Iranian female activists have taken a bold move to protest against the hijab (Muslim veil) in Stockholm this week, shedding most of their clothes and painting slogans on their bodies in an effort to get their message across.
The activists, following in the footsteps of the Ukrainian FEMEN movement – of which infamous Egyptian nude activist Alia al-Mahdy was a part – protested with the slogans “My nudity is my protest” and “No to hijab.”
Members of the Iranian Communist Party and the Organization Against Violence on Women in Iran dedicated their action to International Women’s Day on March 8.
The FEMEN activists are known for organizing topless rallies in different countries against sex tourism, religious institutions, international marriage agencies and sexism.
The activists said in a message on FEMEN website that “in the historical battle ‘woman v. Islam’ women will win!”
Anti-Islamist Egyptian female activist Alia al-Mahdi angered Egyptians in December 2012 when she protested nude against the country’s draft constitution.
Alia took part in a protest by the International women’s movement FEMEN in Stockholm “to say NO to Sharia constitution in Egypt!”
Alia appeared holding the Egyptian flag with writings on her body that read: “Sharia is not constitution.”
In a phone interview with Al Arabiya English Alia said, “I chose to protest this way because of the ideas that say that we do not own our bodies and that we are public property, as people are the ones who decided what should be done with our bodies.”
“Of course, if we want to make change, we have to do it unlike the way it is done,” she said.