Egypt Blogger's Nude Pic Sets Off Furious Debate

Aliaa Magda Elmahdy angers conservatives and liberals
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 18, 2011 1:26 PM CST
Aliaa Magda Elmahdy has set off a furor in Egypt.   (

(Newser) – The fight for Egypt's future ahead of parliamentary elections is taking familiar form here in the form of protests in Tahrir Square. But a volatile debate also is taking place in unfamiliar territory: over a political blogger's posting of nude photos of herself. As the AP and New York Times explain, 20-year-old Aliaa Magda Elmahdy posted photos in which she's wearing only stockings and red shoes. She called them "screams against a society of violence, racism, sexism, sexual harassment, and hypocrisy."

Conservative Islamist groups predictably condemned the images, but Elmahdy also is taking heat from liberal and secular groups, especially because the images come only a week before elections. “Many movements in Egypt, particularly Islamist movements, are trying to benefit,” says one left-leaning candidate. “They say, ‘We have to protect our society from things like this, and if the liberals win then this woman will become a model for all Egyptian women.’" Elmahdy, whose blogger boyfriend was jailed for four years for insulting Islam and Hosni Mubarak, hasn't given any interviews since the photos went viral. Click for more at The Stir, including a link to Elmahdy's blog.

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