By GIANLUCA MEZZOFIORE for International Business Times
Egypt’s famous naked blogger Aliaa Magda Elmahdy has staged a nude demonstration along with members of the Femen radical feminist group against the planned Egyptian constitution.
Elmahdy, who last year caused a controversy across the Arab world for posting nude pictures of herself online, posed naked with “Sharia is not a constitution” painted on her body along with other two Femen activists. The protest was held outside the Egyptian embassy in Stockholm.
The blogger, 21, branded an Egyptian flag while her Ukrainian allies held banners stating “No religion” and “Religion is slavery”.
Egypt has been riven by protests over the draft constitution, which President Mohammed Mursi wants enacted.
Rights activists, liberals and Christians fear that the draft will lead to restrictions on the rights of women and minorities. Among the most controversial articles, the draft says that the “principles of Islamic law” will be the basis of national law. However, this does not mean Egypt will adopt sharia law in its entirety, said some observers.
The Muslim Brotherhood, the main group aligned with Mursi, expects a big victory for the ratification of a referendum on the constitution.
Elmahdy, a former student at the American University of Cairo, made a name for herself with her naked blog postings that she said were a “scream against a society of violence, racism, sexism, sexual harassment and hypocrisy”.
The hashtag #NudePhotoRevolutionary went viral after Ahmed Awadalla, who works in human rights, health, sexuality and gender, tweeted: “@3awadalla: A feminist #Jan25 revolutionary posted her nude photo on the internet to express her freedom. I’m totally taken aback by her bravery.”
In her blog, Elmahdy said she published the pictures to protest against the ban on nude models in Egyptian universities and books.
“Put the models who worked at the Faculty of Fine Arts until the early 1970s on trial,” she told her critics. “Hide art books and smash nude archaeological statues, then take your clothes off and look at yourselves in the mirror. Burn your self-despised bodies in order to get rid of your sexual complexes forever, before directing your sexist insults at me or denying me the freedom of expression,” she said.