Muslims outraged as Egyptian activist posts nude self-photos to defy Islamic extremism

Published November 20th, 2011 - 09:53 GMT
Aliaa Magda Elmahdy
Aliaa Magda Elmahdy

A 20-year student in Egypt has sparked outrage in the Middle East after posting nude photographs of herself on the Internet in order to defy Islamic extremism in her country.

Pictures posted by Aliaa Magda Elmahdy, a media arts student at the American University in Cairo, has received 1.5 million hits and thousands of insults since last week.

Some denounced Elmahdy as a 'prostitute' and 'mentally sick' or urged police to arrest her, the Daily Mail reports.

On her arabic blog, Aliaa defended her actions, writing, "Hide all art books and smash naked archaeological statues."

"Then take off your clothes and look at yourselves in the mirror, then burn your body that you so despise to get rid of your sexual complexes forever, before subjecting me to your bigoted insults or denying my freedom of expression," she wrote.

But her attempts at protesting limits on free expression have apparently backfired.

Rather than garner support from the Liberals hoping to win the November 28th election, they are keen to distance themselves from the blogger.

They fear she will taint them in the eyes of deeply conservative Egyptians and, ruining their chances at competing with fundamentalist Islamic parties.

According to the report, Elmahdy's posting is almost unheard of in a country where nudity is strongly frowned upon, even as an art form and could lead to her being jailed. 

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