#Trending: Women: 'cover up or you will be shamed'

#Trending: Women: 'cover up or you will be shamed'
Blog: An irregular space to trace trending topics on social media; what Arabs are talking about online.
2 min read
25 May, 2015
Facebook is hugely popular with social media users across the region [Getty]
An Algerian Facebook page has threatened to shame women whom they perceive to be dressed "inappropriately" during Ramadan.

"Public announcement: If she doesn't dress appropriately, we will shame her." The page featured an image of a woman in long sleeves and sportswear.

The post also came with a clear message, stating: "Dear sister, our campaign will start with the beginning of holy Ramadan. We will take photos and videos of any woman in scandalous wear, and we will publish on all sites."

The campaign aims to breach Algerian women's privacy by taking photos and videos of them without their consent, and publishing them in virtual space during Ramadan.

It is a month where people seek to increase their good deeds and spiritual connection with God and other people. The month is dubbed "the month of mercy and tolerance" by Muslims - which makes the purpose of this latest campaign somewhat confusing.

The page's fame has spread through social media to a number of Arab countries, and received polarized reactions. Many supporters found this campaign to be an "effective way" of promoting the values they consider important, and many commended the initiative.

Translation: I support this and I hope this campaign happens here.

One trend appeared to reflect common themes in wider society, with women being blamed for attacks against them committed by men - supposedly impotent to resist such temptation - because of the clothes they're wearing. 

Translation: I strongly agree with this because what we see around is too much and men can't be blamed!

Yet the overwhelming majority criticised the campaign and called it "anti-Islamic".

Translation: Why are you distorting Islam? The verse says if you are mean they will revolt from your side. What if it happens the woman is non-Muslim? This is not an acceptable way.

Translation: People, please, our religion was never this way.

Some found the campaign a form of harassment.


Lala's tweet received widespread popularity. She called on Egyptian women to seek asylum abroad - "there's so much rubbish in Egypt and no place for women to live anymore".

Many others echoed the sentiment.

Translation: Let's take this as proof for political asylum [requests].

What do you think of this campaign? Tell us your opinion in a comment below.