American university student Jen McCreight created Boobquake to  protest a statement made by an Islamic cleric claiming female immodesty  caused earthquakes. Jennifer McCreight/Handout American university student Jen McCreight created Boobquake to protest a statement made by an Islamic cleric claiming female immodesty caused earthquakes.

An Islamic cleric’s suggestion that immodestly dressed women cause earthquakes has drawn thousands to join an American student’s busty bid to shake up the world — by revealing cleavage.

Jen McCreight is the creator of Boobquake, an event scheduled for Monday, which has already garnered the support of more than 40,000 people on Facebook.

Ms. McCreight, a 22-year-old attending Purdue University in Indiana, is pushing women to bare their breast cleavage for a day to satirize Islamic cleric Hojatoleslam Kazem Sedighi, who recently blamed earthquakes on immodest female clothing.

“Many women who do not dress modestly . . . lead young men astray, corrupt their chastity and spread adultery in society, which [consequently] increases earthquakes,” Mr. Sedighi told Iranian media on April 16.

Mr. Sedighi is Tehran’s acting Friday prayer leader.

Out of frustration, Ms. McCreight took to her blog to promote Boobquake as a way for “other female skeptics to join me and embrace the supposed supernatural power of their breasts.” “With the power of our scandalous bodies combined, we should surely produce an earthquake,” she wrote on her blog. “If not, I’m sure Mr. Sedighi can come up with a rational explanation for why the ground didn’t rumble.”   With the help of Facebook and Twitter, word of Boobquake travelled fast and, within 24 hours, had recruited tens of thousands of supporters.

“I think it became so popular because people are increasingly fed up with supernatural, anti-science statements, especially when they’re hateful towards women,” Ms. McCreight told Canwest News Service.

“When someone says something so ridiculous, sometimes lighthearted mockery is the best way to respond. Of course, there’s a serious message too: that women should have the right to choose how they dress, and not be forced to cover up by men. . . . I’m a scientist and a feminist, so when I read what Mr. Sedighi said, I couldn’t help but respond. People need to continue pointing out how ludicrous these sorts of claims are.”

By Thursday afternoon, more than 43,000 people had responded to the event Ms. McCreight created on Facebook, saying they planned to participate. Some were serious, others were not.  “Save the TaTas!” one women posted. A group on Flickr, a photo-sharing website, has already been created for photos from Monday’s event.  Ms. McCreight, who describes herself as an liberal, atheist feminist, said women don’t have to show off their cleavage or wear a short skirt to participate.

“The name of the event may be about boobs, but feel free to show an ankle on Monday — that will still be immodest to someone, somewhere,” she said.

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