Ni Putes Ni Soumises Organizes a Protest for Rayhana

By Sarah Braasch

Rayhana, a French-Algerian playwright and actress, was attacked last week in front of the theater in Paris where she is performing her provocative play, “At My Age, I Still Hide My Smoking”. Rayhana speaks out against Islamism and obscurantism and the Muslim culture of female oppression in Algeria. Her play takes place in a hammam in Algeria and portrays nine women sitting together and discussing their daily lives. The two men who attacked Rayhana grabbed her from behind, forcing her to the ground, and poured gasoline over her head and in her face, momentarily blinding her, and then attempted to set her on fire by throwing a lit cigarette on top of her head. Prior to this incident, Rayhana had been harassed verbally. Despite the attack and the threats of violence, Rayhana is determined to continue performing her play. She has received many offers to stage performances from theaters throughout France, in response to this outrageous criminal act.

Ni Putes Ni Soumises (Neither Whores Nor Submissives), a French women’s rights organization that condemns cultural relativism and fights for women’s rights as universal human rights without compromise, organized a protest to support Rayhana on Saturday afternoon, January 16th. A huge crowd assembled in front of the theater, la Maison des Métallos, where Rayhana is performing her play. The crowd included women’s rights activists, government officials and representatives from some of France’s political parties. Sihem Habchi, the President of Ni Putes Ni Soumises, condemned the attack on Rayhana and proclaimed, “It is her job to be in the theater and our job to be in the streets.”

[Editor's Note: Sarah provided some pictures of the protest, several of which are reproduced below.]

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  • Jormungund

    It’s “Submission” all over again. You criticize European Muslims – you get a brutal death. You advocate for immigration controls – you get accused of racism. Check and mate. The Muslims win.
    Or right wing nationalist parties use incidents such as this and the Muslims’ extreme propensity towards violent crime (statistically speaking, of course they aren’t all that way) to gain popularity. Either way, atheists and the left loose.

  • Ebonmuse

    My French is a bit rusty, but I’ll take a shot at translating these (with a little help from Google):

    In the second photo: “Ne voilons pas Marianne” = “We will not veil Marianne”

    Third photo: “Ni Putes Ni Soumises” = “Neither Whores Nor Submissives” (as Sarah said)

    “Laïcité, égalité, mixité” = “Secularism, equality, coeducation”

    Fourth photo: “Non aux régressions, non aux violences” = “No to regression, no to violence”

    “Défendons les droits des femmes!” = “We stand for the rights of women!”

  • Sarah Braasch

    Pretty good, Ebon.

    I’ve been doing a lot of translating for NPNS, and I hope to have their website up in English soon.

    The only thing — I would translate mixite as desegregation.

    It can be racial desegregation — the connotation of the word we’re most familiar with in the US.

    Or, gender desegregation — the primary sense of the word in France — the mixing of the sexes in the public space.

  • Erigami

    Despite the attack and the threats of violence, Rayhana is determined to continue performing her play.

    Good for her. I hope her play makes it over to this side of the Atlantic sometime soon.

  • John Nernoff

    In the Koran a woman is worth only a half a man. And they want to impose sharia law on the entire world. I like what Pat Condell has to say about the entire Islamic slide toward barbarism and ignorance.

  • Bryan

    “Rayhana speaks out against Islamism and obscurantism and the Muslim culture of female oppression”

    “The two men who attacked Rayhana attempted to set her on fire”

    Are these people’s irony meters turned off? I cannot fathom the reason for this attack. Seriously, the more think about it, the more my brain hurts.