Feminist actress attacked in Paris
By John Lichfield in Paris
Saturday 16 January 2010
Police launched a terrorism investigation in Paris yesterday after two men tried to set fire to an Algerian feminist playwright and actress.
The attackers sprayed Rayhana, known only by her first name, with petrol and threw a lit cigarette in her face. The petrol did not ignite, possibly because of the extreme cold.
Rayhana, 45, is appearing in and directing her own play about the oppression of women in Algeria. She was walking to a theatre in a north-eastern suburb of the city when she was insulted in Arabic and attacked. A fortnight ago, she was approached in the same area by two men who said: "We know who you are, you miscreant whore. This is a warning."
Detectives are examining the possibility that she was attacked by a radical Islamist group, although her play is equally critical of the treatment of women by radical Islam and secular authorities in Algeria.
A pressure group for the rights of women of North African origin, Ni Putes, Ni Soumises ("neither whores, nor submisssives"), has called for a demonstration of solidarity with Rayhana outside the theatre tonight.
Following the attack, the playwright staggered into an upmarket restaurant but was refused help. She carried on to the theatre, La Maison des Metallos, and took part in that night's performance. Her sell-out play At My Age, I Still Hide To Have A Smoke, is about a group of women who chat about their lives during a visit to a spa, and features unflattering views of Muslim men.
- 1 Malaysia issues arrest warrant for Gordon Brown’s sister-in-law after she publishes stories on leader Najib Razak's financial affairs
- 2 Porn block in India: hundreds of sexual websites banned, internet outraged
- 3 Natalia Molchanova: World's most successful free-driver is missing and feared dead after disappearing in Mediterranean
- 4 Dutch King Willem-Alexander declares the end of the welfare state
- 5 Gamers confess the worst things they've done in The Sims
Jackie Chan in second place in Forbes' Highest Paid Actors list after magazine includes actors working outside US movie industry
Malaysia issues arrest warrant for Gordon Brown’s sister-in-law after she publishes stories on leader Najib Razak's financial affairs
Natalia Molchanova: World's most successful free-driver is missing and feared dead after disappearing in Mediterranean
Giant Minion terrorises drivers in Ireland as 40ft inflatable blocks traffic on Dublin road
Dutch King Willem-Alexander declares the end of the welfare state
Is Britain really full up? Are migrants taking our jobs? Leading academic answers the most common anti-immigration claims
Calais Migrant Crisis: Deputy Mayor of Calais labels Cameron's use of 'swarm' as 'racist' and 'ignorant'
Chris Leslie: Jeremy Corbyn's anti-austerity agenda will harm the poor, says Labour shadow Chancellor
Landlords renting properties to illegal immigrants to face up to five years in prison
While we fixate on Calais, the Home Office is quietly deporting dozens of migrants on 'ghost flights'
Labour leadership race: Jeremy Corbyn could be the next Prime Minister, says Ken Clarke
£16000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This award winning Property Man...
£16000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you a a young, dynamic pers...
£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped OTE: SThree: SThree Trainee Recruitment C...
£40000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This digital production agency ...