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INTERNATIONAL > Femen stages topless protest in Stockholm mosque

STOCKHOLM - Agence France-Presse

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Egyptian activist Aliaa Elmahdy (C) and other members of feminist group FEMEN stage a topless protest for women's rights and against the islamic religious law Sharia inside a Mosque in Stockholm. AFP photo

Egyptian activist Aliaa Elmahdy (C) and other members of feminist group FEMEN stage a topless protest for women's rights and against the islamic religious law Sharia inside a Mosque in Stockholm. AFP photo

Three feminist activists from the radical protest group Femen staged a topless protest inside a Stockholm mosque today before they were led away by police.

The women burst into the mosque and tore off their black robes to bare their breasts, which were emblazoned with slogans such as "No sharia in Egypt and the world" and "My body is mine, not somebody's honour".

The women shouted "Free Women", "No Sharia" and "No Oppression". The mosque was largely empty at the time apart from a couple of employees and some members of the press who had been told of the planned protest in advance. Egyptian activist Aliaa Elmahdy, persecuted in her country after she posted a nude photo of her in Twitter to denounce the condition of women, was also part of the protesters.

Mosque employees called police who removed the women from the scene. The women did not explain why they wanted to protest inside an empty mosque.

"They're suspected of disorderly conduct and abuse," police commander Jonas Svalin told reporters, saying that the mosque employees had accused the women of shoving them.

The women were reportedly from Egypt, Tunisia and Sweden, although police were not immediately able to confirm their identities or nationalities.

Founded in Ukraine in 2008, Femen is a self-declared "radical feminist" group known for its topless protests against sexual exploitation of women, sexism and religious institutions.

June/29/2013

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mara mcglothin

7/1/2013 3:26:19 PM

CILGIN You hit the nail on the head! And even if JAN is a female, then her friend would not be deemed to be a "real" Muslim since she wears a bikini and offered up a prayer inside of a church etc. I would refer you to a column by MR BEKDIL some time ago that said this would all boil down to a fight between the pious and the more pious. Judgement of others, whether it be religious, ethnic, economical, is rampant in Turkey. Very sad when you think about it.

Çılgın Kanarya

7/1/2013 2:24:46 PM

JAN DIRK, what you say may be right, but the sad thing here in Turkey is that - if, as I suspect, you are male - the AKP Islamist bigots here would not accept your friend spending time alone with a Christian man (even just as friends), nor her wearing a bikini on a beach where there were other men. This is the mentality we protesters are against (in addition to many other negative aspects to AKP rule), & this is also what Femen are opposed to. But again, yes, this protest was a bit misguided.

Brit in Turkey

7/1/2013 1:54:42 PM

Jan Dirk: Nice story. Well said.

Jan Dirk

7/1/2013 1:55:00 AM

I am not Muslim, but I object having a place of worship, a mosque, used for a platform for displaying opinions on sexual preferences or prejudices. I brought a devout Muslim friend to a Christian church, where she lit a candle and prayed to her Prophet. I was in envy of her placid and respectful attitude towards others' beliefs. She wears a bikini when bathing and is very happy at being blessed with a very attractive body and lovely features. She would be sad to see the picture in the mosque.

Çılgın Kanarya

6/30/2013 11:15:28 PM

"The women did not explain why they wanted to protest inside an empty mosque" .. Well let me have a wild guess - Because they knew they'd be mercilessly lynched if it were full, for example at prayer times! I agree with what they're protesting about, because women basically have zero rights under Sharia, but to stage such a protest inside a place of worship will only serve to alienate & offend even moderate Muslims, so I think it's a bit misguided. Also, the girl on the right ain't bad at all :)

american american

6/30/2013 7:31:06 PM

aw tv's mommy didn't love him

Dayna Lewis

6/30/2013 12:18:56 PM

I can understand their wanting to make a point but it unfortunately shows their lack of thought about the matter. A demonstration like this gains points with very few people whether Moslem or not....it in fact may backfire on them. Hopefully they will think out a better way of demonstrating their point in the future. An after thought....just think if this had been done in Turkey...I am really afraid to think of what would happen to them....stoning at minimum

Vargen Vargen

6/30/2013 10:30:13 AM

I like this group. They are totally peaceful, they dont use any violence and they fight for one of the biggest problems in the world today, the discrimination against women. Keep it up girls!!!

turkic voice

6/30/2013 9:05:34 AM

Why don't the strip it all off and walk that way every where not just in mosques why not try ant the fruit store, bus stop, school drop off and pick up???what a smart way of fighting for right of women just flash your Breasts like a savage cave person, yeh that should gain you respect well done ladies, oh yeh fist in the air for Girl power!!
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