Allison Kaplan Sommer
| Apr. 10, 2013 | 12:45 PM
Tunisian activist Amina Sboui on Tuesday accused Femen of being "Islamophobic" and financed by "shady money," and said she was leaving the European feminist group famous for its topless protests.
The 19-year-old, who spent more than two months in prison for tagging the wall of a cemetery with the word "Femen," said she was shocked by some of the protests held by Femen, three of whose members spent a month in jail in Tunisia over a topless protest held in solidarity.
Sboui told the Huffington Post Maghreb news site: "I did not approve of the protest where the girls cried 'Amina Akbar, Femen Akbar' in front of the Tunisian embassy in France, or when they burnt the Tawheed (Salafist) flag in front of the Paris mosque."
"You have to respect the religion of others," she added, accusing Femen of being "Islamophobic" and of being financed by "shady money."
Femen leader Inna Shevchenko hit back, accusing Sboui of "betraying the thousands of women in several countries who undressed to support her during the Free Amina campaign."
The Paris-based Shevchenko told French daily Liberation: "It's thanks to this campaign that Amina is out of prison."
But Sboui told the Huffington Post that some of Femen's actions had "aggravated" her case.
Sboui shot to fame when she posted a topless photograph of herself on Facebook in March, with the words "My body belongs to me, and is not the source of anyone's honor" scrawled across her chest - a message aimed at Tunisia's ruling Islamists.
Her action, which was condemned as "un-Tunisian," was seen as a factor behind her subsequent imprisonment.
On the day of her first court appearance in May, three Femen activists - one German and two French - held a topless protest in Tunis to demand her release.
Convicted of public indecency and offending public morals, the activists were handed four-month prison terms that were suspended on appeal.
Sboui was released on parole on August 1.
She remains charged with desecrating a cemetery. Contrary to Femen's view that prison had "broken" her, she remains committed to radical protest.
In a new topless photograph released a few days ago, she is seen smoking a cigarette that is poised to light a Molotov cocktail, with the anarchist sign on her shoulder and the slogan "We don't need your dimocracy [sic]" written across her chest.
Sboui told the Huffington Post she was considering joining a feminist anarchist group, Feminism Attack.
"For me the problem in Tunisia is not the (Islamist) Ennahda party or the person of (Ennahda leader) Rachid Ghannouchi. The problem is the whole system," she said.
That problem, she said, was not about "being able to wear a mini-skirt here - I know I can always do that - but that tomorrow a woman can become president of the republic, that in rural areas women are not those who suffer the most."