody shits. And if ISIL’s ideology is so easily injured by harmless biological realities like that, then it isn’t worth killing for, dying for, or submitting to.