A Shocking New Way of Online Protest: Rage over Egyptian Woman Activist's Nude Photos
A 20-year old Egyptian woman activist, Aliaa Magda Elmahdy, who posted nude pictures of herself on her blog in order to protest limitations on free expression has caused massive uproar in Egypt, drawing condemnations from conservatives and liberals alike.
- Nudity is strongly frowned upon in Egyptian society, even as an art form. Elmahdy's posting is almost unheard of in a country where most women in the Muslim majority wear the headscarf and even those who don't rarely wear clothes exposing the arms or legs in public.
- Even liberals feared that the posting by 20-year-old university student Aliaa Magda Elmahdy would taint them in the eyes of deeply conservative Egyptians ahead of Nov. 28 parliamentary elections in which they are trying to compete with fundamentalist Islamic parties.
- Elmahdy wrote on her blog that the photographs which show her standing wearing only stockings _ are ``screams against a society of violence, racism, sexism, sexual harassment and hypocrisy.''
- The blog has received 1.5 million hits since she posted the photos earlier this week.
- The posting comes at a time when Egypt, a nation of some 85 million people, is polarized between Islamists and liberals ahead of the elections, the first since the February ouster of former President Hosni Mubarak.
- Members of the most hardline Islamic movement in Egypt, the Salafis, have warned voters during their campaigns that liberals will corrupt Egypt's morals.
The blog http://arebelsdiary.blogspot.com/ showcases some surprisingly bold images from the blogger, completely unassociated with that part of the world.