Wearing nothing but a pair of stockings, red ribbon in her hair and pair of flat red shoes, the black and white shot would not look out of place in a nude photography book. But this is no ordinary art project. It is the work of a feminist Egyptian activist, Alia el-Mahdy, who is making a bold and potentially dangerous statement. The picture shows el-Mahdy completely naked and uncensored, angering many Egyptians.
Aliaa el-Mahdy apparently thought she was striking a blow for sexual equality and free expression in Egypt when she posted nude photographs of herself on a blog. Instead Ms. el-Mahdy set off a wave of outrage here, stoking radical Islamist sentiment.
SPERO NEWS A coalition of graduates of Islamic Law in Egypt have denounced a 20-year-old Egyptian Muslim woman Alia el-Mahdy and her companion, Karim Amer, for publishing nude photographs of themselves on their blog.
The coalition contends that the pair have ‘violated morality,’ as well as inciting ‘indecency’ besides insulting Islam, according to the Bikya Masr website. The complaint was filed by the coalition with the attorney general’s office of the north African country and claims that Mahdy’s goal is to “broadcast her obscene ideology with nude photographs.”
The group of lawyers is demanding that the pair be chastised according to sharia – Muslim religious law. “The former Constitution and the new articles in the new Constitution say that Islamic law is the basis of legislation, we therefore request that the two bloggers be punished according to Islamic sanctions,” said Ahmed Yehia of the coalition to Bikya Masr. “It is an insult to the Revolution since these two people wish to present themselves as revolutionaries demanding sexual freedom and are giving a bad name to the Revolution,” continued Yehia.
Mahdy was the center of controversy over the November 12-13 weekend following the publication of the nude photographs of herself and Amer. Drawings of nudes are also featured on her blog. Her expression of freedom may cost the couple at least 80 lashes in public, as well as jail time or “whatever else may be deemed appropriate” said Yehia.