Seite - 93 - in JRFM - Journal Religion Film Media, Band 02/01
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Images of the Muslim Woman | 93www.jrfm.eu 2016, 2/1, 91–110 Third image: A female protester is savagely beaten by Egyptian military forces (fig. 3). The woman was wearing a black abaya3 but ironically is known only as “the woman in the blue bra”. The clip of the “blue bra incident” on 17 December 2011 shows a limp woman being dragged by her arms along the street with her abaya ripped open, exposing her naked torso and blue bra. Military forces surround her, many wielding batons; guards hit her, and one stomps on her.4 The woman in Arena is articulating Salafism, a fundamentalist interpretation of Islam that argues that the face of a woman is a source of temptation and should be cov- ered to protect men and society. That position is considered extreme in the Islamic world(s) and is not shared by the majority of Islamic legal interpretations. Within Mus- lim countries it is highly contested and deemed a fringe belief by many. On 2 April 2010, for example, the Mufti of Al Azhar, the highest religious authority in Sunni Islam, stated in a programme on Al Arabiya TV that wearing the burqa is a “custom, not a religious requirement” and the product of a “lone opinion” in Islamic jurisprudence.5 The poster, propagated by far-right and xenophobic Swiss political forces, uses the burqa as a visual symbol for a threat endangering Switzerland, with the image of the 3 Abaya or cloak is a black loose over-garment, essentially a robe-like dress, worn by some women espe- cially in the Arabian Peninusla. 4 Coleman 2011. 5 Al Arabiya TV 2010. Fig. 3: The “blue bra” female protester beaten by Egyptian police during clashes in Cairo’s Tahrir Square on 17 December 2011 © Reuters.
JRFM Journal Religion Film Media, Band 02/01