Two Femen protesters were arrested after baring their breasts at a controversial conference near Paris on the role of Muslim women.
According to Inna Shevchenko, a spokeswoman for the feminist protest group, two fundamentalist preachers were discussing the question of “whether wives should be beaten or not” when the activists, aged 25 and 31, ripped off their Arab-style cloaks and jumped on to the stage on Saturday evening. One had the slogan “No one subjugates me” inked across her torso. The other bore the words “I am my own prophet.”
The protesters, aged 25 and 31, grabbed microphones and shouted feminist slogans in French and Arabic before being roughly bundled off the stage by about 15 men and handed over to police. Video footage of the incident shows a man apparently kicking one of the women.
According to Ms Shevchenko, some of the men shouted “dirty whores” and “kill them”. She thanked the police for protecting the two women, who were taken into custody. They were released after being questioned by prosecutors, who said they would continue investigating what happened. Conference organisers said they would press charges against the activists.
They were not alone in taking exception to the presence of fundamentalist preachers at the event, where shopping and cooking were showcased as appropriate “feminine activities”. One speaker at the conference has reportedly posted calls on social networks for women to veil their faces or risk hellfire and sexual assault in the afterlife.
Nearly 6,000 people signed an online petition against the event.
Twitter posts called for the protesters to be stoned or collectively raped.
On Facebook, the conference organisers urged Muslims to “stand together” and attend the final day of the event on Sunday. They said it was “the victim of an anti-Muslim media frenzy.”
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