Don't lump Femen together with the Haters and the Murderers

Femen protesting in Tunisia

Femen protesting in Tunisia

When David Wilkes and Chris Greenwood wrote in today’s Telegraph about the murder of Mohammed Saleem, a defenseless grandfather who was stabbed near a mosque, they also implied that this was part of a Ukrainian/right wing pattern:

They said:

The two suspects were on placements at software company Delcam on an industrial estate in Small Heath, Birmingham, one-and-a-half miles from Mr Saleem’s home.

The firm has a training centre in Lutsk, Ukraine, and close links with universities in the country – a known hotbed of anti-Islamic hatred.

Ultra-nationalist party, Svoboda (Freedom) was a shock winner in elections there last year, capturing 10 per cent of the vote.

Members of Ukrainian female protest group Femen demonstrated topless in London to draw attention to what they called ‘bloody Islamist regimes’ taking part in the 2012 Olympics.


Extremists include Terence Gavan, a former British National Party member, who was jailed for 11 years in 2010 after 50 explosive devices and more than 30 guns were found in his concealed room in Batley, West Yorkshire.

The most notorious far-right bomber in the UK was David Copeland, from Yateley, Hampshire, who targeted black people in Brixton, Asians in Brick Lane and gays in Soho with nail bombs. He killed three people and injured 139, including four who lost limbs.

Europe’s most notorious hard right extremist, Anders Breivik, bombed government buildings in Oslo, killing eight, and then shot dead 69 people, mostly teenage members of the Norwegian Labour Party, in July 2011.

This list diverted attention away from the actual atrocities committed. It also suggested that anyone who is to the right of the SWP is part of this malign trend.

When did Femen become one of the usual suspects?

Could it be when they burned a Salafist flag in front of a mosque in Paris? The British government relies on cash from their (and our) Salafist friends. It’s not surprising that the left and the right are no longer happy with Femen’s protests.

Gordon Brown, cap in hand

Gordon Brown, cap in hand

When Femen protested against ‘bloody Islamist regimes’ taking part in the 2012 Olympics”, they were criticizing the people who are actually responsible for the majority of terrorist violence taking place around the world.

Kleptocratic regimes like Iran, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar support terrorism and do everything else under the sun to maintain their position as the primary oppressors of the Muslim world.

Saudi Arabia is the hub of worldwide terrorism. Qatar is the primary supporter of Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood. The UAE has a “mixed record” when it comes to support of terrorism, but when we look at their local laws, we see where they stand.

The Islamist regime in Turkey is driving their government like they stole it, brutally oppressing dissent.

Criticizing and protesting these terrorist regimes is not equivalent to murdering defenseless Muslim grandfathers.

Targeting defenseless Muslims is what regimes like Saudi Arabia and Qatar do. If Telegraph writers are determined to lump disparate groups together based on glib priorities, they should pay more attention to what people do, than to what they are.


About marypmadigan

Writer/photographer (profession), foreign policy wonk (hobby).
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