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 Norway-based Egyptian FEMEN activist Alia Magda Al Mahdy protested in her own provocative way: she posted naked pictures of herself and a veiled person whose back is only visible, defecating and menstruating on IS flag. On their bodies, was written “IS” and the FEMEN logo in heavy black.

Photo: Alia Magda El Mahdy’s personal account on FB
(Black shades added to respect the terms and conditions of the use of Internet)

In response to her pictures, Alia Al Mahdy was heavily criticized for posting (1) naked pictures of herself (2) on a flag that holds the names of Allah and the Prophet (3) while menstruating and defecating. The response came from conservative Arab countries that seem to be more scandalized by a naked body than by women being sold as slaves by IS or heads chopped by the same terrorist group. Whether you support the form of protest Alia is adopting or no, you should be able to see that in the Arab world, a naked body’s exposure is far worse than any terrorist action undertaken towards innocent people. According to Inna Shevchenko, founder of FEMEN,with the picture we want to criticize the killings, rapes, and public executions by Islamic fascists, who are breaking news. This is what the Islamic State wants. They want the world to obey their ideas. Spreading their video messages of executions and sharing their speeches, we do a good job for them, we serve the Islamic State. Instead we should spread our message to them. Enough of tolerance! Don’t be scared to offend. Let’s hit them back with our answers, instead of giving them more space. The world is in fear, exactly as the Islamic State wants. We call not to fear them, but to resist them”.

In Lebanon, some spontaneous protestors burnt the IS flag in Sassine square in an attempt to protest against their terrorist actions towards the Lebanese army in Ersal. 

Picture: From social media providers

The minister of Justice, Achraf Rifi, issued a warrant to arrest the involved persons under the excuse that the flag has holy names – Allah and the Prophet’s.
What seems to elope from Rifi’s mind is that this protest happened 3 weeks ago, when the Lebanese army was fighting against Daesh-IS in Ersal. What also seems to elope from his mind is that people are protesting against terrorism that is doing great harm to Islam by using and abusing the names of Allah and the Prophet to commit the worst actions a human mind can imagine.

Not only Rifi denied by his decision the protestors’ right to express their opinion. By making the protestors’ action first and foremost religious, Rifi raised tensions between religions regarding an issue that should have never been controversial: who could say that IS isn’t the most terrorist group we have seen? Injustice served… by the Minister of Justice himself.
In response to what some “Christians” did in a “Christian neighborhood”, a group of “Muslims” burnt crosses in Tripoli and wrote threatening messages on the walls of the city’s churches. Rifi might have called for an investigation in this matter, but it comes kind of late. I wonder if what he did was a last attempt to save his reputation and political figure after being blamed by the public opinion in Lebanon. Would this one act save him after his indifference regarding series of inter-religious clashes (burning the Christmas tree, acts of vandalism in many churches, etc.)?

Most importantly will this call of investigation take the right way till justice is served? I expect nothing from Rifi or any other politician. I just wish for people some common sense: Daesh-IS is a threat for everyone and everything. It has nothing to do with Islam. It is a wave of terrorism that is using Islam to raise tensions and fears between religions. Don’t forget that terrorism has no religion!
Pascale Asmar.