If Europe was concerned about Christian-Muslim cross religious and cultural differences before, and in light of the recent influx of Syrian refugees into the continent, events over the weekend confirmed such concerns are poignantly valid.
This Saturday, during a conference at the Muslim Salon in Pontoise near Paris on the role of Muslim women, two Muslim fundamentalist imams were debating the question of "whether wives should be beaten or not", Telegraph reports that two Femen protester 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."
Chaos immediately erupted. The imams promptly left the stage but not before taking a long, hard look at the half-nued protesters, who 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.
Telegraph adds that according to Ms Shevchenko, a spokeswoman for the feminist group, 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.
The showdown took place after nearly 6,000 people signed an online petition against the event. At the same time, 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."
The chaos that erupted when the women stormed the stage was caught on video.